§ The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper:
In page 2, line 1, at the beginning to insert the words:
Without prejudice to the powers of a local education authority for elementary education under Section twenty-four of the principal Act, or to the powers of a local education authority for higher education under Section seventy-one of that Act, the powers of every such authority under that Act shall, in relation to elementary education and to higher education, respectively, include power to make arrangements for the provision of maintenance allowances."—[Lieut.-Colonel Spender-Clay.]
§ In page 2, line 1, to leave out Subsection (2).—[Sir J. Withers.]
These first two Amendments appear to me to reuse practically the same question, namely the provision and conditions of maintenance allowances. I think it would facilitate the business of the Committee if we have a general discussion on these two Amendments and at the end two Divisions could he claimed. I must, however, point out that in the debate for or against maintenance allowances I could not permit any discussion to take place as to the proportions which should fall upon, the Exchequer and the local authorities respectively. It would be entirely out of order at this stage. The discussion must be confined to the general principle of granting maintenance allowances.
§ Mr. McSHANE
As to the relative proportions to be borne by local authorities and the National Exchequer, is it not the fact that the Financial Resolution itself does not specify any particular sum of money at all but leaves the matter in quite a general way, and, since that, is so, is it not possible in view of the 1142 general nature of the Money Resolution that that question may be dealt with later?
I do not propose to interpret the Money Resolution at this moment but a considered judgment will be given on that question when we come to the particular Amendments arising thereon. What I rule now is that on this particular Amendment I cannot allow that aspect of the question to be discussed.
§ Lord EUSTACE PERCY
I suppose that the restriction on the debate which you have indicated does not mean that we shall be precluded from arguing that this will throw a heavy burden on the rates or the taxes as the case may be?
Certainly not. That is part of the general question. All I want to safeguard now is that I cannot allow a particular question to be raised which may be raised on subsequent Amendments. It will have to be ruled out of the discussion at present.
§ Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER-CLAY
I beg to move, in page. 2, line 1, at the beginning, to insert the words:Without prejudice to the powers of a local education authority for elementary education under Section twenty-four of the principal Act, or to the powers of a local education authority for higher education under Section seventy-one of that Act, the powers of every such authority under that Act shall, in relation to elementary education and to higher education, respectively, include power to make arrangements for the provision of maintenance allowances.This is the first Amendment which deals with the question of maintenance. For that reason the Committee ought to be grateful for the opportunity of having a wide discussion on this and a subsequent Amendment. It is worthy of note that the terms of the Amendment are identical with part of a Measure which the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education introduced in this House during the current year, and that he has found it necessary to depart from the principle of giving to local authorities discretion with regard to the granting of maintenance allowances. I must call attention to the effect of the Amendment and refer to the Sections of the principal Act. Section 24 of the principal Act virtually gives maintenance allowance from the age of 12 up to the 1143 limit of age fixed by the Act for the provision of instruction in a public elementary school. Section 71 does the same thing for students at secondary schools, including fees for maintenance at college and hostel.
To some extent we are rather handicapped because of a notice which I saw when I came to the House. That notice gave information as to words used by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education, upstairs this morning. I think it would have been better and more polite to the House if, instead of giving that information to a party gathering, it had appeared in the ordinary course as an Amendment to the Bill. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give an explanation later. I took down part of what he is alleged to have said. I understand that local authorities are to be allowed to make representations with respect to the economic condition of their areas and that the Board is to be free to prescribe special income limits within that area. The Committee would welcome fuller information as to what that really means. Does it in any way interfere with the flat rate of maintenance? My Amendment leaves the local authorities free to use their discretion in granting maintenance allowance, as has been the case for many years past. It is far fairer to the local authorities that they should have discretion in the matter. I can conceive cases where 5s. a week might not be adequate. I can conceive cases where 10s. could be given. On the other band to give a flat rate of 5s. a week is an extravagance which will re-act on the finances of the country in no small degree.
It seems to me extraordinary that the 5s. a week grant to the parents of children at an elementary school should be withheld from parents of children who are at a secondary school, with the exception of the period between 14 and 15 years of age. We have been told by the right hon. Gentleman that the cost of a child at a secondary school is on an average £6 15s. a year for maintenance. Under the present Bill the cost will be £13 a year. Therefore, you have the extraordinary state of affairs that the parents of a child at a secondary school between the ages of 13 and 14 will be getting £6 15s. as maintenance allowance, 1144 that when that child is between 14 and 15 the parents will get £13 a year, but when the child reaches the age between 15 and 16 years, the payment will revert once more to £6 15s. a year. It seems to be the most topsy-turvy arrangement that it is possible to put before the Committee. We are told by the right hon. Gentleman that he expects to relieve unemployment by taking this age group off the labour market, but the expenditure which will fall on the country, to my mind will, far from reducing unemployment, tend to increase it.
I have never seen it stated exactly what other countries do in this respect. I do not think the information has ever been given in a White Paper. I understand, however, that in the United States they have compulsory education to the age of 16 and no maintenance grants. I would like to know what happens in Germany and France and other Continental countries. The truth is that this is not really an Education Bill at all. It is just a dole Bill. When one looks at the financial side of it, especially the maintenance side, one sees that while the cost of the education side will be £2,500,000 in a full year, the maintenance side cost is £5,500,000. So that for every £1 spent on education, more than £2 is spent on subsidies to parents. That is quite enough to show that this not an Education Bill. Under this Clause and other legislation which has been passed or is proposed by the Government, and for which they are responsible, it will be possible for a man to receive uncovenanted benefit from the State when he it unemployed; it will be possible for him to have a subsidised allotment; and, thirdly, it will be possible for him to have a maintenance allowance for his children. It seems to me that if we are to proceed on these lines the Government will indeed be responsible for the creation of a pauper State.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Sir Charles Trevelyan)
Already, on the Second Reading of the Bill and on the Financial Resolution, we have had a general debate upon the subject that is raised by this Amendment, but I may perhaps say one or two things with regard to it in answer to the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The object of the Amend- 1145 ment is not to make it obligatory on the local education authorities to give maintenance allowances. That is, of course, definitely opposed to the policy which the Government have put forward in the Bill. We hold that maintenance allowances should be given as a right to parents and guardians whose income is below a certain limit; that is to say that the right should be applicable universally and not be left to the local authorities to decide. If maintenance allowances are right at all, it certainly is not right to leave to certain local authorities the power to abstain from giving maintenance allowances in areas where the need may be and is just as great as in other areas which do give the allowances. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite do not believe in maintenance allowances. They talk of them as a dole. If maintenance allowances are right in poor Newcastle, they are right in poor Plymouth. We are really entirely and hopelessly opposed in the matter, and there is no use pretending that we can agree. We say, in the first place, that it is a national advantage to raise the school-leaving age. Many hon. Members opposite are in doubt about that.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I know that the Noble Lady is not, but she is exceptional and not in the majority. We want to raise the school age and a very large majority of the House is in favour of doing it. We say that it is worth our while as a nation to make it easy for our poor population to keep their children in school. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot agree with us. We think that the national expenditure which will be incurred in doing that is worth incurring. I am afraid that nothing we can say on either side is going to make us agree. There is a current of argument on the other side—it comes from the Noble Lady who was Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education in the last Government, and from the Front Bench, as it has come from the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken—that other nations do not raise the school age without exemptions, and that other nations do not give maintenance grants. Well, I am rather proud that England should be exceptional. 1146 I do not want, slavishly, to copy other countries. I prefer to lead them and, therefore, I hope that the Committee at large are not going to be frightened by being told that they are doing something before anybody else has done it.
I only allude to one of the minor objections raised by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved this Amendment in his interesting speech. He spoke of the inconvenience which would be caused in connection with secondary school children if, in one particular year, the amount payable was rather higher than the amounts given in the years before and after that year. It is, admittedly, an administrative inconvenience, but the question is: Are you going to make an exception of the secondary school child? I do not think you can. The difficulty with hon. Members opposite, of course, is that they do not believe that it is right to give maintenance allowances, but, if it is right, you cannot say to a family where all the children are attending the elementary school: "You shall have maintenance allowances for these children as long as they are at the elementary school, but, if they are sent to a secondary school, you shall not have any allowance." We have to take the family on a definite economic basis, wherever the child happens to be at school. As a matter of fact, I do not think that there is anything so very disastrous or difficult in having a different amount payable in one year, from the amounts which are payable in other years. If it is right to pay maintenance grants, I think it would be a much greater injustice that the child at the secondary school should be deprived of the advantage. Therefore, I hope that a consideration of that sort will not debar the Committee from supporting me in resisting this Amendment.
§ Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER-CLAY
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that it is right to have the allowance in the case of the secondary school child reduced again to £6 15s. after the age of 15? When the child is older, is it not the case that a higher maintenance allowance is required?
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
It is open to the local authorities to give higher maintenance grants. They can do so if they like.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The President of the Board of Education surely cannot think that the pieces of rhetoric which he has given us form a proper reply to this Amendment. One of the difficulties of having a general discussion on two Amendments is that some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen think that they are absolved by that arrangement from dealing with any of the points of either Amendment. My right hon. and gallant Friend's Amendment proposes to put into this Bill the very words which the right hon. Gentleman put into his Bill of last summer. The effect of those words is that without prejudice to existing powers of local authorities a local authority shall have a power which it has never been allowed by the Board to use hitherto. At least the Board has always refused to give grants, on any maintenance allowances given in respect of children of compulsory school age in the ordinary elementary schools. The effect of this Amendment would be precisely the effect of the original words of the right hon. Gentleman's own Bill of last summer—to give local education authorities the same power and the same discretion and the same assistance from the Board of Education, in respect of maintenance allowances given for children between the ages of 14 and 15, as they have in relation to maintenance allowances in secondary schools, or for all children, in any schools, of above the school-leaving age.
The right hon. Gentleman pecks his own child to death and says that there is an irreconcilable division of principles between us on this Amendment. Why, he asks, should one local authority do one thing in one area and another local authority do another thing in another area. When he is challenged and when he finds that he has no answer on the point as to the secondary school children, he is perfectly content to say, "Of course, the local education authority has power to grant bigger allowances." Such a hotch-potch of inconsistencies and illogicalities was surely never offered to a Committee of this House. I am glad, however, that the right hon. Gentleman has at last persuaded himself, and I hope he has also persuaded the Parliamentary Secretary, that he is in this Bill doing 1148 something new. On the Financial Resolution, the Parliamentary Secretary tried to argue, as he always argues, that this progressive Government were doing nothing but what the Conservative party in general, and I myself in particular, did in the last Parliament. I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has thrown over the Parliamentary Secretary as regards that argument, which, of course, was too ridiculous for words.
The right hon. Gentleman in this part of the Bill is doing something very new indeed. Up to now on this Bill we have been discussing education. We now leave the subject of education altogether, because this Sub-section, as the right hon. Gentleman well knows, has nothing whatever to do with it. Broadly speaking, the bulk of educational opinion in this country, including the bulk of opinion among teachers in the schools, is against the proposal in this Sub-section. As I say, it has nothing to do with education. It is not a question of maintenance allowances in the educational sense. The right hon. Gentleman, on behalf of his Government, says: "We have a very serious unemployment position; we despair of creating more work, and, therefore, we propose to reduce the number of workers, so that the work will go further; we think it worth while to pay £5,500,000 a year in order to keep 450,000 young persons between 14 and 15 off the labour market, and we believe that by doing so we may employ perhaps 150,000 other persons."
§ Lord E. PERCY
When the right hon. Gentleman was challenged about the figure of 150,000 and when we pointed out to him that his proposals might have the opposite effect and might positively create juvenile unemployment, he could only get up, wearily, as he did during the first day of our debates, on an Amendment which I moved, and in the words of an earlier distinguished statesman, that he could not understand "the damned dots." That is what the Government are reduced to for an unemployment policy—paying £5,500,000 in order to keep some workers off the labour market, because there is not enough work to go round. I do not know if the Government realise—I do not know at 1149 any rate if they sufficiently realise—how fatal this proposal is to any educational policy in the future. They have for the first time in the history of this country hung the millstone of a maintenance allowance round the neck of any project for the raising of the school-leaving age—any extension of school life. They have taught the country to believe that no further extension of school life is to be effected without the compensation of the parents for the dreadful loss, the terrible privation of allowing their children to remain longer at school. As every teacher up and down the country knows, and as the great bulk of the teachers are saying, though they do not say it officially through their organisation, this proposal is not justified on educational grounds. They are not saying it officially through their organisation—
§ Lord E. PERCY
I suppose all of us know and most of us are honest enough to admit that the amount of our personal views which, gets into the resolutions of any official organisation to which we belong, is very small indeed. But the great bulk of the teaching opinion in this country knows that this proposal, from the educational point of view, is the most reactionary proposal that could possibly have been put forward and that it will hold up educational progress in the future as no purely reactionary opposition of Tories could ever do. That is what the right hon. Gentleman is doing under the guise of an Education Bill. There is nothing about education in this proposal—it is simply a thoroughly mean unemployment policy and a thoroughly ineffective one. The right hon. Gentleman is going down to history—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Yes, I have no doubt that he is going down to history and that this Government are going dawn to history—not as the man and the party who raised the school-leaving age, but as the man and the party who wrecked the raising of the school-leaving age by the attachment to it of an ineffective and impossible unemployment policy. To put it shortly, they will go dawn to history as the man and the party who succeeded in putting the "dole" in adolescence.
§ 5.0 p.m.
I am surprised that the Noble Lord should have rebuked the Minister for rhetoric, for the effort of rhetoric with which he concluded his own speech must have been a painful one. I wish to congratulate the Minister on the fact that he has had the courage to produce something new. I do not think that the Parliamentary Secretary need sit in sackcloth and ashes, even if he did find that the Noble Lord had indicated some new method but in actual practice had not carried it out, and I am not at all disturbed because, in this matter, we are assuming a leadership which I believe other nations will follow. We are not the only nation facing economic difficulties at this moment, and, personally, I make no kind of apology for my belief that this proposal will help our economic situation as well as our educational system. It has a double value for that reason and I find that other nations are looking at their problems from the point of view, not only of increasing educational efficiency, but of doing that which appears to the Noble Lord to be very undesirable, namely, dealing with part of the economic difficulty by withdrawing children from the labour market. I am interested to see that in Germany, which, I think everybody will agree, has a very creditable record with regard to educational attainments and which largely deprived us at one period of our economic history of a Treat deal of our foreign trade because of the attention that it gave to primary and technical education, you now have a movement for raising the school-leaving age.
It is now being advocated by some of the responsible parties in the German States. I understand, from an article which has appeared in a German newspaper, that a proposition is being made that the Government shall introduce a, Bill applicable to the whole of the Reich, raising the age for compulsory full-time attendance to 15, with financial assistance, and this demand is supported by the Prussian Government, actuated by economic rather than by educational considerations. In the words of a German writer:Millions of willing German workers must remain idle whilst children of 14 years of age who are physically, intellectually, 1151 and morally imperfectly equipped, under the production process, at the close of their period of training become workers.The article summarises the situation, which is almost a parallel to our existing conditions, by saying that Germany makes no secret of her objective to keep children at school, bring men to productive work, reduce the cost of commodities, increase mass production, and intensify competition in the markets of the world. If we are to have Protection, we say that that is the Protection in which we on these benches believe. We believe in protecting those who are now in industry from the competition of young children, and from the competition of old persons, who long ago should have been taken out of industry and whose competition in the labour market reduces the ordinary wage standard of the workers.
Because this Bill is a good thing for this country from every point of view, because this extra year at school will be of immense benefit in the competitive processes with which we as an industrial nation will be faced in the future, because, if wisely used, this extra year of schooling will mean for the children a preparation for citizenship which unfortunately they often miss when they leave at 14, and because in due course, if not immediately, it will make a real contribution to the solution of the unemployment problem, I hope the Committee will not entertain for a moment the suggestion that it shall be a matter for local autonomy. I happen to be, like the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division (Viscountess Astor), who takes such a keen interest in this Bill, a believer in the principle of local option in other fields, but not in this one.
I understand, from the previous discussions that have taken place in this House, that a great deal of concern has been expressed on behalf of the children of the rural schools. Their position is that, owing to the attitude of many education authorities in the country areas, owing to the psychology of some of the members of those education authorities, owing to the fact that in the rural areas unqualified teachers are very often introduced—because, after all, these are only country children who have to be educated—already the rural child is 1152 under a great disability with regard to educational attainments as compared with the town child; and you are going to submit to these reactionary education authorities, these backward authorities, these authorities which are largely dominated by the friends of the party opposite, who profess a sympathy with this Bill with their lips which they do not share in their hearts, who do not believe in maintenance grants—you are going to give to the political associates and friends of those people the decision as to whether or not maintenance grants shall be given. In other words, you are going to hand over to the most reactionary authorities, those who have already penalised the country child and made his education less efficient and in many respects deficient as compared with the town child, the deciding voice as to whether or not these maintenance grants shall be given.
That being so, I suggest that the town child ought not to have any longer an advantage over the country child, and it certainly ought not to be emphasised, as it will be if this Amendment is accepted. In dealing with this problem of education, let us get out of our heads the idea that it is a local matter, a parochial matter. It is a national matter, applying to the whole of the children of this country, whether they are fortunate to be born in Kensington or in some hamlet down in Somerset, and provided that they have the qualifications which are called for by this Bill, having reached the stated age of 14, there should not be applied to them, by the intervention of any reactionary body, by any local circumstance, or by any high rate in the locality because of other conditions, a disability which should not rest upon any of the children of this nation.
§ Mr. HAYDN JONES
I believe in raising the school age to 15; I also believe in giving maintenance allowances whenever there is need, but I want to point out a difficulty which we in Wales will experience if the Bill is passed in its present form. We have in Wales a system of secondary schools. In my own county, we have seven or eight such schools, which are among the most excellent schools in the whole kingdom, and it is a regular thing for scholars from these schools to obtain the degrees 1153 of Inter. B.Sc. and Inter. B.A. at the University of London. The entering age to these schools is 11, and in many instances the governors, in cases of need, award maintenance allowances, which vary in amount. It just depends on the needs of the parents. Further, if they travel from a distance, a certain sum is allowed for travelling expenses—[An HON. MEMBER: "And books."]—and for books.
I am interested in a school at a place called Towyn. Aberdovey is within four miles of Towyn, and the scholars at Towyn include a good number from Aberdovey. In order to assist the scholars going there from Aberdovey, a bursary of 10s. a term is awarded to pay the railway fare. That means 30s. a year, and they draw that so long as they are in school. Let me point out the position in which the governors of that school will be placed. From 11 to 14 these scholars will be receiving 30s. but, as the Bill stands now, for the year 14 to 15 they will be entitled to £13. They do not need it. What is the position if they remain in school after 15, up to 16, 17, or 18? Does the right hon. Baronet suggest that the governors should drop that maintenance allowance at the very time when the boy or girl wants more? If he does not suggest that, it means this, that the difference between 30s. and £13, minus the grant which he makes, will have to be borne by the County of Merioneth, a very poor county.
Under the de-rating that has taken place in the County of Merioneth, the product of a penny rate, which used to be a little over £1,000, is now only £500, and the people who will have to bear the whole of that burden are those people residing in a few towns who are dependent largely on lodging house keeping. The lodging house people, hard hit as they are by the change in the methods of the people, who now motor from, one place to another instead of staying in a given centre, will have to bear all this different in cost. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman that he should allow the local authorities to decide for themselves as to what they ought to give in every instance. I am not against maintenance allowances. We have practised it. For 30 years we have done so, and we have never allowed a poor child to suffer in any 1154 shape or form. If he requires more than £13, we find it, but if he does not require it, we say that it is a deliberate waste of public money to give it. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to vary his Bill so as to enable local authorities which have been doing this good work to continue to do it in their own way; and, if he does so, I am certain he will be doing what is best in the interests of education.
Sir HILTON YOUNG
I wonder if even the speech to which we have just listened from the hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. Haydn Jones) will produce no effect in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education. Is it not perfectly plain from such first-hand knowledge, advanced with so much application, that if you insist up-on forcing a single cast-iron plan like this upon a whole nation, whatever good or harm you do in education, you must inevitably waste an enormous amount of money? We are carrying on this discussion under very great difficulties. I have not seen the rumours to which my right hon. Friend referred, but at any rate there seems to be some reason to suppose that the President of the Board of Education has yet another scheme of maintenance grants which he is going to propose to the Committee at some future time. I do not know, but, if it be so, it is not fair to the Committee not to tell us to-day. The right hon. Gentleman being the correct Parliamentarian that he is, I must needs assume that there is nothing in these rumours, or he would surely have taken the opportunity which he has just had of addressing the Committee to contradict them.
We must, therefore, assume that this cast-iron, unreasonable, wasteful scheme outlined in the Bill is the scheme which the President intends to force upon the country. It is never good at any lime to waste money, and, if you desire to avoid wasting money at any time, you have to adapt your means to the particular circumstances of the country. What we see emerging so clearly, especially in the only other speech which we have had from the benches opposite, is that hon. and right hon. Members opposite have not the confidence in the local education authorities which is necessary in order to give them a proper amount of elasticity in their powers. They do not trust the local edu- 1155 cation authorities to carry out their intentions. I do not wonder. If you go on casting a more and more irrational burden on their shoulders, I do not wonder you do not trust them to carry out the duties thus imposed.
It is unfortunate that in this matter of education, where you depend almost wholly on the good will of the local authorities, you are bringing about a state of affairs in which there is friction between the centre and the circumference. There was a much better scheme before the country before, and nothing is more eloquent of the rapid decay, bath in authority, and, if I may say so without being too bitter, in intelligence, in the state of mind of the Government, than this history of their dealing with maintenance grants. Though there were some glimmerings of rationality in their first scheme, those glimmerings have long since been extinguished.
There was a good deal to be said for the careful scheme provided by the authoritative and representative committee of the local education authorities. It had every quality which is necessary for economy. The grants were to be adapted to the conditions of the family that received them, and to the conditions of the locality in which they were to be paid. If you must spend money on this purpose, these are the essential conditions in order to get the money economically spent. But here there are no such safeguards. It would be out of proportion to the sense of the discussion to-day if we on this side allowed it to be supposed by the country at large that these maintenance grants were being opposed simply because the machinery of their distribution was to be wasteful. The opposition is to the increase of any doles of any kind in the present conditions of the country.
Here is the second circumstance under which this Committee is carrying on its task to-day under difficulties to which it ought not to be subjected. This scheme of expenditure is totally unrelated to the general finances of the year and to the general conditions of the country, and is recommended simply upon the immediate benefits to be received. In the present state of our country, such a course of procedure in regard to public business is ruinous. We ought not to be asked to consider schemes of this 1156 sort, involving an increase in expenditure ultimately amounting to no less than £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 a year, except in relation to the actual conditions of the year's finances and the future state of the country.
The right hon. Gentleman says that this nation is leading Europe. At the present time we are leading it downwards. his reference to what has been done by other countries is the most illuminating part of his speech, revealing as it does a complete ignoring of the circumstance that there are any special difficulties before us. How can we get it home to the minds of hon. Members opposite that we are now standing, as regards national expenditure, in such a pass as has never previously been seen by ourselves or our fathers or our grandfathers? Look at the conditions of this year: one of the greatest slumps in the history of trade still continuing rapidly downwards, and our foreign trade down again this year by some 10 per cent. This is a circumstance which we, as a Committee of the House of Commons, with our responsibilities, must not allow to pass unnoticed when the actual Budget of the year is heading towards a very large deficit.
In these circumstances we are asked to increase our outlay for this year by £8,000,000 or £9,000,000. It is an improper demand to make on the House of Commons, as representing the people of the country, unless the Government are prepared to show where the money is to come from. Where is the money coming from? [Interruption.] One knows the chuckle of anticipatory delight which comes from benches opposite at the possibility of fresh direct taxes; that, however, would take me too far from the subject of the debate. We ought not to be asked to make such an expenditure as this for any purpose whatever, apart from the wasteful circumstances of the present proposals, miles we can see our way clear on the financial side. Where are the Treasury Ministers? Why have we not some account of how this expenditure is to be met? What reasonable, intelligible explanation have we had as to the sufficiency of the resources of the country to meet an expenditure of this 1157 sort? At any time a Committee of the House of Commons might resent being asked to vote a Bill for such an enormous expenditure without some help and assistance from Treasury Ministers as to how it is possible for them to confront such an increase of expenditure. To be asked, at a time when the most prominent thing in the mind of every intelligent man and woman is that we are nearer the edge of a financial crisis in the Budget of the nation than we have ever been before, to pile on this expenditure by means of the sentimental advocacy of general humanitarianism—which we believe to be totally misplaced—without the least assistance on the financial question, is to deal with the House of Commons in a manner in which it has not been dealt with before. For that reason alone, the most unfaltering opposition should be offered to these proposals. We are asked to pile on an additional expenditure of £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 this year, without any word about where the money is to come from. That is asking us to lay aside the most important and responsible function of the House of Commons.
§ Mr. McSHANE
It is difficult to appreciate that the right hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young) is serious in what he has said in regard to the alleged straightened financial circumstances of the country to-day. This morning's papers give some description of a loan which was floated yesterday for £6,000,000 for electricity. It was subscribed many times over in a few minutes—
§ Mr. McSHANE
Unfortunately it was not, nor was it so in the case of the South African loan a few months ago, where £5,000,000 was asked for, and in three minutes £75,000,000 was forthcoming. All who had proposed sums of money less than £1,000 were rigorously excluded.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Does the hon. Gentleman know what "money forthcoming" means? It was not forthcoming at all.
§ Mr. McSHANE
This question whether there is any money in the country does 1158 not seem very popular on the other side—
§ Mr. McSHANE
The hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. Haydn Jones) said that if this Bill passed as it is in respect to maintenance allowances, it would throw a burden on his constituency which it could not very well afford. Either he has not read the provisions dealing with the scale of maintenance allowances, or he has misunderstood them. I shall be charitable and say that he has misunderstood them. The main trend of his remarks was that no poor child should be allowed to suffer, and that no one who was not entitled to it should get the allowance. The scale of maintenance allowance is based on a certain scale of wages and the number in the family, and this is sufficient indication that no one will get the allowance who is not entitled to it. My view is that the scale is not generous enough. No parent will get this payment if the circumstances do not justify it; if they do justify it, no one has a right to withhold it. The right hon. Member for Sevenoaks said that it was wrong to impose a single cast-iron plan like this, but nature has done it in regard to the needs of the children who have to be kept at school. They need food and clothes—
§ Mr. McSHANE
I do not propose to enter into an argument with the Noble Lady as to whether one child has one stomach and another two stomachs. That is too foolish to enter into. The Noble Lord, in making the quotation about "damned dots" omitted to say that, it was a Conservative statesman who confessed to that, failure. The Noble Lord said that it was very wrong to give money in order to bribe parents to keep their children at school, but what difference is there in principle between the maintenance grant and giving milk to children who need it at school or giving free books, as all schools do, or, as I have heard demanded from the other benches very vociferously, money for omnibus fares in order to enable the country children to be carried to the schools which have been re- 1159 organised? What difference in principle is there between those things and free meals, which we on these benches recognise are necessary if children are to be kept at school.
On the question of giving local authorities option, every argument used by the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) in connection with stone-breaking is an argument for preventing such rural authorities as can inflict stone-breaking on men who are only poor and unemployed, from having local option in this matter. The great mark of working-class people to-day is their poverty. Whether they are in work or out of work, that is the character of our modern civilisation, and there has been imposed upon them during the last century a burden which all progressively minded people agree cannot be increased unless they are given some help to bear it. More than a, century ago the children of the working classes used to help by working in the factories and bringing in some sort of wages to help the family income. As the last century progressed, the age of school leaving increased until it reached 14. With the reduction in the family income which resulted, there has come nothing to compensate the parents for the loss. But, as an hon. Lady has well written in her book, the breaking-point has come in regard to that, and those who on the other side of the House say that 5s. is a dole and likely to pauperise the recipients, forget the realities of the situation. In the nature of things, a father and mother can have only boy or girl, or at the most two, at the age of 14 and 15. They will receive only 5s., but hon. Members may have three, four or five children for whom, through their Income Tax, they will also be getting a weekly allowance—far more than the poor parents who are getting only 5s. It does not come well from those who are already in receipt of what must be regarded, on their own arguments, as a pauperising influence, to complain that working-class people are to get 5s. I hope the Minister will be adamant in his refusal to alter this in any way at all. My only criticism is that all children who are to be compelled to stay at school will not get the allowance. We have no right to impose a burden on any 1160 parents in the national interest if we do not at the same time help those parents to bear that burden.
§ Mr. HARRIS
It is very regrettable that this debate should have aroused so much controversy and such very strong feelings. Hon. Members opposite are inclined to suggest that in providing maintenance allowances they are starting something quite new; while hon. Members of the Conservative party see in the proposal something revolutionary, demoralising and degrading to working people. For a good many years I have been a member of the London Education Authority, where, subject to an intellectual test, we have for several years past been giving all children over 14 years of age whose parents have less than a certain income a maintenance allowance of 5s. a week. I admit that the analogy is not complete, but it may be interesting to note how that scheme has worked when we are considering the present Bill. Whether a child can pass that intellectual test is largely a matter of accident. It does not always follow that a child who passes will prove to be specially clever and intelligent. It is my experience that some children mature early and some mature later. Many a child who has not had that chance at 14, shows later that had it had the opportunity of going to a secondary school it would have derived very great benefit.
I have taken the trouble to inquire how the money is spent. I would say incidentally—and I call the Minister's attention to it as it might be a point to be considered in administration—that the practice in London is to pay the money into an account in the savings bank in the name of the child. In other words, the child gets the money and not the parent. The vast majority of the parents are very poor people, and my inquiries have shown that a greater part of this money is spent on boots and clothes. At 14 a boy is very rough on his shoes, and the cost of shoes absorbs a very large amount of the allowance. I know that hon. Members opposite are very sensitive about demoralising the parents. Frankly, I am not concerned with the parents in this matter. My only interest is in the child. I want the child to have the advantage of a good education, not merely in his own interest but in the interest of the State. These children 1161 will be our future governors, let us make no mistake about that. They will have votes, they will decide what sort of Parliament we have and what sort of Government, and I say that it is not safe to allow them to grow up illiterate, not safe to allow their education to be cut short before it is really complete.
Hon. Members of the Conservative party may say that this has nothing much to do with the question of maintenance grants, but it is a very real fact that as a child gets older it becomes very hard for the parents to make both ends meet and find the necessary boots and food for it. I do not say that when children are young their appetites are not so great, but it is simpler and easier to feed and clothe and manage a younger child. As the child gets to adolescence, full of energy, full of intellectual curiosity, it is much more difficult to keep control over it—to be perfectly frank, to keep the child at school. The spirit of adventure is getting into the child's blood, and it is only by the State intervening with compulsion and making the position of the parents easier by finding the necessary money, that the children can be kept at school.
In London, and I have no doubt the same observation applies to Manchester, Glasgow and other great cities, we have found that £13 a year is little enough. It may be different in a rural area, where housing is much cheaper, and where, perhaps, food is cheaper, where a man has an allotment or a garden. [Interruption]. I do not know whether in Merionethshire they have yet got the cow. While £13 is little enough in great towns it is a generous, and it is even suggested that it is a too generous, allowance in a rural area. I am not in a, position to judge, but there is no reason why the Minister should not allow a certain discretion in rural districts. I would suggest, however, that we must have a flat rate. There is no magic in 5s. One can make just as strong a case for 6s. or 4s., but it would be most undesirable to have the amount of the allowance the subject of controversy in the local government elections. It would be most unfortunate if we had one candidate saying, "I am the candidate who stands for 5s." and another saying "I am standing for economy and I will vote for less." We should have a slanging match which 1162 would degrade local government and divert the attention of the electors from the real problems. Therefore, it is advisable to fix a flat rate. Whether £13 a year, which is a small enough allowance in London, is too much in the country I am not in a position to judge. If rural Members want a little discretion I am all for local government; but I do say that, in the light of practical experience, if we want this educational advance to be a success, it is not unreasonable to lighten the burden of the poorer members of society.
It is a great mistake to believe that the great mass of the people are not keen on education. They are. They were not 20 years ago. A new generation is growing up, a generation which has been through the council schools and knows their value, and there is quite a different attitude towards education. On one point hon. Members on both sides are right. The economic pressure is great. It is very hard to say to a parent in a place like London, where a boy can go out and get 15s. a week, "You are to be deprived of the chance of his earning 15s. a week; your growing son, who has a tendency to kick out the toes of his boots, is going to be a burden on you." Therefore, the maintenance allowance proposal is a reasonable one, though it may be modified to meet rural conditions. I am not horrified at the idea that it will have a pauperising effect upon people. I have heard all those arguments before. There was a time in the history of our universities when the exhibitioner was looked clown upon and had to sit at a separate table, because his company was supposed to be degrading. He had got a scholarship because his parents were poor. That was how our university system was built up in the centuries gone by. To-day we have a new attitude towards life. We find the old age pension has been very far from demoralising to old people; on the contrary, it has stimulated saving. I suggest, therefore, that we should allow the experiment In this Bill to go forward, and we here will give the proposals in this Clause our blessing.
I wish to point out that I put my name down in support of this Amendment because I believe that the universal grant of maintenance allowances is as bad as the principle of 1163 raising the school age is good; and I should like to show the President of the Board of Education that is is possible to do the one thing without the other. I do not want to be out of order, but I would like to go into some detail to show what we have done at Plymouth, how we have raised the school age there and granted maintenance allowances in necessitous cases without a general maintenance grant all round. It has worked extraordinarily well there, and no child who has ability is prevented from going right on up to college. In 1927 we began the reorganisation of our schools on lines formulated by the Education Committee in 1925. That scheme provided for junior, senior and secondary schools, with the dividing line age at 11. There is completely free secondary education with scholarships, on the principles of the Hadow Report. This scheme was sanctioned by the President of the Board of Education, and although he made some rather disparaging remarks about Plymouth the other day I know that he now wishes, in his bones, that every other local authority had been so far-seeing and so progressive, because if they had been, the House and the Government would have been spared all this, as I think, very ugly debate about maintenance grants, in which we are always getting back to a contrast between the rich and the poor, which, to my mind, is very offensive. [Interruption.] Yes, bitterness and. class hatred are offensive. [Interruption.] It is offensive, it is unchristian and it is unworthy of decent people, and I hate it. We should not have been subjected to all this if all other local authorities had been as progressive as Plymouth.
It is quite true that at Plymouth we have had to grant some exemptions, but they were expiring exemptions, and by 1932 there will be no exemptions at all. Everything is working peacefully and in order, and we have established a really good spirit between the parents and the education authorities. There has been very little trouble. Under our Plymouth scheme need has never stood in the way of a single child. Our education authority deals with 30,000 children, and last year we spent on maintenance grants £6,500. That amount is sufficient to take some of the children right up to college. The Minister of Education has the whole scheme before him, and I wish he had 1164 put it before the Committee. Our scheme in Plymouth was a real, educational one. There was no question of bribing the parents to try to make them swallow a rather bitter pill with a silver lining. [Laughter.] I am glad the House has laughed, because once more hon. Members will see what a ridiculous assembly we are. We laugh at the most absurd things. A Member makes a slight slip and we all roar like schoolboys—not like schoolgirls. We have placed this question in the forefront in Plymouth, and we have kept the question of education first and foremost in our minds. We have spent in Plymouth over £6,500 in these grants. [Interruption.] Do hon. Members opposite desire to have the whole of the details. Our scheme in Plymouth deals with children between the ages of 14 and 15 whose parents apply for and receive these allowances.
I have all the details, and they have been supplied to the President of the Board of Education. I did not think it would in order to give them to the Committee, although I am willing to give them.
The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN
I am afraid that would not be in order. Hon. Members must bear in mind that the issue raised by the Amendment before the Committee is whether there should he maintenance allowances for children between the ages of 14 and 15, and, if so, what discretion, if any, the local authority should exercise.
I do not know whether I should be able to give the details which have been asked for, but I would like to say that if this Measure passes into law the result, as regards our maintenance grants in Plymouth, will be very bad indeed, because a great deal of ill-feeling will be caused amongst those parents who have voluntarily kept their children at school. This Measure will put the question back again into the arena of politics. We have got this question out of politics in Plymouth, and the four great political parties have been working together. The Measure we are discussing will cost £20,000 a year in Plymouth, that is £14,000 on the basis of 1165 the 75 per cent. grant and £6,000 will come out of the rates. It has been estimated that 75 per cent. of the children will receive the grant, but my own view is that eventually 100 per cent. will apply for the grant. That is perfectly natural, because parents will feel that if their neighbours are receiving the grant for their children, there is no reason why they should not receive it.
This Bill is going to throw an unnecessary burden on the local rates, and on this question I cannot understand the point of view put forward by the President of the Beard of Education. Many of us know that the right hon. Gentleman was never before in favour of a maintenance allowance, and now he is proposing to give even more than the local education authorities require. One reason why the local authorities want a flat rate is that they do not desire to have inquiries made into the means of the applicants. Most people are strange when it comes to their monetary affairs, and people do not like their neighbours to know what they are worth. These inquiries into the means of people are carried out in the case of the rich, and surely every Government has a right to know what a person has got before giving any more.
In these matters the prejudices of the rich are just as strong as the prejudices of the poor. We have all to swallow our prejudices when the State steps in. I do not know why hon. Members opposite should he so sensitive as regards the means test, because the State has a perfect right to go into this question when a person wants something from the State. The President of the Board of Education and many other Ministers sitting on the Treasury Bench, know perfectly well that if they acted conscientiously on this question they would say, "Let us leave this question of maintenance grants to the local authorities, who have a perfect right to see to all the necessities of the children." Like many of my Friends I have been put into a very difficult position by this Measure. I believe in the raising of the school age, and I think it is madness not to raise it. I am bound to vote for the 1166 raising of the school age as long as it is put forward decently and in order.
There is a much greater problem attached to this question of education to-day. The President of the Board of Education said that he wanted England to lead the way. Lead which way? We in England are the highest taxed people in the world. We spend more on social services than any other country in the world; and we have the biggest debt and the greatest number of unemployed of any country in the world. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] Hon. Members opposite cannot tell me of another country in the world where taxation is so high as ours. [Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite should not be rude, and I would remind them that anybody can be personal. The right hon. Gentleman told us that he wanted England to lead the way and that he desired to make it easy for poor people to get their children into the schools. That is what we all want, but we do not want to bribe the parents in order to get the children into the schools.
Surely all this extra money which is being found by the Government would be far better spent upon nursery schools than upon maintenance grants. I know there are many right hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway who feel as I do on this question, and I only wish they would get up and speak their minds. I do not believe in children being placed on the industrial market at the age of 14. I hate children doing jobs which men could do, and should do. I have listened to the nonsense which has been talked from the benches opposite about hon. Members being interested in the poor. The best way to look after the interests of the poor is to try to find them jobs, and not bribe the parents to send their children to school. I appeal to the President of the Board of Education, who has changed his mind so often, to change it again on this question. I beg him to "Turn again Whittington," and turn this way.
Let the right hon. Gentleman make this as good a Bill as he can by giving that £5,000,000 to a committee which is really interested in the children of the poor. We could obtain really marvellous results with this £5,000,000 in slum areas, and that would be putting the money to a 1167 far better use than giving way to the left wing of the party opposite, and the nonsense and sob-stuff to which we have bad to listen in this debate. Hon. Members opposite are never tired of telling us that there is plenty of money in the country, but there will not be much money left if the Government spend it unnecessarily in the way proposed by this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) has already told the Committee that a great deal of this money will not be needed. I appeal to the President of the Board of Education to turn again, and encourage the local authorities by giving them a chance with this money of making their own arrangements, instead of listening to the advice given to him by the left wingers of his party.
All these things make it very difficult for some of us to vote for this Bill. I am in favour of the raising of the school age, but I shall vote against this Clause, which is not in the interest of education, but is proposed to carry out a promise that was given at the election, which shows that hon. Members opposite are in complete ignorance of the actual state of things. The President of the Board of Education has been defeated once, and he only got back again by making certain promises. Some hon. Members sitting on this side did not make promises at the last election which they could not fulfil. We were returned, and we shall be Members of this House long after the President of the Board of Education has disappeared.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Morgan Jones)
I hope that the Committee will presently be ready to take a decision on this Amendment—[Interruption]. I am going to reply to the arguments which have been advanced. We have had a full discussion on the principle— —
§ Mr. JONES
How can the Minister reply when he spoke at the beginning? [Interruption.] I think the Committee will agree that we have had a fairly full discussion. We have been twitted 1168 by speakers on the other side with having overlooked a Clause in the Bill which we introduced earlier in the summer. I wonder if I may ask hon. Members who advanced that point one question: Why did they choose to lift out of the late Bill that particular Clause? [Interruption.] The Clause which they lifted out of the late Bill was a Clause giving the local authorities permission to make arrangements for the provision of maintenance allowances, but they very conveniently left out the succeeding Clause, which reads:It shall be the duty of every local education authority so to exercise the powers conferred on them by the last preceding subsection as to secure that maintenance allowances shall not be withheld except in accordance with such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed by regulation made by the Board of Education under Section 118 of the principal Act.
§ Mr. JONES
If hon. Members opposite are entitled for their own purposes to lift out one Clause in that way, I am entitled to reply that the following Subsection of the Clause made it mandatory upon local authorities not to withhold the maintenance grant so long as the governing conditions and regulations were observed.
What does this particular Amendment propose? I want to be perfectly fair, and will try to answer the points which have been advanced if hon. Members will please give me a chance to do so. There is a substantial difference in principle between what is proposed in this Amendment and what we propose. All that is involved in the Amendment as moved is that the local authorities shall be empowered to do certain things. We consider that the mere giving of power to local authorities is not adequate for our purpose. We desire to go further than that. There is a fundamental difference between us, and yet the difference is not as great, perhaps, as it would seem to be on the surface. The Noble Lord twitted us with the suggestion that the President of the Board of Education had in some way thrown me over. I did not observe that particular act on his part, but I am very determined that the Noble Lord shall not throw himself overboard.
1169 What is the position? There is not a single party in the House of Commons that has not been committed overwhelmingly up to now to the principle—I am speaking of the principle now—of giving maintenance grants under certain conditions. [Interruption.] I am taking the principle now. Perhaps the Noble Lord will withhold his comments for a moment; I did not interrupt him. I say that there is no party in the House of Commons that is not committed to the principle of granting maintenance allowances under certain conditions. For instance, in 1925—and let the Committee mark the conditions under which it was carried, when hon. Members opposite were in an overwhelming majority in the House—in 1925 a Motion was moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Houghtonle-Spring (Mr. R. Richardson), in which he laid down the proposition—I am giving a free rendering of it—that it was important that provision should be made for enhanced opportunities for educational progress for all our children, and—and these are the material words—for the development of maintenance allowances on such a scale that no children may be debarred from higher education by the poverty of their parents.That was agreed to by the House without a single dissentient. If I remember rightly, the Noble Lord begged some hon. Members who had moved an Amendment to withdraw it, and said that, if the Amendment were withdrawn, he would accept the Resolution on behalf of the Government of the day. If there were such an overwhelming objection on the other side to the principle of maintenance allowances, clearly it was their business then to challenge it and say that they were against the principle of maintenance grants as such.
§ Mr. JONES
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young) has this afternoon raised the standard of revolt not on the ground that maintenance grants are not permissible under certain conditions, but he called them doles—[Interruption]—may I be allowed to finish my sentence? I was saying that, if hon. Members opposite had an objection at any time to the principle of maintenance allowances, they should never have accepted the proposal laid down in 1925. 1170 More than that, in the course of the last election, literature was published by the party opposite which they may find it convenient just now to repudiate, but which was explicit on the point that, given certain conditions—the condition of necessity—they were in favour of the granting of maintenance allowances. Moreover, that granting of maintenance allowances was associated with a proposal set down in quite explicit words for making it possible for as many children as desired it to have a prolonged period of education beyond the compulsory school age of 14. [Interruption.] So far we are agreed, and I hope I am not doing violence to the opinions of hon. Members opposite in saying what I have said already.
Now I come to hon. Members below the Gangway. They, too, agree, and I think that the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) has again reaffirmed the proposition this afternoon, that from his point of view and from their point of view jointly there is no objection in principle to the granting of maintenance allowances. But, say hon. Members opposite to me—and I accept the point; it is a fair one to make—"While we agree with you that there is nothing wrong in principle in granting maintenance allowances, we would only give them in cases of necessity," and in the literature of the right hon. Gentleman himself we have the words "if necessary" repeated a thousand times. It depends upon the element of necessity. All that I want to say to hon. Members opposite is that that is exactly what we have in our Bill; but, while hon. Members opposite have never attempted to define necessity, we do define necessity in our Bill. We say that, where there is a parent whose income is below so much, and whose family is so many in number, there, in our judgment, is a case of necessity. Where the family is larger, we raise the scale of income so as to recognise the greater necessity and so as to cover the heavier burden which a larger family involves. In principle, I submit, there is no very great difference between hon. Members opposite and ourselves, but we have tried to define for ourselves what necessity is, and hon. Members opposite have never attempted to do so. It is like an hon. Member who was asked, I think 1171 yesterday, to define dumping, saying that dumping was a condition where you dumped. Necessity is a condition where there is need, and you get no further. We, however, have tried in our White Paper to give in words what we think is a reasonable interpretation of the word "necessity."
Several arguments have been advanced against our proposal this afternoon, and some of them, I am bound to say, I appreciate as indicating difficulties which are very present to the minds of people who are operating education in various parts of the country. One point that has been made over and over again is the point that we ought to leave to local authorities some measure of local option in this matter. On that point, I think it ought to be enough to tell the Committee, that in our consultations with local authorities during the preparation of this Bill and the previous one, we were led to believe, and I think it is the case, that the local authorities specifically do not desire local option in this matter. They dislike the proposal, and I can quite understand their disliking it. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green put his finger on the difficulty which is bound to occur if you have differentiation in scales as between one district and another. You have the poor local authority between the upper and the nether millstone, as it were, the upper millstone being represented by the ratepayers demanding economy, and the nether by the parents demanding some attention to their necessity. The local authorities do not want this question to be thrown into the arena of municipal politics; they feel that it is far better not to have it as a bone of contention whenever municipal affairs are being discussed in public in the locality.
Another point was that put by my hon. Friend the Member for Merionethshire (Mr. Haydn Jones). I entirely appreciate the difficulty which he visualises in his area in Wales, and I know that the county which he represents with so much distinction in the House is a county which throughout the years has made tremendous sacrifices to maintain a very efficient secondary education. In that matter it is not unlike the other counties of Wales, and Monmouthshire as well. Putting it at its worst, in the year from 1172 14 to 15 there will be, for those parents, a sudden jump from the bursary of £1 10s. per annum, which is given for travelling, to £13. Very good. It may look to my hon. Friend like a tremendous jump, but in any case I think he will agree with me that in the case of those children who happen to be in secondary schools, and whose parents are making a very special effort of self-abnegation to keep them at school, it would be most unjust and unfair to exclude them because of the chance that they happen to be in secondary schools. [Interruption.] I am not saying that my hon. Friend suggests that at all; I understand quite well that he is not opposing the proposal. The point that I am making is that it is inevitable that you must give these children between 14 and 15 whether they are in elementary or in secondary schools, the same treatment from the point of view of maintenance grants. If, in succeeding years, the local authorities feel that they must make some review of this matter, then they are entirely at liberty to make some review, and nobody can compel them to act in one way or the other. I entirely appreciate, however, the difficulty that my hon. Friend has in mind.
I think I have covered the main points that have been put forward by hon. Members on both sides of the Gangway opposite, but there is one other observation that I should like to make. The Noble Lord opposite seems to think that we are, in some way that he did not make clear, because of the rhetoric that he himself used, going to hang a millstone round the neck of education, which will prevent education from functioning adequately in the future. I wonder if this prophecy would be very far wrong—I do not think it is too venturesome to suggest—that if the condition that the hon. Member for Merioneth visualises takes place, as it must, it might very well be that a far larger number of children will be attracted into the secondary schools than have ever been attracted before, and, from my point of view it is vastly more important that we should give adequate opportunity to all the children of the country than that we should give some special consideration to some select few who would acquit themselves well in educational competitions whatever arrangements of a financial kind we may or may not make for them. Therefore, it seems 1173 to me that on educational grounds this proposal is justified. I am sure, with the scale that we are proposing in respect of incomes, it will be possible for people who otherwise could not have faced the prospect of losing their children's earning capacity for an extra year, to enable them in the future to look upon it with greater equanimity, and for that reason I believe that the proposal is amply justified.
§ Lord E. PERCY
Are we to have no reply to the question that has been repeatedly put as to what happened upstairs about this Bill?
The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Robert Young)
I have an Amendment before me. We must deal with that. What happened upstairs does not arise here.
§ Lord E. PERCY
Perhaps I may explain that the Mover of the Amendment asked the right hon. Gentleman whether it was true, as published in the Press, that a meeting had taken place upstairs, and that he had announced certain changes in his policy in regard to maintenance grants, and no reply has been made to that.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must rule that it does not arise at this stage. I have two Amendments before me, and we must keep to them.
Lieut. - Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
May I suggest that it arises on this question, because Mr. Dunnico said he would allow a more or less general discussion. The point was raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved the Amendment, and he asked the Minister whether he would emphasise the position as to whether that meeting took place and whether there is any general change of programme.
§ Sir JOHN WITHERS
It seems rather far from the point we are discussing, but various Members have raised questions as to the amount of liquid money that there is about for investment and 1174 in the banks as a proof that these maintenance allowances can easily be made. I do not know whether I may deal with that.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This Amendment, as far as I understand it, empowers a local authority, but does not require it to pay maintenance allowance.
§ Sir J. WITHERS
If you rule this out of order, I leave it at that. I am one of those who are in favour of the school age being raised to 15, or even more, but I object entirely to these universal maintenance allowances. Others will object on other grounds. I object on two matters of principle. My first is that the proposal of universal maintenance grants is against the fundamental rules of nature and law. My second point is that the maintenance grants are being put forward, not bona fide, but as a means to further political aims. In regard to the first point, the principle involved is that parents are liable to maintain their children, and this curious provision is that between 14 and 15 that rule of nature and law is to be abrogated and that, universally, persons may be relieved from that liability which they have otherwise. The State has so far only granted maintenance allowances to encourage special people and special classes of people, and a universal grant of this kind, to my mind, is a distinct breach with the past. Why is it only in respect to children between 14 and 15? Why are they taken out, and why does the liability come back again at 15 to 16? Why not take 2 to 3, or 4 to 5, looking at it from the pure point of the parents liability to maintain? I cannot see why it should he done at all in that respect. I think it is quite illogical and against settled principle and practice.
With regard to the second point, the Government are either in favour of the extension of the school age as good in itself or they are not. It is obvious to me that they are not. They are only in favour of it on conditions, and the position is that they are using these grants for some other purposes. What are these other purposes? It is as clear as a pikestaff. It is a bribe.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but the first Amendment is to empower the local 1175 authorities to do something and not to require them. They may do it or they may not. The other Amendment is to leave out Sub-section (2).
§ Sir J. WITHERS
We have been allowed to debate both Amendments and, therefore, I think it is within the Ruling of Mr. Dunnico that I can deal with this question as it has been dealt with all along. My point is that these maintenance allowances are to be used for an ulterior purpose and are, first of all, a bribe to the parents, secondly, are used as a measure of unemployment relief and, thirdly, as has been openly stated amongst others by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove), that they are to be used for the distribution of wealth by taxation. In those circumstances, I strongly object to maintenance allowances on this basis and ask that they shall be omitted.
§ Major NATHAN
I count the hon. Member's arguments as singularly unconvincing. I am keenly in favour of the extension of the school age. In principle I am opposed to maintenance allowances, on grounds that were put forward by my right hon. Friend the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) on an earlier occasion, when he referred to the curious situation that arises when the State is conferring a benefit, and making a payment to the recipients of that benefit. In principle that is an argument that is difficult to refute. But we are here dealing with a practical business matter, the question of raising the education age and making the transition easier and, as a practical business matter, it seems to me that the maintenance allowances are both justified and inevitable. After all, the matter has to be considered from the point of view of the parent who has legitimately been looking forward for a period of years to his child going to work and bringing something into the family exchequer at the age of 14. It is in anticipation of the fulfilment of that hope that parents have made sacrifices and have kept their hearts high in times of distress, and here in London the position is such that it is the simplest thing in the world for a youngster leaving school to go out and find employment and bring home at the end of the week a substantial and a wel- 1176 come contribution to the family exchequer. If the school age were to be raised and that contribution to the family income made impossible, a condition of gross hardship would be inflicted, and that alone at this time is ample justification for the payment of a maintenance allowance.
But there is something more to be said with regard to it. I have heard hon. Members opposite say, and I subscribe to it from my own experience, that there is, throughout the masses of the parents of those who would benefit by this increase in the age, an ardent desire for improved and extended education. That is very much a desire for education in the abstract. When it comes to having to forego a part of the family income in order that education may be immediately enjoyed, what is regarded as a benefit in the abstract is often in practice looked upon as a hardship. I think, therefore, maintenance allowances are more than justified, because they will have to tide over the period and make the transition easy and simple. The last speaker referred to the liability of parents to maintain their children. That is true, but the State long since, and on many occasions, has intervened in proper case to assist the parents in fulfilling that liability. It is only another instance of the same thing that is being done now. But a maintenance allowance might be looked upon from another point of view. It might be looked upon as a contribution that is made to enable the State to turn out better trained citizens to take their part in industry, and from that point of view it may properly he regarded as a contribution towards what we so earnestly need, and that is national re-equipment. On all those grounds, I support the proposal of maintenance allowances.
§ Miss RATHBONE
Various speakers have declared their attitude towards the raising of the school age and their opposition to a general scheme of maintenance allowances. The Noble Lady the Member for Sutton (Viscountess Astor) and several other speakers did so especially, and I would like to join issue with the suggestion that it is possible to have a compulsory raising of the school age without a fairly general system of maintenance allowances. I suggest that any Government of whatever political party who introduced the one without the other 1177 would be committing political suicide. When it is as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University (Sir J. Withers) asked, why introduce maintenance allowances for children of from 14 to 15 and for children of from five to six, or from six to seven and so forth? I reply, because we have reached a stage when it would be the last straw that would break the camel's back if we attempted to put the whole of the extra burden of child dependency upon the great mass of the working-class parents who send their children to elementary schools.
I think that when we talk, as so many social reformers do, of all that is done for the children, of the increased cost of social services, we forget the increased cost of the social services as far as they affect the parents. Rather more than 100 years ago Daniel Defoe took pleasure in saying that in the textile districts of Yorkshire "scarcely a creature over five years old but was responsible for its own support." Some years later a distinguished economist in an elaborate calculation stated that seven years was the age at which a child should earn its living. The other day I quoted Lord Salisbury, who thought that it was a great hardship to deprive parents of the labour of children over the age of 10, and now we have got to 14 and the question is: Can parents hear the burden of the extra year? That is a question of statistical fact. It is one of the questions calculated by means of statistics.
We constantly hear about the costs of production. We hear, when talking of manufactures, about the cost of manufactured articles. I wonder how many of the Members on this side who are opposing the maintenance allowances have ever worked out the cost of a child. A good deal of scientific attention has been extended to that subject by sociologists. I should like to quote the very conservative estimate made in connection with a great survey of the life and labour of the poor which is being carried out in London and in Liverpool. I do not know the London figures—they have not yet been published—on the subject of the cost of living of parents, but I know the Liverpool figures. I will quote the actual calculation made on 1929 Liver- 1178 pool prices of the cost of a child of 14 to 16 years old. The calculation is made on the basis that not a single farthing is spent upon anything but bare necessities. There is no allowance whatever made for luxuries of any kind. There is, further, the rather extreme assumption made that the housewife is a perfect housewife and wastes nothing and knows how to make the best use of her money. To cut a long story short, the cost works out, boys 6s. 6½girls 6s. 2½and if you strike a balance and call it 6s. 4½5s. 2d. is spent on food and Is. 2½on clothing. These are very precise figures. They have been gone into with very great detail and are based upon scientific data as to the actual food needs of growing children. I challenge the Noble Lady and ask her if she has ever worked out for Plymouth what it would mean to keep a boy or girl of 14 or 15 on 5s. 2d. a week.
§ ViscountessASTOR rose—
§ Miss RATHBONE
It would not be possible to keep a child on that amount in the nurseries of the rich. Therefore, those who say that an allowance of 5s. a week towards the cost of a child is a bribe to parents to keep children at school are surely ignoring the facts. It is not a bribe to parents. The reason why the working-class parents refuse to keep children between 14 and 15 at school without a bribe, is not, as has been suggested, because they do not believe in education, but, broadly speaking, because they cannot afford to keep them at school.
In 1926, just before the coal strike broke out, I prepared for the benefit of the Commission over which the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) so admirably presided, some extremely elaborate calculations as to miners' wages. I was able to find out with the best statistical help that the country could provide what proportion of miners, at the wage rates being received at that time, were able to live above the 1179 standard laid down by Mr. Rowntree in his famous book on the human needs of labour, on the assumption that they worked a full week with no overtime, and that they had a certain number of children which I was able to give after a close analysis of the census papers got out expressly for the mining industry. One-third of the miners and two-thirds of the miners' children were unable to satisfy that standard. That was before wages went down. Now, when wages are not going up but show a general tendency to come down—we are faced with a demand for a very substantial decrease in wages in one of the sheltered industries of this country, namely, the railways—can you, considering the wages which the workers are actually getting, tell them that in the normal cases—there are exceptions—they can possibly afford the burden of an extra year's dependency? As a matter of fact, the great thing which pinches the working-class is not low wages. Unemployment and child dependency are conditions which cause the acutest poverty. If you put a horse's saddle upon a camel's back, it would probably result in a sore back either to the camel or to the camel's rider because the horse's saddle would not go on to the camel's hump. There is something wrong with the system of wages which does not allow for the great hump of child dependency.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I have tried to keep strictly to maintenance allowances. Can we afford to put an extra bit on to that hump, so to speak. I say that we cannot. The Noble Lady the Member for Kinross (Duchess of Atholl) asked the right hon. Gentleman whether any country in Europe provided maintenance allowances for children between the ages of 14, and 15, and he replied that he did not know. May I throw a little light on the position? As far as I know, there is no European country which does this out of State funds, but in Belgium it is legally compulsory for every employer in the land to pay a cash educational allowance for every one of his employēs' children.
§ Miss RATHBONE
In France, it is not yet legally compulsory, but the French Government have a Bill before Parliament to do this, so I have been informed by a member of the French Government.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I was merely replying to a question which the right hon. Gentleman could not answer. I do not think that it is irrelevant to point out—
§ Miss RATHBONE
The right hon. Gentleman said that he had information that other countries do it in another way. I am anxious to keep within your Ruling. It is a most short-sighted policy to think that you can meet our acute industrial position by piling more on to the burden of the parents when it is already too heavy for their shoulders to bear. If you are going to raise the school age and do not have a general system of maintenance allowances, there is only one other way out. You will have to raise wages. What, then, about the costs of production? Cannot you understand the action of these foreign countries which I have mentioned? They have grasped what, after all, is not a very surprising fact, that in the long run, if you have to provide for children who are not able to earn a living and keep them at school, there are only two ways of doing it. You have either to provide for maintenance allowances by the State or by other bodies, or you have to raise wages.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I am trying not to do so, Mr. Young. I suggest, without going into details as to the particular scale of allowances, that it is not a bribe to parents. It is only a contribution towards the cost of the burden of parentage, a cost towards which parents themselves will still have to contribute very heavily. Five shillings is not going to keep a child. An hon. Member pointed out that a child could earn far more than that sum in the labour market. But it 1181 does make it possible to ease the burden of the parents and to enable them to do something more for the sake of their children. The object is an educational one. We are justified in pointing out that we can afford what has been called an educational luxury even at the present time, because ipso facto we shall be relieving the burden of unemployment. It is a sound proposal, because it is necessary for the education of the children, and it helps to relieve unemployment by taking a certain number of older boys and girls, not getting 5s., but 7s. in respect of unemployment insurance, off the labour market.
What will be the effect of the maintenance grants? It will not merely be the giving of education for another year, but education for future life, when, owing to rationalisation, we hope that there will be less need for unskilled labour and more skilled labour. This money will be spent on suits for the boys, on cotton frocks for the girls, on boots for the children, on dairy produce, on jam, for the benefit of the home industries in which there is unemployment. For all these reasons, I submit that the proposal for maintenance allowances is sound and necessary and is as inseparably tied to the proposal for compulsorily raising the school age by one year as convex is tied to concave.
§ Mr. CADOGAN
The Parliamentary Secretary give it as his opinion that the discussion had already been adequate enough. That remark may apply to the second Amendment on the Order paper, I do not know, but it certainly does not apply to the Amendment standing in the names of the hon. and gallant Member for Tonbridge (Lieut.-Colonel Spender-Clay) and myself. Up to the time that he spoke we had had no reply whatever to the speech made by my hon. and gallant Friend, and there has been very little discussion on our Amendment. I listened with great interest to what the Minister said in reply to the hon. Member for Bethnal Green, and I thought that the Minister would divulge something which had transpired at the secret meeting which had apparently taken place between the Liberal party and the right hon. Gentleman. If I may respectfully say so, one of the drawbacks of tacking an Amendment of this kind on to 1182 a wide general discussion is that it is swamped. This Amendment, despite the fact that it has a modest and unassuming exterior, contains within itself a principle which we on this side consider to be absolutely vital, and that is that the grant of maintenance allowances shall be wholly at the discretion of the local education authority.
The hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Winterton) congratulated the President of the Board of Education on having introduced something new. The right hon. Gentleman has produced a series of School Attendance Bills, each of which, except the first one, has one characteristic feature, and that is that it is more baneful, more vicious and more mischievous than its predecessor. We have a very good example in this Clause of the process of deterioration that is going on. This Clause fastens upon local authorities the' statutory duty of paying maintenance allowances. Therefore, the local authority becomes no more than the indiscriminating agent of the Board of Education, and this when the cost of maintenance allowances is—I think I am giving the right percentage—to he met to the extent of 40 per cent. from the local rates. Surely, that is contravening one of the basic axioms, that no authority and no individual should take responsibility without authority. What is the motive behind this change in the right hon. Gentleman's attitude, which was judicious and reasonable enough before? Has he a mandate from the Association of Education Committees? Has he a mandate from the County Councils' Association? Right hon. Gentlemen opposite never seem to get their own way —that is the worst of the left wing being stronger than the right wing—they always seem to be deflected in the wrong direction. I have noticed a sort of furtive embarrassment that characterises the conduct of Ministers, which indicates that they are always acting against their better judgment.
Our view is, that under existing circumstances, and perhaps under any circumstances, a system of indiscriminate maintenance allowances is both uneconomic and demoralising. It is uneconomic because it is quite obvious that, sooner or later, if it is going to be an indiscriminate system people will be 1183 getting maintenance allowances who are not in need of them. It is demoralising not only for those who do not need them but for the Government themselves who, unquestionably, are going to be afforded by these maintenance allowances an opportunity of giving a form of election bribery, which is most objectionable. At the root of the Government's policy there is a complete disregard of the economic aspects of the question. I noticed in the introductory remarks of the Hadow Report these words:The possibility that the financial reactions of education policy may be overlooked is not perhaps a very pressing danger.I think the signatories of the Hadow Report must he either very optimistic or they could not have contemplated the right hon. Gentleman being in his present position. I maintain that this Bill is not justified at all owing to our financial position. If it is to be justified, we must have safeguards to see that there is no wastage. Our Amendment has nothing to do with the question whether maintenance allowances are right or wrong, but what it does bring out is the principle that whether maintenance allowances are right or wrong they must be administered rightly. My further objection to the maintenance allowance under existing conditions is that, like the unemployment dole, like widows' pensions, it does afford an opportunity for turning elections into a sort of auction to the highest bidder. I make this appeal in all seriousness to the right hon. Gentleman not to reject this Amendment but to revise his decision. It is not claimed that this Amendment is going to make the Bill a sound proposition. It would take a great deal more than our humble efforts to effect such a transformation. But we do claim that the Amendment will obviate one of the worst defects of the Bill.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Some hon. Members on the opposite side seem to imagine that we, as a party, are against the raising of the school age. That is not a fact. A great number of us have given a great deal of our time to educational work and we are just as cognisant of the necessities of the children as anyone on the opposite side, but there are times when things are advisable and when things are not only inadvisable but almost impossible.
1184 I have been engaged for some years on the London education authority and, along with other hon. Members who have been engaged in educational work, I realise that the question of maintenance allowances is already a part of our policy, but those are maintenance allowances for voluntary education, whereas this is a matter of compulsory education. That is a very different thing. Although we may hold that the raising of the school age is at some time or other advisable and necessary and although we approve in principle, on certain conditions, that maintenance grants are advisable and necessary, at the present time our whole opposition to the Bill is because we do not consider it an Education Bill. Why do we object to the Bill? Our objection on the educational side is on the ground of the lack of teachers, lack of accommodation, lack of—
§ The CHAIRMAN
We are not discussing the Bill in general. The hon. Member must keep to the Clause and to the question of the maintenance allowance.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
To return to the question of the maintenance allowance, we object to the form of the allowance because we consider that the local education authorities are the only people who are capable of dealing with the administration of the allowance. Only one or two Members have mentioned the question of the local education authorities. Unless the President of the Board of Education is going to put the administration of this matter into the hands of the local education authorities it will not be administered in the best interests of all concerned. I cannot understand why the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary cast aspersions continually on the capabilities of the education authorities. If this Bill is to be successful and if the administration of it is to be carried out as it ought to be, surely the better feeling there is between the Minister and the local education authorities the better will be the work derived there from. We do not consider that at 1185 this juncture the country can afford maintenance grants. It is so easy to say that there is plenty of money, but I can assure hon. Members that wherever one goes and whenever one discusses this Bill one hears the same story, even amongst educationists in the education authorities, namely, that although it may be advisable to have such a Bill the country cannot afford it. I hope that the Amendment will be supported on the grounds that we cannot afford maintenance allowances at the present time and, further, that if those allowances have to be given—we hope they will not be—they should be administered by the local education authorities.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Sir DONALD MACLEAN
If there is one point to which all parties are committed by the speeches made to-day and yesterday, it is that of maintenance allowances. Our system for years past has been dependent in many important aspects upon the operation, in some form or another, of maintenance allowances. The real question is when and how. I am not permitted to refer to a later Clause in the Bill as to the time when it comes into operation, but I hope, when that Clause is reached, there will be a sufficient time in which the country, which is now suffering very acutely from very grave financial problems, may adjust itself much better to the additional burden, which is imposed by such a Measure upon the taxpayer and the ratepayer. I find myself in a great deal of sympathy with the Amendment which stands first on the Paper to-day. The country does not really like to think of maintenance allowances going direct from the Treasury down to the recipient, and up to now the local authorities have been brought into play in connection with their operation and, on the whole, they are the best judges of how the system should be administered.
I have heard a great deal said about the inquisition which might be established, but I know of no more severe inquisition than that to which those who pay Income Tax submit themselves. It is one of the most rigorous examinations of every contribution to a man's income which has ever been devised by financial authorities. I am certain that any inquiries by local authorities would be 1186 of a very much more sympathetic character than those directed to citizens who pay Income Tax. I hope that my right hon. Friend will approach this matter from that point of view. Certainly, it is one that I press very strongly upon him. I am certain that it is a view which is very widely held by the party to which I belong. As to when and how it can be done, I do not profess to suggest. It is a matter on which he and his advisers are the most competent authorities. But that it ought to be done I have no doubt whatever. In that way, we shall very largely mitigate some of the criticisms addressed to this part of the Bill by hon. Members above the Gangway and at the same time deal with what, after all, is a most important matter.
In these great Measures to which we are from time to time committed—and there may be more of them rather than less—we should avoid, above all, the direct connection between the recipient and the Treasury. It is a most important matter, and our educational system has depended for its efficiency upon it. It is a very efficient system and compares very favourably with educational systems in any part of the world. These authorities, who are so competent in other directions, are perfectly competent to deal with the administration of these grants. Not only that, but we should have regard to the fact that conditions vary in one part of the country from those in another. What might be an adequate maintenance allowance in one part of the country might not be in another; a sum adequate in one might not be necessary in another; the sum which might be too little in one might be too much in another. That difficulty can only really be effectively dealt with by the intervention of the local authority. Points like these are worthy of the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman, and, if he can give them consideration, it will very greatly help the passage of the Bill through the House.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
A little while ago an appeal was made to me about something that was said at a party meeting. There is nothing very remarkable in discussing possible alterations to this Bill at a party meeting, and there is really no discourtesy intended to the 1187 Committee. If the alterations, which I foreshadowed to my colleagues, had been questions absolutely of principle, then, when we were discussing the principle of this part of the Bill just now, I should certainly have alluded to them, because I do not want in the least to keep the Committee in the dark as to any alterations that the Government are prepared to make. As I have been appealed to and my right hon. Friend has suggested that it would be useful to know what we have in view, I am perfectly ready to put the Committee in possession of such alterations as the Government at the present moment are willing to make. I would point out, however, that they are certainly important details, but they do not affect, in the main, the discussion which has been running to-day. I say that, because I do not want to be thought at all discourteous.
There is one point to which my right hon. Friend alluded just now. We do not want the form of application necessarily to be absolutely uniform all over the country. We are perfectly ready to accept or to put down some Amendment to enable the Board to vary the form in the Schedule of the Bill on representations made by a local educational authority. That is one point. Another point is this: If the local authority represent to the Board of Education that the economic conditions in their area call for further consideration, I am prepared to propose that the Board may make regulations prescribing special limits within that area. That brings in the local authority. I am not quite sure that the local authority would not have that power under the Bill as it stands, but I want it absolutely clear.
The other point was one I alluded to when speaking on the Financial Resolution. It was a very strong point of the right hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) about inquiries. It ought to be made perfectly clear, as I said then, that the local education authority should have the right to make inquiries other than the form of application. It seems to stand to reason that they ought to have that right, but I want to make it thoroughly clear in the Bill. Those are the three changes in the details that follow from what we have been discussing and which the Government are pre- 1188 Pared to make. They will, of course, arise in due course.
Duchess of ATHO LL
I wish in a few moments to sum up the main objections which we, on this side of the Committee, feel to the proposal for maintenance allowances contained in Sub-section (2) of Clause 1. Some of these objections have been admirably stated by the right hon. Member for North Cornwall (Sir D. Maclean), but I wish to emphasise some points. First, I wish to make clear that these proposals are very unprecedented in character. It is perfectly true, as the right hon. Member for North Cornwall said that maintenance allowances in some form to enable the child of poor parents to follow courses of instruction have been a prominent feature in our educational system, particularly in Scotland, but in all cases they have been granted by some local body. In Scotland, we have had them since 1400, but they have never been awarded by the State. As the centuries have gone on, they have been awarded by universities, by colleges, by schools, and, later, by local education authorities. Therefore, this procedure is something new and entirely without precedent. I would like to say to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Winterton), who stressed the importance of taking this matter out of the hands of the local education authorities, that everything he said was an argument for taking education out of their hands. Intrepid as n[...] is, I do not believe the President of the. Board of Education would wish to do that. The speech of the hon. Member for Loughborough would have been a much stronger argument for taking other branches out of the hands of local authorities than this. Hitherto, the granting of a maintenance allowance has always been connected with the necessities of the parents. It stands to reason that in that matter individual need and local knowledge must play a very large part. It was a Labour Government which, when setting up wages boards for agricultural labourers, did not set up one for the whole country, but established separate wage boards in each county. That was a recognition of that variation of rates of wages and of incomes in different parts of the country to which the right hon. Member for North Cornwall has just referred. 1189 This proposal is not only unprecedented in its method of procedure but in its character. Grant in respect of maintenance allowances has hitherto only been paid for pupils who remained at school beyond the compulsory age, who declared their intention of following for a definite period an organised and progressive course of education, and who needed assistance to enable them to do so. In that definite promise to attend an organised and progressive course of education, there was implicit the idea of ability to profit by that course, that ability to profit which has been the root idea of all maintenance allowances, whether in secondary schools or universities, for some centuries past. The final and complete answer to the suggestion from the other side of the Committee this afternoon that we on this side are not in favour of maintenance allowances is the fact, to which the Parliamentary Secretary drew attention a few days ago, that the last administrative act of my right hon. Friend was to remove the existing limits on the expense local authorities might incur for maintenance grants for children who remained at school beyond the compulsory age. That disposes of that suggestion.
The proposal is also unprecedented in extent. I turn to the five areas in which the age has been raised to 15. By mistake I asked the right hon. Gentleman a question which I did not mean to ask, but he gave me an answer which is extremely interesting. Only one authority which has been giving maintenance allowances to those children who remain at school up to the age of 15, and it has only given them to one-third of the children who have stayed on beyond the present school age. Of the 531 children in Carnarvonshire who have remained at school up to the age of 15 only 161 have been given maintenance allowances. The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman is to give these allowances to 75 per cent. of the children now in school. His proposal is, therefore, absolutely unprecedented in the number of children who are to be helped, indeed, we are left wondering why, if the Carnarvonshire authority, which has shown its interest in education in -this way, finds that it is sufficient to give these allowances to one-third of the children the right hon. Gentleman should think it 1190 necessary to suggest that three-quarters of the children now in school should receive them. I suggest to the hon. Member for the Combined Universities (Miss Rathbone) that this fact that the Carnarvonshire authority has not found it necessary to give these allowances to more than one-third of its children is a fact which she should bear in mind when considering the extent to which these allowances should be given.
The amount of the allowances is also without precedent. The average amount of maintenance allowances given to children in the secondary schools is about one-half what the right hon. Gentleman proposes to give in the Bill. The amount given by the Carnarvonshire authority works out at about £7 per child, little more than half the amount proposed by the Bill. Therefore, we say that in the method of making the grant and in the character of the grant, in the conditions under which it is to be given and the expenditure involved, this proposal is entirely without precedent in our educational history. Another point occurs to me as to the scale upon which it is proposed to give these allowances. Has the right hon. Gentleman verified the total cost of these allowances year by year according to the increase in the number of children in school? I have worked out the figure for the peak year of the school 'population, and I find that if three-quarters of the children are to receive an allowance of about £13 a year the cost will not be £5,500,000, as stated in the Financial Memorandum, but £6,113,000, or £500,000 more than the Committee has been led to expect. This proposal, therefore, from the financial point of view, is entirely without precedent.
It is entirely without precedent in all countries which have raised the school age. I know that the President of the Board of Education does not pay any attention to that argument. He says, "Why should we slavishly follow what is done in other countries?" I do not want to slavishly follow other countries because generally we manage to work out things much better to suit our own needs than if we follow the example of foreign countries. I can understand the right hon. Gentleman pluming himself on the fact that he is trying to do more than other countries have done, he is entitled to do that, but I must say that he is running 1191 the risk of giving this country the distinction of being a country where education is so little thought of that a system of further compulsory attendance at school can only be imposed when the parents are paid in order to submit to it. In other countries, no maintenance allowances leave been given. At any rate, the right hon. Gentleman has been unable to give us information on that point and therefore we must assume that maintenance allowances on this scale and under these conditions do not exist in other countries. They will therefore be able to say that we have raised the school age in Great Britain but have had to pay the parents to get them to consent to it.
The hon. Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone) has said that it is impossible, politically speaking, to raise the school age without giving almost universal maintenance allowances, and that it would be political suicide on the part of any party which attempted to do it. Is not that an indication that.
§ these proposals outrun public opinion and also the opinion of parents? We have had the school age raised at successive periods during the last 60 years but never before accompanied by a proposal of this kind. Although I welcome the indication that there will be more elasticity in the arrangements than we had been led to understand—and we shall welcome every indication the right hon. Gentleman gives that he recognises the importance of local knowledge and conditions being brought into play on this difficult question—even if the President of the Board of Education brings in local knowledge and local option to the extent he has indicated, nevertheless he is introducing a new and, as we think, a very dangerous principle, that of paying the parents to keep the law in regard to school attendance. Obviously, it is liable to gross abuse and as such we are strongly opposed to it.
§ Question put, "That those words he there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 184; Noes, 216.1195
|Division No. 29.||AYES.||[17.25 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Albery, Irving James||Dalkefth, Earl of||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'I.,W.)||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Iveagh, Countes of|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Astor, Maj. Han. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Dawson, Sir Philip||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M.||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Mahon)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Duqdale. Capt. T. L.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I.of Thanet||Eden. Captain Anthony||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)|
|Balniel, Lord||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Elliot, Major Waiter E.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Beaumont, M. W.||England, Colonel A.||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Berry, Sir George||Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s-M.)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Lockwood, Captain J. H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Facie, Sir Bertram G.||Long, Major Hon. Eric|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Ferguson, Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Boyce, H. L.||Fermoy, Lord||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Bracken, B.||Fielden, E. B.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Float,, F. G. Clavering||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Brlscoe, Richard George||Ford, Sir P.J.||Margesson, Captain H. D.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd.,Hexham)||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Marjoribanks, Edward|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks,Newb'y)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Meller, R. J.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Ganzoni, Sir John||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Butler, R. A.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Moore, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Glyn. Major R. G. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R.(Ayr)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins|
|Cayzer. Sir C. (Chester.City)||Greene. W. P. Crawford||Mulrhead. A. J.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.)||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nicholson, O.(Westminster)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn.SirJ.A.(Birm.,W.)||Hacking. Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W. G.(Ptraf'ld)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Nleld, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hammersley, S. S.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hartington. Marquess of||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Penny, Sir George|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Hennessy. Major Sir G. R. J.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Pliditch, Sir Philip|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C.K.||Ramsbotham, H|
|Culverweli, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Rawson. Sir Cooper|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Remer, John R.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Smithers, Waldron||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Rodd, Rt, Hon. Sir James Rennell||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Ross, Major Ronald D.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Salmon, Major I.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W`morland)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Sassoon, Rt, Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Savery. S. S.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Titehfield, Major the Marquess of||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Simms, Major-General J.||Todd, Capt. A. J.||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Wallace.|
|Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Beifst)||Train, J.|
|Skelton, A. N.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lees, J.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Gibbins, Joseph||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes. Mossley)||Lindley, Fred W.|
|Aitchison. Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Gill, T. H.||Lloyd, C. Ellis|
|Alpass, J.H.||Gillett, George M.||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Ammon, Charles George||Glassey, A. E.||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Angell, Norman||Gossling, A. G.||Long den, F.|
|Arnott, John||Gould, F.||Lowth, Thomas|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||MacDonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Ayles, Walter||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Grenfell, D, R. (Glamorgan)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middiesbro' W.)||McElwee, A.|
|Barnes. Alfred John||Griffith, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McEntee, V. L.|
|Barr, James.||Groves, Thomas E.||McKinlay, A.|
|Batey, Joseph||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mac Laren. Andrew|
|Bellamy, Albert||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Benson, G.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Macpherson, At. Hon. James I.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Hardie, George D.||McShane, John James|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Harris, Percy A.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Bondfield, fit. Hon. Margaret||Hartshom, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Mansfield, W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hayday, Arthur||Marcus, M.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Hayes, John Henry||Markham, S. F.|
|Bromfield, William||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley,||Marley, J.|
|Bromley, I.||Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Marshall, Fred|
|Brooke, W.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Mathers, George|
|Brothers, M.||Henderson, W, W. (Middx., Enfield)||Matters, W.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Herriotts, J.||Messer, Fred|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Hirst, G. H, (York W. R. Wentworth)||Mills, J. E|
|Buchanan, G.||Hirst. W. (Bradford, South)||Milner, Major J.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Hoffman, P. C.||Montague, Frederick|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Ellartd)||Hollins, A.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Caine, Derwent Half||Hapkin, Daniel||Morley, Ralph|
|Cameron, A. G.||Horrabin, I. F.||Morrls-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Cape, Thomas||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney. South)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Isaacs, George||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Charleton. H. C.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Mort, D. L.|
|Chater, Daniel||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Moses, J. J. H.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Johnston, Thomas||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, F. Llewellyn-(Flint)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones. J. J. (West Ham. Silvertown)||Muff, G.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, Rt. Hop. Leif (Camborne) Jones,||Muggerldge, H. T.|
|Cove, William G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Jones, T.I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Newman. Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Daggar, George||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Dallas, George||Jowltt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kedward. R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Day, Harry||Kelly, W. T.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Denman, Hon. R D||Kennedy, Thomas||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)|
|Dukes, C.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)|
|Duncan, Charles||Lathan, G.||Palln, John Henry|
|Ede, James Chuter||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Palmer, E. T.|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Lawrence, Susan||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Egan, W. H.||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (StalybrIdge)||Perry, S. F.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Lawson, John James||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Unlver.)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Pethick-Lawrence F. W.|
|Foot, Isaac||Leach, W.||Phillips, Dr. Marlon|
|Freeman, Peter||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Pole, Major D. G.||Shinwell, E.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Potts, John S.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Vlant, S. P.|
|Price, M. P.||Simmons, C. J.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Pybus, Percy John||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Walker, J.|
|Quibell, D. J. K.||Sinkinson, George||Wallace, H. W.|
|Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Sitch, Charles H.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Rayne's, W. R.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Richards, R.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Snell, Harry||West, F. R.|
|Ritson, J.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Westwood, Joseph|
|Romeril, H. G.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||White, H. G.|
|Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Sorensen, R.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Blrm., Ladywood)|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Stamford, Thomas W.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Sanders, W. S.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Sawyer, G. F.||Strauss, G. R.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Scott, James||Sullivan, J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attereliffe)|
|Scrymgeour. E.||Sutton, J. E.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Scurr, John||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Sexton, James||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)||Winterton, G. E.( Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Wise, E. F.|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Thurtle, Ernest||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Tillett, Ben||Wright. W. (Rutherglen)|
|Sherwood. G. H.||Tinker, John Joseph||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Shield, George William||Tout, W. J.|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Townend, A. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Shillaker, J. F.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. B. Smith.|
§ Amendment proposed: In page 2, line 1, to leave out Sub-section (2),—[Lord E. Percy.]1196
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'up' in line 2, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 282; Noes, 179.1199
|Division No.30.]||AYES.||[7.35 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Churh, Major A.G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Clarke, J. S.||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cluse, W. S.||Hamilton, Sir R.(Orkney & Zetland)|
|Aitchison. Rt. H on. Craigle M.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hardie, George D.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Harris, Percy A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Cove, William G.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Angell, Norman||Cowan, D. M.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Arnott, John||Daggar, George||Hayday, Arthur|
|Aske. Sir Robert||Dallas, George||Hayes, John Henry|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Ayles, Walter||Day, Harry||Henderson, Arthur, Junr.(Cardiff, S.)|
|Baker, John (Woiverhampton, Bilston)||Denman, Hon. R. D||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Henderson, W, W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Barnes. Alfred John||Dukes, C.||Herrlotts, J.|
|Barr, James.||Duncan, Charles||Hirst, G. H, (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Batey, Joseph||Ede, James Chuter||Hirst. W. (Bradford, South)|
|Bellamy, Albert||Edmunds, J. E.||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Hollins, A.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Egan, W. H.||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Benson, G.||Elmley, Viscount||Horrabin, j. F.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Foot, Isaac||Isaacs, George|
|Bondfield, fit. Hon. Margaret||Freeman, Peter||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Johnston, Thomas|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gibbins, Joseph||Jones, F.Llewellyn- (Flint)|
|Bromfield, William||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes. Mossley)||Jones, Henry Hayden (Merloneth)|
|Bromley, J.||Gill, T. H.||Jones. J. J. (West Ham Silvertown)|
|Brooke, W.||Gillett, George M.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)|
|Brothers, M.||Glassey, A. E.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Noits. Mansfield)||Gossling, A. G.||Jones, T.I Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Gould, F.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jowltt, Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Ellartd)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall||Grenfell, D, R. (Glamorgan)||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Cameron, A. G.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middiesbro' W.)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Cape, Thomas||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Groves, Thomas E.||Lathan, G.|
|Chnrleton. H. C.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Chater, Daniel||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Law, A. (Rossendale)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Newman. Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Lawrle, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Lawson, John James||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Lowther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Oldlield, J. R.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Leach, W.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Snell, Harry|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Lees, J.||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||pailn,John Henry.||Sorensen, R.|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Paling, Wilfrid||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Palmer, E. T.||Stewart, J.(St. Rollox)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Perry, S. F.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Long den, F.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sullivan, J.|
|Lowth, Thomas||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Lunn, William||Phillips, Dr. Marton||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Macdonald, Gordon(Ince)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Pole, Major D. G.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Potts, John S.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|McElwee, A.||Price, M. P.||Tillett, Ben|
|McEntee, V. L.||Pybus, Percy John||Tinker, John Joseph|
|McKlnlay, A.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Tout, W. J.|
|Mac Laren. Andrew||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Townend, A. E.|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Rathbone, Eleanor||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Rayne's, W. R.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|MacNeill-Welr, L.||Richards, R.||Vlant, S. P.|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walkden, A. G.|
|McShane, John James||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Walker, J.|
|Malone, C. L' Estrange (N'thampton)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Ritson, J.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Mansfield, W.||Romeril, H. G.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Marcus, M.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Markham, S. F.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Marley, J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H.(Darwen)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Marshall, Fred||Sanders, W. S.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Mathers, George||Sawyer, G. F.||West, F. R.|
|Matters, L.W.||Scott, James||Westwood, Joseph|
|Messer, Fred||Scrymgeour. E.||White, H. G.|
|Mills, J. E||Scurr, John||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Milner, Major J.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Montague, Frederick||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morley, Ralph||Sherwood. G. H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Shield, George William||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attereliffe)|
|Morrls-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney.South)||Shillaker, J. F.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Shinwell, E.||Winterton, G. E.( Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Mort, D. L.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wise, E. F.|
|Moses, J. J. H.||Simmons, C. J.||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Simon, E. D.(Manch'ter. Withington)||Wright. W. (Rutherglen)|
|Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Muff, G.||Sinkinson, George|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Sitch, Charles H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. B. Smith.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Carver, Major W. H.||Elliot, Major Waiter E.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||England, Colonel A.|
|Allen, Sir J.Sandeman (Liverp'I., W.)||Cayzer. Maj.Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth,S.)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Astor, Viscountess||Chamberiain,Rt.Hn.Sir J.A.(Bir.,W.)||Farley Sir Bertram G.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Fleiden E. B.|
|Atkinson, C.||Chapman, Sir S.||Flson, F. G. Clavering|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Christie, J. A.||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Balniel, Lord||Colfox, Major William Philip||Fremantle, Ling.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Colman, N. C. D.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Colville, Major D. J.||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Berry. Sir George||Cranborne, Viscount||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon, Sir John|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Boyce, H. L.||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Bracken, B.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Hall, Lleut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berke, Newb'y)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hamilton. Sir George (Ilford)|
|Buckingham. Sir H.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Butler, R. A.||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon.Edward||Eden, Captain Anthony||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Muirhead, A. J.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kine'dine,C.)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)||Smithere, Waldron|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Somerville. A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Peake. Capt. Osbert||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stanley, Mal. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Lamb, Sir J Q.||Pliditch, Sir Philip||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molten)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Ramsbotham, H.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Liewellin, Major J. J.||Remer, John R.||Train, J.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't''sy)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Long, Major Hon. Eric||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ross, Major Ronald D.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Salmon, Major I.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Margesson, Captain H. D.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Marjoilbanks, Edward||Samuel, Samuel (W-dsworth, Putney)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Meller, R. J.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Savery, S. S.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Simms, Major-General J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)||Sir George Penny and Captain Wallace.|
|Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Skelton, A. N.|
§ Mr. BEAUMONT
I beg to move, in page 2, line 2, after the word "attending," to insert the words "a public elementary school."
This Amendment and the Amendment which follows it on the Paper, are designed to take out of the proposed system of maintenance allowances higher education and secondary schools. As the Bill stands, the proposed system is to apply to all children between 14 and 15 and the anomaly has already been pointed out that parents of certain children attending secondary schools will in that case receive maintenance allowances on a law basis—sometimes as low as £1 10s. a year, I think—between the ages of 11 and 14, and will then go up to the rate of 5s. a, week between 14 and 15, afterwards reverting to the original standard between 15 and 16. We contend that such an arrangement is demonstrably absurd. I wish to say in advance that there is no idea in this Amendment of preventing children who are attending secondary schools from receiving any benefits in regard to maintenance allowances which may be available under this Bill, but we contend that these matters ought to be arranged in conjunction with the local education authority.
One of my definite objections to the Bill is that there is hidden in these maintenance allowance proposals, an increase 1200 of expenditure, because local education authorities will have to raise, considerably, the scale of maintenance allowances given in respect of children attending secondary schools. They will have to do so not because they think it necessary—I am not debating now whether it is necessary or not—not because any particular economic or educational fact has forced it upon them, but simply because, so far from the candidates for secondary education increasing under this proposal as the Parliamentary Secretary suggested, they will very much decrease. If a parent who is in need gets a very low maintenance allowance by sending his child to a secondary school, whereas he can get a much higher allowance by sending that child to an elementary school—as well as getting the child out a deal earlier--it stands to reason that the tendency will be to send children to the elementary schools, rather than to the secondary schools. I freely admit, before hon. Members opposite advance the criticism which I am sure they will advance on that point, that there are parents who would be very honourable exceptions, but nevertheless the tendency will be to keep the children at elementary schools instead of sending them to the secondary schools. I do not think that either the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary would regard that result as desirable. 1201 Our contention is that if the Government leave higher education out of this Bill, if they take the secondary schools out of what we regard as a dole system, the local education Authorities, where they see the need for it, will adjust the maintenance allowances which they give at present, at their own discretion, to the children attending secondary schools, and they will adjust those allowances in such a way that there will be no falling off in the number of candidates for secondary schools. There will be no tendency to have these fluctuations from a negligible allowance to 5s. a week for one year, and then back again to the former allowance —an arrangement which is justifiable neither educationally, economically nor logically. I admit that there are certain objections, and that there may be certain authorities who would not adopt the course which I have suggested, but the whole of the case for this Bill, as reiterated by the President of the Board of Education, is that we cannot wait for retrograde authorities, that we have to do the best we can for the children and that we must leave those authorities out of consideration. I submit that what applies on one side applies on the other. This maintenance allowance proposal leaves us with a very difficult situation. We contend that this Amendment offers the best way out, and I hope that on reflection the President of the Board of Education will agree with our view.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
We have already discussed this question to some extent on the first Amendment which was considered to-day. The question is whether, if maintenance allowances are to be given to children between 14 and 15, children attending secondary schools should or should not have the advantage of them. If it is right to give maintenance allowances at all, I think it is difficult to say that the children attending secondary schools should not have their chance as well as the others. There is the minor argument that it is very illogical to have a parent receiving an allowance of £6 15s. a year for a certain period of years, and then for the allowance to jump to £13 in one year and to fall back again to £6 15s. a year subsequently. But that argument does not indicate what is going on at present because the £6 15s. spoken of is an average over the whole country and over all the years, and what actually 1202 happens is that local authorities pay varying sums according to age. I understand that in London they give 4s. 6d. a week in respect of younger children and up to Ss. a week in respect of older children. Therefore in a great many cases there would not be this break which has been represented by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite as likely to occur under our proposals.
Even if there is a certain amount of illogicality in an arrangement of this kind, the real question is this: If by the standard adopted, the parent of the child requires a maintenance allowance for a child attending an elementary school, can it be argued that he would not require the 'allowance if the child went to a secondary school? It is well known that there are many families who to-day are not able to send their children to secondary schools because they are too poor. I should have thought that the whole Committee would like those children to get the advantage, because the one thing upon which we all agree is that there is nothing wrong with maintenance grants if they are given in respect of clever children. Therefore I cannot help feeling that, even from the point of view of hon. Members opposite, this Amendment is a mistake. At any rate, I am absolutely bound of oppose it because if maintenance grants are right at all I am certain they are right in this case.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The right hon. Gentleman during the Second Reading debate said that he had never pretended that these proposals about maintenance grants were logical. That is quite true. The only question is at what point or to what extent should we try to be logical with an utterly illogical proposal. We say to the right hon. Gentleman, "Why, on your own principle, grant maintenance allowances between 14 and 15 only and not between 13 and 14?" It is wholly illogical and I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman, having said goodbye to logic and principle, and indeed to reason, when he put forward this proposal, is precluded from appealing to logic afterwards. Therefore let us consider simply the practical need and the practical advantages or disadvantages of applying this proposal to the secondary schools. May I tell the Committee the principle upon which I went in regard to maintenance allowances? I think I shall be 1203 in order in reading an extract from a public letter which I wrote to the local authorities on 5th November, 1928, and which the Parliamentary Secretary did not favour the Committee with when he was quoting my views upon maintenance allowances:In practice the grant of maintenance allowances must be based upon a consideration of the amount of money necessary to enable the child to continue his or her course of education, instead of entering employment, or to attend a more expensive school that the ordinary elementary school. In the case of the ordinary elementary school itself during the period of compulsory school attendance, both these criteria are absent unless there exists a recognised practice of exempting children from attendance in order that they may enter employment.That is the principle upon which we have hitherto gone as to maintenance allowances. Look at that principle as applied to the secondary schools. The parent does not send his child to the secondary school primarily in order to get a longer school life for the child. That surely shows the fundamental fallacy of the extraordinary argument used by the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) on the Second Reading, to the effect that it was a good thing to raise the school-leaving age because, by doing so, you practically equalised the school life of the child in the central school with that of the child in the secondary school. That is not the idea of secondary education. The dominating idea of secondary education is that the secondary school is—what the central school is not, and what nobody pretends the senior or central schools under this Bill will be—a place where the child of ability gets the opportunity to go right on to the university, and right up to the highest professional walks of life. That is the attraction of the secondary school to the parent.. It is not the fact that the child will get a longer school life after the age of 15 but the fact that he will get a real opportunity of going higher up—no man can say how high.
§ Mr. EDE
As the Noble Lord has alluded to me—I seem to exercise some kind of fascination over him—may I remind him that, either in "The New Prospect" or in the White Paper which accompanied it, he himself laid down that the modern school and the central school 1204 should not be debarred from giving the child any education for which it was fitted, including the possibility of sitting for the matriculation examination. I was founding my argument on the Noble Lord's own document.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The hon. Member-does exercise a fascination over me because, he is, I may say the only Member on the other side who ever talks about education as distinct from educational administration, but he has surely forgotten that while, according to the documents which he has mentioned, the idea was that as an exception arid in exceptional cases children attending a. central school could be prepared for matriculation—
§ 8.0 p.m
§ Lord E. PERCY
I hardly think so, but I think the Committee will agree that as the school system exists and will exist after this Bill, the secondary school exercises a wholly different attraction from the central school, and that is why parents will not hurry to send their children to secondary schools because of the great bait of a bigger maintenance allowance-between 14 and 15, a-s the Parliamentary Secretary suggested. That is a sordid consideration which is quite out of the range of the considerations that lead parents to send their children to secondary schools.
The point that I really want to make is that the secondary school has this distinction, that on the whole it is both the oldest and the most democratic thing in the whole of our educational organisation. Many hon. Members opposite might wish that all secondary schools were free and so on, but, on the whole, it is the most democratic part of our organisation, and it has always been built up on flexibility, academic freedom, and freedom of the school authority and the local education authority to exercise discrimination untied by detailed codes as to the curriculum of the school, to exercise discrimination as to the individual children in the school. My objection to the whole of this proposal for bringing these maintenance allowances on strict income limits into the secondary school is that it ruins the whole spirit of the old grammar 1205 school and the whole spirit of such a very different educational system as the Scottish system of education. It is bad for what we know as higher education to introduce these rigid Government regulations as to the payment of maintenance allowances. I think all hon. Members feel that.
The curious thing is that, the Bill as it stands—I do not know whether this practical point will be replied to—proposes to abolish the well known regulation that maintenance allowances shall not be paid in secondary schools except to students holding free places. Under this Bill the local authority will he bound to pay maintenance allowance to a lot of children who are paying fees. That is purely a practical absurdity in the Bill, but the point that I want to emphasise is that the right hon. Gentleman has got himself into a wholly illogical position. Do not let him, with a sudden affection for logic, allow logic to lead him into a position where he is going to destroy what always has been and ought to be the distinctive spirit of higher education in the secondary schools.
§ Mr. ANNESLEY SOMERVILLE
May I add a word in support of my right hon. and Noble Friend's remarks? The secondary system in our educational world is the soundest part of the system, and I would urge the right hon. Gentleman opposite to let that system alone, to let it develop and improve. It is said that the boy in the elementary school will be getting £13 for the year between 14 and 15 and therefore will compare favourably with the boy between 14 and 15 in the secondary school, but the boy in the secondary school will be getting an average of £6 15s. for several years. Therefore, I think the comparison will not work unfavourably for the secondary school.
Let the right hon. Gentleman keep the two systems apart, at any rate for the present. Let him not interfere with the growth of the secondary school. The Noble Lord has said that the secondary school system owes much to the old grammar school, and that is perfectly true. The secondary schools are to a large extent imbibing the best traditions of the public schools that are so much abused, and I simply rise in order to appeal to my right hon. Friend not to 1206 interfere with the structure of the secondary school but to allow that secondary system to work out its own: salvation.
§ Sir CYRIL COBB
I should like a little information as to what we are to do in London with regard to our central schools. The position now is that we give a grant —a maintenance grant, if you like to call it so—of 5s. 9d. a week to the children in the central schools from the age of 14 up to the age of 16, under Sections 24 and 26 of the Act of 1921. Are we in future only to give them 5s., or are we-to give them the 5s. 9d.? I do not see how the 5s. 9d. can be the maintenance grant under the Bill, because the Bill says it is to be 5s. Are we therefore to give 5s. under the Bill and 9d. under our existing regulations?
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
On a point of Order. The point of the Amendment is to exclude secondary schools, and it is secondary schools therefore that we are discussing.
§ Lord E. PERCY
On that point of' Order. It is true that I put down this Amendment to raise the question of the exclusion of secondary schools, but at the same time, on an Amendment which says that this shall apply to pupils attending an elementary school, I do not know whether you can rule my hon. Friend out of order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment is to insert "a public elementary school," and I understand the hon. Gentleman to refer to central schools, which I think are public elementary schools.
§ Sir C. COBB
I understood that we were endeavouring to insert words with regard to the elementary schools, and I am discussing the question of elementary schools, because a central school is an elementary school. I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Young, for putting me in order. Are we to give 5s. under the Bill and 9d. under Section 24 of the 1207 original Act of 1921? My second point is this: What is the machinery which will be adopted for enabling the parent to get the 5s.?
§ Sir C. COBB
Then I will confine myself to the point as to whether 5s. is all that the child is to be entitled to, or is the child to be entitled to the 5s. 9d., and is the 5s. to come under the Bill and the 9d. from the other source that I have mentioned?
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I wish to support the Amendment. I have made it part of my duty in the past few years to visit a great number of these elementary and secondary schools, and I want to say very distinctly that no one should ever feel ashamed to send their children to public elementary schools. They are very well managed; the teachers pay a great deal of attention to the children, and there is no reason why people should not send their children there. We are getting into the habit of thinking—
The CHA1 RMAN
That does not arise either. The question is whether we are to put in the words "a public elementary school" so as to exclude secondary scholars from getting the maintenance grant.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Exactly, but I was saying that if this applies to secondary schools, it will be more or less a reflection on those who send their children to the elementary schools, and the fact that a child goes to a secondary school does not necessarily mean that it is a better kind of child. It is a question very often of the pride of the parents. Some people are ashamed to acknowledge that they are poor, which is a very bad thing, and there are many people who send their children to the secondary schools, with a great deal of difficulty to the rest of the family, because they think it is a little bit more chic that their children should be there. I wish to see this Amendment carried so that the children in the secondary schools shall not get the benefit of the maintenance allowances provided under this Clause.
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
A very vital point was raised by my right hon. and Noble Friend with regard to the question 1208 of free places. I am informed that in the city, a part of which I represent, a city which is not backward in educational matters, out of 2,700 parents of children in secondary schools who pay fees there will be a very considerable number who will come within the means limit set out in the White Paper attached to the Bill. What will be their position? The right hon. Gentleman says that to confine these grants to the elementary schools would be an anomaly, but I say that it is far more anomalous to pick one year out of the whole school period of any particular child and to say that for that one year there shall be a specific grant. On an earlier Amendment, in an all-too-brief speech for so important an Amendment, the right hon. Gentleman said he realised that there might be a bit of administrative inconvenience in this Bill. It seems to me that all the bits of administrative inconvenience put together are going to outweigh by far the small bits of advantage which may accrue under it.
I should like, in conclusion, to emphasise this one point that has been made by my right hon. and Noble Friend on the Front Bench and by my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor (Mr. A. Somerville). These secondary schools in every part of the country bear old traditional names which have got educational associations going back for centuries.
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
Hon. Members opposite know that what I have said is true. They can call to mind 20 or 30 of these schools which go back to days long before—
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
If I said "all of them," I withdraw. That was a mistake. Many of these have their basis in the traditions of the country; their essence, therefore, is freedom, which has always been one of the main glories of England. Now the right hon. Gentleman is going to bring coercion into these free institutions. Just at a time when these schools are assimilating a public school spirit, which even the right hon. Gentleman in his heart believes in and admires, he comes along and says, "We are going to put the iron hand of the 1209 State upon you; we are going to force you to give certain grants, and, as a return for those grants, we must insist that we will have largely increased control in those once free institutions."
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
In reply to the hon. Member for West Fulham (Sir C. Cobb), I may say that the local authority can go on giving grants if it likes, or reduce them if it likes. When it gives the 5s. which will be paid under this Bill, it can reduce the 5s. 9d. to that amount.
§ Sir C. COBB
The 5s. 9d. is now given to the child through the Post Office Savings Bank. The 5s. is to be given to the parent. How is the parent going to get it?
§ Captain GUNSTON
Hon. Members opposite recognise that many of the old secondary schools are of great value. We have one in Gloucestershire, and the Socialist Members of the county council are as keen as the Conservative Members in preserving its traditions. Take the case of the child who gets a scholarship and goes to a secondary school and gets, say, Under this Bill, the child will get £13. Suppose the local authority say that they will get that £6 back, the effect will be that there will not be much advantage, apart from the educational advantage, of going to a secondary school as compared with a central school. We are entitled to know whether the right hon. Gentleman differentiates at all between the value of the secondary school and the value of the central school, or is he trying to make them the same? If he is not trying to make them the same, he must admit that giving these allowances in secondary schools must have that effect.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I am afraid that I do not understand the hon. and gallant Member. Of course, I want to treat the children who go to both institutions on the same level. I do not want to differentiate at all.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The right hon. Gentleman has been courteous in replying to the various points, but I am afraid that he treats this as a kind of dinnertime Amendment. ['HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] That shows that hon. 1210 Members have not the least appreciation of what they are doing in this Bill.
§ Lord E. PERCY
It may surprise the hon. Member who comes from Bradford to know that the local education authorities which are most alarmed at the effect of this Bill on secondary schools are precisely the local authorities which have the best record in providing secondary schools.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I beg the hon. Member's pardon, but, if he will make a speech instead of interrupting me— —
§ Lord E. PERCY
I am not playing a game at the moment. There are rules of courtesy in this House, to which the hon. Member might conform. He has not been attending this debate very much.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The lion. Gentleman may not know, but the President of the Board of Education will tell him, that this debate has been remarkable for the absence of anything remotely like time wasting on these benches.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I venture to say, in spite of what the hon. Member says, that those local education authorities, including Bradford, who have done most for secondary schools are the most alarmed about the effect of this Bill on secondary schools, for the very simple reason that the whole influence of this Bill must be to raise the standard of maintenance allowances for scholarships in secondary schools in order to even them up to this high level of maintenance allowances at the age of 14 to 15.[HON MMBERS: "Hear, hear ! "] That is what hon. Members, opposite want. They want the whole level of scholarships moved up. That means that you will put a drag on the provision of secondary education in this. 1211 country, for it will become more and more expensive to provide secondary schools. That will be the direct result of what the Government are doing in this Bill, and that is the fear which is in the minds of many local education authorities.
There is no doubt that the effect of this condition will be to damp down the provision of secondary education, and we have, as the result of this short debate, the reductio ad absurdum that at this moment, in the depressed state of the country, the public are going to be called upon to put up £5,500,000 to meet the needs of necessitous families, and they are told that these include families which are actually at the present moment paying fees for their children to attend secondary schools. The taxpayer is to be told that a parent who, before this Bill, was paying a fee of perhaps £5 5s. a year to a secondary
§ school in respect of his child, will, if that child is between 14 and 15 after the passage of this Bill, receive £13 a year instead of paying £5 5s. That is the reductio ad absurdum of this most absurd proposal, and I must ask the Committee to divide on this Amendment, because, even if hon. Members opposite do not, 1 feel very strongly on this particular point.
§ Mr. A. SOMERVILLE
May I ask the President of the Board a question. I take it that parents of children in secondary schools who desire this allowance will have to fill in a form, and declare that they are in need of the maintenance allowance, Is that not so?
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee devided: Ayes, 126; Noes, 270.1215
|Division No. 31.]||AYES.||[8.25 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.||Galbraith, J. F. W||Reid, David D.(County Down)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l.,W.)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Remer, John R.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gault, Lieut.-Cot. Andrew Hamilton||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Atkinson, C.||Gibson. C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Ross, Major Ronald|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanes)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Beaumont, Mr. W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Berry, Sir George||Hartington, Marquess of||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sassoon, Fit. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Bracken, B.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Hudson, Capt. A.U.M.(Hackney, N.)||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hurd, Percy A.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||lveagh, Countess of||Smith, Louis W.(Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Smith.Carington, Neville W.|
|Bucking ham, Sir H.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Liewellin, Major J. J.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Christie, J. A.||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Macqulsten, F. A.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Mailer, R. J.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Train, J.|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement.|
|Dalkaith, Earl of||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H||Morrison. W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Muirhead, A. J.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington. S.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||field, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Dugdale, Copt. T. L.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon.||Withers, Sir John James|
|England, Colonel A.||William Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Pliditch, Sir Philip|
|Flson, F. G. Clavering||Power, Sir John Cecil||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Major the Marquess of Titchfield and Captain Gunton.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Mort, D. L.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Moses, J. J. H.|
|Altchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zettand)||Muff, G.|
|Alpine J. H.||Hardie, George D.||Muggerldge, H. T.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harris, Percy A.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Angell, Norman.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Newman, Sir R. H. S. O. L. (Exeter)|
|Arnott, John||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Haycock, A. W.||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Ayles, Walter||Hayes, John Henry||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)|
|Barr, James||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Palln, John Henry|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Bellamy. Albert||Herriotts, J.||Palmer, E. T.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hirst, G. H. (York W.R. Wentworth)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Parry, S. F.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hoffman, P. C.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Benson, G.||Hollins, A.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Hopkin, Daniel||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hortabin, J. F.||Picton-Turbervill, Edltb|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Isaacs, George||Potts, John S.|
|Bowerman, Fit. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Price, M. P.|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Pybus, Percy John|
|Bromley, J.||Johnston, Thomas||Oulbell, D. J. K.|
|Brooke, W.||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Brothers, M.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merloneth)||Raynes, W. R.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Richards, R.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jewett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Jowett, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Ritson, J.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorke. W. R. Elland||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Kelly, W. T.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Kennedy, Thomas||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy. Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwin)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Sanders, W. S.|
|Charieton, H. C.||Lathan, G.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Scott, James|
|Clarke, J. S.||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Chile, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawson, John James||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Cove, William G.||Leach, W.||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Shield, George William|
|Daggar, George||Lees, J.||Shleis, Dr. Drummond|
|Dallas, George||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lindley, Fred W.||Shinwell, E.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Day, Harry||Logan, David Gilbert||Simmons, C. J.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Longbottom, A. W.||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Longden, F.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Dukes, C.||Lowth, Thomas||Sinkinson, George|
|Duncan, Charles||Lunn, William||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Ede, James Choler||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Edmunds, J. E.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelity)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||McElwee, A.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Egan, W. H.||McEntee, V. L.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Elmley, Viscount||McKinlay, A.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Weish Unlver.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Snell. Harry|
|Foot, Isaac||Maclean. Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Freeman, Peter||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||MacNelli.Weir, L.||Sorensen, R.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||McShare, John James||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thamptnn)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Gill, T. H.||Marcus, M.||Sullivan, J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Markham, S. F.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Glassey, A. E.||Marley, J.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Goesling, A. G.||Marshall, Fred||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Gould, F.||Mathers, George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Matters, L. W.||Toole, Joseph Tout, W. J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Messer, Fred||Tout, W. J.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Middleton, G.||Townend, A. E.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Milner, Major J.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. sir Charles|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middletbro. W.)||Montague, Frederick||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Vlant, S. P.|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Morley, Ralph||Walkden, A. G.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Walker, J.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normarnton)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Watkins, F. C.||White, H. G.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester,Loughb'gh)|
|Watson, W. M. ( Dunfermline)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Blrm., Ladywood)||Wise. E. F.|
|Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.||Wood, Major McKenzie (Bantt)|
|Wellock, Wilfred||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||Wright, W. ( Rutherglen)|
|Welsh, James (Paisley)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Welsh, James C.(Coatbridge)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|West, F. R.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Westwood, Joseph||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||Mr. William Whiteley and Mr. T hurtle.|
§ Sir J. WITHERS
I beg to move, in page 2, line 7, to leave out the words "the rate of five shillings a week," and to insert instead thereof the words
a rate not exceeding five shillings or the maximum rate paid by the local education authority for higher education in that area in respect of students of the same age holding free places in secondary schools, whichever may be the less.The object of this Amendment is clearly shown in the wording. It seems to me that the secondary schools should not be in an inferior position. The parents of children attending the elementary schools should not receive any more than those attending the secondary schools. Why should we prefer those elementary schools by giving them a larger sum? It is really a question of policy, and I do not think I need say anything further.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
This Amendment seems to me to he quite unnecessary. The Mover of the Amendment says he wishes to equalise the allowances, but why should the local education authority not put up the allowances instead of the nation bringing them down. We want everybody to pay a minimum of five shillings, and the local authority can raise it if it likes to do so. In any case, I do not propose to accept this Amendment, because we think that the flat rate of five shillings is reasonable for the country at large, and this view is endorsed by the report of the representatives of local education committees.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
The statement which has just been made by the President of the Board of Education is just what we feared and suspected, namely, that the elaborate system of carefully graded and selected maintenance allowances, built up after long years of experience, is to be done away with, and secondary school children as well as elementary school children are to be put on the flat rate of five shillings. The local education authorities, after investigating case after case, have arrived at varying scales according to the needs of 1216 the locality and the rates, and the wishes of parents in particular cases, have adopted scales which have given general satisfaction to the parents, teachers, and to the local authorities, and all that is to be upset by the proposals of this Bill. It is a clear case of adopting an induced current. The right hon. Gentleman by insisting on a universal flat rate of five shillings for elementary school children between the ages of 14 and 16 has set up an induced current. The old electric current has been replaced by a new induced current which will tear up the admirable administration of the local authorities in regard to maintenance allowances.
The President of the Board of Education says he believes in a universal national standard. Every child attending an elementary school over 14 years of age, or a secondary school up to 16 years of age, will have the maintenance allowance nationalised. That follows from what has been stated in this debate. What we want is not a scaling down of maintenance allowances, but a, standard set up by the local authorities, Instead of that, the dictum put forward by the right hon. Gentleman will become operative, namely, that there shall be a universal maintenance allowance for all these children of 5s. per head.
I ask the Minister of Education to consider what that means, in finance, not merely in national but also in local finance. Up to the present we have had no indication from the Government of the actual cost of this increased expenditure upon maintenance allowances in both elementary and secondary schools. You are going to place millions of pounds on the rates as well as on the taxpayers. Consequently, we are going to have more rates and more taxes which must increase the already heavy burdens upon industry. Just at the time when trade is beginning to recover from the effects of heavy taxation, you are imposing a further burden which will hamper trade revival. We have been asked to provide a flat rate for unemployment 1217 benefit, and now it is proposed that we should have a flat rate for maintenance allowances. This kind of legislation is most unscientific, although it may be Socialism, and it is bound in the long run to undermine any sound system of administration. We are told that the object of this Measure is to scale up the local authorities who, after many years' experience and practice, have arrived at varying scales. All these arrangements are now to be swept away and there is to be substituted for them a universal standard of 5s. a week. This is very unsound finance, and unsound administration. It deprives the local administration of all attempt to control these matters, of all attempt to act with care and detail in these matters, and it is the kind of thing that in the long run inevitably breaks down. For all these reasons I regret profoundly that the right hon Gentleman has not only refused to accept this Amendment, but has said what he has said to-night, because it marks a very far-reaching change, and I believe that he will rue the day when it comes fully into operation.
§ Captain CAZALET
The right lion. Gentleman said that it was up to the local authorities to raise their maintenance rates to the standard proposed in the Bill. May I ask if he is presuming that the grants will be given in the proportions laid down in the Bill, namely, 60 per cent. from the Board of Education and 40 per cent. from the local authorities, or would they be given on the existing 50-50 basis?
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Those who support this Amendment are supporting the principle of economy and the principle of higher education. Higher education is penalised by the flat rate of 5s. a week. The Government are applying a sort of rule-of-thumb method to the whole country. It is a sort or rule of three learned while learning the three R's, reading, writing and arithmetic, and hon. Members opposite are trying to apply the rules that they learned in their childhood to the Government of this country. It cannot be a right method when those who are receiving advanced or technical education are going to be penalised. This is not an advance in education in this country, but is a retirement from, the policy initiated by my right hon. Friend the late President of the Board of Educa- 1218 tion. if there can be said to be a principle in education, it is that it is not a passive state in which a child sits in a classroom and learns nothing beyond what he may be taught through sitting there. It involves an active relationship between teacher and taught—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask the hon. Member to confine himself to the Amendment. These matters certainly do not arise on the question that is now before the Committee.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
My point is that this flat rate of 5s. will destroy the development of higher education, which[...]n will be remunerated at a lower rate than elementary education. [HON. MEMBER: "No! "] That will destroy the development of national education which was initiated by my right hon. Friend. I submit that this argument is in order—
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Certainly; indeed, it is obligatory upon me to allow you to decide, but I was submitting, with the greatest respect, that my argument had a relation to the Amendment before the Committee and to the reasons which I gave. I submit that, if those who are receiving elementary education are going to be rewarded at a greater rate than those who are receiving higher education, it will place a premium upon the more elementary form of education and discourage people from going in for higher education. It was never proposed, until this Measure for raising the school age was brought forward that maintenance allowances should be given at a flat rate. It is not proposed that after the age of 15 maintenance allowances should be given at this flat rate, nor that they should be given up to the age of 14. Why should not these maintenance allowances have been offered at previous ages at this flat rate and why should they not be offered at a later age, if hon. Members opposite are right? They are reducing the application of their principles to one single year. The vast majority of Members of the House would be opposed to maintenance allowances at a flat rate, either before or after the age of 14. There can be no other reason for offering this flat rate of 5s. between the ages of 14 and 15 than to bribe the electorate who are hoping and expecting 1219 that their children will bring in a wage of that or more at the age of 14. The principle behind the policy of my right hon. Friend was that the children should be gathered as far as possible into smaller classes, and that the relationship between teacher and taught should be a more personal one. If this Amendment be not accepted, the inevitable result must be larger classes—
§ The CHAIRMAN
This Amendment is only one to reduce the rate of allowance in certain cases. The hon. Member must confine himself to the Amendment, and give reasons why the rate should be reduced.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Certainly; I was attempting to do so, and I am very sorry that you do not appreciate my argument. The flat rate should be reduced for two reasons—in the interests of economy and in the interests of advanced education. If an investigation were allowed into the needs of every case, it would result in considerable economy to the national resources. It would be found that there is an enormous number of cases in which an allowance of 5s. is not definitely needed, having regard to the circumstances of the present time, and you would prevent such an enormous increase in the cost of elementary education as to overload and prejudice its present position in this country. Hon. Members opposite all agree that the introduction of the flat rate would mean an immense increase in the cost of elementary education in this country. If you had all the money in the world, you could not create 6,000 new teachers at any moment if they were to be efficient.
§ The CHAIRMAN
; That does not enter into the argument. The whole question is whether the rate of 5s. should be reduced or not.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
In any system of education, whether my right hon. Friend's policy he pursued or not, there must be teachers—
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Then, on a vital Amendment which concerns the whole future of education in this country for the next year or two at any rate, I will omit all mention of teachers, and will consider only the advantage of the pupil. I submit that, if this Amendment be not passed, generous as is the policy of the right hon. Gentleman in the case of the pupils themselves and their parents, no advantage is achieved by introducing an unintelligent flat rate which allows no discretion in regard to need—
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
If no discretion is allowed in regard to this flat rate, it is reducing the legislation of the country to an extraordinarily unscientific condition. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether he cannot make some concession to the principle of the Amendment.
§ Mr. ATKINSON
It seems to me that this is perhaps the most extreme case of the policy which the Government has pursued ever since it was returned to power of giving something for nothing, quite regardless of whether that something is really wanted or not. All that the Amendment asks for, as I understand it, is this. Where you have it demonstrated in any district that the local education authority has found, say, half the rates to be sufficient to induce people voluntarily to keep their children at school beyond the age of 14, this flat rate is not to be imposed. If there ever was a case of unnecessary distribution of money, surely it is there. Where 5s. is found necessary, the Amendment would not touch it. It only touches cases where less than 5s. has, in fact, been found sufficient to induce people to keep their children at school.
The only answer Granted that it is too much, granted that it is quite as much as is wanted, why should not the education authority pay twice as much in the other ease as well? I should like to know whether, in the estimate of the expense of this Bill which has been given, allowance has been made for increased payments, which will inevitably be made, with regard to secondary education, because, if there is to he a writing up 1221 to 5s. instead of a writing down, obviously it will mean very much increased expenditure in the secondary schools. Has all that been taken into consideration? I should think it has not. At a time like this when everyone is calling out for economy, and certainly no indulging in unnecessary expense, here you have an. Amendment which is simply and solely directed to not paying more in any particular district than has been found sufficient, and the only answer is, "Be more extravagant than ever. Let the other people pay too much as well."
§ 9.0 p.m
§ Mr. BEAUMONT
I regretted extremely the reply of the President of the Board of Education to the Amendment, because it seemed to me one more proof that he has not yet visualised what the effect of the Bill is going to be on education. If it is passed as it stands, you will have the anomaly of children getting varying maintenance allowances, and getting different allowances before and after the age of 15 in secondary schools to what they get between those ages in elementary schools. The right hon.Gentleman admits that that is undesirable. There are two possible remedies. One is to scale the elementary school grants down to that of the secondary schools. Hon. Members opposite object to that. I do not think their objection is very solid because, except for purely political purposes, there has been no suggestion that those grants do not meet the case and, if they meet the ease for secondary schools, they can certainly meet it for elementary schools. Hon. Members opposite object to that and say, Raise the whole lot to 5s. I realise that the question of general economy falls on deaf ears when addressed to hon. Members opposite. They are perfectly willing under the Bill to give the children an admirable education, and no wages and no job after they have got it. That is what the Bill is going to do.
But there is another purely educational argument which should be taken into account. If you force the local education authorities to raise the secondary grants in conformity with this 5s. grant, quite apart from the fact that you are 1222 taking away a discretionary power which has worked very well, you are going to send up the higher education estimates of the local authorities by an enormous amount. The result of that will be that they will have to economise on something else, that new schools that ought to be built will not be built, and new forms of instruction that ought to be set up will not be set up, that new developments in education which are urgently needed will not be brought forward, that teachers' salaries, which badly need reviewing, will not be reviewed, because the local education authorities will not be able to afford it. There is a limit to the burden that they can stand, and if you are going to force them, by rejecting the Amendment, to have an enormous increase of non-productive expenditure on maintenance allowances, they are going to economise on vital educational reforms that the country needs so badly. I do not believe it is 'worth it, I do not believe the President of the Board of Education in his heart of hearts thinks it is worth it, and I do not think any sound educationist thinks it is worth it. The only way is by passing some Amendment of this nature.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
It seems to me that the only justification for the maintenance grant at all is the need of the parents. If the present rate of grant for secondary school education is sufficient to meet that need, it seems to me that it is perfectly wanton of the Minister to increase that grant when it need not be increased, particularly at a time when the crying need throughout the country is for economy. The only effect of this Bill, unless the Amendment is accepted, will be to put up the rate of the grant paid to the secondary scholars and, if those rates are ample and sufficient—and no one contends that they are not—you can only be doing it either as a bribe to the electorate or as a wanton waste of money which it should be the aim of the Minister, if he really wishes the Bill to be a success, not to incur. If he wants it to be a success, surely he should endeavour to carry out its provisions at the least possible cost to the taxpayer and the ratepayer. I suggest that if he would accept this Amendment, he would at least be saving 1223 some money, without in the least impairing the object which he has in view.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I understand that the Minister has said that he refuses to accept this Amendment which relates to a local education authority increasing the amount paid in respect of students in a secondary school. Beyond the question of cutting down other expenses, surely the Bill would have a good deal of effect upon the number of free places in the secondary schools. There is only a certain amount of money available. Money is very short in these days—the right hon. Gentleman knows it as well as anybody —and the effect of his not accepting this Amendment will mean that there will be fewer free places. If authorities have only a certain amount of money available for free places they can only give it to a limited number. Either that or some other thing, such as accommodation, or buildings or teachers, would be affected. In his own interest, and in the interests of the children, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider his decision, and see his way to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
Anybody who has followed the course of these debates cannot help being struck by the attitude of distrust which the President of the Board of Education seems to show in connection with local authorities. If I mention the words "local authorities" to the President of the Board of Education or his assistant, they both look at me aghast. I can understand hon. Gentlemen opposite objecting to the Amendment because they fundamentally object to any test of means at all. But in this Bill there is a test of means, and, as long as it stands, this Amendment is amply justified. I have been trying to form an estimate of the extra cost which would be involved. The Minister has not told us what it would mean.
I have been looking at the Bill which was introduced last May, when a different arrangement was proposed with regard to local authorities and which the Minister has abandoned since owing to some sudden conversion, or to having met some wild beast on the path. As far as I can make out, under the previous arrangement the cost of this proposal was to be in the neighbourhood of 43,000,000 in the 1224 first year. It has now swollen to £3,750,000. What strikes me as being a little difficult to explain, seeing that the first figure was, in the opinion of the Minister, quite satisfactory last May, is, why is it necessary, when the conditions of the country have gravely deteriorated since that time, to increase the amount by 2750,0007 Local authorities have established a maximum rate which, in their experience, which is much superior to the experience of Whitehall, has worked satisfactorily in their areas. On that basis, it would have involved an extra expenditure of £3,000,000, but the Minister has, for a reason which I cannot fathom, during the intervening months changed his mind and adopted a different system, and he now finds it impossible to accept an Amendment winch has everything to recommend it.
Sir H. YOUNG
I want to reinforce what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend, and point out an even wider implication which will result from the rejection of this Amendment. If the right hon. Gentleman will consult the files of his Department, he will find that some five or six years ago there was a general inquiry into the finance of free places in secondary schools with which I am acquainted, because I had the honour to be the Chairman of the inquiry. That inquiry laid down as the goal to which we should strive in the finance of education the complete freedom of secondary education. It was a very bold recommendation to make, and it was made subject to the condition that it was to be done when the finances of the country permitted. I do not think the finances of the country would permit it at the moment. But that was the right view to point out for the finance of secondary education, because by spending money in that direction you spend it in the most selected way upon children most capable of profiting by it, instead of spending it, as you are now, in an unselected way upon children not capable to the same extent of profiting by it, and therefore wasting a. sum of money. The consequences of rejecting this Amendment must be this. There will be two school maintenance grants, but you cannot have two prices for the same thing in the same market. Inevitably it must result in extravagant and wasteful squandering of secondary grants for education to twice 1225 the amount necessary for the purpose. The £120,000 maintenance grant for secondary education will have to be doubled. The consequence is that you are loading the prospects of free secondary education with an unnecessary, wasteful burden of finance, and, therefore indefinitely postponing the day when you will obtain the freeing of secondary education.
§ Mr. A. SOMERVILLE
The object of the right hon. Gentleman is to provide maintenance allowances, but it is illogical to endeavour to provide maintenance allowances in secondary schools. There you have a system under which the pupils are sent by their parents voluntarily, and they do not ask for maintenance allowances. The Bill asks for maintenance allowances for pupils between the ages of 14 and 15 attending public elementary schools. In that respect the term "maintenance" is logical. Why interfere with the secondary system under which the parents are willing voluntarily to keep their children at school? Why force upon them the extra payment? If there is money to spend, it is far better to provide more free places, and in that way extend the area of secondary education. It appears to me that the right hon. Gentleman, in drafting his Bill, did not realise the whole of its implication, and afterwards found that by the wording of the Bill pupils of secondary schools were included. I would appeal to him not to interfere with the financial basis of secondary schools and so change their character. We ought not to have to consider this important point which implies a revolution in our educational system. Therefore, will not the right hon. Gentleman reserve this point and bring the matter up on the Report stage?
§ Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
I apologise for detaining the Committee, but this is the first time I have entered into the debate upon the Education Bill. Having read the Amendment and heard the speeches which have been delivered. I did not feel, if I am to do justice to the
§ constituents whom I have the honour to represent, that I could allow this opportunity to go by without a protest against the action of the right hon. Gentleman in creating the anomaly which he proposes. Hitherto the allowance of 15s. per annum has been considered sufficient for the secondary school, and it seems very peculiar that the right hon. Gentleman should suddenly wake up and find that his conscience has been pricking him all this time and that he has been laying down a condition that secondary school education should only be worth one-half of what he considered elementary school education should be worth. The right hon. Gentleman, I understand, is going to resist this Amendment. If he does, it will have the effect throughout the country of letting the electors know that this is one more step by the present Government towards bribing democracy. [HON: "Nonsense!"] Yes, it is one more step in an endeavour to bribe democracy in order to get votes. at the next election. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, I am glad to see, the right hon. Gentleman and hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like that statement because it goes home. The Chancellor of the Exchequer some time ago threw across the Floor of this House an epithet about guinea pigs. This is only one more ease of a guinea pig Government.
§ Mr. KEDWARD
It seems rather strange that speeches of the kind we have heard should be made by hon. Members above the Gangway, seeing that at the last General Election they issued a pamphlet telling the electors that they had spent much more than the Socialist party. They seem to be rather distressed now that they are going to lose in the race. That seems to be the only reason. and not a very good reason, for supporting the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The committee divided: Ayes, 263; Noes, 142.1229
|Division No. 32.]||AYES||[9.18 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (F[...]fe, West)||Arnott, John||Batey, Joseph|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Aske, Sir Robert||Ballamy, Albert|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Attice, Clement Richard||Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood|
|Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M.||Ayles, Walter||Bennett, Sir E. N. Cardiff, Central)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Bennett, William (Battersea, South)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Bladwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Benson, G.|
|Angell, Norman||Barr, James||Bentham, Dr. Ethel|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Price, M. P.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Isaacs, George||Pybus, Percy John|
|Bowen, J. W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, F. Liewellyn- (Flint)||Raynes, W. R.|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Richards, R.|
|Brooke, W.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Brothers, M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Ritson, J.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kedward, R. M, (Kent, Ashford)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Kelly, W. T.||Rowson, Guy|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Kennedy, Thomas||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Kenworthy. Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Sanders, W. S.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Lathan, G.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Cape, Thomas||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Scott, James|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Law, A. (Rossendate)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Scurr, John|
|Church, Major A. G.||Leach, W.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lees, J.||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Shield, George William|
|Cove, William G.||Lindley, Fred W.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Dagger, George||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Shiltaker, J. F.|
|Dallas, George||Logan, David Gilbert||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Longbottom, A. W.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Davies, Rhye John (Westhoughton)||Longden, F.||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lowth, Thomas||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Lunn, William||Sinkinson, George|
|Dukes, C.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Duncan, Charles||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Ede, James Chuter||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, H. B. Lees- ( Keiehley)|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Mc Elwee, A.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||McEntee, V. L.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||McKinlay, A.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Egan, W. H.||MacLaren, Andrew||Snell, Harry|
|Elmley, Viscount||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Foot, Isaac||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Freeman, Peter||Mac Neill-Weir, L.||Sorensen, R.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||McShane, John James||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Mender, Geoffrey le M.||Sullivan, J.|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lanes, Mossley)||Marcus, M.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gill, T. H.||Marley, J.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Gillett, George M.||Marshall, Fred||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Glassey, A. E.||Mathers, George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gossling, A. G.||Matters, L. W.||Toole, Joseph|
|Gould, F.||Messer, Fred||Tout, W. J.|
|Graham D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Middleton, G.||Townend, A. E.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon.Wm. (Edin.,Cent.)||Milner, Major J.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon, A. (Coins)||Montague, Frederick||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Vlant, S. P.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Morley, Ralph||Walkden, A. G.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Walker, J.|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Mort, D. L.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hail, G- H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Moses, J. J. H.||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Muff, G.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Hardie, George D.||Naylor, T. E.||West, F. R.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Noel Baker, P. J.||White, H. G.|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Haycock, A. W.||Oldfield, J. R.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hayday. Arthur||Oliver, George Harold (likeston)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Owen. Major G. (Carnarvon)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Palin, John Henry||Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Paling, wilfrid||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Palmer, E. T.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Winterton, G. E.(Lelcester,Loughb'gh)|
|Herriotts. J.||Perry, S. F.||Wise, E. F.|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Peters. Dr. Sidney John||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Hoffman. P. C.||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Hollins, A.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Pole, Major D. G.||Mr. William Whiteley and Mr. Thurtle.|
|Horrabin, J. F,||Potts, Joan S.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fielden, E. B.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Astor, Viscountess||Ford, Sir P. J.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Atkinson, C.||Forestler-Waiker, Sir L.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Renter, John R.|
|Bainlel, Lord||Ganzoni, Sir John||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Bearnish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Berry, Sir George||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Grace, John||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Boyce, H. L.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bracken, B.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dutwich)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hartington, Marquess of||Savery, S. S.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfat)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Iveagh, Countess of||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth,S.)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Lamb, Sir J. O.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Christle, J. A.||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M, F.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Liewellin, Major J. J.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Macquisten, F. A.||Train, J.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Marjorlbanks, Edward||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Mason, Colonel Glyn K,||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Meller, R. J.||Wayland, Sir William A,|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Moore, Lieut,Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Muirhead, A. J.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Edmondson, Major A, J.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Erskine, Lord (somerset,weston.s.M.)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Peake, Capt. Osbert||Sir Frederick Thomson and Major the Marquess of Titchfield.|
§ Lord E. PERCY
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
I move formally in order to afford the President of the Board of Education an opportunity of answering three questions, if I may put them to him. In the first place, how far does he wish to go tonight with this Bill? Secondly, if the Bill is terminated at any reasonable hour, is there any business which the Government wish to take after this Bill is concluded? Thirdly, I would ask him a question as to the reports that have been published as to certain intentions of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman very courteously gave us as much information as he was able to announce within the Rules of Order on the subject we were discussing, but these reports include a report as to the intentions of the Government in regard 1230 to the date on which this Bill is to come into operation. In order to clear up the situation, we would be very glad if the right hon. Gentleman could give us any information on that subject. I am sure he will realise that we should wish to have at this stage some indication of any intention which the Government may have definitely formed on that subject, in order that we may determine what we are going to do on subsequent stages of the Bill.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I might, perhaps, reply, first of all, to the least important of the three questions which the right hon. Gentleman has put. The Government only wish to take at the end of the proceedings to-night the Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, which, I understand, is purely formal. Then the right hon. Gentleman asked me to take the oppor- 1231 tunity of saying something about the question of the date. I had hoped we should have reached the date to-night and been able to discuss it, and I could then have made the declaration which I am prepared to make now, which is that the Government, with great reluctance and regret, have decided, in view of the general feeling expressed by the majority, to accept a later date, September, 1932. With regard to this evening, I think the right hon. Gentleman agrees that we have had a very full discussion on the main question of maintenance grants, and while there are a good many Amendments still on the Paper, we ought to be able to dispose of most of them reasonably rapidly. I hope we may be able to get Clause 1 to-night. I think we could do that without asking the House to stay very late, say about 12 o'clock.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I wish to say a word about the intention of the Government as to the date without, of course, discussing it. The right hon. Gentleman will not assume that we on this side are satisfied with the date of September, 1932. As regards getting Clause 1 tonight, if he says that we on this side will agree that we have had a very full discussion, I think he will agree that the discussion up to date has been a business discussion. We have not been dilatory in our tactics, and I think we must carry on the discussion on the various business Amendments which the Chair may select. We should want a respectable time in which to expand ourselves on the Question, "That the Clause stand part," but I am inclined to agree that we ought to be able to get through that necessary business without sitting up too late so as to inconvenience hon. Members opposite. I am, however, inclined to put in a caveat about the third point, which he said was the least important, namely, the taking of other business after this Bill. There was an interjection from the Patronage Secretary to the effect that the Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill was always formal business. I remember, even in my short time in this House, occasions when that has not been true. I, myself, was a member of a Select Committee which inquired into the whole question of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. I should be very sorry 1232 to say that the recommendations of that Select Committee as to the proper handling of that Bill had always been carried out fully during the last seven years. There are questions which do arise on that, and I think the Patronage Secretary will agree that it is unnecessary to take that Measure to-night. It would facilitate an arrangement if we could agree that that Measure should stand over to some other night.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I do not want for a moment to suggest than any discussion is possible as to the announcement which the right hon. Gentleman has made, but I am glad he has made it, because it gets rid of a certain amount of sham fighting, and we know exactly where we are. it gives us some idea of the real position and we can shape our debate accordingly.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. T. Kennedy)
If I understand the offer which has been made from the other side that if we postpone taking the Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill it will facilitate progress on the Education Bill, I will willingly agree to postpone the Second Reading of that Measure until to-morrow, but I must point out that the Bill should be taken very soon. The Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill is an annual event and in normal circumstances—and I hope I am right in assuming that this is a normal period—it is a formal matter. The discussion usually takes place in Committee on the Bill, and I can promise hon. Members that when we reach the Committee stage there will be ample opportunity to amend the Bill; all the opportunities which the Opposition will require.
§ Lord E. PERCY
On the understanding that has been given, I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN (Mr.Dunnico)
The next Amendment I had proposed to call was that in the name of the. hon. Member for Finchley (Mr Cadogan)—in page 2, line 8, to leave out the words "if that person" and to insert instead thereof the words:or at such other rate or rates, not exceeding five shillings, as the local education authority may by by-law prescribe and every local education authority shall make a by-law accordingly before the first day of April, 1233 nineteen hundred and thirty-one, provided that no person shall be entitled to receive a maintenance allowance under this subsection unless he.In view of the discussion which has already taken place, it seems to me that, in substance, it is similar to previous Amendments which have been already discussed. Unless there is some special point in the Amendment which has not so far been debated, I propose to pass it over.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I do not want to delay business in the least, but there is a very specific point in this Amendment, which originally you had intended to take. It raises the point that a local education authority by means of a by-law should have the power to fix the conditions of maintenance allowances.
§ Lord E. PERCY
By taking this Amendment you, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, will not be opening a time-wasting debate. We will see that it is conducted in a businesslike fashion.
§ Mr. CADOGAN
I beg to move, in page 2, line 8, to leave out the words "if that person," and to insert instead thereof the words:or at such other rate or rates, not exceeding five shillings, as the local education authority may by by-law prescribe and every local education authority shall make a by-law accordingly before the first day of Apri1, nineteen hundred and thirty-one, provided that no person shall be entitled to receive a maintenance allowance under this subsection unless he.The concession which the President of the Board of Education has announced, although it does not satisfy us, encourages us to believe that he will yield to our solicitations rather more rapidly and more reasonably than he has hitherto. The object of this Amendment is to allow a local education authority to vary the amount of maintenance allowances according to local circumstances. It embodies a principle for which we contended in the first Amendment this afternoon, and which received short shrift from the right hon. Gentleman—namely, that local authorities should have a larger discretionary power than the Government is prepared to give them 1234 under the Bill. This Amendment is founded on the basis on which all sound legislation should be founded, the basis of common sense. There are varying conditions all over the country. In some parts of the country rates are high, every ratepayer thinks that rates are always too high. In other parts they are comparatively high and in some parts comparatively low. The cost of living also varies as between one town and another and as between the towns and the country and, in addition, wages are a factor which creates a great variety of circumstances in different parts of the country.
Surely it is common sense that with all these variations local authorities should have the power to vary the scale under a by-law. What are the purposes for granting maintenance allowances? They are two. In the first place, if the grant of maintenance allowances is a sop in lieu of wages it is obvious that you should take into account local variations in wages which obtain in different parts of the country. If, on the other hand, it is to be a contribution to the high cost of living it is obvious also that you should take into account the varying conditions of living in various parts of the country. Earlier in the evening the hon. Member for Bethnal Green, South West (Mr. Harris) made the point that by introducing the flat rate principle you obviate any danger of local authorities manipulating maintenance allowances for electioneering purposes.
That is what the bon. Member meant. The Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member far Oxford (Captain Bourne) to my Amendment would obviate that danger, and I welcome it. I hold with other hon. Members that there is a very great danger in any form of State assistance of it being used, I do not like to use the word, in a corrupt way to bribe electors. There are many temptations in this respect with this ever increasing amount of State assistance. I do not want to delay the Committee on this Amendment, because the principle has already been thoroughly debated, but I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not resist 1235 it so light heartedly as he has, resisted Amendments so far.
§ Captain BOURNE
On a point of Order. May I ask whether you are proposing to call my Amendment to the proposed Amendment?
§ Captain BOURNE
My Amendment to the proposed Amendment is in line 4, after the word "thirty-one,' to insert the words:and such by-laws shall not be altered or repeated during a period of 10 years from that date.I need not traverse the ground already covered, in stating the reason for this Amendment to the proposed Amendment. I do think it would be most undesirable to have these by-laws brought up year after year at every municipal election. I do not wish to see municipal elections brought into a struggle over the question whether allowances are to be higher or lower each year. There are quite enough controversial topics brought up at elections. I am not bound to the period of 10 years, but there should be a certain fixed period during which it would not be in the power of the local authority to alter what had once been approved by the Board of Education.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
The case for the Amendment and for the Amendment to the Amendment has been put with such restraint, that I shall do my best to copy the example of hon. Members opposite. There is one simple point of difference only between this Amendment and the Amendment previously discussed, and it is this: The proposal is that the discretion which hon. Members opposite desire to offer to local education authorities shall be exercised by means of a by-law. At the outset there is one objection to that proposal. There is no appeal from the decision of local education authorities. They can make their by-laws without having any sanction from any higher authority whatever.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
On the question of principle, of having a by-law, there are two or three objections. An hon. Member opposite referred to the 1236 infinite variety of conditions in various parts of the country. Does that not seem to indicate that you might, in consequence, have an infinite variety of bylaws to meet the infinite variety of conditions? I should hardly think it desirable to have such a variety of by-laws differing in character according the locality. I feel sure that the House will have some hesitation in endorsing a proposal of that sort. The parents would have some objection. They would feel that it was not desirable that discretion in this matter should be left entirely to a local authority which might seem to them somewhat parsimonious in its attitude. Finally, there is the public objection to it. I assure hon. Gentlemen opposite again that it is a fact that in this matter of local option over this particular point, local authorities themselves do not desire this power. That was made abundantly clear during discussions on the previous Bill. Local authorities do not desire this local option for the reason mentioned by the last speaker. They undoubtedly have a great apprehension lest this subject become a question of partisan controversy at the polls. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment tried to anticipate that by fixing the period of 10 years. But if a by-law is bad in principle for one year, it is 10 times worse for 10 years. Therefore I ask the Committee to reject the Amendment.
§ Lord E. PERCY
It is always difficult, after one has made what is known in Parliamentary language as an arrangement, to strike the proper mean between business-like restraint and over-friendliness. I want in the remainder of this debate to continue to draw quite clearly the line which divides us from the Government, and to point out that this Amendment, as it is proposed to be amended, is the one way of escaping an evil to which both the. President of the Board of Education and the Parliamentary Secretary have referred. They have mentioned several times the fact that local education authorities do not want to have discretion because they would be pilloried at local elections. It does not seem to have occurred to the Government that that pillory and that danger of electoral corruption apply just as much to Parliamentary elections as to local elections. The proposal of the Bill is that the purely Government regulations 1237 shall not be embodied in- the Bill, and that therefore any party at any General Election will have to answer as to whether it is going to issue more favourable regulations than the last Government issued. That opens up a danger of electoral corruption quite as great and infinitely more dangerous to the country than any corruption in local elections. Here you have offered to you an alternative—that the local authority shall lay down the limits and shall by Parliament be obliged to maintain those limits for at least 10 years. That is at any rate a real advance towards getting rid of electoral corruption, local or Parliamentary. I regard the Amendment as of great importance in principle, and should like to divide on it.
§ Mr. JOHN JONES
I do not think it ought to be left to the representatives of rural constituencies and agricultural areas to "talk big" at us. We are not supposed to know anything about education and its administration. I have been a member of an education authority and I know something about the want of education as a consequence. I have listened this evening to some people who are less educated than I am from the standpoint of really practical education.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must address his remarks to the Chair and not to the Noble Lord.
§ Mr. JONES
I am sure I shall be addressing a more educated authority. I am not referring to any individual, and I only want to point out that the proposal made is that the local education authority shall have the right to postpone the operation of this Clause for 10 years. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Oh yes. The real object of this Amendment is to prevent the application of this Bill so far as this Clause is concerned; the local education authority is to have the right of saying whether the Bill shall operate or not within a certain period. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I refer to the operation of the Clause. It is all very well for you technical experts to talk to me. I have been a member of 1238 an education committee in a place where the other people were in power, and as every Education Act came along they used it, not to advance education, but to prevent the development of education. They may say what they like, but what they say in the House of Commons is very different from what they do outside. Wherever they have the power—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The only point at issue is whether the local authority should have power to make regulations determining the amount to be paid, that amount not to exceed 5s.
§ Mr. JONES
I am much obliged to you for giving me that information. The object of the Amendment is to make the allowance less than 5s. a week. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Yes, they are to have the power, the right, the authority to do so. I am taking the words of the Noble Lord opposite whose education cost 5s. a minute. Take a local education authority composed of farmers. They can make grants of only one shilling. They can make the limit anything they like, and that is the object of the Amendment. The boy or girl in the country who has been most neglected in the matter of education in the past, is still to be neglected in the future development of education. The people in the local areas will have the right to say how much is to be allowed. I know the majority of these areas in Great Britain. I know the areas which some hon. Gentlemen opposite represent, and I know the kind of grants that will be given in those areas. They will be like the grants which the grandfathers of these people gave—a shilling a week for scaring crows. We in West Ham will face our responsibilities as we always have done. You have not done it in Northumberland or Hastings. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] Yes, it is always "Order" for me. The people who have had the monopoly of education all their lives, who have pinched every educational endowment in Great Britain, who have been educated at the public expense at our public schools and universities, are the people who now tell us that it is wrong to allow 5s. a week for the child of a working man. [Hon. MEMBERS: "No!"] Yes, you know it is true. Read the history of the great educational endowments of this country. I told you the other night and I tell you 1239 now that some of the men who have been Prime Ministers of this country did not pay more than £60 a year for their education—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"]
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member does not help to facilitate the business of the Committee by not addressing the Chair. I must also point out to him that it is my duty to keep the debate within reason. We have a very limited time available for discussion and I must ask the hon. Member to keep strictly to the substance of the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Mr. JONES
I am trying my best to do so. My illustrations were given because of the fact that hon. Members opposite argue that the local authorities should be allowed to limit the amount of this grant. I do not pretend to be clever hut I hope I am clean. What I suggested was that when certain Members of this House have had free education provided for them at our public schools, they should he the last people to get up on their hind legs and protest against an allowance of 5s. a week for the children of working men. I support the opposition to this Amendment, because it is an Amendment which comes from the wrong quarter. I am honest about it. I hate the Tory party and its policy. Having got all the good things of life they want to prevent my class getting any of the good things, and therefore I oppose them and their Amendments for all I am worth.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
I can assure the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) that though he may hate us, we have a considerable regard for him because of the humour which he brings
§ into our debates. Whether we agree with him or not is another matter altogether. I hope that the Government will not reject this Amendment off-hand. It is only reasonable to ask that where circumstances vary from one area to another, as much as they do in this country, local ideas should be heard and taken into consideration. Hon. Members opposite do not seem to realise that these local authorities are elected bodies and that they voice the views of those who have elected them. The Parliamentary Secretary said the Amendment would mean variety. Of course it would mean variety. That is its object. As there is a variety of circumstances, it is only fair that that variety should be reflected in the by-laws of local authorities. We ought to give more opportunity to the electors of the country to have a part in deciding these matters.
We allow local authorities to control education subject, of course, to the higher control of the Board of Education. In a matter of this sort it is only reasonable, and is likely to lead to greater satisfaction in many areas in this country, that local authorities should have some part in deciding these questions. There is one part of the Amendment which, in view of the announcement recently made, will require alteration. The date 1931 clearly would have to be altered if the Amendment were to be accepted but I wish to emphasise again the point that the local areas ought to have a greater say in these matters. As regards election bribes I concur with what the Noble Lord has said. I believe that there is a far greater danger in having a sum fixed in a Statute, which world be made a cock-shy at a General Election, when you would have, perhaps, a party promising the electors, "If you vote for me I will see that the law is altered." A far greater risk is involved there than in the case of a local election. I hope that the Government have not finally decided on the rejection of this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 269: Noes, 169.1243
|Division No. 33.]||AYES.||[10.7 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Aitchison, Rt, Hon. Craigle M.||Angell, Norman.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Aipass, J. H.||Arnott, John|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Ammon, Charles George||Aske, Sir Robert|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Perry, S. F.|
|Ayles, Walter||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Herriotts, J.||Phillips, Dr. Marlon|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Hirst, G. H. (York W.R. Wentworth)||Picton Turbervill, Edith|
|Barr, James||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hoffman, P. C.||Potts, John S.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Hollins, A.||Price, M. P.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hopkin, Daniel||Pybus, Percy John|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Horrabin, J. F.||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Benson, G.||Isaacs, George||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|8entham, Dr. Ethel||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Reath)||Baynes, W. R.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Richards, R.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Johnston, Thomas||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Jones, F. Liewellyn- (Fillnt)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tess)|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Ritson, J.|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Brooke, W.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Brothers, M.||Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preeton)||Rawson, Guy|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kelly, W. T.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Kennedy, Thomas.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Scott, James|
|Buchanan, G.||Lathan, G.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Scurr, John|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Calne, Derwent Hall||Lawrence, Susan||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Cameron, A. G.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Cape, Thomas||Leach, W.||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Shield, George William|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Church, Major A. G.||Lees, J.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Shinwell, E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, Fred W.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Simmons, C. J.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Logan, David Gilbert||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Cove, William G.||Longden, F.||Sinkinson, George|
|Daggar, George||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Dallas, George||Lowth, Thomas||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lunn, William||Smith Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Smith, H. B. Lees. (Keighley)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smith, Rennie ( Penistone)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Dukes, C.||McElwee, A.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Duncan, Charles||McEntee, V. L.||Snell, Harry|
|Ede, James Chuter||McKinlay, A.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Edmunds, 1. E.||MacLaren, Andrew||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Sorensen, R.|
|Egan, W. H.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Elmley, Viscount||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Stewart. J. (St. Rollos)|
|Foot, Isaac||McShane, John James||Strachey, E. J. St. Los|
|Freeman, Peter||Malone. C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Strauss, G. R.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Sullivan, J.|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)||Mansfield, W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Marcus, M.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Gibbino, Joseph||Marley, J.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)||Marshall, Fred||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Gill, T. H.||Mathers, George||Thurtle. Ernest|
|Gillett, George M.||Matters, L. W,||Tinker. John Joseph|
|Glassey, A. E||Messer, Fred||Toole, Joseph|
|Gossling, A. G.||Middleton, G.||Tout. W. J.|
|Gould, F.||Mills, J. E.||Townend, A. E.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Milner, Major J.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Montague. Frederick||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Viant, S. P.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morley, Ralph||Walkden, A. G.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Walker, J.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Mort, D. L.||Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline).|
|Hail, F. (York, W R., Normanton)||Moses, J. J. H.||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthvr Tydvil)||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Muff, G.||Welsh. James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Naylor, T. E.||West, F. R.|
|Hardie, George D.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Westwood. Joseph|
|Harris, Percy A.||Noel Baker, P. J.||White, H. G.|
|Hartshorn. Rt. Hon. Vernon||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Hastings. Dr. Somerville||Oldfield, J. R.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Haycock, A. W.||Oliver. George Harold (likeston)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Mayday, Arthur||Palin, John Henry||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Hayes. John Henry||Palmer, E. T.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Henderson. Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wlgan)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffie)|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Wilson, J. (Oldham)||Wise. E. F.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.|
|Wilson, R. J (Jarrow)||Wright, W. (Ruthergien)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Winterton, G. E.(Leicester,Loughb'gh)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)||Paling.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Percy, Lord Eustaca (Hastings)|
|Allan, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Atkinson, C.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben,|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Bainiel, Lord||Gower, Sir Robert||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Grace, John||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Greene, W, P. Crawford||Remer, John R.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesali)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Ross. Major Ronald D.|
|Boyce, H. L.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bracken, B.||Hammersley, S. S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hartington, Marquess of||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Brown, Brig Gen. H.C.( Berks, Newb'y)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Savery, S. S.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Shepperson. Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Walter||Simms, Major.General J.|
|Butler, R. A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith. Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Iveagh, Countess of||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kine'dine, C.)|
|Carver, Major W, H,||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molten)||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Christie, J. A.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Spender-Clay Colonel H.|
|Colfax, Major William Philip||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Thomas. Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Cranbourne, Viscount||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Titchfield, major the Marquess of|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Cunlitte-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Train, J.|
|Dalkeilh, Earl of||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Macdonald. Sir M. (Inverness)||Turton. Robert Hugh|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Marjoribanks, Edward||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Duckworth. G. A. V.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Meller, R. J.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Williams. Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Elliot, Major Waiter E.||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|England, Colonel A.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Erskine, Lord, (Somerset, Weston-s.M.)||Muirhead, A. J.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Everard, W. Linasay||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Young. Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Ho. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)|
|Fielden. E. B.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fisan, F. G. Clavering||Oman, Sir Charles William C||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Wallace.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Peake, Captain Osbert|
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I beg to move, in page 2, line 12, after the word "Schedule," to insert the words,or in such similar form as may he approved by the Board on the application of the local education authority.This Amendment carries out one of the changes which, as I notified earlier, it was my intention to propose. I think that it will meet, not entirely but partially, the Amendment which is down in the name of the hon. Member for West Fulham (Sir C. Cobb)—in page 2, line 12 1244 to leave out the words "the form," and to insert instead thereof the wordsa form to be prescribed by the local education authority, such form to contain not less than the particulars.The object of my Amendment is to deal with the form which appears in the final Schedule. That form is short, and deliberately covers not many points, but it is felt in many parts of the Committee that it may be too rigid and not allow scope for enough change. For instance, the London County Council, in discuss- 1245 ing the matter the other day, pointed out that they will be in great difficulty if they cannot ask the employer. I want the local authority to be able to make representations to the Board and say, "We would like certain things inserted in the form," but it does not follow, of course, that in all parts of the country the employer's name will be wanted. In London, I believe that both sections in the county council said that it would be desirable, and it is desirable that some variation should be possible in the form.
§ Sir C. COBB
; As far as I can understand it, this Amendment will meet the objection of the London County Council in regard to the actual form as it appears in the Bill. I take it that we may put on the form the words "subject to verification," which appeared in the form in the Bill which was withdrawn. I state that as a caveat, because we feel that if we have any form, we should certainly have those words on it. We have found by experience that it is very necessary to check the information which is given by parents and others in connection with scholarships. All our experience has shown the great need for verification. This is an Amendment which, I understand, will allow us to secure that verification. I understand, too, that the right hon. Gentleman is going to move another Amendment which will meet my Amendment—in page 2, line 12, after the word "Schedule," to insert the wordsand the said authority are satisfied that the statements in the application are accurate, and for this purpose the said authority may make such inquiries as may to them appear to be necessary to verify any of the statements in the said application.That will give us all the necessary permission to make inquiries, subject to the fern being approved by the Board of Education.
§ Mr. E. D. SIMON
I should like to thank the Minister for this Amendment, which goes almost the whole way towards meeting the object of the Amendment which is down in my name. My object was very much the same as that of the hon. Member for West Fulham (Sir C. Cobb). The form as in the Bill would have meant that any local authority, however large and important, could 1246 only institute the inquiries in the exact form there printed. They could not even ask what was the rent of the house in which the people lived, a point which many local authorities regard as of the greatest possible importance. It is essential that great authorities should be free to make their inquiries and verify the information, putting those inquiries in such a form as experience dictates, and I cannot imagine anything more contrary to the public interest than to confine those inquiries rigidly to those which were prescribed in the Bill.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
If we accept the Minister's Amendment I presume that he is disposed to accept the forms which are put forward by the education authorities?
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I cannot go into any details of that kind now. I only took the ease of the London County Council as one instance. There was one question which they brought up, and I said that was obviously the sort of thing which ought to be considered; but I have not made any promise to accept any particular form.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I have not promised any alteration of the form. I have only said that local authorities may make representations, which the Board will consider. The Board will approve the form, after having duly considered it.
§ Mr. COVE
May we be quite clear on this point? Will this be limited to an inquiry into the two factors which are included in the Schedule to the Bill, which, I understand, have been the principles on which the London County Council have administered their maintenance grants, namely, that the form will only give as information the income of the parents and the number of the dependent children, but that local authorities will be allowed to satisfy themselves that the information returned on the form is the correct information?
§ Lord E. PERCY
As I take it, the Amendment will allow the use of a form that the Board of Education may prescribe after representations from the local authority. It will be a form similar to the form in the Schedule. Clearly, when we come to the Schedule we shall have to discuss what a similar form to that in the Schedule may be. When we come to consider the word "similar" we shall have to decide, as an hon. Member put it, what is the degree of remoteness from identity.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment I call is the one standing in the name of the hon. Member for West Fulham (Sir C. Cobh)—in page 2, line 20, to leave out the word "qualified" and to insert instead thereof the word "entitled."
§ Lord E. PERCY
On a point of Order. May I point out that the Amendment which has been passed over on the top of page 79 in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for South Leicester (Captain Waterhouse)—in page 2, line 12, after the word "Schedule," to insert the words:and such application and consequent grant, if any, shall have effect for four months only, but the grant may be renewed for succeeding periods of four months each on further application or applications.raises a point of real substance, and I was hoping that you would have been able to call that Amendment.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That is not simply a point of Order. Every hon. Member claims that his Amendment is one of substance and the Chair cannot give reasons for not selecting any particular Amendment.
Commander Sir BOLTON EYRES MONSELL
May I rise to a point of Order, because this appears to be a rather important question? Is it your Ruling, Mr. Dunnico, that we are not allowed to raise on a point of Order a question as to why you have passed over some Amendment? May we not raise a question of that kind at all?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think it is clearly understood that the House has vested the Chair with special authority to select Amendments. In view of the agreement reached, the time at our dis- 1248 posal is limited and the Chair must take that into account in exercising his power of selection. I think hon. Members will admit that again and again I have tried to meet them in every possible way, but, if one has to explain on every Amendment not selected the reasons my position would be quite intolerable.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I do not wish to dispute your Ruling, but may I put this point to you? I will not go into the general point as to the extent to which the Chairman might be asked to give reasons why he has not selected a particular Amendment, but I would if I might, Mr. Dunnico, put this question to you. If an Amendment is one of substance it is at least doubtful whether the fact that two sides of the House have agreed to get their business done within a certain hour is to be regarded as giving to the Chair a special permission to cut down the number of Amendments to be selected. I suggest that that is a somewhat dangerous extension of the interpretation of the power which the House has d[...]iberately delegated to the Chair.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think I must correct the Noble Lord. The question of time is one of the factors which the Chair must consider under the conditions existing, but if, in making my selection of Amendments to be called I pass over a particular Amendment, I am only exercising my ordinary powers. On every occasion, the Noble Lord has been to see me, and I have met him on his Amendments, but, if each time I pass over an Amendment some Member of the Committee is to rise and ask why, and claim that the Amendment passed over raises points of substance, my position will he an intolerable one. I must therefore adhere to my decision.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I am not now raising any question as to your non-selection of Amendments. What I want to do, in expressing my appreciation of all the courtesy you have shown to me and other Members of the House in this and other debates, is simply to enter a caveat as to the statement which you made, if I may respectfully do so, that time is an element which the Chair must take into account. If that means that the Chairman, in exercising his judgment on Amendments, does so, not with sole regard to the substance of Amendments, but with a view 1249 to the time when it is desirable that the House or the Committee should finish its business, I venture to think that that is a dangerous precedent.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think the Noble Lord is unfair to me. I said that time was one of the factors. In selecting Amendments many factors come in. One desires that the most important Amendments should be debated, and, unfortunately, in my capacity as Chairman I have to decide which I think are the most important Amendments on the Paper. If in this particular case my judgment does not coincide with that of the Noble Lord and other hon. Members, it is unfortunate, but I have to make the selection.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
May I, with very great respect, put to you one point in order to elucidate what should be done in these matters Let me say as a preliminary that I do not for one moment question your right to select Amendments without stating reasons; but you did, I think, say something about time, and I wish to ask you whether it is not the case that the Standing Orders of the House make certain provisions, under what is known as the Guillotine Resolution, where time is a matter which must guide the selection of Amendments? I venture, however, very respectfully to ask you, entirely without prejudice to your freedom to select without giving reasons, whether it is not the case that, when no Guillotine Resolution is in operation, and when, therefore, there is no time limit on the discussion in which the Committee is engaged, the question of time is not one which should weigh with the Chair in considering whether or not Amendments should be selected which are otherwise worthy of consideration?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I wish to say once again that I only suggested time as one factor. I did that because I wanted to be sweetly reasonable, and to give some reason to the Noble Lord why I had not selected a certain Amendment. Because I ventured, in my sweet reasonableness, to give one reason why I did not select a certain Amendment, all these questions have been raised. I will now give an official reason. Time itself was not the sole factor which led me to pass over that Amendment. Other factors guided my choice.
§ Sir C. COBB
I beg to move, in page 2, line 20, to leave out the word "qualified" and to insert instead thereof the word "entitled."
This is really consequential on a previous Amendment which has not been called. It is also consequential on an Amendment of the President of the Board of Education which I understand he is going to move later, and which takes the place of my earlier Amendment and to some extent adopts the wording of it. I think the word "entitled" is very much more suitable than the word "qualified." If statements were made without any possibility of verification it might well be said that the person was qualified. If those statements have been verified it is better to say "entitled."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I beg to move, in page 2, line 23, to leave out from the word "years" to the end of the paragraph.
The words I wish to leave out are
or is deemed for the purposes of the enactments relating to school attendance to attain either of those ages.This is linked up with two Amendments that I have at a later stage of the Bill. Local juvenile employment committees find themselves in this difficulty. Children are kept until the end of the term and you have released upon the labour market all at once quite a large number of children. Consequently, we find it extremely difficult to place them straight away. It frequently happens that situations are available for children, who can fill them very well, but, owing to the rules and regulations, they cannot he released from school until the end of the term, which may be a considerable time after they reach the age of 15. This regulation of keeping the children at school until the end of the school term is very unpopular wit' the parents. A parent. who is really desirous that his child shall enter into an occupation is naturally on the look out for a suitable situation for him. It occurs time and time again that a situation is offered, the parent is desirous that the child shall take it and application is made, hut the parent is informed that the child cannot leave and the situation has to be lost.
1251 I have had several cases brought to my notice within the last few weeks of parents who have taken their children away and entered them into a situation, and the school attendance officer has come round and interviewed the employer and told him he could not employ the child, who has had to go back to school until the end of the term. There may have been some excuse for that when the school-leaving age was 14, but there is no real excuse for keeping the child at school after he is 15. You are going to have a great deal of difficulty in placing boys into apprenticeship. There are many trade unions who demand a seven years' apprenticeship, and now that we have decided to raise the school-leaving age to 15 years, there will he great difficulty in dealing with the matter. At any rate, trades will not want to take boys as apprentices at, say, 15 years and two months. They will want to have them at 15 years. I consider that we have a fair case in putting forward this Amendment. It is a very reasonable one, and would help in many ways, and be very acceptable to the parents of the children.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
The question of when children should leave school has exercised the minds of a good many Members. I very much hope that the Committee will not consider any change of the law as it now stands. From an educational point of view there cannot be any doubt that it is very unsatisfactory to have children leaving school at any time except at the end of a term. The Association of Education Committees have debated the matter on several occasions and have always shown a decided objection to any proposal for the amendment of the law. I do not think that there has been any disposition on either side of the House to make a change. I believe I am right in saying that my predecessor always refused to consider making any change. The Departmental Committee on Education and Industry, while recognising the inconvenience, to a certain extent, from the point of view of employment, said quite clearly that they were satisfied that the educational advantages were sufficiently important to outweigh the industrial disadvantages. The evidence of numerous educational bodies was unanimously in 1252 favour of the continuance of the arrangement until the end of the school term. Therefore, I hope that we shall not make any change.
§ Mr. MORRIS
Has not the right hon. Gentleman rather missed the point of this Amendment. This Amendment would not have the effect of dealing with the school age at all. All that it would do would be to leave children still to attend school within the statutory limit as at present, and deprive them of maintenance allowance.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman of the fact that I stated quite clearly that this Amendment was linked up with two other Amendments?
§ Lord E. PERCY
It is quite clear that the Amendment of my hon. Friend, if it had stood by itself, would have been open to objection. It does not stand by itself. I think the right hon. Gentleman has rather missed the point of the Amendment. It is true that the advantages of avoiding broken terms are now generally recognised. There has been a general agreement that the provisions of the Acts of 1918–21 shall not be altered, but I think the right hon. Gentleman has forgotten that a great many of the people who are strongest in favour of maintaining the provisions of the Act of 1921, so long as the school-leaving age is 14, have been inclined to say that if you raise it to 15, at any rate for a lime, it would be better to raise it only to the fifteenth birthday, and to leave industry a little time in which to make the necessary adjustments. That was urged upon me very strongly by at least one member of the Labour party, who came to me on a deputation of a prominent education authority some years ago. He said that undoubtedly the dislocation of labour and the amount of juvenile unemployment which was created by this provision in the avoidance of the broken term was very serious, and that while he would not contemplate for a moment an alteration of the law so long as the school-leaving age remained at 14, he would advocate that if and when the school-leaving age was raised to 15, and that it should be raised in the first place to the fifteenth birthday, and no longer. That is a point which the right hon. Gentleman has taken too little into consideration. I do not think that this Amendment is one on 1253 which I would ask the Committee to divide, because the question as regards broken terms is difficult, but the right hon. Gentleman would have been well advised, approaching this question from the point of view of unemployment, as he has done throughout, if he had provided at least a period of years during which the school-leaving age would be the fifteenth birthday, and no higher.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
I hope the Committee will divide on this Amendment. In the country districts it is important that the children should not come on the labour market in the way indicated by the mover of the Amendment. There is the question of the girls. In the country districts the girl is very couch wanted to look after the household. Very often there is a large family and the girl is required to help the mother. I have constantly had parents coining to me and asking whether they could not get their girl away from school, because she was 14. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman realises how much this condition of things will be accentuated when the age is raised to 13. The complaint all over the place will be from the parents that they cannot get their children when they want them, and there will be the further complaint that the whole of the children are dumped on the labour market at the same time. I suggest as a com-promise that parents should have some say in the matter. Why should not the right hon. Gentleman insert words to the effect that the children can be taken away at the age of 15 if the parents so
§ desire, or if there is a situation vacant for them to go to?
§ Captain WATERHOUSE.
I can hardly hope that the next Amendment, which stands in my name, which deals with this same point, will be selected. Therefore, I hope the Committee will allow me to say a few words on the Amendment now before the Committee. I think that on this point the right hon. Gentleman is undoubtedly on approved educational lines when he refuses to accept it, but the difficulties in industry are very real, as I think he must himself realise. Would it not be possible, at a later stage or in another place, to insert an Amendment to allow children to leave before they become 15? The extra three months can make little difference to their education, but it does make a real difference to their chances when they go into the workshops. It means that by accident of birth, whether born at the beginning of a term or on the last day of a term, they are going to start three or four months later than other boys and girls who go into the shops. In these days of pretty intense competition, they will definitely start with a disadvantage. T t is well worth while for the right hon. Gentleman to consider this point, which is put not only from this side, but is supported by extreme supporters of his throughout the country.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 278; Noes, 156.1257
|Division No. 34.]||AYES.||[10.53 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Broad, Francis Alfred||Dapper, George|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Bromfield, William||Dallas, George|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher )||Bromley, J.||Dalton, Hugh|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Brooke. W.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|[...]J.H.||Brothers, M.||Denman. Hon. R. D.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Dudgeon, Major C. R,|
|Angell, Norman||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dukes, C.|
|Arnott, John||Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Duncan, Charles|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Ede, James Chuter|
|Ayles, Walter||Buchanan, G.||Edge, Sir William|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Burgess, F. G.||Edmunds, J. E.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)|
|Barr, James||Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Egan, W. H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Caine, Derwent Hall-||Elmley, Viscount|
|Bellamy, Albert||Cameron, A. G.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Cape, Thomas||Foot, Isaac|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Freeman, Peter|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Church, Major A. G.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Benson, G.||Clarke, J. S.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)|
|Bentham. Dr. Ethel||Cruse, W. S.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Bowen, J. W.||Cove, William.G.||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes, Mosley)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon, Charles W.||Cowan, D. M.||Gill, T. H.|
|Gillett, George M.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Scurr, John|
|Glassey, A. E.||McElwee, A.||Sexton, James|
|Gossling, A. G.||McEntee, V. L.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Gould, F.||McKinlay, A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mac Laren, Andrew||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. ( Edin., Cent.)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Gray, Milner||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Shield, George William|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||McShane, John James||Stile's, Dr. Drummond|
|Grenfell. D. R. (Glamorgan)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Mansfield, W.||Shinwell, E.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Marcus, M.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Markham, S. F.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Marley, J.||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Marshall, Fred||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Hall. G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Mathers, George||Sinkinson, George|
|Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Matters, L. W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Messer, Fred||Smith, Ben ( Bermondsey, Rotherhiths)|
|Hardie, George D.||Middleton, G.||Smith, Frank ( Nuneaton)|
|Harris. Percy A.||Mills, J. E.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Milner, Major J.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Haycock, A. W.||Montague, Frederica||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Morley, Ralph||Snell, Harry|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Henderson. Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Morrison. Herbert (Hackney, South)||Sorensen, R.|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Herriotts, J.||Mort, D. L.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Moses, J. J. H.||Sullivan, J.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on Trent)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hoffman. P. C.||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Hollins, A||Muff, G.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Muggeridge, H. T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Hore Beilsna, Leslie||Nathan. Major H. L.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Horrabin, J. F.||Naylor, T. E.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Toole, Joseph|
|Isaacs, George||Noel Baker, P. J.||Tout, W. J.|
|Jenkins. w (Glamorgan, Neath)||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Townend, A. E.|
|John. William (Rhondda, West)||Oldfield, J. R.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Johnston. Thomas||Oliver, George Harold (likeston)||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Jones. F. Liewellyn (Flint)||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Viant, S. P.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham. Silvertown)||Palln, John Henry||Walkden, A. G.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon Leit (Cainborne)||Palmer, E. T.||Walker, J.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Jones, T, I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Perry, S. F.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Jewett, Rt. Hon. F. W||Pelhick-Lawrence, F. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Phillips, Dr. Marton||Watts-Morgan, Lt.Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Pole, Major D. G.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Potts, John S.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Lathan, G.||Price. M. P.||West, F. R.|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Pybus, Percy John||Westwood, Joseph|
|Law, A. (Rossendale)||Qulbell, D. J. K.||White, H. G.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Whiteley. Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Rathbone. Eleanor||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Lawson, John James||Raynes, W. R.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Lawther. W. (Barnard Castle)||Richards, R.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Leach, W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Lees, J.||Ritson. J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lewis. T. (Southampton)||Romeril, H. G.||Winterton. G. E.( Leicester,Loughb'gh)|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Roshotham, D. S. T.||Wise, E. F.|
|Logan. David Gilbert||Rothschild. J. de||Wood. Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Rowson, Guy||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Longden, F.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Lowth, Thomas||Sanders, W. S.|
|Lunn. William||Sawyer. G. F.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Scott, James||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Paling|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Acland Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Boyce, H. L.||Castle Stewart, Earl of|
|Allen, Sir Sandeman (Liverp'l.,W.)||Bracken, B.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Amery. Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt R.(Prtsmth,S.)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Briscoe, Richard George||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Astor, MaJ. Ho. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Christie, J. A.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Brown. Brig,Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Balniel, Lord||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Colfox, Major William Philip|
|Beamish. Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Burton. Colonel H. W.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Butler. R. A.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Bevan, S.(Holborn)||Cadogan. Major Hon. Edward||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Birchall. Major Sir John Dearman||Campbell, E. T.||Crichton-Stuart. Lord C.|
|Bourne. Captain Robert Croft||Carver, Major W. H.||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Iveagh, Countess of||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel F. A.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Duckworth, G. A. V,||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak;||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Savery, S. S.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Liewellin, Major J. J.||Sheppereon, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Elliot, Major Waiter E.||Locker-Lampson, Corn. O.(Handsw'th)||Simms, Major-General J.|
|England, Colonel A.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Ballot)|
|Erskine, Lord(Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Skelton, A. N.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Fate, Sir Bertram G.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc?dine, C.)|
|Fermoy, Lerd||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Smith Carington, Neville W.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Fison, F. G. Clavering||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Marjoribanks, Edward||Stanley, Lord (Fyide)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Stuart, Hon, J. (Moray and Nairm)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mailer, R. J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Monselt, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Tinny, J. A.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Train, J.|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Muirhead, A. J.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsl'ld)||Turton, Robert Hugn|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Peake, Captain Osbert||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Wayland. Sir William A.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|HarUngton, Marquess of||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel Georg,|
|Henderson, Capt, R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ramsbotham, H.||Winterton. Rt. Ir. T|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Young, Rt. Hon Sir Hilton|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford>||Remer, John R.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, ch'ts'y)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Lieut-Colonel Heneage and Mr. Womersley.|
§ Sir C. COBB
I beg to move, in page 2, line 26, at the end, to insert the words:(a) if a maintenance allowance is payable under Section twenty-four or Section seventy-one of the principal Act in respect of a child to whom this sub-section applies, and such allowance is for the time being not less than a rate of five shillings a week no maintenance allowance shall be payable under this sub-section in respect of the child; and(b) if a maintenance allowance is payable under Section twenty-four or Section seventy-one of the principal Act in respect to a child to whom this sub-section applies, and such allowance is for the time being less than a rate of five shillings a week the rate of any maintenance allowance which would otherwise be payable under this section shall be reduced by the rate of the maintenance allowance payable under either of these sections.This Amendment is designed to deal with the case of the child who is receiving maintenance grants under the principal Act. If a child is receiving, under the Act of 1921, either as a central school child or a secondary school child, 5s. or more than 5s., then that 5s. or more than 5s. should take the place of the 5s. under the Bill. On the other hand, if the child 1258 is receiving, as a central school or secondary school child, under the Act of 1921, less than 5s.—say it is 4s. 6d.—the balance of the 5s. should be met from the 5s. payable under this Bill, if it passes.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I think I have grasped the point on which the hon. Gentleman wishes to have an assurance. He is concerned mainly, I believe, with a problem which affects London, and possibly other parts of the country as well. In London, I understand, it. has been the practice to give an allowance in respect of children in selected -central schools of some 5s. 9d. a week and in respect of children in secondary schools of varying amounts varying from 4s. 6d. to 8s. The hon. Gentleman I take it wants to know what the position will be in that respect when this Measure becomes operative. As I understand it, the effect of proviso (a) which he suggests in the Amendment would be something like this—that the child in the selective central school would get 5s. 9d. from the authority and nothing under this Measure. Under proviso (b) if the child in the secondary school was getting 1259 4s. 6d. per week he would have to get that amount made up to 5s. per week. I think it will meet the hon. Gentleman's point if I tell him that there is absolutely nothing in the Bill to interfere with the right of the local education authority to determine if it will give anything, or how much it will give, over and above the 5s. which is allowed under the operation of this Measure. There is nothing which interferes with the powers of local authorities in that matter at all. The rights of local authorities under the existing law are not prejudiced by what is proposed in this Bill. I hope that that explanation will he satisfactory to the hon. Gentleman.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. PHILIP OLIVER
I beg to move, in page 2, line 26, at the end, to insert the words:(a) where the payment of a maintenance allowance would bring the income of any person receiving the same above the limit provided by regulations made by the Board of Education under Part I of the Second Schedule to this Act, the maintenance allowance shall he reduced by such an amount as will bring his income up to hut not above the aforesaid limit.The object of this proposal is to do away, if possible, with anomalies and grievances which will be almost inevitable if there is, as in this Bill, a means limit, without a sliding scale of benefits, as any rate so far as those persons are concerned whose incomes are either just above or just below the limit. I think it can he put down as an almost invariable proposition that where there is a means limit as in the Old Age Pensions Act or in the Income Tax Acts if grievances are to be avoided there must be a sliding scale. Let me put the position as it appears to me under this Bill. We do not know at present what the means limit is going to be, but we may assume that the proposals in the White Paper will be very largely followed, and therefore in the case of a man who has children and dependants the means limit would be £3 a week. That man will get his maintenance allowance of 5s. a week, bringing his total income up to 65s. a week. Next door there may be a man who is perhaps a little more efficient and who may be getting 62s. 6d. a week. He will get no maintenance allowance 1260 at all, and his total income will therefore be less than that of his neighbour. It may be the same man. You may have a man with a wage of 60s., which is increased to 62s. 6d. by the courageous efforts, it may be, of his trade union. He would find that as a result of the increase of his wage he has actually had his total income decreased from 65s. to 62s. 6d. It is quite illogical, and these illogicalities and grievances must occur where you have a means limit without some kind of sliding scale.
This Amendment proposes that where you have a man with two children dependent on him and an income of 55s., he shall get his full 5s. maintenance allowance; if his income is 56s., his maintenance allowance will be 4s., bringing it up to 60s.; if it is 59s., he will get ls. allowance, again bringing him up to 60s.; and if his income is 60s., then, of course, he simply gets no maintenance allowance. There will be no sense of grievance. The Amendment is not brought forward in any niggardly spirit, because it is entirely for the Board to fix the means limit. If the Government do not accept the Amendment, there will be a considerable number of grievances taking place.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The hon. Member who moved the Amendment has raised a question which is raised on one or two Amendments which have not been selected, and on many more Amendments to the Schedule, namely, the whole question of the income limit and the whole question of a sliding scale. There are many such Amendments to the Schedules, and the weakness of the whole position, as I see it, is this: What is your sliding scale going to slide upon, and what is your income limit going to be? We are dealing with working men whose earnings are variable from week to week, and I do not know how you are going to mend this business at all on the basis of the proposals in the Bill. I therefore suggest that this whole question of an income limit and a sliding scale should be left over until we come to the Schedule.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
The point of the Amendment is quite a good point, and the hon. Gentleman who moved it presented quite an impressive case, but I. think the best thing I can say now 1261 is that between now and the Report stage we will consider the case that has been put. I should like to warn the Committee, however, that there is a very strong case on the other side. If the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his Amendment, we will undertake to consider it before the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. OLDFIELD
I beg to move, in page 2, line 27, to leave out paragraph (a).
I move this Amendment in order to call attention to one limited aspect of the case. It is not desirable to provide the maintenance grants in the normal case of a child who attends a boarding school, nor in the case of a child who attends an institution when the parents pay for its upkeep. Is it possible to draw a distinction between that type of case and the case where a child is boarded at some charitable institution as an orphan, or a child who is boarded in a private institution, as for example, by a board of guardians? Until now a child in any such institution has gone to work at 14, and a proportion of his wages has been available to set against the cost of keeping him. Under this Bill, the child will not earn its living until 15, and I was wondering whether my right hon. Friend would consider it practicable to draw the distinction which I suggest, and to provide that the maintenance grant is to be received if a child between 14 or 15 is boarded in a definitely charitable institution.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
It is difficult to see how this proposal would come within what we are trying to do. It would result in paying maintenance grants for boarders at grant-aided secondary schools and at charitable institutions for blind, deaf and epileptic children who are boarded out under various Acts. These children are maintained wholly or mainly out of public or charitable funds and have no father or mother or other person who might claim a maintenance allowance. These allowances are being paid to poor families, and these institutions cannot come under the £3 income limit. I am afraid that the thing is so far removed from what we are trying to do 1262 that it is impossible to suggest that we ought to include institutions of this kind.
§ Lord E. PERCY
Is this not rather peculiar? You are going to pay an allowance in many cases to parents who pay fees for day scholars at secondary schools. Suppose the parents pay the same amount in order that their children may be boarders, are they by that fact to be deprived of their allowance? Is not that too absurd to be logical?
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
There may be a slight illogicality about it, but the difference is that in those cases there are hardly any parents who come under the category. In the case of the secondary schools practically all the children are living at home.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
If this Amendment were carried Would the right hon. Gentleman be compelled in all cases to pay the maintenance allowance? I think not. It would not involve paying maintenance allowances to those at Eton, for instance, but it would still be within his discretion to encourage those charitable institutions which do a very fine educational work, and which surely ought not to be discouraged. It must be the object of this Amendment to ensure that education shall not suffer. If, as the Noble Lord has just stated, a mother is making this contribution to an institution which is doing good educational work, surely it would be a hardship if the grant should be withheld. Would the right hon. Gentleman explain to us what the drawback is to accepting the Amendment? There is nothing in the Bill that would lay any compulsion upon him to pay the money in eases such as I have mentioned, where the boys are at Eton or Harrow, or have other educational disabilities placed upon them.
§ Lord E. PERCY
May I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to consider this Amendment at a later stage? I think there is a point in it which he did not realise before. It deals with some of those schools which take boarders to which poor children go. I could name one.
§ Mr. HARRIS
May I refer the right hon. Gentleman to a case which has been brought to my attention, which concerns a working woman who was left a 1263 widow. She has to go out to work and sends her child to a residential school, for which she pays. She is earning less than £100 a year; considerably less. She is making a contribution towards the cost of the child and of course the charitable institution pays the balance. It does seem rather hard on her if her child is between 14 and 15 years of age, if she does not get any help, while her neighbour who sends a child to the day school does get help.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I am prepared to consider the matter and will make another statement about it on the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CADOGAN
I beg to move, in page 2, line 35, to leave out the words "sickness or any unavoidable cause," and to insert instead thereof the words "any reasonable excuse."
In view of the late hour and the arrangements which I understand have been come to I do not wish to detain the Committee long.This Amendment allows me an opportunity of again raising the cause of the discretionary power of the local authority. Up to now the President has maintained a very stiff attitude on this matter but I hope to convince the Committee that his attitude is not altogether consistent. May I draw attention to Sub-section (2, b):if the child fails in any week to attend school and the failure is, in the opinion of the local education authority, not justified by sickness or any unavoidable cause, the local education authority may reduce the allowance in respect of that week by not more than one shilling for each day on which such a failure occurs.The President has refused our Amendment to allow discretionary authority to fix the rate of the maintenance allowance, but when it comes to a question of reducing the amount of the allowance in respect of a child failing to attend school discretionary authority is given. I should like the President to explain that inconsistency. With regard to the substitution of the words "reasonable excuse" for "sickness or any other unavoidable cause" I think that. "reason- 1264 able excuse" is a more satisfactory phrase. It has a definite statutory meaning. It rests upon magistrates to say whether a child's absence from school is due to a reasonable excuse or not. If the right hon. Gentleman accepted the Amendment, it might meet the Amendment of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr)—in page 2, line 39, at the end, to insert the words:Provided that no such deduction shall be made for absence due to clays of religious observance.Even if he does not accept my Amendment, I hope he will agree to that one.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I ask the Committee to reject this Amendment because the words "any reasonable excuse" is a very wide expression, and may admit all sorts of reasons being advanced by parents as to why their children were absent from school.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
If you retain in the Bill the words "or any unavoidable cause," the parent may put forward any excuse he likes. The real reason for inserting the words "any reasonable excuse" is to bring the two Acts into line. When parents are brought before the magistrates for not sending their children to school, they will have to give a reasonable excuse if this Amendment is carried, and, if they fail to do that, they will not get the maintenance allowance. It is very strange that the Committee should adopt these disqualifying words when there are on the Statute Book two different sets of words dealing with people who fail to send their children to school. It will be far better to have conformity in this matter, and clearly to provide that, if parents do not send their children to school, they may be deprived of the maintenance allowance, or brought by the school attendance officer before the magistrates to show cause. We do not want two sets of rules, and this Amendment ought to be accepted in order to make the Bill more workable.
§ Mr. OLDFIELD
If the President of the Board of Education can deal with this point now, it will not be necessary later on, to move a similar Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr) and myself to add at the end of line 39 the words: 1265Provided that no such deductions shall be made for absence due to days of religious observance.That is why we prefer the words "any reasonable excuse." There have been cases where local authorities have failed to agree that holidays shall be given on days of religious obligation and observance. If the managers of local authorities were to disagree on the matter of giving a holiday for a day of religious observance, there is a grave danger that the children would suffer through the quarrel between the religious bodies and the local authorities and would not get the shilling to which they would be entitled. It is doubtful whether the word "unavoidable" would take into account the difference of opinion as to religious obligation. I agree that the words "any reasonable excuse" may have a wider interpretation than my right hon. Friend thinks is wise, but nevertheless I should like him to give an assurance that the words used will definitely cover any holiday which may be proposed by the managers on account of a day of religious obligation.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I am afraid that the arrangement which has been made with regard to business has rather the effect of limiting discussion now. My difficulty is this: I believe that the Minister is right, and that the words "reasonable excuse" would allow, say, a child living three miles from school, and therefore having a reasonable excuse for not attending school, to refrain from attending school, and then to go to work and also to claim the maintenance allowance. That, clearly, would not do. In order to get over that difficulty, the Minister has invented the phrase "unavoidable cause," which has no statutory meaning; no one knows what it means. Is living three miles from a school an unavoidable cause? Who will know until we have had a dozen cases before the magistrates up and down the country? This is not a case that we can discuss now, owing to the arrangement that has been made, and I suggest that the Minister will have to consider it and put down a definition of "unavoidable cause" as a new Clause before we part from the Bill.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I do not think that there is really much difference; it is really a question whether the Clause 1266 is watertight for our purpose. The Noble Lord said something about this phrase being invented by us, but as a matter of fact it is taken straight out of Section 49 of the Education Act, which says:Any of the following reasons shall be a reasonable excuse for the purposes of this Act and by-laws made thereunder, namely:(a) that the child has been prevented from attending school by sickness or any unavoidable cause.I think that the reason why we did not take any more was that the other parts of the Section were not accurate. With regard to what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for South-East Essex (Mr. Oldfield), I have practically the same thing to say. He is covered by the law already:The by-laws made under this part of the Act shall not prevent the withdrawal of any child from any religious observance or instruction in religious subjects.I will go further into the matter, and, if he and his friends are not satisfied, I am quite prepared to meet them, but I think I can assure him that the point which he raises is absolutely covered.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I think the right hon. Gentleman has made a slip. There are no by-laws under this Measure. He has done away with the by-laws, and therefore that provision does not apply. In short, I think that this is a drafting matter, which will have to he considered again as a new Clause.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I take it that the hon. Member for South-East Essex (Mr. Oldfield) will not now wish to move his Amendment.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I beg to move, in page 2, line 39, at the end, to insert the words:Provided that before so reducing an allowance the authority shall give not less than one week's notice in writing to the parent of such child of their intention to consider the question of such reduction, stating the grounds upon which it is proposed to make the same, and shall give such parent a reasonable opportunity of being heard thereon.Under the Bill as it stands, the parent is entitled to a maintenance allowance in 1267 respect of his child, but there is a provision in paragraph (b) of the proviso that, if the child fails to attend school, the maintenance allowance may be reduced if in the opinion of the local authority the absence is not justified by sickness or any unavoidable cause. There is, however, so far as I know, no provision in the Bill which enables the parent to be heard on the question whether he has kept the child away from school owing to sickness or any unavoidable cause. It seems to me that, if you once admit that the parent is entitled to a maintenance allowance in respect of his child, it is unfair to reduce the amount of that allowance unless the parent has had an opportunity of explaining why the child has not been to school. The Amendment is directed simply and solely to that point, in order to make it quite clear that a parent is not going to be judged in his absence and have the amount of the maintenance allowance reduced.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I think the Amendment has some plausibility in it. The section authorises a reduction in the allowance for failure, without due cause, to attend school. That provision will, I think, necessarily be worked through the machinery already existing in all areas for the administration of the law of school attendance under which doubtful cases are investigated by the school attendance officer and, when necessary, parents are summoned to appear before the school attendance committee. I think the adoption of the Amendment would suggest to local authorities the adoption of a different and more summary procedure than that customary amongst them in regard to school attendance. The proposed procedure in this Amendment would be no protection to parents, because at an early stage the authorities could issue notices in all doubtful cases. It would be objectionable because any such action would create unnecessary anxiety and resentment amongst the parents themselves. The local education authorities themselves are quite accustomed to operating the machinery in regard to this matter and they may be trusted to choose whatever method seems to them to be the wisest in order to deal with the situation contemplated.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I beg to move, in page 2, line 39, at the end to insert the words:(c) any person qualified as aforesaid who is aggrieved by the non-payment or reduction of the allowance or by any decision of the local education authority may appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction acting in and for the area in which the child resides in manner provided by Regulations made for that purpose by the Secretary of State for Home Affairs.The purpose of this Amendment. is a little deeper than the words I have used would seem to indicate. It is to provide some form of appeal by a parent who is suffering by reason of the withdrawal of the maintenance allowance in whole or in part. It seems to my hon. Friends and myself that there ought to be some form of provision. We do not necessarily say that the one we have put into this Amendment is the best or the one which would work the best. But there is a danger that, if a reduction is made in the maintenance grant and the parent does nothing, and can do nothing, he may thereby be held to have admitted that he has kept his child away from school with-out a reasonable excuse mentioned in the section which the Minister read a few moments ago. There ought to be some provision guarding him in that way; otherwise, when the proceedings are taken by the school attendance officer before the magistrates under the older branch of the law, the parent, when he comes to state what is his reasonable excuse, may be met by some difficulty or other. He may be met with this sort of question: "When a reduction was made in the maintenance allowance you ought to have made your defence then, and, as you have not done so, you have implied that you are guilty of the offence with which you have been charged."That is the sort of argument which might, in certain circumstances, appeal to some benches. It is with a desire to put an end to that possibility that this Amendment has been moved.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
As I understand the matter, the position under the Bill would be that the parent who was aggrieved because of the withholding of a maintenance grant would have the right of making an appeal to some court. The court to which he could appeal, I suppose, would be the county court, because it 1269 would be a summons for debt. In any case, that would be the normal procedure to follow under the Bill as it now stands. It is a good point, I admit, as to whether, for the convenience of the parent, he ought not to be able to go to a more local court than the county court. I think that there is some substance in that point. There is an appeal under the Bill to a court of law. If a person feels that he has a grievance because of the withholding of the maintenance allowance, it will, in his judgment, he a debt which the local authority owes him. If, however, there is a strong feeling that the question should be referred to a local court rather than to the county court, my right hon. Friend will he prepared to consider it. Now, without any change, there would be a right of appeal to the county court.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I do not wish to challenge the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary, but may I read him the wording of paragraph (b):If the child fails in any week to attend school and the failure is, in the opinion of the local education authority, not justified by sickness or any unavoidable cause.The parent goes to the county court and says, "But the non-attendance of my child was justified by sickness or some unavoidable cause," and the court says—I think that it will be bound to say—that the Act says: "In the opinion of the local education authority." The opinion of the local education authority is final. Surely the hon. Member knows that when we want to make it impossible for any local authority to plead any excuse, we say: "In the opinion of the Board of Education." I am really very nervous about this point. One or two of my hon. Friends have said to me that we are running through provisions which affect the rights of parents in a way which may leave them in a very unsatisfactory position. I am very much afraid that the Government are getting into the position that they are giving the absolute right to the parent to get a maintenance allowance and an absolute right to the authority to reduce the allowance exactly as they think fit. I hope the Government will reconsider the point.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
In view of what the Noble Lord has said it is obvious that we must reconsider the 1270 point. We do not wish to deprive the parent of the chance of appeal to an appropriate court if the parent feels that he has a legitimate grievance. We can deal with the matter further on the Report stage.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
It seems to me to he important to give parents the right of appeal against the decision of a local authority. We know how a parent might write to a member of this Committee and say that an education authority has refused to give the allowance, that the parent has never been heard. Then an inquiry would start. If parents had a statutory right of appeal they could go into the court, hear what the attendance officer had to say, and have the matter thrashed out. I do not mind particularly whether the power to deal with the decision of the authority is given to the county court or to a court of summary jurisdiction. These will be very small debts, and it would probably be very much more convenient to take the case to a court of summary jurisdiction. Such a court sits frequently in the locality where the case has arisen, whereas a county court may not sit more often than once in six weeks or more. Morever there is no hearing fee to be paid in the court of summary jurisdiction.
Captain GUN ST 0 N
I am not a lawyer, but I realise that in this matter we have to consider the convenience of the parents. By too hasty legislation we might do an injustice to some of the parents. On the last Amendment, I was very dissatisfied with the explanation given by the Government. Will the Parliamentary Secretary consult with my hon. Friend's before the Report stage? They are lawyers and are accustomed to dealing with such questions. In that way it might be possible to reach a satisfactory solution and safeguard the rights of the parents.
§ Dr. BURGIN
As the Parliamentary Secretary has promised to reconsider the whole matter will he be so good as to consider a further point? A good many observations have fallen from lion. Gentleman above the Gangway suggesting that a parent who failed to obtain a maintenance grant, to which he considered he was entitled, could apply to the county court on the ground that it was some small debt. The Committee 1271 must clearly understand that any such remedy is inapplicable. Where a Government Department is alleged to be a debtor, I know of no means of recovering the debt at the suit of an alleged creditor other than a Petition of Right against the Crown. It is a serious matter, and, if the Committee is once allowed to have the idea that a matter of this kind could be raised in one of the inferior courts, we are indeed going sadly astray. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman, when looking into the matter as a whole, will also look into the remedy which a parent has if a maintenance grant is withheld from him. He certainly has not the remedy which has been suggested.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
It would be a grave public scandal and a serious precedent if any Bill were allowed to go through this House without establishing some kind of tribunal out of which the lawyers could profit. Hitherto, this has been a Bill exclusively confined to benefiting school children to the entire exclusion of that most meritorious section of the public.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper: In page 2, line 39, at the end, to insert the words:
(3) Sub-section (2) of section one hundred and eighteen of the principal Act (which provides inter alia that the total grant payable to a local education authority in aid of its expenditure on elementary education shall be not less than one-half of such expenditure) shall have effect as if for the words shall he not less than one-half of the net expenditure of the authority 'there were substituted the words shall ho not less than the whole of the net expenditure of the authority upon maintenance allowances under the provisions of Sub-section (2) of section one of the Education (School Attendance) Act, 1930, together with not less than one-half of all other net expenditure of the authority."— [Mr. Wise.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Wise) is out of order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Because the Minister, in taking powers to give money as grants-in-aid, has taken those powers under Section 118 of the Education Act, 1918, and that Amendment would be an alteration of the conditions under that Section.
§ Mr. WISE
Under the Section to which you refer, the Board of Education is entitled, if it pleases, to give up to 100 per cent, of the total grant. I am not proposing to add any additional authority but merely to make a consequential Amendment in the conditions. I would point out that there is a Section in the Schedule which similarly amends that previous Act. Am I not entitled, in the circumstances, to argue that this imposes no charge on the Exchequer which is not already authorised and that this is a perfectly proper Amendment of an existing Act, which does not add to the charge on the Exchequer?
§ The CHAIRMAN
It would interfere with the right of the Minister under Section 118. He may give 100 per cent., as you say, but he is allowed to do it at his discretion and this would interfere with his discretion.
§ Mr. WISE
The Money Resolution refers to Section 118 of the Education Act as amended by any subsequent Act. We are entitled to adduce, in determining what the draftsman of the Money Resolution meant, the actual definition of that phrase in the Bill. If you turn to Clause 2 of the Bill, you see it definitely laid down that references to the principal Act are to be construed as referring to that Act's provisions as amended by any subsequent Act including this Bill. Are we not entitled to assume that the House, in passing that Money Resolution, was guided and governed by the interpretation it had before it?
§ Mr. WISE
I am very sorry to press that point, but how, in that case, can the Schedule of this Bill and the whole of the structure of this Bill be in order, because it proposes to amend that principal Act? It is only because of the Amendment of that principal Act that the Money Clauses of this Bill come into operation at all.
§ The CHAIRMAN
No. As I said at the beginning, the Money Resolution determines the conditions under which the money grants can be paid and this Amendment and other Amendments from other parts of the House are out of order because they define the discretion of the Minister. He has power under Section 118 to give these grants-in-aid. He may, as the hon. Member said, give grants of 60 per cent, or 100 per cent., but that is within his discretion, and this interferes with his discretion. I have spent some time on this matter and have considered the point very carefully. The hon. Member was good enough to see me about it —
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have given my decision and the hon. Member must accept it. There are three other Amendments on the Order Paper somewhat similar in purpose, and they likewise must go out in consequence of my decision.
§ Mr. WISE
I accept your Ruling, but I should like to ask for your guidance on this point. This is a matter which affects every hon. Member and it is a matter on which we shall be judged. When we were discussing the Money Resolution we asked you specifically whether we could raise the question as to the allocation of the charge as between the central and local authorities and you told us that it was not possible to do so.
§ Mr. WISE
That is precisely what I am saying. You told us that on the Money Resolution we could not raise the question of the allocation of the charge as between the central and local authorities. You said:The Financial Resolution before the House fixes the rate at 5s. per child per week, and it covers the charge on the Exchequer. That is all we can deal with at the moment."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th November, 1930; col. 1513, Vol. 244.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
I said that the 5s. was fixed by the Money Resolution, and that no amendment could increase the charge.
§ Mr. WISE
That is exactly the point. You told us that we could not raise this question on the Money Resolution, and that we cannot raise it now on the Clause of the Bill. I am asking for your guidance. Is there any means within the Rules of the House by which the House can express an opinion and come to a decision upon a matter of great importance arising directly out of the Bill?
§ The CHAIRMAN
There were no Amendments to the Money Resolution and, therefore, I was not called upon to give a decision on the point, and consequently I could not decide upon a matter which was not then before me. I was asked to give an opinion on Amendments which I had not seen, and I refused to do so.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have given my Ruling on this Amendment. The next Amendment I call is that in the name of the President of the Board of Education.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
I beg to move, in page 2, line 40, at the beginning, to insert the words:A local education authority may make such inquiries as may be necessary for the purpose of verifying any statement contained in an application submitted to them under the last foregoing Sub-section or otherwise for the purposes of the execution of their duties under this Act, and.The object is to enable the local authorities to make inquiries, in addition to the declaration made in the form. I think it is the general wish of the Committee that that should be done, and I hope the Amendment will be accepted.
§ Lord E. PERCY
This manuscript Amendment is a proper one to accept. I think [...] meets what we want. Might I suggest that as we have done our best to get on with the Bill in a business like way and that the time of the last trains for hon. Members opposite is approaching—[HoN. MEMBERS "They have 1275 gone!"]—the right hon. Gentleman might agree to stop our proceedings now and move to report Progress.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
We have got on very fast and have practically finished the Clause. The Opposition have helped very much to-night, and, as hon. Members want to catch their trains—[HON. MEMBERS: "They have gone!"]—I think it would be wise to adjourn now.
Resolved, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—[Sir C. Trevelyan.]
1276 Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.
§ It being after half-past Eleven of the clock upon Tuesday evening,Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKERadjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
§ Adjourned at Five Minutes after Twelve o'Clock.