§ Except as expressly provided by this Act, nothing in this Act shall affect the provisions of the Education Acts relating to public elementary schools not provided by the local education authority.
Colonel Sir MARK SYKES
I beg to move, at the end, to add the words "or the provisions of Part II. of the Education Act, 1902."
§ Mr. LEWIS
This Clause deals with public elementary schools not provided by the local education authority, and the proposal is to extend to them the provisions of Part II. of the Education Act, 1902.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I think the Committee is entitled to a more definite explanation than that. As I understand it the proposal 1636 brings in a totally different set of schools, and I am perfectly sure the Movers of this Amendment did not put it down with the idea that it was a purely technical point. Up to the present the Amendments they have put forward have been of great substance, and I assume that this is of a like character. I do suggest to the hon. Member who proposed it that it is not sufficient for him to satisfy the Government, he ought also to satisfy the members of the Committee generally.
Perhaps I may explain to the Committee the precise effect of the acceptance of the Amendment. It is nil. The Act of 1902 has not been repealed and consequently its provisions are still valid, except in so far as they have been modified in small details by the present Bill. Consequently, there is no need for Clause 29 at all. It simply reaffirms the fact that the Act of 1902 is unrepealed. But there were apprehensions expressed in various quarters that the Bill we are submitting to. Parliament would materially change the settlement of 1902, and it was in order to reaffirm the principle—a course which my legal advisers tell me is quite unnecessary—that Clause 29 was inserted in the Bill. I think the broad matter which interests my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment is probably to be found in Subsection (2) of Section 2 of the Act of 1902, which provides that the council, in exercising their powers in this part of the Act, shall have regard to the existing schools established under the Technical Instruction Act.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I have not the slightest objection to carrying that out, but the Amendment does not seem to do it. I am always rather jealous of Amendments that are put to the House in this way. The Clause reads that "except as expressly provided by this Act nothing in this Act shall affect the provisions of the Education Act relating to public elementary schools not provided by the local education authority," and then it is proposed to add the words "or the provisions of Part II. of the Education Act of 1902." Why is it necessary to insert these words? Why not leave the Clause as it is? I am always suspicious of putting in words that mean nothing. The right hon. Gentleman says the Clause means nothing, and I therefore do not quite follow the object in putting it in.
I am sorry I have not made myself quite clear. If the lion, and learned Member will refer to Clause 29 he will see that it deals with public elementary schools—
Yes; non-provided public elementary schools, and it was felt that if we had a Clause in the Bill stating that nothing in this Act shall affect the provisions of the Education Act relating to public elementary schools not provided by the local education authority the inference might be drawn that higher education would not be similarly protected, and that the provisions in respect of the higher education in the Act of 1902 would no longer be valid. These words will emphasise the fact that these provisions will still apply.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.