HC Deb 17 July 1934 vol 292 cc1029-77

  1. 1. Abolition of the building grant.
  2. 2. Stopped building new nursery schools.
  3. 3. Cut teachers' salaries.
  4. 4. Reduced the number of teachers.
  5. 5. Increased the number of large classes.
  6. 6. Increased the fees for secondary schools.
  7. 7. Abolished free secondary education.
  8. 8. Decreased the number of free places.
  9. 9. Decreased the number of students in part-time establishments.
  10. 10. Saved £7,000,000 yearly by ruthless economy.

I used to wonder why the average Tory Member was so opposed to education, but in time I understood why. The average Tory Member really believes that, so long as working-class children remain stupidly ignorant, they will support Tory policy. If it be not so, I would ask the Noble Lady and others to support me, and we will test this feeling before I sit down. Hon. Members claim to be sportsmen in many ways. Playing the game is a slogan of theirs. They would hate to go shooting pheasants or hunting foxes which had some physical disability. It would not be playing the game. What about playing the game from the human point ov view? What about the competition between the rich man's son and the poor man's son in the educational and commercial world? The rich man's son has every advantage on his side. Quite apart from the advantage of better education, no matter what his brains may be like or whether he has any commercial qualifications, he cannot very well fail to succeed. The mine owner's son or the manufacturer's son, no matter if he is empty headed, will start very high up in the mine or the factory or in organisation. The son of the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) may be the most brilliant boy or a most dull kind of boy, but he cannot fail to make a name for himself and do well in industrial life.

Viscountess ASTOR

Oh, yes, he can.


With all deference to the hon. Member, if he chooses to inspect the results of the Appointments Board of Cambridge he will find that the position is absolutely different.


It may be true, as the hon. Gentleman has indicated, that things are different at Cambridge. I am not speaking about Cambridge or Oxford education, but generally about the boy who goes out into industry. I have worked in a coal mine and in the textile industry, and it has been my experience to find a factory owner's son come straight from the university and, in a few weeks, become one of the leading men in Bradford. I have seen the mine-owner's son come straight from the university, and, in a very short time, made a director of the colliery. The sons of hon. Members opposite come straight from the universities, and in less than five years you see them as directors of banks and breweries, and before they are 30 years of age you find them directors of as many as 20 different companies, not because of their brains, but because of the influence behind them from a family point of view.


May I remind the hon. Member that half the students of the University of Cambridge are sent up by charity, and a very large number of the boys—many of whose parents are on the dole—who go out, are successful?


I agree that it is true that three times as many scholarship children who compete for university places are successful as those of the fee-paying children, which goes to show that where working-class children have an equal opportunity they compete very well indeed with the children of any other class of society. That is why I want an equal opportunity to be given to the poor man's child. The poor man's boy, quite apart from losing the tremendous influence which is so beneficial in giving a boy a start, has in a large percentage of cases no real education at all. He leaves school at 14 just when body and mind are capable of benefiting from and understanding education, and within two years of his leaving school he loses a great deal of the so-called education which has been given. Therefore, I assert that the poor man's boy, in competition for work and in other things, has not a dog's chance compared with the rich man's son. It is like a boxing competition where the rich man fighter has expert tuition in boxing and expert aid while training, and the poor man's son has no tuition whatever and no special aid, and has both arms fastened behind his back when he goes into the ring. I am not asking for special preferences for the poor man's son. I do not assert that the poor man's son is brainier than the rich man's son. I think that the Creator has spread brains equally among all classes of society, but the chances of the poor man's boy are infinitesimal compared with the chances of the wealthy man's boy. There is no doubt about that.

Hon. Members often assert that the Labour party gain votes owing to appeals to prejudice, class hatred, ignorance and so on, and that if we had an educated democracy the position would be altogether different. It is said that the National Government and Tory philosophy succeed because they appeal to reason and to the enlightened thinking people of this country. If it be true that the National Government and Tory philosophy are dependent upon an educated democracy, they ought to be the keenest party in the country in aiming at an educated people. On the other hand, if that be true, the Labour party have everything to lose by having an educated democracy. If it be true that our ideas are stupid, and if our programme be wrong, then a thinking population will turn us out and replace us by Members of the party opposite.

The four parties here claim that their programme would be supported by thinking people. I honestly believe that the programme of the Labour party will be accepted more and more as people become more educated. I believe, rightly or wrongly, that the National Govern- ment and Tory philosophy will be more and more rejected as the people become more educated, but they believe the opposite. Surely, if we believe opposite things, the only real test is for us both to strive to get the best educated people in this country, and to let them test us.[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I have the agreement of at least two hon. Members opposite. Let us put the matter to the test. I- suggest a policy of eight points, which, I think, are the best lines of advance in order to bring about what we all desire—an educated and enlightened people. These are the eight points: (1) Let us pull down and replace the slum schools of England, rapidly. (2) Let us build more special and nursery schools. (3) Let us provide a more liberal supply of books and better equipment in all the schools. (4) Let us reduce classes to 40 as a maximum, and as soon as possible to 30. (5) Let us appoint only qualified teachers in future. (6) By providing secondary education for all children, let us make our new post-primary schools approach secondary school standard in staffing, equipments, etc. (7) Abolish all secondary school fees. (8) Let us raise the school age to 15 and insist on it being introduced as soon as possible. I sincerely believe that those are the best lines for bringing about what we all desire—an educated people. The result would be such a thinking democracy that party programmes would be considered and weighed, and parties would be rejected much more fairly and reasonably than they are at the present time. That programme would go a long way towards securing schooling opportunities for all children, irrespective of class, income or social position, and would secure the support of every single Members of the Labour party.

8.35 p.m.


I want to speak mainly about education in its post-primary stage, and to do so rather as one who is responsible for its administration in one of our largest counties than from a political point of view. I am not sure that education and politics get on very well together. As I see it from the practical point of view of trying to look after education, things are not right as they are. Part of our post-primary system, the senior school system, is truncated and incomplete. A part of it called the secondary school system may be a good preparation for the university, but as only a small proportion of children go from the secondary school to higher education that is not the important thing. The schools to-day above all should be a preparation not for a university course but for life, and they are not that at present. There is a distinction, a difference, between the senior elementary and the secondary school systems in status, in staffing, and in methods of administration. The two types are often administered by entirely different authorities in the same area, whereas 1 feel that our aim should be to get rid of the two systems and have one system of post-primary education.

I should like to lay down one or two general principles and in order to be at all concise I have to be rather dogmatic about it. I say, first, that the basic idea underlying the Hadow Report, that there should be a change of school and environment for children after the infant school stage about every four years, is absolutely sound. I think that not only should the school vary but that the dominant aim of the schools should vary. It is difficult to define the different types of schools in a single word, but if I may use one word to describe the aim of the four types of schools, as I see the system, I should say that the aim should be, training from eight to 11 plus; education for the four years after that to 15 plus, individual development for the three or four years after that, and specialised study at a university for the three or four years after for those who are able to get there. I call these courses, primary, intermediate, secondary and university. The thing which stands most in the way of our getting, to that system is the disorganisation of post-primary education, and there again the Hadow Report hits the nail/on the head. They recommended that the second type of school, the intermediate and the secondary should be equal in status and quality and that the distinction between the two types should be brought to an end. I want four years of post-primary education for everybody, which means that it must be compulsory and must be free.


Would you raise the school age?




Does that mean that the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of compulsory raising of the school age?




Is the Liberal party in favour of it?


Certainly, but as I shall show a great many things must be clone in order to make that act in any way an educational benefit to the country. That system must be free. In my submission there are two sorts of freedom, and I am not sure that freedom from school fees is not the less important of the two. The children of some parents would have to be helped through that system by travelling, books and maintenance allowances, in addition to having no fees to pay, but that does not in the least offend my principle, that parents with incomes of about£250 should pay a steadily graduated fee according to their means right up to the full cost of the education provided, if they can afford it. I know that that is not quite the view of hon. Members of the Labour party, but I can see no objection to it on principle, provided that the children of working-class parents on a basis of £5 per week are entitled to attend these schools without any fee at all.

My experience of it more and more comes to this, that the most vital form of freedom is freedom for the school to work out and work on their own lines according to the character and requirements of the population they serve. There ought to be no external examination tests in these schools at all; that is these intermediate schools. You cannot introduce external examination tests without making the passing of these examinations the chief aim of the schools, and that is really the death of the best sort of education. External examination tests are devised by competent men from the universities, and being competent they will naturally be inclined to think that being well educated themselves they are competent, perhaps in spite of their education and not because of it, to devise tests which will discover whether the children have had the sort of education which has made them the remarkable people they are. That means, inevitably, that the educational tests they devise and the syllabus they lay down will be entirely out of date. Education is a preparation for life, and nothing is developing and changing more rapidly than life, although that is not always realised because often the things we realise least are the things which are going on under our eyes all the time.


What is education for life?


We all know of the certificate examinations, the test as to whether a boy or girl has been sufficiently prepared to take advantage of a university course, and, if so, they obtain sufficient credit for a. test equivalent to matriculation. Therefore, our secondary schools compete against one another in order to obtain that standard. You may not object to that as a foundation for a university course, but that is as much beside the point as if you were preparing children for life in the moon, because only 5 per cent. of the children go to a university. If you lay a foundation, it ought to be a foundation for something which is really going to follow—and that is what our education in the secondary schools is not.

I happen to be chairman of an education committee and of a housing committee. If the housing committee were to leave the houses which they get reconditioned simply as foundations, never to be built upon, we should hear about it very quickly from the ratepayers and the Ministry of Health. But that is exactly what the education committee is doing in these secondary schools. They are preparing the children for something which the children never do afterwards, and the Board of Education is almost bound to look on at that process. I want to cut loose from all that kind of thing and to make the training of the children a better opening for life. There must be tests. I am not suggesting that there should not be tests. There must be internal tests in these schools and they must be open to inspection but these external tests, originally introduced with the best intentions and meant to provide a stimulus, have tended more and more to cause paralysis except in the hands of a minority of teachers who can rise superior to them. To come to the very pertinent question put by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) I would reply to him by asking: Should not the boys and girls who are going out into life at the age of 15 or 16 with no further education than what they have succeeded in getting in these schools, know something about the structure of government, of legal institutions, of social, political and economic questions? I think so. Should not these schools by ceasing to concentrate attention on foreign languages, for instance, be able to "knock holes in the dark," as Stevenson said about the lamplighter, in regard to all sorts of subjects.


What political or social philosophy would the right hon. Gentleman wish to have taught to the children? Would it be Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Communist or what?


I know enough about the teachers to know that if you gave them freedom to teach and did not tie them down to syllabuses they would teach sensibly and they would teach better than they do at present. What is wrong is the tying down of the teachers to syllabuses of subjects which have no practical connection with the afterlife of the children or with the wonderful power which children have of taking an interest in subjects. If you give the teachers a chance they will be able to "knock holes in the dark," to open windows upon all sorts of subjects. I do not wish to go through the whole alphabet but taking only the first letter you have art, architecture, archaeology, astronomy, anthropology, aeronautics. Those are all subjects in which children could be interested.


What political philosophy is there in that?


When I referred to politics I was using the word in the broad sense of the art of government. Politics does not necessarily mean party politics. I say, trust your teachers, give them freedom and they will do little harm even if they do happen to belong to one particular party or another. Again, the boys and girls at our secondary schools should have a period of physical training of some kind every day. Those who know the subject are agreed upon that. But all these things are now cut out, because of these syllabuses imposed from outside, and I believe that subjects of that kind ought to come in and would come in naturally, if the schools had freedom. With that freedom you would get in time—because it would take teachers a little time to realise that they were free—considerable diversity in the schools in the subjects taught and in the way in which they were treated and illustrated. There would be different types of schools with an agricultural, a technical or a commercial bias as the case might be. Sometimes you would have enough children coming together in each year to have parallel courses in the schools, but the general aim ought to be the same in all these intermediate schools, namely, to give a preparation for life—I cannot use any other phrase—in its broadest sense and not training for particular occupations.

I know that in some cases employers insist or try to insist upon occupational training. Some employers will not take boys into their offices unless the boys know shorthand, bookkeeping, the use of the typewriter and the telephone and things of that kind. I think that is a narrow view. I think we ought to try to widen the employers' view rather than narrow down the courses in the schools to suit the employers. If I had an office boy I should not want him to come to me knowing how to use the telephone, I could teach him that in ten minutes. What I would want the boy to be able to do would be to give an adequate excuse over the telephone on the spur of the moment when I was not hack from lunch at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.


He would have to be a jolly good "fibber."


That needs readiness, imagination and power of invention and I think those faculties are capable of being produced and would be produced if we had secondary education free and had the finest thing in the way of education that the State could give for everybody. You would get these things more than you get them now and that would be more worth while than typewriting, shorthand or book-keeping by double entry. Now I come to the point which was made by the hon. Member who asked about the outside structure of the schools system.


Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves that aspect of the subject with which lie has been dealing, may I point out that he has omitted something which some of us regard as very important. What about the training of the child for the life to come, by a teacher who is qualified to give that instruction?


I have so much to say that I do not propose to deal with the question of religious instruction. I could say a great deal about the duality of our system and the right of entry and all these matters, but if the hon. Member does not mind I will not go into them on this occasion. What is it that prevents us from having a uniform structure for our intermediate schools, in which the distinction between senior, higher grade, secondary and grammar schools would disappear? It is much too big a subject to be dealt with in a speech of this kind, but there are two matters which stand out in connection with it. One is the question of the school-leaving age and the other is the standstill order which at present prevails under the board's regulations with regard to the reorganisation of elementary education under the Hadow system. The extension of the school age raises primarily an issue affecting the present senior and higher grade schools on the one hand and the ordinary secondary schools on the other, but I am not sure whether it is realised how much the extension of the school age—unless it is to be done as was suggested county by county—depends on other things which will have to be done first.

Take counties such as that with which I am associated. You can do it there but unless you complete the structure of organisation you will get a worse education instead of a, better education as a result. To prolong the age of compulsory attendance will, of course, be unpopular with many parents. I do not blame parents for wanting to get the advantage of their children's earnings as soon as they can. But the right way to overcome that unpopularity, it seems to me, is not to distribute millions in giving maintenance grants to parents. You will have to give maintenance grants in some cases but the best way is to make the parents and the children both realise that the extra year's schooling is going to be worth while. There is a lot of work to be done in a great many places, before we can say that it is worth while. A great deal would have to be done in the normal rural area before we could say it. Whatever you do some parents will be unreasonable. I think it was the Parliamentary Secretary who told me a story, in which there was a good deal of truth, of a headmaster who sent a boy home to his parents at the end of the term with the report: "Stubborn and stupid. Would make an admirable parent." I believe that in a few years one could get the other sort of parents on to one's side in this matter if, and only if, the extra period of schooling is to be what it ought to be. That is impossible in our country districts as they are now until the reorganisation of elementary education, now suspended, is completed. Half the schools in Devonshire for example have under 50 children each; which means that one master or often one mistress has to take all the children from eight to 14 in one class in one room for over six years of their school lives. The way these teachers manage convinces me that the age of miracles is not past. Many of them must surely be glad to see the back of the boys and girls of 14 when the time comes for them to leave school. To expect children to be taught efficiently after the age of 14 if they stay in small village or hamlet schools is to expect an impossibility. The ratepayers and taxpayers would be paying large sums for education which would be worse and not better; not until there are senior schools for these senior pupils will the extra money spent on education be worth while.

If at first there is not sufficient accommodation in senior schools that can be improvised very easily, in view of the fact that the school population will tend downwards for a few years; but no one can improvise better teaching in those small rural schools where there are so many children taken in one class. My point is that if the extension of the school life is to be carried through on the basis of a national policy it must wait for this reorganisation into junior and secondary schools, and the obvious moral is that that reorganisation ought to start at once-The present standstill order concerning the reorganising of our elementary schools into senior and junior schools must be removed if we are to have any chance of a uniform system of secondary education. In the towns, where education authorities are allowed to reorganise if they can show thereby a saving, the problem of trans- port does not arise, and they can often reorganise and show a saving; but in the country districts the problem of transport does arise, and, therefore, unless one can close a school or two in the process of moving the seniors one can do nothing at all. Reorganisation has proceeded more slowly in the country than in the towns, because there were so many adverse considerations to be taken into account. It is not so much a question of the grant formula as of the entire standstill that is to happen in the country districts if it is said that they cannot reorganise at all if there is extra expenditure.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say to what standstill order he is referring?


I am referring to what happened when there was a financial crisis. I do not think that anybody in rural districts is allowed to build senior schools except on two conditions: one that the state of the population demands it, because the education authority has to provide accommodation for the children; and the other condition is that their action will result in removing schools from the black list. The ordinary policy, which we were engaged upon, of settling the centres where we would build senior schools to which to bring the senior pupils has been stopped. I call that a standstill order.


I am a member of a local education authority, and in the year 1933–34 we are spending more money on building central senior schools than we spent in any year in building elementary schools during the last 10 years, with one exception.


I suggest that that is in a more or less urban district.


Purely agricultural.


Then the hon. Member must be much cleverer than we are in Devonshire. Surely it will be agreed that we are not allowed to build senior schools now in the normal way unless we can show a gain by so doing, except where it is necessary for the sake of the population or in black list cases.


I am sorry to interrupt, but only last year I personally invited the right hon. Gentleman to propose some further schemes of reorganisation, and I am still waiting for them.


I am extremely glad to hear what the hon. Gentleman opposite has said, because it shows that there is something doing somewhere. In Devonshire we have been well treated by the inspectors of the Department and we are on extraordinarily good terms with them. We must get this matter looked into by our officials, but I am still most definitely of opinion that no indication has been given to us that we were free to go forward with reorganisation except, as I said, in the two cases of increasing popuiation or the existence of black list schools. If I am speaking to those who are already converted, so much the better. The point I have to make in this connection is this, that even when—as perhaps I should have put it—the board gives the order to go and encourages us to go ahead with this reorganisation, M spite of the extra expenditure which it will involve by reason of the cost of transport, the board must not think it possible for us to do very much very quickly. It will not mean an extra flood of expenditure, and of grants from them. Sites are difficult to buy, schools take time to build, the reluctance of parents has to be overcome, and the difficulties with denominational managers in the case of denominational schools are not easy to overcome. Worst of all, it is a very easy thing during a financial crisis to tell county councils they must not continue with the programmes on which they were then engaged, but a very different thing to get them to go ahead again. I am having difficulty with county councillors who cannot see that it is only through the establishment of senior schools in the rural districts that we can get the schools which they want, giving an education which really will keep young people in touch with the land and interested in country pursuits. As long as education is given in tiny village schools it is bound to be bookish. Only when we can get the pupils into the bigger schools, with gardening, organised games and woodwork, can we make education reasonably practical; but, of course, it takes time for people to realise that.

I recall a short story which a farmer friend of mine told an education committee the other day. He had got one of his men to show some friends round his farm and garden. After they had gone the man, a Devonshire labourer, said to him, "Them was terrible high up learned folks, weren't they?" "Yes," said my friend. "I thought so," replied the man, "they didn't seem to know nowt." That illustrates what we have to overcome. When we get senior schools established—and I am glad to hear that there must have been some misapprehension on the part of my officials as to the attitude of the board—not only the children and the parents, but employers also will realise that it is a very good thing to get better that practical education. If we can only get that idea spread the objection to the extension of the school age will largely disappear, because employers and parents will realise that it is tremendously worth while for the children to remain at school. I need not rub in my point that to remove what I have regarded hitherto as the standstill order is the primary job. But I think that is so, because it is only when we have our senior schools established and are able to take children up to the age of 15 or 15 1/2 that we shall be able to get the benefit we ought to have from the extension of the school age, which ought to follow as the schools are ready.

I have one last point, and that is that what is, if possible, more essential than the universal provision of senior schools is better teachers. A poor teacher can teach fairly well on a syllabus with proper text books provided for that syllabus, but as we know, it takes a good teacher to get the best out of being free to teach in the way in which he would like to teach, and to bring, as a good teacher ought to bring, an element of interest into every lesson by associating the lesson with the pupil's daily life and surroundings, or, what surely is equally worth while, to bring into the minds, hearts and souls of the children that faculty of wonder which is so great a possession of the human soul. Many of our modern highly-trained teachers are undoubtedly worse teachers than the old rule-of-thumb men who stuck to their text books.


Sheer rubbish.


It is true. The new men who have been through courses have not had time to digest them. They all get little weaknesses on which they are strong.


What does the right hon. Gentleman know about it?


I have spent more time in this job than in any other.

Viscountess ASTOR

May I just correct the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) who asked what the right hon. Gentleman knows about it? If the hon. Member would come down to Devonshire, he would find out what the right hon. Gentleman knows about it.


I thought it was Cornwall.


I have taken a great deal of trouble and pains in getting to know my schools, especially the secondary schools, under the education committee of my county. I am not speaking just in the air, and I do say, after very careful conversations with the heads of schools and with our inspectors, and so on, that their considered opinion is that a good deal of the extra courses and training that some of the younger teachers go through do not do the good you would expect it to do, because the students do not have time to think over what they have learned and to turn it into better teaching. Therefore, the point that I am making is that if and when we could really get this uniform system of senior intermediate education united with the present senior classes and the secondary schools into one system of 15½ years of age for everybody, and if we could make that a universal and compulsory system, I believe—


You cannot get it.


Why should the hon. Member say that we cannot get it. You can surely get anything if you try.


The point of my interjection is that you will get no uniform compulsory system while you develop education only on the side of the children's minds and bodies. In a long speech, the right hon. Gentleman has devoted only a few words to their souls.


We rather try to keep off religious subjects. I do not quite take the hon. Gentleman's view. If we can get real freedom for our schools though an intermediate system of education, it will be tremendously worth while taking more pains with the training of teachers and giving them a chance of using their freedom better. A great many of them have learnt enough to teach, but they have not learnt enough to know how little they really know. if we could only do with our teachers what the Army does with its doctors, after they have had a few years in the schools and realised what a lot there is to learn in the art of teaching young people we should take them away for a year to a sort of special training college where they would not be crammed for degrees, but would have a chance of thinking things over under the very best men that could be picked from the whole of our universities, who would help and inspire them with a knowledge of what teaching can be and what it might be. The teachers would be enormously improved. If we could get only a few colleges taking the younger teachers and giving them a chance of looking round and expanding, it would be well worth while to pay 50 men£1,000 a year simply for the purpose of trying to give imagination, personality and a power of really understanding what education means, to those teachers. The teachers will be able to respond once they are free to teach what they like and if only we can help them to give of their best.

I have tried honestly to put into what 1 have been trying to say a good deal of thought as the result not only of my own experience but of the variety of experience of the officials and teachers whom I have been coming across. I hope that. the Parliamentary Secretary will not say that the idea of a common intermediate system from 11 years of age to 15,i compulsory for everybody, and, thereafter, free for everybody who needs it, is an impossible vision, though it might conceivably be carried out some day in the distant future. I do not think he will. He knows far too much about education to do that. I hope that he will not say what was said in another place, that the fact that we are setting up certain classes under the Unemployment Act is any substitute for better intermediate and secondary education or for raising the school-leaving age or for the completion of the senior school system. To illustrate that, I need only say that in our county, although we have still to build 30 senior schools in order to complete our system, we are only given one central school and four classes under the Unemployment Act, which is lamentably small. if we are to think of it as a contribution towards education. I believe that the freeing of our intermediate schools from external tests and their levelling up, so that we can have a common system of intermediate education, the improvement of the training of teachers, and the freeing of the higher secondary schools from tests, are things which can be prepared for and got on with at once, and which ought to be part of the educational policy of every Government. If they were, we should be able to get education rather more out of politics and that would be a very good thing. The more one goes about the schools, the more one realises that we have in England and Wales the most splendid raw material, which is better than in any country in the world in the wonderful blend of receptiveness and individuality of our children. If we can only offer them the possibility of taking full advantage of their education, it would be thoroughly worth while that education for all should go on, diverse in its character for everybody up to the age of 15 1/2, until they have got a general secondary education. Our future power as a nation depends upon our tackling these things straight away, and getting on with them.

9.13 p.m.


I have listened with very great interest to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland). I do not intend to go into such details of the educational system as he has done. but I would say a word regarding what he has said about reorganisation in our elementary schools. I do not see any reason for asking the Parliamentary Secretary to say the word "Go" in this matter. In the recently published report of the Board of Education for 1933, one of the most cheerful things to my mind was the big increase in reorganisation that has taken place during 1933. I am very glad that the Committee has had a second opportunity of discussing the Education Estimates, because there has been a very important statement by the President of the Board of Education in another place since the last Debate. A good many of us felt disappointment with what he said, especially because he held out very little nope for the future. I know that we cannot discuss the raising of the school-leaving age, but I wish that the President had agreed on behalf of the National Government, to the principle of it. This would have involved no legislation and certainly no Parliamentary time. If he had agreed on behalf of the Government to the principle, we might have got a move on towards the settlement of some of the difficulties which he enumerated in his speech, which have to be solved and got out of the way before legislation can be introduced. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he will consider whether something cannot be done in this direction.

I should like to say a few words with regard to some of the things that the President said in another place. With regard to the Unemployment Act, I endorse entirely what has just been said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall. We all welcome the instruction centres, but the late Minister or Labour reiterated many times in this House that they were no alternative, and were not intended to be an alternative, to the raising of the school-leaving age, and I think it is a little unfortunate that the President should have used the word "alternative" in his speech, because it is liable, in my opinion, to be misrepresented in different parts of the country. In London, we are told, there is practically no juvenile unemployment, and therefore it seems to me that children of 14 in the London area cannot benefit at all under the Bill as regards these instruction centres. It seems hard on children of 14 that the only qualification for continued education should be unemployment.

I would like to say one or two words about reorganisation. I am specially interested in this subject, because I was fortunate in helping to bring some of these schemes into being in London. Many people doubt the benefit of further education, mainly because they feel that children should not have any more book-learning. I am always answering this objection, which people are continually raising. It is true that before the reorganisations came in there was not time to give a practical bias to the education, but now, with the break at eleven plus, the technical and practical instruction is very much easier to arrange, and there is no doubt that it would be much easier still if the age were extended. We have often heard quoted in the House the statement in the Hadow Report emphasising that the provision of the four years' course in the reorganised senior schools ought to be achieved before they could produce their full effect, and therefore, when the President says that we have to wait and see, to be quite sure of the success of these reorganised schools, before we consider raising the age, I think that that is hardly fair, because we cannot judge what the full effect will be until we have given a complete four years to the reorganised courses.

In this connection I should like to say that I think we are under a great debt of gratitude to the teachers. When many of these re-organisations started, there were undoubtedly a number of dislocations and upheavals in the schools, but the teachers overcame those difficulties in a very fine spirit. Some of them at the beginning were a little doubtful of these re-organisation schemes, but they put their backs into them, and are largely responsible for the great success that has been attained. I think there can be no doubt that these re-organisations are a great success, and are responsible for having led many people to change their opinions on the length of the school life. This has been the case, not only among educationists, but among industrialists, certainly among social workers, and also among parents. I think, also, that the sympathetic speeches of the Parliamentary Secretary himself have done a great deal to encourage local authorities to apply for powers to put the by-law into operation. I was interested to notice that the hon. Gentleman, speaking only a short time ago, said that there is a pronounced and unmistakable superiority in the intellectual and practical attainments of the children in the re-organised areas. There is no doubt that very useful experiments have already been made in this direction by way of the by-law. I do not wish to go into them in detail, but I think that the East Suffolk one is outstanding as regards its results.

I must refer to the very interesting conference which took place at the County Hall the other day of local authorities in London and Greater London. In all, 33 were represented. Fifteen were in favour of raising the school-leaving age. The others did not vote, but, if silence means consent, I think it shows what the volume of opinion is on this subject. There is no doubt that we are all agreed that it would be far better to deal with the whole question uniformly up and down the country, but, after the President's speech, I feel that there is little that we can do at this moment beyond urging the Parliamentary Secretary to encourage local authorities to take action under the by-law, because it is only in this way that we shall be able to persuade the Government how widespread and real is the demand.

I know that on this occasion I am not allowed to discuss the question of raising the school-leaving age. If I could, I certainly should. I want to see the school-leaving age raised at least to 16, and provision made for some form of continued part-time education up to the age of 18. I believe that I shall live to see both. I hope that the Government will quickly formulate some long-term policy, and I think that, just as a decrease in hours will probably be part of that policy, so also will be the raising of the school-leaving age. I believe that they must both be part of my long-term policy. I am sure that, if the Government would only formulate that policy, they would retain the confidence of the country, which they have gained by their emergency measures. The President himself, in his speech in another place, admitted that he goes the whole way in wishing for an educated democracy, and believes that, the more complete the democracy, the more education we must have. Knowing how precarious is the hold of democracy on modern Europe to-day, let us at least in this country safeguard ourselves by seeing that our future citizens are properly equipped and educated in every way possible. I believe that only in that way shall we preserve our democracy intact. Surely it is ignorance and the lack of ability to reason that is responsible for wars in the world to-day, and, if we do everything we can to banish both, we shall be playing as important a part in securing peace as any decrease OT increase in armaments could bring about.

9.24 p.m.


I do not want to prolong the Debate unduly, although I am bound to say that we have too few opportunities for education debates in the House. After all, those of us who desire national progress have to realise that national progress cannot be made entirely on what one might call an industrial, or an economic, or a political front;there is also an educational front, embracing, if you like, the spiritual and the social aspect. It is on that line that I want to proceed to-night. Although I agree with much, that has been said by the three preceding speakers, I think we must come down straight away to very stern realities. I noticed that in the "Times," on the morning after the speech of the Noble Lord who presides over the destinies of the Board of Education, there was a leading article headed: Facing Practical Realities. The stark reality which I have to face, as one who has had some practical experience in teaching and also in an administrative capacity, and which always abides with me, is that 85 per cent. of the children of the nation finish their education, cut off as it were with a knife, at the age of 14. That, to me, is the insurmountable obstacle. When I look at the fact that we as a nation have extended the franchise to the fullest extent, placing in the hands of democracy a very powerful weapon, I think that as a natural corollary we should see that this democracy is equipped so as to be able to use that weapon in a sane and safe manner. I am not one of those who see in education a panacea for all the evils of mankind. I think that possibly education per see does not add greatly to the sum total of human happiness. I say that to show that I am not biased. I do not pose as an expert on education, because my experience is that experts are faddists. I am bound to say that the progress made to-day, if not in the way of standing still, is too slow. I want to reiterate what has been said by the last speaker. It is time that we made a great forward drive. According to figures in the Estimates, one can see that in the year 1937 or 1938 there will be a considerable diminution in the number of children in attendance at schools. The Parliamentary Secretary will correct me if I am wrong, but something like 1,000,000 fewer children will be in our schools. If that be so, the overriding difficulty of which the Noble Lord spoke in another place, will be greatly lessened in three or four years' time.

I do not want to go into the eight points of my hon. Friend who opened the discussion. I will confine myself to three. I would suggest to the Parliamentary Secertary that there are three lines along which a move could be made at the present time. I suggest, first, that if you have 1,000,000 fewer places in schools, you have no vestige of excuse for keeping on your books a single condemned school. Surely the Board of Education have got a date at the back of their minds when they can give an order to those responsible for black-listed schools that after the year so and so—1st March or 1st April, 1938—these black-listed schools will not be tolerated. The second point, which should meet with the approval of the Parliamentary Secretary, is that reorganisation has not gone on at a pace we could wish. Surely it is not asking too much that at some date these schemes of reorganisation, as foreshadowed by the Hadow Commissioners, should be carried out. I mean by that there should be a complete four-year course in the senior schools.

The third and most important point is the settlement of the vexed question of dual control. I know there has been a great deal of discussion about what is preventing certain things, which nearly everyone desires, happening in the educational world. in my opinion, it is neither finance nor lack of school places, nor lack of teachers, that stops it. The one great obstacle in the way of agreement is that we cannot settle this vexed question of dual control. There ought to be, and I am told there are, conversations going on between the different religious bodies. I hope that is true. I want to know when we are to get the results of their findings. I can see in these times, when people are prepared for agreed measures, no reason why these religious difficulties should hold up the further education of our children.

Rural areas have been referred to. I was recently in Cambridgeshire, and, coming from an industrial area., I realised to the full that England, after all, is still essentially a rural country. I could see the difficulties there. I also saw how in Cambridgeshire they are trying to deal with those difficulties. There was a system of village institutes, which aims at collecting under one roof all the best social, religious, and, I was going to say, spiritual schemes. I thought it would be an excellent thing if such schemes could be brought into every county. It would make for greater happiness and contentment in the countryside. I was sorry to learn that this scheme, which started in Cambridgeshire, had been stopped at its inception by economy. I do not know how true that is. I know we have got to have a certain amount of industrialism and urbanism, but if we can preserve what is best, in rural life, as in Cambridgeshire, then, I think, it will be all to the country's good.

Speaking the other day in the House an hon. Member referred to the great possibilities of the cinema in the educational system, and he made the rather astounding statement, which I am not bound to accept, that the cinema is having a greater effect on the minds of young people of the country than all the work in the schools and colleges. If there were any truth in that statement, it is high time that the Board of Education saw that the best possible use was made of the cinema in our schools. The Parliamentary Secretary has regularly made enlightening speeches up and down the country, and in his last speech devoted a large part of it to this very subject, showing what great educational influence the cinema could wield. If that is his conviction, and it is mine, how many of our senior schools are fitted with apparatus for carrying out this idea? I have been in many schools in my time, and I certainly know some schools where the cinema is used fairly frequently, but I do not know of any general use of the cinema, and I should like to know if the board are going to encourage it.

I cannot sit down without making one reference to junior instruction centres. The Parliamentary Secretary told us there was likely to be a conference between representatives of the local authorities and, I think, the Board of Education inspectors, or was it the Ministry of Labour inspectors? I do not know, but I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will tell us what has been the result, if any, of those negotiations. While I am most anxious that local authorities and teachers should make the utmost possible use of these junior instruction centres, I cannot at present see that they are going to serve any great educational purpose. That they will have some social use, I agree, but I cannot for the life of me see where there are going to be any continued courses of instruction, and it is the very snippetty nature of the instruction given in these centres which fills me with some alarm, especially when, as an hon. Member said to-night, we are to accept the junior instruction centres as the only alternatives, for the next two or three years at any rate, to raising the school age. I am bound to say that I shall require a very great deal of satisfying that the Parliamentary Secretary or the inspectors of the Board are likely to be satisfied with the proposed junior instruction centres. I cannot support the Amendment to reduce the Board of Education Vote by £100—my respect for the Parliamentary Secretary alone would prevent my doing that—but I would vote for increasing the Estimate any time.

9.38 p.m.


I would like to take up some of the points made by the hon. Member who moved the reduction of the Vote, but time is going on, and I will refrain, but I would like to make one or two remarks regarding the report of the Board of Education, which has just been issued. It is to many of us unfortunate that the report is so belated, but perhaps it is unavoidable. It is especially unfortunate that the statistics are so belated, because some of them refer to the 31st March, 1933, and some to the end of the summer term, so they are very largely out of date, but I have read the report with very great interest, and I would like to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary and the Board on the work that they have done, notwithstanding the great shortage of funds under which they have been working, caused by the efforts at economy. After making all allowances for that, however, one closes the report with a sense of disappointment. The report shows that education is little more than marking time, when it ought to be marching forward to equip our young people for the new conditions under which they are living.

Reorganisation under the Hadow scheme is going very slowly indeed. Only about 50 per cent. of the children aged 11 and over are in reorganised schools, and barely 35 per cent. of those children are in senior departments. Only 56 per cent. of the black-listed schools have yet been closed or replaced; the effort to deal with over large classes has had a set back; and, as we were told by the hon. Member who opened the Debate, 8,298 classes contained 50 students or more, a net increase of 310. I was glad to hear from the Parliamentary Secretary this afternoon that one of the worst offenders had made good progress in reducing the size of its classes, and I would like to point out that the Board of Education are not primarily to blame for these large classes. The hon. Member below me spoke as if it were the Board of Education's fault, and he spoke of the London County Council's classes, and others too, as being over-large. It is the duty of the local education authorities to see that the classes are not too large, and, of course, it is the duty of the board to supervise and correct them when they are too large, but I feel that the board cannot be blamed for these very large classes when the local authorities do not do their duty.

Reference is made in the annual report to the report of the Consultative Committee on Nursery Schools and Infant Departments, but here, of course, as has been pointed out, progress has been practically nil, owing to the board's policy with regard to nursery schools. I hope we are now going to have a move forward in that direction. Altogether I cannot believe that the board itself is satisfied with the report, but I am disposed to let bygone be bygones if the board will now make up its mind to adopt a progressive policy all round. Economy was very necessary during the financial crisis, and everyone will agree that the local education authorities co-operated heartily with the board in keeping down expenditure wherever possible, but now that the crisis is over, the progressive policy adopted by other Government Departments must be adopted by the Education Department. Everyone will agree that much requires to be done. I hope we may take it for granted that the remaining half of the cut in teachers' salaries will be restored, without any discussion, by the next Budget.

Next to that comes the raising of the school age. That is the opinion of most educationists, and I hope it will be tackled even earlier than the board now suggest. It certainly was a great disappointment to everyone to hear the statement made by the President of the board in another place the other day. There is extraordinary unanimity among educationists, education authorities, and the public generally on this question of the raising of the school age.


I must remind the hon. Member that the general raising of the school age requires legislation and, therefore, cannot be discussed now.

Viscountess ASTOR

We have been discussing it for two hours.


I will not pursue that subject, but I was hoping to be allowed to refer incidentally to it.


One slight remark, anyhow.


With regard to that matter, the desire of many education authorities has been to raise the school age by by-laws, and efforts have been made in many directions. In my own county of Staffordshire, we had a conference of all the education committees not long ago, and there was great unanimity as to the desirability, first of all, of raising the school age, and, if it could not be got in any other way, that it should be got by by-laws, but it was found, on going into the matter, how difficult it was to take any one county and work it in that way. Although the Committee is still in existence and the work is still being proceeded with, there are great difficulties in the way of working it by by-law. I do not think we can expect a great deal to come from that direction, but I hope that if any applications come before the board the Minister will give the matter favourable consideration because of its importance and as a kind of experiment.

Another very necessary matter is the increase of the grant to new schools to 50 per cent. It is an extraordinary thing that for the building of secondary schools the Education Department gives a grant of 50 per cent. Those who are interested in elementary schools feel that this favoured treatment of secondary education should be done away with and that the grant for elementary schools should be raised to 50 per cent. That is only reasonable and I hope the proposal will be considered. There is a great demand for it, I know. It would give an enormous fillip in helping forward the reorganisation which is still so much needed. I know it is wholly a matter of finance, but I put it to the Committee that the financial condition of the country warrants the increased expenditure now. If education is to keep pace with the times the money should be forthcoming. The Board of Education can go to the -Treasury with a very strong case indeed. The Exchequer is evidently in a generous mood just now. Shipping is being subsidised, farming is being subsidised. Surely it is equally desirable that the children of the nation should get their subsidy in order to improve the education they receive. An educated democracy would be the best possible insurance against the wild, revolutionary ideas floating about Europe to-day. Communism and anarchy feed upon ignorance. Another year's education in the schools would do more to develop the minds and hearts of the young than anything else. I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary and the President of the Board to begin at once for the great advance which is needed. It cannot be made in a day. But the plans must be got out now, and in two years' time the work could be commenced with a minimum of expense and friction, and with a maximum of profit to the nation as a whole.

9.48 p.m.


I agree with about nine-tenths of the speeches that have been made to-night. It is a curious thing that although we customarily think of the National Government as having about five-sixths of the Members of the House behind it, to-night the position of the Parliamentary Secretary has been rather the unenviable position of Athanasius contra mundum. The speeches of those who call themselves pledged supporters of the Government have invariably thrown bouquets at the Government, but those bouquets have really been of the nature of funeral wreaths, and it has been obvious that what they really wanted to do was to bury the Board of Education and not to praise it.

There is only one aspect of the administration of the board about which I want to speak. I want to challenge the Parliamentary Secretary on the one subject of the medical inspection of school children as a means of testing malnutrition amongst children. A resolute attempt has been made by the Parliamentary Secretary and by officials to lull the public conscience to rest on the subject of the malnutrition among children by maintaining, first, that there is no widespread malnutrition amongst school children, and, secondly, that the arrangements already existing for the feeding of necessitous school children are sufficient to cope with such malnutrition as exists. I say quite bluntly that both those soothing assurances are on the face of them incredible, and that the evidence on which they are supposed to rest is both unsatisfactory in quality and inadequate in quantity.

I am sure the Parliamentary Secretary himself must recognise that as well as anyone. He must often puzzle over the anomaly that on the one hand we have certain broad, well-known, incontrovertible facts, not single facts but battalions of statistics, which point to widespread and acute poverty, especially in families where there are children to support; and that on the other hand we have the evidence of his own medical inspectors, which assures us that there is really nothing to worry about, that only a negligible fraction of the children, about 1 per cent., are under-nourished, and that as only about 4 per cent. of school children receive meals all must be well. To take only a few instances of the evidence pointing to widespread poverty, there is the fact that last year, at a time when only 212,000 children were receiving free school meals, there were 1,600,000 in receipt of dependents' allowances under unemployment benefit. That number, of course, did not include the. children of agricultural labourers, hawkers, and so forth, who are not insured and therefore do not draw dependents' allowances. Allowing for the children of those classes there must have been last year, at the time to which the recently published figures refer, at the very least 2,000,000 children whose parents were unemployed. Does the Parliamentary Secretary seriously ask us to believe that all of those children, except the 200,000 odd, about one-tenth of the number of unemployed, who got school meals, were adequately and nutritiously fed on 2s. a week each, supplemented by the earnings of elder brothers and sisters and perhaps by granny's old age pension?

There have been lately several inquiries into the question of minimum subsistence needs and the cost of supplying those needs, including food, clothing, heating, lighting, rent and so forth—inquiries, not conducted by left wing politicians but by medical and sociological experts. Every one of those inquiries has produced a scale of needs and an estimate of the cost of supplying those needs such as could not possibly be realised by a family with several children permanently on unemployment pay, or indeed even by an agricultural labourer or lowly paid town labourer, even if those persons spent every penny they drew on the bare necessities of life and spent every penny to the best possible advantage. Thus the figures of one of the best known, though by no means one of the highest estimates, that of the committee set up by the "Week-end Review," under the chairmanship of that very cautious and conservative statistician and sociologist, Dr. A. L. Bowley, reckoned the cost of a child's food at from 2s. 9d. a week for a baby a year old, to 5s. a week for a boy over 14 years of age. Does anyone suppose that that amount of money could be spent on food by an unemployed man or an ill-paid wage earner?

Turning from theory to practice, I have here some costing returns of children's homes under the Poor Law. What do they say of food and clothing? The highest food figure is for Millbrook, Cornwall, which is 9s. 7d. a week. The lowest is Rocking, Essex, which spends 3s. 21/2d. The medium, which comes half- way down the scale, is about 5s. for food and 4s. 7d. for clothing. The estimate of the Ministry of Health's own Advisory Committee is that the food of a child in a Poor Law home, supposing there are not fewer than 200 children in the home, and that all food is bought at contract prices, would cost about 4s. 6d. a week. I wonder whether the Parliamentary Secretary, when he gives us reassuring statements about the malnutrition of children in the schools, has ever asked himself this question, which I venture to put to him: "What is the explanation of the conflict of testimony between the experts?" On the one hand, we have the experts who assure us that if a child is to get the quantity and quality of diet that it needs for the full development of mind and body, that diet cannot cost less than a sum which, he knows perfectly well, cannot be afforded by an unemployed parent living on insurance pay or by a poorly paid working-class parent. We have, on the other hand, the testimony of the school medical staff that only 1 per cent. of children are suffering from under- feeding. Both sets of experts cannot be right. Which is right and which wrong?

I have often pondered this question, and I venture to give the Committee my conclusions. Broadly speaking, I believe that the school medical staff is wrong, for reasons which not they, but the system which they have to administer, is responsible. Just consider what that system is, and ask yourself whether it is a satisfactory way of testing malnutrition. The routine medical examination takes place three times in a school child's life—at 5 years of age, at 8 years of age, and at 12 years of age. Thus four years elapse between the second and third of these routine inspections. How can malnutrition be tested in that way? You can test organic defects in the child, for they remain permanently no doubt, but you cannot test the constantly varying symptoms which arise from the conditions under which a child lives. What would anybody think if we attempted to test a child's life in that way in a private family. Supposing one parent said to another, "Tommy seems rather under the weather, and I think he had better see the doctor," and the father replied, "Do not fuss, my dear, the doctor examined Tommy three years and nine months ago and found him quite all right. Therefore, it is quite unnecessary to do anything now."

I shall be told that the test of malnutrition among children does not depend only on these three medical examinations, and that it is the business of the individual school teacher to note the preliminary symptoms of malnutrition and to point them out first to the head teacher, who, if he thinks it is necessary, will send the child for a special medical examination. Is that a satisfactory way of testing malnutrition? Is the school teacher competent to do it, and is it reasonable to expect it of him? I have the greatest admiration for school teachers as a body, and I think they do wonders to look after the moral and physical welfare of their children, as well as their teaching. Consider the position of a young man of 23 or 25, perhaps a graduate, faced with a class of 40 or 50 or even 60 children. His main idea, is naturally on the job of teaching the children. He is not trained as a doctor or as a nurse, and he is not a mother. How is he to detect in that large group of children ranged in front of him the symptoms of early malnutrition? This Medical Officer of Health says: We cannot register malnutrition like we can register birth or death. It is not an event, but a process. It may be so subtle and complex as to escape definition. We can only determine its presence by clinical examination of the individual, by taking height and weight, or by blood tests—and more particularly by the relationship between these data. Yet the school teacher dealing with a large class is expected to judge whether there are symptoms of malnutrition among the children in front of him, and whether they ought to be examined by a doctor'? What is the remedy? Doubtless a most effective remedy would be a more effective system of medical inspection of the children, and that they should be examined not three times during their school lives, but every year at least, and possibly every term. I know we shall be told that that is impossible because it would cost too much, although there again we have the evidence of the chief medical officer. He says: One word should be said upon the second question, 'Would an increased expenditure producing even better results than at present he a true national economy?' The answer from a medical point of view must clearly he in the affirmative, though not necessarily in the affirmative for all branches of the school medical service. Is there no way of solving the question otherwise than by a very much more elaborate scheme of medical inspection? There are various ways in which I suggest the system could be improved. First, if it is not possible medically to examine the children more frequently, surely it is possible to measure them and weigh them. We are told by many experts that the simplest test of a child's physical condition is weighing and measuring. In the secondary schools, I believe, they weigh and measure the children annually and sometimes every term. That is an operation that can easily and simply be carried out. I want to suggest, further, that not nearly enough is made of school nurses. It is assumed that there is no middle grade of test which can be used. to detect malnutrition between the highly trained and expensive doctors and the busy school teachers. Why do not the school authorities use trained nurses more? They could easily be arranged with the local nursing association. If a trained nurse attended at certain hours of the week at every large school in poor neighbourhoods, they could well be able detect the early signs of malnutrition. It would be much more simple for the school teacher to say, "Go down and see the nurse," than to send him to the head teacher and from the head teacher to a clinic two or three miles away. I know that some local authorities use school nurses, but not anything like thoroughly enough, and many do not. I suggest that the tests and standards of school medical inspection should be much more carefully regulated and standardised. Nobody can read in this report the district reports from medical inspectors without being struck by the fact that their standards are always comparative. They do not consider whether the health of the child is satisfactory, but whether it is better or worse than it was two, five or seven years ago.

We should have very different results if, instead of that standard of comparison, the medical inspectors were asked to compare the children in the elementary schools with the children in the secondary schools, or with those in the great public schools. Even if we carried out all these changes and had more universal and scientific standards of medical inspection, even if we supplemented medical inspection by school nursing and weighing and measuring, I do not believe that even then it would be a satisfactory test of malnutrition. I believe that there is one perfectly simple change which could be affected without costing any money at all directly, which would really provide a satisfactory test of nutrition, and that is to substitute an income test for the inspection test. At present there are a few local authorities which have passed a scheme based on the parents' income. Sometimes the test has been placed far too high, but the policy of the Board has always been to discourage the income test. There was recently a case where the Cambridge local authority drew up a scheme worked on an income scale to see whether children should be granted a ration of milk per day. The Board of Education turned down the proposals of the local authority and demanded that they should substitute a medical test. They said: Free meals should be definitely associated with the educational capacity of children and not based on an assumption that the children are necessarily suffering from actual or prospective malnutrition because the family income is below the scale selected by the authority. What an economical Board of Education. Before an authority is allowed to decide whether a child ought to have a third of a pint of milk a day, at a cost of one halfpenny, for five school days per week, the child is to be sent to a doctor living, perhaps, two miles away. Of the income and the medical test, which is the more reliable? Triennial inspection of children supplemented by the casual observation of school teachers trained for their own work but untrained in health questions, or the relentless logic of a scientifically based, carefully worked out income scale? If the parents' income be such that it, is impossible to provide out of that income the minimum requirements of healthy existence for a family depending on it, what other reduction can you draw than that the children are underfed. I they are properly fed, one of two things is happening: either they are getting enough food at the expense of other necessities or at the expense of the parents and usually the mother. Both these things usually happen. If you have a low-grade family, that does not care about the decencies of appearance, they may out of their small incomes provide enough food at the expense of keeping the children in the slums and dressed in rags, but a self-respecting family with high standards will underfeed the children in order to live in a decent neighbourhood. The only way to get over both difficulties is to adopt the scientific income test worked out, not by local authorities swayed by various kinds of political bias, but by the board as a whole using the existing scientific data or data specially worked out for the purpose. We should know, if the income scale was being worked out for the country and every child that came below it was given the privilege of free meals, that there would not be a single underfed child except where the underfeeding was the parents' fault, and then pressure could' be brought to bear through the law.

There is a strong feeling in this country that there ought to be a sort of Plimsoll line for children, and even in times of economic distress the children at least should be kept above the bitter waters of poverty. The nation is no longer in the trough of the wave. The subjects that have been occupying Parliament lately have not been poverty or unemployment, but the problem of over-production. [An HON. MEMBER: "Under-consumption"] Yes, under-consumption, and people all over the country are asking themselves: Here we have a National Government with a vast majority behind it; what value is that Government to us if it cannot solve the problem of meeting the over-production of milk, fish, meat, green vegetables, which cannot be brought into relation with the need of children who are suffering in mind, body and character from a lack of all these kinds of necessities? All the contribution which the report can bring towards the solving of that problem is to assure us that actually out of a school population of 6,000,000 children between 200,000 and 300,000 are getting school meals on school days, some of them free and some of them at their parents' expense. It is one of the test questions for the National Government, whether it can solve that problem, and it is not going to do it by any such report as that placed in our hands to-day.

10.12 p.m.


If I do not follow the last speaker in a discussion of the problem of malnutrition among children, I hope it will not be thought that upon these benches we are not interested in the subject. On the contrary, we have the utmost interest in it, and we are entirely at one with her in any suggestions she may make for meeting the deficiency of our medical services in the schools. Obviously, unless children are physically fit, they cannot be expected to be able to imbibe the mental provision that is available to them in the schools. I do not want, in the short time at our disposal, to dwell on the subject, but to turn to one limited area of discussion. My hon. Friend the Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. West), in his most interesting speech this evening, said that there were some eight points which he would like to submit to the hon. Gentleman opposite, and, if I remember rightly, the hon. Gentleman diligently took note of every one of the points. It is, if you like, a re-presentation, in summarised form, of a manifesto which my friends on this side of the House issued at the week-end, and I am glad the hon. Gentleman has already provided himself with a copy for the purposes of greater accuracy. In the points my hon. Friend adumbrated, there are two on which I want to say one or two words. They are the question of the education of the eleven plus child, and the raising of the school age, in so far as they relate to our discussion here to-night. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland) spoke of a system of planning that he visualised which might cover the period from the age of eight to 24 or 25, or at least he almost got to that. I cannot range over that whole ground, but I do want to invite the Government to tell us whether they are considering this problem of provision for the eleven plus child. In my judgment, the Government's policy is taking a wrong direction in this matter. In support of the proposition, I should like to draw attention to a sinister paragraph—I can call it nothing else—on page 19 of the annual report where the board gaily say: It will be seen that there are no longer any schools entirely free. The number of schools charging fees of six guineas or less has now been reduced from 239 to 88. That is to say, we are not merely now well on the road to terminating free secondary education, for that is done, but we are doing more. We are moving steadily in the direction where fees are to be stabilised at a figure which I submit is very largely impossible of attainment to large numbers of people up and down the country. I know the hon. Gentleman will tell me—I do not controvert it—that, to meet people of that sort, there are special places provided, but my proposition still remains. The direction of the policy is wrong. In other words, I mean that we really must get our minds set once again upon the aim of the achievement of free secondary education. The reasons for that are patent to anyone who will reflect upon it. First of all, there is the argument that my hon. Friend put at the beginning of the Debate, the proposition, which is obvious to everyone and is accepted by everyone, that we ought to provide equal opportunity for rich and poor, and you cannot provide equal opportunity for rich and poor until you have free secondary education without the artificial impediment which wealth or the lack of it provides. I have never yet been able to understand what the argument is for giving free elementary education and denying free secondary education, for to me education is a continuing process. It does not stop at some artificial age-11 or 12. It continues and, when you impose some special barrier at about the age of 11, you are doing something which does not at all appertain to the connotation of education as we ought to understand it.

I should like to plan for the 11 plus child, keeping clearly in my mind what the Government claims that it is doing—I do not deny that it is doing its best to achieve it—namely, to realise what is called Hadow reorganisation. I said during the last Debate that I very much doubt as to whether Hadow reorganisation is in fact meaning very much more in many parts of the country than mere transference from one school to another. May I put the proposition in relation to a rural area. In a rural area you must clearly provide secondary schools for a certain number of children. You are also going to provide, I take it, reorganised education for the 11 plus child as well with a view to providing for what I may call the practically minded child. I am profoundly convinced that much of our secondary education effort, good as it has been, has fallen short in this particular, that it has not kept in mind the practically minded child and has rather catered too exclusively for the academically minded child. If you are going to cater for that type of child in the contryside— I should be in favour of doing it, everywhere—clearly, you must face up to this proposition. Can you afford education for the 11 plus child which caters in different school establishments for the child who wants an academic form of instruction and for another child in another department which is more practically minded?

In my judgment, the rural area cannot stand that double burden. You must, therefore, have a school with a sort of multiple bias scheme where the practically-minded child and the academically-minded child will both be catered for under the same roof, and, if you like, be in the charge of the same master, the school being provided undoubtedly with a larger staff. In order to do that, you must face up to this fact. I hope that the Government are making up their minds; it is bound to come upon them sooner or later. You cannot go on building up a system of education for the eleven-plus children and call one set of schools elementary because you run them under elementary school regulations, and have another set of schools,doing a different type of work but of the same standard, or, at any rate, not of a much higher standard, run under secondary school regulations. The more you develop your eleven-plus senior school the more you will develop a rivalry, or even worse, a sort of jealousy, between teachers doing the same quality of work in school except that they happen to be catering, the one for the practically-minded child and the other for the academically-minded child. If that be true—and I think that the proposition is a, sound one—you are bound to face up to the position that all education from 11 upwards must be called secondary and run under secondary school regulations. In addition, if your Hadow school is to be free, as it has been up to now, then clearly the secondary school must be free, too, if all are to be treated on the same basis.

I plead for free secondary education for the eleven-plus child for this further reason. You are not going to persuade parents everywhere that the provision made in the Hadow school is as good as that contained in the secondary school until they are under precisely the same regulations. If they are under the same regulations, they will be catered for, or at least they can be catered for, in exactly the same way as are playing fields' space, science buildings and so on, and—this is very important educationally—the transfer, especially if they are under the same roof, from the practical side to the academic side, or vice versa, can be easily carried out when the child's aptitude has been discovered round about 13 or 14 years of age. That is important, because you cannot find out at the age of 11 what a child's special interests are going to be. Therefore, they ought to work together until some age is arrived at when you are able to judge as to the aptitude of the child. I urge ' that the Government should consider the question of free secondary education and make all education from 11 upwards secondary, that is, run under secondary school regulations.

The third thing I want to say—and here I come to a part of the subject which, in a sense, is controversial, and in a way not even relevant to the discussion, but I am going to relate it to the by-law side of the question, and not to the legislative side—is that we have had in the Press recently overwhelming evidence as to the movement of public opinion in respect of the raising of the school age by by-law. The hon. Lady the Member for East Islington (Miss Cazalet) called attention to a conference which was held in London under the auspices of the London County Council recently, and said that of some 30 authorities gathered together, 15 voted in favour, and the others did not vote. If we left it there the Committee might get a wrong impression. The others, I understand, did not vote not because they were against the proposal but because they had no authority to vote one way or the other.

The same thing applies in the Midlands. The same cry is being raised in Lancashire, the same question is being discussed in Yorkshire, and all over the country not individual authorities but groups of authorities are now looking at this more in a regional sense than they have been inclined to do for some time. In the absence of legislation which I should prefer, because the matter would then be dealt with nationally, the next best thing is to do it on a regional basis. I am not going to exaggerate my case, and I admit that there would be difficulties on the borders of these regions, but the difficulties would be minimised enormously if this matter was taken in hand not by individual authorities but by groups of authorities, and I hope that the Government will look at the movement to do it on a regional basis in a more sympathetic way than they have hitherto.

Let me say one word on a gap which is still left in our educational system. There are faults and blots in our elementary system, some class rooms are bad, some buildings are bad, and our teachers are overworked and classrooms overcrowded, but broadly speaking our elementary educational system is good. The same can be said of our secondary system in relation to the academically minded child. But there is still one great shortcoming attaching to our educational system, and it is our failure to implement a more fully developed technical education than we have yet done. I know that there are honourable exceptions. Many individual towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire and other parts of the country run their own technical institutions at great expense to themselves, carrying almost intolerable financial burdens without adequate aid from the Government. But it is done in too much of an individualistic kind of way. It is not done sufficiently in a regional way. Speaking as one who is interested in the Principality I see a reference in the annual report to the conference which the hon. Member addressed last year in Cardiff on the question of trying to introduce a regional agreement in relation to technical education for South Wales. I am very interested in this proposal and am sorry that the hon. Member was not able to record better success at that conference than was, in fact, the case. I hope he has not given up hope, and that he is still pegging away, because in that area, where there are so many valleys, in which there is only one industry, namely mining, and if they lose that they lose everything. The case for the inter-relation of the technical educational efforts of all the authorities in South Wales is overwhelming, if it can possibly be secured.

What is true of South Wales, is probably true of other parts of the country. Here, I think, is a gap but it is a gap which can be closed. At least we can do a good deal to bridge it if we continue education for all to the age of 15 or 16, and arrange that our technical instruction courses should start immediately after the age of 15 or 16, thus saving a good deal of the time now wasted in recapitulating work which the children have already done but which they have forgotten in the intervening period after leaving school. I plead with the Government once again to consider the question of the child of eleven plus. I admit in advance the argument which the hon. Gentleman will probably put forward that the proposal means more expenditure. You cannot have all these teachers on the secondary scale without involving extra cost. Buildings and equipment may also cost more, but in the long run it would be profitable educational expenditure. I also plead with the Government, if they cannot legislate for the raising of the school age, at least to say that they are prepared to consider the question regionally and to say it more emphatically than they have done up to the present. Lastly, I plead for some effort to stimulate the provision of technical instruction throughout the country. I am sure I shall carry every hon. Member with me when I say that we are passing through a very difficult time industrially and otherwise. As we mechanise industry, men are losing their sense of craftsmanship and of personal worth, in the presence of the overwhelming machine which seems to be mastering their lives. There is one instrument and one endowment which can enable the individual to save his personality from mechanisation. That is education, and it is on that account that we are so keen for its advance.

10.33 p.m.


I am sure that the Committee are grateful to hon. Members opposite for having made it possible to have a second discussion upon the Education Estimates. When the Vote was last considered, owing to circumstances over which we had no control, the Debate was cut short at half-past seven o'clock and many of us then looked with sorrow at hon. Members who had been sitting all the afternoon, so to speak, in the pavilion with their pads on, but had had no opportunity of getting an innings. There may still be some hon. Members who have not been able to display their strokes but other hon. Members have had their opportunities and the Committee is grateful to them for the contributions which they have made. If I may keep up the metaphor the hon. Member who opened this discussion today played an extremely dashing innings. As far as I could see he hit out at everything. Towards the end of my remarks, I propose to deal with some of the chances which he gave because some of his shots were in the air.

I would like to say a word or two first on the extremely interesting and instructive speech made by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland). He touched on an aspect of senior school education which corresponds, I think, to what my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. M. Jones) also has in mind, and that is that the line of the development of these senior schools should be a post-primary system parallel with the existing secondary school system. As an actual method of progress it is attractive, and I think that in time it may well be that these senior schools will become an intermediate school system, so that the same age period in the secondary school as we know it to-day and the same age period in the senior school will form an intermediate system from which will lead, as an apex, a system of higher secondary schooling for those children who are selected as suitable for it from the intermediate schools. But that ideal is not practical politics at the moment, and we have to be realistic and make the best we can of our existing situation. The right hon. Member for North Cornwall disparaged the effect of external examinations, and I am in considerable agreement with him, although at the moment it has passed the wit of man to devise any system which can dispense with the external examination. At the same time, as he knows, this question of secondary school examinations has been occupying our attention and the attention of the Secondary Schools Examination Council, and I am hoping that we shall in due course at any rate ameliorate the admitted handicap which the external examination places upon secondary schools.

The right hon. Gentleman also indicated that. we should teach more civics in. the schools—more knowledge of our Constitution, of our local government and so forth. I think there is a good deal to be said for his contention, but I am bound to say that I was somewhat shaken in my view when I heard the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) interject, "What type of civics ate you going to teach—Tory, Liberal,Labour or Communist?" [An Hon.MEMBER: "Or Fascist."] Or Fascist. If that is going to be the result of teaching civics, for Heaven's sake let us have none of it. But I believe the right hon. Gentleman thinks more highly of the capacity of our teachers to teach important matters of that sort fairly and without any bias at all. Before I part from my right hon. Friend's speech may I once more hope that he will dismiss from his mind the impression that there is any standstill order in his county in regard to reorganisation. It may be that I failed to make the position clear to him, but, if I recollect rightly, only six months ago he came to see us with a deputation, and it was certainly my intention at that time to disabuse him of that idea. I should not like it to go forth from this House to his county that there is any standstill order upon reorganisation in his area. I know that he has peculiar difficulties in his area, arising from the large number of scattered hamlets and small schools, and that is no doubt responsible to some extent for the slow progress which he is making; but I took the opportunity only last week of speaking in that area, and congratulated the county on the progress it was making in spite of those difficulties.


The hon. Gentleman has used the phrase, "In his area" three times. Does that imply that "his area" is excluded from a standstill which does apply to other areas?


Certainly not. I mentioned the right hon. Baronet's area because that was the area to which he drew my attention. The hon. Lady the Member for East Islington (Miss Cazalet) was dissatisfied with something which was said elsewhere by my noble Friend. I am not able to quote the statement; neither was she, but I read it, and I could see no justification for saying that in the view of my noble Friend instructional centres were an alternative to the raising of the school-leaving age. As far as I understood the argument, it was perfectly sound. The juvenile instructional centres are necessary as soon as they can be brought into operation, probably before the year is out, because the problem of the unemployed child is urgent, and cannot be left during the time which the raising of the school leaving age must inevitably take to be brought into operation.

The hon. Lady advocates the by-law system, but I think that she would agree with hon. Members opposite that, on the whole, the by-law system is not advisable in isolated cases. On that there is general agreement in the Committee. The hon. Lady asked me, "What about regional by-laws?" I can only say that to the best of my recollection the county of Lancashire, which might be treated as a regional by-law area, definitely turned the idea down. I am speaking from recollection, but I think the same can be said of the West Riding of Yorkshire. So far as I know no proposal has been put up from any area for a regional by-law. The hon. Member for Stourbridge (Mr. Morgan) mentioned a point in connection with the use of the cinema in schools. I have not the information as to the number in use, but I 'should think that there are very few. I should like to see more if possible. On the other hand, our knowledge of the use of cinematograph projectors in schools is in its infancy. We have a very great deal to learn, and we ought to go slowly and cautiously. It would be unwise, even if it were possible, to urge a universal distribution of cinema apparatus and projectors in schools until we know a good deal more about the methods of teaching and the use of the machine.

The hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. Leckie) complained about the slow progress of reorganisation. I dare say that reorganisation will never make the swift progress which all of us would like, until it is finally completed. I am surprised at his complaint, because only a very short time ago, when I spoke upon these Estimates, I gave figures showing that in March, 1931, there were 1,350 departments qualified as senior and containing 319,000 children of 11 years of age and over. Two years later, in March, 1933, there were 2,340 senior departments containing 700,000 children of 11 and over. In two years, therefore, the number of senior children had more than doubled and I wish I could say trebled. It is surprising to be told that reorganisation is proceeding so slowly as to be almost at a 'standstill.

The hon. Lady for the English Universities (Miss Bathbone) has dealt with me as Athanasius contra herself, if not against the world. She is very much dissatisfied with the system of medical inspection and inspection by school teachers with a view to ascertaining the amount of malnutrition which exists in the schools. She says that from the figures which are to be obtained from the school medical officers' reports and from various local authorities, the statistics that we give are incredible. She says that the evidence is unsatisfactory in quality and, I think, in quantity. It is very easy for the hon. Lady to say that, but I cannot help feeling that, having regard to the difficulties of the position and the complexities of the diagnosis, the medical officer is just as well qualified to express an opinion on this subject as the hon. Lady herself. Any Department which desires to get the best evidence and the best expert opinion must take note of the evidence given and the opinion expressed by the medical officers and the reports of school teachers. After all, there is a number of malnourished children. That is the hon. Lady's first premise. Her next premise is that that mal-nourishment sometimes occurs on account of poverty; and her conclusion is that, therefore, all poor children must be mal-nourished. That is the syllogism that the hon. Lady has constructed.


May I suggest that the syllogism is rather that, if the minimum amount required for keeping the family is x,and the income of the family is— x, the children belonging to that family cannot be well nourished?


I have not time to make the calculation, but I am sorry to say that the hon. Lady's argument appears to suffer from that distressing fallacy known as the "undistributed middle." The point is whether malnutrition is due to poverty, or whether there are other good reasons, and whether the hon. Lady would not do a great deal more good for the cause to which she is so devoted, and which she has so much at heart, by using her great influence to impress upon all concerned the necessity for a better understanding of the diet that is given, in homes. We are doing what we can. Hon. Members appear to dissent from that, but they will find, from the reports of medical officers all over the country, that one of their great difficulties is that, when children come to them showing signs of malnourishment or under-nourishment, it is not always due so much to poverty in the home as to the improper and inadequate diet that is supplied to them, though it is true that it may occur when the income of the home is not large enough to get many of the provisions that they should have. I believe, from what I can gather, that, taking the diet of all classes of the community, too much in the way of cereals is consumed, and too little in the way of green vegetables. If that be the case—and it is borne out by certain evidence that we have—I am sure that a great deal could be done to diminish the evil of under-nourishment by better lessons in hygiene and cookery, and by better knowledge in the homes of the country as to what is the right diet, giving the proper supplies of vitamins and so forth—


Does not the hon. Gentleman know that green vegetables are much more expensive than cereals, and cannot be purchased by town dwellers who receive but small wages?

Viscountess ASTOR

While the hon. Gentleman is right in saying that the real question is not so much one of poverty, because every expert could solve it even in the case of the poorest children, does he not think that the quickest way of dealing with it would be by open-air nursery schools, where the children get proper nourishment, and the parents are taught how to keep them properly without spending a penny more money?


I now propose to deal with the hon. Member who opened the Debate. I have just had put into my hand a publication on "Labour and Education," and I am bound to say, though I have not read it carefully, that it seems to contain more inaccuracies in 12 pages than any other pennyworth I have known.


My statements were based on the figures for 1933.


I hope I have not done the hon. Member an injustice, but the last eight points given as the object of the Labour party are almost verbatim from this pamphlet with the slogan, "Full Steam Ahead." That is precisely the same slogan that was used by an ex-President of the Board of Education, and we all know where it led him. This is the same programme we have had produced by the Labour party for years, with the same complete obliviousness of cost. There is one thing they have forgotten. There is not one word on voluntary schools in this pamphlet, which is a complete resume of the Labour party educational programme. Here we have proposals to raise the school-leaving age to 15 and then to 16 with the expenditure of millions of pounds, and there is not one word on voluntary schools. I almost think they have forgotten the Scurr Amendment. What is one to say of a policy that takes no account of a question of that kind? The right hon. Baronet said, very reasonably, that there are one or two things to do first. That is one of them. As regards the facts and figures and various accusations made by the hon. Member opposite based on this pamphlet and against the present administration, I would say that, as far as capital expenditure is concerned, I gathered from his speech that there is a standstill on new buildings which has lasted now for two years. We have heard enough of the word "embargo" to weigh the truth of that. Let me tell the Committee that the last figure I have on that subject which for the first quarter of this year shows that the capital expenditure authorised was slightly under £1,500,000, while in the corresponding quarter of 1933 the figure was a little over £500,000, so that there has been an increase in capital expenditure of about £1,000,000. I hope after that we shall hear less of the word "embargo."


The hon. Gentleman is going out of his way to attack this pamphlet. We want to know whether he is attacking the expenditure during our period of office in 1930–31?


I shall come to that. The hon. Member took the question of large classes. Here again in the last year there has been a decrease of no less than 2,100 large classes, and that reduction is larger than any in the last five years. I read in this pamphlet that—


The report says 300 more classes with over 50 children—the hon. Gentleman's own report, not the pamphlet.


The report is up to March, 1933, and I am giving figures up to March, 1934.


Let us have the Estimates discussed.


Hon. Members are well within their province in attacking the Board of Education, but they must not be surprised when I show that they are wrong, and that so far from being restrictive and so far from reducing educational expenditure and efficiency, we are in fact enlarging it. When I turn to the first complete year of the Socialist party's period of office, 1930–31, I find that the reduction in large classes was 1,446 in that year, whereas in this year, 1933–34, the reduction is much larger, namely, 2,100. I find—


What about the Estimates?


I find that this pamphlet talks about privileged classes who have hitherto controlled educational policy and who do not regard the education of the workers' children as a matter of any great importance. What about the privileged classes who controlled educational policy in 1930–31? It seems to me that the policy of some hon. Members opposite, certainly as evinced in this pamphlet, which formed the foundation of their speeches, shows three characteristics. One of them is a love of a grandiose and spectacular scheme of educational development, involving enormous expenditure, without any idea of how it could be paid for; the second characteristic is a wealth of nebulous aspirations and impalpable platitudes, to which nobody can take any exception because they mean so little and lead nowhere; and the third is destructive, and I can only say ill-informed, criticism of the daily and hourly work which is going on in the administration of education and an inability to give credit to thousands of

people who are doing modest, humble work in education and giving their services in securing a sure and steady advance. These criticisms are based, it seems to me, upon a perpetual comparison of expenditure, as if pounds, shillings and pence were everything and you could actually measure a child's worth and progress in terms Of gold. In future, speeches such as we have heard from the Mover of the Amendment would be more effective if the criticism were more constructive, and if we could get our minds away from bricks and mortar and from the spectacular and sensational, to the humdrum but very important things of the class room and the playground; and we should welcome advice concerning curriculum, the kind of training that should be given, the place that agriculture should hold in rural schools, the cinema, the wireless, examinations and a hundred and one things that do not make headlines or political capital, but do make education.

Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £28,109,918, be granted for the said Service."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 39; Noes, 178.

Division No. 338.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Owen, Major Goronwy
Attlee, Clement Richard Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Paling, Wilfred
Batey, Joseph Griffiths, George A. (Yorks,W. Riding) Rathbone, Eleanor
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Grundy, Thomas W. Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cove, William G. Healy, Cahir Tinker, John Joseph
Cripps, Sir Stafford Jenkins, Sir William West, F. R.
Daggar, George John. William Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Davies, David L. (Pontyprldd) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Kirkwood, David Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Lawson, John James Wilmot, John
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Leonard, William
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Lunn, William TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Gardner, Benjamin Walter McEntee, Valentine L. Mr. D. Craham and Mr. Groves.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Christie, James Archibald Elliston. Captain George Sampson
Albery, Irving James Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Emrys-Evans, P. V.
Apsley, Lord Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Everard, W. Lindsay
Aske, Slr Robert William Conant, R. J. E. Fleming, Edward Lascelles
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Cook. Thomas A. Foot, Dingle (Dundee)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Craven-Ellis, William Ford, Sir Patrick J.
Baldwin Webb, Colonel J. Crooke, J. Smedley Fox, Sir Gifford
Balniel, Lord Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Fraser, Captain Sir Ian
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Croom-Johnson, R. P. Fremantle, Sir Francis
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Crossley, A. C. Ganzonl, Sir John
Bateman, A. L. Davidson. Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Gibson, Charles Granville
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Parism[...]'th,C.) Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Glossop, C. W. H.
Bernays, Robert Dawson, Sir Phillip Gluckstein, Louis Hait[...]a
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbert Goff, Sir Park
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Drewe, Cedric Goodman, Colonel Albert W.
Broadbent, Colonel John Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C. Gower, Sir Robert
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham) Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N)
Burnett, John George Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Grentell, E. C. (City of London)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Edmondson, Major Sir James Grimston, R. V.
Carver, Major William H. Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.
Hammersley, Samuel S. Mills, Major J. D, (New Forest) Scone, Lord
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Mline, Charles Selley, Harry R.
Harbord, Arthur Melton, A. Hugh Eisdaie Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Skelton, Archibald Noel
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Morgan, Robert H. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Heligers, Captain F. F. A. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Morrison, William Shepherd Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n K'dine,C.)
Hepworth, Joseph Munro, Patrick Somervell, Sir Donald
Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Holdsworth, Herbert Nunn, William Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) O'Donovan, Dr. William James Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Horsbrugh, Florence Oman, Sir Charles William C. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Orr Ewing, I. L, Stevenson, James
Hume, Sir George Hopwood Palmer, Francis Noel Strickland, Captain W. F.
Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Patrick. Colin M. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton
Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd) Peat, Charles U. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Penny, Sir George Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Jennings, Roland Perkins, Walter R. D. Sutcliffe, Harold
Jesson, Major Thomas E. Petherick, M. Templeton, William P.
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n,Bliston) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Procter, Major Henry Adam Thompson, Sir Luke
Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.) Ralkes, Henry V. A. M, Thomson, sir Frederick Charles
Leckie, J. A. Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) Titchneld. Major the Marquess of
Leech, Dr. J. W. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Train, John
Liddall, Walter S. Ramsbotham, Herwald Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Lindsay, Noel Ker Ratcliffe, Arthur Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Walisend)
Liewellin, Major John J. Ray, Sir William Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Lloyd, Geoffrey Reed. Arthur C. (Exeter) Warrender. Sir Victor A. G.
Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.) Remer, John R. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Renwick, Major Gustav A. Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Loftus, Pierce C. Rickards, George William William Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Robinson, John Roland Wills, Wilfrid D.
McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Ropner, Colonel L. Womersley, Sir Waiter
McKie, John Hamilton Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noak[...]s,
McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Makins, Brigadier-General[...]' Ernest Runge, Norah Cecil TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Manning ham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Salt, Edward W. Commander Southby and Dr.
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart Morris-Jones.
Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Savery, Samuel Servington

Resolution agreed to.

Original Question again proposed.

It being after Eleven of the Clock, and objection being taken to further Proceeding, the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.