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--EDUCATION BILL DEBATE.

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EDUCATION BILL DEBATE. Public Funds and Sectarian Teaching. Mr. Balfour Makes Thing's Clear. In the House of Commons on Friday Clause 8 of the Education Bill was considered., which provides "that the local education au- thority shall maintain and keep efficient all publtc elementary schools within their area which are necessary." Mr. Lowther (presiding) ruled out of order an amendment by Mr. Herbert Roberts pro- Tiding that "the local authority shall be re- sponsible for the adequate supply of school accommodation. on the ground that that provision was aheady 111 tlie Bill. The first amendment was by Mr. Alfred Hutton. to substitute "may" for "shall," so as to give the local authorities an option or taking over or refusing to take ever any svhooi. Sir Win. Harcourt asked what was to be the character of control by the managers, The, five managers ought not to have a, word to say about anything which went on in the school except at the time set apart for reli- gious instruction. It ought to be clearly un- derstood that tiieatj was one man only amongst the managers who had a word to say about the conduct of the school, except in regard to denominational teaching. Were these other niuiagers to direct the school- master in the ordinary daily business of the cchooibir William was called to order, not keeping "within the terms of the amendment. Mr. Abel Thomas said the County Cotinc'l of Oarmaithen had come to the conclusion that the Bill would give no control over Vol- tntary Schools, and they had almost unani- mously decided that if the Bill was passed they would not put it into operation. Car- marthen after all was smaller than the West Biding of Yorkshire, but it was a very large and important county, and having recently visited n he had not the slightest doubt that if the Bill wa.s pass-id in its present form a very serious position would arise. Mr. Lloyd George appealed to the Prime Minister to give the Bill the last working chance by leaving it open to the County and Town Councils to make the best arrangements they could. Mr. Hut-ton's amendment was lost by a majority of 92. Air. Fitzalan Hope moved to insert words providing tha.t the local education authority filiould make no discrimination between schools provided by themselves and schools not so provided. The Attorney-General pointed out that if any loud authority attempted unfair dis- crimination the remedy was plain and simple unde-r Section 2, which gave power to the Board of Education to compel by mandamus the local authority to fulfil its duties. The amendment was by leave withdrawn. Mr. Mclvenna moved that the local educa- tion authority should have sole control over the expenditure. He contended that the managers ought to have no power to spend a tainglf penny of the ratepayers' money without the previous authorisation of the local au- thority. Mr. Balfour said it was undoubtedly desrr able that ft should be made quite clear that the financial control was in the hands of the body that levied the rate. The Government would welcome any amendment which would make this control of secular education more obvious and complete. He suggested that the (amendment should be withdrawn, which was eventually done. • Mr. Alfivd Hutton next moved to insert words limiting the responsibility of the local authonfy to maintaining efficiency in secular instructiO;'). only. It ought to be" made clear that public funds were not to be used in any case for any purpose whatever :-or religious OT sectarian teaching. Mr. Balfour said the lion, gentleman oppo- site and the upnolders of the Voluntary Schools ware quite agreed about that. (Hear, hear.) If any amendment of this kind were necessary t.o make the Bill clearer on this point he would himself insert it later. (General cheers.! Sir "William Harcourt. considered the dis- t-dust- of th. lo.;¡1 authorities wa.i a condem- nation of whole principle of the Bui. Air. Balfour: Not so severe a condicmna- tion. as that passed by the Liberal Govern- men in 1870 upon the School BoaicLs which they themselves created. (Minister iiul chf-eis.) Uu t-iie division Mr. Lough's proposal was rejected by 199 voles ta 82—a Government majority of 117. v --#

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