SUPPLY— considered in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
said, that as this Court existed only for the benefit of the buyers and sellers of estates it ought to be maintained by fees, and not at the expense of the Exchequer. There were fees paid to the amount of £4,291; but the charge on the Votes was £12,907.
said, considerable fees were received from this Court, which were paid into the Exchequer. At the same time, there was much apparent justice in what the hon. Gentleman had said, and he would look into the matter.
said, the operation of the Encumbered Estates Court Act had been most injurious to Ireland not only for the losses it had occasioned to creditors, but also in consequence of the land being compulsorily sold under it for so much less than its real value. £8,000,000 of Irish capital was confiscated—a larger sum than the boasted assistance in the potato famine years.
pointed out that it was not a matter in which the public of Ireland was concerned, but only the sellers and purchasers of land.
Vote agreed to.
(15.) £7,421, to complete the sum for the Probate Court, Ireland.
(16.) £1,340, to complete the sum for the Admiralty Court Registry, Ireland.
(17.) £10,430, to complete the sum for the Registry of Deeds, Ireland.
(18.) £2,066, to complete the sum for the Registry of Judgments, Ireland.
(19.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a sum, not exceeding £65,900, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of Police, of the Police Courts, and of the Metropolitan Police, Dublin."
objected to the whole of the police charge for Ireland being saddled on the Consolidated Fund. He particularly objected to the police charge for a rich city like Dublin being paid out of the Imperial taxation. It ought to be compelled to make a contribution like the large towns of England, if only as a matter of policy, for under the present arrangement the people felt that they had nothing to do with the police, whom, they looked upon as a foreign body. Dublin was a rich town, and ought not to escape from paying police charges. He moved that the whole Vote of £100,000 be reduced by £25,000, so as to make the people of Dublin pay one-fourth of the charge.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a sum, nor exceeding £40,900, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of Police, of the Police Courts, and of the Metropolitan Police, Dublin."—(Mr. Lusk.)
called the hon. Member's attention to a foot-note in the Estimates, which showed that the City of Dublin contributed not merely £25,000 for the police, but £41,000, that amount being raised from the hackney carriage licence and from an eightpenny rate on the property of the town.
supposed that the only object the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Alderman Lusk) could have in view was to get rid of the police force of Dublin entirely. The hon. Member was a great economical authority; but he had never known him to succeed in reducing a Vote by a single penny.
pointed out that £23,000 of the Vote was spent in pensions, many of the persons concerned receiving pensions to the full amount of the salaries they had had. It was a matter for serious consideration whether a quarter of the whole amount ought to be paid for purely unproductive labour.
distinguished between the police force of Ireland generally, which was a semi-military body defended on special grounds, and that for Dublin, which was one of the richest cities in the kingdom; and there was no more reason for relieving it of the expenses of its police than there was for relieving London or Manchester. As to the amount paid for pensions he looked upon it as a scandalous misappropriation of public money, which the Legislature ought to stop.
said, he had no reason to doubt that the pensions had been awarded in each case on sufficient grounds; but there used to be a much higher rate of pensions under the Act 10 & 11 Vict., and that still operated in keeping up the total amount.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Vote agreed to.
(20.) £643,007, to complete the sum for the Constabulary, Ireland.
pointed out that the sum of £110,632 paid for pensions and gratuities was printed in the Estimates in a lump sum, without any details of the names of the persons receiving the money. He thought those details ought to be given, and he also hoped that the Government would set on foot in Ireland the plan observed in this country, of the police making contributions from their pay towards their own superannuation fund.
said, he wished to know how it was that £47,000 was paid to the magistrates in Ireland out of the Consolidated Fund, while in England all stipendiary magistrates were paid out of local taxation?
said, the resident stipendiary magistrates in Ireland were to a great extent officers of the Executive Government, and of the greatest value to the Government in Ireland. Indeed, he did not know what could be done without them. No doubt the system in Ireland was a system of greater centralization than existed here, which, on abstract grounds, was to be deplored; but the circumstances of the country made it necessary.
said, that after this friends in Ireland could not say they were taxed in the same way as the people of Great Britain.
observed, that if the English magistrates were superseded to the same extent as Irish country gentlemen by stipendiary magistrates, he believed they would retire in disgust from the unpaid duties which they now discharged with so much advantage to the country. The policy the Government had pursued had offended the local magistracy, and he would advise them to adopt a totally different system—to trust the people and the magistrates, which they never had done, and they might thus hope to establish peace and tranquillity.
said, he could not help thinking that the Irish Constabulary force would be rendered more popular in Ireland if the people were allowed to take a greater interest in it, and to bear their fair share of its cost. The present system of centralization was not desirable.
said, he wished to have a detailed account of some of the items.
called attention to the rate at which the superannuation had been increased, and expressed his opinion that it was worthy of consideration whether a superannuation fund might not be established out of contributions subscribed by the police themselves. The details of their pensions ought also to be given in the Estimate.
said, the notion of making a force, which was supposed to be unpopular in Ireland, popular by the imposition of a financial blister on the people, was worthy of the ingenuity of a Scotchman. The House might, if it thought proper, adopt the suggestion as to superannuation money, but it must first increase the pay of the force; so that, practically, nothing would be gained. The Irish Constabulary were a most meritorious body of men; he had seen them on occasions of great excitement; he knew their wonderful good temper and forbearance, and the great services which they were enabled to render to the Queen and to the country. He warned the House against touching one penny of their pay or their pensions.
said, to adopt the suggestion which had been made would be to reduce the pay of the men, and nothing would be gained by increasing the pay in order to establish a superannuation fund out of enforced contributions. Further particulars would be given if necessary; but it was not desirable to overcrowd the Estimates with the various items which made up small amounts.
Vote agreed to.
(21.) £32,960, to complete the sum for Government Prisons, &c., Ireland.
(22.) £28,211, to complete the sum for County and Borough Prisons, Ireland.
(23.) £3,610, to complete the sum for Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum.
(24.) £1,630, to complete the sum for the Four Courts Marshalsea, Dublin.
(25.) £6,070, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous Legal Charges, Ireland.
(26.) £644,721, to complete the sum for Public Education, Great Britain.
said, this year the Education Estimate was £914,721, being a net increase over the sum voted last year of £74,010. This increase arose, he might say, almost entirely upon two items—the annual grants and the sum for the training Colleges. There was a small saving of £173 in the administration office in London, arising from the experiment which had been successfully tried of having boys as clerks. The cost of inspection had increased by £2,166, owing to the employment of three more inspectors. In the building grants there had been a decrease of £3,000, about £4,000 less than the Estimate of last year being spent. In Scotland there was an increase of £6,300, owing to the number of certificated masters having increased by 35, the certificated schoolmistresses by 45, and the pupil-teachers by 308. Scotland was still working on the old system, payment for results not having been yet introduced. As to the two great sources of increase to which he had alluded, in England and Wales there was an increase of £54,732 on the annual grants, which was owing to an increase in the number of scholars, a thing which no one would regret. Last year the average attendance of day scholars was estimated at 1,082,000. This year it was close upon 1,200,000, being an increase of 114,000. In evening scholars there was an increase of close upon 8,000, bringing the number up to nearly 80,000. The capitation grant was 1d. less than it was last year, when it was 9s. 11d. They had found that to be rather over what was required, and this year it was proposed to make the grant 9s. 10d. Though they asked for 1d. less, the scholars were not earning less. An increase had been going on from year to year, but not quite so fast as had been expected. For the year ending the 31st of August, 1868, the sum actually paid was 9s. 4¾d. per day scholar; for the year ending All gust, 1869, it was 9s. 7d.; and for this year they were, as he had said, asking 9s. 10d. There was a large increase in the sum for the training schools. Last year there had been none; but this year they found the training schools so much more vigorously in operation that they were asking for an increase of £14,000; and, considering the demand that there would be for teachers, he was not sorry to be obliged to ask it. There were 223 more male students in residence, and 104 more female students, which was the explanation of the increase in the item. Now, as to the results, or the value received for their money. Let them take England and Wales, leaving Scotland out of the account — though no one could suppose that Scotland would be without the Revised Code much longer. Indeed, the Government looked forward to the English Education Bill of this year being followed by a Scotch Education Bill next year. In the year ending August 31, 1869, the separate schools in England and Wales, assisted by the State, were 7,845, comprising 11,404 day departments, and 2,240 evening schools. These schools provided accommodation for 1,766,000 scholars. There were 1,570,000 scholars on the school books, and the average number in attendance was in day schools 1,063,000, and in evening schools 64,000. There were 11,752 certificated teachers, assisted by 12,357 pupil-teachers and 1,253 assistant-teachers. The cost of the schools was defrayed by a Government Grant, amounting in round numbers to £465,000, school fees £456,000, and endowments and subscriptions £489,000. Thus, in a population estimated at about 22,000,000, there were being taught in the schools at an expense to the State of £465,000, to the parents of £456,000, aided by subscriptions amounting to £489,000, about 1,570,000 children, taking the number on the books, and 1,063,000, taking the average attendance, in 11,404 day schools and 2,240 evening schools, by rather more than 11,700 head teachers, assisted by 1,230 assistant-teachers and 12,300 pupil-teachers. Of the total number of children on the register, about 425,000 were under six years of age. Deducting the infants, there were 1,145,000 children on the books. There were presented for individual examination 696,440 in day schools, and 63,174 in night schools. The number who passed without failure in reading, writing, and arithmetic, was 470,000 in the day schools, and 43,000 in the night schools, or a percentage of 67·5 in the day schools, and 70 in the night schools. The estimated increase of the population in England and Wales in the course of last year was 1 per cent, and he was glad to be able to state that this year, as well as last, the increase of scholars was much greater than the increase of population. Speaking generally, the percentage of increase was greater this year than in the previous year. The population had increased about 1 per cent, the number of children on the register had increased 8 per cent this year as against 7 per cent last year. The attendance this year showed an increase of 8 3–5ths per cent against 7 1–3rd last year. The numbers presented for examination had increased 9 per cent, as against 8 per cent last year, and the number who passed without failure had increased one-half per cent. One or two facts now with regard to the present state of the training schools. He had said they were asking for an increase of £14,000 on account of these schools—namely, £87,000 this year as compared with £73,000 last year. He had frequently been asked what prospect they had of supplying the probably large demand that would be made for trained teachers. The training schools would hold 3,261 students—namely, 2,945 in England, and 766 in Scotland. There were now in residence 2,600, or an increase of 327 over last year—namely, 223 male and 104 female students. That number would enable the Education Department to turn out at Christmas, 1870, 1,122 teachers trained for two years; 906 for England and 216 for Scotland; and at Christmas, 1871, 1,478 teachers—namely, 1,191 for England and 287 for Scotland. Supposing the training schools were full they would be able to turn out 1,630 trained teachers—namely, 1,247 for England and 383 for Scotland. But, as he had said, they were really prepared to turn out next Christmas 1,122 and the following Christmas 1,478 trained teachers. Last August they had 1,474 certificated teachers. They calculated the waste—if he might use that expression in such a case—which had to be supplied at 7 per cent—a large and liberal calculation. It had been a question in the office whether they ought to put it at 5 or at 7 per cent; but 7 per cent would be an outside figure. That required them to turn out 980 teachers per annum to meet present wants. Consequently unless they expected a considerably increased demand they would be overstocking the market at the present moment. With regard to the increase in the number of pupil-teachers, he would give the number of pupil-teachers who had been admitted in each year, at Christmas, since 1861, which would show the effect of the Revised Code, and also the subsequent recovery. In 1861 the number admitted was 3,092; in 1862 it was 2,934. Then the Revised Code came into operation, and the number fell in 1863 to 2,315. In 1864 it reached the minimum number of 1,895, after which it began to recover, being, in 1865, 2,355; in 1866 it was 2,720; in 1867—when the Minute of the right hon. Member for Tyrone (Mr. Corry) produced its good results—the number rose to 3,446; in 1868 it was 3,882; and in 1869 he was glad to say it reached 4,031. There were 2,033 more pupil-teachers on December 31, 1869, than on December 31, 1868, the number in 1868 being 13,668, and in 1868 being 15,701. Having given these dry details, he did not know that he had any other remark to offer to the Committee; but if any questions were put to him by hon. Members he would be happy to answer them.
said, he hoped the Government would assist the teachers in a movement they were desirous of originating to make some provision for their old age by means of a mutual insurance association.
said, he was desirous of taking that opportunity of obtaining some explanation on a subject in regard to which the people of Scotland took a considerable interest. So far as the Imperial expenditure on education went, the Vice President of the Council was responsible to that House for the state of education in Scotland. Last year they had a Bill for the extension of education in that country, brought in by the former Lord Advocate, whose enlightened labours in education they all knew; but though it passed through that House after much labour, it did not become law. During the Recess the people of Scotland used their best exertions to have a Bill introduced in that Session, and he believed every burgh in the kingdom memorialized the Government on the subject, and the country districts were not backward in their representations of the absolute necessity for such a measure. But the great English Bill stood in their way, and they found that an English and Scotch Bill were two omnibuses that could not go through Temple Bar at the same time; so that though their Scotch omnibus had a start by 12 months, it still remained far behind. It required no prophet to foretel that Scotland would expect their educational omnibus to be put on the road early next year; but they wanted to know who was to be its official driver? The House had expressed during the course of their recent debates an unmistakeable desire that the Education Department which administered the Votes, should be made responsible, and sharply responsible, for the education of the people. It was quite possible then, that the Scotch people might find that if they expended their energies for the edification of the Lord Advocate during the Recess, that it was not him, but the Vice President of the Council to whom their efforts should have been directed. His own views were expressed in the remarks which he made to the House when the Education Bill went into Committee. He then urged the necessity of having a Minister of Education, who should be responsible to them in all matters relating to the education of the people. Practically they had, in the person of his right hon. Friend who filled the Office of Vice President of the Council, a Minister well capable of fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of such an Office. When the Scotch Education Bill was to be introduced into that House next Session—a Bill which would in effect largely increase the Votes on Education—were they to look to that responsible administrator of the expenditure for its preparation, or were they to look to the Lord Advocate? His right hon. and learned Friend who filled the latter Office was a man of distinguished ability. He did not profess to be an educationalist; but if he undertook the preparation of the Bill, he would bring to it that ability which would enable him to master the situation, and to prepare a Bill suitable to the wants of the country. There were some advantages, doubtless, in his being entrusted with it. The people of Scotland desired their education to be administered with reference to their habits and the peculiar character of their schools. These, they feared, might be lost sight of in the uniform system of the Council Office, and they apprehended that English ideas would soon swamp Scotch ideas of education. No doubt there was a danger of that; but as no Scotch Bill could be carried through the House that did not obviate those just fears, he had more faith in intrusting the preparation and responsibility to the Minister who had to see to its working, rather than to one who might devise but who had no power to execute. He confessed that, from the ease with which Scotch Bills were shunted into sidings, he would have far greater hope of seeing an Education Bill carried through Parliament when entrusted to an Imperial Minister who was in the Cabinet, rather than when confided to a Scotch Minister who was not in the Cabinet. In any case, it was important that during the Recess the Scotch people should know whether the Lord Advocate was to continue his responsibility for the preparation of an education measure, or whether the Government, yielding to the wishes expressed in that House, would concentrate the responsibility on that Department which was entrusted with the administration of the Votes relating to public education. There was much vis inertiœ to be overcome not on the part of the Scotch people who were the motive power, but in the Government who were to be moved; and they did not wish to waste their energy by giving it a wrong direction.
congratulated the Vice President of the Council oil his able statement, and also on the increased attendance at the schools shown by the statistics he had quoted. At the same time he thought that 7 per cent was scarcely a sufficient allowance for the "waste" of certificated teachers, as there was found to be a tendency among the teachers to retire after a certain time. On the new educational measure coming into operation, a larger supply of teachers would be required, unless they relaxed the condition as to having certificated teachers—a course which he should regret to see them have to adopt. He hoped they would be enabled to look forward to having an adequate staff of property-trained teachers who had obtained certificates.
said, he was not surprised that the hon. Member for the Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities (Dr. Lyon Playfair) had broached the subject of Scotch education and of Scotch legislation, and he wished to state that he greatly admired the patience which the Scotch people had shown during the present Session on many points, for it must be admitted that they had been scurvily treated. However, in that respect they were not alone, for there were large masses of people who had looked forward to legislation other than that which had occupied the attention of Parliament this Session. There had been on the part of Scotch people a natural and proper jealousy of any confusion of the two systems of England and Scotland, which were so essentially different, and he could understand their desire to see a measure of Scotch education introduced by Scotchmen; but, at the same time, the Education Minister was the dispenser of the Parliamentary Grant for Scotland as well as for England; and the Bill which this House had passed for Scotland in 1869 admitted the principles on which the Scotch system was based, and contained nothing to discourage that mixed education which was the distinction of Scotland. He was unable to say what course would be pursued in the matter, as the Lord Advocate was not in London, and it would be necessary to consult him before deciding on any line of policy. He thought the right hon. and learned Gentleman would have his hands full next Session; but his right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Council would have little legislative work, unless he assisted the Home Department in passing certain measures in which the Privy Council was nearly as much interested as the Home Office.
expressed a hope that drilling would form part of the school treatment.
said, he hoped that some arrangement would be made for a retiring allowance, by superannuation or otherwise, for decayed schoolmasters, who were particularly subject to disease of the eyes, and were quite unable to obtain remunerative employment after their forced retirement from that cause.
said, he thought there would not be so much difference of opinion in Scotland with regard to this question of education, as there would be with some others. He had consulted many well-qualified persons to judge, and they did not object to payment by results; but they considered that payment by results, according to the English system, was far too low a standard as applicable to Scotch schools. A very large proportion of the population in Scotland, although as poor as those in England, desired to carry education to a higher pitch than the same class did in England. The educated schoolmasters of Scotland complained that payment by results according to the English rule, if applied to Scotland, would lead to this,—that all the best scholars would be cut off from producing anything by this rule of results to their schoolmasters. The effect would be to reduce the education given in the schools in Scotland to the three R's, and not to carry it to a higher degree as it was at present. What they contained of was, that the Privy Council had not hitherto been willing to recognize a higher-class education as existing, and while they rewarded boys of inferior attainments, they gave nothing at all for those whose attainments were very much greater. If they applied the rule of payment by results in Scotland, he hoped this difference would be kept in mind; for it never would and never ought to satisfy the people of Scotland, unless there was a power of carrying education to a higher pitch than in the lower-class schools in England. The people of Scotland would expect two things—First, that no denominational schools should be erected after the passing of this Act; and, secondly, that no additional encouragement should be held out to existing denominational schools. If those two points were kept in view, they would greatly facilitate the passing of an educational measure for Scotland.
inquired whether the increase of £54,673 was the equivalent to be given for the present arrangement, and whether there would be any additional Inspectors appointed; and whether a Supplementary Estimate for the increased expenditure would be introduced this Session?
said, he had designedly abstained from proposing a Motion of which he had given Notice, to the effect that it was unfair that the management of voluntary schools should be vested in those who contributed the smallest part of the cost, inasmuch as the larger proportion was defrayed by the public taxation and school-pence not because he abandoned the principle, but because he thought this was not the most convenient opportunity for raising a definite issue. In future years he believed that this Vote would attract more than any other the attention of Parliament. It was, however, his firm conviction that under the provisions of the Bill very few rate-aided schools would come into existence except in the large towns. He believed that in consequence of the arrangements of the Bill no rate would ever be raised in the rural districts; but that, on the other hand, voluntary schools would be promoted and would greatly flourish under the donative given to them by the Vice President of the Council. Parliament would, therefore, naturally examine the principle upon which those voluntary schools were established, and it would find that this donative granted by the State was given to persons who contributed very little, and, in some cases, nothing to the schools. Consequently, when the principle of the grant was examined into it would be condemned by the public opinion of this country. His right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Council had, using, he would not say clap-trap expressions, but attractive phraseology, stated that his great object was to give the control and management of the schools to the parents; but the fact was that in voluntary schools the parents would have no voice whatever in the management, and when that circumstance came to be thoroughly understood, it would be fatal to the present system of voluntary schools. Parliament was called on to vote large sums of money to be placed in the hands of a limited number of persons, who were the patrons of voluntary schools, and who would have the control of those schools, and that system was to be extended and aggravated. Now, if his right hon. Friend had left matters as they stood no question need have been raised on this point, for hon. Members sitting on the Benches near him would not then have been disposed to interfere; but his right hon. Friend in departing from existing arrangements had called in question the principle on which the grants to voluntary schools rested. When the question came to be submitted to the crucible of public discussion, it would be found that the present system violated the settled principles which had always been upheld by the Liberal party.
said, there were two things in regard to education in Scotland which required attention—that was, the connection of the schoolmaster with the Universities, which gave facilities which were unknown in England of controlling any man who deviated from the high moral standard which it was so important to set before the young; the other was, the maintenance of high education in schools. In his own neighbourhood the Nonconformist school was chiefly attended by the children of the members of the Church of England, because of the very superior class of education given there.
said, that he entirely disagreed from the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Vernon Harcourt), that the effect of this Vote would be to place money in the hands of persons who had contributed little or nothing to the cause of education. His own experience on this subject was very different from that of the hon. and learned Gentleman. It was clear that the sole object of the hon. and learned Gentleman during those education debates had been to crush, if possible, the efforts of those who had been the first volunteers and pioneers in education and to whom we were almost wholly indebted for what had been done. His views were extremely narrow, unfounded, and not justified even by his jealousy of what the Church had done in the cause of education, and his prophecies were little likely to be fulfilled.
said, that he must decline to follow the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Vernon Harcourt) through his speech, or to consent to taking part in what threatened to become a sort of fourth reading of the Bill. He thought that it was hardly becoming in the hon. and learned Gentleman to talk of clap-trap having been used in the debate. For his own part, he was quite prepared to submit to the opinion of the country on that subject, and he was also quite content to let the future prove whether the prophetic declarations of the hon. and learned Gentleman were well or ill-founded. If they should turn out to be based upon error, he hoped that the hon. and learned Gentleman would be ready to admit hereafter that his views were liable to error. The hon. and learned Gentleman was of opinion that no rate-supported schools would be established under the Bill. [Mr. VERNON HARCOURT: Except in large towns.] Well, that was a considerable exception. But he was willing that the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman should be judged of by results even as regarded the agricultural districts. Again, the annual cost to the State in respect of the schools assisted by the Government was £465,000, while £488,913 was contributed by voluntary subscriptions. It was, therefore, quite a mistake to suppose that the men who took part in the management of these schools contributed little to their support. He joined the hon. and learned Gentleman in the hope that this Vote would receive a large share of attention next year. The Code would be revised, the Vote would be larger, and the new conditions which would be framed for spending the money would, he hoped, be carefully examined by the House. The Education Department would spend more, but they intended that the monody should be earned. If they did their duty, he believed they might give an immense stimulus to education, and the country would be well content, and not complain that the money had been given in partnership with those who gave it out of their own pockets voluntarily rather than raise it from the rates. The country would, no doubt, be discontented with the voluntary schools if the education were bad, and in that case such shools would fail; but they would be paid by results, and if they gave educational value for their money the country would be well satisfied with them. In reference to the question which had been asked respecting pensions for the schoolmasters, he was 10th at present to make any remark, because it concerned the interests of so many hard-working and highly-deserving men, and he was afraid of raising hopes which he might not be able to fulfil. But he promised that the Government would examine the question with the greatest possible attention, and with the earnest desire to arrive at a satisfactory solution. From the fact that the Department would have somewhat more money at its command, they might hope that in the case of these deserving men—who now looked forward to old age with so much fear—they might discover some means of enabling them to lay by against the time when their active powers would fail them. He had been asked about training Colleges, and his reply was, that he did not rely entirely upon the present training schools for the supply of masters. If the Bill became law and answered his expectations, there would, doubtless, be a great demand for masters, and it would be his duty to consider how that demand should be met, without relaxing the conditions which were necessary for the due performance of educational work. He should be glad to see the boys drilled, but it was necessary first to consider the glaring want of elementary education, and to supply that before anything else was supplied. He had looked narrowly into the demands that were likely to be made owing to the passing of the Bill, and he did not think it necessary to apply for a Supplementary Estimate this year, though it might be necessary to do so at the beginning of the next Session—not for additional schools, which could not be got to work even in London, but there would be some expenses connected with obtaining the Returns. It was impossible to tell what additional inspection would be necessary.
Vote agreed to.
(27.) £164,836, to complete the sum for the Department of Science and Art.
complained that Scotland had only 24 science and art schools, while there were 10 times that number in England and 93 in Ireland. He also complained that the grant to the navigation school at Leith had been with drawn.
said, he regretted that there were not more schools of science in Scotland. There were very few a short time ago in Yorkshire; but this want the people of that county were now supplying. The science schools for the last three years were in number 300,516, and 810; and the students instructed last year were 21,956 higher in number than in the year previous. With regard to art, the number of students had also considerably increased.
Vote agreed to.
(28.) £61,265, to complete the sum for the British Museum.
said, there were few points that required elucidation from him; but there were one or two particulars which he thought he ought to mention. The expenditure of the present year and the past could not be compared, because the structural expenses had been transferred to the Public Buildings. The internal arrangements, however, those which related to the cases, and ventilation, and warming, were still charged to the Museum. One of the special expenses of the year was connected with the purchase of the Marc Antonio Collection at a recent sale, which he thought would be advantageous to the country. Some years ago a discussion arose as to the Museum being open at night. The Trustees were anxious to do all they could in that direction consistently with the safety of the building and its contents, and they had tried the experiment of opening the Museum from 6 to 8 o'clock in the summer on Saturdays and Mondays, with every prospect of its turning out a complete success. By that means, not only those who were admitted from 6 to 8 were enabled to view the admirable collection which the Museum contained, but those who went there at 4 or 5 had the opportunity afforded them of prolonging their visit. The general result was that 2,000 persons had been admitted from 6 to 8, and that the number was raised beyond that by those who had entered previously to 4,000 between those hours. The result would probably lead to the two days being extended to three days. On several occasions large bodies of men had visited the Museum, under the guidance of gentlemen quite competent to explain the various objects of interest, and they had derived great advantage from inspecting the collections in that manner.
asked whether the grant in respect of the Marc Antonio Collection was an extra grant or not?
replied that it was, and that the amount would not be deducted from the annual grant next year.
said, his right hon. Friend had not noticed the fact that the objects in the Museum were so numerous, and some of them so closely packed that it was quite impossible for them to be seen at all. He asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he proposed to move the Supplementary Estimate for the removal of the Natural History Collections?
asked whether, if the Committee received the Supplementary Estimate to-morrow, and passed it on Monday, they would be precluded for ever from raising the question of the site of the Museum?
said, the very object of passing the Estimate was to determine the site of the building. If they took the money they must have a site. The object of the Estimate was to pledge the Committee to a site. The sum of money to be taken this year would be very small.
complained that in that event there would be only some 48 hours left for considering so important a question.
said, to his certain knowledge the hon. Gentleman had been considering the question these seven years.
Vote agreed to.
(29.) £10,681, to complete the sum for the National Gallery.
(30.) £1,100, to complete the sum for the National Portrait Gallery.
(31.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a sum, not exceeding £6,827, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the University of London."
said, he wished to bring before the Committee a matter which, though small in itself, was of great importance. In the Report of the Committee on Public Accounts for the year 1868–9, he found mention made of a small item which was taken from the Education Vote and applied to a purpose that was never contemplated by Parliament. It was a sum of £32 17s. 1d. ["Oh, oh!"] He thought he could convince those hon. Gentlemen who cried "Oh, oh!" that it was not without good reason he challenged this application of the sum in question. The money was taken to pay the returning officer of the University of London for the expenses of the last election. In most other cases these expenses were paid by the candidates; but Parliament had made no provision for the expenses of the University election; and, therefore, the Lords of the Treasury had sanctioned this application of the public money. It was well known, however, that the First Lord of the Treasury did not directly interfere with the affairs of the Exchequer; that was left to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the sum related to the expenses of his own election. When the Secretary of the Treasury was called before the Committee of Public Accounts, he stated that Parliament would have sanctioned this application if its attention had been called to it. He thought the Secretary of the Treasury ought not to be allowed to decide what Parliament would do if its attention had been called to a subject; it was difficult enough sometimes to divine its intentions when it did consider a subject. The Auditor General, made a Report on this subject; he did not consider that there was any justification for the manner in which the money was applied. The Committee considered it to be covered by the Appropriation Act, but however that might be, he thought it right to call attention to the subject that they might have an assurance from the Government that money should not be expended on one purpose when it was voted for another and totally different purpose.
said, he thought the hon. Gentleman had performed a public service in bringing the question before the Committee. It was a small matter, but the principle at stake was a large one. As a member of the Committee referred to, he might say that they were all of opinion it was their duty to report specially to Parliament on the subject, as he believed no Member of the House could have anticipated that a portion of the sum voted for the University of London would be applied to the election of a Member of Parliament. He was glad the question had been raised, because it was essential that the Committee should express its opinion as to the way in which the money voted by the House had been appropriated.
said, that every shilling given by Parliament to the University had been appropriated to the purposes for which it was voted, and the practice had been to return to the Treasury all the fees that were received. Out of £5,977 this year voted by Parliament, probably £5,000 would be returned to the Treasury. When it was proposed that the Senate of the University should reimburse the Vice Chancellor the sums which he had paid or was liable to pay (£32) as returning officer, they agreed to pay the amount, as there was no obligation on the part of the candidate to do so, and to that extent the Return to the Treasury was diminished. He asked the Committee to say whether the purpose for which the money was spent was not a proper one.
said, the argument of the hon. and learned Member might be very good in Westminster Hall, but it was not in accordance with the doctrines of the House, and it would go the length of saying that the whole income from fees might be appropriated by the Senate. The question was, whether the money ought to be paid by the Vice Chancellor—as the right hon. Gentleman had not volunteered to pay it—or should be treated as an incidental. The majority of the Committee on Public Accounts supported the view of the Treasury that it might be so treated; but they had not the least hesitation in saying that Parliament in its Vote did not intend to provide for such expenses.
said, that at Cambridge he paid all the expenses, which were reduced to a minimum, and were chiefly personal. The Committee ought to know what the £32 was spent upon, because it might alter the complexion of the matter if the expenses were those of the University and not of the candidate.
said, the expenses were incurred at two elections, the greater part being for circulars issued by the Vice Chancellor, giving to the members of Convocation notice of the day of election.
observed that the question under discussion involved one of those nice points which might be discussed for a long time without coming to any satisfactory conclusion. He would state how the question came before him, and how he decided it. The expenses incurred were for summoning the members of the University with reference to the election. These expenses, amounting to £32, not only fell within the Appropriation Act, but came within the definition of incidental expenses. The Senate of the London University wrote to the Treasury to know whether they were to be allowed to charge these expenses against the Vote, or to leave the Vice Chancellor to pay them out of his own pocket. The liability of the Vice Chancellor to pay the expenses simply arose from the accident that he was the person to whom the orders for materials or services could be traced, and, therefore, he became legally responsible for the payment; but it was impossible to leave the Vice Chancellor to pay the money simply because he had authorized the expenditure. The opinion of the Committee on Public Accounts was that there was no technical incorrectness in debiting the charge to the University, and, in his opinion, he (Mr. Stansfeld) had no alternative but to put the payment on the University Vote. At the same time, he wished the Committee to understand, as he had stated before, that he was responsible for the way in which the same came before the House,
said, there was one question which it was important to consider on such a matter—namely, whether or not the candidate should not have paid those charges. Were they different from any charges paid by candidates of other constituencies? He moved the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £32, on the ground that the sum, ought to be paid by the candidate.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a sum, not exceeding £6,795, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the University of London."
said, he could not vote for the Amendment after the explanation given by the Secretary for the Treasury. Those charges ought not to be paid by the Vice Chancellor, nor were similar charges paid by either himself or his Colleague in the representation of the University of Cambridge. It might be an awkward arrangement that the University of London had no University chest but the Treasury; but, as such was the case, he thought those charges must be paid by the Treasury.
remarked that, as the money in question had been paid out of last year's Vote, the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Bentinck) would not effect the object he had in view even if he carried his Amendment. The hon. Member asked him why those expenses had not been charged against the candidate. As Secretary to the Treasury he had taken legal advice on the matter, and he found that the candidate was not liable. The payment was one with which the candidate had nothing whatever to do.
said, the candidate might not be legally liable; but the question of his hon. Friend the Member for Whitehaven was, whether the charges in question were analogous to charges which in other constituencies were borne by the candidate, though the returning officer was legally liable for them.
replied in the negative.
said, the questions involved were important matters of principle, for he thought there ought to have been no power to enable the Secretary to the Treasury to put this sum down on the University Vote. He regretted that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had not prevented this complication by signing a cheque for the amount.
said, he had not intended to take part in the discussion: but after what had just been said he wished to point out that the University took the opinion of the legal advisers of the Treasury on the point, and they advised that the candidate was not liable for the amount. The Committee might believe him when he said that he would have preferred to pay the £32 odd rather than have the pleasure of listening to this discussion. What right had he to make a precedent for the University of London by paying a sum for which he was not legally liable? He had no right to do so, and therefore he had not paid the money.
said, that this was one of the expenses which properly fell under the head of incidental expenses. He could well understand that his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer would much rather have paid the sum than had this discussion about it; but he was very glad he had not done so. He hoped a precedent would be established by this case, and that the returning officers' expenses in other contests would in future be paid by the constituency.
considered that an important question of principle was involved in this case. The amount was trivial; but the real question was one which had been submitted more than once to the judgment of the House by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) and others, and on which the House pronounced an opinion in opposition to the view taken by the Treasury on this occasion. He did not think they had anything to do with the practice of the elder Universities. They had funds belonging to them, and were in the practice of paying these expenses; but the University of London had no funds of its own. It was supplied with funds by that House, and was expected to account to the House for the fees it received. It therefore paid £32 less than it received.
explained. The whole of the receipts were paid into the Exchequer; but he authorized the payment of this charge out of the Vote.
apprehended the expense would have fallen on the returning officer if it had not been paid. The question then arose whether the same rule should not be extended to other constituencies. Upon that point he thought the sense of the Committee should be taken.
observed that in the case of the two University constituencies in Scotland, which got Members at the same time as the University of London, the Act declared that the expenses of the returning officer should be paid by the candidates. He could not see why the same rule should not apply to London University.
said, he hoped the House would show its appreciation of the independence of the public auditor.
The Committee divided: — Ayes 39; Noes 115: Majority 76.
Original Question put, and agreed to.
(32.) £8,220, to complete the sum for the Endowed Schools Commission.
(33.) £12,894, to complete the sum for Grants to Scottish Universities.
(34.) £1,350, to complete the sum for Board of Manufactures (Scotland).
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—( Mr. Maguire.)
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
(35.) £425, to complete the sum for Public Education (Ireland).
(36.) £1,290, to complete the sum for National Gallery (Ireland).
(37.) £1,134, to complete the sum for Royal Irish Academy.
(38.) £2,140, to complete the sum for Queen's University (Ireland).
(39.) £2,915, to complete the sum for Queen's Colleges (Ireland).
Resolutions to be reported To-morrow, at Two of the clock;
Committee to sit again To-morrow, at Two of the clock.