HL Deb 18 March 1862 vol 165 cc1706-7

, in presenting petitions against the modified Revised Code of the Committee of Privy Council on Education, expressed his hope that the subject would continue to be dealt with in the same spirit of fairness which had hitherto characterized the discussions which had taken place on the subject. Opposition, when it was offered, should be directed not to sweeping away the whole system, but to improving it to the utmost possible extent. When first the Code was brought forward there had been a universal outcry against it, and it was believed to aim at the sweeping away of existing interests without any consideration. Subsequent inquiry showed that those ideas had been greatly exaggerated, and on the one side a disposition was shown to meet in an equitable spirit all objections wich might be raised; and on the other, to make due allowance for the real intentions of its promoters Objections of a religious character had then been taken to it; but these seemed to have been entirely abandoned, greatly to the credit of those who had been led to urge them in the first instance under misapprehension. It appeared, likewise, as if the objection to the classification by age had been surrendered, after the very candid and sensible speech delivered by a noble Lord now present (Lord Lyttelton.) The more the Code was considered the more he believed its merits could be recognised. The noble Lord (Lord Lyttelton) who, from his peculiar connection with schools, seemed in the first instance to have been strongly prejudiced against it, and had placed on the table Resolutions strongly condemnatory of it, afterwards, on fuller information, was induced very considerably to modify his propositions—in some degree, he had no doubt, owing to the reasonable and temperate manner in which the President of the Council encountered the difficulties felt and expressed by many noble Lords. If the discussion should be continued in the same tone, there could not but arise out of it beneficial and advantageous results.

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