HL Deb 23 July 1855 vol 139 cc1279-80

said, he wished to know whether, if the Government did not mean to introduce before the close of the Session a Bill for continuing to the parochial schoolmasters in Scotland the present amount of their salaries, they would be prepared to support such a measure if brought forward by some independent Member of Parliament.


said, that if the Government did not think it advisable to introduce such a measure, he thought it could hardly be expected that they would give to it their support if it should be brought forward by some Member of Parliament unconnected with them. He quite agreed with those who said that it would be very unfair to make the schoolmasters in Scotland suffer in consequence of differences of opinion among Members of the Legislature on the subject of education. But the Government did not consider it desirable to bring forward a continuance Bill in that case during the present Session, mainly because they did not believe that it was really wanted. The present salaries would be paid to the parochial schoolmasters in Scotland up to next Michaelmas, and the next payment would not be due to them until a period which would extend more than two months and a half beyond the usual time of the reassembling of Parliament, so that a sufficient opportunity would be afforded of reconsidering the subject.


observed that great inconvenience would be felt from the matter being left in a state of uncertainty, as, in anticipation of the expiration of the existing law, arrangements must previously be made for an altered state of things. With respect to the Bill recently before the House, the noble Lords representing Scotland in their Lordships' House were, with one or two exceptions, decidedly opposed to it; and a similar feeling prevailed generally among the Scotch proprietors. Whatever enactment might hereafter be proposed with respect to education in Scotland, he could confidently say that the most determined opposition would be given to the destruction of the parochial system throughout the country, though he admitted that a totally different kind of school might be necessary in large towns and populous places.

House adjourned till To-morrow.