§ Mr. SPEAKER
The next Amendment which I call is that standing in the name of the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha:)—
260 In page 4, line 25, to leave out from the word "be" to the end of the paragraph and to insert instead thereof the words:the mother of the child, save that where the local education authority is satisfied that the child is living with the father and not with the mother, or that for some other reason the mother is not a proper recipient of the maintenance allowance, such maintenance allowance shall be paid to the father.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
I feel that I must do so for the purpose of representing to the Government the situation in which the House finds itself. The Prime Minister has said that no question of principle is involved. That statement surprises me. I was present during the last remarks which the right hon. Gentleman made before the Division, and if he will allow me to say so—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must remind the Noble Lord that he can only move the Adjournment of the Debate if there is an Amendment before the House. At present there is no Question before the House.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I beg to move, "That this House do now adjourn."
261 I will leave what I was saying with the remark that I was present when the Prime Minister spoke, and, I, certainly, understood him to say that this was a matter of the very greatest substance. But in any case I wish to represent to the Prime Minister that it is absurd to ask the House at this moment to proceed with the Third Reading of the Bill. This Bill has been brought forward as the pièce de résistance of the whale Government programme, and the Government have insisted all along on the, essential character of this Bill being that it is to put pressure on local authorities and voluntary schools, in order that they may get ready for the raising of the school-leaving age. Now, it has been decided by the House that this Bill shall not take effect until certain assistance is given to the non-provided schools. We have no knowledge—indeed I think the Government have not been able to make up their minds on the question—as to whether they are prepared to give such assistance to the voluntary schools. It is a question in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is involved. It is a question of finance as well as of policy. Are the Government prepared, this year or next year, to pass legislation pledging themselves to make grants to voluntary schools?
§ Lord E. PERCY
I beg the hon. and gallant Gentleman's pardon, they said that, provided agreement was reached, they would be prepared—[HON. MEMBERS: "Substantial agreement"]—Yes, they said that, if substantial agreement were reached, they would be prepared to bring forward a Measure authorising that. Now the House has not given them a mandate to introduce a Measure of that kind. It has only said to them, "You cannot have your raising of the school-leaving age, until you have done this." Do they intend to do it? What are we to ask the Government to do? To make an offhand pronouncement as to their future legislative programme, as to the character of the Bill which they are going to bring forward, or whether they are going to bring forward any Bill at all. They cannot be expected to make up their minds during the next two or three hours before the Third Reading.
262 Let me say this. From the beginning of the proceedings on this Bill, from the announcement, 18 months ago, of the policy of raising the school-leaving age, the right hon. Gentleman the Minister and the Government have consistently shirked every practical problem that arose in connection with the raising of the age. That is the reason for their defeat to-night. It was obvious 18 months ago, and every member of the Government knew that something of this kind would have to be done. But they had no idea of what they were going to do. They rejected, to start with, every proposal on which I had already got half agreement before I left the Board of Education. They threw all those assets overboard and the very men with whom I was negotiating amicably, and with whom I was on the verge of agreement, are the very men who are to-day signing manifestos against any sort of settlement. The right hon. Gentleman and the Government have destroyed the whole of the good will—no, I will not say that, because there is plenty of it yet, but they have destroyed a large part of the good will, of that practical and effective good will which existed on this subject, and they have done it not through any malice or wrong policy, but simply because they have put off again and again and shilly shallied and refused to face the necessity of making a decision.
They want to go on with the Third Reading for the same reason. They say, "If we have the Third Reading at once, we cannot be expected to make any statement as to the attitude we are going to take towards the decision of the House. We shall be able to slip out of it somehow." The Prime Minister will be able to make one of those beautifully benign and confusing speeches, of which, if he will allow me to say so, he is a master. That is the object of the Government in trying to make the House sit longer, but I submit that in these circumstances, when we have reached this, the crown and the inevitable end of 18 months' shirking on the part of the Government, the House ought to be allowed to adjourn in order to consider the new situation which confronts it in regard to this matter.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I think the best argument against the Motion which the Noble Lord has just moved is his 263 own speech, which was simply a continuation of his speech before the Division, and I hope that some of those who have taken part in the Division and produced the present result will benefit by their experience. I repeat what I said before the Division, that there is no question of principle involved. [Interruption.] There is no question of principle involved. The Government in their last Bill introduced a Clause dealing with financial aid to voluntary schools, but they withdrew it because it was not possible to agree upon it. They have tried the same again. It is still in operation. The conference is still going on, and to-morrow I myself am going to take part in it; and all that has happened is that the House has said, "We want to put in a Clause or to amend a Clause providing that, until another Bill is passed, this Bill shall not come into operation."
We are in the hands of the House in a matter like that, but, when the right hon. Gentleman says he is not prepared to deliver a Third Reading speech on the Bill, what was the speech which we have just heard? If he will allow me to flatter him, as he was good enough to flatter me, it was a very model of a rather bad-tempered Third Reading speech. [Interruption.] It really was, and the right hon. Gentleman the Noble Lord did himself a grave injustice by putting up such an excuse as he did, when he proposed that the House should not proceed with the Third Reading. He himself had come to an agreement, when this Amendment was on the Paper, that at our sitting to-day we were going to get the rest of the stages of the Bill. It is only in accordance with that agreement. We accept the Amendment that has been made. We are sorry it has been made, but it is accepted, and now we shall go on with the Third Reading.
§ Lord E. PERCY
On a point of Order. The Prime Minister has made a personal imputation against me that I am trying, by this Motion, to get out of an agreement into which I personally entered. If he will consult the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education, that right hon. Gentleman will tell him that the agreement to finish the report and Third Reading in one day was made before the right hon. Gentleman sug- 264 gested that this Amendment should be postponed till after the Recess. I got up when we agreed to that postponement and said that, of course, that must affect to a certain extent our agreement as to taking the Report and Third Reading in one day, and it was then informally said, "We will talk about that through the usual channels." I am sorry the Prime Minister, without any notice, should have seen fit to accuse me of a personal breach of honour, which I repudiate absolutely.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
It is not a question of a breach of honour. I have been informed right through that this stage was to be given to the remaining part of the Report stage of the Bill and Third Reading, and that it was part and parcel of the agreement. If I have done the right hon. Gentleman any wrong, I am very sorry, but that is certainly my impression, and more than my impression; that is what I was told, and that is why we have suspended the 11 o'clock rule to-night.
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
May I urge on the Prime Minister the extraordinary position in which the House is placed? This is the first occasion on which I remember a Government, on its defeat, not being prepared at least to allow the House of Commons time to consider the situation, and it must be evident, in spite of anything the right hon. Gentleman has said, that this was a most important point affecting the House of Commons. It is, whatever he may say, a most vital question of principle, and I submit that it is only fair to those who represent the Free Churches of this country that they should have an opportunity of considering this question before the Third Reading is taken. The right hon. Gentleman might bring about, as he said, in consultation tomorrow an agreement fair to all parties, but surely he is only placing another party in a most difficult position to-night by forcing the Third Reading through. I submit that the normal course—and after all we expect the traditions of this House, with a minority Government, to be respected—is that the House should adjourn and that we should have time to consider the situation.
§ Mr. J. JONES
As one of those contumacious persons who took part in the last division, much to my regret from the standpoint of political convenience, I want to say that I voted oh the ground of principle, as a member of the Church and a representative of a constituency where the people have made the greatest possible sacrifices to maintain their own schools. All that we have asked for is fair play, which I believed it was possible to achieve before to-night, but I discovered that it had been delayed, and as a result of that delay I was converted to the position of going into the Lobby against those with whom I always work, and hope to continue to work, right until the end of the chapter, on every other question affecting working class conditions and life.
But now we are asked to turn the Bill down altogether. It is simply "a little bit of sugar for the bird," this Motion that we should now adjourn. The idea is to kill the time necessary for the carrying of the other parts of the Bill. I know that there are differences between us, but the time will arrive when those differences will be overcome. If our friends opposite imagine that because some of us have gone into the Lobby against the Government they are going to carry us with them on future occasions, they are much mistaken. Some of us have advocated for nearly 40 years the only one system of education that we think is desirable. We have said that either the State must be responsible for the ordinary education of the people and the Church must provide the religious education in their own way or else all bodies must be treated alike. Unfortunately, we discover that owing to fundamental differences existing between the various religious bodies, it is almost impossible to get an agreement. It is a case of "Live horse, and you will get grass," so far as some are concerned.
First, you get the Church of England to agree, then you get the Roman Catholics to agree, then you get the local education authorities to agree, then you get the teachers to agree, and then another body comes along and says it cannot agree. They have a perfect right to their convictions. The hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Foot) is steeped to the lips in nonconformity, but his nonconformity consists in conformity, so far as other 266 people are concerned who do not hold the same view as he holds. They must obey the law, but he can claim the right to disobey. He was a supporter of the conscientious objectors to the Education Act of 1902. [Interruption.] I am only saying what is a matter of history. He gave us some history, and now I am giving him some. He stood for the right to refuse to pay taxes because you did not agree with the law. He was a champion of that policy. We are not asking a right to refuse to pay taxes. You say, "Why should we put Rome on the rates?" We have had nonconformity on the rates since 1870. The education in the schools has been nothing else but nonconformity on the rates, yet when some—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I would remind the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) that, on the Motion for the Adjournment, the question of religious education must not be discussed.
§ Mr. JONES
This Motion is to delay legislation, and so far as that is its object those of us who voted against the Government in this instance because of clear-cut conscientious convictions want to see the Bill go through. We have registered an opinion as to this particular part of the Bill, but we want to see the main body of the Bill go through, and we shall support the Government against this Motion.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
My right hon. Friend the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy), in moving that the House should now adjourn, had two perfectly clear objects in view. The first was to give the Government an opportunity to reconsider the position so far as it affects the actual legislation, and to enable them to address themselves to the new situation which was created. But the second object of my right hon. Friend, which was also aimed at by the Leader of the Opposition when he pointedly asked the Prime Minister his intentions, was to emphasise and make abundantly plain the humiliation of His Majesty's Government and the extremely loose and inconsequent mariner in which they are conducting the business of the country. I heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman just before the Division. Then, this was an Amendment of real consequence. Then, it was one of the gravest issues which could possibly affect the whole course of this 267 8.0 p.m.
Bill. The Government placed their Whips on in the Lobbies. They summoned their supporters from all parts of the country for the Division which they knew was to take place, I agree, not on party lines, and yet it is a Division which has in it a measure of direct censure, because, as we have been told, the situation created this afternoon is the result of 18 months of complete failure to deal in a straightforward or in a direct manner with this particular religious difficulty. The Government face the Division, they are defeated by over 30 votes, and then the Prime Minister rises in his place utterly unabashed, the greatest living master of falling without hurting himself, and airily assures us that nothing has happened. The Government, it appears, are delighted to fall in with the wishes of the House. Their only regret is that the House has not conveyed its opinion to them in a somewhat less forcible manner. So we are to go on with the discussions on the Bill, although undoubtedly a first-class impediment has been placed upon its further progress by the vote which the House has given in such surprising numbers. We may go on with the Bill, and the right hon. Gentleman will continue leading this House—we admit, of course, the difficulties in which a minority Government finds itself—and it will continue to afford precedents which will certainly enable Administrations in the future, if they choose, to proceed week after week and month after month without one scrap of credit or reputation or consistency. My right hon. Friend was actuated by these objects in moving that we should adjourn. The objects have been fully attained now, and, if the Government say that all is exactly the same, that nothing has happened, that they are perfectly prepared to accept the affront, that they do not even wish a breathing space, an interlude in order to re-examine the position—if they choose to say that, now that we have effectively made our point from this side of the House, we shall not trouble to set them right, and shall leave them effectively to stew in their own juice.
§ Question, "That this House do now adjourn," put, and negatived.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I beg to move, in page 4, line 25, to leave out from the 268 word "be," to the end of the paragraph, and to insert instead thereof the words:the mother of the child, save that where the local education authority is satisfied that the child is living with the father and not with the mother, or that for some other reason the mother is not a proper recipient of the maintenance allowance, such maintenance allowance shall be paid to the father.The House now passes from a decision of importance to a decision of comparatively minor importance. We have now to make up our minds to whom the maintenance allowance payable under this Bill is to be paid. There are three possible courses. The money may be paid to the child, to the father, or to the mother. It is important in any event that the House should come to a clear conclusion as to which of these three it desires to make the recipient of the money. The original proposal in the Bill was that the maintenance allowance should be paid to the father. I had an Amendment down on the Committee stage to make it payable to the mother. Unfortunately, it was not called, and an Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone) was called, and was accepted by the Government. That Amendment was that the money should be paid either to the father or to the mother, and, in the event of a dispute, the local education authority was to determine. Whatever the merits of paying the money either to the father or to the mother may be, there can surely be no virtue in setting up the education authority as an arbiter in a dispute between father and mother. The hon. Member for the English Universities, in the discussion on the Committee stage, admitted that she preferred my Amendment, and has accordingly put her name down in support of it. The right hon. Gentleman will observe that it is supported by Members of all parties.
I need not argue the case at length, because it was argued on the Committee stage, and the wish of the House should have been made apparent to the right hon. Gentleman. In a nutshell, the case is this. These maintenance allowances are compensation paid to the child for depriving him of his earning power. In other words, it ought to be paid to the child, as it is by the London County Council. If we are not to pay it to the child, we must make up our minds what 269 the child would do with this money if it were wages instead of maintenance allowance. Undoubtedly—and no one can deny the proposition—the child would take the money home to its mother. That has been the invariable practice throughout industrial districts. I do not know what possible justification there can be for paying it to the father. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman does. What possible justification there can be for saying that it shall be paid to the father or to the mother, and that they shall take their private disputes to the education authority, I also do not know. Therefore, I invite the House to enable this allowance, as it is displaced wages, to be taken by the child where its wages would be taken, namely, to the mother, and thus recognise the right of motherhood to keep its children, and to recognise also that the mother by experience has the best knowledge of how to dispose of the money.
§ Captain CAZALET
I beg to second the Amendment.
Since this matter was discussed on a former occasion, I have tried to consult some of those who have had experience of the working of this matter in the London County Council district, and the unanimous opinion is that, if this contribution is to be given, it should be given to the mother rather than to the father. What are we doing in giving this contribution? If we regard it as a kind of bribe in order to make this Measure popular, there is something to be said for giving it to the father. If, on the other hand, the intention of making this contribution is, as I believe it, to give something which will make it easier for the family to give a little more food to the children, and to supply the family with greater facilities for giving whatever is necessary to the growing child, the logical, natural and reasonable thing is to make the contribution to the mother. Who has to buy the food and purchase the clothes? In every case it must be the mother. Therefore, if this financial assistance is to be given, as I believe that it is the intention of the Government to give it, because they desire to improve the condition of the children who are to remain at school an extra year, the common-sense thing is that it shall be given to the mother and not to the father.
§ Mr. MILLS
I associate myself with this Amendment because I believe that, in principle, it is something that really ought to be done. That perhaps needs some explanation in view of our attitude towards an Amendment of a similar character with regard to unemployment benefit. It is as well to point out where the two things differ. In the case of unemployment pay to a boy or girl, the boy or girl has left school, has secured employment and has contributed for the unemployment benefit. Consequently, it is a matter of principle that, whatever benefit is paid, should be paid to the person who has been taxed directly for it. In the case of school maintenance allowance, however, the parents are the people who have been making sacrifices from the days of infancy up to the time when this help is to be given. The father's contribution towards the household expenses comes out of the industrial wages that he is able occasionally to enjoy. It follows obviously that the whole of the expenses of the household is the work of the mother, and this allowance should go directly to her.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I would appeal very strongly to the House, and especially to the President, to accept this Amendment. It may be said that I am inconsistent to do so after I moved the Amendment which was accepted on the Committee stage. I made it perfectly plain, however, that I moved that Amendment merely because I thought that it had a better chance of being accepted by the House than the Amendment which has been moved by my hon. Friend to-night. In the discussion that took place, it was pointed out that, as the Clause now stands, it is open to the objection that in a considerable proportion of cases the local authority will have to make the decision. In the form in which it is now proposed, the allowance will in the normal case go to the mother, and the local authority will only have to make a decision where the mother is not a proper recipient for the allowance. May I say where the difference lies? In the large majority of cases no particular difficulty may arise under the Clause as it stands, but I think it is too often forgotten that we are dealing with very large numbers, with 400,000 married couples every year, and a different 400,000 each year, because the child only draws the allowance for one year and even a 271 very small percentage of cross-grained fathers may cause trouble. As the Clause now stands there is the fear that it may be the general practice of local authorities to choose the father rather than the mother in the case of dispute. If this Bill were placing a fresh liability on the father there might be some excuse for saying that he was the normal person to draw the allowance, but the allowance really replaces the earnings which the child would otherwise bring in and, in the normal way, hand over to its mother, and she as the person who distributes the family income, is the natural person to receive that allowance.
I appeal to the House to put aside all those prejudices and considerations of tactics and of one party scoring against another which influence so many of our decisions and put themselves in the place of those who will have to deal with the facts of the case. Supposing difficulty arises in only 1 per cent, of eases, that means 1,000 mothers per year affected; if 2 per cent, of cases are affected, it means 2,000 households are concerned. We ought to establish what is almost a principle, but what is too often ignored, and that is that the mother is performing a service to her children fully equivalent to the service which the father performs in earning the money. Even to-day there are too many who seem to think the payment of the cash is the most important thing, think the father, because he earns the money in the wage market, is the important person in the household and that the services which the mother performs all day long do not count.
I believe that this proposal, if carried, will bring great gratification to millions of working women, who will see in it a recognition of their too often ignored services to their family. In those exceptional cases relatively, though they will be numerous cases absolutely, where the father may be drunken or careless, the mother will be able to claim the payment of the allowance, and it is more likely that it will be expended for the benefit of the child. It may be said that there are careless and drunken mothers as well as careless and drunken fathers, and I do not doubt it, but the mother is the person who, in the long run, has the expenditure of the money, and we shall diminish the chances of leakage by pay- 272 ing it to her direct, because in considerably fewer cases will there be an abuse of the money if it is paid to her. appeal to the President to put aside any question of whether it is or is not a little difficult to make a change in an Amendment which has already been accepted and to think of the vital facts, think of the human beings to whom this apparently trifling decision is going to make a very real difference in the conduct of their lives and the expenditure of their weekly budget week by week year after year.
§ Sir C. TREVELYAN
It is rather a pity, perhaps, that this Amendment has been moved, because in Committee we discussed this whole matter at considerable length, and the hon. Lady herself proposed an Amendment which entirely modified the original proposal. It is a little difficult on the Report stage, and when there are very few people in the House, to bring forward this Amendment. It is quite true that those who are present have spoken in favour of making the further change—[HON. MEMBERS: "Not all of us!"]—but if we had Members here in larger numbers we might hear a, good many expressions of opinion of a different kind. I would remind the House that the proposal now in the Bill is rather of the nature of a compromise, but although it was a compromise a considerable number of Members voted against it. I do not claim that this is a, matter of principle—of course, it is not—but, after all, there is a good deal to be said for the father. It is not only a question of the receipt of the money, it is a question of the claim to the money, and, after all, the father is the person who is responsible for the maintenance of the child. He is the economic head of the household and he knows, as a rule, what the wage is. There is no reason why he should not arrange for the money to he paid to the wife; there would be no difficulty about that, and no doubt it would be done in a very large number of cases; and I really think, if we are considering whether the man or the woman ought to have the responsibility, that it is rather a good division to leave it to them to settle it themselves. I thought it was rather a good suggestion that the hon. Lady put forward in Committee and got carried. It seemed the kind of adjustment which it was wise to 273 make, and therefore I very much hope we shall maintain the present arrangement.
Duchess of ATHOLL
I wish to support the Minister in the attitude he has taken up on this Amendment. I am rather in a difficulty, because in Committee I was not satisfied with the Amendment moved by the hon. Lady for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone), which the Minister accepted and embodied in the Bill. I criticised her Amendment because I thought it encouraged disputes. I thought we might find the mother and the father hurrying to arrive first at the education office to claim the maintenance allowance, and that the education authorities might be involved in the investigation of an unnecessary number of disputes. I did not, however, have the opportunity of speaking to an Amendment which I had put down which would have preserved to the local authority the right of paying the maintenance allowance to the mother if they were satisfied that the father was not making good use of it. If I have to choose between the Bill as amended and this further Amendment I must unquestionably pronounce for the Bill, and I would appeal to the hon. Lady for the English Universities not to think that anyone who votes against her ignores or belittles the very great value of the work of the mother in the home, particularly of the mother who does all the domestic work and is the sole nurse of her children.
There are, however, two considerations which we must keep clearly in mind which must outweigh what seems to me a relatively sentimental consideration. In the first place, the legal responsibility for maintaining a child is on the father. So long as that is the law of the land, I do not see how one can possibly say that the maintenance allowance is to be paid, in the first case, to the mother, however much we may think it wise to have safeguards to ensure that the money is paid to the mother if the father is not making good use of it. In the second place, I submit that it is fundamental to retain the father's responsibility. I go further than the Minister and say that it is a basic principle that we should retain the responsibility of the father for the maintenance of his children.
274 Men have more interests outside their homes than women, and it is more possible for them to forget the responsibility of the home than for the mother who is there all the day long and sees its needs. Therefore it is all the more essential to keep this responsibility on the father. Lately I read in a book which was written by someone who shares the views of the President of the Board of Education—Mr. Bertrand Russell—a very striking picture of the deterioration which he foresees if the legal responsibility for the maintenance of children were taken away from the father under a system of family allowances paid to the mother. Nobody has drawn a clearer picture of the lack of interest that would follow in the case of many men in their relations with their wives and families under these circumstances. I think those considerations outweigh the arguments which have been put forward, and I believe that the Bill does provide a safeguard against the negligent father.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I approach this subject, not from a sentimental, but from a practical point of view. I know that it is very often inconvenient far the father of the child to be in the home to receive the maintenance allowance. The father very seldom goes to the school to hear what is going on in connection with the education of his child. It has already been pointed out that for many years the London County Council have been granting maintenance allowances, and in this case the allowance is not paid either to the father or to the mother, but it is paid into an account in the Savings Bank, and it is made clear that the money belongs to the child. The person who comes to collect the money under this proposal will be the mother who will have to come to the school and will thus come in contact with the teacher. It is not a practical proposal for parents, some of whom would have to travel miles, to collect the small sums which will be distributed through the teachers. It is undesirable that a father should leave his job to collect this allowance once a fortnight. For these reasons, I say, from practical experience, that this is not a practical proposal. This allowance is money which has not been earned either by the father or by the mother, and it is given to the child as compensation.
§ Mr. BEAUMONT
I am glad that the President of the Board of Education is not going to accept this Amendment for which no sufficient case has been made out. If it is a fact that the mother is the person most suitable to collect the money that can be arranged under the Bill as it stands at present, as the mother would apply. Only in the case of a dispute can the local authority decide, and if there is no dispute then the mother in 99 cases out of 100 will receive the money. This Bill puts certain obligations on the parents, and, if they are not carried out, the parents can be prosecuted and a fine imposed. The person who would be held liable would be the father and not the mother. I know from my experience, as ex-Chairman of a School Attendance Committee that, unless the woman has money of her own, in the ordinary working-class case the responsibility is on the father. The punishment for failure to obey the law is placed on the father, and we should give him the money. This does not matter very much, because in a good home the money would go where it ought to go, and in the case of the bad home there are many ways of dealing with the matter.
§ Mr. MANDER
I am sorry that the President of the Board of Education has not seen his way to accept this Amendment. During the Committee stage the Amendment was not selected, and there was no opportunity of discussing it, so that the right hon. Gentleman was not in a position to say what the views of Members might be on the question. The Noble Lady the Member for Kinross (Duchess of Atholl) referred to the question of the legal responsibility of the husband, but I submit that this Amendment has nothing to do with that question. We are dealing here with a new thing, and we ought to deal with it on the basis of justice and reason. I believe that a good deal of the opposition to the Amendment is based on the old idea belonging to the time when the father and the husband had all the rights, and the mother had very few, and it seems to me that this is a very good opportunity, and only a fair one, to change that aspect of the matter and to give the mother a right to which she is absolutely entitled by all the circumstances of the case.
276 I know it is said that when there is a dispute between the mother and the father they can go to the local education authority to have it decided, but, unfortunately, this is one of those cases where you get a certain unconscious feeling of sex bias, and it will be found that the education authority is called upon to decide the matter with an overwhelming majority of men, who will be inclined, by historical association and tradition, to balance over in the direction of the father, and in many cases where the money ought to go to the mother it will automatically go to the father because it has been the practice and custom to hand things over to the father in the past.
I believe that the attitude which the right hon. Gentleman is taking up is going to be widely resented by women and mothers all over the country. It is said that this Bill is unpopular, and it is unpopular. The people among whom it is unpopular, as all of us know who represent poor districts in different parts of the country, are the mothers. They are continually asking what this Bill is going to mean, and whether it is going to deprive them of money that they very much need. They are the people who have every right to have this money delivered straight to them, not through any other channel, and to be protected from any risk of not having it handed to them at all. The right hon. Gentleman, by accepting this Amendment, would not only be doing an essentially fair thing, but would be doing a very popular thing, and I do not suppose that he is entirely disinterested in the question of the popularity of a Measure of this kind. The Bill needs a stimulus of some kind after the tragic disaster which has certainly befallen it to-night, whatever the Prime Minister may say about it.
I should like to associate myself with what was said by the hon. Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone), when she pointed out that the work done by the mother in the household is certainly quite as valuable as anything done by the father in the factory. That has not been recognised in the past. The mother works without any regular system of minimum wage or remuneration, she has no fixed hours, and yet, in her task of training up the rising generation from the time when they are born to the time 277 when they go out into the world, she is doing something which is of the utmost possible value to the State. From the newer point of view of giving women what they ought to have, namely, the fullest political and civil rights, now that they have votes on an equality with men, I think that the arguments are entirely in favour of accepting the Amendment, and the right hon. Gentleman will be doing an unwise and, I am sure, a very unpopular thing if he rejects it.
§ Sir JOHN WITHERS
No one can accuse me of not being a supporter of women's interests, but, beyond that, one must consider the common sense of the matter. The law as it, stands makes the father liable in the first instance for the maintenance of the child, and it is going to be rather an odd thing if it is to be decided that, while the father remains liable, he is not to be the person to receive money which is paid primarily to the child for its own maintenance. Although it is with great reluctance that I differ from the hon. Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone), I really think that the common sense of the matter must be left as it is.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I desire to support my hon. Friend who has just spoken. In view of the fact that the father is legally responsible, there is no doubt in my mind that he should be given the first right to receive this money. I regret to say that I do not agree with my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris), with whom I have had many discussions in the Education Committee of the London County Council, that this money is really intended for the children. To my mind it is intended as compensation to the parents in view of the fact that their children will not be able to earn the money which they would earn were they in work, and, in view of that fact also, I consider that the money ought undoubtedly to go to the father. It may be that there are, and we all know that there are, fathers who would squander the money which should be spent to better purpose, but, at the same time we also know of cases where, unfortunately, mothers would do the same thing. The main point is, however, that the person who in law would be held responsible for the maintenance of the family should also be the person in the 278 first instance to receive this money. In making this suggestion, we do not for a moment wish to cast any aspersions on the mothers. We have all realised, many of us long ago and some more recently, that it is really the women of the country who rule the household, but that is not always the case with regard to the finances of the home. Therefore, I should not like to see this Amendment accepted, more especially, one might almost say, because it was put into the Bill at the suggestion of the very people who are now pressing for its alteration. If they cannot be of one mind for more than a few weeks at a time, I do not think it is worth while changing the Bill just to suit them.
§ Miss RATHBONE
On a point of personal explanation, may I say that, as the President of the Board of Education knows perfectly well, I put down at the very beginning an Amendment in the same terms as the present Amendment, and only withdrew it in favour of the subsequent Amendment because I understood that the right hon. Gentleman was more likely to accept the latter?
§ Mr. GRAY
The whole argument is destroyed by the use of the word "primarily." In law the parents are responsible, and the resting of the responsibility upon the father is merely due to the fact that in the majority of cases the father has control of the income. Wherever the mother has control of the income, she is, in law, equally responsible with the father, and there is no justification for the suggestion that it is merely the father, or even primarily the father, who is responsible. In a case in which the father had no income, and the mother happened to have the income and was maintaining the husband as well as the children, the process of law would be directed against the mother and not against the father. Another point which the two hon. Members have not realized 279 is that the Bill does not provide for the payment of this money to the father. The actual provision of the Bill is that either the father or the mother may apply for it. Indeed, both of them may apply, and in that case—
§ Mr. GRAY
I will tell the hon. Member why. Both may apply, and in that case the education authority has to decide which of them shall have it. I do not think that that is a duty which an education authority ought to be asked to undertake. It may in some cases be perfectly simple. In a case where the father or the mother was, shall we say, a drunkard, no doubt the education authority could decide quite easily; but, on the other hand, you may have a great many cases where both parents are equally respectable and equaly entitled to have it, but, perhaps because of some internal domestic dispute, both apply. I have been a member of an education authority, and I should very much dislike having to hear a domestic dispute or to decide whether the father or the mother should receive the money.
The real argument is that in nearly every case it is the mother who will have to spend the money. It is provided simply because the child is now not able to earn money. A child who earns money and takes it home in the great majority of cases that would come under the Bill would hand it to the mother and not to the father. We have moved the Amendment because we consider that, when you are providing money for the maintenance of children because they are being retained at school, the preson to whom it ought to go in the first place is the person who normally will have the spending of the money. I would make no general charge against the father, but it is very natural for a father who is receiving an extra 5s. from the education authority to say to his wife, "If I give you 4s. and keep the other shilling, that will be fair." I should hope the whole of the 5s. would go to the provision of the essential necessities of the child and go directly to the parent who will have to spend the money.
I think the Amendment is desirable. I cannot conceive what harm it could possibly do. If the hon. Members who have just spoken are so keen on their 280 legal point, I will draw their attention to the fact that the mere receiving of the money would make the mother liable, to the extent of the money, for the maintenance of the child. She has then an income of her own for that purpose. On the legal point, I should say it is very desirable to accept the Amendment. I think we are entitled to have from the representative of the Board of Education some clear indication why he refuses the Amendment.
§ Mr. ANNESLEY SOMERVILLE
The last speaker has been very reluctant to cast on the local education authority the duty of deciding the matter as between the father and the mother, but the local education authority already is obliged to decide in two important cases, and it has at its disposal an officer who can give information which makes the decision extremely easy.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
That may not be so up to the present, but my point is, that under the Bill as it stands, there are two cases, to which the hon. Gentleman raises no objection, in which the local authority has to carry out the duty to which the hon. Member objects. In view of the fact that the father is primarily responsible, I think it would be better to allow the Bill to stand as it does.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."—[Mr. Morgan Jones.]
Duchess of ATHOLL
We must all agree that the Third Reading of the Bill has lost a great deal of its reality, because no one can say when it will come into operation, but as it has been decreed that we are to proceed, in spite of what has been called the affront to the Government, with this somewhat nebulous discussion, I wish to take the opportunity of referring in some greater detail to a subject which I have dealt with on more 281 than one occasion. Broadly speaking, the opposition that we have offered to the Bill has been based on two grounds. One is that we have desired to retain for local education authorities a freedom which is a very happy feature of our educational system. We have desired that they should retain that freedom in regard to the date at which the school-leaving age would be brought into operation, because we recognise that the dates at which it can he brought into operation as between large boroughs and scattered rural areas may well vary considerably. We have also desired to retain for local education authorities freedom to grant, within specified limits, the power of exempting children from school attendance for necessary work in fields or at home or elsewhere. We have been quite unsuccessful in our efforts to secure the maintenance of that freedom.
But I think the main ground on which we have been opposed to the Bill is that the season at which it has been brought forward is unpropitious from various points of view—in the first place, on account of the high birth-rate in 1920, which means that, if the school-leaving age is raised before the 1920 children have passed out, it will be necessary to provide much more accommodation and many more teachers than will be necessary after that date, which means waste both of money and teachers. Then it has been said that it is unpropitious to bring forward the Bill at a time when there are still some 10,000 classes with more than 50 children in them, which, if they are to be eliminated from our schools, must make a tremendous demand for an increased supply of teachers, a demand which seems to be quite incompatible with the profession being able to meet the demand for the school-leaving age itself. Then there are demands caused by the reorganisation of the schools, which has been in progress for the last four or five years. Again, we have pointed out that, when trade is more depressed than we have ever known it, and unemployment is standing at a figure which we have never known even in times of great industrial crisis, when it is admitted that the burden of taxation is preventing that trade recovery for which we all long and which we know to be the only permanent alleviation of our unemployment problem, is a most ill-chosen 282 moment to propose to put on the shoulders of the taxpayer a burden which, if one adds to it the cost of reorganisation that is essential if the raising of the age is to be of benefit, must add a very large sum to our educational expenditure.
I do not see how the reorganisation, plus the raising of the age, taking England and Scotland together, can add less than £10,000,000 a year to our expenditure. A sum of £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 is admitted, I think. It is admitted that the estimate given in the Financial Memorandum does not include the cost of reorganisation. Then we have said that it is impossible for the local authorities to make the necessary arrangements within the time allowed. It may be said that that argument is not so strong since the operation of the Bill has been delayed 18 months. Though that may make some alleviation of the position as regards school accommodation, I believe that it will make very little difference to the position in regard to the supply of teachers. After all, the question as to whether sufficient teachers can be produced to teach the largely increased numbers of children—suitable teachers to give them the suitable instruction—is the crux of the matter, and therefore I want to deal only with that aspect of the question this evening.
We desire, before the Bill leaves this House, some reason to be given for the belief of the President of the Board of Education that he can have the necessary number of teachers by the stated date. He told us in the summer that 3,500 teachers will be needed for normal expansion alone in 1931–32. That means for the continual reduction of large classes, and, I presume, the needs of reorganisation. He says that there are 3,500 needed for normal expansion during 1931–32 and no less than 5,000 for normal expansion during the year 1932–33. He has further told us since the postponement of the Bill that early in the year 1933 some 3,500 more teachers will be needed because of the raising of the school age, and that by 1934 no less than 5,000, making, with the figures given for normal expansion, a total of 13,000 within two or three years from now. The right hon. Gentleman said in May that he had 4,000 extra teachers to come out of the training colleges and 283 9.0 p.m.
university training departments; 1,250 would come out in 1930–31, 950 in 1931–32, and 1,800 in the following year. He repeated those figures on 11th December in Committee. They constituted the 4,000 which he told us he expected. On 6th November, in reply to a question, he gave rather different figures, from which it appears that from both training colleges and university training departments in the first year there would be 969 and not 1,250, and 829 in the second year and not 950. That means a total of 1,798 for the first two years. Again, we have to remember that most of the students trained in university training departments prefer secondary school work to primary school work, and that therefore that number ought not to be relied upon largely or definitely for work in primary schools. The only teachers, therefore, who can be counted upon out of that number are those in training colleges. They number 1,498. That means that roughly 1,500 are in the training colleges being trained for elementary school work. In reply to another question on the 11th December, when I was trying to ascertain the grounds upon which he had said in the summer he would have 1,800 additional students in training in the third year to complete his 4,000 additional students, he gave the very vague and indefinite reply that then it was too early to give any close estimate of the number of students to be admitted for training next autumn, but that he hoped that, when the Bill was passed, it would be possible to arrange for a further extension of the facilities available.
I submit that an answer in those terms is something very different from the 4,000 student teachers definitely expected to come out of training colleges and university training departments in a couple of years from now, in regard to which the right hon. Gentleman gave an assurance both on 29th May and again in the course of the Committee stage. In May he also spoke of the 4,000 women who would be retained in the teaching service on marriage. In December when he spoke he was not so confident. He did not expect then more than a large number of those 4,000. There, again, we are left vague as to the number he actually expects. On 29th May he spoke of 1,000 teachers who usually retire every year 284 on pension, and suggested that that 1,000 might be retained in the service. On 11th December he told the Committee that he hoped to get many hundreds from the 1,000 pensionable teachers and from married women teachers who might be called back. Therefore, I think it is quite plain that on 11th December in Committee the right hon. Gentleman was watering down very much the hopes he had raised in his speech on 29th May. In May, however, the main supply to which he was looking was the number of 5,000 teachers whom, he said, the normal expansion would provide. He pointed out that in the last three years 5,000 additional teachers had been absorbed into the teaching profession of England and Wales, and said that he had no reason to believe that the normal expansion of the profession would not produce 5,000 additional teachers in the next three years. On 11th December he explained rather more explicitly what he meant by the normal expansion of the profession. It appeared from that that he meant that the training colleges would produce that additional number of teachers. He holds that the 5,000 teachers absorbed into the teaching profession is due to the normal expansion of the training colleges, which, he said, had been going on prior to the year 1929, when he took special steps to put in an extra number of students. Since then I have asked the right hon. Gentleman—
I was 10th to interrupt the Noble Lady until I was quite sure that I could do so. On the Third Reading only matters contained in the Bill can be discussed, and nothing about teachers.
Duchess of ATHOLL
Surely to enable discussion of the Bill it is in order to try and show that it is impossible to secure the teachers who will be required by the date mentioned.
I am afraid that the Noble Lady is introducing a Second Reading discussion. On the Third Reading, discussion is limited strictly to that which is in the Bill.
Duchess of ATHOLL
I am extremely sorry if I have transgressed the Rules of Order, but I can only say that the reply which was given to me on 17th December to a question which I put to the right hon. Gentleman showed that during the 285 years 1923 to 1928 the increase of output of the training colleges over the year 1923, which was a basic year in which admissions were cut down for financial reasons, was only 2,600 teachers, and the large mass of teachers that have been mopped up in the last few years I believe to have been accounted for by the 5,000 odd teachers whom the local authorities dismissed from their service in those years of financial stress. Therefore, he is building on sand if he is assuming that the output will provide him with 5,000 additional teachers in the next few years, because it is clear that the large number of teachers whose services were dispensed with by the local authorities must have provided a very large part of the number absorbed into the teaching profession. Therefore, we have no guarantee whatever that the teachers who are absolutely indispensable for the working of the Bill will be there.
Duchess of ATHOLL
I will pass from that point. We all want this Bill to be an educational benefit, but unless the teachers can be provided it can be of very little benefit to the children. That is one of our reasons for wishing to delay the operation of the Bill and for our opposition to its Third Reading.
§ Mr. A. SOMERVILLE
On a point of Order. You prevented the Noble Lady from bringing up the question of teachers. In the Preamble of the Bill, I find that it is a Bill which requires parentsto cause their children to receive efficient elementary instruction.You cannot possibly have efficient instruction unless you provide the necessary teachers, the right teachers and a sufficient number of them. Therefore, I submit most respectfully, that the question of teachers is definitely included in the word "efficient."
I am afraid that I cannot accept that argument. There is no Clause in the Bill which in any way deals with the provision of teachers. We are limited to what is in the Bill. The Debate on Third Reading is more restricted than the Debate on Second Reading, because it is limited to matters contained in the Bill.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
As an old teacher it seems to me that the words "efficient 286 elementary instruction" include the provision of the necessary teachers.
§ Mr. KINLEY
Although the area of the Debate is naturally restricted on the Third Reading, I hope that I may take this opportunity of expressing my disappointment at the contents of the Bill now before us. I have so far not been able to find it within my power to cast one vote for this Bill, or for any part of it. I have been profoundly disappointed that a Labour Government should have introduced an educational Measure of this kind with the contents that we find therein. That the school-leaving age should be raised to 15, I most cordially agree. I would go beyond 15, because the education that can be given up to the age of 15 will in no circumstances give those who receive it an opportunity in life equal to that which is given to those who are above the ranks of the working classes. Even in spite of the additional year the boys and girls who are forced by the economic circumstances of their parents to attend elementary schools will suffer in the future, as they have done in the past, from the handicap that they will still be the possessors of an inferior education, compared with the boys and girls of other classes of the nation.
I have long held that the class that ought to be guaranteed the highest standard of education possible ought to be those who up to the present time have not been able to receive it, that is, those who are going to do the nation's work. Those who are to be the workers ought to have a much higher education than that which is represented by elementary school life from five to fifteen years. I have no objection whatever to the raising of the school age to 15, as such, but I have many and profound objections to the methods adopted by this Bill. I would suggest to the Minister and the House that this Bill in its present form, imposed upon the local authorities, is going to create throughout the country amongst local education authorities and amongst the parents of the boys and girls who will be affected by it a considerable amount of disquiet. It will arouse the most serious misgiving on the part of the local autho- 287 rities, and in many districts where economic conditions are not only bad but are steadily worsening it will be such an infliction upon the parents that it will cause in their minds a reaction against continued education for their children.
In common with others I have been proud on many occasions to endeavour to arouse working-class audiences in different parts of the country to a realisation of the value of education for their children and have endeavoured to secure their adhesion to a policy which would demand from this House that their children should in future have a far better educational opportunity than has been possible hitherto, and yet, to my great regret, I find it impossible to support the first Bill that is introduced by the Labour Government to give an additional year at school for boys and girls. I object profoundly to the right thing being done in the wrong way and in so wrong a way as to make progress in the future exceedingly difficult. That must inevitably result from the operation of this Measure. Those who are closely associated with the working-classes know well that in times like the present when parents are anxious that the strain upon their home circumstances shall be eased, that they take advantage of the first opportunity which comes along. In these times the only individuals who can be fairly sure of finding a ready occupation in any of our towns and cities are the boys and girls of 14 years of age who are just leaving school. There is, of course, an explanation for this.
Many industries have progressed so much in standardisation and mechanisation that boys and girls just leaving school can be trained to become efficient producers in these industries and there is therefore a temptation for employers to use them and provide them with employment up to the time of 16 when the Unemployment Insurance takes charge of them. There is a knowledge on the part of the parents that they can at least get work for two years for their boys and girls and the additional wages is an enormous inducement to keep their children away from school regardless of the educational sacrifice involved. I am aware that a large percentage of working-class parents, whose circumstances are 288 not good economically, do make sacrifices to keep their children at school after the age of 14 in order that their education may be improved and their prospects in life better than those of the parents themselves. But in the industrial circumstances of the present day, and the industrial outlook of the future, who is able to say, or who dares to say, that the average worker is going to be so well placed financially and industrially that he will be able, without any sacrifice, to keep his boys and girls at school up to the age of 14 and 15. There is no hon. Member who would make such a statement.
Quite apart from this and the reaction of parents against further education, which is bound to arise as a result of the operation of this Bill, there are other points to which I profoundly object. I say that the whole financial provisions of the Bill are wrong. The nation has a duty to its children. It is the duty of the nation to provide the highest standard of education it can afford, and that involves that the nation shall make itself responsible for the whole financial burden involved. Until the nation does that there can be no solution of our educational problem. It may change, it may alter in its character, but it will remain insoluble until the nation does the right and proper thing and itself bears the whole financial cost of educating its children. The evils that are tied up with any other method of financing education can be understood by those who are connected with industrial areas where industrial conditions fluctuate, and one has only to remember—
The hon. Member is now going outside the scope of the Bill. He can only discuss what is in the Bill.
I have already said that on Third Reading we can only discuss what is in the Bill. The hon. Member's remarks would be quite proper to a Second Reading Debate, but it is now out of order to discuss whether the State should bear the whole of the expenditure.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Surely it is in order for an hon. Member to state that because a 100 per cent. grant has not 289 been given in Committee stage he is going to vote against the Third Reading?
If the hon. Member only stated that position he would be quite in order, but he is proceeding to argue the question that the Government should pay the whole of the expenditure.
§ Lord E. PERCY
This is rather an important matter. It is, of course, quite true that we cannot on Third Reading discuss anything not in the Bill, but, so far as the Bill is concerned, there is nothing to prevent the Government paying any rate of grant. Surely, it is not the case that you must not mention on Third Reading a question which is left open by the Bill itself.
The question of the amount of the allowance is quite in order, but to discuss whether it should be paid entirely by the State is out of order.
§ Lord E. PERCY
May I ask, for information, why it should be out of order? There is nothing in the Bill which prevents the payment of 100 per cent. allowances as far as I know, and surely we are allowed to discuss on Third Reading something which the Government has power to do under the Bill, although it may not be put upon them as an absolute duty?
The Bill has two purposes—to extend the school age, and to provide maintenance allowances. The question as to whether maintenance allowances should be paid partly or wholly by the State does not arise. The hon. Member can object to the amount of the allowances granted.
§ Mr. KINLEY
I want to deal with the financial provisions of the Bill so far as they affect local rating. The maintenance allowance grant does have a direct bearing upon the expenditure of local education authorities. Every one acquainted with industrial areas where there are industrial fluctuations will know that when trade is good the local education authority is perfectly ready and willing to go forward with its statutory obligations, but under the Bill there is going to be thrown upon every local education authority an additional and obligatory financial burden, which will 290 have to be taken as a permanent obligation so far as its local education authority's activities are concerned. It will have to be shouldered by the local education authority whether trade is good, bad or indifferent. This is one of the things upon which it cannot, for instance, economise. Therefore, the whole possible burden in these circumstances will be thrown on the existing surpluses outside this. As we all know, at the present time the local education authorities are compelled to carry out from time to time the most rigid economy, which is utterly disastrous in educational matters. This will intensify the difficulties, and, instead of being a progressive step in education, it will actually prove in its working, if it ever comes to be an Act in working, not a step forward but a step backward.
I suggest to the Minister and to the Government that there can be no progressive steps taken in education unless the Government base their Bill not, as this is based, upon part of the financial cost being borne by the State and part by the local authority, but that every step, if it is really to be progressive, must be one in which the financial burden is shouldered by the Government themselves. On these grounds and others, having already detained the House long enough, I, for one, register my protest against what, on the face of it, may appear to be a progressive Measure, but which actually and fundamentally is one of the most retrograde Measures we have had.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I have listened with great interest to the remarks of the hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Kinley). I will not infringe upon the Ruling of the Chair in this matter, but I may be permitted to say that the hon. Member expressed the opinion of those who are representative of the local authorities. The Municipal Corporations' Association, at a meeting held to discuss this Bill, passed a Resolution asking that this additional burden should not be placed upon them. I do not know whether the Parliamentary Secretary has had any intimation of that, but I am certain his chief will have had. We have never had an answer to that request put forward by such a responsible body.
I wish to say a few words on the Third Reading of this Bill. Like the hon. 291 Member who last spoke, I have opposed the Bill at every stage, though perhaps not quite from the point of view he has taken up, but because I believe it to be a thoroughly bad Bill, one which is not going to accomplish anything of educational value, and one which will cause a good deal of controversy and bad blood amongst those who ought to be combining for the good of the children and their education. Is this Bill desired by the country? I say, emphatically, in my opinion it is not. I have travelled about the country a good deal since the Bill was introduced, and have taken the opportunity, both at public meetings and in private conversations, to question those who are engaged in educational work as to whether the public really desire this Measure. In every case the answer has been an emphatic "No." The position at the moment is that any local education authority can by law raise the age to 15, with power to grant exemptions in individual cases. That is a sensible and elastic scheme, very different from the compulsory scheme in this Bill.
Look at the response there has been to that power given by a former Act of Parliament. My information is that this power of exemption has been used extensively in the districts where that particular matter had been in operation. Certainly in the district of Carnarvon, which is the only district where it has been strictly enforced, there are no figures of exemptions granted, but in East Suffolk out of 1,839 children due to remain at school until 15, unless their parents went to the trouble of asking for exemption—it was not a case of the children being merely taken away from school, and the authorities having to bring them back again, but of the parents having to make a written application—we only had 339 remaining in school until 15, proving that large numbers of parents, about 1,500, did not desire their children to remain, and went to the trouble, which we all know working class people hate, namely, of filling in forms, making special applications and taking all the trouble in order to withdraw their children.
In Plymouth, the figures show that out of 1,459 children, only 306 remained at school. In the county of Cornwall, out 292 of 3,228 children, 250 remained and the parents of the rest claimed exemption. If ever you had a clear proof that it was not popular with the parents, you have got it in these figures. I submit then, that at the present moment there are ample opportunities for children to continue education if their parents so desire. You get a difference in children. For instance, you get it even among members of the same family. Some boys and girls benefit considerably by remaining at school, I freely admit. The policy I have always pursued, as a member of an education committee for many years, has been to encourage that type of boy or girl to remain, and go on to pass through secondary schools, and then on to universities if they have the brains to carry them along. I remember very well in my days at school—I attended an elementary school—a boy we had there never got beyond Standard III.
In those days, if you could pass a certain fairly stiff examination you could be granted exemption from attending schools from 12 years of age as long as you did not go to work in a factory. I left school at 12, after passing an examination of the sort I have described. This boy was older than I was, but he never passed the third standard. People asked what was to become of him, for he could not claim to be allowed to leave until he reached the age of 13. What happened to him? He went into business as an apprentice at a plumber's. To-day be is a very successful business man, and when the question is put to him, "What would have happened to you if you had done better at school," he says, "I can get a clerk at 30s. a week to do all that. I am busy getting orders and seeing they are executed." You cannot class everybody alike.
I well remember a man who applied for a situation as a school caretaker at about 30s. a week. One of the tests was that he had to be able to read and write fairly well. He could not do either, and he did not get the job. That man started hawking coal, and got quite a good business as a coal dealer. He was able to save a little money and lived comfortably off. It was once said to him, "How successful you have been, but what would you have been like if you had had a superior education?" He replied, "I should have been a school caretaker at 293 30s. a week." There is no doubt about it, you cannot class all children or adults alike, for they are different. There are opportunities to-day, nobody denies, for boys and girls who have mental capacities to go forward with education. In my own town there is a working man of whom I am very proud, because he has had three sons who have graduated from a Catholic school to a secondary school, and again to the universities, and are holding very good appointments to-day. They are a credit to their parents, to the town and to the education authorities who encouraged them.
With these examples before us, why do we want this compulsory Measure? [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but surely their own practical experience has taught them that one more year at school for a certain type of child is of no value whatever. It would have been no value to the boy of whom I have spoken. There must be more than one year if it is to be of any real use. I remember a boy coming to me to ask me whether I could find him a situation. I suppose that hon. Members opposite often get such applications. I have a great admiration for the boy's father. He is a dockside labourer, a transport worker. He sent his boy to a secondary school because he wanted the boy to have a better chance than himself. The boy could not pass the examination to go forward for a free scholarship. It was not a very difficult examination; they have had to lower the standard time after time because they did not get sufficient entries. So this man, the casual worker, out of the little money that he had gave the boy a secondary education. He sacrificed a good deal, something more than a man ought to sacrifice. The boy completed his course at the secondary school and asked me to find him a situation. When I put him through a very simple test, I was very disappointed, because with his accomplishments, with all these years wasted upon him, he was not in a position to take a position even as a junior clerk in an office. That boy was eminently suitable for a certain type of work for which his education did not fit him. It is no use burking the question. You cannot make everyone into a bank clerk or a teacher; some of us must do other work. Unless you adopt a system of 294 vocational training, you will not do any good by keeping children at school beyond the present period.
We were told that this Bill was necessary because of the effect it would have on the unemployment problem. We have heard less and less about that as the Bill has gone through its various stages. The Secretary of State for the Dominions rather put a damper on the suggestion in the early days when, as Lord Privy Seal, he was dealing with unemployment. In a speech at the Labour party Conference at Brighton, as far back as October, 1929, he emphatically warned the conference not to assume that the raising of the school age would mean more employment, because it did not follow that a man would be employed to do the work of a boy. I know that that statement has been quoted many times, but as it came from such a source I regard it as something of which we ought to take note. I suggest that other Members of the Labour party in their speeches have declared that the Bill was not going to be of much use in mitigating the unemployment problem. The Minister of Education has given us various estimates on the point. Those estimates have dwindled from time to time. Then in the newspaper which is said to represent the official opinion of the Government an entirely different figure, a little smaller still, is given.
The real answer to the question whether the Bill is going to do anything to relieve unemployment, was given by the Minister of Education when he agreed to postpone the operation of the Bill until September, 1932, for if the Bill is going to do anything to relieve the unemployment problem, it must be put into operation now. I am satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman himself realised that all the estimates he has made, the big ones and the small ones, were nonsensical. I notice that an hon. Member opposite, the hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. McShane), when speaking on the Second Reading of the Bill, was emphatic in his opinion. He was speaking about the maintenance grants, and he said:Those who are on the right side of the line are to get the maintenance allowance and will be the new aristocracy and the people to be envied.I agree with him as to that. 295Wherever there is a mother who is not getting it, and living in the midst of those who are, you can imagine what a source of anger, discontent and irritation that will be for every one of the 52 weeks of the year. When the mother knows it, the children will know it and it will be carried to the schools."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th May, 1930; col. 1609, Vol. 239.]I know that the hon. Member has had a considerable experience as an educationist. He has had to control a school. My recollection goes back to the time when we had to pay school money, and when the parents of children who could not afford to pay the money had to apply for exemption. I know, when those children came along with their exemption papers, what the other children had to say to them, and that they did not have a very comfortable time. I agree that it was not very wise of the children, but that happened. It is evident that the hon. Member for Walsall realises what will happen in this case. When we consider the many difficulties that the Government have come up against in dealing with this matter, and that those difficulties have been emphasised in a very remarkable way to-day, I think they would have been much wiser not to have proceeded with the Third Reading, but to have withdrawn the Bill until such time as the matter can be properly thrashed out between the contending parties.
I have listened to speech after speech by the Minister, and I have read his speeches as reported in the public Press. I submit that the arguments he has put forward have been weak. He has not been able to prove his case regarding the relief of unemployment. He has not been able to face up to the question whether the parents desire the Bill or not; and on the question of cost to the local authorities he is going to leave the local authorities to find things out for themselves as best they can. To my mind the Bill is a thoroughly bad Bill. I sum up my criticism of it by saying that it will be of no value educationally. It has not been proved in any of our Debates that the Bill will assist from an educational point of view. Lastly, I say that at this moment neither the nation nor the local authorities can afford the vast amount of money that will have to be found if the Bill gets to the Statute Book.
The question of expenditure is very serious. We have had various estimates 296 given to us from time to time, but in my opinion we have never had stated to us the real facts. Taking into consideration the reconditioning of schools, the building of new schools to carry the scholars who will be there when the Bill operates, I say that the amount that we have been given as an estimate of the cost, has been grossly understated. I claim that my district has been very progressive in its education policy. It happens to be one of the districts where there has been an increase of population in the last 20 years. During the War we had to stop our school building. Immediately the War was over we tried to make up leeway. We have not caught up to our ordinary requirements yet. I was speaking to the chairman of the education committee on this subject a few weeks ago. I asked him the plain question, "If this Bill becomes law, will you be able to have the accommodation ready for the children by the time the Bill comes into operation?" He replied that with the best will in the world and with a council prepared to vote any sum of money towards this object, it would not be possible to provide the accommodation in the time.
Ask any practical man if it is possible to have the supply of teachers ready, even by September, 1932. I am satisfied from what I have heard from members of the teaching profession, that it is not possible, unless you bring back some who have been superannuated or some married women who have left the profession. You have no right to ask parents to leave their children in a school which is not suitable far them, which is bound to be overcrowded and with a short staff of teachers. My authority has aimed at reducing the size of classes. It has worked as hard as any authority could to get the necessary accommodation and the necessary supply of efficient teachers, so that it could reduce the classes to what it regarded as the right and proper size. This Bill is going to throw all that work into the melting pot. We shall have to carry on with the larger classes, and the hon. Member for Walsall will, I am sure, agree, that to do so will be bad for the teachers and bad for the children and not good in any sense as far as educational value is concerned. I submit, that the House ought to reject this Bill. It is a thoroughly bad Bill, it is an unpopular Bill in the country, and it will be of no value as a means of improving education.
§ Mr. MORRIS
I supported this Bill on its Second Reading and at various subsequent stages, but it comes before the House on this occasion for its Third Reading as a very different Bill from that which I supported. The Roman Catholics of this country to-day, as a result of the Amendment carried earlier, have been able to bring about a position with regard to this Bill which was totally unforeseen. The educational reform foreshadowed in the Bill, in the form in which it was introduced, can no longer be made operative until moneys have been set aside for the non-provided schools. Speaking for myself, and for myself alone, I am an unrepentant secularist in education. For my own part, I confess I do not understand what the term "religious instruction" means. If religious instruction means anything, apart from dogmatism, I confess I do not understand what it is. If, by religious instruction, it is intended to convey, as apparently it is, that you should teach Biblical history and the history of the Kings of the Old Testament or New Testament history, than I fail to understand the distinction between the history of the Kings of the Old Testament and the history of the Kings of England or any other country. There is no distinction at all. To my mind that is not religious instruction. Religious instruction ought to be confined to the churches and the home. Let the churches carry out their own work. This Bill cannot now be put into operation until provision is made for religious instruction in these schools. I do not care whether you teach the Cambridge syllabus, or the dogmatic teaching of one church or another, or what is called undenominational teaching. To my mind that is a gross misnomer and undenominational teaching is merely the creation of an additional form of denominational teaching. A Bill which makes provision of this sort, and this Bill must now make such provision, is one to which, I hope, this House of Commons will not give any sanction at all.
I regret to have to come to this conclusion. I should like to see this educational reform carried. I should like to see the educational reform of raising the school age and advancing the educational facilities of the children of this country, if it had been made possible to do so, but it is no longer possible for the 298 Government, under this Bill, to make that attempt. It is not the Government's fault, I agree. It is not the fault of the Minister. I have had other quarrels with him at various stages of the proceedings on this Bill. For instance, I regret that he did not make proper provision for rural education, but, quite apart from that, the present position of the Bill is such and the position achieved by the Roman Catholic church in this country to-day is such, that, in my view, the Bill ought not now to receive a Third Reading from this House but ought to be thrown out.
§ Mr. McSHANE
I am surprised that the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris) should take such a gloomy view of the situation because of the Amendment that has been carried to-day, and I notice, with some slight amusement, that the hon. Member in condemning the dogmatists is so much more dogmatic than the domgatists themselves. If he had his way, I have no doubt that those learned gentlemen who are giving their views in the Sunday "Observer" every week—their educational views on the universe in general—
§ Mr. MORRIS
Would the hon. Member allow me to interrupt him for a moment? I said that what any church teaches is dogmatism and what I object to is that they teach it under the guise of not being dogmatic. I think religious teaching must, of necessity, be dogmatic.
§ Mr. McSHANE
I am prepared to accept that statement of the hon. Member's views with this understanding—that as the charge usually made is that they are dogmatic, the charge of the hon. Member is that they are not dogmatic, and as the two arguments cancel each other out I am not particularly mindful of them. I am more concerned with the criticism of the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) who quoted me. When the hon. Member pleads for vocational training to-day, as distinguished from what I hope will be a cultural education for the boys and girls who will be kept at school for another year, he shows that he knows little or nothing of the extraordinary changes which have taken place, in industry. It will probably surprise him to know that the machines in the factories have, to all intents and purposes, settled that question of vocational training. I can give my experience of a 299 Poor-law school, of the committee of which I was chairman for many years. Boys and girls up to 14 years there were put to such occupations as learning to make suits of clothes, learning dressmaking, woodwork and even bootmaking.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member would not be in order on the Third Reading in giving us details as to what is vocational training.
§ Mr. McSHANE
With great respect, Sir, I was only replying—on the question as to whether it was possible or not—to the point raised by the hon. Member for Grimsby. But I finish with that by saying that there is very little hope of vocational training to-day. I admired the confidence, shall I call it, of the hon. Member who on the one hand blames the Government for not making use of this Bill to alleviate unemployment, and, on the other hand, during the last two or three months has been attacking the Government because it was attempting to pass this Bill at all. That brings me to another of his criticisms. He quoted me as saying that there were some children who were going to be left out in connection with this question of maintenance allowances, although they might have the same right as others. The hon. Member, however, cannot have it both ways. Either he is in favour of maintenance allowances for these children, or he is not. I have not yet heard him, or any member of his party, support the proposal that the children who are to be kept at school for another year should have maintenance allowances. Indeed, in the speech which he has just delivered, he said in effect that we have not the money for these educational reforms, and presumably that we have not the money either for maintenance allowances. I ask him to settle which horse he is going to ride, either the economy horse, so-called, or the horse that is going to give the maintenance allowance to the children.
I regret that the Minister was compelled to accept the Amendment of the Liberal party which gives power, it may be, to some of the rural education authorities to de-scale the maintenance allowances. I wish the Minister had retained the original part of the Bill which made it uniform all over the land, for if a child at 14 years of age is to be kept at 300 school in any part of the country at all, I submit that he or she is entitled to at least a flat rate of 5s. I remember that one of the hon. Members from the Liberal benches, in speaking of this question, said there were some children who did not need as much as others. I take the view that wherever there is a child that does not need as much as another on the ground that it cannot eat as much as another, that child really needs much more, because it needs a doctor. The healthy child can eat well, and where a child cannot eat well, one may be pretty certain that medical attendance will more than make up for the 5s.
There is one other point of criticism that I have to make. I have made it already on the Second Reading, and I had hoped that there might be some change after that, but I regret that the whole burden of the maintenance allowances should not have been made a national charge, as many of us expected that it would be. There are many necessitous areas in the country which can scarcely stand the increased burden of these allowances, and I could have wished from the bottom of my heart that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education had been able to make these allowances a national charge.
I will finish, I hope, in perhaps a less critical tone. I want to congratulate the Government on having introduced this Bill. I myself, who had not the opportunities that perhaps many hon. Members opposite had, know what it is to be desirous, when very young, of being educated and of not having the opportunity, and there were hundreds of boys of my own age who would have been only too happy and delighted to get the opportunity of further education, but who were sent from their homes, because of the needs of the family, into factory life when many of them were as fitted for advanced education as those who actually went forward to it. This Bill will give an opportunity to many boys and girls whom I have seen leaving school year after year as fit as any man or woman in this House to receive further education. It will in that sense be a great step forward in the educational movement of this country, and I am certain that the fruits of it will be seen many years after this, 301 when we ourselves have perhaps been gathered to our fathers. I am glad to support the Third Reading of this Bill.
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The Bill, which is now in its final stage, was greatly improved in its passage through Committee. I need hardly say that those who look on it as a purely educational Measure are very well satisfied with the work which has been done by the Committee here and by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education. My right hon. Friend has certainly shown an enthusiasm for this Bill which does him great credit and will, I have no doubt, be of permanent benefit to the educational system of this country. But, like other Ministers of Education, he has found that whenever he attempts educational reform, he brings himself into conflict with the religious feelings of one or other section of the country. It has been one of the misfortunes which has dogged our educational reforms from the earliest years, and it is not less strong now than it was in 1902. It is well known that my right hon. Friend has been making attempts to reach something like agreement between the Churches. It does him great credit, and I should like to say publicly that those of us who have been guarding, as we think we ought to guard, the religious freedom of the children of the people of our Churches have reason to be grateful to him for the patience that he has shown in dealing with a very intractable problem.
In my own view—and I can only express my own view on this subject—it appeared to me that we were approaching some sort of agreement within our educational system, relief from some of those jealousies and antipathies, and certainly up till this afternoon there was every prospect of the Free Churches and the representatives of the Established Church at least coming to an understanding—a compromise, if you like to call it a compromise, but at all events an understanding—whereby there would have been more simple working and more general adaptation of our system to the requirements of the times.
The passage of the Amendment this afternoon on the Report stage has entirely altered the situation. I would myself have done on the Third Reading what I have done throughout this Bill, and that is supported it as I did when- 302 ever I was present in the House. But I cannot support a Bill with a principle so pernicious as is incorporated in this Amendment. What one thinks individually is not of great moment, but I deeply regret that there should have been inserted into the Bill an Amendment so disliked by the Free Churches, raising principles of such great importance and, as we think, of such a retrograde character that it would be impossible on this basis to build anything in the nature of a compromise. This will place my right hon. Friend and, I think, all the educationists in this country at a great disadvantage. I therefore deplore, on educational grounds, the passage of this Amendment.
It is one of the tragedies of nearly every Education Minister that he finds the best of his schemes destroyed by feuds between the Christian Churches. The Churches themselves are perfectly sincere. They believe in their own views as being vital, not only to their well-being, but to the cause of religion itself, and we cannot blame them for the attitude which they have taken up. There did at one time seem to be some prospect of their attitudes being harmonized, but I fear now that this Amendment has made that impossible. I say so with the very deepest regret. I can only hope that some arrangement can be made that will prevent this principle ever being put into practice, even if it means a delay in the working of this Bill, I can only say that it places the people of this country under not only a religious but an educational disability.
In these circumstances, it is difficult to know what should be one's course. I know that outside there will be very large numbers of Free Churchmen, who are associated with some of the causes to which I am attached myself, who will hold exactly the views that I am expressing now, that this, as a new basis for compromise, is quite out of the question and that negotiations will be doubly difficult now that this Amendment has been passed. The Bill is not through Parliament yet, and it may be that at other stages we shall be able to deal with it, but as it stands at the present time, in this shape, I regret to say that even people like myself, who have devoted a great many years to educational work in and outside this House, will find it impossible to vote for it.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I do not suppose that I have ever followed a Bill more closely than this one. For practically every moment that the Bill has been before the House I have been present in my place and have listened to all the arguments for and against it. It is probably one of the worst Bills that has ever been presented to the House, and I do not believe that, notwithstanding the fact that it has been postponed to 1932, it will be practicable when 1932 comes. We are not against the raising of the school age, but we believe that at the right time it will be very beneficial. We are also, contrary to what the hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. McShane) said, not averse to maintenance allowances, because we have for long approved of scholarships to selected children, which take them in many cases as far as the University. We do not believe, however, in bringing in a Bill which is not going to be workable at a time like this, when every penny of the country's money should be put out to the best advantage.
Our disapproval is based on the question of accommodation among other questions. Owing to the bulge, even if the accommodation is so hastened forward that it is ready in 1932, there will, when the birth-rate becomes normal again, be too much accommodation. The same argument applies with regard to the teachers. It has never been denied by the President of the Board of Education or the Parliamentary Secretary that there are insufficient teachers, and yet in the first words of the Bill it is stated that it is required in order to give the children efficient elementary instruction. As has been rightly asked by a colleague on these benches who was a schoolmaster, how can you get efficient teaching unless you have sufficient teachers to give it? Those of us who have been interested in education as members of local authorities for many years have been endeavouring to decrease the number of children in the classes, because with so many children in a class it is impossible to give adequate education. Until there are sufficient teachers and sufficient accommodation, the Bill is bound so to fill the schools and the classes that the children will not receive adequate education.
Still more important is the question of the curriculum. I do not believe that 304 any educationist has had the opportunity, as yet, to consider the curriculum which must be arranged if the children are to get the benefit of the extra year's attendance at school. When bringing forward the Bill, the President seemed to think that that was quite a secondary matter. I have heard many parents complain that under present conditions their children are often kept at school, after they are 13, plus when they have reached the highest class; and they are kept there more or less marking time. The extra year should be used to the best advantage in order to make the child better fitted for the work it will have to follow when it leaves school. It is absurd that children should remain in school and carry on with the work which they have already done. In boys clubs in which I am interested, we give the boys an extra year of training in something that will make them efficient and in some degree above other children.
We consider that this is a bad Bill, because we shall not get value for the money which will be expended. We all know, and even the Socialist party know, although they do not show it in practice, that the country cannot afford to pay for extravagant Measures. If this Bill were really going to accomplish the purposes for which it has been brought forward, we should have nothing to say on that score, but we say—and it has never been contradicted either by the President or the Parliamentary Secretary—that this Bill cannot possibly work as it is meant to work even in 1932. Even after one or two years longer it would not be really effective. We put down an Amendment to postpone its operation until 1936, for by that time the circumstances would be such that the real benefit of the Bill, which is the education of the children—which we want, and which the Socialist party say they want—could be obtained. I hope that the Bill will be defeated in the Division, because I am sure that the country as a whole will be grateful if it is not passed into law.
§ Mr. MUGGERIDGE
Education seems to be a very unfortunate subject in this House. We have opposed to it not only the politicians, but unfortunately the sectarians. We try to meet the religionists, as they have been met by the President of the Board of Education; they 305 get very nearly to a point of agreement, and then suddenly the hand is thrown in, and they discover once again that it is impossible to vote for this Bill. So with the politicians; they all give lip-service to the object of higher education, but, when it comes to the point of implementing their ideals by their votes, we find in nearly every case that they discover some reason not connected with the object of the Bill for voting against it. One of the most deplorable instances of this is that which we have had from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Runciman). I thought that at least he was a friend of education who could make his love for education overcome either his political prejudices or his religious difficulties. His reasons are extraordinary. He is going to vote against theGovernment—[HON.MEMBERS: "No!"] Well, he is not going to support the Government. The Government have had forced upon them an Amendment which, if the right hon. Gentleman will read it, need not in any way cause him to take any action in opposition to the Government, or to refrain from supporting the Government. The Amendment simply says that this Bill shallnot come into operation until an Act has been passed authorising expenditure out of public funds upon such conditions as are necessary to meet the cost to be incurred by the managers of non-provided schools.That is nothing new. That negotiations were going on on that very point was perfectly well known to the right hon. Gentleman, and he raised no note of opposition in this House. They went on. but because negotiations have not ended in the complete result that he wanted, he now says that he objects in principle to public funds going to the assistance of non-provided schools. All the way through the greater part of the cost of education in non-provided schools is provided from the public purse. I do not suppose the capital charges for the buildings and their cost of upkeep come to anything like 5 per cent. of the cost of running education. He has no objection to the 95 per cent. being spent upon education, but his conscience is touched by the 5 per cent. for the cost of the building.
The compromise which he and his friends have supported for so many years is not infringed in the least by the 306 Amendment which has been carried. In 1902 we had the religionists "burying the hatchet" and agreeing that if they were left in possession of their buildings the secular education provided by the State would be carried on in them, they for their part finding the small amount necessary to maintain the buildings. That compromise remains, and it is as binding upon us to-day as it was in 1902, and I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and those who support him, that what is wanted now from the owners of non-provided schools is something that was not contemplated when that compromise was arrived at. Because the whole of our school system is, very rightly, being reeonstructed, they are now asked to find more money to build new schools where necessary or to reconstruct the existing ones. May I suggest that that is something which was not envisaged when the original compromise was made? My right hon. Friend, in his meeting with the owners of non-provided schools, has not ploughed up that compromise, but has endeavoured to meet the situation on the basis of it and deal fairly with those who were the original parties to it.
I suggest to Liberal Members that it would be deplorable if they made use of an arrangement of that kind as an excuse for not voting for the cause of education as it is presented by this Bill. This is a long overdue Measure, overdue even from the point of view of the pledges and promises of the party opposite, who have on this occasion caused the greatest amount of delay to the passing of the Measure. The hon. Member who preceded me has referred to the heavy cost which it imposes and the difficulty of bearing that burden. In 1917 and 1918, when we were legislating to provide higher education for children over 14 years of age, we were spending £6,000,000 or £7,000,000 a day in prosecuting the War. In spite of that expenditure this House, led by some hon. Members who have opposed this Bill to-night, faced up to the enormous expenditure involved by the Act of 1918. I have turned up the Debates upon that Measure, and I find that the general tone of them was that men of all ranks of society, particularly those of the working classes, who had acquitted themselves across the water in such a way that their children were entitled to the best education that we could 307 give them. Over and over again that statement was made at that particular time, and it was used as a reason for supporting so much additional expenditure at a time when we were involved in the heavy daily expenditure of the War. In introducing that Measure, Mr. Herbert Fisher prefaced his remarks by saying:It is prompted by deficiencies which have been revealed by toe war; it is framed to repair the intellectual wastage which has been caused by the war; and should it pass into law before peace is struck it will put a prompt end to an evil which has grown to alarming proportions during the past three years—I allude to the industrial pressure—it will greatly facilitate the solution of many problems of juvenile employment, which will certainly be affected by the transition of the country from a basis of war to a basis of peace."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th August, 1917, cols. 795–6, Vol. 97.]That Bill, which was passed with those objects, has never been implemented. One of the chief proposals of the Bill was that there should be education for children beyond the elementary stage, but that has never been carried out. The promises that were made, and the reward that was offered, have never been carried into effect, and the party opposite are guilty of having made a definite promise to the workers of this country and their children which they have failed from time to time since to carry into effect. What they did was to put into that Bill, with all its promises, a Clause that it should come into operation on the provided day. Over and over again local authorities have sought to have that provided day actually provided, and the successive occupants of the office of President of the Board of Education have continued to say that the time is not opportune. It is 13 years since that Act was discussed in this House and now, when we seek to carry out to some extent the promises and enactments of the Act of 1918 to bring about the provided day every reason for delay is given by the party opposite. It seems to me to be unnecessary, in the light of those facts, to state that when they envisaged those changes and improvements in the education of the children of this country we were much deeper involved in financial difficulties. They made those promises then, and now they make use of financial difficulties still further to postpone this Bill. May I quote what one speaker in that Debate said, and to me it seems to be what many 308 other speakers said, bearing on the reasons for the Bill, and I think is of a most eloquent and pathetic character. Mr. King, quoting from a "Times" article, headed "A National College of All Souls," says thatThe true memorial to our dead heroes could be best attained by establishing the education of the future young men of this country upon a permanent and better basis.That tribute to our men during that period has never been carried into effect. It is a promise which has not been fulfilled, and to-day, 13 years after the Act was passed, the party opposite is still trying to avoid the necessity of meeting it.
I also want particularly to refer to a remark that was made by the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley). The hon. Member is very amusing, because he takes this House into his confidence. He tells the House very interesting little tit-bits of autobiography, and he also informs us in a tone of profound conviction what some unknown person in the fish trade on one occasion told him, while he adorns his speeches with the most convincing metaphors and the strongest confirmations from quite unknown quarters. In this particular matter, he showed, unfortunately for him, an entire ignorance of or failure to grasp the real significance of this Bill. He summed it up by saying that it was a Bill to give to the children of this country an extra year's school life.
If that is all that it is going to do, I agree with the hon. Member that it is not worth making a great deal of fuss about, but, were he a student of the history of the educational thought and advance that has led up to this Bill, he would be aware that the smallest significance to be found in any part of the Bill lies in the extra year which is to be given to the children under the influence of their teachers. The truth is that that extra year is wanted for quite other purposes than merely adding another 12 months to the child's period at school. Had the hon. Member studied it, he would know that behind this Measure is a whole reorganisation of the school life of the child.
When, in the course of his account of those interesting little details which he gives us of the rather lesser events of his remarkable life, the hon. Member tells 309 us about what children fresh from school at the age of 13 or 14 are able to do, and how poor he finds their education to have been, I, personally, sympathise with him, and feel that to a large extent he has justified the feeling that the teaching has been very incomplete. It is because of that fact that this extra year has been given. People have discovered for themselves that there is no particular biological or educational significance about the year 14. Everyone seems to think it a sort of divine decree that a child should leave school at 14, but there really is no reason in the child's intellectual growth or physical development why 14 should have been fixed upon. It is simply an arbitrary figure which has been gradually based upon successive increases in the child's life at school.
Certain discoveries, however, based upon the history of the child's development, have disclosed one or two facts as to very significant dates in his progress. For instance, the change at about the age of eight from the infant school to the junior school is quite well understood, and, while he is in the junior school, which we now know as the elementary school, the normal child does acquire what may be called the tools of education. He learns to cipher, to write and to read, but these things are only the tools of education. These things, when they are taught in a school attended by children of the well-to-do classes, are called preparatory work. Most of the work that is done in our elementary schools is described as preparatory work in a school to which the child of rich parents is sent. Why is it not called preparatory? Why is it called elementary, and not preparatory, for the children of the working class? The working class parent might ask, "Preparatory for what?" But that is really all that it is, and the average normal child attains all that there is of preparatory work to be attained by him at the age of about 11. That year is now definitely fixed as the year when he completes the acquirement of these necessary tools of education.
After that, another discovery has been made, that you can have a post-primary course but that, whether that course is an academic one or a physical one, whether it is based upon practical work or upon a desire to acquire commercial 310 knowledge, or in whatever direction it is to go, the discovery has been made that it must be a four years' course to be a good course. It is no good making it a three years' course. That is inadequate, but let him have a four years' post-primary course and he can get the full benefit for every month that he spends in that senior school. It is for those reasons that the age has been raised, in order, to sum it up in one sentence, that children of all classes may have a four years' course, an organised, suitable course, after they pass from the primary school before they are able to go to work. That is the reason, and the four years' course is far more important than the extra year. I have gone into that matter because to look upon the Bill in the way in which it has been looked upon—I do not want to be impolite, but it has been purposely disparaged by saying it is only an additional year to the child's life—is to miss entirely the significance of the work that has been done. For that reason, I hope the Liberal party, surely of all parties the one which in its history is pledged to these educational advantages which are so necessary to our young population, will be in favour of it, and I make the appeal very strongly that they should see their way to support the Bill.
§ Lord E. PERCY
The speech with which we have just been favoured is a very good example of the kind of instruction on educational matters which presumably the constituencies are getting at present. The hon. Member appeared to believe that the Education Act of 1918 provided for the raising of the school-leaving age to 15 as from an appointed day, that the local education authorities have been continually pressing for such an appointed day and that no such appointed day has ever been fixed.
§ Mr. MUGGERIDGE
Will the Noble Lord allow me to correct him? I did not imply that. I said it was a higher post-primary or post-elementary course that was given to these children. I perfectly understood that it was not continuous education.
§ Lord E. PERCY
If the hon. Member meant that the Coalition, including members of his own party, in 1918 provided for two years continuation education from 14 to 16 as from an appointed 311 day and, therefore, that it was high time that the school-leaving age was now raised to 15, he was guilty of the most extraordinary non sequitur and, considering that he had the effrontery to base upon that argument a charge of dishonesty and breach of pledges against Members on this side of the House, I would suggest to him that the next time he goes to his constituents he should take a little more care not to break the Ninth Commandment.
§ Mr. MUGGERIDGE
May I ask whether the Noble Lord is accusing me of deliberately lying to my constituents? I should like to hear.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I will commit myself to the judgment of the House and to those who have received their religious education in provided council schools in this country and not in Scotland. To come to more serious matters, we are now parting with this Bill, upon which we have spent a good deal of Parliamentary time. We are parting with it in rather curious circumstances. We have made many criticisms of it. Perhaps we have rather repeated ourselves in our criticism, but if we have done so, it has been partly because our criticisms have met with extraordinarily little reply. Our main criticism against this Bill from the beginning has been that it has been a piecemeal Measure, and that it has not faced any of the problems which we require to be solved before, quite apart from the question of compulsion, the raising of the school-leaving age could 312 be made an effective educational measure. It has not faced the problems of reorganisation as far as provided schools are concerned, and still less has it faced the problems of reorganisation as far as the non-provided schools are concerned.
I should like to refer to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Runciman), which, I think, illustrates very well the extraordinary confusion in which this House has been left by the Government during the last 18 months. From the beginning, the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education confessed that it was essential to any raising of the school-leaving age that certain measures should be taken to deal with the reorganisation of non-provided schools, and at least for the last year we have been given to understand that the measures which he proposed and which were under negotiation with various sections outside this House, were based upon the principle of giving certain temporary financial assistance to existing voluntary schools in return for certain conditions. The right hon. Member for St. Ives was not here when the point was raised, but if he had been here he would have heard me go out of my way to suggest in public, what I had previously suggested in private, a concession as to those conditions, which I should be prepared to support. He now comes down and says that because we have put into print in this Bill the basis of negotiations which we have been given to understand was the basis on which those negotiations have been proceeding, it will be impossible, as I understood him to say, to continue those negotiations in the future. If that be the fact, it illustrates the extraordinary confusion into which this House has been led by the tabling of a Bill which proposed to put additional compulsion upon the children and parents and which left entirely vague the consequential measures which were necessary in order to justify that compulsion even in the opinion of the authors of the Bill.
From month to month and year to year we have been put off with statements that things were going well, that there was great hopes of a settlement, and now we are told, when it has actually come to the crucial point of carrying this Bill into law, that the mere statement 313 in cold print of the acknowledged basis of those negotiations is sufficient to destroy the negotiations. There could not be a better illustration of the fundamental evil of trying to do Government business this way. The right hon. Gentleman thought it essential 18 months ago, to the credit of the Government, to make a declaration that the Government were going to raise the school-leaving age. He did it before consulting the local authorities and before consulting anybody.
§ Lord E. PERCY
Ever since that time every proposal that he has made on this subject, and every Bill that he has brought forward has fallen of its own weight, We, the Opposition, were not enabled to make any change in the Government's proposals. They had an effective majority all the time. We really have been sitting watching the proposals of the Government falling and breaking by their own weight, simply because not one single one of them had been thought out in advance. And this is the last and final instance of it, when the whole of the structure of negotiations seems to disappear like a dream in the night the moment the finger of reality touches it. Of course, we understand that the Government will try to make the Opposition bear the odium of having broken down promising negotiations. I will leave that subject; I do not want to go further into past history.
If the House will allow me, I should like to say this personal word. I do not believe for a moment that the great and growing fund of goodwill on the subject of religious education has been exhausted or seriously diminished by anything that has happened in the last 18 months, although it has been somewhat diminished by unwise handling. This fund of goodwill can be made the most powerful agent of educational progress if it is rightly handled, and I hope that no party in this country and no representative of any section of opinion in this House will take an action at this moment such as is represented by the right hon. Member for St. Ives. This Bill suffers from one great defect, and that is that it is fundamentally a deception on the people of this country. The 314 only support behind the Measure is the belief of the people that you are opening a new high road of education for the children of the workers. By this extra year of education and by all their post primary education the Government are not leading the children of the workers along any high road except the high road at present open to them—namely, the high road through the technical college. The Government are not in any way facilitating by this Bill any child of any working man getting into a secondary school and from the secondary school into the university. This is entirely a remodelling of one year of the road through the technical college, and, whether it may or may not be valuable, it is being done at a cost, with doles and maintenance allowances, which is going to set back the real remodelling of the reform of the high road of technical education for at least 20 years.
The Government are saying to the people of this country that they are giving to them something more or less like what the rich man and the aristocrat has. What they are really giving them is a pale imitation for one or two years of the lower forms of the public schools, and to leave them with precisely the same prospect that they have at the moment—the prospect of advance through the technical college. This is the final evidence of an extraordinary lack of originality on the part of the Labour party. One would have thought that a proletarian party, rising in opposition to the old parties of the State, would have had an idea of working class education, would have started some new system of working class education, and would have thrown on one side as discredited and useless all this aristocratic, bookish, academic education of the public schools. They might have learned at least a little from those whom they look upon as their great friends, the Soviets of Russia. If they would only look at the Soviet programme of education they would find much that is horrible, in my opinion, but they would also see a conception of the real educational meaning of manual labour and mechanical work, and a whole new philosophy of education.
There is nothing of that, however, from the Labour party, no self-confidence, as representing the great proletarian revolution, only a little imitation of the 315 aristocratic traditions of the eighteenth century. That is as much as we get under the guise of educational reform. That is the real character of this Bill, and, for the sake of that, this Bill has disorganised the work of every local authority in the country, and seriously prejudiced the whole prospect of religious educational peace in this country. That is the price that the Government have paid for a futile piece of imitative mimicry of aristocratic education. One thing is quite clear. If this country is to have real educational reform or real economy, it will have to wait until it can have a measure of that kind introduced by the Conservative party.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Morgan Jones)
We have come now to the last stage of the progress of this Bill through the House of Commons, and, as is quite appropriate, we have heard from the Noble Lord some animadversions upon the merits of this Bill. I hasten to assure the Noble Lord that at all times I like the speech he makes. It is so full of assurance and self-confidence, and abundant faith that all progress, all originality and all intelligent administration left the Board of Education when he departed from it in 1929. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear"]. There is nothing like being encouraged in one's illusions! When this Bill was introduced in the House of Commons some months ago, it contained two general proposals, and I think the House will not disagree with me when I say that the Bill, in the main, as it confronts us to-night is substantially the same as the Bill which was introduced some months ago. There have been certain alterations it is true, but, in the main, the general principles are unchallenged. First of all, there is the proposal for raising the school age from 14 to 15, and, secondly, the proposal for providing maintenance allowances. I think I am right in saying that, except for certain detailed alterations, those two general propositions have remained unchallenged up to this very moment.
Moreover, it is fair to point out that the Government's proposals have been carried with, on the whole, heavy majorities, save in the case of the incident tonight. Our proposals were advanced 316 originally on two grounds.[Interruption]. First there were the economic grounds that the raising—[Interruption]. May I be allowed to make my speech? I have sat here for hours without saying a word in interruption of others, but I cannot now utter a single sentence without interruptions from hon. Members opposite. I want to argue fairly. First of all we advanced the claim that the Bill as originally proposed would have an economic effect on the condition of our people, and we were hoping that if our original proposals were accepted we would have been able to leave an abiding impression upon the condition of our unemployed. Now we all know that in that respect the conditions which will prevail when the Bill becomes operative have been substantially changed. Because of the postponement of the operation of the Bill until September, 1932, there will not be an immediate effect on economic conditions. But in spite of that I submit that the educational argument in favour of the Bill remains unchallenged to this hour.
On the morrow of the Second Reading Debate there was an article in a newspaper which generally supports the Opposition politically, in which the injunction was given to strengthen the opposition to the Bill on the educational side. I confidently ask the House to apply themselves to that proposition and to examine whether, in point of fact, the educational argument against the Bill has been a substantial one. I submit that it has not. There has been an argument of an educational kind, I admit, but it has generally been of this character: It has been directed to showing that in regard to certain children in certain areas the raising of the school age universally to 15 would have an injurious effect upon the industrial prospect of those children. Over and over again the gravamen of the argument of the Opposition has been that in the agricultural areas agricultural requirements and needs would be adversely affected by the passage of the Bill.
That is the only portion of the Bill, in regard to which any sort of educational argument has been consistently advanced, and, in that respect, I submit that that argument has not been based on the ground which the Noble Lord has ad- 317 vanced here to-night. That argument previously was not based on the ground that the children of the workers should have an ample, well-considered educational scheme and curriculum provided for them. Not at all. The argument advanced on the Second Reading was this: "Why should these children have educational opportunities? They belong to the working classes; they are the workers in the fields, they are the people who ought to be engaged in agriculture." That was the argument then, but tonight the Noble Lord takes other ground. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The point is this—that the whole of the argument on educational grounds which has been advanced from the Opposition, has, invariably, been based upon an interpretation of education of a very narrow kind, namely, its strictly vocational value. I am not against the consideration of the vocational needs of children, if that question is considered in its proper place, but I resent and I trust shall always resent any suggestion that the children of the working classes, whose parents happen to be engaged in some vocation or calling of a manual kind, must necessarily be hewers of wood and drawers of water.
I come now to the justification for our proposal. In the first place, I should like to recall to the House a fact which I think the House has been inclined too frequently to overlook, namely, that the Hadow report which has been referred to so often has, in fact, visualised two departments, if I may so call them, of educational progress. One was educational reorganisation up to the age of 14, but the other was the raising the school age from 14 to 15. My difficulty in regard to the Opposition's abjection to this Bill has been this. It seems to me that they have been thinking of this extra year from 14 to 15 as a year in isolation. They have regarded it as something tacked on to the present educational career of the child, forgetting altogether the process of reorganisation which is now in progress in the schools. I have tried, not so much, I admit, for the purpose of presenting bouquets to the Noble Lord as for the purpose of reminding him of his own past in the matter, to bring home to the Opposition that if they abject to this Bill they are in fact objecting to a legislative enactment which in my judgment completes the process of educational reorganisation.
318 I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Muggeridge) when he directs our attention to the importance of having regard to a well-considered four-year course of educational progress. Hon. Members opposite, quite honestly I admit, have been very perturbed lest the period of time spent by the child at school, compulsorily, from 14 to 15, will be a period merely of marking time. I, for my part, should be extremely disappointed if that should prove to be the case. I am quite sure I speak for my right hon. Friend and that he would desire me to say that it is far from the Government's intention. We really and in fact visualise a well-considered four-year course for all children from the age of 11 to the age of 15.
I want now to remind hon. Members apposite that, though it is true that they themselves did not speak in set terms of the raising of the school age, they did speak in their own party literature prior to the last election of giving to all children a well-considered four-year course from the age of 11, and I therefore point out to the Noble Lord that he could not have done it for all children without bringing in the raising of the age to 15. The Noble Lord will tell me, no doubt, that in his conception the 14 to 15 stage was to be a voluntary one. Very well, but if so, it could not apply to all children unless you made it economically possible for the parents of all children to keep their children at school from 14 to 15.
§ Lord E. PERCY
That argument is like saying that because the party opposite offers work for all, that therefore they would compel everybody to work. It is a pure play upon words, and the hon. Gentleman knows it very well.
§ Mr. JONES
I will not pursue that argument. It is of the highest importance that the four year course shall not cater for children of only one type of mind, that is to say, that we shall not have regard merely to the bookishly minded child. We are extremely anxious, and it is our firm intention, to provide for all children, whatever their intuitions may be, whatever their gifts or interests may be, whether academical or practical, during that four year period from 11 to 15. If that be so, if all children, whatever their gifts may be, will be so provided 319 for, then I think that the educational value of this Measure, raising the school age from 14 to 15 and thus putting in a four year course, will be one which perhaps not people to-day but certainly people 10, 20, or 30 years hence will regard as one of the greatest measures of social advance which we have had in our day and generation.
I do not propose at this late hour to enter into a defence of the maintenance allowance proposals, beyond saying this, that we do know—we admit it, and we are giving away nothing perhaps in admitting it—that there come to bear upon the homes of many people who would otherwise desire to provide more amply for their children, certain forces, economic in character, which deprive the parents of those means of implementing their desire to do better for their children educationally. It is that economic compulsion which we are hoping to provide against through the medium of our maintenance allowances, and I must say that it seems to me in the highest degree deplorable that people who ordinarily are fairly comfortable, and not in any economic distress themselves, should deprive other people of access to some means whereby they may be redeemed from this economic pressure.
§ Hon. Members opposite have argued that these last 12 months which we are adding to the child's school life will be of comparatively little value to the child. If they would only regard it from the point of view of its cumulative effect and value, they might perhaps be inclined to change their opinion. If I may use a simple illustration, it is like the course of a river. The nearer you are to its source, the smaller the river, but the moment it begins to be joined by its tributaries, the value of the river, its strength, majesty, depth and usefulness begin to grow. So it is with this extra year. Each succeeding year which is added to the educational career of the child more adequately equips that child to play its part properly in society. Whether it be popular or not to-day to propose this Bill, I venture to think that in coming years, perhaps a generation from now, men looking back on to-day's educational efforts will regard this legislation as one of the biggest contributions towards equipping future citizens that any Government has made in the last 20 years.
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 256; Noes, 238.323
|Division No. 93.]||AYES.||[11.12 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Calne, Derwent Hall-||Gould, F.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cameron, A. G.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cape, Thomas||Graham, Rt. Hon.Wm. (Edin.Cent.)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M.||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Charleton, H. C.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Chater, Daniel||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Church, Major A. G.||Groves, Thomas E.|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Cluse, W. S.||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Arnott, John||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Ayles, Walter||Cove, William G.||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Daggar, George||Harbord, A.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Dallas, George||Hardie, George D.|
|Barr, James||Dalton, Hugh||Harris, Percy A.|
|Batey, Joseph||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Bellamy, Albert||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Benn. Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Devlin, Joseph||Haycock, A. W.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Dickson, T.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Dukes, C.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Benson, G.||Duncan, Charles||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Ede, James Chuter||Herriotts, J.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Edmunds, J. E.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwel[...]ty)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Egan, W. H.||Hollins, A.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||England, Colonel A.||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Bromfield, William||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Horrabin, J. F.|
|Bromley, J.||Freeman, Peter||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Brooke, W.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Isaacs, George|
|Brothers, M.||Gibbins, Joseph||Jenkins, sir William|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Gill, T. H.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Brown, w. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Gillett, George M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Gossling, A. G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Muff, G.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Kirkwood, D.||Muggeridge, H. T.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Knight, Holford||Nathan, Major H. L,||Snell, Harry|
|Lang, Gordon||Naylor, T. E.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Newman, sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Lathan, G.||Oldfield, J. R.||Sorensen, R.|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Palin, John Henry||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lawrence, Susan||Paling, W[...]frid||Strachey, E. J, St. Loe|
|Lawson, John James||Palmer, E. T||Strauss, G. R.|
|Leach, W.||Perry, S. F.||Sullivan, J.|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Pethick-Lawrence, F, W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Lees, J.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Pole, Major D. G.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Lindley, Fred w.||Potts, John S.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Price, M. P.||Tillett, Ben|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Quibell, D. J. K.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Toole, Joseph|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Raynes, W. R.||Tout, W. J.|
|Lunn, William||Richards, R.||Townend, A. E.|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Vaughan, D. J.|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Viant, S. P.|
|McElwee, A.||Ritson, J.||Walker, J.|
|McEntee, V. L.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)||Wallace, H. W.|
|McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)||Romeril, H. G.||Watkins, F. C.|
|McKinlay, A.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Rowson, Guy||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|MacNeill-Weir. L.||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|McShane, John James||Sanders, W. S.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Sandham, E.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Mansfield, W.||Sawyer, G. F,||West, F. R.|
|Marcus, M.||Scrymgeour, E.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Markham, S. F.||Scurr, John||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Marley, J.||Sexton, Sir James||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Marshall, Fred||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Mathers, George||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Matters, L. W.||Sherwood, G, H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Maxton, James||Shield, George William||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Messer, Fred||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Middleton, G.||Shillaker, J. F.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Mills, J. E.||Shinwell, E.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester,Loughb'gh)|
|Milner, Major J.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wise, E. F.|
|Montague, Frederick||Simmons, C. J.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Sinkinson, Georqe|
|Morley, Raiph||Sitch, Charles H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. T.|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Henderson.|
|Mort, D. L.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bracken, B.||Colville, Major D. J.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Courtauld, Major J. S,|
|Albery, Irving James||Brass, Captain Sir William||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Briscoe, Richard George||Clydesdale, Marquess of|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Brown, Col. D. C. (N th'l'd., Hexham)||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Alien, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)||Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks,Newb'y)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Buchan, John||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent,Dover)||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Croom-Johnson, R. p.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Butler, R. A.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)|
|Atkinson, C.||Butt, Sir Alfred||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Baillie- Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Dalkeith. Earl of|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Campbell, E. T.||Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Carver, Major W. H.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Castle Stewart, Earl of||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Bainiel, Lord||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Cayzer, Maj.sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Chamberlain,Rt. Hn.Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)||Dixey, A. C.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Duckworth, G. A. V.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Chapman, Sir S.||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.|
|Blindell, James||Christie, J. A.||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cocker[...]l, Brig.-General Sir George||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.M.)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Boyce, Leslie||Colman, N. C. D.||Falie, Sir Bertram G.|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Little, Sir E. Graham||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Fermoy, Lord||Liewellin, Major J. J.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Savery, S. S.|
|Fison, F. G. Clavering||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Skelton, A. N.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lymington, viscount||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Ganzon[...], Sir John||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine.C.)|
|Gault, Lieut.Col. Andrew Hamilton||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Marjoribanks, Edward||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Grace, John||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Meller, H. J.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Greene, W. p. Crawford||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Gunston, Captain D. w.||Muirhead, A. J.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Nicholson, D. (Westminster)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Hanbury, C.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Train, J.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||O'Connor, T. J.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||O'Neill, Sir H.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Peake, Capt. Osbert||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Penny, sir George||Warrender, sir Victor|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Purbrick, R.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Ramsbotham, H.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Remer, John R.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y. Ch't[...]y)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Kinley, J.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Ross, Major Ronald D.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Lane Fox. Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Sir B. Eyres Monsell and Major|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Salmon, Major I.||Sir George Hennessy.|
|Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.