HC Deb 07 March 1912 vol 35 cc669-75


Postponed Proceeding resumed on Amendment—[Lord Robert Cecil].


I wish to say only a word with reference to the secondary school regulations, and anything I can say on that subject will only be a repetition of what has been so well said by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford (Mr. Barlow) and my Noble Friend (Lord R. Cecil). All I can do is to emphasise what has fallen from them. I can assure the President of the Board of Education that, however strong the feeling may be in other denominations with reference to these regulations, it is certainly not so strong as among my coreligionists. They feel that these regulalations are really penal upon them. I was unable to be present to hear the speech of the right hon. Gentleman himself, but I heard afterwards with great disappointment, that he held out, no hope whatever of any change in these regulations this year. I regret that extremely. I think ha had a good opportunity. We understand from what has appeared in the Press, that next year we are to be again face to face with a violent conflict on the question of education. I think if the right hon. Gentleman had seen his way to change these regulations this year, there might have been some chance of starting on the campaign in a more peaceful frame of mind than we shall do. Possibly the right hon. Gentleman may feel that he will not be here to enter upon that campaign. If that is so, perhaps that is some excuse for continuing these regulations now. All I wish to do is to assure him that the Catholics of this country bitterly resent and really feel with pain that these regulations are to be continued in force.


One or two questions have been put in relation to the Education Department which I desire to answer, but before I do so I wish to say a word or two in regard to what was said earlier in the Debate as to the salaries paid by certain local authorities in Wales in connection with voluntary schools. The view taken by hon. Members of the position, so far as I can understand, is that the Board of Education ought directly the Swansea judgment was given to have taken action by mandamus or otherwise against the local authorities who appeared to be paying less-salaries in the voluntary schools. As far as I can make out, hon. Members opposite contend that there should have been hardly any delay or inquiry. I wish to remind the House that the Board of Education has a good many other dealings with local authorities than to quarrel with them over religion. If the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University at any time had anything to do with education, sitting on this bench, I should like to seethe result if the Board of Education should treat local authorities as if they were under his control. In dealing with local authorities, it does not do to fire off orders against them from the Board of Education. I suggest to the House that the course adopted by my right hon. Friend has been perfectly right and perfectly wise. In the first place after the judgment the Board of Education dealt with Swansea. It got that case settled. It arranged and insisted that the Swansea authority should do what the law demanded it should do. Having done that, the President then proceeded to make inquiries into the other cases, and so far from failing by this more conciliatory process than firing off mandamuses to local authorities, he rather appears to be settling the question, as evidently is happening already in the case of the Glamorgan authority. Surely that is a very much better plan than quarrelling with half a dozen authorities throughout Wales.

After all, in this matter, we are only imitating what has been done by our predecessors. When the right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for Oxford University had charge of the education business in this House he had to put into operation the Act of 1902. He had some difficulty in dealing with the West Riding of Yorkshire, which, like the Welsh counties, did not take a very conciliatory view of the Act of 1902, and did not wish to put it into operation. One of the things it did was to refuse by resolution to pay a Grant to secondary schools which gave denominational teaching. It was during his regime that they passed that resolution, and they refused to pay the Grant—I wonder why the right hon. Gentleman did not mandamus the authority. But persuasion is a far better plan than quarrelling, and he hoped that as time went on it would become gradually possible to induce the West Riding authority to take a more conciliatory view of the working of the Act. That is what my right hon. Friend is going to do with regard to these schools. He is determined to work the Act justly. He is not going to rush into quarrels with the local authorities. He is going to see whether they are acting according to the law or not, and if they are acting illegally he will take action.


In dealing with the West Riding we are dealing with secondary schools over which the Board of Education have practically no power.


The fact remains that you allowed the West Riding authority to go on paying Grants to provided schools, but not paying Grants to non-provided schools, which was against the law.


Secondary schools.


I am exceedingly sorry that the whole of this Debate should have been taken up with the discussion of the religious question. There was one speech which was markedly different from most of the speeches in this Debate, that of my hon. Friend (Mr. Whitehouse). He alluded to the very interesting work which the Board of Education has got to do. I cannot speak of many things to which he directed his remarks, but I should like in this rather full House, with many Members who are interested in the work of the local authorities present, to call attention to one new item on the Estimates to which he directly referred, that was the fact that this year appears on the Estimates for the first time the sum of £60,000 put down for the purpose of the medical treatment of school children. Regulations will be issued under which that sum will be spent, and I very much hope that it will result in increased activity on the part of local authorities in carrying out what both sides of the House regard as a necessary expenditure to raise the standard of health of our children. My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke referred to what he regarded as a local grievance, namely, that the Grant for necessitous areas had been refused to the borough which he represents. The Board have very carefully considered the matter, and my right hon. Friend came clearly to the decision that the Grant could not be claimed on legal grounds. Burslem and Longton were united to Stoke in 1908, Stoke not being then in the position to get the necessitous area Grant. By the Provisional Order, which united the present boroughs of Burslem and Longton to Stoke, those two boroughs get the right to continue to receive the Necessitous Areas Grant. They were still to be treated as seperate boroughs for that purpose. Under that provision last year they got £6,000 out of the Necessitous Areas Grant. The hon. Member now asks why Stoke, as a whole, cannot get a Necessitous Areas Grant? In the first place, it is impossible for us, in view of the Provisional Order, to cease to give Burslem and Longton the £6,000 which they get under the regulations. Therefore, all we might seem to be able to do would be to deal separately with the other parts of the present Stoke borough and give them separate Grants. We cannot do that under the regulations, which are agreed on by the Treasury, and provide that no local authority which is not at the present moment receiving a Grant can get it. It is therefore absolutely impossible for us to do it. Unless my hon. Friend induces the Treasury to take a different point of view, it is legally impossible for us to do what he wants. I must ask him to deal with it as a question which is rather more a Treasury one than one connected with our Department. We have heard the case thoroughly, and we have come to the definite conclusion that we cannot meet him on legal grounds.


The hon. Member forgot to answer a most important question, and it is this. If it turns out that these local education authorities have acted improperly and contrary to the law in differentiating between one class of school and another—and that has been going on, if we are right, since May of last year—and if it turns out after inquiry that they are wrong, will the right hon. Gentleman see that the teachers have the arrears of salaries from May to the time of the enforcement of the inquiry? Otherwise, if that is not done, the fact will be that the recalcitrant local education authorities will have acted wrongly for ten or eleven months. At the inquiry into the conduct of the local education authority that authority, as in the Swansea case, of course will not go into the box or give evidence and will not call any witnesses, and the end of it will be that they will get off ten months' salary.


All I can say in reply to that matter is this, that I am prepared to hold inquiries if I do not receive satisfactory replies from the various county

councils. If the result of those inquiries leads me to believe that other steps have to be taken, I will take care to see that the law is carried out. With regard to the arrears of salaries, I have nothing whatsoever to do with that. My duties end in seeing that efficient education is secured in these schools. With regard to the treatment and payment of the schoolmasters, that is a matter for the local authority.

Question put, "That Item Class IV, Vote 1 (Board of Education) be reduced by £100."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 105; Noes, 204.

Division No. 33.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R. Forster, Henry William Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Ashley, W. W. Foster, Philip Staveley Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)
Baird, J. L. Gardner, Ernest Perkins, Walter F.
Baker, Sir R. L (Dorset, N.) Gibbs, G. A. Peto, Basil Edward
Balcarres, Lord Glazebrook, Capt. P. K. Pollock, Ernest Murray
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Goldman, C. S. Rawson, Colonel R. H.
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Goldsmith, Frank Remnant, James Farquharson
Barnston, Harry Gordon, John (Londonderry, South) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Barrie, H. T. Grant, J. A. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.) Guinness, Hon. W. E. Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Sanders, Robert A.
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon) Sanderson, Lancelot
Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich) Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Hohler, G. F. Spear, Sir John Ward
Bigland, Alfred Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Stanier, Beville
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Houston, Robert Paterson Stewart, Gershom
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath) Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Burdett-Coutts, William Ingleby, Holcombe Talbot, Lord E.
Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.) Jessel, Captain H. M. Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Campion, W. R. Joynson-Hicks, William Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Knight, Captain E. A. Thynne, Lord Alexander
Cator, John Larmor, Sir J. Tryon, Captain George Clement
Cautley, H. S. Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Tullibardine, Marquess of
Cave, George Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Wheler, Granville C. H.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Clyde, J. Avon Mackinder, Halford J. Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude
Courthope, George Loyd Macmastcr, Donald Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine) Wolmer, Viscount
Craik, Sir Henry Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
Dalrymple, Viscount Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Duke, Henry Edward Mount, William Arthur Yate, Col. C. E.
Fell, Arthur Newton, Harry Kottingham
Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord R. Cecil and Mr. Rawlinson.
Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Nield, Herbert
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Bentham, G. J. Crooks, William
Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda) Boland, John Pius Crumley, Patrick
Acland, Francis Dyke Bowerman, C. W. Cullinan, John
Adamson, William Brocklehurst, W. B. Davies, E. William (Eifion)
Addison, Dr. C. Bryce, J. Annan Davies, Timothy (Louth)
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D. Burns, Rt. Hon. John Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Byles, Sir William Pollard Dawes, J. A.
Agnew, Sir George William Carr-Gomm, H. W. De Forest, Baron
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood) Doris, William
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Chancellor, Henry George Duffy, William J.
Baker, Harold T. (Accrington) Chapple, Dr. W. A. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Clough, William Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Clynes, J. R. Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Elverston, Sir Harold
Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.) Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Esmonde, Dr John (Tipperary, N.)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Cowan, W. H. Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Essex, Richard Walter
Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George) Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Esslemont, George Birnie
Farrell, James Patrick Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Redmond, William (Clare)
Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Low, Sir F. (Norwich) Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Field, William Lundon, T. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Lyell, Charles Henry Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Gelder, Sir W. A. Lynch, A. A. Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester) Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)
Gill, A. H. Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Gladstone, W. G. C. Macpherson, James Ian Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Glanville, H. J. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Roe, Sir Thomas
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Manfield, Harry Rowlands, James
Goldstone, Frank Markham, Sir Arthur Basil Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Griffith, Ellis J. Marshall, Arthur Harold Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke) Martin, Joseph Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Hall, Frederick (Normanton) Masterman, C. F. G. Samuel, J. (Stockton)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Meagher, Michael Scanlan, Thomas
Hardie, J. Keir Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Sheehy, David
Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.) Menzies, Sir Walter Shortt, Edward
Harvey, A. G. C. Millar, James Duncan Simon, Sir John Allsebrook
Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Molloy, M. Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Mond, Sir Alfred M. Smyth, Thomas F.
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Mooney, J. J. Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Morgan, George Hay Sutton, John E.
Hayward, Evan Worrell, Philip Tennant, Harold John
Helme, Norval Watson Murray, Captain Hon. A. C. Thomas, James Henry (Derby)
Higham, John Sharp Nannetti, Joseph P. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Hinds, John Needham, Christopher T. Toulmin, Sir George
Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Neilson, Francis Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Hodge, John Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Verney, Sir Harry
Hogge, James Myles Nolan, Joseph Wadsworth, John
Holmes, Daniel Turner Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Hudson, Walter Nuttall, Harry Wardle, George J.
Hughes, S. L. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Watt, Henry A.
Johnson, W. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Webb, H.
Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Dowd, John White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) O'Malley, William White, Patrick (Heath, North)
Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe) O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Whitehouse, John Howard
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Parker, James (Halifax) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney) Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Wiles, Thomas
Jowett, Frederick William Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Wilkle, Alexander
Joyce, Michael Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Keating, M. Pointer, Joseph Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Kellaway, Frederick George Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Kilbride, Denis Power, Patrick Joseph Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
King, J. (Somerset, North) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Lamb, Ernest Henry Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton) Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Young, William (Perth, East)
Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Pringle, William M. R. Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Lansbury, George Radford, G. H.
Levy, Sir Maurice Rattan, Peter Wilson TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Lewis, John Herbert Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)

Original Question put, and agreed to.

And, it being Eleven of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Vote.

Whereupon the Chairman left the Chair to make his report to the House.

Resolution to be reported to-morrow (Friday); Committee to sit again upon Monday next.

Adjourned sit Thirteen minutes after Eleven o'clock.

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