HC Deb 15 January 1913 vol 46 cc2072-3

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the Lord Chancellor's statement that the state of education in this country, elementary, secondary, and higher, is chaotic; and whether he will appoint at an early date a Royal Commission to inquire into the whole subject, so that before any legislation is introduced the recommendations of such Commission may be carefully considered?


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention has been called to a speech by the Lord Chancellor advocating the extension of the age during which children will have to attend school; whether this scheme has the approval of the Cabinet; and, if so, whether it is intended to keep the children at school, against the wishes of their parents, in order to turn out better machines for creating wealth for other people, seeing that we are told that it will be a wise investment of public money?

48. Mr. KING

asked whether the efforts at education reform promised by Viscount Haldane on Friday last at Manchester will affect the universities; whether it is the intention to increase the Education Estimates by an appropriate sum in the coming financial year; and whether legislation will be introduced at an early date?

51 and 52. Mr. LANE-FOX

asked (1) whether the scheme of education announced on Friday last by the Lord Chancellor is to take precedence of the land legislation which has recently been under the consideration of the Government; and (2) whether the new educational legislation is to take precedence of the licensing legislation of the Government?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

The Government have no intention of appointing a Royal Commission on this subject. The Lord Chancellor made it clear in his speech that he was only indicating the general principles and purposes which the Government had in view, and he did not suggest that the progress towards their attainment would be otherwise than gradual, and that the necessary steps would form part of one and the same measure. In framing legislation such points as those referred to by my hon. Friend, the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, and other Members will be carefully considered. It would be premature at present to make any statement as to the legislation of next Session.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this change will involve legislation, or whether it could be affected by administration, and when the House will have an opportunity of discussing it?


I certainly think it would involve legislation.