§ Mr. SPEAKER
said the instructions to the Committee, appearing on the Paper in the names of the hon. Members for the Walton division of Liverpool and North-West Manchester, were out of order.
§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:
said the first Amendment on the Paper, in the name of the 1107 hon. Member for East Mayo, should come in after the word "authority" in line 6 instead of at the beginning of the clause.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said that unless the words he proposed were inserted at the beginning of the clause, it would probably be impossible to raise the question as between contracting-out and coming into the national system for the Catholic schools. If the Amendment was put down to come in after the word "authority," it could not be discussed, as the Amendments preceding that word were so important that they would fully occupy the time at the disposal of the Committee. He would respectfully urge that, unless the Chairman's sense was very strong that the words were out of order at the beginning of the clause, he should not deprive him of the opportunity to move them now; otherwise they would be prevented from raising what to them was the supreme issue of the Bill.
said the Committee was acting under an order made by the House, and he had no responsibility for that order, except to see that it was carried out. The reason why the Amendment could not be allowed at the beginning of the clause was that it was a rule of Committee debates that an Amendment could not be proposed to insert words at the commencement of a clause with a view to proposing an alternative scheme to that in the clause. It was obvious that if that were allowed, they might never get to the clause at all.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
said the Amendment his hon. friend did not propose an alternative scheme; it only proposed an exception to the general scheme contained in the clause.
said there was no question but that it was a separate scheme from the point of view of a Committee debate.
§ MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)
, in moving the omission of subsection (1), said the reason he had put down the Amendment was that he could not see why what were called the 1108 provided schools should not have just as much right to have money from the rates as any other schools. Indeed, he thought they had a little more right because those who provided the schools had saved the State a lot of money by building the schools and finding the money to carry them on. Therefore, if any schools ought to have rate aid, surely those were the schools. Under this clause they were penalising the very people who had helped the State and who had done for education what the State never did in the old days, and he could not help thinking that instead of disallowing their payment from the rates they should have a fair system, and that, at all events, those denominations who had already helped education ought certainly to have their fair share of the rates. Until they got a fair settlement of this question on those lines, this education difficulty would never be settled.
In page 1, line 5, to leave out subsection (1)."—(Mr. Hunt.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'an elementary school' stand part of the clause."
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. RUNCIMAN,) Dewsbury
said the hon. Member must be quite well aware that the Government could not accept the Amendment. If it were carried it would leave the denominational schools on the rates now exactly as they were at present. Any arrangement entered into was subject to the condition that the denominational schools should not be rate aided, and he doubted whether the object of the hon. Gentleman would be carried out even if his Amendment were agreed to. The corollary of rate-aid was obviously local public control, and he did not think the hon. Gentleman wished that to be applied to the schools with which he was more immediately associated. The Amendment raised the whole question that had been debated in times past, and was indeed the basis of the compromise. He could not, therefore, see his way to accept the Amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
said the right hon. Gentleman had not surprised any of them in not accepting the Amendment. He quite agreed that he could not accept it. It raised the general question of the whole Bill, and it gave an occasion, of which he thought the Committee should take advantage, of really arriving at some clear idea of the present condition of affairs. The right hon. Gentleman talked of the compromise which had been arrived at, and the Prime Minister on a previous day said the Bill could only pass as an agreed Bill. It was because the House had been led to think by the Government and by other speakers that this was an agreed Bill, in the words of the Prime Minister, and an agreed compromise, in the words of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education, that it received the degree of favour which it did receive in the Second Reading debate and that the benches he was now addressing were relatively so thinly occupied. The Members of that House undoubtedly had got the impression, rightly or wrongly that they were discussing a measure upon which very eminent ecclesiastical dignitaries of the Church of England, of the Church of Rome, and of the Nonconformist bodies had been consulted. That was the impression under which the House had consented in the first place to pass the Second Reading and, in the second place, to submit to closure by compartments. That was the view. Was it the correct view? He thought they were really bound a little to press the Government upon this point. The Prime Minister, in answer to a question that afternoon, had said that there was no more correspondence than that which had appeared in the Press between the Archbishop and the Government. He wished distinctly to understand how the matter stood between the Government and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and between the Government and those with whom they had been in communication, and who represented the Roman Catholic Church. When the Prime Minister said there was no further correspondence since last Thursday, was it to be understood that since then the Archbishop of Canterbury had made no representation to the Government on the subject 1110 of this Bill? If the Archbishop had not—he wished specifically to put this question—did the right hon. Gentleman interpret his silence as meaning that he was content with the financial proposal for schools and the arrangements for transfer and maintenance? As the hon. Member for Mayo had said, when Clause 1 was passed the Committee would be committed absolutely to the destruction of voluntary schools; they would go beyond recall so far as the Committee was concerned when subsection (1) of Clause 1 was passed. Surely, then, the Committee ought to know if the parties to the compromise or arrangement were content with the terms upon which the schools were to go. It must be clear to every member of the Committee that the Government had no right to consider the Bill as an agreed Bill unless the compromise covered all the questions lying behind the clause. What would be their position if they found during the next three days, in the course of the operation of the closure, that upon the points upon which the compromise was supposed to be arranged the arrangements were unsatisfactory? It was not an unreasonable question to ask the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee in explicit categorical terms how the incomplete correspondence with the Archbishop had terminated; whether the agreement which had not been arrived at when the correspondence came to a conclusion had been now arrived at; if not, what was the nature of the hitch, and whether it was a difficulty which should induce the Committee to hesitate to pass sub-clause (1) as part of an agreed Bill. Also, he asked if the Roman Catholic Church was contented with the arrangement that had been come to with regard to contracting-out schools. These were reasonable questions to ask and answer there and then, and unless there was a clear and explicit statement it was not legitimate for the right hon. Gentleman to talk of an accepted compromise, and for the Prime Minister to speak of this as an agreed Bill. He pressed the matter no further at the moment, but awaited with anxiety what the right hon. Gentleman had to say.
§ LORD EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Winchester)
thought the right hon. Gentleman would have replied at once to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, but as he was going to defer his answer he would like to ask him to develop, if he could, what fell from the Prime Minister on Friday last in reference to the position of the Catholic contracted-out schools under the Bill. It was quite clear, as had been pointed out, that owing to the Chairman's ruling on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Mayo, when the Committee passed Clause 1 under the closure at half-past ten o'clock, then, so far as contracting-out schools were concerned, the question would be settled. The Prime Minister intimated on Friday that the question of grants to contracting-out schools was still an open question, and by so saying, as he understood Parliamentary phraseology, the Prime Minister intimated that the scheduled grants as they now stood in the Bill would be raised. Before the Committee came to a decision upon this part of Clause 1 it was only fair they should be told what was to be the amount to be given to the contracting-out schools. If they were not given that information then it would seem the Government were following the same course they had pursued with the Archbishop of Canterbury and which had led to the difficulty in which the Prime Minister now found himself. For reasons best known to himself the right hon. Gentleman avoided in his correspondence and conversation with the Archbishop letting the latter know what the grants were going to be. Even when the Archbishop was sent a draft of the Bill the amount was left blank in the Bill. Were they now going to be treated in the same way? If so, it was not courteous; it was not fair to the House; and, on behalf of his co-religionists, he asked to be informed before proceeding further what grants were to be proposed for the contracted-out schools.
§ MR. LYTTELTON (St. George's, Hanover Square)
, as one who had voted for the Second Reading of the Bill, earnestly asked for an answer to the question. He had not the opportunity in a few moments on the Second Reading to give his reason why he was disinclined to stand in the way of a settlement; but as he had said 1112 publicly since, his vote was given subject to the reservation that the right of entry should be further safeguarded, and that Amendments to the contracting-out and transfer clauses should be of a very substantial character. He further had said, and he repeated, that he would not give up the position he had taken in voting for the Second Reading, unless satisfied that the rights of Roman Catholics were safeguarded; that was a question of honour and equity. It was a matter of the gravest importance, before deciding on this clause, to know exactly what the position was, whether an agreement had been arrived at with the Church of England, Nonconformists, and Roman Catholics. He most earnestly trusted that some further light would be thrown upon this matter.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
said he was sure there would be no desire that he should make a Second Reading speech on every Amendment, but he would be glad to give such information as was asked for. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition seemed to be under some misapprehension. When he last spoke the Prime Minister said this was not to be treated as a treaty between high contracting parties, and the Government had not diverged from their position; they thought they had arrived at common ground upon which they could proceed, and that common ground was that there should be no rate aid to any school not under public control and management. That principle was clear from the outset, it was in the letter from the Prime Minister to the Primate, it was made the first condition and not objected to, and was part of the agreement. The right hon. Gentleman asked if there was any further correspondence since the letter between the Government and the Archbishop of Canterbury. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman had seen the letters between the Archbishop and the Prime Minister published on Saturday. Perhaps he had better read a passage from the Prime Minister's letter—We are not only willing but anxious to hear and consider any criticisms you may have to offer on the schedules as they at present stand. Mr. Runciman will very gladly accept your offer of a conference with expert assistance. It would, however, facilitate matters if in advance you would kindly have sent to him a statement 1113 in outline (not, of course, in detail) of any specific objections to the proposed scale and of any counter-proposal which you may wish to formulate.When they came to these subjects they would be treated with every consideration, and the Government would do what they could to show that their proposals were perfectly reasonable, absolutely fulfilling the undertaking of the Prime Minister that the contracted-out schools should have a reasonable chance of existence. They would be able to show when they came to that stage that they had made full and ample provision for contracted-out schools. The transfer of schools they would treat in exactly the same way, and he would be able to give good grounds, not only in theory, but in practice, for the belief that their terms were fair and just. He altogether deprecated discussions of either of the Schedules on the first subsection. They would have full time for discussing them. On Wednesday they had put down the Report stage of the Financial Resolution, when he hoped to make a fuller statement on the finances of the Bill. They had increased the number of days for the Committee stage so that both Schedules might come under full discussion, and there was no reason to believe that out of that discussion they would not come fully justified.
§ MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
wished to say with very great respect, for they all knew the great courtesy with which the President of the Board of Education had handled this difficult matter, that the right hon. Gentleman had not answered the question of the Leader of the Opposition. He had referred to the Schedules and to Clause 2, and had said that he hoped and believed that the financial terms of the Schedule providing sums for the contracted-out schools and the administrative terms of the clause would, when reached, be considered satisfactory by the Committee. That was not an answer to the question whether the Government had arrived at a complete understanding with the Archbishop of Canterbury and those who spoke for the Roman Catholics upon whether the terms would be considered by them as adequate, effective, and full. 1114 They could not pass subsection (1) of Clause 1 until they had an answer to that question. The point was not whether the Government thought their terms adequate, but whether they could say that those who spoke for the Church of England and the Roman Catholics thought them adequate. Otherwise it would not be an agreed Bill and they must look at this subsection as if it was the beginning of a Bill introduced under ordinary circumstances. In view of the silence with which the right hon. Gentleman had met his right hon. friend's question, they saw at once that the subsection was the foundation of the whole Bill. The President of the Board of Education said that it was one of the items on which an agreement had been arrived at, but it was not an item at all, but the foundation of the whole scheme. It was only an item if agreement had been reached on all the other items—the terms for contracted out schools, the transfer of Church schools in single-school areas, and the right of entry in county council schools. Being a foundation, it was obvious that it would determine both the shape and stability of everything super-imposed upon it. When they voted at half-past ten that night for the clause they would definitely give up one system of national education for another.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Yes, so far as this House was concerned. Unless on the Report stage they diametrically reversed the view they took in Committee, so far as this House was concerned, they would substitute for the existing system a system which educational experts told them would be less efficient and which financial experts told them would be more expensive. Under ordinary circumstances everybody would agree that the House of Commons would feel it its duty to examine such provisions with minute care and somewhat prolonged deliberation; but none of them would pretend that they were discussing the question under ordinary circumstances. They were discussing it under somewhat extraordinary and, he thought, extra-constitutional conditions. They had been 1115 told by the newspapers that this item embodied the upshot of the correspondence between the Prime Minister and the Primate of the Established Church. Did it embody that? Had they reached a conclusion? Until they knew that, what was the use of referring them to the newspapers of the country? It might be that thanks to the good offices of the Prime Minister and the Primate they were relieved of their functions and had no duty to perform. That seemed to be the view of the Government, because, as they had had no opportunity of collecting the opinion of their constituents, it was evident that they were not in a position to perform the duties that generally deolved upon them. They were invited by the Minister for Education—he would not say commanded, as he did not wish to import heat into the debate—simply to signify their assent to an agreement which the official heads of the political and ecclesiastical institutions of the country had almost, if they had not quite, arrived at. In response to that invitation they were entitled to ask whether they had arrived, or had almost arrived, and, certainly, whether they were sure to arrive, at an agreement. If there was any doubt about that, the whole case for passing Clause 1 as an item of compromise fell to the ground. It was suggested that if the Prime Minister and the Primate did not quite understand each other then all misunderstandings would be cleared up in another place. Was he to understand that they were to march into the lobby when the guillotine fell and that all outstanding differences of the most fundamental character were to be adjusted by the Lords spiritual and temporal? Was that the view of the supporters of the Government? Since that was the very minor role allocated to the House of Commons he thought that they ought to be very graceful to the Prime Minister for having allowed them a whole day in which to signify their formal assent and to put their mark on an instrument of policy on which the Prime Minister and the Primate might possibly agree. The first Minister of the Crown and the Archbishop of Canterbury had done their work for them. It was quite like the old times. They were back in the Middle Ages. But even then the 1116 rude representatives of the people were permitted to take the liberty of asking a few questions, and he would ask the Minister for Education three questions [Cries of "Oh."] Was that too much? Their right to debate ended at half-past ten; was it too much to ask three questions on a Bill of this magnitude? His first was whether it was a fact that, if they passed this subsection now, contracted out schools were a necessary consequence. Was it a fact that they would adopt contracting-out into the national educational system? They knew what the result of the division would be. The battalion opposite was very well drilled and observed silence in the ranks. Very few would speak; fewer would listen; and all would march into the "Aye" lobby. So it was not hypothetical, but if they passed the subsection they would have adopted, after one day's debate, contracting-out as part of the national system. If that was so, they knew where they were. Then he asked his second question. Would not that impose a very considerable burden upon the taxpayers, who would have to provide the Parliamentary grant to support these contracted-out schools; and would it not, under subsection (3) of the clause, impose a very large burden on the ratepayers who were invited to run rate-aided schools in competition against the taxpayers' schools? Was it not clear that if they passed the subsection they were going to embarrass the financial position of the country? His third question was whether the Minister for Education had made any attempt to estimate the cost put on the taxpayers and ratepayers if they passed the subsection with all the consequences it entailed. If the subsection was passed, it was perfectly clear that they would be committed to contracting-out on a large scale and to a large increase of the education grant, along with, in all probability, equivalent grants for that purpose, or another purpose, in Scotland and Ireland. That was clear, but what was not clear was why it should be done. It would have been quite clear if the Minister of Education had been able, and willing to answer his right hon. friend. If the right hon. Gentleman had been able, he was quite sure that he would have been willing to answer his 1117 right hon. friend. If this was an agreed Bill, an accepted compromise, then the answer would he that they asked the House to pass subsection (1) Clause 1 in the hope of peace. But if the right hon. Gentleman was not able to give that assurance what possible reason could there be to ask the House to divide the national system of education into two conflicting parts, and to place great burdens on the taxpayers and on the ratepayers in order to introduce separate kinds of schools running in competition with each other? Perhaps by so doing the Government would discover another method of relieving unemployment. There was little hope for peace unless the Minister for Education could reply satisfactorily to his right hon. friend. He himself was sorry for it. When the State announced that in future it would stamp its approval on only one form of religious instruction in a country which had hitherto been famous for the vigour and variety of its religious convictions, what great hope was there of peace? Unless the Minister for Education could say that this was an agreed Bill, an accepted compromise, the hope of peace became less and less; and it had been extinguished by the conditions under which they were asked to welcome this measure, because they were asked by the closure Resolution really to abandon their position under the Constitution and to accept an approximate agreement between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister to be reviewed or ratified, if reviewed or ratified at all, not there but in the House of Lords.
§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
said that the obvious meaning of this clause was that no rate aid of any kind was to be given to any schools except those of a certain character. It was notorious that all the Roman Catholic schools in the country declined to take to themselves that character, and therefore the House was proposing that no rate aid should be given to any Roman Catholic schools. That was, he maintained, an essentially unjust proposition, however many archbishops or bishops had agreed to it. He did not think that anyone on that side of the House denied that the 1118 Roman Catholics paid rates for the support of schools to which it was admitted that they could not send their children, and therefore they had an absolute claim in equity to a refund of a proportionate share of the rates for the support of schools to which they could send their children. There never had been an attempt to answer that argument. The plausible excuse had occasionally been given that if this argument were applied to education they might apply it to battleships and free libraries. But surely the distinction was very great. They built battleships for common national purposes, but they had not yet come to the point of deciding that there was one common national religion to which every citizen in this country was bound to conform. At any rate, he hoped not. But if there was not a common national religion to which they were all bound to conform, he had a right to say to one section of the community: "If you take my money for your schools, I have a right to ask for a share of your money for my schools." He held this proposition, apart from the question of putting the schools in an efficient condition. He held it on the ground of financial honesty. That being so, if the Government proceeded on the principle of refusing rate aid to voluntary schools, they were bound to make that loss good out of State aid. Personally he had never been able to appreciate this great mystery of the distinction between rate aid and State aid. In various parts of the World there were various strange creeds supported by the State, but never before had people been found willing to maintain as an article of faith, for which they would fight to their last gasp, that there was an eternally sacred distinction between rates and taxes. Yet that was the proposition which seemed to be put forward now. He hoped that hon. Members opposite would not fall into the same folly and insist on having actual rate aid for their schools when they could get a proportional contribution from the Imperial Exchequer. He readily admitted that they were right in objecting to a fixed Exchequer grant, for the fixed Exchequer grant took no account whatever of the variable cost of education in different places, or of its tendency to increase.
said he thought that the hon. Gentleman was not in order to go into these details at the present stage, although he might refer generally to the financial effect of contracting-out.
§ MR. HAROLD COX
said that he did not object to contracting-out. He was one of the few Members of the House who actually believed in contracting-out. Two years ago he proposed an Amendment in favour of it and hon. Gentleman opposite, both above and below the gangway, voted for it although they now explained that they did so not believing in it. On that occasion the Government voted against his Amendment, yet now they had embodied it in their Bill. Whether they believed in it or not he should not care to guess. Personally he believed that contracting-out was the only possible solution of this difficulty, and that they would never get real liberty for the schools of the country except by freeing them from local control. His hon. friends opposite said that they objected to contracting-out because it would put the Catholic schools outside the national system of education. That was a very attractive phrase, but did it really mean anything? Were not Eton and Harrow as much part of our national system of education as the schools maintained by the Borough Council of West Ham? Before the Committee adopted this clause it ought to be made perfectly clear that the Government did propose to take account of the difference in the cost of schools in different areas, and to provide for the progressive increase of the cost of elementary education in the council schools.
§ MR. BELLOC (Salford, S.)
thought it would be necessary for every Roman Catholic to support the Amendment. They regretted this, because there were many of them, certainly all of them who took any interest and part in the public life of the country, who recognised clearly that the attempt which was being made to make a settlement of this vexed education question was a genuine one and was the outcome of a great deal of energy on the part of the Minister for Education. He acknowledged that in 1120 framing this subsection of the Bill, the Board of Education believed that they must accept the only alternative offered to the Catholics. But he respectfully submitted that they had not taken sufficient steps to find out whether the Catholics could accept it or another. The Catholics, as the House knew, numbered from five to seven per cent. of the population of the country. They were so concentrated in numbers that their particular position in the community did not make them indeed the dominant party, but their vote very largely influenced elections in such districts as his own constituency of Salford and in Manchester, Bradford, Liverpool, and some districts of London. He submitted that that point of view was not sufficiently studied in the hurried communications which had taken place with the heads of the Catholic party as the last moment.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
said that his hon. friend was under a complete misapprehension. Both his predecessors were in full communication and touch with the highest dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church in this country, both in the summer and in the autumn.
§ MR. BELLOC
said he knew as a fact that the predecessor of the right hon. Gentleman and, even more, the predecessor of his predecessor were in touch with them, but if the Minister for Education was under the impression that he had arrived at some sort of final solution with the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, then he said that personally, and other members of that Church and the whole hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, disagreed with him. The unanimity on this matter was very different from the diverse feelings which existed when the Bill of the present Chief Secretary for Ireland was under discussion; and that unanimity, if it existed, made it dangerous for the future progress of this Bill. He wanted to explain why the feeling that this clause was unreasonable existed amongst many of the members of other religious, communities than the Catholic or the Anglican. His hon. friend the Member for Preston said that when contracting-out was proposed two years ago the Irish Party, or at any rate the Catholic 1121 Members of that Party, voted for it. They voted for it as the lesser of two evils in a Bill of the most drastic kind, proposed if he might say so, as a weapon of offence. This Bill was not of that character. This Bill had the character of a final compromise and was put forward indeed, almost as non-contentious. The other was described, in a military metaphor as a sword. What was more, they opposed contracting-out because there was very considerable danger—he used the word, danger advisedly—of this compromise becoming law. They all saw the conversation which took place on the front Opposition bench when another place was alluded to, but he did not think that that other place, which was already waking up to the mistake it had made in the last few days, was going to make another mistake, and he was not aware that Lord Rothschild possessed any debentures or monetary interest, and, therefore, he did not think he would enter into this matter. He did not think it would concern those things the noble Lord thought most important, and it was on that account and because some of the Anglican episcopacy and many men of various parties in this House were agreed upon this compromise—it was because it was the more likely to become law that the more strenuously should they oppose the propositions which it contained. They could not accept the position of inferiors receiving a smaller amount than their fellow citizens, while they paid the same taxes, and if schools were to be established in this country under what he believed was its national religion—[Cries of "What is it?"]—Cowper-Templeism—and if Catholics were to be treated as exceptional people who must be fined for holding a religion of somewhat greater antiquity and with somewhat sharper definitions, they would resist it in this House, they would resist it when or if the Bill became law, and—he knew the gravity of saying this, but he might say it with perfect justice—he believed that in making such a proposition the Government would create a position not only untenable in logic, but unworkable in practice.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
said the only comment he would make upon 1122 the speech of the hon. Member for South Salford Was to protest that Cowper-Templeism, whatever that might mean, was not the national religion, unless it Was true, as he believed an interesting writer had said, that religion was dead in this country. As to the Amendment, the right hon. Gentleman in his answer said that the Bill was not an agreement and repeated what had been said before by speakers on the Treasury bench, but he did not think he meant himself to be taken quite seriously. Nobody in the Committee supposed that the Bill would ever have been introduced unless the Government had been able to flourish before the House something in the nature of an agreement which they had arrived at with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Everybody knew that that was the foundation on which the Bill rested, and he thought that Was clear from the right hon. Gentleman's own speech, because he went on to say that the Archbishop never objected to this subsection, which was an essential part of their scheme. He had done his best to read the voluminous correspondence between the Government and the Archbishop which had been published, and he should say that the Archbishop objected in almost every line to this subsection. He said it was a most tremendous sacrifice and was a thing to which he could scarcely ask his fellow-Churchmen to agree. Every argument of the Archbishop was a complete objection to this subsection. The most reverend Prelate said—he did not agree with him—that the other advantages of the Bill were such as to enable him to agree to that subsection. [MINISTERIAL. cheers]. Yes, but what were those advantages? One of the chief, which the Archbishop had said was absolutely essential was still a matter of negotiation. That was why the right hon. Gentleman not only in form but in substance had not answered in any degree the question put to him. The point was quite simple. This had been represented by the Prime Minister and the right hon. Gentleman himself as in the nature of a treaty—[Cries of "No"]—well, as a compromise or a balanced settlement. He did not care about phrases, he was dealing with facts. They were given a balance-sheet by both of the Ministers, and foremost amongst those things which 1123 the Church gave up were the matters contained in this subsection. What they wanted to know was what was to be put on the other side of the balance-sheet. The right hon. Gentleman endeavoured to assure the House that these items of the balance-sheet had been agreed upon, but it was quite immaterial whether they put anything on the other side. It was like the right hon. Gentleman saying he had agreed to sell a horse and the price did not matter. ["No."] That was precisely the same thing. It was all very well for members of the Nonconformist party to protest against that, but they would find if they examined it that the parallel was an absolutely true one. He had not overlooked the correspondence which was published in Saturday's Papers. Nothing could be more clear than what the Archbishop said. He said that the question of the Schedule was absolutely an essential question. In so many words he said it was essential to the agreement and essential to the settlement they had come to. Therefore it was absolutely absurd to say that when he agreed to this subsection he agreed to it without reference to the terms which the Schedule was to contain. There was one passage in the letters published on Saturday to which he desired to draw the attention of the Committee because it might be the explanation. The Prime Minister said he had purposely put off the schedule till Tuesday in order to give time for negotiations and discussion. Did that mean that if the negotiations did not result in an agreement the Government would withdraw the Bill? There was no answer at present, but he thought the Committee would be very glad to know that. It was not for him to criticise hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite; it might well be thought it was consistent with the views of a party which was always dneouncing sacerdotalism to try and settle the education question by an agreement with the Archbishop. He did not know how that might be, but they ought to know whether, if an agreement was not arrived at on Tuesday next, the Bill would be withdrawn. He was obliged to ask that question.
said he really must call the hon. Member to order. He had given him very large latitude, but clearly 1124 there must be a limit to the questions asked, and he did not think that which the noble Lord asked came within the scope of the subsection.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
on the point of order said he wished to ask a question. He believed he was right in saying that this Bill was presented as an arrangement in which two sides both gave up something. Something which was given up was represented by the subsection, and what they were anxious to know was whether an arrangement had been come to as to what was to be given up on the other side. He would ask as a point of order whether it was not absolutely necessary before they allowed subsection (1) to pass into the Bill they should know what was the corresponding arrangement on the other side, and could that be excluded from their discussion. It was a very exceptional position of affairs, which justified him in putting a point of order in that particular form.
said he thought the right hon. Gentleman if he had been in the House would have noticed that he had not pulled up anybody for putting a question of that kind, but now the noble Lord wished to know if the Bill was going to be withdrawn under certain conditions, and he thought that was not allowable.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said he would not repeat what he had said; he was only going to make this one other observation, which he thought the Chairman would allow, that the question of whether an agreement or not was arrived at was really a matter of vital importance to the House in considering whether they would assent to this subsection, and they had to consider, in assuming the probability of such an agreement, this further fact—that they had a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster that the terms offered were grossly insufficient. They had the converse statement repeated with great energy by several eminent Nonconformists, that no concession of any further kind would be made to the denominations in question. It would, therefore, 1125 seem impossible for the Government to give way or make any further advances in connection with the schedule, and, therefore, they had to take it for the purposes of this discussion that on the terms as they stood the only authority which gave the Government the least right to say that this was a balanced settlement or an agreed Bill had absolutely repudiated the measure as it stood at present, and on that ground, without going into the tremendous sacrifices which this subsection imposed upon the Church, without repeating what he said on the Second Reading as to the total inadequacy of the Bill—on that ground if all the other grounds were swept away, he should feel himself compelled to vote for the Amendment of his hon. friend.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH (Liverpool, Walton)
said that in the few observations he had to make, he would not say anything which would make any concession difficult of attainment, and he should not have made any observations at all on the subject before the Committee, if he had not wished to give utterance in the House to the objection which was so very strongly felt, as he believed, with increasing force in Lancashire, a county in which he represented a constituency. He would ask the Committee most earnestly to consider for a moment the wholly exceptional position of Lancashire as far as these proposals were concerned. He did not wish to elaborate or to repeat the points which had already been frequently made in the course of these debates, but the Committee was probably aware that the majority of the children in Lancashire at the present time were being educated in voluntary schools, and taking the population as a whole by any test of homogeneity that could be applied, the denominational system was one which was suited to and warmly appreciated by the great mass of the population throughout this county. That was true of Lancashire, and he wished to draw an analogy for a moment between the state of affairs in Lancashire and the state of affairs throughout the country as far as the Roman Catholics were concerned. Many of his own constituents were Roman Catholics, and 1126 held views on this subject which were certainly quite as strong and unimpeachable as those held by Anglicans. This Bill was put forward as an agreed settlement, and as a compromise which it was presumed gave to the Church and the Roman Catholics something more than they would have been able to obtain under previous Bills which they had successfully resisted. If that were not the case put forward it was clear that there would not be any great inducement for this change, which they were resisting by every means in their power, because they believed that if they were to waive their objections and support the present proposal the paradoxical consequence would occur that Lancashire and the Roman Catholic schools would be actually in a worse position under Clause 1 of the present Bill than they were under the Bill of the last Education Minister but one, the Chief Secretary for Ireland. There was in. his Bill the safeguard that under certain conditions the rates would be still available for denominational schools, and they were not cut adrift from the national system. Now, they had a much worse Bill, which was put forward as an improvement. So far as Lancashire was concerned, it would not be disputed by any Lancashire Member that the majority of the people there continued to desire that denominational instruction should have recourse to the rates. The Bill, however, said that if they retained that teaching they must be cut adrift from the rates and make heavy sacrifices. In Blackburn they had a denominational school which would cost them £6,000 a year under that Bill.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said he had not taken that into account in this case, but he was informed, on behalf both of Roman Catholics and of Anglicans, that taking the country as a whole pooling would not introduce any very material qualification of the figures. But even if some reduction were made, the position in Blackburn would be 1127 that the people would still have to pay rates in support of teaching of which they disapproved, and to contribute a very large sum in order to retain the privilege of carrying on their own schools. This was the very negation of equality as between the different sects, and he formally gave notice that if the Bill passed there would not be an election in Lancashire at which candidates on both sides would not be asked: "Are you prepared to increase the grant until it coincides with the full total cost of secular education?"
said the question of the adequacy of the grant to contracting-out schools did not arise now.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said that in his judgment there never would be a settlement upon the terms laid down in the Bill. But if the Government would deal with voluntary schools upon a basis of exact equality, then there would be a permanent settlement. Exact equality meant that there should be a right of entry, and that denominationalists should be treated in precisely the same way as those devoted to Cowper-Temple teaching were treated in the council schools, without any of these almost insulting distinctions.
The hon. Member is making a Second Reading speech. Cowper-Templeism does not arise on this Amendment.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
submitted that it was impossible to discuss the Amendment unless they considered the terms to be granted to contracting-out schools. As one who had never pretended to be a strong denominationalist, but who had always lived among a community of very strong denominationalists, he predicted that unless the Government recognised that there must be equality of treatment there would be no compromise.
§ MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
said that all his constituents felt deeply about this Bill. They had not been consulted on the compromise. If they had been they would not have 1128 agreed to it in any way. Under it the voluntary schools, Anglican and Catholic, were to be handed over to the local education authorities, and when they remembered that 700,000 children were being educated in the voluntary schools they would agree that the subsection might have a very important and far-reaching effect. By the subsection the managers and trustees of the voluntary schools would be compelled to hand over schools held under charitable trusts which specially laid down that the teaching of the Church of England and no other was to be given in them. Cowper-Temple teaching would be given in them every day by the local education authority, and it would be small comfort to know that denominational religion might be allowed an entry on two days a week. It was a strong order to ask denominational school managers to hand over their schools on such terms. Thousands of the working men of Lancashire had built these schools in order to educate their children in the faith of their parents. Let the Committee consider what their feelings would be. Was there any justice in the proposition that these schools should be handed over and that on two days a week denominational teaching should be given, but on the other five days Cowper-Temple teaching should be given?
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)
said he was aware of the multifarious duties of the Prime Minister, but he felt obliged to say that he bitterly regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had not found it possible to be present during this discussion. The Bill was of such supreme importance, and so difficult was the task before them, that the Committee really needed the guidance of the right hon. Gentleman during the discussion. He could not help thinking that had the Prime Minister been present, he would have begun to regret that he had insisted upon their proceeding with the Bill with so much rapidity and so little time to consider it. After all, this measure was presented as being the 1129 outcome of an understanding between Nonconformist opinion on the one side and Anglican opinion on the other, and that the differences between the parties had been almost bridged. The Prime Minister had stated that the two bodies had come so closely together and the gap between them was so small that it was the duty of the Government itself to step in and bridge it over. What they wanted to know was whether the Prime Minister or the Minister for Education was in a position to say that that statement correctly described the position to-day. He thought that the Prime Minister's statement left out of account the position of the Roman Catholics. At any rate, the passage of the right hon. Gentleman's speech to which he referred did not allude to them. It was confined to the Nonconformists and to the members of the Church of England. But the question with which the debate started and which still remained unanswered, though put by his right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition, was whether the statement of the Prime Minister correctly represented the position. It might be that he thought it represented the position, but when he used those words the other day, did they correctly represent the position? That the right hon. Gentleman thought they did, they one and all recognised to the full. But they had seen the correspondence which appeared on Saturday in the newspapers, and there was grave reason to doubt that the Government had really brought the two parties so closely together as they thought. Throughout the debate they had seen that those who were accustomed to act together in the closest harmony in that House had found themselves taking different views of this solution, and they all of them had to do the best they could under very difficult circumstances. But surely it was material for them to know whether what was within this Bill offered the means of enduring peace, and also what was the present position of the negotiations. As his noble friend the Member for Marylebone had pointed out, this Bill was not merely as a whole a balanced settlement, but clause was balanced against clause, and, as the Prime Minister himself had pointed out, Clause 1 was the great concession to 1130 Nonconformist opinion. It was, therefore, very material to know what was expected to be received in return for what they gave, what it was they were to get elsewhere in the Bill, and what was the price to be paid. They ought to know whether the Archbishop and his friends would receive in the later portions of the Bill the considerations which they thought they were promised when they consented to become parties to this settlement. He pressed for an answer to the question whether the position of the negotiations was as hopeful now as when the Bill was introduced, and whether the grave doubts expressed in the Archbishop's letter on Saturday had been removed in the course of the negotiations since. Might he say one word as to the position of the Roman Catholics? Of course, they knew nothing of what had passed between the Government and the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, but it was evident to anybody who wanted a solution of this question, that the Government had not only to effect a settlement reasonable and satisfactory to Nonconformists and to the members of the Church of England, but also one which would be reasonable and satisfactory to the Roman Catholics also. He regretted that an hon. Member opposite had made an attack upon his noble friend Lord Rothschild which was wholly unnecessary and irrelevant. It was an abuse of the hon. Member's position to make insinuations that seemed all the more reprehensible and all the less pardonable when they recollected that the communion to which Lord Rothschild belonged maintained at considerable expense their own special schools. Any member of the Jewish communion would recognise that the services of Lord Rothschild, with his family, to those schools were such as should protect him against the insinuations of the hon. Member. It was necessary to have a solution, if it was to be enduring, which would be reasonable and satisfactory to all those bodies. But they were asking all who had grave doubts about the possibility of arriving at a settlement, and all who were without knowledge as to the present position of the negotiations on various points, to accept now what was the foundation of the whole scheme. He earnestly desired 1131 a settlement, and he put it to the Government whether, by withholding information of this kind, they would really promote the passage of the Bill. He thought that in a matter of this character the Government ought to deal frankly and fully with the House, and play with all the cards on the table.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
said there was no objection whatever to replying to the inquiries made by both right hon. Gentlemen opposite, and he proposed to answer them in a few words. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire had asked him whether they were as hopeful now as they were last week of arriving at a settlement of this question. He would tell him emphatically that they were. They had no reason to believe the contrary. If either of the right hon. Gentlemen could tell him that he had information from the Archbishop authorising him to say that he did not agree to the passing of this subsection until they had finally closed up in water-tight form every detail and every minor point as respected the amount of grants, the pooling of grants, and the rents, then he could only say that was new information which he received with great apprehension. But he had no ground for believing that anything of the kind existed. The latest knowledge he had led him to believe that the Archbishop was not prepared to destroy the Bill at the present moment because they had not arrived at a complete agreement as to the financial clauses. There was nothing new in the correspondence on Saturday. The Archbishop, when the Government introduced their Bill, stated in his letter the fact that, as regarded the money, he could not give a final reply. There was nothing new in that. The Archbishop had said exactly the same thing before. The Government were going into these details with those who represented the English Church, or they thought represented the English Church, and he hoped that, before they had done with this Bill in the House of Commons, they would be able to state definitely whether the representatives of the Church did or did not agree with the terms of the Bill. But they could only proceed with one subsection at a time, and he was asking the House to do a perfectly justifi- 1132 able thing, namely, to pass the first subsection, when he said that all outstanding features had been settled, with the exception of the provision in regard to rents, the figures as to the grants, and certain matters of minor interpretation. It would be entirely contrary to the practice of the House to say that they would not take this first subsection because there might be some outstanding features that could be discussed later on, not only on the Committee stage, but on the Report stage. [OPPOSITION cries of "Will they be discussed?"] He ventured to say that these important matters would be discussed on the Report stage, and the Government had no wish to prevent their being discussed on the Report stage.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
pointed out that whilst they could reduce the grants on the Report stage, there was no power, even the Government had not the power, to move an increase of them. He thought the right hon. Gentleman ought to have that in his mind.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
said he had that in mind. What they were now discussing was the first subsection of Clause 1. The other point raised by the right hon. Gentleman was that if they passed this clause, they would be taking an irrevocable step. He was not asking them to take an irrevocable step. They never took an irrevocable step on the Committee Stage of the Bill. He was not quite sure that, if they gave to the contracting-out schools far more than they did in the schedule, the Leader of the Opposition would even then vote for it, for he understood that the right hon. Gentleman objected, to the principles of the Bill as it was framed. All he could say was that they were doing their best to close up the small points, and they ought not to be prevented from getting subsection (1) of this clause, merely because they were now discussing and hoped to agree on other points.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the right hon. Gentleman asked him whether he had any information that the Archbishop was unwilling to pass subsection (1), or 1133 was in a mood which would make a settlement of later clauses difficult. It was not he who was in communication with the Archbishop; it was not he who had had correspondence with his Grace; it was not he who was the authorised channel of the Archbishop's views in that House, and he could do no more than give the impression left on his mind by the correspondence. Anybody who had read that correspondence with an impartial eye must be aware that it showed that the Archbishop was deeply disquieted about what the right hon. Gentleman seemed to regard as details of the Bill. They were not details, but essential things as to which the Archbishop said there was to be a settlement. Even some of the speeches made on the other side offered sufficient warning that there might be grave doubts as to whether a settlement really could be arrived at upon this Bill. Let them assume for the sake of argument that they came to terms with the Archbishop. There was still left the question as regarded Roman Catholics. He was perfectly ready to discuss the subsection on those terms but, accepting the premise it was not treating them fairly to suggest that they were now discussing the principles which the Archbishop was anxious or ready to see pass and that other outstanding differences were questions of detail. That was really not so. The right hon. Gentleman said they must deal with each subsection by itself. That was precisely in contradiction to what was said by the Prime Minister and by the right hon. Gentleman himself on the Second Reading. They then said: "You cannot treat these questions by themselves. They are all part of one organic settlement. You cannot pass one without accepting the other. You cannot drop one without affecting the other." Accepting that view of the Bill he asked what was the organic settlement. Was it the Bill as it appeared before them? They knew it was not. They knew that conclusively from the correspondence. They knew that in this organic settlement they could not discuss one fraction without knowing what the other fractions were; it was like a tesselated pavement, each portion of which depended upon the others; they were at 1134 all events aware that while there might be agreement that this subsection should pass if the other parts of the Bill were satisfactory, there was no agreement that it should pass if the other subsections were unsatisfactory. The whole correspondence with the Archbishop and the Bishop of London showed that the other integral portions of this balanced arrangement were not settled. When the Government told them that this was an arrangement which must be taken or left as a whole, it was the most plain and obvious corollary that they should know what the whole was of which this subsection was a part. It was, not true that the other thing was a matter of detail. It was not true that the amount of money which the Roman Catholics got was a detail. It was not true that the terms on which entry was to be carried out or the terms on which transfer was to take place were details. They were essential and fundamental parts of one big bargain, and while he still, unhappily, had his doubts as to whether even if they carried out the bargain they would have a settlement, everyone admitted that if they did not carry out the bargain they could not have a settlement. It was perfect folly to part with one half of the bargain until they knew what the other half was. That seemed to him so plain and so obvious a fact that common fairness of dealing between the Government and the Committee required them to tell the Committee how they thought they could meet the claims of the Archbishop and the Bishop of London on the one side and the Roman Catholics on the other, before they passed from the subsection. It seemed so plain that he was amazed that hon. Gentlemen opposite did not see the thing in the same light. He was not conscious of having put before them anything in the nature of a paradox. The whole argument of such observations as he had laid before them was based upon the Prime Minister's own declaration that this was a self-contained scheme, indefensible in each of its parts but defensible regarded as a whole. Then they must know the whole, and the Government were most gravely to blame in asking them to discuss any 1135 of the parts until they were absolutely assured that the whole was that self-contained, harmonious, and organic unity which alone would justify the House in hoping against hope that it was to be a final settlement of the question.
§ MR. MADDISON (Burnley)
entirely agreed with the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken as to the view put by the Prime Minister, namely, that this was a self-contained scheme, and that as a matter of fact it was not a Bill at all, and he did not regard it as a Bill but as a mere bargain. When he heard that, he felt himself totally unable to vote for the Second Reading, because he did not believe in the bargain, and if he had voted for the Second Reading he should not have been free to alter this or the other part of the bargain that did not suit him. He had never felt more humiliated in his life than that afternoon. They had been discussing the Archbishop of Canterbury. He had come there foolishly thinking that it was a Bill. They had had any amount of talk about the Archbishop and occasionally a Catholic Archbishop had been brought in, and on one solitary occasion he believed there was a reference to the Nonconformist leaders. They seemed to have receded into the dim and distant past. The person who was substantial and real was the Archbishop of Canterbury. It would help their debates if the Minister for Education would get a certificate from the Archbishop for each clause that he could read out and then there would be no doubt about it. The other alternative was to give the Archbishop a seat on that bench and then perhaps he would speak for himself. After what the tight hon. Gentleman had said, as he understood it, he was still carrying out his bargain. It was always difficult to deal with bishops; when they got to archbishops it was nearly impossible, and when the Archbishop had not made up his mind he was in a dilemma. But the right hon. Gentleman was under an entire misapprehension. Hon. Members had not read the Bill. This was a Bill to make proper provision with respect to elementary education and not elementary religion If they kept to education they would have no need of the Archbishop.
§ MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)
said that no one could deny that the clause and the Amendment raised a point of enormous interest to all voluntary schools and of particular interest to the schools in which he and his friends were interested. They did not pretend to be exactly the spokesmen of English Catholics, but they claimed that they were speaking in a particular manner for the Irish Catholics in this country. If those of Irish extraction were taken from the schools and the congregation they might as well shut up the greater part of the Catholic churches and schools of the country. The figures given the other night by the noble Lord the Member for Chichester as to the position of Catholic schools in this country were dismal, but he did not think they overstated the case. As he listened to those figures and to the debate he could not help regretting that the compromise practically arrived at two years ago by the ingenuity and the ability of his friends and of the Chief Secretary was not carried out. He very much feared they would never get a settlement of the Catholic question so favourable to the schools for which they spoke. He hoped the last word had not been spoken. He asked Nonconformist Members to recollect that they had suffered much in the past for their principles, and he hoped they would not inflict upon Catholics further injustice. By offering them a system of education which they could not accept they were offering them an impossibility and imposing fresh disabilities upon them. He appealed to them. They had an honourable record of which they might be proud, and he asked them to approach the whole of this question in the same spirit in which they had solved the question of University education in Ireland.
§ SIR FRANCIS POWELL (Wigan)
said he did not think he should be adequately doing his duty to his constituents if he did not pronounce a few words at this stage of the discussion. It seemed to him that this quasi agreement was of a remarkable and precarious character. On the one hand they had concessions made by the friends of the voluntary schools which were of an assured and certain character, and on the other hand they had proposals 1137 made by the Government with regard to contracting out which were of a most uncertain and doubtful character, and which must necessarily create some anxiety in the minds of the supporters of voluntary schools. There was uncertainty as to both the amount and the permanency of the grant to contracted-out schools. It was quite possible that some time in the future a Government might be in power which, viewing contracted-out schools with abhorrence, would discontinue the grant. He would not be doing his duty as Vice-President in association with Lord Halifax of the Yorkshire House of Laymen if he did not say from his certain knowledge that there was a most profound anxiety felt throughout the Northern Province on this subject. He had a great desire for a settlement that would at least last for some years. Unless any arrangement arrived at met with the support of all parties it could not be permanent, and they would find themselves in an even worse position in the course of the next year or two than that they were in now. He felt very keenly that these discussions were injurious to the cause of education which must play a great part in the prosperity or decadence of this nation.
§ MR. STUART (Sunderland)
asked the President of the Board of Education to give the Committee some information as to how far this was and was not an agreed measure. He was extremely desirous of passing this compromise, because he wished to have peace in the educational world for some little time at least. He thought both sides were giving up something and getting something, but what he wanted to know was whether if he endeavoured to amend the Bill he would endanger it by trenching upon the compromise. He wished to know how far this was an agreed Bill. For instance, he would like to know whether there was anything in the recent arrangement made to prevent him differentiating the Catholic position from the Church of England position. In the very clause they were dealing with there was a period allowed for religious education, and he believed that many schools would be troubled very much if the three quarters of an hour allowed 1138 was not reduced to half an hour. Would he be at liberty to vote for that diminution without endangering the compromise? There were many things he would like amended which he would not risk moving Amendments upon if it would endanger the Bill. He thought they might be taken a little more into the confidence of the Government. In the year 1884 when there was a dispute between Lords and Commons about the extension of the agricultural franchise and the redistribution of seats there was an agreement arrived at between the members of the Government and the Opposition in the House of Lords, and the very same difficulty arose as the one with which they were now face to face. He wanted to know from the Government how much of this measure was capable of being altered and how much was absolutely agreed upon. Speaking as one who was urgently desirous of accommodating himself to the carrying through of this compromise he thought there was a great deal to be said for the pressure which was being put upon the Government on this point.
§ VISCOUNT HELMSLEY (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk)
agreed that there was a good deal to be said for the view that the Government should tell the House how much was agreed and how much was not agreed. They also required enlightening as to the precise terms upon which contracting-out was to be arranged. From a business point of view, even if the contracting-out terms were satisfactory this subsection would be open to the same objections. He looked upon contracting-out as a great evil under any circumstances, and under the Bill it would take place in exactly the places where it was least needed—namely, where there were other schools. That seemed eminently undesirable. He wanted to draw attention to the case which seemed to him to have been rather neglected hitherto by those who had been carrying on these negotiations on behalf of the Church, the case of the single school areas where there was going to be no alternative to contracting-out. There this subsection would be the death-warrant of the non-provided schools. The only course open to these schools was to become provided schools and come under the Act. He did 1139 not wish to argue the point on its merits, but if it were not part of the bargain nobody on the Opposition side of the House would support this proposal for a moment. It was a quite untenable position to the majority of those interested in denominational teaching in the single-school areas. They would find if this Bill passed into law that instead of having denominational teaching in those schools which were built for that purpose facilities for such teaching would be reduced almost to a nullity. It seemed to be supposed that it would be quite easy in those schools to get that denominational teaching given, but in scattered districts where there were many schools in a single parish and the clergymen had more work than they could get through and where the headmaster might be unwilling to give the teaching, the facility for giving that teaching in those schools would amount to very little indeed, and the whole purpose for which the school was built would have been destroyed. Then there was the question of expense. They were going to ask the denomination to pay for the religious teaching and they were to pay them rent for the schools. What was the difference between the Bill and the present law in this respect? In both cases the school was owned by the denomination or the trust and utilised by the local education authority. At the present time rent was not paid, but in future rent would be paid, but they would not have the same right of giving denominational teaching. Under these new proposals the denominational teaching would be less, and there would be a considerable balance to the owners or trustees of those schools after they had paid the local education authority for that particular portion of the teachers' salary devoted to denominational instruction. Where was that to come from? He should like to ask the President of the Board of Education if there were any actuarial statistics to show the additional cost which would fall upon the rates. People in the rural districts would see that while their children were not receiving the same religious instruction as before their rates would be heavily increased. This would not be acceptable in those districts, and 1140 especially in the single-school districts. They could not expect the owners of those schools to be willing to give them up to the local authority without rent unless similar facilities for religious instruction were given as hitherto. On these grounds he would vote for the Amendment.
§ SIR GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
said he was sure the bulk of hon. Members would feel regret at the tone which this discussion had taken. He had endeavoured to follow the debate in order to obtain some idea of the principle upon which this proposal was based. The noble Lord asked whether the Archbishop of Canterbury assented to this subsection, and his right hon. friend replied that he had assented to it, although reluctantly.
§ LORD R. CECIL
I am afraid that I failed to make myself clear to the hon. Gentleman. The whole point of my speech was that we have no ground for thinking that the Archbishop of Canterbury assented to this subsection except upon certain terms, and that we are not sure, in fact we have every reason to believe that he was not satisfied with the terms proposed.
§ SIR GEORGE WHITE
The noble Lord distinctly said that the Archbishop of Canterbury had reluctantly assented.
§ SIR GEORGE WHITE
On the conditions set forth here. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] Certainly, so far as he was aware that assent to the first subsection depended upon what, he believed, was the substance of the whole debate, namely, the amount of grant to be allowed to the contracted-out schools. The answer given by the President of the Board of Education was all the answer he could give on the matter. The right hon. Gentleman read the correspondence between the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury which showed plainly that the actual financial conditions had not been finally settled. He gathered from the correspondence that this was still an open question, and he thought that 1141 should have satisfied the House that, whilst that was a debatable point, his right hon. friend could give no further information at this stage. But did not that bring the discussion down to a certain number of shillings that would settle or unsettle the whole question? He understood the desire of the Leader of the Opposition and others who had spoken was to know exactly on what basis the contracting-out grant was to be fixed. Surely, if there was nothing in this contracting-out clause beyond the question of a few shillings, that should not be used as a means of wrecking this arrangement, which seemed to be the object of some hon. Members who had addressed the House. The noble Lord had said that information had been given that the Nonconformists whom he himself represented were determined to make no further concessions. He should like to point out to the noble Lord that they had no knowledge whatever, any more than the House generally, of the terms of contracting-out. He was quite sure unless it could be shown that these terms were altogether inadequate that was a point on which they would be sorry to wreck the Bill. They must, however, put this limitation upon that statement—they did feel that the denominations who claimed the liberty which contracting-out would give them should be prepared to give something, as they had professed themselves willing to do, for that liberty. With that limitation he was quite sure that hon. Members on that side of the House would, so far as the financial question was concerned, meet it with an open mind and a desire to get at what was fair and reasonable as between all the parties. So much had been introduced into this discussion that if he were to attempt to follow the arguments of the speakers opposite he was afraid that he should embark on a Second Reading debate, rather than confine himself to the discussion of Clause 1. If the clause was being discussed, as he thought it ought to be discussed, on the merits of contracting-out apart from the question of finance, then he should take it that contracting-out was a part of the agreement which could not be broken without the whole thing being irretrievably lost. If, on the other hand, it was merely a ques- 1142 tion of doing justice to the denominations who desired in part or in whole to contract out, then he did not think they ought to come to a division on that question which was admitted to be unsettled. He felt, as one who voted for the Second Reading of this measure, that it was not open to him to move any Amendment affecting vital principles on the one side or the other, but at the same time he felt at liberty to put down Amendments affecting the administration or the machinery of the Bill, with due regard to questions of principle. If his right hon. friend pointed out that any of the Amendments he put down was going contrary to what was regarded as a principle involved, he should feel in honour bound to withdraw the Amendment. That was the spirit in which he thought the Bill should be approached by those who voted for the Second Reading. Those who did not vote for the Second Reading of the Bill were free to take what course they pleased. The hon. Member for Burnley was antagonistic to the Bill, not particularly because of the compromise—he would have been equally antagonistic to the Bill which was withdrawn—but because he was a strong and logical supporter of the purely secular position. He could understand hon. Members who supported the secular position; he thought they were perfectly justified in taking up that position; but if those who supported the Second Reading in the hope that they might be able to come to a reasonable settlement attempted to bring in Amendments which distinctly conflicted with the main principles of the Bill they showed either that their vote in the first instance was given under a misapprehension, or that they had seen reason to alter their minds in that respect. He assured hon. Members opposite that they were not alone in the conviction that a clause like this was going to work mischief in some respects. They were told from that side of the House the same thing, but if contracting-out was an essential part of the arrangement—and he and his friends on that side conceived that it was, though from the educational point of view he should desire to see some other arrangement made—he felt that it was not open in the circumstances to do otherwise than had been done. He had expressed more 1143 than once his sympathy for the Catholic position. He hoped his Catholic friends would remember that they made claims in regard to education in this country which they did not make in other countries, or, if they made them, they did not obtain. When the hon. Member and his friends pleaded for the Catholic consciences to be respected, they must make a similar appeal to Catholics. When Catholics attempted to impose conditions, and said that they must have a Catholic atmosphere in. their schools, he thought they were putting a tax upon them which it was impossible to meet, however willing.
§ LORD EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Chichester)
The Catholics of this country found the land on which their schools are built, and they paid for the buildings.
§ SIR GEORGE WHITE
said he could not answer the noble Lord on that question without being led far from the Amendment and he did not wish to be called to order by the Chairman. He would simply say that Catholics in demanding conditions which they did not obtain from other English-peaking races were putting them to a test to which they could not fairly respond. He believed the Government were willing to deal with the Catholic schools as liberally as the circumstances would allow. He trusted his hon. friends would not take up the position of endeavoring to wreck the Bill on the contracting-out clause. If they did so, they were bound to offer some other solution than that which was before the Committee at the present moment. He thought it was most unfortunate that on this clause, the main principle of which had been sanctioned on the Second Reading, they had had a discussion which did not bode well for the future progress of the Bill through the House. He believed there was a large and increasing number of people in the country who saw in this Bill a suggested mode of settlement which was on the whole in the complicated character of our education system the fairest which could be obtained. He hoped that the House would address itself to the Bill not as a positively agreed measure, but as a 1144 largely agreed measure. He believed all outstanding matters were capable of adjustment if the House would continue to pursue the course in regard to the Bill which they pursued on the Second Reading.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
said he should like to state the difficulties which presented themselves to the minds of himself and his hon. friends when considering how they were to vote on this subsection. The subsection embodied one side of a bargain. The compromise as it had been called, or the agreed Bill, depended on the one side on the surrender of the voluntary schools, and on the other side upon certain other conditions as to right of entry, transfer, and contracting-out. What they were asked to do in dealing with this subsection was to embody in the Bill the surrender of the voluntary schools. At this moment the Committee knew nothing of two very important matters about which they ought to be informed if this Bill was to be considered as a compromise. The terms of transfer were still matter of negotiation outside the House. Contracting-out also was still matter of negotiation. That they should be informed about contracting-out was the more important because general dissatisfaction had been expressed on both sides of the House with the practice of contracting-out. It was a dissatisfaction which he himself felt profoundly. Under the ruling of the Chairman there would be no opportunity for discussing the Amendment which the hon. Member for East Mayo had put down. That Amendment would have led to the consideration of an alternative for contracting-out—an alternative which he should have liked to see embodied in the Bill. The Committee would be precluded as soon as this subsection was passed from considering the new clause of which the hon. Member for East Mayo had given notice, and under these circumstances it was all the more important that they should know what were the conditions of contracting-out. Were they such as would impoverish the schools now, and still more hereafter, or were they conditions which would alter and improve the figures now in the Bill? This measure had been spoken of as 1145 an agreed Bill or compromise. They were asked to vote one portion of that compromise when they not only did not know what were the terms of the other portion but when the contracting parties outside did not know themselves. He called attention to the two leading points referred to by the Archbishop, viz., the terms offered to schools which elected to contract-out and the conditions of the transfer. On these points the Archbishop stated that he was thoroughly dissatisfied with what had been stated in the House by the Minister for Education. Now, what they wanted to know was whether the parties were agreed, or whether there was any reasonable probability that they would be agreed. Those were two points on which they ought to be satisfied before they were asked to vote for the subsection.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fifeshire, E.
said he regretted that he was not able to be present at an earlier part of the sitting. The hon. Gentleman had made a very fair appeal to him, and he would do his best to respond. He never represented, nor did the President of the Board of Education, that this was a concluded agreement, signed, sealed, and delivered; an agreement which it was only for the House to register. He expressly guarded himself in the speech for the Second Reading from taking any such view of the matter. What he said was that the parties concerned had, in the opinion of the Government, arrived within measurable distance of a settlement. They believed that on the main points of principle both sides were prepared to give way, and that under those conditions the Government had made themselves responsible for making proposals which they hoped would form a basis of discussion, and, after modification, if modification were necessary, would be acceptable to both. It was on that understanding that the House read the Bill a second time. They were now dealing with a clause which, if carried into law, would give the local authorities in the future an absolute control over all schools to the expenses of which the rates had contributed. That was, perhaps, the main part of the sacrifice or concession which the Church of England 1146 made to the Nonconformists in consideration of the later clauses of the Bill, which represented the concession or sacrifice which the Nonconformists made to the Church. The hon. Gentleman was quite entitled to say: "If we agree to pass this clause, are you satisfied, or can you give us reasonable ground for believing, that the other part of the consideration is going to be satisfied also?" What was the essence of the consideration moving from the Nonconformist side? It was first of all, the right of entry conceded by Clause 2, and as to which he repeated that if there was any reasonable doubt as to whether it was adequately safeguarded by the drafting of the clause in its present form, the Government were most anxious that whatever might be obscure should be made clear, and that whatever was insufficient should be made sufficient; and the second head or branch of the consideration moving from that side was undoubtedly the system of contracting-out. There again certain clauses of the Bill provided that the contracting-out schools should receive no support from the rates, but a large part of their expenditure from the Exchequer. They regarded it as essential to this proposed compromise that there should be, in consideration of the clause now under discussion, an effective right of entry into provided schools, guaranteed to the denomination on the demand of an adequate number of parents, and that there should be a system of contracting-out, in the language agreed to between the Archbishop and himself, which should give to the contracting-out schools a reasonable prospect of existence, while providing, at the same time, that some substantial part of the bill should be borne by the denomination. That was the compact, so far as there was one, and he had every reason at that moment to hope that that part of the consideration would be fulfilled to the satisfaction of both parties. He could not say that there was at the moment a concluded agreement in regard to the precise scale fixed in the schedules either for the rent to be paid for transferred schools or the scale of grants to be paid in respect of contracting-out schools. That was a matter still under discussion. The proposals made by the 1147 Government he believed to be adequate for the purpose and that they would fulfil what was agreed with the Archbishop. In regard to the contracting-out schools, in effect they provided that 85 per cent. of the expenses should be paid out of the Exchequer, leaving only 15 per cent. to be paid by the denomination. He was not saying whether that was right or wrong, but it was a very much larger sum paid out of public funds than the percentage prior to the Act of 1902, which, if his memory served him correctly, was not more than 75 per cent. That was their proposition, and they were still awaiting any criticism in regard to these figures which had been invited, but had not yet come, and to which, when it did come, they would certainly give most respectful and sympathetic consideration. Beyond that he could not go. He agreed that the clause to which they were asking the House to assent necessitated a considerable sacrifice of the position hitherto tenaciously held by the Church, but it was in consideration of the assurance that it was their intention to proceed with Clauses 2 and 3, which involved a surrender in principle of positions as tenaciously held by the Nonconformists. He could not at that moment say that he had an absolutely concluded agreement, but he had the best reason to hope that on this point also an agreement would be made.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that unfortunately the right hon. Gentleman was not present at the beginning of the discussion. Of course, he knew that the right hon. Gentleman would have been present if he could have been. He was well aware of how heavy the burdens were which were laid upon the right hon. Gentleman and the necessity of his absenting himself from some portions of their discussions. He was convinced that the right hon. Gentleman had not only told them the truth—that he need hardly say—but that he had told them the whole of the truth, which was a much more important thing.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
But is the truth really satisfactory? Could they 1148 say that they were voting in the full knowledge of all the elements which should influence their judgment? The Prime Minister must feel that if he had only entered upon the negotiations at an earlier period, or had deferred discussion in Committee until negotiations had reached a more mature stage, the great difficulty in which they now found themselves would have been avoided. The House was really divided into two sections—the optimists and the pessimists. The optimists thought the Bill would give them a settlement. The pessimists, of whom he was one, doubted it. But was it an unreasonable protest against the course of the Government in asking them to deal with a section of the whole that was precise and clear, while leaving in obscurity later portions, it being admitted by the Prime Minister that he had not yet come to an agreement with the Archbishop of Canterbury? He imagined that the prospect of an agreement with the Roman Catholics, to whom the Prime Minister did not refer, was even more dim. The right hon. Gentleman told them he had every hope that he would be able to offer such terms in regard to the transferred and the contracting-out schools as would give reasonable satisfaction, but he had given no ground for that hope, and the only public statement they had had from the Archbishop was profoundly hostile to what the right hon. Gentleman most unhappily called a detail. The Archbishop had expressed himself in, as he thought, a most gloomy spirit upon the proposals the Government still thought fair, and there was not a single representative of the Roman Catholics who had not expressed, in the strongest permissible language, his belief that this could be no settlement. Under these circumstances he quite admitted he could ask for no further revelations from the Government, because he believed they had no further revelations to give, but he was justified in expressing his deep regret that the right hon. Gentleman asked them to come to a conclusion on this question, before all those interested in this great and bitter controversy had come to some agreement with His Majesty's Government. They had nothing to found their conduct upon except the vague—he was 1149 afraid very vague—hopes of a very optimistic administration. That appeared to him a very unsatisfactory foundation on which to base further discussion on the Committee stage of the Bill.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said he did not think it was necessary to prolong this discussion. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of those who approached this Bill in an optimistic and in a pessimistic spirit, but he would rather be disposed to describe the two attitudes of mind as being on the one hand those who desired to obtain a settlement and on the other those who did not. He believed the great majority of Members of the House desired a settlement and it was to them he would make his appeal. Here they had the first subsection of the clause which involved a surrender and a large surrender by one of the parties. They come on presently to the second and third subsections of the clause which involved another surrender. If they found when they reached later stages that an agreement had not been arrived at and there were no elements of a satisfactory settlement, neither those who agreed with a settlement nor those who were opposed to it, would feel that there was much use in prosecuting their labours; but surely they might wait until they had reached that stage before they abandoned all hope of the great measure which was now before the House and the country.
§ It was in that spirit he would ask the Committee to continue its discussion.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he did not wish to continue the discussion but he was bound to say that when the right hon. Gentleman chose to describe himself and a large number of Members of the House who voted against the Second Reading of the Bill as persons who did not desire a settlement he used language which was unnecessarily provocative and offensive and which no Minister would dare use if they were not working under the gag.
§ MR. HUNT
was understood to say that he wished to know whether this was supposed to be an agreed Bill. The Minister for Education said that the contracting-out schools ought to have a reasonable chance, but what did he mean? Was it an even chance or a ten to one chance; so far as he could make out the odds were longer. The Catholics were willing to accept most reasonable terms, but it appeared that the Nonconformists wanted their own religion to be taught without paying for it; they wanted the other denominations to pay for it and receive nothing in return.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 211; Noes, 117. (Division List No. 420).1153
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness|
|Alden, Percy||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T. (Cheshire||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bryce, J. Annan||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Erskine, David C.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Essex, R. W.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Byles, William Pollard||Evans, Sir Samuel T.|
|Barker, Sir John||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Fenwick, Charles|
|Barnard, E. B.||Chance, Frederick William||Ferens, T. R.|
|Beale, W. P.||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Findlay, Alexander|
|Beauchamp, E.||Clough, William||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams(Devonp'rt||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Freeman-Thomas, Freeman|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Go.)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John|
|Bertram, Julius||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Glendinning, R. G.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cowan, W. H.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Grant, Corrie|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Branch, James||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Gulland, John W.|
|Brigg, John||Duckworth, Sir James||Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W. Brampton|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale||Marnham, F. J.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Harcourt, Robert V.(Montrose)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Massie, J.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Summerbell, T.|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Mond, A.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Napier, T. B.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Nicholls, George||Toulmin, George|
|Henry, Charles S.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nuttall, Harry||Ure, Alexander|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Paul, Herbert||Verney, F. W.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Vivian, Henry|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Walton, Joseph|
|Hodge, John||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Pollard, Dr.||Wardle, George J.|
|Hooper, A. G.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N)||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Radford, G. H.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Idris, T. H. W.||Rees, J. D.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Jackson, R. S.||Ridsdale, E. A.||Whitbread, Howard|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Jenkins, J.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||White, J. Dundas (Dumbart'nsh|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Rowlands, J.||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Samuel, Rt. Hn. H. L. (Cleveland)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Lambert, George||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen|
|Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis||Sears, J. E.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Seaverns, J. H.||Williamson, A.|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Seely, Colonel||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Snowden, P.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|M'Callum, John M.||Soares, Ernest J.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|M'Crae, Sir George||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.|
|Maddison, Frederick||Steadman, W. C.|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Glover, Thomas|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn Sir Alex. F||Craik, Sir Henry||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Crean, Eugene||Guinness, Hn. R. (Haggerston)|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Cross, Alexander||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius|
|Balcarres, Lord||Delany, William||Halpin, J.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Dillon, John||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir FredDixon||Hay, Hon. Claude, George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Donelan, Captain A.||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hill, Sir Clement|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Duffy, William J.||Hogan, Michael|
|Boland, John||Faber, George Denison (York)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Fardell, Sir T. George||Hudson, Walter|
|Bull, Sir William James||Fell, Arthur||Jowett, F. W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Ffrench, Peter||Joyce, Michael|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Field, William||Kavanagh, Walter M.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Flynn, James Christopher||Kilbride, Denis|
|Cave, George||Forster, Henry William||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gardner, Ernest||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Gilhooly, James||Lundon, W.|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Gill, A. H.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Ginnell, L.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S)|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|M'Arthur, Charles||O'Doherty, Philip||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|M'Kean, John||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|M'Killop, W.||O'Grady, J.||Sheehy, David|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Meagher, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Stanier, Beville|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Power, Patrick Joseph||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Mooney, J. J.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Reddy, M.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roche, Augustine (Cork)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Hunt and Viscount Helmsley|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston), in moving to insert the word "fully" said the point of his Amendment was that contracting-out schools had a right to some assistance from the rates. They ought to make some contribution from their own pockets in order to preserve their liberty, but they ought to get some assistance from the rates, not as a charity but a right. Supposing it were possible to allocate the rates those who desired to have a particular type of school would allocate the rate they paid to that particular type and those who wanted another type of school would allocate the rate they paid to that, and nobody could say that that would be unfair. But as that was impossible the only way in which justice could be dealt out would be to give those who desired a particular type of school a share of that money which they contributed to other schools in the shape of rates. After the discussion that had taken place however he would not press his Amendment. He begged formally to move.
In page 1, line 5 after the word 'be' to insert the word 'fully.'
§ Question, "That the word 'fully' be there inserted,"—put, and negatived.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
in proposing to insert the words "except as herein after provided," said that if these words were not inserted here, it would be impossible on the subsequent stage to raise the question of the different classes of schools which should be main-tine by the local education authority. The Secretary to the Admiralty had taunted the Catholic representatives with 1154 the fact that in 1906 they supported the principle of contracting out, and the hon. Member for Preston had said the same thing. That was a most unfair and misleading way of stating what occurred in that year. When Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906 was introduced it was entirely unsatisfactory to them in its form, and was so hemmed round with conditions that the Catholic schools could not avail themselves of its provisions. While that clause was in its original shape the hon. Member for Preston got up and moved that the schools excluded from that clause should be permitted to contract out. That they supported, because it provided as it were a back door by means of which Catholic schools might be able to get some means of living on. It was wholly misrepresenting what occurred to say that the Catholic representatives in the House supported the principle of contracting out. Throughout all the discussions of the 1906 Bill they declared that the true place for their schools was within the national system of education, and that they saw the greatest possible evils would arise if they were driven out of it. The present Chief Secretary for Ireland when he assented to the principle of contracting out, defended it on the ground that it was an exception grafted on to an exception, and that it would apply only to a minority of individual schools. But how different was that from saying that all the Catholic schools of the country must accept the principle of contracting out or perish. The hon. Member for Preston said he understood that they were willing to pay for the privilege of liberty in order to get rid of public control, and that 1155 the only way of getting rid of public control was by contracting out. The position which existed was that the Catholics of this country were demanding public control, and the Government was going to refuse it. They wished the fullest public control consistent with the protection of the conscientious convictions of their people, and the Government said: "No, you must contract out and we will give you this grant."
§ MR. HAROLD COX
asked whether the hon. Member was in favour of the local authority appointing the teachers in the Catholic schools.
§ MR. DILLON
said that was so, and it was in order to make way for a clause which he had on the Paper that he was proposing this Amendment. The Catholics were asking to be included in the national system, asking for public control, and said that it was possible to conciliate the conscientious convictions of the people they represented with public control and the inclusion of the Anglican and Catholic schools in the national system. He denied that when the Government offered contracting out they were offering a privilege. They had never asked for the right to contract out, and they were, therefore, entitled to say it was no privilege. The President of the Board of Education in introducing this Bill had characterised contracting out as most objectionable from an educational point of view, but at the same time had asserted that it was impossible to come to a settlement without contracting-out. He traversed that assertion and denied it. It was quite possible, and if the Government accepted his clause, it. could be done now. The right hon. Gentleman could arrive at an agreement with the Catholic school managers without any recourse to contracting-out, which he quite agreed was extremely objectionable from an educational point of view. He denied that contracting-out was a privilege, especially with the conditions that had to be observed, which were that there must be none in single school districts; there must be thirty children in attendance; and the schools must attain equal efficiency with the council schools, in 1156 staff, prices, and secular instruction. The last condition under present circumstances was impossible, and it was a most evil and monstrous thing to present as a-settlement a contracting-out scheme saddled with that condition. It was impossible now, and would become more and more impossible as education progressed. By setting up this system they admitted that it was a question of conscience with the Catholics of this country. The hon. Member for North-West Norfolk in his very sympathetic speech had said that when Catholics asked that Catholic schools and Catholic teachers should be paid for at the public expense they were asking for what could not be granted. The Government were offering to Catholic schools under this contracting-out clause £6,000 a year, which the Archbishop of Westminster was to distribute among them, with the smallest possible amount of public control. They could have in the Catholic schools freedom from public control, and all these things which they did not ask, but they must put their hands into their pockets, and pay the difference, pay a fine for their consciences. That nobody could deny who looked at the Bill with a fair mind. With regard to the great question of denominational education being paid for out of the rates they had all heard over and over again the famous alliteration "Rome on the rates." It was a phrase coined by Dr. Clifford, for whom he had a great respect, though he had always fought against him. When Dr. Clifford spoke of "Rome on the rates" he only used that phrase for the sake of its alliteration. What he really meant was "Anglicanism on the rates." He was sure the Rev. John Clifford did not care so much about Rome being on the rates; it was the Anglican Church to which he objected being put on the rates. What difference did it make whether Rome was on the rates or on the taxes? All they asked was that the children in the Catholic schools should not be condemned to an inferior system of education, because of conscientious objections. The Government were proposing under this Bill to pay the rent of the Anglican schools and they paid that rent although they gave them facilities for putting their children into these public schools and 1157 teaching Anglican doctrines there, and they must also remember that under this system of Cowper-Temple teaching they had a form of religious teaching which to three-fourths of the laymen of the Church of England was satisfactory. Why could not the Government relieve the consciences of men like the Rev. Dr. Clifford, by setting off against the cost of teaching Catholic doctrine and catechism, the rent of the Catholic schools? It would have more than paid and if by taking over the schools they allowed a small rent they would set that off against the cost of teaching Catholic doctrine and by that means they would lift Rome, not only off the rates, but off the taxes also, and they would convince people that they were not paying the expenses of teaching Catholic doctrine. What was it he proposed as an alternative? He was opposed on every ground to contracting-out. He was glad to recognise that the Prime Minister was not going to adhere very strictly to the scale of the schedules, but even so, he still feared there would he a heavy and serious burden thrown upon the Catholic people, and no matter what improvement was made in the amount of the grant the opinion would prevail that the education was to be on a lower scale. Now he directed attention to his alternative proposal. His alternative was to revive the clause of the Bill of 1906, which after prolonged discussion was agreed to by the representatives of the Catholic schools and by the Liberal Government as speaking for the Nonconformists. It was quite true that many of the Nonconformists were not enamoured of the clause. They were discontented, but a good deal had happened since then, and the fact had to be remembered that the Government and the Catholic schools accepted that scheme by which the Catholic schools could come in, although he knew many Nonconformists objected to it he would ask was there any Nonconformists to-day who would get up and say that they preferred the concession they were making under this Bill to that which was made by the Bill of 1906? In the interests of education and of the Catholic schools he appealed to the Nonconformists upon 1158 the other side of the House to say whether they could not agree to give back that clause of the Bill of 1906, and at least to allow the Catholic schools to make the experiment of coming into the national system. The terrible danger that oppressed him in connection with this matter arose when he looked to the future which many of the leaders even of their own Church had failed to do. He looked with the utmost dread on any measure that would stereotype the Catholic schools as an excrescence upon the national system. One reason was this. This Bill whether it passed or not had an enormous weight of public opinion behind it; the vote on the Second Reading proved that. Had it not been for the solid vote of the Irish Party the division would have been ridiculous. This was, in point of fact, a Protestant settlement. He did not say that it included all the Protestants, but it certainly had behind it the overwhelming mass of the Protestants of this country, and, with the great Protestant forces supporting it, the Bill was moving inevitably towards a Protestant settlement. The Bill might be wrecked, but if it were, another Bill would be introduced on the same lines, with, it might be, some modifications. The great questions on which the Bill would be fought in the course of these discussions were not questions which interested Catholics in the slightest degree. The right of entry and questions of that kind, of the utmost importance where Protestant schools were being transferred, did not interest Catholics in the smallest particular. As was pointed out the other day by the hon. Member for Cambridge University and also by the hon. Member for Oxford University, in many cases the Anglican schools were being rapidly transferred to the public authorities, and the number of children in the public schools was increasing day by day. That was not the case with Catholic schools, which remained in the same position. Therefore he was afraid, looking into the future, that Catholic schools would be left outside of the national settlement, and that whatever Anglican schools might contract-out, they would gradually drift, under Protestant influence, into the national system. Catholic schools would remain struggling 1159 outside until they were left isolated and alone. Too poor to protect themselves and secure fair play, they would eventually find themselves completely outside the general Protestant settlement. Catholics in this country were only 2,000,000 as against 40,000,000, and he was afraid, looking into the future, that they would hear it said that the public rates and taxes ought not to be burdened by the support of Catholic schools. The hon. Member for North-West Norfolk had used these warning words, namely, that in making these demands Catholics were asking for privileges which were not given to Roman Catholics in any other English-speaking country of the world. That was perfectly true. Although Catholics were a third of the population, and among the wealthiest of the whole of the Australians, they did not get 1s. for any of their schools, nor even in the United States did Catholic schools receive anything from public funds. But he might inform the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk that he had talked with some of the leaders of public opinion in Australia who had stated that there was an undercurrent of doubt as to whether they had acted wisely in this respect towards Catholic schools. He thought there was an increasing feeling in that direction. He repeated that he feared, looking into the future, that Catholics would be left outside of the Protestant settlement, and they would become so isolated that someone would get up in that Assembly and say: "Why should they remain on the taxes?" Therefore, he made a strong appeal to all fair-minded men in the House, who desired to see fair play and justice done to all fellow-citizens, and who repudiated, as he was sure Nonconformists sitting beside him would repudiate with warmth, any notion that they would be party to inflicting injuries or civic disabilities on Catholics in this country. For conscience sake, and though they differed from Catholics widely, he appealed to the Nonconformists to open the door so that the Catholic schools for which he spoke might come into the national settlement, and not be caused to contract-out, which had been condemned educationally by everyone, and by the very Minister who had introduced this Bill. He had received 1160 that morning, like other Members he dared say, a document which added still further to his fears. It was an important document from the Manchester Diocesan Council which passed a series of resolutions the other day. The Bishop of Manchester, who had taken a prominent part in discussing the Bill, was present. The last of the resolutions was to the effect that the proposal as to contracting-out was an express contradiction of the principle of public or local control; that the children attending such schools would be unjustly deprived of the benefit of the rates paid by their parents; and. finally—That the provision was unjust in itself and framed with a view of conciliating one section of the community, and ought to be taken out of the Bill.He was grateful to the Leader of the Opposition and to the other hon. Members, above the gangway who had spoken on their behalf, but he did not think as. Catholics they would be wise in trusting their future to an alliance with them, because it could not in the nature of things remain. Hon. Members who were the representatives of the Protestants in this country would either now or in the near future come to an arrangement, because they had principles in common. Roman Catholic Members could not come to an arrangement that would suit Protestants. They had principles which they could not surrender, principles which had nothing to do with Cowper-Temple teaching or the right of entry, and they would be allowing themselves to be forced into a dangerous and indefensible position if they allowed their schools to be permanently shut out of a national system in this country and penned into small preserves of their own. He appealed to the Nonconformist leaders to reconsider their decision, and to ask themselves whether they would not be acting more in consonance with their own principles of justice, fair play, and generosity, if they revived Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906 and allowed the Catholics to come into the national system.
In page 1, line 6, after the word 'authority' to insert the words 'except as hereinafter previded.'"—(Mr. Dillon.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
said it was difficult for the Government to withstand the appeal made by the hon. Gentleman, and on more than one ground. They knew perfectly well that the nonconformists of this country had long had sympathy with the Roman Catholics in their struggles, first of all to get rid of their disabilities, and secondly, to secure for themselves a place in the educational system of the country, and they had all admired the efforts made by the Roman Catholics to keep alive their own schools, conducted entirely on their own principles, not only in this country but elsewhere. He was sure the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House would acquit him and his colleagues of any trace of bigotry which had made the existence of Roman Catholics in some parts of England, Wales and Scotland, almost intolerable. But when he asked the Government to revive Clause 4 of the 1906 Bill in its final form, he was sorry to say he could not satisfy him. When the old Clause 4 in its final form left the House, it went up to the House of Lords, and every Catholic Peer voted against it. If his recollection was correct he believed the hon. Gentleman himself warned the Catholic Peers that by refusing to accept Clause 4 in its final form they were really striking a serious blow at the Roman Catholic position in this country.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
I think the right hon. Gentleman is mistaken. Clause 4 in its final form was never voted upon—that is to say, the words in the concluding paragraph as it stands on the Paper—Provided that the local education authority shall appoint persons acceptable to the Parents Committee to be teachers of the school.That was certainly not in the clause when it was voted against in the House.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
said the hon. Gentleman was correct. The clause had four forms, and it was voted against by the House of Lords in its penultimate form. It was unacceptable to the hon. Gentleman and his friends, and when it was objected to by the Catholic Peers, the hon. Member for Mayo warned the Catholic 1162 Peers that by refusing this compromise they were striking a blow at the Roman Catholic position in this country. As far as he remembered, the hon. Gentleman himself had no sympathy with their extreme action. He asked the House to look at the position he (Mr. Runciman) found himself in when dealing with Clause 4. He could not carry Nonconformist opinion with him in the country on Clause 4. It was quite impossible for him to do so, and it must be perfectly clear that he could go no distance whatever in the negotiations if he had not had behind him practically the solid Nonconformist opinion of the country. Indeed there would be no ending to this long controversy if Nonconformist opinion as a whole was not in favour of the terms arrived at. If Clause 4 had been one of these terms he could not have carried the Nonconformists with him. That must be his reason for saying that at present they could not accept Clause 4. The hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House said the Catholic position was no different now from what it was two or three years ago. If he might accept the opinion of the head of the Roman Catholic Church he might take it that the Catholic Church did not wish to have public control over the management of their schools. He would like to read to the House a considered statement of Archbishop Bourne made just previous to the last general election wherein he said—To take the management of schools intended for Catholic children out of the hands of those who represent the religious convictions of their parents and to place it in the hands of public ratepayers who cannot represent those convictions is a violation of parental rights to be resisted as an unwarrantable attack upon religious liberty.He gathered from that statement that Archbishop Bourne and the Roman Catholics in this country could not accept full public control. The Government had laid it down as a principle from which they could not depart, that if rate aid was to be given the schools must submit to full public control and their management must be under the control of those who subscribed for the upkeep of those schools, and finally that teacher-ships should be thrown open to men of all denominations so long as the whole of their salaries were paid for out 1163 of public funds. The Catholics wished to have preserved 5,000 teacherships to members of the Roman Catholic Church. That was a very large piece of private patronage. He did not object to hon. Gentlemen opposite wishing to retain it, but so long as they retained it they could not have the same terms as were given to those trustees who were prepared to allow their teacherships to be filled by men of all denominations. Rate aid and full control were necessary corollaries, and he could see no way of their departing from that principle. The hon. Gentleman had stated that some provisions in the Bill might be of advantage to Anglicans as well as Roman Catholics. They had endeavoured as far as they possibly could to treat Anglicans and Roman Catholics alike, and where they had provided for the payment of rent and the transfer of schools that rent was payable equally in the case of Roman Catholics and Anglicans. He quite recognised the position taken up by the Catholics in regard to their schools. They said they could not, and never had, transferred any one of their schools. He admired their adhesion to that principle, but if they refused to come in to the national system, under the conditions in which a national system must be controlled, he deeply regretted their decision, but they could not possibly be treated in the same way as those who came under entire public control, and which were manned by teachers of all denominations. Teacherships could not be treated as a preserve for any one church. When he said it was impossible to arrive at an agreement with Roman Catholics except by contracting-out, he said it because they could not have an agreement to which the Nonconformists would be parties. He believed that the only way in which they could provide for the continued existence of Roman Catholic schools in this country in a position of efficiency was to give them a sufficient contracting-out grant. Everything turned on the amount. There had been really most grotesque exaggerations of the amount which would have to be found by Roman Catholics under the Government's contracting-out scheme. It had been said that they provided for giving about 50s. per child contracting- 1164 out grant to the Roman Catholic schools, and this was compared with the cost of education in London, which was declared to be £5 18s. per child. This £5 18s. included not only maintenance but loan and sinking fund charges. The comparison was, consequently, absurd. He had no wish to oppress Roman Catholics in matters of money. The Government had done their best to find out what was their view. Only that morning at the Board of Education they were presented with figures as to the cost of Roman Cathode schools, which did not give, he thought, a correct account of the total cost of the upkeep of those schools. The Catholics had been good enough to send up their figures to the Department, and if they could prove their case as it had been stated in the public prints, that they would have to find £300,000 a year to keep their schools in existence, the Government would be prepared to reconsider the financial provisions. But he was certain that that figure was vastly exaggerated and no such enormous sum was likely to fall on the Roman Catholics if the 50s. grant went through. When he compared it with the amount of the grant in Scotland he was encouraged to think that the figures they had suggested were just and fair. In Scotland the contracted-out schools at the present moment got between 38s. and 40s. The hon. Members from Ireland told them they would be satisfied with a 10s. rise on that. He could not help thinking of the comparative cost of education in England and in Scotland. Scotland spent generously on education, and if 40s. was enough in Scotland he could only hope and believe 50s. was enough in England, and he hoped they would be satisfied with the sum with which they were satisfied in Scotland. He wished they would come frankly into the national system. He was perfectly certain there was not a single authority in the United Kingdom which would not give the fullest facilities for the teaching of Catholic children. He was sure the authorities would go a very long way towards meeting the peculiarities of the Roman Catholic case—further than they were at present prepared to admit. But as they insisted on standing out and retaining private patronage, he regretted that he could not see any arrangement which would allow their incomes to be 1165 increased out of the rates levied by the local authorities.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said he deeply deplored the answer which had just been given by the President of the Board of Education. The right hon. Gentleman had altogether misunderstood the point of the Amendment, for he had reduced it simply to a question of finance. It was not a question of finance, but one of principle, of religious equality, and educational efficiency. The Government claimed that they were willing to meet the Irish Catholics in regard to the grants as far as they possibly could, but his argument on this point was that they could not make a school with a grant minus the rates as efficient as a school with a grant plus the rates. The right hon. Gentleman's statement that the Catholic Peers voted against Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906 was unfounded, because they did not vote against the final form of that clause. It was true they voted against the penultimate form but not against the final form. But supposing they did. Did the right hon. Gentleman lay down that the Catholic Peers of the Conservative Party were entitled to speak for the Nationalist Party in this House with regard to Catholic education? He had not the smallest doubt that some of those Peers would vote against the Second Reading of the Irish Land Bill this session if it reached the House of Lords. In that case what would any hon. Member think of the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he withdrew the Irish Land Bill because the Catholic Peers opposed it? The hon. Member for East Mayo over and over again had condemned the attitude of the Catholic Peers on this question. The President of the Board of Education said he could not get the Nonconformist yarty to support him in bringing forward again Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906, but was that a worthy position for the Minister for Education to take up? He would remind the House that the Clause 4 referred to in its ultimate form was sanctioned by the Prime Minister of that day, by the Minister for Education of that day, by the present Prime Minister, and by the Government as a 1166 whole of 1906. What right, therefore, had the present Government to recede from the position taken up in 1906 if it was a just position? If the position was just in 1906, why was it unjust to-day? This was a most extraordinary doctrine of political expediency, and he never expected such a doctrine to emanate from the ingenious mind of the Minister for Education. It was not only extraordinary but it was a political cynicism that rights granted in 1906 should be withheld in 1908 simply because a certain extreme section of the followers of the Government objected. He wished to deal in a word or two with that familiar cry of "Rome on the rates." He was sorry that he was not in a position to argue this point as if he were dealing not with Catholic but with Jewish schools, because the position was practically the same. The Jews were separated from every Christian community by an impassable gulf of dogma, but they were no more separated from the Protestants of this country than the Catholics were. In many cases the Jews had built and supported their own schools, and in their fidelity to their schools under persecution there was a great analogy between them and the Catholics. As their sufferings and convictions were similar, he contended that they ought to receive the same treatment. He did not wish to be offensive, but what would be said of him if he started the cry of "Jerusalem on the rates"? He would at once be told that he was using the language of bigotry, but he would be quite as much justified in using that phrase as others were in using the cry of "Rome on the rates." One of the most high-minded men in this country, the Chief Rabbi, said the other day he was afraid that the private and voluntary Jewish schools would disappear under this Bill, and would be merged into the national system. The Minister for Education had been very eloquent in regard to the unacceptability of the claim to have Catholic teaching. in Catholic schools. If there was to be Catholic teaching by the head teacher, would any man in his senses propose that it should be given by anybody but a Catholic; would he suggest that a Baptist or a Congregationalist or Dr. Clifford should go to a Catholic school 1167 and teach or try to teach the Catholic children doctrines in which they profoundly disbelieved, thus placing themselves in the dilemma of teaching doctrines which they did not believe and making hypocrites of themselves, or else teaching doctrines in which they did believe but which Were antagonistic to the religion of the parents of the children? In North-East Manchester and the East End of London, where there were a large number of Jewish and Catholic schools, they would be called public schools, and they would be declared to be entirely under public control. They would be declared to be entirely free from any tests as applied to the teachers, and they would be precluded from giving anything but simple Bible - teaching. Let him pass from these childish formulas to the realities. In some of the schools in the East End of London nearly every child would be a Jew and nearly every teacher, and certainly the head teacher, would be a Jew, and there would be simple Bible-teaching in that school. It would, however, be limited to the Old Testament; and yet they were told that although they should admit to the national system a Jewish school with Jewish religious teaching given by Jewish teachers, they should exclude a Catholic school with Catholic teaching and Catholic teachers. Without expressing sympathy With the Jewish position, he had some right to complain that their fellow-Christians in this country would not extend the same charity and consideration to those who were separated from them by a similar impassable dogma to that which separated them from the Jews. The party of popular control and anti-clericalism were now opposing an Amendment which proposed popular control and minimised clerical control. That was an extraordinary antithesis and reversal of positions. What would happen? He did not wish to be misunderstood on this point. He had in his constituency in Liverpool a number of Catholic priests who, every Sunday, wet or dry, for the last ten or fifteen years had gone out and made a collection for the building and maintenance of their schools. A deputation came to him from Liverpool last Friday on this subject. He might mention incidentally that the President of the Board of Education was mistaken 1168 as to the views of Catholic authorities on contracting-out. In Liverpool, to a man, the Catholic bishop, priests and laymen were not only in hostility to contracting-out but they were in a state of feverish and almost dangerous excitement at the prospect, and the only reason why he did not advocate to them passive resistance to rates paid by Catholics was the likelihood of passive resistance taking another form. It was his duty, as one of the representatives of that great community in Liverpool, to appease rather than to inflame popular hostility to contracting - out. What would happen under this Bill? The Prime Minister had given it as a strong reason why they should support this Bill that at the present time they were getting 85 per cent. of their expenses. But was that a fair comparison? A fair standard to take was not their position as it existed before but after the passing of the Act of 1902. The children attending Catholic schools were as entitled to every penny of the rates and taxes as the children of other religions attending other schools. The right hon. Gentleman had talked about Catholics being better by 10 per cent. What he should have said was that they were 15 per cent. worse under this Bill than under the Act of 1902. Therefore that entitled him to say that so far as the educational efficiency of their school was concerned this was not progress but retrogression. There had been a great deal said about passive resistance on the other side of the House. This Bill had been brought forward largely for the purpose of meeting the case of the passive resister. He had some sympathy with the passive resister so long as he complained of Anglican doctrine being imparted to Nonconformist children, and on every occasion he and his friends on those benches had done what they could to try to remove the grievance. He had undergone more electoral risks in defending the Nonconformist position on this point than any hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House. Hon. Members opposite could take up the Nonconformist position without antagonising any of their own supporters, but when dealing as he was with extreme Catholics he was constantly being misunderstood. Over and over 1169 again Nationalist Members had had to face a perfect cyclone of vituperation and abuse because they stood not only for their own religious convictions, but also for those of the Nonconformists. What was the so-called settlement under this Bill? The money was to be pooled and then left at the disposal of the different denominations. He had spoken of the Catholic priest who went about the Scotland division every Sunday begging for his school. There was no doubt that he was entitled to a large voice in the government of the school, but it was not the Catholic position that he was entitled to the whole voice. They wanted a Catholic school, but they had never claimed that they should be subject to clerical management alone. The Amendment of his hon. friend substituted popular control and this Liberal Democratic Government proposed that they should have clerical control. That was an extraordinary position. They were asked to pay 15 per cent. more for the so-called privilege of being made the pariahs of education in this country. He acknowledged that the Government had been generous and humane to Catholics in certain respects, and he thanked them for it to that extent. When the proposals of the Government were put forward he said to his friends that the inequality and inferiority of the Catholics would not end with education alone. It would run through all the life of the school and shut out from the broad, generous atmosphere of national life; it must be stunted and starved. A friend of his said that that had happened already in Scotland, where a portion of the relief fund which had been wisely allocated for the relief of children in the schools had stopped in the national schools and had not reached the Catholic schools. That was a revival of the spirit of the old penal law. Sweeten it with whatever generosity of sentiment they might express it was a badge of educational inferiority on the children of Catholics because they adhered to their Catholic convictions. It was a strange going back in history when a Liberal and Democratic Government in this age of progress and toleration told the Catholics of the country that they should have education according to their conscientious convictions, but in order to remind them that they were still in a 1170 position of religious inferiority as Catholics in a Protestant country they would inflict on them a heavy fine in return for their devotion.
§ MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)
said he had the greatest sympathy with the Catholics in the position in which they were placed in regard to their schools. He sincerely hoped that the Government would meet their case by giving them the largest possible grant. It was quite hopeless that they should come on ordinary terms into the national system. Nobody who knew how the Catholic religion was and had to be taught in their schools, could possibly suppose that they could accept the conditions which were accepted in regard to other Churches. With the exception of a few rich people the Catholics of this country were a, poor community, and they had made great sacrifices in providing their own schools. He knew a priest whose income amounted to £20 a month, who spent £17 a month on a school and lived on the remaining £3. While he sympathised with the speech of the hon. Member for Salford he thought it was unnecessary for him to take the opportunity of complaining of an individual Member of the other House, Lord Rothschild, who had been generous, not only to those of his own religion, but to deserving causes of all sorts and should have been exempt from such accusations. The tale repeated was moreover, he believed, a pure invention. The utmost possible help in the way of pecuniary grants should be given to Catholics, with the view of making this settlement acceptable to them.
§ MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Central)
in supporting the Amendment said he would ask the Minister for Education to keep an open mind on this matter. Statements had been made as to the cost of contracting-out, which would want-careful examination when they came to deal with the figures. He did not-pretend that it would be, at any rate at first, £300,000 as had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman. He thought-it Would be £200,000. But if it was only half of £300,000 it would be an intolerable burden. These were details which 1171 must be discussed later. What he wanted to urge was the hopeless position in which these schools would be placed by the working of Clause 3, subsection (3). Clause 3, subsection (3) said—All sums paid to an association under this section shall be applied for the purposes of public elementary schools belonging to the association, but subject thereto, the distribution of these sums and the manner in which they are applied shall be in the discretion of the association.He contended that those words put the supporters of those schools in an intolerable dilemma. If they carried out improvements on the education from their own point of view they would be ruined financially, and if they refused to carry out these improvements they would be told that they were opposing any advance in education. He, therefore, submitted that if they were to approach this question with any prospect of a settlement, the grants, whatever they might be, must be elastic. He asked the Prime Minister not absolutely to close the door to another solution somewhat on the lines of this Amendment. He confessed there was another reason why he would be very sorry the Amendment was not accepted. Their relations with the local authorities had, with very few exceptions, done an immense amount of good to the Church schools. They had helped the local authorities to realise their position and that had prevented their being cut off from the local authority. He did not believe that the difficulties were insuperable if looked at in a proper light, or that the Amendment would in any way tarnish the formulae on which the Government relied. Therefore, he hoped that the Prime Minister would not absolutely and finally reject the Amendment which the hon. Member for East Mayo had proposed.
§ MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)
said he had listened with deep interest to the debate and was bound to say a few words on this Amendment because he had felt himself unable to vote for the Second Beading of the Bill. They all desired a solution of this education difficulty, but he thought that they might go too far in trying to secure peace when there was no peace. He represented a large number of Roman Catholic voters, and he had always 1172 promised them that he would never support anything which he considered unfair to them. He stood by that promise, and that compelled him to speak a few serious words to the Government and to offer to them a suggestion. The Minister for Education had not only that afternoon but on previous occasions, and also the Prime Minster, given to the Committee the genesis of the Bill. It started from a Nonconformist grievance with which he sympathised. No one could question that grievance; but there had been other grievances as well. It was not the business of the House of Commons to encourage any extravagant conscientious grievances. In his own constituency there were a large number of Roman Catholic schools which had been maintained by the members of that community while they had also been paying the school board rate without a murmur. They had as good ground to rebel as the Nonconformists. Could it be said that the House would listen to those Nonconformists who had rebelled and would not listen to other religious bodies who had to endure as great a wrong but who did not rebel? They all desired a settlement, but not a settlement which would leave at its centre a lasting feeling of a deep wrong. Better wait a little longer than have a settlement which would leave the seeds of a growing discontent. He regretted that the Minister of Education said: "Well, the Roman Catholics will not come into our national system of education. This is the only way they can come in, and therefore they must stay out." Was that so? He would vote against the plan of the Government, whatever grants they proposed to give to the Roman Catholics. He would vote against any great body of schools being shut out from a national system of education. In his own town the Roman Catholic system worked very well. Possibly he had come under disgrace with some of his constituents because he had declined to vote against the Bill of 1902. In all the Catholic schools in Bolton, under that Bill they had had two representatives on the management of the local authority. There was an enormous advantage in getting representation, even if the local authority did not get full control. Strong Nonconformist friends of his had been on the management of these schools 1173 and that had been an advantage to them as well as an enormous advantage to the schools. He, personally, had the greatest possible dislike to one-horse clerically controlled schools—no matter to what denomination they belonged, but he contended that great good had been done by the lay representation on the management of these Catholic schools. Why. should the Roman Catholics be made, as they would under this clause, to pay the penalty for a so-called peace, by being thrown back on their previous position, which had been acknowledged to be bad? Was it not possible, if they could not get full authoritative control, to secure representation on the management of these schools by means of some modus vivendi? He knew that the financial position of these schools and the position of the teachers had been vastly improved by the representation of the local authority on the management since the Act of 1902. The teachers were now able to appeal when necessary to the central authority, and their whole position had acquired added dignity and independence. He was sure that the teachers would be loth to go back to their old conditions. This was not altogether a question of money, although the Roman Catholics had shown that they had cheerfully made monetary sacrifices for their schools, and that they would make those sacrifices again. What the Roman Catholics dreaded was being thrown out of the stream of the national educational life of the country and driven into a backwater, so to speak, which would degrade the educational efficiency of their schools and their own self respect. He asked the Government to consider most seriously whether some compromise could not be arrived at instead of pursuing what he believed was a mistaken policy. He had taken part in some conferences for peace for several years past, but he would not cry "Peace, peace," when there was and could be no peace, and while the proposed settlement would leave a spirit of rancour in the hearts of so many of his fellow countrymen. He thought the solution lay in retaining on the management of the voluntary schools, without full control, representation and participation. That would secure both the interest of education, of the public, and of 1174 his Nonconformist friends. What would be the result of handing the money grants over to these associations and not to the separate schools? It would be that his Nonconformist friends would say that they were handing it over to be put into clerical pockets. They withdrew all participation, knowledge, and interest in the schools, and they flung them a sum of money, and. said: "Divide this among yourselves." He thought it was a backward step, and he would rather have the conditions, under the Act of 1902. It was worth considering whether there was no choice between this proposal and retaining those conditions and going on as at present. He would not support or vote for a Bill which carried with it inevitable injustice to a great mass of his fellow-countrymen.
§ MR. KETTLE (Tyrone, E.)
said he had, since he had been in the House, listened to every debate on education in. England and Wales with great attention and some amount of wonderment. He had always been anxious to discover what sins the Roman Catholics had committed that they should be penalised under the education system, and he thought he had at last found out what their offence was. The Catholics of this country had committed the unpardonable sin of being a minority. The rejection of this clause, accepted two years ago by the present Government, and now proposed by his hon. friend the Member for East Mayo, meant that they might have many things in England, but there was one thing they were determined not to have, and that was religious equality. With every claim for religious equality came the cry of "Rome on the rates," or something equivalent, but when rates, portions of which were contributed by Roman Catholics, went to the upkeep of schools for other than Roman Catholic; children the fundamental question arose of whether it was "Rome on the rates" or "Rates on Rome." Surely the honour and dignity of this great Protestant country, which was engaged in a great Protestant settlement, would require that if Rome was not to be helped from the rates its Roman Catholic subjects should be relieved from the local rates for its educational system. If they were 1175 to have principles, and the House did discover them occasionally from time to time, they really ought to have principles which would work both ways. His hon. friend the Member for East Mayo put the whole situation in a phrase which, if there was impartial journalism in this country, would ring throughout it with greater prominence than "Rome on the rates." The hon. Member said—Catholics are to be fined for conscience sake.They repudiated most strongly the opinion that it was a privilege to stand out of the national system. The hon. Member for Preston at an earlier period of the afternoon took exception to that phrase of standing out of the national system, and made some qualification which perhaps cleared up things; but at all events the Catholic subjects of this country, as the result of conscientious conviction, with the strength of which every Member of the House was perfectly well acquainted, were compelled to stand out of the normal national system, to be an excrescence upon it, and to send their children to schools which from mere financial necessity must be, whatever the self-sacrifice of the teacher, if not inferior in fact, generally regarded as inferior to the general voluntary schools of the country. That was the situation. He did not think the speech of the Minister for Education, in refusing to accept this Amendment, was very happily phrased, although he did not go so far as to accuse him of discourtesy, at any rate of deliberate discourtesy. He must congratulate him upon his new found respect for the House of Lords, based on the vote of a small section of Catholic Peers. He was sure hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite did not regard the House of Lords in all its decisions upon all Bills as acting under plenary and divine inspiration, and at any rate it was a small body of Peers who voted. He did not attach much importance to the decisions of the House of Lords, but the question was as to the general position in regard to the appointment of teachers, and the vote was taken on a clause which was radically different from this one. The Minister for Education said the Catholics possessed a large amount of patronage in their schools, and 1176 spoke of their having a preserve exclusively kept for Catholic teachers. He thought he told them that there were something like 5,000 teacherships filled by Catholics under the present system. Might he suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that if the education of this country were conducted on fair and equal conditions the Catholics would not have less than 5,000 teacherships. If there were no tests would the Roman Catholics fill fewer teacherships paid for by public money than the number mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. His own impression was that they would fill a very much larger number. The Minister for Education gave his real reason for his opposition to the clause in the latter part of his speech. He did not confine his opposition to it to any ground of principle or administrative difficulty, but said that the Nonconformist opinion in the country was such as to make it impossible for him to grant the demand involved in the acceptance of the Amendment. If that was so, this part of the Bill dealing with Catholics, this being the final compromise and offer, was to be settled, not by Catholic, but by Nonconformist opinion. They emancipated the Nonconformists in 1829, although they had forgotten the fact. They fought the old religious battles against the Established Church, both in England and in Ireland, side by side with the Nonconformists, and he was bound to say, although, like his hon. friend, he remembered with profound gratitude their action in connection with the Irish University Bill earlier in the session, when he looked at their action on this matter he felt he was almost sorry that they ever emancipated them and gave them seats in this House. Although the Nonconformists always said they sympathised with their point of view, he was extremely sceptical whether they understood it. He was profoundly convinced and persuaded of the sincerity and tenacity with which they held their own principles, but they seemed unable to adjust themselves to their point of view. He would say no more. He did not share their religious prejudices, but he respected them, and he was sorry they could not see their way to support the political principle of equality for which they had historically stood in this country. The 1177 right hon. Gentleman had alluded to a statement of his hon. friend the Member for South Kerry, on the Scottish Education Bill, to the effect that Catholics in Scotland would be content with an increase of 10s. per head on the 40s. provided by that Bill. The right hon. Gentleman then went on to institute a comparison between the cost of education in Scotland and England, leading to the conclusion that if in Scotland the Catholics would be content with 50s. they ought to be content with the same figure in England. His hon. friend said nothing of the kind; he never said that a grant of 50s. would place these schools on an equality with the State schools in Scotland. The question of principle undoubtedly did come into this matter, but that of money and pecuniary consideration also came in. The President of the Board of Education was not, as he understood it, as completely persuaded of the equity and justice of the settlement as he was before the discussion began. He had the figures before him from the Catholic authorities stating the Catholic point of view, and pointing out the deductions which must be made from the supposed advantage which came in under the pooling arrangement. He took the right hon. Gentleman's statement that afternoon as not expressing the same measure of belief with regard to the Schedule, and as indicating that the Government were prepared to listen to reason and mathematics, if it was not prepared to listen to conscience with regard to the Bill. His hon. friend for the Scotland Division had referred to the passive resistance of their Nonconformist friends, and suggested that if this Bill passed in its present form without facilities for the Catholics of this country, they possibly might take a hint from the action of their Nonconformist friends in the past. Prom the Catholics of Lancashire, who were largely Irish, he himself would expect a policy of active, and not passive resistance. His short experience in the House had taught him that minorities, whether Catholic or other, got a good deal of sympathy, but no justice. If the Bill was passed in its present form without this consideration for the Catholic conscience, which ought to be respected even in a Protestant country, the Government 1178 would carry through their great final settlement with a wrong and injustice, which they had not sought to defend, embedded in is heart. They were stamping the Catholic schools with a sort of broad arrow, and making them the outcasts and pariahs of the national system of education. They did not want to stand outside the system of national educational life, but the Government compelled them. to. They side-tracked them and turned them into a backwater. In addition to that, they inflicted upon them a heavy penalty. He could not think that such conditions could form the basis of a real and permanent settlement of this controversy.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
said he could not allow the debate to close without giving expression to the intense indignation which he knew would be roused among the Irish and Catholic population of this country, by the action of the Government. They all though towards the end of the debates on the Bill of 1906 that something like a satisfactory solution had been arrived at and everyone regretted that that solution had been upset by the House of Lords. The arrangement arrived at at the last moment between Lord Crewe and the Catholic Members of this House was embodied in the last paragraph of the new clause on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for East Mayo. It was never discussed or voted on either in the House of Lords or this House, the possibility of that discussion being destroyed by the action of Lord Lansdowne and his friends. They had been told by the right hon. Gentleman that he now could not get the consent of the Nonconformist Party to the provisions of Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906, but he himself did not believe there had been so great a change in the opinion of the Nonconformists since two years ago, that they would refuse a way to an all round settlement, because they refused to accept the arrangement made between Lord Crewe and the Catholics of this House. He was not one of those who took it for granted that the sole enemies to Catholic education were the Nonconformists. He had no sympathy with the strong 1179 language used against the Nonconformists, because he believed that if the Government gave them a chance they would adhere to the arrangement made when the Bill of 1906 was introduced. If that were the fact, he believed the Catholic community would accept as a settlement Clause 4 of that Bill. He could not, however, forget the action of a certain section of the Church of England, which had been, if he might say so without offence, to the last degree mean and treacherous towards the Catholic community of this country. They had used the influence and votes of the Catholic representatives for the purpose of defending the interests of the Anglican schools, and made common cause with the Catholics for that purpose. When the opportunity came and they made terms for themselves, they threw off all association with the Catholics, and deserted the interests of the Catholic schools. Therefore, if there was to be any condemnation, that section of the Church of England deserved its share. It seemed a tremendous pity when there was in the air and in the breasts of all men a general desire for a permanent settlement of this question, that such an arrangement as that contained in the clause of the hon. Member for East Mayor could not be arrived at. They were told that if this Bill was passed into law it would effect a permanent settlement. It was quite true that certain hon. Members above the gangway voted for the Government on the Second Reading, but so far as other portions of the House were concerned there was nothing like a strong and unanimous opinion in favour of this Bill. The division showed the very reverse. Was anyone prepared to get up and say that no matter what the division might be on the Third Reading this would be anything like a settlement in face of the action of the Leader of the Opposition? Nobody could attempt to say that there would be educational satisfaction or settlement in this country when so many, both in and outside this House, were opposed to the Bill. They had strongly and bitterly opposed to the Bill the late Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, with a large following, and they had the opposition of the Catholics in that House and throughout the 1180 length and breadth of the land. With such an array of political forces could anyone believe that the Bill would leave the question of education in a satisfactory position, or that there would be anything but a renewal of hostilities, discontent, and dissatisfaction? He said, as a Catholic Member of that House, and he thought that it was the opinion of every other Catholic Member, that such a result was a pity. He believed that it was perfectly possible to arrive at a settlement which would be really permanent, final, and satisfactory to all interests and denominations if the Government only took a little time. They had been sitting pretty nearly the whole year through, and within a few days the House must adjourn for Christmas, yet this matter of grave importance, the most important matter that Parliament could deal with, was to be disposed of within a short period. Where was the necessity for this extraordinary hurry? Why should a pistol be put to the head, not only of one party, but of all the parties in the House? Why should the Government say that in two weeks before Christmas Day the question must be settled? There was no reason for this undue haste. He thought that the Government would be far better advised if they sought, not after a hasty settlement, but a real, permanent, general, and satisfactory settlement. He believed that such an all-round and general satisfactory settlement could be arrived at if men were given time; but if the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Minister for Education, like a couple of religious highwaymen, put pistols to their heads and said: "You have got to take what we propose," then he thought that was unreasonable. It was said by some people that Catholics really had a great deal of assurance in asking for any assistance from the Government at all. They were told that in other English speaking countries the Catholic people were not offered any assistance whatever for their schools. But what they did in other countries, he presumed, had nothing whatever to do with educational questions in this country, which was upheld to other countries as an example of broad-mindedness and as a place where, whatever might 1181 be the case in other countries, there was freedom of conscience and, religious equality for all. That was the attitude taken up by this country. She had no right to refer to America or any of the Colonies, or to any other part of the world, because if she did not want to be regarded as a hypocrite England must act up to her professions and give to all the subjects of the realm and to every religion equal and fair treatment. The Catholics, he was certain, asked for no more. Dr. Clifford constantly quoted the phrase "Rome on the rates," but that phrase was too much like the refrain of some song in a low music hall, and it was an absurd statement if they considered the Church of Rome in connection With her rights. Catholics were entitled in common fairness to justice. He would say to hon. Members whose opinion they generally respected that if Catholics were compelled to pay rates for educational purposes, they were entitled to get some return for those rates. He could understand perfectly well if hon. Gentlemen opposite said: "We regret that Roman Catholics cannot come into the educational system because of conscientious objections, and that therefore they do not get any advantage from the rates which they pay. It is mot fair to exact money from people and give them no return for it. We will relieve the Catholic parents of the country from the payment of rates for educational purposes." If that were proposed it would be fair and reasonable. He would like to hear some reason why such a proposal should not be made. And what became of the rates of the Catholics? He was happy to say that they had members of various denominations in the Nationalist Party representing Ireland, and the question of religion was never raised among them. Speaking as a Catholic Member of the House, whose father was a Catholic Member before him, he would say that he had an equal respect for members of all the Protestant denominations. He had as much respect for the opinion of Nonconformist Members as he had for the opinion of Church of England representatives in the House or outside it. He had no feeling of prejudice one way or the other in regard to any of them. 1182 He differed from them all inasmuch as they, whatever their particular sect might be, belonged to the one great Protestant religion, with which as a Catholic he could not agree. But it was a monstrous thing to come to the Catholic parents of the country, who were among the poorest and hardest worked citizens in the land, and say to them: "We have made an arrangement by which your consciences will not allow you to send your children to our schools. We respect your opinions; we do not find fault with them; we regret the necessity which compels us to keep you outside; but notwithstanding that necessity you shall pay towards the upkeep of our schools." Why should they say to Catholics that they were not only to be excluded from the schools but that they were to pay rates for the maintenance of schools which they did not use? They would use the money of Catholics for a religion which was entirely foreign to the hearts of Catholics, and was to be taught in the public schools. That in his opinion was a monstrously unfair position. He had no intention of saying anything in the slightest degree disrespectful or offensive to Nonconformists, because he agreed with the hon. Member for Liverpool that Nonconformists had had to suffer in the past just as Catholics had had to suffer in many parts of their history for conscience sake; still, in his opinion, it was a mean thing to take the pence and shillings and pounds of a few hard-Worked Catholic workmen and say that the money should be used directly for the teaching of a religion of which these men did not approve. They were to have Cowper-Templeism, on which he was not an authority; he believed" that it differed in various localities according to the wishes of the authorities. [An HON. MEMBER: It is an elastic religion.] He thanked the hon. Gentleman for giving him a true description of Cowper-Templeism; it was now an elastic religion. He did not quarrel with the hon. Member for that Supporters of that religion admired it probably because of its elasticity. At any rate, whatever might be said of the Catholic religion, it could not be described as elastic. Yet Catholics, were to be called upon to pay for a religion which was 1183 elastic and repugnant to them. That was something which should be regarded as quite unfair. If hon. Gentlemen opposite admired Cowper-Templeism he did not quarrel with their opinion, but surely they could pay for it. He did not suppose that there was a Catholic who would make it a condition in the educational settlement that a farthing of Nonconformist money or of Church of England money should be spent on teaching the Catholic catechism to a single Catholic child in this land. Whatever their difficulties and troubles might be, Catholics could at least pay for the religion of their children, and they were proud to do so. He submitted that in all fairness the position was untenable, and that it was a mean thing to call upon the Catholics of this country to pay rates for schools which they did not use, and in addition to give them no guarantee whatever that their money would not be used for the propagation of religion in which they did not believe in the faintest degree. He believed that it would be perfectly easy to come to an arrangement on the lines of Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906. He believed that clause would be acceptable not only to the Catholics but to those members of the Church of England who were not accepting the present settlement proposals of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Minister for Education. It was an unfair and a disastrous thing that Catholic or Church of England schools should be separated in the general settlement; they ought to be brought together. He believed that it was quite within the powers of statesmanship to bring all the children of the schools of all denominations into a common scheme, at the same time providing fair and reasonable safeguards for the religious convictions and principles of every denomination in the land. This Bill would not do that; it would bring about no permanent settlement. It might pass; but as sure as it did pass, everybody knew that not many years would elapse before another Government would propose to amend it. There had been tinkering enough with the education question. Other countries in the world were ahead of us Germany was far ahead of us. And why? Largely because in Germany they had long ago seen the harm of not doing the very thing 1184 which he was urging upon the Government to do now. In Germany they has recognised the strength of the claims of the various denominations. They gave Catholic and Protestant equality of treatment, and the result was educational efficiency. It was possible to do that in this country, if there was only time. Let them have some real reason why all this amount of work should be done within a fortnight. What was there magical in the year 1908? There were only a few weeks of it left Surely next year when men had had time to think, when other people, with all respect to the Archbishop of Canterbury, had had conferences, when the Leader of the Opposition and his party and other sections of the community had had an opportunity, which he supposed they had not yet had, of considering the whole question, would not that be time enough to bring in this Bill? No. Let the truth at once be told about this matter. The Government were resolved to carry this Bill by the guillotine, by stifling discussion, within the compass of three or four days, practically before Christmas, because they knew that every day that passed by showed fresh recruits flocking, to that already not inconsiderable army which could not possibly accept the present proposals of the Government. If this Bill were postponed until next year it would be found on further consideration that when the Leader of the Opposition rose to speak he would speak for the majority of the Members sitting behind him, and that the number of Nonconformists who were opposed to this settlement would have increased. The Government knew this and felt that if the matter was to be carried through at all it must be carried through at once before men had had time to think and to investigate the matter. Was there a matter in England upon which the constituencies felt more strongly, and in which they took a deeper interest than this school question? Was it an unreasonable thing considering that it had been sprung on the country suddenly without any warning— —
§ THE DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. CALDWELL,) Lanarkshire, Mid.
Those remarks apply to the discussion that took place on Friday on the Resolution allocating 1185 the time of the House. They do not apply to this Amendment.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
said he wished only to ask, if the Amendment could not be accepted, whether the Government would not agree to postpone the whole matter so that Members of all parties would have an opportunity for a Week or so at least of consulting their constituents and holding meetings and of really getting at the true pulse of the country. He supposed it was idle to expect that the Government would accept the Amendment. It would probably be defeated by a very large majority. He deeply regretted it. He was absolutely certain that the Government was throwing away a great opportunity, an opportunity which nearly arrived in 1906 and which was bound to come with patience and with a certain amount of consideration and time, an opportunity of bringing about a settlement which would satisfy every denomination. He did not believe this settlement would really satisfy anything like a majority of any denomination.
§ MR. STUART (Sunderland)
said he was one of those who regretted that the Bill of 1906 did not pass, and more particularly because the clause which was reproduced in this Amendment, in his opinion, met adequately the situation of the Catholic Members. Whether it was possible to revert to that or not he could not say. It must depend upon the Government. He presumed it was no part of the arrangement which they had made with the Church of England. He did not wish to see the Rill postponed or thrown aside, because he believed moderate representatives of both sides of opinion had come so near to a conclusion that it was well that they should proceed. But under these circumstances the Catholic community was being left out in the cold. It could not be included in any solution such as this Bill appeared to offer in its present form. It had very peculiar claims to consideration. The Nonconformists and the Church of England were both Protestant. They were at one in their belief in the open Bible both as a means of education and as a religious advantage. But the Roman 1186 Catholics differed from them toto cœdo. They upheld that it was unsuitable for education, that it was unsuitable for the laity. However much they might differ from that point of view that was their point of view, and they held it conscientiously. When the Protestant communities got rid for some time of this educational quarrel by an agreement among themselves, surely it would be a great mistake if these two great parties in the State did not take into account, the position of their Roman Catholic friends and endeavour to invent something which should meet their difficulties too. If they were going to have a solution between the two parties he did not at all side with those who thought that such a solution would break down easily. The moderate people on both sides were tired of this constant educational quarrel. Extreme people would never come into any agreement, but they would have to accept it when it was made. He believed they had a solid mass of the people willing to combine with the moderate people on both sides When they were going to get a solution of the question which affected themselves and their point of view, let them not be so selfish as to leave their Roman Catholic friends out in the cold. They would do well to turn their mines to what they could do to meet the Roman Catholic difficulty. There was no doubt that the Amendment would meet that difficulty, if it were applied to the Roman Catholics alone. They ought on both sides of the House to be willing to have something of the kind done to meet them, though it was on a different line from what met the difficulty they were trying to meet by their mutual concessions. He had no doubt that would settle the question as far as they were concerned. If the Government could not give them that solution let them turn to some other form of solution, and there were other forms. There was the simple pecuniary solution. Let them give the Catholics something which would meet their difficulties, because they were the poorest community in England and the Church was the richest. If they wanted to avoid everything of the character of religious persecution, if they wanted to have toleration as it ought to be 1187 but was too seldom understood, they ought to recollect that the Catholics were separated from them by a definite gulf. They did not all like Cowper-Temple teaching or Church of England teaching, but they were on the opposite side of the division line from that on which the Roman Catholics stood. He pressed upon the Government that they would injure the settlement if they left the Catholics out of it. There was still an. opportunity to devise something. He did not believe it was wise to adhere to the Bill and the. Government ought to be in a position before they came to the Report stage, if they, could not support the Amendment, to deal with the question in some way so that they might not make an agreement between themselves and leave the poorest part of the population outside it.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said the hon. Member for East Clare, speaking of the conduct of the Archbishop and some of his hon. friends, said that in his judgment the Church of England was guilty of mean and treacherous conduct in making a settlement for itself without regard to the equal claims of the Roman Catholics. He should himself, having repeatedly in the course of three successive Education Bills, though not a strong denominationalist, advocated the claim for equal treatment amongst all denominations, think he was guilty of mean and treacherous conduct if, because the Archbishop of Canterbury was, rightly or wrongly, of the impression that he had made a settlement which as far as the Church of England was concerned was satisfactory, they were to eliminate from that settlement Roman Catholics, whose case was precisely similar to that of Churchmen. The last speaker had made the curious observation that the Catholics, as far as this grievance was concerned, stood in a position1 alone, and he certainly suggested that no similar grievance was felt by members of the Church of England. Such an argument seriously put forward after three sessions of stormy Parliamentary debate simply filled one with despair. He held on this question a brief no more for the Church than for the Catholic faith, but the one thing that had struck everyone in the whole course of the debate had been that the 1188 denominational position, if it had ever rested on strong ground at all, had rested on this ground, that no man, no matter of what faith, had a right to impose by force upon a third party his own will and his own view of what another man ought to believe. That was the whole case. Practically it was equivalent to a man saying he believed a certain thing and others ought to. The only comment one could make upon that point was that if the Catholic position was right the Anglican position was also right; the Catholic position was right, not because of its disparity in relation to Cowper-Temple teaching, but on the broad ground that the adult citizens of a, free country had a right to form their own opinion in religious matters. Approaching the question from this point of view, he had been struck by some observations from the hon. Member for East Mayo, who, in a most moderate and well-reasoned speech, expressed the opinion of Roman Catholics on the subject. A very considerable amount of abuse had been directed against the House of Lords for their attitude in regard to the last Education Bill, but nevertheless hon. Members to-day had been quite ready to express their satisfaction with Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906 as it left the House of Lords. Hon. Members below the gangway were so far contented with that clause that they were quite ready to introduce it now into this Bill in the form of an Amendment.
§ MR. DILLON
said that Clause 4 had a very tangled history. The clause he had introduced was not quite the same. The House of Lords made certain alterations which did not satisfy the representatives of Catholics. Consequently the Ministry made further alterations in response to their request which made the clause satisfactory after it had left the Lords.
§ MR. F.E. SMITH
replied that it was a long clause, and he thought he was right in saying that when the clause referred to left the House of Commons the Leader of the Irish Party referred to it as an insult. Lord Crewe also in another place distinctly stated that Clause 4 in its altered shape would never 1189 have been accepted by the Government unless it was forced upon them by the House of Lords. Therefore, this concession was made in consequence of Amendments introduced in the House of Lords and accepted by the Government in the course of the pressure brought to bear in another place. No one could fail to respect both the tact and the patience which the Minister for Education had brought to bear on educational problems, and this was a refreshing contrast to his predecessor in office. He had, however, been struck with the argument of the right hon. Gentleman in which he stated that if he had attempted to apply Clause 4 to the present Bill he could not have carried the Nonconformists in the country with him. Where did that declaration land them? At the time of the passing of the Bill of 1906 did they not carry the Nonconformists with them? It was claimed at that time that the clause did carry the Nonconformists of the country with the Government, and now in a Bill which represented a compromise and was giving better terms, they were told that they could not have the same clause because it would not carry the Nonconformists with the Government. This question must be determined on grounds of principle. The question was whether it was right or wrong, and not whether the Government could carry the Nonconformists with them. The right hon. Gentleman would act wisely to remember that many powerful Ministers in great controversies had thought it convenient to inquire whether they could carry the Roman Catholics with them. If it was to resolve itself merely into a process of counting heads in the country he was not at all certain that the arithmetic of the Government was very reliable. Was the right hon. Gentlemen sure he was right hon. Gentleman sure he was right in saying he could not carry the Nonconformists with him? He premised his observation by saying he was not at all sure that the Government were carrying the Nonconformists with them in large numbers on the lines of the proposed settlement.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
The hon. Gentleman need be under no apprehension on 1190 that point. I would not have acted without Nonconformist support.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said he was not attempting to attenuate the concession which the Nonconformists had made, but, so far as the country was concerned, as distinguished from Nonconformists in the House of Commons, he was not sure that the right hon. Gentleman was not too sanguine. The Nonconformist grievance was embodied in the formulas "Not one penny of public money without public control," and "No clerical interference with the schools." But here they were giving £600,000 a year to a few clerics, and it made not the least difference whether the money was paid out of rates or taxes. This money was going to be spent without the fullest control; as a matter of fact they handed over £600,000 to a few priests controlled by an Archbishop, without any pretence whatever that any control was going to be exercised. That was how the Nonconformist grievance was going to be removed. He approached this question with a genuine desire that there should be a settlement. With regard to passive resisters, what was the only logical ground upon which passive resistance was based? It was a ground which had much in it, and one that appealed to every person who felt pain when he saw people undergoing imprisonment and suffering for conscience sake. The grievance was that a man was forced to pay a rate for the teaching of a religion which he regarded as pernicious. In that sense in the single-school areas there was a real grievance felt by Nonconformists who paid the education rate, but that grievance was nothing like so real as that which was endured by the Roman Catholics. The "substantiality of the grievance, complained of by the Nonconformists was nothing when contrasted with, the grievance of the Roman Catholics. It was either right or wrong; to make a man pay a rate to teach a, religion in which, he did not believe They had been told that it was a cruel and intolerance wrong and therefore, he asked, those who held that opinion for; apply it, to the position of the Roman Catholics, Why was it not a cruel wrong to Catholics when it was admitted to Catholics when it was admitted 1191 that their faith was removed from Cowper Temple teaching by a gulf infinitely greater than that which Separated Cowper-Temple believers from the doctrines of the Church of England? Catholics were made to pay the education rate out of their scanty pence. If it was a grievance in the case of Nonconformists which justified them in setting themselves up in organised revolt against laws passed by Parliament; if it was really a grievance which justified passive resistance, what answer was going to be made now by Nonconformists in this House to Roman Catholics when they said: "Here is a rate which presses on our conscience which you are making us pay for the support of schools established for the propagation of doctrines which we believe to be blasphemous, and will imperil the eternal salvation of our children." It was idle that a compromise based upon those lines could or ought to be permanent. The Roman Catholics would be unworthy of being free citizens of a free country if they consented to a compromise which was nothing but a brutal dictation of terms.
§ MR. HART-DAVIES (Hackney, N.)
thought the question before the Committee was merely a matter of common sense. We had a national system of education, and the Catholics and other denominations said they could not come into it. [Cries of "No."] Under these circumstances he could see no hardship in saying to them: "If you must stand out of the national system, be it so, but you cannot expect to have the whole of the expenses of your schools paid for by national funds." [Cries of "Why?"] He admitted that the weakness of the position was that there was a certain form of religious teaching in all schools, but he thought it was reasonable to say: "We will pay for all secular education in your schools and leave you to pay for religious instruction." He had always been in favour of a Secular system. He was education inspector for a good many years in India. The Government schools in that country were purely secular, but there, were schools which wanted a denominational atmosphere, and to them a grant was given which was supposed to represent the full cost of secular education only. He did not find that those schools 1192 suffered from being cut off from the main stream of national education, and he could not see why schools that contracted out under this Bill should suffer. He would be in favour of an extremely liberal grant increasing according to the amount spent on the school. They ought to be encouraged to make their schools efficient. He could not see why these schools should suffer in the smallest degree; they would be open to the advantages which other schools enjoyed in the way of scholarships. They would have their own management and their own masters and he did not see why the schools should be looked upon as inferior. He was in favour of contracting out. He did not want the whole of the youth of England to be brought up on the school board pattern. He did not want them to be fed altogether on Cowper-Templeism. He respected the Irish Catholics for their attachment to their schools, and if they were fairly treated in the matter of grants, they would be put on a proper footing.
§ MR. GWYNN (Galway)
said the discussion had gone on for several hours and he had listened to the whole of it. Not a single Member had risen to reply to the arguments of the hon. Member for East Mayo. The hon. Member who had just spoken was the first speaker to defend the proposals of the Government, but it was a singular defence. The hon. Member did not defend the scheme whole-heartedly, because he was in favour of secular education. Moreover, he admitted that the Protestant religion in some form or other was now to be taught in all schools, and, therefore, Catholics could not be on a bass of religious equality. While the hon. Member was in favour of contracting out he postulated an expanding grant to coyer the whole cost of education other than religious education; but the grant proposed was strictly limited and notoriously inadequate. That was the first time that he had taken part in an English education debate, and he hoped it would be the last, for this was a discussion in which the very name of logic was out of place. The right hon. Gentleman who introduced the Bill admitted that it was bad logic, and commended it to the House on that ground. That was the extraordinary advantage of English Ministers, possessed 1193 by them more than anybody else in the world If a scheme was logical they defended it on account of its logic; if it was not logical they said that it Was in harmony with the British nature and the British Constitution. In this was bad logic was not a very good foundation on which to rest the Bill. They were now dealing with proposals which were the result of an arrangement entered into behind the backs of the House. It was an arrangement of which English Members on both sides of the House might complain. But in the negotiations which had taken place those for whom he spoke had no representation at all. When he came to examine the reply of the Minister for Education to his hon. friend the Member for East Mayo what did he find? The right hon. Gentleman did not object on principle to the argument of his hon. friend, but said that the fact was that the Nonconformists of this country were against it. What he expressed was not argument but a conviction, and a conviction for which no reasonable argument could apparently be alleged. Such a conviction was in truth only a prejudice. When the right hon. Gentleman told them that he could not carry the Nonconformists of England in this matter, he wished to know whether Nonconformist opinion had really been sounded. Was it possible that it was determined to deny in 1908 what it was prepared to concede in 1906? Had the right appeal been made to the Nonconformists in that House? Already this session the Chief Secretary had appealed to them not without success, and he now appealed from their Nonconformist prejudices to their Liberal principles. The whole contention of his hon. friend was based on liberal principles. It was the desire of Catholics to be part and parcel of the democratic system, but the desire of the Government was to hand them over to the most extraordinary piece of clerical machinery ever propounded by a Liberal Government. Had the Nonconformists been approached and reasoned with in this matter? From the point of view of higher statesmanship, was it desirable to introduce into the body politic such a division as would be introduced by these two types of schools? Was that the way that Liberals were going to bring about the union of hearts between Irish and 1194 English? He urged the right hop. Gentleman to take a lesson from the success achieved in another matter this session by the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and to try to induce the Nonconformists to approach this measure in the spirit of Liberalism and not in the spirit of eighteenth century theology.
§ MR. BUTCHER (Cambridge University)
said he confessed that he had listened with some disappointment to the speech of the Minister for Education which seemed to him hard, dry, and unsympathetic. The right hon. Gentleman never appeared fully to appreciate the position of the Roman Catholics, which had been set forth with such clearness that evening. But this was not merely, in his judgment, a Roman Catholic question. The Amendment was the only solution of a great difficulty with, which they were confronted. He believed that this amended version of Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906 was the right treatment to apply to all the homogeneous schools, both Church of England and Roman Catholic, that needed exceptional treatment. Although many more in proportion of the Roman Catholic schools would benefit by it than the Church of England schools, he believed the Church of England would not grudge that benefit going to the members of the other Church. The case for such treatment was strong for Church of England schools in other than single school areas, but it was infinitely stronger for the Roman Catholic schools. First, because the Roman Catholics had no compensatory advantages to set off against their loss, while the Church of England gained at hast the right of entry into the council schools. The Nonconformists also had many compensations, which had been frequently enumerated, But the Roman Catholic schools had not a single gain. In the second place, there was this further point about the Roman Catholic case as compared with the case for the Church of England. The Church of England had under the Bill an alternative course, they might elect either to contract out under the terms offered by the Bill, or to become council schools under popular control, But the Roman Catholics had no alternative., Contracting out was the one thing offered to them. 1195 The council school was closed to them by the barrier of conscience. Therefore, if the Roman Catholics were given this as the one solution of the question, he held that the Government ought to make the contracting out a reality, and offer it on the most generous terms. The Minister for Education spoke of the grossly exaggerated language which had been used, as to the sums which would need to be paid by the Roman Catholics for the. maintenance of their schools. As an instance of this he quoted a statement that in. London the amount per head payable was £5 18s. He said truly that in this sum were included a large number of other charges But let them take the figures of the White taper. There was a very large difference between a 50s. grant and the sum of 94s. which was given in the White. Paper as the cost of maintenance per head in London.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
The figures given in the White Paper include a number of charges that cannot fall upon the contracted-out schools.
§ MR. BUTCHER
said that if the right hon. Gentleman did not know it, he could not be supposed to know it to a shilling or two, but he felt no doubt that the White Paper gave, except for some trifling deductions, the charge for maintenance. They must also bear in mind the progressive rise in cost which had been going on since 1902 Figures supplied to him of a great many voluntary Church schools in London showed that the rise had been as much as 50 per cent. for salaries and equipment. That rise Was still going on and he thought nobody could say that even the sum of 94s. was likely to be under the mark in the next few years. They had been told that fees might be charged, in order to make up the difference, but from all he could learn there were Very few Church of England schools which could afford now to ask fees, and the Roman Catholic schools were the very poorest in' the country. Indeed, he 1196 supposed that if it were not that the Roman Catholics Were able to get the services of the religious orders at very much lower wages than the market, rate, they could not get teachers at all. The right hon. Gentleman used the argument that in Scotland they found 40s. per head was sufficient for Roman. Catholic schools and why should not 50s. be sufficient in England? Well, 40s. per head in Scotland might have kept the schools going, but it should be remembered that in England since 1902 there had been a higher standard of efficiency and equipment all round, and it was impossible to ask schools which had been raised to a higher level to fall back to a lower. The Minister for Education in the correspondence with the Archbishop said that the contracted-out schools were to have a reasonable chance of existence. They ought to have more than that; they ought to have a reasonable chance of efficiency Why did the Government refuse this solution, which educationally was fat better than the contracting - out solution for schools of the homogeneous type that they were considering? He could not help thinking that the reason that they denied it to Roman Catholics was that they feared lest they should admit a certain number of Church of England schools. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh."] If it was that, it was a most unworthy reason. This contracting - out solution was not, he hoped, the last word of the Government. He came down there with hopes, as one who, ardently desired, not through sheer weariness but for other reasons, to come to a settlement of this question. He came with hopes of a compromise being reached which would be a little elastic and that the Government would be prepared to-, make concessions. After all, contracting-out on the terms now offered was of such a kind that under it religious conviction carried with it civic disabilities. It struck at the parent through the secular. welfare of his child. It was a cruel alternative to offer to the Church of England, a cruel necessity to impose upon: Roman, Catholics. Looking generally at Continental Europe, at the Colonies and elsewhere abroad they; found that the only countries which had arrived at a peaceful and final settlement, of the educational controversy had done 1197 so by recognising the great diversity: that existed of thought and creed and conviction, and in this country, too, he Was confident that the only way to peace would be by the road of toleration.
§ MR. NAPIER (Kent, Faversham)
did not think that the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for East Mayo, although it was the last form in which Clause 4: was before the Houses of Parliament, was a perfect form. The Amendment was somewhat complicated and depended upon a number of contingencies. It was likely to give rise to a great deal of friction, but still, with all its defects, he preferred it considerably to contracting-out. The real thing which he thought the House wanted to arrive at, and the real thing which, the Government would like to arrive at, was some form of clause under which the whole of the future expenditure on educational efficiency should not fall upon the denomination itself, and in the case of the Roman Catholics he thought it was peculiarly necessary that some form of clause should be adopted under which this should not be the case. It had been pointed out by speaker after speaker representing the Roman Catholics that they formed the poorest part of the population of the country, and he was sure they would not think he meant anything offensive when he said that they also formed the most ignorant part of the population. That almost necessarily followed from the fact of their poverty, and if. that was so, What a pity it was from the point of view of national efficiency that they should condemn them to a punishment of this kind, under which it would be almost impossible for them from time to time to provide the necessary funds to keep their schools on a level with the schools which had the rates behind them. Might he ask whether this was an essential part of the compromise? If the President of the Board or the Prime Minister assured them that if the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Mayo was carried there would be an end of the compromise, he should feel bound with infinite regret to vote for the Government, because he felt the chief matter was that as between the two great parties to this educational difficulty they should 1198 obtain a settlement, but he should be; also regretful that the position in which the Roman Catholic and many; English schools would be left would not be, a convenient one. He did not gather, that this question of contracting-out was an essential part of the agreement as regarded the Church of England Had the Archbishop said: "I insist upon this clause"? The President of the Board of Education did not tell them so as a matter of fact, and he challenged the right hon. Gentleman. to say that this question was a term advanced by the Church of England The Church of England had certain schools which she would desire to have the benefits of the Amendment which the hon. Member claimed for Roman Catholics—homogeneous schools mostly of a high Church or Anglican character Hon. Members would remember that institutions of this kind were not only permissible in the Church of England but had existed in that Church from the very earliest times, and while the Church as a whole was a Protestant institution the Catholic part of the Church of England had from the reign of James I. down to. the present time been a integral portion of that Church. Therefore they had the right to claim for the Anglican school of the Church of England the same privileges which Roman Catholics were claiming for themselves. He ventured to say that there was no stipulation on behalf of the Church of England that the contracting-out in Clause 4 should be a portion of the Bill. What about the Nonconformists? The President told them that the view of the Nonconformists was strongly in favour of contracting-out as against Clause 4, but if he was rightly informed he did not think there was anything like a unanimousy perhaps even a preponderating opinion, of Non conformists in favour of contracting-out as. against Clause 4. Perhaps the President was moved by a recollection, of what happened during the Bill of 1906. They knew then that Clause 4 gave many searchings of heart to many Nonconformists in the House and in the country and that they did not like the clause. But a great deal of water had flowed down the Thames since 1906, and both sides of this House 1199 had begun to understand the position which was taken up by the other, and the religious denominations of the country were to-day infinitely more sympathetic with each other than they were then. He believed hon. Members on that side of the House more fully understood and sympathised with the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite than they did in 1906, and it seemed to him that after the expressions of opinion they had had that day, there might be a greater understanding which might possibly lead to a more satisfactory compromise. Might he point out one thing, and he addressed himself mainly to his hon. friends on that side of the House. He ventured to say that approaching the matter on Nonconformist principles he thought they ought to prefer some variation of Clause 4 to contracting-out. There were three principles with which the House was "well acquainted, which were the great issues of the Education Bill of 1906, viz., public control, no tests for teachers, and no application of public money to denominational purposes. Applying those three tests to the alternative schemes of contracting-out on the one hand and Clause 4 on the other, they had no public control in contracted-out schools, but they had in Clause 4 schools. They necessarily had tests for teachers in both sets of schools and as to the application of public money in each case there was no direct application of public money to denominational teaching, and there was quite as little application in the one case as in the other. If they looked at and took the whole Nonconformist position which was before the country at the last general election he ventured to say that that position was more offended by the contracting-out clause than by Clause 4, He would say just one word upon a point Made by the President in regard to the Roman Catholic Church and what it had to say about public control. That was based upon the declaration of Archbishop Vaughan, as the President himself told them, in 1905; before the general election. Well, even more water had flowed down the Thames since 1905 than since 1906, and how could they accept that declaration of Archbishop Vaughan in 1905 before 1200 the general election against that of hon. Gentlemen opposite who represented, if anybody did, the feelings and wishes of the Roman Catholic electors of this country? They had some little time before them before this matter was finally determined. It would be a week or ten days before the House would be called upon to give its decision as to the particular relief to be afforded to Roman Catholic members of the community, and he asked the Government seriously to apply their minds to this matter and to try to find out whether, as a matter of fact, Nonconformist opinion was not amenable to some modified form of Clause 4, rather than to the particular form of contracting-out which the Government had in the Bill. He believed they would find that Nonconformist opinion had no more objection to one than to the other, and he thought after the debate they had heard there should be some sympathetic consideration given to the undoubted claims of the Roman Catholics and also of the Anglicans who desired homogeneous schools.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
regretted that the Government would not accept the Amendment. It did not pledge them to adopt the new clause of the hon. Member for Mayo. But it left the door open for the consideration of some alternative to the proposals for contracting-out, which were so generally unpalatable on both sides of the House. The clause of the hon. Member for Mayo was not Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906 as it left the House of Commons, but was that clause as it returned from the House of Lords. In the House of Lords there were two additions made to it, very desirable to his mind, in regard to the constitution, of the parents', committee for the control of religious instruction and the requirement that the local education authority should consult the parents' committee in the appointment of teachers.
§ MR. DILLON
said it was very important that this should be made clear; The form in which he had put down the clause was not that in which it came from the House of Lords, but the form in which it was adopted after 1201 the debate in the House of Lords by the Liberal Government.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
was understood to say that the clause was the result of discussion in another place, and these two particular sections of the hon. Member's proposed new clause to which he had referred were printed in italics showing that they had not stood part of the clause as it left the House of Commons.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said he did not think they need argue about it. If hon. Members would look at the clause they would see that these two particular subsections were printed in italics showing that they were not the product of the debates of the House of Commons.
§ MR. DILLON
said the matter was of some importance. It was quite true that the clause was altered, but the shape in which he had put it down was not the form in which it had come from the House of Lords, but the form in which it was adopted by the Government, as announced by Lord Crewe, after debate in the House of Lords. It was the work of the Liberal Cabinet and not of the House of Lords.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said that as the Bill came back from the Lords certain portions of the clause were printed in italics to indicate that they had not formed part of the clause as it left the House of Commons. He did not wish to carry the discussion further, but while admitting that the clause was not discussed in the House of Commons in 1906, he did not understand why, if it was accepted by the Liberal Government in the House of Lords then, the Minister for Education should be so reluctant to consider it now. Whether or not it should be accepted, it would give the opportunity for considering whether there should be an alternative proposal to contracting out. Probably the right hon. Gentleman would say there was not time enough, but that was no fault of the Opposition. They were told they were being conciliated but that was being done under the guillotine, a curious 1202 process of conciliation. They must make the best of the position, and take their chance of any opportunity that offered of discussing this very complicated Bill. This Amendment would offer to the Roman Catholics a possibility of escaping from a very distasteful position. To them complete popular control and the appointment by the local education authority of the teachers without reference to their religion must be an impossible condition. The Roman Catholics gained nothing under this Bill, the Church of England gained the right of entry for what it was worth, but the Roman Catholics gained nothing and were entitled to the fullest consideration. What was to be their position under the Bill? Were they to be driven into a system that was distasteful to them, which they could not possibly accept, with the alternative of starvation under the contracting-out clause? Another question the Government had not taken up was that of the homogeneous schools, where the bulk of the children were of one religious belief, and where that particular religious belief might be provided for under the scheme of the school without doing harm to anybody else. If only time had been given to deal with that matter and to arrive at the compromise which conciliation demanded for making a real settlement, they might have been able to have struck out some scheme covering the whole ground, but they had not had that opportunity. This Amendment would give the Department the opportunity for offering the possibility of escaping from unpleasant alternatives, and he appealed to the Government not to let the opportunity escape. It was said that contracting out would bring variety, but the variety they wanted was the variety arising from adaptation of teaching to local needs and conditions; they did not want the variety between rich and poor schools, between efficient and non-efficient schools. He asked the Government, in the hope of a real settlement of the matter, to; give full consideration to the Amendment.
§ MR. MADDISON
said two things had emerged from the debate. The first was that the prospect of anything like a durable settlement was hot a good one, 1203 and the second that the equality of treatment was not to be obtained, either by contracting out or by the proposal of the hon. Member for East Mayo. Equality could only be reached by excluding entirely all theological teaching. As one who had moved about the big towns of England, he knew that all that had been said by hon. Gentlemen from Ireland about the self-sacrifice of their own priests and of those who managed their own schools was true. They were poor, very earnest, and very determined. As he happened to belong to a religious minority very much removed from them—he had the privilege to be an Unitarian—he sympathised to the full with the plea they made on account of the poverty and earnestness of their people. He would like hon. Members from Ireland to understand the position, which was that he and other English Radicals must steadily resist their attempt to impose denominationalism upon public money. Across the track of a national educational system came great external bodies, it might be from Rome, from Canterbury, or from Geneva. If he had his way, he would not allow any of them to interfere with the national system, for if such interference were permitted it broke up the amity of that system and kept alive that bickering which was not good for education, nor, he thought, for religion. If hon. Members from Ireland—whose objection to Cowper-Templeism he shared—had joined them some time ago, the chances were that the Catholics and other bodies might have had a hand in this bargain, or treaty of peace, and without outraging a single conscience they might have devised a system by which facilities
§ should be given for denominational teaching out of school hours. After these weary debates, these abortive proposals, these hopeless attempts to secure reconciliation among irreconcilables, the nation would one day turn to a system which would make the schools absolutely neutral in those matters which must divide us on this side of the grave.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
recognised, as the hon. Member who had just spoken recognised, that the solution which the Government proposed could not meet the idiosyncrasies of small religious bodies. To meet the views of everybody was possible only by taking the course recommended by his right hon. friend, that without prejudice, the State should provide the religious instruction which parents desired. But if they could not do that, it was not necessary to go to the other extreme and provide no religious teaching whatever. If they could not provide what everybody wished for, that was no reason why they should provide what nobody wanted. He intended to support the clause, whether the Amendment were carried or not. He did not like the clause which the hon. Member for East Mayo had put upon the Paper; but he shared the view of the hon. Member for Oxford University that they ought not, at this stage of the Bill, to exclude the possibility of reaching in their deliberations some scheme more palatable to many of their fellow-citizens.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 159; Noes, 226. (Division List No. 421.)1207
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Bowles, G. Stewart||Courthope, G. Lloyd|
|Acland-Hood Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Ambrose, Robert||Bull, Sir William James||Crean, Eugene|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Burke, E. Haviland||Cross, Alexander|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Butcher, Samuel Henry||Delany, William|
|Ashley, W. W.||Byles, William Pollard||Dillon, John|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt Hn. Sir H.||Carlile, E. Hildred||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers|
|Balcarres, Lord||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Castlereagh, Viscount||Edwards, Clement (Denbighs)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J.(City Lond.)||Cave, George||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick-George||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G(Winchester)||Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Fell, Arthur|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh-Hicks.||Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A.(Worc||Ffrench, Peter|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Clive, Percy Archer||Field, William|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Boland, John||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Cooper, G. J.||Forster, Henry William|
|Gardner, Ernest||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah(Down, S.)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Gill, A. H.||MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal, E.)||Roberts, S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Arthur, Charles||Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'rd|
|Glover, Thomas||M'Kean, John||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||M'Killop, W.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Gretton, John||Magnus, Sir Philip||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Guinness, Hon. R.(Haggerston)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Meehan, Francis E.(Leitrim, N)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Halpin, J.||Meehan, Patrick A.(Queen's Co.)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Sheehy, David|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Mooney, J. J.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Morpeth, Viscount||Smith, F. E.(Liverpool, Walton)|
|Harwood, George||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Stanier, Beville|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Summerbell, T.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Nicholson, Wm. G.(Petersfield)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Nolan, Joseph||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Univ)|
|Hodge, John||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hogan, Michael||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Hope, James Fitzalan(Sheffield)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Oddy, John James||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Doherty, Philip||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hunt, Rowland||O'Donnell, C..J. (Walworth)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Jenkins, J.||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Jowett, F. W.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Joyce, Michael||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Kavanagh, Walter M.||Percy, Earl||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Kettle, Thomas Michael||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Kilbride, Denis||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Younger, George|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Reddy, M.|
|Lundon, W.||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon, T. C. R.||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Fenwick, Charles|
|Agnew, George William||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Ferens, T. R.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Findlay, Alexander|
|Alden, Percy||Cameron, Robert||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Freeman-Thomas, Freeman|
|Armitage, R.||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Chance, Frederick William||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Ashton Thomas Gair||Channing, Sir Francis, Allston||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn Herbert Henry||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Baker Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Cleland, J. W.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Clough, William||Glen-Coats, Sir T.(Renfrew, W.)|
|Barker, Sir John||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Beale, W. P.||Corbett, C H(Sussex, E. Grinst'd)||Greenwood, Hamar (York)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Bell, Richard||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Cowan, W. H.||Gurdon, Rt Hn Sir W. Brampton|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Crossley, William J.||Hall, Frederick|
|Bennett, E. N.||Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L.(Rossendale|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Harcourt, Robert V.(Montrose)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.(Essex, Romf'd)||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Harmsworth, R. L.(Caithness-sh|
|Black, Arthur W||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Duckworth, Sir James||Harvey, W. E.(Derbyshire, N. E.|
|Branch, James||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Brigg, John||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Dunne, Major E. Martin(Walsall||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Brodie, H. C.||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Erskine, David C.||Henry, Charles S.|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Essex, R. W.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T.(Chesh)||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Everett, R. Lacey||Higham, John Sharp|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Mond, A.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Morrell, Philip||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Morse, L. L.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Hooper, A. G.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset, N.||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Tennant, Sir Edward(Salisbury)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Nicholls, George||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Norman, Sir Henry||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Idris, T. H. W.||Hussey, Thomas Willans||Toulmin, George|
|Ilingworth, Percy H.||Paul, Herbert||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Paulton, James Mellor||Ure, Alexander|
|Jackson, R. S.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Verney, F. W.|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Vivian, Henry|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Walton, Joseph|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pollard, Dr.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wason, Rt Hn. E.(Clackmannan|
|Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Radford, G. H.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Rees, J. D.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Ridsdale, E. A.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lambert, George||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Whitbread, Howard|
|Lamont, Norman||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis||Rogers, F. E. Newman||White, J. Dundas (Dumbart'nsh.|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Rose, Charles Day||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Rowlands, J.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs)||Samuel, Rt. Hn. H. L.(Cleveland)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Maclean, Donald||Scott, A. H.(Ashton-under-Lyne||Williams, Llewelyn(Carmarth'n|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sears, J. E.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|M'Callum, John M.||Seaverns, J. H.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|M'Crae, Sir George||Seely, Colonel||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|M'Laren, Rt. Hn. Sir C. B.(Leics)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Maddison, Frederick||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Spicer, Sir Albert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.|
|Massie, J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Menzies, Walter||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Steadman, W. C.|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
§ And, it being after half-past Ten of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, in pursuance of the Order of the House of 27th November, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of Clause 1.1208
§ Question put, "That the clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 238; Noes, 144. (Division List No. 422.)1211
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Bellairs, Carlyon||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles|
|Agnew, George William||Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Byles, William Pollard|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bennett, E. N.||Cameron, Robert|
|Alden, Percy||Berridge, T. H. D.||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bethell, Sir J. H.(Essex, Romf'rd||Cawley, Sir Frederick|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Wore|
|Armitage, R.||Black, Arthur W.||Chance, Frederick William|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Bramsdon, T. A.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Branch, James||Cleland, J. W.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Brigg, John||Clough, William|
|Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.)||Bright, J. A.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.|
|Barker, Sir John||Brodie, H. C.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Brooke, Stopford||Corbett, C. H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Barnard, E. B.||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Beale, W. P.||Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T.(Cheshire||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Bryce, J. Annan||Cowan, W. H.|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Crossley, William J.|
|Bell, Richard||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dalziel, Sir James Henry|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Scott, A. H.(Ashton under Lyne)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Sears, J. E.|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Laidlaw, Robert||Seely, Colonel|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin(Walsall||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Lambert, George||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Erskine, David C.||Lamont, Norman||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Essex, R. W.||Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lehmann, R. C.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Levy, Sir Maurice||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.|
|Ferens, T. R.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Steadman, W. C.|
|Findlay, Alexander||Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Maclean, Donald||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||M'Callum, John M.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||M'Crae, Sir George||Tennant, Sir Edward(Salisbury)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||M'Laren, Rt Hn. Sir C. B.(Leices.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||M'Micking, Major G.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Glen-Coates, Sir T.(Renfrew, W.||Mallet, Charles E.||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Thorne, G. R.(Wolverhampton)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Marnham, F. J.||Toulmin, George|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Massie, J.||Ure, Alexander|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Masterman, C. F. G.||Verney, F. W.|
|Gulland, John W.||Menzies, Walter||Vivian, Henry|
|Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W. Brampton||Micklem, Nathaniel||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Hall, Frederick||Molteno, Percy Alport||Walton, Joseph|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L.(Rossendale||Mond, A.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton|
|Harcourt., Robert V.(Montrose)||Morrell, Philip||Wason, Rt. Hn. E.(Clackmannan|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Morse, L. L.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B.(Worc'r)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Harmsworth, R. L.(Caithn'ss-sh||Napier, T. B.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Harvey, A, G. C. (Rochdale)||Nicholls, George||Whitbread, Howard|
|Harvey, W. E.(Derbyshire, N. E.||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncs't'r||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Norman, Sir Henry||White, J. Dundas (Dumbart'nsh.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)||Paul, Herbert||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Paulton, James Mellor||Wiles, Thomas|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Pearson, W. H. M.(Suffolk, Eye)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n|
|Higham, John Sharp||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Pollard, Dr.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Hooper, A. G.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset, N.||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Rainy, A. Rolland||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Rees, J. D.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Ridsdale, E. A.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Younger, George|
|Idris, T. H. W.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Rose, Charles Day||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Rowlands, J.|
|Jackson, R. S.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Samuel, Rt. Hn. H. L.(Cleveland)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bull, Sir William James-|
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Banner, John S. Harmood-||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Ambrose, Robert||Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Carlile, E. Hildred|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||Boland, John||Cave, George|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bowerman, C. W.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|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.|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Hunt, Rowland||Power, Patrick Joseph.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jenkins, J.||Radford, G. H.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Jowett, F. W.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Courthope. G. Loyd||Joyce, Michael||Reddy, M.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kavanagh, Walter M.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Crean, Eugene||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cross, Alexander||Kettle, Captain Michael||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Delany, William||Kilbride, Denis||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n)|
|Dillon, John||Kimber, Sir Henry||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon, A. Akers-||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Lundon, W.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Fardell, Sir I. George||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Fell, Arthur||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.||Sheehy, David|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Arthur, Charles||Smith, F. E.(Liverpool, Walton)|
|Field, William||M'Kean, John||Snowden, P.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Killop, W.||Stanier, Beville|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Maddison, Frederick||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Forster, Henry William||Magnus, Sir Philip||Summerbell, T.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Meagher, Michael||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Meehan, Francis E.(Leitrim, N.)||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Ginnell, L.||Meehan, Patrick A.(Queen's Co.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Glover, Thomas||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)|
|Gretton, John||Mooney, J. J.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Morpeth, Viscount||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Halpin, J.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Nolan, Joseph||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Helmsley, Viscount||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Oddy, James John||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Hodge, John||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Hogan, Michael||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Percy, Earl|
|Hudson, Walter||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Whereupon the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his. Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.