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Commons Chamber

Volume 217: debated on Thursday 17 July 1873

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House Of Commons

Thursday, 17th July, 1873.

MINUTES.]—PUBLIC BILLS— Resolution in CommitteeOrderedFirst Reading—Licensing Law Amendment (Scotland)* [247].

Ordered—Representative Councils in Counties (Ireland)* .

OrderedFirst Reading—Rating Liability (Ireland)* [246].

First Reading—Colonial Church* [248]; Slave Trade (Consolidation)* [249]; Local Government Provisional Orders (No. 6)* [244].

Second Reading—Extradition Act (1870) Amendment* [220]; Penalties (Ireland)* [239]; Railway Regulation* [232].

Second Reading—Commitee—Report—Elementary Education Act (1870) Amendment, &c. [188–245].

Committee—Juries [35]—R.P.

Committee—Report—Local Government Board (Ireland) Provisional Order Confirmation (No. 2)* [229].

Third Reading—Intestates Widows and Children* [214], and passed.

Withdrawn—Union Rating (Ireland)* [23].

Royal Academy—The Gibson Bequest—Question

asked the First Commissioner of Works, If he can explain what prevents the President and Members of the Royal Academy from giving access at Burlington House to the works of sculpture and models of the late John Gibson, R.A., bequeathed to them by him seven years ago, together with a legacy of more than £40,000 to provide a Gallery for them; and when it is likely that they will be exhibited to the public, in accordance with the intention of the donor?

in reply, said, that it was perfectly true that seven years had elapsed since the death of Mr. Gibson, R.A., and since his bequest of his works of sculpture and models to the public; but no blame whatever attached to the Royal Academy for their not being yet in a position to exhibit them in a Gallery specially devoted to the purpose, because the Royal Academy, several years ago, entered into arrangements with the Office of Works, by which they were to construct a Gallery at Burlington House as soon as they were put in possession of the building. It was at that time occupied by several learned Societies. The Royal Academy, however, instead of waiting for that event, had, at considerable expense, carried on the construction of a Gallery—though it had not yet been completed. They would not, in fact be able to complete the Gallery until they had been put into entire possession of the building, as it would be necessary that they should construct a staircase in the building to reach the Gallery, and they would not be put into entire possession until the learned Societies had transferred themselves to their new apartments. This, he believed, would happen in September next, and six months would be required to make the necessary arrangements, so that the Royal Academy would be able to exhibit the sculpture and models when they opened their exhibition in May next. They had, however, in the meantime, shown some of the works of art.

The Administrative Departments—Courts Of Justice


asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether steps have been taken to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the Administrative Departments of the Courts of Justice, as recommended by the Committee on Civil Service Expenditure; or, if not, if the Government will take such steps?

Yes, Sir, we have given immediate attention to the Report and recommendations of that Committee, which we cordially approve. Arrangements are in progress to carry them out, and we desire to complete them as soon as possible.

India—Regulations For European Officers—Prize—Question

(for Colonel STUART KNOX), asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether his attention was called in the year 1870 to the statement at page 608 of the revised edition of the "Regulations for European Officers" issued "by authority," which sets forth that under the Act 3 and 4 Vic. c. 65, s. 22, "the final decision in all disputed questions of prize now rests with the High Court of Admiralty;" and, if that statement is inaccurate, what steps have been or will be taken to correct it for the better guidance of Her Majesty's Officers in India; whether the Index to these Regulations, in which a corresponding statement occurs, is also published "by authority" of the Secre- tary of State; whether some of the Kirwee Prize claims have been ostensibly adjudicated upon, not by a legal court, but by a public Department unaided by legal assessors; and, whether such ostensible adjudication has been in accordance with any of the known precedents, some of which, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Attorney General and other very eminent counsel, are not distinguishable from the case of the Kirwee claims?

Sir, in reply to the first Question I have to say that my attention was called in the year 1870 to the statement that "the final decision in all disputed questions of Prize now rests with the High Court of Admiralty." In reply to the second Question, I have to say that, there being nothing in that statement calculated to mislead persons of average intelligence, it is not intended to take any steps to alter it. In reply to the third Question, I have to say that the Index is as much and as little authoritative as the rest of the compilation—that is, as I explained the other day, it is authoritative in so far as it quotes or correctly interprets official documents. In reply to the fourth Question, I have to say that some of the Kirwee Prize claims were adjudicated on by the Treasury; and in reply to the fifth Question—being, I believe, the 21st which has been addressed to me this Session on the subject of the Banda and Kirwee claims—I have to say that I think the hon. and gallant Member had better address that Question to the representative of the Department whose action he impugns.

Metropolis—Parliament Street—The Public Offices—Question

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether any of the houses standing between Parliament Street and the new Colonial and Home Offices are likely to be taken down before the meeting of Parliament in next year; and, if so, whether he will under-take that no steps inconsistent with the ground on which they stand being thrown into the roadway shall be taken previously to such meeting of Parliament?

I think, Sir, it extremely probable that the houses referred to will all be taken down before the meeting of Parliament next Session; but no further work will be done on the land than is necessary for the completion of the new Home and Colonial Offices. That work will not extend over much of the site; but of course the new Home and Colonial Offices must be completed as quickly as possible.

The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the latter part of my Question—whether he will undertake that no steps should be taken inconsistent with the ground on which the houses stand being thrown into the roadway?

No further steps will be taken than such as are necessary for the completion of the new Home and Colonial Offices.

Stipendiary Magistrates (Ireland)—Question

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether the Government intend passing a Bill through Parliament this Session to enable them to deal, if necessary, during the Recess, with the grievances of Stipendiary Magistrates in Ireland?

in reply, said, that the Government had been, both officially and unofficially, in communication with the resident magistrates, with the view of coming to some settlement with them on the subject of their grievances, but they had not yet arrived at any conclusion which he could lay before the Treasury. It was therefore out of his power to say whether it would be possible for him to lay a Bill before Parliament; but he believed the Government would be able to deal with the matter without a Bill.

The Land Act (Ireland)—Chairmen Of Counties—Question

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, What increased remuneration has been given to the Chairmen of Counties in Ireland for the additional duties imposed on them by the Land Act; and, if any arrangement has been made to carry out the provisions of the Act by conferring increased remuneration on the officers of those courts for the additional duties they are bound to perform?

Sir, the hon. Gentleman will find at page 9 of the Supplementary Estimates delivered this morning the increased remuneration proposed to be given to the Chairmen of Counties in Ireland for the additional duties imposed on them by the Land Act. No arrangement has yet been finally decided upon regarding the manner in which the officers of the Courts are to be paid.

Army Re-Organization—Command Of Sub-Districts—Question

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is intended to appoint a permanent Staff Officer to assist the Colonels commanding sub-districts in the duties of their commands, the supervision of the Militia and Volunteers, and the management of the Recruiting Service, besides the command of the Brigade Depôt when such has been formed, entailing upon them a large amount of correspondence; and, when Quartermasters will be appointed to such Brigade Depots as have been formed?

Sir, the plan is stated in detail in the First Report of General M'Dougall's Committee, paragraph 18, to which I must refer my hon. and gallant Friend. The Major, it is there stated, will assist the Lieutenant-Colonel, and his general functions will be those of a Brigade-Major or District Adjutant. It is intended that the Quartermaster shall be appointed in the next Gazette.

Parliament—Private Bill Legislation—Question

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in reference to the Resolution unanimously agreed to by the House on the 22nd of March 1872 in favour of the reform of Private Legislation, Whether he remembers that on the 25th of April 1872 he expressed the hope that the Government might be able to submit a proposal on the subject before the Session concluded, and that on the 17th of June 1872 he assured the House that the subject was under consideration and would not be allowed to drop; and, whether he will state the steps which Her Majesty's Government have taken and propose to take in order to give effect to that Resolution?

said, he would ask his right hon. Friend, in return, whether he remembered what the subject was with respect to which he (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) spoke on the 17th of June last year? What he said on that occasion was that he would remind his right hon. Friend that the share of responsibility he undertook in this matter was mainly to ascertain whether the system of Provisional Orders could be improved and extended. He was carrying on that inquiry and was in communication last Session with other Departments of the Government which were as much interested in the system of Provisional Orders as the Board of Trade. If his right hon. Friend had asked this Question in the beginning of the Session he could have informed him that he had failed to discover any method of extending the system. This year the Board of Trade had issued more than its former number of Provisional Orders; it had made 53 and submitted 46 of them to Parliament. The Local Government Board had increased its number from eight last year to 51 this year; and the number of Orders under the Education Act was sure to be increased. In Ireland a recent Act had begun to come into operation, and when the advantages of Provisional Orders came to be better known, he hoped the Act would have a much larger operation. He was far from saying that nothing could be done to extend the system of Provisional Orders. The Board of Trade might very well extend the system by enabling local authorities to obtain Provisional Orders for the erection of gas and waterworks, instead of their being compelled to proceed by way of Bill. That was a point he would not lose sight of. This did not cover the main subject which his right hon. Friend had in view, and he (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) had reluctantly come to the conclusion that so far as the Executive Government was concerned the power of framing Provisional Orders could not be seriously extended; and if the great and serious question of Private Bill legislation, involving large interests, were to be dealt with outside the walls of Parliament, that could not be properly done through the instrumentality of the Departments of the Executive Government, but a tribunal of a permanent and judicial character would have to be created for that purpose.

said, that his Question had not been clearly put, and he would repeat it in a plainer form.

Portugal—Supplies Of Ammunition—Question

asked the Surveyor General of Ordnance, Whether it is true that a large quantity of small arms ammunition, commonly known as Boxer cartridges, has lately been supplied by the War Department to the Government of Portugal or some other Foreign Government; and, if this is the case, whether the Right Honourable Gentleman will state the exact quantity so supplied?

Sir, three-and-a-half million rounds of small arms ammunition, commonly known as Boxer cartridges, have been supplied to the Portuguese Government at their request, conveyed through the Foreign Office.

Egypt—Claims Of British Subjects—Question

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he can inform the House whether the land and other property belonging to the Alexandria and Ramle Railway Company (in which British subjects are largely interested), taken possession of by the Egyptian Government, has been restored to that Company; and, whether Her Majesty's Consul General at Alexandria was authorised to submit to arbitration the matter of the land so taken possession of?

Sir, the right to the land in question is still in dispute between the Alexandria and Ramle Railway Company and the Egyptian authorities, and the question is one over which, in the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, the British Consular Court has no jurisdiction; it rests, therefore, with the Company either to submit their case to the Local Courts or to let it be decided by arbitration—a course to which, I believe, the Egyptian Government is not averse.

Army—New Passage Hill, Devonport—Question

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is true that the Government intends to throw upon the ratepayers the expense of the maintenance of a road known as New Passage Hill, Devonport, which was originally constructed by the War Department through land the property of the War Department, and has recently been diverted from its former course by the same Department, without first complying with the provisions of the General Highway Act as regards the state of repair of a road before its dedication to the public; and, if so, by what authority?

I am informed, Sir, that the road is a private one, which, if it pleased, the War Department might altogether close. It is not required to be maintained for any military purpose, and Army funds are, consequently, not expended upon it. There is no objection to the local authorities acquiring the road, if they desire to do so, for a public highway.

Army—The Autumn Manœuvres—Billeting—Question

asked the Surveyor General of Ordnance, Whether any and what compensation will be given to the occupiers of licensed houses subject to billeting who have been or will be liable to extra inconvenience owing to the movement of troops for the special purpose of the Autumn Manœuvres; and, if any, how it is to be distributed, and the course of proceeding to enable them to avail themselves of it?

It is intended, Sir, as a temporary measure, to give licensed victuallers and inn-keepers an extra allowance of 3½d. for each hot meal issued. In cases in connection with the Autumn Manœuvres where this allowance has not been given, special application should be made for it direct to the War Department.

International Law

Answer To Address

Answer to Address [8th July] reported, as follows:—


I have received your Address praying that I will be graciously pleased to instruct My Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to enter into communication with Foreign Powers, with a view to further improvement in International Law, and the establishment of a general and permanent system of International Arbitration.
I am sensible of flee force of the philanthropic motives which have dictated your Address.
I have at all times sought to extend, both by advice and by example, as occasion might offer, the practice of closing controversies between Nations by submission to the impartial judgment of friends, and to encourage the adoption of International Rules intended for the equal benefit of all.
I shall continue to pursue a similar course, with due regard to time and opportunity, when it shall seem likely to be attended with advantage.

Navy—The Trothan Anciior


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether, looking to the recent serious casualty to the "Northumberland," and disasters to other of Her Majesty's ships from default of Navy ground-tackle, and to the manifest importance of providing the best and most trustworthy anchor for use in the Royal Navy, he will state what practical objection exists, if any, to carrying out the proposal indicated in Mr. Trotman's Letter to him of the 13th January (vide Return No. 275, 1873), and of determining, by unerring tests and actual proof, the relative powers, the instantaneous grip or biting properties possessed by a light Trotman anchor comparatively with the more cumbersome and costly established Navy anchor of double its weight?

Sir, the late casualty to the Northumberland was not caused by any fault of the Admiralty anchor. The anchor did not fail; it held properly and efficiently; but it was the cable which failed, and parted under very exceptional circumstances. When the second anchor was let go there was no reason whatever to say that it dragged from its position, but, in veering cable, the Northumberland fouled the Hercules, and so efficient was the anchor of the Hercules that both ships were held by that one anchor and cable. Therefore, the casualty to the Northumberland was not caused from default of the anchors and no disasters have occurred to other ships from the same cause. The Officers of the Navy do not generally consider that Trotman's is a better or more trust-worthy anchor than the anchor generally in use; it was supplied to the Warrior at Mr. Trotman's request, and after it had been in use for two years, Captain—now Admiral—Cochrane reported that the anchor could not be depended upon for biting and holding when first let go —the same defect that had been so often reported in Porter's anchor, and which Mr. Trotman professes to have remedied. There can be no better test or proof of the relative powers of anchors than practical trial on board ship in actual service; these have been made, and prove that Trotman's anchor cannot be always depended upon for instantaneous grip or biting properties. Naval Officers have not that confidence in Trotman's anchor for a man-of-war which is possessed by many in this House; and I am bound in cases of this kind to be guided by the knowledge and experience of my naval friends.

Elementary Education Act (1870) Amendment Bill—Bill 188

( Mr. William Edward Forster, Mr. Secretary Bruce.)


Order for Second Reading read.

in rising to move that the. Bill be now read a second time, said: I believe it is not usual for a Minister who is in charge of a Bill, in moving the second reading to do so with any speech; but although I am very averse from taking up the time of the House, especially at this period of the Session, I think, perhaps, it will be for the general convenience if, in the present case, I make a few remarks. More than a month has elapsed since I had an opportunity of bringing in this Bill, and, owing to the exigences of the Public Business and the lateness of the hour, I only made a very brief statement. Although it was impossible to bring it before the House on an earlier day, yet the question has excited so much interest in the country, and there has been so much comment on the Bill—or rather, as I shall presently endeavour to show, on one provision of the Bill—that it may be well for me to explain a little more the ground on which the Government have taken the course they have taken. It is also, I think, due to the House, and the most straightforward way of dealing with it to state precisely, at the opening of this debate, the course which the Government intend to take. The clause which has excited objection to the Bill is the third, which undoubtedly is the most important. That clause has two objects, and contains two provisions. The first object is to secure education for the children of out-door paupers; and the other is to transfer to the Poor Law Guardians the power given to school boards by the Act of 1870 to remit school fees under certain conditions and limitations. I believe I am right in saying that it is the second of these provisions which has excited most comment and opposition in the country. I wish, therefore, shortly to state the reasons why the Government thought it right to propose that clause, and, in saying so, I fear I must detain the House for some time by recalling its attention to grounds on which in 1870 we passed the well-known 25th clause that excited so little attention at the time and so much attention afterwards. We felt while we were passing that Bill into law that provisions for schools were of little avail unless we could get scholars into the schools. The principle on which we interfere with the education of children who attend elementary schools is, that there shall be assistance from the public funds. We grant large sums out of the taxes, and we look forward to considerable assistance in localities, either by rates or subscriptions. But we have to deal with the children of parents who are too poor to pay the school fees, even after those fees have been reduced from the sources I have just described; and the question was, how to enable such children to get into the schools. There was, however, an easy plan of doing it if the House had assented to that plan. It was to do what is done in most of the States of America, and to state that all the education given in the State schools should be free. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) made a proposal to that effect, and I have never denied the force of the argument used in favour of it. I think, however, the argument that we ought not to take from parents all responsibility overweighed the argument he brought forward quite independently of the enormous cost such a system would entail on the country. I need not say more about that principle, however, because an overwhelming majority of the House decided against it. There still remained the question, how these children were to be got into school. We introduced three provisions into the Act of 1870 in order to effect that object. One was to the effect that a school board should be able to start a free school when there were special circumstances—when a locality was in great poverty, or when there were other special circumstances which made such a school desirable, and when the Education Department as well as the school board was convinced of its necessity. With regard to that section, I can only state that as yet no school board has applied to us to sanction a free school, and, consequently, that clause has not hitherto been put into force. Then there was the 17th section, which gave power to the school board, as managers of their own schools, to remit the fees if they thought the parents were too poor to pay them. This provision seemed necessary in order to give them the same power as was possessed by other managers. And, lastly, came this much-disputed 25th section, giving power to the school board to pay the school fees in what I may call voluntary schools, provided they were public elementary schools, and gave, therefore, a guarantee for efficient secular education. Therefore, the first object in passing the 25th section was simply this—to enable the school boards to get children into school who otherwise would, in all probability, remain out of school. But there was another, and a very strong reason for passing it. We introduced into the Act—or rather the House agreed with the Government in including in the Act—a provision for compulsory attendance, which although only permissive has yet, I am happy to say, been largely made use of, and the by-laws framed under it are now in force through-out nearly one-half of the country. Our feeling with regard to the 25th clause was that it was impossible to compel a parent to send his children to school if he were too poor to pay the fees, unless at the same time such assistance were given to him as would enable him to pay them. Consequently, the second object of this clause was to take from a parent whom it might be necessary to compel to send his children to school the only excuse he could urge against the compulsory power. If there had not been some such provision I do not believe any magistrate could have put in force the compulsory by-law in the case of a parent who was plainly too poor to pay the school fees. These were our objects. In the comments which have been made upon this clause, there seems to be a notion that the Government had some hidden and abstruse reason in passing this section—namely, of subsidizing and aiding denominational schools. I do not think, however, that any Member of the House does really hold that view. Nothing could be more straightforward than was our object, and no objection was made in the House to our proposal at the time, nor for some time afterwards; and so little conscious was I of the possibility of such an objection being made, that on being asked what was the use of giving a power under the 12th section of the Act for a district to form a school board by its own wish, even when there was no deficiency of public school accommodation, I remember I stated as one reason that they would be able to pay the fees of children at voluntary schools; and when I made that reply it excited no comment or opposition from any of the hon. Members who are now so opposed to that provision. That was the way in which the clause came into the Act and the ground on which it was passed. And now I come to what has happened in the working of the Act. There have been two strong objections raised against this clause in different parts of the country. The first objection is, what I will call the denominational objection. Several gentlemen feel strongly that although the clause was not passed with that intention it has had the effect, as they consider, of subsidizing denominational schools. They say that that is inexpedient, and in some cases they say they are conscientiously opposed to such a provision. Another objection is what I may term the economical objection. It is that the members of school boards are not so able as the members of the Boards of Guardians to ascertain whether a parent ought or ought .not to receive assistance. It is urged, the power to give such assistance out of the rates might lead to too lavish expenditure, besides demoralizing the recipients, because they might receive aid when it was not absolutely necessary. With regard to the denominational objection, I do not know that it would be expedient for me to detain the House by giving the reasons why I do not agree with it. I have frequently stated those reasons, and therefore I need only state now, that although I am surprised at such an objection being felt, I do not for a moment deny that it is felt. I can assure my hon. Friends who entertain this objection that I much regret that this difficulty should be connected with education, and I should be most glad if the Government could remove it without at the same time injuring the cause of education, and disregarding and trampling on what we conceive to be the rights of parents. Knowing, however, that there was this objection, it was our duty to set to work and consider how to remove it. There was one simple plan by which we were told we could do it—namely, by repealing the 25th section and leaving only the 17th section; that is to say, by taking from school boards the power to pay fees to voluntary schools, and leaving them the power to remit fees in their own schools. A good many persons ask why we did not take this course, and they will quote in their favour the Returns which have been laid upon the Table of the House. These Returns seem to show that so little money has been paid under this section that we might with great safety take from school boards the power of paying fees to voluntary schools. I read this morning in a newspaper of great circulation and weight on educational matters a statement that only one school board in ten has adopted the clause; and as it is desirable that in a matter like this we should have the exact facts, I think it right to say that the statement in question is an entire mistake. It is quite true that in only three or four towns in the kingdom has this clause been largely put into operation, and that the largest percentage is to be found in Manchester and Salford, while in Bristol and some other towns it has been used to some, but nothing like the same, extent. We must not suppose that because the fees of a few children have been paid that the clause has not been of any service or importance in these towns, because the fact is that it would have been impossible for the school boards to put the compulsory by-laws in force, as they have done in town after town, to the enormous advantage of education, if they had not had the power of leaving no reasonable excuse for the parent by offering payment of the fees, if necessary. Otherwise the inability to pay would have been successfully pleaded in the majority of cases by parents who had not sent their children to school. As I have said, it is an absolute mistake to say that one in ten of the school boards have made use of this clause. There were 563 school boards in the kingdom at the end of June in this year, a great many of them being small ones, which have not put the by-law in force. We have now to consider only those boards which have put the by-law in force, and they number only 212, but comprise 9,000,000 persons, or an enormous proportion of the population which is under school board rule. Of these 212 boards, 64, with a population of about 900,000, have inserted in their by-laws only the remitting clause, leaving out the paying clause; 106 have inserted both the remitting and paying clauses, and 41 have not thought it necessary to say anything about it. These last have acted quite rightly in doing as they have. If we had to frame the Bill again we should take a similar course; because it is not necessary for the school boards to make any by-laws with regard to the matter, inasmuch as they have, and cannot divest themselves of, the power conferred upon them by Sections 17 and 25 of the Act of Parliament. I have the highest legal authority for saying that the existence of that power would prevent any parent being punished for not sending his child to school if it could be proved before the magistrate that he was too poor to pay, and that he did not get help from the school board for the school which he preferred. I have entered into this statement to show the exact position in which we stand with regard to this section. As I have said, I was desirous to meet the difficulty, and the manner of doing so which was suggested to me was to repeal the section and put nothing in its place. In a circular which has been issued by the National Education League, and which reached my hands this morning, hon. Members are asked to oppose this Bill because the failure of the Government to repeal the 25th clause had caused extreme disappointment to all who had at heart the cause of National Education and of liberty of conscience. The Bill, as it stands, does propose to repeal the clause; but I grant that it also proposes to re-enact it in another form. Consequently, I suppose what the League objects to is its re-enactment. Let me then, in the first place, consider whether the effect of the clause is to injure the cause of National Edu- cation. I believe we are most of us agreed that it is desirable to make use of provisions for compulsory attendance as far as we can do so without committing injustice or hardship, or exciting public feeling against it. I really think we must all of us feel, also, that compelling a parent to do anything with regard to his child is not the easiest of matters, and that, in the interest alike of compulsory attendance and the cause of National Education, we ought to compel as little as we can help. Putting aside for the moment any question of the conscience of parents, let us consider what would be the effect of repealing this clause without at the same time putting any other provision in its place. At this moment the country is covered with voluntary schools, and the object of the Act we have passed is to supplement that provision where it is needed; but my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, and those who think with him, must know as well as I do that for a long time to come voluntary schools will out-number the school board schools very largely. Is it wise or prudent, then, to have this difficulty in compulsion—that you will say to the parent who is too poor to pay the fees that he shall have no choice of school for his child, according to convenience of locality, to say nothing of conscience or other preference, but that he must send his child to that school only which we prefer? I am perfectly sure that compulsion would fail if you forced parents to pass by the schools which suited them in order to make use of schools which did not suit them. Therefore, I say that to repeal this clause and put no other provision in its place would be to hinder the cause of National Education, which the circular of the Education League requires us to have at heart. The question of liberty of conscience is a very delicate one, and one on which it is difficult to speak without exciting feeling. This I will say however—that there is not merely the conscience of the ratepayer to consult, but also the conscience of the parent, which it is necessary to interfere with as little as possible. There are some places, undoubtedly, in which the parents would only have one public elementary school near them, and incases of that kind we must, in exercising our compulsory powers, be content to give the parents the protection involved in the power to withdraw their children from the religious education. But surely where there is a choice of schools we ought to allow of its exercise. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham and the other members of the Education League may say—"But this is a man receiving State aid, and ought not our consciences to be considered when we think it wrong to pay for education in which is included religious instruction of which we do not approve?" I am very sorry for this objection, and I would meet it if I could; lint I feel that the cause of education must suffer great harm if the compulsory provisions are met by the parents saying that they are to have no choice as to the schools to which their children shall be sent. I am convinced that if we do not allow a choice we shall have to contend with what parents allege to be a conscientious objection so powerful that we shall be unable to work the Act. We may say they have no right to feel this; but I cannot use that argument, nor do I think my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham can use it with justice, in regard to the feelings of the parents. Being unable to meet the difficulty in the way suggested, by the total repeal of the clause without putting any other proposition in its place, we set to work to see whether we could adopt some other plan. We felt that although it was impossible absolutely to meet it, we might try, and perhaps with success, to diminish the objection. We were told that the result of this clause as it stands is very large subsidies to voluntary schools. This certainly was not our object. What we wished to do was mainly to prevent parents having a reasonable excuse for not sending their children to school. The first object of our proposition was to limit the payment of fees out of the rates as much as possible, without making compulsion impossible. At the present moment the school boards have power to pay the fees independently of whether they are or are not putting in force the compulsory by-laws. By our proposition we limit the payment of fees to districts in which there is compulsion, and to those parents only who are too poor to obey the law without assistance. We also attempted to meet the views of my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham by limiting the amount to be paid. We were told that the amount we were giving was so large that the voluntary schools could exist solely by help of the State grant; but I think I can prove that at this moment no such schools do or could possibly so exist. In taking the limitation mentioned in the Bill—namely, 2½d. a weer—we adopted the system which from experience had been found to answer well, more especially in Liverpool. But the clause which has excited so much opposition is that which provides that if the child of a parent, not being a pauper, is required to attend school, and if it is found that the parent by reason of poverty is unable to pay for the child, it shall be lawful for the Guardians to pay the school fees, and that duty was imposed upon them by the clause, the parent having liberty to select for his child such elementary school as he should think fit. I confess I am surprised at the conscientious objections made to a proposal which limited the grants out of the rates simply and solely to parents who from poverty were unable to obey the law, though it still gave to the parent thus unable to obey the law, power to choose the elementary school for his child which in other circumstances he would conscientiously have selected. That, however, is not the only change the provision makes. It changes the paymaster. Instead of the school board being allowed to pay, that duty is transferred to the Guardians. Our reason for proposing that change was that we felt we should be thereby meeting the economical objection, and that the Guardians would be more likely than the school boards to spend the ratepayers' money without doing harm to the recipients or injustice to the ratepayers. This we thought, not because they are a more able or a more conscientious body, but because they have the machinery which, in our opinion, would give them a better means of testing the necessity of the parent. Such was the ground of our proposal. Now, I come to the manner in which it has been met. And in the first place, I must admit that there has been great objection made to it by the Boards of Guardians themselves. To a certain extent, I confess I expected that opposition. No body of gentlemen—especially those who are busily engaged in performing other duties—would, under ordinary circumstances, be anxious to have new duties imposed on them. It was natural, therefore, that we should look for some objections from that quarter. We had, as I have said, anticipated it and considered it; but we came to the conclusion that the balance of argument was on the other side. At the same time I cannot deny that the argument urged—namely, that there is danger in bringing the parent who is not a pauper in contact with the Relieving Officer—has weight in it. We did not think that it outweighed the benefits to be conferred by the provision; but it cannot be denied that in some instances the effect might be to break down the barrier between the parent and pauperism. However that may be, the fact remains that we had strong objections on the part of the Guardians to contend with, and we were bound to bear in mind that the Government that attempts to work by the help of local machinery must to some extent consider the feelings of the gentlemen composing the local bodies. We are too much indebted to their aid to endeavour to ride rough-shod over them without giving their objections consideration, and perhaps extending the benefit of the doubt to the local body. But there were other persons we desired to meet besides the Guardians, and I certainly did hope that the limitation of the power in Section 25, both as to the amount and the number of the cases, and this proof that our object was not the subsidizing of voluntary elementary schools, but to give power to enforce the compulsory clauses, would have conciliated some of my hon. Friends who I find are opposed to it. I cannot help thinking, however, that the clause was prejudged before it was placed before the House. But we must meet the facts as we find them, and I cannot deny that we are not in a position to plead as against the objection of the Guardians that we have conciliated the opposition of those who were opposed to Section 25. There was another fact we had to deal with—namely, the feeling of the school boards. It is best to be candid in these matters, and I confess that I have been in some respects surprised at the action of some of those bodies. So far as we have had any expression of opinion from them on the subject, it is, I must say, against the proposed transfer. About 10 school boards have sent in to the Depart- ment memorials against it, and I must admit that they are among the most active of the boards—not merely Manchester and Salford, from which we expected opposition, but Stockport, for instance, which certainly has worked the clause with much care and with very great success. I can only imagine that the school boards felt that there was a sort of slur cast upon them—I am sorry they entertain such a feeling—in taking away any portion of their duty, especially as I know they are actuated by the desire to be of the greatest possible benefit to the children in whose behalf the duty was imposed. Well, then, we had to consider whether it was desirable to persist in this transfer, and I must acknowledge, although I still think the balance of argument to be in its favour, I am of opinion it would not serve the cause of education if we were to insist upon it. It is, therefore, the intention of the Government so far to alter the 3rd clause as to take out of it the proposed transfer of power under Section 25 to the Board of Guardians, and that, of course, implies that we take away all mention of that clause. That brings me to the other provision in the clause—that for securing education to all pauper children—a provision which, if adopted, would, we believe, materially serve the cause of education. Its object is to repeal the Act which is known by the name of your predecessor, Sir—Denison's Act—in order to re-enact it in a much more extended and efficient Act. That Act, I believe, has done much good, and probably went as far as the House at the time was disposed to go or the country would have approved of. But the objection to it is this—that it does not carry out its own object or fulfil its own title. It is an Act for providing education for children in the receipt of outdoor relief. But it does no such thing. It is left to the discretion of the Guardians to make provision for that purpose or not, just as they think fit, and the result is that while a large number of Guardians do so a large number do not. There are 647 Unions in England and Wales, and of these 321 have put the Act in force and 300 have not. As to the remaining 26, I have no information on the subject before me. Of the Unions in the metropolitan district 21 have put the Act in force and 10 have not. There is, however, a provision in the Act which makes it very difficult to put it in force. It provides that it shall not be lawful for the Guardians to impose, as a condition of the relief, the education given to the child of the person requiring relief; but where the Guardians have put the Act in force they are obliged to disregard the law, and make a condition of the relief, the education of the child. I do not see how you can work the Act without it. If the House says the Guardians ought to pay for the education of these children out of the rates, they have a right to expect from the parents that the money shall be used for that purpose, otherwise they can have no right to claim relief from the rates. I have been looking around for objections to this proposal, because I had really hoped that it would meet with the almost universal acceptance of the House. My hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) has published a letter in which he alleges, as the ground for his objection, that this provision for education would be an inducement to pauperism. He forgets, however, that there are two sides to this question. There is not only the individual who asks for relief from the rates, but there are also the Board of Guardians and their officers, whose duty it will be to ascertain whether they have a right to it. The clause does not say that a person who is otherwise able to do without it shall ask relief for educational purposes; but where relief out of the workhouse is given to parents, then it shall be a condition of such relief that elementary education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, shall be given to their children, and the Guardians may give "such further relief, if any, as may be necessary for that purpose" Therefore, there is this protection—that it will be both the duty and the interest of the Boards of Guardians and the relieving officers to give no relief at all except where it is necessary. There will be many cases in which I do not think it will be necessary to give this educational aid to out-door paupers, because they may be assisted in other ways. The question is whether we are prepared to say because we will not impose this duty on the Guardians, that therefore these children are to remain untaught? I am delighted to find that the Guardians themselves throughout the country do not take that objection. In all the Petitions presented which I have seen, the Guardians ask for the withdrawal of the 3rd clause on the ground of the transfer from the school board to the Board of Guardians. I have in my hand an influential Petition from 21 Boards of Guardians—the very same collection of Guardians to whom my hon. Friend addressed his letter. They ask, it is true, for the withdrawal of the clause, and give five reasons in favour of that withdrawal, based upon the transfer, and not one against the extension of Denison's Act. But I have another and much stronger reason. A deputation of Guardians came up to me to-day who kindly saw one of my Colleagues. They represented 11 Boards of Guardians, including many which had signed this Petition—namely, Manchester, Bolton, Sheffield, Rochdale, Huddersfield, and two or three others. I am authorized to state that all these Boards are in favour of the extension of Denison's Act. I should like my hon. Friend to allow me to read a Petition from the influential Board of Guardians at Mile-end Old Town, containing a population of 100,000 and in which the argument is better expressed than anything I could urge. They were also opposed to this transfer; but let the House hear what they say on the other part of the clause—

"That your petitioners are of opinion that it is of the utmost importance that the children of out-door paupers should regularly attend school, and such children form a considerable portion of the class which the Legislature had in view in passing the Elementary Education Act. That as the children of persons receiving parish relief are already in a measure under the care of the Guardians of the poor, they (the Guardians) are the parties by whom the duty of enforcing the attendance of such children at school should most appropriately be undertaken. That as Guardians have already a staff of officers whose duty it is to inquire into the circumstances of applicants for relief, the duty of seeing that those children regularly attend school could be conveniently intrusted to the relieving officers without additional cost to the ratepayers."
But that is not the only testimony in favour of this proposal. Among the recommendations in the Report of the Education Commission of 1860, of which the Duke of Newcastle was Chairman, and which marked an era in the history of education, I find the following:—
"37. That in the case of out-door paupers, the Guardians be obliged to make the education of the child a condition of the out-door relief of the parents, and to pay the necessary school fees out of the rates."
That recommendation was signed by all the Commissioners, including my hon. Friend and Colleague (Mr. Miall). It is quite true, that notwithstanding that recommendation the change was not made, and it was objected to by a Committee of the House of Commons appointed a year or two afterwards. The matter was, however, put in a different position by the Act of 1870, by the acknowledgment in that Act of the principle of compulsion, and by the declaration that it is the duty of the parent to provide for the education of his children as much as to feed and clothe them. I have dwelt upon this argument, because of the great regret and surprise with which I have read a passage in the Circular of the Birmingham League this morning. There was a useful Society formed in Birmingham in 1868, called the Birmingham Education Society, the object of which was to get children to school. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) who is the President of the Birmingham League, was the President of that Society. It had also the same secretary, Mr. Collins, and among the members was Mr. Chamberlain, a gentleman of great eloquence, whom I hope one day to have the pleasure of hearing in this House. [A laugh.] Hon. Members opposite may laugh; but I can only say I would rather answer him in this House than out of it. Nine other members of the League were among the Committee. The first Report of the Birmingham Education Society contained the following passage:—
"The Guardians have only a permissive power at present to pay the school fees of these children, but your Committee deem it very desirable that such payments should be made compulsory, as the rates cannot be expended in a better manner than in educating pauper children, thereby taking the most effectual means of diminishing pauperism."
It may be said that, to some very small extent, there might be a temporary and present increase of the rates. It has been my hard fate to have to deal with two of the most delicate subjects of legislation—namely, matters affecting the conscience, and matters affecting the pockets of the ratepayers; and I hardly know which I have found the most difficult. But I am very anxious that the strong feeling which I own exists at this moment against any increase in the rates should not keep these pauper children untaught. My hon. Friend's (Mr. W. M. Torrens's) Resolution has undergone three changes. First it stated that—
"Having regard to the existing burden imposed on local taxation for national purposes, this House is not prepared to adopt any measure for charging on rateable property alone the cost of primary instruction to the children of any class of the community."
In three or four days afterwards, however, the Resolution was changed to a declaration that the House was not prepared to entertain a measure "calculated to augment the charge on rateable property" This provision struck my hon. Friend at first, perhaps, as it strikes many hon. Gentlemen. It is much more objectionable from their point of view than it really is. It appears to them that this proposition is one which would charge the education of paupers on the ratepayers only. But has my hon. Friend forgotten that in the education of pauper children, as in the education of the children of other classes taught in public elementary schools, for every 6d. found by rates at least 6d. is found by taxes? Well, I put it to my hon. Friends who advocate the cause of the ratepayers so strongly, whether they expect to make better terms with respect to the rates on land? Do they expect to make better terms than this—that in everything done by local taxation half the money should be granted by way of help out of the taxes of the country? I do not think hon. Gentlemen opposite expect half the poor rates to be paid out of the taxes. But here you have that concession made, not, I grant, with a view to help the rates, but because it is the most effectual way of promoting education. My hon. Friends, therefore, cannot object to the proportion which is borne out of the public funds, and as to the expenditure of the money, I ask them to attend to the well-expressed statement of the Birmingham gentlemen in 1868. Looking at it purely as an economical question, can there by any possibility be a better expenditure of rate money than in getting the child of an out-door pauper taught? Is it not likely that the 2½d. per week spent on that child will be repaid ten-fold, because it is by the expenditure of that money the child will cease to be a burden on the rates? I believe it to be a step in the cause of education which it is most necessary to take. I believe that it is very urgent, because while you do not take it the education of those children is going back. There is another ground which I have to urge in favour of my contention. The Board of Guardians are, to some extent, declining to put into force those powers, on account of the passing of the Act. There are 31 Unions which have done so, and surely as between school boards and guardians, the latter must know better what is necessary to be given to an out-door pauper in order that his children may be educated. This change which I have described is the only change of any importance that we intend to make in the Bill. It will, perhaps, be convenient to the House if I state the course we intend to pursue with reference to the mode of procedure. We intend to ask the House to give a second reading to the Bill to-night, and then to-morrow to allow me to commit it pro formâ in order to introduce this clause. There are two other Amendments which I would also propose to introduce, and to which there can be no objection. An objection has been made to Section 13, which provides that a school board shall be able to receive endowments for educational purposes. Some gentlemen have thought that if school boards were to be trustees for such educational endowments, they might have endowments left them for purely controversial purposes, and then they would be acting as school boards in contravention of the 14th section of the Act. But that was never intended; all that was intended was to get rid of some inconvenience, and I will introduce such words into the clause as will make the matter clear. Another thing that will be necessary is to supply an omission in the Act. The 3rd clause says that all relief and allowances given by guardians under this section shall be paid out of their Common Fund. That does not meet the case of the metropolis, where the Unions are combined together for what is called the Metropolitan Common Fund. This is a matter which will have to be set right. There are no other Amendments to be brought forward, except such as are purely verbal. The only thing I would say in addition is to ask my hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury whether he would really think it necessary to proceed with his Motion. The effect of his Motion, if it were carried, would be to defeat the Bill. Supposing my hon. Friend right in his opposition to the whole of the 3rd clause, the effect of throwing out the Bill would be almost more inconvenient than it is possible to describe. The result would be that the school boards would all die out this year, and that we should have no machinery for education whatever. Then I cannot suppose that my hon. Friend is anxious that the principle of the Ballot should not be applied to those parts of the country to which it is not applicable at present. Then there are clauses in this Bill which are really most necessary to enable the school boards to discharge the duty which they are so bravely trying to perform under great difficulties—the duty of obtaining the attendance of children at school; and those clauses will, I think, be universally allowed to be useful and necessary. I implore the House not to adopt the course proposed by my hon. Friend. I know it is late in the Session; but I do not think it is so late that we cannot, and that we ought not, now to ask the House to take a step, which would be a real step, in this difficult path, of securing the education of children. I do think that we ought to provide that a large class of pauper children, who, should they grow up in ignorance, are most likely to prove an injury to the State, shall no longer remain untaught. I beg to move the second reading of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Mr. W. E. Forster.)

in accordance with a Notice which had for some time stood in his name, as an Amendment moved the Previous Question. An appeal had been made to him by the right hon. Gentleman which it might be deemed discourteous if he passed over in silence. He was asked if, considering the fact that the legal term for which school boards had been created in 1870 was about to expire, he would incur the responsibility of rejecting the present Bill, and thus throwing the whole of the organization out of gear? He might be pardoned for saying that he was perhaps the last individual in the House to whom such an appeal could have been appropriately addressed. The memory of Ministers was pro- verbially short; but making every allowance for the multitude and magnitude of the topics wherewith it was charged, and the venial readiness of the official mind to forget past difficulties and past help in extrication from them, he did think that the right hon. Gentleman might have remembered a circumstance connected with the history of the Education Act that ought to have precluded the appeal addressed to him. The House would probably remember that when the difficulties of applying the school board system to the metropolis appeared to be such that Government was half inclined to leave London altogether out of the Bill, provisions were suggested by him (Mr. Torrens), to which they did not disdain to accede, whereby their perplexities were dispelled and a great educational municipality was called into being and placed at the head of all the other bodies of the kind in the kingdom. Was it likely, then, that the author of the London School Board would with levity seek to destroy his own handiwork, to say nothing of upsetting wantonly and rashly many like institutions elsewhere? But he had been long enough a Member of the House of Commons to know that when on account of one or two obnoxious clauses it was needful or convenient to arrest the progress of an ill-constructed Bill, nothing was more common, because nothing was easier than its reintroduction next day with the objectionable clauses omitted; and he would undertake to say that if they put aside the Bill as it then stood, because of its pauperizing provisions, they would have it again before them expurgated and deodorized in the course of 48 hours. The simple rule of legislative work, when good faith was observed all round—a rule which it was never safe to forget—was that whatever you wanted to do that was useful and right you were bound to believe, and to act on the belief that some way would be found for accomplishing it, and he certainly should not have thought of asking the House to reject certain parts of the proposal of Ministers if he were not prepared to point out an alternative preferable alike in point of expediency and in point of principle. His first impression on hearing the exposition of the present measure by the Vice President of the Council six weeks ago—an impress- sion which every day that had since elapsed served only to deepen—was that in substance, although not in semblance, it was a breach of the truce agreed on soon after Easter regarding Imperial and local taxation. Pending the production of a general plan by Government for re-adjusting the balance between parish rates and national taxes, they had a pledge from the First Minister that there should be no fresh infliction of burthens on rateable property, only for national objects. [Mr. GLADSTONE: No, no!] Well, it was certainly very unfortunate that the right hon. Gentleman's words were understood at the time by everyone but himself in that sense; and it was beyond doubt or dispute that for the last three months he had had the benefit of that understanding; for instead of following up the rare advantage gained by the great majority recorded last Session in favour of relief to local burthens, the friends of that righteous cause had been content for the time to rest on the defensive, and to await the development of the official plans of redress and re-adaptation. He therefore framed at first an Amendment embodying this view. It was meant to challenge the principle of the Bill upon financial grounds; but as it was in its drift and purport little more than the Previous Question, he readily acquiesced in the desire of many to put the Motion in more general terms, leaving everyone free to lay what special stress he pleased on the reason in chief which might make him averse from the measure. Some opposed it on religious grounds, and some for economical reasons; as a panacea for sectarian strife, Birmingham laughed it to scorn; as leading the way to the certain demoralization of the struggling classes, Manchester, in the name of its school board and in the name of 13 of the greatest unions around it, declared that it would only serve to "increase pauperism and decrease education." For him (Mr. Torrens) it was enough if upon any or all of these grounds they should, at least for the present, get rid of the Bill. When he found that many sitting on his own side of the House entertained stronger objections to it than oven those urged by the economists of local taxation, he thought he was doing right in putting the question to the House in such a form that not only those who thought the Bill an infringement of the compact on the question of local burthens, but those also who were opposed to the Bill on sectarian grounds, could vote for his Amendment. He was prepared to stake the issue as distinctly as ever on the ground he first avowed—that primary education ought to be a national charge. If ever a man treated it as a national duty it was the Vice President of the Council, who, in 1870, appealed, not to the representatives of unions and parishes, but to a great nation running a race with other nations. The right hon. Gentleman was then taken at his word, but now he wanted to hark back, and to throw more of the burden on the overtaxed districts of the country. If there were 200,000 children who were not likely to have the benefit of the Education Act because of the poverty of their parents, the case was emphatically one for national consideration, to be met out of national means. He had said before, and he still believed, that the cardinal fault of the rating and school board system—its ineradicable weakness which nothing could cure—was that it was founded on the inverted ratio of the ability of the district or parish, so that poverty was over weighted with rates, and wealth got off comparatively scot-free. Where darkness and destitution prevailed they were told there was social danger. Danger to what, or to whom? To the dark and the destitute, who, by the law of social gravity, seemed to settle down in particular places and districts? No; if danger there were, it was to the wealthy and well-born who dwelt on the sunny uplands of fortune, and who every day sought to dwell more and more out of the sight and stench of want. These were they whose quiet and comfort, whose slumber and pleasure, whose moveable and immoveable property were to be made more safe by public order and primary education. Yet how little did the thickly planted and thinly peopled locality pay in school rates, for how little did it need in the way of schools compared with the over-crowded, overworked, and over-burthened town, or portion of a town where childhood was said to be running to waste. Talk of the average liability, that upon the whole kingdom was insignificantly small—they might as well talk of the average health of the bright and festive ball-room, and of the cholera hospital. Equally mis- leading, but far more indefensible, was it to speak with unconcern of average burthens when confessedly and incontestably no rule of proportion existed according to relative ability to bear them. The disparity was too palpable in the amount of education rates in distant and even in contiguous places; but it was infinitely enhanced by the exclusive incidence of rates on the occupation of houses and lands in exoneration of stocks and shares, mines and shipping, books and pictures, statues and gems. This state of things could be met only by greater grants from the Treasury, and the right hon. Gentleman said that it would be; but there was such a thing as an evasive realization of pledges. In the last Education Budget the right hon. Gentleman asked for £100,000 less than in the preceding year, while there was an increase of rates in all the most populous districts; yet it was said that if this Bill were passed the charge would be borne, half by the State and half by the rates. Local taxation had already reached its peacefully possible limit. In one of the poorer parishes—with which, as a representative, he was connected—a state of things had arisen which, he would venture to say, could not be surpassed for injustice and hardship under the working of the existing system. The operation of that system was twofold. The Education Department having at its disposal the powers of the Endowed Schools Commission, as well as those of the Elementary Education Act, was able to bring to bear a double method of pressure which was simply intolerable. Its weapon was not a knife, but a shears. Where endowments existed heretofore for the moral and mental succour of the impoverished classes, it was coolly proposed to alienate them for the benefit of wholly different localities and classes; and when the people thus menaced with spoliation complained, they were told for their comfort that they might lay on a school rate to make good the want thus capriciously caused by a confiscating Commission. [Mr. W. E. FORSTER: In what parish?] One parish to which he referred was St. Luke's, Middlesex, whose trust property, to the extent of £115,000, the Endowed Schools Commissioners appointed by Government and controllable by them, had formally announced their intention to despoil, in order to set up in another county some fantastical scheme of higher education. Even without this Bill the wrong about to be done was hard enough to contemplate with equanimity; but when, in addition to losing their old charitable trust funds, and having to pay heavy rates for new school-buildings which they did not believe they required, it was proposed that the ratepayers should have a second school rate laid upon them for the children of out-door paupers, the grievance became unbearable. Whatever school boards might do about permissive compulsion, they did not, and would not in general, levy a tax upon their self-helping and hard-working constituents to pay school fees fur the worthless and laggard, and idle. School boards were ready to take over old schools and to build new ones when they were really wanted. They were ready to sweep the slums, and to compel the urchin brood to come in. School boards were ready to use the powers of the Act to compel negligent parents to send their children to school, although it entailed some augmented charge to the district; but what school boards, with half-a-dozen exceptions, confessedly would not do was to add materially to local rates for the payment of school fees. And for that reason—avowedly to avoid the friction and hindrance incident thereunto—they now proposed to jumble the charge for school fees with that for blankets and bread, in order that the instinctive repugnance of the community might not be excited against the payment when disguised in the general rate. The Vice President asked, would they grudge 10 farthings a week to rescue each destitute child from ignorance?—and he expected them to take for granted when he specified that sum that it would never be exceeded. But it was rather too late to try the effect of the same mesmerism on the same Parliament that had been used as a medium in this same affair. It did require all the cool-handedness of the right hon. Gentleman to offer them a second time a guaranteed maximum of rating for anything connected with schools. In 1870 he solemnly undertook that the new charge on rateable property should never exceed 3d. in the pound. In his speech explaining the details of the measure, a fine edge was put even on this assurance by the confidential communication to the House that, in point of fact, it was seldom intended to touch that amount, but to quiet men's minds it was set up as a fixed limit. They went into Committee in March; and all April, May, and June they were kept wandering up and down the mazes of an intricate measure; and all that time the 3d. maximum was kept jingling in the public ear, as the answer to all suggestions as to excessive charge. A sad misgiving haunted certain minds, and an incredulous Friend who sat for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote), on the 8th of July proposed to insert a condition to the effect that half the school rate anywhere found to be needful above 3d. in the pound should be paid out of the Exchequer. Simple-minded man, how little he understood what might afterwards be called an essential portion of the principle of the Bill to which he had given his consent! The Vice President of the Council pooh-poohed the Amendment as altogether unnecessary, provision having been made, as he said, in a better way for any charge over the 3d. maximum. The weather was hot, and the House was tired, and the Minister looked so honest, that the right hon. Baronet withdrew his Motion. And, then, what happened? Within half-an-hour Clause 84, without debate or division, vanished like a dream. It was quietly struck out of the Bill. The maximum had served its turn, and was flung into the wastepaper basket. To keep up the show and the sham anew clause, which now figured as 97 in the Act, was substituted, by which in the comparatively few parishes where a 3d. rate would not raise £20, the Committee of Council had power to give a supplementary grant. But in the vast majority of places, especially in the overtaxed towns where the influent stream of rural labour was ever tending to swamp the resources of urban industry, no power or even pretence of power was claimed by the Privy Council to lighten in any way the extra burden of education. In a manual of the Education Acts, published by a trusted and well-informed officer of the Government (Mr. Owen), and circulated under their sanction, there was this candid comment on the change thus made—

"The 97th section does not limit the amount which the rating authority may be called on to pay, but fixes 3d. in the pound as the minimum to be paid before any additional grant."
Thus, then, they had the net result that after having served its turn the maximum of the Bill became a minimum in the Act. And now they were asked to shut their eyes again and hear the chink of the farthings that they were told were to measure the new expenditure. Queen Anne's farthings were few, and they became precious; Queen Victoria's farthings, if once they were sanctioned by Parliament, might prove costlier still. It was not, after all, the fees which constituted the hindrance to the children being sent to school; that vas not the excuse that they practically found only or oftenest made. The want of clothing and food when the school was a long way off was more frequently the cause of absence pleaded. At present the answer of the school board was—"We have no power to give clothes or food. But turn the ease over to the guardians, who have the power, and what will happen? Your 10 farthings a-week will soon crop up into 6d. or 1s." At best the proposition of paying school fees out of the school rate was in the estimation of forethoughtful men questionable enough. But severed as the practice was to be from every association likely to confuse it in the popular mind with pauperism, most people thought permissive compulsion could do little harm; but at least it led to no further consequences, and it was fenced round with certain guards to prevent, if possible, its expansion. They saw by the Returns on the Table that these were not ineffectual; in but three or four places had any large sum as yet been paid in fees. The country in general was in no haste to have school boards; and even where they existed there was a strong disinclination manifest to use the power of permissive compulsion, or to pay school fees. All this would be slowly but insidiously changed if they adopted it. It was a Bill for confusing in the popular mind all ideas of frugality and unthrift. Instead of an anodyne they would have a double blister. It brought not peace but a two-edged sword. The blunder had one merit—that of being obvious. Often mistakes of policy might be disputable; but the blunt can dour with which they were asked to shut their eyes and to be deluded over again into what was ironically called a compromise was a matchless specimen of official intrepidity. Should they be told that the amount was small, and therefore harmless? But did not the worse poisons work insidiously and by accumulation? Strychnine and antimony could only be absorbed at first in moderate quantities; large closes would turn the stomach, and the fatal element would be expelled. It was the silent and unnoticed increase of mischief that was to be feared in social as in physical life; and the worst feature in both was that when the vital current had been once tainted it was almost impossible to cure either heart or head. Let them beware of the beginnings of evil; and, above all, beware how the proposed change would subvert gradually all the good instincts and sound principles of hard toiling life. He asked the other day one of the clearest headed men he was acquainted with—one who had had long experience in parochial matters—what would be the working of the measure. His answer was simple but comprehensive, candid, and clear— "At first you would not," he said, "notice perhaps any general change, but the new system would show every man his way to the relieving officer." As first framed it gave the ratepayers a chance of escape from part of the new burthen; it might not be much of a chance, and. in the end it probably would not have been. As the Bill was brought in a month ago the 3rd clause contained two distinct provisions for payment of school fees by Guardians. In the first place it proposed to convert the permissive statute of 1855 into a compulsory law requiring Guardians to pay for the schooling of children whose parents were on the out-door list. In the second place it proposed that the school fees should be paid to parents who were not on that list. In other words, it tendered an alternative to the needy either to go on the parish themselves along with their children, or to send on their children, and for a little while longer stay off themselves. The Bill as it first stood created to some extent a deferred liability. It opened, indeed, a sad perspective of degradation and detriment; but it might be argued that part of the mischief it threatened was in the present, and part in the Paulo-post future tense. What had they now? As if to mock the fears of Guardians expressed in Petitions to the House from every part of the country, the Vice President offered to cut the 3rd clause in two; to leave out the alternative to foreshorten the picture of rateable plunder, and get rid of even stay of execution. Bad as it was before, he would make it in every way worse. To offer school fees out of rates to parents who are not to be called paupers, was to lead them into temptation; but it might have been said on the other hand, that you held out the hope to the tempted man that he might not be deemed by his neighbour a pauper, and that you gave him a counter-temptation to work on for his bread. In so many words it was proposed that it should be a condition of out-door relief that the children should be sent, not to the workhouse school, but to any school in the parish their parents choose—so that the inducement was greater than ever to seek out-door relief. Let it not be said they had the workhouse test. What did this mean? If all the parents, or half the parents, of the infant multitude they would compel to learn should comply with the test, let them think what the effect would be on the labour market and on the amount of rates! And if the Guardians, afraid or ashamed to crowd the unions to overflowing, should obey this ill-conceived measure by giving out-door relief, let them consider how wide and how widening a circle of pauperism they would recklessly cause. Like the expanding rings on the surface of water they would soon lose all power of following them. How many a father who has now only work, as he says, off and on, is forced to pinch and forced to pawn in order to keep his wife and his children together? He has never been on the parish. If he be poor he prays, and if he be sceptic he swears, that he never will. What keeps up his heart in privation? What makes him forget wakeful nights and fretful clays, but the hope that things will mend before he is quite broken down? He looks his bright-eyed boy in the face and mutters between his teeth—"Thou warn't born to be a pauper." And he toils and suffers on somehow—anyhow. In the heart of this manhood, throbbing as it does in the breasts of honest multitudes, lies the industrial life of England. Why should they poison the current of that life? Why should legislation in the tempter's form creep by the bedside of the struggling man and whisper in his sleepless ear—" Don't be a fool, don't be ashamed; we'll take the frown out of the law and make it smile on you if you will go to the relieving officer and get upon the out-door list. Nay, we will pay you for the job; we'll bribe you through your best affections, your children shall have the best schooling in the parish, and shall sit side by side with those of your snuggest neighbours if you will only be a little base and ask the Guardians for the double dole—bread for yourself and books for them." The man recoils, for he is still a man—there is still in him the sense of shame. But by-and-by the mother comes to know that next door they have been to the workhouse and agreed to the condition named in this depraving Bill, and in order to get good schooling for their children out of the pauper fund, they have agreed to gulp the he and write themselves down paupers. What will John say to that the next time there is only bread on the table and nothing wherewith to buy beef or beer? Again, the Inspector comes to him and again murmurs low—"Don't be a fool; do as others do; put your hand silently into the pockets of your fellow workmen and furtively extract from them the price of your children's education." Like the gradual widening of the sluice once broken, every hour lets in a greater volume of the flood. One of two things will happen—either Guardians, like school boards, will refuse to execute the law, and then your Bill for pauperizing education will break down; or they will give way first a little, then a little more, until at last too late they will find themselves unable to resist the rush for school fees made conditional. They were told that this was but an extension of Denison's Act, and to carry out the delusion the Act of 1855 was to be formally repealed, only to be forthwith re-enacted in a more comprehensive form. There could not be a greater farce, for nothing could be more unlike what was done 18 years ago by the unanimous will of both Houses of Parliament than what was now proposed to be done by this most objectionable Bill. The predecessor of the right hon. Gentleman in the Chair, as they all remembered, was one of the most cautious and circumspect men in all that concerned legislation, and the men with whom he conferred in every step which he took during his long career in Parliament were emphatically those who were least likely to make rash experiments upon the fixed laws and permanent institutions of the country, to get rid of any passing evil or to meet any ephemeral gust of unpopularity. He (Mr. Torrens) had still in his possession a letter written from Ossington in 1851, inquiring when a division would be taken against the second reading of a Bill which he felt it his duty to oppose, in common with the present First Minister of the Crown and the present Lord Chancellor, who staked and lost his seat upon the issue. It was a Bill brought in by the Government of the day, supported by all the weight of their rivals, and shouted for by an excited populace. But Mr. Denison was not a man to palter with old principles in deference to a sectarian cry or to escape a political difficulty. He foresaw clearly that the measure would fail because it was unsound, and having a true love for the honour and dignity of Parliament, he voted in a minority of one to five against it, and its repeal as an absolute and abject failure he had the satisfaction as Speaker of putting to the House ere he left the Chair. Were he still amongst them, he would assuredly repudiate the empirical perversion of the measure that bore his name. In the brief record preserved in Hansard of what took place when the Bill of 1855 as brought in by him, two things were clear. The first that he meant it simply to legalize a pre-existing practice of Guardians to give in exceptional cases schooling to the children of persons who had out-door relief, and whom it was not desirable to send into the workhouse; the other, that if he had had his will he would have proposed to lay half of the extra charge upon the Consolidated Fund; and the reason he gave for not doing so in 1855 was, the exhausted state of the Exchequer—for we were then in the midst of the Crimean War. For he was an honest man as well as a humane man; and when taking in hand a merciful though small measure of relief to the poor, he neither forgot justice to ratepayers or the duty of guarding property in general against the influx of claims by the idle or worthless tending to swamp all thrift and to debauch all habits of self-help. When the Bill went to the Lords, the present Duke of Devon- shire, who had charge of it, urged its adoption upon the clear and definite ground that the education of indoor paupers being provided for in workhouse schools, and that as these schools were capable of accommodating many besides, it was hard not to allow children of outdoor paupers to be taught there too, thus keeping wisely and carefully to the unobliterated distinction between pauperism and self-dependence—that vital distinction which the measure before them proposed to efface. Nor was this essential point overlooked or undebated in the Lords. A suggestion was actually made in Committee to oblige the guardians to give school fees to indigent persons generally. And how was it met, and by whom? Lord Granville defended firmly the true line taken by Mr. Denison and the Duke of Devonshire; and he warned the Peers that there would be great risk in adopting such a principle which would entirely alter the character of the Bill, and he counselled the Mover not to accede to it. The instincts of prudence and true policy swayed the Peers, and Denison's Act was passed without any departure from its original lines. He did not argue that it must never be changed; but he wished to mark distinctly the fact as it stood, that the Act of 1855 not only furnished no foundation for the present measure, but that properly weighed and estimated it was a strong negative pregnant against it. The Administration that sanctioned Mr. Denison's Act, and supported him in carrying it, contained not a few of the men who had taken part in settling the policy of out-door relief by the statute of 1833—amongst them was Sir George Lewis, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. How he would have opened his eyes had he heard it coolly proposed to break down the test of out-door relief, and to give not merely shelter or food in a casual ward to persons in absolute destitution, but to give so many shillings a-week to every parent who, living at home, might be able to convince the Guardians that he could hardly afford to pay for his children's schooling as well as his neighbours could pay it for him. Talk of justice, morality, or independence of feeling, with this unlimited exaction plan on the Table? It was mere trifling to talk of it as an extension of Denison's Act—it was its direct opposite. The Act of 1855 adhered strictly to the principle of a wholesome test and free discretion in Guardians, which its author refused rigidly to waive. The amount annually bestowed on out-door relief in this country was £3,600,000, and of that sum at least two-thirds was spent on temporary out-door relief. He wished to know whether such an amount of temporary relief as that was to be withheld unless the children of the necessitous class were driven into the schools? It was a strange thing that a nation which was able to spend £75,000,000 a-year was unable to afford a few farthings for the education of the poor, but must throw the burden upon the already excessive local rates. He regarded the Bill as being a bad and demoralizing measure. After 18 years' experience, Denison's Act had been found to be a nullity in general, although it might have been put into force in some rare instances. Denison's Act was a permissive Act, and it was evidently not intended to be used for the purpose of creating a new pauper class. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Amendment.

in seconding the Amendment, said, he could add but little to the singularly able speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. He was glad, however, to have an opportunity of expressing his cordial concurrence in the course which he had taken. He objected strongly to the Bill, because it proposed to place on one description of property considerable additional burdens for what was undeniably a national purpose. He had always been an advocate for education, but had always considered elementary education a national need and national responsibility, and believed no greater fiscal injustice had been ever perpetrated than the imposition of an exceptional education rate upon owners and occupiers of real property. When the original Bill was introduced he had always protested against it, and had endeavoured unsuccessfully to limit the amount of rate; but unfortunately neither the House nor the country were sufficiently alive to the injustice that was then created. It appeared to him unjustifiable—he might almost say monstrous—before they knew the amount of responsibility incurred under the original Act, before they had experienced the full effect of that un- known quantity of indefinite expenditure then fixed on the rates, before they were able to calculate the normal sums ratepayers would be annually called upon to contribute, that the Government should ask ratepayers to give them another blank cheque so as to enable them to relieve Imperial taxation by a further addition to local charges. The proposal, too, he thought, came at a very unfortunate time, for there was no question with respect to which the country was at the present moment so impatient as that of local taxation. The Government, however, although they had several warnings, as in the case of the Juries Bill, which they had been obliged to take back and alter, did not seem to perceive the temper on the subject which existed out-of-doors. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, it was said, only a week or two ago, was unwilling to ask the House to assent to any measure which would impose additional local charges. [Mr. GLADSTONE: No, no!] The right hon. Gentleman, it was true, had afterwards retracted his observations on that point; but he had retracted them only when he found out that so many Government measures depended on the extraneous assistance which was to be found in that quarter. When the Vice President of the Council introduced the Bill he told them that the Government grant had been less by £100,000 than the Estimate, and yet he proposed to add at least three times that amount to the rates. It was said, moreover, that the present Bill would create no new expenditure; but that was the old story, and burnt children very naturally had a dread of the fire. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Council had stated, that if Denison's Act were made compulsory it would sweep 200,000 children into the schools who did not now attend them. Again, under the original measure, the right hon. Gentleman estimated that the education of pauper children would cost 30s. per head; but as the Government aid amounted at present to only 12s. per head, that left a sum of 18s. per head to be provided for those 200,000 children from other sources. This alone would amount to £180,000 per annum. He made this calculation under the voluntary system. But how would the case be, he should like to know, if all the children went into board schools? He believed that the estimated cost of each child at the school board school was something between £5 and £8 per child, and those schools were, at all events, greatly more costly than voluntary schools. Making a very moderate computation, then—and he defied the right hon. Gentleman to prove his statement to be incorrect—he would put the cost of a child at a board school at £3. and if the Government only gave 12s. it would be seen what a lame amount remained to be provided out of the rates. It must also be borne in mind that the parents were about to be deprived of the earnings of the children who were thus about to be sent to school, so that the question assumed a very serious aspect. One of the arguments which had been advanced by the right hon. Gentleman in favour of the original measure was that it would diminish pauperism, and that, as a consequence, the rates would be reduced; but while the Bill had been in operation two years the poor-rate levied was £500,000 more than at the commencement of that period, although the number of out-door paupers was 100,000 less than last year. Such was the state of things at a time of unexampled prosperity; what it would be under other circumstances he would leave the House to judge. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that another effect of his proposal would be to reduce the police rate; but the police rate had, notwithstanding, in the same period, increased 3 per cent. He also assured them that in no case would the education rate exceed 3d. in the pound, and there was a provision to this effect in the first Bill that was introduced; but already had that amount been exceeded in 80 places where board schools had been established, one parish paying as much as 1s. 7d. and another 1s.. 4d. in the pound. They were also told that the estimated expenditure would be divided into three parts, between the Government grant, the fees, and the rates. If fees were to be remitted, two portions, instead of one, must fall on the ratepayers. It was quite clear, he might add, that the Government were about to create a new Poor Law by means of such measures as that before the House. The Act of Elizabeth made provision for the sick and the destitute without any conditions; but the ratepayers were now asked to provide for the ignorant; and it was about to be made necessary for the poor man, in order to obtain relief, that he should send his children to school. In his opinion, the House would not be justified in taking away from him the right to relief which the Act of Elizabeth gave him. Why should compulsory attendance be limited to the destitute? This was a new condition which the law of Elizabeth never recognized. It was the thin end of the wedge. The right hon. Gentleman had never concealed his views. He had always advocated compulsion. Because school boards had great difficulty in determining whether parents were too poor to pay school fees, it was proposed to transfer this investigation and responsibility to the Guardians; but they were very unwilling to take it, and as they were an unpaid body, they had no right to enforce it, without consulting their wishes. The payment of fees by school boards could not be confounded with pauperism. It was a great mistake, in his opinion, to associate education with pauperism. It would degrade education, because they enacted that the payment of fees should not constitute parochial relief; that declaration would not affect the moral and social issues—it would be a distinction without a difference. This proposal would tend to pauperize and demoralize; it would open up a new form and channel of Poor Law relief; it would tend to lessen the self-respect and self-reliance of the poorer classes. It would be impossible, in his opinion, to carry out the provisions of the Bill. Suppose a man or his wife met with an accident, they could obtain no relief unless their children, at a time when their earnings were most needed, were sent to school. As the relief was only temporary, there was no power to keep the children at school. Local taxation reformers had always had two objects in view—first, to oppose any addition in any shape to their local taxation, and next, to transfer burdens which they conceived to be national to the Imperial Exchequer. The Government had given local taxation reformers no inducement to falter in the pursuit of those objects. They had introduced three Bills relating to local taxation, but they had withdrawn two of them, and the third, instead of affording relief, would inflict fresh burdens; because, while taking away all exemptions from real property, it perpetuated all the exemptions in favour of personal pro- perty. Since the present Government came into office—in 1868—they boasted that they had reduced Imperial taxation £9,000,000; but during the same period they had increased local taxation about half that amount. This Government Bill raised a larger question—it would induce many who were satisfied with the modest proposal of last year to make further and larger demands; to ask whether education was a national or local charge; to inquire, as national education was paid for by the State in Ireland, why a different system was adopted with public elementary education in England and Scotland? It would be a great dereliction on the part of local taxation reformers, and it would deprive them of their chance of ever carrying out the object they had in view, if they did not offer to the present measure the most vigorous opposition. The impending division would show who were true and consistent supporters of Local Reform and who were not; and the question they had to decide in regard to that Bill was whether special and exceptional burdens were any longer to be levied from one description of property only, and whether the owners and occupiers of real property were to be victimized and saddled with expenditure incurred for the benefit of the community at large.

Previous Question proposed, "That that Question be now put"—( Mr. Torrens.)

said, the Bill, by the removal of the provision transferring to the Guardians the duty of paying school fees, was practically turned into a measure exacting attendance at school as a condition of poor relief. It was to that part of the Bill that the very able and eloquent speech of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens) was mainly directed. Now, the hon. Gentleman had not suffered the House to forget that he was a faithful Member for a portion of the metropolis. All his figures, arguments, and impassioned appeal referred to London and the few cities in the kingdom which were in an analogous position; and he left entirely out of sight a little fact which cut the ground from under his feet—namely, that in the metropolis and in the other great cities compulsory education was already the law in those districts where a great number of the pauper children were sent to school at the expense of the ratepayers. That was not the case in the country districts. In many places schools had been built by voluntary subscriptions, and by the taxpayers, and not by the ratepayers. The taxpayers contributed largely to the education of the teachers, and there was a capitation grant of 5d., so that the maximum amount that came from the ratepayers was 2½d. Among those sitting opposite who cheered the hon. Member for Finsbury the only Gentleman representing a metropolitan constituency was the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), who had introduced into the Scotch Bill that provision with which he cordially agreed, and which he regretted was to be struck out of this Bill, by which the Guardians, and not the school board, were made the paymasters of the fees of the children. Whatever support the hon. Member for Finsbury received elsewhere, he would receive none from those on that side who believed that every penny spent on education would be re-paid out of the £13,000,000 or £14,000,000 a-year raised in the form of poor rates and police rates. They must have gone back from their principles since 1870 if they objected to the extension of elementary education because it would cost money. Some serious objections had been urged by the body with which the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) was connected. They did not grudge the money for educational purposes, but the shape in which it was paid, and were opposed to the Bill because it called upon them to pay a large amount of rates for the support of denominational schools. When that Bill was introduced he was so much disappointed by it that he thought it ought to be opposed on the second reading; but he had since seen reason to come to a different conclusion. The compact entered into in 1870 by the Prime Minister, as understood by the Nonconformists, was that the tie between the local boards and denominational schools should be severed, and that the latter, as compensation for the loss of the rates and to give them a fair chance of existence, would have an increase of 50 per cent in the capitation grant. He believed the 25th clause, which was so hateful to many persons, and which, as far as he could trace, passed sub silentio, was an oversight on the part of the Government, while it was clearly an oversight on the part of the Members below the gangway to allow it to pass, and he maintained that the fact of pauper children in some cases getting their fees in an indirect manner paid out of the rates was not an adequate reason for opposing this Bill, and he believed that it would so much improve the educational position of the country that he should give his vote for the second reading. The real objection which he had to the Bill was that the Government did not take the advice of the right hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. John Bright), who said that the real solution of the 25th clause was that they should call upon the voluntary schools to admit gratuitously children too poor to pay fees. This was no great demand to make, either in a pecuniary or a sentimental point of view, for the amount was now only £5,000 a-year, and these schools were largely aided from the Consolidated Fund as regarded building grants, masters' education and salaries, and capitation grants. It was therefore no unreasonable appeal to them to take these children without payment. If, however, they insisted on payment from the rates, and if the Government permanently sanctioned a principle which was originally an oversight, he did not wish to oppose the extension to a class especially needing it on account of a very small additional sum being charged on the rates. The Government, moreover, had so far deferred to the opponents of the 25th clause as to abandon the proposed transfer of the charge to the Poor Law Guardians, which would have been a perpetuation of the system they objected to. After carefully examining the Bill he had come to the conclusion that it was an authoritative declaration of policy on the part of the Government that they were prepared to recommend compulsory education to the House, but that owing to particular causes early in the Session the House retraced its steps and the Session came to an end without the great boon of compulsory education. It had been said that compulsory education had not been introduced because it would not satisfy the Nonconformists. Now, if too little attention was paid to them in 1871, he thought too much attention had been paid to them in 1873. He was glad that, as stated by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. E. Forster), 9,000,000 of the people were now under compulsory by-laws, which at Bolton in six months raised the school attendance from 6,000 to 8,000; but he feared that the shrinking of the Government would weaken the hands of local boards in applying compulsion, and he was sorry the right hon. Gentleman had not been allowed to finish his work in his own way. He believed the Nonconformists would have approved the adoption of compulsion. Although he gave great credit to the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon), and the organization with which he was connected, he could not refrain from voting for the second reading of a Bill of which there was so much to approve and so little to complain.

I hope the House will permit me to state in very few words the course I intend to adopt on this Motion. The provision intended by the Bill is for the education of children who need education most, because the children of actual paupers are provided for in the union workhouse schools, of which the masters are paid out of the grant for education, while it is to be hoped that the children of the labouring classes are gradually being collected into the other schools, whether they be board schools, or whether they be voluntary schools. Therefore, I admit the force of the right hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Forster's) appeal in favour of the children, who come under neither branch of this category. But I feel also the great weight that ought to attach to the reasons which have been assigned in favour of the Amendment. Manifestly, this is a proposal to increase the burden upon the rates, and it is a proposal which, in that respect, is diametrically opposed to the assurance given to the House by the Government, and diametrically opposed to the decision of this House itself with regard to local taxation. The hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes) stated the case against this measure as involving an increase of local taxation, with the knowledge and with the power that he always displays upon this subject. But the hon. Baronet did not cover in his speech one portion of his original proposition as embodied in his Motion against the increase of local taxation— taxation, that is, levied on one description of property only. His original position was this—His Motion recommended the Government to avoid increasing the burden of local taxation by rating—in this manner—by adopting as a charge upon the Exchequer those expenses which are national—expenses required for objects the provision of which are already under Governmental inspection and control. I adhere to the whole of the original proposition of the hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon in this matter—the proposition which had the sanction of a majority of 100 in this House. I do not object to your providing for the education of the children of those who are obliged to apply for out-door parochial relief; but then I say, out of the Imperial revenue compensate the schools and compensate the ratepayers whether the schools be Board schools, or whether they be Denominational schools, to which these children are to be sent—for the burden you are about to cast upon them. You provide out of the Imperial Exchequer the salaries of the masters for the union schools; and I say to the Government that I will vote for your Bill, if you will undertake out of the Imperial revenue to provide an equivalent for the burden which you propose by this Bill to cast upon the rates, otherwise I shall vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens.)

said, he did not think the Government had ever promised that education or sanitary reform should await the complete remodelling of local taxation; and hon. Members opposite seemed to be mistaken in thinking that there was any pledge that there should be no measure brought in which would increase rates until the whole system of local taxation had been revised. He had heard with deep regret the cold-blooded speeches of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens), and the hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes)—no one who had not taxation on the brain would sympathize with their arguments. There were 200,000 poor little children to be educated, and unless they were to go back and to undo what they had decided on in 1870, they must find the means of educating these children, and of compelling their attendance at school. This was the whole scope of the Bill. Was he to re-argue the question whether ignorance was the fruitful mother of crime, and the cause of three-fourths of local rates? He had deemed it an admitted axiom that education was the best means of reducing the taxation attendant on ignorance and vice. The sole idea of the hon. Member for South Devon appeared to be that the local rates should not be raised. The hon. Baronet said that education and pauperism should not be associated; but, unfortunately, ignorance and pauperism had been always associated. The hon. Member (Mr. Torrens) ought to have met the question in a manly way by moving that the Bill be read a second time that day three months, and not by moving the Previous Question to catch a few stray votes on that side. His (Mr. Melly's) argument was that the children of persons who were actually in receipt of relief should be sent to school. The hon. Member warned them against tampering with the portion of the people who were on the edge of pauperism. But the Bill only dealt with persons actually in receipt of out-door relief. It made that relief conditional upon the school attendance of the children, and compelled the Guardians to pay 10 farthings a-week for 10 attendances at school. They had heard of the pockets of the ratepayers, of the consciences of religious people, and of the rights of the poor parents; had these poor little children no claim for consideration? They were many of them orphans under the care of very poor relatives, children of widows earning so bare a livelihood that the Guardians were already obliged to supplement it. The most neglected and degraded of our children, through no fault of their own, left destitute alike of proper parental care and of all education facilities, condemned to a life commencing in the lanes and gutters, ending too often in a police cell or gaol, had also rights. He attached more importance to their right to a week's schooling at 2½d., than to the outcry of the hon. Members opposite about local rates; and the division would show that the representatives of large constituencies on both sides of the House had small sympathy with the nightmare of municipal taxation, when compared with the claim of these 200,000 little ones to a chance of escaping through the school-room from an idle and vagrant life. The hon. Member, of course, assorted that the Bill was unworkable. He (Mr. Melly) was once a Guardian of the poor in Liverpool, and Denison's Act, now sought to be extended, had been worked most usefully in that large parish. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens) said, the remedy was like laudanum or strychnine, and could only be administered in small quantities to extreme cases. It was regularly administered every week, and proved a healthy and invigorating beverage, popular with everyone. Every Monday the Guardians, before giving relief in money and bread, required a card showing the school attendance of the children of the family they were relieving. The hon. Member for Liverpool would show in detail that in Liverpool Denison's Act had worked very beneficially. The class in question there were chiefly the children of widows, whose absence from school was due to carelessness, and it was in many cases easily enforced by making a certificate of school attendance a condition of relief. Paupers, of course, preferred out-door to in-door relief, and the former might all fairly be made subject to this condition. If they received in-door relief, the children would attend the workhouse school without question under existing Acts; if they had any relief at all, it would be inconsistent not to insist upon the terms of the Bill. The hon. Member for Finsbury, asserting the right of a pauper to refuse to educate his child, though a free education was offered him, said—

"The law of England was that every man had a right to food and shelter; but now it was proposed to make relief conditional upon the children of the person relieved being sent to school."
And the hon. Baronet (Sir Massey Lopes) said—
"The House would not be justified in taking away from him the right to relief which the Act of Elizabeth gave him."
The Act of Elizabeth gave no right to in-door relief. If the condition be refused, make the pauper come into the house, send his children to the workhouse school, and let him go to the stone yard. The difficulty was purely chimerical. The unfortunate parents who were compelled to ask for parish relief would glady send their children to school. Again, the hon. Member was badly informed when he said, "the 'dandy rich parishes' of London would escape the rates, and the poor of the East End would have to pay still heavier rates." He must know that under existing Acts in the metropolis the charge would fall equally on Belgravia and Bethnal Green, and he believed the whole expense spread over all the unions of England would not exceed £120,000. It was well worth while for Parliament to pay 15s. and the Guardians 8s. 6d. per annum to take a child out of the gutter and educate him at a board or denominational voluntary school, where he would mix with other children of a better class. Moreover, it was much better both for such child and for the country that their parents should keep up a home, no matter how poor, than that they should be brought up in the workhouse, in the atmosphere of confirmed pauperism, of which it had been well said, "once a pauper, always a pauper" In comparison with the benefit to the children, the arguments as to the expense had no weight with him, but the hon. Baronet's calculations were most erroneous. Forty weeks' schooling at 2½d.—[Mr. GLADSTOE: The maximum.]—as his right Friend said at the maximum, the charge was 8s. 4d. a-year, which would come on the rates. It could hardly be hoped that more than 150,000 of the 200,000 would be got into school, so the unions would not have to pay a sum of more than £70,000 or £80,000, and the Consolidated Fund would find £100,000 more. [Mr. TORRENS: Clothes?] The hon. Member said they must be properly clothed before they could be sent to school; but under the often-quoted Act of Elizabeth, the Guardians were compelled to feed, lodge, and clothe their poor children. He wished they did it more efficiently; any way, the clothes would have fairer wear and tear in morning and afternoon school than all day amid the ditches or gutters. The Bill would in the end diminish the rates, and as to the expense which was likely to be immediately cast upon them, it seemed to him that so far from being anything like £480,000 a-year, it would not exceed .-£100,000, or £120,000 a-year at the most. He hoped that the House would not be led away by the miserable cry about the increase of local taxation. He could not believe that hon. Members opposite would take such an inconsistent course. Were the speeches of 1868 and of 1870 forgotten? Was it necessary to allude in this House to the benefits of factory legislation? Hon. Members opposite then insisted that even when a child was learning the lessons of order, obedience, and industry in its daily work, it should go to school; would they that night insist that 200,000 pauper children, now learning the lessons of idleness and pilfering, should grow up in the lanes and streets with no other knowledge. The hon. Members opposite in no degree represented the feelings of the ratepayers in their exaggerated dread of taxation. He (Mr. Melly) was sent there by 20,000 working men—not to save their money unwisely, but to spend it well. He cared not whose religious prejudices he might offend, or oven if for a moment he separated himself from some of his friends. This Bill opened the hope of educating 200,000 little neglected children, and on that ground alone would have his earnest support, even at an increased cost to ratepayers already overburdened. For if money judiciously expended in sanitary improvements was wisely invested if it ensured health—the most valued possession in this world—how much more wisely might they invest their money in the education of these little children, for it would not only render their lives on earth more useful and happy, but would conduce to their eternal welfare.

said, the Bill left untouched the right of a parent to choose the school to which his children should be sent. Therefore, hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House had gained a great point, and ought to support Her Majesty's Government as far as they consistently could. Although he admitted that the local taxation question was of vast importance, the hobby might sometimes be ridden a little too hard, as in his opinion it had been on the present occasion, when they were about to obtain education for 200,000 pauper children at the smallest expenditure. At all events, he should not be deterred by that cry from recording his vote in favour of the Bill. Nevertheless, he was much disappointed at some of its omissions, and there were two points to which he particularly desired to draw attention. The first had reference to sanctioning the erection of unnecessary schools, and the consequent raising of loans in order to defray the cost of the building. He had been requested to mention publicly what had occurred at Keyworth, in Nottinghamshire, a parish which, in 1871, had a population of 749 persons. There was school accommodation for 133 children with a proper proportion of space, and the school had been pronounced efficient and suitable by two Inspectors, and this had been acknowledged to be so by the Education Department. There was, however, a school board at Keyworth, the members of which resolved, by a majority of 3 to 2, to apply to his right hon. Friend for the sanction of his Department to build another school in the parish for 241 children, and for power to borrow money for the erection of the school. Thus provision would be made for the education of 374 children out of a population of 749. He was sorry to say that the Education Department sanctioned the application of the school board for this unnecessary school; but they declined to recommend the Public Works Commissioners to grant a loan, although they consented to the raising of the necessary money on the security of the rates. It appeared that, although the Education Department acknowledged that they could not divest themselves of the ultimate responsibility in every case of deciding as to the sufficiency of accommodation, they said they were advised that they had no power to prevent a board from providing such additional accommodation as might, in the opinion of the Board, be necessary. Now, if the Education Department had no power to forbid the raising of money on the security of the rates, for building schools which were wholly unnecessary, that was a state of things which required amendment, because the proceeding was against the spirit and intention of the Act of 1870. Such an application as he had alluded to could only have been made for the purpose of killing by inches the existing voluntary school. If it were intended that the school board system should supplant the voluntary system, the fact ought to be openly avowed instead of the result being brought about by a side wind. The intention of that Act was that the two systems should go on together pari passu, and if it had not been so it would never have received the assent of the House. Another grievance was that when once an application for the establishment of a hoard school was rejected it was in the power of a certain small number of persons who signed a Petition to re-open the question every 12 months. And such an occurrence was not only possible, but had actually taken place. In the division of the county he represented there existed a parish where, in the face of an excellent school, efficient in all respects, a noisy minority, led on by a few political agitators, had already, in two successive years, subjected the inhabitants to all the evils and expense of a contest, and were now, for the third time, demanding a poll in the hope of worrying the ratepayers into the establishment of a school board; and, though every year defeated by increasing majorities, there was nothing to prevent them from an annual repetition of such conduct. That might be viewed as a means of driving those who supported voluntary schools to the abandonment of those schools. If that was the meaning of it they should state so honestly and in the face of day; if not, the power given to a minority to revive the controversy should be limited to a certain number of times. He hoped that the Government would give their earnest attention to these points.

said, that while under no circumstances could he have voted for the Amendment, he was glad, after hearing the clear and candid statement of his hon. Friend, to reverse the decision he had arrived at to vote against the Bill of the Government, and to support that measure in its amended shape in the interests of national education. He thought the House was in danger of losing sight of the real objects of the Bill in a discussion wandering widely from the real mark. He was in a position to say that its provisions were most valuable, and though the Bill might be called a small one, it was most important. Many of the clauses had been framed specially to meet the views of school boards, whose suggestions had received the fullest consideration by the Department. It had been said that the Bill was unnecessary; but it was essential to provide for the coming elections, as was done in Clauses 5 to 9. Then Clauses 22 to 24 had reference to legal proceedings; and great facilities were afforded to work out a system which would make compulsion possible, without the hateful pressure of coercion. This question of irregular attendance was, after all, of the utmost moment, as would be seen when he reminded the House that in London alone 64,559 children were absent from school, and 46 per cent of them without reasonable excuse. Now, under the bye-laws of the London Board, 117 visitors were constantly employed—first having ascertained the number of children by house-to-house visitation—in enforcing attendance at some efficient school. If the first notice was disregarded, a summons was issued; the parent met a local committee; and at this point so strong had been the moral suasion, that 60,000 children had been drawn into schools within two years and a-half; and as the visitors were forbidden to direct the parent where to send the child, the fullest choice had been secured, with this result—that 44,400 children had selected existing voluntary schools, and 15,600 the temporary schools of the Board. It was not suprising when a child was earning wages that the parent should shelter himself under any pretext for not sending his child to school; and it was most difficult for the Board to prove the age of a child before a magistrate. This Bill placed the onus of proof upon the parent instead of the visitor; and the school register was to be taken as evidence of non-attendance in place of the teacher, who could not leave his work to attend a Court of Justice. These two provisions, he contended, would greatly aid school boards, and make the duty of the magistrate more easy; and it must never be forgotten that it was one thing to pass a compulsory clause, and another to work it. The object here was to facilitate its operation. The hon. Member then having adverted to Clause 11 and the borrowing power of school boards, referred to the Industrial Schools Act and the Amendment proposed to be made in it. The School Board had inquired into 1,803 cases of children found on the highways and under the arches of our railways. In the quarter ending June 24, 1873, of 312 inquired into, 53 had been warned and restored to parents from whom they had wandered; 7 were sent to their parishes; 7 to reformatories; 264 were brought before magistrates; 173 were sent to certified industrial schools; 50, under Section 16 of the Act, were taken, having been declared by the parent to be uncontrollable. This latter class were taken at great cost, and the ten- dency of the parent, he regretted to say, was too frequently to plead this inability to control. The School Board for London had proposed that the father should be made to contribute to this cost a sum of not less than 2s. weekly. The chief interest of the debate, however, centred in the 3rd clause; and, objectionable as Clause 25 in the Act was, he had at once felt that the proposal to force the indigent poor upon the rates was more objectionable still and must be strenuously resisted. The abandonment of that portion of the clause put an end to discussion, and it at once removed his chief objection to the measure. Clause 3 had reference to the expenses of education. Now, it was known to the Committee that the school boards had power to charge a fee and to remit such fee to poor children, or to pay for them the fee of any other efficient school selected by the parent. Now, there were at present 574,693 children in London between 3 and 13 requiring elementary instruction. 216,822 of these were on the rolls of efficient schools; 65,204 were in inefficient schools; and 82,692 were not in any school. In course of time No. 2 would be absorbed by No. 1, since all schools must make themselves efficient or close their doors, and No. 3 would be left to be dealt with. This 82,692 consisted of—(1.) Out-door pauper children; (2.) Children of indigent poor, not on the parish; and. (3.) Out-cast children, criminals and orphan children living with persons not legally responsible for their maintenance. For class No. 1 Denison's Act ought to provide, since the children of all paupers were under the charge of the Guardians, who, in London, exercise a wise discrimination as to their education. The London School Board put the case of the pauper children before the Local Government Board representing that, whereas 40,000 children might be educated under that Act, not more than 4,000 were at school. In consequence of that action the Local Government Board issued a Circular to the Guardians. He would not detain the House by reading more than a few passages.

"The Guardians were empowered to grant relief, so as to enable any poor person to provide education for his child."
It further urged
"that the Legislature intended that education should be provided by the ratepayers," and said, "that the Guardians should, upon each application for relief, ascertain whether the children of the applicant are being educated, and if not, the Guardians should afford the parent such relief as may enable him to comply with the law, which expressly contemplates that his children shall be educated."
And to prevent abuse the Circular went on to say—
"If any parent should abuse the confidence which the Guardians repose in him, in respect to the use of the money so provided, the Guardians have an immediate remedy in their hands by stopping or varying the form of relief."
Well, the reply of the Guardians was unfavourable, and they did object to employ their machinery for the purpose. But if this permissive power were made obligatory and limited to pauper children, their own peculiar charge, he (Mr. Reed) did not believe there would be any difficulty felt. The Guardians would soon see that they could thus prevent the construction of new machinery at great cost; they would not have to educate, but to see weekly the school certificate; and the charge would not be on the parish, as at present, but on the common fund. In fact, the school board must look to the Guardians. Their first duty was to require parents and Guardians to secure the education of their own children. The question was not an open one, and this was certain—that in school board schools the pauper child would have an education not inferior to any others who were sent there for instruction. Class No. 3 came under the Industrial Schools Act, which for their purposes needed fuller development, and No. 2 was under the operation of Clauses 25 and 17 of the Elementary Education Act 1870. He had never been in favour of Clause 25, and in the metropolis it was not needed. He was not now going to discuss the question, but he wished to tell the House his experience as to those classes who it was stated could never pay school fees. When the Bill of 1870 was before the House it was repeatedly affirmed that the children in ragged schools would all have to be paid for, under Clause 25 in voluntary schools. Now a large number of ragged schools had been transferred to the London School Board and probably 8,000 children formerly accustomed to pay nothing, had come under the fee system. Well, the parents liked the fee system, and with the exception of a very few, every child came with its penny on the Monday morning. The parent felt pleased to pay something, it was a good feeling to cherish that he was paying for the education of his boy, and though it took many pence to pay the whole cost of the child, it was a wholesome habit to get the parent to acknowledge his responsibility. The Board had at present 157 schools, and not one of them was a free school. The voluntary school fees usually ranged from 4d. to 6d. These fees were too high, but the class of children was meant to be select. The Board schools must take the poorest, and what was wanted was a low fee, an arrangement as to half time, and some outside help for food and clothing for children who were utterly poor and friendless. All this ought to be done without any appeal to the Guardians and so far as the children of the indigent poor were concerned their education must never be connected with pauper support. Let no parents or children be forced to the workhouse door, they would go for clothes if they went for school pence, and once familiarized with the receipt of relief, the area of pauperism would be indefinitely widened. On the whole he gave his support to the Bill on the second reading.

said, he should be sorry to allow this discussion to pass off without expressing his reasons for giving the measure his hearty support. He thought those who were objecting to the Bill were taking a course which was opposed to the cause which they advocated. The Bill itself had many useful provisions besides the 3rd. clause, which had been made the principal subject of debate. It was, in fact, a collection of various useful Amendments of the Act of 1870. Although he was no friend of the principle of the ballot, he nevertheless confessed he saw some advantage likely to accrue from it in the elections of members of school boards. The clause extending the period of loans he viewed with considerable satisfaction. He also highly approved of the provision for enabling school boards to form unions of districts. He was much surprised to hear objections raised to the clause enabling school boards to receive gifts, and to find that they had sufficient weight with the right hon. Gentleman to induce him to modify such a clause. The objections raised to the 13th clause rested, he thought, on a very refined and unpractical sentiment. The sole remaining object of the 3rd clause of the Bill was to make Denison's Act more operative and compulsory, and to bring it to bear on what were called half-timers. He was astonished at the opposition to that clause. Denison's Act had been universally approved. The only complaint he had heard in respect of it was that it had been too little carried out. It appeared to him somewhat short-sighted, when they were trying to solve the difficult problem of compulsory education, that it should be considered a sufficient objection raised to the measure that it might increase the charge on local rates. It was in the very interest of removing the partial incidence of rates upon one species of property that he gave his support to the present Bill. The arguments of the hon. Gentleman who moved the "Previous Question" would go much further than he intended, for they would be equally applicable to a proposition for throwing poor rates and all educational rates upon the national fund. Of all the charges and burdens placed upon the rates, it appeared to him that this charge for the education of dependent poor children was the most justifiable, inasmuch as it ultimately became remunerative to the very rates first burdened. He looked upon this expenditure in the light of a profitable investment. The objection made to it was like that of the most benighted farmers, who thought avoiding all expenditure the way to get rich. Whilst expressing his gratification at the abandonment of the second part of the 3rd clause—namely, the transfer of the payment of school fees for pauper children from the school boards to the Guardians—he must frankly say he objected to the creation of a semi-pauper class that was involved in the abandoned paragraph, and in several of their recent enactments. That he thought a wrong principle to go upon. He took it that a man who received support out of the pockets of others for any of the necessaries of life—shelter, food, or education of his children—was a pauper. But he hoped that this Bill, as well as all measures for the education of the poor, would rather be calculated to elevate them from paupers to independence and self-reliance, There should be no connection between the workhouse and the national school. He hoped that the industrial and reformatory schools would become an organized part of the national education of this country. There was a lingering heresy which still kept them, mixed up as they wore, connected with two other departments, and neither with the department they properly belonged to. The right hon. Gentleman had wanted, by the dropt clause, to propitiate the League, but had failed in doing so; and he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would perceive now, if he had not done so before, that it was a hopeless task to attempt to conciliate those who were determined never to be satisfied; but with a sacrifice of more than he would give up—namely, to get schools away from the religious bodies who had hitherto made and supported them. Moreover, in his view, it was not worth while to attempt to satisfy the demands of a clique who were daily losing ground in public estimation. The Bill, as altered, might not do much, but what it did was likely to prove useful; and if it failed to carry out the first intention of its authors he was sorry, but he thought they should not lose the Bill on that account.

said, that owing to the alteration which had been made in the Bill in the course of the evening, it was impossible to pronounce at once a decided opinion as to what was likely to be its effect. He might, however, observe that he did not share in the objection urged by those who contended that an amending Bill ought not to be introduced before the original measure had practically come into full operation. The Bill of 1870 made a great change in our educational system, and it was only natural that it should require early amendment. But then ample time should be given to consider the Amendments proposed, while as to the proposal under discussion, his view was that it was not sufficient for the purpose intended, although it might be good so far as it went. He should be glad, therefore, if the right hon. Gentleman would withdraw the Bill altogether, and be satisfied with merely passing through the House one of a departmental character this Session. The main objection to the Bill, however, was raised from the position of the ratepayer, on whom it was said that it would lay large additional burdens. There was no doubt that of late years there had been growing up in connection with education a great expenditure which was not open to public criticism, or to discussion in that House, and with respect to which the ratepayer was absolutely helpless. That expenditure was imposed on him by the sole and irresponsible will of a great Department; and it was an expenditure which, according to recent accounts, reached no less a sum than £325,000, of which £28,000 was spent in elections, £64,000 in the administration of school boards, while a sum of £62,000 came under the head of other expenses for which no explanation had yet been offered. And it should be borne in mind that the case was one in which there was, practically, no appeal; for that which was called an appeal in the Act of 1870 was a pure delusion. The Department, if a certain number of the inhabitants of a locality complained that the claims made upon them were too heavy, might send down an officer to report on the matter; but it decided on the report without any control being given over its decision. There was an instance occurring in his own borough—Stafford—to which he would advert by way of illustrating his argument, and because he might not have another opportunity of entering a protest with respect to it. The school board in the borough of which he was a Member had succeeded in reconciling all parties, and had done their work efficiently. They had recently had a demand from the Education Department to build schools for the accommodation of 1,052 children; but at the same time, upon making inquiries, they found that they had in the existing schools vacancies for 402 children. The Department said it was necessary to supply school accommodation in the elementary schools for one-sixth of the population; but that was mere theory. A gentleman who had been long engaged in the practical business of education stated that, after an experience of many years, he had never succeeded in getting into his schools more than one-twelfth of the population. For his own part, he believed that one-tenth was much nearer the figure, and if that wore the case what was the use of building school accommodation for one-sixth? Moreover, their own Inspector, an active and respected officer, stated his belief to be that the greatest number of children who were not in the schools, and who ought to be in them, was only 12. When these figures were made public, as they must be, their effect would be to make the people say they would pay no rates. In the evidence given by the Secretary of the London School Board, before a Committee of the other House, that gentleman said, taking round numbers, that there were 100,000 vacancies in the schools of the metropolis. The Department required the school board to provide accommodation for 200,000 children, and the calculations of the Secretary himself made out that it was necessary to build schools for 100,000 children, and that this would cost £1,100,000. The Department required that there should be new schools built in London for 200,000 children, at an expense of £2,200,000 on the rates, when there were actual vacancies in the schools for nearly 100,000 children. During the last 20 or 30 years under the old system, which had been more successful than it received credit for being, they had been dealing with the best class of workmen and peasants, who were, more or less, willing to send their children to school. Now, however, they were coming to the lower strata, and rightly so, because it was worth any trouble and expense to get them into their schools; but they would be dealing with a class more scattered, more shifting in their habits, more difficult to get at, and often hating instruction and religion. Were they to proceed upon theories and figures which practical men did not support, and to make the people pay for the building, at an enormous cost, of schools which would never be filled? The Secretary of the London School Board, in a light and airy way, said he only went for new accommodation for 100,000 children, which would only cost £1,100,000, or a halfpenny in the pound, for 50 years. So that the property of two generations was to be mortgaged to build schools that would never be filled. If the people were to be forced to expend money needlessly in that way, the effect would be that the cause of education instead of being promoted would be thrown back 40 or 50 years. He had felt great hesitation as to how he should vote on that Bill. He had come down to the House with the intention of voting for the second reading; but he found that the Bill had been thrown into a new shape, so different from what it was at first, and so uncertain in its results, that he thought the best course was delay, and the only way to achieve delay would be by voting against the Bill. No Notice had been given of this change which the measure had just undergone, and he had had no opportunity of communicating with his constituents to ascertain their feeling upon the subject. It was necessary that both the House and the country should have further time for reflection. He should give his vote against the Bill with extreme reluctance; but he should do so in the hope that if this measure was lost the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Forster) would introduce a purely Departmental Bill for the present Session, and leave the difficult and momentous questions which had arisen to be dealt with after more mature consideration had been given to them.

:* I cannot say that I feel any great interest in this Bill one way or the other. It seems to me a poor and peddling measure, and as an Amendment of the Education Act of 1870 utterly insufficient and unsatisfactory. I admit the Government was in great difficulty in any attempt they might make to amend the Act. But it was a difficulty of their own creating. In my opinion, that Act was built upon false lines from the beginning. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice President undertaking to construct a system of national education, chose—in the face of all entreaties and remonstrances addressed to him by those who were his fastest political friends, and who had hoped that he would have worthily represented their principles and feelings in the Councils of the Queen—to frame his whole measure in such a way as to make it not national but sectarian. Such a representation coming from me may be regarded with suspicion, because I am thought by some to be an extreme man on this question. But I will give you the opinion of one who is not open to that exception, a member of the Wesleyan Methodist body, who are not esteemed political Dissenters. The Rev. William Arthur—perhaps the most distinguished and influential minister of that powerful denomination—at the meeting of a special representative com- mittee appointed by Conference to consider this matter, which met in London in December last, thus described the measure of 1870—

"what with the remission of fees, with the subsidizing of the denominational schools, with the deferring of the time for stopping the building grants, and with the increase of 50 per cent, he (the right hon. Gentleman) held out such a stimulus as this country never had before for the moneyed people to rise and buy out of the hands of the Government the right to control, by education, the religion of the poor. I say that was a transaction that burnt a mark into the memory of honest men. Such a turn given to the Bill altogether altered the conditions of it, and constituted the denominational part of the Bill, the national system, attempting to make the national part of it, the supplement and the exception."
I have always regretted that the Prime Minister—who I believe has far sounder and broader views of what a system of national education should be than the Vice President of the Council, and whose regard for the interests of religion is certainly quite as much above suspicion as that of the right hon. Gentleman—did not with a firmer hand control his wilful and rebellious lieutenant. He would not then have witnessed what he now witnesses—the alienation of his friends and the exultation of his opponents. It was impossible not to be struck with the reception accorded to this Bill when it was introduced by the right hon. Gentleman three weeks ago. All the cheers with which it was greeted came from the other side of the House, and the shouts of exultant and derisive laughter with which the few words of disappointment as to the character of the measure, uttered by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) and myself were received from the same quarter, ought. I think, to have awakened some misgiving in the heart of the right hon. Gentleman. Not that I blame the hon. Gentlemen opposite in the least. They have the best right in the world to triumph. They have found in the ranks of the Liberal Government a more perfect instrument for their purposes than they could have found in their own. Nay, I will go further, and express my firm conviction that if the party opposite had been in office, and had taken in hand to frame a scheme of national education, we should have had from them a more fair, just, and liberal measure than has been given to us by the present Government. I think I have some good ground for this conviction. I have read a speech made by the Duke of Marlborough when he was at the head of the Education Department under the Government of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). And I was struck with this fact—that all the references made by the noble Duke to what is called the religious difficulty and the scruples of the Dissenters were most respectful and considerate, and he went so far as to say that if schools were ever supported out of the rates, they must be purely secular schools. I will give the House his own words. Describing various plans that had been suggested for meeting the educational wants of the country, he comes to "the plan of raising rates over limited areas and for local purposes." The noble Duke then proceeded—
"Here we are met with a very great difficulty in regard to what shall be the denomination of the schools. I see no conclusion, no escape out of the difficulty that would be created by such a plan, other than that of the schools being secular schools. That is the proposal made by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lowe), who has, I think, fairly viewed the difficulties of this position. He has seen that if von have schools supported by local rates, whether they be few or many, it would be exceedingly difficult to escape from the position that they must be secular schools. I do not think we are at present prepared to adopt a system of purely secular schools supported out of public rates"—[3 Hansard, cxci. 115.]
Besides which, I must say for hon. Gentlemen opposite, that so far as I know, they never asked for those portions of the Act which have given to the scheme its distinctly denominational character. Nobody asked for the extension of time for building grants. Nobody asked for the 25th clause. Nobody asked for the additional grants to denominational schools. Indeed, I remember the hon. Member for Berkshire (Mr. Walter) making an able speech on an Amendment I moved, objecting among other things to the proposed increase of grants to denominational schools, in which he stated that if there had been nothing else but that in my Amendment he would have supported it, and expressly on this among other grounds—that "nobody had, as far as he was aware, ever asked for an increase of the grant." All these clauses of the Act were gratuitous contributions of the right hon. Gentleman towards the extension and development of the denominational system. I am at a loss to conceive for what purpose the right hon. Gentleman introduced the proposal to transfer the payment of the fees of indigent children from the School Boards to the Board of Guardians. Whom did he hope to conciliate by such a proposal? In his speech on introducing the Bill, he referred to "many persons whose opinions the Government were bound to respect," and whose views they were most anxious to meet by this alteration. Who are those persons? Not the party opposite, whose Minister of Education he is, for I suppose they are perfectly satisfied with the 25th clause. Not the Nonconformists, for no sooner was the idea bruited six months ago than most explicit representations were made to the Government that such a mode of dealing with the question would be regarded by them rather as an aggravation than a relief of the grievance of which they complained. The change did not in the slightest degree touch the objection of principle raised by the Nonconformists. As it is expressed in some resolutions passed by a portion of the right hon. Gentleman's own constituents at Bradford—
"The objection of the friends of religious equality is not to a particular agency by which such an appropriation of public money is made, but to the principle of the payment of rates to denominational schools by any and every agency."
I need not dwell further on that since the right hon. Gentleman has been obliged to withdraw that part of his scheme because there was a general insurrection against it through the whole country. Now if the House will bear with me a little longer I should like to say a few words on another part of this question in which I feel a very deep interest, and in respect to which I am anxious to set myself right with the hon. Gentleman opposite and with the House generally. I mean the question of religious instruction in day-schools. I do not question the perfect sincerity of those who maintain that religious instruction should be given in day-schools. I believe many of them are prompted by the purest motives—by genuine anxiety for the moral and spiritual interests of the people of this country. But why should they not accord the same credit for sincerity and purity of motive to us who hold that religious instruction can- not without great injustice be given in schools supported out of public money? It is not a pleasant thing to make professions of regard for religion in this House. It may well appear ostentatious and offensive to many. But we are driven to it by the accusations brought against us out-of-doors by men of high position. Dukes and Marquesses and Bishops are continually charging us with trying to deprive the people of this country of religious education. Some time ago I received a paper at the head of which were the respectable names of the hon. Members for Halifax (Mr. Akroyd) and Manchester (Mr. Jacob Bright), in which all who do not agree with the Educational Union as to the way in which schools should be conducted are branded as "the enemies of religion." Sir, I repel the imputation. I am not an enemy of religion. On the contrary, it seems to me that, without religion, without the hopes it inspires, without the consolations it affords, without the prospects it opens out before us—
"Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more."
But there may be a difference of opinion as to when and by whom religion should be taught. Indeed, I cannot better set forth the views of what is called the secular party than in the words of one whose opinions, especially on the education question, will be heard with respect on all sides of the House—I mean the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington). Speaking in this House some years ago, the right hon. Baronet said:—
"It is not the object or intention of the secular party to deprive the children of England of religious education. I believe their object is quite the reverse. I believe that so far from that being the case, the gentlemen who are most prominent as the leaders of the secular party are as sincere and zealous, and as deeply impressed with the necessity of religious instruction, as those who profess to belong to the religious party. I believe that the difference between the religious and secular party is not so much a difference of principle as it is a difference of time and place. The most eminent members of the secular party, looking at the sacred nature of religious instruction, think that school is not the best place for imparting it, and that, above all, schoolmasters, speaking broadly and looking at the character of schoolmasters, are not the men to whom they could safely trust religious instruction. I cannot deny that there is force in this view, though I must confess my own opinions are on the other side."
I have to thank the right hon. Gentleman for this just and candid exposition of the sentiments of those who hold the views of the secular party. The principle for which you contend—that religious instruction should be given in State-aided and rate-aided schools, and that the conscience of the parent should be the test of what that religious instruction should be—is one, I maintain, altogether incapable of consistent and logical application. You cannot carry it out without inflicting gross and manifest injustice, and involving yourselves in endless and inextricable embarrassments. Look first at the injustice. What is the position of the State in this matter, or of any authority which the State may call into existence and empower to act on its behalf? I will answer in the language of the great literary organ of the party opposite—The Quarterly Review. In a singularly able and liberal article, which appeared in that periodical more than 20 years ago, when reviewing Dr. Hook's celebrated pamphlet, the writer says:—
"The State, according to the existing constitution of these realms, can make no exclusive grants from the public purse. Her Majesty is the Sovereign of her whole people, whatever their religious creed. Parliament represents alike the Churchman, the Roman Catholic, the Independent, the Unitarian. Revenue raised for purposes of education, whether from the Consolidated Fund or by local assessment, is paid alike by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the follower of Johanna Southcote. The State being absolutely precluded from all partial assignment of its funds for the benefit of one religious community in forming a plan of popular education, must take one of two courses; either it must exclude religion altogether, or it must find some neutral ground, some conciliatory plan on which the State teacher may inculcate certain points of religion without giving rational offence to any."
The writer then proceeds to say that all that can be done in schools for the nation is not to teach religion so much as to diffuse a certain religiousness of spirit through the school. Now, Sir, I look upon the passage I have just read as to the relation which the State bears to all classes of its subjects, as perfectly just, and as indicating clearly the wrong that is done by the appropriation of public money to the support of denominational teaching. But I go further, and say that you cannot apply your principle without doing dishonour to religion itself. You have a vast Empire, comprising all varieties of religious faiths. The time will come when you will have to care for the education of all these people. You have within your dominions millions of Mohammedans, of Hindoos, of Buddhists; and must you, in deference to the principle that the conscience of the parent must be consulted, teach all these faiths in schools supported at the public expense? If you did that, do you imagine you would be thereby honouring religion? You would, in effect, be putting in the mouth of a Christian State the memorable dictum of Gibbon that all religions are equally true to the vulgar, equally false to the philosopher, and equally useful to the State. But there is no necessity to go to the East for an illustration of the difficulty which besets your principle. You cannot, you do not carry it out in Ireland. During the discussions that took place on the University Education (Ireland) Bill there were some curious and edifying acknowledgments which some of us on this side of the House watched with great interest. The hon. and learned Member for Londonderry (Mr. C. E. Lewis) in his able maiden speech, told us that he had come fresh from contact with his constituents, and that the one charge they had impressed upon him was to protest against and resist denominational education. He appealed to us below the gangway to be faithful to the cause of undenominational education, in apparently perfect unconsciousness that the appeal should have been addressed, not to us, but to his Friends who sat behind him. But a much higher authority, as the hon. and learned Member for Derry will, I am sure, allow me to say, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. G. Hardy) stated in most explicit terms that we were obliged to deal with Ireland on the principles of secularism. Indeed, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the City of Oxford (Mr. Harcourt) said later in the discussion, he talked pure League for a quarter of an hour. It was very gratifying to me and to many others who greatly respect and honour the right hon. Gentleman, to find him thus beginning to come to his right mind on this subject. It is true he applied some unsavoury epithets to secular education. But that does not signify. Epithets are but words; but he lent the sanction of his name and authority to the principle. The case now stands thus: hon. Gentlemen opposite and some on this side of the House declared that religious instruction is with them a matter of principle. It is not all a question of expediency but conscience. To omit religious instruction from education is to them something dreadful—a wrong to the child, a violation of the conscience of the parent, and a dishonour to religion itself. Very well. But how comes it to pass that what is a solemn principle on one side of a narrow channel ceases to be a principle on the other side of the same narrow channel. No one will venture to say that it is right to have denominational education in this country, because the greater share of the teachng falls into the hands of the Church of England, and the Church of England teaches truth, and that it is wrong to have it in Ireland, because the greater share of the teaching falls into the hands of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church teaches error. That is the principle which forms the very basis of religious persecution, because it endows the State with the right and power to decide what is truth and what is error in religion, and to distribute its favours accordingly. Besides which it is not open to the Church of England to make that reply if it were so disposed, because in these days the teaching of the two Churches is to a large extent absolutely identical. Have not the two Archbishops just proclaimed that there is a considerable minority both of the clergy and laity who are desiring to suppress the principles of the Reformation, so that the very existence of our national institutions for the maintenance of religion is imperilled. What was it that wrecked the principal Government measure of this Session? Nothing but want of clearness, consistency, and courage on this subject of religious education in institutions supported by the State. The defeat of the University Education (Ireland) Bill was the Nemesis of the English Nonconformists. Why was it that our accomplished and adventurous pilot, who had guided the vessel with such consummate courage and skill through so many shoals and straits, on that occasion steered her on the rocks? Because he saw the Vice President of the Council, like a spectral apparition in the offing—brandishing in his face the English Education Act—for undoubtedly the denominational character given to the English Education Act had enormously aggravated the difficulty of the Government in dealing with Irish education. I have said that the course you have taken will involve you in great and constant embarrassments. The right hon. Gentleman has made the Committee of Council a sort of Supreme Court of Appeal to decide between contending religious sects, and they are already beginning to find out the perplexities in which that involves them. A case has lately occurred at Croydon. The school board in that town have prepared a sort of manual of devotion for the use of the school. In that manual they have inserted 11 collects from the Common Prayer Book. Some of the inhabitants have memorialized the Department on this subject, contending that in introducing these collects there has been a violation of the 14th clause of the Act which interdicts the teaching of formularies distinctive of any particular denomination. I have examined these collects, and there is nothing in any of them that I personally should object to use. But there are persons who strongly object to them, and others who regard their use as a manifest infraction of what is called the Cowper-Temple Clause. The appeal has, however, been made in vain and "my Lords" decline to interfere. But if the contents of the Prayer Book of the Church of England are not to be regarded as formularies distinctive of a particular denomination, will the right hon. Gentleman publish a Minute, defining for the guidance of school boards what is a "formulary distinctive of a particular denomination?" Then the Department has had another correspondence with the Rev. Dr. Rule on behalf of the committee of the Protestant Alliance in reference to the books used in Roman Catholic schools, and again "my Lords" have refused to do anything effectual. This is only a taste of the work that awaits them as a Court of Appeal. I believe the very difficulties in which you will become entangled, and from which there is no other escape, will ultimately drive you to the adoption of the principle for which we contend—that of united secular and separate religious instruction. And allow me to say that this principle is nothing new in the history of the educational legislation of this country. The Queen's Colleges established by Sir Robert Peel in 1845 were based distinctly and avowedly on that principle, and the Irish system of national education was originally intended to rest upon a similar basis. Nothing could be more explicit on this point than the declaration of Lord Stanley. In his first draft the plan of the Government was described as one of "combined literary and separate religious education, each department altogether to exclude the other." And the same statesman, speaking in this House in September, 1831, in introducing his measure said—
"The plan which he had in view would, for the future, afford the people of Ireland the advantages of a combined literary, and a separate religious education. Experience teaches, that endless controversy must arise from any attempt to give religious instruction to children of different religious persuasions."—[3 Hansard, vi. 1257.]
But I am told that the conscience of the parent must be respected. I confess I fail to see the grievance alleged in this matter. Here is a number of people who absolutely neglect the education of their children—allow them to grow up in ignorance and barbarism in the heart of civilization. The State said they should no longer be permitted to do this, but should be compelled to send their children to a school where they would receive instruction in the elements of useful knowledge. And I cannot see that such people have any hardship to complain of, because such wholesome and salutary instruction was not combined with the teaching of their own peculiar religious views. It was very much as if a parent who neglected to provide food for his children and left them to starve, and was offered a loaf of wholesome bread should object to receive it unless he were also supplied with a bottle of wine. And then the argument as to the conscience of the parent as put forward by the right hon. Gentleman was singularly one-sided. It is understood that the right hon. Gentleman is willing to apply compulsion without school board schools. What would be the result of that? There are hundreds, probably thousands, of parishes in this country in which there is only one school, and that a Church of England school. And what is to become of the conscience of the poor Methodist or Nonconformist in that case? It may be a school in which the children are taught that Dissenters are heretics and schismatics, that the Methodist chapel is the way which leads to perdition, that Dissenting ministers are Korahs, Dathans, and Abirams whom the earth, if it were at all properly alive to its duty, ought to swallow up alive—that "the sacraments as administered by Dissenters are blasphemous follies and dangerous deceits," and that "the phrase 'Protestant faith' indicates a ridiculous impossibility." These things are taught by hundreds of Anglican Churchmen in these days. But the right hon. Gentleman does not care what is to become of the conscience of the poor Methodist or Dissenter in that case. He may tell me that he has the protection of the Conscience Clause. The Conscience Clause is not worth the paper on which it is written, and the right hon. Gentleman knows this as well as I do. [Mr. W. E. FORSTER: No, no!] Well, but the right hon. Gentleman has been a strenuous advocate for the Ballot. Why? For this reason, among others—that he knows there are thousands of cases in which poor and dependent men have the franchise, but dare not exercise it freely without the protection of secret voting. And I say there are thousands of cases in which a poor man would not dare to avail himself of the Conscience Clause by withdrawing his child from the religious instruction. But I may be asked, if religious instruction is not given in day-schools, how is it to be provided for the children of the poor? I ask how has it been provided hitherto? Not by State machinery; but by the noble system of Sunday schools which cover this land. There were upwards of 3,000,000 of children at the present time in our Sunday schools. I have a strong conviction that the religious instruction given in day schools is, both as respects quantity and quality, of very little value. You must take the child out of the atmosphere of the day school and place him in the atmosphere of home, or of his church or chapel or Sunday school, if you want to impress his heart religiously. But I shall be reminded of the gutter children, who have no home and no church or chapel to which they go, and I shall be asked what is to become of them. I answer again by saying that, whatever has been done for this class in past times has been done, not by State schools, but by the voluntary exertions of devoted men and women who have been moved by the impulses of Christian compassion. I remember a speech made by the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon), when the Elementary Education Act was before the House—one of the most beautiful speeches I have heard in this House—in which he adverted to this subject, and said—
"The teachers for the poor free schools were not obtained by money. They had in London 30,000 children in the free ragged schools, and 15,000 in the evening schools. There were 400 paid teachers, and, in addition—a noble army—3,300 unpaid teachers. What were the ties Created in these schools? The unpaid teachers comprised in their ranks young men and women from shops, ladies, lawyers, doctors, tradesmen, and merchants—men also from that more gorgeous gilded chamber across their own lobby, and others in various positions in life, who worked together year after year in that gallant host. What he mentioned of the metropolis was only an example of what they all knew was going on in the other large populations of the laud."—[3 Hansard, ccii. 838.]
I observe with regret the disposition there exists to lean upon State mechanism instead of this living power. Sir, three of our most distinguished statesmen—the Marquess of Salisbury, the Prime Minister, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli)—have recently alluded to the dangers which they think assail our common faith from the encroachments of a subtle philosophical infidelity which menaces the very foundations not only of Christianity, but of all religious beliefs, which ought to induce all parties to close their ranks in order to present a close and united from to a common foe. It is a remarkable, and, I must say, to me, a gratifying fact, to find such men occupying themselves with such thoughts. I do not much share their apprehensions, for I can remember instances before in the past history of Christianity in which so-called philosophers had put forth very loud pretensions as if they were going to extinguish all religious faith. It was so at the beginning of the last century, when Bishop Butler stated in the preface to his "Analogy" that it had come to be taken for granted by many persons that Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry, but that it is now at length discovered to be fictitious. But I must say that if Christianity is to hold its own, it will not be by becoming a Department of State, not by being taken under the patronage of the Committee of Council. If the time should come when the Christianity of our country should hang its arms in faithless and impotent despondency in presence of those evils of society with which it is its duty to cope; if it shrinks from providing religious instruction for the ignorant children growing up in our midst, and throws the responsibility on the State, then, indeed, we shall be in an evil case. But I do not believe anything of the kind. If the Government were to say—"We can't give religious instruction; it is not within our province or competency to do so, we will give the children of the people what we can give, without trespassing on any man's rights or violating any man's conscience, the elements of a wholesome and useful secular education, and we throw upon the Churches that represent the Christianity of our land—the duty and responsibility of teaching religion"—if this were done, I believe that the Churches would rise to the occasion, that they would go forth in hallowed emulation to do the work given them to do, and take care that we should have not only an instructed, but a religious and Christian population.

said, that he desired to remove the debate from the atmosphere of religious polemics, in which it had become involved, and to direct attention to the drier subject of the proposals actually contained in the Bill of the Government. Not much more than a year ago a Resolution, supported by Her Majesty's Government was agreed to by a large majority, to the effect that—

"The time which has elapsed since the passing of the Elementary Education Act of 1870, and the progress which has been made in the arrangements under it, are not such as to enable this House to enter with advantage upon a review of its provisions."—[3 Hansard, ccix. 1438.]
It was with much surprise, therefore, that hardly a year after the passing of that Resolution, he heard the Vice President of the Council state it was his intention to introduce a Bill for the amendment of the Act. It was with greater surprise that he some weeks ago, heard the right hon. Gentleman, in explaining the provisions of the Bill, recommend for adoption proposals which could not possibly satisfy the only persons who pressed for an alteration of the law. But it was with still greater astonishment that he heard the right hon. Gentleman that evening announce his intention to withdraw from the Bill that one proposal which commanded more assent than anything else contained in the measure. There was no doubt that Boards of Guardians had the best means of ascertaining the condition of those parents who applied for relief, whether that relief was required in order to feed their children, or in order to educate them. But he must say that, on the whole, the objections to the removal of the payment of the school fees from the school boards to the Boards of Guardians preponderated; for it was most dangerous to extend the power of Guardians to grant relief from the rates to persons who, though receiving relief, were not legally paupers. He could quite understand that the right hon. Gentleman, wearied of religious disputes, was ready enough to hand them over to the President of the Local Government Board, who being a secularist in education, would look on these disputes with passive equanimity. The law sanctioned the principle that a parent was bound to provide sufficient food for his child, and therefore where he did not possess the means himself it gave him the means. Now, in certain parts of the country the by-laws of the school boards laid clown the principle that persons should provide education for their children, precisely in the same way that the law said parents should provide food for them. Those persons, therefore, who required public assistance in order to perform either of these duties should be treated alike, as paupers; but the right hon. Gentleman had not the courage to propose this; and, therefore, he was glad that the proposals with reference to non-pauper children were to be withdrawn from the Bill. The main proposals that still remained were to make secret voting the system for the election of school boards throughout the country, and to make Denison's Act compulsory. Now, as to the first, he failed to see why the ballot should be adopted in the election of school boards in those parishes which were not in the metropolis, or in boroughs, and where it would operate as an unique mode of election for local purposes. The ballot had been agreed to in the case of Parliamentary and Municipal elections chiefly with the view to put an end to corruption and intimidation; but no charge of corruption or intimidation had, so far as he was aware, been made against the election of any school board; and, as to rioting, the only instance in which it had occurred was, he believed, at Lambeth, where, unfortunately, the election was taken by ballot. He hoped, therefore, to hear from the Government some defence of their proposal on that head, and if the House assented to it, that its operation would be limited to the same period as the ballot in the case of municipal and Parliamentary elections, so that the whole of this unfortunate system of secret voting might expire at the same time. As to the proposal to make Denison's Act compulsory, the right hon. Gentleman said that the Guardians had not petitioned against it. He had himself, however, presented Petitions from many Boards of Guardians in his own county, and in more than one of those Petitions he found it stated that the Petitioners learnt with regret that the measure would impose a new charge on the poor rate for the education of outdoor pauper children, and they reviewed with alarm the increase of out-door relief which the measure would necessitate. So far the Boards of Guardians were not in favour of making Denison's Act compulsory, and he did not wonder at it, for now that the matter was left to their own discretion they did not adopt it in half the cases throughout the country. Indeed, the total payment of fees for the children of out-door paupers under that Act was, as the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens) had stated, almost infinitesimal. It was quite easy to understand why the Guardians objected to make the Act compulsory. It would, in the first place, take away the discretion which they possessed under the present law, and it would, in the second place, introduce the principle of compulsory education into parts of the country where it was at present unknown, and throw a burden for the education of children upon the rates without the consent of the local authorities in places which, owing to voluntary action, had hitherto been entirely free from any such charge. He hoped, therefore, the House would not be led away by philanthropy from giving due consideration to the important alterations now proposed. He wished, he might add, to ask hon. Members to look upon the question not so much from an educational as from a Poor Law point of view. For his own part, he hardly thought it possible to make any more objectionable change in the administration of the Poor Law than would be effected by the passing of such a clause as one of those contained in the Bill. One section of Denison's Act distinctly provided that it should not be made a condition of out-door relief that a child should be sent to school; but the right hon. Gentleman proposed to repeal that part of the Act, and thus to place our Poor Law system upon a totally wrong basis. What was the reason for a grant of relief to a pauper? Destitution. No man had a claim to relief unless he was destitute. Whether he should receive in-door or out-door relief did not depend upon whether a child was at school, but upon the condition of the family as to Sickness, ability to work, and other similar points which had been very carefully defined by the Poor Law Board. The giving of relief might as well depend on the ability of a child to write a copy of Greek verses, or pass a Civil service examination as upon his going to school. The simple question was, the wants of the applicant. The right hon. Gentleman cited the following passage from the Report of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission on Education:—
"37. That in the case of out-door paupers, the Guardians be obliged to make the education of the child a condition of the out-door relief of the parents, and to pay the necessary school fees out of the rates."
But he had hardy noticed the important fact, that a Committee of that House, approaching the question from the Poor Law side, had arrived at an exactly opposite conclusion; though that Committee was certainly one of the ablest which had ever considered the question of Poor Law Relief. It sat for three or four years. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolver-hampton, (Mr. C. P. Villiers) was its Chairman, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie), as well as the Marquess of Salisbury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, were Members of it. They pointed out in their Report that all the witnesses concurred in the opinion that to make the provisions of Denison's Act compulsory would be impracticable, and that such a proposal would be contrary to the principles on which the Poor Law- was based. The conclusion arrived at by such a Committee would carry greater weight than any arguments he could urge. He wished, however, to direct attention to the terms of the prohibitory Order of the Poor Law Board, which was enforced throughout the greater part of the country, and which specified the conditions upon which alone out-door relief could be granted. Among these conditions were sudden and urgent necessity, sickness or infirmity of the applicant or some member of his family, and the burial of the pauper or one of his family. In such cases it would be impossible to make the grant of outdoor relief dependent on whether the children were sent to school or not. But in those cases in which it might be possible, if Parliament made the grant of out-door relief dependent on that fact it would be imposing compulsory education on the poorest class of the community, under a penalty far more severe than it would dare to inflict on any class above them. On this account alone he should feel bound to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens.) Again, in reference to the expense of the ratepayers, not only would the school fees have to be paid, but in many instances parents would require additional relief in place of the wages which their children might have earned had they not been in compulsory attendance at school. Therefore, we had no real test of the amount of the pecuniary burden the right hon. Gentleman proposed to cast upon the ratepayers. But what was the object of passing the Bill now before the House? Did anyone want it? If, as the right hon. Gentleman stated, certain departmental matters required legislation, he ought to have brought forward a departmental Bill, which might have been carried without opposition; but the right hon. Gentleman wished to go beyond that, and alleged that if the present Bill was not passed school boards would drop throughout the country. Well, school boards might be a necessity in the metropolis, and in some of our largest towns; but, in other places, he did not know whether that would be a very great evil after all. He was unable to perceive, however, how such a consequence could ensue. Again, the right hon. Gentleman said the measure was required in order to increase the regularity of attendances; but he himself admitted that even in the absence of such a measure the attendances had increased from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 since the introduction of the Act of 1870. It was said out-of-doors that hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House ought not to oppose the Bill because the Members for Birmingham and Merthyr disapproved it. Now, nobody could be more opposed than he was to the views of the Birmingham Education League, but there were principles so objectionable that both the hon. Gentlemen opposite and himself might unite in opposing them for totally different reasons. For his own part, he did not want to see a new and utterly wrong basis established for the administration of the Poor Law, nor did he wish to see a fresh burden added to that which Parliament had, in his judgment, unfairly imposed on the ratepayers of the kingdom.

said, that when he listened to the speech of his right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Council on introducing this measure he had some difficulty in deciding whether he objected more to the Bill for what it proposed to enact or for what it left entirely untouched. The House had a right to expect that in a Bill which had been mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, and looked forward to with so much anxiety by the Educational Reformers of the country, some provision would have been made for the universal compulsory attendance of the children in England and Wales. He would remind the House of the position in which they stood with reference to what, in his belief, was the most important of all the questions bearing on the education of the country. When the Bill of 1870 was introduced, the Vice President of the Council said that to leave the question of compulsion alone was to leave the children untaught, and to force the taxpayers and ratepayers to pay for useless schools. That remark was a wise one at the time, and it had been justified by subsequent experience. On the second reading of that Bill the Primo Minister told the House that it was not without an effort that he accepted the principle of compulsion. The right hon. Gentleman regretted the necessity for it, but he said—"We have arrived deliberately at the conclusion that it must be entertained, and in a manner that shall render it effectual." After two years' experience of the working of permissive compulsion the Vice President of the Council again told the House that he thought compulsion had worked well in England and Wales; but speaking for himself as the Minister responsible for education he said that, although he could not introduce such a measure in the previous year, he thought we should be ready for a general compulsory measure this year. He was aware he was styled a theorist; but the Ministers of the Crown were not mere theorists when they used such language as this on important occasions in the House of Commons. This language was based on the Reports of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, who had for many years been urging on the Government the absolute necessity of general compulsion. For example, in the Report for 1871, the Inspector, speaking of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, said—

"The unsatisfactory condition of the schools was caused by the irregular attendance of the children. On this subject every one, I expect, is agreed as far as this—that until the children are induced or compelled to attend school regularly, a satisfactory progress is impossible."
Mr. Blandford and Mr. Bowstead, speaking respectively of Derbyshire and Gloucestershire, expressed similar opinions in favour of universal compulsion. These were the official statements upon which the opinions of, the Government were formed in the Session before last. The House had since had experience of the working of the compulsory system in our large towns. The Vice President of the Council told the House in bringing in the Education Estimate that compulsion had been wisely introduced, carefully carried out, and was eminently successful. In Birmingham in one year the system of compulsion had increased the average attendance by 50 per cent—namely, from 16,000 to 24,000, and he was told that at the present moment the increase in the average attendance reached 75 per cent. There had been no school fees paid by the Birmingham School Board. Officers had been appointed to go round to the houses of the parents whose children did not attend school. They had paid 19,000 visits, and had issued 1,538 notices for nonattendance. It had, however, only been necessary to issue 157 summonses, and 132 parents had been fined sums varying from 1s. to 5s. Not more than 13 warrants had been issued, and only four of those defaulting parents had been sent to prison for short terms. That must be admitted to be a satisfactory proof of the working of the compulsory system under many disadvantages, including a great deficiency of school accomodation. The cost of this system did not amount to a third of a penny in the pound; and if it were found working so satisfactorily in English towns, and if it were about to be introduced into Scotland, was Parliament to allow another year to elapse without applying it to the country districts? In the large towns compulsion was the rule; in the rural districts it was scarcely to be seen. In the Duchy of Nassau he found that every child was taught in every town and village, and yet such a system was said to be impossible for England. Why was this? It was not that the country gentlemen really objected to education, but they disapproved the machinery by which compulsion was to be enforced? In the towns of England and Scotland it was thought impossible to carry it out except by school boards; but in the agricultural districts it was assumed that they would be expensive, and any addition to the rates was to be resisted. But was there any reason to believe that the cost would exceed the third of a penny in the pound? The cost of making the Denison Act compulsory would amount fully to this sum, yet the Birmingham League in vain proposed to make school boards universal, although the cost would not be greater than that of making the Denison Act compulsory. Suppose that the payment of school fees followed upon the appointment of a school board. A great deal had been said about the extent to which the payment of school fees had been carried in Manchester, yet even there not more than one-third of a penny in the pound had thus been expended. Another reason why these school boards had been objected to was that a very large and important body were afraid that the schools would become secularized if school boards were once established. The great body of Wesleyans had come to the conclusion that the right course would be—first, that school boards should exist everywhere, and next, that in every school board area there should be at least one undenominational school. If the country were willing to adopt that plan, he, too, was ready to accept it. As the League had been more than once referred to, he might be permitted to say that the object of that body was this—the establishment of school boards throughout the country with compulsory attendance of the children, and the boards to undertake the management and superintendence and payment for the secular education, both in their own and in the denominational schools. The result would be that the various denominations would be saved the entire cost of the secular instruction, and would be able to devote their time and their money exclusively to the religious education of the children. The managers of the denominational schools would continue religious teaching as hitherto, and there would be no restriction as to its nature and amount. It could not be said by hon. Gentlemen opposite that the children would not attend the religious instruction; because they had over and over again asserted that the parents of poor children were religious and desired religious teaching for their children. That plan had been already tried. He learnt from a letter he had received from a distinguished clergyman of the Church of England who was no member of the League, that he had adopted that system and with the best results; and, further, that he had many inquiries from other clergymen who were anxious to follow his example. He need not refer to the portion of the Bill which the Government had abandoned, and to which he was from the outset strongly opposed; but with respect to the proposal to make Denison's Act compulsory he could not assent to it, because it would place the education of the children of the poor in the hands of those who disclaimed and protested against the trust. They should have school boards everywhere, composed of men elected specially to superintend the education of the district; and with areas sufficiently large to command the best men, who should carry out education in the way that they thought best, and regardless even, he would say, of expense. The boards so constituted should be enabled to feel that they had the rates and the Government grant to fall back upon, so that they might be enabled to carry on a proper system of instruction. The people ought to be able to feel that the schools belonged to themselves; that they were paid for out of the taxes, and were managed by the people's representatives; and then there would be a national system of education which would effect fully and completely the object which they had in view. He could not but apprehend that if that proposition of the Government were agreed to by the House, the principle would hereafter be extended, and that which the Government had given up now would hereafter be pressed upon the Legislature; so that in the long run they might see the education of all the children of the rural districts placed in the hands of those who had confessed their own incompetency, and who said they did not desire to have the duty imposed upon them. Under these circumstances, he had to ask himself how he should act. He could not oppose a measure introduced for the purpose of educating a large number of now neglected children. He would simply walk out of the House in order that he might not have the responsibility of placing the education of the children of the rural districts upon a wrong basis. Men had said to him—"Are you going by your vote to prevent poor children being educated? If this measure is not passed it may be years before anything better is proposed. Do you not know that the present Administration is coming to an end, and that their successors will not carry on the work in a better spirit?" Having regard to the course which the Government had taken on this question, he thought it was his duty to advise the Liberal Members in the House to separate themselves from that course. He hoped, however, that the Government would next year fulfil the promise which they had made on this subject.

Sir, I should not have risen at this moment but that I think it necessary to bring back the House to the consideration of the subject of this Bill. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) has, I believe, addressed himself to every subject that is not in the Bill and has carefully avoided touching upon anything that is really in the Bill. The same observation, I think will apply to the speech of the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Richard). This does not seem to me a fitting opportunity for discussing the question of secular education, inasmuch as the word is nowhere mentioned in the Bill. Reference has been made to some remarks which I made in connection with the University Education (Ireland) Bill, and I shall be prepared at any time to defend what I said on that occasion, but it is wholly inapplicable to the Bill now before the House. The measure, as explained by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Council of Education, certainly appears a far more complicated one than it really is. When I look at the Bill in that light it seems to have been exaggerated in a remarkable degree by almost every speaker who has addressed the House this evening. So far from this being a great Bill I consider it as one of the smallest on education that has ever been brought before the House. The simple question to be discussed was whether the Poor Law Guardians, instead of the school boards, should have the power of paying the school fees for the education of the poor children whose parents were too poor to pay them themselves. I am not surprised that my hon. Friend the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes) who takes such an interest in the question of local taxation, should be led somewhat astray in his impressions as to the precise meaning of this Bill by the exaggerated views which have been expressed regarding the object or intention of the 3rd clause. Why, at this moment everything that was done compulsorily by the school board can be done potentially by the Guardians. And as to the number of children who were kept away from any school, I am far from supposing that they are as many as some hon. Members supposed. My belief is that the number is not one-fourth of that quoted by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. W. E. Forster). It is absurd to suppose, for example, that in the case of a poor man who accidentally broke his leg, that the Guardians would be justified in refusing to give him any relief until he had sent his children to school. Accidental cases of destitution, therefore, such as that, cannot fairly be included in the statistics of pauperism. Now, I believe that the far greater number of the children of the poor have been already collected, and go to school. Although a certain number of persons are chargeable to the poor rate, it does not follow that their children do not go to school. Everyone admits that there are many children requiring education who are not sent to any school, and we all desire that they should be sent to school. Why, then should you object to the Guardians sending those children to school without certain conditions which are sometimes impossible to carry out? Why do you seek to check the efforts of the Guardians in this direction by requiring them to make the relief to the parents depend upon the sending of their children to school? I will leave the right hon. Gentleman opposite to settle his quarrels with his Friends below the gangway. The right hon. Gentleman must, however, feel thankful to them for not voting against him. The hon. Member for Birmingham is willing to defer his quarrel with the Government until next year. This delay I have no doubt will, upon some points, be acceptable to the Government. There are many hon. Members who wish to repeal the 25th clause. I am not one of those. Compulsory education may act well in some such cases as those to which the hon. Member for Birmingham adverted; but, as regards the country at large, I think it must be introduced with some caution. The hon. Member has referred to certain statistics, but the figures are very deceptive, and I find that the increase in the number of children attending schools in consequence of compulsion has been chiefly in infants. But it is not infants that we wish to compel to attend school; it is the waifs and strays of society that we wish to see there. Then, again, on looking closely into the figures relied upon by the hon. Member, we find that the fluctuations in the attendances are perfectly enormous; the ebb is as great as the flow. In this country a great part of our education is obtained in the school of life, and it is an absurdity to suppose that the only education that a child requires is a knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic. Children require to be taught how to earn their livings and to contribute to the support of their families, and there is more moral good derived from a child earning 5s., and taking it to his distressed mother, than in all the reading, writing, and arithmetic that you can teach him. The moral teaching of that education will bring greater honour, advantage, and credit to the country than the teaching of which you make so much. Upon a question of this kind, being all anxious to promote education, and to carry out the Bill which is already in existence, hon. Members on that side of the House will not, because they think one clause must require some check or amendment in Committee, vote for the Previous Question and prevent the Bill going into Committee, but will allow the Bill to go into Committee and endeavour to remedy its defects.

said, he so entirely agreed with the argument of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) in favour of general compulsion that he should not waste time by referring to that part of the subject, except by-and-by to offer a suggestion which he thought would help on that system of general compulsion which the hon. Member and so many of his Friends appeared to have so much at heart. He had been one of the earliest Members of the Birmingham League; but many arguments had been put forward recently by that body with which he did not agree. He was the more anxious to express the differences of opinion between himself and the members of the League because he believed that during the ensuing winter months, a sectarian agitation would be got up which would subject many hon. Members to pledges which, if fulfilled, would prove most mischievous to the cause of education. He had not been in favour of the Bill of the Government as originally introduced, and he had been perfectly prepared to vote, as he had done before, for the repeal of the 25th clause; but he objected to the Bill of the Government as originally introduced for reasons very different from those which had been put forward by the hon. Member for Birmingham. What had been the cause of the Government being placed in their not very dignified position? Having the problem before them, how to deal with the 25th clause, they had proposed a solution of it so unsatisfactory to the country that they were obliged to abandon it before their Bill came on for the second reading. The cause of the difficulty in which the Government were placed was an old story. They had not the courage of their opinions, and they were afraid to call a spade a spade. Why did their proposition meet with no support? Because they adopted an unfortunate middle course. They wished to adopt a system of parochial relief in the matter of education, and yet they wished to introduce words into their Bill to say that the parochial relief it was intended to give was not parochial relief. Was ever a more absurd course adopted than to say that the Poor Law Guardians should defray the cost of the children's education, and yet that the parents should not be supposed to be receiving parochial relief, but some gratuity in the shape of a bounty or reward? If the strict system under which the Poor Law was administered were once to be relaxed the country would be deluged with pauperism. If payment for the education of a man's children was not to be regarded as parochial relief, why should the payment for necessaries supplied to his sick wife or children be regarded as being parochial relief? The right hon. Gentleman was aware that there was not a single logical argument in favour of calling payment for the education of a man's children by any other name than parochial relief, and the country would soon come to the conclusion that what was in fact poor relief should be designated by that term. There was not a member of the London School Board who would not say that the Guardians were the better judges of the circumstances of the parents than the school boards. The work of the latter was educational, and not to inquire into the circumstances of every parent who applied for assistance. Therefore, had the right hon. Gentleman—acted logically, and in transferring the payment of the school fee from the school board to the Poor Law Guardians—declared that such payments should be regarded as poor relief, many of those who were now silent would have come forward and supported his Bill. He did not sympathize with the reasons of the League for the repeal of the 25th clause. When the League was first constituted he had thought that if religious education were to be deal with at all there was only one logical course to pursue—that of adopting pure secular education, and he had opposed that wretched compromise of the Bible, without note or comment, as not likely to conciliate religious people, and as certain to alienate the secularists. He, however, Lad been out-voted, and he felt certain that the position which had been assumed was an illogical one. He was in favour of absolute secular education, and of perfect religious equality; but he could not help feeling that we did not start altogether de novo in this matter. The country would never consent to the enormous property devoted to education in voluntary denominational schools being thrown away; and, indeed, the Nonconformists and others who, like himself, were abstractedly in favour of secular education, were partly responsible for many of these voluntary denominational schools. He was at a loss to understand how anyone could refuse the application to rates for denominational education when he sanctioned it in Parliamentary grants. As a matter of common sense, what difference did it make in principle whether a house tax went in support of denominational schools or whether a house rate went to support them? How could anyone say, when the tax collector got £5 from hint for inhabited house duty, and a portion of it went to support denominational schools, that his conscience was not injured, while if he paid £5 in rates, and a few pence went out of it in the same direction, his conscience was grievously offended? He knew there were some people who said that this was introducing a new religious inequality; but even those who brought forward strong conscientious objections to any portion of the rates going in support of denominational schools were not consistent. The Prime Minister the other night, in a masterly and convincing speech, proved clearly that if people were exempted from rates for a particular kind of property, rates were thereby compulsorily imposed upon other people. Who, then, being the strong advocates of the exemption of Sunday schools and ragged schools and chapels from rating, could fairly say that their consciences were offended by a small portion of the rates going in support of denominational schools? He spent a portion of each year in the town of Cambridge, and when there he lived in a parish where lately a great deal of valuable property which contributed largely to the rates was pulled down, and in its place was erected a very handsome chapel, the foundation stone of which was laid by the hon. Member for Bristol (Mr. Morley). What was the result? If that chapel did not pay rates, his (Mr. Fawcett's) rates would be increased. He himself was only a moderate churchman; but he objected to being compulsorily obliged to subscribe to a chapel. If those were his feelings, what must be the feelings of a more ardent Churchman? What must be the feelings of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) for instance, if he found himself subscribing against his will to many a Catholic chapel? Those who raised a conscientious objection to any small modicum of rates going to support denominational education should be consistent; and if they were, he would give them the opportunity by moving on the Report of the Rating (Liability and Value) Bill, that the exemption of chapels, churches, and schools from rates should be abolished. But if he did so, what support should he get? Why, everyone knew that he would get no support at all? There were three unanswerable arguments against forcing children into a board school when there was a voluntary elementary denominational school to which they preferred going, and which was nearer to their homes. So far as his own opinion was concerned, he would infinitely sooner see them go to a board school; but, first of all, there was the convenience of the child to be considered. How could anyone pretend to say, when there was a denominational school to which the parents wished the child to go within a stone's-throw of its house, that that poor unfortunate child, perhaps half-clad and poorly fed, should be forced to go through all weathers, and in the snow and dirt, to a board school two or three miles distant in order to carry out the conscientious scruples of the ratepayers? Then there was the economical argument. Of course, if all these children were driven into board schools the accommodation of the board schools would have to be increased, and that would add to the cost, and make the ratepayers object. Thirdly, there was this powerful argument—that whether the consciences of the parents ought or ought not to be consulted, the matter should be looked upon from an educational point of view. It would be a hard enough matter to carry out general compulsion in this country under any circumstances, and the experience of every other country proved that if the unwilling parent were armed with this plausible argument against compulsion, that it forced his child into a school against which he entertained conscientious objections, no power on earth could carry the compulsory provisions out. It might be asked, what course did he intend to pursue in reference to the present Bill? He could not follow the example of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) for if a Bill was a bad one he thought it ought to be opposed, regardless of what the public outside might say, and if it was a good one it should be supported, independent of any consequences which might happen to the individual Member who supported it. He had listened with great attention to the able speech of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens) but he had not been convinced by it, and therefore he should vote in favour of the second reading of the Bill. He did not pretend to say that it was a complete measure; but he did not think the arguments which had been urged against it were sufficient to counteract the advantages which the Bill, small as it was, undoubtedly offered. No one who listened to the hon. Member for Finsbury, and the hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes) could doubt what was at the bottom of their opposition. They were both as anxious as himself to see these pauper children educated, but they said—"Don't let it be done by the rates; let it be done out of the Imperial funds." This was the old story; he had exposed its fallacy over and over again. It was said that the education of these pauper children by means of the rates would have a tendency to increase out-door relief; but what would be the effect of obtaining the money from that inexhaustible mine of wealth, the Consolidated Fund, and having it administered by men who were not directly interested in economy? Differing in toto from the hon. Member for Finsbury, he believed this Bill would discourage out-door relief. The lavishness with which it was administered was responsible for no small portion of our pauperism, and therefore he welcomed anything which would indirectly bring into existence an influence to diminish it. It was notorious that there were people receiving out-door relief who ought to be in the union. Why did they receive out-door relief? Because it was said their children went to work, and therefore out-door relief was cheaper, since the children supplied them with a portion of what would otherwise come out of the rates. If that inducement were removed the granting of outdoor relief would be discouraged in a very important way. The hon. Member for Finsbury had spoken throughout as if this Bill was going to introduce compulsion for the first time in London; but, as a matter of fact, compulsion already existed there. Under the present law every pauper child ought to be at school; and therefore all that the Bill would do would be to give two securities instead of one in favour of carrying out compulsory education. In other districts where compulsion had not been introduced he admitted that this Bill would introduce the thin end of the wedge; and, that being so, as he was in favour of compulsory education, the objection of the hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon furnished him with an additional reason for voting in favour of the Bill. In conclusion he wished to make one suggestion to the Birmingham League. They were about starting an agitation, and he felt convinced that that agitation would involve them in a miserable sectarian squabble, which would not promote the intellectual development or assist the mental culture of a single adult or a single child. If they would, instead, unite their force in favour of the League's first object, general compulsion, and spend the winter months in advocating it instead of promoting sectarian wrangles, next year there might be a strong feeling out of doors which would enable Parliament to introduce compulsion with much greater success than it could if the League continued doing what they had done during the last 12 months. He knew these opinions would involve him in a considerable amount of unpopularity; but he started political life caring more about general compulsory education than he did about anything else. He had seen no reason to change his opinions, and he should be pursuing an unworthy course of conduct if he remained silent when he heard a course advocated which would lose the great question of the general education of the people in the mists of sectarian squabbles.

said, the course which the debate had taken had saved him from the necessity of making more than a few remarks, for the arguments against the proposition of the Government had been so ably answered, especially by his hon. Friend who had just sat down, in a speech which, even from him, showed almost more power than any other speech of his he had ever heard, that it was scarcely necessary now to make that answer which was generally expected from the Minister who was responsible for the proposals submitted to the House. There was, however, one remark made by his hon. Friend from which he confessed he did to some extent differ, and it would be hardly candid if he did not at once acknowledge the difference, and that was the remark applied to the Bill as it was originally brought forward, and to leaving Clauses 17 and 25 in the Act. His hon. Friend strongly opposed any remission of fees or payment of fees out of the rates not being considered parochial relief. He granted that there was a strong argument in favour of that view of the question, but he wished to put the House in possession of what could be said on the other side. Take the case of a poor widow who had, by a hard and bitter struggle, kept herself from receiving out-door relief. Because they imposed on her the duty of having her child educated and helped her to do it, to say that she had become a pauper, notwithstanding all her sacrifices—and once a pauper always a pauper—would be very hard indeed. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon), though he had made a remarkably fair speech, had attacked the Government somewhat severely for an omission on their part. The hon. Member regretted the absence of a general compulsory measure. He could only say, being as anxious for the adoption of that principle as his hon. Friend, that he earnestly hoped his hon. Friend would take home the advice of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett). He was sure the more his hon. Friend thought over the subject, the more he would see that before he could get carried out such a proposal for general compulsion as he advocated—be it right or wrong—he would have to wait years, he might, perhaps, almost say generations. His hon. Friend's proposal was that the present voluntary school managers should hand over the management of the largest portion of their education to the school boards. He would not now give the reason why he should be opposed on principle to that; but his hon. Friend must feel, as he did, that the enormous majority of the voluntary school managers would not assent to it. He was not surprised at the remarks of the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Richard), although they hardly applied to the question before the House, but rather to the Act of 1870. He would not detain the House except with the most cursory reference to that hon. Member's observations upon himself. But he had rather to complain of the statement that his previous course had given that hon. Gentleman and his friends a right to suppose that his educational policy would have been different from what it was. The hon. Member for Merthyr was mistaken about that; for there was nothing that he had ever said, either in or out of the House, which was inconsistent with what he had done in 1870 or this year. The hon. Gentleman said that the Act of 1870 gave a large grant to denominational schools. But the fact was the grant was to all schools, whether denominational or not, and it was equal to all. Further, it was a grant simply to supply that aid which the original Bill contemplated should be given out of the rates, and which it was thought better to drop. The hon. Member said a large extension of time was given for the building grants. That was a mistake. The Bill as first brought in made no cessation of the building grants; but, as it passed, it provided for their stopping at a certain time. The hon. Member for Leicestershire (Mr. Heygate) while kindly promising his support to the present Bill, brought forward a case in which he thought the Act as administered by the Department had been unjust. He could not then enter into the details of that case; but he would observe that they could not call local bodies into existence without giving them power, and on that ground the Department thought they ought to have the strongest possible grounds before they interfered with a school board that had been elected. He would suggest to the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Salt) that he should give the Bill another chance and not vote against it that night, but wait a week or so, until he had consulted with his constituents. The hon. Member said that an attendance of one-tenth or one-twelfth of the population was as large as they could fairly expect; but in a town not far from Stafford he believed they had already succeeded in securing a much better attendance than that. The hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) complained that the Bill provided that children should be clothed as well as taught. ["No, no!"] At least, that appeared to be the purport of the hon. Gentleman's argument. There was, in fact, no such proposition in the Bill. The children would he taught but not clothed and fed. The hon. Baronet the Member for South Devon (Sir Massey Lopes) thought the Bill would entail an expenditure of £600,000; but if the whole of those 200,000 children were taken into the schools, the 2½d. per week per child would only amount to about £80,000. But the further relief to be given if necessary would not be required for all that number of children. Many of them were receiving education at this moment by voluntary help, and many also by the action of the different school boards. The hon. Baronet also said neither the prison rate nor the pauper rate had been diminished by the operation of the Act. The children had not yet had time to become either paupers or criminals; and he hoped the Act and this Bill would prevent their ever becoming so. His hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Rathbone) informed him that in that town Denison's Act was very effectually carried out, and was practically compulsory. The result was, that while the Poor Law Expenditure of Liverpool fluctuated from £150,000 to £180,000, the cost of working Denison's Act was between £500 and £600, which was partly if not more than compensated by the fact that drunken idle parents were deterred from going on the rates on the terms of withdrawing their children from begging, stealing, and working in order to send them to school. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. G. Hardy) was correct in describing the present Bill as a small one. He (Mr. Forster) should have been very glad if it could have been made larger; but, at the same time, he believed it to be a practical step in the direction of improved education, and he therefore hoped the House would accept it.

rose to address the House amid continued cries of "Divide, Divide," which rendered his speech inaudible.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 343; Noes 72: Majority 271.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed; considered in Committee, and reported; to be printed, as amended [Bill 245]; recommitted for Monday next.

Acland, Sir T. D.Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Adderley, rt. hon. Sir C.Carter, R. M.
Agnew, R. V.Cartwright, F.
Akroyd, E.Cartwright, W. C.
Amcotts, Colonel W. C.Cave, T.
Amphlett, R. P.Cavendish, Lord F. C.
Anderson, G.Cavendish, Lord G.
Annesley, hon. Col. H.Cawley, C. E.
Anstruther, Sir R.Charley, W. T.
Antrobus, Sir E.Childers, rt. hon. H.
Arbuthnot, Major G.Cholmeley, Sir M.
Armitstead, G.Clive, Col. hon. G. W.
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S.Clowes, S. W.
Backhouse, E.Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B.
Baggallay, Sir R.Cogan, rt. hn. W. H. F.
Baines, E.Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Barclay, A. C.Coleridge, Sir J. D.
Barclay, J. W.Collins, T.
Bass, A.Corrigan, Sir D.
Bassett, F.Cowper, hon. H. F.
Bates, E.Cowper-Temple, right
Bathurst, A. A.hon. W.
Baxter, rt. hon. W. E.Crawford, R. W.
Beaumont, Major F.Cross, R. A.
Beaumont, H. F.Cubitt, G.
Beaumont, S. A.Cunliffe, Sir R. A.
Beaumont, W. B.Dalrymple, C.
Benyon, R.Dalway, M. R.
Biddulph, M.Davenport, W. B.
Bingham, LordDavies, R.
Birley, H.Delahunty, J.
Blennerhassett, Sir R.Denison, C. B.
Bonham-Carter, J.Dent, J. D.
Bourne, ColonelDick, F.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.Dickinson, S. S.
Bowring, E. A.Dickson, Major A. G.
Brand, H. R.Digby, K. T.
Brassey, H. A.Dodds, J.
Brassey, T.Dowdeswell, W. E.
Brewer, Dr.Downing, M'C.
Bright, J. (Manchester)Duff, M. E. G.
Bright, R.Dundas, J. C.
Brinckman, CaptainDyott, Colonel R.
Brocklehurst, W. C.Eaton, H. W.
Brooks, W. C.Edwards, H.
Brown, A. H.Egerton, hon. A. F.
Browne, G. E.Egerton, Adml. hn. F.
Bruce, Lord C.Elliot, G.
Bruce, rt. hon. Lord E.Enfield, Viscount
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.Ennis, J. J.
Burrell, Sir P.Erskine, Admiral J. E.
Bury, ViscountEwing, A. Orr
Butt, I.Eykyn, R.
Cadogan, hon. F. W.Fawcett, H.
Cameron, D.Feilden, H. M.
Campbell-Bannerman,Fellowes, E.
H.Figgins, J.
Candlish, J.Finch, G. H.

Finnie, W.Jackson, R. W.
FitzGerald, right hon.James, H.
Lord O. A.Jardine, R.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E.Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Fitzwilliam, hon. C.Jessel, Sir G.
W. W.Johnston, A.
Foljambe, F. J. S.Johnstone, Sir H.
Fordyce, W. D.Kavanagh, A. MacM.
Forester, rt. hon. Gen.Kennaway, Sir J. H.
Forster, C.Kensington, Lord
Forster, rt. hon. W. E.King, hon. P. J. L.
Foster, W. H.Kingscote, Colonel
Fortescue, rt. hn. C. P.Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Fortescue, hon. D. F.Knatchbull-Hugessen,
Fowler, R. N.rt. hon. E. H.
Fowler, W.Knightley, Sir R.
Gavin, MajorLaing, S.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.Laird, J.
Gladstone, W. H.Lambert, N. G.
Goldney, G.Lawrence, Sir J. C.
Goldsmid, Sir F.Lawrence, W.
Gooch, Sir D.Lawson, Sir W.
Gore, W. R. O.Lea, T.
Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.Leeman, G.
Gourley, E. T.Lefevre, G. J. S.
Gower, hon. E. F. L.Leith, J. F.
Graham, W.Lennox, Lord H. G.
Gray, ColonelLeslie, J.
Gray, Sir J.Lewis, C. E.
Greene, E.Lindsay, hon. Col. C.
Gregory, G. B.Lindsay, Col. R. L.
Greville, hon. CaptainLloyd, Sir T. D.
Greville-Nugent, hon.Locke, J.
G. F.Lowe, rt. hon. R.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.Lowther, J.
Grey de Wilton, Visc.Lubbock, Sir J.
Grieve, J. J.Lusk, A.
Grosvenor, hon. N.Lyttelton, hon. C. G.
Grosvenor, Lord R.Macfie, R. A.
Grove, T. F.M'Arthur, W.
Guest, A. E.M'Clure, T.
Guest, M. J.M'Lagan, P.
Hamilton, I. T.Magniac, C.
Hamilton, J. G. C.Mahon, Viscount
Hanbury, R. W.March, Earl of
Hardcastle, J. A.Marling, S. S.
Hardy, rt. hon. G.Massey, rt. hon. W. N.
Hardy, J.Matheson, A.
Hardy, J. S.Matthews, H.
Hartington, Marq. ofMellor, T. W.
Henderson, J.Melly, G.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W.Meyrick, T.
Henley, LordMilbank, F. A.
Henry, M.Miller, J.
Hermon, E.Miller, W.
Heygate, Sir F. W.Mills, hon. G. W.
Heygate, W. U.Mills, Sir C. H.
Hibbert, J. T.Mitford, W. T.
Hick, J.Monk, C. J.
Hill, A. S.Monsell, rt. hon. W.
Hodgkinson, G.Morgan, C. O.
Hodgson, K. D.Morgan, G. O.
Holford, J. P. G.Morgan, hon. Major
Holland, S.Morley, S.
Holms, J.Morrison, W.
Holmesdale, ViscountMowbray, rt hon. J. R.
Holt, J. M.Mundella, A. J.
Hope, A. J. B. B.Munster, W. F.
Hoskyns, C. Wren-Muntz, P. H.
Howard, hon. C. W. G.Neville-Grenville, R.
Hughes, T.Newport, Viscount
Hurst, R. H.Nicholson, W.
Hutton, J.O'Brien, Sir P.

O'Conor, D. M.Stanley, hon. F.
O'Conor Don, TheStansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Ogilvy, Sir J.Stapleton, J.
O'Reilly-Dease, M.Steere, L.
Paget, R. H.Stevenson, J. C.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.Stone, W. H.
Palmer, J. H.Storks, rt. hon. Sir H. K.
Parker, C. S.Straight, D.
Parry, L. Jones-Strutt, hon. H.
Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.Stuart, Colonel
Peel, A. W.Stuart, hon. H. W. V.
Pemberton, E. L.Sturt, H. G.
Philips, R. N.Talbot, C. R. M.
Phipps, C. P.Talbot, J. G.
Pim, J.Taylor, P. A.
Playfair, L.Tipping, W.
Potter, E.Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Potter, T. B.Torr, J.
Powell, F. S.Tracy, hon. C. R. D.
Power, J. T.Hanbury-
Price, W. E.Trench, hn. Maj. W. le P.
Rathbone, W.Trevelyan, G. O.
Redmond, W. A.Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Reed, C.Turner, C.
Royston, ViscountTurnor, E.
Russell, Lord A.Vivian, A. P.
Russell, Sir W.Vivian, H. H.
Rylands, P.Wallace, Sir R.
Sackville, S. G. S.Waterhouse, S.
St. Aubyn, Sir J.Watney, J.
Samuda, J. D'A.Wedderburn, Sir D.
Samuelson, B.Welby, W. E.
Samuelson, H. B.West, H. W.
Sandon, ViscountWheelhouse, W. S. J.
Sartoris, E. J.Whitbread, S.
Seely, C. (Lincoln)White, J.
Seely, C. (Nottingham)Whitwell, J.
Shaw, R.Williams, W.
Sherlock, D.Wingfield, Sir C.
Sherriff, A. C.Woods, H.
Simonds, W. B.Yarmouth, Earl of
Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.Young, rt. hon. G.
Smith, R.
Smith, W. H.TELLERS.
Stacpoole, W.Adam, W. P.
Stanhope, W. T. W. S.Glyn, hon. G. G.

Arkwright, A. P.Hambro, C.
Assheton, R.Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Bagge, Sir W.Hamilton, Lord G.
Barttelot, ColonelHamilton, Marquess of
Beach, Sir M. Hicks-Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Beach, W. W. B.Hildyard, T. B. T.
Bective, Earl ofHoare, Sir H. A.
Brise, Colonel R.Hodgson, W. N.
Buxton, Sir R. J.Hogg, J. M.
Chambers, Sir T.Hood, Captain hon. A.
Craufurd, E. H. J.W. A. N.
Dalrymple, D.Knight, F. W.
Dawson, Col. R. P.Lacon, Sir E. H. K.
Dilke, Sir C. W.Langton, W. G.
Dillwyn, L. L.Leatham, E. A.
Dimsdale, R.Lennox, Lord G. G.
Duncombe, hon. Col.Lewis, H.
Dyke, W. H.Liddell, hon. H. G.
Fielden, J.Lopes, H. C.
Galway, ViscountLowther, hon. W.
Garnier, J. C.Lush, Dr.
Gilpin, ColonelManners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Goldsmid, J.Manners, Lord G. J.
Gore, J. R. O.Martin, P. W.

Miall, E.Smith, A.
Monckton, hon. G.Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Newdegate, C. N.Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
North, ColonelTollemache, Maj. W. F.
Palk, Sir L.Walsh, hon. A.
Pell, A.Whalley, G. H.
Plunket, hon. D. R.Willyams, E. W. B.
Powell, W.Winn, R.
Read, C. S.Wyndham, hon. P.
Richard, H.Young, A. W.
Round, J.
Sclater-Booth, G.Lopes, Sir M.
Scott, Lord H. J. M. DTorrens, W. T. M'C.
Scourfield, J. H.

Juries Bill Bill 35

( Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Solicitor General.)


Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

protested against going on with the Bill at a quarter to 1 o'clock in the morning, and he moved that Progress be reported.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again"—( Mr. Cross.)

said, that substantially the Bill was unopposed. There was only one clause opposed, and he would leave that one out.

said, that at the present period of the year, the effect of such a Motion would be to lengthen the Session.

refused to withdraw in consequence of the extremely late sitting. On Monday the House sat till 4 o'clock, on Tuesday till 2, and they were to meet at 2 this clay, it being now a quarter to 1 o'clock.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 78; Noes 126: Majority 48.

wished to remind the Prime Minister who had warned the Committee that to agree to this Motion would lengthen the Session, that he had undertaken to find a day for a measure which could not possibly pass this Ses- sion, and which would therefore convert the House into a debating club.

had never said that he proposed to lengthen the Session by discussing a Bill that could not possibly pass. It was a harsh and unfair thing on the part of a small minority to press such a Motion; but as he did not wish to see a repetition of the divisions and late sittings of the last week, he would leave the hon. Gentleman to enjoy his victory.

protested against the tone and manner of the right hon. Gentleman, and declared that it would be an act of tyranny on the part of the majority to attempt to force this Bill through Committee at such an hour. The Opposition had been sitting there during a long and arduous evening to protect the Government against its unruly and terrible children below the gangway, and at 1 o'clock in the morning they ought not to be subject to such comments.

Motion agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.

Licensing Law Amendment (Scotland) Bill

Considered in Committee.

In the Committee.

Resolved, That the Chairman be directed to move the House, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Licensing Laws of Scotland.

Resolution reported:—Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, Sir GRAHAM MONTGOMERY, Sir DAVID WEDDERBURN, Mr. CHARLES DALRYMPLE, and Mr. FORDYCE.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 247.]

Representative Councils In Counties (Ireland) Bill

On Motion of Mr. BUTT, Bill to provide for the better administration of public moneys now levied by Grand Jury Presentment in Ireland, and for the establishment of Representative Councils in the Irish counties for the management of local affairs, ordered to be brought in by Mr. BUTT and Mr. CALLAN.

Rating Liability (Ireland) Bill

On Motion of The Marquess of HARTINGTON, Bill to amend the Law relating to the liability of property in Ireland for the purposes of Rates and Taxes, ordered to be brought in by The Marquess of HARTINGTON and Mr. Secretary BRUCE.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 246.]

House adjourned at half after Ono o'clock.