HL Deb 15 November 1906 vol 165 cc5-39

House again in Committee (according to Order).

[The Earl of ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clause 8:—

THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY moved to insert the following after sub-section (2):—'' (3)—(a) In every public elementary school in which extended facilities are afforded under this Act, the consent of the parents' committee shall be required to the appointment of teachers, but that consent shall not be withheld except upon grounds connected with the giving of religious instruction." He was merely proposing an extension of the powers which, in Clause 4, had already been given to what was there called the parents' committee, and he thought the additional power which, by this Amendment, he desired to give to that committee was in complete harmony with what had been already done, and he ventured to think that it was even in harmony with the expression of approval which had been given to it by His Majesty's Government. What he asked was that the parents' committee, on the existence of which the Committee had already decided, should have power to veto the appointment of a teacher on religious grounds. This was a point entirely confined to those schools which, under Clause 4, were already pronounced to have a frankly denominational character. There was an Amendment on the Paper until yesterday, standing in the name of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, but that Amendment had apparently been withdrawn.


explained that the disappearance of his Amendment from the Paper was merely a clerical error. He still intended moving it.


said he had supposed that the noble Lord had withdrawn the Amendment, as it was no longer on the Paper. He did not wish that the Amendment which he was now proposing should be regarded as in any way identical with the Amendment of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. He was not arguing in favour of giving any such right to the parents' committee as was suggested in the Amendment of his noble friend, which gave them the right to' nominate the teacher, subject to the approval of the local education authority. His Amendment fell very far short of that. It merely suggested that the parents' committee should have a power, on religious grounds, of expressing their objection, and effectively expressing their objection, to a teacher who had been nominated for appointment by the local education authority. The power to exercise that veto seemed to him to be eminently appropriate to the position which, with the approval of the Committee had been given to the parents' committee to deal with the religious side of the teaching in the frankly denominational schools. It seemed to him that, without some such proposal, it was hardly possible to give full effect to the wish which His Majesty's Government had again and again expressed that these schools should be, in their full sense, denominational schools. The appointment he would still leave with the local education authority, but subject to some check on the part of those who could appropriately apply it as to whether the appointment thus made was one by means of which it would be possible to carry out the object for which the school held an exceptional position.

What he wanted to do was simply to make real and operative the denominational character which belonged to these schools, and to relieve the local education authority from a responsibility which he did not see how they could possibly exercise. He hoped they would hear from noble Lords who had had experience on local education authorities whether they desired to accept the responsibility of choosing teachers who, from the nature of the case, were denominational, and of discriminating among denominational teachers as to the person most suitable for a particular denominational school. That was a task which could hardly be laid satisfactorily on the local education authority, and it was almost as much for their sake as for the sake of the school that he desired to help them by giving a check elsewhere as to whether or not the teacher would be acceptable. He desired to secure the collateral interest of the parents and the local education authority in the religious teaching which was to go forward in this denominational and exceptional kind of school. He believed that by these means they would give life and force to the local interest which he was sadly afraid would wane under the Bill as it now stood. He believed that in any circumstances it would be almost impossible to centralise authority and management in the way the Kill suggested, without causing to languish or alienating a great deal of that local interest which was, in his judgment at least, quite vital to the healthy life of an elementary school. He specially felt that some such plan as this was necessary in the case of the schools which would come under Clause 4.

Then a further gain was that by this means they would enlist the interest of the parents, educationally, in the curriculum and management of the school. He felt that parents had—owing to the controversies on either side during the last year or two—grown to care a great deal more than they did before about what happened in detail within the walls of the school, and he was quite sure that, whatever else their Lordships might differ upon, there was no difference of opinion as to the desire which they all had that the parents of children attending elementary schools should be keenly interested in. what went on within the school walls, bearing, as far as possible, some personal part in the general life of the school as a whole, and linking on the school days of the children to the life which would follow when their school days came to an end. He did not say that the parents generally throughout the country were ready to come forward and deal with this matter, but it was most desirable that they should help them so to do; and no single thing would stimulate their activity and interest in the matter as much as the sense that they had some responsibility.

Everything really depended on the selection of teachers in the frankly denominational schools. To say that they wanted the local education authority to have some help in making these appointments did not imply any mistrust whatever on their part of local education authorities generally. He ventured to protest with all friendliness against the imputation which had, not once or twice, been made in the course of this debate, that when they were guarding against something which might be a real wrong they were therefore showing distrust of local education authorities as a whole. He did not think that imputation was at all fair, and, if a retort were called for, he would be inclined to say that exactly the same kind of argument was used by the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council when he said that certain restrictions were necessary to prevent the misuse of local power by landlords or prominent residents in a neighbourhood. The noble Karl stated that there was no imputation against these individuals generally, but he added that there were exceptional cases against which he must guard. That was exactly what they felt with regard to the local education authorities. A man must be blind who was not aware of the fact that there were certain local education authorities who had already told them that they did not mean that Clause 4 should be an operative clause in the areas over which they had control, and that they did practically intend that it should become a dead letter. He believed those authorities to be very few, but he thought that if that risk existed they were bound, so far as possible, to guard against it.

In addition, therefore, to what he regarded as the main purpose of his sub-section — the helping of local authorities to discharge the task which they would otherwise find it most difficult to fulfil—he wanted also to protect those who had schools under Clause 4 from the occasional wrongdoing or interference of the local education authority, who might render Clause 4 almost ludicrous if they exercised to the full the power which was given them under the Bill. Let them suppose, for example, the case of a Catholic school to which some keen Nonconformist was appointed headmaster by the local education authority. That was possible under the Bill, though most unlikely. But, on the other hand, there were cases of hardship far less unlikely than that. It was not by any means impossible that in certain areas a master or mistress might be appointed to a Church of England school, although he or she was known to be in no way in sympathy with Church of England teaching. That would be a mode in which, in the last resort, a hostile educational authority might defeat the purpose of this Bill.

He would like to add that he hoped that some amalgamation might be found ultimately possible between the managing committee of the school and the parents' committee on a selection committee. It seemed to him that the multiplication of these committees was a most undesirable thing on every ground, and would complicate the administrative work and the whole condition of things. The difficulties might, in his view, be very readily met by giving some strong representation of the parents themselves upon the managing committee of the school. It was impossible to bring that in on this clause, but he hoped the Question would be considered when the Bill was reprinted, as to whether some such amalgamation would not be possible.

Amendment moved— In page 7, line 8, after sub-section (2) to insert the words, ' (3) (a) In every public elementary school in which extended facilities are afforded under this Act, the consent of the parents' committee shall be required to the appointment of teachers, but that consent shall not be withheld except upon grounds connected with the giving of religious instruction.'"— (The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.)


said he had put down an Amendment affecting the appointment of teachers, but differing materially from the Amendment of the most rev. Primate. He thought the plan suggested in his Amendment was preferable on several grounds to that contained in the Amendment just moved. It was obvious that the local education authority, being debarred from making any inquiries into the religious convictions of the teacher and his capability to give denominational teaching, was absolutely unfitted to make the Clause 4 schools the reality which the Government had, without any variation, said they were frankly intended to be.

It seemed to him that, instead of the teacher being first appointed by the local authority to a particular school and then being objected to on religious grounds by the parents' committee who had control of the denominational education to be given in the school, as the Primate proposed, it would be far better, as his own Amendment suggested, for the parents' committee to submit a teacher or teachers to the local education authority for appointment.

His second ground was, he thought, peculiar, or very nearly so, to the body he was representing—namely, the Roman Catholics. Out of about 7,000 teachers in their schools nearly one-sixth were women. He asked their Lordships to imagine for a moment how it could be possible for the local education authority to form any idea of the suitability of these candidates, because they would obviously not be on the general list of teachers, and would, and could, only go to the particular schools conducted by their respective orders. They were a body of women of very high attainments; they held very high certificates and were very carefully trained, and their life of self-denial and self-abnegation had a very great effect on those entrusted to their care. He was convinced that unless it were arranged for these teachers to be presented and recommended to the local education authority, it would be almost impossible for that authority to staff and conduct these schools efficiently and properly. And he was sure that, were their services rendered impossible in these elementary schools, not only Catholics but the country at large would suffer a decided loss. The Catholics were very anxious to take their place in the educational system of the country. They conceived it to be their right to do so as citizens, taxpayers, and ratepayers and, above all, as parents of the children who attended these schools. What they wanted were Catholic schools with Catholic teachers for Catholic children, wherever that was reasonably possible, and he considered that his Amendment would serve to realise this more effectually than that of the most rev. Primate. If they failed to obtain this there would be left in the Catholic body a sense of wrong and of injustice, which would rankle until it was removed, and its removal would involve a struggle which would be carried on with pertinacity and faith in the justness of their cause, and with perfect confidence that the desire for right and justice which dwelt in the hearts of their fellow-citizens would in the end prevail.

Amendment moved to the proposed Amendment— To leave out all the words after the word 'Act' paragraph (a) to the end of the paragraph and to insert the words 'the appointment of teachers shall be made by the local education authority upon the nomination of the parents' committee, whose nominees shall not be rejected except on educational grounds.'"—(Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.)


My Lords, the most rev. Primate in introducing his Amendment described it as an extension of the powers of the parents' committee, the creation of which has already been sanctioned by your Lordships' House. That, no doubt, is true, but of course the point we hare to consider is how far such an extension conflicts or agrees with the main objects and principles of the Bill. I frankly admit that it seems to me impossible. The change may be justified in the opinion of noble Lords, but it seems to me impos- sible to deny that, to a certain extent, this change, if introduced into the Bill, would involve the imposition of a religious test—I do not see how it is possible to get out of that—to a modified extent in the proposal of the most rev. Primate and to a much greater extent in the proposal of the noble Lord who has just sat down.

The most rev. Primate's proposal is that the consent of the parents' committee should be required to the appointment of the teacher—that is to say, that a teacher's name is presented and the parents' committee would have to inquire into his religious views, and unless those views were satisfactory to them, the teacher could not be appointed. That appears to me to be a test. Still more is that the case in the Amendment of the noble Lord opposite, because in that case the appointment would be made on the nomination of the parents' committee, who clearly would make special inquiry into the views of the teacher before he or she was nominated. I was impressed— and I am sure your Lordships were—by the earnestness with which the noble Lord who has just sat down stated his views on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, and I fully appreciate what he said as to the existence of that very interesting body of lady teachers, belonging to religious orders, many of whom, as he said, are very highly trained and certificated, and whose services are greatly appreciated, not only by parents and children of their own Church, but in many cases, I know, by parents of children of the Church of England.

The noble Lord said that there ought to be some means of recommending these ladies as teachers to the local education authority because it was obvious that they would not appear on the general list" But what the noble Lord proposes is that the teacher should, in effect, be appointed, not recommended, by the parents' committee, and the only objection the local education authority could take would be on educational grounds, and that, of course, is an entirely different matter from any question of recommendation of the bringing of names before those with whom the appointment rests. The most rev. Primate has stated that, in his opinion, as a rule, local authorities would not be difficult to deal with in a matter of this kind. He carefully guarded himself against any supposition that local authorities were, as a rule, unreasonable or inclined to be tyrannical; but he wished to guard against the possibility of such a thing occurring, even though only in rare instances.

Now, I ask the most rev. Primate to consider for a moment what would happen under his Amendment. Supposing a local authority were thoroughly hostile and vindictive and disposed to be unreasonable. They would recommend a teacher to the parents' committee whom that committee would be quite unable to accept. Negotiations would pass, the parents' committee would persist in their refusal and the local authority, being thoroughly exasperated, would recommend another similar teacher, and apparently would proceed to do so ad infinitum. In that case it might be possible that, under the Amendments which your Lordships have inserted to Clause 5, there would be an appeal to the Board of Education. If the owner of the school-house or twenty parents—and I suppose the parents' committee might put either in motion—are dissatisfied with the action of the local authority under Section 4, or as to the mode in which extended facilities are afforded, there is an appeal. That might possibly be intended to meet this case. In that event there would be an appeal to the Board of Education as to the religious views of this particular teacher, and how far the parents' committee were justified in saying that his religious views were such that they did not think him competent to give religious instruction even if he were prepared to do so. But it would be utterly impossible for the Board of Education to deal with these perfectly personal and delicate questions. And if they did, I ask the most rev. Primate to consider this. The real effect would be that the teacher, in the end, would have to be appointed by the Board of Education —a very novel thing to ask of that Department—and one which, like many of the duties sought to be imposed upon us by the Bill as amended, we are by no means disposed to undertake.

But there is a more general consideration than this on which I would desire to appeal to the most rev. Primate. He, I know, is not one of those who take an extremely hostile view of what I may call the main principle of the Bill— namely, that public control and public money should go together. I therefore put this to him. Supposing his Amendment is added to the Bill, will not the local authority ask, "In respect of what is the school remaining on the rates? In what degree does any control of ours come in?" Would not a school run in this way be practically equivalent to a denominational school as run under the Act of 1902, or, as far as regards its management, to those State-aided schools which it is proposed to create, but which would not receive rates? It does seem to me exceedingly difficult to conceive any manner in which these schools could be said to be worked as provided schools, although they would be provided schools under the Act, and would get the benefit of rate aid and of having all their repairs carried out by the local authority. That is an exceedingly practical difficulty in this connection.

There is one more point to which I am bound to allude. Clause 4 has been very seriously altered in your Lordship's House. As you are well aware, when it came up from the House of Commons it was limited to schools in which four-fifths of the children were children of parents who desired this particular teaching, and very strict regulations were imposed for discovering that that proportion really existed. Your Lordships have turned that into a bare majority, and you are disposed to relax the restrictions. I quite admit that the most rev. Primate did not take part in that proceeding. I think he did not vote. The other most rev. Primate, the Archbishop of York, voted against the change which your Lordships opposite enforced. Your Lordships opposite were more episcopal on that occasion even than the Archbishops, but the fact remains that that is in the Bill as it now stands. I wish, therefore, to express the opinion that, even imagining that such a thing as this were possible, it only could, under any circumstances, be possible if it were applied to a class of school formed under very close restrictions such as those we inserted in our original Bill.


said that in the course of his interesting speech the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council had declared that if the Amendment wore accepted he could not see in what way Clause 4 schools would differ from voluntary schools under the Act of 1902. They would differ profoundly. In the first place, the locality would have the advantage of the buildings for nothing. In respect of other schools rent was to be paid by the local authority for the use of the building, but in respect of Clause 4 schools there was to be no rent —that was to say, the denomination was to supply for nothing the building in which the school was carried on.

He contested the contention of the noble Earl that in respect of the teachers there would be any parallel between the condition of things which would exist if the most rev. Primate's Amendment were accepted and the condition of things under the Act of 1902. Under the Act of 1902 the voluntary managers appointed teachers subject to the veto of the local authority, whereas under the Amendment of the most rev. Primate the local authority would appoint subject to a veto by the parents' committee. There was all the difference in the world between the two proposals. He himself preferred the Amendment of his noble friend behind him. But, of course, the Bill was one for which they on that side could not take any degree of responsibility.

There was no greater delusion than to suppose that the Bill had been converted into a Bill approved by the Opposition. After all the Amendments which the Opposition had submitted were carried, the Bill would remain not only a thoroughly bad measure from the adminstrative standpoint, but one for which they on that side would not be responsible in any way from the religious standpoint either. He was unable to understand how the Government could decline to allow religious considerations to enter into the question of the appointment of the teacher. In Clause 11 the Government themselves laid down that the teacher was to be appointed subject to religious considerations.


That is the transitional clause.


said that might be, but the principle was admitted in it. The Lord President had admitted that it was impossible altogether to exclude religious considerations, but to suggest that those considerations should only have effect after and not before the appointment of the teacher was an absolute sham. He was sick of these Parliamentary shams. That had reference, not merely to denominational instruction but to undenominational instruction; it had reference just as much to the proficiency of the teacher in Cowper-Temple instruction as in the teaching of Anglican or Roman Catholic formularies. The question was whether the local education authority were equally competent to decide upon a teacher's Cowper-Temple capacity and his Anglican and Roman Catholic capacity. Some local education authorities rather fancied themselves in Cowper-Temple religion. They thought that they were able, with the assistance, perhaps, of a sermon from Dr. Clifford, to decide some of the most difficult questions which had puzzled learned men in all ages. But when it came to appointing a teacher to what was admittedly an Anglican, Roman Catholic, or other denominational school, it was evident the local education authority was not completely to be trusted.

Why did not the noble Earl get up and frankly tell them, as he knew quite well, that the question of the religious position of the teachers must be an element in their appointment, and that, without that, public opinion in England would be profoundly shocked? He agreed that most of the local authorities were to be trusted, and that in most cases they would work the clause in a manner of which few would have any reason to complain. But there were some who could not be completely trusted, and he could not imagine anything more natural or reasonable than that they should say they would have the one check provided by the most rev. Primate's Amendment.

They did not propose to take the appointment out of the hands of the education authority, but, in the last resort, if it were found that the teacher was thoroughly unqualified or perhaps unwilling to give the religious instruction, the parents' committee would have the right of exercising their veto. The noble Earl the other night had seemed to pooh-pooh the possibility of occasions of difficulty of the kind to which he had alluded arising. He would ask their Lordships to conceive the state of things in a small school with a single teacher, an enormous number of which existed in the rural parts of the country. If that teacher was appointed and was thoroughly disqualified from a religious point of view from giving the instruction, what a hopeless state of things would result! The children would require religious education, and yet the only teacher available would be unfit to give it, and would have to be forbidden by the authority from giving it.


Are these four-fifths schools to which the noble Marquess is referring? The most rev. Primate's Amendment applies to them solely.


admitted that his criticism was of general application and would apply to all schools, but it applied tenfold to denominational schools, and it was to protect those schools that they were asking their Lordships to agree to the Amendment of the most rev. Primate. To ask them to agree to a provision that, in a school which was to have a denominational atmosphere, and as to which a parents' committee had been appointed, with the consent of the Government, in order to secure that denominational atmosphere, the teacher should be appointed without any reference to that committee, seemed to him so absurd that he could not believe the Government would resist the Amendment.


said that even in rural districts there were, as a general rule, at least two teachers in a school; the school with a single teacher would be almost invariably a very small school in a lonely rural district. The single-teacher school was an extreme rarity even in rural districts, and it was obvious that, even under Clause 4, as amended by their Lordships, the special facilities would not apply to these schools because there was still retained in the Bill the provision that other school accommodation must be available for the children of dissentient parents. Unless they assumed absolute unanimity in a hamlet, the case of granting Clause 4 facilities could not arise.

The noble Marquess had spoken of local authorities who were very pleased with themselves, and thought that, with the help of a sermon from Dr. Clifford, they could settle difficult questions on theology. Such authorities might flourish in Hertfordshire, but he had not come across any. The only case of which he had had experience where an attempt was made to set up religion by authority was in the memorable controversies in the School Board for London, when the protagonist in favour of that movement was a gentleman, well known to the noble Marquess, who had lately been in controversy with the Archbishop on a hymnal which was held by the most rev. Primate to lean rather to the teaching of the Church of Rome than to that of the Church of England. That was his one experience of an attempt to establish religious teaching under a local authority. He would now come to the Amendment of the most rev. Primate and to the Amendment which, though not strictly before the Committee, had been indicated as an alternative by the noble Lord opposite.


asked what the noble Lord meant by saying that his Amendment was not before the Committee. He thought he had clearly explained that it was owing to an inadvertence that the Amendment had been taken off the Paper, but that he moved it all the same.


My noble friend is quite right in saying that his Amendment to the Amendment of the most rev. Primate is before the Committee.


said he did not understand that the noble Lord had moved his Amendment. Continuing, the noble Lord reminded the Committee that in Clause 4 they had passed the words that teachers should, if they were willing to do so, give the religious instruction desired, and suggested that what the most rev. Primate evidently contemplated by his Amendment was that, if a teacher was not willing to do so, that should be a ground of incapacity and used, in the first instance, as a reason for rejecting him, or, if he changed his mind after a certain date, for turning him out. Under the most rev. Primate's Amendment, which would leave the teacher who in the ordinary council school gave Cowper-Temple teaching in a free position, the strictest tests would be imposed on teachers in Clause 4 schools, and the strictest obligation to give that teaching which under the Bill he was free to give or to withhold. The Amendment would strike at the root of the principle of public management. The strong desire shown by denominationalists to minimise the obligation to find alternative accommodation, following upon many other demands, seemed to him to be evidence of the utter impossibility of reconciling the principles of public management and the abolition of tests with the inordinate demands the denominationalists continued to make.


said he thought the noble Lord who had just sat down was a real enemy of Clause 4. He seemed to desire to render the exceptional facilities for religious instruction afforded by that clause absolutely unworkable. He suggested that something was being asked for denominational schools—for they were to be denominational schools—which had not been given in the case of council schools. The noble Lord had entirely forgotten the Amendment which was moved last night by the Government and accepted unanimously by their Lordships, which provided that nothing in this Act should prevent the local education authority from satisfying themselves as to the fitness of any person, who was willing to undertake to give religious instruction of the character permitted by Section 14 of the Act of 1870, to give that instruction. If the local education authority had that duty so strongly suggested to them with reference to council schools, a fortiori something of the same kind should be provided with reference to the schools which were to be purely denominational.


They have full power not to appoint any teacher who does not satisfy them.


That is not clear. If it had been your Lordships would not have thought it necessary to insert the words "council schools."


In Clause 4 schools, and even in ordinary-facilities schools, those who require the facilities will themselves appoint the teacher to give that instruction.


But they have not the power of appointing.


Yes, for religious instruction.


said if the noble Lord meant that those who were interested in the schools that came under Clause 4 would be satisfied with the power to appoint external teachers solely for the purpose of giving religious instruction, allowing the ordinary teacher to be an atheist or anything else, in spite of the school's having a denominational character, he thought that would not be accepted by anybody, not even by the Government. From everything that had been said with reference to this clause it had been admitted that it was the intention to make these schools denominational in their character, and how could that end be attained unless the teachers of the school were members of the denomination to which the school belonged? It was simply impossible. The persons who were concerned in this matter were the parents' committee who were to be responsible for and to have the control of the religious instruction in the school. He thought, however, that it would be very difficult practically to enforce the Amendment of the most rev. Primate except on appeal to the Board of Education. He sympathised with the object of the Amendment in combining the parents' committee with the local committees of management in Clause 15, and with the absolute necessity of maintaining local interest in these schools, for they could not be properly administered by one central authority alone. He suggested that the Amendment should be altered so as to provide that— In every public elementary school in which extended facilities are afforded under this Act the local education authority shall consult with the parents' committee as to the appointment of any persons to be teachers in the school, and shall satisfy themselves that the persons so appointed are qualified and willing to give the religious instruction for which extended facilities are afforded. This declaration would show, with reference to the denominational schools, not only the will, but the capacity to give proper religious instruction, and that the views of the parents' committee should be considered by the education authority who had to appoint the teacher.

Amendment moved to the proposed Amendment — After the word 'Act' in paragraph (a) to insert 'the local education authority shall consult with the parents' committee as to the appointment of any persons to be teachers in the schools, and shall satisfy themselves that the persons so appointed are qualified and willing to give the religious instruction for which the extended facilities are afforded.'"— (Viscount St. Aldwyn.)


enforced the view that the Clause 4 schools were to be denominational, that this was the intention of the Government, and that the teachers should be permitted to give denominational teaching. The noble Earl had stated that public control would be completely destroyed by the Amendment. He could hardly conceive that that argument was justifiable when they considered that under Clause 4 as it stood, not only would the local education authority have the use of the school, but they would have the nomination of the managers. The whole of the management of the school would be in the hands of the local education authority. In Clause 4, as the Government proposed it, public control through the managers was not held to be inconsistent with the giving of denominational religious instruction, and the public control of the local education authority was not diminished by the fact that denominational religious instruction was given in the school. The Government intended that that instruction should be given, and the only question was how could they make sure that it should be given, and given satisfactorily. Their Lordships had passed a provision in which it was laid down that the parents' committee were to be responsible for, and to have control of, religious instruction in the Clause 4 schools. How, he asked, could they control the religious instruction if they had no voice in the nomination of the teacher? The beginning of their control must be some voice in the selection of the person who was to give the instruction.

He supported the Amendment of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, between which and the Amendment moved by the most rev. Primate, the difference was one not of principle, but of form and method only. The most rev. Primate had argued with great force that the interference of the parents' committee was really a help to the local education authority, and he Proposed to give that help by conferring upon the parents' committee a veto upon the suggested appointment by the local education authority. Surely that was putting a very heavy burden on the Parents' committee. They might be humble people in some out of the way village and they were to be empowered to veto the appointment of the local education authority comprised of men of importance and ability in the county. Surely it was rather a slap in the face, both to the local education authority and to the teacher appointed, to put a veto upon an appointment that had already been made. It seemed to him that in that way they were giving help to the local education authority, coupled with a slight both to them and their appointees.

What weighed more strongly with him was the argument that a number of their schools were provided, managed, and staffed by religious orders. What chance had they that a local education authority in Wales or in the West Riding would ever appoint a member of those religious orders to a teachership? It would be simply idle to expect that even a moderate much less a hostile, authority would ever dream of appointing a member of such a community to be a teacher. That was to Roman Catholics a most essential and vital matter. He earnestly appealed to the most rev. Primate to concede the Amendment of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. There was no difference in principle between the two proposals. What his noble friend Lord Clifford of Chudleigh suggested was that names should be submitted to the local education authority, who should have the absolute power of vetoing those nominations if the nominees were not educationally qualified.


said he had no wish to detain the Committee at any length, but the most rev. Primate had made an appeal to those who had had the onus of administering education, and though he did not pretend that he could voice with authority the opinions of others, yet he could state from a practical point of view the way in which local education authorities would look upon this matter when called upon to appoint a teacher under the circumstances of Clause 4. He thought it was perfectly clear that they would recognise, in the first instance, that where a school had been set up with special facilities for special denominational instruction it would be desirable that there should be a teacher of that denomination placed in the school. But they would not be in a position them selves, or very seldom would be in a position, without inquiry, to know the teachers whose views would be in consonance with those of the parents of the children attending the school, and they would feel bound to consult those from whom they could best get the information. It had been laid down that there should be a parents' committee, and that committee would, at all events, represent the parents in the district, and presumably would also represent the feelings of those by whom the school was erected. He ventured to think that the local education authority, being responsible for the education given in the school, would take care, in appointing a teacher, that they had such information laid before them by the parents' committee or some other suitable body as would enable them to come to a wise judgment upon the question of his or her suitability. He could not for the moment recall the terms of Viscount St. Aldwyn's suggested Amendment, but before the noble Viscount rose he (Lord Belper) had prepared this provision, which he thought would meet the view of many noble Lords: The parents' committee may make recommendations to the local education authority in regard to the teachers to be appointed, and the local education authority shall, when making appointments, take such recommendations into consideration. These words reserved the absolute authority of the local education authority in making the appointment, and they also ensured that the representations of the parents' committee would be taken into consideration. He had been very much exercised in mind, in listening to the discussion, as to what would be the position of the local authority with regard to the minor authorities set up under Clause 15. The provision in that clause as it stood would, he thought, lead to great confusion and difficulty. It would be much easier to retain the boards of management, with modifications in their powers, and to make the parents' committee a sub-committee of the board of managers, with the instruc- tion that the managers should look to the committee for suggestions as to teachers. He hoped that the delegation question would be eventually solved in such a manner as to make the Bill workable.


said he was grateful to the most rev. Prelate that in his speech introducing his Amendment he had expressed, not indeed for the first time, a general confidence in the local education authorities; and feared only that there might be, hero and there, a local authority which would be disposed to act unreasonably. But he must point out that this proposal of the most rev. Prelate, like other proposals that had been made, took a very different colour in the eyes of those who sat on the Government Benches from what they might have assumed had not Clause 4 been so considerably altered by noble Lords opposite. By the change of the number from four-fifths to a bare majority of parents, whose consent was to be a condition of bringing a special facilities school into existence, the number of teachers who would be affected had been enormously increased; and the Government, in considering the most rev. Prelate's proposal, could not overlook that unfortunate Amendment merely because of the opinion of the noble Viscount opposite that, if the Bill became law, Clause 4 would probably be found to be without it. He was glad to notice there was present in the minds of noble Lords the administrative aspect of this question. Apparently they were at last about to hail the appearance, however faintly on the distant horizon, of the subject of education in the real sense of the term, and apart from what was called the religious difficulty. One of the chief objections of the Government to the Amendment was that it would still further complicate the administrative machine. The county councils, who would have to administer the Act, were becoming more and more alarmed at the growing number of Amendments, which would add enormously to their labours. Their Lordships were placed in a difficult position by the number of Amendments now before them, especially as the proposal of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh had unfortunately dropped out of the notice Paper; and his suggestion was that the question of the duties of the parents' committee should be postponed until they reached Clause 15, which dealt with schemes of delegation.


said he was, perhaps, the last person in the Committee who wanted to stand upon the form in which a principle was asserted, provided that in any way they could obtain the security for which they sought. If the Government could hold out a hope that they would accept the words of the noble Viscount, even in some modified form, he would gladly substitute them for his own.


said it would not be possible for Catholics to accept the most rev. Prelate's proposal in the modified form suggested by the noble Viscount. They stood by the proposal of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. They thought that the most rev. Prelate's proposal, even in the form in which it was moved, would not work out satisfactorily. It would be a most invidious task to throw upon the parents' committee to inquire into a teacher's beliefs after his appointment, and then perhaps to declare to the world that he did not come up to their standard from the religious point of view. Such a proceeding would be grossly unfair to the teacher as well as to the parents' committee.

The proper course was that proposed by Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, that the parents' committee should submit to the local authority a list of candidates with whom they were content on religious grounds, and that the local authority should then select from the list one with whose qualifications as a teacher they were satisfied. They had to consider whether friction was likely to arise, and to provide- machinery to obviate it. He earnestly believed if they considered the two Amendments they would find his noble friend's was the more likely to achieve the desired object.

Undoubtedly they felt that this Amendment would safeguard the position of the religious teachers in their schools, which was very dear to them. He believed he might confidently appeal to the officials of the Board of Education to say that if those religious teachers were taken out of the schools it would be a distinct blow to the cause of education. What they were doing to this Bill could not be measured by the number of Amendments. If two Amendments would safeguard their denominational schools, then two should be passed; but if twenty Amendments were necessary, let them not be satisfied with eighteen.

They were told that this was no longer the Bill of the Government, but the Bill of the House of Lords. It was no such thing; it still remained the Bill of the Government with the Amendments grafted on it by their Lordships, and he very much feared that Amendments grafted on that stock would not be afforded support and nourishment. He honestly feared that the dangers lurking in the original Bill were there still, and had not boon removed by their Amendments. They took upon themselves a very heavy responsibility indeed, when, as friends of religious education in the country, they allowed the Bill to pass its Second Reading, and he could not but feel that if they were asked to be satisfied with Amendments of such a shadowy kind as that which was now suggested by the most rev. Primate, when they came to the Third Reading of the Bill they must carefully consider it, as the same responsibility would confront them again in a more accentuated form. The Catholic Peers felt deeply that they could accept nothing less than his noble friend's Amendment, and he had been assured that the Jewish community were at one with them on this point.


asked permission to quote from the writings of the late Archbishop Temple to show the opinion entertained by that authority. The late most rev. Primate had left it on record in his Life what his opinion was on this point. He said— Why do we attach so much importance to our denominational schools? Is it not because of their denominational character? The educational character of these schools mainly depends upon the appointment of the teachers. No rules— and he would beg their Lordships' attention to this point—— prescribing the kind of religious instruction, important as that instruction is, can he compared for a moment to the diameter of the teacher in determining what that school will be like. … There is not, and there cannot be, the same security for the character of the teacher if is is merely appointed by the local authority. He (Viscount Halifax) was speaking with the most profound conviction when he said that there were thousands and thousands of people all over the country who were looking to their Lordships' House to introduce Amendments which would really preserve the denominational character of Clause 4 schools; and that could not be done unless they preserved the denominational character of the teacher.


My Lords, your Lordships will, I cannot help thinking, be of opinion that the time has come when the sense of the Committee may be taken upon the Amendments before us. We have the Amendment of the noble Lord on the back benches and the Amendment of the most rev. Primate with the variant suggested by the noble Viscount behind me. The two Amendments differ, no doubt, in an important particular, but both of them are directed to the same purpose. The object of both the movers is to sue to it i that the 4th Clause of this Bill shall be a reality and not a sham. These 4th Clause schools are to be denominational schools. We have been told again and again that they are to be denominational schools; that their denominational character is to be retained; and that the old teaching is to go on. But, in our view, that is absolutely impossible unless precautions are taken at the outset to secure for them; teachers who shall be qualified to give the particular form of religions instruction desired in those schools. And may I be permitted to say that that argument appears to me to hold good whether these Clause 4 schools are more or less in number. It is quite true that in consequence of the Amendment carried by your Lordships' House the number of these schools may be increased, but whether the number is large or small we contend that you cannot have a denominational school unless you have a teacher selected on account of his fitness to give denominational instruction.

Let us see for one moment how it is proposed to obtain this security. The Lord President of the Council has given us an idea of the mode in which he would set to work. We understood from him that in his view no questions are to be asked on the initial appointment of the teacher; but he suggested to us, curiously enough, the other evening that, although there were to be no questions, although it was not to be permissible to ask the teacher whether he was a Roman Catholic or a Jew, it was extremely likely that in most cases the local authority would have some means of finding out what a teacher was and would make the appointment on that knowledge.


May I tell the noble Marquess what I was thinking of? I meant that in the case of those schools their character would be generally known by those who wished to serve in them as teachers, and it is presumed that teachers of the kind acceptable to the particular denomination would apply and that others would not apply.


The process then is a sort of blindfold process of selection, but the noble Earl explains that a corner of the handkerchief will be raised so that it will be possible to see pretty distinctly what kind of person you have to deal with. Then there is the Amendment of the most rev. Primate. With that we entertain a great feeling of sympathy on this side of the House, although we are disposed to prefer the form of words suggested by the noble Viscount behind me, which seem rather loss peremptory in character, but at the same time to be well calculated to procure the desired result. We hold, with the most rev. Prelate, that you cannot exclude the parents' committee from a voice in the selection of teachers. You have already decided that that committee is to have control of, and to be responsible for, the religious instruction given in the school, and it is impossible that that control should be exercised or that responsibility assumed unless the committee is given a real voice in the selection of a teacher. Lord Clifford of Chudleigh proposes a somewhat different procedure. According to his Amendment it would be for the parents committee to nominate the teacher and for the local education authority to confirm or object to the appointment as the case might be. In our view it is better that the task of originally selecting a teacher should not be thrown upon the shoulders of the local education authority; and for that reason we prefer the Amendment of the most rev. Primate. But, as I said just now, we think the variant suggested by the noble Marquess behind me is an improvement upon his wording. May I read the Amendment suggested by the noble Viscount, as the words are not on the Paper? They run— The local education authority shall consult with the parents' committee as to the appointment of any persons to be teachers in the school, and shall satisfy themselves that the persons so appointed are qualified and willing to give the religious instruction for which the extended facilities are afforded. Those concluding words, remember, are the words which the Committee adopted when we were dealing with council schools, and it seems to me that for reasons of symmetry alone they should find a place in the clause. One word as to the suggestion that the final consideration of this matter should stand over till we get to Clause 15. I am not quite sure whether the Amendment would very fittingly find a place in Clause 15, which deals with the functions of the county councils, but it may be possible, when we come to Clause 15, to consider how far this scheme of the parents' committee can be fitted into any scheme of local administration which may be agreed upon under that clause. We do not however see any reason why the Committee should defer a decision until we get to Clause 15. I am afraid I must tell the noble Lord behind me (Lord Clifford of Chudleigh) that we cannot follow him into the Lobby, but we are prepared to support the Amendment of

the most rev. Primate as altered by the noble Viscount (Viscount St. Aldwyn).


The question is "That all the words after 'Act' in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Amendment be deleted."

On Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Amendment," resolved in the negative.


May I ask the noble Earl the Lord Chairman what the effect of this vote is upon the Amendment moved by Lord Clifford of Chudleigh?


It is competent for the Committee now to insert other words. The question now before the House is the proposal of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh to insert the words—"The appointment of teachers shall be made by the local education authority on the nomination of the parents' committee, whose nominee shall not be rejected except on educational grounds."

On Question, "That those words be there inserted," their Lordships divided:—Contents, 49; Not-contents, 137.

Norfolk, D. (E. Marshal.) Halifax, V. [Teller.] Dormer, L.
Newcastle, D. Hill, V. Emly, L.
Northumberland, D. Llandaff, V. Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)
Somerset, D. Gage, L. (F. Gage.)
Bangor, L. Bp. Gerard, L.
Bute, M. Birmingham, L. Bp. Gormanston, L. (V. Gormanston.)
Exeter, M. Exeter, L. Bp.
Lincoln, L. Bp. Howard of Glossop, L.
Abingdon, E. London, L. Bp. Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)
Amherst, E. Oxford, L. Bp Leith of Fyvie, L.
Ashburnham, E. Muncaster, L.
Dartmouth, E. Abinger, L. North, L.
De La Warr, E. Armstrong, L. Rothschild, L.
Denbigh, E. Barnard, L. Seaton, L.
Devon, E. Braye, L. Sherborne, L.
Feversham, E. Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.) Stanmore, L.
Gainsborough, E. Cheylesmore, L. Stewart of Garlies, L.
Harrowby, E. Clifford of Chudleigh, L. [Teller.] Stewart of Garlies, L (E. Galloway.)
Nelson, E.
Canterbury, L. Abp. Manchester, D. Hertford, M.
York, L. Abp. Ailesbury, M. Lansdowne, M.
Crewe, E. (L. President.) Bath, M. Northampton, M.
Ripon, M. (L. Privy Seal.) Camden, M. Winchester, M.
Albemarle, E. Ridley, V. Hastings, L.
Beauchamp, E. St. Aldwyn, V. Haversham, L.
Brownlow, E. Headley, L.
Cadogan, E. Bath and Wells, L. Bp. Hemphill, L.
Camperdown, E. Chester, L. Bp. Hylton, L. [Teller.]
Carnwath, E. Chichester, L. Bp. Kelvin, L.
Carrington, E. Liverpool, L. Bp. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)
Cathcart, E. St. Asaph, L. Bp.
Cawdor, E. St. David's, L. Bp. Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)
Chesterfield, E. [Teller.] Wakefield, L. Bp. Kinnaird, L.
Chichester, E. Winchester, L. Bp. Knaresborough, L.
Craven, E. Lawrence, L.
Dartrey, E. Ampthill, L. Llangattock, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.) Ardilaun, L. Lyveden, L.
Ashbourne, L. Macnaghten, L.
Guilford, E. Ashcombe, L. Manners, L.
Haddington, E. Atkinson, L. Mendip, L. (V. Clifden.)
Hardwicke, E. Barrymore, L. Napier, L.
Kilmorey, E. Belhaven and Stenton, L. O'Hagan, L.
Lichfield, E. Belper, L. Pirrie, L.
Lindsey, E. Blythswood, L. Poltimore, L.
Londesborough, E. Boston, L. Rathmore, L.
Lytton, E. Brassey, L. Ravensworth, L.
Northbrook, E. Burghclere, L. Reay, L.
Northesk, E. Calthorpe, L. Redesdale, L.
Onslow, E. Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.) Revelstoke, L.
Pembroke and Montgomery, E. Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.) Ribblesdale, L.
Portsmouth, E. Clinton, L. Ritchie of Dundee L.
Radnor, E. Colchester, L. Sandhurst, L.
Russell, E. Courtney of Penwith, L. Saye and Sele, L.
Saint Germans, E. De Mauley, L. Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)
Scarborough, E. de Ros, L.
Stamford, E. Denman, L. Stalbridge, L.
Temple, E. Digby, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.) Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.) Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Waldegrave, E. Tennyson, L.
Yarborough, E. Ellenborough, L. Tweedmouth, L.
Estcourt, L. Waleran, L.
Cobham, V. Eversley, L. Wandsworth, L.
Cross, V. Faber, L. Weardale, L.
Falkland, V. Fairlie, L. (E. Glasgow.) Welby, L.
Falmouth, V. Fermanagh, L. (E. Erne.) Wolverton, L.
Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.) Fitzmaurice, L. Zouche of Haryngworth, L.
Glantawe, L.
Knutsford, V. Harris, L.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


The question I now have to put is that the words proposed by Viscount St. Aldwyn be inserted, viz.: "The local education authority shall consult with the parents' committee as to the appointment of any persons to be teachers in the school, and shall satisfy themselves that the persons so appointed are qualified and willing to give the religious instruction for which the extended facilities are afforded."


My Lords, before the noble Earl in the Chair puts that question, I think perhaps it is as well that I should say one or two words on the manner in which it is regarded by His Majesty's Government. I think noble Lords opposite will agree that it is scarcely reasonable to expect us to give a definite opinion about this Amend- ment, in view of the fact that we have not actually seen it in writing, and have only heard it read. The House must also remember that the noble Lord opposite (Lord Belper) stated that a somewhat similar suggestion had occurred to him, and he read out some words which I am not able actually to remember, but the general purport of which I think the Committee will recollect, dealing with the same subject. We were unable, as I stated, to accept the Amendment of the noble Lord opposite, and as regards this one, I am not able at this stage to do more than say that the whole question, in the light of these two Amendments, will have our consideration. It is impossible for me to accept the words of the noble Viscount at this stage. And when I say "consideration." I mean consideration, because on one or two previous occasions when I have used that phrase I have been told by noble Lords opposite that I have accepted the idea. I mean "consideration." His Majesty's Government are fully alive to the arguments which have been used by the noble Viscount; and I was very glad that, in the course of his remarks, the noble Viscount saw the force of some of the objections which we raised against the Amendment as introduced by the most rev. Primate. Therefore, we are quite prepared to take the question into full consideration, but I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment as described by the noble Viscount, or even as modified by the noble Lord opposite.


said he could quite understand the position taken up by the noble Earl on behalf of His Majesty's Government. It was perfectly true that he had not the wording of the proposed Amendment before him, and it was only natural that he should desire not to give any pledge on the subject. He hoped, however, that their Lordships would insert the words in the Bill. They would be open to reconsideration at a future state.


thought the words suggested by Lord Belper were more satisfactory than those before the Committee, and they might form the basis of a settlement. He hoped Lord Belper would put his words on the Paper in plenty of time before the Report stage.


explained that he had not moved an Amendment. He had suggested some words, but the Amendment moved by the noble Viscount met his view.

On Question, ''That those words be there inserted," resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.


said that the Amendment standing in his name was considered on Clause 4 and postponed until now, the Committee being of opinion that it could be better dealt with at this point. The provisions in the Amendment did not require any further explanation, and the only question was whether this was the proper place to insert it.

Amendment moved— In page 7, line 8, after the word ' worship,' to insert the words 'The religious instruction given in the school shall as regards its character be in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed (if any) relating to the school; and nothing in this section shall affect any provision in the trust deed giving to any ecclesiastical or denominational authority the power of deciding whether the character of the religious instruction is or is not in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed. The parents' committee shall have access to the school house at all times. Vacancies in the parents' committee caused by death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be filled by election by the parents attending the school or by nomination in the same manner as the original appointment was made. In all schools in which facilities are afforded under Clause 3 of this Act, in State-aided schools and schools used by the local education authority under Clause 11 of this Act, there shall be a parents' committee elected and nominated as provided in sub-section (4) of Clause 4 of this Act, and all the provisions above enacted shall apply to such committee.'" —(Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.)


The Amendment of the noble Lord covers a certain amount of ground part of which has been covered already. The first Amendment is, I think, covered by the words which have been inserted at the beginning of Clause 4, to the effect that the local education authority shall afford extended facilities for religious instruction of some special character and in accordance with the trust deed, if any, of the school. Therefore, from the noble Lord's point of view it is, unnecessary to insert those words. As regards the latter put of the paragraph, that nothing in tin's section shall affect any provision in the trust deed giving to any ecclesiastical or denominational authority the power of deciding, that I think has already been effected in repealing the Kenyon-Slaney clause of the Act of 1902. The effect of that repeal is to restore the state of things to what it was before that Act, and I conceive that what the noble Lord wishes to provide for in the latter part of this section dealing with ecclesiastical or denominational authority is that the law should be as it stood before that Act. As to the parents' committee having access to the school at all times, we could not agree to that. The parents' committee, as constituted, is to have control of, and be responsible for, the religious instruction given in the schools. I think that local authorities would resent the perpetual intrusion of these people during the time of secular education, with which they almost explicitly have nothing to do; and, therefore, I hope the noble Lord will not press his Amendment on that point. As regards the last paragraph, I am not quite sure whether the wording of the noble Lord's Amendment would not go a great deal further than I take it he means to go. If he means that ordinary schools under Clause 3 should have a parents' committee to manage the religious instruction, we take no exception to that, but it should only be the facilities instruction which they should manage. It clearly should not be the Cowper-Temple instruction, whereas, as the noble Lord's words stand at present, they possibly would apply to that. I I think the words "all the provisions above enacted" applying to such a committee might cover more ground than the noble Lord intends. I do not take it that he really means anything more than this, that in State-aided schools, in schools under Clause XL, and in ordinary facilities schools there should be a parents' committee to manage the religious instruction; but I am afraid his words go a great deal further than that and we cannot agree to them.


pointed out that the clause under discussion was a teachers' clause pure and simple, and that the Amendment referred to many other matters and not particularly to teachers. He hoped the noble Lord would not press the Amendment.


could not see any other place where the Amendment could be put in except here. The noble Earl the Lord President had expressed the opinion that Clause 4 rendered the first section of his noble friend's Amendment unnecessary, but Clause 4 only bound the local education authority. They wanted also to bind the parents' committee, who had the control of the actual giving of religious instruction. Words were necessary to be inserted to compel them to comply with the conditions in the trust deed. He therefore thought the words in the Amendment were not unnecessary. That the parents' committee should have access to the schoolhouse at all times the noble Earl had suggested was unreasonable. He (Viscount Llandaff) did not suppose that parents would wish to intrude during the time of secular education, and he had no doubt his noble friend would limit the Amendment by inserting the words "at all times when religious instruction is being given." The next clause about vacancies, he thought, was necessary. They must have some provision for filling up vacancies. The last paragraph in the Amendment raised a question to which he had called attention the other night. In a State-aided school and in a temporarily occupied school they would have under the Bill no managers, and, therefore, no means of appointing teachers. As the noble Earl the Lord President had said, they had repealed the section of the Act of 1902 which created the foundation managers, and those managers would no longer remain in existence. The noble Earl had also suggested that the Board of Education would have some power to create a body of managers who would appoint the teachers. With great respect to the noble Earl, he did not think that was so. He was not aware of any section in any Act of Parliament which gave the Board of Education power to constitute managers, Managers had always been appointed by statute. Some provision for the appointment of teachers in these schools was absolutely necessary. He thought the noble Earl would agree that in Clause 3 schools, as in Clause 4 schools, the Amendment of Viscount St. Aldwyn would apply equally. It seemed to him that all the paragraphs contained in his noble friend's Amendment were necessary and consistent with what the Committee had already done.


These provisions dealing with vacancies in the parents' committee and other matters seem to me hardly germane to the clause your Lordships have under consideration. They no doubt might very properly be raised on Report when we are dealing with Clause 4, or later when we come to Clause 15, which deals generally with the administration of schools.


reminded the Committee that the inconvenience caused was not the fault of his noble friend because he proposed the Amendment on Clause 4, to which these matters, were germane, only to be asked by; the Leaders on both sides of the Committee to postpone it until the teachers' clause was reached. His noble friend accordingly postponed the Amendment until they reached the present clause, and it was very hard that he should now be shunted off to Clause 15.


said that in Clause 4 it was enacted that the parents' committee should be responsible for, and have control of, the religious instruction. Now it was said that owing to the Kenyon-Slaney clause having been repeated the schools would be relegated to their old trust deeds. He took that to mean as to the character of the instruction—not that they were to be thrown back on every condition of the trust deeds. It was well known that in a great number of trust deeds of the National Society the whole control was left to the clergyman of the parish. He wished to ask whether the repeal of the Clause in question would affect the control of the instruction.


A question of order has been raised by the noble Earl the Lord Chairman, and surely we ought to decide that before discussing further questions.


I withdraw the Amendment for the present, on the understanding that at a later stage I shall have the opportunity of again moving it.


drew attention to the fact that one point dealing with teachers was partly covered in this clause and partly in Clause 27. He asked His Majesty's Government whether they would be prepared at a future stage to consider a proposal for either putting Clause 27 into this clause or moving the latter two sub-sections of this clause to Clause 27.


I will give full consideration to the question raised by the noble Lord. I am afraid I cannot answer it at this moment. As regards the point raised by Lord Stanley of Alderley, I have always regarded this as very much a matter for the Committee to settle. The form of the Bill as it came up, your Lordships will remember, left the provision of all special denominational instruction out of school hours to be provided and paid for by the members of the denominations, and under those circumstances it seemed to be most reasonable to us that the manner in which that instruction should be conducted, and the terms on which it should be conducted, were really matters for the denominations themselves and for Parliament to decide. We had no very distinct wishes on the subject one way or the other, and I think remembering the form in which the Bill was introduced, that that was a reasonable course to take. My noble friend behind me will remember that, as the Bill was introduced, these schools were placed in a very different position from the present voluntary schools under the Kenyon-Slaney Clause. The Kenyon-Slaney Clause was, as many of us thought, a valuable addition to the Act of 1902, but the conditions in these schools, as we intended them to be, were so entirely different that we did not consider it reasonable or necessary to apply that clause. The question whether this religious instruction should be in accordance with the trust deed or whether the committee of parents should have a very distinct say as to its character and the manner in which it was conducted, is one for the denominations themselves, and on which the Committee could, if it desired, express an opinion. Before I sit down there is one other point on which I wish to make myself perfectly clear with reference to the Amendment moved by Viscount St. Aldwyn. We were not able, as the noble Viscount quite admitted, to express a definite opinion as to its merits, but of the two suggestions, I confess I preferred the words of the noble Lord below the gangway (Lord Belper). It certainly seemed to me, so far as I could gather them, that the words in the noble Viscount's Amendment contravened the provisions of sub-section (2) of Clause 8, whereas the phrase suggested by Lord Belper apparently did not, and, for that reason, so far as I could catch the purport of what he said, I preferred his words. But the noble Viscount and the Committee will understand that we are not bound to the acceptance of the principle that there should be anything like a preliminary inquiry by the local education authority into the religious belief of the teacher.


said he did not intend, in the words that he drew up, to contravene anything in Clause 8, any more than it had been contravened— and he did not believe it had been contravened at all—by the words which their Lordships had agreed to yesterday with regard to council schools. The matter was, of course, open to further consideration.

House resumed, and to be again in Committee this evening.

The sitting was then suspended, after the House agreeing, on the Motion of the MARQUESS OF RIPON, to give precedence on resuming to a question by the Archbishop of Canterbury relating to the Chinese in the Transvaal.