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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

Chapter IX. — There Record on Education

page 51

Chapter IX.

There Record on Education.

The first serious attempt made by the (unreformed) House of Commons' to provide for the education of the people of England was thwarted by the Lords. It was in 1807 that Whitbread introduced and passed through the House of Commons the first Education Bill that ever received the sanction of that assembly. It was a simple but comprehensive measure which enacted that there should be established an elementary school in every parish in the land, supported out of the rates, and controlled by the rate-payers. The Commons passed it, the House of Lords threw it out. And why did the House of Lords throw it out? Not because they hated education, but because they allowed themselves to be dominated by the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, who approached the question not from the point of view of the needs of the people, but from that of the interest of the Established Church. The Primate frankly declared that his objection to the measure rested upon his determination not to allow the control of the school to get out of the hand of the parson. The Bill, he said, "left little or no control to the minister of the parish." He believed that it would go far "to subvert the first principles of education in this country, which had hitherto been, and he trusted would continue to be, under the control and auspices of the Establishment." He felt sure that their Lordships "would feel how dangerous it might be to innovate in such matters."

The Primate was justified in his confidence. Only three Bishops voted for a rate-aided public elementary school in every parish. Fifteen voted against it. The Bill was thrown out by a majority of the Peers. So ended the first attempt to pass an Education Bill providing school accommodation for all the people in the country. Thanks to that veto, it was sixty years before a similar measure was placed on the Statute Book. Two generations of English folk had lived and died without education, because the Church and the Lords preferred they should have no schools rather than provide schools which were placed under the control of those who paid for them.

The Nonconformists in 1808 founded the British and Foreign School Society. The Church, three years later, followed their example. In 1833 the Reformed Parliament voted £20,000 a year in aid of national education. Twenty thousand pounds per annum! At that time the Dukes of Grafton, in recognition of the dishonour of a female ancestor of theirs who had been one of the harem of Charles II., had been drawing £11,946 per annum for 163 years. The sum allowed to the descendant of a single Royal bastard was more than half the education vote which the Reformed Parliament ventured to propose for all the schools of the country. It was fortunate that this was a money vote, otherwise it might have been vetoed page 52 by the Peers. It was not until 1839 that the Lords had an opportunity of having a say in the matter. In that year the grant was raised to £30,000, and its administration was placed in the hands of the Educational Committee of the Privy Council. The Roman Catholics were allowed to share in the grant. That was the beginning of a national system of education.

Lord Ashley, afterwards Lord Shaftesbury, who was as bad a politician as he was an admirable philanthropist, said:—

It is my firm belief that this plan of national education is hostile to the Constitution, to the Church, and to revealed religion itself.

The Lords could not interfere with the money giant, but they would not allow even so small an advance towards national education without expressing their suspicion and distrust. The Archbishop of Canterbury proposed a series of resolutions condemning the scheme. They were embodied in an address to the Crown, praying that—

Her Majesty will give directions that no steps shall be taken with respect to the establishment or foundation of any plan for the general education of the people, without giving to this House, as one branch of the legislature, the opportunity of fully considering a measure of such deep importance to the higher interests of the community.

The method of proceeding by a vote in supply instead of by a Bill was fiercely assailed by Lord Ashley on grounds which justify a regret that the whole question was ever otherwise handled. It would not have been impossible to have dealt with education so as to have made every educational question a financial one, and so have removed it from the meddling of the House of Lords. Lord Ashley, of course, was of the opposite opinion. He said:—

It is above all a matter of astonishment and regret that the Bishops of the land, the parties most responsible for the good conduct and government of the people of this country as spirituals, should be denied the liberty to express their opinions on the tendency of the proposed system to promote the spiritual welfare of the Church. . . . Consider the evil nature of the precedent you are laying down by converting measures of unspeakable interest into mere money votes, abating thereby the reverence due to the subject matter, limiting the means and opportunities of consideration to the House of Commons, and wholly excluding the House of Lords.—("Life of Lord Shaftesbury," vol. i. p. 253.)

Lord Ashley was beaten in the House of Commons. In the House of Lords the battle was renewed.

The Duke of Wellington gave his opinion in no uncertain terms. The opposition to the scheme was based upon a demand that public money ought in no way to be diverted from schools in connection with the Established Church. He wrote to Lord Ashley:—

Money ought not to be levied upon the subject or granted by Parliament for the purpose of educating the people in popery, in the tenets of the Unitarians, in those of the Anabaptists, in those of any sect not in communion with the Church of England; or at all excepting in the tenets of the Church of England.—("Life of Lord Shaftesbury," vol. i. p. 25.)

The Bishop of London protested against the National Council for Education on the ground that "the State, having delegated its functions to the Church as far as the religious education is concerned, is not competent to resume them." The old Tory note of hostility to the education of the working classes was voiced by the Bishop of Exeter, who—

speaking of the poorer classes, saw very little need of secular education that ought not to be combined with religion. Looking to the poor as a class they could not expect that those who were assigned by Providence to the laborious occupations of life should be able largely to cultivate their intellects.

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When the division was taken 229 Poors, including 15 Bishops, voted with the Archbishop, and 118, including three Bishops, with the Government.

The Queen replied dryly that the reports of the way in which the money was expended year by year would he laid before Parliament. But peace was eventually made between Lord John and the Bishops by an arrangement by which the reports of inspectors of schools were to be sent to the Bishops as well as to the Committee of the Privy Council.

For the defeat of Sir James Graham's attempt to extend the national system of education in 1843 the Lords were not responsible, neither can they be charged with the responsibility of defeating Lord John Russell's Education Bill of 1856. It was not until 1870, when Mr. Forster introduced the Education Bill which created the School Boards, that the Lords had an opportunity of displaying their hostility to popular education. They confined themselves to two amendments. The first struck out the clause permitting School Boards in certain circumstances to establish free schools. This the Lords struck out apparently under the influence of the two-fold motive to limit the powers of the Boards and to prevent the establishment of free education. Fortunately when the Bill went back to the Commons this Lords' "amendment" was disagreed with and struck out. The Lords fared better with their second amendment. By a unanimous vote they struck out the clause providing that the ballot should be used in School Board elections. The Commons did not insist upon restoring the clause, but secured their object by the Ballot Act. On the whole it is marvellous, in view of their subsequent performances, that the House of Lords allowed Mr. Forster's Bill to pass with so little mutilation.

It is well to be reminded of the fact that the Lords were practically shut out from any effective share in the development of the national education from 1839 to 1859. During that period the Education Grant had risen from £30,000 to £836,000 per annum.

"It is remarkable," says Mr. Spencer Walpole, "that this rapid growth of expenditure was the effect not of legislation but of departmental minutes. Even the introduction of the Capitation Grant in 1853 and its extension in 1856 were effected without legislation." Sir H. Craik says, "The legislature at the most acquiesced in the minutes: it did not deliberately ratify them." But it should be recollected that the expenditure was directly sanctioned by the House of Commons in votes of supply and by both Houses in the Appropriation Act.—("History of Twenty-five Years," vol. ii., p. 505.)

In 1862 Lord Derby claimed and Lord Granville conceded that both Houses should have the right to discuss the new Code, and discussed it was accordingly both by Lords and Commons. But with that exception, the Commons kept the control of national education entirely in their own hands until 1870, when Mr. Forster's Education Bill necessitated an appeal to the House of Lords.

Ten years after Mr. Forster's Act was placed on the Statute Book, the Lords passed a resolution by 98 to 50 striking out from the Code the schedule sanctioning the teaching of elementary science. Four Bishops voted against science and three for it.

Eleven years later the Conservative Government brought in a Bill abolishing the payment of fees in elementary schools. It was passed by the House of Lords. The House always passes the measures of a Conservative Government, excepting when they touch the land.

It was, however, not until 1897, when the Voluntary Schools Bill was under discussion, that Lord Halsbury, who was then Lord Chancellor, laid down the doctrine that as the Bill made a condition to the grant of money it came within the scope of the Protest of 1678, and therefore could page 54 not be amended by the Lords. This ruling was made in order to expedite the passage of a Bill granting £500,000 to the Voluntary schools. The Lord Chancellor said that it would be hardly respectful to the House to discuss matters "and come to a decision to which their lordships could give no practical effect, because if the amendment were passed it would, as a privileged amendment, have to be again struck out from the Bill."

Lord Herschell, in the debate that followed, said that the first amendment was—

a direction to the Education Department, but the question was whether this came within the principle, and affected the people who were to receive the grant, which grant: was not made specifically to any school or schools, but left to bo distributed by the Education Department. ... If the House was precluded from discussing from an educational point of view what was to bo the distribution of the money for education with a view to educational efficiency, then it seemed to him the House was deprived of the means of dealing with one of the most important questions ever brought before Parliament.

The Earl of Camperdown said that "if the House were precluded from discussing any conditions which appeared in a Bill making a grant of public money out of the Exchequer, then their Lordships would have no power to modify the words of any clause in Committee on such a Bill." Lord Coleridge asked if the second amendment, defining "efficiency," were in order, and the Lord Chancellor at once replied, "It adds a condition to the grant of money, which is within the express language of the protest of the House of Commons." So with an amendment standing in the name of the late Lord Kimberley, "I think," said Lord Halsbury, "it comes within 'management.' The language of the protest includes the management, and I think that this touches the management." The Liberal peers appeared to object to Lord Halsbury's ruling; not so Sir II. H. Fowler, who promptly pointed out (Times, April 6, 1897) that this was an unprecedented and complete acknowledgment of the privileges of the House of Commons.

The Lord Chancellor appeared to be of opinion that because the Bill proposed grants in aid of Voluntary schools it became what is technically called a "Money Bill," and he laid down the doctrine that it was the undoubted and sole right of the House of Commons to attach conditions, limitations, and qualifications to such grants, and "that such conditions, limitations, and qualifications could only be altered in the House of Commons."

It is not for the Liberals to complain of this unqualified recognition of the sole prerogative of the House of Commons with respect to all measures which involve any grant of public money.

It is to be regretted that these admissions of 1897 were forgotten until the close of the debates of 1906.

In 1902, the Unionist party having obtained a majority by appealing to the country in the midst of the South African war, on the pretext that Imperial interests entitled them to appeal to the electors for a renewal of their confidence irrespective of their views on questions of domestic policy, were no sooner firmly reseated in the saddle than they insisted upon reopening the great settlement of 1870. They had no mandate from the country. The subject had never been submitted to the constituencies. If ever there was an occasion on which, if the House of Lords had really been an impartial umpire, charged to see that no legislation was carried upon which the mind of the country had not been clearly made known, that occasion arrived in 1902, when Mr. Balfour's Bill, abolishing School Boards, and putting the denominational schools on the rates, was sent up from the House of Commons. But, true to their invariable rule, whenever a Conservative Government is in office, the House of Lords refused, by page 55 147 to 37 to defer the consideration of the Bill till the country had been consulted.

It was a long succession of similar instances which led Lord Rosebery to exclaim in 1994:—

What I complain of in the House of Lords is that during the tenure of one Government it is a Second Chamber of an inexorable kind, but while another Government is in it is no Second Chamber at all . . . Therefore the result, the effect of the House of Lords as it at present stands, is this that in one case it acts as a court of appeal, and [unclear: a] packed court of appeal, against the Liberal Party, while in the other case, the case of [unclear: a] Conservative Government, it acts not as a Second Chamber at all. In the one case we have the two chambers under a Liberal Government; under a Conservative Government we have a single chamber.—(Edinburgh, March 17th, 1894.)

When the Bill got into Committee the Lords set to work to "amend" the Bill by making it more denominational than ever. The following summary of the divisions in Committee, taken from Mr. Joseph Clayton's "Bishops as Legislators," indicates the general drift of their Lordships amendments:—

The Education Act of 1902.

  • In 1902 the Lords passed the Education Bill by 147 to 37 votes. Fourteen Bishops voted for the Bill, one (Hereford) against.
  • An amendment to this Bill by Lord Beauchamp to compel local education authorities to undertake Secondary Education was lost by 174 to 33 votes. Three Bishops voted for the amendment, twelve against.
  • An amendment by Lord Halifax to allow denominational teaching in secondary school, and colleges was carried by 107 to 14 votes. Sixteen Bishops voted for the amendment none against.
  • An amendment by Lord Beauchamp for a "Conscience Clause" in all training colleges was lost by 121 to 19 votes. Fourteen Bishops voted against the amendment none for.
  • An amendment by the Bishop of Hereford in favour of two instead of four foundation managers for non-provided (voluntary) schools was lost by 158 to 27 votes. Seventeen Bishops voted against the amendment, one for.
  • An amendment by the Bishop of Manchester making the local authority (and not [unclear: th] religious body) responsible for the "wear and tear" of voluntary schools was carried by; 114 to 88 votes. Eighteen Bishops voted for the amendment, none against.
  • An amendment by the Bishop of Hereford to allow education authorities to appoin[unclear: t] all teachers "without reference to religious crced or denomination" was lost by 167 to 2 votes. Thirteen Bishops voted against the amendment, one for.
  • An amendment by Lord Shaftesbury to confine the control of the religious teaching [unclear: t] the foundation managers (excluding the appointed managers) was lost by 87 to 28 votes Three Bishops voted for the amendment, eleven against.
  • An amendment by Lord Halifax to make the Bishop of the diocese the decidin authority in any question concerning the religious instruction in the Church of England schools was lost by 157 to 20 votes. One Bishop (Norwich) supported the amendment thirteen against.
  • An amendment by the Duke of Northumberland to prevent school managers [unclear: fron] excluding parochial clergymen from Church schools was lost by 96 to 65 votes. Seventeen Bishops supported the amendment, one (Manchester) against.
  • An amendment by Lord Burghclere that local education authorities should [unclear: permi] political meetings in schools outside school hours was lost by 77 to 23 votes. Two Bishops voted for the amendment, five against.
  • An amendment by Lord Lytton to allow denominational teaching to be [unclear: give] without charge in all schools, outside ordinary school hours, at the request of parents was lost by 74 to 68 votes. Fourteen Bishops voted for the amendment, one (Hereford against.
  • An amendment by Lord Camperdown to allow local education authorities to appear to the Board of Education for the closing of schools held to be unnecessary was lost [unclear: b]; 108 to 22 votes. Twelve Bishops voted against the amendment, one (Hereford) for.

Of these amendments the Bishop of Manchester's Wear and Tea clause was obviously a breach of privilege. It was a violation of the con stitutional law of the country and a departure from the constitutional practice of the House of Lords, which, as Lord Davey truly said, has no page 56 been to interfere with either the amount, extent, or incidence of the rates which such a Bill enabled a local authority to raise." But the House of Commons under Mr. Balfour was a very indifferent guardian of the rights and privileges which had been won by its predecessors. The opportunity of helping their clerical allies to a further raid upon the rates outweighed all other considerations.

The way in which this was done deserves special mention. As the Bishop of Manchester's amendment was admittedly a breach of privilege, the Duke of Norfolk, with the consent of the Duke of Devonshire, added to the clause after the Bill had been read a third time the following words: "But this obligation on the local educational authority shall throw no additional charge on any public funds."

As the whole object of the clause was to impose upon the local education authority the duty of meeting the cost of wear and tear out of the rates, this addendum was an absurdity. It was equivalent to telling a man ne had to pay a bill and in the same breath saying that that acknowledgment of a debt entailed no obligation to part with any money.

So monstrously ridiculous was the clause as amended that the officials of the House of Lords marked the words in italics as "proposed to be omitted by the House of Commons."

When the amended clause came before the House Sir James Ferguson proposed to omit the italicised words. The motion was carried by 200 to 104. Thus another inroad upon the privileges of the Commons was nade with impunity.

It is worth noting that even so unimpeachable a Conservative authority s Sir William Anson has recorded with anxiety the constant tendency of he Lords to trespass upon the domain marked out as the exclusive [unclear: onopoly] of the Commons. Writing in 1887 upon constitutional developments in the reign of Queen Victoria, after having spoken of the Lords as having very decidedly extended their functions by their action on the paper [unclear: uties], Sir William Anson went on to say:—

But it is not only in this matter of the paper duties, nor so long ago as 1861, that the [unclear: ords] have trespassed on the forbidden ground of finance. Speaking of modern infringements on the exclusive right of the Ministers of the Crown to propose grants of money, and writing in 1877, Mr. Gladstone says: "The House of Lords has done very great [unclear: hischief] in this respect by voting into Bills the establishment of officers and appoint ment of salaries, and sending these Bills with all such portions printed in italics, a [unclear: onventional] expedient adopted in order to show that they are not presented as parts of he Bill, but only as indications of the view or wish of the House of Lords; in matters, However, in which they have, as a body, no more right or title to any view or wish at all than the House of Commons has or had to send by any subterfuge to the Lords a [unclear: irection] as to judgments to be given in appeals.—("Reign of Queen Victoria," p. 132.)

Obsta principiis is a good maxim, but one of which the House of Commons has been unmindful—with the natural and inevitable result. One unresented encroachment paves the way for another, and unless there a prompt awakening the House of Commons will discover that its exclusive right to deal with financial questions has vanished into thin air.

The action of the House of Lords in relation to secondary education as been similar to their dealings with elementary schools. The Endowed schools Commission was appointed in order to secure the utilisation of educational endowments amounting to nearly £600,000 per annum; that a sum equal to 3 per cent. interest on £20,000,000. The Commission as appointed to prepare schemes for the reconstruction of trusts that had en abused, for the restoration of the moneys of the pious founders to [unclear: ucational] purposes in accord with the necessities of the altered times. [unclear: was] a Commission on which no Nonconformist had a seat. Its page 57 inspectors were all Churchmen. But its schemes were mercilessly, maltreated by Lord Salisbury, who had the House of Lords at his back; Some of the best schemes for the reform of our great educational foundations for middle-class educations were rejected by the Lords When the Endowed Schools Bill was introduced in 1873, the Lords [unclear: cut] down its duration from four years to one, and so paved the way for the transfer of its powers in 1874 to the Charity Commission. The governing principle of the Lords in dealing with all these questions is to look after the interests of the Church and let the school look after itself. In 1893 the Bishop of Chester carried an Address to the Queen praying her not to sanction the charter for the University of Wales unless the Anglican Lampeter College was included in the University. In the same year he carried his address to the Crown objecting to the intermediate and technical education schemes drawn up by the Charity Commissioners for Cardiganshire and Merionethshire.

"The effect of this action on his part was," says Mr. Claydon, "to prevent in the counties named the carrying out of a plan for taking scholars from elementary [unclear: o] intermediate schools, for giving bursaries to poor scholars, and for taking successful scholars from intermediate schools to university colleges."—("Bishops as Legislators,' pp. 62-3.)

The extent to which the House of Lords has forgotten the modest [unclear: roll] which it was formerly content to play has been most notably illustrated [unclear: o] late by the manner in which it dealt with the Education Bill of 1906.

The Education Act of 1902 transferred the control of the [unclear: educationa] system of the country to the municipal and county authorities. For [unclear: this] change much is to be said. Mr. Birrell thus described one of its results:—

The Bill of 1002 transferred, wisely or foolishly, from School Boards the vast duty the enormous responsibility, of providing for the primary education of their district and for co-ordinating secondary education so that both should go together, to [unclear: count] councils, city councils, and municipal councils. From that great alteration [unclear: enormont] consequences have followed, which perhaps nobody except those whose misfortune it [unclear: is] to spend their days in the Board of Education have had an opportunity of [unclear: fully] realising. These bodies measure their importance by the greatness of their [unclear: responsibilities]. In all those thickly populated districts, those places where the mind [unclear: o] England is made up, those bodies have become infected with a lofty ambition. [unclear: They] are determined to municipalise education from top to bottom; they are determined [unclear: to] get whole and complete control over all the machinery of education, from the [unclear: infan] class to the University. They are determined to be masters in their own schools.-(December 10, 1906.)

If the Act of 1902 had only done this, there would have been [unclear: n] agitation against it, although the administrative difficulties that arose [unclear: if] working it would sooner or later have compelled the passing of [unclear: a] amending Act. But the primary purpose of the Act was not [unclear: educational]. It was passed in order to put the denominational schools upon [unclear: the] rates:—

For the first time the teachers in denominational schools were wholly paid out [unclear: o] public funds, though they have to submit to a religious test in order to obtain what [unclear: i] now to all intents and purposes a post in the Civil Service. Except for the provision [unclear: o] the building, denominational schools are to be wholly maintained at the public [unclear: expens] whilst loft under [unclear: prepondcratingly] denominational management.

Against these provisions of the Act the Nonconformists rose in [unclear: revol] Thousands became passive resisters, refusing to pay the proportion of [unclear: th] rate that was devoted to the teaching of denominational religion. [unclear: Eight] thousand summonses were issued to enforce payment, property was [unclear: seize] and sold by auction, and 318 public-spirited citizens who had no [unclear: visibl] property upon which to levy restraint were sent to prison as [unclear: ordinal.] page 58 criminal convicts. They took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, and the spectacle of their self-sacrifice fired the zeal of their co-religionists to such an extent that a Conservative Nonconformist could hardly bo discovered with a microscope. Among all the causes which contributed to the Liberal victory the Nonconformist revolt stood first, and in natural sequence an Education Bill occupied first place in the programme of the session. At the General Election 360 Liberal members were elected in England and Wales by a plurality of 504,814 votes over 126 Unionists. Every one of these Liberal members was pledged to vote for a Bill amending the Act of 1902 in such a way as (1) to secure public control for all public schools maintained at the public expense, and (2) to abolish tests for teachers. The justice of this latter claim was emphatically recognised by Mr. Chamberlain, who declared that teachers ought to be as free from theological tests as postmen or any other civil servants. The Bill was, as the Premier said, packed full of concessions to the Denominationalists before it was brought into the House of Commons. These concessions were still further increased on its passage through Committee. The House of Commons spent 49 parliamentary days on the Bill, which was read a first time without a division, a second time by 410 votes to 204, and a third time by 369 votes to 177.

It went up to the House of Lords, where it was read a second time without a division, and then turned inside out in Committee. What was virtually a new Bill in spirit and in substance was sent back to the House of Commons. In this new Bill, according to the terse statement of the Prime Minister—

The demand was solemnly avowed that in the hitherto denominational schools, the ion-provided and the transferred schools, according to the nomenclature of this [unclear: egislation], specific sectarian religious teaching should continue to be given [unclear: y] all the teachers, if willing, in every school, large or small, in town and country alike, irrespective of the assent of the local authority. That is a plain description of the [unclear: demand]. Now what is this but the perpetuation and extension and consolidation of the [unclear: ery] system which our Bill was designed on the whole to put an end to? And these [unclear: emands] are not more persuasively commended to us by the fact that this new, [unclear: ggravated] and consolidated denominationalism is to bo accompanied by rent paid by [unclear: he] State for the use of the schools which it is obliged to support. The same teachers [unclear: re] to teach the same things to the same little children in the same schools, whether [unclear: he] local authority like it or not, and the public purse is to provide a rent for the [unclear: chools] which they now enjoy rent free. Sir, I say that is enough.—(December 20, [unclear: 1906].)

The House of Commons sent the Bill back to the House of Lords by a [unclear: njority] of 416 to 107, rejecting all amendments en bloc, while intimating t the same time what further concessions they were willing to make. These concessions satisfied the Irish Catholics*, they satisfied the Duke page 59 of Devonshire, they appear even to have gone far to satisfy the Archbishop of Canterbury. They did not satisfy Mr. Balfour, who used the Lords as his cat's-paw to wreck the Bill. They horrified the Nonconformists, whose revolt had necessitated the legislation, but there was a general disposition to concede almost everything to avoid the loss of the Bill. But "the material and generous concessions" were made in vain. The Lords adhered to their amendments by a majority of 132 to 52. The Duke of Devonshire carried four Unionist peers with him into the Government lobby, in which was also found one solitary bishop. After this there was nothing to be done but to abandon the Bill, which was done with the usual ceremony.

By thus wrecking the Bill, to which the greater part of the first session of the Parliament had been devoted, the House of Lords has not only wrecked the work of the Commons and postponed the redress of admitted grievances; they deprived the children of the nation of benefits which were secured them by the Bill. The Education Bill is often spoken of as if it were nothing but an attempt to redress the wrongs of the Chapel at the expense of the Church. But it contained provisions for the blind and deaf, for vacation schools and recreation, for medical examination and inspection, and for enabling intelligent children to have an opportunity of passing into higher-grade schools. Mr. Birrell, in pronouncing the funeral oration over his Bill, said:—

Reference has also been made to the medical inspection clause, which passed with general consent in this House, and gave great hopes, not only to those who are scientifically interested in the subject, but to all who believe in the manhood of our race, as being the one thing to preserve and the only real hope for the future. I also derived great pleasure from the thought that this Bill would have done something to organise the playgrounds of our children, to give to the children of the poor what perhaps is almost the best education they anywhere can get, that of acting in manly and friendly co-operation one with the other. Well, all these hopes are for the moment banished, and we have lost our labour.—(December 20, 1906.)

The children of the poor, it would seem, have scant reason to "thank God for the House of Lords."

This chapter cannot be more appropriately closed than by quoting the peroration of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's brief speech announcing the fate of the Bill:—

It is plainly intolerable, sir, that a Second Chamber should, while one party in the. State is in power, be its willing servant ("Slave," "Hear, hear "), and when that party: has received an unmistakable and emphatic condemnation by the country, the House) of Lords should then be able to neutralise, thwart, and distort the policy which the electors have approved. (Loud cheers.) That is the state of things that for the moment—for the nonoe—we must submit to. A settlement of this grave question of education has been prevented, and for that calamity we know, and the country knows, upon whom the responsibility lies. (Cheers.) But, sir, the resources of the British, Constitution are not wholly exhausted—(cheers)—the resources of the House of Commons aro not exhausted—(cheers)—and I say with conviction that a way must be found, a way will be found, by which the will of the people expressed through their elected representatives in this House will bo made to prevail.(Loud cheers.)

It is not surprising that at the National Assembly of the Free Church Council held at Swansea, 1909, it was resolved that: "The Council realises and feels it incumbent on it to declare, that the veto of the House of Lords is the great obstacle in the way of a national system of education, since not only does its exercise cause the rejection of carefully drawn Bills, but its., existence (a) injuriously affects the drafting of educational measures, and (b) leads to their deterioration in Committee. "

* Mr. Redmond, in the House of Commons on December 20th, speaking of the con-[unclear: essions] offered by the Government to the House of Lords for the sake of compromise, [unclear: aid]: "Under those amendments, if the Bill had passed into law, the bulk of the [unclear: atholic] schools would have remained Catholic schools in their atmosphere. In these [unclear: rcumstances], he and his colleagues, who opposed the second and the third readings, ad to consider whether, on the production of the latest amendments of the Government, [unclear: which] gave them substantially all they had been asking for, they should facilitate a [unclear: ompromise] and the passage of the Bill, or whether they should join with the leader of [unclear: ne] Opposition and the House of Lords in wrecking the measure. It was not without [unclear: the] very gravest deliberation and consideration, and not without consultation with those ho were best entitled to speak on behalf of the Catholic body in this country, that they [unclear: une] to the conclusion that, in the interests of the Catholic schools, it would be unwise [unclear: r] the Catholic representatives in that House to make themselves in any degree [unclear: sponsible] for the wrecking of a measure which had, to put it at the lowest, been made [unclear: lerable] to the Catholics of the country."