§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.
§ Clause 3:—
In page 2, line 1, to leave out from the word 'district,' to the word 'shall,' in line 3."—(Mr. Henry Hothouse.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ *(2.40.) SIR FRANCIS POWELL (Wigan)
said that there was a very widespread desire to secure the omission of the power of adoption from the Clause.
§ * SIR FRANCIS POWELL
am protesting against the retention of the word "adoption," and I wish to point out to the Committee that from communications I have received—
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! The real point is whether non-county boroughs or urban districts are to have the powers proposed in Clause 3, or whether they are to be limited to the boroughs and urban districts mentioned in Clause 1.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
said he desired to make an appeal to the Government to accept the Amendment. There was singular unanimity inside and outside of the House for leaving out these words. What object could there be in throwing, so to say, cold water upon the good will of any urban authority which was willing to rate itself for the purposes of the Act? This matter had an important bearing on the provision in the second Clause, transferring to the local education authority property rights and liabilities incurred under the Technical Instruction Acts. If the Section were passed with these words in it, it meant that 430 any urban authority with a population below 10,000, and any non-county borough with a population of less than 20,000, would not only be deprived of their rights in regard to the future, but also of any property they might have acquired by spending money in the past. Ho could not but think that that was an extraordinary proposal to be made, especially by a Conservative Government. He knew a number of urban authorities that had built technical institutes, or had joined with the County Council in doing so, and why should Parliament step in and deprive them of their property, handing it over to an authority which did not want to receive it. A good deal had been heard about the apathy of the rural districts and the smaller towns in the cause of education. He thought there was a good deal more public spirit in those districts than some hon. Members imagined. He listened with gratitude to the spirited defence of them by the hon. Member for the Carnarvon Boroughs, and he agreed that they ought to do everything they could to keep up the existing state of things. As far as be knew, there was absolute unanimity between the County Councils and the Municipal Boroughs in this matter, both bodies having passed resolutions 'asking the Government to withdraw the restriction of the Clause.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
confessed that the atmosphere of the House was strangely different from what it was when the Government were fighting the serried phalanx of the Opposition over the first Clause. Everybody would admit that the Clause as it stood made the Bill more symmetrical than would be the case if the Amendment were accepted, but he entirely agreed with the noble Lord that what they had to consider was not symmetry but the practical working of the Bill. Now the County Councils, as represented by the chairmen of three County Councils who had taken part in this debate, were all perfectly clear that by giving these powers to the smaller boroughs and urban districts there would be no derogation in any way from the position of the County, Councils; and, that being, so, there evidently could be no objection from the Goverment point of view to giving those powers. That would have this immense advantage, that it 431 added to the amount available for secondary education. Great complaint was made yesterday that the 2d. rate allowed by the Bill would prove insufficient for the needs of secondary education in districts outside the limits of the County Councils. If there was any foundation for that charge, it was greatly diminished by leaving the power to rate themselves. The only danger he could imagine was that there might be friction between them and the County Council; but if the chairmen of County Councils were themselves quite clear that it was to their interest that the Amendment should pass, that they would find it not more difficult but easier to work with those smaller boroughs, then he thought it would be a very imprudent thing for the Government to resist their view. In these circumstances he was ready to accept the Amendment.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said he had heard with great pleasure the statement of the First Lord of the Treasury. He was glad the right hon. Gentleman showed so open a mind. It was not necessary for him to repeat the arguments, but, in order to illustrate how it would work, ho might say that there were a great many small towns which possessed grammar schools, which in many cases had fallen into decay. The power now proposed to be given would encourage those small towns to renovate those grammar schools and put them on their legs again. It was most desirable to stimulate local interest; and nothing could do so more than to enable the authorities of small areas to exercise the power of rating themselves for the sake of establishing their own centres of secondary education. There was no reason why the general organisation of secondary education all over the country should not go on in perfect harmony with what had been done in local areas. Ho was, therefore, very glad that the Government had accepted the Amendment.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said that before the Amendment was accepted he would like to point out that there was very little left of the "one authority" principle which was said to underlie the Bill. The Government had now effectively got rid of their great principle of "one authority." It was a perfect 432 sham now to say that this was a Bill to establish one authority for education, be regretted that the Amendment had been accepted, and thought it a mistake. He was not at all sure that it would increase the amount available for secondary education, as the Leader of the House stated. Let them take the case of Stockton. That borough ought to get £1,300 as its share of the whisky money. But the borough rated itself to the extent of a halfpenny for its schools and received from the County Council only some £300. The danger was that the County Councils would act in a similar way under this clause, and the effect would be that the urban areas would be rated—as had been the case since this Government came into power—for the purpose of relieving the rates in the country districts. The effect of this alteration would also be to diminish the pressure which might otherwise be brought to bear upon the County Councils by the people—to do their duty in regard to secondary education. The representatives of the urban areas on the County Councils might fight for a rate for higher education, but the rural representatives would be able to meet them with the answer, "If you want a school you can rate yourselves to pay for it." He was afraid the effect would be prejudicial to a general system of secondary education. Under the Amendment the country would be cut up into 400 or 500 autonomous areas, each of which would run its own schools, as it thought best. That, he thought, would be a great misfortune for education. The Amendment also completely shattered the system of one authority, which was set up by the Bill.
§ * SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said notwithstanding what had been said it was true there had been considerable friction between the County Councils and non-county boroughs as to the allocation of the whiskey moneys, but he believed the acceptance of this Amendment would lead to a great deal more desirable co-operation between County and non-County Borough Councils in education matters. It would also enable each district, acting on its own initiative, to consult its own needs as to the industrial education particularly suited to it. He had before him the 433 case of Ripon—an agricultural community in the great manufacturing West Riding—which he was sure, by acting on its own initiative, would be able the better to meet its needs and to promote its own education and industries. Even if the symmetry of the Bill had been sacrificed to some extent by the Amendment, the latter was, from the local educational point of view, a practical one, and would preserve arid promote, instead of destroying, much of the best educational work, and the point as to one educational authority was theoretical and academic and at variance with the proviso to Clause 2 of the Bill itself.
§ * SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
joined in the thanks to the Government for having accepted the Amendment. In his own constituency there were four towns which possessed excellent technical schools, two of them personal gifts by Sir Joseph Vardin, to the two towns in the neighbourhood of which he had made his great fortune. It would be a great hardship to these towns to prevent them keeping up their own schools, of which they were so proud, and in which the inhabitants took so keen an interest. The effect of the acceptance of the Amendment would be extremely wholesome in the country, but he hoped the First Lord of the Treasury would make clear what the position of those schools would be in the future. They were worked under the Technical Instruction Act which was to be repealed. They would henceforward work under the guidance and supervision of the County Council. The County Council now gave grants and appointed managers. It was desired that state of things should continue which would preserve to a considerable extent the idea of one authority.
§ MR. McKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
, speaking as one who had been converted by the eloquence of the First Lord, pointed out that in the early stage of the Bill the right hon. Gentleman had stated that to divorce primary from secondary education was to throw money into the sea. The right hon. Gentleman the day after ho made that speech accepted Amendments which tended more and more to that separation; and the Amendment now before the House completed the divorce. Small boroughs 434 and districts which could not be trusted with primary education were to be trusted with secondary education, while larger boroughs and districts which might be trusted with primary education could not ho entrusted with secondary education. That might be wholly consistent with the leading principle of the Bill that there should be one authority, and it might be perfectly plain to the right hon. Gentleman, but to his humble intelligence it was quite incomprehensible.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
asked if Section 2 of the Second Schedule would disappear, and the rights of authorities to existing properties remain with them. It would be rather peculiar if they were to be given the light to rate themselves for the maintenance of certain institutions, when their property in those institutions was transferred to the County Council.
§ MR. WHITLEY
But certain words will have to be introduced into this Amendment unless it is understood that the section is to be omitted when it is reached.
§ * MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)
congratulated the Government on having met the general feeling of the House by accepting the Amendment, which would enable no fewer than eighty-four of the smaller urban districts in Lancashire to continue to use the penny rate. Could the First Lord of the Treasury say how the non-county borough of Lancaster, which was included in the constituency he had the honour of representing, would be placed in the future? Hitherto the Corporation had had the power under the Technical Instruction Act to constitute a Technical Education Committee and that Committee received from the county a certain portion of the money voted out of the whisky moneys of the county. The Corporation had the right to appoint its-own Committee and manage the science, art, and other teaching, and objected to be deprived of that privilege. He took it 435 that that power would lapse entirely, unless the Government made some provision, having now accepted this arrangement to empower the Corporation to constitute a local Committee under the Act so that they might have the legal power of handling and controlling the proceeds of the penny rate which they were at the present time authorised to levy. Was the Government prepared to introduce a new clause to give local authorities the necessary powers under the new Act enabling them to administer concurrently with the County Council the money raised by them, or were the County Council to have the entire nomination of the local Committees?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL ON EDUCATION (Sir JOHN GORST,) Cambridge University
We shall be able to deal with that under Clause 12. That is the point at which we can most conveniently discuss the necessary Amendment.
§ (3.15.) MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)
said the concessions being made from day to day made it difficult to understand the Bill. Of course, on the Report stage there would be more time for consideration. He did not want to rub into the Government the question of the "one authority," which had gone by the board. Indeed, it had been from the first a mere pretext. He did not know how many new educational authorities were now going to be introduced, but he had been waiting for the intervention in the debate of the hon. Member for Camberwell, who had no doubt in his waistcoat pocket the exact number of the new authorities that would be introduced. There were practical difficulties in the way of making this scheme, apparently so simple, a success in the, small county boroughs and the small Urban districts. But by this Clause not a single voice was given them in the appointment of the Committee to control the schools. They were not made the educational authority. He was very glad indeed for any small concession from the Government which would enable some money to be spent on secondary education, but what effect would this Amendment have in practice? The small non-county boroughs and the small urban districts might be prepared 436 to support secondary education, but the County Council might wish to draw out of the obligation to assist them unless the Treasury gave an equivalent grant. In fact, by the Clause as it stood, the Government was pursuing a policy of robbing the non-county boroughs and the urban districts in order to pay the County Councils. He thought they were entitled to ask the First Lord of the Treasury two questions. First, whether, if those small non-county boroughs and urban districts which already made a contribution of 1d. for secondary education, were to be compelled to do something else for secondary education apart from the whisky money; and second, whether, if aerate was levied on these non-county boroughs and small urban districts they would have any authority over the schools in their area, or was the control to be vested completely in the County Councils?
§ * MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
said that the questions asked by the hon. Gentleman were extremely important. He thought they ought to have some intelligible explanation of the legal position of the non-county boroughs and the urban districts; and whether they would be able to co-relate one with another in the exercise of their powers. Some of them might be willing to rate themselves for secondary education, but they might find themselves in a muddle with an administrative county.
* THE CHAIRMAN
said that those questions raised by the hon. Member were not really relevant to the question before the Committee.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
said that if the urban councils wished to establish a secondary. school, and the County Councils wished to do so also, it would almost inevitably be in the same town. Would it not be a simpler plan for the County Council to go to the urban district council and ask them if they proposed to establish a secondary school in such and such a town?
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
said that they could not deal with all the varying circumstances which might arise in any particular locality. All that was wanted-was perfect freedom; and therefore he thought that they should leave the Clause to stand as it was.
Question put, and negatived.
* MR. HANNING
said the Amendment standing in his name raised a very important point; and he was very glad that it was in order. The point of his Amendment would be obvious to all who had considered the results of the Cockerton judgment, and also the form and scope of the Technical Instruction Act. Under these, the School Boards had no power of rating for "other than elementary" education. He wished, on the principle asserted by the First Lord of the Treasury the previous night, to give greater elasticity and power to the. local education authorities to carry out secondary education in their own way. It seemed to him, after the modifications made in the Bill, that the machinery of the single authority working in a single large area with absolute powers on single and uniform lines, had disappeared from the Bill altogether. They had converted the Bill into an experimental Bill. One of the wisest speeches made in recent years on the education question had been delivered by the right hon. Member for Dartford at last year's meeting of the Technical Associations, when he declared that he could not be a party to the destruction of any form of educational machinery which had done, and was capable of doing, useful work; that it was essential to educational progress that all such instruments should be preserved; and when he added, with the strongest emphasis, that it would be impossible to destroy School Boards, and that any Government who attempted to do so would probably fare very badly at the hands of the electors. He was perfectly well aware that the right hon. Member for Dartford would not be legitimately bound by what he then 438 said to all that his Amendment contemplated, because this Amendment contemplated an extension of secondary education under School Boards beyond the powers they now possessed, but the hon. Member's views were entirely, in essence, in agreement with the Amendment which he now moved. Some of the great School Boards, especially in the North of England, had shown a desire to follow the splendid example given by the Scottish School Boards in carrying out their educational policy in that country. He thought that if this element of elasticity was introduced into the Bill, and if the School Boards were retained at all, they would be able to carry on education, other than elementary, in a manner which would remove many existing disadvantages from the Cockerton judgment, and would expand higher education on bold and practical lines as in Scotland.
Amendment proposed—In page 2, line 3, after the word 'Act' insert the words 'and also any School Board.'"—(Mr. Channing.)
Question proposed—"That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the hon. Gentleman could hardly expect the Government to accept the Amendment. Whatever might be thought of the ad hoc authority, the powers which had been given to the County Councils should not now be taken from them.
Question put and negatived.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he desired to move the Amendment standing in the name of his hon. friend the Member for the Swansea District. He wished to ask what was the meaning of the word "concurrently" as applied to the action of a County Council on the one hand and a small municipal borough on the other.
Amendment proposed — In page 2; line 3, to leave out the words 'concurrently with the County Council.'"—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the word "concurrently" was used in the ordinary way. The County Council 439 would have certain powers over the urban districts which would remain unaffected by the Amendment which had been accepted. He imagined the way the Bill would be worked would be by an agreement between the County Council and the municipalities of the smaller boroughs as to how their common resources could be best expended.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea, District)
said he did not think the right hon. Gentleman had quite answered the question, of his lion, friend. The right hon. Gentleman said that the word "concurrently" was used in the ordinary way; but they wanted something more than an ordinary conversational meaning when they were discussing such an important subject. The Bill now provided that the council of any non-county borough or urban district should have power concurrently with the County Council to spend such sums and so forth. The word "concurrently" meant that unless an agreement were arrived at between the County Council and the non-county borough or urban district the Clause would be entirely inoperative. The right hon. Gentleman said that an agreement should be arrived at between the County Councils and the urban districts.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I said that that was the way it would work. Surely the hon. Gentleman knows the meaning of "concurrently"?
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said he was obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for praising his knowledge of the English language. He maintained that if the word were to be read in ordinary parlance, the Clause would be absolutely in-operative, unless an agreement were arrived at. The vagueness of the drafting was another illustration of the manner in which Government Bills had been drafted. Apart from that, he supported the Amendment because he wanted to enable a progressive non-county borough in a county with a retrogressive County Council to give to the children of the ratepayers education other than elementary. If the Amendment were accepted, it would also enable certain non-county boroughs and 440 certain urban districts to get rid of the effect of the Cockerton judgment. He would give the Committee an instance of what might occur. The borough of Neath was in his constituency. It was a non-county borough, and had a School Board and a school under the Welsh Intermediate Act. If the words were retained, the School Board would not be able to carry on the education, other than elementary, it was now carrying on, which was absolutely essential in the public interest, because he was persuaded that that borough would not adopt Part III. of the Act. Therefore, partly on the ground of the vagueness of the drafting, and also, because if the words were retained the beneficial effect of the Clause would be limited, he would support the Amendment.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
said that the Clause provided that the county authority and the borough authority should have concurrent powers; but it did not say that they were to exercise them. Surely that was common and intelligible language. It occurred every day under the existing Acts. One authority would say to the other, "We are prepared to spend so much if you will spend so much." Then an agreement would be arrived at, and the special needs of the locality would be satisfied.
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
said he did not think that the words were perfectly plain. Supposing an Urban District Council, which had exercised its power of levying a rate for secondary education, felt aggrieved at the action of the county authority in dealing out the grant for secondary education; that the school which was built for that purpose was too small for the necessities of the neighbourhood; and that the Urban District Council desired to levy a Id. rate for the purpose of building a new school. In such circumstances, could the Urban District Council proceed to levy the rate, and spend the money in its own area, without the consent or approval of the County Council?
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN
said he approached the question from a somewhat different point of view. Unless 441 words with a clearer meaning were used, rival schools might be set up in a district, one by the borough authorities and the other by the county authorities. He, therefore, proposed to leave out the word "concurrently," and to put in "in conjunction with." That would make the object of the Government perfectly plain. One of the meanings of "concurrently" in law was "covering the same ground," and if the clause stood as it was, there would be great danger of friction, and a greater chaos of authority than ever. He hoped the Government would accept the Amendment, and agree to substitute the words he proposed.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he quite agreed that the clause as it stood would end in a conflict of authorities. As far as he knew, there was only one case in which the word "concurrently" was used in law, and that was in the case of concurrent jurisdiction. That meant that a suitor could go to one of two courts which had concurrent jurisdiction. Was that the case in the Bill? The principle of one authority went as far as secondary education was concerned. If a Town Council decided to run schools, would they have to consult the county authority, or would the county authority have any sort of control or jurisdiction over them? In the case of Stockton the Town Council had a school, and they spent concurrently; but the school was under the management of the Town Council. The Council spent most of the money out of its own rates and certain grants, and made a grant in aid of the school. If that was what the right hon. Gentleman meant, it was a new departure, and a very dangerous one, and the whole clause should be recast. They had been told a great deal about co-ordination and organisation of secondary education, and this was the result—that two rival institutions were appointed to compete with each other on totally different lines. It was reducing the Bill to an absolute absurdity. Was it not possible to do something in order to insure that these two bodies should run together?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said this system had existed for twelve years under the Technical Instruction Act, and yet neither County Councils nor non-county boroughs had acted with such extreme folly has 442 had been indicated. He did not think there was any such danger as the hon. Gentleman suggested. He had known several cases whore Town Councils and School Boards followed each other, and they had not overlapped. He had never known a case of conflict.
§ MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)
said the case of Stockton, which had been referred to, was a case in point where conflicts had existed for the past twelve years between the County Council of Durham and the Borough of Stockton, which had the management of the schools.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said that Stockton was the very case which had recently been quoted as being one where the Borough Council and the County Council did work in harmony.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE
said this difficulty did not arise in consequence of the Amendment adopted a short time previously, because it would clearly have arisen with regard to the class of boroughs which were in the clause as it was originally drafted. All that the adoption of the Amendment by the Government had done was to smooth away the difficulty, if it existed. He was aware that it was easy to cite cases of difficulties which existed, but he believed there was, generally speaking, a good deal more common sense in human nature than hon. Members were willing to admit existed. He agreed with the hon. Member for Rugby that in these cases the wiser course was to leave the authorities to agree between themselves. He quite admitted that these difficulties might arise, but he denied that they would develop to any large extent. He hoped, at the same time, that some other word would be substituted for "concurrently." It was not a good word, and it would not express the idea the Government desired to express, nor the idea the County Councils desired to express when they asked the Government to adopt this Amendment.
§ (3.54.) MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
asked which would be the; paramount authority. Supposing a non-county borough wished to set up a school, would it have to consult the County Council?
§ MR. LAMBERT
asked what, then, was the use of "concurrently?" Anybody would suppose, from the general acceptation of the meaning of the word "concurrently" at the present time, that in such a case they would have to consult the County Council, who had concurrently to pay for it. That was another thing which might add to conflict of authority. The object of this Bill was to prevent that overlapping of which everybody had heard so much, but, so far as he could see, the overlapping system was going to prevail still.
§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
said they were all pretty well agreed as to what it was they wanted, but as the clause stood now, the word "concurrently" would suggest to many that the County Councils might come down and prevent the non-county boroughs spending any money at all.
* SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
said the interjection of the right hon. Gentleman, which showed that these non-county boroughs had the power to act without the County Council, rendered it necessary that this word should be left out. He had in his mind several small urban districts which had erected technical schools and carried them on under their own administration. Those bodies were acting concurrently with the County Councils, but it was quite open to another non-county borough to found a technical school and levy a rate and carry on the school. But if the words of the Bill were passed, such Borough Councils would have to work concurrently with the County Councils. Why should they not work independently, as was the case with county boroughs? Why were these words kept in the Bill? They might lead to difficulties in connection with the County Councils which would not occur if full independence were given in doing this beneficent work for the children of these localities. He believed the interests of education would be best served by the concession which had been made being extended, so as to give these bodies, as far as possible, complete independence.
MR. HANDLES (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
thought it desirable to provide for a case in which it was proposed to erect in a certain town a college to supply not only that but also the adjacent towns. The County Council would provide that central college, but the municipal authorities would also contribute, and, concurrently with the County Council, maintain the college. In such a case, the influence of the County Council, acting concurrently with the municipal and urban authorities, was of considerable value. In that respect the clause succeeded in defining what was really wanted, and he could not see that there was any difficulty.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
understood that what the right hon. Gentleman really meant was that the county boroughs might do this work either alone or in conjunction with the County Council. If that was the intention, why not say so? The clause as it stood certainly gave the idea that neither could do it without the other. If some such words as "either alone or in conjunction with the County Council" were inserted, they would express the view put forward by the right hon. Gentleman, and also leave the two authorities free to agree, or to act by themselves.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the point under discussion was purely a matter of drafting. He did not believe the word "concurrently" could produce the effects suggested. As he interpreted it, the word "concurrently," when applied to the powers exercised by two authorities, meant that both exercised them, but each independently of the other; they ran side by side, but independently. He did not believe that any lawyer or court would have the slightest difficulty in interpreting the word in that way. He had listened to the various suggestions which had been made, but was not satisfied with any of them. He would engage, however, to bring up on Report words to make the meaning perfectly clear. Probably they would have to come at the beginning of the sentence—such as, "In addition to the powers possessed by the Council of any non-county borough," etc.; but he would consider the matter.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
thought that if a Borough Council started a continuation school, a school for training teachers, or a higher grade school, under the clause as it stood at present, the Treasury would be bound to give the grant to the County Council, because the Borough Council (if the borough was under 10,000 population) would not be the education authority. In that case, would the right hon. Gentleman accept an Amendment by which it would be made clear that whatever money was earned should go to the Council which earned it by starting the school and spending money upon it?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is the policy. I do not think the difficulty: would arise, but I will consider the point.
§ MR. BRYCE
thought it was perfectly clear that as the Councils of these non-county boroughs and urban districts would not be the authorities for secondary education, and were only given power to aid by giving money, any schools they might build would belong, not to them, hut to the local education authority. If it was desired that they should have power to manage their own schools and to receive and apply the grant, a further Amendment would have to be introduced, either here or in Clause 15.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the policy of the Government was quite clear, if the local authority built a school out of their rates, that school was their school; they had the responsibility of managing it, and they ought to take the grants connected with it. He doubted whether the interpretation of the Bill which had been put forward was the correct one, but he would have the matter looked into, and if it was it should be put right.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said that, although there was no such word as "concurrently" in the Technical Instruction 446 Acts, the arrangements under those statutes had worked well, and therefore the word was not needed in the present case. Moreover, the word was very dangerous from the lawyers' point of view. If a Borough Council levied a rate without having come to a legal or binding arrangement with the County Council, they might be met with the objection that they could not collect the rate because there was no "concurrent" arrangement. Or when, after the money had been raised and expended, the accounts were submitted to the Local Government Board auditor, the objection might be raised that there was no concurrent action with the County Council such as the clause provided for. He doubted whether the right hon. Gentleman's legal advisers would admit that the phrase meant concurrent jurisdiction; they would be more likely to interpret it as meaning combined action between the two authorities. If the two authorities were to work together, one must be supreme; and he suggested that the case would be best met by the insertion of the words, "with the approval of the County Council."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that was not the policy. As the Committee was interested in the question, he would read the following clause which had been handed to him—Every occupier of land shall have the right of taking and giving ground concurrently with any other person who may be entitled to give and take ground upon the same land.As those words appeared in one of the masterpieces of the right hon. Member for West Monmouthshire, it was evident that the Government were not now using the word "concurrently" in any strained or phenomenal sense.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN
asked whether the Board of Education would have power, in the event of either the County Council or the Borough Council setting up an unnecessary school, to stop the grant.
§ * MR. HELME
asked whether the First Lord would consider, when he brought up, on Report stage, the amended drafting of Clause 3, how he could define the 447 powers for the large urban districts where a technical education was now being provided, but in which, under the Bill, those powers could no longer be exercised, so that they could continue to appoint their. Committee and manage their technical and secondary work.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
was understood to say he would take care that they had the powers.
Question put, and agreed to.
§ (4.15.) MR. LAMBERT
said that if the Bill was carried in its present form, the rate in non-county boroughs would be limited to 1d. The county boroughs could spend what they liked, and the County Councils could spend up to 2d. in the £ therefore, he thought it would be unwise to limit the Councils of a non-county borough to Id. in the £. Many of the non-county boroughs had done extremely good work, and for his own part he was very unwilling that they should be crippled in their expenditure for supplying secondary education. It was quite impossible to have all sorts of local authorities spending different amounts of money and raising different amounts by the rates. They could not aid secondary education and establish secondary schools without money, and in some of these non-county boroughs Id. in the £ would bring in a very small Bum indeed. He had been reading Mr. Sadler's Report upon secondary education, and he stated that this country was thirty years behind Germany in secondary education. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accept this Amendment, because it would introduce uniformity into the Bill and give to the local authorities some power and responsibility, and enable them to carry out the important work of secondary education.
Amendment proposed—In page 2, line 5, from the word 'elementary,' to leave out to the end of the clause."—(Mr. Lambert.)Question proposed, "That the words 'provided that the' stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the desire of the Government was to preserve for these Councils the power which they already possessed. The hon. Gentleman wished to greatly extend those powers far in excess of those now possessed by the counties. They would be liable now to a 1d. more rating than the other portions of the county in which they were situated. They could put upon themselves a 1d. rate, and the County Council could put on another 2d. Therefore, under those circumstances, he did not think it would be desirable to accept this Amendment.
§ MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE
said that in the non-county borough of Darlington, owing to certain bequests, that town had established a very large technical college. There was close by a very large agricultural and mining district, and the County Council had given grants of many thousands to that college, every part of which was now in full working order. An effort was now being made to increase the building. They had always rated themselves to the extent of 1d. in the £ to carry on that college, and he believed that the money could be found to add another large wing to that institution, but unless the town was prepared to undertake the maintenance of that college, in all probability the additional wing would not be erected. He thought this was a case where an increased grant should be allowed.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE
pointed out that the case alluded to by the hon. Member was provided for in Clause 13, which laid down that—(a) The County Council may, if they think tit, charge any expenses incurred by them under this Act with respect to education, other than elementary, on any parish or parishes which, in the opinion of the Council, are served by the school or college in connection with which the expenses have been incurred.He agreed with the First Lord of the Treasury that it would be most unsatisfactory to the county authorities if, after having agreed to a rate of 2d. in the £, an unlimited rating power should be given to the small areas in the county.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said the non-county boroughs had shown a great desire to raise money for secondary education, and the reason the County Councils were 449 limited to a 2d. rate was because they had not rated themselves up to that amount. The non-county boroughs had been the most progressive of all the boroughs in regard to secondary education, and many of them had been rated for years past to the full extent of 1d. rate. A petition had been presented from one of the urban districts in Lancashire, which had a population of 16,000, a rateable value of £71,000, and a revenue of £25,000. Under the Technical Instruction Act this district erected a technical school at a cost of £3,000, and for several years they had applied to the purposes of technical instruction the full amount of the rate. They had 280 students, and this district urged that they should not have the right of controlling these schools taken away from them. If the non-county boroughs had been spending 1d. in the £ in the past, why should they now be deprived of the right to spend more if they wished to do it? They were asking that they should be given a free hand just like the county boroughs, for they could make out a much better case for a free hand than the county boroughs. In many of those small boroughs there was as keen a desire for secondary education as in the county boroughs. Some of these boroughs were interested in promoting particular manufactures, and Leek, in Staffordshire, was better provided in the matter of secondary education than some of the great county boroughs.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
said that up to the present he had voted in favour of every Amendment to give a larger amount of money for secondary education, but he could not support this Amendment. It had been pointed out again and again in the discussion upon the previous Amendment that the smaller authority would be constantly coming in conflict with the Council, and that they would be erecting duplicate schools side by side, and running in antagonism one against the other. Now they had an Amendment which proposed to place an unlimited amount of money at the disposal of these bodies in order that they might enter into these conflicts, and spend the money without any restrictions whatsoever. He did not love this clause at all. It might be a 450 concession to sentiment, but he urged the Committee to do nothing which would strengthen the position, as educational authorities, of these very small areas. It must be remembered that by the Amendment which the First Lord of the Treasury accepted in the early part of this Clause, the operation of the Clause was not limited to non-county boroughs with a population of 10,000 or to urban districts with more than 20,000 inhabitants, but every urban district now enjoying this right would continue to enjoy it. He believed that this would be a source of continual conflict and discontent if equal powers were given to these small areas and the County Councils. He hoped that when the Amendment, which they were told would be forthcoming on the Report stage, was brought up, there would be something in it to provide that the small area would not be able to do this without the consent of the administrative County Council. It had been laid down in the previous Clause that the education authority should cause some inquiry to be made as to the existing provision and needs of secondary education, but if a number of schools were to be withdrawn from its purview, it would be impossible for the County Council to discharge that survey and declare what further provision was necessary. Consequently, there would be great educational gaps in county areas owing to the smaller areas having withdrawn a number of schools. He hoped that their powers would not be extended by the granting to them of unlimited power of taxation.
§ * SIR JESSE LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington)
stated that the educational record of Accrington under the Technical Instruction Acts was as good as that of any other place which could be named. That town has a population of 45,000, and a rateable value of £170,108. Prior to 1892 the Corporation carried on under the Technical Instruction Acts, science, art and technological classes within the borough. They took the earliest possible advantage of the Technical Instruction Act of 1889, and under their powers as "local authority" the classes previously carried on by the Co-operative Society and the Mechanics Institute were amalgamated. In 1893 451 it was found that these classes had grown so largely, and that they were so numerously attended, that it was necessary to build a large technical school. That was done at a cost of £13,000. Since 1895 the Corporation, under the Technical Instruction Acts, had levied the full 1d. rate, and had used that in conjunction with the whisky money to meet the costs of the technical school and the classes carried on there. The results had been very pleasing to him. In 1892, when the Corporation first took control as the local education authority, there were only 513 students, and the grants of the Science and Art Department amounted to £276. In 1900 there were 1,275 students, and the grants amounted to £788. In addition to the science, art, and technological work just referred to, the Corporation, in 1895, established a day science school for boys and girls. This school began with 73 pupils, and now it had 174. The grants, earned in 1896 were £423, and in 1900 they were £878, and £150 would probably be added for 1901. There was no School Board in the borough, nor indeed in the Division of the county which he represented. If the day science school had not been established, the borough would have been entirely without secondary education. There was no School Board to travel outside the legal limits of the Elementary Education Acts. In 1897, in order to improve the training of pupil teachers of elementary day schools in the borough, the Corporation established pupil teachers' classes in the technical school. They had succeeded so well that there were now 142 pupil teachers, some of whom came from Haslingden, which was outside of his Parliamentary Division, and the others came from all the townships in the Division. They had done a good deal in Accrington with their hands somewhat tied. He asked the House not to clip their wings now. They were not afraid of being rated. They were glad to have the power of rating, because they were quite satisfied that the more money they got the better would be the results attained.
§ MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)
said this was not so much an educational as a rating question. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the 452 Sleaford Division and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Thanet Division had argued that the population would be driven off the land if they were over-educated. His belief was that it would be all the other way; it was the lack of education that drove people off the land. He knew Worcestershire tolerably well, and thence a large number of young people in the small towns and villages rushed off to Birmingham in order to get the educational advantages of that city, which they could not possibly get in Worcestershire itself.
§ * MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
said he was sorry to differ from some of his hon. friends in regard to the Amendment now before the Committee. He believed they were in many respects behind other countries in the matter of secondary education, but they would not cure their defects by giving over to little places unlimited power of rating for secondary education. If they gave unlimited power of rating, there was the greatest possible danger of serious overlapping. Some small places would prefer to run their own schools, and that would interfere with the larger and wider scheme which a wise County Council would make. Therefore, if the Amendment went to a division, he would vote against it.
§ * SIR FRANCIS POWELL
said that his desire was to extend the work which was at present being done in connection with technical education. There was great danger of the undue multiplication of small schools if they adopted the Amendment. They might have small schools for preliminary education, but when they got beyond the elements it was desirable to have larger schools efficiently equipped, and with an adequate staff of teachers, if they were to have that competition which was the soul of education among the students. There had been great complaint in Ireland of the multiplication of small schools, and he sincerely hoped that they would not, in their ardour and enthusiasm, make a similar mistake in this country.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE
said this Amendment would remove any limitation of rating, and as many hon. 453 Members on this side of the House had already recorded their protest in regard to the proposed limitation, they would only be acting consistently if, on this occasion, they recorded a similar protest. He quite recognised that there might be some hon. Members who desired some limitation of rating, although they might think that the total excision now proposed was going too far. The hon. Member for South Islington had on the Notice Paper an Amendment to raise the rate from 1d. to 2d., and he would support that; but he would support the present Amendment, which was to strike out the limit altogether. He would do that on the ground that they ought to trust the local authorities. His hon. friend behind him was rather alarmed at the multiplication of schools, but he could only say that in most boroughs and urban districts there was always room, if he might use the phrase, for a third, rate secondary school. It would be difficult for these schools to receive adequate assistance from the 1d. rate, even with the aid of the County Councils. The difference between a 1d. and 2d. rate might make the difference of paying to the staff sufficient or insufficient salaries.
§ (4.44.) SIR JOSEPH PEASE (Durham, Barnard Castle)
said that the railway companies in certain towns were the principal contributors to the rates. Recently the railway companies with which he was best acquainted contributed largely to the technical school in Darlington. Why? Because their apprentices attended the school to the number of ninety or a hundred at a time. He was sure that it would not be prejudicial to elementary education if the local authorities were enabled, by-giving them discretion to levy a higher rate, to provide that class of secondary education suited to the particular industries of their districts.
§ MR. BARTLEY
said that the Amendment raised the very important question whether secondary schools should be maintained at the public cost or at the expense of those who needed them. He was very strongly opposed to the Amendment, because it was calculated to destroy the existing secondary schools, which 454 everybody recognised had done remarkably good work, and which were carried on as business speculations. Their staff and teaching apparatus were altogether unexceptionable, and it seemed to him a serious thing to run the risk of starving them out of existence. He objected altogether to the idea of throwing the enormous burden of secondary education upon the public purse.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said that the most contradictory arguments had been used on behalf of the Government. First they were told they ought to trust the local authorities, and then that the local authorities were incapable of conducting secondary education. Next, it was stated that the limitation on the rate was necessary in order not to alarm the ratepayers. But if the ratepayers objected, it was quite certain that the 1d. rate would not be exceeded; and if they desired to do something more for secondary education why should they be forbidden to do so? He could not understand the principle on which this clause was founded, and he should vote for the Amendment.
§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)
said that the hon. Member for North-West Ham had twitted those on that side of the House with being inconsistent, but that was because of the superior inconsistency on the part of the Government. It had been argued that the County Council should practically control the whole of education in their area, but that was not the policy of this clause. He thought that the local authority ought to have as much money as it deemed necessary to carry out the duty imposed upon it by the Bill.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
said that he had resisted all through the creation of these smaller local education authorities, as he thought it most unwise in the interests of education. But, the Government, in their wisdom, having decided to give those smaller areas educational autonomy, he thought that they should be allowed to spend what money they deemed necessary. The remedy against extravagance would be in the hands of the ratepayers. He was bound to point out that if these smaller areas 455 were autonomous, there was no alternative but to admit that the ratepayers themselves alone had the right to vote that rate, and to say what the rate should be.
§ MR. BRYCE
agreed with the hon. Member for North Camberwell that the consistency of the Bill had gone by the board. That being so, they were entitled to look at the matter in a simple and practical manner. There were two objections taken by the hon. Members for East Somerset and Oldham. One was that small communities would be unlikely to rate themselves at all if the power was unlimited. But why should hon. Members suppose that? The truth was that in these small areas the local authority was more under the close and vigilant eye of the ratepayers than was the County Council. Consequently, that objection was absolutely groundless. There was more weight in the objection that they ought to avoid any danger of setting up again a system of overlapping, and encouraging the multiplication of small schools. He would feel that to be a very forcible objection, if it were not for the fact that he understood the clause to mean that the County Councils, and not these Urban District and Borough Councils, were to be the authorities for secondary education. He understood the clause to mean that if the Urban District Councils and the Borough Councils rated themselves to set up schools, those schools would not be under their control, but under that of the educational authority for the district. If that were so, there would be no danger of undue multiplication or overlapping of schools. He hoped they would adhere to the broad principle of trusting the ratepayers. There was no reason why they should not be trusted to manage their own affairs.
* MR. J. W. WILSON (Worcestershire, N.)
said he was quite aware of the fact that in a case of this kind it did not look consistent with progressive education to advocate limiting the rate. He, however, opposed the Amendment because he felt that in urging a local community to adopt a new course in education, one of the strongest arguments that could be used would be that the rate would be 1d. or 2d. and no more. He therefore thought 456 that the Government were well advised in preserving the limit. It could be easily increased in future when secondary education had obtained a greater hold on the people. It was, in his opinion, in the interest of secondary education that there should be a limit.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said he regretted that he had to differ from the hon. Member who had just spoken. The hon. Member usually took a very liberal view on matters of education. In his opinion, to impose a limit of this kind would be a very great mistake. There were many small boroughs containing a number of enterprising men in favour of education who were influential enough to lead the borough in the direction in which they wished it to go. Why should a town of that kind, which desired to make more liberal provision for education, be prevented from doing so? If a town wanted to erect schools and pay for them in a reasonably short time instead of burdening the rates for thirty or forty years, why should not they have the right to levy a 2d. instead of a 1d. rate? In his opinion, the Government, having constituted these authorities, should give them freedom of action.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
said he did not understand that the proposal of the Government was to constitute a great number of independent authorities for secondary education. The general scheme of the one authority might be very seriously undermined if an unlimited rating power was given to the various districts. The conclusions, he understood, that had been come to were that within the county there were to be a great many authorities for elementary education, but one authority for secondary education; and that these boroughs and urban districts which were to be authorities for elementary education were, so far as secondary education was concerned, to have the power of offering a stimulus to the action of the County Council by stating their readiness to rate themselves to the extent of 1d., if the County Council would come forward and impose a 2d. rate over the particular area, and so enable them to do what they desired to do. That seemed to him a reasonable course to pursue in this process 457 of constructing one authority for secondary aducation in every county. If, on the other hand, they gave an unlimited rating power, they would have very large schemes developed in one place, and very sparse educational efforts in others, and the general scheme which they hoped to see established in every county would be undermined and gradually disappear. For these reasons, although he was sorry to do anything which could be construed as damping the educational zeal of any locality, he felt bound to oppose the Amendment.
* SIR WALTKK FOSTER
desired to see these urban authorities much more independent than they were, and where there was enthusiasm for education to have power to give substance to their desire. He knew of a small urban centre which desired to have technical schools, but when it obtained them, 1d. rate would be of no use to maintain them adequately. So enthusiastic were some of these localities that the Urban District Councils were presented in some cases with plots of land on which to build schools. The difficulty was, when the schools were obtained, to maintain them out of the proceeds of a 1d. rate. He urged the Government to give these localities sufficient independence to rate themselves, and to trust the ratepayers to take care that their local representatives did not indulge in needless extravagance. The vigilance of the ratepayers in these small urban areas was a sure safeguard against anything like extravagance on the part of Urban District Councils.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said although there was a good deal of sense in the speech of the junior Member for Oxford University, he did not see that the observations of the hon. Member were quite relevant to the Amendment before the House, which was to leave out the whole of the proviso, the result of which would be to give to the Councils of the urban districts and non-county boroughs power to raise what rate they pleased. The difficulty was not the question whether unlimited power of rating should be given to these authorities: the difficulty was to ascertain how it would be used. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury had 458 stated that he would consider an Amendment of the first five lines of this Amendment, but until the Committee knew the final form that Amendment was going to take, it was impossible to have a reasonable discussion on the question whether or not the words of the proviso should remain. He would point out with regard to the drafting that the Courts of Law did not always take the same reasonable view that was taken by hon. Members, and therefore, when they desired to make a good Act of Parliament, the Committee should take care that the language should be framed in such a way as to leave no doubt as to its meaning.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY
said it made all the difference whether 1d. or more should be granted to the non county boroughs, and if they were to be autonomous then there would be a multitude of secondary education authorities, and he should like to know where they were drifting. He hoped the interpretation of the clause given by the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen was correct, and that the non-county boroughs and the urban districts would not be able to move in the matter of secondary education without the direct sanction of the County Council, and without their co-operation and support.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
said he should like to press the same point, as his vote on the matter depended entirely on what was the interpretation of "concurrent powers." If the non-county boroughs were to have the power to set up independent schemes, and to riddle the plan and policy of the County Council, he should certainly vote for limiting their power. If, however, it was a question of having a big general scheme for the county, he should like to see the limit of rate removed.
§ (5.20.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was surprised that there should be any misapprehension. There was no new question or modification of the Bill involved. His hon. friend asked where they were drifting, as if a change were being made in the relation that non-county boroughs bore to the county. 459 There had been a change in the number of these non-county boroughs, but no change in their relation to the county, which remained precisely as it always had been in the Bill from the beginning. The historical genesis of the clause was this: When they came to this problem they found that a large number of these boroughs had been entrusted by Parliament with secondary education powers; they were not full powers, it was true, but were restricted to those parts of secondary education commonly known as technical. When the Bill was introduced they thought, and they still thought, that those powers could not be withdrawn from boroughs with a population over 10,000, and from urban districts over 20,000. They had extended this to boroughs under 20,000. These secondary or technical education powers were now exercised independently of the county, and that would be the case in the future. They were making no change; that was the essence of the Bill, not to diminish powers already existing. But while, to the extent that he had described, these non-county boroughs were independent of the county authority, the county authority, nevertheless, remained the authority for secondary education throughout the county, because its powers of rating were universal over the whole area. While the boroughs, in the clause as it stood, had powers of rating up to 1d., the county had the power to rate these very boroughs if they pleased. Therefore, it was perfectly accurate to say that the secondary education authority in county areas was the County Council. They had been asked whether there would not be a conflict of jurisdiction. He was not afraid of that, partly on the ground of practice, and partly on the ground of theory. He was not afraid on the ground of practice, because this very system had been in existence for more than twelve years; and he believed that County Councils and Borough Councils were perfectly ready to work harmoniously and to co-operate, in spite of the semi-independence of the non-county boroughs, in order to promote technical education. Why it should be assumed that in regard to secondary education they would establish a wholly new and irrational policy, he was at a loss to understand. 460 Suppose a Borough Council was so ill-advised as to think it would serve the interests of its own neighbourhood by acting in direct conflict with the County Council; it was evident that that would be a suicidal policy. As he had explained, the boroughs were under the control of the County Council as far as the rate was concerned. The County Council could rate them against their will, so that there was every interest—financial, educational, and rating—for these bodies to work harmoniously together. As they had shown themselves in the past to be not wholly deficient in the elementary principles of common sense, so he was convinced they would be found acting with prudence and judgment in the future. But he admitted, with the hon. Baronet who had just spoken, that if they were to be given wholly unlimited powers of rating, while the rating powers of the supreme secondary education authority were limited to the 2d. in the Bill, the possibilities of conflict, though not, even under those circumstances, very great, would be materially increased. He, therefore, hoped the Committee would reject the Amendment.
§ MR. BRYCE
said that it might seem bold to differ from the right hon. Gentleman's construction of his own Bill, but he thought, comparing Sections 1 and 3, the Bill did not set up these local authorities as the authorities for secondary education. The First Lord had said it did; if that was so, the right hon. Gentleman had gone much further in the way of destroying the principle of the Bill than had been supposed.
§ MR. BRYCE
said they had never read it in that sense. They had all understood from the beginning that in a county there was to be one authority for secondary education, and that one authority was to be the County Council. They welcomed that proposal. But the right hon. Gentleman, by the statement he had just made, although he endeavoured to avoid doing so in words, had practically admitted that all these 461 Urban District Councils and Borough Councils would be local authorities for secondary education. They must be so, because they were to have the power of receiving the grants and administering the schools. He had supposed, on the fact of the clause, that they were only to have a rating power, and that when they had raised their rate they were to hand it over to the local authority to be applied as the local authority thought fit or upon a comprehensive scheme. That was certainly the view of the hon. Member for Oxford University. But now they understood that, so far from that being the case, every one of these numerous bodies was to be able to manage its own school and apply its own rate, irrespective of the County Council.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said it had been implied that he had modified the Bill in such a way as to destroy the general principle which he laid down at the beginning. That was not so. He asked the Committee to mark these words from his speech when introducing the Bill—There is an exception. We think it impossible to deprive boroughs with 10,000 population, or urban districts with over 20,000, of their existing jurisdiction over technical education; nor do we think that they can be subordinated to the County Council with regard to primary education. We, therefore, leave them as they are as regards the first, and make them autonomous as regards the second.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said the passage quoted by the right hon. Gentleman referred only to municipal boroughs with a population of 10,000, and urban districts with 20,000, whereas the clause went farther, and dealt with every non-county borough and urban district, whatever the population.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said the Committee were still in difficulties with regard to the position of these boroughs. Were they to be the educational authorities or were they not? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen said they were, and the First Lord said they were. But according to the Bill it was 462 clear they wore not. The Committee wanted to know the intention of the Government, and then they would have to sec that the words of the Bill carried out that intention. If the Councils of these smaller boroughs were to be the educational authorities they would have the appointment of the Committees, and the Committees would have the control of the schools. Was that intended, or was it the intention of the Government that the County Council should appoint the Committee as the authority for the whole county, which Committee, appointed without reference to the municipal borough, should control the schools in the borough itself? These small boroughs already had schools, and it was not proposed to interfere with the powers they possessed. But those powers were not merely powers of raising money, but of providing, administering, and managing the schools. Unquestionably, the Committee had a right to know whether it was the intention of the Government that those powers should still exist concurrently with the larger powers given under the Bill to the County Councils. If the smaller boroughs were merely given the right to levy a 1d. rate, and hand it over to the County Council to administer, they would do nothing at all. The Bill did not provide that the Councils of these smaller boroughs should be the education authorities, and the Government ought to take time to reconsider the drafting of this clause, as it obviously did not carry out their present intention.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
agreed to a large extent with the First Lord of the Treasury. The policy he had enunciated was that adopted in the Bill of 1896. It was then strongly urged that it would be unwise to uproot the system which had been implanted in many towns, and under which secondary and technical education was being successfully given. The County Council would, in some cases, be loss favourable to secondary education than some of the urban authorities in that particular county, and if it was left to the County Council the work now going on would come to an end. He was, therefore, inclined to permit the urban authorities to carry on the secondary and technical education in their respective towns. He had never supported the policy of one authority for secondary education. But where he 463 differed from the First Lord was in regard to the limitation of the rate. That was the primary point of the Amendment, and he hoped the Committee would not lose sight of it. He should support the Amendment in the hope that the limitation would be removed. There was no necessity to restrain the ratepayers from spending money on education: the difficulty was to induce them to spend sufficient. To say by law that they should spend so much, and no more, was unwise in the interests of education, and was somewhat wanting in respect to the ratepayers.
§ SIR FREDERICK MAPPIN (Yorkshire, W. R., Hallamshire)
said he should vote against the Amendment, because he believed the establishment of these technical schools in small areas would be a great mistake.
§ * SIR JOHN BRUNNER
said it was obvious that the Leader of the House ought to reconsider the appeal that a connection should be made between the County Councils and the councils of these non-county boroughs and smaller municipal authorities. He appealed to him to preserve the status quo which now worked so pleasantly and efficiently. The County Councils were either empowered or bound, by the Technical Instruction Acts, to appoint managers to each of the technical schools in conjunction with the local authority. The whole of this was swept away by the repeal of the Technical Instruction Act. It had now been settled that these smaller authorities were to be independent, and he wanted to preserve the kindly and wholesome connection which existed between them and the County Councils. He wanted this connection established in the Bill itself.
§ *(5.45.) MR. HELME
said that by accepting this Amendment they would be facilitating some such arrangement as that which had been foreshadowed. In order to do this, if the power was given for each urban district to raise a rate sufficient to carry out the secondary, in addition to the technical education work which it had hitherto been doing, and which would not be destroyed, it was only necessary to add a very small amount of new work to make the 464 institution a complete educational one. He wished to know whether it would be possible, if this Amendment were carried, to so arrange that where a local authority had provided, out of its own funds, a school and a wide system of education, and where it was willing to rate itself to a sufficient extent, it could be relieved of the power possessed by the County Council to levy a rate in that particular district.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! The hon. Member, upon his own showing, is discussing matters which are not now before the Committee.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he wished to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if it was his view that under this clause a small urban area might, out of its own penny rate, set up a secondary school in defiance of the express wish of the County Council.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said in that case the smaller borough could have an Education Committee for that purpose.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said the Committee seemed to be only just beginning to realise what had been done by accepting the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Somerset. They were now setting up a large number of new education authorities. It was perfectly clear now that these little Urban Councils could set up secondary schools under their own management and control, and there would be so many additional secondary authorities throughout the whole country. This would be the worst possible thing that could happen. They could not now organise secondary instruction within their own area, but in future they would be able to do so. The First Lord of the Treasury said this was intended, but his speech was absolutely confined to technical instruction, and he never hinted that these boroughs would have jurisdiction over secondary instruction. The whole scheme of the Bill was that these small boroughs should have jurisdiction over primary education, and not over secondary education, which power was to remain with the 465 County Councils. Now, the right hon. Gentleman had smashed up his own scheme, not merely by giving the power to areas of 20,000 inhabitants, but also to every little Urban and Town Council. The First Lord of the Treasury could not have thought out what the meaning of this change was, because it was perfectly clear that it was only intended that they should have the power of subsidizing—
§ MR. LLOYD GEORGE
said this was contrary to the whole spirit of the Bill. If it was intended to give to these little Urban Councils the control of secondary as well as primary education, why was it stated in the first part of the Bill that the powers were confined to Part III of the Bill? Why should Part III have been mentioned at all? What would happen? This power would be used for the purpose of confining secondary education, and the sacrifices which had been made for it, to these small Councils. Upon the County Council a member might be in favour of a scheme extending throughout the whole county, but the farmers on the Council might say: "If you urban members want a school for your own children, you can rate yourselves;" and it would be
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Boulnois, Edmund||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bousfield, William Robert||Cox, Irwin EdwardBainbridge|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn||Cripps, Charles Alfred|
|Aird, Sir John||Brassey, Albert||Cross, Herb. Shepherd(Bolton|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Brotherton, Edward Allen||Dalyrmple, Sir Charles|
|Arrol, Sir William||Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh-||Denny, Colonel|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bull, William James||Dickinson, Robert Edmund|
|Austin, Sir John||Butcher, John George||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Campbell Rt Hn. J. A.(Glasgow||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Carew, James Laurence||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cavendish, V. C. W. (D'rbyshire||Dorington, Sir John Edward|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Doxford, Sir William Theodore|
|Balfour, RtHnGeraldW. (Leeds||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J(Birm.||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin|
|Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch.||Chamberlain, J. Austen(Wore'r||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Emmott, Alfred|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Chapman, Edward||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Clive, Capt. Percy A.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ.(Manc'r|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Coddington, Sir William||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Beresford, Lord Chas. William||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Fison, Frederick William|
|Bignold, Arthur||Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose|
|Bigwood, James||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Bond, Edward||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Forster, Henry William|
§ left to each of these little urban communities to set up their own school. Consequently, there would be no county rate, and the farmers would get the benefit of a school to which they had not contributed a penny. They knew the urban communities would never go without a school, and they would say: "We will give you something out of the whisky money towards it." The right hon. Gentleman had now smashed up his original scheme and rendered worthless the secondary part of the Bill.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said those who supported this Amendment would be setting up two independent authorities. Those hon. Members opposite who were supporting this proposal were placing themselves in an entirely inconsistent position. There was a certain amount of elasticity about the clause as it stood, for under it they would secure the predominance of the County Councils. He thought it was highly desirable to retain the predominance of the County Councils, and he should vote against the Amendment.
(5.58.) Question put.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 269; Noes, 166. (Division List No. 255.)
|Fos'er, Sir Michael(Loud, Univ.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Rutherford, John|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Gardner, Ernest||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Garfit, William||Lowe, Francis William||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H(City of Lond.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Saunderson, Rt. Hn Col. Edw. J.|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin&Nairn||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Seely, Maj J. E. B (Isle of Wight|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Macdona, John Cumming||Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew)|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Line||Maclver, David (Liverpool)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Maconochie, A. W.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool||Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||M'lver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Green, Walford D(Wedneshury||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Greene, Sir E W(B'ySEdmouds||Manners, Lord Cecil||Spear, John Ward|
|Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Maxwell, WJH(Dumfriesshire||Stewart, SirMark J. M'Taggart|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Milner, Rt. Hn. SirFrederickG.||Sturt, Hon. Homphry Napier|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G.(Mid'x||Milvain, Thomas||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Hamilton, Marq of L'nd'nderry||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Morgan, David J(Walthamst'w||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Morrell, George Herbert||Valentia, Viscount|
|Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanlev||Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford||Vincent, Col. Sir C. EH(Sheffield|
|Heath, James (Staffords, N. W||Mount, William Arthur||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Helder, Augustus||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham(Bute||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Henderson, Alexander||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.(Taunt'n|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Welby, Sir Charles G. E(Notts.|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und. Lyne|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlingt'n||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Hoult, Joseph||Penn, John||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Percy, Earl||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Pierpoint, Robert||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Hudson, Georgo Bickersteth||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.|
|Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Johnston, William (Belfast||Purvis, Robert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Pym, C. Guy||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Randles, John S.||Wortley, Rt. Hon C. B. Stuart-|
|Kenyon, Hon Geo T.(Denbigh||Rankin, Sir James||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wylie, Alexander|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Ridley, Hon. M. W(Stalybridge||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Ridley, S. Forde(BethnalGreen||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Lawson, John Grant||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson||Younger, William|
|Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Lee, Arthur H(Hants, Fareham||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Ropuer, Colonel Robert||Sir William Walrond and|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Round, James||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Boland, John||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Brigg, John||Causton, Richard Knight|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud||Broadhurst, Henry||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Ambrose, Robert||Brunner, Sir James Tomlinson||Craig, Robert Hunter|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Asquith. Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, M. Vaughan. (Cardigan|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Burt, Thomas||Delany, William|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Caldwell, James||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Cameron, Robert||Doogan, P. C.|
|Black, Alexander William||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Lundon, W.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee|
|Edwards, Frank||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Elibank, Master of||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Ellis, John Edward||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Runciman, Walter|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Mac Veagh, Jeremiah||Russell, T. W.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||M'Crae, George||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||M'Kean, John||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir Henry||M'Killop, W (Sligo, North)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Markham, Arthur Basil||Spencer, RtHn. C. R(Northants|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||Mooney, John J.||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury||Moulton, John Fletcher||Tennant, Harold John|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Murphy, John||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Harmsworth, R. Leiceter||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Thomas, JA((Glam'rgan, Gower|
|Harwood, George||Nussey, Thomas William||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Tomkinson, James|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipp'r'ry, Mid||Toulmin, George|
|Hayter, Rt. Hen. Sir Arthur D.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Helme, Norval Watson||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Tully, Jasper|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Wallace, Robert|
|Holland, William Henry||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Dowd, John||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)||Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Malley, William||Weir, James Galloway|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Mara, James||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Jones, David Brynmor(Sw'nsea||Partington, Oswald||Whiteley, George(York, W. R.|
|Jones, William(Carnarv'nshire||Paulton, James Mellor||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Joyce, Michael||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham||Wilson, Chas. Henry(Hull, W.|
|Labonchere, Henry||Price, Robert John||Wilson, Fred W.(Norfolk, Mid|
|Langley, Batty||Priestley, Arthur||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W. R.|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rea, Russell||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.||Wood, James|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Leng, Sir John||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Levy, Maurice||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rickett, J. Compton||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Lloyd-George, David||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Mr. Lambert and Mr.|
|Lough, Thomas||Roberts, John H. (Deabighs.)||Corrie Grant.|
(6.14.) MR. HERBERT ROBERTS
said the Amendment he now moved would, if carried, provide that none of those small areas, the non-county boroughs and urban districts, would be allowed to levy a rate for secondary education without an equivalent rate being levied in the county in which they were situated. He had no objection whatsoever to granting full rating power to every local authority, but he thought it was of importance, when they were dealing with the setting up of a new system of secondary education, county by county, that they should take care nothing was done which would prejudice the general interest of the whole county in the scheme which was established. It seemed to him that, if this Amendment were carried, and if the rating powers of the various small urban districts were conditioned by the 470 rate actually levied by the county authority, it would mean that there would be greater general interest in secondary education throughout the county. What they wanted was to stimulate secondary education throughout country districts. It was important that they should provide some kind of challenge by which those who were interested in secondary education should induce it to flow into the rural parts of the country. He was not speaking in this respect in regard to Wales alone. It would be, in his judgment, a national misfortune if technical instruction, which was of paramount importance at the present day, was not extended to every part of the country; but unless they had this power of levying a rate, practically the whole work of technical education would be left to the towns, and no technical 471 schools would be provided in the rural districts. He hoped that this Amendment would meet with the sympathetic consideration of the Committee.
Amendment proposed—In page 2, to leave out line 8, and to insert the words 'is levied, by the Council of the county in which the said Council of a non-county borough or urban district is situated.'"—(Mr. Herbert Roberts.)Question proposed, "That the words in line 8 stand part of the clause."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that, as he understood it, the effect of the Amendment would be to limit the power of rating of the urban authorities by the amount levied by the county for the rural districts, although they had been told over and over again that the smaller urban areas were more enterprising educationally than the rural districts. Under these circumstances, the Amendment could not possibly be accepted by the Government, having in view the duties of the urban authorities, not only in regard to primary, but to secondary education.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he supported this Amendment as absolutely necessary, because otherwise the farmers in the rural districts would leave the whole of the rating on the urban districts. As the clause stood at present, the County Council might rate itself for a secondary school, and then spend the whisky money on purely agricultural matters, unless there was some provision to protect the urban districts.
§ MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE
said that he was sorry to say he could not agree with the hon. Member for the Carnarvon Boroughs. The urban members of the County Council could look very well after their own interests; and he thought the whisky money would be pretty equally divided over both the urban and the rural districts of the county. He did not think the Amendment would carry out the best interests of the education, of the country, or that it would work well.
§ * SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
, in explaining the object of the Amendment he rose to move, said that the limitation of the rate to Id. would, he believed, be a 472 mistake. The danger was not of the smaller boroughs levying too high a rate, but of not levying a sufficient rate. It was a valuable provision in the Bill that non-county borough and urban districts might, concurrently with, but, as he assumed, separately and independently of, the County Council, levy and spend a rate for the purposes of education, for by this means they could make such education particularly adapted to the special needs of their localities, in pursuance of the real principles of local government. That would introduce an element of variety and elasticity in our educational fabric. Take the case of a non-county borough, such as Ripon, which had a population of only 8,500. Ripon was an agricultural centre, and, although the County Council of the manufacturing West Riding had done its work extremely well, but with some friction with the non-county boroughs, he could quite understand that the Ripon Council would be better able to understand what was best for that particular agricultural district. There was no distinction between a non-county borough and a larger community, excepting the restriction of raising money, based on a population line, which was arbitrary and often nonsensical. A non-county borough was limited by the Bill to a penny rate for its own purposes. He suggested that there should be a two-penny rate. But the most valuable portion of his Amendment was that which gave elasticity by providing that, if the Local Government Board were satisfied that the financial proposal was a good one, they might sanction such a rate as in the circumstances might be required. If the educational work was good, if the means were adequate, and if there was the will on the part of the community to do their own educational work, they ought to encourage, rather than discourage, such an attempt; and his Amendment would not only enable this to be done, but would, as ought to be the case, largely assimilate the case of the non-county boroughs as to fixing a higher rate to that of the county boroughs—a proposal which he had suggested, and which had been carried out, on the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield in removing the limitation on the county boroughs.
473 Amendment proposed—In page 2, line 8, to leave out the words Id. in the £,' and insert the words '2d. in the £, or such higher rate as the council of such non-county borough or urban district, with the consent of the Local Government Board, may fix.'"—(Sir Albert Rollit.)Question proposed. "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W. R., Morley)
supported the Amendment. He said the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord had pointed out that many of these schools had to meet a charge out of their rates for education, owing to the judgment given in the Cockerton case, which they would otherwise not have to provide for. He thought that in the majority of cases 1d. rate might be sufficient; but, as they had established the principle of relaxing the limit to a certain extent with the consent of the Local Government Board, that principle might also be applied to urban districts and non-county boroughs for the purpose of secondary education. There were many cases in which such a thing might be justified.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he appreciated the argument of the hon. Gentleman, but it would be a very serious blow to the principle they desired to see adopted in this Clause if this Amendment were accepted. They had steadily gone on the theory that the problem of secondary education could only be worked out in these county areas by the County Councils and, for this purpose, the subordinate municipal authorities, working together in harmony. He was convinced that, if the Clause was allowed to remain as it stood, there would be no difficulty in establishing that harmony. But if they increased the existing powers of these boroughs, and allowed them, quite irrespective of the views of the County Council, to go to the Local Government Board and make a demand for an increased power of rating and for power to deal with the whole problem of secondary education in their own area, there would be very great obstacles and difficulties thrown in the way of that harmonious working. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would not think it necessary to press the matter to a division.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
said he had a similar Amendment on the Paper. He felt that those non-county boroughs and urban districts had hitherto in many instances performed their educational work well, and it was extremely desirable they should maintain it. Many of them had efficient higher grade schools which could no longer exist, but on their foundations secondary schools should be established. Then, again, there were grammar schools in some of these non-county boroughs which in some cases were far from efficient either in their equipment or their curriculum. If they had an increased amount at their disposal they would be able to deal with those grammar schools and make them proper centres for secondary schools and for pupil teachers' training, in co-operation with the County Council. In addition, there was the necessity of forming centres for continuation schools. A 1d. rate was a very small amount, and there would be no compulsion to levy 2d. rate if it was not required. The right hon. Gentleman said that these non-county boroughs were subordinate authorities for the purposes of secondary education, but a little time ago they were told that they were absolutely independent. If that was so, there was great force in this Amendment.
§ (6.40.) MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
said that small townships in Germany and Switzerland spent enormous sums of money in comparison with their rating power and the number of inhabitants.
§ MR. SCHWANN
said there must be a beginning. A 1d. was a considerable rate in some districts. Towns like Geneva and Zurich were only lightly taxed in the beginning, but they had enormously increased. For his part, he should do all he could both on this Amendment and others to enlarge the area for spending a larger sum on education. There would soon be an adequate return for it. He thought that if the Committee saw the progress that was made in small townships abroad they would vote for a larger amount.
§ MR. MIDDLEMORE
, while in favour of the Amendment, suggested that the limit of 1d. should be retained, with the proviso that it might be extended with the consent of the Local Government Board. He thought the sum in the Clause was not adequate, seeing what had to be done in providing for evening schools, technical schools, teachers' schools, and the new schools.
said he thought the suggestion just made would bring the relation of the rating of these small boroughs into harmony with the County Council and that it would be a concession in the direction of those who wanted to provide more money for secondary education. He thought it was agreed that 1d. rate was inadequate, and he did not think the harmony between the local authorities would be at all lessened if the power proposed were given and these bodies were enabled to obtain more money in conjunction with the County Council. It appeared to him that these bodies were to be not independent bodies but subsidiary to the Education Department. He noticed a marvellous tenderness as to the giving of power to local authorities to increase their rates and spend their own money. Why should they be interfered with? It was not money from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and why should they not trust the people to spend their own money for what they wanted— wants, indeed, which were the most urgent in the country?
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Islington was the logical outcome of the Amendment accepted a short time previously. Only a short time before, they had had a discussion on the meaning of the word "concurrent," and the First Lord of the Treasury had told them that "concurrent" meant independence; that these small authorities would have independent power; that they could raise the rates and control their own schools, and that they would be entirely independent of the County Councils in the matter of secondary education.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I never said anything of the kind. What I said was that, if they spent their own money on their own schools, those schools should be under their own management. I did not say that they should be independent of the local authorities.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said the right hon. Gentleman had merely reiterated what he had pointed out to the Committee. If the Clause remained as it was, there could be 1d. rate in one district, while the representatives of that district could go to the County Council and impose 2d. on others. This was a curious reminiscence of the Home Rule Bill. Nobody at that time could understand the in and out arrangement of the Home Rule Bill, yet in this Bill there was an extension of that in and out arrangement. This was a matter which required the serious consideration of the Committee, and he hoped they would support the Amendment.
§ SIR JOSEPH A. PEASE
also supported the Amendment, and gave instances where the Clause would work unequally unless the alteration proposed was made. He trusted the Committee would adopt the Amendment if the Government did not give way.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD
said it was important that they should preserve as far as possible the predominance of the County Council, but, on the other hand, there were occasions when elasticity was desirable. He believed they could preserve both considerations; they could preserve the predominance of the County Council and yet give more elasticity, which in his opinion could do nothing but good. He would suggest that the 1d. should be left where it was, and that the power to exceed the 1d. might be given, subject to the control of the County Council and the Local Government Board.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said the suggestion of the hon. Member made the case harder than ever. Suppose one of these boroughs asked for permission to levy a rate on its own ratepayers, the 477 County Council would immediately give its consent, because they would say "we will also levy a rate upon them." There was one broad principle upon which the Amendment might be supported, and that was that every community should be entitled to rate itself for education. That principle alone would make him support the Amendment. But there were certain practical difficulties which would arise. The upshot of what had been done would be that the municipal boroughs and urban districts would entirely free themselves from the control of the County Council. The County Council would undoubtedly have the right to levy a county rate, and to impose that rate on the ratepayers of these boroughs. But if that were attempted, they would have the church-rate fight over again, and the County Council would not dare to enforce the rate. It ought always to be borne in mind that they did not yet know how much secondary or higher education was going to cost. Higher education was to include branches of the work which had hitherto been included in the term elementary education. He therefore thought his hon. friend was on sound ground in advising the Government to adopt the
§ position they took up with regard to the county boroughs. In view of the previous concession of the Government, he could not see how. with any show or argument, they could decline to grant a similar concession in this case. He was against the Amendment from one point of view, viz., that it would take away from the larger jurisdiction of the County Council the areas of these municipal boroughs, but on the ground that no limit at all should be placed on an expenditure which could not at present be properly gauged he should support the Amendment.
§ MR. CHARLES ALLEN (Gloucestershire, Stroud)
, as an urban councillor, protested against the idea that they should be obliged to go cap in hand to the County Council in this matter. He was against any limit being imposed. The District Councils were kept in very good order by the ratepayers, and there was little fear of the rate being too large. He should therefore vote in support of the Amendment.
(7.6.) Question put.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 250; Noes, 163. (Division List No. 256.)
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Green, Walford D.(W'dnesbury||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Greene, SirEW(B'ryS. Edm'nds||Macartney, Rt Hn. W. G. Ellison||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Macdona, John Cumming||Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(Isleof Wight|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Guthrie, Walter Murray||Maconochie, A. W.||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W||Smith, A bel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Smith, James Parker(Laparks.|
|Hamilton, Marq. Of (L'nd'nderry||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.||Spear, John Ward|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Milvain, Thomas||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Helder, Augustus||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Henderson, Alexander||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants)||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'rd Univ|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Morgan, DavidJ.(Walthamstow||Tomlinson, Wid. Edw. Murray|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Morrell, George Herbert||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Mount, William Arthur||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Hoult, Joseph||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Howard, John(Kent, Faversh'm||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)||Welby, Lt.-Col. ACE (Taunton|
|Howard. J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Whiteley, H(Asht'n-und-Lyne|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm|
|Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Penn, John||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Percy, Earl||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Pierpoint, Robert||Wilson, A. Stanley(Yorks, E. R.|
|Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Keswick, William||Purvis, Robert||Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh. N.|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Pym, C. Guy||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Randles, John S.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Rankin, Sir James||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Lawson, John Grant||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wylie, Alexander|
|Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Richards, Henry Charles||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Leigh-Bonnett, Henry Currie||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Younger, William|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Long. Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Ropner, Colonel Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Lowe, Francis William||Round, James||Sir William Walrond and|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Rutherford, John||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William(Cork, N. E)||Burt, Thomas||Ellis, John Edward|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Emmott, Alfred|
|Allen, Charles P.(Glouc., Stroud||Caldwell, James||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan|
|Ambrose, Robert||Cameron, Robert||Farquharson, Dr. Robert|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Causton, Richard Knight||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Cawley, Frederick||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Channing, Francis Allston||Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Craig, Robert Hunter||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Black, Alexander William||Cremer, William Randal||Grant, Corrie|
|Boland, John||Dalziel, James Henry||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Delany, William||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)|
|Brigg, John||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Donelan, Captain A.||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Doogan, P. C.||Harmsworth, R. Leicester|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Duncan, J. Hastings||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Burke, E, Haviland-||Edwards, Frank||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Murphy, John||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Holland, William Henry||Norman, Henry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Spencer, RtHn C. R. (Northants|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Sullivan, Donal|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipp'r'ry Mid.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, Abel(Carmarthen, E.)|
|Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Jones, William (Carn'rvonshire||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thomas, J. A.(Gl'm'rg'n, Gower|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Dowd, John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Kelly, James (R'scomm'n, N.||Tomkinson, James|
|Kitson, Sir James||O'Malley, William||Toulmin, George|
|Lambert, George||O'Mara, James||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Langley, Batty||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Tully, Jasper|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Partington, Oswald||Wallace, Robert|
|Leamy, Edmund||Paulton, James Mellor||Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.|
|Leng, Sir John||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Lough, Thomas||Perks, Robert William||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.|
|Lundon, W.||Price, Robert John||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Rea, Russell||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Reddy, M.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk, Mid.|
|M'Crae, George||Reid, Sir R. Threshie(Dumfries||Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.|
|M'Kean, John||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|M'Kenna., Reginald||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Wood, James|
|M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Wodehouse, SirJ. T (Huddersf'd|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Roe, Sir Thomas||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Runciman, Walter|
|Middlemore, John Throgmort'n||Russell, T. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Schwann, Charles E.||Sir Albert Rollit and Sir|
|Moulton, John Fletcher||Shaw, Charles Edwd.(Stafford)||Joseph Leese.|
§ Question proposed, "That Clause 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ (7.20.) MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)
Before the Committee passes this Clause I desire even now, much as it has been debated, to ask for some further and definite explanation from the Government as to what are to be the precise relations between these two sets of authorities which are going to be set up under this Clause. The position, as I understand it, is that at the present time under the Technical Instruction Act which is now the law these non-county boroughs or urban districts can supply technical education to the amount realised by the imposition of a penny rate. This Bill proposes to repeal the Technical Instruction Act, and that power will no longer exist if this Bill passes in its present form. I am merely asking for information, and I am not acting in any hostile spirit. Personally I may say at once that I should be very sorry to see any fund which at present exists cut off from the support of either technical or secondary education. It is not, therefore, with any disposition to abolish or 482 to curtail any source of revenue which at present exists for these purposes that I am making the appeal which I now make. But, Sir, it is most important as regards the final working of our whole system of secondary education that we should know definitely what are to be the relations of the County Councils to the smaller authorities. There are, as far as I have been able to discover, three possible relationships which have been suggested from time to time. There is the relationship of subordination, the relationship of alliance, which is, at any rate, hinted at by the concurrent power which this Clause contains; and there is the relation of Imperia in Imperio. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that if the Clause passes in the form in which it is at present it is possible for the administrators of the Act and for any court of law to put upon this Clause any of these three constructions, and it is impossible to say at present which of the three is the correct one. The Clause is ambiguous and equivocal, and leaves the Committee in complete doubt, and the future administrators of the measure in complete 483 doubt, as to what is to be the real relationship between the two sets of authorities. Two things are of the utmost importance. The first is that the County Council shall be the supreme and responsible authority in secondary education, and the other is to bring into some kind of harmonious relationship with the County Councils those local authorities which at present had rating powers, and which ought, if possible, to exercise those powers in the future in harmonious action with the County Council. To leave the matter as it stands now promises a condition of administrative chaos. I am not quarrelling with any particular phrase in the clause, but I am simply asking for an explanation as to the general scope and effect of the words which have been introduced, and I do hope we shall receive some explicit statement from His Majesty's Government as to what is to be the relationship of these smaller authorities with the County Councils. Surely, at the same time, the Government will consider the advisability, at a later stage of the Bill, of introducing some definite language, so that this relationship will be clearly understood by those who have to administer this Act. I make this suggestion, not in any spirit of hostility to the Bill, but purely in the interests of secondary education.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he also desired to press the question put by the hon. Member for North West Ham as to where they were now drifting in regard to this clause. He would remind the First Lord of the original scheme contained in this Bill. Clause 1 originally provided that sixty-two administrative counties should be autonomous paramount for secondary and elementary education, and, in addition to those, sixty-seven county boroughs were to be autonomous paramount authorities for secondary and elementary education. That made altogether 129 authorities under the Bill for elementary and secondary education. In addition to this, it was now provided that these powers should be extended to municipal boroughs with a population of over 10,000, which numbered 140, and also to urban districts over 20,000, which numbered 61, and these were to have autonomy for elementary education, with concurrent powers over secondary education. That brought the entire number of elementary and secondary authorities up to 330. What 484 had they got now as the result of the present discussion? In the first place, the Government had let in the non-county boroughs and the urban districts of all populations, which included 108 municipal boroughs and some 745 urban districts, making a total of 853 authorities over and above the 330 previously set up. He ventured to say that the interpretation which the First Lord had put upon this proposal was not quite correct. The Attorney General's name was on the back of the Bill, and if he would give the Committee his view, it would be more to the purpose than scoffing at the suggestion which he had ventured to put forward.
It being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
Committee report progress; to sit again this evening.