HL Deb 25 June 1861 vol 163 cc1545-6

asked the President of the Council (Earl Granville) if the Commissioners' Inquiry into Public Schools had been issued, as Lord Campbell had stated it was nearly ready; and had also mentioned the good conduct of those in authority in these schools, and of the Universities, as such that the inquiry could be conducted without any Act of Parliament being introduced—a thing greatly to the honour of these persons?


said, it was quite that there had been every disposition to aid the inquiry, as Lord Brougham had stated, but the Commission, though nearly ready, had not been issued.


trusted that it would contain no exception, so as to exempt any schools from the inquiry. The Act of 1818 had, unfortunately, exempted the great schools from its operation, and he had reluctantly been forced to agree to this exception, the consequence of which was that what would have been accomplished above forty years ago had to be done now. He had endeavoured to have the exemption removed in the Act of 1819, but in vain. The influence of Lord Eldon had proved too powerful. His Bill of 1818 had been by what in these days was a kind of political miracle carried against Lord Eldon in their Lordships' House on the second reading, and he was certain that if he refused to insert the exemption, the Bill would be lost in its subsequent stages altogether. The exemption was of all schools having special visitors, and it had been afterwards found by the Education Committee whose sittings continued a week or two after the Bill passed that these were the most full of abuses.

Back to