HL Deb 15 November 1906 vol 165 cc1-2

My Lords, I have a number of petitions to present against the Education Bill. One set of petitions is from parents, inhabitants, and ratepayers, with 53,684 signatures—the number of petitions being 251—asking your Lordships to amend the Education Bill. Another petition, which is now on your Lordships' Table, has a peculiar importance. This is not a petition from ordinary ratepayers or from the public at large, but it is a petition from the actual trustees of church schools, men who are at this moment in the responsible position of trustees, and who desire to be allowed to continue to discharge that trust. The petition is, I think, almost unique in its character. It comes from 2,516 schools, and is signed by 7,023 trustees. What they ask is that your Lordships will not consent to any legislation which violates the principle of religious liberty, and forbids the petitioners from discharging their responsibilities as trustees.