§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1.
The first Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Anglesey is not admissible. It is not open to him to move to postpone a sub-section; he can move to postpone a clause.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
then moved that the whole of Clause 1 be postponed. His reason for so doing was that three absolutely different matters which ought to have been dealt with in separate clauses were included in the clause. If they were included by mistake it was a serious error, but if they were included by intention it was a scandal. Were all these matters included in one clause in order that Clause 1, which was the whole Bill, might be obtained by one Motion of the closure? (Cheers.) If that were so, it was an abuse of drafting which he thought the Prime Minister, once his attention was called to it, with his sense of fairness would not countenance. He moved the Amendment in order to give the right hon. Gentleman an opportunity even at the twelfth hour to make amends. The first section dealt with transfer of powers; the second with financial matters and the deduction under certain circumstances of money from Parliamentary grants; and third, did what had never been done before—it made the Act retrospective. The right hon. Gentleman in a moment of caution and frankness admitted—
Order, order. The point the hon. Member is now raising is not relevant to his Motion. The Amendment of the hon. Gentleman was not in order. Clause 1 could not be postponed because there was nothing to postpone it to, the clause being the whole Bill. The only other clause, Clause 2, deals with the title of the Bill.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
With great respect I am giving reasons for postponing the clause so that the Prime Minister may put things right.
That is perfectly obvious. There is nothing to postpone the clause to. To make the Short Title first and the operative part second would be to invert the usual order of drafting a Bill.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
asked whether there was any remedy under the rules of the House. Was there not power in the Chair to protect the House against drastic action of this kind on the cart of the Government?
said that perhaps the object of the hon. Member for Anglesey could be attained by moving to omit Sub-section 1, and if the Amendment were successful the sub-section could be brought up as a new clause.
§ MR. WHITLEY
But is there no power in the Chair to protect the House against proceedings of this kind?
The draftsman-ship of Bills is a matter which rests with 1222 the Government or hon. Member introducing them. The Chairman has no power to deal with that.
§ MR. McKENNA (Monmouthshire N.)
said it was clear that the clause dealt with three entirely different matters and he ventured to believe that had any private Member proposed to do such a thing, or to add to one clause two entirely different matters the Chairman would have refused permission. He submitted that it was in the power of the Chair—he would go further and say it was the duty of the Chair—to protect the House against this abuse of drafting. Cries of ["Order."] Yes and he made that statement with all respect for the Chair. He had not the least desire to be disrespectful, but he submitted that acting on the principle which had guided his decisions in the past the Chairman ought now to rule that Sub-sections 2 and 3 should be brought up in separate clauses.
As I have already stated the drafting of a Bill rests with the Government who brings it in. The hon. Gentleman wants me to split up Clause 1 into three separate clauses. There is no inherent power in the Chair to do anything of the sort.
§ MR. McKENNA
Then I ask leave to move that the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
§ MR. McKENNA
Will you allow me to say one word on the point before you decide not to accept the Motion. Assuming that you have not power to compel the Government to divide this clause into three clauses, may I submit that it is only on a Motion to report Progress that the Opposition can call attention to the abuse of drafting on the part of the Government. Surely that is a sufficient ground why you should accept the Motion.
I cannot accept the Motion. I have already pointed out to the hon. Member for Anglesey that he can raise the question by moving to omit Sub-section 1 with the avowed object of bringing it up again as a new clause.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
Could that Motion be put in such a way as not to interfere with the Amendment on the Paper?
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said it surely was the duty of the Chairman to protect the minority in this respect. It was obvious that the object in thus drafting the Bill was so as to be able to closure it in one Motion. He quite accepted the ruling that it was not in the power of the Chair to divide the clause into three clauses, but he submitted that the Committee had the right, by a Motion to report Progress, to protest against this most scandalous abuse of the power of the Government.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
drew the attention of the Chairman to the marginal notes. These notes were required to be attached to a Bill by the orders of the House so that the Speaker or Chairman should have some guidance in ruling the proceedings of the House. Now this marginal note did not cover all the proposals of the clause, and surely it was open to the Chair to insist that the clause should be divided so that proper marginal notes could be inserted.
I can alter the marginal note, and if the hon. Member will suggest an alteration I will make it.
We must follow the usual course. I will endeavour so far as I can to save the Amendments which hon. Members have put down on the Paper. There are one or two which would have to be sacrificed under any circumstances.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
moved to omit Sub-section 1, in order to give the Prime Minister an opportunity of justifying so gross a scandal as this. Three substantial matters were crowded into one clause with an object which was per- 1224 fectly transparent. It was clearly done for the purpose of bringing the closure to bear on the clause as a whole. The Welsh Members were anxious to start the proceedings at any rate in a conciliatory spirit, and he appealed to the Prime Minister to meet them. If the right hon. Gentleman refused the opportunity, the responsibility would rest upon him.
In page 1, line 5, to leave out Sub-section(1)."—(Mr. Ellis Griffith.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'The Board of Education' stand part of the clause."
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
desired to respond to the wish to discuss the Bill in a conciliatory spirit, but if he might be allowed to say so, the theory of drafting which the hon. Member advocated was absolutely novel. If one took up the statutes lying on the Table he would find twenty, forty, or eighty cases in which a larger variety of matter was dealt with in one clause, and in particular he instanced, Clause 7 of the Education Act of last year and Clause 8 of the Local Government Act, 1894. In the latter case, the clause extended to one and a half pages, and the first sub-section alone dealt with such diverse matters as the power of parish councils to acquire land and buildings, to deal with recreation grounds, to utilise wells, springs, and streams, to deal with ponds, open ditches, and drains, to accept and to hold property, and many other subjects. In the drafting of the subsection the Government had not departed by one iota from the traditions handed down to them, and the hon. Member on this occasion had evidently forgotton his great acquaintance with the statute law of the country.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
was far from saying they had not gone a long way in recent years in putting matters diversi generis into one clause, but if they looked at the statutes of twenty or thirty years ago it would be seen that this was not an immemorial practice. It was a dangerous practice, and one which had been abused in the present case. As 1225 to the clause in the Act of 1902, to which reference had been made, there were so many objections to be taken to details that it was not to be wondered at if this particular objection was not insisted upon. But, after all, the whole clause dealt with the powers of the managers, and the subjects were such as might very fairly be embodied in one clause. But the practice of putting diverse matters into one clause was a dangerous pratice; it circumscribed the liberties of the House, and ought, therefore, to be resisted.
§ MR. SOARES
expressed his surprise that the Leader of the House should have adopted such a line upon this great constitutional question. Under the so-called Constitutional Party the liberties of this House were being gradually taken away. [MINISTERIAL laughter.] It was all verb well for hon. Members opposite to laugh, but in course of time the position would change, and then they would strongly object if a measure for, say, the taxation of land values was compressed into one clause and forced through the House.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
contended that the argument of the Prime Minister was altogether inadequate, because Clause 7 of the Education Act dealt really with one matter, the powers of the managers. But the procedure here adopted was part and parcel of the whole method of the Prime Minister to dragoon the House of Commons and prevent discussion. He had decided that Wales was to be coerced. Very well; let him try it. It would take greater intelligence than that of the hon. Member for St. Pancras who cheered the idea. All the powers conferred by this Bill would not be sufficient for the purpose. But let the Government proceed; the people of Wales were prepared to meet them. Before it was done, however, the whole thing ought to be fairly discussed in the House of Commons. But the right hon. Gentleman did not think the House of Commons ought to discuss any of his decrees. This was deliberately done in order to prevent discussion. The Prime Minister relied on his authority and influence over the Chair to do it.
§ SIR FORTESCUE FLANNERY (York-shire, Shipley)
I rise to order. Is the hon. 1226 Member in order in stating that any Member in this House relies on influence and authority over the Chair?
I do not know whether the insinuation relates to me or the Prime Minister. If it relates to the Prime Minister, I think it is in order; if it is directed against me, I think it is not in order.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he would put himself in order by attributing it to the Prime Minister. There was, as he thought, no doubt about it. It was a matter of common talk in the whole House. Everything had been compressed into a single clause in order that the matter might be rushed through. But it was no use arguing with the Prime Minister; he knew perfectly well why it had been done. He warned the right hon. Gentleman that it was a very dangerous course to pursue. If, in the face of the strong feeling and the state of exasperation which had been aroused, the Prime Minister was going to give the House of Commons no fair opportunity of discussing any of the details of the Bill, he would rush the Government in to a position which he would regret in the course of six months.
§ THE ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir ROBERT FINLAY,) Inverness Burghs
thought the Committee would agree that it was much better drafting that these matters should be dealt with in one clause rather than it should be broken up. This was a clause which dealt essentially with one matter, and if hon. Members would look at the clause they would see that it conferred certain powers upon the Board of Education with regard to deductions from the Parliamentary grant. No doubt it would have been possible with some ingenuity to have manufactured several clauses, but undoubtedly it was much better drafting that it should be dealt with in one clause.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said the Attorney-General had made out that this was simply a question of draftsmanship. He wished to know if when the clause was drawn, instructions were given to draw 1227 it as shortly as possible and put everything in one clause. It appeared to be the object of the Government to apply the closure and have one division at a certain time in the afternoon when in their opinion the discussion ought to be closed. That was the object of putting all these three questions into one clause. These questions were totally distinct matters to those which had been quoted as precedents by the Prime Minister.
§ *SIR JOSEPH LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington)
said that he desired to say just one word about this matter. He would say nothing for the moment about the intention of drafting a Bill like this in one clause, but would rather call attention to the initial object of drafting a Bill in separate clauses. The reason of separate clauses being inserted was that they had in those clauses matters which were clearly distinguishable one from another and therefore must be dealt with separately. That ought to have been the case in the present Bill. But in the first sub-section of this one clause Bill powers were given to the Board of Education to manage education in Wales, and in the second sub-section they had given to them powers to deal with the recovery of the payments so made in respect of such management. The two sub-sections were entirely different, and ought, he submitted, to be dealt with in separate clauses.
§ MR. McKENNA
said that with regard to what the Attorney-General had said he would like to call his attention to the actual wording of Sub-section 2. It was not anywhere stated in that clause what the Parliamentary grants referred to, and it must mean all the grants given for education.
§ MR. McKENNA
It is only the Parliamentary gran's for education. The Attorney-General has just admitted our point. Continuing, he said that the local education authority was the county council and therefore this included all Parliamentary grants paid to the county council. [Cries of "No."] The Attorney General would agree with him on the point that the county council being the 1228 local education authority, Parliamentary grants payable to the local education authority meant grants payable to the county council. But a wholly different body was brought in under Sub-clause 2. The sub-clause did not give any power to the Board of Education, after deducting the amount which they had paid for educational purposes, to pay the money over to the Crown, but as the sub-section stood it gave the Local Taxation Commissioners power to deduct the sum of money from the local taxation fund, and although it was not expressly stated, it was implied that that sum should be handed over to the Crown to pay debts incurred under this Bill. He submitted that the powers there given were not powers handed over to the Board of Education at all, but they were powers handed over to the Local Taxation Commissioners. That being so the Attorney-General could hardly deny that Sub-section 2 dealt with a totally different matter from Sub-section 1, and that it ought to be dealt with separately.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said he did not think the Attorney-General had fully considered the effect of Sub-section 2. He admitted that Clause 1 of this Bill was intended to deal with the powers of the Board of Education, and that was in exact accordance with the marginal note. The right hon. Gentleman went on to argue that Sub-sections 2 and 3 were natural corollaries to the main proposition, and ought to be included, according to the rules of good draftsmanship, in Clause 1. He desired to call attention to the fact that under Sub-section 2 no powers were given to the Board of Education, but to some other body, and he did not know exactly what body. The first power given under Sub-section 2 was that—Any sums paid by the Board of Education under this Act shall be a debt due to the Crown from the local education authority.Who was going to sue for a debt due to the Crown? He would not give an off-hand answer, but he apprehended that the Attorney-General would not advise the Board of Education to be the plaintiffs in any action against a local authority. Therefore this power was not given to the Board of Education but to some other authority. Then with regard to the 1229 deduction from any sums payable to that authority who was going to deduct that? The powers to deduct were given to some other body. Having regard to the logical evolution of this measure, and according to the principles of sound draftsmanship, the matters dealt with in these three sub-sections were distinctly different and ought to have been dealt with in separate clauses.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
reminded hon. Members that it might be necessary to apply a similar Bill to London next year. The first sub-section raised a great difficulty, because the education authority had got no money and no resources, and had no Parliamentary authority to make these payments. Where was the money to come from? These were all totally different matters, and ought to have been dealt with in entirely separate clauses. The Prime Minister had failed entirely in the precedents he had quoted. Their complaint was that the matters dealt with in this clause were three absolutely different subjects, and ought to be dealt with in entirely different clauses.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
said that in order to find out the meaning of the term "Parliamentary grant" it was necessary to refer to Section 24 of the 1902 Act, and to previous statutes. So far as he could gather the term "Parliamentary grant" meant a grant in aid of an elementary school, either annual or otherwise, out of moneys provided by Parliament.
§ MR. EDWARDS (Radnor)
said that was not a Parliamentary grant within the meaning of Clause 7 of the Act of 1902.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he observed that the Attorney-General nodded assent to the exposition of the law given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University. But the hon. and learned Gentleman had not said so.
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL (Oldham)
joined with the Welsh Members in protesting against the manner in which the 1230 Government were attempting to force the Bill through the House of Commons. He said that nothing could be clearer than the object of the Government in drafting the Bill and placing in the clause three distinctly divergent questions. It had no doubt been done to interfere with the liberties and convenience of the House. The attacks on their liberties had been made by various methods and lines. They had had blocking Notices, very late hours, all sorts of important subjects brought on at late hours, and closure by guillotine. This was the first time in this session they had had an attempt to curtail discussion, not by previous methods, but by an entirely new invention—through the method of drafting a Bill, and lumping together conflicting ideas in a particular clause in order to get a simultaneous closure on the whole clause. This was an entirely new departure on the part of the Prime Minister, and did great credit to his Parliamentary ingenuity, though whether it reflected equal credit upon his Parliamentary reputation was quite another question. Was either the Prime Minister or the Attorney-General prepared to say on his honour—[laughter] was the honour of either Gentleman to be laughed at?—[renewed laughter]—was either prepared to give a personal assurance that he had no idea in his mind when the clause was drafted, except the convenient and excellent methods of drafting, and that there was no sort of consideration that this was a convenient method of curtailing discussion?
The hon. Member is now dealing with the Bill as a whole. He must confine himself to the particular Amendment before the Committee.
§ MR. MOSS
said he would bow to the ruling. The Attorney-General had said that the whole clause dealt with the powers of the Board of Education. That might be correct in regard to Sub-clause 1231 (a), but how the hon. and learned Gentleman could suggest that the other sub-clauses dealt with these powers passed his comprehension. These sub-clauses introduced entirely new legislation, and he certainly thought the Prime Minister should give Members of the House an opportunity for the discussion of the proposals. They did not wish to obstruct the measure, but they were entitled to demand that the various sub-sections should be threshed out
§ on their merits. He moved that the clause be divided into three separate clauses.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 146; Noes, 74. (Division List No. 311.)1233
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Percy, Earl|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O||Gretton, John||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'derry||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Purvis, Robert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th||Pym, C. Guy|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Randles, John S.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Heath, James (Staffords. N.W.||Rankin, Sir James|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Helder, Augustus||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Horner, Frederick William||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Hoult, Joseph||Round, Rt Hon. James|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bond, Edward||Howard, John(Kent, Favers'm||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Bowles,T. Gibson (King'sLynn||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Brassey, Albert||Hunt, Rowland||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Jeffreys,Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Jessel,Captain Herbert Merton||skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Campbell,Rt.Hn.J.A.(Glasgow||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T.(Denbigh)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)|
|Cazendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Keswick, William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Kimber, Sir Henry||Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Knowles, Sir Lees||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Chamberlain, RtHnJ. A.(Worc||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Stroyan, John|
|Chapman, Edward||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants.,Fareham||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Loder. Gerald Walter Erskine||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Tully, Jasper|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Long, Rt Hn. Walter(Bristol,S)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Davies, Sir HoratioD(Chatham||Majendie, James A. H.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Morrell, George Herbert||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J(Manc'r||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Mount, William Arthur||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Flannery, Sir Fortesque||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway,||Sir Alexander Acland Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Forster, Henry William||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Brigg, John||Broadhurst, Henry|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bright, Allan Heywood||Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Higham, John Sharpe||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Burns, John||Holland, Sir William Henry||Rea, Russell|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Horniman, Frederick John||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Caldwell, James||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Jacoby, James Alfred||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Jones, David Brymnor(Swansea||Shipman Dr. John G.|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvronshire||Slack, John Bamford|
|Cullinan, J.||Joyce, Michael||Sullivan, Donal|
|Davies Alfred (Carmarthen)||Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavvan, W.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Lambert, George||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.|
|Delany, William||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas,David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leese,Sir Joseph F (Accrington||Tomkinson, James|
|Edwards, Frank||Levy, Maurice||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Elibank, Master of||Lewis, John Herbert||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Ellice, Capt. E C (S.Andrw's Bghs||Lloyd-George, David||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||Lough, Thomas||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Lundon, W.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John||Lyell, Charles Henry||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||M`Hugh, Patrick A||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||M Kenna, Reginald|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale||Moss, Samuel||Mr. Ellis Griffith and Mr. Soares.|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Dowd, John|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words 'Board of Education' stand part of the clause"1234
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 150; Noes, 68. (Division List No. 312.)1235
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Keswick, William|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dickson, Charles Scott||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Arnold-Forster,Rt Hn Hugh O.||Dinning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fergusson,Rt Hn Sir Manc'r||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Legge, Col. Hon. Henry|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fitzroy, Hon. EdwardAlgernon||Long,Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Long, Rt Hn Walter(Bristol, S)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Flower, Sir Ernest||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. Gerald W.(Leeds||Forster, Henry William||Lowe, Francis William|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Gardner, Ernest||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portstm'rh)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Mel ille, Beresford Valentine|
|Boland, John||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bond, Edward||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Gretton, John||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Bowles, T. Gibson(King'sLynn||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mount, William Arthur|
|Brassey, Albert||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Murray, Rt. Hn.A.Graham(Bute|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hamilton,Marq of(L'nd'nderry||Murray, Charles J.(Coventry)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th)||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Helder, Augustus||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury).|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Horner, Frederick William||Percy, Earl|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hoult, Joseph||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A.(Worc.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Chapman, Edward||Howard, John(Kent, Faversham||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hozier, Hon. JamesHenryCecil||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hunt, Rowland||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Pym, C. Guy|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Randles, John S.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Joyce, Michael||Rankin, Sir James|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Kennedy,Vincent P(Cavan, W.||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D.(Chatham||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T (Denbigh)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wills, Sir Frederick.|
|Round, Rt. Hon. James||Stroyan, John||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Thornton, Percy M.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tully, Jasper|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Valentia, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Walker, Col. William Hall||Sir Alexander AclandHood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Stanley,Hon Arthur (Ormskirk||Whiteley, H.(Ashton undLyne|
|Stanley,Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Rea, Russell|
|Brigg, John||Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Hayter. Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Higham, John Sharpe||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Holland, Sir William Henry||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Burns, John||Horniman, Frederick John||Slack, John Bamford|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Caldwell, James||Hatton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cameron, Robert||Jacoby, James Alfred||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Jones, David Brymnor (Swansea||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Tomkinson, James|
|Crooks, William||Lambert, George||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington||White, George(Norfolk)|
|Delany William||Levy, Maurice||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Edwards, Frank||Lewis, John Herbert||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Elibank, Master of||Lloyd-George, David||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Ellice, Capt E. C.(SAndrw'sBghs||Lough, Thomas||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||M'Kenna, Reginald||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Mr. Ellis Griffith and Mr. Soares.|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Moss, Samuel|
§ MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
said that he had an Amendment on the Paper to leave out "Board of Education" and insert "Treasury." He thought that under the circumstances he might be allowed to move it.
said that the hon. Member was too late in asking to move his Amendment, but in any event the same point could be raised under Sub-section 1.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he wished to move the Amendment standing in his name. This Bill was a Bill which did not affect Wales alone; they in Yorkshire were quite as much interested in it. If it went through unamended, it would enable the Board of Education to condemn local authorities without inquiry 1236 and without any process of law. Could anything be more un-English than that? Why, they would not treat the commonest beggar in that way. The entire matter was to he withdrawn from a Court of law and public inquiry and put into the hands of the Board of Education. The hon. Baronet the Secretary to the Board of Education was not, however, the kind of stuff of which dictators were made, yet he wanted to set aside the law of the land, and say that he, and he alone, should decide that a borough council or a county council was in default. He did not think the House of Commons would pass such a Bill without the most drastic amendment. Section 16 of the Act of 1902 provided that if a local authority failed to carry out its duties, the Board of Education might, after holding a public inquiry, make such Order as they thought fit. The Board had not tried the remedy provided by the Act of 1902; and vet they now proposed to abolish the right of inquiry 1237 and any process at law, and put what he would call Russian power into its hands. Speaking for Yorkshire, he said that they would not trust the Board of Education in this matter. If they did wrong, let them be brought before a Court of law, and let them have the rights of Englishmen, as provided by the Act of 1902. There might be a great many circumstances connected with a case which could only be brought out properly by a public inquiry. Under this Bill, a manager or a clergyman might creep round the corner to the Education Office in Whitehall, and say that he could not get this or that, and that he wanted the local authority punished. All they asked was that these people should come out into the open; they did not want any backstairs business going on in the Education Department, and they had sufficient confidence in their case to lay it before a public inquiry or a Court of law. He moved the Amendment, confident of the support of those who believed in the common right of the individual to justice.
In page 1, line 5, at beginning, to insert the words 'After holding a public inquiry at which all persons interested have been heard.'"—(Mr. Whitley.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)
said that the Amendmen traised rather an important principle. As the Secretary to the Board of Education knew, he was not one of those who had taken a hostile view of the foundations of the Bill of 1902. He always looked upon it as capable of being built upon and improved; and as containing the germ of what might be made a very good system. The main principle was that education should be put in the hands of the local authorities, under, it was true, restrictions, the removal of which he had always looked forward to with confidence. This Bill, however, cut into the foundations of the Act of 1902. It provided that, if the Board of Education were not satisfied with what the local authorities were doing, they should be at liberty to take the matter into 1238 their own hands. That was quite inconsistent with the foundations of the Act of 1902; and was a confession of failure on the part of the Government. It might have been that there was friction which could have been avoided; but what he wished to insist upon was that they should not cut down the power of the local authority without the gravest reason; and, certainly, no such step should be taken without some kind of judicial inquiry, unless they intended to throw overboard altogether the main principle of the Act of 1902.
§ * THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir WILLIAM ANSON,) Oxford University
said that the right hon. Gentleman appeared to regard this Bill as a confession on the part of the Government of the failure of the Act of 1902. He did not agree with him. If the Committee bore in mind that the Act had been submitted to the closest criticism, that it had now been for many months in operation, and, if they considered the large area over which it extended, they would agree that, on the whole, the Act was working very smoothly and satisfactorily in the interests of education. He denied that the Act had been anything but a success. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Bill would cut down the power of the local authorities; they did not propose anything of the kind. They had been in constant communication with the local authorities, which was conducted on the most friendly terms; and it was to the interest of the Board, as well as to the interest of the local authorities, that such friendly relations should continue. His own belief and hope was that the Bill would affect comparatively few areas; and that it would be to the general interest that when it was brought into operation it should operate as speedily as possible. Teachers in certain areas were anxious to leave for their holidays, and their salaries had not been paid not merely up to date, but for the preceding quarter. In the winter the Board had complaints that schools were kept without fuel and without school-books. Was procedure by mandamus, the appropriate remedy for lapses of that sort on the part of the local 1239 authority; obviously they wanted something speedier, and something which would interfere as little as possible with the general action of the local authority.
§ MR. HALDANE
If you have to choose between two evils, is it not the greater evil to alter the basis of your Act for the whole of England, where, on your own showing it is not necessary?
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON
did not admit that they were altering the basis of the Act. They were anxious to maintain every power which the local education authority had. But in individual cases of pressing hardship the Board of Education ought to have the power to step in and administer a prompt and effectual remedy. Would they under a system of public inquiry have anything like that prompt remedy which common humanity demanded in such cases?
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON
challenged hon. Members to produce any case in which the Board of Education had acted without reference to the local authority on the complaint of a clergyman. The hon. Member for Carnarvon had pointed out in a speech delivered last year what endless opportunities for delay the requirement of a public inquiry offered. And yet these remedies were necessary to meet cases of pressing hardship. The Bill merely proposed that the Board of Education should have power to step in and do one particular thing in one particular school if by chance the local authority had left it undone. To proceed by mandamus would be a penal proceeding.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said this remedy would not interfere with the action of the local authority over a great part of 1240 its area, and it would certainly not interfere a moment longer than that interference was necessary. The Board of Education did its utmost to be fair to both sides, and he repudiated with contempt the suggestion that it had ever departed from rigorous impartiality in the very wearisome and troublesome business of carrying the Education Act into operation.
§ MR. BRYCE
said the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education had taken the opportunity afforded by the Amendment for pronouncing a panegyric upon the Act of 1902, but he should like to ask him, as a student of English history and the English Constitution, whether any Act had been a greater failure than that which failed to carry with it the sentiment of the people. The severest condemnation to be passed upon a piece of legislation was that it excited the general disapproval of the people and that it created unprecedented difficulty in working. The hon. Gentleman said the Act had worked very smoothly and satisfactorily. Where had he been living since the Act was passed? He supposed, like the Prime Minister, he never read the newspapers.
§ MR. BRYCE
said this was exactly his case. The Board of Education, he supposed, as was said of another place, had been up in a balloon. The Board of Education had never heard of passive resistance. It thought this Act had worked smoothly and satisfactorily, and did not take account of what was said in the country, and what happened in the Police Courts where cases of passive resistance were brought up.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
Every complaint of anybody as to the working of the Act, and all newspapers containing complaints, come to the Board of Education, the latter regularly and the others when they arise.
§ MR. BRYCE
continuing, said they knew from a very remarkable example that documents sometimes went to an 1241 office without being read. The reports of the Intelligence Department, for instance, went to the Secretary of State for War, but they were never read nor was any action taken upon them. He was not up in the latest statistics, and he did not know whether passive resisters were numbered by the 10,000 or by the 50,000, but at any rate they were numerous, and he was very much surprised, considering what had happened in regard to this movement and in regard to the resistance of local authorities, that the hon. Baronet should be able to say that the Act was working very smoothly and satisfactorily. He said they were not going by this Bill to cut down the powers of the local authorities, but what were those powers? This Bill gave power to the Board of Education by its own fiat to determine all questions of dispute at the expense of the local authority. There were a great many points in the Act of 1902 which were open to the greatest possible doubt, and the Board of Education was to come in in an autocratic manner and say that its view was the only right one. Were the local authorities not to be heard? Were they to be the only people to be debarred from going into Courts of law and asking whether their interpretation or that of the Government Department was the correct interpretation? The hon. Baronet said that it was in the interest of his office that its power should be applied considerately and in as small a number of cases as possible. But it would not rest with the Board entirely to say how it would exercise this power. Supposing the Board began to interfere with local authorities, was it not possible the local authorities might say, "We are not going to do this thing by halves; if the Board supersedes us at all they must supersede us altogether, we are not going to be parties to doing things imperfectly." It was possible that other authorities which hitherto had been trying to carry out the Act would sympathise with neighbouring authorities in what they considered to be the oppression that was practised upon them, and would refuse to do even what they were doing now. He was not at all sure that the Board would not be raising up for itself a far greater difficulty, and bringing 1242 a far larger number of local authorities into the field than they had any idea of.
The only argument that the Secretary of the Board had advanced in favour of this provision and against the Amendment, was that it would result in delay, but there was one thing more important than promptitude, and that was justice. They wanted some security and safeguard. which nothing less than the decision of a Court of law or public inquiry could give. The right hon. Gentleman wanted to be able to act promptly and at once; he wanted a naked sword, and did not want to wait to see what a Court of law thought. He was satisfied with his own judgment. He (Mr. Bryce) was satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman would endeavour to administer the Act fairly, but he was not the only person at the Board of Education. He did not know what the view of the permanent officials at the head of the Department might be, and all his confidence in the fairness and judgment of the right hon. Gentleman was not going to induce him to put the local authorities at the mercy of the Board. They must have some safeguard for the exercise of this power, and it could only be found either in requiring the Board to take the case before a Court of law to show and prove to the satisfaction of that Court that there had been default, or to make good its case by public inquiry, where all persons would have an opportunity of being heard. They would then be able to judge the Board of Education and to call the attention of the country to the circumstances under which the Board proceeded. He conceived, therefore, that the Amendment could he justified, and that the House would, by its rejection, create a new and very dangerous departure in all established principles of legislation.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he had been induced to rise not so much by the merits of the Amendment as by the arguments with which it had been resisted, and the amazing pretensions set up on behalf of the Board of Education. The hon. Baronet had spoken as though the holding of a public inquiry before the extraordinary and almots unparalleled powers conferred by this Bill were exercised was a procedure monstrous and unknown. 1243 But it was most common for such inquiries to be held before action was taken by public Departments. A public inquiry was always held before any action was taken under the Fisheries Acts, and such inquiries often produced great results, and taught the Departments concerned something they did not before know. Managers and local authorities probably knew many things about education of which the hon. Baronet had not yet dreamed, and inquiries might prove of the greatest possible value not only as regarded the knowledge they would impart, but also as regarded the difference of tempesr they might import. He had been throughout a friend of the Act of 1902, but he recognised that there had been regrettable and surprising occurrences since the passage of that Act. One would hardly have believed that so many people would break the law for conscientious reasons, and he was strongly of opinion that sooner or later some compromise would have to be arrived at. At first sight he could not see why such animosity should be shown by the hon. Baronet to this harmless and ordinary Amendment. Everybody recognised the impartiality of the hon. Baronet, and no one would question his devotion to the public service or the cause of education. But while they recognised his personal qualities, his arguments against this Amendment were pitiable, and suggested most alarming views as to the functions of the Board of Education. The hon. Baronet said the Act had been completely successful. *SIR WILLIAM ANSON: I said that we always heard of the cases in which it was not successful, and that as they were so few and extended over so limited an area, we might regard the Act as having been, on the whole, successful.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
asked why, if that were so, this Bill was required? The Bill was to remedy the cases in which the Act of 1902 had not been successful, and those cases, according to the hon. Baronet, were few and insigificant.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
submitted that if the cases were few but significant they ought to be dealt with under the orginal Bill. Every private citizen who was aggrieved had to go to the Courts and submit to the law's delay. Why should the Board of Education be superior to all the incidents and proceedings of the Courts? The fact that the cases were significant made it the more necessary that they should be settled by the Courts. The assertion by the hon. Baronet that the local authorities had, or would, put obstacles in the way of the carrying out of the Act of 1902 was a serious condemnation of that measure. The local authorities were the basis of the Act, but they were now practically to be abolished and the Board of Education substituted. Notwithstanding the remarks of the hon. Baronet, the provision was penal in the respect the local authorities would most feel. The ninnies paid out by the Board of Education were to be, debts due to the Crown, and, as such, were given a peculiarly sacred character. They could not be forgiven to the defaulting authority except by an Act of Parliament, preceeded by a money Committee of the whole House. The Bill gave to the Board an absolute and overriding power. Year by year the ambition of Departments had been growing until it had now reached the most inordinate dimensions. They had grasped after more work, because work had meant power, and power importance. He would not object so much if the power was in the hands of the hon. Baronet, but the authority of the Department was usually exercised by a second or third-class clerk. He begged the hon. Baronet not to follow the course pursued with the latter part of the Act of 1902, and closure the whole thing, not to make himself the mere mouthpiece of the Department or to lend himself to its aggrandisement, but to accept as far as he could any reasonable Amendments that might be proposed.
§ MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
thought the genesis of this Bill was that some ingenious person in the Board of Education, desirous of getting round a very real difficulty, had tried to devise a method of, so to speak, painless dentistry by which the Act might be remedied with 1245 the least possible trouble. He believed, however, that the whole scheme would be too clever by half. He could not see what possible effect the Bill would have upon the real difficulty presented by the problem in Wales and elsewhere. The local authorities would probably be able to carry out their wishes in spite of the Bill. The fact of the matter was that the Government in 1902 committed a gross political blunder in asking local authorities to carry out an Act which was fundamentally in some respects antipathetic to their views. When such a course was adopted, trouble was bound to arise. With regard to the Amendment, he thought if the hon. Baronet gave way on this point he would do much to help the working of his Bill. Personally he did not want the Bill; he did not think it was the proper way to deal with the matter at issue; but from the hon. Baronet's point of view the Bill would act infinitely better if he gave way to this demand for a public inquiry. In the long run he would probably find that the other local authorities would fall into line with Wales rather than Wales with the other local authorities. If a public inquiry were allowed, any real grievance would be discussed, and the opinion of the locality thereby affected; but if the inquiries were merely conducted by the Board without any publicity the local authorities would have no confidence in them, and would be hostile to the conclusions, whatever they were. Thus matters would go from bad to worse, and therefore, because he thought something might be done by this Amendment to soften the effect upon the local authorities, he should support his hon. friend.
§ Ma. LLOYD - GEORGE
said the hon. Baronet had overlooked the fact that under the Act of 1902, with regard to a Mandamus the first step was an inquiry, so that the Government by their present proposal were simply worsening the original Act. He fully admitted that an inquiry would take time. Personally, he would use every possible weapon to frustrate both the Act of 1902 and the present Bill, and the hon. Baronet had better not be too sure that he was not making matters 1246 worse. Upon that point they would probably have another talk about six months hence. The hon. Baronet was very likely doing a great disservice to the schools he wished to protect by insisting on these arbitrary powers being put into operation without even a preliminary inquiry. The Welsh county councils refused to be parties to oppressing their fellow religionists and forcing them by means of legal procedure to teach doctrines to which they conscientiously objected, or to allow the expenditure of public money on education without public control. If the Board of Education insisted on administering a part of the Act themselves the county councils would say, "You must also administer the rest of it." As to the question whether fuel was provided or not for the schools, that could easily be inquired into; and as to whether a school was under- staffed or not, the local education authorities might say it was as good as it was before the Act came into operation. When the burden was upon the parson, wonderful was the indulgence of the Board of Education; but the moment the burden was cast upon the ratepayers their zeal was marvellous to behold. The local education authorities might say, "Before we do anything, let us see what the other schools are doing, and therefore let us have an inquiry into the whole of the circumstances of the county;" but without any inquiry the Board of Education would proceed to act probably upon letters they had received, not altogether from parsons, but from Bishops. He was not saying that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education was doing anything that was deliberately unfair. No doubt he had a great sense of justice, but he was taking his case from the parsons instead of acting according to his own mind. This Act was, in fact, the result of Episcopal pressure.
Of course, the object of the Government was to get the Bill through without amendment in order to save a Report stage. It was not a question with them of the best methods of draftsmanship or of improving the Bill. They had always their eyes upon the political situation; they were always looking at the clock and at the thermometer. But all these things were irrelevant to an Act 1247 of Parliament. When once the Bill was passed, he was quite sure that the thermometer would be in a much worse condition. The method of the Government was arbitrary and unknown in English law. It was borrowed from Siam—it was Oriental and ought not to be introduce into a free community like this. He had brought forward cases which the Parliamentary Secretary had never heard of. Inquiry followed and was conducted in a very judicial manner. Then it was found that the facts were very much understated. Suppose there had been no inquiry the Parliamentary Secretary would have been guilty of a gross act of injustice quite unconsciously. The moment the Parliamentary Secretary went into the facts he would see there was an equity behind. Were the brewers to be the only people to have an equity in that Parliament? There was only equity for brewers but not for Nonconformists. The Government had got into all these troubles from lack of thought. They must not be led away by the parsons and certainly not by the Bishops. They had muddled everything they had taken up. All the prophecies uttered about what would happen when the Education Bill was passed had come true. The Government by the present Bill virtually admitted that, but what could they say of a Government that could neither rule nor resign? Welsh Members had done their best to keep pease in Wales. If they had not done so there would be worse trouble over the Education Act than there was now. If the present Bill passed the responsibility would be off the hands of the Welsh Members. The Government did not quite realise what they were doing and therefore he urged them to make inquiry.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said the hon. Gentleman had stated that the difficulties which existed now were nothing to the difficulties which would arise when the present Bill came into operation. If the hon. Gentleman took that view of the effect of the Act, he would have expected him to help it to become law as speedily as possible.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that he thought the remark he had made was a fair comment to make upon the observations of the hon. Member for Carnarvon. He had found fault with the statement that some of the county councils had taken a course which had borne very hardly upon children and teachers. In Montgomeryshire there were fifteen schools in which the teachers had not received any salary since the beginning of April. The Parliamentary Secretary had stated that there were schools in which it had not been possible to provide fuel or books and apparatus. The prosecution of the war against the Act clearly compelled the county councils to be indifferent to the sufferings entailed on teachers and children. The Board of Education would take no step under this Act without the most careful inquiry. What the Opposition wanted was a public inquiry which would involve endless delays. Would any one tell him that one did not often get at the truth most thoroughly by sifting statements made and making inquiries in private?[An HON. MEMBER: A Star Chamber.] The hon. Member for King's Lynn had insisted that the second sub-section was a penal section. Surely it was not penal to ask that a man should pay the money was tine from him. The hon. Member for Carnarvon said this clause was unexampled and must have been borrowed from Siam. It was not, however, necessary to seek an example further away than the Education Act of 1870, under the 66th Section of which the Department had the power, if they were of opinion that there had been default on the part of a school board, to suspend all the members. There was no provision for inquiry. And yet the hon. Member for Carnarvon told the House that they had to go to Siam for a parallel case. As a matter of fact all they needed to do was to go to the Act of Parliament passed by a Liberal Government in 1870.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that was simply a provision for suspension. It was without precedent to find that a debt was due from an individual or local authority without first examining the evidence.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
contended that if there was a difference it was that the procedure under Section 66 was much more penal than in the other case, because they could order that the members should vacate their seats.
§ MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvonshire, Arfon)
asked if the Attorney-General could give them an instance where a board was suspended without an inquiry.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that what he was pointing out was that, in addition, Section 63 empowered the Education Department to supersede the school board and appoint another board, and these drastic powers were to be exercised after such inquiry as the Department thought sufficient. The whole thing was left to the discretion of the Education Department, and it was well known that they would not proceed to exercise these powers without adequate inquiry. He thought a considerable number of instances of this kind could be found. The question, however, before them was not in how many cases this power had been exercised, but whether it was necessary to go to Siam to find a precedent. The hon. Member for Carnarvon demanded a public inquiry, but no doubt he would recollect that the ultimate resort in case of a mandamus was that the members of the council who refused would have to go to prison.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that here there was no question of going to gaol at all. [An HON MEMBER: Nor of a trial.] The only proposal in the Bill was that these expenses which ought to have been borne by the county council should be defrayed, with power of recovery, and in case of default should be made good. Was it even tolerable to contemplate that they should have a separate public inquiry every time a teacher's salary got into arrears, or when coals or school books were required. He asked the Committee to look at this matter not so much in the interests of the teachers or education generally but in the interests of the children.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES
said he wondered whether the Attorney-General 1250 would dare to make a speech like that in Scotland. Wales had done more for education comparatively than either Scotland or England. He could not understand the Attorney-General saying that this provision was necessary in the interests of the children, as if the Welsh nation could be charged with any disposition to neglect the education of its children. What they wanted was simply a moderate form of public inquiry. How could they expect cases to be fairly dealt with unless there had been a fair inquiry. He would mention one out of two or three that might be cited. Under Section II of the Education Act of 1902 the Board of Education in December last issued a series of Draft Final Orders providing for the appointment of four "foundation managers" for each non-provided school in Wales. The County Council of Carnarvonshire thereupon served formal notices of objection, and departmental inquiries were held by a most competent commissioner on behalf of the Board of Education. There were some astounding results. In one case the Board of Education had been informed that religious instruction distinctive of the Church of England had been given for thirty years past. It transpired that nothing but simple biblical teaching had been given. There was also an instance in which the functions of the Acting Managers had been usurped on the appointed day by the clergyman. This gentleman, in conjunction with other churchmen, had appointed interim foundation managers—a privilege belonging really to the Acting Managers, who, in this case happened to be, with one single exception, noncomformists. What happened? Why, the Board of Education cancelled the Draft Final Order in each of these instances. Surely what was wanted was a system of full and impartial investigation throughout Wales, otherwise how could the people be expected to have confidence in the action of the Department? The Welsh people who had sacrificed so much for their educational system were determined to direct and conduct that system in accordance with their national genius and conviction.
§ MR. WALLACE (Perth)
said this discussion seemed a most extraordinary one. 1251 The House could not find time to pass an Education Bill for Scotland which was approved by every Scotch Member on either side, but it was asked to pass a so-called Education Bill for Wales to which almost every Welsh Member was opposed. This proposal to override the judgment of the county councils without inquiry was one of the worst attacks on local government they had yet seen. How could the Board of Education be satisfied that a county council was in default unless there was a public inquiry? The Government admitted that there must be some inquiry, but the inquiry they favoured was a backstairs inquiry in which the Department was informed through gossip and letters from persons whose names were not disclosed. The Attorney-General in his calmer moments would be the last to suggest that that was a method by which the truth could really be arrived at. The hon. and learned Gentleman had stated that there was a precedent for what was now proposed in the action of the House in the past in connection with the Education Act of 1870, and he referred to two clauses of that Act. He did not think that bon. Members from Wales would much object to what these clauses laid down. What was prescribed was not that the Education Department should act on its own initiative after a school board had been dissolved, but that it should have the power in certain circumstances to declare that a school board was dissolved, and that in its stead a new school board should be elected. What was the true construction of that? The section went on to state that the position was to be the same as if a member had died. What was the position of a member of a school board who died. (Laughter). He had no desire in discussing this Education Bill to enter into the merits of theology at all. What became of the seat of a member of a school board when it was vacated by death? He ventured to say that the invariable practice was that where a school board was in default it was not by appointment from the Education Department that the vacancy was in fact filled up.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said the 63rd section of the Act of 1870 prescribed the procedure in such cases,
§ MR. WALLACE
did not admit that the Attorney General's view was the right one; but assuming that it was, what was the action of the Education Department in dealing with them? It was dealing with school boards elected specifically to deal with the education question only. What was proposed by this Bill was not to deal with small obscure school boards in different parts of the country, but to deal with the regularly elected county councils in Wales, overriding their judgment and insisting on their carrying out whatever the Education Department prescribed. What they were asking for in this connection was that a complaint should be verified by a public inquiry and that an opportunity should be given for hearing evidence on the other side. They did not ask that in the event of default the penalties should not be imposed. He could not understand the position the Government had taken up. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that local inquiry would lead to great delay. Would the private inquiry take less time than a public one? Would it take less time to send an inspector down to hear evidence at one place than to have day by day letters dribbling into the Education Department from different persons in the county? If it was a question of delay the proposal of the Government was the worst that could possibly be made.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said that what was, asked was not that the county councils should have an opportunity of putting their case before the Board of Education, but that the Board in every case should be under an obligation to send an official down to the spot to hold a local public inquiry. He could assure the Committee that in the past there never had been any idea on the part of the Education Department of avoiding the most careful inquiry into the facts and the most careful attempt to induce the local authority to perform their duty before any interference took place. He did not think a single school board had been declared in default until the whole circumstances were most accurately known at headquarters. In the present case there was no dispute about the facts; the local authorities simply declined to administer the law. There was, therefore, no need for a local public inquiry. He was not a defender of the arbitrary power of bureaux in 1253 London. But in a case of this kind he did not believe the House would incur the slightest danger in entrusting these powers to the Board of Education, who would certainly never use them in any case where there was the slightest doubt about the facts.
MR. PHILIPS (Pembrokeshire)
strongly supported the claim for a local inquiry. In such a question as education they got in the country districts strong sectarian prejudices, and excellent men with the best intentions thought they were absolutely right, while the other side thought they were absolutely wrong and it was impossible to get a reliable fact or figure, people took such opposite views. The point was vividly illustrated some time ago in a controversy on the disestablishment question, in which the hon. Member for Carnarvon Borourghs took one side and the Bishop of St. Asaph was on the other. Someone summed up the controversy by saying that the Bishop of St. Asaph was the biggest liar in Wales, but that the hon. Member for Carnarvon was more than his match. The hon. Member was wondering even yet whether it was intended as a compliment. Of all the questions which demanded a public inquiry, this question demanded it most. This Bill, after all, was a financial Bill. It was a Bill which was going to lead to the expenditure of
§ large sums of money. It was a commonplace that one of the great abuses of the day was the reckless expenditure of local authorities. What encouragement would this Bill give the local authorities con-concerned to be accurate in their accounts? They might make estimates, but if the grants were stopped how could they reckon what they would have to spend? If a county council had an inquiry and knew that they were going to have some of their money stopped, they would know what rate they had to levy. But if it was done in a hole-and-corner way by some person writing to London, then it was obvious that the county council finance was going to be upset. If their money was going to be taken away and they had to have heavier rates in consequence, they should have a chance of representing their point of view at a local inquiry.
§ Several Members rose to continue the discussion.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 153; Noes, 89. (Division List No. 313.)1255
|Agg-Gardner,James Tynte||Cecil, Evelyn(Aston Manor)||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Anson,Sir William Reynell||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Forster, Henry William|
|Arkwright,John Stanhope||Chamberlain Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc,||Gardner, Ernest|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt Hn. Hugh O.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gordon, J.(Londonderry,S.)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Chapman, Edward||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Charrington, Spencer||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Coates, Edward Feetham||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)|
|Bain. Colonel James Robert||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Greenc, W. Raymond (Cambs.)|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Grenfell, William Hemy|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Gretton, John|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Colomb, Rt. Hon Sir John C. R.||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon A. J. (Manch'r||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Balfour Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||HamiltonMarq. of(L'nd'nderry|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Davenport, William Bromley||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Davies, Sir HoratioD(Chatham||Heath, James (Staffords, N.W.|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Dickson, Charles Scott||Helder, Augustus|
|Bill, Charles||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside|
|Bond, Edward||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hoult, Joseph|
|Brassey, Albert||Dyke, Rt Hon. Sir William Hart||Howard John(Kent Faversham|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Fetgusson Rt Hn. Sir J.(Manch'r||Hozier, Hon James Henry Cecil|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Hunt, Rowland.|
|Campbell Rt. Hn. J. A.(Glasgow||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatvne||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Flannery, Sir Forteseue||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)|
|Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh)||Nicholson, William Graham||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Nolan, Col. John P (Galway, N.)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)||Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Parkes, Ebenezer||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Lee, Arthur H(Hants, Fareham||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Hercage||Percy, Earl||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Leveson-Gower FrederickN S.||Pierpoint, Robert||Talbot, Rt. Hn J G (Oxf'd Univ.)|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham||Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Long Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol,S)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Tufnell, Lieut-Col. Edward|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Pretyman, Ernest George||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Lowther, C. (Climb., Eskdale)||Pym, C. Guy||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Lucas Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Randles, John S.||Whiteley, H (Ashton und.Lyne|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Rankin, Sir James||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks.|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Milvain, Thomas||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Mount, William Arthur||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute||Scoett, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Harcourt, Lewis V (Rossendale)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Harwood, George||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Asher, Alexander||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Higham, John Sharpe||Runciman, Walter|
|Boland, John||Holland, Sir William Henry||Samuel, Herbert L(Cleveland)|
|Brigg, John||Horniman, Frederick John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Slack, John Bamford|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hutton. Alfred E. (Morley)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Jacoby, James||Alfred Soares, Ernest J.|
|Burns, John||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Caldwell, James||Labouchere, Henry||Taylor, Theodore C.(Radcliffe)|
|Cameron, Robert||Lambert, George||Tennant, Harold John|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Leese, Sir Joseph F(Accrington)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Levy, Maurice||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Lewis, John Herbert||Wallace, Robert|
|Crooks, William||Lloyd-George, David||Wason, John C. (Orkney)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Weir, James Galloway|
|Davies, M. Vaughan(Cardigan)||M'Kenna, Reginald||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Devlinn, Charles R. (Galway)||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Edwards, Frank||Moss, Samuel||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Elibank, Master of||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Ellice, Capt E C (S.Andrw'sBghs||Norman, Henry||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary,Mid||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd.|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Dowd, John|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Partington, Oswald|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Philipps, John Wynford|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."1256
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 82, Noes, 166. (Division List No. 314.)1259
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Barran, Rowland Hirst||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Brigg, John||Burns, John|
|Asher, Alexander||Bright, Allan Heywood||Buxton, Sydney Charles|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Broadhurst, Henry||Caldwell, James|
|Cameron, Robert||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Slack, John Bamford|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Jacoby, James Alfred||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cremer, William Randal||Labouchere, Henry||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Crooks, William||Lambert, George||Sullivan, Donal|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington||Tennant, Harold John|
|Edwards, Frank||Levy, Maurice||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorg,an, E.)|
|Elibank, Master of||Lewis, John Herbert||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Ellice, Capt E C(S.Andr'w's Bghs||Lloyd-George, David||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Emmott, Alfred||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Wason, John C. (Orkney)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Weir, James Galloway|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||White, George(Norfolk)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Moss, Samuel||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Norman, Henry||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Gordon, Sir W. Brampton||Partington, Oswald||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Philipps, John Wynford||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Harecourt, Lewis V (Rossendale)||Rea, Russell||Woodhouse, Sir J T(Huddersf'd|
|Harwood, George||Rickell, J. Compton||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whitley and Mr. Wallace.|
|Higham, John Sharpe||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Runciman, Walter|
|Horniman, Frederiek John||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Davenport, William Bromley||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chathm)||Lee, Arthur H (Hants.,Fareham|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Devlin, Charles RamsayGalw'y||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dickson, Charles Scott||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt Hn Hugh O||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol,S.|
|Bagot, Capt. JoscelineFitzRoy||Darning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Lowe, Francis William|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Fergusson, Rt. Rn. Sir J(Manc'r||Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth|
|Balcarres, Lord||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maconoehie, A. W.|
|Balfour, Ht. Hn. A J. (Manch'r)||FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose-||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch.||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Flower, Sir Ernest||Milvain, Thomas|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Forster, Henry William||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bill, Charles||Gardner, Ernest||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Boland, John||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bond, Edward||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute|
|Brassey, Albert||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Grenfell, William Henry||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Gretton, John||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Bull, William James||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A(Glasgow)||Hamilton, Marq of(L'nd'nderry||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||O'Dowd, John|
|Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire||Helder, Augustus||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hope, J. F(Sheffield, Brightside)||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J A (Worc.||Hoult, Joseph||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Howard. J. (Kent, Faversham)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Chapman, Edward||Howard, J. (Midd.,Tottenham)||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Percy, Earl|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hunt, Rowland||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Coghill, Douglas Hairy||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T (Denbigh)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R.||Kimber, Sir Henry||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Knowles, Sir Lees||Pym. C. Guy|
|Crossley, Rt. Hn. Sir Savile||Law, Andrew Bonar(Glasgow)||Randles, John S.|
|Rankin, Sir James||Smith, Hon. W. F.D. (Strand)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stanley,Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und. Lyne|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Round, Rt. Hon. James||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H (Yorks.)|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Stroyan, John||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland - Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Shaw-Stewart, Sir H(Renfrew)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Whereupon Mr. A. J. BALFOUR claimed to move, "That the Question 'That the words of the clause to the word "make," inclusive, in line 10, stand part of the clause' be now put.'"
§ Question put, "That the Question 'That the words of the clause to the word "make," inclusive, in line 10 stand part of the clause' be now put.'"
named the Tellers.
Tellers for the Ayes, Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Adwyn Fellowes. Tellers for the Noes, Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.
The Division bells were rung, and the Members sitting on the Ministerial Benches left their seats, entered the Division Lobby, ready to record their votes. A number of Members gathered behind the Bar and at the doors leading into the Division Lobbies, evidently in anticipation of a demonstration by the fifty or sixty hon. Members on the Opposition Benches above and below the Gangway, who persistently kept their seats. There was an almost dead silence for some minutes, when,
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
seated, and with his hat on, said: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I ask you whether under the Standing Orders a wholesale closure of this character can be applied as long as there is a substantial Amendment on the Paper to be discussed. I call your attention to one Amendment amongst others. This 1260 is the Amendment, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Dewsbury—To insert after 'satisfied' in line 6 of page 1,'that all the requirements of the local authority in regard to ventilation, lighting, sanitary arrangements and cubical space have been complied with, and.'I ask if that is not a substantial Amendment which ought to be discussed in the interests of the children about whose care we have heard so much? Are we only to be allowed to discuss questions connected with catechisms, and not points as to the provision of decent air for the children? I say that under the Standing Order the closure ought not to be applied when an Amendment of that character is on the Paper. It is a disgraceful thing that the closure should be applied in this way. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Order," and OPPOSITION cheers.]
In reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that the Standing Order does not say anything with regard to that. But it says—When a clause is under consideration, Motion may be made (the assent of the Chair as aforesaid not having being withheld) that the Question that certain words of the clause defined in the Motion stand part of the clause, or that the clause stand part of, or be added to, the Bill, be now put.With regard to the substance of the Amendment to which the hon. Member has called my attention. I am not now in a position to say whether it is a substantial Amendment or not; but it seems to me that the matters referred to are governed by the general law.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
On that point it is a question whether the law has been carried out. I submit that if the law be enforced against the country councils to compel them to pay rates, why should not 1261 the law be enforced against persons in order to secure pure air for the children?
It is for the Board of Education to see that the law is being properly carried out. [OPPOSITION cries of "They do not."]
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I am blaming you for not giving us an opportunity of discussing a question of this sort.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
May I ask whether we are to understand from your ruling that the substantiality of the Amendments did not affect your judgment in accepting the closure, and whether it is not the case that you are aware that your ruling accepting the closure rules out four-fifths of the Amendments on the Order Paper?
I have to regard the substantiality of the Amendments in deciding whether I would accept the closure or not, and also other circumstances.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
What circumstances? The exigencies of the Government ! [MINISTERIAL cries "Obstruction."] The exigencies of Cecil family ! [MINISTERIAL cries of "Order, order !"]
§ MR. WHITLEY
Are you aware, Mr. Chairman, that we have only discussed one 1262 Amendment out of four pages on the Paper? [MINISTERIAL, cries of "Too much."]
The hon. Member is not quite correct. We have only discussed two Amendments in four hours. The Question is "That the Question that the words of Clause 1 after 'Board of Education' down to 'make' stand part of the clause, be now put."
HON. MEMBERS on the MINISTERIAL
Benches proceeded to the division lobby. The Welsh Members and other Members on the Opposition Benches above and below the Gangway, however, retained their seats. After an interval.
§ MR. LLOYD - GEORGE
I do not see any object in taking part in a farce of this kind—absolutely none. It is a perfect farce that we should not be allowed to discuss a question of light and air for the children. I think it is monstrous.
§ MR. WHITLEY
These are the local authorities who are to be entrusted with the education of the children !
§ MR. GUEST (Plymouth.)
What are the general principles, you, Mr. Chairman, have given for the application of the closure in this case?
I will not enter into any argument with the hon. Member. I ask hon. Members to be kind enough to follow the usual course, and to proceed to the division lobbies. If they decline to do that, I must take other steps. Hon. Members have made their protest.
§ MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM (Glamorganshire, Rhondda)
You have shut out the most important Amendments on 1263 the Paper, Mr. Chairman, why not put the whole Bill?
§ MR. BRYNMOR JONES
You have, I think, shut out the, most important Amendment on the Paper, which stands in my name, by your ruling.
§ MR. McKENNA
If you accept the closure on the Motion of t he Prime Minister there is nothing more to be said; but if you tell us that you have exercised an independent discretion, that you have decided in going through the Amendments, not to exclude the Amendments, which ought to he discussed, by accepting this closure Motion—if you tell us that on your authority, it will be a different matter.
I have exercised the best discretion I possess. It is extremely difficult, as the hon. Member will see, to make up one's mind with regard to every Amendment which appears on the Paper as to the different degrees of substantiality. I can assure hon. Members that I have exercised the best of my discretion in accepting the Motion, and I consider that in accepting that Motion I have not excluded any Amendments which were really of a substantial character. I would ask hon. Members who have now made their protest, and made it, if I may say so, in a dignified way, whether they will not allow the usual course to be followed and take a division in the ordinary way.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES
We are most unwilling to disobey your ruling, Mr. Chairman, hut in the interests of education in Wales we think these Amendments ought to be discussed, and not be sacrificed in the interests of a week-end holiday.
I can assure hon. Members that I quite recognise the feelings which actuate them. I can assure them of that; but I am placed in a very difficult situation. It is my duty, as far as possible, to safeguard the rights of the minority.
§ MR. EMMOTT
May I respectfully ask you, Mr. Chairman if you think it is a proper and reasonable thing that a Bill like this should be rushed through at a Friday sitting?
§ MR. WHITLEY
May I ask whether that would have been done if it had not been at the end of the session?
§ MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)
Why should not the same course of procedure be taken with the remaining stages of any English Bill?
The rules of the House are well known to hon. Members, and I am afraid that this is not the first occasion on which a Bill has been dealt with in this way. I can only hope that, under the circumstances, those hon. Members who protest will follow the usual course.
§ MR. BRIGHT (Shropshire, Oswestry)
This is in the interest of liberty, and a protest should be made. I beg of you, Mr. Chairman, to re-consider your decision.
I repeat my request to hon. Members that they now consent to go into the lobby. Otherwise I shall have to take such steps as are provided. for under the Standing Orders.
The hon. Member must see that it is impossible for me to enter into bargains of that kind. I have said that I will do my best to secure such discussion as is reasonable.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N.W.)
I refuse distinctly; I have had no opportunity of discussing the Bill.
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, may I direct your attention to Standing Order 162a, which provides that in case of grave disorder arising in the House the Speaker may adjourn the House without Question put. I submit that a deadlock has arisen leading to the possibility of grave disorder, and that the power under the Standing Order should be put into operation.
That rests with the discretion of the Chairman entirely. I am compelled to name certain hon. Members for disregarding the authority of the Chair. I name Mr. Guest, Mr. McKenna, Mr. Harwood, Mr. Alfred Davies, and Mr. Lloyd-George. I shall have to report these hon. Members and others to the House for having disregarded the authority of the Chair.
§ MR. ALFRED DAVIES (Carmarthen Boroughs)
Will you tell the reason why we refused to obey your order?
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
Are you going to ask the House to suspend from the service of the House all the 1266 Members who are taking part in the discussion of this Bill, and so practically disfranchise Wales?
In the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker, through illness, I have to take the Chair as Deputy-Speaker. I have to report to the House that during the division that was recently called in Committee a number of hon. Members refused to leave the House when called upon by me, as Chairman of Committees, to do so. The names of the hon. Members who refused to leave when I called upon them to do so are as follows:—Mr. Guest, Mr. McKenna, Mr. Harwood, Mr. Alfred Davies, Mr. Lloyd-George, Sir Alfred Thomas, Mr. Moss, Mr, Herbert Lewis, Dr. Shipman, Mr. Levy, Mr. H. J. Wilson, Mr. Whitley, Mr. Ellis Griffith, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Abraham (Rhondda), Mr. George White, Mr. Philips, Mr. Ainsworth, Mr. Brynmor Jones, Mr. William Jones, and Mr. Herbert Roberts. As regards those Members whom I have just mentioned I have now again to ask them to leave the House.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
We are exceedingly sorry to disobey the rulings of the Chair. But we are doing it from a keen sense of public obligation. Does any hon. Member really suppose that we would do this unless we were compelled? I am sure there is not a single man who does not do this with deep regret. But this has gone too far. We must make a most emphatic protest against the action which you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, have taken at the instigation of the Prime Minister. We consider that you ruled out questions of vital importance to our constituents, and we cannot, consistently with our sense of duty, take any further part in this farce of a Parliamentary session.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES
There is not a man in this House who would less wish to show any discourtesy to the 1267 Chair or to the House than I would. But I am interested in the education of my country. I have consistently supported the main lines of the policy of the Education Act; and it is only because this Bill is directed to coercing Wales and because it will practically paralyse education and cause a deadlock in our great work that I am taking this course.
§ MR WILLIAM ABRAHAM
I have been in this House nearly twenty years, and this is the first time in my history as a Member of Parliament that I have felt compelled by the exigencies of the case to defy the Chair in the interests of education. Sorry as I am, in the interests of education—[HON. MEMBERS laughed]—if hon. Members had come here without having been educated they would not laugh. If they had known what it was to start work in a colliery at ten years of age without education they would not laugh. I am now becoming one of the oldest Members of the House, but I will protest even though I have to be carried out.
Hon. Members have always treated me with the greatest courtesy, and I feel that they are deeply moved in the action which they are taking. They have made a protest, and I have said that it is a dignified protest and worthy of them in the difficult circumstances in which they are placed. But I appeal to them not to compel me to have recourse to the enforcement of the rule. I therefore submit to hon. Members that I should resume my place at the Table as Chairman of Committees; that the Question should be again put; and that a division should take place in the ordinary way. I only wish to make a suggestion. If hon members will not, take that course then I shall be compelled to ask them to leave the House for disregarding the authority of the Chair.
§ MR. GUEST
Do I understand that we are to leave the House for a division or as being suspended from the service of the House, because I may say that I desire to make this protest against your decision in the interests of Parliamentary discussion. I do not desire to offer any 1268 personal violence, but I wish to make my protest against the decision you have given as Chairman of Committees, for in my view that decision was entirely subversive of Parliamentary discussion. But, having made that protest, if you suspend me I am prepared to leave the House at your bidding.
§ MR. EMMOTT
The situation may be relieved if the Prime Minister will give an undertaking that he is not going to push this Bill through the House to-day. Personally I have not felt, able to go as far as my hon. friends and to refuse to leave the House; but we do think that this thing ought not to have been done.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I feel that we cannot take any further part in a discussion of this character. I and my hon. friends do not want to appear to defy the rulings of the Chair; but we shall absolutely refuse to take any further part in the proceedings. We shall walk out and wash our hands of the whole business.
§ *MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire. E.)
I do not know that we are strictly in order; but I am quite certain that, we all feel that it would be desirable to avoid any of the unseemly scenes which we have witnessed in the past. Therefore. I am glad to hear what my hon. friend said. I entirely sympathise with him and those who are associated with him in the protest he has made, and if my hon. friend takes the course he has suggested, we on these Benches shall leave the House also and take no further part in the discussion.
§ And then the House again resolved itself into the Committee.
§ (In the Committe.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]1269
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 2 agreed to.
§ Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time upon Monday next.