HL Deb 07 August 1913 vol 14 c1732


Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this is another small Bill relating to Scotland. The district of the School Board of Glasgow contains a population of over 670,000, of whom 125,000 and over are on the electoral roll. They form one single constituency, the largest single constituency for any purpose in the kingdom. It corresponds to seven Parliamentary divisions in Glasgow and parts of two other divisions as well. For Poor Law purposes the same area is divided into sixteen wards, and for municipal purposes into twenty-two. It is impossible for any candidate for election to the School Board of Glasgow to spend no less than £1,750 in furtherance of his aim, and in point of fact few if any candidates ever reach or attempt to reach the ear of the whole electorate. The consequence is that the electorate respond in no very eager fashion to the appeals addressed to them. The interest, therefore, in the School Board elections is not so keen as we should like it to be, and at the last election only a very small proportion of the electors went to the poll. The cumulative vote secures representation to all sections of the community nominally in proportion to strength, but mainly in proportion to activity and keenness in educational matters. This Bill, instead of having a single school board area for Glasgow, will divide the area into three, which is obviously a better arrangement than the present one.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Earl Beauchamp.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.