HL Deb 24 July 1854 vol 135 cc550-78

rose, pursuant to notice, to move certain Resolutions on the subject of National Education. The noble and learned Lord said: * I much fear, my Lords, that I shall have but a moderate share of your indulgence, if after the more interesting, at least the more immediately attractive subject which has just occupied you, I proceed to broach the question of National Education, in pursuance of the notice which I lately gave. The vast and permanent interest, however, of that question no one can doubt; and I think I shall be forgiven even by my noble Friend near me (the Earl of Ellenborough), with whom I on a recent occasion had some little difference, not so much respecting the influence of knowledge upon the character and the peace of the community, as touching the celerity with which that influence is made perceptible, if I preface the statement I am about to make with the mention of a fact in no little degree re- markable, as illustrating the humanising effects of instruction; and he, as well as your Lordships, will, perhaps, pardon me the rather because it bears a reference to the quarter of the world which at present so much engrosses his attention and yours. I find that, taking the two countries which stand at the opposite ends of the scale, the United States and Russia, the one the best, the other the worst educated of civilised nations (if, indeed, they both come under that description)—of the crimes committed in a given period, those accompanied with violence are little more than one-twelfth of the whole number in America, while in Russia they are much more than a half, namely, about three-fifths: 640 in 7,400 among the educated and civilised, 3,500 in 5,800 among the ignorant and barbarous people. And now I fear that I have exhausted the only topic likely to attract the notice either of my noble Friend or your Lordships, and I must now proceed to statistics of a more uninviting description. Into this inquiry, however, dry as it is, we must enter, if we would ascertain how far the exertions of the State and of individuals have been successful in providing the means of education. That much has been done is certain; but I fear we shall find, upon a careful examination, that much yet remains to do; and that the help of the Legislature is required, not to supplant by public interference the efforts of individuals, but to stimulate and to assist them by judicious measures, and to supply what they have been unable to accomplish.

I shall begin by marking the periods to which our detailed information applies, and the grounds upon which we are enabled to rely upon that information. Great objections have, at different times, been made to its accuracy, and we must, therefore, stop a moment to consider how far these are well founded. The earliest returns are those obtained by the Education Committee of the Commons, in 1818; the next are those of 1833, obtained on the Motion of a noble Friend, whose early loss to the country is so deeply to be lamented, Lord Kerry; the last are those of 1851, under the Census Act. The returns of 1818 were made by the parochial clergy, and as having presided over that inquiry, I well know the zeal with which they performed the office cast upon them. Such was their alacrity, that within a week after our circular was issued, all those sent their answers who were within a moderate distance, and very soon after I had received the whole, with the exception of about 600, which, in a number of nearly 12,000, might be expected from different accidents. A second circular reduced this number to about 200 defaulters. But a circumstance occurred which placed the conduct of those reverend persons in a most honourable light. By some oversight of the clerks in the Committee, there were 360 returns mislaid; and as it was believed they had not been sent, a circular was dispatched, chiding the supposed defaulters. It so happened that those returns had been culled out from the mass, as being more elaborate and voluminous than the rest, and the Committee, in a somewhat peremptory manner, called for the returns to the original requisition. It might well be expected that those reverend persons should feel hurt, both at the groundless rebuke and at the labour needlessly exacted. But of the whole 360 only two made the least complaint, and even they sent the second returns demanded. Some had kept copies of their former answers, but a great number had not; and their returns extended, in many instances, to ten pages and upwards. I may further state, that when, after the dissolution of Parliament, I took the liberty to send another circular for further information, although aware that this was only in my private capacity, and not as Chairman of the Committee, the clergy returned answers, giving the details solicited, rather than required. After the lapse of fifteen years, the returns of 1833 were made, but by the churchwardens; and I have no hesitation in stating, that they are very inferior in point of fulness and accuracy, as might be expected from the temporary nature of the office held by those who made them. They have proved, on examination, to be particularly defective in some of the larger towns. In 1851, we have the latest returns, and as these were made under the superintendence of the Home Department, they are more to be relied on for fulness as well as accuracy, than those of 1833. I must, however, mention a circumstance which shows that no little confidence is due to the latter. When the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, in 1828, seemed to remove the chief obstruction in the way of a general school system, I was anxious to ascertain what progress had been made during the ten preceding years; and addressed a letter to 700 or 800 parochial ministers, to ask for a continuation of their former returns. Those parishes were taken indifferently, some large, some small, some middle-sized; I received 487 answers, and these, compared with the statements of 1818, indicated an increase in the number of day scholars at unendowed schools, in the proportion of 21 to 10. Now, the returns of 1833 give that increase as between 23 and 24 to 10, which, allowing for the increase between 1828 and 1833, tallies very nearly with the other proportion. I therefore conclude that we may place reliance upon the accounts generally, not only in considering the rate at which education has advanced, but in estimating the deficiency at any given period, provided we keep in view the consideration that the numbers given in these accounts are, from the nature of the case, more or less below the real amount; those of 1851 being nearest the truth, those of 1833 probably most defective.

It appears that, in 1818, the day schools of all kinds were attended by 674,000 scholars (I take round numbers, as the Resolutions I am about to move give the particulars)—the Sunday schools had 425,000. In 1833, the former had increased to 1,276,000; the latter to no less than 1,548,000, or nearer fourfold than trebled. In 1851, the day scholars had increased to 2,144,000, the Sunday to 2,407,000. So that in thirty-three years day scholars had increased more than threefold; Sunday scholars nearly six-fold. Now the population had, no doubt, increased from above eleven millions and a half to fourteen millions and one-third in the first period, and to nearly eighteen millions in the second; but still the increase of education was much more rapid, there being, in 1818, of day scholars one-seventeenth, of Sunday one twenty-fourth, of the population; in 1833, these numbers had become one-eleventh, and one-ninth respectively; and in 1851, one-eighth and one-seventh. It is also manifest that the rate of increase had been considerably greater in the fifteen years between 1818 and 1833, than in the eighteen years between 1833 and 1851, although the population increased more rapidly during the second period than during the first. As the omissions in the returns of 1833 were greater than in those of either 1818 or 1851, it may be taken as certain that the actual rate of increase was less than the apparent, or, in other words, that there was a greater retardation than the returns show. Nor can we doubt that this retardation has been owing not altogether to the unavoidable relaxation of the voluntary exertions made to promote education—exertions which must needs be lessened unless the resources of individuals are enlarged—but also in a considerable degree to the wants having been partly supplied which had called them forth. It is certain, that previous to 1818, there had for some years been a great step made by the establishment of schools on the new or monitorial plan, that of Bell and Lancaster, insomuch that above 1,500 of these had been planted, educating 200,000 children. But the discussions which arose out of the Education Committee in the other House, in 1816, 1817, and 1818, had occasioned new efforts all over the country to establish schools of a more useful class, because having a larger proportion of teachers, and dispensing, in a great measure, with the monitorial system. The Bill which I brought forward in 1820 as the Chairman of that Committee, and which reached almost its last stage in the Commons, was, unfortunately, opposed by the Dissenters, and, being only feebly supported by the Church party, we were deprived of a great, and, in my belief, a most unexceptionably framed system of parochial education; nor was there ever the least encouragement given to renew the attempt. Nevertheless, out of evil came good, by the blessing of Providence; and even the animosity, or let us only say the rivalry, of conflicting sects gave rise to new exertions for the furtherance of popular instruction. Such exertions could not be expected to continue, and accordingly a great deficiency still exists in the means of education.

Before 1833 there had been no interference at all of the State; everything had been done by individuals. But in that year the Government to which I had the honour of belonging, felt it incumbent on them to act upon the Report of the Education Committee of 1818. To the recommendations in that Report I called the attention of my Colleagues, laying it before Lord Grey and Lord Althorp, and a grant was obtained from Parliament of a sum to be applied in the encouragement of schools. This grant was repeated yearly, and from the moderate sum of 20,000l., it has happily of late been increased to, I think, upwards of 300,000l. The application of it was for some years intrusted to the Treasury, and they had acted chiefly upon the principles laid down in the Report of 1818, avoiding whatever might tend to discourage voluntary exertions, and giving the sums allotted for outfit or original cost to parties who were ready to provide for the yearly expenses. The Committee had suggested two modes of distribution, either through Commissioners, or through the two great school societies, the National and British and Foreign. The latter was the course adopted; but I may more correctly say that both courses were taken ultimately; for in the year 1839 a Committee of the Privy Council was formed to superintend the distribution, and that Committee generally gave the sums through the two societies. The transfer to the Privy Council was at one time the subject of regret, because the Treasury had conducted the business in a quiet and unobtrusive manner, and the creation of a department gave rise to some jealousy and even alarm; so that your Lordships may recollect a long and warm debate on Resolutions moved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the House by a very large majority concurred, expressing an opinion unfavourable to the appointment of the Privy Council Committee as made without the sanction of Parliament. But great advantage has ultimately resulted from the creation of this department; and certainly, whatever may have been the inconvenience originally experienced, I am bound to defend the proceeding still more strenuously than I did in that debate, because I afterwards found that the Committee adopted the very measures which I had described in the Resolutions moved in May, 1835, for not merely encouraging the formation of new schools, as the Report of 1818 had recommended—for not only increasing the amount of the education afforded, but improving its quality by the employment of inspectors and the establishment of training seminaries. The Committee has been most ably and actively seconded by its assistants, especially Messrs. Kaye Shuttleworth and Lingen.

In the same year that this important Committee was appointed, I had for the third time brought in a Bill to establish such a department, and to invest it with powers of distributing the yearly grants, and of authorising local rates, so as to encourage by both these funds the planting of schools, to support those requiring assistance, to establish training schools, and to superintend the conduct of all either founded or aided by the public. The difficulty as to the religious question had seemed to be surmounted; and I was au- thorised to state on behalf of a very numerous meeting of delegates from most parts of the country, who had held a conference on the details of the plan, that it had, after undergoing various alterations, received their general concurrence; the Dissenters joining with the Churchmen in holding its provisions to be unobjectionable. The Government of the day, Lord Melbourne's, was entirely favourable to the measure; but, unfortunately, they had been defeated the week before I moved the second reading; and when a right rev. Prelate, recently raised to the Episcopal Bench by that Government, and who had voted with us against his Metropolitan upon the recent occasion, now put himself in the front of the opposition to the Bill, we had no hopes of success, and were obliged to withdraw it until a more auspicious time should come. I found, however, that one great object of the Bill would be secured, the creation of an Education Department, if the Privy Council Committee not only persevered in its administration of the annual grant, but applied it to the establishment of training schools, and the employment of inspectors; all which they could do without any Parliamentary authority. The more effectual power of local rating would alone be still wanted; but the increase of the annual grant might to a considerable extent supply this defect; and I was willing to expect everything from the entire agreement of my noble Friends in the great principles of the Bill. Their proceedings in Parliament and in the Privy Council during the next year or two, confirmed these expectations, and I certainly should have been without excuse had I interrupted them by again pressing the Bill. It was only consistent with the most ordinary discretion, and the scantiest stock of patience, to await for awhile the results of what had been already done. The ground had been prepared in 1818; the seed sown in 1833; due care was now cheerfully bestowed upon its protection; and with a fair prospect of success crowning the labours of the new department created in 1839, it would have been most unwise, indeed irrational, impatience to interfere with the natural growth of the plant, as some projecting lawgivers of exalted rank, the Emperor Joseph among them, have occasionally been seen to do, and been in consequence compared to the child that having put a bean in the ground, must needs pluck it up to see if it has begun to sprout, instead of waiting till the stem and the leaf appear, fostered by the breeze, strengthened by the sun, expanded by the shower. That childish, preposterous impatience I felt not, how great and how constant soever my anxiety for the progress of the system, because I was well assured of its safety in the hands of my noble Friends of the Privy Council Committee. But I think we may admit that the time is now come for examining the progress which has been made, and for asking ourselves whether anything and what remains to be done.

I take it to be clear beyond all question that the means of education are still insufficient; and I now beg the attention of your Lordships while I demonstrate this proposition. I lay aside the great numbers taught at Sunday schools, because valuable as is the instruction there given, and beyond all praise the conduct of the pious and truly charitable persons (290,000, I glory in being able to say it,) who devote themselves to this really good work, in the spirit of genuine, because wise, benevolence—that which alone deserves the name, when the act is in harmony with the will, and good is not only intended, but done: the instruction received is extremely limited, and two or three hours in a week give but inconsiderable moral discipline, which is the most important part of tuition; not to mention that no small proportion of the Sunday scholars are returned also under the head of day scholars. It is to the day scholars, therefore, that we must look, and these appear to be in round numbers 2,144,000, at 46,000 schools. But these include private as well as public schools, and 500,000 children of the upper and middle classes are taught there, and about 50,000 at the endowed schools, which are also included. These deductions I make after a full communication with Mr. Horace Mann, whose intimate acquaintance with the whole statistics of education is well known to such of your Lordships as have had the advantage of perusing his elaborate and judicious Report to the Registrar General, a document of the highest merit both for its arithmetical details and for the enlightened views which it gives of the whole subject. It would, indeed, be difficult too highly to praise this most able and useful officer. [Earl GRANVILLE, Lord MONTEAGLE, and others strongly expressed their concurrence.] We may conclude, therefore, that for the children of the working classes, and of the poor, there are only public day schools attended by little more than 1,500,000.

Let us now consider how far this supply of education is adequate to the wants of the people. And here I must begin by observing, that nothing can be more wild than the notions of those who reckon upon all the children between three and fifteen, or 4,900,000, as the number for whom schools should be provided, conceiving most erroneously that the working classes, as well as those in easy circumstances, can keep their children long enough at school to require anything like this accommodation. Unhappily there comes in competition with the schoolmaster, great as his merits and his claims may be, the employer; and from the time that a child can earn somewhat towards his support, his attendance at even the school which costs nothing, must be first interrupted, and then altogether cease, even assuming the parent to be duly impressed with the advantages of education. Instead, therefore, of more than a fourth of the population, we should not reckon more than one-eighth, or the children between four and twelve, which would give the number for all classes at 2,222,000. But we are to consider only the proportion of these belonging to the working classes and the poor. What is that proportion? I made inquiry of my honourable friend the Registrar General, and he gave me four-fifths as his estimate of the proportion which the working classes bear to the whole population, or about 3,625,000 males of twenty and upwards, but not reckoning farmers' sons and commercial clerks. I will take the calculation, then, as four-fifths, or 14,340,000, and one-eighth as the children, or 1,792,000. But I was desirous of checking this calculation by having recourse to another test; and I found in the evidence before Mr. Hume's Income Tax Committee last Session, the number of persons having incomes of 75l. and upwards is counted at 829,117 by Mr. W. Farr, the able and intelligent head of the Statistical Department in the Registrar General's office; and, deducting a sixth for Scotland, we then have 712,000 for England and Wales, which, reckoning five to a family, would leave for the other classes, the working and the poor, 14,440,000, and the children, 1,805,000, being very nearly the number obtained from the calculation founded on Mr. Graham's estimate of four-fifths. It is, indeed, very possible that in making this estimate he had taken into his account Mr. Farr's statements respecting the income tax. However, I think we may, on the whole, rest satisfied with the inference that as, instead of 1,800,000, there are attending public day schools little more than 1,500,000, the deficiency in these schools for the working classes is not much less than 300,000, or upwards of 3,000 schools, even allowing the average of 94 scholars to a school, which is unfortunately the number in the public day schools, and is very considerably more than in every view is desirable. I have made no deduction for dame-schools; had I done so, the deficiency would have been greater by above 130,000.

But I must proceed to state that this great evil is unfortunately not equally diffused, as it were, over the country; the deficiency is much greater in some places than in others, and it is greater exactly where it is most to be lamented, in the larger towns. I take 44 of those, the population of which amounts to 3,206,000, London not included, and I find that the scholars at public day schools amount to 226,000, to which we must add a portion of those at private schools, say 24,000, and we have the whole therefore 247,000, or one in thirteen of the population. But if we take the rest of the country, exclusive of the 44 towns and of London, we have day scholars at public schools, 1,029,000, and adding 84,000 for the private, the total is 1,113,000, or one in eleven of the population; and a like difference is found as to Sunday scholars. But we may institute the comparison as to all towns of above 50,000, our former case being those of the largest towns. We then shall find that in a town population of 4,880,000, the day scholars are 521,000, or 1–9.4th; and in all the rest of the country the scholars are 1,621,000, or one-eighth. This comparison includes London, which is more deficient than any other place, town or country; the proportion of day scholars being only one-thirteenth, and of Sunday scholars one-seventeenth, that of of the great towns being 1–7.3rd, and of the rest of the country 1–6.7th. If, therefore, those towns had the same means of education with the other districts, there would be day schools for 89,000 scholars, and Sunday schools for 86,000 more than they now have. How many years will be required to supply this great deficit? We must always bear in mind that the population is increasing at the rate of nearly 200,000 a year. So that in those towns it is increasing above 30,000 annually, so that to maintain even the present inadequate supply of schools in its proportion to the number of the people, there must yearly be provided an addition equal to about 3,000 scholars, without the least impression being made upon the deficit; and to supply this would require an increase every year, for five years, of day schools sufficient to teach 21,000—which is nearly twice as rapid an increase as has been made during the eighteen years between 1833 and 1851. Having mentioned the diminution in the rate of increase of late years, I must add that this can in no way be ascribed to the aid given by the State, as was apprehended by some warm friends of education; for the diminution has been greatest in Sunday schools, which receive no part of the annual grants. My able and excellent friend, Mr. Baines, of Leeds, though decidedly averse to all interference, never fell into this error. He must have been sensible that the diminution was owing to the extraordinary efforts which had before been made, and chiefly in respect of Sunday schools. He was also perfectly sound in his view of the minimum numbers for whom schools should be provided. Indeed, I always differ with hesitation from one who has done so much and who knows so much upon the whole subject of popular education. The Bill, however, which I now present is grounded partly on the difference that exists between us respecting the facts, and partly on our arriving at different conclusions from such as are undisputed.

I have thought it right to enter into these details that your Lordships might be aware how little it is upon mere vague surmise that those rely who hold the existing means of education insufficient, and the inadequate rate at which these are augmented by the present arrangements. But I am, at the same time, aware that it requires no mere consideration of statistical statements, no aid of calculations to prove both the one of these positions and the other; both the existence of the deficiency and the inadequacy of our present machinery to supply it. For proof of the lamentable fact that the means of popular instruction are deficient in the great towns, and most in the greatest of all, that in which we now are, we may safely appeal to the result of all men's observation; and no one who has read the touching descriptions, given by zealous and well-informed men of the hard task, and too often the fruitless task, which a sense of duty imposes upon benevolent individuals—no one, for example, who has read the Vicar of Leeds' admirable letter to my right rev. Friend (the Bishop of St. David's)—can hesitate to adopt the conclusion that we must provide some help to charity and public spirit, certainly taking the utmost care that it shall not be a substitute for the exertions to which these eminent virtues lead. I have, therefore, resolved again to present, not indeed the Bill of 1837 and 1839, but one framed upon the same principles and confined to the incorporated towns, because it is in large towns that the want is chiefly felt, as I have shown, and because these have the advantage of municipal bodies, which will render it easy to work the plan. The provisions of the former Bill respecting country districts are, therefore, now omitted. But I have made another omission; the establishment of a Board appears no longer so necessary, because upon the whole I am satisfied with the department established in the Privy Council. The Board provided by the former Bill certainly had its advantages, because there was a combination of responsible members of the Government with members irremovable, and who, being professional men, would have performed satisfactorily the duties of the Charity Trustees' Board as far as endowments are concerned which relate to education—a revenue, I believe, of half a million, if all abuses were corrected. Nevertheless, when that Board, established since the Bill of 1839, shall have proceeded in its inquiries and in the performance of its other duties, I can have no doubt that an extension of its powers as well as an increase of its staff will be given, for the absolute necessity of which I can vouch from my own knowledge—[Earl GRANVILLE and other Peers agreed in this statement]—and therefore I indulge the hope that a substitute having been provided in all material respects for the Board proposed in 1839, it will not, for the present at least, be necessary to retain this part of the Bill. That of Lord John Russell, lately introduced, differed in some particulars from the Bill of 1839, and I had some doubt whether I should not adopt one of his additions, the provision respecting local committees of education in the town councils. But, after full consideration, I am clear that it is better to leave this as well as other details to the local bodies. The Municipal Corporation Act of 1835 gives the power by its 70th section of appointing committees from time to time, and the only addition which I shall make to this is, a merely enabling provision that there may be named as members persons not belonging to the councils. The whole of the restrictions upon these bodies in Lord John Russell's Bill I entirely disapprove. It will be found that nothing can be more judicious, more useful for the working of the measure, as well as more safe for securing its favourable reception by these bodies, than to leave the uncontrolled management of the schools under the care of the corporations themselves; and therefore the only restraint that this Bill lays them under is the necessity of abiding by the rules, including the power of inspection, upon the statement of which the power to levy the school rate shall have been granted by the Education Committee of the Privy Council. If those rules are altered without leave of that Committee, then the power to levy the rate may be withdrawn, with the reasons assigned, but the corporation may appeal to the Judicial Committee against the order of recall. I have lastly introduced the same provision as to religious instruction which was in the former Bill. No school can receive the benefit of the rate which is not open to all classes and all religious denominations; nor shall any Catechism be taught, nor attendance on divine service be exacted, without the consent of the parents or guardians of the pupils. Having mentioned my noble Friend's Bill, I must add that his being now both at the head of the Education Committee, and of the Charity Trusts' Commission, will greatly help the work in hand; and this union of functions, which, though now accidental, may always be continued as the regular official arrangement, forms an additional reason for my leaving out of the present Bill all that relates to the Board.

I have sanguine hopes that, applying, as this measure does, to between a third and a fourth part of the country, and to the whole of that portion where the want is most felt, it may produce the salutary effect of greatly lessening, if not wholly removing, the evil now so justly complained of. But I should ill discharge my duty upon the present occasion if I passed over another cause of popular ignorance, beside the want of schools accessible to the working classes—I mean the want of a due estimate among those classes of the value of knowledge, the importance of education. This it is that too often Prevents them from sending their children to schools where they can be received without cost, and from keeping them there beyond a very short time, even when their labour can be of little or no profit to themselves. Therefore it is that the importance is incalculable of improving the minds of the parents themselves by the promotion of adult education. It is most satisfactory to know that considerable progress in this has been made of late years. Many establishments have been founded for the improvement of the working classes, under the name sometimes of mechanics' institutes, sometimes of apprentice libraries, sometimes of reading-rooms. Upwards of 1,000 of these are to be found in different parts of the country, chiefly, no doubt, in the considerable towns; and they number above 100,000 members. But, useful as is the tendency of these institutions, and great as the benefits they actually confer by the instruction given at some, the reading and instructive conversation promoted at all, it is unfortunately found that a very small proportion only belong to them of the classes for the benefit of which they were originally designed. Were I to allow a tenth of their members to be of the working classes, I believe I should be above the mark. There are, independent of such institutes, adult schools, to the number of above 1,500, where evening instruction is given to persons almost all in the humbler ranks; and of these it is satisfactory to know that near 40,000 have the sense and the virtue thus to pass their evenings after the day's work is done. But the institutions founded for the working classes, in some few cases even begun by themselves, for lectures and for reading, are almost all in the hands of the upper and middle ranks. When Dr. Birkbeck made the great step, in 1825, of forming such establishments in England, of which he had experience in Scotland, having himself, a quarter of a century before, given the first lectures to working men in the Anderson College of Glasgow, the difficulty was felt by that learned and excellent person and his fellow-labourers, of keeping up the attendance of the artisans themselves. So early as the first year of the parent institution in London, I had become so much aware of this, that in an "Address to the working classes and their employers," I endeavoured to grapple with what we felt as our great difficulty, and suggested the expediency of placing a large proportion of the men themselves upon the different committees of manage- ment. Yet all our efforts were vain. I recollect some ten years afterwards attending the meeting of an institute in Lancashire, one of the most flourishing offsets from the parent stock; and finding in the spacious apartments, with fine library and choice apparatus, no want indeed of company, but all of the upper and middle classes, with hardly a sprinkling of artisans, and perhaps of these few not one who earned less wages than a couple of pounds a week—a most valuable class in all respects, and nothing can be more important than their studying to improve themselves in science; but our anxiety was that those beneath them, the bulk of the working classes, should also make some progress in the acquisition of knowledge; and most of the institutes, I am sorry to say, have very few of the one class, and none of the other.

But it is most satisfactory to find that at length a remedy has been applied in the North to cure this great defect; and I am further gratified to perceive that it is exactly by carrying still more completely into effect the strong recommendation which we took the liberty of pressing upon all founders of such institutes in 1825, namely by leaving the whole management in the hands of working men. I had advised three-fourths; but at that time this had been tried and found insufficient in Cumberland and Westmoreland; and of late the step has been taken by some respected friends of mine at Carlisle, and with perfect success, of making the whole directors working men. At Carlisle this experiment has been tried for the last three years and has fully succeeded. There had been for some time a mechanics' institute which flourished, having upwards of six hundred members with a library and lectures; but the error was committed of placing its management in the hands of only those who paid the highest subscription, eight shillings a year, and consequently there is not such a proportion as might be wished of the working classes. But there are a number of other institutions on a smaller scale, confined to having libraries and news rooms, and these are all under the management of the men, the rule being that they only who live by weekly wages shall be on the committee. Of these one having 210 members has a library of 920 volumes, 60 of which circulate weekly; another of 200 members, a library of 700 volumes, circulating 250 weekly; a third of 100 members and hav- ing 156 volumes—all of these independent of newspapers and other periodical publications. Nothing can be more satisfactory than the accounts which I have from Dr. Elliot, who had a great share in the establishment of this principle, and has watched carefully over its success. The men show no jealously whatever of those who from time to time tender them advice; and they receive whatever aid is offered gratefully, because it is accompanied by no interference with their concerns. I entirely agree with the Doctor that we must, for some time at least, not expect the common workmen to engage in study so much as in reading of a light and amusing nature; but with that no little solid instruction may be combined, as the labours of the Useful Knowledge Society showed. It is no less pleasing to find, from the respectable testimony of Mr. Mounsey and others, that the scenes for which Carlisle formerly was somewhat distinguished, both in the haunts of election agents and in the operations of the streets, have been of late unknown. This, at least, is quite certain, that of the hundreds who belong to these libraries and reading-rooms none have even been suspected of joining in any corrupt proceedings, though from accidental circumstances a more than ordinarily long canvass preceded the last general election. The Carlisle plan as to the constitution of the reading societies has been adopted by my worthy neighbours at Penrith. The working men's reading-room well deserves its name; for there are 360 of that class who belong to it; and though there are several of a higher rank who subscribe their penny a week and avail themselves of the well-supplied library of 800 volumes, the whole government is in the hands of men at weekly wages. My learned friend, Dr. Nicholson, after stating that this is "the cardinal point of their success," that "the reading-room is almost full from eight to ten in the evening," and that "several hundreds of volumes are in constant circulation;" adds, that "the love of reading has been diffused to a very appreciable extent;" and also that "the workmen display as much aptitude for administering the affairs of the institution as any class of persons could do." I may add that Dr. Nicholson is well acquainted with the working classes of different countries, and particularly that he has passed considerable time in Germany.

I trust your Lordships will bear with me for entering into these details, in con- sideration of the very great importance of the subject. The question I am now dealing with is, how we shall best promote the education of the parents whose ignorance makes them undervalue knowledge, and abates their desire of educating their children. To stimulate, therefore, the working classes themselves, and give them a taste for reading, is the sure way of making education universal. The facts which I have been relating prove incontestably that those classes can be induced to profit by the instruction obtained from lectures and from books, if the simple expedient is resorted to of leaving the management of their literary and scientific concerns in their own hands. What I have recounted as the experience of the northern counties may tend to spread the system, and the principles are of universal application. It should be borne in mind, however, that one help to the working classes in their course of self-education must needs come from those in a different sphere. The providing works of instruction is a duty incumbent upon us—works easily purchased and easily understood. Such was the object of the Society established, near thirty years ago, for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The accident of having originated it and presided over it must not prevent me from doing justice to the labours of my colleagues—to name but a few of them, unhappily now no more—Lord Althorp, Dr. Birkbeck, Mr. Ricardo, Mr. Mill, Mr. Bethune, who, with a body of forty or fifty other learned and hard-working men, including some of the first names in science and letters of the present age, prepared and circulated, at a price incredibly low, a mass of many hundred treatises upon every branch of knowledge, both speculative and practical. It must, however, be added, that we found something of the same difficulty to which I have adverted when speaking of mechanics' institutes. Many, at least of the works on subjects of science, did not reach the working classes, though of inestimable use in the instruction of those somewhat above them. I speak not of the historical and biographical works, and the practical treatises on the arts, but of the scientific works, though even these were sometimes found to be in demand among classes wholly occupied in daily labour—for example, I well remember our being astonished to find that for some of our treatises upon the higher branches of the mathematics, there was a demand among a set of artisans assembled for their mutual instruction in the eastern parts of the City. But this was the exception; generally, no doubt, the Society's scientific works did not reach that portion of the people. That we had no reason to complain of our success is nevertheless certain. Both at home and abroad we made knowledge accessible and diffused. Our works were translated and circulated in most parts of Europe, not only in remote corners of France, where I have found them in the cabarets of an obscure frontier town, but in the south of Europe, even in Portugal and Spain, and in the East as far as Hindostan; and at home, without at once reaching the working classes, they yet exceedingly helped the education of those above them, and thus prepared the spread of instruction to even the lower parts of the social fabric—it being the invariable rule that knowledge descends, and that to impregnate the basement, you must saturate the layers above. I would fain hope that the labours of the body of which I speak, both by what itself effected and by the exertions of those whom its example encouraged, among others certainly the Society connected with the Established Church, have produced a permanent increase of the stock of useful works, as it has unquestionably lowered the price of them all.

Let me, however, before I close my statement, advert to the greatest of the obstacles which the Society had to encounter—I mean the taxes upon knowledge, both in the duty on paper and the stamp duty. The Cyclopœdia, with a sale of 40,000, must have been stopped but for a measure which somewhat lowered that excise. Our publications, however, still suffered greatly by what was left. But the newspaper stamp was of far more fatal influence. It could not reach the Penny Magazine, at least we were fortunate enough never to be considered as newsvendors, though I have felt no little alarm at some recent decisions of a fiscal description, lest the long arm of the Treasury should reach our publication, which at one time had a circulation of, I believe, 220,000, until the Church Magazine most usefully and ably divided the labour and the harvest with us. But we were wholly shut out from one field of exertion, and one which we, more than any other, were anxious to cultivate, because it was there our labours were most wanted—I refer to the country districts. The inhabitants of the towns are gregarious, and they have many helps to acquiring knowledge, as mechanics' institutes and reading-rooms, which the villager and the peasant, the farm servant, or even the bailiff, peradventure the farmer himself, does not possess. To circulate even our least abstruse and most inviting tracts among those classes we felt to be hopeless, if the tracts must go alone. But we knew that there was one method quite infallible of making them read by the country people, I mean accompanying them with intelligence of what was passing in the neighbourhood, matters relating to farming, to police, to sessions, and with more general intelligence, the Court, the Parliament, the Law—in short, wrap up treatises, or histories, or biographies, knowledge of permanent interest, in a newspaper of more ephemeral but more lively interest, and you would assuredly reach the farmer and his bailiff, even the farm-servant and the cottager. This we felt; but we were at once headed back by the stamp. The duty had been reduced to a penny, but that penny was as fatal as the groat had been. The reduction had saved a few pounds yearly to those who could well have spared them, and had increased the gains of the newspapers; but it had both deprived the poor man of his unstamped paper, and it left to our attempts at diffusing knowledge among the peasantry an obstacle altogether insurmountable. We had every estimate made, on all the inquiry we could institute, and but for the stamp our success was certain—for we had the very works prepared which the country people would have best liked, and most profited by; the hawker's profit we could bear, for the Magazine and the Cyclopœdia sold for a penny, and yielded a large return to pay the authorship, and even a surplus for other works which we could only publish at a loss; but the penny stamp we could not meet, and our attempt was abandoned in despair. To that stamp the newspaper press easily submitted, as it did to the stringent regulations so very far more severe than the worst of the famous six Acts—regulations which put the existence of every newspaper at the mercy of any dishonest servant—but to this also they have cheerfully submitted ever since 1836, when an hon. Friend of mine, a worthy Baronet (Sir E. B. Lytton), obtained from my noble Friend on the cross-bench (Lord Monteagle) the repeal of three-fourths of the stamp duty—they submitted because they thus obtained protection for their valuable property—a protection which the Society was very far from grudging them. We had no desire to interfere with it—no wish to take off the remaining penny upon daily papers, or three times a week papers, but only on weekly papers, which cannot possibly pirate the intelligence so costly to the proprietors of the daily papers, and therefore so well entitled to protection. Had this burthen been removed from the weekly papers alone, we were secured of the channel by which our publications would reach the class of all others in the community that most required their help, and the most certain to take advantage of it.

I have thus, my Lords, taken upon me to detain you at far greater length than I could have wished, upon the subject of the Resolutions which I am now to propose. I cannot, however, prevail on myself to offer any excuse for this trespass upon your patience, well aware though I am how slender a chance there is of such subjects commanding at the present time any degree of attention. I might almost as well expect men to be moved by propositions to amend the law. These are subjects which sometimes are called vital, and of which it was once said, they had this distinguishing quality, that nobody cared at all about them. That the people have some interest in them can, however, not very well be denied—the question being, in the one case, how they shall be reclaimed from ignorance, in the other how the laws they live under shall be improved.

But having so long occupied you with my statements of the one of these great questions, I shall not further delay you by reading over the Resolutions embodying those statements. It will suffice if I lay them before you, and they are these—

  1. "1. That the increase in the means of education for the people which had begun a few years before the year 1818, when the first returns were made, and had proceeded steadily till the year 1833, when the next returns were made, has been continued since, although less rapidly as regards the number of schools and teachers, but with considerable improvement both in the constitution of the additional seminaries, and in the quality of the instruction given.
  2. "2. That the returns of 1818 give as the number of day schools of all kinds 19,230, attended by 674,883 scholars; of Sunday schools 5,463, and Sunday school scholars 425,533; the returns of 1833, 38,971 day schools and 1,276,947 scholars, and 16,828 Sunday schools and 1,548,890 scholars; the returns of 1851, 46,042 day schools and 2,144,378 scholars, 23,514 Sunday schools and 2,407,612 scholars,
  3. "3. That the population having increased 570 during these two periods from 11,642,683 to 14,386,415 and 17,927,609, the proportion of the day scholars to the population in 1818 was 1–17.25th; of Sunday scholars 1–24.40th; in 1833 of day scholars 1–11.27th; of Sunday scholars 1–9.28th; in 1851 of day scholars 1–8.36th; of Sunday scholars 1–7.45th; showing a more rapid increase, but more especially of Sunday scholars, in the first period than in the second, while the population has increased more rapidly during the second period, its increase being at the rate of 180,000 a year during the first period, and 197,000 a year during the second.
  4. "4. That there is reason to believe that the returns of 1818 are less than the truth, that those of 1833 have considerably greater omissions, and that those of 1851 approach much nearer the truth; from whence it may reasonably be inferred that the increase during the first fifteen years whs greater than the returns show, that the increase during the last eighteen years was less than the returns show, and that the increase proceeded during the last period at a rate more diminished than the returns show.
  5. "5. That before the year 1833 the increase was owing to the active exertions and liberal contributions of the different classes of the community, especially of the upper and middle classes, whether of the Established Church or of the Dissenters, the clergy of both Church and sects bearing a large share in those pious and useful labours.
  6. "6. That in 1833 the plan was adopted which had been recommended by the Education Committee of the House of Commons in 1818, of assisting by grants of money in the planting of schools, but so as to furnish only the supplies which were required in the first instance, and to distribute those sums through the two school societies, the National and the British and Foreign.
  7. "7. That the grants of money have since been largely increased, and that in 1839 a Committee of the Privy Council being formed to superintend their distribution, for increasing the number of schools, it has further applied them, for the improvement of the instruction given, to the employment of inspectors and the training of teachers.
  8. "8. That of the poorer and working classes, assumed to be four-fifths of the population, the number of children between the ages of three and fifteen are 3,600,000, and at the least require day schools for one-half, as the number which may be expected to attend school, regard being had to the employment of a certain proportion in such labour as children can undergo; and that consequently schools for one-eighth of the working classes of the poor are the least that can be considered as required for the education of those classes.
  9. "9. That the means of education provided are still deficient; because, of the 2,144,378 day scholars now taught at the schools of all kinds, not more than about 1,550,000 are taught at public day schools, the remaining 500,000 being taught at private schools, and being, as well as about 50,000 of those taught at endowed public schools, children of persons in the upper and middling classes, so that little more than 1,500,000 of the day scholars are the children of the poor, or of persons in the working classes; and thus there are only schools for such children in the 571 proportion of 1–9.6th of the numbers of the classes to which they belong instead of 1–8th, leaving a deficiency of 300,000, which must increase by 20,000 yearly, according to the annual increase of the population.
  10. "10. That this deficiency is considerably greater in the large towns than in the other parts of the country, inasmuch as it amounts to 130,000 in the aggregate of the towns which have above 50,000 inhabitants, and is only 170,000 in the rest of the country; the schools in these great towns being only for 1–11.08th of the working classes, and in the rest of the country for 1–9.2nd of these classes, deducting 50,000 taught at endowed schools.
  11. "11. That the deficiency in the number of the teachers is still greater than in the number of scholars, inasmuch as eight of the largest towns appear to have public day schools with 208 scholars on an average, the average of all England and Wales being ninety-four to a school, that there are assistant and pupil teachers in many of these schools, and paid masters in others, but that there is the greatest advantage in increasing the number of teachers, this being one of the chief benefits of Sunday schools, while the plan formerly adopted in the new schools of instructing by monitors among the scholars themselves, is now properly allowed to fall into disuse.
  12. "12. That the education given at the greater number of the schools now established for the poorer classes of people is of a kind by no means sufficient for their instruction, being for the most part confined to reading, writing, and a little arithmetic; whereas, at no greater expense, and in the same time, the children might easily be instructed in the elements of the more useful branches of knowledge, and thereby trained to sober industrious habits.
  13. "13. That the number of infant schools is still exceedingly deficient, and especially in those great towns where they are most wanted for improving the morals of the people and preventing the commission of crimes.
  14. "14. That while it is expedient to do nothing which may relax the efforts of private beneficence in forming and supporting schools, or which may discourage the poorer classes of the people from contributing to the cost of educating their children, it is incumbent upon Parliament to aid in providing the effectual means of instruction where these cannot otherwise be obtained for the people.
  15. "15. That it is incumbent upon Parliament to encourage in like manner the establishment of infant schools, especially in larger towns.
  16. "16. That it is expedient to confer upon the town councils of incorporated cities and boroughs the power of levying a rate for the establishment and support of schools under the authority of and in co-operation with the Education Committee of the Privy Council, care being taken as heretofore that the aid afforded shall only be given in cases of necessity, and so as to help and encourage, not displace, individual exertion.
  17. "17. That the permission to begin and to continue the levying of the rate shall in every case depend upon the schools founded or aided by such rate being open to the children of all parents, upon religious instruction being given, and the Scriptures being read in them, but not used as a school book, and upon allowing no compulsion either as to the attendance at religious instruc- 572 tion or at divine service in the case of children whose parents object thereto and produce certificates of their attending other places of worship.
  18. "18. That the indifference which has been found of the parents in many places to obtain education for their children, and a reluctance to forego the advantages of their labour, by withdrawing them from school, is mainly owing to the ignorance of their parents, and this can best be removed by the encouragement of a taste for reading, by the establishment of Mechanics' Institutions, Apprentices' Libraries, and Reading Rooms, and by the abolition of all taxes upon knowledge.
  19. "19. That in towns there have been established upwards of 1,200 of such institutions and reading-rooms, with above 100,000 members, but that by far the greater number of these members are persons in the upper and middle classes, a very small proportion only belonging to the working classes; but it has been found in some parts of the country, particularly in Cumberland, that when the whole management of the affairs of the institutions is left in the hands of the working men themselves, a very great proportion of the attending members belong to that class, and both by frequenting the rooms and taking out the books to read, show their desire of profiting by the institution.
  20. "20. That in every quarter, but more especially where there are no reading-rooms in the country districts, the great obstacle to diffusing useful knowledge among the people has been the newspaper stamp, which prevents papers containing local and other intelligence from being added to such works of instruction and entertainment as might at a low price be circulated among the working classes, and especially among the country people, along with that intelligence.
  21. "21. That the funds given by charitable and public spirited individuals and bodies corporate for promoting education, are of a very large amount, probably when the property is improved and the abuses in its management are corrected, not less than half a million a year; and that it is expedient to give to the Board formed under the Charitable Trusts Act of 1853 such additional powers as may better enable them, with the assent of trustee and special visitors (if any), to apply portions of the funds now lying useless to the education and improvement of the people."


said, that if the noble and learned Lord deemed it necessary to express humility in introducing this subject to their notice, he hardly knew what he ought to say in rising, not to reply to, but to follow the noble and learned Lord in the observations which he had just addressed to their Lordships. He could only say for himself that almost the first act he performed when he became connected with the Committee of Privy Council on Education was to read the volume containing his noble and learned Friend's speeches on education, and he believed it was impossible for any one to have read those speeches of the noble and learned Lord without acknowledging, not only the spirit, eloquence, and ability with which he had advocated a cause not so popular in those times as it now was, but the singular skill with which he pointed out deficiencies, and suggested many means, since adopted, for improving the system of education in this country. With regard to these Resolutions, of course the noble and learned Lord did not mean that their Lordships were to express any opinion upon them, as they had not yet been brought under their notice; and with respect to one or two of the subjects to which the noble and learned Lord had adverted, such as the question of the stamp and mechanics' institutions, he did not intend to trouble their Lordships with any observations on that occasion. The noble and learned Lord had directed their attention to the subject of the national schools and elementary instruction, and had given them a short account of the progress those schools had made since 1818. He gave also a clear abstract of what had been given under the Census return. He (Earl Granville) confessed that he had some difficulty in dealing with those returns, because it was impossible to deduce any sound statistics from returns that gave the mere number of pupils who received instruction. But this, so far from weakening the noble and learned Lord's case, very much strengthened it; and he was ready to admit that one of the principal points he made was, that at this moment, in many districts, there existed a most lamentable deficiency of schools for the labouring poor. It must at the same time be admitted that this was a very difficult point to obviate under the present system, for so long as they adopted the principle—excellent, no doubt, in itself—that the State only gave something in proportion to the amount of local contributions, it was almost impossible to supply those deficiencies. Though he approved the principle on which they acted, because in stimulating persons to give money for education they stimulated them to take an interest in the best of purposes, yet the effect, no doubt, was to make it difficult to set up schools in very poor districts, whether in the country or in towns. The noble and learned Lord had adverted to the limited period of attendance at school. He might mention that at the beginning of this year a minute was passed by the Privy Council Committee, the object of which was to provide for the attendance of boys of ten years of age only half time. This was only an experiment to see if something could not be done to encourage the education of boys at that age. It might or it might not succeed, and he only mentioned it because their Lordships, who took an interest in the success of schools, might be able to do a great deal in promoting the end sought to be attained. His noble and learned Friend well knew the measures that had been adopted from time to time to encourage national education; and he believed it was a well-merited compliment he had paid to the judicious conduct of the Committee of Council on Education since 1846. It was impossible to overstate the advantage which had flowed from the labours of that Committee in improving the quality of the education given. The progress made during the last eight years had been quite remarkable, and, he believed, unequalled in any other country in the world. He was informed by those who had the best opportunities of judging of the quality of the education given in the schools that there was no country in Europe where it could be surpassed. The pupil teachers had been found to be of the greatest possible use, and the system was infinitely superior to the old monitorial mode, where boys were set to teach others before they had themselves acquired either the knowledge or the experience. It formed, also, a good nursery for schoolmasters. The training colleges were scattered all over the country, and the assistance given to these training colleges he regarded as in the highest degree important. There were very few great landowners or manufacturers who did not feel some interest in the establishment of elementary schools in their own neighbourhoods. The Committee of Privy Council had, during the last year, taken measures which he hoped would tend to encourage pupils to remain at school for two years instead of one; and, could this be attained, the result would be most advantageous in the training of pupils. With regard to the schoolmasters, it had been objected that by a rule of the Council they could have nothing to do with those masters whose salaries did not reach 30l., and that this was entirely in opposition to, and subversive of the intentions of the Council; he was happy, however, now to state that the demand for schoolmasters exceeded the supply, and that 80l. was often the salary received, and, in many instances, it reached 100l. He believed that the system of inspection had been most valuable. He thought that, without it, their efforts would have been comparatively but of little avail, and that their funds would have been wasted, but, under the system of inspection, for every shilling expended they had received a full shilling's worth. He considered that it would be impossible to overstate the advantages that had accrued from having the attention of a large body of highly educated men constantly directed to the subject of national education, and who were constantly in communication with and bringing their experience to the central office, and exerting also an influence on the training schools. He would not trouble their Lordships by entering into details as to the instruction given in these training schools, but would merely refer them to the heading in the minutes before them, under which they would see the subjects on which these masters were examined before they received a certificate. He had heard a great deal said as to the nature of the education given in these national schools, and in one criticism on this subject he concurred, and that was that too much attention was given, particularly in the country districts, to the pupils attaining a most accurate knowledge of the genealogies and the geography of the Old Testament; and he thought that while the greatest attention ought to be given to the Scriptures and to the fundamental principles of Christianity, if the time of the scholars was occupied so much by mastering the details to which he had alluded, that this necessarily prevented them from acquiring knowledge which would be much more useful to the children of the labouring classes. A great deal had been said on—and it had almost become a cant phrase,—"common things," and the advantage to be derived from more instruction in them. Lord Ashburton had, in an excellent speech, done much to bring this subject before the people, and he (Earl Granville) trusted that it would be followed up. At the same time, it would be hardly fair to allow their Lordships to think that this subject had been overlooked in the training schools and establishments. On visiting any of these establishments, particularly those under the senior inspector, acting under the general order of the Council, it would be found that lectures were given on the elements of political economy as affecting wages; also on the materials of dress, modes of cookery, and on mechanical powers, mensuration, &c.; and, in those schools attended by girls, not only was cookery attended to, but sanitary means and regulations, and also attendance on and attention to the sick. He had been told by one of the inspectors who had been long under the committee, that in this district, not only around the metropolis, but in the country, day after day, instruction was given of the most useful character on many of these subjects. He might mention, to show the confidence the Committee had in their present system, the increase that had taken place in the schools and teachers during four years. At the end of 1850 there were 1,717 schools, and 4,660 Government apprentices or pupil teachers; in 1851, 2,600 schools, and 5,607 teachers; in 1852, 2,277 schools, and 6,180 teachers; and at the end of 1852 there were 2,546 schools, and 6,912 teachers; or, in other words, there was at the end of 1852 an increase of nearly 50 per cent over the numbers of 1850. With regard to the abuses of charities, he thought he was perfectly right in saying that the powers in the hands of the Commissioners ought to be increased. He believed, however, that that Board had acted most zealously; and numerous applications had been made to them by trustees to place schools on a more efficient footing. The Commissioners had gone into these cases, and almost invariably had to say, "Your case is a good one, and we hope your wishes may be complied with; we have not the power to help you, but you must go to the Court of Chancery." The applicants, however, did not seem to like the notion of going into Chancery, and, therefore, did not follow up this suggestion. He considered that amendments ought to be introduced on this subject, and most probably a measure would be introduced next Session to effect this, and he trusted that such a measure would receive the favourable consideration of their Lordships. The last point that had been mentioned by the noble Lord was as to the mode of establishing schools to supply the deficiencies which they so much lamented. It was impossible for him (Earl Granville) to express any opinion on this at present, and he could only say that all the Members of the Government were most anxious on this subject, and would gladly avail themselves of any opportunity of establishing a more enlarged system of education, and they were determined to push with the greatest possible vigour their present means and, powers. Their Lordships would see, from the fate of the Government educational measure of last Session, and that of the Scottish measure of this, and also from the evidence received before the Irish Committee on Education, that there was a great practical difficulty in the way of introducing any new system of education; they, therefore, must act on the old song, and be sure "that they were off with the old love before they were on with the new," and they ought to beware of taking any steps which would prove prejudicial instead of favourable to the object they were so desirous of attaining. It was impossible to discuss this subject too much, and great advantage would be derived from having it discussed at public meetings so as to bring it as much as possible under the attention of all classes. He tendered his thanks to the noble Lord for having brought this subject before their Lordships, and for his excellent speech, by which he had cleared away false impressions created by a passing joke made by him in some remarks made early in the Session, and the noble Lord had also by his speech of to-night proved that his efforts in behalf of one great object of his life had not in the least degree diminished.


desired to call the attention of their Lordships to the necessity of dealing differently with the metropolis to what they did with the country districts. In the metropolis they had not the same agencies to work through—they had 2,500,000 of people, and no mutual feelings existing between the employers and employed, and consequently there was a great deficiency of the means of education. In one parish that had come under his notice two or three years ago, there was no school for the children of the poor; during the last three or four years there had been one school established. There were other parts of the metropolis as badly off, in which the clergyman could not act, and the people were too poor to do so. He thought, at least, that the same assistance ought to be extended to these parts of the metropolis as to the country districts. He considered that national education was in a most hopeful state, for its development in the country had of late years exceeded that of any other, and it had become not only the wish of the State, but of the people. He believed, however, that until the employers of labour took an interest in this subject, and felt the duties imposed on them of requiring all children, previous to entering their employ, to submit to an educational test, and also of affording them all facilities of acquiring knowledge after they had entered into their employ, the children would not be enabled sufficiently to derive the advantages from the means of education supplied to them.


rose to confirm the statement of his noble Friend with reference to the metropolis. It had always been found that where there were no means of education crime prevailed, and that education tended to lessen it. He regretted to say that in the metropolis crime had most enormously increased, particularly among juvenile offenders, and it was, therefore, of the last importance that the metropolis should be attended to. It was there that there was the most crying necessity for the interference of the State; there was no local feeling to aid in educating the children, nothing but absolute poverty and destitution, and the condition properly required by the Council, that there should be some local donation, could not be complied with, and it was the very poverty of these metropolitan districts that rendered their case so hopeless.


in reply, again adverted to the pamphlet which had been published by Dr. Hook, of Leeds, and addressed to one of the right rev. Prelates, which contained as much enlightened and sound and liberal doctrine as was ever written by any man. He (Lord Brougham) was of opinion that religious instruction ought to be given in all schools receiving assistance from the State, subject to the qualification respecting Dissenters, and that Scripture ought to be read in those schools; but he agreed with Dr. Hook that the Bible ought not to be made a school-book or lesson-book.

The further Debate on the said Motion put off, sine die.