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Commons Chamber

Volume 220: debated on Wednesday 1 July 1874

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House Of Commons

Wednesday, 1st July, 1874.

MINUTES.]—PUBLIC BILLS— OrderedFirst Reading—Turnpike Acts Continuance * [186].

Second Reading—Elementary Education (Compulsory Attendance) [16], put off; Coroners (Ireland) * [49]; Hosiery Manufacture (Wages) * [124]; Labourers and Artisans Dwellings* [144], put off; Boundaries of Archdeaconries and Rural Deaneries* [143].

Select Committee—Apothecaries Licences * [155], nominated.

Committee—Hertford College, Oxford* [103]—R.P.

CommitteeReport—Gas and Water Orders Confirmation* [158].

Withdrawn—Petty Sessions Courts (Ireland) * [87].

India—Riots In Bombay


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India, Whether he can say how soon he will be able to lay upon the Table of the House the Papers relating to the Bombay riots?

I cannot, Sir, exactly state the day upon which these Papers will be laid upon the Table of the House, but I can undertake that as soon as the Correspondence is complete it shall be produced. The subject to which these Papers relate is of great importance, and the Papers themselves are of such a character as to render it impossible to produce them at a moment's notice. Considerable Correspondence has, and is, passing between the Governments of India and Bombay and the India Office. When that Correspondence is concluded, the Papers will be complete, and will be laid upon the Table of the House.

Elementary Education (Compulsory Attendance) Bill Bill 16

( Mr. Dixon, Mr. Mundella, Sir John Lubbock, Mr. Trevelyan, Mr. Melly.)

Second Reading

Order for Second Reading read.

, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said: Sir, the Bill I am about to invite the House to read a second time to-day is as simple in its character as I believe, and as I hope, it would, if carried, be important in its results. The Bill proposes that whereas hitherto the election and formation of school boards throughout the country has been permissive, it shall now become compulsory; and whereas the school attendance of children has been permissive, and not enforced, except at the will of the inhabitants, it shall become compulsory on the part of school boards to enforce it. I am aware that there may be in the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite some little prejudice arising against the Bill, in consequence of the quarter from which it proceeds, and therefore I will trouble the House with a few remarks on what the Bill does not propose to do, in order that, if possible, those prejudices may be mitigated, if not entirely removed. The Bill does not propose to repeal Clause 25; it does not propose to touch, in any manner, any of the religious difficulties which have surrounded the education question; it does not propose to give power to school boards to deal with voluntary schools; and, in the last place, it does not propose to give to school boards any more power than they possess at present of facilitating the transfer of voluntary schools, or of erecting new board schools. The Act of 1870 provided that wherever there was not a sufficiency of school accommodation, after due notice had been given, a school board should be formed for the purpose of providing for that deficiency; and therefore it follows that wherever a school board does not exist, there must be a sufficiency of school accommodation. Therefore the operation of my Bill will be mainly with reference to those districts where there is already a sufficiency of school accommodation; and, if so, the object of the Bill is clearly not to create any new board schools. The Bill is, in fact, what it declares it- self to be. It is a Bill for the purpose of providing compulsory attendance at school, and it declares, further, that the best machinery for providing, or for enforcing school attendance, is school boards. Now, Sir, I should like to point out to the House the necessity which exists for this compulsory attendance. We have during the last few years been devoting much money and great labour to the cause of education, and the result of all that has hitherto been done, is clearly declared in the Report which has just been issued by the Department. The figures given in that Report have been declared by the leading organ to be startling; and I hope that, at least, these figures will arrest the attention of the country. The inference from these figures is, that of these children who ought to be in our public elementary schools, only about one-half are found on the registers of the public elementary inspected schools, and only about a quarter of these children who ought to be in these inspected schools, and therefore who ought to be presented for examination to the Inspector, are actually so presented. The Report declares that only about one-sixth of those who ought to be presented for examination in the public elementary schools actually pass the examination of the Inspector. There is, however, another point still more important to which I wish to direct the attention of the House. It has been agreed, I think, by all parties, that, unless children can pass in the Standards IV. to VI., the amount of education they have received is of such a character that it possesses of itself little value, and that there is not the slightest probability of its being retained; and, therefore, what we have to enquire is, not how many children pass in any Standard, but how many pass in the Standards from IV. to VI. I find from a consideration of these figures that they show that only six per cent of the children who ought to pass in these Standards IV. to VI. do actually pass. That is only about 1 in 17. That is to say, after all our labour, and after all the money we have expended, only about 1 in 17 is carrying away from those schools an education worthy of the name. I am aware that there are children receiving a kind of education in schools which are not under inspection; but of these schools we know but little, and that little is unsatisfactory. Therefore, even supposing that the figures admitted of some modification, that modification can be but slight. If I were to say that instead of 1 in 17, 1 in 12 got this education, which enabled them to pass in Standards IV. to VI., I think that such a result ought to be considered most unsatisfactory, and one demanding the instant attention of the House. We must not forget that we have to compete with Continental countries. In Germany, every child would pass these educational Standards, and not only so, but would be able to pass in those extra subjects which only very few of our children attain to. Well, it is not unnatural that upon those figures there should have been some comment made by the Department; and in the Report signed by the Duke of Richmond, and by my noble Friend the Vice President of the Council, there occur these words—

"The lesson we draw from the figures we have quoted, is that earnest efforts will have to be made by every available means, to secure and enforce the attendance of children at school, as the sole condition on which we can expect that the labours of the past few years will meet with an adequate return."
These words will meet with the response and the approval of the whole country. But what has the Department done? What effort has the present Administration made to meet the difficulty and secure this compulsory attendance, which alone is to remove this serious state of things? Up to the present moment the Government has been absolutely silent. There were opportunities given to this House during the debate on Estimates, and in "another place" by the question of a noble Lord for a declaration of the intentions of the Government, but neither of those opportunities have been availed of, and we are totally ignorant of the measures to be proposed by the present Administration. I hope that to-day we may be enlightened as to the course that they intend to adopt. It is not merely the present Government that is in favour of the enforcement of attendance at school. The late Government arrived at the conclusion some two years ago, and the officials connected with the Department have been constantly urging upon their superiors the absolute necessity of compulsory attendance. None of the Inspectors have written against the suggestion, and 12 of them have spoken with more or loss force in favour of compulsory attendance. I will read to the House an extract from the Report of one of the Inspectors, Mr. Steele. He says—
"There is only one means by which this principle can be carried out, and that is by compulsory attendance. It is very remarkable how completely thoughtful people of all political opinions have come round to recognizing the necessity of compulsion."
Another Inspector, Mr. Du Port, says—
"I think no one will question but that compulsory difficulties have turned out vastly less, and compulsory successes vastly greater, than those anticipated by panic-stricken opponents on the one side, or by sanguine supporters on the other."
The National School teachers expressed their opinion the other day, and I think that it will be admitted that their opinion ought to have the greatest weight. At their meeting held recently, resolutions were adopted that compulsory attendance ought to be universal as regards children up to the ago of 10 years, and after that they ought to be sent to school by means of stringent Factory Laws. There are two great organizations which lead the public opinion of the country on this question. One is the National Education League, which is represented by the Bill now before the House; and I may say that the Bill has the support of the great body of Nonconformists of this country. The other great organization which fairly represents a considerable part, and, I am sorry to say for many purposes, far too influential a part of the people, is the National Education Union, which has its head-quarters at Manchester—this organization, is also in favour of compulsory attendance. The other day a deputation from that society waited on the Department, and I wish to read extracts from one of the resolutions which they brought forward.
"That as absence from school and irregular attendance are the greatest obstacles to education, the attention of the Education Department be specially called to the difficulty at present existing in the enforcement of attendance at school in districts in which there are no school boards, and the great importance of affording a remedy for this defect."
Now, I never heard of any influential person or any great body in this country being adverse to compulsory attendance; and here we find that not only the school-masters, not only Her Majesty's Inspectors, not only the Education League, not only the late Vice-President of the Department, but the present Vice-President, and the Education Union all uniting in expressing themselves strongly in favour of compulsory attendance at school. I believe we are all in favour of compulsory attendance, but I believe that some attach a very undue importance to those obstacles which lie in our way. We have been told over and over again that compulsory attendance has been a great success on the Continent of Europe; but we are also told that what succeeded there, may not succeed here, that it may not be applicable to the habits and institutions of this country. We are able to meet even that statement. What has been the result of the first two years where compulsory bye-laws have been carried out? In London the increase of attendance in voluntary schools has been 32,000, that is 20 per cent. and the cost of this compulsory attendance has been half-a-farthing in the pound. In Manchester, the increase has been 8,700, or 33⅓ per cent. at a cost of under one-third of a penny in the pound. In Birmingham, where unhappily there has been much discord at the school board, in spite of that, there has been an increase in the denominational schools of 7,000, that is 38 per cent. at a cost of one-third of a penny in the pound. In Hull the increase has been 2,200, or 37 per cent. and the cost is under one-third of a penny in the pound. In Stockport the increase is 53 per cent. at a cost of a penny in the pound. In Sheffield, where there has been great harmony throughout the whole existence of the school board, the increase has been 75 per cent. at the cost of one-third of a penny in the pound. But, Sir, this has been the increase in the denominational schools alone, and when we take into consideration the action of the school boards in providing additional accommodation, as well as in enforcing attendance, then we find that in London, instead of the increase being 20 per cent. it is 36 per cent; in Birmingham, instead of being 38 per cent. it is 50 per cent; in Hull, instead of being 37 per cent. it is 80 per cent; and in Sheffield, instead of being 75 per cent. the increase has been 100 per cent. How has that great increase of attendance been obtained? The machinery is so exceedingly simple, it is so easy in its operation, that I will draw the attention of the House to what has taken place in Birmingham. We have gradually increased the number of officers, until we have now 13. These officers visit the parents of children who are not attending school, and when they find that there is a difficulty in persuading the parents, a notice is issued to those parents intimating what the result will be if the children persist in their non-attendance. Of these notices during the last two years 13,000 were issued; 1,250 parents have been summoned before the magistrates; 1,000 have been fined at a cost of £86 15s.; and six have been imprisoned. In other places with similar results, there have been no imprisonments at all. Public opinion in Birmingham, and I believe in every largo town, continues to be in favour of the exercise of this compulsory power, and in Birmingham it is the intention of the board to apply their powers with greater stringency, and I have not the slightest doubt they will do so with the fullest approval of the ratepayers. I have taken pains to have accurate comparisons made between compulsory attendance in districts where there were school boards and districts where there were no school boards, and therefore no compulsory attendance. In Lancashire there are two towns—Preston and Blackburn—with nearly equal populations. They are both manufacturing towns, and they are both wealthy. The working men there are well paid; and, generally, the circumstances of the towns are similar. They both had a sufficiency of school accommodation, and therefore there was no necessity for the election of a school board under the Act of 1870. But there was one difference, and that was—whereas in Preston the education of the people was somewhat backward, in Blackburn, the education had been very successfully and satisfactorily attended to; so much so that the Inspector could only attribute it to the intelligent zeal of the teachers. One would have thought that the Act of 1870, giving power to enforce attendance at school by means of school board compulsory bye-laws, would have been put into operation by the town most backward. But the very reverse is the case. The backward town declined to adopt the school board and compulsory education upon the usual grounds—partly expense, and partly the opposi- tion of the clergy, who feared the effect on existing schools. But in Blackburn, where education was so much advanced, there the school hoard was at once formed, and compulsory attendance was enforced. I think that that is a strong argument in favour of my Bill. I think the use of these powers ought no longer to be permissive, but that the time has come when the enforcement of compulsory attendance should everywhere be obligatory. What has been the result in these two towns? Why, in Preston, there has been no advance whatever—indeed, I have been informed that, in proportion to the population, the average attendance in Preston has rather declined; but, in Blackburn, there has been an increase of the average attendance in consequence of compulsion of no less than 20 per cent. Therefore, at the present moment, we find that Preston is 25 per cent behind Blackburn, and that in consequence of not having adopted the school board and compulsory attendance, as provided in the Act of 1870. I have heard it stated that compulsory attendance is all very well for towns, but not so suitable for the country—that agricultural districts were not in the same condition, and that it would not be a wise thing to enforce compulsion on those districts. I should have said precisely the reverse before the Act of 1870 was passed. If asked where the apprehended difficulty and danger were to be met with, I should have said it was in the towns, because in towns you find large masses collected together, and there, in the event of dissatisfaction, the result might be very serious. But in agricultural districts that is not so. There you have the advantage that there is no cottager who is not known to the people of his parish. He is under the immediate supervision of those about him, and under the influence of the squire and the clergy. But that is not the ease in towns. There you have large populations who never come in contact with their "superiors" as they are called, and who are not accustomed to obey particular individuals in reference to matters applying to their social and domestic life. Another evil which towns suffer from is changes of dwelling. The officers may inquire into a case, but the parents remove into another district, and the work has to be done over again. That could not occur in a parish in the country, where everyone is known to the authorities. One of the greatest difficulties of towns in this respect arises from the migratory habits of the people. In agricultural districts that difficulty does not exist, therefore the proposal ought to meet with less opposition in the country districts. Now, I am going to draw a comparison between an agricultural district where there is a school board and an agricultural district where there is no school board. In Buckinghamshire there were six villages, all about the same size, the circumstances similar, and, in every way, favourable for a fair comparison. Five of these villages, containing altogether a population of 7,800, did not adopt the school board system. There was, therefore, no compulsory attendance in those parishes. There was a Church school and a British school in each, so they had the advantage of rivalry. The attendance at the schools in these five parishes ought to be good. Well, we find the attendance amounted to 800. That was about 10 per cent of the population—an attendance above the average attendance of the county, and the country at large. We found in the neighbourhood, another village—Hans-lope—which had adopted a school board and compulsory attendance. This village has not fallen under the influence of the Birmingham League. The Chairman of the school board was the squire of the village, and a relation of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Spencer Walpole). He has acted with great vigour. There was a deficiency of school accommodation. The denominational school afforded accommodation for 70, and therefore it was necessary to build a new board school, affording accommodation for over 200 children. Well, what has been the result? With a population of 1,680, the average attendance in May last was 270, or 16 per cent of the population of the village, instead of 10 per cent as in the other five villages. Let me put this increased attendance in another form—Had the average attendance in Hanslope been the same as in the surrounding districts, it would have amounted to 170, instead of which it has reached 270. But this is not all—in England and Wales only 69 per cent of the children, whose names appear upon the school registers, are in average attendance, whilst in the case of this Buckinghamshire village, the average attendance had reached 83 per cent of the children on the rolls, and there are not more than 5 or 6 children in the whole parish who are not on the rolls of the schools. Now, what has been the cost of this most satisfactory result in an agricultural district—in one of those districts to which I am anxious school boards and the compulsory system should be applied? Why, Sir, in this agricultural parish, the cost of enforcing compulsory attendance has been about ½d. in the pound. And if the whole of the children, instead of three-fourths were in board schools, then the total cost of schools and compulsion for every child in the parish would not reach 3d. in the pound. There are many hon. Gentlemen who think that the best way to enforce attendance at school is by indirect means under the Factory Acts. I want to make it as clear to the House as possible, however, that in many districts that system is actually prejudicial to the cause of education, and for this reason—the parents of children coming under the influence of these Acts say—"Oh, as to the education of our children, that will be provided for when they are old enough to go to work." That is, when they become half-timers they will get the education they need under the Factory Acts. That is not a mere idea on my part. It is not the creation of my mind. The complaint is, that children do not come into the schools until their ninth year, the result being that the arrangement of the schools is interfered with, and the whole force of the educational power disturbed and weakened by having children in the lower Standards who ought to be in the higher Standards. An illustration of this is given in the case of Preston, where, in three schools there were 851 children over nine years who were preparing for Standards I. and II. All of those children ought to have been in the higher Standards, and the reason why they were not was this—that they had been kept from school before the Factory Acts could operate, under the strange misconceptions and unfortunate apathy of the parents of the children. In one afternoon, as many as 1,134 children were counted in the streets, and I believe that in two streets alone as many as 443 were counted. [An hon. MEMBER: At what hour?] During school hours. Of these children it was stated—but this, of course, is a mere estimate—that five-sixths were of ages varying from four to eight, the ages of children who would be at school if the compulsory bye-law were obligatory instead of being permissive. Now, what, I ask, will be the effect of the Factory Acts when the ages are raised from eight to ten? Of course, the evil I have pointed out will increase, and it will increase to such a magnitude that it will be positively appalling. The fact is, that admirable as may be the intention of factory legislation with reference to the education of children, the results we desire to see cannot be properly attained unless you have direct compulsion in addition. The object of direct compulsion is to take care that those children who are below the factory age are sent to the schools instead of being in the streets, and I will venture to say that if they were in the schools, and in regular attendance there, up to the ago of eight, nine, and ten years, we should then find that the Factory Acts would be sufficient to continue the education of those children in such a manner as to produce the results we wish to bring about. I now come to the second part of my subject, and that has reference to the question, what is to be the machinery to be employed for the purpose of enforcing compulsion? I have dwelt, I am afraid, at too great length on the first part; but I have done so because I hold that it is exactly in proportion as we are impressed with the absolute necessity of compulsory attendance at schools that we should be disposed to dwell less upon the subject of the machinery. Of course, I recommend school boards as the machinery for this purpose. I naturally do this, because I find that in England we have already existing school boards with reference to one-half the population; and not only is that the case, but, after the experience we have had of the working of school boards in England, the Government came to this House and obtained the consent of Parliament to the universal establishment of school boards in Scotland. Therefore, I say, it is natural that I should recommend the adoption of school boards as the machinery for effecting the object in view. I do not hesitate to say that the school boards have worked well in England; and I say that, not merely with reference to the results I have already indicated with re- gard to compulsory attendance, but also with respect to the other results which have followed from the formation of school boards. It is perfectly true that there has been in some parts of the country what I have termed great discord, both at the elections and the meetings of the school boards; but that is one of the incidents of the freedom we enjoy in this country, and, although some of us may regret the bitterness, and especially the religious discord that has arisen in consequence of these school board contests, I will venture to say that the evils which have been occasioned thereby are very light in comparison with the magnificent results that have attended the action of the school boards. Now, what are the objections raised against these school boards? The first objection is as to the cost, and this is an objection which, I believe, exists in the minds of the farmers throughout the country. I have already shown that this is a mere myth, for surely they cannot object to one-third of a penny or one-half of a penny in the pound being added to their annual rates for the purposes of education. What, I ask, is the result of that expenditure? Why, Sir, when I have shown that, in an agricultural district like that of Hanslope, there is an average attendance 60 per cent greater than that in the neighbouring villages, surely my hon. Friends opposite will not suppose that even the farmers can object to this slight addition to their rates. There is, however, another objection, and it is one that is mainly entertained by the clergy. Their objection is that the compulsory formation of school boards will lead up to the erection of board schools; and they are afraid of board schools, for reasons which they have explained at great length, and which, therefore, I will not dwell upon. But I would here point out, as I have already done, that the clergy need not be at all afraid with regard to the matter, because it is perfectly clear that the operation of the Bill, if carried, will be confined, so far as the erection of schools is concerned, exclusively to those districts where there is already a sufficiency of school accommodation. I ask, what have they to fear if the district in which they reside is already provided with schools? The operation of the Bill would be to give them a machinery by which they could make their own voluntary and Church schools more useful, because the attendance at those schools would be increased, and all the youthful population would be got in them. Why, therefore, should there be any jealousy or apprehension with reference to the operation of the Bill? I am aware that when a school board is established in a district, there will be the possibility of transferring some of the existing schools to the school board; but that transfer can never take place unless two parties are willing—one, the managers of the voluntary schools now in existence, and the other the school boards. But the school board represents the whole parish—it represents the ratepayers of the entire district—while the managers of the voluntary schools represent all the interests of those schools and the religion that is taught in them. You cannot transfer one single school unless with the approbation of both these parties. I ask, then, when all parties to the transaction are willing and anxious to have the transfer made, will this House say that it will not allow a Bill to be passed which gives them that option, because, although the parties are willing to avail themselves of it, yet, nevertheless, the House thinks that that option may, if granted, be detrimental to the interests of education or religion? But I should state that that course can already be adopted under the Act of 1870; and, therefore, in reality the Bill would not confer on the parties referred to a new power, for it is one which they now possess, and one which also I do not think the House of Commons is very likely to take away from them. Hon. Members opposite may say it is all very well for me to put forth these statements, but that my opinions have no weight with them. Well, I will quote to the House a paragraph from a pamphlet which has been published by the Rev. John Wilkinson, rector of Broughton Gifford, and secretary of the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education, who may be taken as an authority on the subject. He says—
"The cost of these universal school boards will he no difficulty. The expense of a board may be a halfpenny rate, the maintenance of the schools two pence halfpenny more—in all, a three penny rate. The clergy have now an opportunity such as they never had before, and such as they never will have again. To oppose the formation of school boards is suicidal; we shall destroy our cause as well as ourselves. If we gladly welcome that aid, without which our schools can never be efficient, and that organization through which alone that aid can be supplied, we shall become component parts of a popular representative system, our just influence will be secured, and a field of usefulness opened to us larger than any we have yet enjoyed."
I now come to the last point but one on which I intend to touch. I desire to direct the attention of the House to the "whip" which has been issued by the National Education Union, and I do so because in that "whip" are stated the objections which the House is called on to consider as being those which ought to deter it from passing the Bill. In the first place, I would mention, in passing, that this "whip" is headed.—"The Bill to amend the Elementary Education Act, 1870, by making obligatory the formation of school boards, &c, throughout England and Wales." Now, I protest against this heading, because it is not a true quotation of the title of the Bill which is to ensure compulsory attendance, and the "whip," therefore, is liable to mislead hon. Members. Well, the "whip" goes on to give three reasons against the measure. The first of these is "economy," and under that head a comparison is instituted between the cost of the voluntary schools and the cost of the board schools. It is unnecessary for me to answer that, because as I have shown under the Bill, there would not be a single board school forced upon the country, it being no part of the measure to do that. I could say a great deal in favour of board schools, but this is neither the time nor the place. The second reason is board "elections," and it is said—"the establishment of a school board involves frequent elections, with the labour and cost of contests." Now, the cost of contests is included in the estimate of one-third of a penny in the pound, and I wish to point out that wherever this difficulty as to cost and labour and all the other results following from contested elections are likely to arise, which is in those towns and places where parties are equally divided, there you already have school boards. It is in the country districts mainly and almost exclusively that you have not got school boards, and there all parties are of pretty much the same way of thinking. There need be no contests in agricultural districts between one section of the Church and another—between the clergy and the farmers, or between these and the peasantry—for they have been so long accustomed to submit to the rule and influence of the powers that be, that there is no occasion to apprehend discord or trouble of any kind among them. I now come to the last point referred to in this "whip," and that is "local taxation." It says—"Local ratepayers have already serious burdens to bear, and it is earnestly hoped that the heavy costs entailed by school boards without corresponding advantages may not be extended." My answer to this is, that the cost is one-third of a penny in the pound, and that the corresponding advantage is that very nearly double the number of children will be educated in the schools. Whether the National Union chooses to consider that a corresponding advantage or not, I must leave it to them to say. Well, Sir, I come now to my last point, which is this—if school boards should not be adopted as the machinery for carrying out compulsion, what is the alternative?—and here it should be borne in mind that we are all agreed that compulsory attendance is desirable. For my part, I should be satisfied with the school boards, and I believe that the majority of hon. Members who sit on this side of the House would also be satisfied with them. But when we come to make a proposal of that kind to the House, it is only right that alternative propositions should also be placed before it, and it has been my duty carefully to watch what alternative proposals have been suggested. The fact is, however, that not a single alternative has been placed before the country. I have already alluded to the deputation from the National Union which waited on the heads of the Education Department on the question. On that occasion, a long string of propositions was submitted to the Department, showing that very great care had been taken in the consideration of the whole subject, and I have already stated that there was a Resolution showing that they had come to the conclusion that compulsory attendance was necessary. And yet for all that care and attention on their part, and representing, as those gentlemen did, so large and influential a body on this matter, they had no alternative proposition to present. It is true that one gentleman—Mr. Powell, lately a Member of this House, and who may be said to have broken away from his Colleagues on the point—did step forward to say that there was an alternative that might be adopted, and he suggested to the Department that, instead of school boards we might adopt, as the machinery for enforcing compulsion, the Boards of Guardians. My noble Friend, the Vice President of the Council, replied to that suggestion by stating that the Guardians were already complaining of the heavy nature of the duties thrust upon them, and that that new duty could not be fairly put upon that body. It appears to me that it is unnecessary to argue this matter further, as no authority could be greater than that of my noble Friend. It is not for me to show why the Guardians would be inferior to the school boards; but I may remind the House that they are not elected as the school boards are, for the special purpose of dealing with education—a duty that is not only an important one, but which is attended by peculiar difficulties, and requires to be very carefully, as well as very earnestly, carried out. If the school boards are not to be selected, and the Boards of Guardians are to be chosen, I would say give the Boards of Guardians the whole of the powers that are vested in the school boards, and if that be done I would not say that the body thus adopted might not in some respects be found to be satisfactory; but I do say that that body is an inferior body, and you will find that it will have none—or rather not all—of the advantages of the school boards, whereas it will possess all their disadvantages. You would also be throwing all these contests and the costs you speak of on an existing body, and endangering the good working of an existing institution, in order to avoid the formation of, certainly, a new body, but one which, I think, would be admirably adapted for its purpose. It is not now the time to enter into a discussion as to whether school boards might be improved. I think they might. I think the areas might be extended beneficially; but that is not the point at issue. I accept the school boards, and I say they are the best machinery we can have for the purpose we have in view. I ought to state that I was prepared to have made some observations with reference to the Amendment of the hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. J. G. Talbot); but as that Amendment has been withdrawn, and withdrawn, too, at the last moment, I think it unnecessary to make any reference to it, further than to say that I trust the withdrawal of the Amendment by my hon. Friend may be taken as an indication that he thinks the ground on which it was based is untenable. I would also remark that, whether it be tenable or not, in reality it never did in any way import any opposition to the Bill. It merely stated that before the Bill was passed something else should be done, and therefore I never counted my hon. Friend as an opponent, but merely classed him with that somewhat large number of persons who are always in favour of delay. I now submit the Bill to the House as an educational measure, as a measure that will not interfere unwisely, and certainly not unjustly, with the existing denominational schools; not as one that can be considered in any way detrimental to the interests of any particular Church, or to the interests of religion at large. I think, Sir, that the measure will be the means of attaining a very great object at the smallest possible cost, and with the least amount of harass either to existing interests or to existing prejudices. I venture to hope that the House will remember that it is not only the duty of Parliament to protect the children of the country against the apathy of their parents, but that it is especially the duty of this House, after having given political power to the masses, to take care that we shall hereafter be governed by an educated and not by an ignorant people. I beg, Sir, to move the second reading of this Bill.

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

, in moving, as an Amendment, that the Bill be now read a second time that day three months, said, the measure which had been brought forward by the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) though very brief, was very stringent in the character of the interference it proposed with the present system of education. It seemed to him to propose the enactment of a complete system of compulsion, requiring reluctant ratepayers to elect school boards in every civil and parochial district throughout the country, while those school boards were to enforce compulsory attendance on the part of the children in all the elementary schools. He had naturally expected from the hon. Member for Birmingham a speech of a different character from that he had just delivered. At the close of the last Session the hon. Gentleman had expressed himself in these terms—

"The object of the League was this, the establishment of school boards throughout the country with compulsory attendance of the children, and the boards to undertake the management, 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 money exclusively to the religious instruction of the children."
But that evening the hon. Gentleman said that the voluntary and denominational schools had nothing to fear from the establishment of school boards throughout the country, and that the Bill would be inapplicable to those cases where there was already a sufficiency of school accommodation, it not being his intention to interfere with voluntary education. Now, that appeared to be a very important change of front on the part of the hon. Gentleman, and having listened attentively to the speech with which the Bill had been introduced, it seemed to him (Mr. Birley) that the school boards were simply to be employed under it to enforce compulsory education throughout the country. In fact, the Bill might be called by any other name. They might just as well, if they pleased, establish a body of men elected by the ratepayers, and give them these compulsory powers; the school boards simply being a convenient name, and one with which the country was familiar. If there were no ulterior design in the case, probably there would be some way of getting out of the difficulty, for the hon. Member had admitted that there was no very serious difference of opinion, as to the importance of enforcing primary education. They knew that there was a large class of the community who would not send their children to school, unless they were obliged, but the system of the school boards had in itself wider application than that, and he (Mr. Birley) confessed he had great doubt as to whether it was desirable to elect school boards throughout the country, whether the country was willing or not, giving them practically so little work to do, whereas theoretically their powers were so very extensive. Let them look to what was the feeling of the country on the question of electing school boards. In the annual Report issued by the Education Department, it was stated that the population of England and Wales in the year 1871 was 22,712,266, of which the population of the metropolis was about one-seventh; the rest of the urban population, including 224 principal boroughs, was two-sevenths, or rather over; while the rural or semi-rural population, containing 14,082 civil parishes, contained the remaining four-sevenths of the population. The metropolitan district, or one-seventh of the whole had a school board prescribed by the Act. Of the municipal boroughs about 5,250,000 of the population had school boards, while 1,250,000 had none; and in the rural and civil parishes, while only 767 parishes had school boards, there were 13,315 parishes that had none. But he ought to add that in the case of the 767 parishes, the population was about 2,000,000, as against 11,000,000 in the 13,315 parishes. Of these civil parishes a small number had had school boards imposed upon them by the Education Department. It was clear from that that there was no great desire on the part of the rural parishes and the small towns to adopt the system of school boards; and if it were on this account only, he thought that the House ought to pause and consider what they were asked to do before adopting such a measure as that before the House. He was bound here to say that a good deal he had intended to say seemed to have become entirely unnecessary, because it did not appear from the change of front of the hon. Gentleman, to which he (Mr. Birley) had already alluded, that it was intended that the school boards should direct the education of the country; but he should like to ask whether it was not true that in many of the best educational countries of the world—Prussia, for instance, there were no school boards at all. [Mr. MUNDELLA: No; certainly not.] If there were school boards in the countries he had referred to, he must of course withdraw the statement which he had made; but he understood that the schools there were Government establishments, and that they were not managed by men elected by the rate- payers. [Mr. MUNDELLA: Partly by the State, and partly by election.] There was no doubt that the contests referred to had been a source of mischief, but the hon. Member for Birmingham was much mistaken in supposing that these differences could not occur in quiet rural neighbourhoods. In some of the small market towns there was quite as much difference of opinion and bitterness of feeling as in any of the large towns, and he did not therefore anticipate any great amount of harmony in carrying out the provisions of the Bill, should it become law. It must be remembered also that from the want of having anything really to do, school boards were nowhere free from the risk of falling into great disrepute, and in the new boards that might be established they would have the great danger of apathy and incompetence, and he might add of jobbery. In many school boards there had been very lavish expenditure, and this might be followed by parsimonious re-action. He now passed to what, after all, was the most important point for their consideration that day—namely, the question of compulsory attendance at school. The House had hoard many valuable illustrations of the advantages of compulsion. There was no doubt that attention had been directed to this subject, and that public opinion had been largely stimulated by the measure of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford four years ago, and the result had been, that a very large increase had taken place in the attendance at the schools. The hon. Member for Birmingham had not given them any particulars on this head; but he had said that the attendance was greater where there was compulsion than where there was none, and of that there could be no difference of opinion on either side. But there was another point on which he (Mr. Birley) wished to dwell, and that was the quality of the education. One great reason why they had not a better attendance at the schools and why the children did not remain longer was, that the quality of the education given was not of the character they required. There was no doubt, and it was admitted by the Education Department itself, that the action of the Revised Code has been to bring about something very like a dead level, injurious alike both to the teacher and the pupil, and Mr. Kennedy, one of the ablest of their Inspectors, had made some very pertinent remarks on this point. Mr. Kennedy said—
"I do not wonder that even the most intelligent parents take away their children from the elementary school after 10 or 11 years of age; perhaps it is their very intelligence that makes them do so. Where there is little, or perhaps nothing, taught save reading, writing, and arithmetic, the school is in truth merely an infant school grown to undue and monstrous proportions. The minds of the scholars in the highest Standard make no worthy progress. They may have advanced 'a rule,' they may spell harder words, but there is no true development."
He would not quote from other authorities on the same subject at any great length; but he should like to draw attention to a few remarks made by another experienced Inspector, Mr. Russell, who, in his Report of 1870, said—
"So far as my district, at least, is concerned, the methods of teaching all three subjects—reading, writing, and arithmetic—are, on the average, decidedly inferior to those commonly used in it before the introduction of the Revised Code."
Mr. Stewart, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Warburton, Mr. Watkin, and Mr. Arnold had all made Reports to a similar effect. With regard to the question of regularity of attendance, the fact was too much overlooked, although for another purpose the hon. Member for Birmingham had referred to it, that a large portion of the population was of a very migratory character, and that meant not only removing from town to town, but from one part of a town to another. Nothing was more common than to find a child attending a portion of a year at one school and then being obliged to go for the remainder to another school, and under these circumstances, the child could not be called up for examination. A large deduction should be made from the objections that had been raised on that score. In consequence of this circumstance it had been suggested by the Education Department, that certificates might be granted, so that a child removed from one school to another might have the advantage of the examination of which it is now deprived, and the suggestion was worthy of consideration. There was a general concurrence of opinion on the necessity of adopting some means of making education compulsory; but the hon. Member for Birmingham had said that no alternative machinery had been suggested. It had been stated that the nearest approach to the recommendation of an alternative to the machinery proposed in the present Bill was the suggestion of Mr. Powell, when with a deputation which waited on the Education Department a few weeks ago. The hon. Member for Birmingham had spoken of Mr. Powell as having broken loose, as it were, from his friends. He (Mr. Birley) could assure the hon. Gentleman it was nothing of the sort. It was true that another member of the deputation had said they had not come to a unanimous agreement as to what was the best body to whom the proposed authority should be entrusted, and Mr. Powell had observed that the guardians had been named. It seemed to him that without going so far as that, it might be possible to have a general enactment which by means of an extension of the Factory Act, the Workshop Act, and the Agricultural Children Act would soon bring all the children in the country under the operation of the compulsion clauses. It should be remembered that that question of compulsion was one in which they ought to consider the feelings of the people. It was an opinion widely expressed at the time of the last General Election, that the late Parliament had been too much in the habit of adopting systems of legislation which made that penal which had never before been considered a crime. If that was to be the policy of the House, it ought to be adopted with greater care and caution, and only under circumstances of the gravest moment. He was sure he was speaking the sentiments of many hon. Members on that side of the House, when he said that their objection to compulsion was not that they had any reluctance to perform a duty which they believed would be for the good both of the parents and children, but because they considered that the utmost caution was necessary in adopting any legislation for enforcing compulsion. The hon. Member for Birmingham had objected to the circulars sent out by the National Education Union, because they had objected to the Bill as one to amend the Elementary Education Act, by making the formation of school boards obligatory. Now, this statement contained the very words used in the title of the Bill. He held the Bill in his hand. [Mr. DIXON: That is not the Bill I hold in my hand.] His object was rather to object to the obligatory formation' of school boards than to the principle of compulsion. He trusted the speech of the hon. Member for Birmingham would inaugurate a new era in the history of this question. He had not heard a syllable from that hon. Gentleman attacking as a body the voluntary schools. He considered that one of the greatest evils besetting the discussion of this question had been the hostility of those who had endeavoured to foster bitter feeling as between the managers of the voluntary schools and the school boards. The speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham was, he was glad to say, of a totally different character. It was clear that it was the hon. Gentleman's intention to utilize the existing machinery as far as possible, so as to give all parties a fair chance, and to see that the regulations were placed in proper hands; that school boards might be formed as the occasion arose; and that if the parishes or the school boards neglected their duty the Department should step in; and that as much elasticity as possible should be given to the whole system. He would conclude by moving the rejection of the Bill.

in seconding the Amendment said, that before addressing himself to the Bill before the House, he wished to explain the reason for the withdrawal of his Amendment. He had thought it would be better to take the sense of the House directly on a matter so important as that now raised, and to avoid the misconception that he was prepared under certain conditions to agree to universal school boards. It would be more consonant with the genius of our institutions to encourage voluntary effort. Some hold that Continental education was bettor than ours. No doubt there were grievous blots on our social, moral, and intellectual condition; but still, looking at the educational system of Continental nations, as compared with our own, he thought we had not reason to blush at the result. He objected to the establishment of school boards, except under great necessity, because they were institutions which were quite opposed to the spirit of existing ones. He was in favour of voluntary effort, which he contended had produced results equal to the system of education adopted by any country in the world. The election and working of school boards caused unnecessary expense and a waste of time to carry on the education of the country, which up to the present, had been well done by those who felt interested in it. Besides, he thought that school boards would in time degenerate into local Parliaments, to be used for purely personal purposes, resulting in the agitation of questions that had better be left at rest. He would, for the benefit of new Members, show what were the principles of the Bill as originally introduced by the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), and how they had afterwards been departed from by the Government, especially in the matter of religious teaching. On the 17th of February, 1870, the right hon. Gentleman said—

"Ought we to restrict the school boards in regard to religion more than we do the managers of voluntary schools? We have come to the conclusion that we ought not. We restrict them, of course, to the extent of a most stringent Conscience Clause."—[3 Hansard, cxcix. 457.]
Then he went on to say that if they prescribed that there should be no religious teaching, they would get out of the religious difficulty, only to involve themselves in an "irreligious difficulty." He also stated the reasons why the late Government thought they would cause more religious quarrels by not leaving the decision of the question to the school boards. [See 3 Hansard cxcix. 438.] The right hon. Member for South Hampshire (Mr. Cowper-Temple) then urged that the inhabitants of a district should be left to decide the character of the teaching to be given in their schools; and on going into Committee, the late Government announced that they would accept the Cowper-Temple Clause, of which the late Prime Minister said that the Church of England was asked to make a surrender of the distinctive formularies of instruction which it had been her universal practice to employ, while a large proportion of the Nonconformists, having no formularies to use, consequently had none to abandon. More than that, the previous power given to school boards to contribute to voluntary schools, so economizing the forces of the neighbourhood, was struck out by the Government. That was no doubt accompanied by an increased grant towards the maintenance of voluntary schools, but that again was made less graceful by the withdrawal of all building grants after December 31, 1870. The school boards now had their liberty in those matters greatly infringed, and until that liberty was restored, he could never entertain the question of their fuller adoption. He and those who thought with him had high authority for objecting to those changes. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) speaking of the Education Act before his constituents in October last, strongly condemned them, and afterwards, in a letter to The Times, he said—"As to the changes and concessions made during the Session of 1870, which alone I seriously condemn," &c. Again, in his address to the electors of Greenwich, the late Prime Minister declared that he had a preference for the later over the earlier adjustments of the Education Act of 1870. The principal changes and concessions made in that Act were four in number—namely, first, the withdrawal of building grants after the 31st of December; second, school boards were granted when desired by the locality, even when there was no deficiency; third, school boards were not allowed to contribute to voluntary schools; and, fourth, the Cowper-Temple Clause. On the other side of the account, the only concession to voluntary schools was an increase of the annual grant. Those were the grounds on which he could not consent to see school boards made universally compulsory as long as they remained in their present condition. Passing to the question of compulsory attendance, he maintained that that principle was unnecessary, and that an encouragement of the existing system would produce the same effects as statutory compulsion. In support of that view he would mention the case of a school district in an agricultural part of Sussex, which contained 63 children of school age, all of whom were on the school books, and more than half of whom lived a mile from the school. Each child paid 3d. a week, of which 2d. was returned after 220 attendances were completed, or upon the whole year if the child was presented to the Inspector, and each child received a shilling for every subject of examination passed. The attendance had remarkably increased, having risen from an average of 40 in 1866 to 53·3 in 1873; and every child in the school district averaged 370 attendances during the year. The income of the school had increased, and the teachers' income had been raised. That very successful example of the plan of securing attendance without compulsion was carried out by the Rev. W. D. Parish, in Selmeston, near Lewes, and judging from it, he hoped the House would seriously pause before it made compulsion universal, instead of inducing parents to send their children to school by argument and persuasion. Their work was a great one, and it had a direct bearing on the interests of future generations; and therefore they ought to proceed with caution, deliberation, and judgment. By encouraging those who had hitherto laboured and were still labouring in the noble cause of voluntary education, they would do more for the welfare of the people than could be achieved by the adoption of extreme theories and chimerical projects.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."'—( Mr. Birley.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

congratulated the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon), on having half converted the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Birley) whose surprise at the remarks of the hon. Gentleman in introducing the measure, was only equalled by the surprise he (Sir John Lubbock) himself felt at the remarks of the hon. Member for Manchester, which were not directed so much against the Bill as in favour of extra subjects. But there was a marked difference between that speech and the one made by the hon. Seconder of the Amendment; and the speech of the hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. Talbot), on the other hand, was directed rather against the Act of 1870 than against the present Bill. At the recent banquet in the City the present Prime Minister truly said that—

"by elevating the spiritual, intellectual, and physical condition of our fellow-countrymen their energies might he trebled, and in that policy we should find the best security for the maintenance of our power and fame."
One great means of accomplishing that object was by improving the education of the children of this country while at school. For his own part, he had not, on all former occasions, been prepared to follow the hon. Member for Birmingham, but on this he should support the hon. Member, because he represented the general feeling of those persons who had paid the greatest amount of attention to the question of education. They were agreed that for the great evils of non-attendance and irregularity of attendance at school, the only means of cure was to enforce a general system of compulsory education. At the beginning of this year Lord Aberdare declared that without compulsion it was impossible to get the children to attend school at all, or to attend for a sufficient time; and the right hon. Member for Bradford had repeatedly stated that the great problem was how to get the children to school throughout the country. It was all very well for the hon. Member for West Kent to advocate the voluntary system; but it had been tried for many years and the result had not been altogether successful. Her Majesty's School Inspectors had strongly expressed the opinion that one great remedy for existing evils was that contained in the present Bill. Mr. Bowstead said—
"All the practical educationists with whom I have been brought into contact agree that compulsion in one form or another must be applied."
But perhaps the strongest testimony of all was contained in the very last Report of the Committee of Council on Education, where the Duke of Richmond and the noble Lord the Vice President of the Council, speaking in the name of Her Majesty's Government, and representing, no doubt, the mature judgment of the Education Office, said—
"But the lesson we draw from the figures we have quoted is, not that the conditions of our annual grants should be cither too rapidly raised in point of stringency or lowered to the level of existing things, but that earnest efforts will have to be made by every available means to secure and enforce the attendance of children at school, as the sole condition on which we can expect that the labours of the past few years will meet with an adequate return in the improved instruction of the labouring classes of the community."
Recently the noble Lord the Vice President of the Council had told them that there were no less than 900,000 children in the country who had not received six months' education. That was, indeed, a terrible state of things. What was the remedy? The country, as it seemed to him, had clearly expressed its views and wishes on the subject. What had been the action of the school boards? It appeared, from the last Report of the Committee of Council, that the population under school boards now amounted to 10,494,000 and that school boards representing no less than 9,442,000 of these had adopted the principle of general and compulsory education. The exceptions, moreover, were mainly in the smaller places, for out of 105 cities and boroughs, containing 8,534,000 inhabitants, 92, containing no less than 8,400,000, had adopted compulsion; so that, in fact out of 8,500,000, there were only 150,000 who were not under compulsion. That was surely very strong evidence as to the opinion of the country. He was glad to hear the Home Secretary hint the other evening, the time had come when we ought to consider whether children under 10 years of age ought to be allowed to undertake any continuous labour of any kind. But it was obvious that the more they extended legislation of that kind, the more necessary it was to insure the attendance of children at school. It might be that the effect of the present Bill would be to increase the number of school boards; but that was not the special object of the promoters of the measure; their main desire was to ensure the attendance of children at school; the formation of school boards was the means of effecting this object. Until quite recently an Amendment stood on the Notice Paper in the name of the hon. Member for West Kent. The latter, it was true, had disappeared, but the spirit, he feared remained. The hon. Member asked the House to affirm that it could not entertain the question of the universal establishment of school boards until perfect liberty of religious teaching should be secured to such boards by the repeal of the 14th section of the Elementary Education Act of 1870. Now, what was that 14th section? It provided simply "that no religious catechism or formulary which was distinctive of any particular religious denomination should be taught in the school "—that was, in any public elementary school. Now, from the very nature of the case, those catechisms were full of abstruse and abstract terms. To grown-up people they were most difficult—how much more, then, for children? But when he (Sir John Lubbock) had, year after year, endeavoured to obtain some instruction in geography, or in the elementary facts in nature for these children, his hon. Friend and those who acted with him had always opposed him, on the ground that the children were too ignorant to understand any history or geography; and yet, now, even the rudiments of an education were to be refused them, unless they were also instructed in the most difficult parts of religion, in doctrines which had puzzled and divided the wisest and most learned of mankind. If his hon. Friend said—"I will not allow these children to be educated, unless I am permitted to teach them my own catechism," that might be egotistical; it would be impracticable and unstatesmanlike; but it would at least be logical and consistent. But the hon. Member did not say that. He was anxious to prevent these children being educated, unless he was satisfied that they would be taught a number of opinions, most of which he himself considered to be false, dangerous, and heretical. If these views were adopted, the elections to school boards would turn on questions of theology, even more than was now the case. When it was once realized that school boards could not teach dogmatic theology, it was to be hoped that the best men would be selected, irrespective of their theological opinions; but if board schools were to be made sectarian, every school board election would necessarily turn on denominational questions, and everyone would feel bound to support the candidate of his own religious persuasion. It was gratifying to see that the venerable Archbishop of Canterbury himself did not appear to share the common objection to school boards; at least, he was reported as having said the other day that—
"There was one town in his diocese which he could not help thinking had hit off the golden mean in the matter. It had a school board, but no board school, and the result was that children were now sent to school in increased numbers."
Another ornament of the English Church, the Dean of Westminster, who displayed courtesy and charity towards those who differed from him, which did not always accompany distinction in theology, had recently referred with good-humoured disapprobation to the case of a clergyman who would not let the children of his parish go to a flower show, because he had reason to believe that some of the roses had been grown by Wesleyans, and the Dean went on to express his opinion, that it was good for men to mix with others of different religious opinions. In the same way it was surely an advantage that children of different denominations should go to the same school, and be instructed together in those principles of morality and religion about which most were agreed. Such a course could not fail to soften down the asperities of theological differences, and might, perhaps, impress upon them that charity, which was so essential a part of religion. It ought to be remembered that religion was by no means excluded from the school board schools—in fact, so far as he knew, there was only one town in England where religion was not taught in these schools. The inconvenience and expense of school boards had, he thought, been greatly exaggerated by the hon. Member for West Kent. He (Sir John Lubbock) lived on the borders of two parishes, one had a school board, the other had not. Still it had a committee, consisting of the very persons who would, no doubt, constitute the school board if there was one. It had a rate which was called voluntary, but everyone paid it, and everyone knew that if he refused, steps would be taken to form a board and make the rate compulsory. Now, what advantage was there in this, state of things to counterbalance the great disadvantage of being unable to make the education compulsory? The difference between the two cases was not so great as the hon. Member opposite would make it appear, and certainly was not so great as to throw difficulties in the way of extending compulsory education. The hon. Member for Manchester might carry his Amendment on the present occasion; but he (Sir John Lubbock) looked forward with hope to the time of another General Election, for he could not believe that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Government would go to the country as an opponent of national education. For his own part, he saw no cause for further delay, and he therefore hoped the House would at once pass the Bill. Compulsion had been found to work well abroad. It was all very well for hon. Members to object to our following foreign countries in this matter, but if foreign nations introduced any improvement in their armaments, in their army or navy, they were always anxious that we should not be behind; and why not then, in the matter of education? Moreover, even in this country compulsion had been shown to be necessary; it had been tried and was found to work well. School boards, again, were no longer an uncertain experiment; they existed over nearly one-half of the country, and they had shown that when the people, through their Representatives elected for that purpose, had had the opportunity of expressing their wishes, they had by a very large majority decided on general compulsory education. School board schools might cost somewhat more than voluntary ones, but they were, at least, much cheaper than prisons. The time had now arrived for extending the principle to the entire country. The additional expense would be very trifling, and not worth a moment's consideration when thrown into the balance with the ignorance of the children for whose welfare the Bill was introduced. While economy was good in education, as in everything else, there would be no worse economy than to allow children to grow up in ignorance. If the elections for school boards were clumsy and expensive, let them be simplified; if certain schools were too costly, an effort might be made to reduce the expense. There would be time for all that hereafter; but it ought to be remembered, that while they were quarrelling over sectarian differences, while they were haggling over shillings and pence, thousands and ten of thousands of their children were growing up in ignorance. Surely, therefore, it was a mistaken economy, surely it was a grievous error, in grasping at the empty shadow of a delusive economy to abandon the solid advantages of a national education which was now within their reach.

said, with regard to the remark of the last speaker as to imitating foreign countries, that there was no analogy between the case of the army and that of education, and pointed out that if the analogy was carried further than the hon. Baronet had done, they would find in respect of the Army, that we had refused to adopt one important principle from foreign nations, the very principle which was now the subject of contention—he referred to compulsion. He (Mr. Scourfield) objected to the principle of compulsion in toto, and when the Scotch Education Bill was before the House, he opposed the compulsory clauses, and would have divided the House on the subject, if he had not been vanquished by the arrival of the dinner hour. He should be consistent, and follow the same course on the present occasion. The hon. Baronet had remarked that the voluntary system had not been altogether successful in this country. That was, in fact, a high compliment, for what system had been altogether successful? It had been said by Professor Smyth, one of the lecturers at Cambridge, that "the perfection of political wisdom was to be contented with mediocrity of success." One objection which he had to the present Bill was, that it seemed to him to be one of its main objects to prop up the credit of false prophets. It had on former occasions been contended by himself and others, that the amount of school accommodation to be provided would be far in excess of the actual wants. Facts had justified that anticipation; and now they were called upon to resort to compulsory means of securing a larger attendance, in order to save the reputation for infallibility of those who had called for the existing accommodation. It seemed to be thought that if that reputation was impaired, the whole system of nature would be convulsed; but for his part, he ventured to think that things would go on pretty much in their usual way. He maintained that the system of compulsion was foreign to all our institutions, and that if there was one principle which had been peculiarly observed in the public affairs of this country, it was that the end did not justify the means. Our criminal law afforded a notable illustration of the fact, for in its application, the country always required the greatest caution to be exercised in making use of the means provided. In an able article which appeared some time ago in The Times, on the life of that most distinguished man, Professor Simpson, of Edinburgh, who had done so much to mitigate human suffering, and who, among other plans, had one for the extirpation of the terrible evil of smallpox, it was remarked—

"The proposal to stamp out the small-pox by compulsory isolation was unsuccessful, because, however practicable in the abstract, the necessary isolation would have been utterly subversive of the constitution and liberties of England."
The hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle (Sir Wilfrid Lawson), wished to stamp out and extirpate drunkenness, and it might be that he had not in the least exaggerated the evil which he sought to remove; but it was felt that the means he proposed were incompatible with the social comfort and the free conduct of the vast mass of the people. It was now proposed in a similar way to extirpate ignorance. That was a subject on which there was the greatest diversity of ideas, and he doubted whether one person in ten had an accurate notion of what education meant. There was a great deal of work performed in this country which was a training in itself. Everything that was purely mechanical, involving mere routine, was not instruction; but all occupations which trained the mind, and encouraged patience and presence of mind, afforded a most valuable means of education. As the First Napoleon had said—"Courage, patience, and presence of mind will overcome everything." No man could be truly called ignorant who knew the business he professed to know; but, on the contrary, every man was ignorant who, when he undertook to direct a particular business, failed in the performance of his duty, and then made it a set-off, that he knew a good many other things which did not enter into the necessary performance of his duty. He made these remarks because he thought on the question of education and ignorance there was not that uniformity of opinion as to their definition which prevailed with regard to other evils which it was proposed to stamp out by compulsory processes. When a person asked for relief, and received money, the donor might impose some condition upon its receipt; and also, if a man committed an act of vagrancy, it would be right to impose certain conditions upon him; but to interfere with the education of every child, and tell the parent to send that child to a particular school, where, among other things, he might find bad companions, was an intolerable interference with social liberty which he hoped would not be successfully carried out. He knew something of the masses of the people of the country, and he felt that it was necessary to be careful lest, in using words which seemed very fair in themselves, they gave powers which, when carried out in matters of detail, might prove obnoxious. He had spoken of the school accommodation as being greatly in excess of the actual wants, and he thought he was justified in doing so, for while accommodation had been provided for more than 2,000,000 children, not half that number had availed themselves of it. In the course of last Session, a gentleman who had been mainly instrumental in building a school, applied to the Privy Council for assistance, and was required to reduce the amount of accommodation he had intended to provide; but some time afterwards, when the school was built, he was desired to enlarge it, although the population of the parish was declining. Things like this irritated people, and, carried very far, would set them against the extension of this system of education—a system which required much delicacy and tact in its administration. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. Forster), in a speech delivered on January 26, said that however anxious he might be to compel the parent to send his child to school, it must be acknowledged that it was an interference with liberty which must be very cautiously carried out, and that if caution was not observed, it would be impossible to apply the principle. He (Mr. Scourfield) concurred in that remark of the right hon. Gentleman, who had shown great consistency in regard to the question, and had treated the subject generally in a manner which had not always been the rule with the Education Department. Indeed, he could not help saying that a great deal of the ill-will which had existed in connection with the matter, had been caused by the manner in which, on many occasions, the correspondence between the Education Department and persons interested had been conducted. It, however, might be partly explained, when they considered that the writers of official letters, who were probably only clerks sitting on three-legged stools, were not always so civil as they might be. With regard to the mass of the people, he believed they might easily be led, but they could not be driven, and there was nothing they more dreaded than official meddling and interference. He did not exactly understand the way in which the mass of the people were regarded by many persons; at one time they were regarded as those to whom all political power might be confided; at another time they were held to be unfit even to look after the education of their own children. In times of difficulty and danger he had heard many arguments, apparently very logical, intended to prove that we were infallibly going to destruction; he still, however, had confidence in the general good sense and good feeling of the people of this country, and he thought that this matter of education might be left to that good sense and good feeling, without the imposition of restrictions which were quite at variance with our institutions. With respect to the Factory Acts, he had been present at most of the debates in regard to them, and he had a distinct recollection that they had been passed, not from educational, but solely from sanitary motives. He supported them, because he objected to the injurious effects long hours must have on women and children; but that was an entirely different sort of compulsion from the one proposed in the Bill under notice.

said, the time had arrived when compulsion ought to be applied to the attendance in all public elementary schools. The penalties of the law might properly enforce upon the parents that duty which nature had already imposed upon them, and which their own conscience and natural affection ought to lead them to fulfil. Regular attendance would never be secured without some stringent law being supplied to punish those parents who allowed their children to remain uneducated, and he believed the general feeling of the country had come round to the necessity of compulsory education. Compulsion, however, could only be carried out in harmony with public opinion in the localities, and in some form that would not increase the prejudice that existed against school boards in many rural districts. But the machinery of the Bill was not the best for parishes in which sufficient accommodation was provided by voluntary schools. The constitution and election of school boards were fitted to secure responsibility and economy in the expenditure of rates; but if boards were established in parishes where no expenditure of the rates was required, merely for the purpose of framing some simple and obvious regulations providing for the attendance of the children, and to see them carried into effect, that cumbrous machinery—which was only required for very different purposes—would introduce the conflicts and expenditure of contested elections. He would suggest that the Boards of Guardians should elect a small Committee of persons whom they might consider best fitted, from local knowledge, experience, and judgment, to frame the regulations for regular attendance that would be suitable to the circumstances of the district; and who might be trusted to deal with exceptional cases with common sense. They would occupy a position more of a judicial than of a representative character. Such a form of double election would be most likely to select the best persons. But if school boards were forced upon reluctant parishes, the electors—ratepayers who were afraid of extravagance, and jealous of too much education being given to the lower classes—might elect persons opposed to education, and disposed to thwart the Act. He believed there were many ways in which that great object could be helped on, but he feared that if the Bill were passed, it would impede rather than promote it, and for that reason he could not support it. The discussion on the Bill would, however, not be without its use if it induced the Government to give the subject earnest consideration, with the view of providing a means of meeting an obvious want. He believed the time had come for doing that, and that on the basis of the experience already gained they could provide effectually for the application of compulsory regulations to voluntary schools.

said, the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) had said that it was generally acknowledged that any education short of Standards IV. and V. was unsatisfactory, and that the children who could only pass Standard III. were likely very soon to forget all that they had learnt. The value of that assertion depended very much upon what the Standards of III., IV., and V. were, and that was the question which had not been brought before the House, or, indeed, before the country, and he thought he might venture to say that there was not sufficient information upon the point to justify an intelligent public opinion being formed upon the question at all. Standard III. was stated in the Education Code to be "A more advanced elementary book"; but there was no standard book adopted and sanctioned by the Government, and in order to ascertain what Standard III. was, they had to go to those books which were ordinarily used in schools under that denomination. He had provided himself with four or five such books, and he would venture to ask the attention of the House to the character of those books. He would read a single sentence from three or four of them. And to show that his remarks were within the truth he would quote a sentence from the first lesson in every one of those books. The books were bought at the principal depôt of the National Society, and he there inquired for the books in general use in the country under the different Standards. The first book he took up gave children such words to spell as "crocodile," and "ichneumon," "devour," "prudence," and "contrive." In the first lesson of Neilson's Third Reading Book, he found that there were words with ten letters, such as "quivering," "construction," "thatched," and the words in common use were of a similar character. He should next quote from the Christian Knowledge Society's Third Standard book. The first words in the book to be spelt were "circumstance," "different," and "tolerable specimens." He trusted he had produced tolerable specimens of what Standard III. books were. The second sentence in that book was this—"You know that strong bone reaching down to the middle of the back which makes you sit and stand firm and straight." The last book to which he should refer was that published by the National Society—their Third Book; in the first lesson of which there were no less than 16 words in a single page, from seven to ten letters, as "candidate," "precious," "appearance," "ordinary," and "common." One sentence in that book contained a lesson which he might venture to read to the House which while affording a good specimen of Standard III., gave a valuable piece of advice which might be acted upon in that House, It was—"We learn from experience that very often things appear to our eyes different from what they really are." He thought he had shown that Standard III., which those unfortunate pauper chil- dren were to be compelled to pass before they were to be allowed to earn their daily bread, instead of being, as asserted the other day, a low standard, was in reality a high standard; such a standard as not only pauper children, but children of any class, of the ages of 10 or 11, would find quite difficult enough. He wished to have a word on the subject of compulsion. He had been on a school board which exercised compulsory powers with regard to the pauper children which had been referred to, and those who were on the verge of pauperism. And they must remember this, when they talked of compelling their children to go to school instead of earning their bread, what they practically found upon a school board was some such thing as this—a wretched woman with three or four children, receiving from the parish 3s. or 4s. per week, brought up for not sending her child to school. She would plead that the little urchin was earning her 3s. or 4s. per week, and if they refused to allow her to send him to work, she asked whore she was to get him bread. That was an unanswerable argument. The only way in which a case of that kind could be met was by providing an increased parochial allowance at least equal to the wages of that child. He doubted very much whether the ratepayers would sanction that greatly increased expenditure, and they would consider with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett) that "work was better than want." If they took away the very bread from the mouths of the children by compelling them to give up their employment without such an increase of parochial allowance, they would be interfering in a manner which no elected school board would carry out. He hoped that the House would not sanction universal compulsion; but if it were to be understood by the boards of the country that compulsion must be carried out, he hoped that it would be with the greatest possible consideration for the poorest and the most defenceless in the land.

believed that the speech which the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Birley) had delivered in opposition to the Bill would in future years be regarded as constituting an epoch in the history of elementary education in the country. The speech of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) was so temperate, that the hon. Member for Manchester, who rose to oppose the Bill, did in effect second the proposition of the hon. Member for Birmingham, because he agreed with the most important parts of his speech. He (Mr. Fawcett) would not have ventured to trouble hon. Members with any remarks on the present occasion if he did not fear it was possible something was about to happen that afternoon which would not permit the progress of what a strong majority in the House desired. A division would be taken upon a false issue, because many who were in favour of compulsion would vote against the Bill of his hon. Friend, because they objected to the particular mode in which compulsion was proposed to be carried out. What the supporters of the Bill regarded, however, as of the first importance was the compulsion itself, the machinery by which it was to be carried out, being in their estimation only a secondary consideration. He was therefore anxious about this beyond all things, that the real strength in favour of compulsion should be shown in order that it might be a guide to the Government in the framing of a general measure on the subject. His hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham was the representative of a great educational organization, and many hon. Members might suppose that he desired universal compulsion, in order that school boards might in some way injure denominational schools. ["Hear, hear," from the Ministerial side.] That was exactly what they did not want. He believed he spoke the sentiments of many hon. Members who sat near him when he said that if the Government would introduce a measure of general compulsion without requiring that school boards should be constituted universally, they would gratefully accept that measure. The supporters of the Bill had no desire to injure denominational or voluntary schools, and for himself, whatever might be his own feelings in connection with undenominational education, he always recognized existing facts, and would not support any endeavour by a side wind to aim a blow at denominational schools. What he eared for above all things was, that the children should go to school, and it was altogether a minor consideration to him whether they wont to a denominational or undenominational school, and in that view, before concluding he would throw out a suggestion to the Government, which he thought they might very well accept. As to the arguments in favour of general compulsion, they had been so ably treated by the hon. Member for Birmingham that he would only say this—the hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. Talbot) talked about direct compulsion being odious, and he was in favour of indirect compulsion. He (Mr. Fawcett) could see no distinction in principle between direct and indirect compulsion, and by accepting the principle of indirect compulsion, they had swept a-way every argument against direct compulsion. What was the difference between the two? If they had indirect and not direct compulsion they would say to a thrifty father of children who sent his child to work "We will not allow you to send your child to work; he shall go into the streets rather than work." That child would become an outcast of society, unless they took care that he should attend school so many hours a week. But if they enforced" upon an unthrifty parent, who allowed his child to live a kind of vagabond life, some security for the education of his child, then they would be doing for the child of that unthrifty parent what they did not do for the child of a thrifty parent; and there would be this anomaly, that the children of one parent might be left to grow up in ignorance, whilst those of another would be educated, because their parent was a pauper. Allusion had been made in the course of the debate about parents being harassed by a compulsory system. Why did not hon. Members express those sentiments when the Factory Bill was last week before the House? That Bill was not simply a health measure. The Home Secretary stated again and again that it was a sanitary and educational measure, and the Preamble declared that the object of the Bill was to make better provision for the education of children. That provision was characterized by a principle of compulsion. An Act was passed at the close of the last Parliament—and it received the unanimous approbation of the great Conservative party—in which this principle was laid down, that no person should receive parochial relief unless he sent his children to school. The passing of that Act destroyed every argument against a measure of general compulsion. A great deal had been said about the cost of carrying out general compulsion. With reference to the point it had been ordered that the country should be occupied with schools sufficient to accommodate all children of school age; and could there be a greater waste than when these schools had been built by great efforts, by generous subscriptions on the part of friends of voluntary education, and by large grants from the Imperial Exchequer and by rates, to allow them to remain half empty, because they were not prepared to go one step further and see that the children for whom they were built should attend them? During the last fifteen years he, as a Fellow of a College, had had to administer a certain amount of landed property. Before the Elementary Education Act was passed, all in the College to which he belonged recognized one of the first duties of the ownership of property by liberally subscribing to a school. But what was their position now? They were obliged to discontinue their subscriptions. And why? Not because they were less anxious to promote education, but because under the existing law, the only possible chance of getting children to attend school was to withdraw subscriptions, so that a school board might be rendered necessary, and that in that way, machinery might be brought into operation to carry into effect the wishes of the friends of education. Under the existing law, although in the large diocese of Salisbury the feeling in favour of general compulsory education was strong and wide-spread, yet, in consequence of its being associated with school boards, there was only a chance of its being carried out in one town of the diocese. As he had promised, in the early part of his speech, he would make a suggestion to the Government, as he was particularly anxious that the friends of compulsion should not be forced to vote against the Bill, merely because they objected to school boards. As yet, no better machinery had been suggested than that afforded by school boards, but the supporters of the measure did not wish to force the House into a decision that compulsion was to be carried out by school boards, and by school boards alone. Therefore, if Her Majesty's Government should propose that any other local authority should frame rules for compulsory education, those who intended to vote for the Bill now under consideration would cordially accept such a proposal. He, and hon. Gentlemen who acted with him, were striving for compulsion in order to secure the attendance of children at school, and not in order to gain a triumph for undenominational education, and if the Government would say—"We accept the principle of general compulsion, but we are not prepared to say what will be the machinery with which we shall carry it out," he, for one, should be satisfied with such a declaration, and would leave the subject in the hands of the Government, in the confident expectation that they would introduce a measure to solve the difficult question, and confer a lasting boon upon the people of this country. Hon. Members ought to remember that they had conferred a preponderance of political power upon the working classes, and if a judgment might be based on an expression used by the highest authority that Session, that preponderance would soon be considerably increased. Beyond that, subjects involving all the complicated questions between capital and labour were daily occupying more of the thought of the working classes. The attention they were bestowing upon these matters might prove a blessing to the country, or it might prove a curse, for ignorance was the parent of delusion, and many delusions, such as that of the labourer's lot being bad because of the tyranny of capital, and that of wages being low because Parliament did not intervene, might develop into a baneful growth, if they had the fertile soil of ignorance to feed upon. If he reflected solely on that aspect of the question, it would make him feel that what hon. Members ought chiefly to care about, and what he most desired was to secure the attendance of those children who either were not at school at all, or who attended very irregularly, and he regarded that subject as of infinitely greater importance than any questions that might be associated with the rivalry of sects or the contentions of denominations.

said, that though he was himself strongly in favour of compulsory education, he could not vote for a Bill, the main object of which was to provide for the compulsory formation of school boards throughout the country. No great practical difficulty had been found in carrying out the principle of compul- sion in those places where it had been adopted, and if the object of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) had been simply to introduce compulsion, no one—not even the hon. Member for Hackney—would have supported him more warmly; but if this attempt to establish school boards was only made in order to obtain compulsion, a great change had come over his dream. He (Mr. Grantham) always believed that the great object aimed at by the members of the Birmingham League was to put an end to voluntary and denominational education, and it was upon that ground, that in previous years they were in favour of the compulsory formation of school boards. He therefore came to the conclusion that the compulsory education of children was, in their opinion, only a secondary object, and as the Preamble of the Bill and its title was disingenuous he should do all that he could to oppose it. Last night he had the honour of formally opening a large school in a poor neighbourhood in London where there was also a large board school. It was opened three months ago, nominally as a Sunday school, and six weeks ago as a National school. It would hold 800 or 900 children, the people had subscribed £3,600 to erect it, and before it had been opened six weeks, 500 or 600 children were in attendance. They paid 3d. a-week, whereas in the board school the children paid only 1d. That circumstance showed that many of the poor preferred to send their children to a denominational school, even when there was a cheaper board school close by. Still, if board schools were established everywhere, they would in many districts have a tendency to draw children from denominational schools to the schools established by the school boards, and, consequently, by diminishing the grants obtainable by the schools for the number of their children, materially impoverish the schools. In fact, people would not subscribe as they now did for voluntary schools in districts where school boards took the matter up, and they had to pay an increased poor rate besides their subscription. He hoped Her Majesty's Government would take up the question of compulsion seriously next Session or the Session after, and would introduce a measure giving to denominational schools the power of enforcing compulsory attendance. As he had said, that was not so difficult a thing as it was often assumed to he. When bye-laws were framed by school boards it was not found so very difficult to carry them into effect, and it must be remembered that it was not the school board or its officers that enforced attendance, or punished parents for the non-attendance of their children. It remained for the magistrates to decide whether a parent should be fined or imprisoned, and they were very loathe to fine or imprison him except in extreme cases. Why, he wished to know, should not certain of the managers of denominational schools be empowered by a rule introduced in the Education Code to bring offending parents before the magistrates in the same manner as the school boards did under the existing system?

said, there had been so many Education debates that he sometimes feared the House was becoming weary of the subject; but there certainly had been no signs of weariness that day, because the proposal submitted by his hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham related to the most important branch, by far, of the education question. Notwithstanding the Education Act vast numbers of the children of the poor were not taught at all, because they never went to school, or else were so irregular in their attendance that the instruction they received did not deserve the name of education. While the general tone of the hon. Member for Birmingham's speech was moderate and conciliatory, the arguments he advanced in favour of compulsion were overpoweringly strong. Perhaps his hon. Friend had not made sufficient allowance for the schools which were not under Government inspection, and, perhaps, he had not displayed to the House quite enough of the hopeful side of the picture, by admitting that the average attendance had increased from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 in the last three years. But there was no doubt whatever of the general correctness of hon. Member's figures, or of his inference that, unless we could compel the attendance of children at the schools, we should get no security for the object we had at heart—namely, that the children of our poorer fellow-subjects should not grow up in ignorance. The figures in the Report issued by his (Mr. Forster's) successors in the Education Department were terribly correct, and the conclusion which the Duke of Richmond and his noble Friend (Viscount Sandon) drew from those figures could hardly be disputed. They said—

"The lesson we draw from the figures we have quoted is that earnest efforts will have to he made by every available means to secure and enforce the attendance of children at school, as the sole condition on which we can expect that the labours of the past few years will meet with an adequate return, in the improved instruction of the labouring classes of the community."
The most available means, in his opinion, would be a declaration by law that there must be an enforcement of direct compulsion throughout the Kingdom. As to the objection that that would be an interference with the liberty of the subject, he would remark that the Legislature interfered with the liberty of the subject by every law it passed; and, in opposition to the hon. Member for Pembrokeshire (Mr. Scourfield), he contended that, in that case, the end fully justified the means. The State had a right to declare that a man should not be allowed to starve the mind, any more than he was allowed to starve the body of his child. There must be a declaration by law, that every parent who could pay for the education of his child should do so, with the assistance which the State afforded, and that when he was unable to do so, the State should step in and educate the child on his behalf. Accordingly, by the Act passed last year the Legislature had declared it to be the duty of the State to see that children should be taught, if the parents, being paupers, were utterly unable to provide for their instruction, and now his hon. Friend asked the House to go a step further and complete the work by supplementing it with the principle of general compulsion. He would here premise that when the late Government provided for the passing of bye-laws with regard to compulsory education, they did not look forward to permissive compulsion as the ultimate solution of the difficulty. Indeed, he felt quite sure that the success of the experiments which would be tried would be so signal that, in a short time, the House would be in favour of universal compulsion. The result had proved that he was right, for almost every considerable town of importance had taken advantage of the clause, and the general opinion of the country and of the labouring classes, who were most likely to be affected by the measure, was almost unanimously in favour of compulsory education. Judging from that, he could not look forward to a continuance of the anomaly by which it was a crime for a child on one side of a hedge to remain uneducated, while it was a matter of no consequence what was done in the case of another child on the opposite side of the hedge. They had, in fact, pushed indirect compulsion as far as they could, without supplementing it by direct compulsion, and they could not much longer interfere with work, without interfering with idleness also. They had declared that the ratepayers must, in all cases, defray the cost of the education of a child for whom the parent could not pay, and, surely, it was unfair to impose that burden on the ratepayers without being also prepared to compel a parent who was able to do so to pay for the education of his child? As to half-time education, he approved the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cross) as to the factory districts. There was, however, another part of the Bill now under discussion, for it provided not only for compulsory attendance at school, but also for the compulsory formation of school boards, as to which the circular sent to hon. Members by the National Union, a body which had done much good in the cause of education, was not framed with that regard for proportion which generally characterized their documents. After referring; to the compulsory formation of school boards, it ended with "&c," but, in his (Mr. Forster's) judgment, the "&c." related to by far the most important portion of the Bill. For his own part, he doubted whether the compulsory formation of school boards was the best machinery for carrying out compulsion in the districts in which no school boards existed at present. It would be, in the first place, a cumbrous machinery for the purpose, and it would subject the districts to a good deal of trouble and some expense, which, although he did not think would be very great, yet it would be unacceptable to those who had to elect the boards, and, in the second place, in districts where there was no compulsion, it was evident that the ratepayers did not desire a school board. An unwilling and inactive body was the very worst they could get, and supposing the district thoroughly disliked the notion of a school board, was it likely that compulsion would be well carried out if Parliament forced the ratepayers to form themselves into a body which they did not like for the purpose of enforcing it? His own impression was, that in such a case they would give somebody a very small salary not to do the work. In Scotland it was easy to establish school boards everywhere, as that was merely the development of an old-established principle; but in England the case was wholly different. It did not seem to him, therefore, that a compulsory school board was the best mode of meeting the difficulty. "What, then, was the best mode? That was a question which the noble Lord opposite would have to answer, just as he (Mr. Forster) would have had to answer it had he been in the noble Lord's place. The mode in which the thing was to be done was an Administrative question which could be solved only by the Minister of the day, who had at his command the official resources and assistance which would enable him to do it. There were two or three general features, however, which he would suggest should be found in any compulsory law. The first was the declaration of the law throughout the whole country; the second, the fixing of an ago up to which the law should be universal in its application. It might, for instance, be universal and stringent up to 10 years of age; but after 10 and up to 13 or 14, it might be very elastic, so as to combine schooling with the possibility of work. He was strongly of opinion that, while on the one hand, we could not go further with indirect compulsion until we supplemented it by direct; on the other hand, we could not have universal compulsion without applying indirect compulsion to all the employments of the labouring classes. We could not go on picking out one class of work after another, but would have to apply the same rule to every kind of employment. But now, came the great difficulty of the whole matter. Having declared what the law should be, who was to enforce it? We could not hope to carry out compulsion by giving the managers of voluntary schools any legal powers, as suggested by the hon. Member who spoke last. In his opinion, it could only be carried out successfully by the Government, and they would have to make use either of Government officials or elected officials. If the Government came to the conclusion that they would adopt the principle of compulsion—and from the answer of the Duke of Richmond in "another place" he hoped they would—there would be, of course, a great advantage in getting some local body to assist. But if they could not get any local body, they must not be afraid to pass a law to enforce compulsion; and if the Government attempted to enforce the principle there would be the power of the magistrate, the power of the police, and the power of the Government to appoint special officers to carry the law into effect. Then came the question, what vote was the House to give on this Bill? For his own part he confessed it was not perfectly easy for him to come to a decision, because the Bill had two objects—the one compulsory attendance, the other the compulsory creation of school boards. With the first object he agreed; he had great doubt with regard to the second. But balancing the two questions, he had come to the conclusion that compulsory attendance was the really important matter—that the other, which was a question of machinery, was by no means so important, and, therefore, if his hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham went to a division he should feel it his duty to vote with him. The question at that time of the Session could not by any possibility be successfully settled, and therefore, although no practical result could follow from the division that would be taken, he should by his vote certainly support the principle of compulsory education. He congratulated the noble Lord on the good omen which might be gathered from the speeches that had been made on the question that afternoon; the object of everybody apparently being, to obtain for the children interested the best possible education.

said, he joined most cordially in the remarks which had been made as to the improvement in the general tone of the discussion compared with what had been the case in former years. It reflected, he believed, the sober judgment of the nation on that great question; and he begged to express his own obligations to the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) for the conciliatory speech he had made. The hon. Gentleman in making it, had committed himself to one very important point—that there was no objection whatever to the use of compulsory powers, even though the effect might be to drive the children into denominational schools. That was a truly liberal view to take—a view which had been upheld for years with great eloquence by the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett), but one to which the associates of the hon. Member for Birmingham had not so often given expression. It was, however, only by taking such a large and liberal view that we could secure a sound education for all the children of the country. The hon. Member also made an admission that he did not care about the machinery, provided we could get the children into the schools, though he should prefer school boards. Now, it seemed to him (Viscount Sandon) that the Bill had hitherto been discussed upon rather a false issue. When he looked into the Bill he could not but see that its main object was to create a vast new machinery with regard to education, in every village as well as town throughout the land—in fact, almost new municipal institutions for the whole country; that compulsory attendance at school was only an incidental part of the measure. The main feature of the Bill, in fact, was the creation of school boards universally, and upon that point, he at once took issue with the hon. Gentleman opposite. Means were already provided, and had been in existence for the last four years, by which people could express an opinion on the subject, and more than half the population, or about 12,000,000, did not want to have school boards. They had watched the experience of their neighbours, and had come to the con-elusion that they did not like school boards. That was a very important consideration before forcing compulsory school boards on an unwilling country; for what would be the effect of any such attempt? What sort of school boards would they be likely to get? Were they likely to secure the hearty co-operation of the best men around them or would they not rather get a lukewarm and reluctant co-operation which would be very ineffective for the object in view. If they passed the Bill, after one or two meetings of the new municipal body to frame bye-laws, an officer would be ap- pointed to get the children into the schools, and make them obey the bye-laws. If the parents would not send their children, then the resort was to the magistrate, who was to decide whether the officer was justified in forcing the children to school. He could not conceive anything more mischievous than creating those complicated municipal bodies in every part of the country, with very little to do except to talk. Then, there were two important items which had boon overlooked—the expense of canvassing to individuals who might come forward to take their share in the work of the board, and the cost to the locality, which would be considerable; and with regard to the latter, the country, already, was not bearing with great composure some of the expense which school boards were entailing on it now. He had received a Petition from Liverpool the other day against the filling up of a large vacancy, which would cost the rates, he was informed, £1,500, and also from another place in which it was stated, a by-election would cost the public in that locality £700. Before, therefore, they scattered compulsory boards all over the country, the House was bound well to consider whether it was justified in forcing on it such an organization, and also whether such a course was expedient and absolutely necessary for the common object they had in view. It was impossible to shut their eyes to the fact that there was an increasing disinclination throughout the country to the triennial wrangling of the people who had been accustomed hitherto to live in harmony, and it would certainly be very unwise, and a serious hardship, unless for a proved necessity, to add another electoral struggle to the present amply sufficient contests of their civil life. He doubted whether any very large number of hon. Members would support his hon. Friend in forcing compulsory school boards on the country; and more especially, when it was remembered that when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford had to face the difficulty, he had decided against the plan of universal compulsory school boards. The other part of the question, which was altogether a by-question, was that of a general system of compulsion—namely, of compulsory regular attendance at school of all children of school age—and with regard to it the course of the debate had shown the House that it was no easy matter to introduce such a system. Even the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford had no very definite scheme to suggest for enforcing general compulsion. [Mr. FORSTER: I said it was for you, the responsible Minister, to suggest it.] He felt sure his right hon. Friend would have given the House the benefit of the scheme, if he had any. The House could hardly realize the enormous sacrifices the country had made in the cause of education. Why, the voluntary contributions for building schools had amounted to no less than £15,000,000 since the school system had been started a generation ago, while the State had contributed only £1,500,000. He quoted those figures to show the enormous pecuniary sacrifices which had been made by private persons, and the determination it evinced on their part that their poorer neighbours should have the benefit of a thorough education. People did not spend such sums voluntarily unless they felt a determination that the system to which they had contributed their money should be perfected. Then, the contributions from the rates were something like £3,000,000. But he would beg the House to remember that acting on behalf of the Government, when he introduced the Education Estimates, he felt bound to call attention to the miserable results as to attendance which a close study of the figures showed, notwithstanding all this zeal shown by the voluntary contributions, just mentioned, of those interested in education. That was the deliberate act of the Government to make the country ponder deeply on the fact, and to show that these questions of irregular attendance and non-attendance were receiving their best attention. In the face of the great difficulties of enforcing compulsion, to expect Government, before seeing its way, to commit itself as to the best machinery for securing that attendance at school which they all desired, and to attain which hon. Gentlemen on both sides had long been labouring, was surely unreasonable; and, indeed, the House would feel that the Government were unworthy of their place if, after their short experience of office, they committed themselves in any such way, without far more time for consideration of this very grave and difficult subject, and for consultation with others respecting it. Indeed, the words which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford dropped, as to the extreme difficulty of finding out machinery for carrying out compulsion, would make any sensible Government pause before committing itself to so hazardous a change. Her Majesty's Government had shown their zeal in the cause by their legislation with respect to factories, and their friends had done the same, by the measure of last year with regard to agricultural children. He might, therefore, venture to challenge the House whether the feeling on that—the Ministerial—side was not shown to be fully alive to the importance of this great question. The question was undoubtedly a difficult and a complicated one; but he could assure the House it was receiving the best attention of Her Majesty's Government, and for his own part, he would approach it with a desire which was shared by all public-spirited men on both sides of the House, to secure a soundly educated population in time to come, a population fitted to fill the great part which the English race was destined to play in the future.

The speech of my noble Friend the Vice President of the Council compels us to divide. I had hoped that he would have said something to prevent that necessity. He excuses himself on the ground that even my right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford was unable to describe a machinery for enforcing compulsion. That was not his duty; but it is no Cabinet secret that my right hon. Friend had a measure ready prepared for the purpose, and had it been the fate of the Liberal Government to have been in office this year, it would doubtless have formed one of the leading measures of the Session. I intend to vote for the second reading of the Bill, but I should like to give a short explanation of my vote. I view it simply as a Bill for universal compulsory education through the agency of school boards. If the Government admit the necessity for universal compulsion, but propose some other machinery than school boards to carry it out, I would be prepared to discuss their plan on its merits. For I admit that England and Scotland are not in the same position as regards education. In 1872, when the Scotch Act passed, and made local boards universal, every parish had a rate-supported school, and voluntary schools were merely a supplement to the national system. The Act took the schools as it found them, and extended their basis on the national type. But, in 1870, when the English Act passed, England had not a single rate-supported school, and was altogether supplied by voluntary schools. Most of the considerable boroughs have now school boards, but of the parishes only 767 are included in 594 boards. I take it that there is a pretty common agreement, both in the country and in this House, that the large remainder of the 14,082 civil parishes of England must be subjected in some form or other to compulsory education. The only divergence of opinion on this point is, as to the nature of the machinery necessary for the purpose. But that difference of opinion constitutes a formidable difficulty. Till we have made further progress in adjusting local taxation, and in re-organizing local government, it would be impossible to establish school boards in England with powers of levying rates in more than 13,000 parishes. It is a different thing, however, to establish school boards with the limited object of enforcing attendance at schools. That would be a possible machinery even at present, and for this limited object I intend to vote. Nevertheless, I do not assert that even that would be wise unless it represents public opinion. Legislation, in regard to compulsory education, has no chance of success unless it is backed by public opinion. School boards are doubtless growing in favour. Last year there were 549; now there are 822. This increase, though satisfactory is not a sufficient rate of progress to justify us in waiting for the application of compulsion till the boards cover the land by voluntary adoption. The attendance even of the children who are on the school roll is so unsatisfactory, that compulsory laws are necessary, not only to force them into school, but also to keep them there. It is startling to know that out of 2,200,000 on the books, only 900,000 children above seven years of age made even upwards of half a year's attendance. That indicates such a huge waste of educational resources that it forces us to consider how such a great evil maybe remedied. The value which I attach to the Bill is that it com- pels the Government to consider what action it will take. Whatever the demerits of a denominational system may be, it possesses one strong merit in my eyes—it renders compulsory education more easy of application than any other system. To make compulsion possible in a universal sense, two conditions are essential. In the first place, a parent must not be able to plead before a magistrate that he cannot send a child to school, because he does not possess the necessary fee, and cannot procure it. The Act of last Session cuts away that plea. In the second place, neither he, nor the Church to which he belongs, must be allowed to plead that the child is compulsorily sent to a school which does not represent the religious convictions of the parent. For violation of the conscience of the parent can be taken up by a Church as a far more popular and enduring cry than the violation of the conscience of the ratepayer can be taken up by the League. And the proof of that is to be found in Holland, a nation zealous for education, but which dare not pass a compulsory law, because its national schools are not acceptable to the Churches. Now, nothing is more clearly established by the experience of foreign countries than this—that compulsory laws are only effective when they express the desires of a whole people. Laws are easily passed, but not as easily enforced. Spain and Italy have compulsory laws, but they exist only in name. But in England, the working people desire compulsory education, and the force of public opinion is much in our favour. Now, the actual position of the question is one which it is very important for the Government seriously to consider before next Session. Because they have before them the experience that compulsory laws work well under school boards, and that they do not even exist in 13,000 parishes without boards, although these have denominational schools which are the most fitted for the exercise of compulsion. Hence, it need not surprise the Government if the public contrast these two facts, and come to the conclusion that the ratepaying system is the best for securing compulsion. I do not think it is, but it is for the Government to show how the voluntary schools maybe brought under some other agency which can secure compulsory attendance. The Bill forces this question into prominence, and therefore I support it. Not that I believe in the indifference of Government to the spread of education. The firm stand which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary (Mr. Cross) took the other night in providing, by the Factory Bill, that children should not begin work until they are 10 years of age, proves that he is quite sensible how important it is to extend the benefits of education to the children of the working classes. But that very act of the Government gives an irresistible argument for the immediate generalization of compulsion. For experience in the past has taught us that children who enter factories have a neglected education. The parents know that there are half-time schools in connection with them, and think they will suffice. So the new Factory Act will force many children into the streets instead of into the schools, if there be no compulsory laws to lay hold of them. These fortunately do exist in most large towns, but do not exist in country districts. The Agricultural Children's Act, which we owe to my hon. Friend the Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Head), will have the same effect in rural districts as the Factories Act will have in urban districts, and yet the country parishes have no compulsory laws. Our indirect compulsory laws are being made faster than Government can administer them without the aid of direct compulsion. I am far from complaining of indirect compulsory laws. I believe them to be absolutely necessary, for, with direct compulsion alone, the task of educating a whole people is most difficult of accomplishment. I go much further, and contend that we shall never succeed until education is made a condition for labour. Education should be the essential tool without which no child should begin to work, and no employer of labour should be allowed to employ his services. If reading, writing, and arithmetic were made essential tools for labour, parents would confer them upon their children, just as they would give them a hammer, chisel, or gimlet, if their sons were to be carpenters. And thus you would enlist every parent on the side of education, from noble motives if he possessed them, from ignoble motives if he did not. There is great merit in the plan of making education the essential condition for the employment of labour, for it enlists at the same time both the virtues and the vices of the parents in support of such a compulsory law. Because, if they desire the earnings of their children, their necessities, their selfishness, their improvidence, their recklessness, would as much impel them to seek that education as their parental affection, prudence, and love of duty. It is only by making allies of the parent that we can hope to succeed. The prudent, loving parent will always be an ally of the State; but we must also make it for the interest of the sordid and selfish parent to aid us in educating his children. It is for this reason that I welcome the steps which have been recently taken to increase indirect compulsion. But the laws for this purpose have only rendered the more necessary direct compulsion, for the experience of all countries, and especially of Prussia since 1825, shows that both must work together. The Act of 1870, with its system of partial and permissive compulsion, still implied the necessity of universal compulsion. It enacted that every district, urban and rural, should have sufficient and efficient schools to educate the whole population, and it further provided the requisite machinery to secure that end. It is the natural outcome of such a law, that if it be right to compel a community to educate its population, it is equally right to compel each individual of that community to receive education. And we have now arrived at the general application of this principle. We say to the Government by the Bill before us—"You can accomplish this through the agency of local boards." It may be that the Government possesses other and better means of effecting the purpose; but, in absence of this knowledge, we present for their acceptance the only methods in regard to which we have any experience in this country. It is with this object in view that I vote for the second reading of the Bill before us. Those who favour denominational and voluntary schools must clearly perceive that the only justification for their existence is their efficiency—efficiency not only for educating those within their walls, but efficiency to cover the whole ground of national education within their districts. Let us give to them the liberty of instructing the people, but that must not degenerate into the liberty of keeping the people ignorant. When we find that towns with school boards can sweep in the children of careless and indifferent parents, we must inquire why the 13,000 country parishes do not. It is not right that our artizans should be fully comprehended in the national scheme of education, and that our peasants should be but partially comprehended. In forcing parents to educate their children, we are only applying one of those general laws to which individual citizens must be subjected for the common weal, for the parent who neglects to educate his children introduces into his country future citizens who are an injury to it. They form that residuum of the population which is predisposed to error, prone to immorality and crime, and the source of disorder, danger, and increased expenditure to the State. Hence, it is that the prevention of such a population justifies interference with the negligent parent. But if we all admit this, none of us ought to tolerate the existence of a state of things which allows the chief part of England and all Ireland to be in the melancholy condition which recent reports point out. In Ireland, 62 per cent of the children on the school roll are not in regular attendance, and in England only 41 per cent made their 250 attendances. We contend on this side that the time has come when that deplorable state of things should end. We offer the Government a means, and now place upon them the responsibility of refusing it, or showing to us other means which may effect the same end.

said, he happened to have his residence and cottages in three different parishes, two of which had school boards already and schools; but one was seven miles distant from his cottages, the other nearly four. The third parish had not a school board, but was to have one. Now, he had provided schools at an expense of £2,000 for buildings and £85 a-year for masters and mistresses. But when one of his schools was seven miles and the other four miles away from his cottages, he wanted to know how compulsion could be carried out?

, in reply, said, that he regretted extremely the speech of the noble Lord the Vice President of the Council, who would postpone compulsion, until he found some machinery for working it which he could approve of. He regretted that extremely, for he had hoped that the Vice President would have said—nay, indeed, he had expected that he would have said—that not only he himself, but that the whole House so concurred in the determination that compulsion should be universally established; that the only question which remained to be considered was, what was to be the machinery for carrying it out? and, although they had not yet made up their minds upon the point, yet, as public attention had now been roused to its necessity, they hoped soon to be able to come before the House with a clear and definite scheme. But what was the position in which the speech of the noble Lord now left the question? He understood it exactly as his right hon. Friend (Mr. Lyon Playfair) had understood it—namely, that the Government was not yet prepared to put compulsory education in force. Whether that was the case or not, the House must come to the determination whether it would now establish some system of compulsory education or not. That was what it was now to divide upon. The school board question was not the main principle of the Bill. The noble Lord had said that compulsory attendance was not the principle of the Bill; but, surely, it must be the principle of the Bill. As regarded school boards, they were only a means to the end. If the Government would allow the Bill to go into Committee, it would be a very fair subject for consideration what machinery the House should adopt for that purpose. He (Mr. Dixon) did not profess to say that the machinery proposed by the Bill was the best, or such as the House would adopt; but he did think that it was worthy of being considered. He was quite ready to give it up, if he could see a better; but it was in Committee alone that the machinery which was to be provided in the Bill for the establishment of compulsion could be considered. The question of compulsory attendance was the principle of the Bill upon which they were now about to divide.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 156; Noes 320: Majority 164.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Second Reading put off for three months.


Adam, rt. hon. W. P.Hodgson, K. D.
Allen, W. S.Holland, S.
Anderson, G.Holms, J.
Anstruther, Sir R.Holms, W.
Ashley, hon. E. M.Hopwood, C. H.
Backhouse, E.Horsman, rt. hon. E.
Balfour, Sir G.Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Barclay, A. C.Jackson, H. M.
Barclay, J. W.James, Sir H.
Baxter, rt. hon. W. E.James, W. H.
Bazley, Sir T.Jenkins, D. J.
Beaumont, Major F.Jenkins, E.
Biddulph, M.Johnstone, Sir H.
Brassey, H. A.Kay-Shuttleworth. U. J.
Briggs, W. E.
Bristowe, S. B.Kensington, Lord
Brogden, A.Kingscote, Colonel
Brown, A. H.Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Burt, T.Knatchbull-Hugessen, rt. hon. E.
Cameron, C.
Campbell-Bannerman, H.Laing, S.
Laverton, A.
Carington, hn. Col. W.Law, rt. non. H.
Carter, R. M.Lawrence, Sir J. C.
Cartwright, W. C.Lawson, Sir W.
Cave, T.Lefevre, G. J. S.
Cavendish, Lord F. C.Lloyd, M.
Chadwick, D.Lorne, Marquis of
Childers, rt. hon. H.Macdonald, A.
Cholmeley, Sir H.Macduff, Viscount
Clifford, C. C.Macgregor, D.
Cole, H. T.Mackintosh, C. F.
Colman, J. J.M'Arthur, A.
Corbett, J.M Arthur, W.
Cotes, C. C.M'Combie, W.
Cowan, J.M'Lagan, P.
Cowen, J.M'Laren, D.
Cowper, hon. H. F.Martin, P. W.
Crawford, J. S.Matheson, A.
Cross, J. K.Melly, G.
Crossley, J.Milbank, F. A.
Davie, Sir H. R. F.Mitchell, T. A.
Davies, R.Monck, Sir A. E.
Dilke, Sir C. W.Morgan, G. O.
Dodds, J.Morley, S.
Duff, R. W.Muntz, P. H.
Earp, T.Mure, Colonel
Egerton, Adm. hon. F.Noel, E.
Fawcett, H.Norwood, C. M.
Ferguson, R.Palmer, C. M.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E.Pease, J. W.
Fletcher, I.Pender, J.
Foljambe, F. J. S.Pennington, F.
Fordyce, W. D.Perkins, Sir F.
Forster, Sir C.Philips, R. N.
Forster, rt. hon. W. E.Playfair, rt. hn. Dr. L.
Goldsmid, Sir F.Plimsoll, S.
Goldsmid, J.Potter, T. B.
Gourley, E. T.Price, W. E.
Grower, hon. E. F. L.Ramsay, J.
Grieve, J. J.Rathbone, W.
Grosvenor, Lord R.Reed, E. J.
Harcourt, Sir W. V.Reid, R.
Harrison, C.Richard, H.
Harrison, J. F.Robertson, H.
Hartington, Marq. ofRussell, Lord A.
Havelock, Sir H.St. Aubyn, Sir J.
Hayter, A. D.Samuelson, B.
Herschell, F.Shaw, R.
Hill, T. R.Sheridan, H. B.

Sherriff, A. C.Walter, J.
Simon, Mr. SerjeantWeguelin, T. M.
Smith, E.Whitbread, S.
Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.Whitwell, J.
Stuart, ColonelWilliams, W.
Taylor, P. A.Wilson, Sir M.
Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-Yeaman, J.
Young, A. W.
Trevelvan, G. O.
Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.


Vivian, A. P.Dixon, G.
Vivian, H. H.Mundella, A. J.


Adderley, rt. hn. Sir C.Close, M. G
Agnew, R. V.Clowes, S. W.
Allen, MajorCobbett, J. M.
Allsopp, H.Cobbold, J. P.
Allsopp, S. C.Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B.
Anstruther, Sir W.Cogan, rt. hn. W. H. E.
Antrobus, Sir E.Cole, Col. hon. H. A.
Archdale, W. H.Collins, E.
Arkwright, F.Conolly, T.
Arkwright, R.Conyngham, Lord F.
Ashbury, J. L.Corbett, Colonel
Assheton, R.Corry, hon. H. W. L.
Baggallay, Sir R.Corry, J. P.
Bagge, Sir W.Cotton, Alderman
Bailey, Sir J. R.Crichton, Viscount
Balfour, A. J.Cross, rt. hon. R. A.
Ball, rt. hon. J. T.Cubitt, G.
Baring, T. C.Cuninghame, Sir W.
Barrington, ViscountCust, H. C.
Barttelot, ColonelDalkeith, Earl of
Bates, E.Dalrymple, C.
Bathurst, A. A.Denison, W. E.
Beach, rt. hn. Sir M. H.Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Bective, Earl ofDouglas, Sir G.
Bentinck, G. C.Dowdeswell, W. E.
Beresford, Colonel M.Downing, M'C.
Birley, H.Dunbar, J.
Bolckow, H. W. F.Dyott, Colonel R.
Boord, T. W.Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W.
Booth, Sir E. G.
Bourke, hon. R.Egerton, hon. A. F.
Bousfield, MajorEgerton, Sir P. G.
Bowyer, Sir G.Egerton, hon. W.
Bright, R.Elliot, G.
Brise, Colonel E.Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H.
Broadley, W. H. H.Emlyn, Viscount
Brooks, W. C.Ennis, N.
Browne, G. E.Errington, G.
Bruce, hon. T.Eslington, Lord
Bruen, H.Estcourt, G. B.
Bryan, G. L.Ewing, A. O.
Brymer, W. E.Fay, C. J.
Buckley, Sir E.Fellowes, E.
Bulwer, J. R.Fielden, J.
Burrell, Sir P.Finch, G. H.
Buxton, Sir R. J.FitzGerald, rt. hn. Sir S.
Callender, W. R.Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W. W.
Cave, rt. hon. S.
Cavendish, Lord G.Folkestone, Viscount
Cawley, C. E.Forester, rt. hon. Gen
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.Forsyth, W.
Chambers, Sir T.Freshfield, C. K.
Chapman, J.Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Charley, W. T.Galway, Viscount
Christie, W. L.Gardner, J. T. Agg-
Churchill, Lord R.Gardner, E. Richardson-
Clifton, T. H.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W.Garnier, J. C.

Gilpin, ColonelMahon, Viscount
Goddard, A. L.Majendie, L. A.
Goldney, G.Makins, Colonel
Gordon, rt. hon. E. S.Malcolm, J. W.
Gore, J. R. O.Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Gore, W. R. O.March, Earl of
Grantham, W.Marten, A. G.
Greenall, G.Martin, P.
Greene, E.Meldon, C H.
Gregory, G. B.Mellor, T. W.
Guinness, Sir A.Mills, A.
Gurney, rt. hon. R.Mills, Sir C. H.
Hall, A. W.Monckton, hon. G.
Halsey, T. F.Monk, C. J.
Hamilton, Lord C. J.Montgomerie, R.
Hamilton, I. T.Montgomery, Sir G. G.
Hamilton, Lord G.Moore, A.
Hamilton, Marquis ofMorgan, hon. F.
Hamilton, hon. R. B.Morgan, hon. Major
Hamond, C. F.Morris, G.
Hanbury, R. W.Mowbray, rt. hn. J. R.
Hankey, T.Mulholland, J.
Hardcastle, E.Muncaster, Lord
Hardy, rt. hon. G.Naghten, A. R.
Hardy, J. S.Neville-Grenville, R.
Harvey, Sir R. B.Newdegate, C. N.
Hay, rt. hn. Sir J. C D.Newport, Viscount
Heath, R.Noel, rt. hon. G. J.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W.Nolan, Captain
Hermon, E.North, Colonel
Hervey, Lord F.Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.
Heygate, W. U.
Hick, J.O'Callaghan, hon. W.
Hill, A. S.O'Clery, K.
Hogg, Sir J. M.O'Conor, D. M.
Holford, J. P. G.O'Conor Don, The
Hotter, J.O'Gorman, P.
Holmesdale, ViscountO'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.
Holt, J. M.
Home, CaptainO'Neill, hon. E.
Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N.Onslow, D.
O'Shaughnessy, R.
Hope, A. J. B. B.Palk, Sir L.
Hubbard, E.Parker, Lt. Col. W.
Huddleston, J. W.Pateshall, E.
Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.Peek, Sir H. W.
Isaac, S.Pell, A.
Jervis, ColonelPelly, Sir H. G
Johnson, J. G.Pemberton, E. L.
Johnstone, H.Peploe, Major
Jones, J.Perceval, C. G.
Karslake, Sir J.Percy, Earl
Kavanagh, A. Mac M.Phipps, P.
Kennaway, Sir J. H.Pim, Captain B.
Knight, F. W.Plunket, hon. D. R.
Knightley, Sir R.Plunkett, hon. R.
Knowles, T.Portman, hn. W. H. B.
Lacon, Sir E. H. K.Powell, W.
Learmonth, A.Power, J. O'C.
Leatham, E. A.Praed, H. B.
Leo, Major V.Price, Captain
Legh, W. J.Puleston, J. H.
Leigh, Lt.-Col. E.Raikes, H. G
Lennox, Lord H. G.Read, C. S.
Leslie, J.Rendlesham, Lord
Lewis, C. E.Repton, G. W.
Lewis, O.Richardson, T.
Lindsay, Col. R. L.Ritchie, C. T.
Lloyd, S.Round, J.
Lloyd, T. E.Russell, Sir C.
Locke, J.Ryder, G. R.
Lopes, Sir M.Sackville, S. G. S.
Macartney, J. W. E.Salt, T.

Sanderson, T. K.Talbot, J. G.
Sandford, G. M. W.Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Sandon, ViscountTemple, rt. hon. W Cowper-
Sclater-Booth, rt. hn. G.
Scott, Lord H.Thynne, Lord H. F.
Scott, M. D.Tollemache, W. F.
Scourfield, J. H.Torr, J.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.Tremayne, J.
Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill
Shute, GeneralTurner, C.
Sidebottom, T. H.Tumor, E.
Simonds, W. B.Vance, J.
Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.Verner, E. W.
Smith, A.Walker, T. E.
Smith, S. G.Walpole, hon. F.
Smith, W. H.Walpole, rt. hon. S.
Smyth, P. J.Walsh, hon. A.
Smollett, P. B.Waterhouse, S.
Somerset, Lord H. R. C.Watney, J.
Spinks, Mr. SerjeantWelby, W. E.
Stanford, V. F. Benett-Wellesley, Captain
Stanhope, hon. E.Wells, E.
Stanhope, W. T. W. S.Wethered, T. O.
Stanley, hon. F.Whitelaw, A.
Starkey, L. R.Williams, Sir F. M.
Starkie, J. P. C.Wilmot, Sir H.
Steere, L.Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Stewart, M. J.Wolff, Sir H. D.
Storer, G.Woodd, B. T.
Stmt, H. G.Yarmouth, Earl of
Swanston, A.Yorke, J. R.
Sykes, C.


Synan, E. J.Dyke, W. H.
Talbot, C. R. M.Winn, R.

Coroners (Ireland) Bill—Bill 49

( Mr. Vance, Sir John Gray, Mr. Downing.)

Second Reading

Order for Second Reading read.

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

said, he would assent to the second reading, on the understanding that the Bill should go no further. The question was one which demanded, and should receive, the attention of the Government in the Recess.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Wednesday 22nd July.

Labourers' And Artizans' Dwellings Bill—Bill 144

( Sir Percy Burrell, Mr. Cunliffe Brooks.)

Second Reading

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Sir Percy Burrell.)

, in moving that the Bill be read a second time that day three months, said, he felt bound to oppose the Bill, and to take the opportunity of deprecating the habit on the part of private Members of introducing Bills of this character, which very nearly went the length of proposing Votes of public money. The Bill proposed that, for the purpose of facilitating the erection of better dwellings, a very desirable object in itself, public money should be lent at a low rate of interest. The Public Works Loan Commissioners felt themselves very much embarrassed by proposals of this kind, which ought to be made in Bills promoted by the Government, and not by private Members, and for that reason he moved the rejection of the Bill.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."—( Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)

Question, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question," put, and negatived.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Second Reading put off for three months.

Boston Election

Copy ordered, "of the Shorthand Writer's Notes of the Evidence taken at the Trial of the Boston Election Petition and of the Special Case and also of the Judgment of each of the three Judges, viz. Lord Coleridge, Mr. Justice Brett, and Mr. Justice Grove, in the matter of the said Petition."—( Sir Edward Watkin.)

Turnpike Acts Continuance Bill

On Motion of Mr. CLARE BEAD, Bill to continue certain Turnpike Acts in Great Britain, and to repeal certain other Turnpike Acts; and for other purposes connected therewith, ordered to be brought in by Mr. CLARE BEAD and Mr. SCLATER-BOOTH.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 186.]

Apothecaries Licences Bill

Select Committee nominated:—Mr. ERRINGTON, Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH, Sir JOHN GRAY, Mr. CORRY, Dr. CAMERON, Mr. ION HAMILTON, Dr. O'Leary, Mr. BRUEN, Mr. SHEIL, Mr. LESLIE, and Mr. CHAINE:—Power to send for persons, papers, and records; Five to be the quorum.

House adjourned at ten minutes before Six o'clock.