, in asking their Lordships to give a Second Reading to this Bill, explained that it proceeded on the same general lines as the educational legislation which that House had already agreed to so far as England was concerned. They had inserted all the provisions they required in one Bill, and dealt both with the case of the necessitous School Board districts and of the Voluntary Schools. Some disappointment had been expressed as to the amount which would accrue to Scotland under these proposals. He ventured to think that that disappointment was not altogether well founded. It was based upon the assumption that the money spent upon education in the two countries should proceed upon the definite ratio of 80 to 11. This was the calculation in regard to some other matters, but so far as education was concerned, the Government were unable to accept that theory. Their belief was that the education grant from the Imperial Exchequer in the case of the two countries respectively should be given not upon any financial theory of that kind, but should proceed, so far as the different conditions of the two countries would allow, upon an essential equality of conditions, and should, therefore, be given upon grounds which would be an incentive to efficiency of education, and not as a mere subsidy upon purely financial considerations. There was no attempt in the Bill at any educational change, or at the introduction of any new principle so far as Scotland was concerned. It proceeded entirely upon the idea of giving some much-needed assistance to Voluntary Schools and to the necessitous School Board districts. It was, however, made to suit the circumstances of Scotland in some of its details. For example, they did not propose to set up any of the somewhat elaborate machinery of associations which was considered necessary in the case of England. The reason for that was that there were, comparatively speaking, so few Voluntary Schools in Scotland, and were so scattered over the country, that it would not be easy to form associations while they were so few in number, that it was by no means difficult for the Scotch Education Department to deal with them individually. The provision made for the necessitous School Boards was simply an ex- 216 tension of the principle which would be found in the 67th Section of the Scotch Education Act of 1872. Those provisions were proposed to be extended in this Bill, on precisely the same lines, and to bring about the same results as in the case of England. They proposed to exempt the Voluntary Schools from rates, but they did not propose in the case of Scotland to do away with the 17s. 6d. limit. There was not only no feeling against the limit in Scotland, but he believed it was very generally supported upon educational grounds. It was found to work well in practice, and it produced little or no discontent, while, at the same time, they regarded it as a valuable provision to prevent the practice of what was known as farming out schools. The capitation grant proposed to Voluntary Schools on the average attendance was 3s. a head. This was less by 2s. than the capitation grant in the case of English Voluntary Schools, but the distinction was based upon the fact that the fee grant was 12s. and not 10s., as was the case in England. Scotland, up to the present time, had been able to pay this additional 2s. both for Board and Voluntary Schools. The capitation grant to the Voluntary Schools would amount to £12,500. The alteration which was made in the condition under which the grant would henceforth be given to necessitous Board Schools was estimated to make an increase of about £28,000 a year to that special grant. The whole additional grant therefore payable under this Bill, so far as Scotland was concerned, would be about £41,000. There was an additional proposal for increasing the fee grant, which did not require legislation. Up to the present time they had been paying at the rate of 12s. instead of 10s., the extra 2s. being made up out of the Customs and excise money, which was set apart for the purpose in 1890. £40,000 was set apart for that purpose, and according to the average attendance of the day, that sum was sufficient. But with the increased average attendance that sum had been really insufficient, and they were therefore brought face to face with the serious prospect of having to reduce their fee grant to 10s., and so seriously disturb the financial position of every Scottish School, whether under a Board or under Voluntary management. 217 The amount of deficiency would very shortly rise to £25,000, with the prospect of still further increase as the average attendance increased. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had agreed to assume upon the Imperial funds the burden of hereafter making up any deficiency; and the whole sum which would accrue to Scotland in consequence of the Government's policy would be £66,000 a year. Taking that in connection with the sums payable under the English Bill, the Government did not think it was an unfair equivalent to give Scotland from the Imperial Exchequer. He concluded by moving the Second Reading.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
said that be regretted that the noble Lord, as Secretary for Scotland, should have adopted this Bill, because it offended against the very objects for which the noble Lord's department was instituted. When, some years ago, Scottish business was taken from the Home Office and intrusted to a separate department, the object was to insure for Scotland a careful safeguarding of her interests of all sorts, and especially in the matter of finance. It was also the purpose to secure that Scottish legislation should follow Scottish demands and wants, and that in carrying that legislation out, methods should be adopted which were consonant with Scottish sentiment and wishes. This Bill failed to meet each and all of those conditions. With regard to finance, the noble Lord had admitted that with regard to this Bill the Government were departing from the principle of equivalent grants; and the noble Lord explained that the Government did not think education was a proper subject for equivalent grants. He quite agreed that the sum spent in each country on education should be in accordance with the wants of the country. But when a sum was taken from the Imperial Exchequer and given as a grant-in-aid for any purpose to one country, an equivalent grant ought to be given to the other country, though not necessarily for the same purpose, in order to be fair to the taxpayers of both countries. The very figures of the noble Lord showed that he admitted that contention; for if a sum equivalent to that given to England under the English Bill were now given to Scotland, it would be instead of £66,000, more like £110,000.
I cannot assent to that calculation. If there were to be a strict reckoning at the ratio of 11 to 80 on the whole expenditure on education, Scotland would not get nearly as much as she does.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
said that because Scotland had in the past chosen to spend a large sum on education, there was no reason why now she should not receive a dole equivalent to that given to England. Without contending about the amount of the deficiency, he would merely say that the sum allotted to Scotland was unjustly small, and that the noble Lord, as responsible for it, had not done his duty to the country for whose interests he was responsible in Parliament. Again, he failed to see any demand for this Bill in Scotland. He did not object to additional expenditure on the voluntary schools They were few in number, and stood in a totally different position from the English Voluntary Schools. If there were a sufficient number of Catholics or Episcopalians in a given district to maintain a school of their own, it was only fair that they should get some share of the Government money. But for Scotland there had come no demand whatever for further aid to elementary education. As far as elementary education was concerned, the Board, in Scottish opinion, was complet. But further provision was needed for secondary and technical education. Opinions to that effect had been expressed by Conservative as well as Liberal Members for Scotland, and by the numerous memorials which had been presented to the noble Lord for educational bodies in Scotland. The desire of all Scottish educationists was effectively to bridge over the interval between the Board Schools and the Universities. Even those who accepted this Bill, accepted it only as an instalment of what was due to Scotland. Then the Bill was not applied according to Scottish methods. If this grant were to be given, Scottish opinion desired that it should be accompanied with some assurance of greater educational efficiency, and with some assurance of local control in the case of the Voluntary Schools. The words of the English Bill, "Due regard being had to the efficiency of the school," were left out of this Bill, and no sort of condition was made as to the admission 219 of some outside control. He believed that the Scottish Voluntary Schools, and especially the Catholic schools, would have been very willing to agree to some outside control in their management as a condition of this State aid. But the opportunity, which it was such a pity to miss had not been taken. For the reasons which he had given, he should certainly call "not content" when the Question was put to the House.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
called "not content," but on the Lord Chancellor declaring that "the Contents had it," a Division was not challenged.
§ Bill Read a Second time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House To-morrow.