§ House again in Committee (according to Order).
§ [The Earl of ONSLOW in the Chair.]
§ Clause 3:—13
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES
called upon Lord Heneage, who had an Amendment down to Clause 3, to add at the end of the first sub-section the following proviso—And such special teaching may be given by the teachers employed in the school during the ordinary school hours.
*THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (The Earl of CREWE)
My Lords, before the noble Lord rises I should like to inform the House that I have been in communication with the noble Lord and also with the most rev. Primate and Lord Jersey, who have similar Amendments on the Paper. It seemed to me that it would be altogether more convenient if these questions whether the special teaching should be given by the teachers employed in the school were postponed until we come to Clause 8, which deals with all the duties and privileges of teachers. I understand that noble Lords are willing that this course should be pursued, and that Lord Heneage does not propose to move his Amendment.
§ LORD HENEAGE
I quite agree with the course suggested by the noble Earl, and am ready to withdraw my Amendment.
§ *VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN
moved the insertion of words providing that where an existing voluntary school had not been continued on account of its not being required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation, the local education authority should be bound, on the requisition of the owners of the school house, to afford facilities for the special religious instruction hitherto given in that school in some other school accessable to children resident in the same area as those who had attended the school which was not continued. He said that since he placed the Amendment on the Paper the clause had been modified by two Amendments. The first of those Amendments was proposed by the Bishop of Hereford, who had secured the insertion in the clause of the words—If in any parish in a rural area there is only one public elementary school provided for the children of the parish, and the parents of a reasonable number of children attending the school have required such facilities, the local 14 education authority shall.….afford those facilities."Therefore, so far as rural areas were concerned his (the noble Viscount's) Amendment was quite unnecessary. The Bishop of Hereford's Amendment, however, did not meet the point of schools in urban areas. The position of those schools had been to some extent safeguarded in this matter by the words inserted in Clause 2, on the Motion of the Bishop of London, that the Board of Education in the case of an appeal to them against a decision of the local education authority not to continue a voluntary school, should have regard to the circumstances of the case—Including the interest of secular instruction, the wishes of the parents as to the education (including the religious education) of their children, and the economy of the rates.The words "including the religious education" did bear very much on the point of his Amendment. There still remained, however, the case of a voluntary school in an urban area which was not continued, on the ground of its not being required for the purpose of providing school accommodation. It was difficult to define what the area should be, and he was not quite content with his own definition. He did not desire to press the Amendment now, but he was anxious to obtain, if he could, some expression of opinion from His Majesty's Government on the matter.
Amendment moved—In page 3, line 17, after the word 'it' to insert the words 'where an existing voluntary school is not continued on account of its not being required for the purpose of providing sufficient public school accommodation, the local education authority shall be bound, on the requisition of the owners of the school house to afford facilities for the special religious instruction hitherto given in that school in some other school accessible to children resident in the same area as those who have attended the school which is not continued.'"— Viscount St. Aldwyn.)
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
My Lords, as the noble Viscount has said, it is perfectly, true that a considerable part of what he intended to do in putting forward this Amendment has already been done by the two Amendments inserted on the Motions of the right rev. Prelates the Bishop of Hereford and the Bishop of London. But it is also true, as the noble 15 Viscount stated, that there are certain cases of discontinued schools which will not be covered by either of those Amendments. This Amendment is one which, as I have said before, deserves careful consideration, because it is undoubtedly-desirable that, in any transition such as that which is proposed under the Bill, the transition should be as little abrupt as possible and inflict as little hardship as possible on individuals.
That, of course, applies to children now attending the schools. But the noble Viscount told me the other day that he by no means intended to confine the privileges of facilities to them, but that it should in some manner descend to future generations of Church children in the neighbourhood. I agree with the noble Viscount that it is a very difficult thing to do, and I very much doubt whether the words which he has placed on the Paper, I do not say carry out his view, but whether they might under some circumstances not do a very great deal more. Let me suggest an actual case to your Lordships, that of a small discontinued Church school containing, say, one hundred places. I say one hundred places, not one hundred children in average attendance. Your Lordships will realise the difference. In fact, there is nothing, I think, which comes more home to us on most occasions, though not during these debates, than the difference as applied to this House, between the available accommodation and the average attendance. I take on this occasion the number of school places available. These one hundred places have somehow to be distributed among other schools, very possibly council schools. The facilities, as I understand, are to be confined to these particular children and to other children who may be spoken of as their heirs and assigns. The result will be that in these schools you will find a certain number of Church children receiving these particular facilities, whereas there may be other Church children in the school who would attend it in the ordinary way as a council school who would not receive these facilities. Would not that be a very difficult and a very anomalous position? I should certainly have supposed that the other Church children in the school who, for purely residential 16 reasons, did not receive the facilities, would consider that they were undergoing considerable hardship.
Then as regards area. How are you going to estimate the area to which this privilege is to apply? It some -times happens that for one reason or another one or two children go a very considerable distance to a particular school because they like the teaching there or for some reason which affects the parents. Is that child who goes perhaps a mile and a half through the streets to entitle the whole of the residential area in which he lives to a future enjoyment of these religious facilities? And if not, how are you going to draw the line? You will have, apparently, in the first place, to make a list of all the children, a sort of map with the residence of each child, and you will then have to draw a line round these various points, including them all; and that would be the arbitrary area to which these facilities would in future apply.
I confess, my Lords, that the prospect of arriving at a satisfactory concluson on these lines seems to me extremely remote. I entirely recognise the spirit in which the noble Viscount has made the recommendation, and any proposal of his, I need not say, is one which we should carefully examine, simply because it comes from him; but I confess it does not seem to me that this is a very feasible suggestion, and therefore I am afraid His Majesty's Government cannot give their support to it. At the same time I think it is perhaps only right that I should warn the noble Viscount of this fact, that, as regards the two proposals upon which he relies as carrying out part of his intention, he must remember that those two proposals were not accepted by His Majesty's Government.
§ *THE MARQUESS or LANSDOWNE
My Lords, I understand that my noble friend behind me does not desire to press his Amendment upon the House. I think he will probably be content with having obtained from the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council a very frank admission that there are certain cases of discontinued schools which are not sufficiently covered by the Bill as 17 it now stands. We most of us admit with the noble Lord the great difficulty of dealing with the particular class of case at which my noble friend's Amendment is aimed. We must also admit, and I think my noble friend the mover will probably himself admit, that at some points his Amendment as it stands might operate somewhat inconveniently to the parties concerned. My noble friend will not press his Amendment to a division, but we reserve to ourselves the right of recurring to the point at a future stage.
THE LORD BISHOP OF SOUTHWARK
said the statement was commonly made that in towns, of course, matters were all right, because there were two classes of schools and everybody had a good choice. He pointed out, however, that if care was not taken to provide for certain urban areas something in the nature of the arrangement that was to be made in rural areas, there would be serious disparity and injustice of treatment. There were immense suburban areas in which, under the proposals of the Bill, there would be no facilities at all. He was glad, therefore, to know that the noble Viscount was still turning the matter over in his mind.
*LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
agreed with what had been said by the right rev. Prelate, that in towns, as a rule, there was a choice of schools; but he admitted that there were large areas within towns—he mentioned, as an instance, Fulham—where there was no such choice. He would give four instances illustrative of the point put by the noble Earl the Lord President. In Acton there were only 252 children in voluntary schools, and 6,307 in board schools. Supposing that in Acton one Church school was closed because the local authority found it not necessary for the public school accommodation, was the Amendment to carry forward a sort of lien for 252 places, or was it to be a general right for every child? If the former it would lead to very troublesome book-keeping and would be impracticable; while, on the other hand, if they were to say that all the Church children of Acton should have a right to 18 claim religious instruction, that would be establishing an unconscionable bargain. In Beckenham there were 205 children in voluntary schools as against 2,769 in board schools; in Wood Green there were 553 children in voluntary schools as against 5,781 in board schools; and, to go to the country, there were in Rowley Regis in Staffordshire 301 children in voluntary schools as against 6,749 in board schools. It was clear that the closing of one of these small schools could not possibly be taken as creating an equitable right to claim facilities. He was confident that the noble Viscount's proposal was an impracticable one, and that the Board of Education would find it quite impossible to administer.
THE LORD BISHOP OF BIRMINGHAM
said that a very large number of Churchmen felt strongly the grave injustice which was being done. In very many districts there was practically no accommodation except where the Cowper-Temple teaching was given; on the other hand, there were a very large number of districts where the condition was exactly the opposite. Now, what was being done by this Bill? There was being taken away the control which provided the donominational teaching in the one class of districts, but there was no rectification being provided on the other side.
He had just re-read an article on elementary education by the Minister for Education which appeared in the Independent Review for October, 1903. Mr. Birrell there considered what would be a just and equitable exchange. The thing to be desired, Mr. Birrell then said, was that all the Church schools should become provided schools, and he said there was only one exchange which Nonconformists had to prepare themselves for.What," he said, "has Nonconformity got to offer to the Church of England? But one thing—the Cowper-Temple Clause. It will be hard to part with.… It is all that is left of the compromise of 1870.Mr. Birrell went on to point out in. this article that this was one thing which must plainly be given up if there was to be, on the other hand, a surrender 19 of Church management of the non-provided schools. That equitable exchange had not been carried out, and, as the account now stood, there was a very grave injustice being done on a large and widespread scale to those who cared for denominational teaching.
He could not but profoundly regret that the proposal to carry out that exchange which Mr. Birrell himself had propounded as the only equitable one was not persisted in. There would be, it seemed to him, if the noble Viscount's proposal were carried out, a slight instalment of the justice which on the whole could only really be rendered if they had facilities on a universal scale.
§ *VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN
did not think the dilemma which Lord Stanley of Alderley had put to him was a difficult one. To take the case of Acton, the school authorities and the Board of Education could continue the single denominational school, which was what they ought to do, or they could find places for the 252 children in one of the many board schools. He could not see any difficulty so far as children now in a denominational school were concerned. He did not wish to continue the discussion, and would withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave withdrawn.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
had the following Amendment on the Paper—viz.—In page 3, line 20, after 'authority' to insert 'but any teacher employed at a public elementary school shall be at liberty to give such instruction if convenient arrangements can be made,' and also to insert the following new subsection.(3) Any question which may arise between persons supplying instruction under facilities afforded under this section and the local education authority as to the mode and times in which these facilities are afforded shall be determined by the Board of Education.He said he would withdraw the first part in deference to the appeal of the noble Earl the Lord President, on the perfectly clear understanding that the subject was coming up again for discussion on Clause 8. The second part of the Amendment was quite independent. It had been pointed out to him 20 that the alternative words suggested by Lord Balfour of Burleigh,viz.—(3) Any question which may arise under this section between the parent of any child attending the school or the persons providing or proposing to provide any religious instruction in pursuance of any facilities afforded or acquired under this section, and the local education authority shall be determined by the Board of Education,were a little clearer in expression without practically having any difference in intent; and, with the permission of the Committee, he would like to be allowed to move his Amendment in that form.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
I do not like either, but, of the two, I think the most rev. Primate's would be the least difficult.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
said it seemed to him to be absolutely essential that there should be some authority to which reference should be made, and he could suggest no other than the Board of Education.
In page 3, line 20, after the word 'authority,' to insert the following new subsection:—' (3) Any question which may arise under this section between the parent of any child attending the school or the persons providing or proposing to provide any religious instruction in pursuance of any facilities afforded or acquired under this section, and the local education authority shall be determined by the Board of Education.'"—(The Lord Arch-bishop of Canterbury.)
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
This Amendment does not involve any great point of principle. It is one of administrative convenience, and I am doubtful as to how far it is necessary at all. As the Bill now stands the facilities have to be given in the morning, and by an Amendment of the right rev. prelate the Bishop of Birmingham, to which we cordially agree, they must be given for a clear half-hour. I confess I do not see, under these circumstances, how any great difficulty is likely to arise in making arrangements for them.
21 The most rev. Primate must remember that these arrangements fall, in case of dispute, for discussion before the Commission, and, therefore, it is impossible to give an appeal of this kind both to the Commission and to the Board of Education. I must further point out that in one respect the most rev. Primate's position has been weakened, but that is by an Amendment passed by noble Lords. As we brought in the Bill, the mode and time at which facilities could be given might be made part of the conditions under which the school was transferred. Noble Lords opposite have insisted upon all schools being transferred, and, therefore, the transferring body cannot exercise on the local authority in this respect the pressure which they could have exercised as we brought in the Bill. As I say, I do not oppose the Amendment as one of principle. At the same time, I think, particularly as drawn up, it would not be an improvement of the Bill, and it certainly would be in any case necessary to alter the provision under which an appeal is made to the local authority as regards the transfer.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
The second Amendment of the most rev. Primate. The first is one of those which I suggested would be better postponed until Clause 8.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Is not what will come before the Commission merely the making of the agreement? The question afterwards as to whether the agreement is being observed has to be settled by somebody.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said the proposal had been made that these questions would be referred to the Commission. But was the Commission going on for ever? These question, she apprehended, would continue to arise for an indefinite period. As the Bill stood, the Commission was to last until the end of 1908. But what was to happen in the case of questions arising after that time? He thought it would be desirable that these matters should be submitted to the Board of Education and not to the Commission.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
The noble Earl has, in fact, raised the same point as was raised by the most rev. Primate. As regards the future arrangements that have to be made, no doubt he is correct. The Commission will not be sitting, and if an appeal is given at all it must be to the Board of Education; but, as the Amendment is drawn, it appears to us that it would allow of concurrent appeals to the Commission and to the Board of Education in the first instance. On the general question, I am bound to add that we do, as a general rule, distinctly deprecate these continued appeals to the Board of Education on matters of this kind; but, if the most rev. Primate presses the Amendment, although I cannot agree to it, yet I do not propose to divide the Committee against it.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
regarded the answer of the noble Earl as somewhat unsatisfactory. So far as he gathered, there was to be an appeal, so long as the Commission lasted, to both the Commission and the Board of Education.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
said the Act of 1902 fully provided for these matters and gave an appeal to the Board of Education. No difficulty had arisen, and he thought it would be well if the noble Earl would state what he really did intend in the matter.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said he understood the noble Earl the Lord President to say that the appeal would be to the Board of Education or to the Commission. Unfortunately that was the state of confusion which pervaded the Bill. If their Lordships took Clause 2 in conjunction with Clause 9 they would see that there was an entire confusion between the Commission and the Board of Education. What was to determine whether the appeal was to be made to the Board of Education or to the the Commission?
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
As the Bill stands, the appeal is to the Commission 23 alone in respect to what occurs when the transfer is to take place.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
did not understand the point made by the noble Earl the Lord President. It did not appear to him that if they accepted the Amendment of the most rev. Primate there would be an appeal in matters of this kind to the Commission. The Com mission would, no doubt, adjudicate finally as to terms and arrangements when the school was to be transferred, but as soon as the transfer had taken place they would have completely performed their function and would be at an end. It was then that a difficulty might arise as to the proper supply of accommodation required for giving facilities. Who was to decide that? The Government had no right to leave the Committee without guidance. If the noble Earl admitted the difficulty he thought they might call upon him to admit their remedy unless he had a better to propose. The present proposal was imitated from a provision in the Act of 1902 by which in the event of difficulties arising in carrying out the policy of that Act the Board of Education decided. He believed that arrangement had worked well.
*THE EAEL OF CREWE
The noble Marquess forgets that we brought this Bill to the house with a definite proposal, which was that the question of the mode and times in which facilities were to be afforded should be one of the conditions which it was possible for those who transferred the school to insist upon. Noble Lords have destroyed that condition in their general process of battering this Bill out of recognition, and then the noble Marquess asks me to invent some plan for getting him out of his difficulty. I respectfully decline to do anything of. the sort.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said the difficulty would have arisen, though perhaps not so largely, under the Government plan as the Bill was brought to their Lordships' House. The Government, however, proposed no remedy, and he suggested that the noble Earl should take theirs.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP or CANTERBURY
did not think the difficulty had been created by what had been done by the Committee. In any case difficulties in matters of administrative detail would be likely to arise which some authority would have to decide. Let them take the case where an agreement had been made that there should be religious education given in the schools at certain times. After a while the local education authority might say, "We cannot allow you to have that particular room; you must have another, and that other room might be totally unsuitable for the purpose. There was no authority in the Bill to whom they could appeal in such a case. This was a purely administrative detail, but they wanted to see it carried out. All that he asked was that some arrangement should be made whereby, when difficulties arose about agreements, some authority should exist with power to settle them.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, I hope His Majesty's Government will vouchsafe a little more explanation upon this point. We did not invent facilities. In the Bill as it was presented to your Lordships facilities found a place. Our case is that in the interpretation of those facilities it is inevitable that from time to time new points should crop up which require some authority to adjust them. Will the noble Earl tell us to what authority such a difficulty will be referred? We appeal to the experience of the Act of 1902, and we say that an arrangement of the kind suggested has worked perfectly well. It is surely obvious that unless you provide some means of this kind you will have, as time goes on, inextricable confusion. The most rev. Primate, in moving this Amendment, has made an honest attempt to improve the machinery of the Bill, which machinery is, we shall never cease maintaining, thoroughly defective. I do think that might have been admitted, and that the noble Earl opposite might have met us half way and avoided the suggestion that we were in this matter endeavouring to impose upon His Majesty's Government any alteration of the Bill which could in the least interfere with its proper working.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
I am anxious not to prolong the discussion, but I feel it my duty to point out that by far the greater part—nine-tenths, I think—of the difficulty was caused by the fact that your Lordships made the taking over of all these schools compulsory. As regards the remaining one-tenth, I confess I do not think it is a matter of very great importance. It is one of a class which the Board of Education do not like dealing with, and I certainly am not prepared to say that the kind of appeals which have been made under Clause 7 of the Act of 1902, to which the noble Marquess has alluded, have been altogether easy for the Board of Education to decide. But, as I say, I have no wish to divide the Committee against this proposal if the most rev. Primate wishes to press it.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
THE LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
moved an Amendment to secure that a local authority should give permission that the religious instruction of a special character given under this section might be inspected. He said they believed very strongly that without inspection the instruction would deteriorate and a syllabus would become illusory. It was because he wished the special religious instruction to be sound and efficient that he had tabled his Amendment providing for regular inspection. Clause 76 in the Act of]870 was similar to his proposal, and for 36 years it had been attended with good results. They need not be afraid of inspectors entering the schools. The entry of these inspectors had produced no sort of disturbance, but had been productive of unmixed good. He hoped the Government would give some sympathetic consideration to the Amendment.
In page 3, line 20, after 'authority' to insert ' (3) A local education authority shall give permission that the religious instruction of a special character given under this section may be inspected, but no part of the expense of such inspection shall be paid by the local education authority.'"—(The. Lord Bishop of Winchester.)
LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
said the request contained in the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate was a fair request, but the words should be drawn a little differently. The voluntary schools, under the Act of 1870, had a special provision to enable them to arrange for diocesan or other inspection. The board schools, if they wanted religious inspection or examination, used to notify that on a particular date the school would not exist as a public elementary school. Notice was then given to the children that attendance was voluntary, but that if they did attend they would have religious examination. But, now that all schools became provided schools, he thought it was reasonable that the former owners of transferred schools should have the right to demand one day in the year, of which they should give reasonable notice—say two or three weeks—for the examination and that on that day the schoolhouse belonging to them should not be used by the local authority as a public elementary school. The children who had shared that instruction would then be informed that if they were desirous of being examined they could attend on that day.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
My Lords, I am very glad that the noble Lord who has just sat down expressed a sympathetic view of the right rev. Prelate's Amendment, because it is one towards which we also feel a great deal of sympathy. I need hardly say that my noble friend behind me has given an absolutely correct account of the law and the practice up to the present time. The right rev. Prelate, of course, will understand that as the law is, and as our Bill runs, it would be quite competent for the local education authority to give the permission he requires in the manner which the noble Lord behind me indicates —that is to say, by giving up on a particular day the use of the building as a public elementary school and allowing the examination to be held. As to the question whether it is possible to impose that duty upon the local education authority, as was done in the case of voluntary schools by Section 76 of the Act of 1870, that is a matter about which I am not so certain. But I can assure the right rev. Prelate that we 27 will take the whole matter into full consideration, and, if he pleases, consult with him as to the best possible method of giving expression to his wishes. I think it is pretty clear that, as the words stand, they would not be exactly satisfactory or meet the desires of the right rev. Prelate.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
held that the words in the right rev. Prelate's Amendment were not quite clear. They did not make clear what sort of inspection was meant, nor by whom the inspection "was to be carried out.
THE LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
expressed his gratitude to the Lord President of the Council for the answer he had given, and, on the understanding that the matter was to come again under review, he withdrew the Amendment in its present form.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
THE LORD BISHOP OF SALISBURY
moved to insert a new sub-section. He stated that there were in existence in the thirty-six dioceses of England and Wales forty-nine such associations as were mentioned in his Amendment, all of them constituted with the aid of the Board of Education, besides he did not know how many associations representing the other denominations. These associations had been proved by experience to be of great value, as bringing together the clergy and laity of the Church of England in the matter of school work, in a way that was not common before. Provision for the continuance of these bodies had been omitted from the Bill, and this, he presumed, was because the authors of the Bill felt that the subject was not so very pressing as many other subjects were. The Amendment was in no sense antagonistic to the Bill.
In page 3, line 20, after 'authority' to insert the following new sub-section. ' (3) If associations are constituted in such manner and in such areas and with such governing bodies representing the owners and trustees | as are approved by the Board of Education, it shall be lawful for such associations to take over the powers, duties, and funds of the existing associations of voluntary schools constituted under the Voluntary Schools Act,
1897, and also to receive any sums payable for the purchase or hire of schools in their areas and to administer them for the purpose of carrying out the trusts or purposes for which such schools have been previously held, including payments for religious instruction, and to perform any other duties, and to exercise any other powers which the owners or trustees of such schools may think lit to delegate to them.' "—(The Lord Bishop of Salisbury.)
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
My Lords, this Amendment, of course, is not in the strict sense a controversial one. It is certainly not one which His Majesty's Government are disposed to treat as a matter of controversy, but it undoubtedly raises various important points upon which I think it is desirable that the Committee should be informed. Your Lordships have already dealt with Clause 2, and, at the instance of Lord Barnard, you passed an Amendment to this effect—Provided that such an arrangement—that is to say, the arrangement for transferring the school—includes, as far as may be, having regard to the altered circumstances of the case, adequate provisions for the preservation of such trusts, and for the protection of the endowment subject thereto.
I shall be glad, I confess, before the debate on this Amendment is concluded, to hear the opinion of Lord Barnard. That noble Lord stands, so to speak, like a warning angel with his sword drawn in his hand, barring every road which does not lead to the Charity Commission; and if, as it appears to me, this Amendment necessarily involves some remarkable dealings with trusts, I hope we shall hear what the noble Lord has to say on the subject. The Amendment states that these associations may receive any sums payable for the purchase or hire of schools in their areas and administer them for the purpose of carrying out the trusts or purposes for which such schools have been previously held, including payments for religious instruction, and perform any other duties and exercise any other Dowers which the owners or trustees of such schools may think fit to delegate to them. I am no lawyer, but it is certainly strange to me that it should be suggested that trustees may delegate to others powers of this kind.
What are these trusts? They comprise sums of money or buildings left by pious and far-seeing people in former 29 times for the benefit and education of a particular parish, and the suggestion is, as I understand it, that if the trustees agree to delegate their powers to these associations, all the sums received by way of rent or otherwise by them may be pooled into one large sum and distributed according to what I have no doubt are very rightly considered the superior needs of poorer places and the lesser needs of wealthier places. That, I venture to think, is an exceedingly rational proposition, and in itself it is not likely to receive any severe criticism from this side of the House; but, being in charge of the Bill, I am, I think, bound to point out that it does involve very extensive dealings with trusts and endowments.
Before I sit down I might point out that the wording of the right rev. Prelate's Amendment is perhaps open to some criticism on the ground that the associations of voluntary schools constituted under the Voluntary Schools Act, 1897, are themselves no longer in existence Their place has been taken by the bodies appointed under the Act of 1902 to deal with the balances of parliamentary grants and other matters. But that is merely a matter of wording, and one which could no doubt, be easily corrected. It is important to point out that in this matter the Board of Education has merely to act in its capacity of Charity Commissioners, and not to take any part on its educational side in considering or criticising what might be done under the Amendment. The point to which I specially wish to draw your Lordships' attention is that which I have mentioned relating to trusts, and I should be very glad to have the opinion of noble Lords opposite on that.
§ LORD BARNARD
said he was entirely in agreement with what had fallen from the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council as to the effect which the proposed new sub section would have on the words introduced into the Bill on his (Lord Barnard's) Motion at an earlier stage. When he first read the litter part of the right rev. Prelate's Amendment he came to exactly the same conclusion as the noble Earl, that it was the intention to pool the endowments on all the schools, which would be contrary to the intention expressed in 30 Clause 2. But he thought, on careful perusal, that it was not impossible that an arrangement made under Clause 2, or a scheme made under Clause 9, might provide that the duties of preserving the trusts might be transferred to such an association. He was doubtful whether the wording of the Amendment now before the Committee made this point clear, and he strongly advised the right rev. Prelate to withdraw his proposed new sub-section at this stage.
THE LORD BISHOP OF SALISBURY
asked whether the Committee would not be willing to adopt the Amendment as it stood and then amend it on Report in any way that might be thought best. He denied that it was the intention to pool the endowments.
§ LORD HENEAGE
hoped the Committee would not adopt the Amendment at the present stage. It was not at all in a satisfactory state, and even if it were, he did not think it should be added to the present clause, but should, after it had been put into a shape which would be workable and practicable, constitute a new clause of itself.
§ LORD ASHBOURNE
said it was obvious that the drafting of the clause required consideration. The matters dealt with were of the highest importance, and he suggested the withdrawal of the Amendment in order that the wording might receive closer examination.
THE LORD BISHOP or SALISBURY
asked whether the Government accepted the principle that it was desirable that some bodies representing the owners or trustees should be formed under the Bill.
LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
said that, if they allowed owners of existing schools to combine or associate, the initiative ought to be entirely in the hands of the owners. There ought to be no compulsion upon them to make them hand over funds in the way proposed.
THE LORD BISHOP OF SALISBURY
said he had consulted an eminent lawyer with regard to his Amendment, and had been told that the clause, as drafted, 31 made none of the powers compulsory but only optional.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
In the opinion of His Majesty's Government this is a question for the trustees and owners themselves. It is purely a domestic matter, and one on which we do not feel competent to form an opinion. I am speaking, of course, on the assumption that the proposed bodies called associations are to be entirely advisory and are not to take over any of the powers of the trustees.
§ THE EARL OF HALSBURY
said he had every sympathy with the object of the clause, but he had considerable doubt whether the criticism of Lord Stanley of Alderley was not just. He certainly would not advise that the clause should be passed under the impression that there was an entire option. He did not think there was.
THE LORD BISHOP OF SALISBURY
repeated his question, whether His Majesty's Government sympathised with the general principle that it was desirable that some bodies representing the owners or trustees should be formed under the Bill.
§ No Answer was given.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Moved, "That Clause 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
THE LORD BISHOP OF ST. ASAPH
asked what exactly was the effect of the Amendment adopted on Thursday night on the Motion of the Bishop of Oxford. Did it mean that facilities for religious instruction might be given on every day of the week in the case of all children that required such instruction?
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
My Lords, I am very glad that the right rev. Prelate has raised this point, because it does seem to me to be one on which considerable confusion exists even in the very highest quarters. I read in The Times this morning a letter from the most rev. Primate, in which he dealt with the numerous changes which have so far been 32 made in the Bill by your Lordships after enumerating some of the earlier changes, the most rev. Primate said—Further, in a rural area, where there is only one school for the children of the parish, we require the local authority to allow ' facilities' on every day to those parents who desire denominational teaching, whether the school in question has hitherto been a provided or a voluntary school, the cost of such teaching being borne by the denomination which requires-it. This, too, I believe, corresponds with the intention of almost all fair-minded people.Now, my Lords, what actually occurred was this. We passed an Amendment moved by the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Hereford, providing that in single school districts in rural areas existing council schools should be subject to the requirement to give facilities as though they were transferred schools. At the time that Amendment was passed the facilities to be given in transferred schools were limited to two days, and I believed, and I am still under the impression, that that was the intention of the right rev. Prelate in moving the Amendment.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
Consequently, the most rev. Primate is, in effect, incorrect in stating that it was decided that in such council schools five days' facilities should be given. But what was afterwards done by the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Oxford had no reference whatever to single school areas. That Amendment decided that in every transferred school, no matter where, if desired, five days' facilities might be given. I was not perfectly certain at the time that all your Lordships knew what you were doing in voting for that Amendment. I stated that it was, in my opinion, destructive of the fabric of the Bill. But, unfortunately, the discussion wandered away on to a side issue, and it occurred to me that it was just possible some noble Lords, and even some right rev. Prelates who supported that remarkable Amendment, wore not quite conscious of what its full effects were. It is perfectly evident that the most rev. Primate has misapprehended the effect of the Amendment, because in the letter from which I have quoted he has limited to single school areas the provision of five 33 days' facilities. As a matter of fact, in these single school rural areas the provision was intended to be two days' facilities, and it was only owing to the subsequent Amendment, which applied five days' facilities to all districts, that these single school districts were included.
*THE LORD BISHOP OF OXFORD
thought it would be very strange if noble Lords had not realised the effect of the Amendment, which had been down on the Paper for some time in the name of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, in whose absence he (the right rev. Prelate) had moved it. Before the Bishop of Hereford's Amendment was put to the House he expressly drew the attention of noble Lords to the fact that the question whether or not facilities were restricted to two days was loft entirely open, and that the Amendment of which Lord Balfour of Burleigh had given notice was still on the Paper. He did that because in one speech it had been incidentally assumed that the facilities would be for two days only. Among the many anxieties that arose in the mind after one had made a speech was whether one had made clear what one meant to say. He had just-received the Hansard proof of his own speech in moving the Amendment, which relieved him of any anxiety as to whether his explanation was ambiguous. He had explained it as plainly as he could.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
I certainly did not mean to hint that any confusion that might have arisen in the minds of noble Lords or of right rev. Prelates was due to any lack of lucidity on the part of the right rev. Prelate who has just-sat down. An entirely different point as to how the two days' facilities could be used was afterwards raised, and it did occur to me that noble Lords might have imagined that in voting as they did they were enabling each child in all circumstances to get two days' facilities and not enabling all children to get five.
*THE LORD BISHOP OF OXFORD
said he was grateful to the noble Earl for acquitting him of obscurity in the matter. There was a great deal more he would like to say with regard to the Amendment which their Lordships adopted on Thursday night, but he would postpone it until a later stage. He believed the 34 Amendment had been reasonable, just, and necessary.
THE LORD BISHOP OF HEREFORD
said that for his part he could not be a party to asking for facilities in all their schools on every day in the week, and he could not imagine that such a proposal would be entertained for a moment outside.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
submitted that there was no obscurity as to what had taken place. The Bishop o£ Oxford's Amendment, which was perfectly clearly explained, had, of course, a retrospective reference to the former clause. Personally he perfectly understood the effect of the Amendment, that it gave to every child the power of being taught for half an hour every morning in the week, and it was for that reason that he voted against it.
§ LORD BURGHCLERE
On a point of Order, I should like to ask the noble Earl the Chairman of Committees what the Amendment is before the House.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES
There is no Amendment before the House. The Question is that Clause 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill. I think noble Lords are perfectly in order in discussing it.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
said he had not a copy of his letter by him, but he would look into the matter at once, and if he found he had expressed himself in a way open to misconstruction he would take the earliest opportunity of setting it right. With regard to the final words of the clause, it was very desirable that the Government should make it clear that it was not intended to impose on those who gave the religious instruction a portion of the whole expenditure incurred in the school at the time of such instruction. The question had been raised in the House of Commons, and the highest legal authority there stated that there was no ambiguity, and that the provision could only mean the payment for books and the actual expenses incurred in giving the special instructions. If that were so, he thought it was most-desirable that His Majesty's Government should make it clear in the clause itself.
*THE EARE OF CREWE
It is certainly our intention, as the most rev. Primate has stated, that the expense which is incurred by the religious body should be limited to the cost of teaching and books, and anything which can be said directly to have regard to the teaching itself. Such matters as the lighting and warming of the rooms we intend should be paid for by the local authority. The local authority keeps the school going during the whole of the time, and therefore pays those expenses. We are advised that the words of the section sufficiently give effect to this intention, but, if any noble Lord or right rev. Prelate thinks he can find happier words, we shall be pleased to consider them.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ Clause 4:—
§ LORD HENEAGE
moved to substitute for the first "may" the word "shall," in order to make the clause mandatory instead of permissive. In the few remarks which he intended making he would adhere entirely to the Amendment and its object. He took it for granted that on both sides of the House there was a clear understanding that this clause in some shape or other must form part of the Bill, and they had the statement of the noble Marquess the Leader of the House, on the Second Reading of the Bill, that without this clause he would be no party to the Bill. Therefore whilst every noble Lord on the Opposition side desired this clause they might take it for granted that those sitting on the Government Benches also desired it. He did not, therefore, propose to go into the question of the objects of the clause as a whole, but simply as to whether it was to be a mandatory clause or to be left permissive to the local authorities.
The clause was, in his opinion, absolutely worthless, unless it was made mandatory on the local authorities to carry it out. He believed that local authorities generally would approve of its being made mandatory, and those who objected to that course were the very ones on whom they ought to make it mandatory. The noble Earl the 36 Lord President of the Council had on several occasions during these debates referred their Lordships to what took place in the other House of Parliament. He would like to return the compliment on this occasion, and to ask the noble Earl to remember what took place when this Amendment was discussed in the other House. First of all it was supported by Mr. Paul, who said it was a real indulgence to Roman Catholics and to Jews in a Protestant Bill; but he claimed that it would be of very great advantage also to the Church of England and to Nonconformists. Dr. Macnamara had distinctly stated that he was in favour of making the clause mandatory and he strongly objected to the contracting-out Amendment, and he (Lord Heneage) entirely agreed with him. He would like to see the contracting-out part of the Bill entirely done away with. It was also supported by Mr. Harwood, who termed the contracting-out clause a cruel alternative; and Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, the Labour representative, was strongly in favour of the clause being mandatory, and instanced the Factory Acts as a case where, if there had not been a mandatory provision, in many instances they would not have been carried out by the local authorities. Moreover, the division in the other House disclosed that there was a great difference of opinion on this matter even among the occupants of the Ministerial Benches. He begged to move the Amendment standing in his name.
In page 3, line 21, to leave out the word 'may' and insert the word 'shall.' "—(Lord Heneage.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
, who had a similar Amendment on the Paper, said he regarded this clause as by far the most important clause in the Bill. Under Clause 1 their Lordships were willing to lay down a fundamental proposition that all elementary education in this country should have as part of it religious education. That he believed to be a very valuable declaration of opinion, which, if it formed ultimately part of an Act of Parliament, would be looked back to as one of the great milestones in the 37 history of this educational controversy. But, as it stood, it was very little more than a declaration, a solemn declaration, of the opinion of Parliament. No teachers were provided by that Amendment in order to carry out the wishes of Parliament, and, more important than that, there were no means laid down for securing, not merely the actual period of religious instruction, but the religious spirit which ought to belong to and to penetrate all parts of education. Hitherto that religious spirit had remained alone in the voluntary schools, and, therefore, it was of the first importance, in considering this new Bill, to realise what the fate of the voluntary schools was going to be. Would there be henceforth what had been called a religious atmosphere in these schools? This religious spirit was as equally important from an undenominational as from a denominational point of view. He wished they could persuade noble Lords who sat opposite and their friends in the country how great their anxiety was, not so much for denominational religion as for the religious spirit itself. They might depend upon it, the existence of that religious spirit in our education was only secured if it was under the control of the denominations.
The Government said this clause was frankly denominational, and he desired to consider first of all the general religious result of the clause, and then its denominationalism. He was quite aware that this was not the place and he was not the man to deal with the more sacred and spiritual aspects of the question, but he might say this much, that these children were entering upon life, they were realising for the first time the awful powers of good and of evil which they would be called upon to meet, and over them was placed a teacher, who occupied a position of, he was going to use the word supremacy, which in their Lordships' class they could have no notion of. When he was a boy, and he had no doubt it was the case with many of their Lordships, they did not necessarily—he was sorry to say it, perhaps—respect very highly all the pronouncements and views of the teachers who were set over them. But, then, they belonged to the upper class. They came from educated and cultured homes, 38 where their fathers and mothers were quite as competent, and sometimes far more competent, to pronounce an opinion upon this great question even than the schoolmasters under whom they were taught.
That was not so with the lower classes. The teacher there was placed in a position of extraordinary ascendancy over their persons and over their minds. His word was law. He was the source to them of all learning. To the child he had solved the mysteries of all knowledge, and he was the arbiter of conduct, the judge of good and evil, and so forth. That being the case, the religious position of the teacher was all-important for the argument he was now addressing to their Lordships, not necessarily his denominational position, but the fact whether or not he was a religious man. That was of supreme importance, because, if he treated religion with hostility—and cases of the kind had been mentioned by the most rev. Primate—or even with indifference, let them conceive what the effect would be on the child's mind. How were they to be sure that the child would be penetrated with the religious spirit? There was no way of securing that the teacher should be a religious man except by giving authority over his appointment to someone to whom his religious character was of supreme importance. Therefore, they wanted a great deal more in respect of their denominational schools than merely the facilities which had been provided to some extent by Clause 3 as it reached their Lordships' House.
The voluntary schools were to be done away with. That seemed a great pity. They were entirely satisfactory; they gave a first-rate secular education which was approved, and, besides that, they ensured that the teacher should be a man who was appointed with strict regard to his religious qualifications. Noble Lords on that side of the House did not contest that decision of Parliament; they submitted to it. It was no longer possible to trust the old system, which had hitherto secured what was so essential to be secured. But was there nobody else to whom they might appeal and in whose hands they might leave it to see that this religious spirit was 39 maintained? Was there nobody except the denominations who were interested in securing that the teachers should be religious and that the atmosphere should be religious? Their Lordships would anticipate the answer. It was quite obvious where that responsibility might be made to rest—upon the parents, who were themselves more interested than anybody else in the welfare of their children. Therefore, in any school where, the preponderating opinion of the parents was in favour of the maintenance of the old religious spirit of the school, in that school it ought to be maintained. It was not a question of "may" so far as the I parents were concerned; their rights in the education of their children were indestructible and must be conceded. It was a question of "shall," and must be "shall."
All the other limitations which the Government had put in were almost equally absurd. It was not a question of urban and rural. The supreme claims of the highest of all influences upon a child could not depend on whether the child lived in a town or in the country; it could not depend on whether the population was 5,000 or 5,001. These propositions were so absurd that he did not think even this Government would defend them. The parents stood at the bar of their Lordships' House and asked for their rights. It was not a question of "may" and "may not," but a question of "shall." The parents had a right to demand it. To a great extent the Government themselves had admitted this principle as the logical development. They had admitted that where the parents, in a large proportion had a particular religious view that view must be taken into account. They had admitted that under those circumstances no absolute discretion must be allowed to vest in the local education authority.
The Government had admitted, nay, hey had claimed, that this clause was frankly denominational, and he believed they had also stated that this section completely saved schools. Did it save the denominational schools? How could it be said to save denominational schools? He called upon his Majesty's Government to show how. with all these pettifogging restrictions, it 40 could be said to save the great mass of the denominational schools of the country. There were not only the restrictions which he had mentioned. When these wretched parents who were interested in the education of their children and were perfectly satisfied with the school as it had always existed had fulfilled, as the clause stood, all the restrictions about urban and rural and about 5,000, and so forth, they then had to convince the local education authority. What did that mean? The process of convincing a public body in England meant that they had to go at the time of the election into all parts of the constituency in order to get up an agitation in favour of their view. So that under the previous plans of the Government every contested election for a local education authority in England would have to be made the battle-field of this religious struggle. The parents or their agents would have to organise meetings, issue placards, and use all the squalid paraphernalia by which public opinion in England pronounced itself.
Then there came the local education authorities, who, when they were elected, had to consider the request. The Government treated these authorities badly. They did not say, as they were bound to say in a matter of this importance, "You ought to do this" or "You ought to do that"; they said "We leave it to your discretion. "So that after the great friction at the hustings there was to be this friction in the council chamber, and when, after a spirited struggle during the election and a spirited struggle in the council chamber, a decision adverse to the parents was arrived at, then they had to go up to the Board of Education. The Board of Education had again to consider the matter, not to decide whether the local education authority had complied with the law or not, but whether the local authority in the exercise of their discretion had exercised a wrong discretion or not. That was always a bad kind of appeal, and it invariably led to a great deal of heart burning and friction.
It was important for their Lordships to realise the sort of considerations which would be present to the mind of the Board of Education when it was deciding whether it would override the decision 41 of the local authority or not. What would these considerations be? It depended upon who was Minister for Education for the time being. The present Minister for Education, he supposed, would always consider the interests of Roman Catholics against those of Protestants. He did not know whether that was true or not, but everybody knew that this clause was introduced in order to satisfy the claims of Roman Catholics. This Government, supported by the votes of Nonconformists of the more extreme section of the population, would go down to history as having brought in a Bill containing provisions whereby Roman Catholics would have privileges which were denied to the Church of England. That would be, he presumed, the kind of consideration which would affect the mind of the Minister for Education when he was exercising his discretion under this clause.
It should be laid down what were the rights of the parents; they might be limited, of course, but that was for their Lordships to consider. He did not say that every parent, or every small number of parents, necessarily should have all these rights, but he did say that, when they had fixed upon the limitations, those limitations should not be a matter for the discretion of the local education authority or the Board of Education, but should be laid down in the Act of Parliament for the authorities to carry out. He would try and anticipate what kind of arguments would be used against this proposal. First of all, he believed it likely, from what passed in another place, that the Government would say that a mandatory provision would be unenforceable; that there would be no means, if they said the local education authority should grant these extended facilities if the conditions were satisfied, of enforcing that obligation on a reluctant education authority. He did not agree with that. He did not think the Government really believed it, because they themselves had provided an appeal in certain cases, and if an appeal could be enforced at all, then it could be enforced in every case.
The difficulty of the Government appeared to be based on a misconception. There was no real difficulty in enforcing by mandamus an order of a public de- 42 partment. It was done by many public departments and done continually. The detail, which was the difficulty, was dealt with in the order, and provided the order was within the powers of the particular Department and was not ultra vires, there was no difficulty whatever for the Court of King's Bench to enforce the Order by mandamus. Therefore if the Board of Education was empowered to place the details in an order, then that. order could be enforced en bloc by mandamus, just as in the case of other public departments who had power to issue orders. 80 that difficulty disappeared when it was looked into. The Government might say they were claiming these great rights for the majority of the parents; what about the minority? He recognised that difficulty, and he believed that noble Lords on his side of the House would do everything in their power to safeguard the rights of minorities, subject only to the one limitation that they did not deny the rights of the majority. He urged their Lordships on this most important point in the Bill not to forget that justice was due to the parents in the exercise of the most sacred of their rights.
*THE UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Lord FITZMAURICE)
said the noble Lord who had moved the Amendment now before the House had said that he intended to confine himself strictly to the terms of it, and he thought those of their Lordships who listened to his speech would agree that Lord Heneage entirely fulfilled his promise. He made a short speech, and a speech to the point; but he (Lord Fitzmaurice) could not help thinking that when Lord Heneage told the Committee so pointedly that such was his intention, he had some vaticination conveyed to him of the speech which the noble Marquess was about to deliver, and desired, if possible, to prevent him doing so.
He would not follow the example of the noble Marquess, who had made a Second Reading speech, and had dealt with the clause as a whole; he would keep to the Amendment. In the first place, however, he expressed regret, which he was sure would be shared by many noble 43 Lords opposite, that the noble Marquess should have gone out of his way to insinuate a charge of possible unfairness, should the Bill become law, against the President of the Board of Education. The noble Marquess had said that the clause, whatever merits it might have - he was not able to deny, from his own point of view, that there were some merits in it-was really intended by the Government for the sole benefit of Roman Catholics, and that they would subsequently find that it was administered for the benefit, if not exclusively at any rate principally, of Roman Catholics. This kind of charge he ventured to think was much better not made, and he thought the noble Marquess would feel that the imputation against his right hon. friend was an unfair one.
The noble Marquess had said that the parents of the children were at the bar of their Lordship's House. He (Lord Fitzmaurice) was rather shortsighted, but he could only see at the bar Members of the House of Commons, who appeared to be wondering at the noble Marquess's eloquent denunciation of the clause as it stood. The clause was a great concession to denominationalism, for which the Government had been subjected to many bitter attacks, and no doubt to-morrow's papers would report strong denunciations of the concessions made. Still, for better or worse, the Government stood by the concessions and were not ashamed of them, believing it was right to recognise, in building up the framework of a new and, as they hoped, permanent system of national education, the labours in past days of religious denominations in the service of education. For that reason the clause was inserted. It contained many points open to attack from the friends of the Government, as it contained concessions to those interests which noble Lords and right rev. Prelates desired to protect.
The daily affairs of public life could not be carried out by mandamus, as those who had had experience of local administration would allow. He mentioned the enforcement of the Vaccination Acts as an instance of the mistake of working by mandamus, by which anti- 44 vaccinators were able to assume the position of martyrs. For that reason, much as they respected the high authority of Dr. Macnamara and others in educational matters, the Government came to the conclusion that it was better to keep the mandamus as far as possible in the background, and to rely, in the first instance, upon an appeal to the Board of Education. The noble Marquess had told them that in the last resort there was the mandamus after all. But there was no necessity always to bring in the constable's staff; government could be carried on by agreement and exchange of opinion, holding the strong arm of the law in reserve. The Government had decided to give an appeal to the Board of Education, and would not try to enforce regulations by mandamus, in the first instance.
Why was so little confidence displayed in local authorities? Nothing had astonished him more than to hear expressions of distrust from noble Lords who, in 1888, assisted in founding county councils, and who, by the Act of 1902, made borough and county councils educational authorities. Would noble Lords who were chairmen of county councils say they anticipated difficulty in carrying out the proposed arrangements, or did they think there was any reality in the lurid picture of a local inquiry drawn by the noble Marquess? He had been at a great number of local inquiries, and knew that passions did run a little high at times, but, with the exercise of patience and good will, matters were generally brought to a satisfactory conclusion. He undertook to say that these agreements would go through in an infinitely easier manner than noble Lords opposite imagined, and, as for the terrors which the noble Marquess had held up, he could safely say that he would not sleep any the worse after listening to them. He hoped the Committee would not accept the Amendment.
§ VISCOUNT LLANDAFF
said Clause 4 was a recognition that the denominational system should be allowed to exist in this country. It was, he contended, clearly the intention of the Government and the House of Commons that where the conditions were fulfilled the extended facilities 45 should be granted, but by retaining the word "may" a local authority would be enabled, in spite of all, to say, "No, the clause says 'may,' and we shall not give the extended facilities," and so the children might be turned into the meagre pasture of Cowper-Templeism.
The mere grant of an appeal negatived the word "may." As they meant that the facilities should be granted when the conditions were fulfilled, they ought to say that the facilities "shall" be granted. The first step then would be an Order by the Board of Education, that Department having satisfied itself that the conditions were fulfilled, to the local education authority to carry out its statutory duties, and, if they did not then fulfil them, the Department would fall back on the mandamus. In the name of the Roman Catholics he disclaimed any idea of asking for any privileges that their fellow-subjects and the Church of England did not equally demand, but they intended that the denominational facilities should be a reality and not a sham.
§ VISCOUNT HALIFAX
said an ounce of fact was worth a pound of theory. When the county council in Yorkshire refused to pay a portion of the salary of the teachers for denominational teaching nobody supposed they were acting in accordance with the law. They said, "We are not going to pay for denominational teaching, and whatever the Act says, we do not intend to do it." It was not until afterwards it was found upon appeal that they had something to stand upon. Unless the clause was made mandatory the facilities would not be extended to a single school.
§ *VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN
said that the noble Lord the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had given as his two main reasons against this proposal, first, that His Majesty's Government did not wish to live in an atmosphere of mandamus, and, secondly, that they ought to trust the local authority. He would like to answer those two arguments by a short and simple reference to Clause 3 of the Bill. The Government used "shall" in Clause 3, and what about the atmosphere of mandamus there? Why did 46 the Government not show that confidence in the local authority in regard to Clause 3 which they now showed in relation to Clause 4? And what was the difference between the two that required "shall" in the one case and not in the other?
THE LORD BISHOP OF LONDON
acknowledged the generous words which had fallen from the noble Viscount (Lord Llandaff) with regard to claiming no special privilege for the body to which he belonged as compared with the Church of England. He said he smarted under the great injustice which was being done to Church children in the twenty square miles in London where there were no Church schools at all, and he would bring up an Amendment on Report to endeavour to remedy that injustice. They were not bound to any special form of getting the denominational principle; they were bound to the principle itself. He supported the Amendment in the interest of the Church schools in London. They were bound to stand up for their Church schools on this clause. They hoped for immense things from Clause 4, but if "may" was retained at the beginning of it their hopes fell to the ground at once. He implored their Lordships to accept the Amendment. The noble Marquess the Leader of the House had said that without this clause the Bill would be unworkable and unjust; and he (the right rev. Prelate) ventured to assert that without this Amendment the clause itself would be unworkable and unjust.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
My Lords, I suppose that it is right for me to say one or two words on this Amendment. The debate has been kept within very close and narrow limits since the speech of the noble Marquess opposite, who, having a speech to make, made it, and I am sure we all thought it was a very brilliant speech, although some considerable part of it had no very close reference to the clause. When the right rev. Prelate who has just sat down said it was necessary to turn "may" into "shall" in order to secure the existence of these schools, he seemed to imply that if "may" does not mean "shall" there was some doubt in individual cases whether the school would become subject to the four-fifths facilities. I have only 47 to repeat what was said by my right hon. friend in another place, that we do distinctly intend and desire that under this clause these special facilities shall invariably be given whenever the conditions are fulfilled. As to the fulfilment of the conditions I say nothing, because on those conditions noble Lords opposite have Amendments later on in the clause: but, if the conditions are fulfilled, we say that it is certain under our arrangement that a school in which this special instruction can be given every day in the the week and be given by the teacher can exist. That, of course, is the point at issue at this moment.
What is it that will be done under the Bill as it stands? After the necessary conditions have been observed and it is found that the parents of four-fifths of the children attending the school desire special religious instruction, and that the minority of the children can be provided for elsewhere, if no agreement can be come to, an appeal is provided to the Board of Education, and the Board may make an order that the school should be a four-fifths school, or, in certain cases, a State-aided school. The province of the Board of Education, owing to the fact that the word in the clause is "may" and not "shall," is to consider the whole matter in a friendly spirit with the local education authority. They can only do that, I may remind your Lordships, owing to the fact that the word "may" is in the clause. If the word "shall" were inserted the Board would have no option but immediately to make the order on the local authority; and it is just because we know the kind of influence which the Board of Education and its excellent officers and administrators have with the local education authorities, and that an authority which makes difficulties is infinitely more likely to be brought to a settlement by these methods, that we inserted "may" in the first instance instead of "shall."
My noble friend behind me pointed out that this mistrust of the local authorities comes strangely from noble Lords opposite. I, too, have often been surprised at it. They regard these great local authorities as monsters, yet noble Lords opposite are the Frankensteins 48 to whom the creation of those monsters is due. It is necessary to remember that local authorities have, perhaps not always within a perfectly wise Emit, a very considerable amount of amour propre in these matters, and, dealing with facts as they are, it certainly does seem to me infinitely more sensible and more appropriate first to approach them, having given them these great educational powers, as was done by noble Lords opposite, in a friendly and conciliatory spirit.
The noble Marquess who supported the Amendment seemed to imply that if a mandamus were necessary to enforce the order on the local authority it would be at once granted by the Court on the application of the Board of Education. As I have had occasion before to observe, I am not a lawyer, and, therefore, I regret more the absence of my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor; but it is news to me that a Government Department can go into Court and get a mandamus as easily as a man might walk into a shop and buy an umbrella. I should have thought that the Court would have to be fully satisfied that the local authority were refusing to carry out what was really a statutory obligation. The noble Marquess opposite (Lord Londonderry), as President of the Board of Education, had experience in the case of Wales. Those attempts to apply a mandamus met with such little success that a special Act of Parliament had to be passed to deal with the local authorities. If some future Board of Education were placed in a similar position by the adoption of the Amendment, I am afraid that they, too, would have to go to Parliament for fresh legislation.
I do not think it would be desirable, or that it would meet your Lordships' wishes, if I were to do more than just mention the further alternative of the State-aided schools. They arise under Clause 5, but, in stating the whole case, it is necessary to refer to those schools. I do not know whether it has occurred to your Lordships, but it certainly has occurred to me, that there might be some, and not an inconsiderable number of cases where the schools would prefer to be State-aided schools. After all, Amendments have been moved in the 49 other House to provide that any school that liked to stand out should have the power to do so. If that is so, I should think it is very possible that, where there is a certain amount of money available, some schools might prefer to stand out, if the Board of Education agreed, getting the Government grants but not being subject to the control of the local authority. Therefore there are some cases in which it would not be a hardship, and noble Lords must remember that in instituting one of these State-aided schools the Board of Education will have regard to all the circumstances of the case. If it is obvious that the school is too poor to be carried on as a State-aided school, or if, for any other reason, it is inconvenient or impossible for it to be so carried on, and the Board of Education think this clause ought to operate, in that event they would undoubtedly have recourse to the legal process.
The point in this discussion is really one of methods rather than of aims. It is our absolute desire that these schools shall be able to retain the religious atmosphere upon which, as we know, the Roman Catholic Church, and also, I frankly admit, a considerable body of the Church of England, set so much store. That is our intention. We believe that our plan, intricate though it may seem at first sight, carries it out better than the simple substitution of the word "shall" for the word "may." Your Lordships must remember that if "shall" is substituted for "may" State-aided schools must inevitably go, because it is impossible to combine that discretion of the Board of Education with the absolute mandate which is to be laid on the local authority in all circumstances.
There is one further point which has not been alluded to in this debate. If you leave in the word "shall," every such school which can prove that it has got the four-fifths and has satisfied the other conditions imposed by the clause must be taken over and carried on in this way. That
§ would prevent, in cases where there are a considerable number of denominational schools, an arrangement being arrived at by which one or two of the principal schools should be allowed to be carried on under this new condition.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
Will the noble Earl tell us whether there is any answer to the question put by the noble Viscount Lord St. Aldwyn as to why the word "shall" occurs in Clause 3, and why the word "may" is insisted upon in Clause 4?
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
My impression is that the word "shall" was inserted in Clause 3 because it is simply a matter of contract between two parties. I am inclined to think, at first sight, that the necessity to take over all schools might possibly lay that clause open to the same objection in the matter of the mandamus that we think Clause 4 is open to.
§ *VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN
thought that the demand that ordinary facilities should be granted was not simply a matter of contract between two parties, as the local authority had no option in the matter.
§ LORD DAVEY
opposed the Amendment. He said it was quite clear that under Clause 3 the facilities were given as part of the arrangement by which the local authority acquired the school, and, therefore, they must fulfil their contract, and in that case "shall" was perfectly proper. In his humble judgment, to introduce "shall" instead of "may" in the clause now under discussion would dislocate the whole scheme, because the clause was that the local authority should, in the first place, exercise their discretion, and then there should be an appeal to the Board of Education, who might take one of two courses.
§ On question, "Whether the word 'may' shall stand part of the clause," their Lordships divided:—Contents, 46; Not Contents, 157.51
|York, L. Abp.||Northampton, M.||Chesterfield, E.|
|Crewe, E. (L. President.)||Beauchamp, E.||Craven, E.|
|Ripon, M. (L. Privy seal.)||Carrington, E.||Durham, E.|
|Portsmouth, E.||Elgin, L.(E. Elgin and||Pirrie, L.|
|Temple, E.||Kincardine.)||Reay, L.|
|Farrer, L.||Ribblesdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Althorpe, V. (L. Chamberlain.)||Fitzmaurice, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Grimthorpe, L.||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Hereford, L. Bp.||Hamilton of Dalzell, L.||Shuttleworth, L.|
|St. Asaph, L. Bp.||Haversham, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Headley, L.||Tenterden, L.|
|Aberdare, L.||Hemphill, L.||Tweedmouth, L.|
|Boston, L.||Joicey, L.||Wandsworth, L.|
|Colebrooke, L.||Loch, L.||Weardale, L.|
|Courteney of Penwith, L.||Monk Bretton, L.||Welby, L.|
|Davey, L.||Nunburnholme, L.|
|Denman, L. [Teller.]||O'Hagan, L.|
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Radnor, E.||Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)|
|Saint Germans, E.||Burton, L.|
|Norfolk, D. (E. Marshal.)||Scarbrough, E.||Calthorpe, L.|
|Devonshire, D.||Shaftesbury, E.||Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.)|
|Leeds, D.||Shrewsbury, E.||Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)|
|Newcastle, D.||Stamford, E.||Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clan-|
|Northumberland, D.||Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||william.)|
|Wellington, D.||Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)|
|Westmeath, E.||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.|
|Abergavenny, M.||Clonbrock, L.|
|Ailesbury, M.||Churchill, V. [Teller.]||Colchester, L.|
|Bath, M.||Cobham, V.||De Freyne, L.|
|Camden, M.||Colville of Culross, V.||de Ros, L.|
|Hertford, M.||Falkland, V.||Deramore, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Falmouth, V.||Digby, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Goschen, V.||Douglas, L. (E. Home.)|
|Winchester, M.||Halifax, V.||Dunalley, L.|
|Hill, V.||Estcourt, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Hutchinson, V. (E. Donough-||Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)|
|Amherst, E.||more.)||Forester, L.|
|Ashburnham, E.||Iveagh, V.||Gage, L. (V.Gage.)|
|Brownlow, E.||Knutsford, V.||Gerard, L.|
|Cadogan, E.||Llandaff, V.||Gormanston, L. (V. Gorman-|
|Camperdown, E.||Ridley, V.||ston.)|
|Carnwath, E.||St. Aldwyn, V.||Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)|
|Catheart, E.||Hastings, L.|
|Cawdor, E.||Bath and Wells, L. Bp.||Heneage, L.|
|Clarendon, E.||Birmingham, L. Bp.||Howard of Glossop, L.|
|Dartmouth, E.||Bristol, L. Bp.||Kelvin, L.|
|Darnley, E.||Chester, L. Bp.||Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)|
|Dartrey, E.||Lincoln, L. Bp.||Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)|
|De La Warr, E.||London, L. Bp.||Kinnaird, L.|
|Denbigh, E.||Norwich, L. Bp.||Knaresborough, L.|
|Devon, E.||Oxford, L. Bp.||Lawrence, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (E. Buccleuch||St. David's L. Bp||Leith of Fyvie, L.|
|and Queensberry.)||Salisbury, L. Bp.||Lovat, L.|
|Egerton, E.||Southvvark, L. Bp.||Macnaghten, L.|
|Eldon, E.||Wakefield, L. Bp.||Manners, L.|
|Feversham, E.||Winchester, L. Bp.||Middleton, L.|
|Guilford, E.||Moncrieff, L.|
|Halsbury, E.||Addington, L.||Mowbray, L.|
|Hardwicke, E.||Alington. L.||North, L.|
|Huntingdon, E.||Ampthill, L.||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Armstrong, L.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Lathom, E.||Ashbourne, L.||Ravensworth, L.|
|Lindsey, E.||Atkinson, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Londesborough, E.||Avebury, L.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.|
|Lonsdale E.||Barrymore, L.||Sandys, L.|
|Lucan, E.||Bateman, L.||Seaton, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)|
|Nelson, E.||Biddulph, L.||Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)|
|Northesk, E.||Blythswood, L.||Stanmore, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Bolton, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Orford, E.||Borthwick, L.||Waleran, L.|
|Pembroke and Montgomery, E.||Brassey, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Plymouth, E.||Braye, L.||Zouche of Haryngworth, L.|
On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ On Question, the word "shall" inserted.
§ VISCOUNT LLANDAFF, in moving to insert after "1870" the words, "and in accordance with the trust deed, if any, of the school," said that this was almost a formal Amendment, its effect being that the religious instruction under Clause 4 should be in accordance with the trust deed of the school; he presumed that that was what was really intended by the clause.
In page 3, line 24, after the word '1870,' to insert the words 'and in accordance with the trust deed, if any, of the school,' and to leave out 'any,' and insert 'every.'" —(Viscount Llandaff.)
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
The effect of this Amendment, I take it, is merely to bring the law into conformity with what will be done by this Bill when it becomes an Act. As the matter stands at present, the Amendment is not operative. What is known as the Kenyon-Slaney Clause in the Act of 1902 placed the religious instruction in voluntary schools in the hands of the managers. That clause is repealed by this Bill, and the effect, I take it, will be to cause a reversion to the state of things under which religious instruction will be given subject to the provisions of the trust deed, if any, of the school. I have no doubt that from the point of view of the noble Viscount and to those who belong to the Roman Catholic Church that would be an entirely satisfactory arrangement. At the same time, so far as Church of England schools are concerned, I believe it has been the practice, even before the Act of 1902, to treat some quite old trust deeds in a rather rational manner by ignoring practically obsolete provisions contained in them. I see that my noble friend, Lord Barnard, is not in the House; therefore I am able to speak about trusts with more confidence than I could if he were present. If the noble Viscount is content to leave out these words, I believe the Bill as we propose to carry it without them will entirely meet his wishes.
§ VISCOUNT LLANDAFF
reminded the noble Earl that the managers of the transferred schools would be managers appointed by the local education autho- 54 rities, and therefore might possibly not be in sympathy with the religious facilities demanded in the schools. His proposal was simply an indication to them that the religious facilities which they were to afford under Clause 4 must be of the sort contemplated by the trust deeds of the school.
§ VISCOUNT LLANDAFF
They will have the appointment of the teacher, which is a considerable control over the religious instruction.
§ VISCOUNT LLANDAFF
Unless Amendments are introduced, they will have the appointment of the teacher and the control of the whole curriculum of the school.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
If the noble Viscount adheres to his desire to insert these words, I make no objection at this stage, subject to any correction I may have to make later.
*THE EARL OF JERSEY
in moving the omission of the words "in an urban area," said that circumstances were somewhat altered since he gave notice of this Amendment, the Bishop of Hereford having provided for single school parishes. Consequently the only people who would not be able to get extended facilities would apparently be those who lived in urban districts of under 5,000 population. His Amendment was intended to cover rural parishes.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
I do not want to interrupt the noble Earl, but I am bound to point out that he is under a misapprehension. The Amendment of the Bishop of Hereford does not provide for the existence in those areas of schools which come under Clause 4.
*THE EARL OF JERSEY
said that, under those circumstances, he would 55 move his Amendment with all the greater confidence. His object was that there should be no difference between urban and rural districts. Why should not the views of people who lived in a rural district be considered as well as those of the inhabitants of an urban district of over 5,000 population? This, after all, was a question affecting the parents; it was not a matter for the owners of the school. The point was whether parents, wherever they might live, should not have the right, if they were in a majority, to be able to obtain for their children the religious instruction under this clause. He begged to move.
In page 3, line 24, to leave out the words 'in an urban area.' "—(The Earl of Jersey).
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
said that, as he had an Amendment of a similar character on the Notice Paper it might be convenient that he should give his reasons for supporting the Amendment now proposed instead of moving his own. The Lord President of the Council had stated that His Majesty's Opposition had been battering the Education Bill. He (the Marquess of Londonderry) did not accept nor did he entirely repudiate that statement. The Bill might have been battered, but it had certainly been battered with advantage Clause 1 had been amended for the good. Beyond all doubt the date fixed for the Bill to come into operation was absolutely indefensible, and it would be probably admitted that Clause 4 without the proposed Amendment was as indefensible as the other provisions to which he had alluded were in their original form. The exclusion of the words "in an urban area" was one of the most important Amendments which could be brought forward, and he would be interested to hear the reasons for objecting to their deletion.
The explanations of Ministers with regard to the insertion of the words were very clear. They had declared that in certain cases denominational schools, denominational teachers, and denominational education were absolutely indispensable. That was admitted by the introduction of Clause 4. The Government had also laid down the conditions of such 56 schools as were enumerated in the clause, and had virtually claimed that no such school could be established in derogation of the rights, conscientious or otherwise, of any minority attending those schools. That was laid down by the Bill as it stood. Therefore their Lordships were justified in drawing the conclusion that if the conditions laid down were satisfied, no such school ought to be excluded from the benefits of Clause 4. If the premises he had put forward were correct, the position taken up by the Government in objecting to the clause was absolutely absurd, and it was rendered the more absurd by the various reasons which had been given by different members of the Government for the construction of the clause. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education had stated that the exclusion of rural districts was due to the incapacity of the rural voter to exercise the ballot as required by the clause.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
said he was quoting not the actual words, but the construction which he placed upon them, and if the noble Earl disagreed with that construction he would be glad to quote the exact words afterwards. He did not know what opinion the rural voter would have upon that view of the Parliamentary Secretary, but undoubtedly the description was not one of a complimentary or satisfactory character to the rural voter, and certainly no such slur had ever been cast upon him by any Member on the Opposition side of the House. But the curious thing was that this alleged incapacity of the rural elector did not come into existence until some considerable time after the Bill had been introduced. Therefore the clause was not originally founded on that ground, and it might be well if the noble Earl would give the real reasons why the Board of Education were opposed to the exclusion of the words "in an urban area" from the clause. It was almost impossible to reconcile speeches of various members of the Government not only one with another, but also with their interpretation of the Bill as presented to 57 their Lordships' House. Mr. Birrell's explanation of the ground of exclusion was of a totally different character from that of Mr. Lough, his view being that the question of whether there was alternative accommodation for the children of the minority under paragraph (b) of the clause would be very difficult to decide in rural districts. But was that really the reason for which rural districts were excluded from the clause? If so, great as was his admiration of Mr. Birrell's ability and administrative power, he could only say that the right hon. Gentleman must be to a certain extent ignorant of how the Act would be carried out in the various districts. Just as many questions would arise in connection with the giving of facilities in urban districts as in rural districts. It was frequently extremely difficult for children in urban districts to find an accessible school, since, owing to causes which he had already enumerated to the Committee more than once, it was often even more difficult to transport children in an urban district than in a rural district. The explanation of Mr. Birrell was as unacceptable as that of Mr. Lough. Then the Solicitor-General had given an explanation totally different from the two already referred to, but in all probability the real one. The hon. and learned Gentlemen had stated that the clause was simply a compromise, and there were bound to be in it things in themselves indefensible but essential to the compromise. Personally he could not help thinking that that was the true reason. No doubt the restrictions were indefensible, but they were the price demanded by the Nonconformist extremists in the Cabinet and in the Party for allowing the clause to appear at all. Those who had studied the character and the opinions of the various members of the Cabinet could not help knowing that there were certain differences of opinion amongst them. Turning back to the speech of the Minister of Education on the introduction of the Bill, he could find there no denunciation of the denominational schools or any declared intention of their abolition.
But whatever the differences of opinion might be, the Cabinet as a whole was undoubtedly responsible for the clause as it 58 stood. What was the clause intended to do? As far as he could gather it was a compromise between the two parties in the Cabinet, intended to meet as nearly as possible the needs of the Jews and the Roman Catholics and no others, while every effort was made to prevent any benefit accruing to the Church of England. He had had put into his hands since coming to the House an expression of opinion from a Roman Catholic with regard to certain remarks which had fallen from Lord Fitzmaurice, it being stated that the noble Lord implied that it was not, if he did not deny that Clause 4 was, for the Roman Catholics. That statement, however, like the other statements to which he had referred, had been contradicted by another member of the Government, because Mr. Asquith in the House of Commons on May 10th, stated—It is said that this clause was put in with a special view to meet the case of the Roman Catholics. Who denies it? I do not hesitate for a moment to face the fact."†
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
said that that emphasised his point, his contention being that the compromise in the Cabinet was designed to meet the views of those who desired to abolish denominational education, and yet at the same time not to cause an open rupture with those who were in favour of denominational schools. For that purpose exceptions were made in favour of the Roman Catholic and Jewish schools, while at the same time the Church schools were to be practically abolished. Everybody with acquaintance with these matters knew full well that Jewish and Catholic schools obtained to the greater extent in large urban areas, whereas the Church of England schools were in greatest force in rural areas, so that by excluding rural areas by the fixing of the population limit of 5,000 it was undoubtedly intended that those rural schools should be abolished. He did not say that it was not a clever move, but at any rate it was one that they could see through.
Then why was the figure of 5,000 taken? There were a great number of so-called† See (4) Debates, clvi., 1525.59 rural districts which largely exceeded the 5,000 limit; in fact he believed that through not taking advantage of provisions in various Local Government Acts there were districts called rural which contained a population of considerably over 5,000. In the county of Durham, which he knew very well, there were seven parishes which satisfied in every way the conditions laid down in Clause 4, the population being over 5,000, and there being more than one school in the area, and yet because in a technical sense those parishes were situated in a rural and not in an urban area the children would be deprived of the privileges conferred by the clause. If that was the state of things in one county similar instances could doubtless be given from the rest of the country. Why were the children in rural districts to be deprived of the education which their parents desired them to receive? Why was it imagined that their consciences were different from those of children in urban districts? He would like the Lord President of the Council to explain why this differentiation was made. On behalf of those interested in religious education, he desired an answer to be given as to why the number had been fixed at 5,000, and why rural districts were excluded, unless it was because they were the stronghold of voluntary schools.
said that before replying specifically to the questions which had been put he desired to point out to the noble Marquess that he could not accept the broad premise which he had not only laid down but suggested had been accepted by the Government. If he understood the noble Marquess correctly he stated that the Government had admitted that denominational schools were necessary everywhere.
said he understood the noble Marquess to lay down a somewhat broader proposition. What he wanted to point out was that this clause was an exception inserted in the Bill chiefly out of deference to the historic claims of great denominations which 60 had built schools in the past, and partly out of concession to the views of the Party opposite, because in these cases, however great the majorities might be in the other House, in order to place a Bill on the Statute-book there must be a certain amount of give and take between political Parties unless there was to be endless controversy. The religious instruction which, not only in regard to this clause, but speaking generally in regard to the Bill as a whole, the Government admitted was desirable, although they themselves did not make it compulsory-though the Committee had since practically made some religious instruction compulsory in every school-the religious instruction which the Government considered desirable, and which it still believed was accepted as satisfactory by the great bulk of the population of the country, was that which, broadly speaking, was known sometimes by the name of undenominational, sometimes by the name of un-sectarian, and sometimes by the general description of Christian education-a phrase which had been inserted in the schemes of nearly all secondary schools, and in schemes which in many cases were drawn up and passed into law while the noble Marquess himself was at the head of the Education Department. That was the broad principle of the Bill, but, for the reasons he had already stated, the Government had admitted that there were cases in which they were quite willing not only to consent to but to encourage denominational education.
They were asked why, in the first place, they limited these facilities to urban areas. His reply was that the circumstances of urban areas and of rural districts differed materially. It was idle to say that there was no difference between the educational circumstances of town and country merely because in both there was an institution known by the same name, namely, a public elementary school. All legislation in regard to every branch of local government reposed upon a broad distinction between the urban and the rural area, and one of the most marked distinctions between the educational circumstances of an average town and those of the country district adjoining was that in nine cases out of ten, or in an even 61 larger proportion of cases, there was in the town a choice of schools, while in the country districts there was only a single school. Only the other day the Committee were discussing an important Amendment, moved by the Bishop of Hereford upon another clause, and supported by the Opposition, which also was based upon the distinction between the rural district and the town. That being so, the Government had applied this exception to the towns because there were in nearly every town numerous schools, and generally a Church school at one end of the town, and a council school at the other. They proposed this exceptional clause because they wished to be practical. They were not suggesting the clause in order to deceive Parliament; they were not putting something forward which they knew in practice would be unworkable; but they believed that in every case where there was a denominational school in a town that school would by this clause be preserved under slightly altered circumstances. The Government were perfectly aware that with many of their most trusted political supporters and allies the proposal was unpopular, but they were not afraid to face that unpopularity, believing as they did that they were doing what might be called an act of justice, without inflicting any injustice or disability upon anybody else.
He would take the case of a town which for many years he had the honour to represent in Parliament. Swindon was a great educational centre, with an active population devoted to the cause of education. It was a town which in popular parlance might be called a school-board town. The great bulk of the schools were old board schools; there was an undenominational secondary school established by the county council and borough council together, and there was a higher elementary school established by the borough council. The bulk of the population were devoted to that system of schools which with some assistance from the county council they had established themselves. But there were in that town a Roman Catholic school and a Church of England school. Would it not have been an act of injustice to those two 62 schools, when practically every child in the town could go to a council school if it chose, if the Government had insisted upon calling upon the Roman Catholic school and the Church school to put up their shutters? He for one would not have been a party to any such action, and he believed that this clause would cause the schools in that town to work with all the more zeal because, taking advantage of the natural situation and of the plain and obvious facts of the case, they preserved at one end of the town a very efficient Roman Catholic school and at the other an equally efficient Church of England school. But he would contrast this state of things with that which obtained in the rural district around-a vast and rather melancholy area of small villages-where by a policy which may have been successful, but which he thought had not been altogether wise, it had been the object, too successfully attained, of the Church of England entirely to sieze and keep the whole of the accommodation of the district. No doubt here and there might be found a struggling British school, or a council school quite recently handed over by the managers, most of whom were old-fashioned country gentlemen of Whig principles mostly extinct and a certain number of Nonconformists. If the Committee extended, as the noble Marquess invited them to do, these privileges to the rural districts, he knew what the Liberals and Nonconformists in that district would say. They would say, "'Will you walk into my parlour?' said the spider to the fly." It was only natural on the part of the Church of England that they should desire to have these schools, and even to have a monopoly; from their point of view he did not blame them, but what he contended was that if these facilities were extended to rural districts in every case where there was within nominal reach a struggling British school or a council school, the Church of England with its great wealth, ability, and sincerity would claim that the privileges of this clause should apply to them. The struggling Liberals and Dissenters in those districts would have to fight for dear life in regard to every school, and they would gradually find coming back upon them 63 the old denominational schools, monopolising the whole of the neighbourhood, a system to check and limit, which was the principal object of this Bill. If that provision was taken away he was absolutely certain that the Bill would lose the greater part of its charm. [OPPOSITION laughter.] Yes, he was speaking perfectly straightforwardly; the great charm of this Bill was that it would give to the rural districts of England for the first time some chance of having a real system of national education under the control of the people. That was a charm in the eyes of the inhabitants of these rural districts, and in his judgment they were thoroughly justified in so considering it. Turning to the smaller question of the 5,000 limit, he thought a great deal of unnecessary heat had been imported into the discussions in the Press and elsewhere upon this point. It seemed to be the impression of some persons that behind this figure of 5,000 there was some dark design, some plot that could hardly be avowed. He had attempted to explain on the Second Reading of the Bill that it was simply a matter of detail of local administration involving no question of principle at all. It constantly happened when Bills relating to local government were under discussion, it signified not whether they were educational or local government Bills, that the Committee found that there lay upon the border line between town and country as known to the law-that was to say, between the borough and the rural district-a certain number of communities concerning which it was very difficult to ay, whatever they might be in the eye of the law, whether they really corresponded in fact with the definition of town or country. If he wanted to prove his case out of the mouth of a friendly critic, who held opinions different from his own, he could do so by an article which appeared in The Times in September last, where, commenting upon a very interesting report upon public health matters by one of the inspectors of the Local Government Board, it was pointed out that there were a great number of these so-called urban districts, little places with a population of about 5,000, which really were not urban districts at all, and which the law ought to treat as rural districts. 64 That article, after criticising the expenditure of some of these places, said—The report of the inspectors strongly urges on county councils the necessity of caution in the subdivision of districts and expresses a very intelligible fear that this process has already been carried too far.That was, the process of making these small rural districts into urban districts, and giving them the rights and privileges of urban districts; and the article finished up by saying—These so-called urban districts are inhabited by what it would be perfectly correct to describe as rural populations.This clause being intended to draw a line between town and country, all that was meant by the 5,000 limit was to take those populations which were in fact rural, though urban in law, and to place them on the rural side of the account in order that the legislation on this subject should correspond with the facts of the case rather than with arbitrary legal definitions. At the same time this was obviously not a question of principle, and if at a later stage noble Lords really thought it desirable to draw a hard and fast distinction between town and country and to place all urban communities, whether large or small, on one side of the line, and all rural communities upon the other side of the line, it ought not to be found impossible or difficult for the two sides of the House to come to an agreement. It so happened that in his own county there were a considerable number of these small places, and all he was anxious to assure the Committee was that the exception in regard to small places below the 5,000 limit was purely one of administration in regard to which the Government might perhaps be able to meet the views of noble Lords opposite. But the important question in regard to which agreement would be far more difficult would arise on the larger proposition of the noble Marquess that there should be no distinction between town and country. On that he was afraid he could hold out no hope of acceptance.
LORD ZOUCHE OF HARYNGWORTH
asked what was meant by the expression "extended facilities." It seemed to be very much governed by the preceding clause, Clauses 3 and 4 both relating to what was to be done in the case 65 of transferred schools. Under Clause 3, if certain representations were made under certain conditions, it was laid down in the mandatory part of the clause that ordinary facilities should be given to transferred schools. As he took it, all the claim that the transferred schools made was not merely to have facilities afforded, but to have them continued. For the purposes of his argument he was assuming that the schools were Church schools, and they were merely asking to be able to continue the same denominational education as before. Clause 3 laid down that if certain conditions were observed, the local authority should—
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
Is the noble Lord addressing himself to the Amendment to omit the words "in an urban area?"
LORD ZOUCHE OF HARYNG-WORTH
said his point was that if they wore to extend these denominational facilities to transferred schools under Clause 3, why should they take away the possibility of transferred schools enjoying the same facilities under other conditions when they simply related to schools in an urban area? It seemed to him that practically speaking this clause was largely governed in principle if not in detail by Clause 3. Clause 4 might be right or it might be wrong, but if it was right in Clause 4 that, following the lines, although perhaps not the actual words of Clause 3, religious denominational facilities might be continued to these transferred schools, why were they to be forbidden simply because the schools did not happen to be in an urban area? He therefore asked what was the exact meaning of "extended facilities" under Clause 4, it being a different expression from the "ordinary facilities" previously referred to. As far as he could understand, they meant the continuance of facilities for denominational teaching whether 66 the schools happened to be in an urban area or in a rural area. He thought however, the Committee had some difficulty in understanding why, if it was a case of conscience, a distinction should be drawn on such grounds.
§ VISCOUNT HALIFAX
said that as the noble Lord had stated that Clause 4 was an exception to the general system and that the Committee should not graft an exception upon an exception, he would ask why if an exception was just in one case it was not just in all similar cases. If it was right to respect the consciences of Church people who lived in towns, why was it not equally right to respect their consciences if they lived in the country? If they lived in a town, did their consciences acquire rights different from those acquired if they lived in the country? He asked their Lordships to consider what would happen if this clause were not extended to rural districts. In a district with which he was very well acquainted there were one or two very good Church schools which he had known for the last forty years. There had always been admirable reports from the Education Department, and he had never known a single complaint to be made as to the management of those schools. Within a mile and a half there were two council schools, one very good and the other less good. It constantly happened that children in the neighbourhood of those council schools preferred, for reasons of their own, to go to the Church schools. If this clause were not extended to rural districts, those Church schools would be exterminated, and the arrangements which had satisfied the inhabitants of the district for the last fifty years would be completely upset. Such a provision would really be extremely harsh and unfair. Lest it should be supposed that he was speaking from a Party point of view, he would quote from a letter by Mrs. Humphry Ward, who he believed belonged to the Unitarian body. In regard to the whole of the questions underlying the present Bill, Mrs. Humphry Ward, in a letter to The Times at the beginning of the year, said—The supreme need of the present time is to prevent a much more profound injustice to the Church schools and to the Church feeling of the country being done than was done."—67 he did not admit that it was—by the Act of 1902.And she went on to say—The proposals as I understand them out lined by Mr. Birrell and Mr. Lloyd-George appear to me grotesque in their unfairness.But it was not only Mrs. Humphry Ward who said that. In one of his last speeches in the House of Commons, Mr. Birrell said that the Bill pro vided that every person who desired that kind of instruction should find an undenominational school in every village But if it was right that those who cared for undenominational teaching should find an undenominational school in every village, why was it not equally right that those who cared for denominational teaching should find a denominational school in every village. He earnestly asked that this great injustice should not be done to the village schools.
Let the Committee consider what an enormous increase would fall upon the rates if this clause were not extended. Probably some proportion of the Church schools would not be transferred and the local authority would have to provide schools which were absolutely unnecessary, simply for the sake of this assumed logical symmetry, for the sake of supplying something not asked for by the people. He was satisfied that it was quite possible to do something in regard to education which would meet the needs of everyone. He re-echoed what had fallen from pre-previous speakers. If the Nonconformists had a grievance he desired that it should be remedied, and that in single school districts they should have access to Church schools. Personally he would be perfectly willing that the £1,000,000 set aside for rent should be paid over to the Nonconformists to help them to supply their needs in single school districts, but what he would never consent to was to see the denominational schools destroyed throughout the rural districts of the country.
*THE LORD BISHOP OF HEREFORD
said that in supporting the Amendment he desired to express his regret that the Committee had, by an Amendment to Clause 3, extended the ordinary facilities, so that children might receive special denominational instruction on every day 68 of the week during school hours. He felt at the time, and he still believed, that in asking for that extension they were asking too much. They were in fact asking more than they had been in the habit of requiring hitherto in most schools. In his own diocese two mornings a week for the teaching of the Catechism and the Prayer Book were considered quite sufficient, and the best managed schools in his diocese were content with that arrangement, believing that they could give quite as good instruction as was necessary for the children, on the other three days by teaching the Bible itself. He regretted the decision also because it considerably weakened the case for the present Amendment. He fully agreed with Lord Fitzmaurice that legislation should correspond with the facts of the case, and not depend on arbitrary distinctions; and his reason for supporting this Amendment was that the clause in the Bill really depended on an arbitrary distinction and was not governed by the actual facts of the case. In this connection he held that the distinction between an urban area and a rural area was an arbitrary distinction, as also was the distinction between a population just over 5.000 and a population just under 5,000 for this purpose, and he thought that better conditions equally effective for the purpose desired could be found. He supported the Amendment on three conditions which he thought their Lordships would consider were reasonable. The clause was confessedly exceptional, designed for the purpose of meeting certain exceptional cases, and of dealing with them in a. reasonable manner. The first condition on which he supported the Amendment was that the school for which these extended facilities were demanded should be a school consisting practically of children of one denomination, that the minority of children who might happen to be in that school should be a very small minority. He therefore hoped that no attempt would be made to reduce the four-fifths provision. His second condition was that there should be another school equally accessible for the minority. They had heard a great deal about the defence of minorities in the discussions on this Bill—much more than was heard n the debates on the Bill of 1902. His 69 third condition was—and here he ventured to speak as a member of two local authorities and also as a ratepayer— that the extended facilities should not be given unless in the opinion of the Board of Education the number of children in the neighbourhood was sufficient to maintain two efficient schools without unnecessary expenditure of public money. Those were the three conditions on which he gave his support to the Amendment. If those conditions could be fulfilled his support would be a very hearty one. The distinctions drawn in the Bill were artificial. What they really required was that the conditions should be such that they could meet the reasonable requirements of a school which was com-posed practically all of one denomination, and that they should be careful to inflict no injustice on a small minority. Under these circumstances he was in favour of omitting the words "in an urban area," provided that his conditions were agreed to.
THE LORD BISHOP OF BIRMINGHAM
desired to make an explanation on a matter which to some of them was important. He did so now because the statement he referred to occurred in the beginning of the speech of his right rev. brother who had just spoken. To those of them who cared about denominational teaching the distinction between denominational teaching and undenominational teaching was not in the least degree identical with the distinction between teaching the Catechism and teaching the Bible. For his own part, he should not much mind if nothing but the Bible was to be taught in any elementary school. What he cared about with all his heart and all his understanding was that the Bible should be taught by reference to such definite understanding of the Christian faith as was implied in the Creed of the Church. Therefore to him the distinction between denominational and undenominational teaching was in no way identical with the distinction between teaching the Catechism and teaching the Bible.
*THE LORD BISHOP OF HREFORD
asked leave to offer a word of explanation. His right rev. brother seemed to have misunderstood him, and had forgotten 70 about the clause that they were discussing. He (the Bishop of Hereford) expressed his regret that they had passed an Amendment in Clause 3 which practically gave, as he read it, power to a denomination to go into A school and give denominational instruction to the same children every day in the week.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
I rise to a point of order. Is not the question before the Committee whether we are to omit the words "in an urban area?"
supported the Amendment, but without the hampering conditions suggested by the right rev. Prelate, on the broad lines that parents in a rural district had equal rights with those in an urban district. He was of opinion that the parents should have the fullest possible rights whether in an urban or in a rural district. It was for parents to decide what religious education they wished their children to. be instructed in, and he did not see why there should be an arbitrary distinction between the parents who lived in urban districts and the parents who lived in rural districts. He was glad to observe that the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had stated that the Government were willing to grant all the privileges in their power in urban districts to Roman Catholic and Church of England schools side by side with the board schools. He was quite willing to admit that every denomination should have-equal rights.
§ THE EARL OF CREWE
My Lords, I think that as several questions have been addressed to me by noble Lords opposite, the Committee will pardon me if I reply. The question which noble Lords as a whole ask is really this— and it is undoubtedly one which should have an answer: "If you insert in this Bill, by sub-clause (b) Sub-section 1 of Clause 4, a provision making it a condition, that there is to be public school accommodation in schools not affected by a permission given under that section for the 71 other children attending the school, that is to say, for the minority—if you insert that, why do you want to draw a distinction between urban and rural districts?" Before I say a word on that point I should like to answer the question put to me by the noble Lord, Lord Zouche of Haryngworth as to the meaning of the words "extended facilities." Extended facilities are those given under this clause as distinguished from those facilities which we gave in the Bill as introduced under Clause 3. Under Clause 3 the facilities were for two days a week, Cowper-Temple teaching was the regular rule of the school, and the teacher was not allowed to give the teaching. Extended facilities under this clause would be special religious instruction on five days a week, no Cowper-Temple teaching at all, and the teacher might be permitted to give the teaching. That is the answer to that question.
We said that we did not find it possible to agree to give this special privilege in rural districts. The right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Birmingham was perfectly right in the view that he took of the object we had in view in introducing this clause. It is not a question of teaching the Catechism five times a week, it is a question of the whole atmosphere of the school. That is a distinction which we draw between schools which have ordinary facilities and the schools which have these extended facilities. It is in consequence of that that we draw the distinction between the urban and the rural districts.
What are the distinctions which exist between the two classes of districts? We must of course, speak broadly, because I entirely admit that no distinction of this kind can take effect in every instance; it must leave out here and there an instance which, if you were perfectly logical, you ought to include in the privileges granted by the Bill. In the first place, we think that it is more difficult in rural districts to decide the question of alternative accommodation than it is in urban districts. That matter was explained by my right hon. friend in the House of Commons, and I entirely endorse the view that he then expressed. Noble Lords must remember that under our general law of 72 education it is possible for a local authority to say that any school which is within three miles would satisfy the purpose under this Bill. It is quite true that a great many by-laws make the distance two miles, but it is possible it might be three. To maintain that in some of the upland districts of this country it is the same thing for a child to walk on a November or December day along some three miles of bleak road as it is for him to turn round the corner into his village school, is a proposition which is rather ridiculous. Consequently we say that although you might find technically accommodation for the child within the legal district, yet the circumstances might easily be such that a distinct hardship would be inflicted on the children of the minority.
Then we come to the point dwelt on with great force by my noble friend behind me, that is, what is the real distinction, speaking broadly, between urban and rural in this matter. I confess that, taking the conditions of rural life in some parts of England into consideration, I should be very much averse to placing upon the minority the burden of putting themselves in opposition to the will, not merely of the numerical majority but of the most important people of the parish with whom they live. I need hardly tell your Lordships that I am not one of those who take the view that it is the custom of landowners and others who hold important positions in our rural villages to tyrannise over their dependents, their tenants or their neighbours; but in many parts of England there is a certain survival of a patriarchal feeling—a kind of benevolent despotism— which expresses itself somewhat in this way. It says, "Here are these people for whom we build excellent houses; we give them regular employment; we look after them when they are ill; is it too much to ask that they should not at any rate place themselves in direct opposition to us when they disagree with us in matters of politics or religion?" It is not a question of tyranny, but it is an undoubted fact that there are many parts of England in which that tone of feeling exists.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
In many parts of England; more in the South and West than in the North where I myself live, because I am happy to think that north of the Trent a greater feeling of independence exists; but I know something of the South of England. I have property there myself and I have some knowledge of the conditions which obtain.
I will mention a further point. Some people talk, I believe, about tyrannical landlords. It is not so much the landlord, who I think is very often a man of broad ideas and who takes a wider view, but in many parts of England—not so much on your Lordships' estates as on those of many others— there exists a pernicious practice of letting cottages with farms, a practice which I think is one of the most undesirable that any landlord can follow. In these circumstances it is possible that a member of the minority is likely to be at the mercy, not of one of your Lordships, who I am certain would treat him in the most liberal spirit, but possibly of a somewhat narrow-minded man who, not exercising anything which could be called tyranny, can make things some what less pleasant for that member of the unpopular minority. Nobody will dispute these things. I know perfectly well that none of your Lordships will dispute that such things can and do exist in certain parts of England. That is, to my mind, the main reason for the distinction which it is necessary to draw between rural and urban in this matter. Of course I acknowledge that that distinction must be a rough one, but there are a great number of districts to which the remarks I have made apply, and it is possible to mention isolated cases of districts in which the whole conditions are almost identical with those which obtain in urban districts. I am sorry that these exceptions should exist under the rule which we have drawn, but I fear that it is entirely unavoidable. The noble Lord the Marquess of Londonderry said that in doing this we were attempting to destroy Church of England schools. I should like to know who, having heard the noble Marquess speak, would believe that as a matter of fact there are over 3,000 schools, con- 74 taining over 1,000,000 children, that is to say, 57 per cent, of the average attendance in Church of England schools, situated in areas which come within the operation of Clause 4.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
That is perfectly true. There are 8,000 schools, but not anything like half the children.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
As against 1,488,000 children who are admitted. To speak of this as destroying the Church of England schools in these circumstances appears to me to be a perfect travesty of the facts, if I am not stating it too strongly. The noble Marquess ought to have qualified his observations in that respect. The noble Lord, Viscount Halifax, said that the effect in a particular instance would be to exterminate a particular Church school. Of course, if it is to exterminate a Church school to say that it must have two days' facilities teaching and three days Cowper-Temple teaching, I admit that is undoubtedly so.
§ VISCOUNT HALIFAX
My point was that the teacher is not to be allowed to give religious instruction in a transferred school.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
I am sure the noble Lord, if this case is in his neighbourhood, will see that somebody gives that instruction extremely well. I do not see that this means the extinction of Church schools. I have to admit perfectly frankly that it does mean the destruction of the atmosphere, and those who value the daily atmosphere, which, remember, is to run through secular as well as religious instruction, will find that the provisions in our Bill will prevent that being done in ft rural district.
The noble Lord, Viscount Galway, made an observation implying that parents in rural districts as well as in urban districts should be able 75 to select the religious teaching for their own children. The conditions, unfortunately, make that impossible. It is very difficult in a town to have schools which suit the views of every kind of parent; in the country it is impossible. Therefore, when the noble Lord speaks of parents in this connection he can only mean by the nature of the case Church of England parents who happen to be in a particular instance in a majority. But what is to happen to the minority of parents and their interests in these districts, the noble Viscount does not tell us. I admit once more that this is somewhat a rough line to draw. It is not a logical line. I do not know any line that can be considered logical. Nothing is logical except a provision for secular education only or a provision giving facilities for every child in every school. Everything else, whether proposed by noble Lords opposite or proposed by us, would be distinctly illogical.
My Lords, all I can say is, that in our view this distinction is one that must be drawn. If the matter is to be settled in the way that we desire to settle it, we must place an undenominational school in every district within the reach of the parents who desire it.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, I will not attempt to criticise the interesting picture of English rural life which the noble Earl opposite has just drawn for our information. Its details—he will forgive me for saying so—do not appear to me absolutely correct or in accordance with the experience possessed by most of your Lordships. It might, no doubt, at one time in the history of the country, have been a correct picture, but I think that if he were to assert its correctness now, the charge would be resented not only by the owners of land and by the farmers whom he described in guarded terms as the despots in the drama, but also by the labouring population, whom he described as the victims of that despotism.
My Lords, if we do not agree with the noble Lords opposite in regard to this clause, it is because we on this side of the House regard it in an entirely different light from that in which they look at it. 76 It has been represented to us to-night and upon other occasions as an exception, an exception grafted upon the man fabric of the Bill, an exception for which we ought to be grateful, a sort of small mercy which has been vouchsafed to us. That is not our view at all. We regard this clause as an essential and integral feature in the Bill, a feature in the absence of which we should have refused to look at this Bill at all.
What is the object of the clause? Its object is that where schools possessing what has been spoken of as a denominational atmosphere are able to fulfil certain conditions those schools should be continued. In our view these schools, when they are able to fulfil those conditions, should be continued wherever they are to be found. If we are to attempt to draw a distinction between the areas within which these extended facilities are to be granted and the areas in which they are to be refused, then I say let us have an intelligible distinction. Our complaint of the distinction drawn in the Bill is that it is a technical and arbitrary distinction. We know perfectly well that there are many rural districts which in point of character are really indistinguishable from urban districts. In our view the schools which are to be found in those districts should be given whatever advantages can be derived from this clause.
I ask your Lordships to remember that whether these schools are to be found in urban districts or in rural districts they will have to fulfil the same conditions. The same inquiry will have to be held, the same trouble taken, to ascertain whether there is a sufficient majority of children; and the same precautions taken to decide whether alternative accommodation is or is not available. The noble Earl dwelt upon the difficulty of ascertaining in rural districts whether such alternative accommodation was forthcoming or not. I should like to remind the Committee that last week when we were discussing the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of Hereford —an Amendment which the Committee will recollect dealt only with rural districts—the noble Earl opposite objected to the extension of the Amendment to urban districts upon the ground that it was so difficult to define a single school area in a 77 a town. Here we have the converse argument.
§ *THE EARL OF CREWE
In the one case the question was the difficulty of defining the area. In this case the difficulty I submit is that of providing accommodation for the child.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
It is a question of ascertaining whether the alternative accommodation is there or not. In all these cases we have to rely upon the education authority, and if the education authority is to be trusted to make these inquiries and to ascertain whether the requisite conditions are present or absent, I cannot see why they are not to be trusted, in dealing with this particular question, with the same amount of discretion and the same amount of opportunity of satisfying themselves in regard to the facts.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF RIPON
My Lords, my noble friend was perfectly right in his opening observations. He said that there was a distinct difference of intention between the noble Lords opposite and the noble Lords on this side of the House. That is perfectly true. He went on to say that he was in favour of giving these facilities to all schools in all places.
§ We are not of that view. The object and intention of the Bill is to offer these facilities everywhere except in single school districts. We do not think that it is possible in single school districts to give facilities of this kind to existing schools without placing an undue restriction and burden upon those who do not agree with the denominational instruction given in those schools. Like my noble friend, I am not going to enter into controversy as to what may go on here and there in the country. I think my noble friend behind me only said what is perfectly true, that there are cases such as he has described in various parts of the country. That is not the point before us now. The point before us now is this— is the Committee prepared to give these facilities in single school districts? I quite admit it is difficult to define a single school district. I quite admit, with my noble friend behind me, that the mode in which it is attempted to define it in this Bill is a rough method, but the difference between noble Lords opposite and those on this side of the House is that they are prepared to do that in all districts which we do not think ought to be done where there is no choice of schools.
§ On Question, whether the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the clause, their Lordships divided:—Contents, 44; Not-Contents, 180.79
|Crewe, E. (L. President.)||Brassey, L.||Joicey, L.|
|Ripon, M. (L. Privy Seal.)||Colebrooke, L.||Kinnaird, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Coleridge, L.||Monkswell, L.|
|Carrington, E.||Courtney of Penwith, L.||O'Hagan, L.|
|Chesterfield, E.||Denman, L. [Teller.]||Pirrie, L.|
|Chichester, E.||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kin-||Reay, L.|
|Craven, E.||cardine.)||Ribblesdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Kimberley, E.||Eversley, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Portsmouth, E.||Farrer, L.||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Russell, E.||Fitzmaurice, L.||Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)|
|Temple, E.||Glantawe, L.||Shuttleworth, L.|
|Grimthorpe, L.||Tweedmouth, L.|
|Althorp, V. [L. Chamberlain.)||Hamilton of Dalzell, L.||Wandsworth, L.|
|Haversham, L.||Weardale, L.|
|Aberdare, L.||Headley, L.||Welby, L.|
|Boston, L.||Hemphill, L.|
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Leeds, D.||Wellington, D.|
|Norfolk, D. (E. Marshal.)||Newcastle, D.||Ailesbury, M.|
|Bedford, D.||Northumberland, D).||Bath, M.|
|Devonshire, D.||Rutland, D).||Bute, M.|
|Camden, M.||Yarborough, E.||Douglas, L. (E. Home.)|
|Hertford, M.||Dunalley, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Churchill, V. [Teller.]||Estcourt, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Colville of (Cu'ross, V.||Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)|
|Winchester, M.||Cross, V.||Forester, L.|
|Falkland, V.||Gage, L. (V. Gage.)|
|Abingdon, E.||Falmouth, V.||Gormanston, L. (V. (Gorman-|
|Ashburnham, E.||Goschen, V.||ston.)|
|Brownlow, E.||Halifax, V.||Harris. L.|
|Cadogan, E.||Hill, V.||Hastings. L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Hutchinson, V. (E. Donough-||Heneage, L.|
|Carnwath, E.||more.)||Herries, L.|
|Cathcart, E.||Iveagh, V.||Howard of Glossop, L.|
|Cawdor, E.||Llandaff, V.||Kenmare L. (E. Kenmare.)|
|Clarendon, E.||Ridley, V.||Kenyon, L.|
|Dartmouth, E.||St. Aldwyn. V.||Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)|
|Darnley, E.||Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)|
|Dartrey, E.||Bangore, L. Bp.||Knaresborough, L.|
|De La Warr, E.||Bath and Wells, L. Bp.||Lawrence, L.|
|Denbigh, E.||Birmingham, L. Bp.||Leigh, L.|
|Derby, E.||Bristol, L. Bp.||Leith of Fyvie. L.|
|Devon, E.||Chester, L. Bp.||Lovat, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch||Chichester, L. Bp.||Lurgan, L.|
|and Queensberry.)||Hereford, L. Bp.||Macnaghten, L.|
|Eldon, E.||Lincoln, L. Bp.||Manners, L.|
|Feversham, E.||London, L. Bp.||Methuen, L.|
|Guilford, E.||Norwich, L. Bp.||Middleton. L.|
|Halsbury, E.||Oxford, L. Bp.||Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)|
|Hardwicke, E.||St. Asaph's, L. Bp.||Monk Bretton, L.|
|Huntingdon, E.||St. David's, L. Bp.||Mostyn, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Salisbury, L. Bp.||Mowbray, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Southwark, L. Bp.||Napier, L.|
|Kilmorey, E.||Winchester, L. Bp.||North, L.|
|Lathom, E.||Northbourne, L.|
|Lindsey, E.||Abinger, L.||Northcliffe, L.|
|Londesborough, E.||Addington, L.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Lonsdale, E.||Alington, L.||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Ampthill, L.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Armstrong, L.||Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranjurly.)|
|Mar and Kellie, L.||Ashbourne, L.||Ravensworth, L.|
|Morley, E.||Atkinson, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Nelson, E.||Barnard, L.||Robertson, L.|
|Northbrook, E.||Barrymore, L.||Sanderson, L.|
|Northesk, E.||Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Sandys, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Blythswood, L.||Seaton, L.|
|Orford, E.||Bolton, L.||Sherborne, L.|
|Pembroke and Montgomery,||Borthwick, L.||Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)|
|E.||Braye, L.||Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)|
|Plymouth, E.||Brougham and Vaux, L.||Somerhill, L. (M. Clanri-|
|Radnor, E.||Burton, L.||carde.)|
|Saint Germans, E.||Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.)||Stalbridge, L.|
|Scarbrough, E.||Cheylesmore, L.||Stanmore, L.|
|Shaftesbury, E.||Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. )|
|Shrewsbury, E.||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.||Galloway.|
|Stamford, E.||Colchester, L.||Tennyson, L.|
|Stanhope, E.||Dawnay, L. (V. Downe.)||Waleran, L.|
|Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||De Freyne, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||de Ros, L.||Zouche of Haryngworth, L.|
|Westmeath, E.||Deramore, L.|
|Westmorland, E.||Digby, L.|
*THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
said that as he understood the adjournment of the House was to be moved, and that they were not going into further business, he asked leave to give a personal explanation about a letter from himself to Canon 80 Holland, which had been published in the newspapers, and to which the noble Earl the Lord President of the Council had referred earlier in the evening. Their Lordships would remember that the noble Earl suggested that his letter did not give the complete statement of the facts 81 as to what had actually taken place. That was quite true. His letter was inaccurate only in the sense that it did not attempt to be exhaustive or complete, o to give a detailed statement as to all that had been done. Perhaps it would have been better if in making any statement he had tried at full length to develop everything, but he had not attempted to do so. His letter quite correctly indicated that so far as the rural single school areas were concerned the Amendments carried in that House had directed that both in transferred and provided schools denominational facilities might, if so desired, be used on even' school day; but if he had been attempting a full statement of all the facts it would have been necessary for him to have added that in urban areas, although they gave no additional facilities in provided schools, they had by the Amendments extended to five days, instead of two, the possibility of using facilities in transferred schools. He thought that correctly represented the facts, and so far as the brief summary went, which was all that he had attempted, he had certainly not meant to keep anything back in such a manner as to mislead anybody.
THE EARL OF CEEWE
My Lords, I most cordially accept the explanation of the most rev. Primate. I think it is certainly satisfactory that by his correction the full effect of the changes that have been made in your Lordships' House should be clearly stated. I beg to move that the House do resume.
§ House resumed, and to be again in Committee to-morrow.