§ House in Committee (according Order).
§ [The Earl of MORLEY in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clause 2:
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (THE MARQUESS of LONDONDERRY)
My Lords, the Amendments standing in my name to this clause are really drafting Amendments, without which it is thought that the clause might not be workable. I therefore move them without further explanation, but if any noble Lord thinks it necessary to ask any Question upon them, I need hardly say that I shall be very glad to reply.
§ Drafting Amendments agreed to.
§ * LORD REAY
moved an Amendment, the object of which was to leave the determination of the composition of the bodies of managers in the case of provided schools to the London County Council instead of to the metropolitan boroughs, as arranged under the clause. He said that the object of his Amendment was to give to the County Council the same power which the County Councils in the country had under the principal Act. In the principal Act the number of managers and the grouping of the schools was left entirely in the hands of the County Council, and it seemed to him that so important a matter as the decision with regard to the number of managers and the grouping of schools should be in the hands of the authority which, as had been constantly asserted by the Government, was the authority which had supreme control. He did not understand why this departure from the principal Act had been adopted in this Bill, and why it was proposed to give to the metropolitan boroughs powers with regard to the number of managers and grouping which had not been given to similar authorities in the country. It seemed to him a pure waste of administrative power to introduce bodies which hitherto had had no connection with education, which had no experience 848 in the administration of education, and some of whom at least bad expressed a distinct wish not to be entrusted with these powers. The County Council, of course, would have inspectors and officials cognisant of the wants of the various districts, but the metropolitan Borough Councils would have no machinery whatever, and he could not see that any good result would he obtained V introducing this entirely new feature in the administration of the Act, and in deviating from what had been adopted last year by Parliament with regard to the schools all over the country.
In page 1, line 13, to leave out from the word 'by' to the first 'the' in line 14."—(Lord Reay.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
I admit that the noble Lord is quite justified in raising the point. It is quite true that by this Bill powers are given to the metropolitan boroughs which are not extended to boroughs under the Act of last year, but if the noble Lord did me the honour of listening to the speech delivered the other day he will have recognised that I laid great importance on Are fact that the metropolitan boroughs occupied a very important position. I dwelt at considerable length on their population and wealth, and I also dwelt on the fact that many local authorities of smaller dimensions in other parts of the country had powers which were not extended to the metropolitan boroughs. I consider that the least we can do for the metropolitan boroughs is to give them a voice in regard to a certain amount of the details of the management of the schools in their boroughs. If your Lordships will carry your minds back to the debates that took place in the House of Commons, you will remember that this was really the result of a compromise between the claims of the Borough Councils and the County Council. The County Council, of course, is absolutely free to decide what are to be the powers to be given to these managers. I must say I consider it very essential that boroughs which have been recognised to be of such importance should have this voice. It has been said that a great deal too much work has been added to the already great amount of work which the London County Council has to do. If that is the ease, I think the provision in the Bill that the Borough Councils should, 849 after consultation with the London County Council, make arrangements in this direction, will lighten the burden of he County Council. I maintain that we are only doing justice to the metropolitan boroughs in this matter. Much as I would desire to accept an Amendment from the noble Lord, who has the interests of London education so much at heart, I cannot accept the Amendment.
* LORD MONKSWELL
said he was much obliged to the noble Marquess for the suggestion that he desired the work of the London County Council to be lightened, but he failed to see how it would be at all lightened by the passing of the clause in its present form. The clause provided that the boroughs should, after consultation with the local education authority, decide the composition of the managers. Therefore, if the County Council were to do their duty, they must have formed an opinion on this matter. Therefore the argument that their labour would be lightened fell to the ground.
§ EARL SPENCER
regarded this as a matter too important to be dealt with as a matter of compromise. He was not affected by the argument that the metropolitan Borough Councils were important bodies, for he considered that this was a matter entirely for the responsibility of the educational authority, which ought to be supreme.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
said the speech of the noble Marquess; both that night and on the Second Reading, seemed to him to prove too much. His observations were directed not to supporting the provisions of the Bill as it now stood, but the provisions in the Bill as it w s introduced in the House of Commons. The clause originally read:—The council of each metropolitan borough shall he the managers of all public elementary schools provided by the local education authority within their borough.The noble Marquess frankly admitted the other night that that was his idea of what the Bill should be, and he understood that though the noble Marquess had given way to Parliamentary pressure he still thought would have been better to have given the whole matter of education in each particular 850 borough to the Borough Council. Holding that view the speech of the noble Marquess that night was perfectly justified, but as he had been driven from that position to take up the view that the proper education authority for London was the London County Council, he thought the noble Marquess should have the courage of his conviction and admit that the local educational authority should have the power of decision without any drawback. He pressed the Government to reconsider their decision. Perhaps the noble Duke would be able to say that some concession would be made in this direction.
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (The Duke of DEVONSHIRE)
My Lords, the noble Earl opposite objects to this question being treated as one of compromise, and says it is too important to be considered ors that basis, but the noble Earl cannot get away from the fact that it is a compromise arrived at in the other House of Parliament. The original provision of the Bill did give to the Borough Councils absolute powers of management over the elementary schools in their districts. Under the compromise which was come to in the other House it gave to the Boroughs Councils not the absolute power of management, but the power of determining, after consultation with the education authority, and subject to the sanction of the Board of Education, the number of the managers of each school, the manner in which the schools should be grouped and it provided that they should also have the appointment of two-thirds of the managers. On the other hand, the education authority retains the power of deciding what powers and duties they intend to entrust to the managers thus appointed. If the London County Council intend to carry on the administration of education in London exactly on the lines which were described by the noble Lord the Chairman of the London School Board the other night, I should admit that any provision of this sort was unnecessary; but, as noble Lords opposite have pointed out, the labour which would be imposed on the County Conned by adding to their work all that is now 851 done by the London School Board would tax to too great an extent their powers and their abilities. We believe that the London County Council will be compelled to decentralise their administration much more than the London School Board has done, and we think it would be a very good thing that they should do so. If there is to be decentralisation, it is to the Borough Councils, to the minor municipal authorities of this great city, that we must look for assistance in the work of decentralisation, and if we expect to receive any assistance from them, surely it is not an unreasonable thing to suggest that they should have, not a controlling voice, because the ultimate decision will not rest with them, but that they should have at all events the power of making their suggestions in consultation with the education authority as to the organisation and local management of the schools. I believe that this is a duty which they will be competent and willing to undertake. I admit that I should have preferred the proposal that was originally in the Bill. I should have preferred to delegate specifically certain powers of management to these great bodies, but mainly I suppose, on educational grounds, that solution did not commend itself to the judgment of the other House, and this compromise has been accepted in its place. I must point out that any such alteration as has been suggested by noble Lords opposite would have a very serious effect upon the probable fate of this Bill. This compromise was only arrived at after long and protracted discussion in the other House. To send the Bill back with an Amendment, which would practically amount to striking the Borough Councils out of the administration of education in London altogether, would inevitably m the other House revive all those discussions which have hitherto taken place, and I think that it might—though I do not wish in any way to use the language of menace—have the effect of possibly endangering the final acceptance of the measure. That may be a course which does not hold out any terror to noble Lords opposite, but I think the great majority of Members on this side of the House will think twice before they assent to an Amendment which certainly would lead to a renewal of protracted discussion in the other House, and would be productive of the greatest inconvenience and danger.
§ LORD DAVEY
objected to the clause on the ground of the divided responsibility which it created and which he believed would be fatal to good administration. They ought to throw the whole responsibility upon the body which had the administration of the schools. He was not at all impressed with the susceptibilities either of the County Council or the Borough Councils, and was indifferent to the question whether this was a compromise or not. He regarded the provisions of the Bill solely from the point of view of whether they would tend to the efficiency of London education, and he could not but think that to divide the responsibility between the Borough Councils and the local education authority in an important matter of this kind would not tend in that direction.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
The noble and learned Lord has overlooked the fact that this Bill leaves the County Council absolutely free to decide what powers should be given to the managers, and, therefore, to a certain extent the managers are controlled by the education authority. Also, I think the noble and learned Lord has not realised that the Bill provides that the Borough Councils shall act after consultation with the education authority, and that any arrangement made by them has to be approved by the Board of Education. This provision guards against Borough Councils acting in any way calculated to prejudice the educational policy of the local education authority. I believe that the fears that the County Council and the metropolitan Borough Councils may not work amicably together are vain. I am of opinion that the local bodies will do the utmost, with their local knowledge, to promote the cause of education. In the interests of the County Council itself it is desirable that the Council should consult with the local authorities.
§ LORD COLCHESTER
held it to be desirable that those who were specially connected with a district should have a voice in its affairs. It was a great mistake to endeavour to treat London as one unit instead of as a collection of large boroughs which had very little in common. Obviously there could be little known by one district of the schools in another district, and he thought the same lack of knowledge would be found
* THE LORD BISHOP oft ROCHESTER
moved an Amendment substituting one-third for two-thirds as the proportion of the managers to he appointed by the Borough Council. He said it had been urged that it would be of great importance in the future to interest the local authorities in education, or, as it had been put even more effectively, to interest the people of London locally in their own schools. He felt the importance of that very much, but he could not but think that in this case, if the Borough Councils were allowed to appoint one-third of the managers, it would suffice to give them a very real interest 854 in their representatives on the County Council. He felt strongly the importance of giving those who were specially acquainted with a district a voice in its affairs.
§ On Question, whether the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the clause,
§ Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 56; Not-Contents, 23.853
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Hardwicke, E.||Congleton, L.|
|Halsbury, E. (L. Chancellor.)||Harewood, E.||De Le Isle and Dudley, L.|
|Devonshire, D. (L. President.)||Howe, E.||Dunboyne, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Argyll, D.||Lauderdale, E.||Grenfell, L.|
|Manchester, D.||Morley, E.||Harris, L.|
|Marlborough, D.||Onslow, E.||Kenyon, L.|
|Northumberland, D.||Stanhope, E.||Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)|
|Portland, D.||Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Lawrence, L. [Teller.]|
|Wellington, D.||Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||Lindley, L.|
|Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)||Ponsonby, L. (E Bessborough.)|
|Bath, M.||Rathmore, L.|
|Clarendon, E. (L. Chamberlain.)||London, L. Bp.||Robertson, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Abinger, L. Bp.||Stanmore, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Allerton, L.||Suffield, L.|
|Denbigh, E.||Alverstone, L.||Ventry, L.|
|Derby, E.||Balfour, L.||Windsor, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)||Belper, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Eldon, E.||Colchester, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hereford, L. Bp.||Lyveden, L.|
|Carrington, E.||Rochester, L. Bp.||Monkswell, L.|
|Chesterfield, E. [Teller]||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)||Reay, L.|
|Crewe, E.||Ribblesdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Portsmouth, E.||Burghclere, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Russell, E.||Coleridge, L.||Tweedmouth, L.|
|Spencer, E.||Davey, L.||Wandsworth, L.|
|Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.)||Kinnaird, L.|
§ in the schools. It was clear from the speech of the noble Duke at the Second Reading stage that the importance of the new managers would be greater than that of the old; and he suspected that, if the existing managers were asked which course they preferred, they would prefer that the bulk of their body should be appointed by the central authority rather than by the local council. It was no use disguising the fact that the County Council and the Borough Councils did not always enter into the treatment of a subject with a predominant desire to find themselves at one. There was a tendency, at any 855 rate, to antagonism, and it seemed then a serious risk to run with their eyes open, to allow the minor authority, on which, from the nature of the case, they were throwing a very large part of the educational responsibility, to be mainly constituted from a body which had some prepossession against the higher authority.
In page 1, line 16, to leave out the words two-thirds' and to insert the words 'one-third'; and in line 17, to leave out the words 'one-third' and to insert the words 'two-thirds.'"—(The Lord Bishop of Rochester.)
§ * LORD REAY,
in supporting the Amendment, pointed out that the managers were not the agents of the metropolitan boroughs, but were appointed to carry out the educational policy of the County Council. The noble Duke the other night unfavourably contrasted the business methods of the School Board with those of a great railway company, but would any railway company ask another body to appoint a majority of its agents? By this clause, as it stood, they introduced an element of confusion into the administration and defeated their own object. How could they expect the County Council to devolve duties on bodies on which they would be represented by a minority? In these circumstances the delegation of powers to the managers would be restricted, and he doubted whether they would be allowed to have the power which they now possessed of appointing assistant teachers, and also of nominating the head teacher from three candidates selected by the School Board. Instead of having more devolution they would have less. In the borough of the Tower Hamlets, out of the 178 managers, fifty-two were resident elsewhere. Obviously the Borough Councils would endeavour, whether they found fit persons or not, to fill the bodies of managers by their own members and residents.
§ LORD REAY
said that if the appointment were left in the hands of the County Council better managers would be appointed. What was the position of the 856 non-provided schools in this respect? In that case one manager would be appointed by the County Council and one by the metropolitan borough. Why was there an equality in the case of non-provided schools and a disproportion in the case of provided schools? He thought the noble Marquess would be well ad-advised to reconsider this point.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment, which is part and parcel of that which has already been rejected, the object of which was to take away the powers from the metropolitan boroughs. Perhaps the noble Lord will allow me to remind him of what took place in the House of Commons on this question. Mr. Peel's Amendment, which was the origin of the present provision, fixed three-fourths to be appointed by the Borough Council, and one-fourth by the County Council. On the Report stage this was altered to two-thirds and one-third respectively, on the ground that it enabled the number of managers to be varied more conveniently. That was a compromise on this question between the London Members and the local education authority. The right rev. Prelate in his speech dwelt on the fact that the method of appointment of these managers would lend interest to local life in London. It was the knowledge possessed by these men of the local requirements that led us to entrust this power to them and insist on their having a majority. In the past the managers have done excellent work, and there is no reason to distrust them in the future; but if the managers who are appointed do not come up to expectation the local education authority will be able to refuse to give them any powers whatever. The local authority is entrusted with the power of seeing that the managers appointed are, so to speak, up to the mark. We have had experience of the fact that these bodies are co-operating together for the public good, and why it should be imagined that there will be any friction under this clause I cannot understand. The local education authority can supersede the managers should they desire to do anything injurious to the education of the district.
§ LORD DAVEY
said that the objection to the proposal was that, while the County 857 Council was made responsible for the efficiency of the school, its powers were to he exercised by a body the majority of which was not appointed by itself. This was the most wonderful provision that he had ever seen in an Act of Parliament. The policy of the Council might be thwarted by the managers, but it would have no power to remove them. Suppose there was a difference of opinion between the County Council, which represented the whole of London, and the Council of the Borough in which the school was situated, as to the policy to be pursued with regard to that school. In that case who ought to govern? Everyone would say the body on whom the responsibility for the efficiency of the school rested. But what would happen The County Council, which appointed only one-third, could remove only one-third; and the Borough Council, which appointed two-thirds, would have the sole power—and that to his mind was much more important than the actual appointment — of removing those two-thirds. Under this system the Borough Council might appoint managers, and instruct them in perfect good faith to carry out a policy which was not dictated by the local education authority, and that authority might find itself thwarted by the board of managers, through whom it had to act, and over the appointment of the majority of whom it had no control. Such a provision as that was calculated to lead to difficulties, and to place obstacles in the way of the policy of the local education authority being rigidly and properly carried out.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
I should like to point out to the noble and learned Lord that the managers will have no powers except such as the County Council choose to delegate to them, and those powers can be withdrawn whenever the local education authority think fit.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
said that this provision could not be described as a compromise, because one of the parties most concerned—the County Council—had not been consulted. The position of the London County Council had always 858 been perfectly clear. It had taken the view that it would prefer not to have these duties thrown upon it, and that it would be better that the education of the children of London should be placed in the hands of a body specially elected for that purpose. But if Parliament decided that the London County Council was to be the local education authority, then it claimed that it should he the real education authority, and that in its hands should be placed complete power to control and deal with this question. To pretend that this was a compromise was surely a misapplication of terms. This provision was not a compromise—it was a scrap thrown to satisfy those who had been desirous of putting the whole of the control of education into the hands of the Borough Councils. The noble Marquess had said that the managers appointed under the present system had done extremely well, and that he had complete confidence that they would give equal satisfaction and do equally good work in. the future. But how were the present managers appointed? They were not appointed by subordinate authorities, but were directly appointed by the central education authority—the London School Board. The London School Board selected the managers and delegated to them such powers as it thought proper, and they were actually agents to carry out the work of the Board. The case under this clause was a totally different one. It might just as logically be suggested that the noble Marquess should allow the choice of the managers of some of his great collieries to be made by a rival colliery owner hard by. He did not think the noble Marquess would like to see the managers under him appointed by his rivals in his own line of business, and, after all, that was very much the position of the Borough Councils to the London County Council. The managers were, above all, the agents of the central education authority, and he held therefore that they should be appointed by that authority.
* LORD MONKSWELL
said the noble Marquess had defended his proposal by saying that in the event of there being any difference of opinion between the London County Council and the minor authorities the former would have the power of asserting their authority only by refusing to give any powers whatever to the managers. The County 859 Council might be obliged to place itself in a position in which the whole of this educational scheme would be brought to a standstill.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
The question of teachers is undoubtedly in the hands of the managers, controlled by the local authority. The question is, whether the local authorities can be trusted or not. I think that they can be trusted, and no discourtesy is intended to the County Council in not asking it to undertake this, work.
§ LORD BURGHCLERE
said they were told last year that the object of the Education Act was to co-ordinate and simplify authorities. He would like to ask how the extraordinary provisions which had been pointed out in this clause in any way co-ordinated or simplified the education authorities. It was pointed out in the discussion on the Act last year that the Government, in their ardour to co-ordinate authorities, had introduced into the Bill rather more authorities than there were under the then existing condition of things; but under this Bill they were going still further in the same direction, because they introduced the municipal boroughs. The minor local authorities were to possess a power over the County Council which was not conferred elsewhere by the original Act. Nothing could be more ridiculous than to allow the minor authorities to override the County Council.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY
said that he approached this question with an open mind. He understood Lord Tweedmouth to say that the
§ County Council and the Borough Councils were in the position of hostile authorities. The noble Lord spoke of two rivals in industrial concerns.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
I said nothing and meant nothing of the sort. I said that the Borough Councils in relation to the County Council were subsidiary authorities.
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Lord BALFOUR of BURLEIGH)
The noble Lord used the expression "rivals as in business."
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
said that he was in the recollection of the House The noble Lord spoke of the heads of two rival industrial concerns, and asked whether one owner would like to have the management of his concern appointed by the head of another rival in business. If that was the view which was taken of the relation of the Borough Councils to the County Council, they were indeed touching on a larger question than was raised by the Amendment. He should like in the strongest terms to protest against the idea that the two authorities, which were appointed with a view to the fullest co-Operation and friendly and harmonious working, should ever be hell up as intended to oppose one another in this matter.
§ EARL CARRINGTON
said there was no rivalry between the County Council and the Borough Councils in London. The question before the House was whether it was right to place these minor bodies in a majority against the County Council.
§ On Question, whether the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the clause,
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 49; Not-Contents, 24.861
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Marlborough, D.||Clarendon, E. (L. Chamberlain.)|
|Halsbury, E. (L Chancellor.)||Portland D.|
|Devonshire, D. (L. President.)||Wellington, D.||Abingdon, E.|
|Argyll, D.||Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)|
|Manchester, D.||Bath, M.|
|Eldon, E.||Abinger, L.||Lawrence, L. [Teller.]|
|Hardwicke, E.||Alverstone, L.||Lindley, L.|
|Howe, E.||Balfour, L.||Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)|
|Hehester, E.||Belper, L.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Lauderdale, E.||Cheylesmore, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Colchester, L.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Stanhope, E.||Congleton, L.||Robertson, L.|
|Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||De L'Isle and Dudley, L.||Stanmore, L.|
|Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||Dunboyne, L.||Suffield, L.|
|Ellenborough, L.||Ventry, L.|
|Hutchinson, V. (E. Dononghmore.)||Grenfell, L.||Windsor, L.|
|Kenyon, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)|
|London, L. Bp.||Lamington, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.)||Lyveden, L.|
|Carrington, E.||Monkswell, L.|
|Chesterfield, E. [Teller.]||Herford, L. Bp.||Reay, L.|
|Crewe, E.||Rochester, L. Bp.|
|Morley, E.||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)||Ribblesdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Burghelere, L.||Sandhurest, L.|
|Portsmouth, E.||Coleridge, L.||Tweedmouth, L.|
|Russell, E.||Davey, L.||Wansdworth, L.|
|Spencer, E.||Kinnaird, L.||Welby, L.|
On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Drafting Amendment agreed to.
§ * LORD REAY
said that if the existing bodies of managers were to cease to exist on the appointed day, there would be an interim during which some confusion aright arise. He therefore moved the insertion of words providing that the existing body of managers should be continued until the new bodies were appointed.
In page 1, line 24, after the word 'provision,' to insert the words 'the existing bodies or managers shall be continued until the new bodies of managers are appointed.'"—(Lord Petty.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY: I think the noble Lord will admit that this is not an Amendment of very great importance. It was proposed in the other louse by Mr. Lough, but was not pressed to a division, my colleague, Sir William Anson, expressing his unwillingness to insert a provision which might act as an inducement to the authorities not to put the Bill into operation at the earliest possible date. I can assure the noble Lord that the point will receive our attention.
§ Amendment, by leave of the House, withdrawn.
§ Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 3.862
THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDEERY
The object of the new clause which I have to move after Clause 2 is to make it clear that schools belonging to the Loudon School Board outside London shall be treated as if they were in London. It is moved on behalf of one or two schools that otherwise would receive exceptional treatment. Sub-section 2 of the new clause deals with the case of a school situated partly in one Metropolitan Borough and partly in another.
After Clause 2, to insert the following new clauses:—'(1.) As from the passing of this Ac, any public elementary school provided by the London School Board before the passing of this Act, which is wholly or partly situated outside the county of London, shall, for the purposes of this Act, be treated as, and for the purposes of the principal Act be deemed to have been, wholly situated within the county of London and within the nearest metropolitan borough. (2.) Any public elementary school provided by the local education authority which is situated partly in One metropolitan borough and partly in another shall, for the purpose of this Act, be deemed to be situated in such one of those boroughs as the local education authority determine.'"— (The Marquess of Londonderry.)
§ * LORD REAY
said the Amendment standing in his name was accepted by the Government in the other House, but, on Report, was defeated on division. The 863 London Government Act, 1889, contained this section:—The Local Government Board may, if they think fit, on the application of the London County Council and of the majority of the Borough Councils, make a Provisional Order for transferring to all the Borough Councils any power exercisable by the County Council or for transferring to the County Council any powers exercisable by the Borough Councils.That was an extremely wide power of transfer, and when the Act of 1899 was passed no one, of course, contemplated that it would apply to education, as the Borough Councils then possessed no educational powers. Moreover, it was entirely unnecessary in this case, because the Act of 1902, in Section 20, gave the powers required. The clause as it stood brought in two Government Departments, for, of course, the Local Government Board would not allow powers with regard to education to be transferred without consulting the Board of Education. This procedure seemed to him unnecessary, and in the interests of the smooth working of the Bill he thought it would be well that the section of the London Government Act, 1899, in question should not apply to proceedings under this Bill.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
This clause was inserted in the House of Commons on the Motion of Mr. Lough, and accepted on behalf of the Government. On the Report stage a Motion was made to strike out the clause, and the matter was left to the House of Commons to vote exactly as they pleased, with the result that the clause was struck out by 214 votes to 120. When I tell your Lordships that these powers cannot be transferred unless the County Council applies, unless the majority of the Borough Councils are willing, unless the Local Government Board give their consent, and unless the transfer is approved by Parliament, it will at once be seen that the matter is sufficiently safeguarded. I do not think it would be fair at this late period of the session to send the clause back to the House of Commons for reconsideration.
§ Amendment, by leave of the House, withdrawn.
§ * LORD REAY
did not think the noble Marquess could have any objection to the next Amendment. Under the Technical Instruction Act, which was repealed, the County Council had the power to provide or assist in providing, scholarships, or pay, or assist in paying, the fees of students ordinarily resident in the district of the local authority in schools within or outside that district. Therefore they had the power to give scholarships at an elementary school. Under this Bill, however, the power of the County Council to give scholarships at elementary schools would no longer exist, and the result would be disastrous to those to whom it was very important that there should be afforded this first step in the ladder of advancement. Unless a provision of the nature contained in his Amendment were inserted in the Bill, the lack of it would make itself very seriously felt.
To insert as a new clause (B) The local education authority may aid the education of scholars in public elementary schools who are exempt from the legal obligation to attend school by scholarships, free education, grants of books, or otherwise.'"—(Lord Reay.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
This Amendment has relation to a subject with which the Government will have to deal by a measure having application to the whole country. It is under the consideration of the Board of Education, and my colleague, Sir William Anson, has drafted a clause which provides that—The local education authority shall be entitled to aid by scholarships the education of any scholar in a public elementary school who, being a scholar to whom instruction can legally be given in such a school, is exempt from the legal obligation to attend school.I hope that next year a measure will be brought forward that will meet the views of the noble Lord, who, I hope, will not insist on his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave of the House, withdrawn.
§ Clause 3 agreed to.
§ Clause 4
In page 2, line 20, after the word 'shall' to insert the words except as expressly provided.'"—(The Marquess of Londonderry.)
§ Clause 4., as amended, agreed to.
§ Schedule 1.
* THE LORD BISHOP OF HEREFORD
said the Amendment which he desired to move bore upon Section 17 of the governing Act, the first sub-section of which was to the effect that any Council having powers under the Act shall establish an Education Committee, or Education Committees, constituted in accordance with the scheme made by the Council, controlled by the Board of Education, provided, etc. He proposed to determine by statute the form of the Educational Committee of the London County Council, which would, of course, be subsidiary to and working under the Council. The members of the Committee were to consist first of all of one member from each electoral division for the County Council, to be elected at the same time as the members of the County Council, on the same franchise, and by the same process, but with the difference that women were to be eligible for election equally with men, and secondly, to consist of nineteen members appointed from their own body by the County Council, and ten members, men or women, experienced in education, to be appointed by the County Council. It would be seen that of such a Committee the County Council would appoint the majority and the rest would be directly elected. Upon a superficial view it might be thought that this was an attempt to bring back the School Board, but it simply went to the extent to bring into the administra- 866 tion of the County Council all the best elements of the School Board administration. There was no attempt in this Amendment to revive the School Board, but merely to retain the principle of direct election. There were, indeed, several obvious advantages in such a Committee if it were made a statute. In the first place, such a body—a very impartial, thoroughly representative and efficient type of body— would relieve the excessively overburdened County Council. It would take off the whole burden which was being put upon it by the Bill in this shape, and he did not think there was any Member of their Lordships' House who doubted that this large amount of administrative work would overburden the Council, and that in consequence they could hardly fail to be inefficient in one part of their work or another. Therefore it was for efficiency of education and the whole work of the County Council that he ventured to urge this Resolution on the House. Then, again, by the appointment of one member, one man or one woman from each electoral division, they had an opportunity of securing a person who was directly interested in the great and good work of the education of the children of this Metropolis, and they held on to the principle of direct popular representation In his judgment one of the greatest defects in this legislation, in which they had been engaged for two years, was the tendency to depart from the principle of direct election by the people of the persons who had to do their work.
Then, again, this Amendment gave them the opportunity of enlisting capable women for the work, and putting them in their rightful position on the Council. In the Bill as it stood it was generally thought outside that one of its great defects was that it practically disfranchised women from being elected. Those women who had worked so devotedly on the School Board for London practically disappeared, and seeing that three-fourths of the teachers and pupil teachers in the schools were women, and at least one half of the pupils were girls, he contended that it would be reasonable, and would certainly tend to an efficiency of devotion to the work, if women were admitted to their proper place in the education of the country. Those 867 were the main reasons on which he ventured to urge this Amendment for adoption by the House. He knew that some persons who have not had any experience in practical administration of that kind would say that it was hardly reasonable to elect popular representatives on the Committee of the Council, but no person of practical educational experience would venture to say that. He himself was working happily on two Education Committees at that moment under the Bill of last year, and the Archbishop of Canterbury had informed him that he was the only Bishop who was fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to be appointed on such Committees. He had worked on a Committee under the County Council which was just in the same position that this Committee would be, and he could assure their Lordships that the County Council almost invariably accepted the decision of that Committee, so that there would Le nothing to deter the best persons from offering themselves as candidates. Again, ill the City Committee in Hereford they had had some experience, and out of this experience he ventured to urge as advisable for the good work of the Metropolis, the establishment of an Education Committee under the London County Council such as he had sketched out. he had no doubt that it would work with far more efficiency and harmony than would any other kind of Committee which had been indicated, and he ventured to hope that it might commend itself even now to the noble Marquess in charge of the Bill.
In page 3, after paragraph (3) to insert as a new paragraph the words: The provisions of Sub-section 1 of Section 17 of the principal Act shall not apply, and the Education Committee of the London County Council shall consist of—(1) one member from each electoral division for the County Council, to be elected at the same time as the members of the County Council, on the same franchise and by the same process, women to be eligible for election equally with men: (2) Nineteen members, appointed from their own body by the County Council; (3) Ten members, men or women experienced in education, appointed by the County Council. This Committee shall come into existence at the time of the next County Council election, the Act to be administered meanwhile by the present School Board together with the twenty-nine persons appointed by the County Council under (2) and (3) above, acting as the Education Committee of the County Council."—(The Lord Bishop of Hertford.)
§ EARL SPENCER
said he rose at once to say two or three words on the proposal of the right rev. Prelate, because he had a great deal of sympathy with the proposition. He always felt in favour of what was called an ad hoc authority for dealing with this matter. He also felt very strongly in favour of electing women who had done such good work on the School Board. At the same time, he felt there was some difficulty in adopting in this Bill the proposition of the right rev. Prelate, which was to modify the School Board as a Committee. He had very great sympathy with the view of the right rev. Prelate, and if they were dealing with the thing de novo he thought there would be a great deal in what had been said. He was afraid that he had not quite gathered the argument made by the right rev. Prelate, that in his own experience in this matter the Committee of another body should be independently elected.
§ EARL SPENCER
said he was not aware that in the country any such minority was now elected in that way. Those were the reasons why, although he very much regretted they could not adopt something of the sort, he doubted whether it could be brought conveniently into the present Bill. The form of the Bill did not seem quite in unison with the proposal of the right rev. Prelate, and much as he sympathised with the endeavour to, get a new element into the matter, he felt there would be a very great difficulty to be encountered. Then he saw another difficulty, which was by no means clear. The members would be only elected to the Committee. That was an anomaly which he thought was a very serious one, and he ventured to hope that the right rev. Prelate would not press this alteration in the schedule to a division.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
I do not think after the remarks of the noble Lord that there is anything for me to say. He has recognised, as I do, that if this Amendment were to be accepted it would ignore- 869 virtually everything that has taken place in the House of Commons with regard to this Bill. Any question of a body elected ad hoc could not receive our sanction at the present time. I there fore really do not think the noble Lord will go to a division, and I also do not think he will think me discourteous in not answering at a greater length, which, however, I am perfectly willing to do if he so desires.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
THE LORD BISHOP OF HEREFORD
said he ventured to think his next Amendment was not open to the objections to the previous one. It dealt with the subject of endowment. The endowment of schools in the London Bill was a new clause. It involved a departure from the parent Bill, and he was very glad to see it, because he recognised it as a great advance upon the Bill of last year. He would even go so far as to say that it was almost a confession that a mistake was made last year. In his own diocese the prevalent conviction was that a great mistake had been made; that they had wasted large sums of money which might, and he ventured to think would, have been used for helping forward the education of the children of the poor. To that extent they had been educationally impoverished by the action of that Bill. Turning to the London Bill he was glad to see that powers were taken to deal with endowments, although he was afraid that they were taken in a very half-hearted manner, so that the repentance did not appear to be either complete or effective. As the clause in the schedule ran the Board of Education had to wait for direct application from the trustees of the endowment in one case, or from the local education authority in the other case. That being so, what was likely to happen? Where they had trustees who might be said to be public-spirited trustees or generously-minded towards the poor children, or who were really earnest in and devoted to the cause of education, they would undoubtedly make an 870 application. Similarly with the local education authorities. If they were stirred up by a generosity which was not usually found in local authorities, then they would apply to the Board of Education. But supposing that neither of those applied to the Board then the trustees were left to use the endowments for the up-keep of the school buildings and similar purposes. That would happen in many cases, and money would be used for purposes for which it was never intended; to that extent they would be impoverished and the money would be confiscated. The local authorities would have to ask themselves, the question whether they should let the money go to the relief of the rates or apply it to the schools, and in many cases they would elect to put it to the relief of the rates. The facts would be that if they had a public-spirited and generously-minded body the money would be applied to its proper educational purpose, but if they had an inert and selfish body the trust would be abused, and the money would be confiscated. On that ground he hoped that the noble Marquess would be willing to accept his Amendment, which was simply to make an educational use of this endowment. All that he asked was that it should be the duty of the Board of Education, with regard to all endowments which at the time of the passing of the Act were being used for education, in all such cases to make the scheme an educational scheme, and that the endowment should continue to be used for a genuine educational purpose, and due regard had to the educational needs of the children of the locality or district for which the benefits of the particular endowment were originally intended. He was sure that their Lordships were anxious to have everything reasonable done with a view to help on the education of the children.
In page 3, line 22, to leave out from the word 'education' to the end of paragraph 4, and insert the words shall, by scheme or order, define the use to be made of any endowment to which this sub-section would have applied. Under any such scheme or order, the endowment shall be used for educational purposes, and due regard shall primarily he had to the educational interests of the children of the locality or district for which the benefits of the endowment were originally intended.'"— (The Lord Bishop of Hereford.)
THE LORD BISHOP OE LONDON
said in many cases these endowments were left for the poor schools and were left for the fabric of the schools. No one in the world was more anxious than himself to see the children properly educated, or had more sympathy with the desire of the right rev. Prelate, but they had to be just before they were generous. In St. Paul's they had to consider the questions of keeping up the service and putting the choristers out in suitable positions in life, but the first and chief question was that of the fabric. The schools could not exist unless the fabric were kept up. As it was, all that was left in many cases for that purpose was the endowment trust, and now the right rev. Prelate proposed to take that away. Therefore, whilst he was in sympathy with the right rev. Prelate's motives he could not support the Amendment.
* THE LORD BISHOP OF HEREFORD
wished to point out that where any endowment was left for the fabric it would of course be used for that purpose. His Amendment only applied to endowments which at the time of the passing of the Act, were being used for elementary education.
THE LORD BISHOP OF LONDON
said his point was that the first essential part of the school was the fabric of the school, without which they could not carry on the purposes of education. He must oppose what he understood to be the real meaning, intent and result of the Amendment.
§ LORD COLCHESTER
said he expressed himself last year as being in sympathy with the object of the right rev. Prelate, but he saw one or two difficulties attending the Amendment. In the first place, when endowments were left for the poor they were not always left for the purposes of elementary education. It was quite possible that if this Amendment were to be passed it would only perpetuate an abuse which had grown up. Again, if any of these endowments were denominational it would be a very serious matter if the object which the denominational founder had in view were 872 to be disregarded. Therefore, while he sympathised with the general principle of the Amendment, he could not vote for it.
said he also sympathised with the object of the right rev. Prelate who, he thought, did not quite grasp the effect of the clause in the schedule. The effect of Section 4 of the schedule was to except from this Act certain sections of the principal Act of 1902 and to enact instead with regard to all endowments that the Board of Education might make schemes with respect to those endowments. But those endowments were not endowments which as the right rev. Prelate seemed to suppose were devoted to purposes other than education, such as the repair of the fabric, ecclesiastical purposes generally, or anything of that kind. Section 4 of the schedule only applied to endowments which could be applied for the purposes of elementary schools including the maintenance of the school house. The Amendment of the right rev. Prelate also applied to those endowments of the character mentioned, and the effect of the Amendment was that, whereas under the schedule proposed it was necessary that the Board of Education should be put in motion either by the trustees of the charity or by the local education authority, the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate would make it obligatory on the Board of Education to define the use of the endowments which the scheme put in motion. He thought that was an improvement, and that the Board of Education would probably find this to he a freer Act than if it was necessary that they should be put in motion in the manner proposed in the schedule. But for practical purposes he confessed that as it applied only to the London County Council he did not think there would be any practical difference in the result, and he should certainly prefer that the Board of Education should be left free and without the necessity of their being put in motion in the manner proposed in the schedule. With regard to the latter part of the Amendment he thought it would be an improvement to insert it in the Bill, as it would define the purposes for which the scheme was to be made and he should consider it very doubtful whether it would not be ultra vires for the Board of Education to make a scheme for any other purpose than that referred to in 873 the Amendment. He should there fore be disposed to support the Amendment, although he did not think that, when it was thoroughly threshed out, it would confer a great practical improvement on this Bill.
§ * THE LORD CHANCELLOR (The EARL of HALSBURY)
I really do not know, after what my noble and learned friend has said, that it is very desirable to pursue the discussion of this Amendment. As I understand him, and I concur in his view, it will make no practical difference to this particular Bill. This matter has been settled in the House of Commons by an Amendment by the Government, which was accepted by Sir Michael Foster with great gratitude. I really think it would be un- desirable to disturb that agreement. There is only one observation that I wish to make, and that is, that educational purposes must surely include the upkeep of the schools, and if diverted from that the endowments would be diverted from educational purposes.
§ On Question, Amendment negatived.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
My Lords, the paragraph I am moving to insert was acquiesced in by the President of the Local Government Board on the request of Dr. Macnamara in the House of Commons. It is, with regard to the accounts being open to inspection by ratepayers, and we therefore came to the conclusion that if a Committee acts independently with regard to delegated powers their accounts shall not he open to inspection, but if it is approved by the County Council they shall be open. It is quite possible for a Committee to have matters to deal with of a confidential character. Questions of the character of the teachers, the division of grants, and similar matters, might arise, which it would be inadvisable to make public, unless the Committee were acting with the County Council. The Amendment is uncontroversial, and I therefore beg to move it.
In page 4, line 3, after paragraph 6, to insert as a new paragraph the words, 'Where the London County Council dele- gate to their Education Committee any
powers, and the acts and proceedings of the Committee as respects the exercise of those powers are not required to submitted to the Council for their approval, Sub-section 1 of Section 233 of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882 (which provides for the inspection and the taking of copies of Minutes) shall apply to the Minutes of the Committee relating to the exercise of those powers as it applies to the Minutes of the Council.'"—(The Marquess of Londonderry.)
§ THE EARL BEAUCHAMP
said he would have regard to the state of physical exhaustion of their Lordships by reason of the lengthened sitting, and would speak very briefly to the Amendment that appeared on the Paper in his name. With regard to the two words, "by agreement," he would like to say that it was only intended that this clause should take effect in the event of the foundation managers and the local authority coming to an agreement. There was to be no sort of compulsion. Then the words, "outside the ordinary hours of the school time-table," were inserted in order that schools might be left in the hands of the foundation managers, except for the purposes of secular teaching—that was to say, foundation managers to arrange their schools for Sunday evening classes, or even to let the schools for entertainments. He was bound to say that since the Board of Education issued the new by-law he was not sure what hours the school time-table would set forth. That, however, was a matter which could easily be made clear. So far as religious education went he might say that a system such as this had been in vogue in Birmingham for some years in the Board schools, and had given every satisfaction. The Church of England had taken advantage of it, and the Church people there had professed themselves to be entirely satisfied with the character of the religious education that had been given, and with the general results. He ventured to think this was a solution of the difficulty with regard to religious education that the Lord Bishops professed to be anxious to get rid of. There is an easier way open, by giving up the attempt to control secular education in the schools throughout the country, but if they did not see their way to do that, he hoped they would 875 support this new clause. It ran on the lines of the compromise proposed for Wales, and would place the voluntary schools on the same basis as the Board schools were placed under the Act of 1870. Therefore it would, he hoped, foreshadow some agreement on the part of all these bodies in the State with regard to education.
In Page 4, after paragraph 7, to inset as a new paragraph the mortis 'All public elementary voluntary schools within the area shall be maintained by the local education authority as if they were provided schools, provided that the local education authority shall, by agreement, rent the school premises from the trustees, free use of the premises being granted to the denominations under whose auspices the schools have hitherto been conducted for purposes of denominational religious teaching outside the ordinary hours of the school time-table, to the Children of such parents as make written application for the same. If any question arises under this section between the local education authority and the managers of a school not provided by the authority in respect to the use and rental of the premises, the matter stall he determined by the Vogel of Education.'
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
I do not think the noble Earl for a moment imagines I can accept his Amendment. It seeks to reverse the whole scheme in last year's Bill with regard to voluntary schools. The whole scheme was discussed last year and was rejected. A similar Amendment to this was ruled out on the Report stage in the House of Commons on the ground that it was a charge on the rates. That having been ruled out, I do not know how your Lordships are to deal with this question, but I can only say that it must be taken as a cardinal principle of the Bill that the position of the voluntary schools, as settled last year, is not to be altered, and no difference can be made between the voluntary schools in London and those in the country. I can hold out no hope of the Amendment being accepted.
§ LORD DAVEY
said he could not be surprised at the view expressed by the noble Marquess with regard to this Amendment, which was of a character that might have been more fitly adopted 876 in the Act of last year, if it was intended to apply—and there was no reason why it should not—to the whole of the country. He felt indebted to the noble Earl for having suggested this question, because in his opinion it was an extremely important one, and he had always looked to a solution of this kind as a real solution which might meet the just desires and wishes of the supporters of denominational education as well as those who preferred the system of Board schools. He ought to observe that the scheme which was suggested in the Amendment of the noble Earl was really that of the powers already existing under Section 26 of the Act of 1870, and when he heard the most reverend Primate say that no scheme or plan had been suggested by any Party on that side of the House for a solution of the difficulty, he felt some surprise. The solution to be found in Section 26 of the Act of 1870 had been put forward in the Press, by speeches both in the House of Commons and in that House, and in the literature that had been issued on the subject. He believed it was on the basis of the compromise proposed by his right reverend friend -the Lord Bishop of Hereford. He (Lord Davey) had some right to speak on this subject, because he had for the last twelve, years been a member and the chairman of a, School Board in his own parish, in which they had carried out exactly this system. There they had a school which belonged to a charity. The School Board rented the school at a nominal rent under the powers of the Act of 1870. The trustees of the charity reserved to themselves the use of the school out of school hours, and they gave religious instruction in that reserved time. What happened? The school bell rang three-quarters of an hour before the school began, and religious-education was given at the beginning of the school time. Then at a quarter to ten the bell rang again and the School Board work began. They found that system worked admirably and gave satisfaction to everybody. He had never heard a single complaint about it, either from the Church people, or from any member of the School Board, or from the Nonconformists themselves, and he had always thought that it afforded material for the solution of the question. He had always been of the opinion that 877 if the clergy had embraced that solution it would have been of great advantage to them. There would have been no Kenyon-Slaney Clause or introduction of foreign managers into the control of religious education, but it would have been entirely in the hands of those to whom the school house belonged, and they would have been free form many of those restrictions which the clergy found to be rather irksome upon them. It was a subject upon which he felt a great interest. He regarded it as a real basis for the solution of the confliction views of both parties. It was one to be welcomed by the Nonconformists, because it would not involve any payment of rates for the religious education that might be given by the trustees, and it was one which the supporters of undenominational education ought to—and he believed would—welcome, because it would relieve them of the cost of the maintainence of the building, and of very many restrictions under which they now suffered.
* THE LORD BISHOP OF ROCHESTER
said that although anyone at this late hour spoke as with a halter round his neck, he thought it would not be respectful if no one sitting on those Benches expressed their views with regard to the Amendment. His objection would, of course, rest on the words "outside the ordinary hours of the school time-table." He could well imagine that the arrangement might work admirably in some cases, but they had to think not of instances but of the general rule, and in their view it would neither be respectful to the subject of religion nor practicable to make and arrangement by which that great subject should be taught outside the school hours and thereby give a kind of advertisement to the children concerned that they need not attend, It was important to he interests of peace in the future, and of a future settlement that they should recognise that any such arrangements must come within the school time-table. He had in his hand a paper by a Nonconformist, reproaching the Church for not coming to an arrangement based on facilities within the school time-table, but such an arrangement had never yet been responsibly suggested, and 878 he was quite convinced that no arrangement would ever commend itself to the consciences of those denominationalists who require denominational teaching, so long as proposals were made that religious education should be given outside the school time-table. When the noble Lord said he thought a compromise had been proposed on that basis, he (the Lord Bishop of Rochester) was not sure what compromise was alluded to, but he thought perhaps it was that suggested by Dr. Macnamara. He felt, and Dr. Macnamara knew at the time, that that was a point which from their point of view put his proposals out of Court.
* THE LORD BISHOP OF HEREFORD
said as he had been referred to in connection with the compromise he should like to say by way of explanation that the noble and learned Lord opposite had not received quite the right impression of the compromise which he had more than once proposed in regard to the voluntary schools. It was, he understood, voluntary schools with which this Amendment would deal. He had always contended, in a compromise of the kind, that denominational instruction should be limited to a specified time—but to a specified time within the ordinary hours of the school curriculum. There lay all the difference. Whilst sympathizing with the general view of the noble Earl he could not support the Amendment as it stood. He had another practical objection in his mind. From his experience in a country diocese he felt they had to consider both sides, and in many parishes there was on sufficient reason for so drastic a remedy. The Lord Bishop of Rochester had suggested that he should figure a little more in the shape of mediator. He could only say that he had been mediating for seven years, and he was afraid that with regard to some points the time for mediation was now over. But with regard to the Amendment he felt that in the country this is not the best mode of solving the difficulty.
§ On Question, Amendment negatived.
§ LORD BURGHCLERE
said he had reason to believe that the Amendment he had to submit had never been brought forward in the House of Commons. It appealed to a large class of people and spoke for itself. It was a 879 supplementary Amendment to one that was to be moved later, and it dealt with religious tests as applied to those who wished to become teachers and were about to go into training colleges. The object of the Amendment was to enjoin upon the London County Council, who would be the particular educational authority under the Act to make adequate provision for those who wished to have undenominational colleges. The noble Marquess would observe that under the Bill the London County Council were only obliged to provide additional colleges if they considered the existing arrangements insufficient, and if they thought on the other hand that there were at the present moment sufficient opportunities for those who wished to have undenominational training, they would not be obliged to alter the present conditions. He would venture to point out that there could be no reproach cast upon those who asked for these undenominational colleges. They were in no sense irreligious persons, but they preferred to get the tenets of their faith from spiritual guides rather than to look upon them as tickets of entrance to a particular college. What was the provision existing at the present moment in this country for denominational and undenominational colleges? In England and Wales there were 45 residential training colleges, of which 38 were denominational. Of these 14 were for men and 24 for women. Therefore there were only seven undenominational colleges in the whole of England and Wales, two being for men and five for women. Then, what was much more germane to the Bill and to his Amendment, he asked their Lordships to consider how many of these training colleges there were in London, to which place the Bill applied. In London there were 12 residential colleges, of which 10 were denominational and only 2 in the whole of this great Metropolis were undenominational, one being for men and the other for women. But he was bound to admit that, as he understood it, there were day training colleges for teachers to which he had not alluded. In one sense, at any rate, they fulfilled the object which his Amendment had at heart, because those who wished to be teachers attended day training colleges and would not live in denominational hostels. These day training colleges were practically undenominational as regarded 880 particular students. He welcomed some regulations that the Board of Education had lately brought forward for the purpose of encouraging day training rather than residential colleges for teachers. They were prepared to encourage hostels by grants, where those pupils who wished eventually to become teachers resided, and who attended day training colleges in the daytime. The Board of Education had promised grants to denominational hostels, and it was quite obvious that if a teacher had to live in a denominational hostel, there was a test on that student even if he attended a day training college which was undenominational. His Amendment would enable the London County Council, as the principal education authority, to encourage undenominational hostels, of which he was told there were very few at the present moment, and also to encourage the establishment of day training colleges for undenominational teachers. The present system imposed upon those who wished to become teachers in public schools a sort of religious test. The hostels, which were mainly of a denominational character, also imposed a religious test, and his Amendment empowered and enjoined, but did not impose upon the London County Council, if they thought the present provision for undenominational colleges inadequate, to provide them for those who were to become teachers, and who wished for such educational provision. He did not think his Amendment was in any way one that could not be accepted. It was desired by many people in this country, and he hoped, having regard to the inadequate provision for undenominational training at the present moment that it would be taken into favourable consideration.
In Page 4, after paragraph 7, to insert as a new paragraph the words, 'It shall be the duty of the education authority to make adequate provision of training colleges or of day training colleges, to which all qualified pupils shall be admitted without inquiry into their religions beliefs, and in which no religious catechism or formulary which is distinctive of any particular denomination shall be used.'"—(Lord Burghclere.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
I am afraid that it is impossible to accept the Amendment of the noble Lord, for the simple reason that it would make the provision of training 881 colleges by the local authority compulsory. As this is a very important and serious matter, I have been careful to supply myself with the reply which should be given to the noble Lord on this point. The answer I have framed is as follows: This Amendment cannot be accepted. It would make the provision of training colleges by the local education authority compulsory. The local education authority, under their secondary education powers, have power to provide such training colleges. The quest ion whether the provision of secondary education in any form at all was to be made compulsory was fully debated last year; and Section 2 of last years Act represents the farthest extent to which the House of Commons would go in that direction. Under that section the local education authority are to "consider the educational needs of their area, and take such steps as seem to them desirable, after consultation with the Board of Education, to supply or aid the supply of education other than elementary." It is made quite clear by Section 22 (3) that the power to supply education other than elementary includes the power to train teachers. The actual compulsory supply of education corresponds, and should correspnod, with the extent to which education is compulsory. A parent is obliged to give his child elementary education; and the duty of the State is to make sure that there are elementary schools to which a parent can send his child for the purpose. No duty is imposed on the parent to see that his child receives anything beyond elementary education, and therefore no duty is imposed on the State to provide such education. The part of the Amendment which provides that the training colleges provided by the local education authority should be undenominational is already provided for in last year's Act (see Section 4), under which any training colleges provided by the local education authority must be undenominational. The noble Lord asked with regard to grants given to hostels. They are given to hostels whether they are denominational or undenominational.
§ EARL SPENCER
said he was not surprised at the answer given by the noble 882 Marquess to his noble friend. Everything for which the Opposition asked, no matter how sound the arguments by which the request was supported, was refused by the Government, and, of course, against their majority it was impossible to prevail. His noble friend had not been answered in the least degree. The noble Marquess had quoted a memorandum on the subject, and said he relied on the provisions of the Act of last year. The House were repeatedly being told that everything in the Act of last year was sacred, and that the limits there laid down must not be overstepped. He, however, could not accept that proposition. There was nothing more needed in the country than increased facilities for the training of teachers, particularly for those who did not belong to the Church of England. More undenominational training was required. He was quite aware of the difficulties in the way, and possibly he felt them more, having had considerable experience of training institutions in Ireland, where the attempt to establish hostels for the different denominations had practically broken down. The real remedy was to establish day training colleges. According to the noble Marquess, there were ample powers in that direction under the head of secondary education. But those powers were optional, and his noble friend desired that the local authority should be obliged to deal with the matter. There were many districts in the country without sufficient training college accommodation for teachers, and the object of this clause was to lay it down as the imperative duty of the local authority to provide that which was so much needed, and without which all their Lordships would doubtless agree good education was impossible.
§ THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE
I do not think my noble friend or anyone else has claimed a specially sacred character for the legislation of last year; and we are perfectly aware, as I said the other day, that as soon as they had the opportunity noble Lords opposite are pledged to alter—in fact, practically to repeal—it. But I venture to point out to the House again that the work we are now engaged in is not in the Amendment of 883 the Act of last year, but the application of that Act to London, and I do think it would be very inconvenient and undesirable that we should now introduce a provision as regards London, which was deliberately rejected by the other House of Parliament last year in regard to the rest of the country. What reason has the noble Lord to suppose that the London County Council will not do all that is necessary in the way of providing the training college accommodation which may be necessary? I was under the impression, until a short time ago, that the London County Council was a body in which noble Lords opposite reposed very considerable confidence. It is now proposed to make compulsory upon the London County Council the exercise of a duty which it has not been thought necessary to make compulsory upon the rest of the educational authorities in the country. That is an extremely curious way of showing the confidence which noble Lords opposite entertain in the London County Council, and I must altogether object to inserting this entirely novel provision in the Bill.
§ On Question, Amendment negatived.
§ THE EARL OF PORTSMOUTH
said he entirely agreed with the most rev. Prelate that the opposition to the Act of last year was not based on educational grounds so much as on grounds outside and beyond educational considerations, and he had reason to believe that that was the view of a great many people throughout the country. He did not say it as a matter for congratulation, but he believed that while the people of the country cared very little for education, they were greatly concerned with regard to the principles of injustice which, in their opinion, underlay the Act of last year and the Bill now before the House. The new paragraph which he proposed to insert would have the effect of removing a very real and substantial grievance which was felt most keenly by Nonconformists throughout the country. If these tests were to be established and maintained, he personally had no objection, because, detesting the Act as he did, he believed that no scheme could be devised by which the dislike of 884 the Act would better be kept fresh and keen in the minds of the people than it would be by these tests. What was the position as regarded London? In London there were approximately 1,000 head teacherships and 5,000 assistant teacherships in voluntary schools. The best posts in all those voluntary schools could never be held by Nonconformists, and the assistant teacher-ships might, but probably would not, be so held. His noble friend Lord Burghclere had called attention to the necessity for undenominational training colleges, and that view he entirely endorsed. Under the present state of affairs Nonconformists were trained and examined, knowing all the while that however excellent might be their work in the examination they would be debarred, by a test of the kind against which his Amendment was directed, from the best positions in their profession. Such a position was perfectly indefensible and it was made the more indefensible by a by-law recently issued by the Government. By that by-law the time during which a child was required to attend school was to be held to be the time during which the school was open for secular instruction only. The result would be that in a great number of schools, both Board and voluntary, the children of the poor in London would never hear the Bible read, or receive any religious instruction whatever. That was what had happened from the endeavour to press denominational education too far. This was not imaginary, but a real case in London, because the very poor would naturally and almost inevitably employ their children in the selling of newspapers or in adding to the income of the home by some other means, with the result that they would not receive religious education of any sort or kind. He objected most strongly to that by-law, and it affected the question under discussion in that if children were allowed to be kept away from the school so that they received no religious instruction at all, there was no reason whatever why these tests should be imposed upon Nonconformists. It the time during which children were required to attend school was to be limited to the time during which the school was open for secular instruction, why could not 885 the clergyman or minister of any particular denomination give religious instruction before the school opened?
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
pointed out that the noble Lord the Chairman of the London School Board had a Question down for to-morrow, and intended then to discuss this subject at considerable length. He hoped, therefore, the noble Earl would forgive bins if, instead of replying on this point now, he reserved his remarks till to-morrow.
§ THE EARL OF PORTSMOUTH
said he was simply stating these facts because they bore most pertinently on the question of tests. His contention was that if it was not necessary for the children to receive any religious instruction at all, and that if the time during which they had to attend school was limited to the time during which the school was open for secular instruction, the argument as to the importance of the denominational views of teachers in voluntary schools was very much weakened. Judged, therefore, by the action of the Government themselves in issuing this by-law, altogether apart from the hardship of reimposing these religious tests, he was unable to appreciate the importance of the teachers belonging to a particular religious denomination. He therefore moved the Amendment standing in his name, regretting that, in view of the strong feeling excited in the country on the principle involved, he would feel bound to insist on taking a division.
In page 4, after paragraph 7, to insert the words, 'No teacher shall be required, as a condition of being anointed or continuing a teacher in any school or college aided or maintained by the local education authority, to belong to any particular religious denomination, or to attend or abstain from attending any place of religious worship, or religious observance, or Sunday School'"—(The Earl of Portsmouth.)
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
thought, with all respect to the noble Earl, that he was hardly conversant with all the facts in this particular matter. The Amendment divided itself into two parts, the object of 886 the first part being to prohibit the imposition of the condition that a teacher should belong to a particular denomination, and that of the second to prevent a teacher being obliged to attend or to abstain from attending any place of religious worship, and so forth. The second part was already practically the law, as the Code laid it down that such a condition should not be imposed. The words of the Code were—A teacher shall not he required to perform or to abstain from performing any duty outside ordinary- school hours or unconnected with the ordinary work of the school.That was a most wholesome, right, and legitimate provision of the Code, and it really disposed of the second part of the noble Earl's Amendment He altogether disapproved of its being made a condition of a teacher's appointment that he should as a matter of absolute obligation undertake certain duties unconnected with the school and its work. He was quite aware that such a condition had not been unknown in the past, and it was possible that as a matter of private and terminable agreement, it was not unknown in the present, but if it should be made a matter of legal obligation, it was, in his opinion, indefensible in theory and practically inoperative in practice. When, however, he came to the further suggestion of the noble Earl, that it should he rendered impossible to require or to arrange that the teacher appointed to the head teachership in a particular school should belong to the denomination by the members of which the school was built and had been maintained, he was compelled to part company with the noble Earl. The issue there raised was a very wide and large one, involving the whole policy of the present Bill and of the Act of last year. It raised the question of the maintenance in any form whatever of schools in which denominational teaching was given. The noble Earl was perfectly consistent in objecting to this provision as part of the much larger provision that denominational schools as such should continue to be carried on. But if they were to be carried on, he fell back once more on the remark of Mr. Asquith that if denominational schools were to go on it was reasonable that the teachers should belong to the denomination which built the school. He did not wish to labour the point; it seemed hardly to require 887 argument when fairly faced. He would instance the case of a school on the building of which £15,000 or £16,000 had been spent by members of a particular denomination, who were at the same time rated for undenominational schools, and were maintaining by annual subscriptions, amounting to £1,000 a year, the character of the teaching in the schools. That it should be said that, as a condition of receiving any help whatever, that school must be liable to have appointed to it as head teacher a Roman Catholic or Unitarian, did not appear to him to be at all fair.
A little while ago, when speaking to a friend who agreed with the noble Earl in opposing this Bill, he asked whether, if he were chairman of a small rural School Board, he would think it legitimate in appointing an infant mistress to ascertain whether or not the candidate was a Roman Catholic, and his friend said, "Certainly not. To ask such a question would be entirely and absolutely wrong." That was surely the redurtio ad absurdum of the theory which had been laid down. To assert that in a school which had been built and maintained by the members of a particular section of the Christian community, and which as regarded the fabric, was still to be maintained by them, the head teacher who was to give the instruction might be one who definitely opposed the tenets of the denomination who had built and maintained the school was to put forward one of the most illiberal, unfair and arbitrary contentions that could possibly be made That was his view as to the denominational test, as it was called. On the previous occasion when he spoke he did not refer to the denominational test as such, but to the question of whether or not the teacher, in order to be considered qualified to give religious instruction, should have been trained at a training college or elsewhere, and be able, as proved by examination and inquiry, to give the religious instruction in a proper manner. He was, however, quite ready to go further, and to say that in those schools which were still to have a denominational character, subject to all the safeguards imposed by recent legislation, 888 which introduced for the first time a popular element on the governing body which was not only to help in appointing the teachers, but actually to control the religious teaching given, and subject also to the still prevailing conscience clause, it seemed to him to be almost a self-evident proposition that the teacher should belong to the denomination to which the school was attached. He would not follow the noble Earl into the question of the by-law which was to be discussed to-morrow. He would simply say that the noble Earl had not quite fairly represented the matter, as the adoption of the by-law by the local authority was entirely optional, and the relaxation was to be given only when a parent asked for it in writing. He merely mentioned that lest it should be supposed that he and others accepted the interpretation of the by-law which had been put forward. As to the proposal that denominational schools should in future be presided over by teachers who might be opponents of the Christian faith-or, indeed, of any form of faith whatever—he hoped it would not commend itself to their Lordships' House.
* THE LORD BISHOP of HEREFORD,
as he understood the noble Earl intended to divide the House on this question, desired to explain why he would be unable to support him. He strongly held the view that a wise and right policy was that the office of head teacher as well as that of assistant teacher in all publicly maintained schools should be open in this sense—that candidates for the office of head teachers should be eligible for appointment in voluntary schools, even though they did not profess to belong to the particular denomination to which the particular school was attached. It had to be borne in mind that in connection with all voluntary schools the foundation managers were in a majority, and the only effect of the Act of last year was to tie the hands of the Church majority, so that however much they desired to appoint the candidate whom they considered to be the most eligible, they were unable to do so unless he happened to he of the right denomination That was his objection as an educationalist to the Act of last year. He knew of one case in Which the managers, one of whom was a distinguished High Church leader, preferred 889 to appoint as the head of a department a Wesleyan teacher rather than an inferior Church teacher. He was certain that many clergy and other managers of his diocese under similar circumstances would do the same, and it was for the benefit of both religion and education that they should do so. Moreover such an arrangement would remove a substantial grievance at present felt by Nonconformists. But further than saying that all candidates should be eligible he did not think they ought to go. It was not reasonable that in a Church school the managers should be bound down by such a clause as that now proposed.
thought the right rev. Prelate hardly realised that after the passing of this Bill the denominational schools would no longer be voluntary, but would be supported by the rates. There Was a difference between a grant in aid for secular education, coining from the Consolidated Fund, and assistance from the rates to schools which had hitherto been called "voluntary." The by-law to which reference had been made showed the drift of e cuts. It seemed as though that which many of them feared would be the result of this legislation was being gradually brought about, and that eventually the teaching of the Bible, according
|Beauchamp, E.||Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen).||Monkswell, L.|
|Carrington, E.||Reay, L.|
|Chesterfield, E. [Teller.]||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)||Ribblesdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Crewe, E.||Burghclere, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Portsmouth, E.||Davey, L.|
|Spencer, E.||Kinnaird, L.|
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)||Belper, L.|
|Devonshire,(L. President.)||Cheylesmore, L.|
|Hard wicke, E.||Colchester, L.|
|Argyll, D.||Howe, E.||Congleton, L.|
|Marlborough, D.||Morley, E.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Portland, D.||Onslow, E||Kenyon, L.|
|Wellington, D.||Stanhope, E.||Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)|
|Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Lawrence, L. [Teller.]|
|Bath, M.||Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||Robertson, L.|
|Clarendon, E.(L. Chamberlain.)||London, L. Bp.||Ventry, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Windsor, L.|
|Denbigh, E||Balfour, L.||Wolverton, L.|
§ Schedule 1 as amended agreed to.
§ Schedule 2 and title agreed to.890
§ to the compromise of 1870, would be withdrawn from the children of the land, As to the re-imposition of tests on teachers. he agreed with the Bishop of Hereford in the belief that in many cases the common sense of the people of the country would ensure the appointment of the best teachers, but as long as the tests remained they would prevent much of the harmony which was so important in the question of the teaching of the children.
§ EARL SPENCER
said the most rev. Primate had referred, in the course of the debate, and also on a previous occasion, to the opinion of Mr. Asquith that religions teaching would and must continue to be taught in the schools. That statement was made some years ago. His right hon. friend would never have made it with regard to this Bill under which the maintenance of the schools would fall chiefly on the rates. It was hardly fair, therefore, to quote the statement on the present occasion. As to the question under discussion, the whole thing turned on the fact that these schools were now to be maintained chiefly by public rates, and if these teachers were to be thus supported they, as public servants of the State, ought not to be subjected to tests.
§ On Question, their Lordships divided: Contents, 15; Non-Contents, 33.