HL Deb 18 July 1856 vol 143 cc1025-7

Bill read 3a (according to order) with the Amendments.

On Motion, That the Bill do now pass,


called attention to the Amendments made in that Bill against the wishes of the Government, and said he was very anxious to know what the Government intended to do in relation to the clauses struck out of the Bill.


said, he thought it quite possible that the other House might reinsert in the Bill the clauses which had been struck out of it at the instance of the noble Duke.


hoped that nothing would be done that could endanger the passing of the Bill.


said, he trusted the Government would use their influence to prevent the reinsertion of those clauses.


said, he could undertake to give no pledge as to what course the Government would pursue in the other House with respect to the new clause which had been inserted by their Lordships. On a subject of the kind, there ought to have been mutual concessions. Nevertheless, he must remind their Lordships that all the concessions made had been on the part of the Government, while upon the side of the majority in that House there had positively been none. The question at issue should be settled definitively one way or another; for certainly the subject of which the Bill treated ought not to be dealt with as a mere continuance Bill. The measure, therefore, must be left to its fate, and he would warn their Lordships that the opinions of a large proportion of the representatives of Scotland were not to be overlooked.


dwelt upon the hardship which would be inflicted upon the schoolmasters if this Bill were not passed. In that case they would be rendered dependent on the charity and benevolence of the heritors, and this certainly should not be the case.


supported the Bill, and stated that all Government desired was, that while they reserved the control of the schools to the parish ministers, the children of other parties besides those belonging to the Established Church should be admitted to the benefits of them.


remarked that the Scotch Members in the other House who supported the measure were the representatives of the boroughs, in which parochial schools were not all required, while of the county Members they were as two to one against it. The subject had been taken up by the counties of Scotland at their meetings, and, with the exception of the county of Banff, they were all decidedly opposed to the present Bill. The noble Duke had stated that no concession had been made by the noble Lords opposed to the Bill; but, for his own part, he considered that he had given way considerably. What he most objected to was the interference of the inspectors, not in the inspection of the schools, but in other repects, and he did trust that Government would seriously consider the objection.


called upon their Lordships not to be misled by the so-called expression of opinion of the great county meetings in Scotland. These annual gatherings could always be got to pronounce against reforms of every description. Look at their conduct with reference to the reform of the constitution of the other House of Parliament. Why the county meetings were for upholding the old disgraceful system when representation was a mockery, and they were as completely opposed to the Reform of 1832 as they were to the measure now under consideration. His belief was that if the people of England and Scotland were to be debarred a proper system of national education through ecclesiastical interference and nice religious distinctions, the sooner they severed the connection between the Established Church and education the better. Why should the clergy of the country have the control of the schools? In former times it might have been different, because then the clergy alone were educated; but it was to be hoped that now-a-days others besides the clergy were equally able to administer the work of education, and the sooner the exclusive power of the clergy was got rid of the better.


was sorry to hear such a declaration as that which had just fallen from the noble Marquess, because it implied that the noble Marquess thought the time was come to establish a system of education in which religion was kept out of sight.


explained that he did not say the system should be one in which religious principles were not inculcated. What he said was, that the exclusive control should be taken from the clergy.

Motion agreed to.

Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.

House adjourned to Monday next.