HC Deb 23 July 1912 vol 41 cc1011-61

Motion made, and Question proposed, 8. "That a sum, not exceeding £1,539,425, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1913, for Public Education in Scotland, and for Science and Art in Scotland, including a Grant-in-Aid."— [Note.—£950,000 has been voted on account.]


On a point of Order. I would ask your opinion on a question raised in the House yesterday as to the order of Debate in Committee. Will a general discussion be permissible, or do you propose to take each Vote according to the matter it contains?

4.0 P.M.


In giving your decision, will you take into consideration the altered aspect of affairs, owing to the fact that a Motion for the Adjournment of the House has been fixed for this evening?


I have found that there is not a general agreement with regard to taking a general discussion on the Secretary for Scotland's salary. I might also point out that, in my view, it would not be for the real interest of private Members that that course should be adopted, as it would take away from them the opportunity for pressing home and taking the sense of the Committee upon some specific criticism that they may have to make against His Majesty's Government or the particular Department concerned. The old practice of the House in regard to the Estimates is designed in the interests of private Members and should be maintained.


I had hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland would have thought it well to open the Debate with a statement of policy. It is rather difficult to enter upon a discussion of the administration of the Department without the general statement which I think on every previous occasion has been made. [An HON. MEMBER: "NO."] However, I shall endeavour to refer to a few points upon which I think it necessary to call for some explanation. As the Committee are aware, I have, for the best of reasons, avoided anything like captious criticism of the Department. It is quite plain to Members from Scotland why that unwillingness should appear on my part. It would be improper on a subject of this sort to raise any question of political import or to make the education of the country a question of political acrimony or political discussion. I have, however, to criticise some features of the Department's administration, and, although I may have to cross swords with the right hon. Gentleman, I hope there may be no rancour imported into the discussion and no bones broken on either side. Whilst avoiding as far as possible anything like captious or party criticism of the Department with which I was for so long connected, it is my duty in the interests of education to point out where I consider certain flaws have arisen. I am not going at any length into the question which has been so frequently raised with regard to the distribution of the Grants. On that point I am glad to be, as I have frequently been before, on the side of the right hon. Gentleman. The difficulty of allocating this fund would tax the powers of the Archangel Gabriel himself. It is utterly impossible to satisfy one authority without dissatisfying and giving reason for criticism to many others. But I wish to advert to a singularly inept contribution to this discussion made by the hon. Member for South Lanarkshire. The hon. Member has thought fit to give his newly acquired knowledge to the public in a letter which he has contributed to the newspapers. He has told a number of people what everybody acquainted with the circumstances knew long ago, but did not think it necessary emphatically and publicly to state. The hon. Member reminds one of those enfants terribles with whom we are all acquainted in the domestic circle, who will blurt out precisely those things which in all the circumstances it is more expedient perhaps to pass over in silence. I do not envy the Secretary for Scotland or his official colleagues their task when next they have to go to an obdurate and hard-hearted Treasury, who will be able to quote against them the very damaging statements in this over-candid letter.

I want to call attention to the last paragraph of the letter. Possibly the hon. Member finds that the claims upon the Treasury which he has made in season and out of season are not so well substantiated as he thought they were. However, he has a method which he thinks is consummate for dealing with all the difficulties. He says:— In my opinion, the proper ground for school board managers to take with regard to the Scottish Education Department is one of inflexible opposition to any and every proposal which is put before them which would in any way increase the cost of education. I am not quite sure that the hon. Member will find the whole of the Scottish Members or the whole of Scotland in agreement with him in this policy of absolute niggardliness towards education. No doubt there may be extravagance. I have often pointed out, both when I was in official life and since, that it would be prudent to look forward to see what expenditure was really necessary, to take stock of it, and to take account of the time when the taxpayers and ratepayers would begin to be tired. But it is useless to think that all our evils are to be cured by absolutely opposing any and every proposal for educational expenditure. That is not the proper remedy. I am convinced it is not the remedy that the right hon. Gentleman himself would propose. The remedy is to be found in adjusting the financial relations between the central Exchequer and the local authorities. There are only two grounds on which you can or ought to adjust your Grant. The first is that the Grant ought to be made in proportion to the educational work done. That is a sound criterion and will carry you a long way. In the second place, Grants must be made—and this is an entirely different question—in proportion to the ability of the different localities to supplement them from their own funds. That is not an educational question at all. It is a financial question. It deals with the far larger question of the adjustment of Imperial and local burdens which has been far too long delayed. It is all very well for one Ministry after another to come down and say that such and such a question must be put off until they have adjusted the relations between local and Imperial taxation. That is a question which ought to be settled without delay, otherwise some part of your local administration is bound to break down, and that part is more likely to be the educational part than any other, because the burden of education is unquestionably and incomparably greater than that of any other form of local contribution. Besides that, the work of the Education Department and the work for which that expenditure is paid is, more than any other local work, of Imperial importance, and it ought to get a larger subvention from the Imperial Exchequer. I acquit no Government of delay in dealing with this question or of a certain degree of guilt for the present state of confusion. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to be guided solely by these two considerations—first, the amount of educational work done, which is the only thing of which the Education Department is properly fitted to be the judge; and, secondly, the ability of the different localities in proportion to their wealth, the state of their population, and their rateable resources to raise the necessary additional revenue.

Many hon. Members are apt to speak as though the proper proportion were that proportion which arose on one occasion, and was invented only for a special emergency, namely, the eleven-eightieths. The sooner hon. Members disabuse their minds of any lingering belief in that proportion the better it will be for the financial stability of education It was accidentally taken up in the year 1890, when Mr. Gosehen's Local Government Taxation Bill was first brought forward. It was taken up because for the moment there was no other course to be pursued. It has been repudiated over and over again by the Treasury; it has been, and ought to be, repudiated by the Scottish authorities as well. The danger of this is seen precisely when we come to study the letter of the hon. Member for South Lanarkshire. His endless and tiresome comparisons of the exact proportions between England and Scotland are absolutely wide of the mark. We ask to be paid for what we have done educationally, not by any comparison with England. If we have earned twice as much as England, we still put forward the claim which I trust the right hon. Gentleman will advance on our behalf. We have earned it by our educational work and by the peculiar circumstances of the localities which call for special help. I will not enter upon a further question which I understand will give rise to some perturbation on the Government Benches. I refer to the transfer of the Education Department to Edinburgh. It will amuse us to watch the differences of opinion which may express themselves as the Debate proceeds on the benches opposite. I will only say what is my plain opinion in the light of common sense. Whatever you may do with regard to Home Rule, you cannot have a Department separated from the Minister. It is all very well to say that letters may be sent up, that there may be constant communication, that you may write and receive the approval of the Minister from Edinburgh. That to any man who really knows the working of a Department is absolute nonsense. You must be in touch with your political chief. You must meet him and discuss every point with him. It is not a matter of this letter or of that letter being seen. You must be in daily and even hourly intercourse with him in official life, so that you may see that you are working in accordance with his views, and show that you understand his views, which it is your business to the best of your ability to carry out, and that he understands fully the general lines which you, as the permanent head of the Department, are acting upon. To separate the official part of the Department from the Minister responsible for this House would, I can assure hon. Members opposite, only result in a lowering of their influence. Parliament will, in fact, cease to have any hold over the Department at all, and if it is situated in Edinburgh the Department will, sooner or later, establish itself as an independent Department, which will be very slightly interfered with by the Parliament here.


Could the influence of the Scottish Members either one way or the other be lower than it now is?


I am surprised that such a question should be put. At any rate, I should have thought whatever influence there was it would be on the side of hon. Members opposite. But I wish to point out to the Committee what such a proposal as this really means. There are to my certain knowledge 100 to 150 letters to be dealt with every day. You cannot put them off, and it is only by constant intercourse that you will be able to make sure that you are dealing with the question in the spirit in which the responsible Minister wishes them to be dealt with. The hon. Member for Aberdeen reminds me of an amusing anecdote the origin of which has been attributed to me. It was to the effect that I had said that if a Board of Education was to be established in Edinburgh it should be only over my dead body. How a story grows in picturesqueness as transmitted from one mouth to another is illustrated in this case. What occurred was this. I told the hon. Member that I was once asked by a distinguished Member of his own party at that time—I am not speaking of anyone responsible for the Government—whether there was a Board of Education in Scotland. I replied in the negative, and he answered, "I have to deal with the Irish Board of Education; take my advice, only allow a Board of Education to be established in Edinburgh over your own dead body."

There is a question of which I am beginning to hear a good deal. It has been brought before me very strongly and with so much urgency that I cannot allow myself to be silent upon it. There are doubts and difficulties as to some of the features in the curriculum prescribed for certain schools by the Department. I am not in any way anxious to decide adversely against the Department. I study annually and with increasing interest the Report on secondary education, and I must say that the Report for the present year is one of the most interesting—I state this in no spirit of flattery—is one of the most interesting educational Reports that has been issued in any country for a very considerable time. The Department defends its position with its usual ability, but I am bound to say that there have arisen, especially from the Northern parts of Scotland, very considerable complaints as to the effect which this too strict prescribing of the curriculum is having on certain people of the traditional educational style. I am perfectly frank. I am by sympathy and tradition and by my firm and conscientious belief in favour of some of the older forms. I am perfectly certain no one can say that during the twenty years I formed a certain element in the Department there was any opposition whatever shown on my part to advance on the widest lines of scientific education. I felt it was urgent beyond all things that if education was to advance there should be no preference given to one feature of it over another, and I also felt that I could not allow my own personal sympathies to bias me in favour of one system rather than another.

But we must remember what education in Scotland means. You cannot train our young men in Scotland for merely our own borders. We have to train them for export. What is necessary? Not a specialised system of education, but an education that will give mental capacity and every possible adaptability and facility for turning itself to different occupations. It must be an education that is a training of mind above all things, the adaptation of the faculties to suit themselves to any possible circumstances that may arise. After all, whatever may be said of the older forms, traditions and lines of education, if the proof of the pudding is to be found in the eating of it, it must be admitted that there is no country that has exported so many trained men, who have proved that their minds have been trained in the right way for service all over the world. I am quite sure that the Department over which the right hon. Gentleman presides is not anxious to unduly discourage this form of education. But the suspicion is too widespread for me to be silent about it altogether. The suspicions arise chiefly from the fact that a certain, perhaps over-comprehensive, curriculum is rigidly prescribed for all pupils under the intermediate stage of education. There are certain aspects of that which would be very useful, but it is a dangerous feature for the Department to press too hard. There are many boys who, long before they reach the age of fifteen, have developed their tastes, know their own predelictions, and are able to state the lines upon which they prefer to follow, and it may be for many of these boys a tyranny and a hardship to be bound too hard by this scientific problem. I think I have done quite enough in calling the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to this fact. Many hon. Members must be aware from the complaints which have reached them that certain suspicions have been aroused. I know that the Department is quite alive to the great advantages of this training in the older subjects so traditional in Scotland and so beneficial for use in Scotland, and I only ask the right hon. Gentleman to beware that he does not carry too far this scientific phase, which some people in Scotland think the Department are now doing.

Before I sit down I want to refer with more particularity, and, perhaps, with a little more emphasis, to one particular feature of the administration relating to a single school, and that is a school with which I believe the right hon. Gentleman is pretty well acquainted—the school at Fordyce. I should like to explain very briefly the precise difficulty which has arisen in regard to that school. Fordyce is one of the oldest, one of the most characteristic, one of the most famous schools in the North of Scotland. It has existed for generations. It has educated many very able men whose names are firmly established in the roll of fame. It is proud of its existence and of its traditions, and it is anxious to continue those traditions in the future. What is the difficulty that has arisen? There has been a desire grown up that this school should be rooted from its present foundations, that it should be relegated to a much inferior position, and should no longer be the principal school in the district. I am not going to enter into a long discussion on the merits and the disputes between Portsoy and Fordyce. I only want to take some of the salient features, and show where my objection arises. The people of Portsoy may be right, and the people of Portsoy may be wrong, but that is not the point I am discussing to-day. What I wish to draw attention to is this. After the question had been fully discussed, after a lawsuit had taken place in which the Fordyce people had the best of it, after there had been a school board election, from that time onwards the conduct of the parties has been open to very considerable animadversions. At the school board election a majority were returned in favour of retaining Fordyce School where it was. A new school was admitted to be necessary, but the centre of educational activity was to rest at Fordyce. There may be, in the abstract, right or wrong on either side, but surely if anything had been discussed and settled by the local representatives at that election it was the point whether the school should remain where it was. The Department can do excellent work, but I think the one thing the Department has no right to do, and never can have a right to do, and which no official organisation has a right to do, is to put off time in the hope that some change may arise in the feeling in the district. That is a very serious charge to bring. It is not one that absolutely condemns the Department, but I do think that there are features that would make me, if I were a member of the local authority of that locality, considerably indignant at the action of the Department. The Department can object to anything distinctly wrong in the proposals of the school board; and, of course, if the Department, instead of making its correspondence succinct, short, definite, and to the point, indulges in long rigmaroles in letters, extending over many folios, raising new questions, urging new points, then I think undoubtedly it would have a bitter effect in the long run on any local organisation, and, speaking as an old official, I think that such a system is carrying the wiles of officialism a good deal too far. What are the points involved? The school board have submitted their plans, and these plans are now in the office of the Department. They are ready to alter them if need be. I do not believe there are very serious alterations necessary; but the Department proceeds to raise a point and to say: That the specifications are not really nearly right, and that they are convinced the work will cost a good deal more than is shown in the contractors' estimates. I think the Department takes upon itself a work of supererogation. It is not the business of the Department to examine the contractors' estimates. They raise difficulties that ought not to be raised on their side, and, at all events, the responsibilities should be thrown upon the school board, and they should be told plainly, "You must act upon your own responsibility." That would be a fair course to take, but it is not fair to simply raise new questions. The Department again raise this difficulty, which is quite a new one, as to the sanitary arrangements and the water supply. But, after all, Fordyce is in existence for many years. There are many houses there. It is not proposed to remove this school from Fordyce; but there is to be a higher school, and water must be supplied in the higher department, and the boys in that department will not be in any greater danger than those in the lower department; and if they are not anxious about the poisoning of four hundred boys in the lower department, how is it that they are so extremely anxious about a handful of boys in the upper, and refuse to sanction a school for them because, as they allege, it cannot be kept in a sanitary state? The general sanitary arrangements in this district are not in the hands of the Department, or the school board, they are in the hands of the sanitary authorities. The school board can, of course, take advantage of anything done. If anything is wrong with the action of the sanitary authorities they can be put right, but do not make this a new cause of delay and pretence to put off businesslike proceedings, to settle this long controverted point which is now going on for two or three years.

What is the third point the Department raise? The Department says, "we must know all you are going to do before we can sanction this scheme. We have the contractors' plans, we cannot enforce the point about the sanitary authority, but we want to know exactly what you are going to do at Portsoy, and what would happen in two or three years. You are going to transfer boys from one school to another." The matter is concerned with the transfer of thirty or forty boys from a particular department. Any school board could decide it. Are you going to alter the size of a school for four or five hundred children because there may be twenty or thirty, more or less, transferred from one department? Let me beseech the right hon. Gentleman: let him act straight and instruct his Department to act straight, and let this controversy be settled. It is too long that educational divisions and quarrels are going on. They have been going on now for the last two or three years, unsettling and exasperating all connected with educational work. The Department may be right, and the school board may be wrong, but let us get the matter settled, and do not complicate it under a cloud of words. I have tried all I could in the last two or three years to smooth down this difficulty and to reassure the people of the North of Scotland by telling them that I was quite sure the Department only desired to do what was best, but the thing has now become an absolute scandal, and I am compelled to say when I look at the correspondence it has been to a great extent carried out in a way in which I think official correspondence should not be carried out. Take the letter of the 1st of May, 1912, and I should say no official letter ought to occupy more than a page and a half or two pages, and the whole genius and intellect of officials ought to be employed in compressing correspondence into the smallest space possible; this letter actually takes up a whole column of small print when it is reproduced in a newspaper.


Is this an example of the advantage of close association with the Secretary for Scotland?


I am discussing a particular question, and I ought not to be interrupted with those half jests. The Board appear to think there is a great majority outside the school board who do not believe in this scheme, but there has been an election and the people have returned school board representatives in favour of the Fordyce scheme, and is this to go on until the Day of Judgment? Here is what the letter says:— If the petition really represents the mind of the majority of your board's constituents, further heavy outlay on intermediate and secondary education seems inevitable in the near future, unless your board can conciliate opposition by handling in a statesmanlike fashion the extremely difficult problem with which they are confronted. That is official language gone mad. What is the use of talking to a country school board about handling matters in a statesmanlike manner. Why not put into a short space in plain language what you want these people to answer? Tell us what it is you are doubtful about, and what you want to do? I may remark that the Department always refuse to tell us what they want to have done. Their intention is to criticise, and they think the school board should say what they want done. The school board has said it clearly, and if the Department want it stated more clearly let them say so without talking about statesmanship in a letter a column long. They encourage the very fault which they should condemn by these long, prolix epistles. I advised the school board for all I was worth to curtail their letters into a page and a half. Let the Department follow their example, and tell us plainly what they wish to confine this controversy to, and let this controversy end, instead of persisting in this long discussion and prolixity in raising new questions every week. I have spoken strongly, but not more strongly than the communications that have reached me. I tried, and the Department knows perfectly well, to act as a pacificator, as an amicus curiæ, to smooth down the offended withers of those concerned. I was first assured that the Department was only anxious to learn. I am beginning to doubt it now, and the length and prolixity of their letters have convinced me that is the case. I have in my hand a letter in answer to a remarkably short letter written by my advice by the school board on 22nd June. That letter is almost as long as the others, raising new questions, and starting an immense number of new imaginary difficulties. Let the right hon. Gentleman urge upon his officials to be a little more succinct. I will give one or two sentences from this letter:— The Department have some reason to think that the report of their architect would be useful to your board in their further deliberations, and, should your board so desire, a copy of it will be forwarded accordingly. If the Department wanted the board to see the report of their architect, why not send it on? Why waste language in saying that it may be useful? I hope the right hon. Gentleman does not think that I have urged anything that is not right. I only urge what has been pressed upon me, and I think that in this matter officialism, has got on its high horse, and that it might as well come down again to the ground and act with common sense and get to a settlement of this difficulty.


I beg to reduce the Vote by £100.

I shall not follow the example of the hon. Gentleman opposite, whom I may congratulate as the apostle of what is succinct, which he has shown himself to be in a speech which has taken up one-fifth of the time which Scottish Members have for the discussion of these questions.


He is quite entitled to do so.


He has taken up one-fifth of the whole of the time which we Scottish Members will probably get. The fact the Motion for the Adjournment of the House has been carried to-day must make hon. Members regret very much indeed that it would be impossible to give effect to the kindly consideration shown when it was agreed to by both sides that hon. Members should speak upon any matter on the discussion of the salary of the Secretary for Scotland. Objection to that course did not come from Scottish Members; objection came from English Members who wanted apparently further discussion on the Home Office Vote. I think Scottish Members ought to take notice that our rights are often curtailed as to practicability and efficiency by those objections raised by Englishmen. The only question I wish to discuss to-day is this question of the transference of the Scottish Education Department to Edinburgh. I still hope that there may be some concession made as to the very serious request put before the Secretary of State in this matter by a very influential deputation. Before I touch upon that point I wish to call attention to three points which have come up in the course of this Session as regards the Scottish Education Department. In the first place, there is the evasiveness of many of the answers given to hon. Members in this House by the Scottish Department. In the second place, there are the examples of what I call the autocracy of that Department; and thirdly, there is the mystery of who "my Lords" are. This matter was put before the House two or three days ago by the hon. and gallant Member for Banffshire (Captain Waring). It was a very simple question, merely asking that in view of the amalgamation which has been suggested, steps should be taken to make the Report public which had up to that time been treated as secret. What was the answer given to that question. It was an answer occupying half a column of the OFFICIAL REPORT evading every single point which my hon. and gallant Friend had put. The answer was, "It seems to me that this simple procedure provides ample safeguards for every interest." How do you provide ample safeguards, when hon. Members, who are the only people who could have control, are by the secrecy of the reports of the Education Department denied the opportunity of having that control. My hon. and gallant Friend asked that the Report should be made public, and all we got was an evasive answer. There was a supplementary question put by the Noble Lord opposite as to who finally settled this matter, and I supplemented it by asking who were really the Education Department. The Secretary for Scotland took the occasion, I suppose, of bringing home to his countrymen that he was really and truly a Scotchman by saying that a quotation from a speech made eighteen months ago by the Lord Advocate about Sir John Struthers was a jest. I would like to know if the Lord Advocate still thinks it is a joke. Perhaps it was a Scotch joke, and perhaps the Secretary for Scotland proves his nationality by saying that he has only just discovered what it meant after an interval of eighteen months. This is only typical of many instances showing the evasiveness of the answers and the autocracy of the Scottish Education Department in keeping these Reports secret and refusing to make them public. What we urge is that the Permanent Secretary of the Department should be principally, although not entirely, in the capital of Scotland, in Edinburgh. In receiving a deputation on this subject, the Secretary for Scotland said:— He had representations made to him by Scottish Members that they would be very sorry to lose the convenience, while performing their Parliamentary duties, of visiting Dover House, and seeing Sir John Struthers. They said they would not be able to serve their constituencies so well if they were deprived of that opportunity. With all respect to hon. Members who take that opportunity, I cannot help myself seeing the selfishness of that argument, because hon. Members are placing their personal opinions before the interests of the school boards who wish to have communications between the Permanent Secretary and the principal of the Education Department in Scotland. Admitting the force of this argument the Secretary for Scotland might obviate the difficulty while Parliament is sitting by allowing the Permanent Secretary to be at Dover House during the first week of each month or once a fortnight. We do not ask for the entire transference of that Department. What are the arguments for the transference? The real duty of the Scottish Education Department is one of supervision, and it ought to be in close touch with Scottish education opinion, and ought to be accessible to the richest as well as the poorest school board in Scotland. Another argument which I advise the Secretary for Scotland to be rather suspicious about is that some people do not approve of this change because it tends to Home Rule. That is a very curious argument which can be used on both sides of the House. There are hon. Members opposite who do not believe in Home Rule, but for hon. Members on this side to say that they will not approve of this transfer until we get Home Rule seems to me a bad argument, because you cannot have it both ways. No less than forty-seven out of sixty-seven hon. Members for Scottish constituencies are asking for this change, and those forty-seven Members include five Privy Councillors with over twenty years' service as Scottish Members of Parliament. Lord Haldane, the Lord Chancellor, wrote very clearly on this question in a preface to a book entitled "Scottish Education Reform," in which he says:— In educational affairs administration is probably the most important element. Of this proposition it is a corollary that the seat of this administration ought to be in close relation to those concerned. If this be true, the further proposition is self-evident, that this seat ought to be in Scotland, and not at Dover House, hundreds of miles away in England. Mr. Caldwell, who wrote a letter to the Scottish papers the other day, was equally emphatic. I do not think it is respectful to the opinion of hon. Members who have served Scotland for so long to ignore such a request, for if those hon. Members do not know the opinion of Scotland, then representation here becomes a farce. We should be wanting in self-respect if we did not press this matter home as strongly as we can. We are ready to accept anything in the shape of a concession, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give some attention to this matter. What I should like to see as regards the whole question of education in Scotland is that the right hon. Gentleman should not content himself simply with the transference of the Education Department, but also appoint an advisory council for Scottish education. There is a growing feeling of discontent in Scotland that all is not well with Scottish education, and there ought to be a Commission of Inquiry appointed to go into the effect recent legislation has had on Scottish education. These are points which ought to be inquired into. There is the evil of over centralisation, which is very much felt in rural districts and in the North of Scotland, and the expenses are prohibitive to the poor people. Scottish education, instead of becoming more democratic, has become undemocratic in every way. I have alluded already to the evils of constant day railway travelling which over centralisation brings about. It is admitted that railway travelling daily for young children, especially for boys and girls under fifteen years of age, is most detrimental to their character. I will not dwell on the evils of this system.

We are only allowed a few hours to bring forward these questions, and when we ask for information by questions and answers, we only get evasive replies. It is high time an inquiry was held into these all-important and serious questions. Another point is the lowering of the status of rural schools. On this matter I am not quoting my own opinion, but I am giving the opinion of the highest education authorities in Scotland, men who have given all their lives to educational questions, whose names are household words in every educational centre in Scotland. The question of training colleges ought to be inquired into, as well as the effect of the Carnegie Trust, which, although it was brought into existence for an excellent purpose, is not apparently doing the work which its founder intended. Then there is the question of allocation of bursaries, which ought to form the subject of a general inquiry. The Recess is coming on, and I know the right hon. Gentleman cannot give us a final answer this time. I admit this is a big question, but let him take the Recess to think it over, and see whether he can by next October do something in the way of appointing a Commission of Inquiry. If he will do that, he will be doing what those who understand Scottish education questions, and who have spent their lives in Scotch education, desire, pending what I hope will eventually come, namely, Scotch Home Rule. I think that in Scottish education generally the tendency has been levelling down instead of levelling up. In my military days there used to be a maxim in regard to the Cavalry that the pace had to be according to the pace of the slowest horse in the squadron. We are levelling down now in education in Scotland to the least intelligent boy, and we are not giving the most intelligent boy the chance he ought to have. Those are all important questions which I beg to call the attention of the Scottish Education Department to.

5.0 P.M.


I desire to give expression to a very wide feeling that prevails in Scotland at the present time that the Scottish Education Department are administering educational affairs in a far too high-handed and domineering manner, and public educationists in Scotland are in open revolt against the Scottish Education Department. What is the effect of this? Not only are rates going up and expenditure enormously increasing, but you find amongst the school boards a general feeling of apathy and hostility to all the doings of the Department. I believe the Secretary for Scotland, if I may be allowed to say so, is far too able a man to allow that state of affairs to continue if he only knew it. I can assure him the opinion throughout Scotland at the present time is very much in earnest on this matter. By the Act of 1872, the school boards, which are of course small areas, parish areas, were vested with the power of administering education under central guidance from the Department. Nowadays that central guidance has grown into what we might call inspectors' domination. Inspectors tell school boards they must do this and they must do that. One man says a new kind of form must be bought, and another man says some other alteration must be made, and, if the school board does not do just what the first inspector says, when the next man comes that way they find the new inspector does not carry out what the previous inspector wanted done. He starts a new fad of his own. This starting of fads and insisting on fads by inspectors is doing a great deal of harm indeed. I am not a Scotch Home Ruler, but I say, if the present administration of Scottish educational affairs under the Department here in London is the best that can be done, then bring it to Scotland. I do not think it is possible to have our education administered worse than it is being done at the present time by the Board up here. There is just one other point to which I want to give expression, and that is the way in which the moneys for secondary education are being handled. In the small county of Bute the sum varies to a very great extent. Two years ago we got £1,720, last year £1,640, and this year we are down to £975. How can the county education committee do right? How can they carry on any policy of continuity when the sum they have to dispose of goes up and down by leaps and bounds by hundreds of pounds? I say a system under which the moneys vary so much as that is a bad system, and I only hope the Secretary for Scotland, when points of this sort are brought to his notice, will do something to amend them. I have much pleasure accordingly in supporting the Motion for the reduction of this Vote.


I want to say a few words on this very thorny question of education, and I am bound to say I wish the hon. Member who initiated the Debate, the Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities (Sir Henry Craik), when he advises correspondents to compress their letters into a page and a half, would compress his speeches into the same length. I think we might possibly have a better chance then of a reasonable discussion of this question. I have the good fortune to represent two counties in Scotland, Clackmannan and Kinross, but at times I find myself in a certain amount of difficulty. If I please Clackmannan I do not please Kinross, and if I please Kinross Clackmannan is up in arms. Against the will of Kinross, Kinross is joined to Fife, and I am quite sure my hon. Friend the Member for St. Andrews Burghs (Major Anstruther-Gray) will have had, as I have had, letters from the secretary of the Fife Education Committee with reference to the allocation of the Grant. It is only necessary to go back a brief period, to the Education Act of 1908. I do not know how many schemes the Board of Education have had. The first scheme pleased Clackmannan immensely, but with the second scheme they were disgusted. Kinross got a Grant because she was worse off under the money which she was going to be allocated than she would have been if no> money was given at all. The Board of Education, therefore, in their wisdom, was kind and generous enough to make a special Grant in respect of education, and she was well pleased. All of a sudden, and absolutely against the wish of Kinross, she was joined to Fife for secondary education purposes, and she has never been happy since, and my life has been a burden. If the first and second scheme were right, then this scheme is all wrong. Under the last scheme Fife and Kinross are worse treated than any county in the whole of Scotland. They get less under this scheme than they got last year by £5,348. Of course, we know perfectly well a large portion of that is due to the superannuation burden, and we are not grumbling about that. We are quite willing to pay our fair share, but we are down by a larger proportion than any other county in Scotland. I have received several letters, and I think I may read one to show exactly the position. They say:— With reference to the allocation of Grant to Fife and Kinross. Kinross was amalgamated with Fife because Kinross had insufficient funds to pay their way. I pointed that out. They wished to be left alone and to carry on their own way. They would have been able to have done so if they had only been given a little additional Grant:— Had Kinross remained separate the new Minute would have provided sufficient funds for Kinross. In the new method of allocation has this been considered? Fife should have its own allocation, and Kinross should also have its allocation, and this added on to Fife. Otherwise the allocation to the two counties would be less, as Kinross has a low rate and is sparsely populated. That is my case, and it is a great grievance which the Kinross people feel. They beg me to express to the House their strong disapproval of the way in which this money has been allocated. I want to make an appeal to the Secretary for Scotland and the Lord Advocate. Every Scotch Member, whether he sits on this or that side of the House, is deeply interested in this question of education. No people in the world care so much about education, I believe, as the Scotch people. We are sick to death of this perpetual wrangling in Scotland as to whether one county gets more or another county gets more, or as to whether one burgh gets less or another burgh gets less, and we ought to get some reasonable and decent settlement of this question, by which we should not have this perpetual wrangling between the different counties. I would not fight for either of my counties if I thought they were wrong, but surely it ought not to pass the wit of man to be able to devise some fair and generous scheme, under which we should cease this perpetual wrangling, and by which the Scotch Education Department, whether it is located here, or, as I hope and believe it surely will be some day in Scotland, will be able to do justice as between the different parts of Scotland.


I want to say a word with regard to the same matter as that with which the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has dealt. I am personally particularly interested, as he said, in the county of Kinross, combined now with Fife, which is out and away the worst treated county in Scotland under the new scheme; and I am also connected particularly with regard to this House with the city of Edinburgh, which is out and away the worst treated burgh under this scheme. I am afraid in one aspect of the personal matter I am in even a greater difficulty than the right hon. Gentleman himself. He says he finds Clackmannan pulls him one way and Kinross pulls him the other. I am interested in Clackmannan, Kinross, and Edinburgh. I was born in Clackmannan, my home is in Kinross, and I earn my daily bread in Edinburgh. I want to confine my attention to the two cases—Fife and Kinross on the one hand and Edinburgh on the other. The drop in the case of the counties is £5,000 odd as compared with last year, and the drop in the case of the city of Edinburgh is, in round figures, £7,000 as compared with last year, but it is only fair to say that these figures, if we take them in themselves, exaggerate the true result, because one has to allow for the superannuation burden. Allowing for the superannation burden, however, the main facts remain unchanged. Fife and Kinross are out and away the worst treated county—perhaps I should not say the worst but the hardest treated county— and Edinburgh is out and away the hardest treated city. The figures, if you make the necessary allowance, are £2,300 for Fife and Kinross, and £3,700 in round figures for the city of Edinburgh. These two cases, one a county and the other a burgh, are the only cases in which the new scheme involves a loss of anything like £2,000. If I remember the figures correctly, there are only one or two other cases—I cannot be accurate exactly—in which the drop is at or about £1,000, and, on the other hand, there are only three or four cases in which the rise exceeds four figures. I can quite understand it is difficult, I suppose it is impossible, to make a scheme while proceeding upon some definite principle which will do anything like justice as between the various localities. One can easily see that must be exceedingly difficult, and I suppose, when you come to a Department scheme, it must be based on some logical principle or else you lay yourself open to another kind of attack.

I agree with the last speaker that Scotland is sick of the wrangling on this question. I am not going to raise the general question again; but I am going to put two points to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary, and the first of them is this: It is not to base any request that I am going to make, but what I am going to say is a reason for asking consideration of the kind I am going to ask for. So far as I can see myself from an examination of the figures the most potent—I am not saying the only cause, for that would not be true—but the most potent cause producing these few—for there are not many —very large and very striking variations up and down is the apparent difference in the different localities really due to the different standards of valuation that prevails in the various localities. I cannot help thinking—perhaps I am quite wrong —that this question has to some extent escaped the observation of those responsible. It is easy to assume that you may measure the burden on a locality or measure the extent to which a locality discharges its duty by looking at the rate and seeing what it spends, whether big or not. If the valuations were all made by the same people, or if the valuations were all standardised on some definite basis of information as to value that would be a perfectly fair ground to proceed upon, but it is notorious that in Scotland the valuations in the different localities are by no means equally standardised, on the contrary, they are very various.

It is apt to be invidious if one makes comparisons, and I shall only make one, and I have no invidious idea at the back of my mind in doing so. If you were to compare, say the valuation of similar property in Glasgow and Edinburgh you would find, on the whole, and it has been so for some years, and increasingly so, that the standard of valuation in Edinburgh is very much higher than in Glasgow. I do not say that that reflects upon anybody. I do not think it does. The reason is that the valuation tends to be screwed up in a locality which is not progressing and extending rapidly. It does not tend to be screwed up to the same extent in a locality which is progressing and extending as rapidly as Glasgow is, because after all the burden of expense in these days increases at about equal ratio in both cases. Where the rates tend to become very high, there is the inevitable tendency to raise the valuation, and that has undoubtedly happened between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Anybody really familiar with this question, and its business aspects, would not, I think, differ from what I said. The difficulty in raising any criticism upon that ground is that one cannot expect these schemes to go on being altered any more. There has been too many of them already. I should rather expect the right hon. Gentleman would consider that his only safe policy is to say: at least we have got a third scheme and I am not going to upset it in favour of any other based on some different principle. I do not question his new scheme, but what I want to point out to him is this: If he is going to stick to this last scheme as the one finally to be adopted, and as the best that can be made, there is absolutely no reason why it should be brought into full operation in its full-pledged perfection immediately. There is on the contrary every reason why, where the variations are very wide up or down as compared with what has been received in the last few years—there is every reason why, what he regards as the best scheme, namely, his third, should be approached by degrees.

It is not fair to submit an education authority to a sudden drop of £3,000 in the case of this county, and nearly £4,000 in the case of this borough. It is not fair if it can be avoided, and it can be avoided. Because if the right hon. Gentleman would take into account the fact that there are, after all, only three or four cases where the leap upwards is as big or bigger than one thousand pounds, and only three or four cases in which the leap downwards exceeds a thousand pounds—and of these only two where the descent reaches figures of three or four thousand pounds— it must be perfectly clear that without doing any injustice, without taking away anything from those authorities which are more highly benefited than before, but on the contrary by only allowing them to come into the full amount of this very large rise after say, two or three years' gradual approximation to what he thinks the best scheme, he can enable two, three, or four cases which are hit very hard to fall softly from the position which they occupied last year to the position in which they will have to be content under the scheme ultimately, if the right hon. Gentleman makes up his mind to stick to it. Therefore what I venture to ask his consideration of is this. I do not ask him to throw his scheme aside, or to attempt to frame a new scheme. I do ask if he cannot see his way to allow the new scheme to come into operation gradually over, say, three years—two, if three years be too many—and so give an opportunity for those localities which are so exceptionally hardly hit to accommodate themselves over this two or three years to the new conditions. It is not an unusual thing to do when money for public purposes is to be either greatly restricted or greatly increased. Because, after all, if it is restricted, the money, if it has got to be spent, has to come from the ratepayers' pockets; and it is not an unusual thing to make it comparatively easy for the public purse to accommodate itself to new demands, or, rather, to the demands in a new form—at any rate, in the form of rates you did not have. Therefore, I think that the right hon. Gentleman will see that the claim which I venture to press upon his consideration is not an extreme one. It is a very moderate request. It is that, without disturbing his scheme, he should, in the case of these localities which are on the one hand exceptionally benefited by the new scheme, and in the case of those which are exceptionally disadvantaged under the new scheme he should make some reasonable and practical provision extending over two or three years to give them time to adjust themselves to what, in his opinion, and I suppose we must take it now is to be regarded, as the best and permanent scheme.


It has been a very great pleasure to me to listen to this Debate, because it makes one proud of one's native land. We have always in Scotland regarded education from a non-partisan point of view. It has been treated in that way to-day. We must come to the conclusion, after listening to the speeches from both sides, that all is not well, as one hon. Member has said, with education in Scotland. There is a kind of unrest in the educational world at the present time. It may be due to the prevalent unrest in the country, for this generation seems to be extremely restive under anything which savours of autocratic control. From a wide knowledge of the provincial Press of Scotland I have come to the conclusion that there is hardly a single school board that has not got a grievance of some kind. To read the reports of these school boards— there is what I may call a lack of affection existing between them and the central authorities. It is a fact that the relationship between the school boards in Scotland and the Educational Department is unduly strained; is strained to such a pitch as to make the harmonious co-operation of these two exceedingly difficult to maintain. We have all heard of a certain Memorial that was handed to the Secretary for Scotland not long ago, signed by forty-seven earnest and observant men. The object of that Memorial was to bring before the Government the fact that the existence of the office for controlling Scottish education was four or five hundred miles from the seat of operations, and such a position could not be any longer practically defended. There is a growing irritation in Scotland over that anomaly. No explanation has ever been given of it except the fact that since the headquarters of the Education Department are in London it is very convenient for hon. Members here to stroll in occasionally in their odd moments for an instructive conversation with some of the gentlemen in that office. I should be the very last to minimise the value of that privilege. But it does not go very far towards soothing the frayed nerves of our constituents. We think, and, in my opinion, we think rightly, that modern education is so complex an affair that it cannot be managed from a distance. The nation itself is ever giving the Department some hints on the matter.

It always seems to me a very pathetic spectacle to see these continuous deputations from Scotland to Westminster of honest men neglecting their work in order to do what would be infinitely better done at home. The necessity for these deputations is an outrage upon the national sentiment of thrift. It is so very rare, too, in my opinion, to see any of these deputations going home happy. The school boards for Scotland are, I think, very well qualified for their duties, but they have a good many grounds for complaint. They have no initiative. Their functions are almost entirely limited to carrying out the demands and directions of a mysterious band of anonymous potentates known as "My Lords." Scottish people are not so superstitious as they used to be and they have not now the same veneration for these phantasmal gentry as they had thirty or forty years ago. They have come to the conclusion that "My Lords" have neither "the hearing ear nor the understanding heart," and as was said of Mrs. Harris, "There never was no such person." The activity of the Education Department is mainly brought before us by the promulgation of an extraordinary amount of official stationery. Every hon. Member receives bulky Blue Books containing the Report of Inspectors and the advice of experts. These books are written, I must say, in very good English. They are written on a high level, in an almost Ciceronian style, but they really make no impression upon anyone; because the Members of Parliament to whom they are sent have not the courage to read them, and the teachers for whom they are intended never see them, and even if they did would regard them with a fine mixture of scorn and amusement. It seems to be forgotten by the Education Department that the teacher is born rather than made. [An HON. MEMBER: "Like the poet."] Like the poet, as an hon. Member reminds me. You cannot produce a good teacher by any amount of official stationery. Hon. Members, I am sure, will agree with me when I say from recollection of early years—I do not wish to stir up any unpleasant souvenirs— that those teachers who influenced them most were not the hide-bound slaves of routine and pedantry, but were those who brought in the human touch who gave a stimulus to the student's enthusiasm, and felt it their duty to teach not for examination but for life. I think one of the best things that could happen to Scottish education at the present time would be to stop all examinations for a period of five years, and allow the teachers to go on their way rejoicing.

I am sure that the inspectors of the schools do not enjoy writing these reports any more than we enjoy reading them. If I were asked to say what is the good that has come to Scotland from the Education Act, 1872, I should say better schools and better conditions. For many a long year the education given in our board schools was not at all equal to the education that was given by the old parochial schoolmasters. I think these old schools were splendidly instituted and carried on, and it is only in recent years that we have reverted to some of the old freedom. The main advantages gained are physical and material benefits. I believe with John Locke that health in childhood is the first concern, and that we must make sure of the child's physique before we dose it with parsing and analysis. It is a matter causing grave thought that so many bairns every morning go to our schools underfed and badly clothed. The responsibility which the State is now displaying towards the children of the land is one which gives us good many reasons for thinking of the future with something like disquietude. We have free education, and now we have medical inspection in schools, which is a very expensive affair in some ways, especially as doctors are not merely required to notify diseases, but to prescribe remedies. As the most obvious remedy is a sufficient supply of nourishing food, we come to the prospect of the communities, who are severely enough tried already, feeding these bairns whose parents are unable to fulfil that office. The worst of it is that all these humanitarian schemes fall upon the honest and thrifty citizen, who is very sorely tried as it is at the present moment. The time will come when we shall have to equalise the burden of our education, and probably have an equal rate all over Scotland. In that way the burden will be shifted from one locality to another. What is certain is that the pleasure's of modern civilisation are being sadly alloyed by these growing responsibilities. Larger schools, a greater supply of teachers, breakfasts for the bairns, pensions for the instructors, are the items with which our school boards are being overwhelmed. I think there is a need for a national council in this matter, and for national advice to be given and taken.


I do not propose to follow the last speaker in his dissertation on education in general, and other things in particular. I noticed the very mild way in which the hon. Member I for North Aberdeen (Mr. Pirie) criticised the Secretary for Scotland with regard to his decision as to the transfer of the Education Department from London to Edinburgh.


I was hoping for a mild answer.


I dare say the right hon. Gentleman will answer him quite mildly, but I hope he will answer him just I as firmly as he did the deputation which I waited upon him at the Scottish Office. We on this side of the Committee think that the Secretary for Scotland took the proper course on that occasion. With regard to the distribution of the Grant, which has occupied so much of our time today, the county in which I am personally interested feels the grievance very deeply, and has sent me long telegrams on the subject. I am not surprised that there should be a grievance in the matter. It appears to me that the Education Department is in a very great difficulty in this matter, and that we must not judge them too harshly. Members of Parliament, in discussions of this kind, are very apt to blame other people for their own mistakes. There can be no doubt whatever that when the Scottish Education Act was passed in 1908 very few of us realised the heavy burden we were placing on the Education Fund in regard to the superannuation of teachers. Most of us were too willing to believe that the Treasury would come to our assistance, and we are all partially to blame for the difficulty that has occurred. It is only fair that that should be said. What has happened? The Education Fund is having imposed upon it a very large charge for teachers' superannuation. Counties, with high valuations, appear to be suffering very greatly, because the poorer counties, which show not a surplus, but something very different, have to be assisted by the richer counties in order to help them over the stile, and in proportion as the valuations of such places as Edinburgh, Ayrshire, and Fifeshire are high—and they are very high—they suffer, or appear to suffer, in the necessity which is placed upon the Education Fund of assisting poorer counties by means of Grants. That cannot be helped. There is only one way of getting out of the difficulty, that is to induce the Treasury to give a little more money towards the Scottish Education Fund than it does at the present moment.

Everyone realises the great difficulty which meets the Secretary for Scotland whenever he approached the Treasury. We cannot say we are badly treated in Scotland in the way of Grants. We are not entitled to say that we get less in proportion than our neighbours. So long as that state of affairs exists, all we can do is to go on making our complaints, and to press upon the right hon. Gentleman some such suggestion as was made by my hon. Friend below me (Mr. Clyde), namely, to make this reduction as gradual as possible, and as easy as we can. I join in the hope that that may be so until the situation is altered in some sort of way. I am sorry to say I do not see how the Education Department can act differently from what it is doing in connection with this Grant. Of course, I sympathise with the disappointment which the school board authorities feel in the matter. I would remind hon Members that when the 1908 Act was passing through Parliament many Members on that side of the Committee were always wanting to add to the obligations put by that Bill upon school boards, while we on this side of the Committee repeatedly protested against driving the school boards too far, because the rates would inevitably be greatly raised by those compulsory provisions, and eventually there would be a revolt against the cost of education. That is happening all round now. Rates have gone up enormously, and very grave complaints are being made about the burden of the rates, and in Scotland generally there is a great deal of unrest upon this question. Parliament is largely to blame for that. It is very well to blame the Education Department and say that it is an autocratic Department. That does not relieve these people from the obligation which has been placed upon them, deliberately and intentionally, and which Parliament ought to have known would cost money. I join with my hon. Friend (Mr. Clyde) in hoping that in some kind of way the apparent loss will be eased to these counties as much as possible. In asking that we are not asking anything unreasonable or unusual, and we are doing all we can in the present circumstances to meet the difficulty.


I want to plead the cause of another Scottish county in which I am interested. One hon. Member referred to the county of Fife as being more hardly treated than any other under the present scheme for the allocation of the education Grant. I have looked carefully through the list, and I think the county of Selkirk, on behalf of which I wish to speak, is being more hardly treated than Fife, and certainly much more hardly treated than any other Scottish county. Under the present proposal Selkirk is to have no less than £1,018 shorn off its previous Grant of £2,906—that is, about one-third of its Grant is to be taken away. It is not necessary to point out what a serious matter that is for a comparatively small and poor county like Selkirk. My plea therefore is, not that this third scheme should be disturbed. I say that partly because another county in which I am interested, Roxburgh, is satisfied with the third scheme, and better satisfied with it than with the other two. Therefore I do not ask that the scheme should be reversed, but I put in a very strong plea on behalf of this small and poor county that is being so hard hit, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to see whether he cannot make some special provision, which I believe is quite within his competence, whereby the county of Selkirk may be relieved from this inordinately heavy and crippling burden by the reduction of its Grant by so large an amount. I put in this plea in the hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give sympathetic consideration to it.


As Fife has loomed so largely in the Debate, I should like, very briefly, to add my protest against the reduction from which it is suffering. It is no less than £5,318. When you consider that Fife, judged by population, is the second largest county in Scotland, I think a reduction which amounts to something like 2s. 8d. per pupil is a very serious thing. I do not suppose that at this late hour the right hon. Gentleman can alter the scheme any more. It has been altered three times already, and I think it would be hardly reasonable to urge him to alter it again. I think he had better stand to his guns, but if he can by delaying it or in any other way ease it, I think he ought to do so. At present there are only three counties in the whole list that gain anything at all. The largest gain is only £689 for Argyll-shire. All the other counties and burghs suffer heavily. I am sure that any consideration that can be given by way of delay would be welcomed by every hon. Member, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see if he cannot do that.


The Debate up to the present has ranged over two subjects, one the attack upon the Scottish Secretary and the Scottish Department, and another with reference to general education. I was pleased to hear the hon. Gentleman (Sir G. Younger) with reference to taking on our own shoulders a large share of the blame for the present somewhat confused state of Scottish educational matters. The Education Act of 1908 effected some very important alterations in our educational system, and among other things it took away from the school boards throughout the country of Scotland those small bursaries which many of thorn had enjoyed for many a long year. That is one of the main grievances which have been alleged against the Department by the many school boards in my own Constituency, and I have no doubt in many others. The Department is not to blame for that, but the House itself is to blame for passing the Act. We did it knowing what we were doing, at least we hope so, and it is not fair to attack the Scottish Education Department as it has been attacked this afternoon with reference to a variety of matters. The principal matter on which our educational system may be found not to be so satisfactory as it might be, is the allocation of the Scotch Education Fund. Hut that is the fault of this Government and of previous Governments which never attempted to fix it on a fair and reasonable basis. It is a most difficult and complex matter to find out how our educational fund in Scotland is arrived at. Ever since 1872, and especially after that, in the time of Mr. Goschen, who handed over to the Scotch Education authorities a certain amount known as whisky money, the whole system has been in a somewhat confused state. The hon. Member (Mr. Pirie) attacked the Scotch Education Department because of its policy of levelling down, and he said they did not give a bright lad a fair chance. When I was at school, more years ago than I like to think of, the directly opposite system was in vogue. A boy who was dull and stupid did not get any chance, and the whole strength of the school was devoted to promoting the interests of one or two of the cleverer boys at the top, and if the policy of the Scotch Education Department is to give every boy in the school a chance I am entirely in accord with it. The object of moving a reduction in the Vote is not with any idea of cutting down the right hon. Gentleman's salary, but in order to pass a vote of censure upon him for not using that executive power which I presume he has of moving the Education Department in Scotland. I sincerely hope the right hon. Gentleman will do nothing of the sort, and will remain firm in his attitude. A good deal has been made in the course of the Debate, especially in the exceedingly pleasant speech of the hon. Member for Govan, who alluded to the forty-seven stalwarts, honest men and true. But why was that Committee not called together and consulted over this thing? [An HON. MEMBER: "They are not any good."] Perhaps that is the reason why the Chairman and Secretary of the Committee did not call them together.


That is a very possible subject of Debate upstairs, but it is irrelevant to this Vote.


On several occasions it has been pointed out to the Secretary for Scotland that the forty-seven members, instead of doing as I suggest they might have done, have had a discussion over the matter themselves and presented a requisition to the Secretary for Scotland, praying him to exercise his power. I want to persuade the Committee that that is not altogether a satisfactory way of getting the opinion of the Scotch Members. The hon. Member for Aberdeen came to me the other day with a petition and said "Will you sign this?" And I said, "No; I do not want the thing." He was very pressing, so I said, "Well, if it pleases you, I will sign it." It was not the petition about removing the Education Department to Edinburgh. It was another petition entirely, in which I had no interest. I have no doubt many hon. Members signed the petition for the removal of the office to Edinburgh simply to please my hon. Friend. I am exceedingly interested about the removal of the Scottish Education Department to Edinburgh. We have got the Fishery Board and the Local Government Board there, and they are absolute autocrats. We Members of Parliament cannot get near them, and cannot bring any influence to bear on them. We cannot go to the Secretary for Scotland and get the chief offender up before him and say what we want and give our reasons for it. We have two Gentlemen we can submit it to, and if we have a good case we shall very likely get something done; but if we move our Education Department to Scotland it will infinitely increase all the difficulties of Scottish Members of Parliament. The hon. Member (Mr. Pirie) has not much respect for it now, and I do not think his respect would be increased if this matter was taken away from us. We have no control over the Fishery Board or the Local Government Board, and the Secretary of State has very little more control either, except sometimes when he gets them up here. I sincerely hope the Motion will not be agreed to, but will be negatived by a large majority.


I should like to say a word in reply to the hon. Members (Mr. Clyde and Sir G. Younger) with regard to the present allocation. These hon. Gentlemen have suggested that the new allocation should be granted gradually. It is too great a burden upon Edinburgh and other parts to stand the loss of revenue which they will have on this allocation. The loss which those counties have had in previous times has been very much greater than the loss which Edinburgh and Ayr Burghs have to bear now. The loss to the county of Lanark at present upon that allocation is £7,200. The loss for these three years has been something like £10,000. On the first allocation it should have been £53,000. It was only £42,000, and it has gone on at that rate until now. I acknowledge that the Department of Education cannot alter this and bring it back to the Act all at once. They must do it gradually, and therefore as long as that alteration is made gradually so that Lanarkshire ultimately gets back what it should get back under the Act, I will not force the Department in any shape or form. The hon. Member (Mr. Clyde) suggests that it is a great fall for Edinburgh, but the fall is not yet great enough for Edinburgh. There is only one method of allocation of that balance of the Scottish Education contribution which will be satisfactory to every county, and that is that it should be divided per head of the pupils in average attendance. There is no other way. I grant that there are counties which are very sparsely populated, and before the whole sum is taken and divided between the pupils in average attendance there should first of all be a sum of £20,000 or £30,000 given to these counties which are sparsely populated, and in which for other reasons educational matters are different. That appears to me— and I have held so from the beginning of these disputes—the only way which will ultimately satisfy everyone. I have no wish to say anything in regard to what fell from the hon. Member (Sir H. Craik) with regard to a letter which I had in a public print, except that the hon. Gentleman knows a great deal about education; probably far more about education and the methods of the Education Department than any other Member of the House; but he must not complain if another hon. hon. Member thinks he might like to enlighten the people of Scotland as to the actual position with regard to Grants. I have no doubt at all that if we get more money, and I hope we shall, we cannot get it on the ground of our population or of our pupils in attendance. We might get it on the needs of Scotland, but we certainly have no right to get it on the ground of population or on the number of pupils in attendance. We are at present getting more than our share.

6.0 P.M.


So far as the allocation of the education money is concerned I differ entirely from the last speaker. To divide that fund merely according to the number of children in attendance would seem to me to be a very unfortunate method to adopt with regard to any fund provided for education in Scotland. I should like to see it divided so as best to promote the efficiency of education and encourage those who are giving better education to the children rather than merely dividing it among the different school boards or authorities according to the number of children in attendance. My complaint against the scheme which the Secretary for Scotland proposes to adopt now is that he has not sufficiently given attention to that principle. I agree with what was said by the hon. Gentleman (Sir H. Craik) that the main purpose which Scotland serves, so far as its country districts are concerned, is the raising up of a class of men and women fit to take a part in the work of the world wherever they may go. Anyone who is acquainted with the people who are brought up and trained in the counties, knows that you must give every encourage- ment to the school boards and to the secondary education committees if you are going to make the most of the excellent material that you have there. What I would have liked to see the Secretary for Scotland doing was to give more attention to the spending of this money and the improvement of education in particular districts, so that school boards and secondary committees would have got most of the money, and you would have had the best possible results. I protest against the principle of dividing it among school boards according to the number of children at school. It is a vicious system altogether foreign to Scottish methods of thought and Scottish methods of education to merely to reduce the rate for elementary education. The spending of the money in that way would be quite a waste of the great opportunity given by the Act of 1908, which provided different facilities for improving education. As to the question of the transfer of the Education Department to Edinburgh, I am bound to say that, in my judgment, is purely a business proposition. My judgment is entirely in favour of the system we have at present. It seems to me that as long as you have the representative system with the Secretary for Scotland as the Parliamentary head of the Department, it is necessary that he should be in constant touch on the question of education with the gentleman at the head of the Department.


Why did the hon. Gentleman sign the memorial?


I was going to explain w7hy I did so. There is a great deal at first sight in favour of the view that the head of this Department should be planted down in Scotland, where he would be in constant touch with the education authorities, and, as some suppose, shaking hands with the school board members all over Scotland. They are to have access to him, and all are to be a very happy family. But when the question was put to me within the first few days I was in this House whether I would sign a memorial in favour of the change, I saw that quite a number of people who had a great deal more experience than myself had signed it, and I was taken in by this idea.


The hon. Member attended two deputations since then in favour of the change.


I was taken with the idea for the reasons I have described.


You were taken in and got at too.


When I had time to consider both sides of the question, which I suppose I was entitled to do, and, as a business man I was entitled to change my mind, I became satisfied that the real change which was needed was the transfer to Edinburgh not only of the permanent head of the Department, but of the Secretary for Scotland, who is the responsible head. I thought that truly the right thing to do in the interest of Scottish education was to have both there on the spot,—the Secretary for Scotland and the head of the Department, working together in close touch with the school boards of the country. Besides Educational matters are so complicated that I have frequently found it necessary to go to the Education Department for information in order thoroughly to understand questions affecting my Constituents. I do not pretend to read and remember every minute and regulation that comes from the Scottish Education Department, because if I did so I would have no time to do anything else. When a question comes up, and I have to take action in this House, to whom am I to go for information except the representative of the Department? One can see that if the head of the Department were in Edinburgh, a Member of this House, on going for information to the Secretary of Scotland, would get the answer, "I cannot tell you. Sir John Struthers is in Edinburgh. If you will write a memorial I will send it to him, and get his reply." That would not enable me to discuss the matter at once. On these grounds I have come to be in favour of the view that as long as the head of the Scottish Education Department is sitting in the House of Commons it is necessary that the permanent head of the Department should be in London.


It is difficult to say anything this afternoon which has not already been better said by others, because this question of education is always dear to the Scottish heart. If we look at the question from the time when the Education Act was first put in operation in Scotland, and compare our position today with what it was then, I think it will be agreed that no part of the British Isles has made such progress in education as we have done in Scotland. Even this year the large increase of £149,818 is clear evidence that there must be the right spirit prevailing in regard to education. I rejoice to think that hon. Members opposite have been so tolerant, and that many of our friends on this side have been able to look at the matter from the same point of view. I am perfectly certain that if the Conservative and Liberal parties in Scotland would adopt the policy of following the line of least resistance we should be able to accomplish all we are aiming at. This Ishmaelite spirit does not reflect the Scottish character. As a rule we believe in being slow to move, sound in judgment, and wise in action. But we ought to meet on both sides and discuss the position of Scottish education in a friendly spirit. If we did so, I am certain, judging by what we were able to do last night when we voted about £1,000,000 for the Navy, it would not be difficult to get another £100,000 for Scottish education. I think it is worthy of note that America spends as much on education as we spend on the Army and Navy yearly, and that we spend as much on education as America spends on its army and navy. Surely, these are facts worth looking at. If we reflecton what has been done in Scotland during the last 40 years, we find that we have reason to be proud of the steps we have taken. If our schools boards would be as generous in adding a penny or twopence to the rates, and in this way grant to the children the inheritance to which they are entitled, then in return the Education Department might get from the Treasury a similar advance. Then all our difficulties would fly as chaff before the wind, and we should see in future Scotland ahead of England, Wales, and Ireland, and we would lead the world with the exception, perhaps, of the country of which I have just spoken. I hope we shall have less talk and more devoted action in connection with Scottish education. I think the outlook is entirely hopeful. I see no reason to be so pessimistic. While we have the head of the Education Department in London we are more likely to be able to grapple with these difficulties than if we have to go to Edinburgh every now and then.


May I ask why the hon. Member signed the memorial?


I signed it for a given purpose, and that was that we might be able to discuss this question. The hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs knows full well that I have hitherto maintained the position, that until we have Home Rule in Scotland, it is better that the head of the Department should be in London.


I am entirely in agreement with the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs (Sir H. Dalziel) and against the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Cathcart Wason) on the question of the transfer of the Education Department to Scotland. I think we are able to claim the hon. Member for For-farshire (Mr. Falconer) as a secret supporter, if not an open fighter, in the cause. I wish to ventilate one small grievance which, though of less importance than some of those to which reference has been made, affects a number of teachers whose case deserves consideration. I refer to the position of those teachers who have spent part of the years of their educational service in England, and who in consequence are about to suffer in their position under the new superannuation scheme. I would ask the Secretary for Scotland to reverse the judgment which has been come to by the Scottish Education Department that service in another country cannot be counted as recorded service for the purpose of the superannuation scheme in Scotland. This is a small thing to ask, from the point of view of the money involved, in so far as regards the burden thrown either on the local rates or the Imperial Exchequer, but it is a very great question for that small band of teachers who are suffering under that grievance at present. Having laid this matter before the Secretary for Scotland, I am sure he will give it his best attention.

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. McKinnon Wood)

The hon. Member for the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen (Sir H. Craik), in a speech marked by the usual sympathy which he extends to the Scottish Education Department, referred to one or two points as to which he uttered some words of criticism. One of these was a purely local question, though, no doubt, it is of importance to the people connected with the secondary school at Fordyce and to the school board that controls the educational affairs of that district. This is a very old question, and different decisions have been arrived at by two successive school boards. The position of the Scottish Education Department can be shortly and clearly stated. I am sorry I have not been able to refresh my memory in regard to what is contained in the papers on the subject, for, according to the desire of my hon. Friends, they are at Edinburgh. The hon. Member did not give me notice of his intention to bring up the question, and I have not been able to get the papers from Edinburgh in time. The position of the Education Department is simply this: Although a majority of the school board—a majority I think of one—are in favour of a particular scheme, there are very strong representations from the ratepayers against that scheme. The architect has advised that the estimate is not sufficient. All that the Department want is to get definite information as to the expense and other matters, and then they are willing to put the question before those who are interested in it, and who are responsible for the educational work in the district, with the view of arriving at a settlement. But the Department have a perfectly definite duty in the matter. They have to sanction the loan before the money can be raised by the school board, and it is their duty, seeing that the neighbourhood is about equally divided, to know whether they are sanctioning a proper scheme or not.

Another point which was referred to by the hon. Member was the question of the curriculum. He said, and I quite agree with him, that it is not desirable to have too rigid a curriculum. I do not think when you look at them that the requirements for science teaching for the intermediate certificate can be said to be too onerous. Only three hours a week are required for that purpose, and I may point out to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Aberdeen, who was interested in the subject, that no expensive outfit or laboratory is required. All that is necessary for instruction in physics and chemistry can be provided by an outfit procured for about five guineas. When we are speaking about what has been done in recent years for education in Scotland I do not think it is fair to say that there has been very little done. There has been an enormous advance, and men like Professor Chrystal look upon it as an enormous advance in secondary education in Scotland. There has been a remarkable increase in the efficiency of the universities. Some years ago, when I was in Scotland as a young man, the junior classes of the universities were nothing but secondary schools, and boyswentthere—yes, and they were not very advanced secondary schools either. That is notorious. Now the age has been raised, and the instruction given in the universities is of a much higher standard. All this has been brought about by the Education Department. We have widened secondary education, and we have a better university education, and though I sympathise with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Aberdeen, and should be sorry to see any obstruction put in the way of advances in the teaching in the primary schools, still I think that we have made a very considerable advance upon the whole on this question, and that there is no ground with regard to our secondary education in Scotland to consider that we are behind our ancestors.

The question of the allocation has been discussed, I think, in a very fair and reasonable spirit. Even the Members who represent parts of Scotland, boroughs or counties, which have not fared so well in this division as they fared in previous ones, have taken a very fair view, and have recognised the limits of the Department, and made suggestions only for a gradual alteration. I have carefully considered the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for West Edinburgh (Mr. Clyde) and considered it sympathetically, if I may say so; but, of course, it is a very difficult thing to do. It is a question in the case of Edinburgh of something like a½d. rate. The suggestion is that it might be spread over two or three years. It is very difficult to see how you can do that without upsetting the scheme and reducing the values which other people receive. Then I am afraid we shall have trouble in other quarters. The fact is, I am afraid we shall have to take this scheme, which has been prepared after a great deal of consultation among the educational authorities of Scotland, and which is satisfactory to the larger number of such authorities, and deal with it as a settled matter. But I think I have some words of comfort to give hon. Members. After all, the education authorities are not doing so badly. What has caused all the trouble now, or at least a very great deal of the trouble, is this: Unfortunately, when this scheme was put into force the superannuation scheme was not also put into force. The education authorities have for two or three years enjoyed the benefits of the fund without the fund being obliged to provide for superannuation, and they think they are losing money because they are not getting as much as they were in 1909–10, for example. The fact is, they were not spending money as they ought to have been spending then on superannuation, and I do not think that people have entirely appreciated that this superannuation scheme was some advantage to the school boards. They were giving money for superannuation, and undoubtedly would have had to give more and more, and there is something to take off on the credit side of the account.

We have often had the figures given of the comparative expenditure of our school boards out of rates and the contribution that comes out of taxes, but I should like to give the Committee another calculation which will show them really what money the Government has given for education in Scotland as a whole. I take the last complete year, 1910–11, and I find that the contribution from the rates for education by the school boards was £1,644,000. The amount contributed by the taxes given to the school boards for educational purposes was £1,884,000, but you have got to add a number of other items before you see how much State money is bearing the cost of education in Scotland. Take the voluntary schools. In England the voluntary schools are largely supported by the rates. In Scotland they are not supported by the rates at all, except as regards the small item of the cost of the attendance officers, which I think may be put at a liberal figure at about £13,250. But while the expenditure on rates on the voluntary schools is estimated to be something a little over £13,000, the expenditure from taxes is £272,000. Then in Scotland the training of teachers is found out of State money. Over £116,000 is provided for that purpose. £94,000 is provided for bursaries; and various other amounts of expenditure by secondary education committees, grants to central institutions and other items, amounting to £105,000, must also be added to the £1,884,000 State money paid to the school boards. That makes a grand total of £2,472,000 as the State contribution to education in Scotland against £1,657,000 provided out of rates. Some of my Friends have been asking that the Grant for education should be half and half, but the figures which I have given show that the State is providing about 60 per cent, as against 40 per cent., and I find that the State contribution has been regularly increasing.

I am giving these figures because the Scotch Education Department is criticised as if it had never got any State money for education in Scotland, and, therefore, these figures are important. I find in 1906, not taking local taxation money, the Vote for Education was £1,723,000, while in 1911 it was £2,247,000. That is the last complete year. That is the actual amount given, and if you take this year you will find that the State Grants in the Votes exceed the Votes of last year by £153,800, and the Grant of the State this year, not including the local taxation money, is £2,489,000. If we go on further and consider the Grant in aid of new expenditure since the Act of 1908, including the new superannuation expenditure, the Committee is aware that the Grant under the Act of 1908 was 3s. a head. That is estimated this year to amount to £116,600. Then there was a Special Grant for superannuation for Scotland, which was £25,000, and a Special Grant for medical treatment, which was £7,500. That brings one to a total in round figures of £149,000. Against that you have got the cost of medical inspection, which last year was £31,000, and is estimated this year as £32,000. You have got the expenditure under Sections 3 and 6 of the Act of 1908, such items as conveyance to school, provision of meals, provision of clothing, feeding of necessitous children, and matters of that sort, which in 1910–11 amounted to £8,600. That is estimated this year at £12,000. As to the cost of superannuation, I will not trouble the Committee with the detailed calculation. Allowing for the Treasury contribution of £20,000, and for the fact that the school boards in 1908 were paying nearly £20,000 for superannuation—and that was an amount that was growing, and has grown, though I cannot say exactly how far it has grown independently of the Act —yet taking that and giving the best possible figure against my argument, you have got a sum of £135,000. So it comes to this result, including superannuation, the new expenditure is about £179,000. The State has contributed about £149,000 to it. So in that case the demand of those who say that the proportions ought to be half and half, has been met and more than met.

I ought to say that in this calculation no allowance has been made for the fact that the expenditure of the school boards on superannuation would have grown steadily if the superannuation scheme had never been introduced; and further, now that the scheme has come into force, this expenditure will diminish as the pensions under the old system expire, so I do believe that in the course of time this expenditure on superannuation, as far as the school boards are concerned, will be a waning expenditure. A great deal is being said about the action of the Education Department in putting expenditure upon the school boards and making requirements which they find irksome. I think the answer which has been given by some hon. Members who have spoken is a sound one. Parliament is responsible for the feeding of school children. Medical inspection and medical treatment are again duties imposed by Parliament, and a great deal of the criticism which is directed against the Scottish Education Department when you come to look into it will be found to be devoid of foundation.

The hon. and learned Member for West Edinburgh spoke about the valuation of Edinburgh, and argued that the standard for valuation is higher in Edinburgh than it is in any other place. I cannot enter into that controversy, because it is a thing that has nothing whatever to do with the Education Department. We have no control whatever over the valuation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, or any other place. We have to take it as we find it, but I agree that it is a great pity that there should be these discrepancies between different towns. We used to find them here in the metropolis between different districts, and I think it would be very desirable, as far as I am concerned—I am only expressing a personal opinion—that you should have a valuation of a national kind, and that means should be taken to see that the different places were valued on an equal basis, because it has a considerable effect on matters of this sort, as has been pointed out, and also upon certain Imperial taxes. The reason that Edinburgh has lost is partly that Edinburgh is one of the more favourably situated places which, under the provision of the Act, were intended to receive less than the less favoured places. But there is a special reason—the necessary discontinuance of stereotyped Grants by which Edinburgh gained a sum of £6,000 or thereabouts. I quite agree that educational finance is very complicated in Scotland, as in England, and I shall look forward to the time to which the hon. Member for Glasgow University looked forward, when we shall get some readjustment and some fixed principles introduced into the relations between the central contributions and the local contributions, and we shall have some simple principles which are easy to be understood, applied in educational finance.

There is only one other important subject to which I have not referred, and that is the question of the transfer of the Educational Offices to Edinburgh. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen began by criticising the poverty of the answers given to questions, and he quoted one of them as an example of impoverished replies, but he did not quote more than half of the answer. What was the point? It had reference to the question of the amalgamation of districts, where one school board says that another district or area should be added to its area. I can give you one case, though I will not mention any names. One school board pointed out that they educated all the children of another district, and that they had a financial arrangement for payment, but that in process of time it had become inadequate, and the other district would not pay any more. Obviously that would be a case where the two districts should be amalgamated. Of course, there is no doubt that part of the difficulty in Scotland in regard to finance is that in many cases you get great discrepancies in expenditure because areas are too small. Here was an instance where the one school board had an absolute case for adding another area to its area. The Act of Parliament says that in such a case a certain procedure shall be followed, and that the Education Department shall decide the question. My hon. Friend said that both parties should have agreed. Of course, the party which is getting its education 25 per cent, cheaper than the other was not likely to agree. Does my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, in a case like that, say the procedure we have adopted is not a proper procedure?


The Department give certain reasons, and we want to know why they should not be made public, so that this House might be able to criticise them.


My answer to that is that the whole inquiry was conducted with great publicity. First of all, the Education Department never moves until one school board applies to it. When that school board has applied to it, the Department puts the representations of that school board before the other Board, and hears what it has to say. Sometimes an agreement is arrived at, but sometimes an agreement is impossible. A public inquiry is then held; both school boards are represented in the way they desire; each school board puts its case publicly, and the whole procedure is as public as that of any Law Court. The only thing that is not published is the report of the inspector. I am sure the Committee will agree that this is a common procedure, a very common procedure, and a very proper procedure. The inspector makes a confidential report saying upon what grounds the decision should be, "Aye" or "No." I cannot see that there is any failure of publicity or any injustice. As for the argument put forward in favour of the removal of the whole Education Department, I should like to know why that should be done. One argument is as to the autocracy of the Education Department, but it is a curious remedy for this autocracy and for the poverty of answers to questions to sever a Minister from his Department. I look on this matter purely as one of administration. As my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen says: Education is a subject in which Scotland is so intimately interested, is so vitally interested, in which Scotland has a great historic concern, and in which Scotland is differently treated from England, that it ought to be entirely managed in Scotland. I am entirely with him. Education is a big concern, and this Education Estimate is the biggest item in our whole Budget. It is a question of expenditure of over £4,000,000 a year. Is it really thought desirable that we should remove all that from ordinary Ministerial responsibility, which means the control by the Scottish Members of this House? The Minister is really the servant of the Members. How is the matter managed? It is managed constitutionally. It is managed by Members taking action in Parliament, or action directly connected with the Minister. Will the Minister's control of the Department be increased if it is removed to 400 miles away?

Of course we admit freely that there ought to be an Education Department in Scotland, and more than half the education staff is in Scotland at the present time; more than one hundred of the members of the staff are in Scotland, headed by the assistant secretary, who is a very capable official. No school board and no person interested in education need go further than Edinburgh to obtain all the information desired. What I want to put to my colleagues very earnestly and seriously is this: Are you going to improve your own control, the proper and only constitutional control of education which you exercise on the Minister of the day, by sending the whole of the rest of the Education Department to Edinburgh, and preventing the Minister from having that daily communication with his Department, which is the only means by which he can acquire information or by which he can influence his Department? I cannot understand how anybody who looks at this matter as a matter of administration can come to any but one conclusion under the circumstances. The constitutional principle is perfectly clear. The Minister has to spend nine months of the year here, and so have hon. Members, and it is necessary that the Department should be here, and that responsible men should be here who can carry on the administration in the manner following that policy which is the policy, after all, of the Scottish Members. I do not think I need add anything to that. There is only one argument upon this point, and I hope I have put it fairly. It is very easy for school boards in Scotland to hurl accusations of autocratic action and of expensive advice against the Scottish Education Department, but the country as a whole has come to have higher ideas, not only about education, but about the treatment of children. These are the things that have added to the cost. The Education Department is not specially responsible for them, and I think that Parliament must take the responsibility of its own action.


The reduction is moved in connection with the whole Scottish. Office, and the discussion has turned on the removal of the Education Department to Edinburgh. The Secretary for Scotland on that subject has certainly taken a different attitude from that which he assumed the other day when a deputation called upon him. He seemed to suggest then that it was a matter of the responsibility of the Minister. To-day he has announced that he is a servant of Parliament. I should like to say, with regard to the removal of the Department to Edinburgh, that it is truly a question for the people of Scotland, and if we do not represent the people of Scotland they can give somebody else the opportunity of doing so But what I want to impress upon the Secretary for Scotland is this, that I liked very much better his doctrine of the other day about the responsibility of the Minister. The late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and the present Prime Minister, in regard to the question of the Veto, said that the "will of the people must prevail." On this subject we have a right to consider the will of the people as to whether the office should be removed to Edinburgh, and the business conducted there in a businesslike and proper way. We have been told about "My Lords." Can anybody tell us who they are, when they meet, and what they do?


The Committee of the Privy Council are: Lord Morley (president), the Secretary for Scotland, The First Lord of the Treasury, The Lord Advocate, Lord Haldane, Lord Shaw, Lord Reay, and Lord Elgin.


Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me when they meet, and who attends the meeting?


I am afraid I their meetings are very irregular; they do meet sometimes, but I think before we moved the Department to Scotland I would have to call them together.


I think I may gather that "My Lords'" business is a sham and a fraud upon Scotland. Practically they never meet, are never called together, and it would have been much better if the Secretary for Scotland, in answering the question, had told us he was "My Lords," and that nobody else was concerned in the matter. I should like to know for my own private information why the hon. Member for Paisley (Sir John M'Callum) and the hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. J. Falconer) altered their minds within the last

few days about the removal of the Department to Edinburgh?




May I make it quite clear? I absolutely refused to sign a memorial this year. If my name has been attached to that memorial it is an entire mistake. Nobody has a right to put it there. The hon. Member for Aberdeen asked me to do so, but I refused.


May I say that the hon. Member was not asked to sign this year because he had already signed in 1909.


The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kirkcaldy Burghs cannot be aware of the conversation that took place between me and the hon. Member for North Aberdeen. I stated quite definitely, in answer to a request to sign a memorial, that I would not sign it for reasons which I gave. Originally I was taken with the idea, but after knowing a little more about the business, I have come to the opposite opinion.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 241; Noes, 48.

Division No. 155.] AYES. [6.45 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.
Acland, Francis Dyke Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar) Falconer, J.
Addison, Dr. C. Byles, Sir William Pollard Falle, Bertram Godfray
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D. Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.) Farrell, James Patrick
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Fell, Arthur
Agnew, Sir George William Chancellor, Henry George Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles
Ainsworth, John Stirling Clancy, John Joseph Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson
Alden, Percy Clough, William Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Clyde, James Avon Firench, Peter
Anstruther-Gray, Major William Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert
Armitage, Robert Condon, Thomas Joseph Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.
Arnold, Sydney Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Flavin, Michael Joseph
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Cotton, William Francis Foster, Philip Staveley
Baird, J. L. Courthope, George Loyd Gastrell, Major W. Houghton
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Gelder, Sir W. A.
Balcarres, Lord Craik, Sir Henry George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd
Balfour, sir Robert (Lanark) Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian Gilmour, Captain John
Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick) Crumley, Patrick Gladstone, W. G. C.
Barton, W. Cullinan, John Glanville, H. J.
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Davies, E. William (Eifion) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Beck, Arthur Cecil De Forest, Baron Goldstone, Frank
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George) Delany, William Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)
Bethell, Sir J. H. Denman, Hon. R. D. Greig, Colonel J. W.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Dickinson, W. H. Griffith, Ellis Jones
Boland, John Pius Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S. Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Donelan, Captain A. Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)
Brace, William Duffy, William J. Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)
Brady, Patrick Joseph Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Gulland, John William
Bridgeman, W. Clive Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)
Brunner, J. F. L. Elverston, Sir Harold Cwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)
Burke, E. Havlland- Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Hackett, John
Burn, Col. C. R. Essex, Richard Walter Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)
Hamersley, A. St. George Manfield, Harry Salter, Arthur Clavell
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Markham, Sir Arthur Basil Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.) Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Meagher, Michael Scanlan, Thomas
Hayden, John Patrick Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Hayward, Evan Menzies, Sir Walter Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Hemmerde, Edward George Molloy, M. Sheehy, David
Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz Simon, Sir John Allsebrook
Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., South) Morgan, George Hay Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)
Hickman, Col. Thomas E. Morison, Hector Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Nannetti, Joseph P. Spear, Sir John Ward
Hills, John Waller Newdegate, F. A. Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Hinds, John Nolan, Joseph Stanier, Beville
Hoare, S. J. G. Norton, Captain Cecil W. Stewart, Gershom
Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Nuttall, Harry Summers, James Woolley
Hope, Harry (Bute) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sutton, John M.
Illingworth, Percy H. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Talbot, Lord Edmund
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus O'Doherty, Philip Tennant, Harold John (Derby)
Jardine, E, (Somerset, E.) O'Donnell, Thomas Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)
Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh) O'Dowd, John Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Ogden, Fred Tobin, Alfred Aspinall
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Toulmin, Sir George
Joyce, Michael O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Keating, M. O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid.) Tullibardine, Marquess of
Kellaway, Frederick George O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Kelly, Edward O'Sullivan, Timothy Walters, Sir John Tudor
Kilbride, Denis Parker, James (Halifax) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
King, J. (Somerset, N.) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Peto, Basil Edward Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton) Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Webb, H.
Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Pollock, Ernest Murray Wheler, Granville
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) Power, Patrick Joseph Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.
Leach, Charles Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Levy, Sir Maurice Pryce-Jones, Col. E. Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)
Lewis, John Herbert Raffan, Peter Wilson Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Williamson, Sir A.
Lundon, T. Reddy, Michael Winfrey, Richard
Lyell, Charles Henry Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wolmer, Viscount
Lynch, A. A. Redmond, William (Clare, E.) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Rees, Sir J. D. Worthington-Evans, L.
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Rendall, Athelstan Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Macmaster, Donald Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Yate, Col. C. E.
Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)
MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
MacCallum, Sir John M. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Roche, Augustine (Louth)
M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics) Roe, Sir Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir
McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Rolleston, Sir John G. Younger and Mr. Mackinder.
Malcolm, Ian Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Adamson, William Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glass., Bridgeton)
Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Sutherland, J. E.
Bentham, G. J. Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Bowerman, C. W. Higham, John Sharp Thomas, James Henry (Derby)
Bryce, J. Annan Hodge, John Thorne, William (West Ham)
Bull, Sir William James Hogge, James Myles Touche, George Alexander
Cassel, Felix Holmes, Daniel Turner Wadsworth, J.
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Hope, John Deans (Haddington) Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)
Crooks, William John, Edward Thomas Wardle, George J.
Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Macpherson, James Ian Wilkie, Alexander
Dawes, J. A. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Munro, R. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Esslemont, George Birnle Newman, John R. P. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Fleming, Valentine Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Hancock, J. G. Rowlands, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Sanderson, Lancelot Pirie and Mr. Pringle.

Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,539,325, be granted for the said Service."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 24; Noes, 281.

Division No. 156.] AYES. [7.0 p.m.
Adamson, William Fleming, Valentine Hope, John Deans (Haddington)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Goldstone, Frank Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Cassel, Felix Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Hogge, James Myles Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Hope, Harry (Bute) Munro, R.
Newman, John R. P. Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton) Wilkie, Alexander
Nield, Herbert Touche, George Alexander
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., lnce) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Pringle, William M. R. Whyte, A. F. Pirie and Mr. Holmes.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Falconer, J. MacGhee, Richard
Acland, Francis Dyke Falle, Bertram Godtray Mackinder, Halford J.
Addison, Dr. C. Farrell, James Patrick Macmaster, Donald
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D. Fell, Arthur Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South).
Agnew, sir George William Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Macpherson, James Ian
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Alden, Percy Ffrench, Peter McCallum, Sir John M.
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Anstruther-Gray, Major William Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)
Armitage, Robert Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. M'Micking, Major Gilbert
Arnold, Sydney Flavin, Michael Joseph McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Foster, Philip Staveley Malcolm, Ian
Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A. Gastrell, Major W. H. Manfield, Harry
Baird, J. L. Gelder, Sir William Alfred Markham, Sir Arthur Basil
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.
Balcarres, Lord Gilmour, Captain J. Meagher, Michael
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Gladstone, W. G. C. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Glanville, H. J. Menzies, Sir Walter
Barran, Sir J. Hawick Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Molloy, M.
Barton, W. Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Molteno, Percy Alport
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz
Beale, Sir William Phipson Greig, Col. J. W. Morgan, George Hay
Beck, Arthur Cecil Griffith, Ellis Jones Morison, Hector
Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George) Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke) Muldoon, John
Bentham, George Jackson Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.
Bethell, Sir John Henry Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds) Nannetti, Joseph P.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Newdegate, F. A.
Boland, John Plus Gwynne, R. S. (Eastbourne) Nolan, Joseph
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Hackett, J. Norton, Captain Cecil W.
Bowerman, C. W. Hamersley, A. St. George Nuttall, Harry
Brace, William Hancock, J. G. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Brady, Patrick Joseph Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) O'Doherty, Philip
Brunner, J. F. L. Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.) O'Donnell, Thomas
Bryce, J. Annan Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) O'Dowd, John
Bull, Sir William James Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Ogden, Fred
Burke, E. Havlland- Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)
Burn, Col. C. R. Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hayden, John Patrick O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar) Hayward, Evan O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Byles, Sir William Pollard Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.) O'Sullivan, Timothy
Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.) Hemmerde, Edward George Parker, James (Halifax)
Chancellor, Henry George Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Clancy, John Joseph Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Peto, Basil Edward
Clough, William Hickman, Colonel Thomas E. Phillips, John (Longford S.)
Clyde, J. Avon Higham, John Sharp Pollock, Ernest Murray
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hills, John Waller (Durham) Power, Patrick Joseph
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hinds, John Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hoare, S. J. G. Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.
Cotton, William Francis Hodge, John Raffan, Peter Wilson
Courthope, G. Loyd Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus Reddy, Michael
Craik, Sir Henry Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.) Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Crooks, William Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Redmond, William (Clare, E.)
Crumley, Patrick Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Rees, Sir J. D.
Cullinan, John Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Rendall, Athelstan
Davies, E. William (Eifion) Joyce, Michael Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Dawes, J. A. Keating, M. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
De Forest, Baron Kellaway, Frederick George Robertson, John M. (Tyneslde)
Delany, William Kelly, Edward Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Kilbride, Denis Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Dickinson, W. H. King, J. Roe, Sir Thomas
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Rolleston, Sir John
Dillon, John Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton) Ronaldshay, Earl of
Donelan, Capt. A. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Rowlands, James
Duffy, William J. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West) Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Lawson, Sir W. (cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Leach, Charles Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of Levy, Sir Maurice Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Elverston, Sir Harold Lewis, John Herbert Sanderson, Lancelot
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary) Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Scanlan, Thomas
Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Lundon, T. Scott, Leslie (Liverpool Exchange)
Essex, Richard Walter Lyell, Charles Henry Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Esslemont, George Birnie Lynch, Arthur Alfred Sheehy, David
Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Simon, Sir John Allsebrook
Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Tobin, Alfred Aspinall Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton) Toulmin, Sir George Williamson, Sir A.
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Spear, Sir John Ward Tullibardine, Marquess of Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander Winfrey, Richard
Stanier, Beville Wadsworth, J. Wolmer, Viscount
Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston) Walters, Sir John Tudor Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Stewart, Gershom Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent) Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Summers, James Woolley Wardle, George J. Worthington-Evans, L.
Sutherland, J. E. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Sutton, J. E. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Yate, Colonel C. E.
Talbot, Lord Edmund Webb, H. Young, William (Perth, East)
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wheler, Granville C. H. Younger, Sir George
Tennant, Harold White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston) Yoxall, Sir James Heury
Thomas, J. H. (Derby) White Patrick (Meath, North)
Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Williams, J. (Glamorgan) Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Thorne, William (West Ham) Williams, Penry Middlesbrough)

Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.


claimed, "That the original Question be now put."