, in moving, as an Amendment, to include—The general Register of Sasines and other offices mentioned in Section 8 of 42 amp; 43 Vict, cap. 44,said, this was regarded as a great and very important matter in Scotland. There was no institution in Scotland which was looked upon just now with so much discontent as the management of the Register of Sasines, and the Keeper of the Records. The system of registry and transfer of land in Scotland was of very ancient date—namely, 1599. In 1617 an Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament, enjoining that there should be a general Register in Edinburgh and local Registers throughout the country. For many years the Department was in close connection with the Secretary of State for Scotland; but, on the abolition of that functionary, it passed very largely under the control of the Court of Session, and, for nearly 200 years, it was managed as entirely a Scottish Office. It was only in recent times that any control on the part of the Treasury had been felt in Scotland in regard to this Department. In 1817 certain powers were given to the Treasury, and it was enacted that the officers should be paid by salary and that the Treasury should receive the fees; but the Act did not come into effect until the death of the Chief Keeper in 1845. In 1853 the Treasury appointed a number of what were called "Official Searchers;" and he thought it was agreed on all hands that the system had broken down, because a very large proportion of the searches were conducted not by the official searchers, but by non-official members of what was now a regular profession. After 1853 there was 1350 a good deal of discontent as to the arrangement of this Department, and a Commission was appointed in 1861 to inquire into the whole of the matter. Their Report, which was issued in 1863, contained two recommendations—first, that local Registers should be abolished; and, secondly, that the fees should be so regulated as to cover only the expenses of the Department. A Bill embodying these recommendations, and providing that, in the event of there being any surplus, it should be applied to the reduction of the fees, was prepared and introduced in 1866, and considered by a Select Committee, but was never passed into law. In the next year nothing was done, because of the Reform Bill occupying the attention of Parliament at the time; but, in 1868, an Act was passed, called the Land Register Act, which, among other things, abolished all the local Registers, and centralized the Department in Edinburgh. It appointed the Lord Clerk Register to be a paid official, to manage the whole Department, and have considerable powers of patronage; the Treasury was to fix the fees, but only so high as to cover the expenses of the Department—that provision being very distinct. The new position of the Lord Clerk Register, however, was found inconvenient; and, in 1879, an Act was passed, restoring the Office as one of the great unpaid Offices of State for Scotland, and appointing a Deputy Clerk Register to fulfil the functions which the Act of 1868 had laid on the Lord Clerk Register, the patronage being transferred to the Treasury, subject to the control and advice of Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State. The Treasury, from the time they had first begun to have anything to do with this Department, had been continually usurping more and more power in regard to it; and he did not believe there would be a single dissentient voice in Scotland when he said that the interference of the Treasury, which had gone on increasingly year by year, had been disastrous and productive of a great deal of mischief, and that there was no Department which was at the present time so badly managed or gave rise to greater dissatisfaction, especially among the Profession, than the Register House in Edinburgh. When this Bill was being read a second time, he had made a casual remark, that he 1351 thought it would be well to include this Department in the Bill. He had then no intention of moving an Amendment such as that he was now about to propose; but that remark had brought upon him such a flood of correspondence from Edinburgh and Glasgow that he had resolved to take the matter up, and look further into it. He would give an instance of the sort of treatment that the Treasury had been extending towards Scotland in the matter of fees. The 25th section of the Land Register Act of 1868 distinctly laid down the proposition that the amount of fees should be so regulated as to pay only the working expenses of the Department. Let them see how the Treasury had read that provision. He held in his hand a Return which was moved for in the House of Commons in 1877 by Mr. Mackintosh, and he found that, in the previous eight years to that date, the fees drawn amounted to £219,531. The total expenditure for salaries and other expenses for the same period was £178,951, and the balance had been appropriated by the Treasury. In other words, in those eight years, the Treasury had taken as a tax, from those who transferred land and lent money upon land in Scoland, no less than £40,580, or £5,000 a-year. But the grievance did not stop there. The Act allowed the Treasury, out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, to pay compensation to the keepers of those district Registers which were done away with; but the Treasury had been quietly paying this compensation all the time out of the fees of the Department, and not out of moneys provided by Parliament. He was fortified in bringing this matter before the House by an opinion which was obtained at the instance of the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow, and the Society of Writers there, in the year 1871. They resolved to take the opinion of counsel as to whether it was right that these compensations should be paid out of the fees of the Department, and they selected as the counsel to whom they should go, Sir Roundell Palmer, who had become well known to their Lordships under another name, and Mr. James Anderson, Q.C. The point put to them was, whether the Act empowered the Government to pay that compensation out of the surplus fees, or whether the fees must be reduced to an 1352 amount sufficient to defray expenses of the Department? The opinion they received was, that the Act empowered the Treasury to pay the compensation from funds provided by Parliament, without reference to the surplus fees of the Register House, and that these compensations should be included in the Estimates annually voted by Parliament; and counsel were of opinion that it was not in the power of the Treasury to impose fees fur raising funds to meet these compensations. But, in spite of this, the Treasury, during these eight years, had paid no less than £56,000 in the form of compensation, or, together with the other sum, had quietly taken out of the pockets of those who were transferring land in Scotland and lending money on land, a sum of £ 11,000 a-year. He did not ask their Lordships to take this matter into consideration as a money question. He was also perfectly aware of the questions of Privilege that might arise between this and the other House of Parliament in that respect, and would therefore do nothing to raise anything of that kind; and he merely used this as an illustration of the sort of treatment a Scottish Department would receive at the hands of the Treasury, if it were not sufficiently controlled, and to show that the control which was supposed to be vested in the Secretary of State for the Home Department, was entirely delusive because the right hon. Gentleman had so much to do, that he had never been able to pay proper attention to the matter. The object of his Amendment was simply to place the Department under the new Secretary for Scotland. He did not propose that the new Secretary should have any power to fix salaries or alter fees; but he would have power to appoint officers and to control the Treasury, which was at present vested in the Secretary of State, but which had only been vested in him in 1879. There was also a great number of other details connected with the Register House as regarded its routine which might be brought before their Lordships, and which required looking into, and which might be very much improved by someone on the spot. But, meanwhile, he would only say that he believed that a great deal of money was at present wasted by the system that prevailed, and that if his Amendment were agreed to, a great saving would be effected, 1353 and, certainly, the cost of transferring land would be greatly cheapened. The new Secretary ought, at all events, to have an opportunity of trying what he could do in this direction; and he hoped their Lordships would also avail themselves of it in order to see what could be done with a Department which, he believed, was at present the cause of very grave and well-founded complaint. The noble Lord concluded by moving the Amendment of which he had given Notice.
§ Schedule, Part I., page 3, line 15, after ("Fishery Board"), moved, to insert ("General Register of Sasine and other offices mentioned in Section 8, of 42&43Vict. c.44").—(The Lord Balfour.)
THE EARL OF DALHOUSIE
, in opposing the Amendment, said, that in regard to the mismanagement of the Department he would not pronounce any opinion. The Register House had now, for many years, been more or less under the control of the Court of Session. In England, he believed that the analogous matters were controlled by the Master of the Rolls. The view of the Government with regard to the Register House was that it ought rather to be placed more directly under the control of the Court of Session than it was at present. The authority which the Court of Session had over the Department was very vague and undefined, and had at times been disputed. The control of the Register House required a great deal of legal knowledge, which the Secretary created by the Bill would not necessarily possess; and, therefore, in the view of the Government, such reforms as might be required would be more effectually carried out by placing the Department more directly under the control of the Court of Session.
said, he did not intend by the Amendment to interfere with the privileges of the Court of Session, or the Lord Advocate. All he asked was, that the powers conferred on the Secretary of State for the Home Department should be transferred to the new Officer.
§ On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 38; Not-Contents 34: Majority 4.
§ Resolved in the affirmative.
§ Words inserted accordingly.1354
THE MARQUESS OF HUNTLY
, in proposing an Amendment bringing the Elementary Education of Scotland under the control of the new Secretary, said, he considered that those who framed the measure had dealt with the question in what he might call rather a ''funking" manner. The question whether education should be included under the new Office was one which the Government ought not to have shirked, as he thought they had done. At the meeting which was held at Edinburgh in the beginning of the present year, and which represented all shades of opinion on the subject, the resolution which was passed, embodying the almost unanimous opinion of Scotland, included education among the subjects that ought to come under the control of such a Department as the Bill created. His noble Friend opposite (Lord Balfour), who now, he understood, opposed the proposal, was present at that meeting; and if he still held to his Amendment that education should not be included, he (the Marquess of Huntly) should like to know why he (Lord Balfour) had not entered his protest against that resolution when it was carried unanimously in Edinburgh? He had made inquiries into the subject, and he believed those who, at the present moment, were taking the greatest interest in education, were strongly of opinion that, under the Scottish Minister to be created by the Bill, education would be further developed. There was one point in connection with the history of education he should like to call attention to. By the Act of 1872, which a great many Englishmen shook their heads at, School Boards and compulsory education were established in Scotland, and a Board was constituted for a certain number of years, for the purpose of carrying out the Act. In 1878–9 a large and most influential deputation, headed by the late Duke of Buccleuch, came to London, and urgently represented that the Board should be made permanent. He (the Marquess of Huntly), however, at that time thought the Government were wise in placing the Department of Scottish Education under the Privy Council. The reason why that was done was, at that time, there was no Minister attached to Scotland specially attending to the Scottish Business, and who could specially undertake the duties of this 1355 Office. But, under this Bill, they were going to appoint a responsible Minister, with the object of placing under his control all the peculiarly distinctive Scottish matters; and they intended to invest him with authority to conduct all Scottish Business. What he would like to ask was, what was, and what was not, Scottish? Because, of all things Scottish, the system of education was the most Scottish. He (the Marquess of Huntly) had presented Petitions from every large town in Scotland, but one, in favour of his Amendment, and he understood that the only Body which really was opposing it was a Body called the Educational Institute. He was informed that that Body consisted mostly of teachers, and it was one which might be considered wishful to conciliate the powers that be. Therefore, he did not think it should be put in the balance against the vast number of Petitions and the expressions of opinion on the other side. The only other Body, he believed, against the proposal was the Edinburgh School Board, which, however, did not really vote against it, but only carried the "Previous Question" by a vote of five to three, out of eight persons. He endorsed what his noble Friend (the Earl of Fife) had lately said—that education in Scotland was not on such a satisfactory footing as some people thought. He would allow that statistics showed a vast levelling-up of the masses; and he believed, in the towns, the effect of the Education Act of 1872 had been very good and beneficial; but, in the rural districts, he believed the Act had not kept pace with the wishes of those responsible for it; and, certainly, there was a very strong feeling that, in these districts, some greater encouragement must be given towards providing for the bringing on of efficient pupils. Their system in Scotland was dissimilar to any other; and in that country their ideas on the subject of education were rather advanced, and they contended that they should have a man born North of the Border who should be head of the Department dealing with that subject. If they left his proposal out of the Bill, they would leave out the kernel of the whole matter. He submitted that the Bill would be valueless, unless they gave the new Secretary the duties of the Education Department for Scotland. This was a Bill which was not announced by dyna- 1356 mite, or accompanied by agitation, but had been introduced in response to the national feeling of Scotland; and, therefore, it would be a grievous error on the part of their Lordships if they did not include the administration of education among the duties of the new Secretary. As to the objections raised to his proposal, there were only two or three worth consideration. One was, that this was not the right time to do it; and another, that it would give the Minister too much to do. In his opinion, there was nothing in either of those objections, and he hoped their Lordships would not be swayed by them. He looked upon them as side winds by which it was hoped to dish those in its favour. If their Lordships thought that education should be placed under the new Minister, why should it not be done now? Another objection was, that perhaps the new Secretary might be a Member of their Lordships' House, and then there would be some difficulty as to who should represent the new Secretary in the House of Commons, and move the Estimates. That he did not consider a valid objection. Certainly, he had no fear, if the new Secretary were a Peer—for instance, the noble Earl who now so efficiently represented the Home Office in that House—that the Department could not, under a somewhat similar arrangement, be efficiently represented in the House of Commons; and as to the allegation of increase in the expenditure, there were at present officials in the Education Department who had entire charge of Scottish Business, and he did not want to interfere with the present arrangements in that respect. The noble Marquess concluded by moving the Amendment of which he had given Notice.
§ Schedule, Part II., page 4, after line 4, moved to insert—
|"Education||35 & 36 Vict. c. 62.|
|41 & 42 Vict. c. 78.|
|45 & 46 Vict. c. 18.|
|46 & 47 Vict. c. 56."|
said, he must ask their Lordships not to consent to the Amendment. He would not deny that opinions in Scotland were divided at the date of the meeting to which the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Huntly) referred, and at which he (Lord Balfour) was present. But he had an advantage 1357 over his noble Friend in having been present at the preliminary meeting, at which the terms of the resolutions to be laid before the subsequent meeting as a whole were discussed. With reference to the first resolution, it was suggested, on the part of some of those who disapproved of the transfer, that, if it were passed, it would commit everyone attending the meeting to support the idea that the educational affairs of Scotland should be transferred to the new Secretary; but it was not amended, only, he believed, on the ground that a majority of those who were there disclaimed the idea of committing those who openly disapproved of the matter; and he had never ceased, either before that time, or subsequently, and up to the time of the deputation to the Prime Minister on the subject, to guard himself against being committed to the transference of education to the new Secretary. Therefore, he did not think that owing to the terms of the resolution he was in any way precluded from bringing forward his view of the matter on this occasion. He did not think the noble Marquess would find any of those in Scotland who had charge of the administration of the Education Acts who desired the transference to the new Department. The noble Marquess had brought forward a large number of Petitions which he had got from Town Councils and similar bodies; but none of those who were actively engaged in the practical work of education had, so far as he knew, committed themselves very much on one side or the other. Those who thought with the noble Marquess had a great advantage in this respect over those who thought the other way; because when, on the second reading, the noble Marquess intimated his intention of moving his Amendment in Committee, he (Lord Balfour) objected to it, and the Government said they would not consent to the inclusion of education in the Bill; and the result had been to stir up those who wanted it into a state of preternatural activity to send up Petitions, whilst those who were opposed to it had been lulled into a sense of false security by the declaration of the Government. There had been a certain amount of discussion and agitation about this question, having a substratum of popular opinion at work, which had been largely stimulated by a newspaper in Edinburgh, and he might say by the exer- 1358 tions of the noble Marquess himself. By means of a circular signed "Huntly," which had been widely circulated in Scotland, Petitions were invited in support of the noble Marquess's proposal. He ventured to think it was a somewhat new departure for noble Lords in this House to, if he might use the expression, "tout" for Petitions about the country in reference to a matter before their Lordships' House. However, he did not know, judging by the Journals of the House, that the noble Marquess had met with any great amount of success.
THE MARQUESS OF HUNTLY
Petitions have been presented by me from every town and city in Scotland, except Glasgow.
said, that, in his opinion, Glasgow was a very important place, and certainly not the least important of all the large towns, especially in the matter of education. But the circular he held in his hand was addressed to the Convener of a county, and he did not think a single county had petitioned in favour of the proposal; and therefore it appeared that the noble Marquess had not been equally successful in the counties; neither had he, as he asserted, received an overwhelming amount of support in favour of his proposal. His objection to the transfer was that it was a bad thing to do, and he did not admit as a reason for it that the new Secretary would not have enough to do. In fact, his impression was that the new Secretary would have enough to do, if he did what was proposed to be laid on him by the Bill as it now stood, without the new duties which, it was proposed to impose upon him. But if the administration of education ever was to be transferred to that Official, the present was not an opportune moment for the change; for a Committee of the House of Commons, presided over by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was now considering whether there should not be one Education Department for the whole of the country. The Report of the Committee ought to be seen before any change in the present system was made. He should himself much prefer that there should be an Education Department for the whole country, which would only have education to attend to; but if they laid these duties with respect to Scotland on the new Secretary, they would, in all time to come, prevent the 1359 possibility of such a Department being created. He asked their Lordships to pause and consider what might be the outcome of a transfer such as was proposed. The point which the noble Marquess seemed chiefly to rely on was, that the educational system of Scotland had been, and was now, wholly different from that of England. He admitted that it was different, and differently administered; but he would ask noble Lords who urged that objection to point out in what way Scottish education had suffered from its administration by the Committee of the Privy Council. He did not know any way in which it had suffered. Scotland had got its own Code; and he believed it had been very nearly satisfactory to the people of Scotland, if not entirely so, and that it was, in all respects, a very good Code. Neither was it the opinion of those who administered the Code that it had suffered. Another grave objection which he entertained to the Amendment was, that if they had two separate educational systems—if Scottish education was to be separated from English education, the grants would also have to be separated —two grants would have to be proposed separately in Parliament, and they would, in all probability, be settled at so much a-head of the population. The present average grant per head in Scotland was 17s. 8d., and in England 16s. 2d. If hey multiplied that by the number of children whom it concerned it would be found that, at that moment, the Scottish people were spoiling the Saxon to the extent of about £35,000 a-year; but if educational matters were transferred in the manner proposed, and the purposes were made separate, that would not continue to be the case, because the superior efficiency of Scottish schools would no longer tell in the race for grants. It was quite true that the Scottish national system of education had always been much more a system which gave higher education than that of England but were noble Lords aware that, for the last few years, it had been the Scottish Education Department that had been urging the School Boards of Scotland to do more for higher education? A Commission, of which he was a Member, in 1880, recommended to Parliament that more money should be expended for higher education in Scotland. More than one Circular had been issued by the De- 1360 partment to School Boards in Scotland to take up the matter; but he was sorry that, through a poor and paltry spirit of economy, there had been no proper response. The fault did not he with the Scottish Education Department, but with the School Boards in populous centres, who had the power, but did not exercise it, because they were afraid of the rates. If they got this £35,000 taken off their Education Vote, they would make the matter much worse. One reason why he should like to have education referred to a Committee of the Privy Council rather than to the new Secretary, was because, at present, they had a Scottish Committee of the Privy Council, composed of eminent men belonging to Scotland, thoroughly imbued with Scottish ideas, who might be trusted well to look after education; and if they gave it to the new Secretary, they would leave him to act alone without the Committee, who were well qualified to advise him. He might be told that this Committee was a sham, and was not called together. He would admit there was something in. that objection. The Committee should be more often called together; but it was a mistake to say it met as seldom as was generally supposed. Whenever any points of policy had to be I discussed, it was very frequently called together. There were many other reasons why the proposal of the noble Marquess should be rejected. It would lead to great inconvenience in several ways. For instance, if they transferred education, he was convinced they would have a great deal of difficulty with the Treasury in money matters in the future. At present, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a Member of the Committee of Council on Education, and heard himself the views of his Colleagues, instead of their being filtered to him through Departmental officials. It would also be extremely inconvenient in respect of teachers, if that change were made. At present, certificates of teachers trained in England were recognized in Scotland, and Scottish certificates were recognized in England, and that interchange was of great advantage to both countries; but, he was bound to say, more especially to Scotland, because there were far more Scottish teachers came South, than English teachers going North. On the one hand, there was no Roman Catholic Training College for teachers in, the North, and all the teachers for Ro- 1361 man Catholic Denominational Schools had to be trained in the Colleges of that Body in the South; while, again, many teachers belonging to Dissenting Bodies in England, such as Wesleyans and others, could not get admission to the Denominational Training Colleges there, and they came to Scotland. Therefore, it would be seen that any change in the present condition of things in this respect would entail a great deal of unnecessary expense, and it would be a matter for great regret if the existing practice were discontinued. If the expense of training teachers for England and Scotland was to be defrayed out of different purses, great inconvenience must be caused. It had been suggested that if the change were made, it would make it more difficult for the new Official to be a Member of the House of Lords. He did not think that was an objection; to which either he or their Lordships should say much; but of this he was satisfied—that it was to the interest of Scotland, and the wish of Scotland, that the most efficient man for the time being, whether he was in the House of Commons or the House of Lords, should be chosen as the Minister for Scotland. That point was clearly brought out at the great meeting held in Edinburgh in the winter. The second resolution was; to the effect that the Department should be presided over by a person of eminence, and be joined to the Office of the; Lord Privy Seal. It was represented ' that by the resolution, as it stood, they were asking for a Peer to be their Minister; but that interpretation was disclaimed. The latter condition was deleted from the resolution; and no part of the proceedings was more enthusiastic than the declaration that the best man should have the appointment, whether he was a Member of the House of Commons or a Peer. He was encouraged, therefore, to say that he believed that if the change were made, as proposed in the Amendment, it would create a considerable amount of difficulty in the future administration of this Department, for if the Member who had to move the Education Votes, or who was responsible for a large educational expenditure, had a seat in their Lordships' House, the Votes would then have to be moved by a subordinate in the other House. Great fear had been expressed on all sides lest they should do anything prejudicial to the Lord Ad- 1362 vocate. He could imagine nothing more prejudicial to the Lord Advocate than declaring then that the Minister was to be more generally in the House of Commons than the House of Lords. If he were to be always in the House of Commons it would make it almost unnecessary for the Lord Advocate to have a seat in that House, and that would be a change which would not be welcomed by the people of Scotland. He hoped the reasons he had given would induce their Lordships to suspend their judgment until they saw how the new Department would work, and whether it was really the case that there was such a strong feeling in favour of the transference as was represented by the noble Marquess opposite.
What I stated was, that the Scottish children won that amount. The conditions were equal; but the superior efficiency of the Scottish schools enabled the children taught in them to win 17s. 8d. against 16s. 2d. in England.
§ LORD REAY
said, he believed if they transferred the educational arrangements of Scotland to the new Secretary, that it was more likely the difference in favour of Scotland would be increased. He thought the suggested prospect of a Minister for Education for the United Kingdom was very remote indeed; but his appearance would probably tend to equalise the grants and to unify the codes — now separate — on which the grants were made. In England, problems of a different order had to be solved from those which they had to deal with in Scotland and in Ireland. There was the English problem, the Scotch problem, and the Irish problem. As regarded Ireland, the matter was not doubtful. The Privy Council had been warned off by the Lord Lieutenant and the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The former declared before the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Education—"I certainly think it would be a great misfortune to put Irish education under an English Minister." And the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in reply to a Question put to him, said— 1363I regard myself as Minister of Education for Ireland. The difficulties of communicating Irish feeling to London in certain points appear to be quite enormous, and the kind of questions connected with education have so much bearing upon the general state of content and discontent in the country that the Irish Government, which is responsible for the general condition of the country, would be willing to make almost any sacrifice of labour in order to keep it in its own hands.The same difficulty existed with reference to Scottish feeling, and that was why the Bill was brought in. Mr. Cumin, the Assistant Secretary to the Education Department, in his evidence before the same Select Committee, said that he was not sure whether it was a wise thing to have abolished the Scottish Board; and that, though, on the whole, there was, no difficulty in the joint administration of English and Scottish education, there was a good deal of difference between the two systems. He (Lord Reay) could not conceive that the Government, for one instant, could have thought it would be possible to have a Scotch Educational Staff at the Privy Council while there was a Scotch Secretary elsewhere. The, Scotch Secretary being the retriever from the Treasury, they could not exclude him from the most important duty of securing to Scotland a high educational grant, to which her educational proficiency and her contributions to the Imperial Ex-chequer undoubtedly entitled her. But, in addition, he could not deny that the object of Scotchmen in reconquering their administrative independence was to remain ahead. They considered that to their education they owed the place they had won in the British Empire, and they wished to keep that education up to the highest possible level. They stood to the Empire in the same progressive position as Baden stood to the German Empire. The Baden schools and the Prussian schools had a different organization. If there was a country from which in this matter we could learn something it was Germany. The House would perhaps allow him to quote the opinion of one of the most eminent men in Germany, given in a recent eulogistic article on the University of Edinburgh: —What we, on the Continent, have to guard against most in the future, is the danger that, to the inevitable military legions and to the peaceful but also organized legions of the working classes, we should add legions of scholars, drilled, examined, and ruled on a hard-and-fast line. More pernicious than any other undertakings would be that species of administrative educational fanaticism which centralizes and 1364 levels down, failing to grasp the fact that the ultimate object of all public educational institutions must be to create independent, energetic individualities.Scotland did not wish its schools to be transformed into so many incubators of the Education Department. It wished to give to the Empire, as heretofore, hard-headed, loyal citizens. Was it in. the interests of the Empire to centralize? Was it not much more in the interests of the consolidation of our Empire to give to its various component and loyal parts as much self-government as was compatible with the preservation of the unity of that Empire for which Scotchmen were at all times ready to make any sacrifice? The Scottish problem was how to promote secondary education. As the Government had put in the Sche-the administration of Scotch secondary education, which would, he had no doubt, be improved by the Royal Commission over which the noble Lord opposite (Lord Balfour) presided so ably, and as they were told it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to separate secondary education from primary education, he would vote for the Amendment of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Huntly) to remove a distinct omission from the Schedule. If the Amendment of the noble Marquess was rejected, they would undoubtedly have gone a step further in the direction of centralization. As he had said, they did not want their schools in Scotland transferred to a Central Educational Department, such as that sketched by the noble Lord. What they did want was to give an education on national and historic lines to develop logical faculties of observation, to obtain results at a minimum of cost, and to retain that practical turn of mind which it had been the great good fortune of Scotland to possess. He did not believe that by a centralizing and levelling system these results would be obtained, and he would certainly vote for the Amendment of the noble Marquess, because he did not wish primary education in Scotland to be taken from the high pedestal on which John Knox had placed it.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, he thought, if any portion of the educational arrangements of Scotland was transferred to the new Department, it would be expedient to transfer the whole system; but he held that it would be a great misfortune if they were to transfer 1365 any portion of the education of Scotland to the new Office. He should vote against the Amendment, because, although he was perfectly prepared to create an Officer of State a Secretary for Scotland, and place him in the position of a Secretary of State for the Home Department, he was not prepared to place any one Officer in the position both of Secretary of State for the Home Department and President of the Education Department. He thought to join these two functions was too much for any single Minister. His second objection was this, that such a proposal would narrow very much the whole educational system in Scotland. If they agreed to the Amendment, they, in effect, reversed the whole policy of the Scottish Act of 1872. The principle upon which that Act was founded was, that education should be managed locally by the ratepayers; and that such supervision and control as was necessary should be furnished, not by a Board in Edinburgh, but by a body of men possessed of the greatest educational knowledge and authority, and who were far removed from all the petty jealousies which he was afraid were only too prevalent in Edinburgh. It was for that reason specially that, in the Act of 1872, provision was made for the establishment of a Board for three years only, and when that period expired, the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond and Gordon) was of opinion that it was desirable that the Board should cease. Since that time, the supervision and control of education in Scotland had been conducted to great advantage by the Committee of the Privy Council, which numbered among its Members several of the most distinguished of Scotchmen. If the Amendment was agreed to, the Secretary for Scotland would have the business of the Home Office as well as the business of the Education Office to attend to, and it would be absolutely necessary and indispensable that a permanent Board should be established in Edinburgh, and the result would be that the Board would become the Education Minister. In Scotland, with all their many virtues, they also had some failings, and such things had occurred before now as jealousies between Edinburgh, Glasgow, and many other towns. The notion of an Edinburgh Board was strongly opposed to the wishes of a large number of Members of the other House, and 1366 especially by many supporters of Her Majesty's Government.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
asked whether he was to understand that it was not intended to establish any Office connected with Education in Edinburgh?
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, in that case, he should like to know what was the object of transferring the administration of Scotch Education to the new Secretary, and why the business could not be transacted by the Department which carried it on so ably at the present time? He should vote against the Amendment.
§ THE EARL OF ABERDEEN
said, he believed there was a tendency to level down rather than to level up in the matter of education in Scotland. He should support the Amendment in the interests of Scotch Education, and hoped their Lordships would agree to it. It was said by some that it would be a mistake to adopt the Amendment, because they would lose that useful rivalry which existed under the present system. He ventured to think that, under the new arrangement, that rivalry would be greatly increased.
THE MARQUESS OF LOTHIAN
said, he was in favour of the Amendment, because he thought that if they created a new Office, they ought to place every confidence in the man who held it. He would vote for any proposal such as this which had for its object decentralization.
THE EARL OF DALHOUSIE
said, that the ground on which the Government opposed the Amendment was a sound ground. It was, in the first place, that the people of Scotland were not unanimous in favour of the proposal of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Huntly, which would involve a very great change, transferring to the hands of the Scottish Secretary a larger amount of work than would be given by the Acts mentioned in the Schedule. The Government were of opinion that such a change as was thus involved ought not to be made until the people of Scotland had fully considered the matter. The arguments of the noble Marquess who moved the Amendment were to the effect that Scottish education would largely benefit, if it were transferred to the 1367 hands of the Scottish Secretary. Even if it were quite certain that the change would be a great benefit to education in Scotland, he (the Earl of Dalhousie) thought they should hesitate to make such a change so long as public opinion in Scotland was uncertain, and had not been pronounced in an unmistakeable manner. But there were considerations pointing in the opposite direction, and he believed it was very doubtful whether Scottish education would benefit by being handed over to the Secretary for Scotland. The duties of the Education Department were now carried on by the Lord President of the Council, who was invariably a Cabinet Minister, and by the Vice President of the Council, who was solely concerned with Education. Consequently, it might fairly be argued that the handing over of Scotch education to a Scotch Secretary who had other duties to perform, and who was not necessarily in the Cabinet, would not benefit education in Scotland, but would rather place that country in an inferior position to England and Ireland. Another point in the question was with regard to the matter of expense; for if they made the proposed change, Scotch Estimates would be very much greater than they now were, while the English Estimates would not be very much reduced. There would be all the difference between keeping one household and keeping two. And in regard to the Government grant, so long as the Scottish education was under the same Department as the English, no objection was made to the larger grants given to Scotland; but if the Scottish education was transferred to the new Department, it was not improbable that English and Irish Members might object to pay the larger grants to Scotland. He did not know that it could be alleged that the Scotch Code did not meet the wants of the Scottish people. It was drawn up and administered by the Scottish Education Department, which was entirely separate from the English, though its Parliamentary Chiefs were the same. So far as he was informed, the Department kept touch with the Scottish people through the Inspectors and the School Boards. The Commission of 1867, too, was unanimous in the opinion that the jurisdiction of the Privy Council ought not to be disturbed. Another reason why the transfer, even if it were ex- 1368 pedient, should not be made now, was that a Select Committee was considering whether there ought to be a Minister for Education for Great Britain. If it could be shown that the Scottish people were in favour of the change proposed by the Amendment, it might be expedient to accept it, even although education should suffer at first. But the Government did not think there was sufficient ground for imposing the charge of Scottish education on the new Secretary. The objection of the Government to such a course was not an objection of principle; it was not based so much on the belief that Scottish education would probably suffer by such a change, as upon the ground that they did not think they would be justified in making so large a change without some much more strong expression of opinion on the part of the people of Scotland than any that had hitherto been made.
§ On Question? Their Lordships divided: — Contents 18; Not-Contents 37: Majority 19.
§ Resolved in the negative.
, in moving an Amendment to omit the educational endowments of Scotland from among the subjects to be placed under the control of the new Office, said, he felt justified in doing so on the ground that the Amendment was the natural corollary of the decision just arrived at by their Lordships with respect to elementary education. He could not imagine any reason on the other side, and he hoped the two things would not be separated. He could understand the policy of including all education, or that of excluding education altogether; but he could not understand the policy of dividing the charge of education. As many schools that had endowments were also in part elementary schools, one practical result that would ensue by placing the management of educational endowments under the new Secretary, if the Amendment were not adopted, would be that, in future, the elementary schools and the endowed schools would have to be inspected either by two different Inspectors, or by the same Inspector reporting to two different authorities. That was only one of many other anomalies that would arise. He was perfectly certain that, whatever the people of Scotland might feel about having education transferred to the new Department, there 1369 would in no quarter be any difference of opinion that the two matters must be dealt with by the same authority; and it was for that reason he would now move the Amendment.
§ Schedule, Part II., page 4, line 5, moved, to leave out ("Educational Endowments, 45 amp; 46 Vict. c. 59, except section 32").—(The Lord Balfour.)
THE EARL OF DALHOUSIE
said, he was very sorry that he could not accept the Amendment. Until 1882 the educational endowments of Scotland were under the Secretary of State, just as the Universities were; and if a Scottish Department had existed at that time, it was perfectly certain that the control of the endowed institutions would have been transferred to it, and not to the Privy Council. So far as he knew, no one objected to handing over the Universities to the new Office. Indeed, it would be departing from the principle of the Bill if they were not included. Now, it might be said that there were three grades of education in Scotland—on the one hand, they had the Universities, which were now under the Home Office, and which no one objected to have under the new Secretary; on the other hand, they had the Board schools, which the Government and this House had decided to allow to remain as they were; and, thirdly, they had the endowed schools, which might be said to occupy a position midway between the Universities and the Board schools, although, no doubt, it was part of the scheme of many of those institutions that primary education should be given in them. Were they to go with the Universities, or were they to be treated on the same footing as Board schools? That was the question. After carefully considering the arguments pro and con, the Government had decided that the endowed schools should go with the Universities, and the Government adhered to their original intention in this matter. This measure was of a somewhat tentative character; and it was important that an experiment of this kind should be made, which, by transferring a part of the educational machinery to the new Office, would bring the question of transferring the whole more prominently before the Scottish people than it had ever hitherto been.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, that they had had several remarkable 1370 speeches that night from the Government Bench; but he must say that the speech which had just been made was the most extraordinary. He very much doubted whether the provision was ever intended to be in the Bill at all in the outset; at least, he had been unable to ascertain how, in the first instance, it had got into the Bill. If it had been determined that the whole of the educational system of Scotland should be brought under the new Office, he would have been perfectly prepared to acquiesce in that finding; but was it not absolutely ridiculous to determine that primary education was to remain subject to the control of the Privy Council, while the Universities were to go to the new Secretary, and secondary education was to go with the Universities? He submitted that that state of things was thoroughly unsatisfactory. He would suggest that, having regard to the present empty state of the House, his noble Friend (Lord Balfour) should withdraw his Amendment, and bring it up again on Report.
said, he had no hesitation in accepting the suggestion of his noble Friend (the Earl of Camperdown). He would, therefore, withdraw his Amendment, in order to raise the question again on Report.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
said, he hoped the Government would not take the two noble Lords who had spoken as representing the opinion of Scotland, and that they would not stultify themselves in any way by withdrawing from the position they had taken up on this question. Only the other day the noble Lord who moved the Amendment (Lord Balfour) circulated a very voluminous Report from the Endowed Schools Commission, of which he was Chairman. That Report was issued by the Education Department; and, by a curious mistake, only the evidence was given, the Report being omitted; so that the Department had, in fact, issued the Report without the Report. He did not know whether that might be taken as a specimen of the manner in which the endowed schools would be administered by the Department; but he did not think that proceeding was calculated to inspire confidence in its method of conducting business, or that it had shown any claim to have its control over the Scotch endowed schools continued.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
On the Motion of The Lord BALFOUR, the following Amendment made:—Schedule, Part III., page 4, after line 20, insert—
("General Register of Sasines and other offices mentioned in section 8 of 42 amp; 43 Vict. c. 44, except the power to fix the salaries and emoluments attached to any of the said offices.")
§ Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
§ The Report of the Amendments to be received on Monday next; and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 157.)
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter past Ten o'clock.