§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
formally moved—In page 4, after Clause 10, to insert the following Clause:—'(1) In lieu of the grants under. The Voluntary Schools Act, 1897, and under Section 97 of The Elementary Education Act, 1870, as amended by The Elementary Education Act, 1897, there shall be annually paid to every local education authority, out of moneys provided by Parliament—(a) a sum equal to 4s. per scholar; and (b) an additional sum of 1½d. per scholar for every complete 2d. by which the amount which would be produced by a rate on the area of the authority falls short of 10s. a scholar. But the total amount of Parliamentary grants paid to a local education authority in any year shall not be such as to make the amount payable out of rates by the local education authority in respect of their expenses under Part III. of this Act in that year less than the amount which would be produced by a rate of 3d. in the pound, and the 1145 grants shall, if necessary, be reduced accordingly. (2) For the purposes of the number of scholars shall be taken to be the number of scholars in average attendance, as computed by the Board of Education, in public elementary schools maintained by the authority.'He said: I do not think that it will be necessary for me to make any long statement in explanation of the altered Clause. There are, broadly speaking, two changes. The one consists of a considerable increase in the amount which is given by the Exchequer; the other is a change—not of vital or fundamental importance, but still a useful change—in the mode in which the money is allocated. I have already made a statement as to the advantages of dividing the money into two portions, one giving a fixed sum per child of the population of the whole kingdom, and the other making allocations to different portions of the kingdom, on a basis varying with the wealth or poverty of payable of various districts concerned. I, on that subject, will only say that we have maintained that basis unaltered, except that my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has found it possible to increase the sum which the Government estimated as a maximum of somewhere about £900,000 a year. Roughly, we have been able to add to that a sum which, if every locality complies with the conditions under which the grant can be conferred upon them, will amount to about £400,000 a year more, so that there will be a total benefit to the local ratepayers of about £1,300,000 a year. That is the largest change in the Clause, and I think it is one which will be universally satisfactory. The other change refers to the limitation based on the 3d rate, and I think that will also prove satisfactory on the whole. The Government thought at first that a 3d. rate would be universal, or nearly universal; but, on closer examination, we found that there were more places than we supposed in which it will not be necessary to raise a 3d. rate. No blame attaches to the Government for that miscalculation, and no inconvenience has been caused to the Committee. I shall accordingly ask the Committee to consider a further Amendment. The general proposition I wish to advance is this: that under the Clause 1146 as it now stands we give a larger sum than we gave before, and also render the limitation principle more generous in its operation.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE: (Carnarvon Boroughs)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to read the exact terms of the modification.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
My explanation is probably simpler than the terms of the Amendment. It is this: if any place raises less than a 3d. rate, its grant from the Exchequer will be pro tanto diminished. The Amendment, however, will be to strike out the paragraph beginning "But the total amount" and ending "be reduced accordingly" and to substitute the following, "If in any year the total amount of Parliamentary grants payable to the local education authority, would make the amount payable out of other sources by that authority, on account of their expenses-under Part III. of this Act, less than the amount which would be produced by a rate of 3d. in the £ the Parliamentary grant shall be decreased and the amount payable out of other sources shall be increased by a sum equal in each case to half the difference."
§ New Clause (Aid Grant)—(Mr. A. J. Balfour)—brought up and read a first time
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ (3.55.) SIR CHARLES DILKE
thought it most unfortunte that they had these continual changes in the Clauses of the Bill. Only hon. Members who were members of local authorities were competent to discuss this new Clause, and what was wanted was time to send it down to the various local authorities in order to hear from them how it would work out. Those of them who had tried to Bret at the facts knew that there was a great difference of opinion amongst highly competent authorities as to how the Clause would work out. Amendments which some of his hon. friends proposed to this Clause were based on the fact that it gave very sufficient financial assistance to different 1147 parishes, and discrepancies between district and district would continue to exist. They might not be so extreme as between the highest and the lowest as at the present time, but they would continue. Many hon. Members desired to see the principle of the equalisation of rates, which had been put forward for London by the Government with every demonstration of support from their followers, applied to the counties. Something was done in 1897 to redress the grievance by the grants to the most necessitous districts, but the Act making these grants would be repealed by the present Bill, and the hardship would remain. Calculations which had been made by those who had the greatest official knowledge of the figures, showed that, while the effect on the general rate of the county that would be produced by equalisation within the county would be very small, the discrepancy as between different districts would be very great, some districts paying three times and four times as much as others. To relieve the poorer districts, the average charge would be very small, as compared with the enormous discrepancy as between district and district. The Committee would have to consider that matter. No doubt, the case of county boroughs which were extremely necessitous would be put before the Committee; but the question of equalisation within the counties, in order to relieve the poorer parishes, which had lost the local management of their education, should also be considered. The Government had given, in respect of the poverty of those poor districts, a large sum of money; but they had given half of it absolutely to the county as a whole, and the county was given discretion as to whether half the other half, or another quarter, should be given to the poor districts. Why should the county have that invidious task put upon it? It seemed to him that a larger share should be given to the poor districts, and that there should be some attempt at equalisation. The hon. Member for the South Molton Division put a Question to the First Lord of the Treasury on the subject the other day. The hon. Member asked if the expenses charged to the present School Board areas would be included in the expenses of the local 1148 education authority; and it was an extraordinary fact that the answer was in the affirmative. That brought out the absurdity of the situation. The proposal was one that would not stand the careful investigation of the Committee.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he quite admitted that the problem of how to meet the case of the pourer districts equitably was a very difficult one. Where the rateable value was lowest, the number of working class children to be educated was, as a rule, highest, and where the rateable value was highest, the number of working class children to be educated was, as a rule, lowest. That being so, the difficulty of meeting the case of the poorer districts was very great. For instance, in Bournemouth the rateable value was £390,000, the number of children to be educated was 3,400, and 1d. in the £ brought in 9s. per child. In Gateshead, on the other hand, the rateable value was £340,000, the number of children to be educated was 14,240, and 1d. in the £ brought in 1s. 7d. per child. To devise a sliding scale which would meet two extremes of that kind was a very difficult task. How did the Government propose to meet them? They took all the Voluntary School Acts' money, except what belonged to London, which was not yet legislated for, and also the necessitous School Boards' money, amounting in all to £860,000. Then they added the new £900,000 described to the House by the Prime Minister, making a total of £1,760,000. First of all, they proposed to dispense 4s. per child all round; and, including London, that worked out at £824,600, leaving £935,400. Then they proposed a 1½d. sliding scale for every complete 2d. by which the amount which would be produced by a 1d. rate on the area of the authority fell short of 10s. a scholar. Their original proposal was a 1d. sliding scale; and the increase of a ½d. would increase the amount by £467,700, making a total of £2,227,700, of which £824,600 would be in the form of a fixed 4s. per child, and £1,403,100 in the form of a 1½d. sliding scale. He did not think 1149 that that was the best plan of dispensing the money. The fixed portion was too much, and the sliding scale portion was not enough. If the fixed portion were materially diminished, and the sliding scale portion increased, the money could be dispensed in such a way as to make it better for the poorer districts, and not quite so good for the richer districts. He himself had taken the trouble to work out the figures for every part of the country; and he would direct the attention of the Prime Minister to the solution he proposed. If the fixed portion were reduced to 2s., there would then be sufficient money to make the sliding scale, not 1½d. but 2d. A 2s. fixed portion would amount to £412,300, leaving a balance of £1,815,400 to be dispensed under the 2d. scale. He would take the two most extreme cases, In the case where a 1d. in the £ only brought in 1s. per child, under the Government scheme, such a district would get a fixed grant of 4s. a child, and under the 1½d, scale it would get 6s. 9d. or a total of 10s. 9d. The other extreme limit was where 1d. in the £ brought in 10s. a child. In that case, the fixed grant of 4s. would be paid, but nothing would he paid under the sliding scale. That was a difference between the two cases of 6s. 9d., but the difference in the 1d. rate was 9s. and accordingly 6s. 9d. would not meet the differentiation. His proposal would involve exactly the same amount of money. In the case where the 1d. produced only 1s. a child, 2s. would be paid as the fixed grant, and 9s. under the 2d. sliding scale or a total of 11s. In the other case, where a 1d. rate produced 10s. per child, the fixed grant of 2s. would only be paid, and nothing would be given under the sliding scale; and the total would be 2s. and 9s., the difference between the product of the 1d. rate in both cases. The net result would be that by narrowing down the fixed portion and increasing the sliding scale, the same amount of money would be spent, viz. £2,227,700, but a little would be taken off the richer districts and put on the poorer districts. Curiously enough, the special aid grant would be exactly the difference between what a 1d. rate would produce in the different districts. He would suggest to the First Lord of the 1150 Treasury that that would be a more equitable scheme. The Government scheme was a good scheme as far as it went; but it made the fixed grant too much, and the sliding scale not wide enough to provide for the extreme differentiation in the amount produced by the 1d. rate. All the intermediate cases between a 1d. rate producing 1s. and 10s. would work out similarly under his scheme. He apologised for dealing with the matter in detail, but it was desirable that they should arrive at some scheme under which the money could be spent in such a way as to equitably deal with the great differentiation in rateable values. The new proposal with reference to the 3d. rate was, in his opinion, an improvement on the rigidity of the original scheme. He agreed that an obligation should be put on the locality to pay something. Indeed, he regarded that as vital; not that he wished to see more rates raised, but because he wanted people who had contracted themselves out for thirty-two years, largely because of the preference they said they had for a particular form of religious instruction, to be made to pay something. He was glad the Government had the courage to impose a local obligation to pay something. Otherwise, he had not the shadow of a doubt that towns like Preston, Stockport, and St. Helens would at once say, "We are going to get this new special aid grant; our schools are not so bad after all; we will be much better off; and there will be no need for us to raise a local rate at all." He was more glad than he could express that the Government had insisted in putting on a local obligation. But, modified though it was, the 3d. rate was more or less arbitrary. For instance, in Bournemouth a 3d. rate would raise 25s. a child, whereas in Stockport it would only raise 6s. a child, owing to the higher rateable value and the smaller number of working class children in the former as compared with the latter district. But Bournemouth must raise 25s. per child, otherwise it would be fined, even under the modified scheme. The scheme did not say that a 3d. rate should be raised, but that, if it were not raised, the locality would be fined to an amount representing the 1151 difference between a 3d. rate, and the rate they did raise. It was almost impossible to fix a standard of local obligation which would not be arbitrary in its incidence. The higher the rateable value the smaller would be the number of working class children, and the lower the rateable value, the larger would be the number of working class children. Therefore, the 3d. rate, modified as proposed, would be more or less an arbitrary standard. He did not like the phrase of 3d. in the £ in all new cases, because there was a grave danger that it would be stereotyped as the educational maximum instead of the minimum the Government intended it to be. The eight county boroughs and the 250 non-county boroughs which had never had a rate would say "3d. is the amount we are to go to, and we will go to that but no farther." He did not wish it to become fixed as the statutory maximum, which would be a most disastrous thing. In regard to the distribution of any new special aid grant, the Government should narrow the fixed portion and widen the sliding county scale. While he was glad that the Government would insist upon there being a local obligation, he should be sorry to find it fixed in the Bill at 3d. in the £. He would rather have had a proportionate grant and a widening of the sliding scale. He would rather see it put down at three-fourths by the State and one-fourth by the locality.
§ (4.20.) MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
thanked the Government, on behalf of those who desired a charge on the rates that would not be unduly burdensome, for the concession they had made. It would be a monstrous thing to attempt in this Bill to fine in the future the districts which had hitherto been under a purely voluntary system. Although he agreed that the ratepayers must bear a fair share of the burden, when it cause to the question of what that fair share was, there was no reason for making the burden heavier than was necessary to obtain an efficient system of education. Anything beyond that was harmful, and made the ratepayers dislike education. The proposal of the hon. Member for North Camberwell to reduce 1152 the grant to 2s. per head and widen the sliding scale, would not specially favour the extremely poor districts. It would put aside certain advantages which the voluntary districts had had, and which ought not to be taken away from them in the future. It would place a fine upon those districts which had a voluntary system, and be exceedingly hard on the county districts in which there was a mixed system. The right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean had talked about an equalization of rates up to the old School Board standard. This Bill took the burdens off particular districts and put them on the country at large, but beyond that the right hon. Gentleman desired the equalization of rates between county and country.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that what he desired was equalization of the rates, not as between county and county, but within the county itself.
§ MR. CRIPPS
was glad the right hon. Baronet did not desire equalization as between county and county, as that was really a monstrous proposal and one which ought never to be made. As regard the 3d. rate, under the Clause as it originally appeared, it was to be levied in every district whether it was wanted or not. That would have been not only very unfair, but tremendously wasteful. Districts in which, because the educational necessities were met from either voluntary sources. Endowments, or State grants, the money was not required, would have been obliged to levy this 3d. rate. That was an impossible position to take up. However, the Government had not altered their proposal. But even under the altered circumstances, he though the rates ought not to be called on. He could not see why a district, which had sufficient money for educational purposes, should be obliged to raise a rate in order to get a grant to which they were otherwise entitled. He had no objection on principle when it was a question of the division of the amount between the State grant and the rates. In the present form of the proposal the Government had done all they could have been expected to do, and he heartily thanked the Prime Minister for the concession he had made.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that as a general principle he was opposed to grants-in-aid, but the one under discussion was of a much better character than any the Government had proposed during the last six years inasmuch as it did not differentiate between classes of people or classes of schools. Moveover, if there were to be grants-in aid at all, those for educational purposes were the most justifiable. It was all very well for the hon. Member for North Camberwell to attack poor little rural districts because they did not contribute much to the rates, but seeing what a hard struggle it was for the little tradesmen to scrape a living and for others to raise their rent, it was really a matter of surprise that they levied any rates whatever for educational purposes or anything else that they could avoid, and any provision that would lighten the burden of rates upon them would be an advantage to education itself. The Welsh School Boards had been severely criticised. No doubt the attendance compared unfavourably with that in some of the rich English boroughs, and the equipment and staff were inferior but the reason was given in the very figures quoted by the hon. Member, because they proved that even that poor equipment cost more proportionately than that in the richer boroughs. The difficulty was one of rating, and, much as he loathed grants in aid, he was glad the Prime Minister had introduced this proposal; in his opinion it would be the least objectionable Clause in the Bill. The difficulty was not so much equalisation between county and county, or town and town, as equalisation within the county itself. The cost of a building, ordered by the Board of Education, even though inefficiently equipped, was prohibitive to a poor parish. Could not the Prime Minister find some means of meeting such cases? If the right hon. Gentleman would provide that out of the subvention the County Council should make a grant in aid of buildings, it would be a considerable relief to the poor parishes, and would hardly hit the county at all. It would probably represent less than ½d. rate to the county, but it meant a difference of 1s. or perhaps 1s. 6d. to the parish. Seeing that the Necessitous School Boards Act was being repealed, 1154 these places would not get so much relief after all; therefore he hoped some distinction would be made in favour of the poor little parishes.
§ SIR H. MEYSEY - THOMPSON (Staffordshire, Hands worth)
said that as the question of Mr. Forster's opinion had been raised, he rose for the purpose, not of discussing the proper rate that should be levied, but of stating what he heard Mr. Forster himself say on the point. At the time of the Education Bill of thirty years ago he went with his father, who took a very great interest in the question of education, to stay at a house in Yorkshire, where they met Mr. Forster. The whole question of the Bill was discussed, and Mr. Forster was asked the question: "Why do you not fix a limit to the rate?" to which he replied: "Well, I nearly decided to put a limit of 4d.; the reason I did not do it was that I thought, if the limit was put in, every education authority would think it necessary to spend the 4d., whereas I think it ought to be done easily for 2d. or 3d."
§ MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
asked whether the basis on which the assessment would be made would be the county basis or that of the particular area under the local education authority.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir ROBEBT FINLAY, Inverness Burghs)
It is the county basis.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, N.)
expressed his great regret that the House should have to discuss this intricate question without the benefit of the views of the local authorities on the matter. The Government had pursued a most extraordinary course. In June last the First Lord of the Treasury announced this new Clause; it was tabled some time afterwards, but it was not until Friday morning last the present form of the Clause was published, while that very afternoon an alteration had been made, which the Members 1155 would have to discuss from their recollection of its object rather than their knowledge of its terms. A more inconvenient or unfortunate course could not be imagined. The complaints as to the heavy burden the Bill would throw on the rates were made before the Second Reading of the measure. The Government, therefore, had had all the facts before them for some months, and why they should have waited until now to mature their plans assed comprehension. On that side they held very strongly that the Committee had not been properly treated in the matter, and he felt bound to voice that feeling.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause read a second time.
§ (4.45.) MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
moved the omission of the words; "under Section 97 of The Elementary Education Act, 1870, as amended by The Elementary Education Act, 1897." He was anxious to state the case in which certain necessitous School Board districts were very much interested, and he wished to suggest a rearrangement of the grants proposed by this Clause. He recognised that if the sole result of this Amendment meant an increase of taxation he should be out of order, but the consequence of the Amendment he moved would be to cause a rearrangement of the last part of the Clause. He thought he would be able to show the Committee that the right hon. Gentleman had not submitted a scheme which would carry out the intentions already expressed by the Government. He would try to state his case as shortly as he possibly could. In 1870 it was recognised that the imposition of a rate for educational purposes would inflict upon certain districts an exceptionally heavy burden, and the Act of 1870 tried to make provision to meet the necessities of those places. It provided that in those districts if the 3d. rate did not produce a sum equal to 7s. 6d. per child in average attendance, such district would be entitled to an additional grant to bring up that sum to 7s. 6d. That system existed for twenty-seven years. But in 1896 the terrible condition in which certain urban and rural districts had been placed by the 1156 increased demands of the State, caused the position to be brought before Parliament, and this resulted in an alteration of the law in 1897. In 1897 they passed the Necessitous School Boards Act, under which an attempt—and a very earnest and successful attempt—was made to deal with certain exceptionally heavily rated districts. The Government of that day tried to find—and he thought did find—a very clear definition of what constituted necessity with regard to the School Board rate. They laid down that it should depend upon three factors; (1) the rateable value of the district; (2) the number of children to be educated; and (3) the amount of rate which had to be levied locally in order to discharge the statutory obligation. He wanted to lay stress upon the third factor. It was then agreed that they could not accurately define "necessity" unless they kept in mind in addition to the rateable value the amount of the rate which was to be levied in the district. If one district was entirely supplied by voluntary schools transferred to the new authority, though its rateable value and child population might be exactly the same as another district which had to supply all its schools, the charge which would accrue in the second case would be much higher than the other. It had already been pointed out that in order to deal adequately with such cases some grant must be made not only towards maintenance but to the cost of the buildings. In the Act of 1897 the cost of the buildings was carefully considered, and he needed only to quote the-opinion which had been arrived at by the Royal Commission on Local Taxation, written by Lord Balfour of Burleigh himself, which stated that in the Act of 1897 an exceedingly ingenious and effective scheme had been discovered of dealing with this necessity. Only five years ago this principle was adopted, and now, under this Bill it was to be entirely thrown aside although it had worked well for five years and had the most cordial support of the Royal Commission on Local Taxation. And why? As far as he could understand because the Government were of the opinion that the present scheme met the necessity, or else because they thought it was difficult to find an adequate remedy. In 1896 the difficulty 1157 was declared to be insuperable, but in 1897 it was overcome. He was not suggesting that they should revert to the Bill of 1897, but that the same principle should be incorporated in this Bill. What would be the effect of this scheme throughout the country? The scheme of the Government recognised two factors only, child population and rateable value, and upon those two factors alone would the new grant be distributed. Everyone realised that under the new Government scheme the 4s. per child would be distributed irrespective of the wealth or poverty of the district. Then they came to the sliding scale, which depended entirely upon the rateable value and the child population. If every district were equally supplied with school buildings there would be much to be said for this scheme, but when they realised that in some districts every school required was at present a charge upon the local rates and would remain so for some time, that the rateable value was low and the child population was very high, they had the whole of those three factors in the most aggravated form, and nothing was being done by the Government to meet these special cases. Those districts would not be one whit better off. He was more particularly interested in the great county borough of West Ham, with a population of nearly 300,000, and its enormous number of children, the majority of them being educated in board schools, and with the prospect of having to take over more than 7,000 children now in the voluntary schools. He had often brought before the House the disastrous taxation already pressing upon that borough. West Ham was a town larger than Nottingham, and with a larger child population, and it had a school rate which Nottingham would tremble at the very prospect of. The School Board rate in West Ham was 2s. 6½d., although they received, under the Act of 1897 the sum of about £18,000 a year. The Government proposed to sweep away that money under the lines he was moving to omit, and in lieu thereof they proposed to give another grant. The other grant, however, did nothing inure nor less than take the place of that money, but under the amended form of the Government proposal there would he added a sum of about £4,800, and that was all. That sum would only grant the smallest possible relief to the very heavy charge which 1158 would have to be undertaken in the education of those 7,000 additional children in the voluntary schools. How were they left as compared with other towns not necessitous? Bath would escape with a 5½d. rate. The figures he was quoting were based upon the latest Departmental Returns, and if they were inaccurate the margin of inaccuracy would remain the same throughout the whole of the towns. Bath would have a 5½d. rate, while West Ham would have a rate of 2s. 7½d. Could anybody believe that the scheme which the Government outlined in the earlier stages of this Bill was being carried out when two towns were being left in a position so exceedingly unequal as that? Birmingham would have the whole of the additional charge under this Bill entirely met by Government grants, and would be left with a school rate of 1s. 1½d. Therefore Birmingham, which was rich, with a comparatively small child population of about 15 per cent. as compared with 18 per cent. in West Ham in the public elementary schools—Birmingham, with a higher rateable value, would discharge its obligation to the State by the payment of an education rate of 1s. 1½d., and yet the districts to the East of London, the County Borough of West Ham, and the non-county boroughs in the south-cast of Essex, would have the burden which presses upon them heavily already accentuated by this Bill. Nothing whatever was done by the Government scheme to meet these burdens except this paltry additional grant of less than £5,000, which would accrue to them under the amended form of the scheme, and they did not even get that on the original form of the proposal. It had been stated that the obvious object of this new aid grant was to diminish the burden thrown upon the locality by the operation of this Bill. He had already pointed out to the Committee that there were districts to the east of London where that burden would not be diminished to the extent of a 1d. rate, while there were other districts where the whole of the additional burden would be borne, and where the rate at present levied would possibly be reduced. In Portsmouth he heard one of the leading aldermen of the town, who had held the position of mayor, declare that the scheme of the Government would not only meet all their 1159 charges but would take 2d. off the School Board rate. He could not see why towns like Portsmouth should be treated on a different footing to the towns which were already so heavily burdened. It could not be thrown at these East End districts that their rateable values had been made purposely low, for they had been assessed up to the utmost penny they could bear quite recently. Everything they could get hold of was rated, and yet, in spite of that, their rateable value was as low as £4 8s. 9d. per head of population. While they were heavily assessed they had an abnormally large number of children in attendance. Not a single one of their school debts was yet liquidated. The first school erected in the district had still a debt to pay off. He had shown to the Committee that what was now proposed by the Government entirely failed to meet the necessity pressing upon the ratepayers in the district. It might be suggested that although the School Board rate was heavy, the other rates were light, but the fact was that the local rates worked out at 9s. 8d. in the £while the average of the country was somewhere between 7s. and 8s. He had tried, at the risk of the loss of lucidity, to compress his remarks as much as he could, but he should have failed in Ids duty if he had not raised his most emphatic protest against the terms of this Clause. He said frankly that he put his Amendment forward rather as a means of urging the Government to amend their scheme, to so modify it that urgent necessity might be relieved, and that some of the richer districts might bear a fair proportion of what was a national burden. Whitehall fixed the amount of the demand. The local authorities had practically no control over what they must do, and yet the localities were called upon to pay an alarming amount of the expenditure. He felt more strongly, as years went on, that inasmuch as this educational work was a national benefit, it ought to be a national burden thrown in the main on the central exchequer and not upon the local rates. Feeling that, he appealed to the Government to try to find some scheme before the Report stage which might meet the necessities of the districts.
Amendment proposed to the Clause—
In line 1, to leave out the words, 'And under Section 97 of the Elementary Education
Act, 1870, as amended by the Elementary Education Act, 1897.'"—(Mr. Ernest Gray.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ (5.3.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
My hon. Friend speaks with great force for the constituency which he represents. That constituency has been, ever since I have been concerned in these questions, a source of great anxiety to those who have had to deal legislatively or financially with educational problems. The truth is not that the borough which my hon. Friend represents is in every particular a part of London, with the exception of this very important particular from my hon. Friend's point of view, that it does not gain by the Equalisation of Rates Act, which affects the Metropolis as a whole. No doubt that does produce a most abnormal state of things. It produces a state of things to which I do not imagine any precise parallel can be found in any other part of the country. I am, therefore, the last of complain that my hon. Friend should appeal to the Government to try to find some remedy for that state of things, some alleviation which would content those whom he represents. I confess I cannot accept the particular solution he proposes. I am not absolutely sure that I understand the effect of the Amendment. If his idea is that my right hon. Friend is to give all the grant which he has just promised, and the grants to necessitous School Boards in addition, then I take it that the Amendment would be out of order, for it would certainly be in substance, whatever it was in from, asking the Committee to sanction a very large increase of the grant we have just been authorized by the House on Report to give in aid of education. Therefore, I conceive that is not the policy of my hon. friend.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY
I recognise that I should be out of order if the Amendment had that effect. This Amendment must necessarily be followed by other Amendments to secure a redistribution of the grant.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The policy which he actually adopts in view of the 1161 regulations of the House is not to ask any increase in the amount of the grant, but to ask that the existing grant should be diminished by the amount of the necessitous schools grant, and that the necessitous schools grant should be distributed as at present. I have not been able to work out the figures, but I am not at all sure that my hon. friend would gain much by that procedure. But in my case I think the Committee will feel that, although there may be hard cases, it would be quite impossible for us, and most undesirable, to abandon the general scheme of this Bill, which masses all the grants together, and gives them in one general sum, for the purpose of dealing with this or that exceptional case. I would remind the Committee, what my hon. friend is perfectly aware of, and what he practically acknowledged, that this Bill does him no injury, and that he will not be worse off under the Bill than he is at the present time, but that only there are other parts of the country which will benefit by the Bill more than he will benefit by it. I am afraid that is true, and I am afraid it is inevitable as long as you adhere to the policy which is the policy, I frankly admit, of the Bill. While you may vary of the maintenance charges, you cannot pool the buildings. I do not believe the Committee would really tolerate any proposals of that kind. If you once admit that a district which is obliged to provide all its schools must bear a heavier burden than the district which, by good fortune, or for some other reason, had a great many schools provided for it—so long as you admit that there is to be a difference of that kind, so long, I fear, you must admit that there must be a difference between West Ham and some other more fortunately situated districts. My hon. friend would not gain as much as he hopes to gain by the Amendment. No doubt the position of West Ham after the Bill passes will be as it is now, and that it will not be so financially fortunate as compared with certain other districts in the country. For these reasons I think the Government have really no choice but to vote against my hon. friend's Amendment.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
said the right hon. Gentleman had stated that they 1162 could not pool the buildings, but he had not offered to the Committee any argument in support of that. He had never heard any argument which had really gone to the point against the pooling of the liabilities of the provided schools. When the Government had taken away by what seemed to him to be the whole principle of the Bill, the local management of the schools by the elected representatives of the locality, it seemed to him that they had gone to the point which necessitated the equalisation, or something like the equalisation, of the charge for these schools. Of course that question did not very well arise on this Amendment. It was not possible for him to support the Amendment, which however, afforded an opportunity for the discussion of the question whether the money which was to be given should go directly to the district, or to somebody else on behalf of the district. The united districts did not receive the money direct, it went to somebody else for them. There were united districts much larger in population than the urban districts which were named in the Bill as separate districts, and yet the money which was given in respect of the liabilities of those united districts under this Clause was to go, not to them, but to the county, which was only bound to return one quarter, or one half if they so chose. These appeared to lam to be cases of monstrous and unnecessary injustice.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)
said he hoped the Government would look with a favourable eye on the suggestion made by the hon. Member for North Camberwell. What might be wanted for the Old Kent Road might not be suitable for an agricultural county. He desired to thank the First Lord of the Treasury for the concession he had made to the agricultural Members; the right hon. Gentleman had tempered the wind to the shorn lamb. He did not mean to say that they were satisfied. It was not their business to be satisfied, but they were grateful; and with an intelligent anticipation of events before they happened, he hoped they should have further relief from the rates before long. He was bound to say that, as a humble agricultural 1163 Member, he would do his best to persuade his supporters that the First Lord and the Government had, under very difficult circumstances, endeavoured to do their best in this matter.
§ MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
said that the hon. and gallant Member for Chelmsford had said that it was not his business to be satisfied with the Government proposal, and neither was it the business of the Opposition to be satisfied. There were extreme cases like West Ham and some rural districts which would be saddled with great liabilities. In his own constituency—the county borough of Oldham—the rates amounted to 6s. 8d. in the £, of which the school rate was 1s. 9d., and the amount received would only be 1s. 6d. per scholar. The hon. Member for West Ham had, however, not stated what his proposal would amount to in regard to the other grants, and therefore while he agreed with him in principle he could not vote with him.
§ MR. D. J. MORGAN (Essex, Walthamstow)
said that the case of his constituency was as bad as that of West Ham, where the population was almost entirely made up of working men from London, and the district had to educate their children.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ (5.25.) MR. LOUIS SINCLAIR (Essex, Romford)
said he agreed with the right hon. Baronet the Member for Forest of Dean, that it was a great pity that they had not had an opportunity of consulting the local authorities in regard to this Clause. Under the provisions of the Bill as originally drafted, instead of the necessitous districts being better off than before, they would be worse. In East Ham instead of getting 8s. 10d. per scholar they would only receive 8s. 2d. under the new scheme. He urged on the Government that a sliding scale was absolutely necessary. It was imperative that some arrangement should he arrived at by which the necessitous districts should be put in such a position as to educate the young children who resided there. He wished this Bill when it became an Act to work easily and 1164 smoothly, and it was necessary that there should be no injustice done to any part of the United Kingdom; and that could only be done by the adoption of a sliding scale.
In line 6, to leave out 'a sum equal to 4s. per scholar' in order to insert 'Wherever the product of 1d. rate in the area of the authority is more than 2s. 6d. per scholar, a sum equal to 3s. per scholar.'"—(Mr Louis Sinclair.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said his hon. friend and the Committee would see that this was an Amendment which could not possibly be accepted. If he understood the words of the Amendment correctly, the effect of them would be to make the grant more in certain cases.
That was the effect of the hon. Member's Amendment, but the hon. Member must have meant less.
§ MR. LOUIS SINCLAIR
said the words of the Amendment were the converse of what he desired to move, but his position was that as he could not move a reduction, he had to move an increase.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
expressed great sympathy with the hon. Member, who was not in a position to move what he really desired, but at the same time he felt sure that the hon. Member would see that the Amendment was one which the Government could not possibly accept.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he desired to move an Amendment, in line 7 to strike out the words "per scholar." The wording of the Clause as it appeared; upon the Paper did not carry out the obvious intention of the Government—An additional sum of 1½d. per scholar, for every complete 2d. by which the amount which would be produced by a 1d. rate on the area of the authority falls short of 10s. a scholar.Supposing they took a district in which there were ten scholars and in which the 1165 1d. rate produced £2 10s. Ten shillings a scholar would amount to £5. The 1d. rate would be £9 10s., and therefore the amount produced by the penny rate would fall short of the amount required by £2 10s. If each scholar was to receive 1½d. for every complete 2d. of the amount by which the rate fell short of the amount required—there were 300 twopences in £2 10s.—1½d. for every complete 2d. would give 37s. 6d. per scholar, or a total grant to the ten scholars of £18 15s. That was not the intention of the Government. The intention of the Government was to give 1½d. on every complete 2d.—not on every complete 2d. "per scholar." The object of his Amendment could be attained either by leaving out the words "per scholar" in line 7, or by inserting the words "per scholar" after the word "twopence" in line 8.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
thought his hon. friend was quite correct in his statement of the intention of the Government, and he would accept the Amendment but he would prefer it in the manner last suggested by the hon. Member.
Amendment made to the Clause—
In line 8, after the words 'twopence,' by inserting the words 'per scholar.'"(Mr. Gibson, Bowles.)
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
said it had been conclusively shown that there were a large number of poor parishes possessed of a School Board, the rates of which were extremely high. The First Lord of the Treasury had declined to accept the Amendment of the hon. Member on the ground that it was of an exceptional character and related to only one or two cases in the United Kingdom. The Amendment he now proposed to move was of a different character, the hard cases it was designed to meet being rather the rule than the exception. He quoted the amounts of the education rate in several parishes of Carnarvonshire, to illustrate the necessity for greater relief in extremely poor parishes. In such parishes throughout the country the cause of education would be indefinitely retarded unless 1166 the parish, and not the county, were made the unit in this financial Clause He knew a number of parishes in which a 1d. rate did not produce more than £10 a year.
In line 9, to the Clause, as amended, to leave out the word 'authority,' and insert the words 'parish served by the schools.'"—(Mr. Herbert Lewis.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'authority' stand part of the Clause, as amended."—(Mr. Herbert Lewis.)
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said the Amendment would not carry out the object of the hon. Member, as it was already provided in the earlier part of the Clause that the money should be annually paid to every local education authority. On the merits of the Amendment, he pointed out that the Government had already gone as far as they could to mitigate the burden on poorer parishes by increasing the payment from one-half to three-quarters of the twopence. He hoped the Committee would see that the Government had gone as far as it could in this matter, and would reject the Amendment.
SIR CHARLES DIL E
said if the hon. and learned Gentleman had confined himself to saying that the Amendment would not carry out the object his hon. friend the Member for Flint Boroughs had in view, he would not have had anything to say upon the matter, but the hon. and learned Gentleman went further and said that the Committee would recognise that the Government had gone as far as it could. He had never heard any argument from the Government which met the demand for a much bolder step in the direction of equalisation. The total grants under this Clause would now be considerably over two millions of money. In spite of this great increase in the grant, there was nothing being done towards equalising the charges on the parishes. He agreed that the Amendment would not carry out the view of his hon. friend, and therefore, he would try to raise the question at a later stage in order that a division might be taken upon it.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)
said the difficulties of the Committee had arisen from the Government Amendment having been put down on the Paper so late. The suggestion of his hon. friend the Member for Flint Boroughs seemed to him to be reasonable, and he did not think it ought to be brushed aside in this way. It was worthy of the attention of the
§ Committee. All his hon. friend said was, that having once arrived at the figure to be given to the local authority, they ought to provide for the proper and equitable distribution of the money, so as to make a distinction between rich and poor parishes. That he understood was the object of the Amendment.
§ (5.48.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 206; Noes, 85. (Division List No. 538.)1169
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Finch, George H.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fisher, William Hayes||Lawson, John Grant|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fison, Frederick William||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.|
|Baldwin, Alfred||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S|
|Balfour, RtHn Gerald W.(Leeds||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lockie, John|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Flower, Ernest||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Forster, Henry William||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fuller, J. M. F.||Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale)|
|Bigwood, James||Galloway, William Johnson||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gardner, Ernest||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Garfit, William||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond.||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Bull, William James||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Malcolm, Ian|
|Butcher, John George||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Campbel1, Rt. Hn. J.A(Glasgow||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe|
|Carew, James Laurence||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Carlile, William Walter||Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds||Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Grenfell, William Henry||Milvain, Thomas|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G(Midd'x||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Morgan, David J (Walth'mstow|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Chapman, Edward||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Heaton, John Henniker||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Helder, Augustus||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Percy, Earl|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Hogg, Lindsay||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh'm||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fr'dDixon||Howard, J.(Midd., Tottenham)||Purvis, Robert|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Pym, C. Guy|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)||Rankin, Sir James|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Johnstone, Heywood||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Kemp, George||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Ridley, Hon. M. W (Stalybridge|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Welby, Lt-Col. A. C.E (Taunton|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Stock, James Henry||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Samuel, Hebert L.(Cleveland)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G(Oxf'd Univ.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Seely, Maj. J. E. B(Isle of Wight||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Thornton, Percy M.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R (Bath)|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand||Valentia, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Spear, John Ward||Walker, Col. William Hall||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)||Walrond, Rt Hn. Sir William H.||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Harwood, George||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Allen, Charles P.(Glouc., Stroud||Hayne, Rt. Charles Seale-||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Holland, Sir William Henry||Spencer, Rt Hon C. R (Northants|
|Bell, Richard||Horniman, Frederick John||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jacoby, James Alfred||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Langley, Batty||Tennant, Harold John|
|Burns, John||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Caldwell, James||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Levy, Maurice||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||M'Arthur William (Cornwall)||Wallace, Robert|
|Cremer, William Randal||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wason, Eugene|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Moss, Samuel||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Moulton, John Fletcher||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Douglas, Charles M (Lanark)||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham||Whitley, J. H.(Halifax)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Paulton, James Mellor||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Edwards, Frank||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Wilson, Henry (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Philipps, John Wynford||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidst'ne||Pickard, Benjamin||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Ferguson, R. C. Mumo (Leith||Price, Robert John|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Rea, Russell|
|Gladstone, RtHn. Herbert John||Rickett, J. Compton||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Runciman, Walter||Mr. Herbert Lewis and|
|Grant, Corrie||Schwann, Charles E.||Mr. Samuel Evans.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Shackleton, David James|
§ (6.0.) MR. M'KENNA
moved to add at the end of line 9, the words, "provided that in estimating the produce of a 1d. rate in the area of the local education authority, not being a county borough the rate should be calculated on the assessment for county rates." Under the Clause the grant would be calculated with boroughs on the valuation for poor law purposes, whereas for the whole administrative county it would be on the valuation for county purposes. Under that plan, in a borough a particular building might be valued for poor law purposes at £50, whereas for county purposes the valuation might be only £40. As the grant was to be calculated on the relation between the rateable value and the number of scholars, it was very 1170 important that the valuation by which the amount of the grant was to be determined, should be accurately fixed. In many places property had been intentionally valued at a low rate, and the places in which that was the case would receive special advantage from this grant. The county basis was, generally speaking, very accurate, and it was only fair, as between different local education authorities within the same county, that the amount of grant should in every ease be based on the same valuation.
In line 9, at end to add—'provided that in estimating the produce of a 1d. rate in the area of the local education authority not being a county borough the rate shall be calculated on the assessment for county rates.'"—(Mr. M'Kenna.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
pointed out that all the county was concerned with, was to see that the relative assessments of the different areas within the county were correct. For the purposes of the county it did not matter what the amount of the assessment was so long as the proper proportion between the different areas was observed. The County Council had power to review the assessment of the relative areas, but with the actual amount they had nothing to do. He really thought there was no ground for the apprehension of the hon. and learned M ember, and he suggested that he should leave it to the areas to make their assessments correctly.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
agreed with the Attorney General that the only question to be decided was as to the relative proportions the various boroughs and districts had to pay. But could any better plan be suggested than that proposed by his hon. and learned friend? The county assessment was perfectly fair; it was calculated on the same basis throughout, and if the Government would look into the matter they would find that the method suggested in the Amendment was by far the best and most practicable that could be put forward.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
reminded the Government that they had admitted the existence of the kind of difficulty referred to by his hon. and learned friend, because in the King's Speech they promised a Valuation Bill. That measure had not yet seen the light, but its general idea was taken to be in the direction of carrying into effect the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Local Taxation. Those recommendations were, generally speaking, to assimilate the assessments throughout the different counties under whatever authority those assessments were made. The Amendment, therefore, had some significance.
§ MR. M'KENNA
was proceeding to quote from the Report of the Royal Commission on Local Taxation, when—
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY,
interposing, said that with a slight modification, there would be no harm in accepting the Amendment. If the hon. Member would move the Amendment in the following form he would adopt it—Provided that in estimating the product of a 1d. rate in the area of a local education authority not being a county borough the rate shall be, calculated upon the county rate basis.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
thought there was no necessity specially to designate quarter session boroughs. The precise words of the Amendment would be considered, and if necessary could be altered at a later stage.
Amendment was withdrawn, and the words suggested by the ATTORNEY GENERAL were agreed to.
Amendment proposed to the Clause, as amended—
To leave out from the word 'but,' in line 10, to the word 'accordingly,' in line 15, both inclusive, and insert the words, 'If in any year the total amount of Parliamentary grants payable to the local education authority would make the amount payable out of other sources by that authority, on account of their expenses under Part III. of this Act, less than the amount which would be produced by a rate of 3d. in the pound, the Parliamentary grant shall be decreased, and the amount payable out of other sources shall be increased by a sum equal in each case to half the difference.'"—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause, as amended."
§ (6.15.) DR. MACNAMARA
asked the Chairman whether it would be in order for him to move the Amendment he had handed in, as an alternative?
If the words of the original Clause are struck out, the hon. Member can move alternative words.
§ Question put and negatived.1173
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said the new Government form of the Amendment was preferable to what they had had before them up to now. He wanted to get back more to the Government's second edition of their original proposal. He admitted that the new proposal of the Government was an improvement, but he objected to the fixing of 3d. in the pound, for the reason that it might be taken as a statutory maximum of obligation and would be likely to become stereotyped as the amount to be raised by the local authority. Such a result would be very disastrous to the schools of the country. He was aware that hon. Members opposite said that 3d. in the pound was enough. Lord Salisbury had stated that it would be advisable to write up in letters two feet long over every board school that the rates should never he more than 3d. in the pound. He did not say that the proportion of three-fourths or four-fifths was a thoroughly equitable scheme, but if they laid down that the Government had to find a proportion they should avoid the extremely dangerous probability of it being said that the House of Commons had determined that the statutory maximum which they might be called upon to contribute locally was 3d. in the pound. He proposed as an Amendment the original form of the proviso modifying the three-fourths to three-fifths, because the Government had now found another half-million of money winch amounted to one-twentieth of the whole.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment—
To leave out all the words after the word But and insert the words, 'the total amount paid to any local education authority on account of all the Parliamentary grants in respect of elementary education, including the grant under this Section, shall not in any year exceed four-fifths of the total expenses of the authority under Part III. of the Act, and the amount payable under this Section to a local education authority shall, where necessary, be reduced accordingly.'"—(Dr. Macnamara.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ (6.20.) SIR ROBERT FINLAY
effect of this Amendment, in practice, will 1174 not be very extensive. The proposal is in itself an improvement, because it does away with the evil which exists, not in a large number of cases, but in cases where the rate would be under 3d. I think the apprehension expressed by my hon friend is really unfounded. He seems to think that if we mention a 3d. rate and provide for a certain deduction, it will come to be regarded as a sort of statutory limit. I cannot think that there is anything in that apprehension, because 3d. in the £ is not mentioned as the maximum anywhere. I rather wish it could be so mentioned. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh."]
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
What we do provide is that 3d. is the statutory minimum for the payment of the full Parliamentary grant; and how can the most careless person suppose that that is the maximum? The hon. Member opposite is afraid people will run away with the idea that 3d. is the maximum, but not even the man who runs as he reads could make that mistake. Therefore I think the hon. Member's apprehension may really be dismissed as unfounded. Now I pass to consider the argument put forward by the hon. Gentleman in support of his alternative proposal, which is a variation of the original Government proposal. He proposes that we should say that the Government contribution is not to exceed four-fifths of the total amount provided for in the expenditure or in the Budget for educational purposes for elementary education, and in case anything of that kind happens the Government grant should be reduced accordingly. I submit to the Committee that the proposal of the Government is a better one, for this reason. If you take the four-fifths then you put down £1 and get £4 of Government money. If you take it in reference to a 3d. rate, if you are under the 3d. the difference is shared, so that it is pound for pound from both local Government sources. I think the hon. Member will see that this really is better, having regard to the varying circumstances of the districts where the rates may be under or over 3d. in the £. Suppose we find the circumstances are such in a certain district that a 2d. rate would 1175 be enough for all the expenditure for elementary education, and suppose that a 2d. rate yielded £2,000. Of course a 3d. rate would yield £3,000 and £2,000 would be the full amount of the Government grant. What is proposed now by the Government is that that £1,000 should be divided between the district and the Government, so that the Government grant would be reduced by £500, and £500 would be put on the local rate, and thus you would have a 2½d. rate instead of a 2d. rate. I therefore submit to the Committee that the contention of the hon. Gentleman opposite in regard to the Government proposal is quite unfounded, and as a working proposal I think that what is put forward by the Government is likely to be far more effective
§ MR. WHITLEY
said this was a very difficult matter for the Committee to balance, having regard to the fact that so little time had been given them to consider the proposal of the Government. He was sure the Committee would pardon him if he tried to present another aspect of the case to that which had been put by the Attorney General. He thought the difference between these two schemes would have just the reverse effect to that which had been described by the Attorney General. Let them remember that the principle of a proportion between Imperial aid and the local rate aid for the purposes of education was fixed by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a protection to the country, at three-fourths and one-fourth, respectively. In the case of a local authority not inclined to spend any more than they could be forced to spend on elementary education, and who cared more for saving expenses than for the quality of the education in the district, what result would these two schemes have? According to the scheme of the Government, for every penny the local authority failed to raise they would only lose an equivalent penny of Government grant; whereas by the plan proposed by the hon. Member for North Camberwell, every authority who were so niggardly as to save a penny which they ought to spend would lose 4d. which they would otherwise receive out of the Exchequer, so that, looking at the two schemes from the point of view of progress in education, he had not the slightest doubt that by keeping the proportion of four-fifths to 1176 one-fifth there would be a greater stimulus given to education than by the plan proposed by the Government. He could imagine some local authorities saying, that rather than rate themselves to the extent of 3d. they would forego the equivalent 3d. of Government grant. In that way, under the Government proposal, it would be possible to have backward areas throughout the country where local authorities cared more for the saving of the rates than for the good of education. In Wales, in connection with secondary education, the principle was adopted of giving an equivalent grant of a halfpenny for a halfpenny, and he thought everyone would admit that that was a good principle, which had given a stimulus to secondary education there. He appealed to the Government to reconsider what he regarded as their hasty decision in this matter.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Morley)
said it seemed to him that in a great many places a 3d. rate, which might go a long way in regard to maintenance, would not go far if it included buildings. That being the case he should prefer the proportions proposed by the hon. Member for North Camberwell to those proposed by the Government. In the case of a borough which up to the present time had had no denominational schools, by fixing a minimum of 3d. in the way proposed they really fixed a maximum, and the whole of the money would be wanted for maintenance only. He did riot think there was any danger of misunderstanding the words When an Act of Parliament stated what was to be the minimum, there was a tendency to regard it as the maximum required.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he would point out to the hon. Member how the proposal of the hon. Member for North Camberwell would work in the poorer districts. If the Committee said the proportion was to be a fourth or a fifth, it would be possible to raise the rate to 1s., and that might be a heavy amount for a poor district to raise. Therefore this 3d. rate had been fixed in justice to the poorer districts.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said that in some cases the figure might reach 1s., but it was already 1s. in those cases. The Government scheme was to suggest that the amount had better be brought down
§ to 3d. That was what he wanted to avoid.
§ (6.35) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 219; Noes, 99. (Division List No. 539.)1179
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lockie, John|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Flannery. Sir Fortescue||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Flower, Ernest||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Forster, Henry William||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Balcarres, Lord||Galloway, William Johnson||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Gardner, Ernest||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. A.J. (Manch'r.||Garfit, William||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Gibbs, Hn. A.G. H. (City of Lond.||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Meysey-Thomson, Sir H. M.|
|Bigwood, James||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir _Frederick G.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Milvain, Thomas|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn)||Greene, Sir EW(B'ryS.Edm'nds||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Bull, William James||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Morgan, David J (Walth'mstow|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Grenfell, William Henry||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Butcher, James George||Gretton, John||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Carew, James Laurence||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Carlile, William Walter||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Murray, RtHn A. Graham (Bute|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G(Midd'x||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashf'rd||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Percy, Earl|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Chapman, Edward||Heaton, John Henniker||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Charrington, Spencer||Helder, Augustus||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Clive, Capt. Percy A.||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hogg, Lindsay||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hope, J.F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Howard, John (Kent, Faversh'm||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Howard, J (Midd., Tottenham)||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Ridley, Hon. M.W (Staly bridge|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Hutton, John (Yorks., N.R.)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Dicksion-Poynder, Sir John P.||Jobb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Roberts, John Bryn (Eition)|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Johnstone, Heywood||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Kemp, George||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Kennaway, Rt Hon. Sir John H.||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Keswick, William||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Kimber, Henry||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Farrell, Sir T. George||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lawson, John Grant||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Finch, George H.||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Fison, Frederick William||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Valentia, Viscount||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.)Yorks.)|
|Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Stock, James Henry||Walker, Col. William Hall||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wanklyn, James Leslie||Wylie, Alexander|
|Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxr'd Univ.||Warde, Colonel C.E.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Welby, Lt-Col A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Thornton, Percy M.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)||TELLERS FOE THE AYES—|
|Tritton, Charles Ernest||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Tuffnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Wilson, John (Glasgow)||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Tuke, Sir John Batty||Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh. N.)|
|Allan, SirWilliam (Gateshead)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Samuel, Herbert L (Cleveland)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud||Gordon, Sir W. Brampton||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Shackleton, David James|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Harwood, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bell, Richard||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Holland, Sir William Henry||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Horniman, Frederick John||Spear, John Ward|
|Burns, John||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Spencer, RtHn. C.R.(Northants|
|Caldwell, James||Jacoby, James Alfred||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Langley, Batty||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington||Tennant, Harold John|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Cremer, William Randal||Levy, Maurice||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lewis, John Herbert||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Lloyd-George, David||Toulmin, George|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Lough, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Wallace, Robert|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wason, Eugene|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Edwards, Frank||Moss, Samuel||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Moulton, John Fletcher||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H(Maidstone||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Paulton, James Mellor||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Pickard, Benjamin||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Price, Robert John|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Priestley, Arthur|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Rea, Russell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Rickett, J. Compton||Dr. Macnamara and Mr.|
|Grant, Corrie||Robson, William Snowdon||Whitley.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick||Runciman, Walter|
§ Words [of Mr. Balfour's Amendment, as amended,] inserted.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
said the Amendment he had placed on the Paper was designed to meet certain cases of hardship which would occur under the Bill as it stood. There were groups of rural districts which had hitherto acted as one for the purposes of education. These districts would now be merged in the counties. In his own constituency there was a rural school district with 30,000 population. And he knew of another case of two rural parishes, which had been grouped together by the Board of Education for the purposes of rating for education. There was a 1180 denominational school in one parish. The School Board District would now be broken up, but the parish would have to pay the county rate, pay for the denominational school, and would have also to pay the capital debt of the extinguished School Board District, with which in future they would have no connection at all. It seemed to be particularly hard, and totally impossible of explanation to the people, that they would have to pay 3d. or 4d. in the £. more than the people in the neighbourhood.
After the words last inserted, to insert in the Clause the words, '(2) The amount paid
under this Section shall be allocated by the local education authority in the first instance to the expenses referred to in paragraphs (c) and (d) of sub-Section 1 of Section 13, if any such expenses are incurred by them.'"—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the Bill did not create the hard cases to which the right hon. Baronet referred. He admitted that the Bill would not cure them, but it would mitigate them. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to make universal a grievance which was at present casual and sporadic. The grievance was that certain artificially amalgamated parishes, which had got schools of their own, were obliged to pay fo schools built in other parishes, and that grievance, which now existed only in these artificially amalgamated areas, the right hon. Gentleman wanted to extend to every county in the kingdom. In the case of a parish which built a school twenty-five years ago and had five years more of the debt to run, the right hon. Gentleman, he understood, would pool the charge; but, on the other hand, in the case of the parish which had for thirty years been paying a heavy charge for its buildings, were they to recoup it? And if not, why not If it were urged, on grounds of equity, that they should give the privilege to the parishes which came late into the field in regard to the provision of their schools, why should they refuse redress to the parishes which came early into the field? As to the limit fixed, while thinking that the county authority should not be relieved of all obligations in respect of School Board areas, they had thought that all obligations should not be imposed upon them. They had taken the middle course, believing it wise to leave some discretion and latitude to the education authority in order that varying circumstances and cases might not be left out of sight.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
said he did not feel quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman had authority for believing that in every case the Government had succeeded in alleviating the grievance.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
It should be remembered that the poor parishes would lose the necessitous board school. At present the grants earned by a parish were used entirely for that parish, but that would not be so in the future. They would now go to the County Councils and be distributed over the county area. So that against the alleviation to which the right hon. Gentleman referred must be put on the other side of the account the fact that the parishes would lose the advantage they had before of that portion of the grant earned by them. He submitted that the loss would be far greater than any gain which might accrue from the proposals of the Government.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he regretted the Government could not see their way to admit the case put forward by his right hon. friend. The Government had taken upon themselves to lay down principles which they had not the courage to carry out. They were setting up a county management of schools, and they ought to be prepared to face the logical conclusion of their scheme. They came forward with a one authority scheme and a one rate scheme, and several of the Opposition took the view that such a scheme had advantages, the greatest advantage being that there would be a separate rate for each area which would enable the authority to set up a good school in the district. But when the Government laid down general principles they did not, unfortunately, carry them out. The logical conclusion to the scheme of the Government would be to place the whole burden of setting up primary education on the county as a whole. If police stations could be made a county charge, why not schools? The small districts were not fairly dealt with.
§ MR. CHANNING
said he represented a district where the details of this particular question had been discussed for years, and where the grievances pointed out would be severely felt. Four at least of the School Boards in that division were necessitous boards, from the heavy expenditure they had faced in providing excellent schools. He could assure the Prime Minister that many of those who supported him 1183 politically in 1886 and on other occasions when similar suggestions to those embodied in this Bill were under discussion were not disinclined to the proposal to place schools under a county authority, because they believed that these liabilities would be dealt with in a broad and generous spirit. These classes of ratepayers would be profoundly disappointed at the way in which it was proposed to deal with them now. It was only fair to those districts which had contributed in these costly schools solid assets to the county educational system that when they were surrendering the control of the schools they should receive generous treatment in respect to meeting the liabilities incurred in providing the schools.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
hoped the Government had not said their last word on this matter, for he thought a very strong case had been made out showing the great hardship to small localities which must necessarily ensue by reason of the proposals of the Government, not-withstanding the way in which they met the Committee on Clause 13. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister had asked whether in the parishes where large expenditure had occurred, the expenditure should be repaid. That, of course, was impracticable, but at the same time to draw a hard and fast line in the Bill would create a very great grievance. The suggestion of his right hon. friend was merely that the Government should begin anew. In the case of a School Board district which might have paid the whole of its debts at the end of this year the School Board of that district had no great burden, but in a few years it might be necessary for them to extend their buildings. That expense it was proposed to place on the county authority,
§ but in the case of a building just erected the building was taken away which had been built with the money of the district, and the people were to be told that they had nothing to do with the matter, except to pay the debt they had incurred in the interests of education. If against such a state of things it could be shown that the burden would be spread over the whole country, and that no particular portion could be made to suffer, it would be an equitable settlement, but the arrangement which was now made was not equitable.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
pointed out that there were a number of small villages where a rate brought in a precept of from £5 to £25. These villages, at the present time, were rated very heavily, and they had each a liability of from £3,000 to £5,000 in respect of the school they had built. The Government now said to them that they would have to pay the county rate of 3d. and also a differentiated rate until they had wiped out their liabilities, and if they built a new school there would be a differentiated rate until they had paid that also. In the case of those villages which were never rated, and the schools of which were provided out of voluntary resources, that was not a communal charge, and he thought it grossly unjust that those villages which had contracted themselves out for many years should now be asked to pay for those villages which had voted for education in the past. It seemed to him that the scheme of the Amendment was eminently reasonable, and he regretted that the Government had not seen their way to adopt it.
§ (7.23.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 95; Noes, 213. (Division List No. 540.)1187
|Allan, Sir-William (Gateshead)||Channing, Francis Allston||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)|
|Allen, Charles P.(Glouc., Stroud||Craig, Robert Hunter||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cremer, William Randal||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Dalziel, James Henry||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Bell, Richard||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Gladstone, RtHn. Herbert John|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Grant, Corrie|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Duncan, J. Hastings||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)|
|Burns, John||Edwards, Frank||Griffith Ellis J.|
|Caldwell, James||Emmott, Alfred||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Evans, Sir Francis H(Maidstone||Harmsworth, R. Leicester|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Philipps, John Wynford||Thomas F. Freeman-(Hastings)|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Pickard, Benjamin||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)|
|Lambert, George||Price, Robert John||Toulmin, George|
|Langley, Batty||Priestley, Arthur||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Leyland-Barrett, Francis||Rea, Russell||Wallace, Robert|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Rickett, J. Compton||Wason, Eugene|
|Leng, Sir John||Robson, William Snowdon||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Levy, Maurice||Runciman, Walter||White, Luke (York, E. R)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)||Whiteley, Geo. (York, W. R.)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Shackleton, David James||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Lough, Thomas||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Macnamera, Dr. Thomas J.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R)|
|M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Soares, Ernest J.||Yoxall, James, Henry|
|Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Spencer, RtHn C.R.(Northants|
|Moss, Samuel||Stevenson, Francis S.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Palmer, Sir Charles M.(Durh'm)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Sir Charles Dilke and|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Tennant, Harold John||Mr. Alfred Hutton.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Johnstone, Heywood|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Faber, George Denison (York)||Kemp, George|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Finch, George H.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Balcarres, Lord||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Keswick, William|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fisher, William Hayes||Kimber, Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r||Fison, Frederick William||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th|
|Bigwood, James||Flower, Ernest||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Forster, Henry William||Lawson, John Grant|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S.W||Legge, Col Hon. Heneage|
|Bowles, Capt. H.F.(Middlesex)||Galloway, William Johnson||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Bowles, T. Gibson(King's Lynn||Gardner, Ernest||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Garifit, William||Lockie, John|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H. (City of Lond.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Bull, William James||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S.|
|Butcher, John George||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets||Lonsdale, John Brownlce|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Greene, Sir EW (B'ryS.Edm'nds||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Grenfell William Henry||Milner, Rt Hon. Sir Frederick G.|
|Chapman, Edward||Gretton, John||Milvain, Thomas|
|Charrington, Spencer||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G(Midd'x||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hardy, Laurence Kent, Ashf'rd||Morgan, David J (Walth'mstow|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Heaton, John Henniker||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Helder, Augustus||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Dewar, Sir T.R.(Tower Hamlets||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Percy, Earl|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hogg, Lindsay||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Howard, John(Kent, Faversh'm||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Purvis, Robert|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Pym C. Guy|
|Dunning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Quitter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Rankin, Sir James||Smith, Hon. W.F.D. (Strand)||Walrond, RtHn. Sir William H.|
|Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Spear, John Ward||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)||Welby, Lt-Col A.C.E. (Taunton|
|Ridley, Hon M. W. (Stalybridge||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Stock, James Henry||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Roberson, Herbert (Hackney)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh, N.)|
|Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Strut, Hon. Humphry Napier||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Round, Rt. Hon. James||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath)|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Talbot, RtHn. J.G.(Oxf'd Univ.||Worley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.||Thornton, Percy M.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Shaw-Stewart, M.H. (Renfrew||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Tully, Jasper||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romfield)||Valentia, Viscount||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Smith, Abel, H. (Hertford, East)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ 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.