HL Deb 31 October 1906 vol 163 cc1010-83

House again in Committee (according to Order).

[The Earl of ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clause 2:—


said that last evening the actual Amendment be fore the Committee was that of the most rev. Primate, to omit in the first line of the clause the words "for the purpose of continuing," and to substitute "shall, if required by the owner, continue." He wished to ask His Majesty's Government what view they took of the suggestion which he ventured to make in the course of the debate, and which he had now placed on the Paper. Assuming that they were unable to agree to the Amendment of the most rev. Primate, of course it was possible that their Lordships' House might differ from them, and that the Amendment might be inserted in the Bill. If it were inserted, they would then come to the consideration of the proviso of which the most rev. Primate had given notice, to insert at the end of the clause certain words which appeared on the Paper. The words constituted practically two provisos. The most rev. Prelate proposed that— If the local education authority fail to make an arrangement by agreement with the owners of the schoolhouse, the arrangement shall be made by the Commission appointed under this Act, and the provisions of this Act with reference to schemes shall apply to any arrangement made by the Commission; provided that if the local education authority consider that the schoolhouse of any existing voluntary school is, on account of its structural condition, not suited for continued recognition as a public elementary school, they may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board may, if they think fit, appoint a date at which the school shall cease to be recognised, and the authority shall be under no obligation to continue any such school under this section. To the second proviso he (Viscount St. Aldwyn) had suggested as an Amendment the addition of the words "or is not required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation.' The proviso would then read— Provided that if the local education authority consider that the school house of any existing voluntary school is, on account of its structural condition, not suited for continued recognition as a public elementary school, or is not required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation, they may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board may, if they think fit, appoint a date at which the school shall cease to be recognised, and the authority shall be under no obligation to continue any such school under this section. He understood that the most rev. Primate entirely agreed with this Amendment, and that it would have his Grace's support. He assumed that in the event of the most rev. Primate's first Amendment being agreed to, His Majesty's Government would not differ from the Amendment which he had just read, because, of course, it limited the operation of the compulsory part of the clause. Then came the question of the further proviso which he suggested last night, and which now appeared upon the Paper, viz.— Provided that where an existing voluntary school is not continued on account of its not being required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation, the local education authority shall be bound, on the requisition of the owners of the school house, to afford facilities for the special religious instruction hitherto given in that school in some other school accessible to children resident in the same area as those who have attended the school which is not continued. He was a good deal impressed, on reflection, with the observation which fell in the course of the debate from the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council, to the effect that if that proviso were proposed and discussed at the present juncture on Clause 2 it would possibly be inconvenient to their Lordships as anticipating a discussion which would more properly take place on the 3rd or 4th clauses. If His Majesty's Government entertained that view he would not wish to press the proviso on Clause 2. He did not bind himself to the particular words which he had suggested, but he did entertain the strongest feeling as to the necessity for some reasonable and satisfactory arrangement of the kind. That matter might be, no doubt, more conveniently discussed on later clauses, and if those clauses were not amended so as to carry what he suggested, then it would be open to him to make that suggestion at a later stage. Of course, it was possible that the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council might be able, as he sincerely hoped he would, to inform them that His Majesty's Government would accept, either wholly or hi some modified form, the proviso he suggested.


My Lords, before I reply, may I ask the noble Viscount one question? In the event of his second proviso being postponed until Clause 3, does he propose to move his first proviso?


I propose to move the first proviso in any case.


We undoubtedly arrived at a somewhat complicated situation yesterday evening, and the real question for the Committee to consider is how this discussion, which we all wish to be complete, can be best carried on. On this point of the continuance of unnecessary schools, there are, with regard to the question of taking them over, no less than five separate propositions before the Committee. There is the proposition of the most rev. Primate that all such schools should be taken over; there is the proposition of the noble Viscount opposite; there is the proposition of my noble friend Lord Camper-down, that there should be an appeal of a certain kind to the Board of Education; there is a new proposition from the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Southwark which involves a different kind of appeal, and there is also the proposal made by my right hon. friend in another place, known as the bilateral proposal, which is still open to the consideration of your Lordships' House. Under these circumstances the question is, how these had better be discussed. If the noble Viscount agrees to press his first proviso, as he tells us in any case he intends to do, I am inclined to believe that it would be more convenient, and tend to clear the ideas of everybody, if the consideration of the second proviso were postponed. On Clause 3 there are various Amendments regarding what are known as general facilities. I am bound to say that I assume, from the noble Lord having placed this proposal for limited facilities in this place, that he is not in favour of those general facilities. If he were, it clearly would be unnecessary to allude to these more limited facilities. under Clause 2, However that may be, it perhaps may be more convenient, as matters stand, to postpone the consideration of the second proviso altogether until Clause 3 is reached.


said the postponement of the proviso in question would place those who were in favour of the continuance of the schools in a difficult position. The words at present in Clause 2 gave the local education authority complete power to close any school which they considered unnecessary, without any appeal on the part of the owners or the managers of the school. He objected to this most strongly. He thought there should be an appeal, and he had prepared an Amendment to the one proposed by Viscount St. Aldwyn on this point. His Amendment would provide for the insertion of these words— The Board shall hold a public inquiry, and, if, after considering all the circumstances of the case and the wishes of the majority of the parents, they decide that the school is unnecessary, they may "— and so on. With those words they would have some safeguard, which, as the clause at present stood, was lacking. He had great difficulty in assenting to the clause as it stood without some such safeguard.


My Lords, the proposal which is made to your Lordships by the noble Lord below the gangway, as far as I was able to follow it, seemed to me to be a very reasonable one, but I think the experience of last night shows that noble Lords are reluctant to commit them selves to any Amendment which has not been put upon the Paper, and which they have not had a full opportunity of considering. I, therefore, venture to suggest to him that he might find another opportunity of laying his Amendment before us, and that we should for the present not commit ourselves with regard to it. As I understand the situation, what is before your Lordships at the present moment is a proposal to discuss the Amendment of the most rev. Primate with the Amendment of my noble friend Lord St. Aldwyn added to it.


May I interrupt the noble Marquess for one moment? The Amendment which w are now on is the Amendment on page 1 lines 11 and 12, to leave out "for the purpose of continuing" and to insert "shall, if required by the owners, continue." Before you come to the proviso of the most rev. Primate which the noble Viscount opposite propose: to amend, there are various other Amendments on several points in Clause 2 which we shall have to take I think it would be more convenient to take the whole of the discussion on all tin Amendments dealing with this particular point of taking over and of unnecessary schools on the present Amendment of the most rev. Primate. Then when we come to the point at which the decision has to be given, some of these Amendments will disappear, and others, no doubt, will be added to the Bill; but it seems to me it would be difficult to divide the discussion into two and take part of it now, sandwiching in, as it were, discussions or matters connected with trusts, and then begin again to talk about unnecessary schools. The alternative, of course would be for the most rev. Primate to press his first Amendment, but in that case I am afraid we should be obliged take a division against it, which I thin I would probably mean taking an unnecessary division, and would cause some waste of time.


I think that what I was going to propose to your Lordships was very much in accordance with what has just been suggested. Of course, the first Amendment we come to in point of order is the Amendment in the earlier part of the clause, by which the word "shall" is substituted for "may," but I felt, as the noble Earl who has just sat down no doubt felt, that it was very difficult to discuss that Amendment without at the same time considering where we were going in the later part of the clause. I gathered from the discussion last night that the feeling, certainly on this side of the House, was in favour of accepting in principle the Amendment of the most rev. Primate. We desired that as a general rule the presumption should be that these schools would be taken over by the local education authority; but I think we also felt that the single condition which the most rev. Primate attached to that was almost too narrow a condition, that it would be going too far to say that these schools should be taken over as a matter of course, provided their structural condition was satisfactory. Now the noble Viscount behind me proposes to move an addition to the Amendment designed to meet that point. He proposes that there should be an appeal to the Board of Education, not only on the question of structural fitness, but also on the ground that the school is not required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation. Most noble Lords who sit near me would I think be prepared to vote with the most rev. Primate when we come to his proviso if these words are added to it. There will be other opportunities of discussing the question of facilities, and I would also remind your Lordships that a somewhat similar point will arise when we reach Clause 5, which deals with the conditions under which schools asking for special facilities are to be taken over by the local authorities. I, therefore, do not think that even those noble Lords who consider that the Amendment of my noble friend behind me gives perhaps too wide an opportunity for the refusal of these schools need have any anxiety upon the ground that they

will be precluded from again referring to that point at subsequent periods of the Bill. The Amendment before us is, as I have already said, the Amendment at the beginning of the clause, and we shall vote with the most rev. Primate on that Amendment, with the idea that when we come to the proviso we shall also vote with him, but upon the condition that the noble Viscount's addition is attached to it.


That entirely corresponds with the course which I am ready to follow.


The Amendment is— In page 1, lines 11 and 12, to leave out 'for the purpose of continuing,' and to insert 'shall, if required by the owners, continue.'

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

On Question, that the words "shall, if, required by the owners, continue" be here inserted, their Lordships divided:—Contents, 209; Not Contents, 47.

Canterbury, L. Abp. Albemarle, E. Lathom, E.
York, L. Abp. Bandon, E. Lichfield, E.
Bathurst, E. Lindsey, E.
Norfolk, D. (E. Marshal.) Bradford, E. Londesborough. E.
Beaufort, D. Cadogan, E. Lucan, E.
Bedford, D. Cairns, E. Malmesburvy E.
Devonshire, D. Camperdown, E. Mayo, E.
Grafton, D. Cathcart, E. Morley, E.
Leeds, D. Cawdor, E. Morton, E.
Marlborough, D. Clarendon, E. Mount Edgcumbe, E.
Newcastle, D. Dartrey, E. Nelson, E.
Richmond and Gordon, D. Denbigh, E. Northbrook. E.
Rutland, D. Devon, E. Northesk, E.
Somerset, D. Doncaster, E. (D. Bnttleuch and Queensberry.) Onslow, E.
Sutherland, D. Pembroke and Montgomery, E.
Wellington, D. Ducie, E. Plymouth, E.
Eldon, E. Powis, E.
Ailesbury, M. Essex, E. Radnor, E.
Bath, M. Feversham, E. Ronmey, E.
Bristol, M. Fortescue, E. Rosse, E.
Bute, M. Gainsborough. E. Shaftesbury. E.
Cholmondeley, M. Graham, E. (D. Montrose.) Stamford, E.
Lansdowne, M. Halsbury, E. Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)
Linlithgow, M. Hardwicke, E. Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]
Salisbury, M. Harrowby, E. Westmeath, E.
Zetland, M. Huntingdon, E. Whamcliffe, E.
Jersey, E. Wicklow, E.
Abingdon, E. Kilmorey, E. Winchilsea and Nottingham.E.
Yarborough, E. Blythswood, L. Knaresborough, L.
Bolton, L. Lawrence, L.
Churohill, V. [Teller.] Borthwick, L. Leigh, L.
Colville of Culross, V. Boston, L. Leith of Fyvie, L.
Cross, V. Braye, L. Llangattock, L.
Falkland, V. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.) Macnaghten, L.
Falmouth, V. Brougham and Vaux, L. Manners, L.
Goschen, V. Calthorpe, L. Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)
Halifax, V. Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.) Methuen, L.
Hill, V. Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam) Middleton, L.
Hutohinson, V. (E. Donough-more) Minster, L. (M. Conyngham.)
Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.) Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)
Knutsford, V. Clifford of Chudleigh, L. Moncrieff, L
Llandaff, V. Clonbrock, L. Mostyn, L.
Ridley, V. Colchester, L. Mowbray, L.
St. Aldwyn, V. Cottesloe, L. North, L.
Crawshaw, L. Northbourne, L.
Bangor, L. Bp. Dawnay, L. (F. Downe.) Oranmore and Browne, L.
Bath and Wells, L. Bp. De Freyne, L. Ormathwaite, L.
Birmingham, L. Bp. De L'Isle and Dudley, L. Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde).
Chester, L. Bp. De Mauley, L. Petre, L.
Chichester, L. Bp. de Ros, L. Poltimore, L.
Durham, L. Bp. Deramore, L. Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Exeter, L. Bp. Desborough, L. Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranfurly.)
Lincoln, L. Bp. Digby, L. Rathmore, L.
London, L. Bp. Douglas, L. (E. Home.) Ravensworth, L.
Norwich, L. Bp. Ebury, L. Robertson, L.
Oxford, L. Bp. Ellenborough, L. Saltoun, L.
St. Asaph, L. Bp. Estcourt, L. Sandys, L.
Salisbury, L. Bp. Faber, L. Seaton, L.
Southwark, L. Bp. Fermanagh, L. (E. Erne.) Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)
Wakefield, L. Bp. Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.) Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Winchester, L. Bp. Gage, L. (V. Gage.) Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Gormanston, L. (V. Gormanston Stalbridge, L.
Abinger, L. Stanmore, L.
Alverstone, L. Grey de Ruthyn, L. Stewart of Garlics, L. (E. Galloway.)
Ampthill, L. Harlech, L.
Armstrong, L. Hatherton, L. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Ashbourne, L. Heneage, L. Tennyson, L.
Avebury, L. Herries, L. Teynham, L.
Balfour, L. Kelvin, L. Trevor, L.
Barnard, L. Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare..) Waleran, L.
Barrymore, L. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.) Wenlock, L.
Basing, L. Zouche of Haryngworth, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L. Kenyon, L.
Belper, L. Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)
Loreburn, L. (L. Chancellor.) Ripon, L. Bp. Haversham,
Crewe, E. (L. President.) Hemphill, L.
Ripon, M. (L. Privy Seal.) Burghclere, L. Joicey, L.
Colebrooke, L. Monk Bretton, L.
Northampton, M. Coleridge, L. Monson, L.
Courtney of Penwith, L. Overtoun, L.
Beauchamp, E. Davey, L. Pirrie, L.
Carriagton, E. Denman, L. [Teller.] Reay, L.
Chesterfield, E. Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.) Rendel, L.
Grauville, E. Ribblesdale, L.
Kimberley, E. Eversley, L. Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Portsmouth, E. Farrer, L. Sandhurst, L.
Temple, E. Fitzmaurice, L. Saye and Sele, L.
Glantawe, L. Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)
Althorp, V. (L. Chamberlain.) Granard, L. (E. Granard.) [Teller.] Shuttleworth, L.
Selby, V. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Grimthorpe, L. Tweedmouth, L.
Hereford, L.Bp. Hamilton of Dalzell, L. Weardale, L.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


on a point of order, said lie would like to call attention to the statement of the noble Mar- quess the Leader of the Opposition that he took exception to the Amendment of Lord Herries, because the Amendment was not upon the Paper. He (Lord Denbigh) thought it would be a pity if the House were to be committed to a sort of doctrine that no Amendment was to be considered unless it was on the Paper. The objection to the Amendment moved last night by Viscount St. Aldwyn was not that it was not on the Paper, but that it was introduced in a complex condition.


The noble Earl quite misapprehended what I said. It never entered into my head to suggest that this House was precluded from taking an Amendment merely because it had not been put upon the Paper. What I suggested was that it was unfair to the House to ask them to vote upon a proposition which they had not had an opportunity of considering, and during the somewhat intricate conversation which took place last night that was a feeling which was prevalent in the minds of a great many of your Lordships. I merely suggested to Lord Herries that his Amendment had not been seen by the Committee, and that he should not press it at this moment.


My Lords, I entirely agree with what has fallen from my noble friend the Leader of the Opposition. Nobody wishes to exclude Amendments of which no notice has been given. At the same time, I do feel very strongly that it is highly desirable that notice should be given of Amendments, and that they should appear on the Paper. They may be small, but the Committee can consider them very much better when they are on the Paper. In relation to an Amendment such as that of the noble Viscount opposite it was really quite impossible to give to it a proper consideration without having the actual words on the Paper; but nobody, I think, on either side of the House ever intended to say that any Member of the House was precluded from moving an Amendment which was not on the Paper, subject to the desire, I believe, of the House that, wherever possible, notice of Amendments should be given.


Viscount Ridley's Amendment is similar to that of the most rev. Primate's. Does he press it?


said it was true his Amendment was put down to achieve the same object as the Amendment that had just been carried. He, therefore, desired to move it only formally, in order that he might make a few remarks and invite the attention of His Majesty's Government to a consideration of their position. He desired to ask the Government whether they could not give their Lordships' House some indication of their views upon this subject. He asked this not in any sense with a desire to obstruct the business of the House, but because he thought the noble Earl would see that the history of this Amendment was a somewhat curious one. The Amendment of the most rev. Primate was designed to meet the same case as the new clause which was moved on Report in the House of Commons by Mr. Birrell—the new clause known as the bilateral clause. The Government, therefore, had admitted that there was a difficulty in regard to the transfer of schools. But in the course of this debate they had given no indication of the course they proposed to pursue in order to remove that difficulty. They were attempting to throw upon the Opposition in their Lordships' House the responsibility for the conduct of a Bill which they had had no hand whatever in drafting. He thought it reasonable to ask the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council, who, it was evident, desired to conduct the Bill in the best way possible, whether he could not give some indication of what the Government themselves proposed to do in their Lordships' House in regard to the Amendment which they moved in another stage of the Bill in the other House.

Amendment moved— In page 1, lines 11 and 12, to leave out, 'for the purpose of continuing,' and to insert, 'shall continue.'"—(Viscount Ridley.)


My Lords, I cannot feel that the proposal made by the noble Viscount opposite—it hardly amounts to a complaint—is altogether a reasonable one. Our views are expressed in the Bill, but when Amendments are moved——


The Government's views may be expressed in the Bill, but my point was that in the course of debate in another place speeches were made and clauses suggested indicating the view of the Government that something further ought to be done, but in your Lordships' House nothing is said with regard to that.


We are anxious to hear the views of different noble Lords, which seem to be exceedingly varied, upon this clause. They are expressed in four different Amendments. It is perfectly true that when the clause was in another place my right hon. friend made what is known as the bilateral offer. I do not know whether it is necessary to explain what that is to your Lordships, but it briefly comes to this, that if there is to be an obligation on the local authority to take over all necessary schools there should also be an obligation to hand over all schools which the local authority requires. That offer, as I have already stated this evening, is still open to your Lordships to consider. It is one of the various proposals before your Lordships, and I am not going further than to say that, if it is desired, I should be most happy to argue the merits of that proposal. The noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition brushed that proposal somewhat lightly aside, on the ground that its author had voted against it in another place. What happened was this. An offer was made by my right hon. friend to the Opposition. That offer was not accepted, and my right hon. friend very properly, as I think, did not think it right, so to speak, to cram his olive branch down the throats of people who did not want it, and consequently lie did not force the Amendment by the weight of the Government majority in another place. Here we have not got a majority, but if noble Lords opposite hold out any hopes of accepting that offer, which we again make, we shall be happy to discuss the question on those lines. If that is not done, all we can do is to listen to the varied proposals made by noble Lords and right rev. Prelates, and express the best opinion we can upon them.


asked whether the noble Earl meant to intimate that the bilateral part of Mr. Birrell's Amendment was, ii the opinion of His Majesty's Government, an essential part of that Amendment. The bilateral proposal—that was to say, the compulsion of both the education authority and the trustees and owners of the schools—was not a proposition which was before the House of Commons at all when Clause 2 was debated. It was subsequently embodied in Mr. Birrell's new clause. What was impressed upon Mr. Birrell was that the absolute liberty on the part of the education authority to take or not to take over a school was an unfair thing to the owners and trustees of voluntary schools and to the children and their parents. That had now been altered by their Lordships' House. What now was the position? Was His Majesty's Government willing in any way to qualify Mr. Birrell's proposal, or did they hold it essential that whatever was done should apply to both parties?


It appears to me that it is hardly reasonable to expect us to give a genera! opinion on possible Amendments of this clause before some of the important Amendments upon it have even been considered. There is an exceedingly important Amendment standing in the name of the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Southwark, which he has not yet moved and which I have no doubt will lead to a good deal of discussion. But, as regards the bilateral offer, what I mean is this, that


said it seemed they were left more in the dark than ever. The action of the Government in the other House had been extraordinary, and he was at a loss to understand their position. Now that the bilateral question had been raised a full explanation was required. From what he could understand, the Government made that proposal in the House of Commons, and then proceeded to vote against it. He thought their Lordships were entitled to full explanation from the noble Earl in charge of the Bill as to what was in the minds of the Government when they followed that unprecedented course.


thought there was a little confusion in the minds of some noble Lords in regard to the exact effect the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate had on the bilateral arrangement. As he understood it, the owners would have the same obligation as was given to the local authority. That was the meaning of bilateralism in the strict sense of the term, but he could hardly imagine that that was what noble Lords opposite meant when the word bilateral was used. Such a proposal might more naturally come from the Government side. The nature of his proposition should be explained more fully by the noble Marquess.


said the question before the Committee was whether the words "in cases where they desired to do so, may," should remain in the clause. There was no question of bilateralism before the Committee. He would like to know whether the Amendment was English. What was the meaning of "shall" in cases "where they desire to do so?" Was it not equal to "may?" The clause related to the transfer of schools. As it stood the owners could not take any step to facilitate transfer unless a motion came from the local authority. That was a very unreasonable proposition. The owners or trustees should be able to go to the local authority.


said that the noble Viscount Lord Ridley had declared that he moved the Amendment not with the bona fide intention of pressing it, but with a view of making a speech. He took it that the Amendment was before the Committee, although the Lord Chairman had pointed out that it was similar to the Amendment which had been moved by the most rev. Primate and adopted by the Committee. The offer made in the other House should now be made by the Opposition since they had carried their Amendment. He altogether dissented from the idea that the offer was made on the supposition that it would improve the Bill. Concessions were often made-which were really blemishes and not improvements; they were made to-facilitate the progress of a Bill, but in the present instance it was his opinion that the Bill was better without the concession.


I should like to ask the Lord Chairman, on a point of order, what the Amendment is before the Committee.


The only question is the insertion of certain words which, have already been inserted.


Then I ask the Lord Chairman whether he is in order in putting such an Amendment to the Committee.


Perhaps it would save trouble if I ask leave of the Committee to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD HENEAGE moved the omission of the words "in cases where they desire to do so" and the insertion of the word "and." The words as they at present stood gave the idea that the local authority alone were to have the right of saying-whether the schools were to continue or not.

Amendment moved— In page 1, line 13, to leave out 'in cases where they desire to do so,' and to insert 'and.'"—(Lord Heneage.)

THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY moved to omit the words "with the consent of the Board of Education." This, he explained, was a consequential Amendment.

Amendment moved— In page 1, lines 13 and 14, to leave out, 'with the consent of the Board of Education.'"—(The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.)

THE LORD BISHOP OF WAKEFIELD moved to insert, "with the consent of any person whose consent would have been required for the purposes of, or transfer under, Section 23 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870." He was not quite certain whether his Amendment was now in order, and he had no desire to take up the time of the Committee on an Amendment which was not strictly in order.


I have no more power to say whether or not a matter is in order than any other Member of your Lordships' House; but, if the right rev. Prelate asks my personal opinion, I may say that I have looked into the matter since he drew my attention to it, and I think it turns upon the question whether the Board of Education is a "person" within the meaning of the clause. The Board of Education has been struck out, and the right rev. Prelate now proposes to insert words to the effect that a school shall only be transferred with the consent of any person whose consent would have been required for the purposes of, or transfer under, Section 23 of the Elementary Education Act of 1870. I understand that the Board of Education had to give their consent, and I am not at all in a position to say whether or not the word "person" would cover the Board of Education.


, who asked for that indulgence which was usually extended to one who addressed their Lordships for the first time, explained that finding it difficult to ascertain the position of the trustees under this Bill, and being in some uncertainty as to the definition of owners, he wished to guard against transfers which would change the character of voluntary schools. He did not propose this Amendment with any intention whatever of placing an unnecessary impediment in the way of the proper transfer of the schools to the local authorities. On the contrary, he would desire to facilitate that transfer in any manner possible, if he could be assured that under it the lights of conscience of the parents and those who desired that denominational instruction should be given would be properly safeguarded. But that was not what he found under this Bill. Indeed, there seemed to be almost an invitation to trustees, as a good discharge of their trust, to turn a denominational school into a provided school, with no security whatever for due facilities and with a possibility of the school even being turned into a secular institution.

The trust deeds of the Church schools provided for a combination of general education and religious education. Those two things were mixed up in such a way that many of them felt, as trustees, that any separation might be almost a betrayal of their trust. He drew a great distinction between this religious education and mere religious instruction, comparing them to sugar put into a cake and the sugar outside, which was removable. Section 23 of the Act of 1870 provided for the consent of all persons who might be interested in the character of the school. In almost every one of the trust deeds for the 5,000 voluntary schools that had been built since 1870 there was a provision which ensured that the schools should not be alienated without the consent of the National Society, as the representative of the Church of England in this matter. Such trust deeds would be carefully guarded by the Act of 1870, but the safeguard seemed now to be swept away

For want of some such words in the Bill as he proposed there was a risk that even perfectly modern trust deeds might be set aside. Great pressure might be brought to bear on individual trustees, and it might be possible to make an improvident transfer under this section. For the protection mainly of the trust deeds he pleaded that some such provision as he suggested should be embodied in the Bill. He trusted that the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council, with that marked courtesy with which |he was conducting an admittedly difficult subject, would give his attention to this matter.

Amendment moved— In page l, line 14, after 'education,' to insert 'and with the consent of any person whose consent would have been required for the purposes of or transfer under Section 23 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870.'"—(The Lord Bishop of Wakefield.)


My Lords, I am sure you will all agree that any claim for indulgence which, was made by the right rev. Prelate in his opening remarks was entirely unnecessary, in that he has placed before us an exceedingly difficult and intricate subject with the utmost lucidity. What the right rev. Prelate asks is that the same consents before these schools can be handed over should be required, as were required under Section 23 of the Act of 1870. Under that Act, schools were handed over by the managers and not by the trustees. Therefore, of course, their consent was required. The consent of the trustees, strangely enough as it may seem to us, was not required. Under that Act there undoubtedly were cases where managers handed over trust schools and turned them into board schools against the wishes of the trustees. The other consents that were required included the Board of Education, which has been already struck out by your Lordships, and the annual subscribers to such schools, two-thirds of whom had to concur in the transfer. As far as the subscribers are concerned, that question, as your Lordships will agree, does not arise on the present occasion.

The question in the first place seems to be mainly as to whether this power of transfer should be vested in the trustees or in the managers. I confess I was a little surprised to hear such very marked distrust of the possible action of the trustees expressed by the right rev. Prelate. I certainly should have supposed, on the face of it, that not merely in the vast majority of cases but in all cases with very few possible exceptions, the trustees of these schools might have been relied upon to carry out, not merely the letter but the spirit of their trusts, and if it is not so, I can only say that the Church of England seems to have found a strange set of trustees to administer its educational charities.

The point which we desire particularly to impress upon the Committee is this, that it is of paramount necessity that there should be one body of persons carrying out the negotiations. I think your Lordships will see that in the case of the transfer of a large number of schools it is impossible to require a consent here and a consent there from great lumbers of different bodies. What the actual body of persons shall be—a single one we say it must be—is a difficult matter, and it is one on which no doubt there is much to be said. This transaction of handing over the schools is a business transaction, and therefore it is natural, I should conceive, speaking, of curse, as a layman, that the trustees should be the persons to make that transfer. There is a further reason. The right rev. Prelate must remember that these transactions are not single transactions, that they are made for a limited term of years and will have to be repeated. Five years hence it is not quite easy to see what body except the trustees would be likely to be in a position to make such a bargain. At present, no doubt, the foundation managers might conceivably take their place or be called in to assist them, but in the case of a further and future arrangement it seems to me that there is nobody but the trustees who could properly be called in.

There is a further consideration. Your Lordships have made it imperative on the local authorities to take over the schools whether they wish to do so or not. Surely your Lordships will not think it right and proper that all the bodies interested in a school should be empowered to deal with the unwilling authority. If that obligation is to be enforced by a single authority, surely the other obligation of making the arrangements should be carried out by a single authority as well. Your Lordships may dislike many of the provisions of the Bill, but I believe that once it is passed it will be our desire to see it working successfully; and if the Commissioners are to carry out the transfers with ease and smoothness it is essential that they should have to deal with a single body only. Therefore, though I appreciate the strong feeling expressed by the right rev. Prelate on behalf, for instance, of the National Society, who in the existing circumstances no doubt have the power of refusing assent in the cases of a large number of schools, we are obliged to adhere to the arrangement that in a transfer the Commissioners shall have to deal with one body only.


thought the Amendment was most moderate and reasonable. It was possible that some trustees might have an easy conscience with regard to denominational education, and consequently, when arranging a transfer, might not insist upon facilities being given for religious instruction. The Amendment would provide a safeguard in such cases. He was the more perplexed at the action of the noble Earl in declining to accept this Amendment because, so far as he could gather from the speech of the President of the Board of Education, this section was based more or less on the section alluded to in the Act of 1870. Speaking on 10th May, Mr. Birrel said— Provision is made in Section 23 of the Act of 1870 for arrangements being come to voluntarily, as in Clause 2 of this Bill, between the owners of the voluntary school and the local authority for the transfer of the school to the local authority for the purpose of carrying on the work of a public elementary school. He repeated that it was impossible to reconcile the speeches of Ministers with the provisions in the Bill itself. He could not reconcile that speech with the refusal of the noble Earl to accept this Amendment, and he thought he had a right to ask the noble Earl in charge of the Bill to explain.


could not see the contradiction which the noble Marquess seemed to find in what was reported to have been said by the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill in the other House and the action of the Lord President of the Council. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to have said—and he entirely agreed with him—that this clause of the Bill was intended to effect the same object as was effected by Clause 23 of the Act of 1870. That was all he said, and it was perfectly true. But why did he introduce anew clause and not rely upon the existing Clause 23? He assumed that the reason could only have been that the machinery of Clause 23 was so cumbrous and in practice had been found so unworkable that it had been very little used, and, therefore, while keeping the same purpose in view, the right hon. Gentleman had devised a new clause for carrying it out.

He did not doubt for one moment that the right rev. Prelate who introduced this Amendment was perfectly sincere when he said that his desire was not to throw an impediment in the way of, but to facilitate, the smooth working of these transfers. But, while he gave the right rev. Prelate the most ample credit for his benevolent intention, he felt compelled to say that he appeared to have taken the very worst way of carrying it put, for anything more calculated to hamper or prevent transfers than the adoption of the machinery in Section 23 of the Act of 1870 he could not conceive. He believed anybody who had had practical experience of the working of the Act of 1870 would confirm him when he said that the section in question had been found so difficult on account of the number of consents required to be obtained that it had in fact been very little used.

Let them consider what it was that the right rev. Prelate desired to introduce into the Bill. First, there was the consent of the Board of Education; that had now been disposed of. Then there was the consent of two-thirds of the annual subscribers to the school. In the Act of 1870 that provision had a very definite meaning, because the maintenance of the school was provided for by annual subscriptions from a list of subscribers, and it might have been perfectly right at that time that, inasmuch as they paid for the support of the school, they should have a voice as to whether the school should be transferred or not; but there was now a different state of things. By the Act of 1902 that was all swept away. The maintenance of the school—he was not speaking of the building—was provided for out of the rates, and, therefore, if they were to have any analogy at all it ought to be the consent of those who now paid the piper. There was now. he was told, no such thing as a list of subscribers in most of the voluntary schools. When money was required for the special purpose of repairing the building it was raised by contributions, but an annual list of subscribers for the purpose for which it existed at the time the Act of 1870 was passed no longer existed, and, therefore, to require the consent of two-thirds of the subscribers now would be perfectly idle and introduce difficulty and delay.

Then there was the consent of the managers. Under Clause 23 of the Act of 1870 the arrangements were to be made by the managers as they existed at that time. The managers were then representatives of the founders of the school. The managers now were a very different class of persons. They now had six managers, two of whom were representatives of the county council itself. This clause and these consents, which were devised for a totally different state of things from that which had been introduced by subsequent legislation, could no longer be availed of with advantage or without difficulty. Next a consent was necessary under the trust deed. He did not know whether it was desired that the National Society should have a veto on every transfer. It appeared to him that the whole Amendment and the speech of the right rev. Prelate was based on a mistrust of the trustees of these educational charities. In cases which had come within his knowledge the trustees were gentlemen interested in educational work, and they were usually chosen with some care; and if they could not trust the trustees he would like to know whom they were to trust. He would put it higher than that. They were trustees, and therefore bound to execute their trust, and he would conceive it to be the duty of trustees, before entering into any negociations or agreement with the local education authority, to consult, for instance, the foundation managers or the principal supporters of the schools, or, if they liked, the National Society; but, at any rate, to inform themselves as to what would be the wishes of those interested in the school of which they were trustees. They would then be able to negotiate on a much stronger footing. He asked their Lordships to consider whether anything could be gained, and whether, on the contrary, a great deal of friction and difficulty would not be introduced, by requiring these consents to be obtained.


said that he could not take part in the discussion of political questions arising under this Bill, but this was a matter of machinery and drafting. He sympathised entirely with the right rev. Prelate's desire that there should be some protection for bodies in the position of the National Society, but he thought this would be an extremely dangerous Amendment as framed, and that in all probability it would not effect its purpose, at any rate in a satisfactory way. He suggested that a different Amendment might be framed in different words, and probably in a different part of the Bill, and that this Amendment should not be pressed. There was a grave doubt whether these words did not restore the consent of the Board of Education, as well as other bodies not contemplated. In his judgment, the words of the Bill, "the owners of the school house," were much the better governing words to keep, and if protection was required for any special body it would be much better to put in some words that would carry out the real wish of the right rev. Prelate and not introduce complications.


acquiesced in the suggestion of Lord Alverstone, and did not wish that this Amendment should be pressed further. He hoped, however, that at a future stage of the Bill the right rev. Prelate might find it possible to suggest some words which would better give effect to his desire, for, if they swept away at one blow the conditions on which founders and benefactors gave their property for charitable purposes, it would have a serious effect on the generosity of the founders and benefactors of the future.


said the matter was not at all as simple as the right rev. Prelate thought, and it would be wise on his part to defer the consideration, of the Amendment. The right rev. Prelate would find better opportunities at a later stage of the Bill for introducing the matter.


said he was convinced by the arguments of his noble and learned friend Lord Davey and others that it would be impossible to carry out the Amendment as it stood with due regard to the smooth transfer of the schools. Therefore he did not intend to press the Amendment, but would, with the leave of the Committee, withdraw it. He did not, however, think their Lordships' discussion on the matter would have been wasted as it had called attention to the fact, as stated by the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chief Justice, that some protection was undoubtedly needed under this provision.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

THE LORD BISHOP OF WAKEFIELD moved to insert words with the object of extending to trust owners of schools the option given under the Bill to private owners of executing alterations and improvements to the schools under the direction and at the cost of the local education authority. He hoped this Amendment would commend itself to the judgment of the Committee as being a very reasonable one on a small point of detail.

This part of the clause dealt with alterations and improvements in existing voluntary schools only, and with such alterations and improvements on the transfer of such schools, and afterwards on the renewal of arrangements under the trust. It provided that the local education authority should be financially responsible for all such alterations and improvements in transferred schools, and should be able to make any reasonable alterations and improvements. But, by an addition made in the other House, private owners of schools were given an option either to allow the local authority to do the work, or, if they wished, to do it themselves under the direction of the local authority, subsequently recovering the cost of the alterations and improvements. The object of his Amendment was to place trust owners in the same position so far as this one point was concerned.

In many cases it would doubtless be preferred that the local education authority should come in and do the work -themselves, but he thought there ought to be at all events an option given to trust owners of the same kind as that extended to private owners. An option of this kind would certainly increase local interest in the school. He could conceive that in the case of many villages there might be persons in the locality who would like | to see some architectural embellishment put on the school, and he thought those concerned locally should be allowed, at their own cost, to carry out such work. The Amendment would result in the long run in economy to the ratepayers, for many of their Lordships who owned schools would know tint alterations ordered by the local education authority could be carried out much mire cheaply by the owners than by the local authority.

It might be argued as an objection that the Amendment would lead to friction. The question which would have to be decided between the local education authority and the owners on the spot was of such a very simple character that he could not conceive any friction arising. It was a very different thing from an agreement between two parties where one party could force the other to pay for what it insisted upon. It was not a question of who war to pay, but merely a question of who should carry out the work.

Amendment moved— In page 2, to leave out lines 1 and 2 and to insert 'owners themselves to execute if they desire the work needed to make.'"—(The Lord Bishop of Wakefield.)


I am sorry to be unable to accept the Amendment which the right rev. Prelate has moved in such clear and moderate terms. What happened in another place was this. When the clause was under consideration it was pointed out that in the case of private owners, such as your Lordships, many of whom have schools of your own, it would be a distinct convenience and a great economy to be able to carry out in some cases repairs and improvements yourselves. The economy and convenience would consist in the fact that on a great many estates there is a staff of workmen who undoubtedly would carry out the work more economically than it could be done if put out to contract. It was further pointed out that a great many of such schools were of a very ornamental character, and that local education authorities might not feel justified in adding to them in the same manner, and consequently the owner might wish to carry out the improvements on that higher scale.

In the case of trust schools the trustees have no staff of workmen of their own, and although it might be argued that sometimes the local authority, in the case of an ornamental trust school, would not be disposed to carry out the work quite so ornamentally as the trustees would themselves, I would refer to the point that was made by the right rev. Prelate as to the possibility or the probability of agreement between the two parties. There would be nothing whatever under this Bill to prevent the local authorities and the trustees agreeing on a particular kind or pattern of school, or to prevent the trustees, if they liked, paying the difference and arranging for a more ornamental school than the authority would be inclined to erect of its own initiative. Consequently, it seems to me that the cases are not at all on all fours. The proposition was inserted in the House of Commons, I think, at the instance of Colonel Kenyon-Slaney, admittedly and clearly on behalf of country gentlemen who were private owners of schools, and I do not think the particular point was at all pressed by him.

Now, as to the objection to the Amendment. The right rev. Prelate has quite rightly anticipated the answer I shall give. It has been found, as a matter of fact, that a great deal of friction has arisen between trustees and local authorities in reference to this matter, and if the state of things which the right rev. Prelate desires were allowed to exist, I am afraid that friction would go on. We naturally desire to make the working of the Bill as smooth as possible. I confess I do not see in what the grievance of the right rev. Prelate consists. He admits that there is a great possibility that friendly arrangements will be made between the local authorities and the trustees as to the way in which the work should be done. The whole point of this provision in the Bill as it stands hangs upon the fact that the private owner has probably a staff of workmen of his own, and as trustees are not in that position there seems no reason for applying the same considerations to them.


wished to know how many schools would be excluded from this clause by their trust deeds. He did not think the noble Earl had done justice to the elasticity of the clause. The object of the Amendment was to put all classes of voluntary schools in the same position.


It is perfectly true that there are certain schools held under trust to which this provision would apply. The number of what are known as privately owned schools is about 2,500, but when the noble and learned Lord asks me to distinguish between the trust schools which are held under trusts which would bring them within the purview of this provision, and those which are not, I am afraid I must decline to give him an answer. It is an exceedingly difficult matter to say offhand what character of trust brings a school under a particular provision. But the noble and learned Lord is quite correct when he says that there are a very considerable number of trust schools which might take advantage of this provision. My sole point was that it was not for their benefit, but for the benefit of landowners that this provision was inserted.


said he was disappointed to find the Government were not prepared to give way on this point. Alterations might be made in a school in a way that, while satisfying what was required simply for the needs of elementary education, might make the school unfitted for the other purposes for which it might be used. The needs of elementary education must of course be paramount, but it would often happen that by the expenditure of a little more money, which would of course come wholly from voluntary sources, the additional purposes would be served and education be the gainer too. The owners ought to be allowed to pay the difference in the cost of the alterations in order to ensure that the building should be suitable for those other purposes. He felt that it was exceedingly hard that trust owners should not stand in the same position as private owners in regard to this matter. It was perfectly true that there had been friction in the past and friction might still arise, but he did not think the possibility of that ought to be enough to prevent such a reasonable provision being given as that asked for in the Amendment.


stated that he could confirm from his own personal experience a great deal of what had been urged upon the Government as reasons for agreeing to this Amendment. When he sat in the other House as Member for a Lancashire constituency a case arose with regard to the enlargement of a certain Roman Catholic school there, and the public authority tried to insist on the additions having a particular shape. It so happened that that particular shape would render the school unfit for public worship on Sunday, for which purpose the Roman Catholic priest in that district used it. The priest approached him and said he was quite prepared to make all the alterations necessary in point of space, but could not agree to the particular shape proposed. He (Lord Salisbury) was able to approach the authorities on that occasion and to see that justice was done. He thought that illustration would show their Lordships what great peril there was that an unreasonable authority might render a school unfitted for the purposes for which it might be used when it was not required as an elementary day school. In the village where he lived there were two Church schools; one was in the hands of trustees and the other belonged to himself. They were both important for what the right rev. Prelate had described as the embellishment of the village. It did not make any difference to their appearance whether he or trustees happened to be the owner. Yet in one case, in the event of improvements being required, he would be consulted and allowed to carry out the work, while in the other case an ugly unsightly building might be forced on the village. Then as to the question of the workmen. In his village his workmen would be quite as much at the disposal of the national school as they would be of the school which belonged to him, and he thought it was the same all over the country. He hoped the noble Earl, now that it had been shown that all his arguments against the Amendment fell to the ground, would allow the owners and trustees to have the management of the alterations if they desired it.


questioned whether the term "alterations and improvements" included additions. He moved to add the word "additions"; but if the noble Earl in charge of the Bill assured him that the present wording was sufficient he would not press the Amendment.

Amendment moved— In page 2, line 3, after 'alterations,' to insert 'additions.'"—(Lord Clifford of Childleigh.)


In our opinion the words "alterations and improvements" cover additions.


Then I withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


, who had the following Amendment on the Paper, viz:— In page 2, line 7, to leave out 'and' and to insert 'but the use of the school house shall be given, or the school house shall be transferred to the local education authority free of any rent or any other payment in respect of the use of the school house for the purposes of a public elementary school;'" and "In line 14, after 'provided,' to insert 'but the owners of the school house shall under any such arrangement have and retain the right to use the school premises, or to permit them to be used, either in consideration of a payment or free of charge for purposes not inconsistent with the trust deed, if any, in the time during which the local education authority have not the use of the school house for educational purposes, and in every case the owners of the school house shall have such right of user during the whole of every Sunday and on at least three evening in the week, subject only to any statutory provisions under which the use of the school house or any room therein may be required for public purposes other than educational purposes;' —said it was one of a series of Amendments which were all consistent and must stand or fall together. They were consequential on the following new clause which he had suggested in substitution for Clause 3, viz.— The local education authority shall provide religious instruction during school hours on at least three days in each week for children attending the school, such instruction to be given as far as practicable in accordance with, the religious persuasion of their parents, whose wishes shall be ascertained in a manner to be provided by the Board of Education on the passing of this Act. He had learnt from the tenor of discussions and from private conversations with noble Lords, as well as from the course of altering the Bill which had already commenced, that his Amendments had no chance whatever of acceptance, and, in these circumstances he felt that it would be an indiscretion to press them in any way. He was doubtful as to whether it would be more respectful to their Lordships to explain the objects with which he had put the Amendments on the Paper, or to leave them unexplained, but he thought that on the whole it would be better to explain them. His Amendments were——


I am sorry to interrupt the noble Lord, but his scheme of Amendments depends on what are known as general facilities. As we have not yet touched that question would it not be more appropriate and more convenient to everybody if he I made his statements upon Clauses 3 rather than upon the present clause?


I readily accede to that suggestion.


formally moved the Amendment of which he had given notice, including the words in italics, of which Viscount St. Aldwyn had given notice.

Amendment moved— In page 2, line 14, after the word 'provided' to insert the words 'If the local education authority fail to make an arrangement by agreement with the owners of the school house, the arrangement shall be made by the Commission appointed under this Act, and the provisions of this Act with reference to schemes shall apply to any arrangement made by the Commission. Provided that if the local education authority consider that the school house of any existing voluntary school is, on account of its structural condition, not suited for continued recognition as a public elementary school, or is not required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation, they may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board may, if they think fit, appoint a date at which the school shall cease to be recognised, and the authority shall be under n. obligation to continue any such school under this section.'"—(The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.)


The Question is, that those words be here inserted.


I hope it will not be assumed that because we are not debating this we are assenting to it as a satisfactory solution.


As that doubt has been raised I may as well state what the position is. The most rev. Primate has induced the Committee to accept an Amendment which we consider exceedingly objectionable. This proviso would make it somewhat less objectionable, and the proviso of the noble Viscount opposite would make it less objectionable still. Consequently, we do not oppose those provisos, but it must not be supposed that we agree with the whole scheme as presented.


was of opinion that the words in reference to the appeal were too restricted. A somewhat wider scope should be given to the inquiry by the Board of Education. For instance, in the cases of Halifax and Portsmouth, the figures of which were given the other day by the most rev. Primate, there was vacant accommodation in the provided schools sufficient for the scholars now in the voluntary schools. Therefore, if the question to the Board of Education was, whether the particular voluntary school in Halifax or in Portsmouth was required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accomodation, the answer would be bound to be in the negative. The proposal of the Earl of Camperdown that the Board should consider all the circumstances and the wishes of parents of children attending the school was preferable.


preferred his own Amendment, on the ground, as stated by the noble and learned Viscount who had just sat down, that it was wider in its terms, and if he were in order he would be prepared to support his proposition. He gathered, however, that it was the general opinion of the Committee when the Amendment of the most rev. Primate to insert "shall" was accepted that the Amendment now under consideration should follow, and therefore he would not move his Amendment.


said it was not quite clear if on the appeal the owner of the building condemned for structural reasons would be heard. It was a very easy thing to condemn almost any building on account of some structural objection, and it might possibly happen that an owner had a legitimate ground of complaint for the condemnation of the school. It seemed, as the words stood, that if a school were structurally not suited for continued recognition as a public elementary school there was an appeal to the Board of Education; but was it quite clear that, on that appeal, the owner of the school would have a right to be heard on the point as to whether or not the school had been properly condemned on structural grounds?


thought he would be consulting the convenience of the Committee and save time if he offered a word or two of explanation upon the Amendment standing in his name, which was another alternative on the same point. His Amendment was to insert in page 2, line 41, after subsection 5, the following new subsection:— (6)—(A) Nothing in this section shall affect the powers of a local education authority with respect to discontinuing schools provided by them under Section 18 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, but before the consent of the Board of Education required under that section is given, they must be satisfied that suitable public notice has been given by the local education authority not less than two months previously of their intention to discontinue the school, and the Board of Education in deciding whether their consent shall be given shall have regard to the interest of secular instruction, to the wishes of the parents as to the education (including the religious education) of their children, and to the economy of the rates. (B) An application may be made by the local education authority to the Board of Education for their consent to the discontinuance of any existing voluntary school as though it were a school provided by them, and the authority shall not be under any obligation to make an arrangement under this section in respect of any school to the discontinuance of which the consent of the Board of Education has been obtained, but no such discontinuance shall take effect before the first day of January one thousand nine hundred and eight. The subsequent Amendment of Viscount St. Aldwyn did not restrain the local authority further; on the contrary, it untied the local authority a degree more. He felt with Viscount Llandaff that there were other considerations to be taken into account beyond those provided for. These he had attempted to indicate in the Amendment which he had placed on the Paper to secure that regard should be had "to the interest of secular instruction, to the wishes of the parents as to the education (including religious education) of their children, and to the economy of the rates." If the Committee did not deckle on Clause 3 to give the facilities which would meet the case Viscount St. Aldwyn would at a later date move his Amendment (the second proviso), which otherwise would not be needful. Should the Committee decide neither in favour of general facilities nor in favour of what the noble Viscount proposed, he and many others would feel that it was necessary to find some method of equitable protection, and, like Lord Camperdown, he would reserve his right to move his Amendment.


referred to the necessity of guarding against the suppression of small schools in the name of efficiency and economy. Educational efficiency from the point of view of some local authorities meant a large central school which tended eventually to a cast-iron system. There were obvious advantages in concentration; but size was not necessarily an indication of merit or success. What was wanted was variety of type in our schools; the last thing wanted was rigid uniformity the ill-effects of which had been seen in their intermediate schools. He hoped that such words as Lord Camperdown desired would be inserted at a later stage of the Bill.


, in deference to private pressure from various quarters, moved to insert words towards the end of the Amendment providing that on the appeal to the Board of Education the Board should come to its decision "after taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case."

Amendment moved to the proposed Amendment— To insert, after the words 'and the Board may,' the words 'after taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case.'"—(The Earl of Camperdovm.)


said that the words were vague, and gave no real guide to the Board. Their insertion, therefore, would not help the case at all.


said the fate of the slum schools was involved in this matter. These schools were carried on at great self-sacrifice on the part of the managers and teachers, and the influence they exercised on the locality was untold. They were saving Christianity and moulding character in the slums. He was afraid that if the only question to be considered was whether or not there was room elsewhere for the children attending them these schools would be absorbed by the large board schools. To avoid that contingency he suggested the inclusion in Viscount St. Aldwyn's Amendment of the following words which the Bishop of Southwark had put on the Amendment Paper— The Board of Education in deciding whether their consent shall be given shall have regard to the interest of secular instruction, to the wishes of the parents as to the education (including the religious education) of their children, and to the economy of the rates.


, referring to the remarks of Viscount Llandaff, thought there was less danger of either Roman Catholic or Jewish schools being unfairly treated by an education authority than schools of the Church of England. In following the debates on the Bill in the House of Commons he noticed with some surprise that even the strongest Radicals were in favour of allowing special facilities for religious instruction to Roman Catholic and Jews, while they denied them to the Church of England. Personally he had no objection to the inclusion of the Bishop of Southwark's words in his Amendment; but he would point out there was a danger that in specifying these particular things they might exclude from the consideration c f the Board of Education something not named which the Board ought to take into account in dealing with the whole matter.


thought it would be wiser to put in some such words as suggested, otherwise the only point which would have to be taken into consideration was whether there was in a particular district sufficient room in the council schools to accommodate the whole of the children now being educated in the voluntary schools.


suggested, as an addition to the Earl of Camperdown's Amendment, directing the Board of Education to take into consideration all the circumstances of the case, the words— Including the wishes of the parents and the opportunities for religious instruction in. the district. He was afraid that without some such safeguard the local authorities would point to the existence of a provided school in the locality as a sufficient reason for refusing to take over a voluntary school.


My Lords, I beg to suggest to the Committee that the simplest solution of this difficulty is that we should support the Bishop of London's Amendment to the Amendment of the noble Viscount behind me. Those words really give effect to what I understand to be the intention of the Committee. We had already agreed on this side to accept words under which a school could be refused if it could be shown that it was not required for the accommodation of the district. I take it that none of us intended that that merely meant a counting of heads, and that the accommodation would be held to be sufficient if there were in the district enough school places to receive all the children in that district. What I think we did mean was what is embodied in the right rev. Prelate's Amendment. The noble Viscount behind me suggested that there was some danger that in mentioning these three particular points we might, as it were, give a direction to the Board of Education, to ignore all other points. That, I think, could be cured by altering the words of the right rev. Predate into the following form— The Board may, after considering all the circumstances of the case, including the interests of secular instruction, the wishes of the parents as to education (including the religious education) of their children, and the economy of the rates," etc.


said there were now three or four Amendments jostling each other for the attention of the Committee; and, in order to clear the situation somewhat, he would withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


put the question that the Archbishop of I Canterbury's Amendment down to the words "they may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board," be inserted in the clause. On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I will now put the words in the Bishop of Southwark's Amendment, amended in accordance with the Marquess of Lansdowne's suggestion. The words proposed to be inserted after the words "and the Board" are— may, after considering all the circumstances of the case, including the interests of secular instruction, the wishes of the parents as to education (including religious education) of their children, and the economy of the rates.


I have really very little to add on this matter to what I said yesterday. So far as the original Amendment of the noble Viscount is concerned, of course we could not object to the insertion of that, because it is a distinct improvement on the clause as it stood; but it is impossible for us to agree to the insertion of the further words proposed by the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of London. Those words are, as many of your Lordships know, taken from Section 9 of the Act of 1902, and the Board of Education, therefore, has had some distinct experience as to how they work.

I do not know—perhaps some noble Lords opposite may be able to tell me—what the experience of the former President of the Board of Education was, but 1 know what the experience of my right hon. friend the present President of that Board is. Mr. Birrell tells me what he has already, I think, told the House of Commons, that, of all his duties, there is none which it is so impossible for him to exercise owing to the actual conditions of the case. What is it that you have to decide in a case of this kind? You have to have regard to the interests of secular instruction. That, of course, is covered by the words of the noble Viscount. Then you have to consider the wishes of parents as to the School being recognised, and the interests of the rate9. It stands to reason that the parents want the school to go on; that is invariably the case. It also follows that the rates will suffer in consequence. Therefore you have got to decide between two incompatible things. It really takes you no further than if the President of the Board of Education were told to decide the matter as he pleases. It is as though it were a matter of critical foreign policy, and the Secretary of State were told he had to regard the advantages of remaining at peace on the one hand, and the advantages of going to war on the other. What happens, of course, is that the President of the Board of Education decides the matter according to what he considers fair, but he is in no conceivable way helped by these words. They only really hamper him in arriving at what he might consider to be a rational conclusion, and the form that conclusion takes simply depends on the degree to which the different considerations are impressed on the mind of the President at the time. If you have a President of the Board of Education who considers that the wishes of the parents are always paramount he will decide in their favour, although it may be a matter of some hundred pounds charge to the rates. If you have a President who thinks that £300 or £400 on the rates is a very important matter and the wishes of parents comparatively an unimportant matter, he, it seems to me, is bound to decide in the contrary sense. The thing practically takes you no further, and my right hon. friend has asked me to say that, so far as the conduct of his Department is concerned, he would find it impossible to act on the directions contained in these words if your Lordships insist upon inserting them in the Bill.


considered that all these questions were of vital interest, and must be treated as such by every President of the Board of Education, no matter what might be his private views. He had never found any difficulty in administering the Act of 1902, while President of the Board, and he

thought the insertion of these words was desirable. He did not for a moment compare himself in ability with the present President of the Board of Education, and if he could administer the Act he did not understand why such a much abler man like Mr. Birrell could not do so.

On Question, "That those words be there inserted." their Lordships divided: Contents, 197; Not-Contents, 52.

Canterbury, L. Abp. Morley, E. St. David's, L. Bp.
Morton, E. Salisbury, L. Bp.
Norfolk, D. (E. Marshal.) Mount Edgcum be, E. Southwark, L. Bp.
Beaufort, D. Nelson, E. Wakefield, L. Bp.
Bedford, D. Northbrook, E. Winchester, L. Bp.
Grafton, D. Northesk, E.
Leeds, D. Onslow, E. Abinger, L.
Newcastle, D. Plymouth, E. Alington, L.
Richmond and Gordon, D. Powis, E. Alverstone, L.
Somerset, D. Radnor, E. Ampthill, L.
Wellington, D. Romney, E. Armstrong, L.
Rosse, E. Ashhourne, L.
Abergavenny, M. Shaftesbnry, E. Ashcom be, L.
Ailosbury, M. Shrewsbury, E. Atkinson, L
Bath, M. Stamford, E. Avebury, L.
Bristol. M. Stanhope, E. Balfour, L.
Bute, M. Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.) Barnard, L.
Cholmondeley, M. Waldegrave, E. [Teller.] Bariymore, L.
Hertford, M. Westmeath, E. Basing, L.
Lansdowne, M. Westmorland, E. Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Linlithgow, M. Wharncliffe, E. Blythswood, T.
Salisbury, M. Wicklow, E. Bolton, L.
Winchester, M. Winchilsea and Nottingham, E. Borthwick, L.
Zetland, M. Yarborough, E. Braye, L.
Burton, L.
Abingdon, E. Churchill, V. [Teller.] Calthorpe, L.
Albemarle, E. Colville of Culross, V. Carysfoot, L. (E. Carysfort.)
Ashburnham, E. Cross, V. Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)
Bathurst, E. Falkland, V. Cheylesmore, L.
Camperdown, E. Gosehen, V. Clanwilliam. L. (E.Clanwilliam
Carnwath, E. Halifax, V. Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)
Cathcart, E. Hill, V. Clifford of Chudleigh, L
Cawdor, E. Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore) Clonbrock, L.
Clarendon, E. Colchester, L.
Dartre.y, E. Iveagh, V. Cottesloe, L.
De La Warr, E. Knustford, V. Dawnav, L. (V. Downe.)
Denbigh, E. Llandaff, V. De Freyne, L.
Devon, E. Portman, V. De L'Isle and Dudley, L.
Doncaster, E. (E. Bucdeueh and Queensbury.) Ridley, V. de Ros, L.
St. Aldwyn, V. Deramore, L.
Eldon, E. Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
Feversham, E. Bangor, L. Bp. Dunleath, L.
Halsbury, E. Bath and Wells, L. Bp. Ebury, L.
Hardwicke, E. Birmingham, L. Bp. Ellenborough, L.
Harewood, E. Bristol, L. Bp. Esctourt, L.
Harrowby, E. Chester, L. Bp. Faber, L.
Huntingdon, E. Chichester, L. Bp. Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)
Ilchester, E. Durham, L. Bp. Forester, L.
Kilmorey, E. Exeter, L. Bp. Gage, L. (V. Gage.)
Lathom, E. Lincoln, L. Bp. Harlech, L.
Lindsey, E. London, L. Bp. Hatherton, L.
Londesborough, E. Norwich, L. Bp. Heneage, L.
Luean, E. Oxford, L. Bp. Hindlip, L.
Malmesbury, E. St. Albans, L. Bp. Hylton, L.
Mayo, E. St. Asaph, L. Bp. Kelvin, L.
Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort.) Minster, L. (M. Conyngham.) Saltoun, L.
Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.) Monckton, L. (V. Galway.) Sandys, L.
Kenyon, L. Montagu of Beaulieu, L. Scarsdale, L.
Kesteven, L. Mowbray, L. Seaton, L.
Kilmarnock, L. (E. Errol.) Muncaster, L. Silchester, L. (E. Langford.)
Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.) Newton, L. Somerhill, L. (M. Chanri-carde.)
Knaresborough, L. North, L.
Lawrence, L. Northbourne, L. Stanmore, L.
Leith of Fyvie, L. Oranmore and Browne, L. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Llangattock, L. Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.) Teynham, L.
Macnaghten, L. Poltimore, L. Trevor, L.
Manners, L. Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranfurly.) Waleran, L.
Methuen, L. Ravensworth, L. Wenlock, L.
Middleton, L. Robertson, L.
Crowe, E. (L. President.) Colebrooke, L. Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)
Coleridge, L. Monkswell, L.
Ripon, M. (L. Privy Seal.) Courtney of Penwith, L. Monson, L.
Northampton, M. Davey, L. Nunburnholme, L.
Denman, L. [Teller.] O'Hagan, L.
Beauchamp, E. Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.) Overtoun, L.
Carrington, E. Pirrie, L.
Chesterfield, E. Eversley, L. Reay, L.
Chichester, E. Fitzmaurice, L. Rendel, L.
Craven, E. Glantawe, L. Ribblesdale, L.
Fortescue, E. Granard, L. (E. Granard.) Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)[Teller.]
Portsmouth, E. Sandhurst, L.
Russell, E. Grimthorpe, L. Saye and Sele, L.
Temple, E. Hamilton of Dalzell, L. Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)
Haversham, L. Shuttleworth, L.
Althorpe, V. (L. Chamberlain.) Hemphill, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Boston, L. Joicey, L. Tweedmouth, L.
Brassey, L. Kinnaird, L. Weardale, L.
Burghclere, L. Loch, L. Welby, L.

Question agreed to.


I presume the Lord Chairman will now put the remaining words of my Amendment, viz.— if they think fit, appoint a date at which the school shall cease to be recognised, and the authority shall be under no obligation to continue any such school under this section.


I will put that.

LORD BARNARD moved an Amendment to sub-section (2) to provide that the power of the owners of voluntary school houses subject to charitable trusts to make and carry out arrangements under the sub-section should be "subject to the approval of the Board of Education." He said that as far as his experience went the Bill introduced an entirely new principle in connection with charitable trusts, namely, that trustees or persons in whom property was vested upon certain specific trusts should have power, without any controlling or supervising authority whatever, to enter into any agreements they chose to divert that property to some purpose totally different from that for which it was originally intended. Having spoken on the subject on a previous occasion, he did not intend to elaborate his argument at any length, but he wished to emphasise the fact that trusts, whether for charitable or any other purposes, could not, as the law now stood, be altered at the will of the trustees. In former days the Equity Courts alone had jurisdiction to sanction such alterations; subsequently that jurisdiction was transferred to the Charity Commission. What the reason for that might be he left to their Lordships to decide in their own minds, but it was clear to him that the public required to be protected from improvident or improper diversions of trusts to purposes perhaps wholly at variance with those for which they were originally intended.

There had already been some discussion in the course of the debate as to the meaning of the word "owners," and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Davey, had made some remarks upon the selection of trustees. But one important fact in connection with the trusts of these schools had been constantly overlooked, namely, that a very large number of them were not vested in bodies of trustees at all, but in trustees who held the bare legal estate—generally the incumbent and churchwardens. He had been able to secure a copy of a valuable and important document which, although it had been laid on the table of the other House, had not been presented to their Lordships' House, and it certainly seemed a curious thing that they should be asked to legislate upon so important a subject as charitable trusts affecting elementary schools, without being given the information which was in the possession of His Majesty's Government. The document was one of a series of Returns, and it showed that a very large number of schools in the two counties with which it dealt—Berkshire and Buckinghamshire—were held on trust by the incumbent and churchwardens. He assumed, therefore, that for the purposes of this Act, the incumbent and churchwardens would be the owners, and he asked their Lordships who were familiar with incumbents and churchwardens, especially in out-of-the-way rural parishes, whether they were fit and proper persons to judge of the legal nature of a document such as an arrangement under this Bill, or whether they would be competent to say that by entering into such an arrangement they would be carrying out cy-prés the trust reposed in them. Doubtless the argument would be used that they must trust the incumbent and churchwardens. Noble Lords opposite, however, were not in all cases prepared to trust such a body as that, and even if they were ready to do so in this case, it was only due to their Lordships that the Government should state why under the present circumstances such an extraordinary amount of confidence was to be placed in a body of that nature, which up to the present the Legislature had not seen fit to confide in them, and which, as far as his experience went, they were not at all anxious to assume. As a rule, such a body of trustees, whether of a rural school or of an ordinary town school, would themselves be the first to admit that they were not competent to say whether by an arrangement offered to them by the local education authority they would be carrying out cy-prés their trusts or not. Hitherto the body entrusted with the duty of approving schemes for the alteration of trusts had been the Charity Commission, but by an Order in Council under a comparatively recent Act of Parliament that duty had been transferred to the Board of Education; therefore he submitted to their Lordships that the Board of Education should be the body to say to trustees whether or not they might safely and properly accept such arrangements as might be offered them by the local education authorities. The trusts would not be easy to carry out under the altered circumstances of the case, but from his own experience he knew perfectly well that it was practicable to give effect to the original intentions of the donor under the most varied and altered circumstances. The local education authority, who would be the other party to the bargain, would doubtless have interests to some extent opposed to those of the trustees, and there ought to be, as had been the practice in this country hitherto, some controlling authority who should supervise any such drastic Amendments as that about to be proposed.


I think perhaps it might save time if I interrupted the noble Lord, though I apologise for doing so. It is obvious that there is no objection to the insertion of his words "with the approval of the Board of Education," as they were originally in the Bill and were only struck out by the acceptance of an Amendment in the fourth line of Clause 2 which governed the whole of the clause. The noble Lord is therefore quite right, from our point of view, in inserting them here.


Then I will say no more, but simply move. Amendment moved— In page 2, line 16, after the word 'power' to insert the words 'subject to the approval of the Board of Education.'"—(Lord Barnard.)


was glad to gather that the noble Earl did not object to the Amendment, as he was not at all sure the words were not needed in the second sub-section.


I was speaking only of the words "subject to the approval of the Board of Education."


said that was the point with which he was dealing. What had been already dealt with was sub-section (1) of Clause 2. That was complete in itself. His noble friend Lord Barnard, who was so familiar with this subject and a master of all its details, was dealing with sub-section (2), which was quite a different thing. It was a new departure. All through a distinction was drawn between trusts that were charitable trusts and those that were not. Sub-section (1) dealt with non-charitable trusts, but this Amendment dealt with a new point under sub-section (2), viz., with school houses subject to charitable trusts. In that sub-section there was an omission which the noble Lord sought to correct by bringing in what the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council was quite right in saying was in the sub-section (1), and which doubtless he thought governed the present case and rendered the Amendment unnecessary. It would be seen however that his noble friend was quite justified in wishing to see the words introduced in sub-section (2), which dealt with another matter altogether. He desired to draw the noble Earl's attention to the curious construction of this clause with reference to trusts. The question of trusts had attracted an enormous amount of attention, and rightly so, because the scope of the Bill under discussion would permit a wide departure from existing charitable trusts and enable trustees who, he would not say desired to betray them, but were careless or negligent of their trusts, to hand over the school houses to be dealt with as they thought right. The Government, in drafting the Bill, seemed to have had present in their minds three classes of trustees. First of all, there was the owner, who was the trustee of a school house on his own property—a comparatively small class. Then came those dealt with under sub- clause (b) of sub-section (1), which had reference to trusts not consistent with the conduct or management of schools as public elementary schools. Those were put aside altogether; they were a class which could not be touched. The Government would no doubt be told, at soon as the Bill passed, if they had not already been informed, that it left the widest possible scope for the intervention of the Courts of law. His experience was that the more they tried to keep out the Courts the more certain the Courts were to come in. As there was no authority named in the Bill to decide whether or not trusts were consistent with the conduct or management of the school as a public elementary school, any one who wished to appeal would have to go to the Courts of law which were left open for that purpose. One could see an interesting professional vista in reference to that particular point. The third class of trustees were those connected with charitable trusts, and these were left in an extremely curious position. This sub-clause would give power to the trustees with the approval of the Board of Education to deal as they pleased with the school house, and it was laid down in Clause 9 that in any case where trustees had not been complacent and had not agreed to hand over their trust the Commission could be invited by the local education authority to come in and make a scheme. That clause was not yet under discussion, but he thought it would be worth while before the Report stage co consider whether any party aggrieved by the action of the trustees in handing over the school house should not be given right of appeal to the Commissioners, who should be empowered to exercise their discretion in considering whether such an arrangement should be allowed or a scheme framed.


said that as the principal question would arise on a subsequent Amendment he would reserve his reply to the noble and learned Lord who had just spoken.


I understand the noble Earl accepts Lord Barnard's Amendment?



LORD BARNARD moved to substitute "an" for "any," in sub-section (2), so that the owners of the school house should have power to make and carry out "an" arrangement under the section. He said that the word "any" almost invited the trustees of a school house subject to charitable trusts to go as far as they liked in departing from their original trusts. Having had some experience of drafting he could not understand the use of "any" where the word" an "would be amply sufficient for all purposes. He begged to move.

Amendment moved— In page 2, line 17, to leave out the word 'any,' and to insert the word 'an.'"—{Lord Barnard.)


I do not profess to be an authority on drafting, and if the noble Lord prefers the word "an" to the word "any" I certainly do not desire to raise any objection.

LORD BARNARD moved the omission of the words in sub-section (2) after the word "section," in order to insert—"Provided that such arrangement includes, as far as may be, having regard to the altered circumstances of the case, adequate provisions for the preservation of such trusts, and for the protection of the endowment subject thereto." Dealing first with the words he proposed to omit, he could not understand why, in a Bill intended to enable local authorities to acquire school houses for the purpose of providing a fixed education throughout the country, Parliament should go out of its way to give trustees of school houses subject to charitable trusts certain additional powers. In some cases—he believed in a large number of cases—the powers proposed to be conferred by the latter portion of the section already existed. According to the Return to which he had already referred, the National Society's model deed granted powers very similar to those here proposed, and the trustees were permitted to grant the use of the buildings as a place of meeting, for clerical meetings, district visitors, charitable or benevolent purposes, and so on. But in other places those powers did not exist, though there was no doubt whatever they were tacitly exercised. He once heard a very distinguished man ask in reference to a question of this kind, "Does the trust deed say they should not do it?" and on a reply being given in the negative he said, "Then there is no reason why they should not." Therefore there was no necessity to give this statutory power if the use of the buildings for such purposes was not actually forbidden, while if it was actually forbidden by the trust it was a wanton breach of the trust to empower the trustees to use the buildings for purposes for which they were never intended. It would be much safer to leave the matter as it now stood. Let those who had the power or were not debarred by their trust deeds from doing so exercise their discretion in the matter, but there was no reason why the power should be given to those whose trust deeds distinctly forbad it. As to the words he proposed to insert, he frankly admitted they were not altogether satisfactory from a drafting point of view. He was sufficiently acquainted with drafting to know how extremely difficult it was, unless one had been conversant with the whole framework of the document it was proposed to amend, to frame words which should exactly meet the necessities of the case; therefore he was not wedded to the particular form of words on the Paper, and would be prepared to withdraw them in favour of any proposal the Government or other members of the Committee might prefer to meet the same end. As the most rev. Primate had said, it was most desirable that their Lordships and the public—the ignorant, uneducated public, as well as the lawyers—should know precisely by words in the Bill what was intended. For that reason he thought the Bill ought to point out to trustees under charitable trusts that they were not at liberty to ignore their trusts, but that they must do their utmost in the arrangements made by them, which would now be subject to the approval of the Board of Education, to preserve the original intentions of the donors of the land and buildings, which in his view had a money value and were therefore endowments within the meaning of the Charitable Trusts Act. Lord Fitzmaurice had suggested that if the trustees found themselves in any difficulty they should go to the Charity Commission—probably he meant the Board of Education—to get. a scheme. But as these arrangements were to be only temporary, lasting for five years, that would be a very unnecessary business; nor, if the arrangement contained no provision for the protection of the charity, did he see exactly what use it would be from the point of view of the local education authority. They would get the use of the school, and that being so it seemed that the principle to be adopted was, "As long as we get the use of the school we do not care what becomes of the charitable trust." Unless something in the direction of his proposal were inserted, there would be very grave danger that property, originally deliberately given by benevolent and generous men and women for certain specific purposes, would in course of time be lost to those purposes. Therefore he begged to move the Amendment standing in his name.

Amendment moved— In page 2, line 18, to leave out from the word 'section' to the end of the sub-section, and insert, 'Provided that such arrangement includes, as far as may be, having regard to the altered circumstances of the case, adequate provisions for the preservation of such trusts, and for the protection of the endowment subject thereto.'"—(Lord Barnard.)


said his noble friend the Lord President of the Council had accepted the first Amendment of the noble Lord because he was very anxious to meet his views as far as possible, and because in his opinion so far as that sub-section was concerned it was possible to accept the Amendment as it stood, and to insert the fiat of the Board of Education in these cases. But by accepting that Amendment his noble friend did not in any way commit himself to accept the further Amendment now moved. If that Amendment were accepted there could be no doubt whatever that what might be called the region of difficulty in making arrangements would be very greatly extended. He would explain to the Committee why that would be so. He could not accept, if he understood it correctly, the argument of the noble and learned Lord Ashbourne that they were dealing with three classes of schools or endowments. This clause clearly distinguished between private ownership and schools to which charitable trusts were attached. If the Amendment of the noble Lord were accepted, in order to bring schools with educational trusts within the purview of an arrangement, and in order to get that arrangement ratified, it would be necessary, not only to comply with the conditions laid down in the Bill as it stood, after the adoption of the Amendments of the most rev. Prelate and Lord Heneage in regard to the Commission and its jurisdiction, but to be assured that the parties were obtaining satisfaction for any interest which might be considered to come within the rather broad net of the proposal now before the Committee. How exactly did the noble Lord intend finally to enforce an arrangement of this kind? As he understood it, if these words were added, it would be necessary for the Board of Education, before the powers of the Commission came into play, to be satisfied in every case, in the fullest possible manner, that all these outstanding trusts were satisfied. Further, if the interpretation of the noble and learned Lord was correct, they would even have to go outside any immediately educational trust and inquire whether there were any outstanding interests which might be described as being of a charitable though not of an educational character. He was not going to ask the Committee to take his opinion against that of the noble and learned Lord, but he would be somewhat surprised if other noble and learned Lords held that view; he thought it would not bear examination. As a matter of fact, this and subsequent clauses of the Bill depended entirely upon the words in lines 16 and 17 of sub-section (2). They were dealing with the use of the school, not with the property and buildings, and the Board of Education was to be compelled to go into all these matters. The first result of the Amendment would be immediately to make it very difficult, if not actually impossible, for the second object of the clause to be carried out, namely, that the use of the school house should under certain circumstances be given in consideration of a payment or free of charge "for any purposes of public or social utility." Did the noble Lord mean that? If the Amendment were adopted by the Committee it might become necessary for his noble friend to reconsider at a later stage the concession he had already made to the noble Lord, because the earlier Amendment was only accepted, with some little doubt, from the desire of the Government to meet the views of the noble Lord as far as possible. But the words now proposed went much further, though not so far as the noble Lord imagined. Possibly the noble Lord had been a little misled by the use in Clause 9, line 34, of the word "trusts." Its use there might have led the noble Lord to think that the expression was of general application to all trusts whether educational or charitable in a sense wider than educational. Therefore he could not help hoping that if the noble Lord thought there were dangers—which he (Lord Fitzmauriee) did not admit to exist—of reckless dealing with trusts in the arrangements he would consider whether it would not be better to qualify the word "trusts" when they reached Clause 9, line 34, by making it perfectly clear that the expression had reference to those limited trusts which related to the use of the buildings, that being the only thing which this second sub-section proposed to make the subject of an arrangement, rather than drag in the Board of Education. He could quite understand that in a necessarily complicated provision in a Bill dealing with a very complicated subject a misunderstanding might have arisen on the point, and therefore he hoped the noble Lord would not press the Amendment.


thought the noble Lord could not have listened attentively to the Lord President's statement on Lord Barnard's first Amendment. As he understood, the noble Earl's position was that the Amendment was not needed, because it was already in an earlier part of the clause, and therefore only carried out what had all through been the intention of the Government. The noble Lord now appeared to suggest that the Amendment was only accepted after balancing and with some doubt.


said that naturally they did not, and necessarily could not, know what course the noble Lord intended to adopt. What the Lord President and he had said was perfectly consistent. He had merely pointed out that the whole situation would be entirety altered if a wide extension was given to the words "subject to the approval of the Board of Education" by the importation of entirely new words which had nothing whatever to do with the words when they appeared at the beginning of the clause.


said he had nothing more to say in reference to that matter. As to the Amendment under discussion, although he had listened to the noble Lord with all the respect to which his astuteness and ability entitled him, he could not see what the objection was. The proposal seemed such obvious common sense. It was desired to take a school house subject to charitable trusts. Lord Barnard had pointed out that considerable violence might be done to the original purposes of the trust, and therefore the Amendment, recognising that the school house was to be taken for public purposes simply said, "Take the school house and make it a public elementary school under the Act of Parliament, but do not go any further. Let the trust stand as far as everything else is concerned, interfering with it only to the extent demanded by the Act of Parliament." As the, noble Lord appeared to think it would involve a roving inquiry and an exhaustive examination into all the other trusts of the property, he was quite prepared to accept any other form of words. If, in order to bring up an accurate and precise statement of the intentions of the clause, it was thought desirable to let the matter stand over for further consideration, no doubt his noble friend would agree, but as matters stood he could not see any ground for hostility to the proposal.


The noble Lord's Amendment divides itself into two distinct parts. He proposes to leave out certain words of ours and to insert certain words of his own. With regard to the words he proposes to leave out. I understand he objects on purely technical grounds to our taking any notice of or dealing in any way with the use to which the school house is put at times when it is not used as an elementary school. Under this Bill we take the school house during certain hours for a public elementary school, and at other times, speaking generally, the purposes of the trusts are to be maintained. The noble Lord thinks that by inserting the provision that the school house may be used "for any purposes of public or social utility," we are doing something which he would not say was objectionable in itself, but which might afford a dangerous precedent for dealing with trusts generally. I am not sufficiently a lawyer to know what weight ought to be attached to that purely technical objection, but, whatever weight is attached to it, it seems to me that the practical advantages are so great that the objection ought to be overridden. As a matter of fact, these schools are now continually being used for purposes of "public or social utility" by the clergy of the parishes and with leave of the trustees—for purposes which certainly do not form part of the object of the trusts.


pointed out that the model deed of the National Society did in many cases enable the school houses to be so used.


There are probably other schools the trusts of which do not contain such a provision, but which nevertheless are used for purposes not mentioned in the trust. Therefore I cannot think it otherwise than pedantic to object to the inclusion of this provision, which everybody agrees is desirable in itself. I feel very strongly that it would be a misfortune to strike out these words which would legalise what has been the common practice, and I cannot think that any substantial harm will be done to the sacred principle of trusts by permitting the use of school houses out of school hours for objects which we all agree ought to be encour- aged. As regards the words proposed to be inserted, I must confirm the statement of my noble friend behind me (Lord Fitzmaurice) that the insertion of these words would put a very different complexion upon the necessity of obtaining the approval of the Board of Education. If the noble Lord means that the approval of the Board of Education is to be obtained under such vague circumstances as are implied by the words of his Amendment—"having regard to the altered circumstances of the case," and matters of that kind—I should certainly not be able to agree to their permanent insertion in this clause. I speak with all the deference due to the superior knowledge of the noble Lord, but the words, "having regard to the altered circumstances of the case" seem to me to admit dangerous possibilities in dealing with trusts. They are quite unfamiliar words in matters of this kind, and the Board of Education could not take the responsibility of considering what weight ought in any given instance to be attached to them, involving, as it would, an amount of inquiry into the whole of the circumstances surrounding a school which the Board of Education could not undertake to make. I fear, therefore, that it is impossible for us to accept this Amendment, though I most readily acknowledge the great moderation with which the noble Lord moved it, and I sympathise to a great extent with the object he has in view.


was inclined to agree with his noble friend that it was desirable that these words should not be inserted, but when he looked at the benches opposite he thought it was extremely likely that the wishes of his noble friend would not be carried into effect. He suggested, therefore, that if the provision was to be inserted, it would be better to put it at the end of the clause as a proviso, allowing the words already there to stand. If that were done, the Bill would still provide for the use of the school house for purposes of which all approved, and the clause would be more readable than if the latter portion was omitted.


The Amendment of my noble friend Lord Barnard consists of two parts. He desires that the Committee should accept his proviso requiring that as far as may be regard should be paid to the trusts under which the school is held, and he also proposes to omit the latter portion of the sub-section as it stands in the Bill. I have a great feeling of sympathy with the proviso of the noble Lord, and I do not see why some such words should not be inserted, but I do not quite see why the acceptance of the proviso should carry with it the omission of the whole of the latter part of the sub-section.


I do not think the two of necessity hang together.


I am glad the noble Lord agrees with me. Most of your Lordships would regard the latter part of the sub-section as a reasonable proposal which we should be sorry to see omitted. It is a proposal to the effect that the owners of the school, when the local authority does not require the use of the school buildings, should be able themselves to use those buildings for various useful social or public purposes. That seems to me to be a moderate and reasonable proposal, and I should be sorry to see it omitted. I would ask my noble friend whether it would not be possible to retain these words and at the same time propose to add some other words to the effect that, so far as practicable, regard should in all these matters be paid to the purposes of the trust.


hoped that the noble Lord would not persist in the Motion to omit the words of the sub-section, and agreed with what the noble Marquess (Lord Lansdowne) had said. It was no partisan question and on the ground of general utility it was better that the words of the sub-section should stand.


, in deference to the wishes expressed in various parts of the House, asked leave to withdraw his Amendment. His reason for moving it was that he thought it was a pity unnecessarily to introduce extra powers not absolutely required for purposes of this kind. In some cases the trustees already had this power and in other cases they were not forbidden to have it.


I understand that the noble Lord only desires to withdraw that part of his Amendment which omits the words of the sub-section, and to add his proviso at the end of the sub-section.

Amendment moved— In page 2, line 18, to leave out the words from the word 'section' to the end of the subsection.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment moved— In page 2, line 25, at end of sub-section to insert the words, 'Provided that such arrangement includes as far as may be, having regard to the altered circumstances of the case, adequate provisions for the preservation of such trusts, and for the protection of the endowment subject thereto.'

Agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3:—


said he had given notice of an Amendment to page 3, line 1, at the beginning of the clause to insert the following words— Every public elementary school shall have three or more managers, elected by the parents of the children attending the school, in accordance with a scheme prescribed by the Board of Education. The religious instruction, if any, given in the school shall be under the control of the managers. It shall be the duty of the local education authority to afford reasonable facilities for the giving of such religious instruction within the ordinary hours of school attendance, provided that no part of the expense of such religious instruction be paid by the local education authority. Any question between the managers and the local education authority as to the mode and times in which these facilities are afforded shall be determined by the Board of Education. The consent of the managers shall be required to the appointment of teachers. The object of the Amendment was to place the responsibility for religious instruction in every school in a body of managers elected by the parents. It seemed to him that, if they were to regard the rights of parents and the liberty of conscience, the persons who had the right to decide what religious instruction should be given to their children were the parents and not the local authority. He did not suppose that any of their Lordships would submit to any dictation in regard to the religious instruction which they wished to be given to their children, and if that were the case, he did not understand why the right they claimed for themselves should be denied to their poorer brethren. Further, what was aimed at by this Amendment answered a question that was asked by the noble Earl in charge of the Bill the other night in reference to the Amendment carried by their Lordships' House as to who would provide the religious instruction which that House insisted should be given in the schools. If what he aimed at by this Amendment were carried, the answer would be "The body of managers appointed by the parents." They would be the persons who would provide the religious instruction. He should think that there were great advantages in the Amendment he proposed. In the first place, if adopted, it would avoid the chances of local electoral conflicts being influenced by the religious question. They must all be anxious to have the religious question eliminated from the matter of education. Nothing could be more disastrous than the prospect of local electoral contests being influenced and decided by religious considerations. If the religious education in the schools were placed at the discretion of a body of managers elected by the parents the chances of that extremely objectionable contingency would be eliminated. In the next place, supposing that what was aimed at by the Amendment were adopted in all schools, it would obviate the necessity for Clause 4, and he should have imagined that that was a consideration which would not have been altogether ungrateful to the Minister for Education and to His Majesty's Government. In the next place, if his memory served him aright, it was proposed by the Opposition in reference to the Bill of 1902 that the body of managers should be elected by the parents. That was the proposal embodied in his Amendment, and he could not understand why His Majesty's Government should find any difficulty in accepting it. He would admit, how- ever, that the wording of the Amendment was not as clear, perhaps, as it ought to be, and that it might seem—although it was not his intention—to give the body of managers control over the secular part of the education in the school. That was not his desire; he was willing and anxious that the local authority should have complete control of all the secular part of the education. All he desired was that the religious education should be under the control of a body of managers appointed by the parents and removed from the discretion of the local authority. As it had been represented to him that the words of his Amendment were not as clear as they might be, and that he would have opportunities at a later stage of the discussion of bringing forward his point, he thought he would facilitate the discussion by abstaining from moving the Amendment.


said he had given notice of an Amendment to the clause, but the subject with which it dealt suffered under one great disadvantage in discussion in their Lordships' House, in that it was peculiarly difficult to find many noble Lords who were able to look at it with absolute impartiality. He was afraid, for instance, that one who from the Episcopal Bench might strive to persuade others that he looked at it with complete impartiality, would not be able to persuade them very successfully. Therefore when he found that an Amendment similar to, though certainly not identical with, that he had intended to propose stood in the name of one who in a singular degree combined those qualifications which were wanted for approaching the subject impartially, he felt he should be wise to leave it in his hands. Lord Balfour of Burleigh, who was about to propose an Amendment, was a Presbyterian, and he imagined had comparatively few adherents among the owners of denominational schools in this country; he had an experience almost unique, having been the head of a Government education department in the northern part of the island; and he was well known to possess the qualification of being able to look at large questions impartially. In these circumstances he (the most rev. Prelate) did not desire to move the Amendment, knowing the matter was safe in the hands of the noble Lord.


said that when he took the step of putting this Amendment upon the Paper he made up his mind that the first thing he would have to do when he moved it was almost to ask their Lordships' pardon for venturing to intrude in a discussion of this kind, which, after all, did not in any way concern him directly. His feeling of responsibility and his desire to make an apology to the Committee had been infinitely increased by the more than kind words which the most rev. Prelate had just spoken regarding him. He was quite certain that if the Committee were polled they would much rather have heard another of those moderate and statesmanlike speeches by which the most rev. Prelate had distinguished himself during these discussions. As it had fallen to him to move this Amendment, he would do so with as much consideration for their Lordships' time as he could give; but they would not be surprised when he said that he, at any rate, was under no illusion in regard to it, because he thought he might safely say that it was one of the most far-reaching Amendments which appeared on their Lordships' Paper in regard to this Bill. It was a curious claim to make, but he thought he could say that, notwithstanding the experience in educational matters which he had had elsewhere, it had never been his lot to address a meeting on any educational subject in which a majority of his audience were Englishmen, though it was not from any want of thought, not from any want of care, not from any under-rating of the importance of the subject, that he had never taken any part in the agitation which had been going on south of the Tweed. Anybody who considered any educational system must be face to face in one form or another with the very problems which were agitating the English mind at the present time, and which, not only now but throughout the history of every attempt to deal with this question, had proved a difficulty and a stumbling-block in the way of a really permanent settlement. They met these difficulties wherever they went to estab- lish an educational system. The difficulties were the same whether they were in England, Scotland, or Ireland, but in each of those countries they solved them in a different way. They might go further and look at the continent of Europe or at the Colonies, and they would find that the same difficulties and the same problems confronted the statesmen who had to deal with educational matters. In one country they were solved in one way and in another in a different way. He knew the Scottish system, and he thought he would be able to prove to their Lordships before he sat down that he had given some thought to their English system and the English difficulty. On one point he would reassure them—he did not intend to fit into the English system that way of solving the difficulty which had been successful in Scotland. He was aware of the difference between the two countries, and he thought it would be impossible in the present state of feeling, and in view of the history of English education, to transport the Scottish system to the South of the border.

His position would be that the Amendment he proposed was not only a logical development and a legitimate sequence of the compromise of 1870, but that, it had been rendered necessary by the events which had subsequently taken place. They all talked of the settlement of 1870 as a compromise, and so it was. He was not going over its history. There were statesmen on both sides of the House—the noble Marquess who now led the House, the noble Duke on the cross benches, and Viscount Goschen—all of whom were responsible in their time for the settlement of 1870. It was curious to see that although they were all agreed at that time, they took divergent views of what was now necessary to build upon that compromise and to alter it to suit the altered circumstances of the present time. The settlement of 1870 was a compromise. It was a compromise upon both the secular and the religious sides of the question. It was a compromise from the counsels of perfection of the educationists of those days, who, if he understood the position rightly, would have wished to go further in the direction of a secular school system and secular education than they were able to do. It was a compromise oil the religious side, because while the public provision for education was limited by the well-known Cowper-Temple clause, the denominational schools belonging to every body of Christians who had them were allowed to remain and give their education subject to the general laws and the conditions which the Department under statutory powers laid down. That compromise was not very logical—like a great many things in British public life—but, although not logical, it worked extremely well for a long period of time. It was made to work; it was not agreeable, perhaps, to extreme partisans upon either side, but, having regard to the fact that it was a compromise and therefore a settlement, both sides agreed to do their best to work it.

That compromise had now broken down. He suggested to their Lordships that the secular side of the compromise was the first to break down. They all knew what was meant by the expression "the intolerable strain." It was the demand for increased secular education which put that intolerable strain upon the denominational schools, and great as was the voluntary effort, great as was the enthusiasm, deep as were the convictions which lay behind the efforts made, it was beyond question that the strain was too great and that voluntary effort was unable to compete with the increased demand for efficiency in secular education, and that it could not rival the improvements which were forced, partly by the logic of events and partly by the fact that they had the public purse behind them, on the Board schools of the country. On the religious side also the compromise had broken down. It was never very logical, and many of their Lordships would remember the various agitations produced by what he might term excrescences in the working of it. Many of them would remember the controversy which arose regarding London education. It was some ten or eleven years ago when some energetic person discovered that under the Cowper-Temple clause in one of the board schools in London, a teacher was giving the Unitarian version of the doctrine of the birth of our blessed Lord. That was attacked and condemned as a breach of the Cowper-Temple clause, and so undoubtedly it was. A considerable agitation arose, and then the London School Board passed a resolution that the teaching in the schools was to be confined to "the principles of the Christian religion and of public morality." That agitation, he believed, lasted as long as that Board lasted, and it ended in the selection of neutral chairmen, including Lord George Hamilton, the noble Marquess who sat near him, and the noble Lord who sat on the Bench below the gangway opposite.

Then came the attempt of the late Government to deal with the matter in 1896. That Bill was not passed; it was withdrawn soon after the Second Reading in the other House of Parliament, but it contained a clause which was very germane to the present controversy. It was not a very long clause, and he should venture to read it to their Lordships, because in conversation with many of those whom he thought would have remembered it, he found it had largely passed from their recollection. The existence of this clause was important upon another ground, because it proved to their Lordships that the proposal which he was venturing to make to-night was no new thought or inspiration on his part, nor was it a thing which had been adopted to make difficulties for His Majesty's Government or to wreck their Bill; but such thought as he had been able to give to English difficulties and English problems had convinced him that in the scheme which he suggested and in that scheme alone they would have the germs of what was a real and fair and national settlement. He knew that this clause when it was produced was not well received. There was a great deal of the beating of the big drum, and he had no doubt they would hear the echoes of that instrument before they had done with the discussion upon which they were now entering. He read these words now simply for the purpose of showing that it was no new idea, and that the Government which last sat on that Bench and whose colleague he was in 1896, then thought—and he believed in their heart of hearts still thought—that it would be possible on those lines if only everybody was reasonable—he admitted that was a large "if"—to make even now a national settlement.

Clause 27 of the Bill of 1896 read as follows— One of the regulations in accordance with which a public elementary school is required to be conducted shall be that if the parents of a reasonable number of the scholars attending the school require that separate religious instruction be given to their children, the managers shall, so far as practicable, where the religious instruction in the school be regulated by any trust deed, scheme, or other instrument or not, permit reasonable arrangements to be made for allowing such religions instruction to be given and shall not be precluded from doing so by the provisions of any such deed, scheme, or instrument. They were the germs of the very proposal he ventured, with profound conviction, to lay before their Lordships that night.

The next step in the matter was the Act of 1902. Again, like noble Lords on that bench, he was responsible for that Act. He did not wish to get out of that responsibility in the slightest degree, because he was there to say that he believed in the main—he knew some of its points were not accepted all over the country—it was an improvement and a great advance upon the educational arrangements of the country as they stood before that date. In the main it worked well and if it had not been for the antipathy, should he say the prejudices, of a large and important section of the community about the matter of giving rate aid to denominational teaching, it would have been a much greater advance in the general educational arrangements of the country than it had actually proved. He was not anxious to raise controversy, but he still thought that if that Act had been fairly worked and reasonably considered, it would never have got the bad name given to it during the last year or two. Whether it went far enough or not, whether it did all it might have done or not, there was this to be said for it, that even taking the position of the Nonconformists, taking that part of the country where there was only one class of school, there was not a single provision in that Act which did not improve their position compared with what it had been before that Act was passed.

He was not going into the question of whose fault it was that the compromise of 1870 had broken down. It was enough that it had broken down, but he muse be allowed to say that had never had such a shove downwards as was given it by the introduction of this Bill. It was not his object to raise unnecessary controversy, it was enough for his case here to say that that settlement had broken down and the question for them was, not whose fault it was, but how they could repair the damage with advantage to the country, with the increase of efficiency in secular education, and without doing mischief to the conscientious convictions of large bodies of their fellow countrymen. What they all wanted was to get a national system. The shibboleths, if he might say so without offence, which the noble Lords put before them were these, that there was to be a national system under public control and that there were to be no tests for teachers. As he had said, the difficulties were not peculiar to England. They had been solved in different ways in different countries. In the main, they had been solved in one of three ways. First, a complete secular system which had some, but he thought not many, advocates in this country. Secondly, there was the system of perfect freedom to local authorities, which gave complete popular control without the restrictions of the Cowper-Temple clause. They had that system in Scotland because their circumstances were fortunate and they were able to work it. Thirdly, there was the other system under which there must be some sort of compromise by keeping secular education up to a uniform standard and religious education under some sort of restrictions, to avoid doing harm to the different opinions of the various denominations. He dismissed for the moment any idea of the secular system, because, as had been said in the other House of Parliament and in their Lordships' House, there was at the present time not many found to support it. In his opinion the Scottish system was not suitable to English circumstances, and he refrained from developing the reason. Therefore, they were shut up to this, that if they wanted to get a national system and if it was to be as they all admitted it was to be, under public control, they must take up and build upon the foundation which was laid in 1870, and develop the system which was then arranged.

He placed this proposal before their Lordships not as a revolution but as the legitimate and logical outcome of what had been done before. He knew he should be told that he was repealing the Cowper-Temple clause. He was proposing to do nothing of the kind. The Cowper-Temple clause as their Lordships knew better than he did, was not, as it was sometimes described, Cowper-Temple religion. The Cowper-Temple clause was a restraining clause, and in so far as it was a restraining clause it was an offence against the doctrine of full popular control, because while it was there they were not completely trusting their local authorities. Perhaps their controversies were too acute and the divisions between the various parties and churches too deep for it to be safe to get rid altogether of the Cowper-Temple clause. He thought so. All he was proposing to do was, while leaving the restraints which were imposed under the Cowper-Temple clause to work in the future as they had worked in the past, to afford a means of easing the restrictions where they galled most, and while endeavouring to obtain unity so far as possible in the secular instruction of the children in the country, to give freedom to meet the difficulties caused by the difference of thought on religious questions. He said frankly that so far as he was personally concerned and so far as those who thought with him were concerned, what was permissible under the Cowper-Temple clause was sufficient. He made that statement that there should be no misunderstanding. But because it was sufficient for him and sufficient for some of their Lordships that did not do away with the outstanding fact that it was not regarded as sufficient b v everyone, and if they were going to do equal justice they must have regard to the conscientious convictions of all, whether they agreed with them or differed from them. It was only by giving full play to those sacred feelings that they would lay the foundations of a really national settlement in this country or in any other. What was possible under the Cowper-Temple clause as it stood? They were giving the Jewish children instruction in the Jewish religion. They were in publicly provided schools; they were subject to the Cowper-Temple clause, and yet, for excellent reasons, nobody was offended by it, and the people of that religion were satisfied with the provisions that were made. If that was possible for that nation, why was it not possible under proper restrictions and proper safeguards for our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, for the Church of England and for any others who might desire it? They were constantly being shown syllabuses: "Look how excellent it is, what more can you desire than that the children should be taught what is arranged by the London School Board, by the Hampshire County Council, or other excellent syllabuses? "The first remark he made was that it did not always follow that what was logically possible was actually done in practice. While he admitted the sufficiency of what was theoretically possible, the arguments produced by the most rev. Prelate and others were enough to show that there were grave misgivings in many parts of the country as to whether what was excellent in theory and beautiful on paper was really carried out with honesty and fairness in actual practice in the daily life of the schools. His apprehension was that if the influence of the denominational schools and the excellence of their teaching, organised and looked after by those who liked it, were withdrawn, they would do much to lower the level of the teaching that was now given under the Cowper-Temple clause. He believed that was not a fanciful danger.

But he went further. He asked the Government to try their own scheme by their own tests. Was this really a national settlement? Could it be said to be a national settlement when the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church in that House, when the representatives entitled to speak for a large portion of the Church of England, said it was not sufficient for them? If they wanted to make a really national settlement, one which would endure and take this matter out of the region of Party controversy, they must do something to meet those conscientious difficulties—they must ease the position and do their best, so far as they could, without interfering with secular efficiency, to meet the difficulties which large bodies of their fellow countrymen felt. In addition to that he asked them to try the system which he suggested by the same tests. He believed they could make it a really national settlement. It was obvious it would not in any way interfere with the fulness of public control, and, as he should show in a few moments, he believed it would be the only system which would come up to their ideal of getting rid of any tests for entrance into the teaching profession. Having regard to the necessity of meeting the views of the parents, he believed it would go further to meet the views of the larger number of parents than any other system they could devise. He hoped and believed that that House would decree that religious education wherever given, was to be given in school hours, and he hoped, so far as possible, that it would be given by the teachers who were most competent to give it. As one who cared for educational efficiency he looked with some alarm to bringing in outside persons to interfere with the discipline of the school and take the place of the teacher. The ideal system was that the whole curriculum, both religious and secular, should be, so far as possible, given by the regular teaching staff of the school. It was a second best thing if they had to bring in an outside person to do it. If they did not want that they should not impose tests on the teachers more than were necessary. The only way they could do that fairly was, when they could not get the teacher to give the religious instruction, to get somebody from the outside who was competent to give it for them. He did not put forward the scheme as ideal, but under the circumstances in which they were placed it would, after the first confusion and the first difficulties were got over, settle down and work. He would be told that it was impossible. He did not know whether any of their Lordships had seen upon the Notice Paper an Amendment in the name of the noble Lord who was Governor of the Common-wealth of Australia. The noble Lord said that in New South Wales they had solved the problem very much in the same way as he suggested that it should be solved hero.

He would endeavour to anticipate the objections which lie knew would be brought forward against this scheme. He would be told that it was wrong to depend too much upon compelling local authorities, who would therefore be against it, and that the religious question, would be brought into elections. If they went on with the scheme that was in the Bill or anything like it they would involve their local elections in religious questions for an unknown time to come. They were going the way to make the whole of their elections turn on these religious questions, and until they found some settlement which would meet the real and legitimate wishes of their fellow-countrymen they would find that they would not evade the religious difficulty. He was told that there would be practical difficulties in the way of his scheme. He admitted and he was glad to find that the arguments against this proposal put forward in the other House by Mr. Birrell and Mr. Lough rested upon the practical difficulties and not upon any point of principle. He did not want to make any other quotation, but Mr. Birrell, in the course of the discussion on Sir William Anson's Amendment in the House of Commons, said— I am anxious that in all the schools there should be facilities given, if they can he arranged on proper terms, whereby all denominations should have ample opportunities for religious education. Mr. Lough said very much the same thing. Dr. Macnamara, who was entitled to speak with force and efficiency for the teachers, openly said in the other place that he recognised such a proposal as extremely fair and just and logical if they were to do anything at all. His (Lord Balfour of Burleigh) position was that they could not avoid doing something for religious education. The noble Lords opposite, in their speeches in regard to Clause 1—he said nothing of the explanation of his noble friend made on the following day, because he stood upon the speech of the Marquess of Northampton—pinned themselves, with a sincerity which left in his mind nothing to be desired, to the absolute necessity of having religious education as part of the education of the country. He need not, therefore, argue the point of principle. What he had to meet was the question whether this scheme was practically possible. He had told them that in New South Wales it had been found to be practically possible. It would be answered to that that our circumstances were not the same, because we were split up into too many sects and churches, and that it would introduce what Dr. Macnamara, by a play upon words, described not as pandenominationalism but as pandemonium. Would that really be the case? What did it amount to? The Jews were congregated mostly in communities and they would cause no practical difficulty. Their Roman Catholic friends had, in a great many cases, their own schools. There might be some cases in which facilities must be provided for them, and that would have to be done. It was easy to make a list of the various churches and the various denominations which existed in this country. He put it to the common sense of those he was addressing, would it not resolve itself into this in nine cases out of ten—that even where they could not have separate schools, all they would have to provide for were Roman Catholics, the Church of England, and for those who were satisfied with Cowper-Temple teaching as a whole? He had no doubt whatever, that fanatical and perhaps stupid people would do all they could to break down such a scheme if it were passed and enacted, and that there would be difficulties, but he believed that if only the man in the street and the ordinary individual citizen of this country were satisfied that the law was fair, he would see that it was properly worked, and they would get for the first time on their side the common sense of the great body of the people to help them.

He had dealt with the question of the discipline of the schools. He hoped that the introduction of teachers from the outside would not very often be necessary. He sympathised with what had been said with regard to the feelings of the teachers on seeing the discipline of their schools interfered with, they having to stand aside when others came in. Outside teaching had this great difficulty, that it would disarrange the system in the school. They would have to divide pupils not according to the standards and ages, but according to churches. Where there was more than one teacher they did what they could, and he believed that in nine cases out of ten they would get on to their teaching staff such a difference of Church connections as would satisfy the great body of the demand made upon it. He would not, at this hour, go into what had been done in Scotland, but he had seen it done in Scotland. In some parishes, one of which he had witnessed himself, there was a division between Presbyterians and Roman Catholics, and the latter were in the majority. There was a Roman Catholic head teacher and a Presbyterian second assistant, and each of them had their staff of pupil teachers. In the morning the children filed into the school, took their places for religious teaching under the respective staffs and were divided by a glass partition through which they could see but not hear. When the time for religious education was over they filed away into the separate forms and classes just as if they were going from history to geography or from mathematics to any other subject. He felt confident that if they set their minds to work, the thing was possible and practicable, but he would also admit if they were determined it should not be worked it was hardly possible for it to succeed.

He wanted to dwell, before he sat down, upon the vexed question of tests. There were to be no tests for teachers. What was meant by that bald statement? There were to be no tests for entrance into the teaching profession. That was well and good, and he agreed with it. The great majority of their Lordships would concur, but when it was said there were to be no qualifications exacted from those who were to teach those things permissible under the Cowper-Temple clause that was another matter. Let them make the profession as open as they possibly could; let them sink all the differences they could; let them get the best teachers they could for the schools; let them do all they could to raise the status of the profession and to make their difficult tasks as easy as possible; but let not the teachers run away with the idea that, the schools were made for them and not the teachers for the schools. They were to be the servants of the public. The profession was for the public, not the public for the profession. If it wan, as he believed it to be, the overwhelming desire of the people of this country to have their education a religious education, those who entered the profession must enter it with the limitation that they must expect to conduct it under those conditions. The teaching profession was sometimes compared with the Civil Service. They might go even down to local matters. He did not care for the political or theological opinions of an ordinary Civil servant nor of the inspector of the sanitary authority who came to inspect his drains, but he did care for the religious opinions of the man who was to teach his children. Let them clear their minds of cant on this subject. Would the Roman Catholic population take a Primitive Methodist as their teacher? Would the Primitive Methodists be satisfied to take a Roman Catholic teacher? The answer was given in putting the question. It did not follow that there were to be no Roman Catholics in the teaching profession or no Primitive Methodists or none of any other Church. What they had to do was so to regulate their appointments as to make them work with as little friction as possible; to put the Church of England man where there was a Church of England majority and the others in so far as they possibly could. If they could not manage that without doing harm to those principles, then they could bring in the other principle of no tests for teachers and let there be facilities for outsiders to come in. Though not ideal, that was better than the idea of giving up religious education in any of the schools. He was told that the teaching under the restrictions of the Cowper-Temple clause was all that sensible people desired up to the age of thirteen or fourteen. He did not doubt that so far as he was personally concerned, but he wanted to put this aspect of the subject to noble Lords opposite. The better the teaching under the Cowper-Temple clause the greater their difficulty in demanding that there should be no qualification for those who should teach it.

What were the things which the syllabuses on the Table of the House showed might be taught under the Cowper-Temple clause? They were something more than mere moral principles; something more than mere ethical statements. It was nothing less than the Christian religion itself. The Apostles Creed, the document known as the Apostles Creed, appeared in some of those syllabuses. It was a statement of the great Christian verities which the overwhelming majority of those he was addressing believed. On what authority did those things rest? They were not taught upon man's authority; they were given to them to teach and believe on the authority of the Son of God who came down to earth to reveal to us those things. If they were told us on Divine authority they must, in his humble opinion, be taught, if they were to be taught at all, by the man or woman who could preface the teaching by the words "I believe." Let their Lordships think what it meant. Children came at their most impressionable age and were under the authority of the man or woman who had undertaken, perhaps, the noblest task open to human beings and who had to teach these things. They had to tell their pupils of the great sacrifice made for mankind, to teach these principles to those who had never heard the name of God in their own home except perhaps in profanity. The child thought of these things, and would some day go to the teacher and say, "You have told me wonderful things, things I have never heard of before, do you believe that these things which you have taught me are true?" What must be the position of the teacher, whether man or woman, who could not answer that question in the affirmative? What effect did they think it would have upon the child's mind? If the teacher was in that position and had to give the answer that he had been teaching things that he did not believe himself, he would not only destroy the glimmering of faith in the child's mind, but would go far to destroy his own position and influence as the instructor of that child. He wanted to do all he could to exalt the position of the profession. It was a great profession; it was second in importance only to the parent and, in after years, hardly second to that of the clergyman. When the child grew up and perhaps fell under the influence of the clergyman, the same question would recur, "Does this man who is telling me these things believe," and the child would go back upon the statement of the teacher, who was the greatest man at the time in the child's estimation, but, who had been discovered to be teaching those things which he or she did not believe. That would not only have done no good, but it would have done positive harm to the child's faith and life.

He perhaps ought not to have gone so far into these very sacred topics. They were, perhaps, not altogether suitable for a discussion in Parliament either in one House or the other, but they lay at the very root of the difficulties with which they were faced, and by some means or other they would have to be got over, In his humble opinion the only way that could be done was along the lines of the proposal he had put on the Paper. Some might think he went too far, and that this scheme should not be extended to the presently provided schools; that it perhaps should not be extended to all the schools which were taken over, and that it should be confined to what were known as single school areas. Those were subjects of detail compared with the principles which he was endeavouring to impress upon their Lordships. He could not follow them all out to-night, and those who were much more competent than he and who knew the English system and the English difficulties better than he did would give their Lordships better advice than he could. They must not forget that the more universal they made this system the more likely it was to work. When they came to discuss the question of what was or was not the single school area they would be involved in all sorts of difficulties. A single school area was not only an area in which there was only a single school, but it might be an area in which there was only one type of school accessible, and it might occur either in the country or in the town. Unless they adopted a scheme which would cover all these difficulties and in which broad general principles were laid down they would not have succeeded in solving the difficulties they were there discussing.

He had discharged his task feebly and imperfectly, he was afraid, but the questions he wanted each noble Lord to put to himself were first, "In this Bill as it stands is there a really national settlement?" Secondly, "Do you hope by means of this Bill as it stands to reach finality?" In his opinion it could not do so without wide and great changes. They came later to Clauses 4 and 5. They were told that those clauses were exceptions from the principle of the Bill, and so they were, but the more exceptions they made the more difficulties they involved themselves in. He did not know that he was entitled to speak for others, but if they once made up their minds to change their system to the extent of taking his system, the difficulties they were face to face with under Clauses 4 and 5 would be diminished. He did not know that they would disappear altogether, but he was certain that that complexity would be greatly diminished, and that they would lay the foundations of a really national settlement. He frankly said that he had no hope that the Government would have the courage to accept this Amendment. He was not sure that at this late stage it was possible to do so, but; this he said with all the force and conviction that he could put into it, that from all the study he had given to the subject for the last ten or fifteen years, he believed that ultimately it was in this way and in this way alone they would be able to save religious education in England and to prevent the growth of any feeling in favour of a system of purely secular education. If anything would convert people in this country and Scotland to secular education it would be the dissensions of those who, in main general principles, were agreed but who could not make up their minds to be candid with themselves and to be fair one with another. Let them acknowledge these difficulties. They were there whether they acknowledged them or not. They acknowledged them in the Army, in the prison service, and in the industrial schools, and made provision for them. He had but one more word to say. Mr. Birrell was reported to have said—he forgot the occasion—that minorities must suffer. Taken as it stood that was to his mind a crude and imperfect statement. It might be that they must suffer, but it was the duty of practical statesmen who had to deal with majorities and minorities, and it was a Christian duty of those who had to deal with minorities, to see that they suffered as little as possible. It was to smooth the difficulties, to make the difficulties in the way of these minorities as little as possible, that he had taken upon himself to put before their Lordships this Amendment. He desired to thank them most warmly for the kindness with which they had received his speech, and he begged to move the Amendment which stood in his name.

Amendment moved— In page 3, line 8, after the word 'school-house,' to insert the words 'or if in the case of any public elementary school in which extended facilities are not afforded under this Act the parents of not less than twenty children have required such facilities.'"—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)

Moved, "That the House be resumed."—(Lord Reay.)

House resumed accordingly, and to be again in Committee To-morrow.

House adjourned at five minutes past Eleven o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter past Four o'clock.