HL Deb 30 June 1884 vol 289 cc1640-53

Order of the Day for Report of Amendments to be received, read.


said, he wished to say a few words in reference to the Bill. He did not know whether that was the proper time to give Notice of an Amendment he intended to move on the third reading of the Bill. He had also to apologize to the House for not being present on the clay when the Bill was considered in Committee. The fact was, he had been in Scotland on business; and having mistaken the day on which the Bill was to be taken, he had not got back in time. He had only one word to say in regard to the decisions their Lordships had come to; and that was, that he thought it was a very great mistake to place the appointment of the Supreme Judges, the Judges of the Court of Session, in the hands of the new Secretary. Considering that the Judges in England were appointed by the highest functionaries of State, he thought it would do serious injury to the status of the Scotch Judicial Body, if its Members were named by an official of inferior rank. That being his feeling on the matter, he begged to give Notice that, on the third reading, he would move that the clause which had been amended at the instance of, and on the Motion of, his noble Friend (the Earl of Rosebery), and which vested all legal patronage in the new Secretary, should be amended by the introduction of the words "with the exception of Judges of the Court of Session."


said, he also wished to give Notice that, on the third reading of the Bill, he would move that the Bill be read that day three months. He would do that mainly as a matter of form, in order to bring on a general discussion in reference to the objections against the provisions of the Bill.

Amendments reported accordingly.


, in moving an Amendment, to omit from the Schedule of the Bill the words which transfer the management of endowed School education in Scotland from the Committee of Council to the new Secretary, said, he was going to ask their Lordships to omit these words, because he thought he should be able to show their Lordships, in the first place, that the present arrangement had been adopted as the result of experience; and, in the second place, that there was no other system whereby he, at all events, could suggest that Scottish opinion could be better arrived at. For that purpose, he would remind their Lordships of the recent history of endowed education in Scotland. Under the Act of 1878, endowed education was placed virtually in the hands of the Secretary of State for the Home Department; but, in practice, when the schemes came to be dealt with, it was found that the most convenient mode of dealing with them was to refer them to the Education Department; and; therefore, although by law the administration and supervision of these schemes vested in the Secretary of State, in reality they were referred to the Education Department for advice; and the advice of the Department was in almost every case adopted. It was quite clear that that arrangement was made because it was found convenient in practice. In 1882, when a new Bill was brought in to deal with the whole subject, the entire matter was handed over from the Secretary of State to the Privy Council; and under the provisions of that Act the Commission was appointed which had worked up to the present time under the Chairmanship of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Balfour). This system was working, he believed, perfectly well and with general satisfaction, and appeared to him to call to its assistance a body composed of the most eminent Scotsmen that were to be found. The complaint made was, that they did not arrive, by the present system, at what Scottish opinion really was;. but the Commis- sioners included, in addition to the noble Lord opposite, a noble Baron who was not now present, Lord Elgin, Lord Shand, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, he thought, also, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, and there were one or two other Commissioners. The schemes were prepared by them, and were all forwarded to the Privy Council, and, in. the ordinary course of business, they passed through the Education Department. The present permanent head of the Department was a very eminent Scottish official—Mr. Cumin—and there were also under him other able Scottish officials in the Department. Prom them the schemes passed on to the Scottish Committee of the Privy Council. He was not quite well aware who were the Members of that Committee; but, among others, his noble Friend (the Duke of Argyll) was one, and the noble Earl (the Earl of Rosebery) was another; Mr. Baxter was also a Member, and the Lord Advocate was a Member ex officio. He believed there were other Members, and did not know whether the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Richmond) was one of them; but he had said enough to show their Lordships that those names were a sufficient guarantee that eminent Scotsmen, holding very different opinions, had the opportunity of seeing all these schemes, if the present system of administration was properly worked. Therefore, always provided that the Committee was duly called together, and that the schemes were submitted to the Committee as they ought to be, he did not know, and could not suggest, any system, whereby one could be more likely to arrive at what Scottish opinion on any subject connected with educational endowments was. Then, what was the system proposed to be substituted? It was proposed to put in the place of the Scottish Committee the new Secretary for Scotland. But that Secretary would almost be necessarily a Member of the Scottish Committee. Therefore, the proposal came to this — to substitute for the Committee which he had named one Member of the Committee, and to place the control of endowed education entirely in his hands. He was sure that the most excellent choice would be made for this Secretaryship; but, at the same time, he could not perceive how it could be more conducive to the elucidation of what was really Scottish opinion to place one man in control of endowed education, rather than to leave it as at present. There would be practical inconvenience in the working of the system now proposed. He had said the other day, when they were talking with respect to the transfer of Scottish education altogether to the new Secretary, that, from the best interpretation he could put on the Bill, that Secretary would require to have an educational establishment down in Edinburgh. He was told, however, that that would not be the case. If so, it seemed to him that one or two things must happen—either that the Secretary must have some small educational establishment of his own in London, or should have under his control, for the purposes of endowed education, some of the officials of the present Education Department. He could not help thinking there would be considerable practical inconvenience in the working of a system of that sort. He did not wish to put the matter on too high grounds; but it certainly seemed to him that the present arrangement was in every way better than that which it was proposed to substitute for it. It had been remarked the other evening by the noble Earl (the Earl of Rosebery) that neither he (the Earl of Camperdown) nor the noble Lord opposite (Lord Balfour) represented Scotch opinion upon this point. Well, he did not in the least profess to represent Scottish opinion. He could not speak as to what Scottish opinion might be; he could only say what he himself thought; hut he very much doubted whether the details of the scheme had really been put before the people of Scotland, and he thought it was very desirable that all the Bodies —the Commissioners of Burghs and others—who had passed resolutions with reference to this subject, should really have these details before them, and should really understand what the change was. Their Lordships, moreover, should remember that, if they retained these words in the Schedule of the Bill, they would, after all, be plating only half, and a very small half, of the education of Scotland in the hands of the Secretary. The other night it had been argued, and, he thought, very fairly indeed, by the noble Lord opposite (Lord Balfour), that he was quite content to accept this issue—that either all Scottish education should be put in the hands of the Scottish Secretary, or none of it; and, for himself, he could not understand how it would be more conducive to the elucidation of Scotch opinion to have one Scotchman in charge of the endowed schools, instead of five or six. Their Lordships had decided, the other night, that elementary education should not be placed in the new Secretary's hands; and, that being so, it appeared to him that it would be very much better to retain also the endowed education in the hands of those who were at present conducting it—namely, the Privy Council. He would now move an Amendment to that effect.

Schedule, Part II., page 4, moved to leave out ("Educational Endowments, 45 and 46 Viet. c. 59, except Section 32.")—(The Earl of Camperdown.)


said, that his own feeling had always been that, if a Scotch Department of Administration was to be created at all in England, having its headquarters in London, and superseding, or at least over-riding and over-ruling, all the various Bodies in Scotland—supposing, he said, that it was the wish of the Scotch people that such a Department should be created, he had always felt that education, above all other subjects, was one of the things that ought to be entrusted to that Department. The Scottish system of education was much older than the English; and it was regulated on different principles; and, for his part, he rather regretted that the principles of the English administration of education should have been introduced in Scotland; but that had gone to a very considerable extent, and he was afraid it could not now be undone. If a satisfactory Deportment was really to be created in London for Scottish affairs, his voice would certainly be in favour of giving it to the administration of primary and secondary education as a whole. But, then, their Lordships, he understood, had decided by a considerable majority that, for the present, primary education ought not to he entrusted to that Body; at all events, until they saw how the new Department worked. He could, therefore, quite understand the objection of those who said that as primary education was not to be transferred, secondary education ought not to be transferred either. He believed that the present administration of the Department in London, as regarded endowed schools, was very well conducted; and they had had the advantage, as his noble Friend (the Earl of Camperdown) had said, of very able officials. They lately had the advantage of the services of Sir Francis Sandford, and they now had the advantage, not less valuable, of Mr. Cumin, to whom they were much indebted; and if education was removed to the new Department, those permanent officials should be connected with it. His noble Friend had alluded to one matter on which he did not think the noble Earl himself knew the working of the present administration—namely, the Scottish Committee on Education. It was perfectly true that he (the Duke of Argyll) and some other Members of the Scottish Peerage and some Members of the House of Commons were Members of that Committee; but those who were acquainted with the working of that Body knew that they were very seldom called together—they very seldom met. He did not think he had attended it for a very long time, and practically the administration fell into the hands of the ordinary Committee of the Privy Council and the permanent officials. He had nothing, however, to complain of in that matter. He did not know any evil that arose from the present administration; and, if any important question should arise, he had no doubt the Committee would actually assemble, and give their opinion; but as regards the practical and daily administration of the Education Department, the Scottish Committee was a non-existent Body. Personally, he should be disposed to say that the two branches of education should go together; and, as the House had already decided that elementary education was not to be committed to the new Secretary, he would agree that the words which the noble Earl (the Earl of Camperdown) proposed to omit should be struck out of the Bill.


said, it appeared to him that the Amendment was supported by the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll), because he would be glad if both classes of education were transferred to the new Secretary; whereas the noble Lord opposite (Lord Balfour), who had raised the question the other night, in the debate in Committee, advocated the striking out of secondary education, on the ground that he was anxious neither should be transferred. Their Lordships ought to remember, however, that this was a tentative measure; and if the question of transferring the whole education was, as it seemed likely, to come before their Lordships again, surely it was better that some step of a tentative character should be embodied in the Bill. He had explained in Committee the considerations which influenced the Government to place the educational endowments in the Schedule of the Bill. The desirability, he thought, of making some experiment in order to see how the new Department would be able to work educational matters was a clear justification of the course adopted by the Government in placing the educational endowments in the hands of the new Secretary.


said, he hoped their Lordships would not consent to passing a Bill which had in it, as the Schedule now stood, the transfer of the working of the Educational Endowments Act to the new Secretary, and leaving out of it the working of elementary education. He had said on different occasions, and would say again, that, however opinions might be divided on the general question, he did not believe that there were a dozen persons who were in favour of having the administration of general elementary education and the administration of the educational endowments separated the one from the other; and further than that, he had heard no reason given in that House by the Government, or anybody else within or out of the House, for making the separation. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Dalhousie) thought it would be desirable that an experiment should be made, to see how the new Secretary would deal with education. All he (Lord Balfour) had to say in reply to that was, that he rather objected to the Commission being made the corpus vile on which the experiments were to be tried. He thought he would have the sympathy of their Lordships when he said that, as the Commission of which he happened to be Chairman had been at work for about 18 or 20 months, they were at that stage when the first of their work was just coming before the Education Department, and would shortly be before Parliament. It would obviously be very inconvenient, if it had now to be submitted to the new Department; in fact, it was the most inconvenient time at which such a transfer could be made, They had established a modus vivendi of a most satisfactory kind with the Scottish Education Department; and he should be extremely sorry if they had all that work to go through again with the now Secretary, when he, perhaps, would take a different view of certain matters from that which the Department had taken, and the whole matter would have to be re-discussed. Upon that ground, he should deprecate the proposed transference at this time, especially as it was in the nature of an experiment, for which he could see no reason whatever. He did not wish it to be thought that the Commission had any dread or dislike of being under the new Secretary per se. The point on which he wished to found his plea was, that the separation of the two branches of education was in itself so inconvenient a thing, that it could not possibly be satisfactory, and would not, he believed, be approved of in Scotland. It would introduce a dual control of a most unfortunate kind. The real reason why some noble Lords wished this line retained in the Schedule was, that it might be a lever for hereafter getting the whole of education transferred to the new Office. He wished that matter to stand or fall entirely on its own merits. If elementary education had been transferred he would not have said another word in the matter, neither should he have dreamt of putting down an Amendment on the Paper; for he should have regarded the one decision as ruling the other. The noble Lords opposite had, in Committee, used as their most powerful argument in favour of transferring elementary education the fact that educational endowments were in the Schedule; but the decision of the Committee having gone against them, he really hoped that those who had supported it would not abandon the position that it was necessary for the two things to be transferred or not together. If it should really be the case, as the noble Earl who represented the Government seemed to imply, that they should hear of this matter again, he hoped they should hear of it as a whole. If the Amendment were pressed to a Division, he should support it.


said, he entirely agreed with everything that had just fallen from his noble Friend behind him (Lord Balfour). He was very much astonished to hear the noble Earl in charge of the Bill (the Earl of Dalhousie) say that it was a tentative measure. What did the Government mean by a tentative measure? It would be satisfactory to their Lordships to know how long they were to be occupied in experiments; how long they were to be kept in suspense, before they knew whether a Secretary for Scotland was to be one of the institutions of the country. The noble Earl might have told them whether the Bill was to last three, five, or seven years; and whether, at the end of that time, the Act would come before the House; and whether, if the Secretary for Scotland had not acted in a manner that was very satisfactory, his Office would then be abolished. To transfer the management of endowed schools to the Secretary for Scotland would be exactly undoing what Her Majesty's present Government set up in 1882, when the Commission of which his noble Friend was Chairman was appointed. In that year, the endowed schools were placed in the hands of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and were after wards handed back to the Privy Council, because it was found the Home Department could not deal with them. The Education. Department at present dealt with all the endowed schools of £50 and under, and the endowed schools of that class were very intimately connected with primary education in Scotland. Therefore, the Education Department, who were charged with carrying out the primary education in Scotland, were the very body best able to deal with such endowed schools. If the Scottish Education Committee in London did not meet too frequently, that was the fault of the Lord President of the Council, and not of the Scottish Education Department. He would not say that it did not meet as often as it should. The mere ordinary details which went through the routine of the Office did not require any very great consideration, and did not require the meeting of any Committee. The proposal of this tentative Bill was to take all these matters out of the hands of the Privy Council, and out of the hands of the Scottish Education Department, and place it in the hands of one man, who might or might not know anything about the subject. In the interests of education in Scotland he protested against such a proposal; and therefore he should, with the greatest pleasure, support his noble Friend opposite (the Earl of Camper-down) in keeping the endowed school system under the present Education Committee and the Privy Council Office.


said, that the course of the debate had led to some remarks being made which he thought it was duo to his side of the House that they should take notice of. In the first place, he wished to state that, inadequate as their arguments on that side of the House might have been, they preferred them as stated by themselves, rather than as represented by his noble Friend who spoke last but one (Lord Balfour). He did not recollect that anyone—or, at most, there was only one— on that side of the House, who used the argument that the Scottish endowments and the system of Scottish primary education were absolutely inseparable. If there was any exception to that statement, there was not more than one. But passing from that, because the question of who used the argument was a very small one, he would wish to allude to another remark that fell from his noble Friend, which was, that they ought not to make this transference, because the noble Lord was Chairman of the Commission on Endowed Schools, that it had been sitting for 20 months, and that it was at the most interesting period of gestation, and that, under these circumstances, it would be a great misfortune to Scottish education generally, if the relations, so advantageous and cordial on both sides, between the Commission and the Education Department were separated. He attributed the less weight to that argument, because he recollected the circumstances which led to the appointment of that Commission, and he thought the appointment was about coeval with the separation of endowments from the Home Department. What had then taken place showed very conclusively that the difficulty of separating primary education and endowments was not so very great as it was now represented to be; because, if they were separated departmentally up to two years ago without any very serious consequences, he did not see that the interregnum, of two years made an absolute and impassable gulf between the present and the past. The noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Richmond and Gordon) had said the endowed schools were taken out of the hands of the Home Department, because the latter was incapable of dealing with them. His (the Earl of Rosebery's) recollection of the transaction, however, was that these endowments were separated from the Home Office, not because the Secretary of State found himself unable to deal with them, but because the Home Office had lately been overcrowded with work. If up to two years ago these endowments were in the hands of the Home Department with excellent effects on both sides, there did not seem, to be much reason, when they were forming a sort of new Home Department for Scotland, why they should not transfer the endowments in Scotland to its charge. The noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) said that he would be inclined to support the Amendment, because he did not very well see how primary and secondary education could be separated in Scotland; and he added that, as the question of primary education had been settled by a very large majority, he, for one, did not feel inclined to support the clause as it stood. It was, no doubt, a large relative majority; but the numbers who took part in it were not such as to settle absolutely a large national question. The figures, he thought, were 37 to 18. He could not believe that Scotland or "the other place" would accept that decision as one either representing the opinion of their Lordships, or the feeling of the country at large. He inclined to think that if the battalions who were usually ranged behind the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) had been present when he gave his vote in reference to the question of elementary education, the decision would have been much more conclusive the other way. The noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Richmond and Gordon) had argued that the Bill ought not to be described as a tentative Bill, and that was the only remark he (the Earl of Rosebery) wished to take notice of in concluding, because his noble Friend (the Earl of Dalhousie) had not the right of reply. He (the Earl of Rosebery) took it for granted that the Bill was tentative, in- asmuch as it was an experiment in the formation of a Department; and the Government wished to confine the experiment in this matter of education, because they wished to see how that matter would work. That was the ordinary meaning of the word tentative, and he did not see what objection could be taken to it. He hoped that the Government, though they did not seem to have much promise of success in the Division after what had fallen from both sides of the House, would adhere to the proposal in the Bill, because he knew that the whole question of education would be raised "elsewhere," and it would strengthen the hands of those who wished to enlarge the basis of this Office.


said, he entirely agreed with the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Dalhousie) in wishing to enlarge the basis of the new Office, because its success would much depend on that object being carried out; but when they came to details, he did not think that educational endowments and elementary education could be separated from each other. If the House chose to reverse the decision come to the other night, he should be perfectly willing to join the two subjects; but, it being the decision of the House that the management of elementary education was to remain where it was now, he thought educational endowments ought to be in the same position, and that the two ought not to be separated.


, in supporting the Amendment, said, it had been stated that the Government wished to try how far a transference of Scotch Business to the new Office would work, and they had selected education for the purpose of that trial. He should have thought any other subject would have been better than education for experiment. In the recent Report of the Commission on Industrial Schools the disadvantage of separating some schools to a non-educational Department was noted. Education was the most special of all subjects, and one with which it was least in the public interest to make experiments in a variety of Departments. It was desirable to make endowed schools for the middle classes separate from elementary schools; but there was no more reason to put any of the schools in Scotland under the Home Department than under the Foreign or any other Department. Under the plan provided by the Bill, moreover, two sots of Inspectors would be required, and a different standard of education introduced.


said, he entirely agreed with the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond and Gordon) that this appeared to be essentially a subject on which the wishes of all Scotland ought to be considered. Although it did appear, from the conversation which had taken place, that there was some difference of Scottish opinion, yet he knew that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in framing the Bill, took immense pains to ascertain, not only the opinion of the Scottish Peers, but also the opinions of the Scottish Members on this subject, and the great majority were decidedly in favour of the Schedule as it stood.


said, he thought there was ample evidence that the public of Scotland were in favour of the separation of education from English control; and he did not believe that public opinion would approve of the management of educational endowments and of primary education being separated. He should vote for the maintenance of educational endowments as contained in the Schedule of the Bill.

On Question? Their Lordships divided: —Contents 55; Not-Contents 38: Majority 17.

Rutland, D. Hardinge, V.
Hawarden, V.
Salisbury, M. Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)
Abingdon, E. Sidmouth, V.
Ashburnham, E. Strathallan, V.
Bradford, E. Templetown, V.
Cadogan, E.
Camperdown, E. Bagot, L.
[Teller.] Balfour of Burley, L.
Carnarvon, E. [Teller.]
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queens-berry.) Borthwick, L.
Boston, L.
Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)
Hardwicke, E.
Lathom, E. Colchester, L.
Leven and Melville, E. Cottesloe, L.
Lovelace, E. Digby, L.
Lucan, E. Donington, L,
Mar and Kellie, E. Douglas, L. (E. Home.,
Milltown, E.
Morton, E. Ellenborough, L.
Powis, E. Forbes, L.
Ravensworth, E. Gerard, L.
Redesdale, E. Harlech, L.
Selkirk, E. Inchiquin, L.
Kintore, L.(E. Kintore.) Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.
Norton, L.
Penrhyn, L. Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)
Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown)
Tyrone, L. (M. Waterford.)
Saltoun, L.
Shute, L, (V. Barrington.) Ventry, L.
Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
Silchester, L. (E. Long ford Wemyss.)
Winmarleigh, L.
Selborne, E. (L. Chancellor.-) Churchill, L.
FitzGerald, L.
Foxford, L. (E. Limerick
Grafton, D.
Marlborough, D. Greville, L.
Somerset, D. Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)
Normanby, M. Monson, L. [Teller]
Oxenfoord, L. (E Stair.)
Derby, E.
Granville, E. Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie
Kimberley, E.
Minto, E. Reay, L.
Morley, E. Ribblesdale, L.
Stanhope, E. Rosebery, L. (E. Rose bery.)
Sydney, E.
Sandhurst, L.
Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.) Skene, L. (E. Fife.)
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Sherbrooke, V.
Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)
Abinger, L.
Blachford, L. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]
Tweedmouth, L.
Braye, L. Waveney, L.
Carrington, L. Wrottesley, L

Amendment agreed, to.

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Bill to be read 3a on Tuesday the 8th of July next.