§ House in Committee (according to order).
§ Clause 1 (Short title).
§ On the Motion of The Earl of ROSE-BERY, the following Amendment made:—In page 1, line 5, in the title, after ("Scotland,") insert ("and President of the Scotch Education Department").
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 2 and 3 severally agreed to.
§ Clause 4 (Seal, style, and acts of the Secretary).
§ On the Motion of The Earl of ROSE-RERY, the following Amendments made: —In page 1, line 27, leave out from ("and") to ("Secretary") in line 31, both inclusive; in line 34, after ("him,") insert ("or by any Secretary or other officer appointed by him for that purpose;") and in page 2, lines 1 and 2, 587 leave out ("the Assistant Secretary, or any,") and insert ("any Secretary or")."
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 5 (Transfer of powers of Secretary of State).
§ On the Motion of The Earl of ROSE-BERY, the following Amendments made: —In page 2, line 12, leave out ("or any Committee thereof;") and in line 13, leave out after ("Schedule") to ("Scotland") in line 15, both inclusive.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
, in explanation, said, that the object of the change was to provide for the transference of the functions in a different form in a new clause.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
, in proposing, after Clause 5, the insertion of a new clause in order to provide for the transference of the control of education to the New Department, said, it was not exactly the same as the one which appeared on the Notice Paper. It had been drawn up in consultation with the hon. and learned Lord Advocate, on the analogy of the constitution of the Board of Trade. There was no doubt that, if the clause were carried in the form in which it appeared on the Paper, it would be superseding, or in some respects interfering with the functions of the noble Viscount opposite the President of the Council (Viscount Cranbrook). The new clause which he now proposed was a more elaborate and distinct method of doing what the Bill already attempted to do, by reciting the Acts of Parliament which referred to the matter in question. It was found in practice, when they came to examine the Acts under which the Vice President of the Council exercised authority over education, that it was simpler to transfer the Scottish Education Department bodily to the control of the new Secretary, instead of reciting the Acts, clauses, and Schedules which were not quite complete in their operation. There was another object, which was to make the scope of the change more complete. Instead of a Committee of Council for Scottish Education, which had hitherto been more or less a collection of phantoms, it was proposed that the new Department should be assisted by a Council which 588 should have to deal, not only with the primary education, but with secondary education, exercising power over endowed schools in Scotland, and also exercising power with regard to the Universities. Their Lordships would see what a very complete and interesting scheme of educational reform this opened up. He thought that those who objected to the Bill from an educational point of view would feel that, in some degree, their objections were removed by the great prominence and importance given to education in this clause; whereas those who, like himself, were anxious to transfer education to the new Minister in the most complete and absolute fashion, would feel that that had been done much more efficiently by the new clause than by the somewhat passing references to the subject in the sub-section and in the Schedule. He wished to remove one possible ambiguity. Their Lordships would observe that it was said—It shall be lawful for Her Majesty from time to time, by warrant under the Royal Sign Manual, to appoint the Secretary for Scotland to be Vice President of the Scotch Education Department,and so forth. That had the appearance of a permissive clause, and it might cause some alarm among those who wished to place education under a Scottish Minister. They might think that this would only be an option given, and that somebody under the Scottish Minister might hereafter be appointed Vice President of the Scottish Education Department; but, as a matter of fact, that exact form of words was copied from the Acts appointing the Vice President of the Council Minister of Education for England, and they might be perfectly safe as to the construction of the clause. There need be no fear that it was simply a permissive clause; it was an enabling form of words which he now proposed.
Moved, after Clause 5, to insert as a new clause:—
(Appointment of Secretary for Scotland as Vice President of the Scotch Education Department.)
It shall be lawful for Her Majesty from time to time, by warrant under the Royal Sign Manual, to appoint the Secretary for Scotland to be Vice President of the Scotch Education Department, and the Scotch Education Department shall mean the Lords of any Committee of
the Privy Council appointed by Her Majesty on Education and Universities in Scotland.
(Transference of powers and duties of Scotch Education Department.)
From and after the appointment of the Vice President of the Scotch Education Department, as hereinbefore provided, all powers and duties vested in or imposed on the Scotch Education Department constituted under the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, shall be transferred to, vested in, and imposed on the Scotch Education Department constituted under this Act; and wherever in any Act of Parliament, Minute or Regulation, reference is made to the Scotch Education Department, such reference shall be read and construed as applying to the Scotch Education Department constituted under this Act."—(The Earl of Rosebery.)
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Viscount CRANBROOK)
said, the House was in some little difficulty on account of the proposed Amendment coming before them, as it did, at that late period, and in a new form. Until he came down to the House he had not had an opportunity of seeing the form in which the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Rosebery) proposed to transfer the Scottish Education Department to the new Secretary for Scotland. Previous, however, to the Bill passing the second reading, he (Viscount Cran-brook)had endeavoured to introduce into the Scottish Council some Representatives of Scottish feeling and Scottish knowledge, who might very effectively have taken part in the administration of education there; and inasmuch as education was to be transferred to this new Official it should be done carefully, and therefore he was very glad, if it was to be done at all, that it was to be done in the way proposed by the noble Earl. The Department existed, the Secretary for Scotland would find that everything was ready to his hand, he would enter on his Office with Inspectors and other officials all ready, and he would merely have to take the place at present held by the Vice President of the Council for England, who was also Vice President of the Council for Scotland. But he (Viscount Cranbrook) must take an exception to the extent to which the noble Earl had gone with respect to the Universities. The Committee of Council in England had no authority with respect to the Universities in England. Judicial Committees were appointed for the special purpose of dealing with the questions that arose in reference 590 to the Universities; but the Committee of Council had nothing to do with these matters. The nature of the duties of the Committee of Council and of the University Committees were entirely different. The noble and learned Earl opposite (the Earl of Selborne) would bear him out in saying that Committees were appointed ad hoc for deciding on questions relating to Universities, and that the Committee of Council in England had nothing whatever to do with the Universities of England. It was a totally different subject which was brought before those Bodies. In the case of Committees of Council on Education, it was only in an administrative capacity that they acted; while, in the case of Committees of Council for the Universities, they had to deal with judicial questions, which were of a totally different character. The gentlemen who composed those Committees and dealt with Universities were Judges and other authorities, who were able to decide judicial questions in an authoritative manner. Neither their time nor their circumstances would admit of their giving that attention which would be required in such a scheme as the noble Earl proposed in connection with the Secretary for Scotland. Therefore, he should certainly oppose the insertion of the words "and Universities" in the clause of the noble Earl; and he would venture to suggest to the noble Earl that he should omit the words from the clause, and deal, if necessary, with the question of the Universities separately. That might be a proper function in which the Secretary for Scotland should assist, in combination with men who were able to decide questions of a judicial character, with which the administration of education had nothing whatever to do. He believed that the advantages to which the noble Earl alluded in regard to education might have been obtained by a Council of Scotsmen devoting their attention to this particular subject, and on which, if it were formed, a high dignitary like the Secretary for Scotland might appropriately have a seat.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
said, he wished to be allowed to offer a word of explanation in regard to what had fallen from the noble Viscount opposite. The words "and Universities" were inserted in this clause for two reasons. In the 591 first place, the Bill already gave power to transfer to the Secretary for Scotland the powers which the Home Secretary exercised over Scotch Universities; secondly, there was a University Bill, which had long been before both Houses of Parliament, in which it was provided that a Committee of Council should supervise Scotch University matters. It was thought that it would be desirable to have one Council only; but if the noble Viscount saw insuperable objections to the adoption of that course, there would be time enough to consider the question when the Universities Bill came before their Lordships.
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Viscount CRANBROOK)
said, he still thought the words "and Universities" should be omitted from the clause.
§ Moved, To amend the clause by leaving out the words ("and Universities.")— (The Lord President.)
§ Motion agreed to; words left out accordingly.
§ On Question, "That the clause, as amended, be there inserted?"
§ THE EARL OF MINTO
said, he was able most heartily to join with the noble Earl (the Earl of Rosebery) in regard to the transference of education to the now Department. Great complaints had been made with regard to the amount of red tape and officialism which there was about the great paraphernalia of the Privy Council. When Lord Young introduced the Scottish Education Bill, he thoroughly understood the characteristics of Scottish education. The functions of the Superintending Body were really very limited, the Act having been so drawn up that the school boards were carefully guarded against being embarrassed by any unnecessary interference on the part of anybody. There was no use retaining anybody with a high-sounding title. It was far better that the control of education should be in the hands of one man, and that man, he thought, should be the Secretary for Scotland.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, that, in his opinion, the noble Earl who had introduced this Amendment (the 592 Earl of Rosebery) had very much underrated it with regard to the importance of the change it would make as respected education. The Amendment really introduced a very large change in the Bill, and he very much wished it were possible to give them a few days to consider it, as it was impossible in the few hours that had elapsed since they had received it to give it that amount of consideration which it deserved. As the Bill originally stood, it proposed to do away with the Scottish Education Department altogether, and to put the charge of Scottish education entirely into the hands of the new Secretary. This Amendment, on the contrary, proposed to continue the present system of a Scottish Committee of Council, presiding over which, or at all events a very prominent member of which, would be the Scottish Secretary. That was really to say they were going to continue the present system, with this difference, that it would be dividing education into two parts-—one part for England, and one for Scotland. The form of administration in each case would be precisely the same; but the separation between England and Scotland would be complete, so far as the Committees were concerned. There would be an English Committee presided over by the Vice President of the Council, and a Scottish Committee presided over by an analogous Officer, who would be the Scottish Secretary. There would be a separate Office and a separate Secretariate, and the whole supervision of Scotch education would be conducted apart from that of England. He was very doubtful whether that system would work well. It was by no means certain that the Amendment, leaving out the part of it preserving the Committee in reference to endowed education, was a great improvement in the Bill. Unlike his noble Friend who had just spoken (the Earl of Minto), he was unable to feel such complete confidence in any person who might be from time to time appointed Secretary for Scotland as to believe that he would alone and unassisted be a perfect Education Minister. This question of education was, of all subjects, most important, and it seemed to him that they should regard the question of education first and foremost from the point of view of education itself, and 593 that they should not look at all at it from the point of view of those who were more or less concerned about the status or position of the Secretary for Scotland. While he readily admitted that the new proposal in the Bill was an improvement on the original proposal in so far as secondary education was concerned, he thought that in regard to primary education they would find themselves very much where they were. The two Departments would have separate Secretaries; but, on the other hand, by the establishment of two Committees, they would lose the advantage which they had hitherto enjoyed, and which he thought had been a very great advantage—namely, that the same high Officer of State, the Vice President of the Council, had exercised a general superintendence and comparison over the systems of education in both countries, over their Codes and the regulations under which their teachers were appointed. In short, they would lose the bond of union which had hitherto existed between the systems of education in the two countries, as he believed with very great advantage to both. But there was more than this. Their Lordships would see that, if they now established two systems of education, with separate Departments and separate Officers, they would virtually make it impossible to discuss the question whether there should be a Minister of Education for the whole country. Their Lordships know that that question had been considered by a Committee last Session, and that that Committee reported unanimously in favour of the appointment of a Minister of Education. More than that, the late Prime Minister himself was in favour of the system.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, his noble Friend said that was not so; but he (the Earl of Camperdown) could only judge the Prime Minister by his own words. [Laughter.] He meant the late Prime Minister, and the future Prime Minister, he would call him, if they chose. He quite admitted there was very great difference of opinion on the Bench below him, and he had some reason to think that opinion on the Treasury Bench was not absolutely united on the subject; but on the 6th of November last, a Question was put to the late First Lord of the Treasury as to 594 whether it was the intention of the Government to bring in a Bill at an early date to carry out the recommendations of the Select Committee on Education; and Mr. Gladstone, in reply, said—I propose, on an early day—I cannot name the day exactly, but on an early day—to adopt a measure founded upon the Report of the Select Committee.These were the words of the late Prime Minister, and they justified him (the Earl of Camperdown) in saying that that right hon. Gentleman was then, so far as they knew, in favour of the proposals of the Select Committee, and not of those contained in the present Bill. But he wanted to point out that, if they accepted the proposals contained in the Bill, they would render the discussion of the whole question of a Minister of Education impossible. He had gone very carefully into the Petitions; and when they found that the School Boards of Glasgow, Govan, and Dundee, the Educational Institute of Scotland, almost all the institutes and local branches, and many persons eminent in education, went strongly against the transfer of these powers to the new Secretary, they must admit that there was a very considerable difference of opinion in Scotland on the point. The noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) said the other day that this was a change in the direction of decentralization; hut he (the Earl of Camperdown) thought it was not a change in that direction at all, and that, if anything, it was rather a change in the opposite direction. By the Act of 1872, Scottish education was as much decentralized as it was possible to decentralize it, for it was to be conducted by the school board of the parish, subject only to the general supervision of some Central Authority. Undoubtedly, it was not proposed that the authority of this Scotch Secretary should be less direct than that of the present Educational Department; and, therefore, so far as it was a change, it was in the direction not of decentralization but of centralization. But the real truth was that this change was a change in the direction of Home Rule. The word might be ungrateful or not to their Lordships, but that was the meaning of the change. They were going to establish a Department of Education for Scotland, as separate and 595 distinct from that of England as was the Education Department of Ireland. He therefore hoped that, in making up their minds on the question. their Lordships would take that into consideration. He had objected to the transfer on general grounds. He did not propose to enter upon these at present; but he asked their Lordships whether his noble Friend (the Earl of Rosebery) would not really do better if he were to withdraw this question of education for the present. He (the Earl of Camperdown) wished to deal with the Bill as fairly as possible. He had stated more than once in that House that he was anxious to have a Secretary for Scotland, and he wished to give him a very good position indeed; but he did not wish to hand over this question of education to him in such a form as to narrow and insularize, if he might use the term, the education of Scotland. He would not move the Amendments he had himself put upon the Paper; but he should ask their Lordships to divide against the proposal, upon the ground that they should not make it impossible to establish a Ministry of Education, if, on discussion in Parliament, it should be deemed desirable.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
said, he considered the Amendment of his noble Friend (the Earl of Rosebery) an improvement upon the Bill. He was one of those who had regretted from the first that the whole question of Scottish education was not kept exclusively a Scottish question. Scotland had been long before England in a system of national education. The parish schools of Scotland had been the admiration of the world, and had educated their people in a manner in which no other people were educated; and these schools had no other fault than this—when they changed hands, that they had ceased to cover the whole population, and it was necessary to enlarge the system. He had always regretted that, owing to the grant by the Privy Council under the extended system of education, the management of the schools, to a very largo extent, so far as money was concerned, should have been centralized in London; and he must say that, when they were creating a Secretary for Scotland, he thought education was one of the very first matters which they ought to intrust to his cars. Therefore he entirely 596 agreed with his noble Friend the late Lord Privy Seal in the general principle of the Amendment he had introduced. He (the Duke of Argyll) was in favour of the separation of Scottish and English education. Scottish education was different from English in its history. It was different in its origin, and, to a large extent, it was different in its actual and existing system. But then he had always felt that, considering the Privy Council had been established for a considerable number of years, the complete transfer would be a matter of serious inconvenience. The Privy Council had the strings in its hands; it was in personal communication with all the Parochial Boards in Scotland; and the existing system had many friends in Scotland who thought their special interests would be interfered with by the change. He, therefore, was very anxious as to the mode in which this most important change should be carried into effect, and thought that the present proposal was a good way to meet the difficulty. They would not amalgamate the two systems, and he understood the effect of the Amendment of his noble Friend to be that the Scottish Secretary would be the permanent Chairman of the Scottish Committee on Education. That would ease the transfer, and would give a reality and life to the Scottish Committee on Education which it had never had before. At the beginning the Scotch Committee were occasionally summoned to decide two or three questions of principle; but since then they had never been summoned at all. It would be different when the Committee were presided over by the Scotch Secretary. Practically, it was a phantom or nonexistent body, such as that to which his noble Friend had referred; but the effect of the Amendment, he (the Duke of Argyll) believed, would be to make it a practical working body, and to carry out the proposed change in a more convenient way.
said, he thought it would be awkward to vote upon an Amendment like that now before the House without seeing the words of it in print. He was one of those who looked with suspicion upon this proposal to transfer the question of education to the control of the Scottish Secretary. He frankly admitted that he thought the proposal to continue the Committee of 597 the Privy Council was a very great improvement and a very great safeguard in the Bill, and he was very glad to see it. But he did not think it removed all the objections that could be taken to the proposal itself. The proposed transference would render it absolutely impossible in all time coining to have a Minister of Education for both countries. He was not to be understood as asking that the two systems of education—the Scotch and the English— should be made similar in all respects; but what he did say was that there was much that each country could learn from the other, and he looked with very great suspicion upon any proposal which should stereotype the educational system of Scotland for Scotland and the system of England for England. They ought, he thought, to do all they could not to have the two systems controlled by the same Staff and the same officials; but that they should be supervised, if he might say so, by one Parliamentary Head or Minister, who could take a comprehensive view of the interests of each country, and could import what was good for one system into the other, and gain experience for the management of one country by what was going on in the other. He very much regretted the change, if that was to be taken away from them. Therefore, if his noble Friend(the Earl of Camperdown) divided the House on the question whether the clause should be inserted, he should feel bound to support him. On the other hand, he was not quite certain whether there was any use dividing the House; because it was obvious, from what had taken place on former occasions, that there was in this House likely to be a majority in favour of the transference of education. As the noble Earl opposite had pointed out, the condition of the Front Benches, and the gaps behind them, showed that those against the view he took in this matter had got the upper hand. It was therefore useless for individual Members to divide the House, and although it was with great regret he said it, he could not recommend his noble Friend to go to a division. If, however, he did so, he should be very happy to record his opinion in his noble Friend's favour. He thought that, to some extent, the House had been misled—he did not mean intentionally—as to the way in 598 which opinion in Scotland was running upon this question. He knew that there was very great dissatisfaction with the present system, and he, for one, would not ask that the present system should be continued; but the dissatisfaction which had been expressed with the present system must not be taken to be co-equal with satisfaction at the proposal now before them. There was a very strong current of opinion in Scotland in favour of a Ministry of Education, which he thought was at least as strong in that direction as that in favour of the transfer of Scottish education to the new Scottish Minister. There was no doubt in the East of Scotland, and perhaps in the South, a considerable body of opinion in favour of the transfer of the charge of education to the Scottish Secretary; but he knew that in the West of Scotland, and among those who were mainly concerned with the management of education itself—he meant the school boards and the teachers—there was, if not a carelessness and indifference on the matter, at least amongst a great many the opinion that this transfer should not take place. He was sorry to hear the remark made on the other side, that the teachers had opposed this transference, solely because they thought it would interfere with their professional interests. That idea was certainly a wrong one; he believed it might have been to some extent caused by their action; but he was perfectly certain, from what the knew of them, that they had taken up the position they had done from an intelligent appreciation of the questions at issue, and the real belief that this proposed transference was not in the best interests of Scottish education. While he welcomed the change which was now proposed as in itself an improvement on the Bill as it stood when read a second time, he still regretted that it was proposed to transfer the charge of education to the Scottish Secretary. He would have preferred to keep the matter open until the question for and against a Minister of Education for the two countries had really been discussed and decided.
THE MARQUESS OF LOTHIAN
said, he must confess that he was exceedingly relieved to hear the speech of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Camperdown), because he (the Marquess of Lothian had supposed, from the noble Earl's 599 Amendment, that he had intended to give their Lordships reasons against the proposal of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Rosebery); but the fact was that he had come down and blessed the Bill. The Bill, as amended by the noble Earl who was in charge of it, was a very great improvement on what it was when it was first brought into their Lordships' House. The noble Earl who gave Notice of the Amendment (the Earl of Camperdown) seemed to agree entirely with the proposal of the noble Earl who brought in the Bill; he had not one word to say against that proposal. The only objection he (the Marquess of Lothian) understood the noble Earl to make now was that, if the proposal of the noble Earl was carried into effect, it would make it impossible in future to consider the question whether there should be a Secretary of State or a Minister for Education for the United Kingdom. That was another question altogether. He should be very sorry, for one, if anything done in their Lordships' House should have the effect of prejudging a question of that kind, and especially a question that had been so much considered. That question was before Mr. Childers's Committee; but if the proposal of the noble Earl to put education under the Scotch Minister was in itself a good one, it would be a wrong to postpone what was really good, with the view that some other thing that might take place hereafter might, in the opinion of some of their Lordships, be better. He was quite opposed to putting the education of the country under the control of one Minister of Education. The noble Lord who spoke last (Lord Balfour) said he was very much opposed to putting Scottish education under the control of the Scottish Minister, on the ground that the educational system of Scotland and England would be stereotyped. It seemed to him (the Marquess of Lothian) that when they talked of stereotyping education, they could not possibly do so more effectively than by putting the control of the education of the country in the hands of one Minister. As he had said on the previous occasion, he thought the Scotch system had more merits than the English system; and if the two systems were under the control of one Minister, the tendency would be that the Scotch system would gravitate down towards the English 600 system, although the English system might, to some extent, have a tendency to rise. But if they kept the systems separate, there was the tendency to emulation; and on that ground alone he would be very glad to see the Scottish system kept apart. In his opinion, no argument had been brought forward against the proposal, except, perhaps, that it would prejudice the case in favour of a Minister for Education for the whole United Kingdom; and he, for one, was prepared heartily to congratulate the noble Earl on his proposal, and to give him his support.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
said, it would perhaps be convenient, as he did not see any other noble Lord rising, if he now intervened in the debate with a general statement, which he trusted would not be at all a long one, in answer to what had been urged on the other side. He must, first of all, be allowed to congratulate himself on the nature of the discussion. It had been singularly favourable to the principles of the Bill which he had in charge at that moment; and he had reason also that night to congratulate himself the more on finding the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) on his side, for he had had very recent experience that it was much better to have him on his side than against him. With regard to what had fallen from his noble Friend behind him, who said the late Committee of the Privy Council was a phantom Committee, and that be feared the next Committee would be the same, but who at the same time wished that the Committee should not exist at all, it seemed to him that these two objections met each other. If the new Committee was to be a phantom Committee, it would not fetter the discretion of the new Minister; whereas if it were, as he believed it would be, a solid, substantial, and improved Committee, it would very materially assist him. As regarded the meaning of the words "Lords of the Privy Council," he might point out that the very keystone of the existence of the educational system, which was the Act of 1872, described the Scottish Education Department in these words—The Scottish Education Department shall be the Lords of any Committee of the Privy Council appointed by Her Majesty on Education in Scotland.Therefore, in adopting these words, he 601 was only taking them as the absolute legal definition of the Scottish Education Department. Coming to what had fallen from his noble Friend behind him (the Earl of Camperdown), who had an Amendment on the Paper, his noble Friend complained—he thought very justly—that he (the Earl of Rosebery) had not given sufficient Notice of this Amendment; but their Lordships would, he thought, remember that they were placed in a somewhat difficult position; they had really no time to postpone this Amendment. He put it down for yesterday. Had it been possible he would gladly have postponed the Committee until Thursday in order to give an opportunity for considering the Amendment; but he thought on the whole, as the choice of two evils, it was much better to give shorter Notice of his Amendment than risk the passing of the Bill for want of time. He wanted also to point out that the Amendment was perfectly congenial, and absolutely in accordance with what he said on a former occasion, which, it would be remembered, was that, whereas Mr. Childers's Committee proposed that there should be two Educational Departments—one for England and one for Scotland—but both responsible to the same Minister, he (the Earl of Rosebery) only proposed that there should be two distinct Departments, responsible to two distinct Ministers. His Amendment only emphasized and made clear what he ventured to lay down in that contention. His noble Friend, in one part of his speech, said this was not a measure of decentralization, and towards the end of his speech, he said it was a measure of insularization. He (the Earl of Rosebery) did not pretend to weigh exactly the meaning of those two expressions; he must leave that to those more competent in dialectics than himself. Coming to the more general objection that had been raised, and which had been urged the other day, he wished to say one word as to what had been frequently discussed — he meant the real popularity of this measure in Scotland. He thought that, on a former occasion, he was somewhat misunderstood in regard to that position. It was understood that he had said there were only 40 Petitions from school boards in favour of this proposal; and the noble Lord opposite (Lord Balfour) very justly said there was 970 school 602 boards in Scotland, and that 40 was only an insignificant fraction of the whole. He (the Earl of Rosebery) did not in the least pretend to enumerate all the Petitions that had been presented in favour of the Bill. He hastily jotted down some of the principal school boards who had petitioned; but he made no pretence whatever to an exhaustive computation. For instance, so defective was it that he omitted the School Board of Aberdeen, one of the most important cities in Scotland.
said, that he had been reported as if he had said the Aberdeen School Board had petitioned against the transference, whereas he know it had petitioned for the transference; he had quoted the School Board of Dundee.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
said, he was quite sure the noble Lord had no wish to lay stress on the matter; but he (the Earl of Rosebery) could never have put forward 40 as representing the Petitions from school boards, because he was aware that there were a great many more, one of his noble Friends having presented 40 Petitions himself, and he (the Earl of Roseberry) did not think any of them were reckoned in the list he submitted to their Lordships. The Petitions from school boards, which had not been sought or got up in any possible manner, were especially valuable as an indication of Scotch education opinion. They were spontaneous, therefore they had an importance of their own. But what, after all, were school boards? School boards very often contained persons of one idea, who thought that education was the only thing to be considered, and therefore were apt to take somewhat narrow views of the question. But, as a matter of fact, he wanted to know what number of Petitions were presented from school boards against this proposal? The noble Lord could not say that whatever Petitions had been presented against this proposal were spontaneous, because both the Educational Institute and another important public body sent the "fiery cross" round with the utmost ardour and with the utmost eagerness to get up Petitions against this proposal. He wanted to know how many had come? The noble Lord could count them on the fingers of one hand, The noble Lord paraded three. He always had these three. He 603 (the Earl of Rosebery) did not want to underrate their importance; but three Petitions, however important, did not represent the feelings of the school boards of Scotland. Then there was the question of the municipalities. The great municipalities of Scotland were keenly alive to public questions. He wanted to know what municipality in Scotland, great or small, had petitioned against this proposal? They had had it before them for months, and they were ready, if ever they had been ready, to petition against it, and he did not believe that one Petition had come from any of the municipalities of Scotland against the Bill. He must even take them one step further. It was useless for the House to ignore the fact that, in November, there would be a very interesting series of contests throughout these Islands, and the Scottish people were exceedingly alive to that circumstance. They had candidates and Members of every shade perambulating every part of Scotland—candidates some of whom they could hardly define; but he wanted to know from the noble Lord, and he hoped the noble Lord would give him an answer on this point—had there been any single candidate, or any single Member, he thought he might say, but he would certainly say candidate, who, in his public utterances, had not only not pledged himself against this proposal, but had not pledged himself most ardently in its favour? That was to say, that amongst the whole political candidature of Scotland not one man had ventured to stand on a platform and oppose this proposal. That, he thought, was enough on the question of feeling. He was prepared to put the question of Scottish feeling on this subject to any test which the noble Lord might suggest; but these candidates and these Members went further, and urged that the Secretary for Scotland should have a seat in the Cabinet. He thought they all urged that; but the noble Earl (the Earl of Camperdown) went a little further the other night, and made a suggestion which he was sure the future Minister, whoever he might be, would cordially endorse—which was that his salary should be much larger than was proposed by the Bill. When that question was touched upon by the noble Earl on that occasion, it brought to his mind a most grave irregularity in this Bill, 604 for which they could only make an almost suppliant apology to the other House; because their Lordships ought never to have named salary in the Bill at all. It was a great indecorum— it was a breach of Privilege. He (the Earl of Rosebery) did not know that he might not be an inmate of the Clock Tower when the Bill reached the other House; and much more so his noble Friend behind him, for his comment on and his desire to amplify that salary. But as regarded a seat in the Cabinet, which the noble Lord opposite seemed to think so essential and desirable a thing in this matter, he must make one general remark. It applied both to a Minister for Education and a Minister for Scotland. The noble Lord said he thought a Minister for Education was much more likely to have a seat in the Cabinet than a Minister for Scotland, and that he would have a much better opportunity for urging his case on that Body. As regarded the Minister for Education, they had had 15 years' experience of him. The Vice President of the Council had been Minister of Education—in practice, though he knew not in form—for 15 years; and up to the formation of the present Cabinet, in these 15 years the Minister of Education had only been once in the Cabinet; and he confessed he thought a Minister for Scotland, plus Scottish education, representing the interests of a great and important portion of the community, was more likely to have a seat in the Cabinet than a Minister for Education alone. The noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) could probably give their Lordships the result of some recent experience which would be of value upon this point. It was impossible for any Bill to lay down what Ministers should or should not be in the Cabinet. They had now a Cabinet of 16. Heaven knew where the amplification of the Cabinet was going to stop if every interest and if every crotchet demanded a Minister with a seat for its representative in the Cabinet. It would become a great popular Body that would require to sit in Westminster Hall; and he, for one, was not prepared to see that unfortunate result. But, of course, they could do as had been done opposite—they could relegate two Members of the Cabinet to Dublin, and it might be possible to relegate the Minister for Scot- 605 land to reside in that country. Then there was the very important question about the teachers. The noble Lord said the teachers feared that they would not be so liable to be employed in England, if this Bill was passed and Scotch education was placed under a separate Department, as they were before.
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY
said, the matter was one of very simple arrangement indeed. The fact was, that they should require in both countries the most efficient teachers they could get. He believed it was a most futile fear on the part of the teachers. The most efficient teachers would be wanted, and would be got wherever they were to be found, no matter whether the Education Department was all under one Administration or not. The noble Lord also raised a difficulty in connection with the Science and Art Department. That, again, was a perfectly vain fear of his noble Friend. The Science and Art Department was in no degree touched, even remotely, by the Bill, and there was no reason why it should be. The Science and Art Department had authority in England, in Scotland, and in Ireland. It dealt with all Three Kingdoms, although Ireland had its own system of education under its own local managers, and there was no idea or proposal to interfere with the existing arrangement. He must say a word as to what fell from both his noble Friends (the Earl of Camperdown and Lord Balfour), who let the cat of the Education Minister out of the bag of their objection. He (the Earl of Resebery) did not pretend to try to legislate for Scotland with a view to the possible necessities of England. There were characteristics of Scottish education, the education of Scotland differing not merely in degree, but in kind, from the education of England. There were characteristics in Scotland which they should always be unwilling to leave at the risk of neglect by a Minister of Education in England. After all, what were the Votes? The Vote for Primary Education in England and Wales was over £3,000,000; the Vote for Scotland was under £500,000. It was quite clear which system of education would go to 606 the wall under a Minister who would have charge of both. He did not say he personally should be unwilling to consider the case of a Minister of Education; but there was no possibility of a Minister of Education. Mr. Childers's Committee never proposed, or ventured to propose, a Minister of Education. They heard no independent Scottish witnesses; therefore, they made the proposal he had referred to with regard to Scotland. They did hear a witness from Ireland, and from that moment all idea of including Ireland under a Minister of Education had vanished for ever. What, then, was the noble Lord looking forward to in the distant future? It was a two-thirds Minister of Education—a vulgar fraction of a Minister of Education. He entirely and most emphatically objected to postpone the interests of Scottish Education until they had a Minister of Education, or a two-thirds, or any other vulgar fraction of a possible Education Minister for England and Wales and Scotland. He believed if they were able to propose a Minister of Education for the United Kingdom they might have some chance; but as a Minister of Education would only have charge of a part, would not be really what he was in name, he did not think there was the slightest use in their persevering with their idea. He had now to apologize for detaining their Lordships at the length he had while addressing them; but there had been a great many illusions which it was necessary to dispel, and if there were any further illusions to be dispelled, he should be very happy to deal with them.
THE LORD FRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL
said, he would suggest that the Bill should be reprinted and circulated the following day.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, he only wished to say a word with regard to what had fallen from his noble Friend (the Earl of Rosebery). The noble Earl told them just now that he was not prepared to postpone the necessities of Scotland for the necessities of England. They did not ask the noble Earl to do anything of the kind. What they were looking to was the good of the whole country. His noble Friend had addressed to their Lordships stirring words with regard to the question of Petitions. He had said the Educational 607 Institute had sent round the "fiery cross" to get up Petitions against the Bill. He (the Earl of Camperdown) did not know whether or not that was the case; but if the Educational Institute sent round the "fiery cross," they appeared to have been not the only persons who had taken that course. He had taken the trouble to examine the Petitions in favour of the Bill, and he discovered that more than a half — perhaps three-fourths—of them were drawn up in two forms, and the words were rather peculiar. Therefore, if the "fiery cross" went forth from one side, it went forth at least as much from the other side.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
proceeded to say that Petitions in favour of the Bill had been sent from small burghs, school boards, literary associations, and other institutions of the same sort. [The Earl of ROSEBERY dissented.]He could assure the noble Earl that if he would only road his own Petitions he would find that that was so. He was afraid he would not obtain much support on the present occasion, because he perceived that many of the strongest opponents of the noble Earl's proposal were conspicuous by their absence, while he saw that every enemy was in his place; and as the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) with his mighty legions would probably overwhelm him, he thought the wiser course would be to leave the matter for discussion in "another place." He should not, therefore, trouble their Lordships with a division.
§ On question? Resolved in the affirmative.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Remaining clauses severally agreed to.
§ Schedule agreed to, with an Amendment.
§ The Report of the Amendments to be received on Thursday next; and Bill to be printed, as amended. (No. 178.)