Order for Committee read.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
said, he had given Notice to move that this House will, upon that day three months, resolve itself into the said Committee. The object of the Bill was to continue the Public Schools Commission, which, under the former Act, would expire on the 1st of January next. He thought it would be much batter to allow the Commission to expire, and that the further proceedings in respect to the seven public schools should be entrusted to the Endowed Schools Commission. He would not, however, press his Motion if the Government would accede to an Amendment winch stood on the Paper in his name—namely, in Clause 3, at the end, to add—
"Provided, That the approval or disapproval of Her Majesty to any statute made by any such Governing Body, in pursuance of the powers so vested in it, shall not be signified until such statute has been laid before both Houses of Parliament, for a period of not less than forty days."
said, the additional time was asked for not in the interest of the Commissioners, but in that of the schools. The object of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Winterbotham) was to get rid of the Commission altogether. He thought at that stage of the Session the proposal was a most unreasonable one. There was an important distinction between the powers of the Public Schools Commissioners, who were an unpaid body, and the Endowed Schools Commissioners, who received payment for their services. He believed the former were by no means anxious to continue their labours if they did not continue to enjoy the confidence which had hitherto been placed in them.
said, he had Amendments to propose in Committee providing that the bodies to be dealt with should be the new Governing Bodies. The question, therefore, would not be the constitution of those bodies, but the schemes they prepared. The Public Schools Act of 1868 enacted that if the Commissioners and the Governing Body agreed as to the scheme it would not be necessary to lay it on the Table; but if the Commissioners and the Governing Body did not agree, then it would be necessary to lay the scheme on the Table, in order that Parliament might decide between the Commissioners and the Governing Body. That being so, his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Winterbotham) now came forward with a proposition which would alter the whole plan upon which the proceedings in reference to the public schools had been hitherto conducted. Having regard to the period of the Session, the proposition was one which his hon. and learned Friend could hardly expect the Government to accede to.
said, he feared he had no alternative. He must press his Amendment.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day three months, resolve itself into the said Committee,"—(Mr. Winterbotham,)
Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.
Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.
Bill considered in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
Clauses 1 to 3, inclusive, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
, in moving after Clause 3, to insert—
—said he would merely observe that if the Government refused to accept the clause their refusal would give rise to suspicions of a sinister motive."Provided, That the approval or disapproval of Her Majesty to any statute made by any such Governing Body, in pursuance of the powers so vested in it, shall not be signified until such statute has been laid before both Houses of Parliament, for a period of not less than forty days."
Clause (Statutes by new Governing Body to be laid before Parliament,)— brought up, and read the first time.
said, he thought that in his calmer moments his hon. and learned Friend would regret having said that a clause in the Act of 1868, which Act had been carefully considered, and was the result of a compromise, would give rise to suspicions of a sinister motive.
begged his hon. and learned Friend's pardon. What he had said was that the refusal of the Government to accept this clause would give rise to suspicions of a sinister motive.
said, the distinction drawn by his hon. and learned Friend was a distinction without a difference. As a Commissioner and as a Member of the Government, he repudiated in the strongest manner consistent with personal courtesy the statement of his hon. and learned Friend. His hon. and learned Friend had no business to make it.
said, he had not imputed a sinister motive to the Commissioners. What he had said was that if the Government refused to accept a clause which provided that the statutes of the Governing Bodies should be submitted to Parliament there would be suspicions of a sinister motive. It would be thought that the Government refused to accept the clause from an apprehension that the opinion of Parliament might be adverse to that of the Governing Bodies.
said, he was glad he had given his hon. and learned Friend an opportunity of withdrawing his remark under pressure.
said, he had not withdrawn anything.
said, he was glad then to have given his hon. and and learned Friend an opportunity of explaining. The Government could not consent to to the clause. It would give rise to debates. No good would result from it, while it would cause a delay in getting the schools into working order under new statutes.
said, he hoped the Government would accept the clause. He did not think there could be any objection to it now that the Commissioners and the Governing Bodies were getting more time.
Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause be road a second time."
The Committee divided: — Ayes 36; Noes 70: Majority 34.
Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.