NOTICE.-This column is devoted to better thoughts for quiet moments. Can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power, Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour ? These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight, Four round her path a stream of living light, ROGERS.
True Valour. To fight aloud is very brave, But gallanter I know, Who charge within the bosom The cavalry of woe. Who win, and nations do not see Who fall, and none observe, Whose dying eyes no country Regards with patriot love. We trust, in plummed procession, For such the angels go, Rank after rank, with even feet, And uniforms of snow. EMILY DICKENSON.
Right-Doing. The general opinion of the world is that right- doing, justice, truth, and honesty are very graceful luxuries for those who can afford them; very good things when a man is easy, prosperous, and well off, and without much serious business on hand; but not for the real hard work of life; not for times of ambition and struggle, any more than of distress and anxiety, or of danger and difficulty. In such times, if a man may not lie a kittle, cheat a little, do a questionable stroke of business now and then, how is he to live 7 So it is in the world, so it always was, and so it always will be. From states- men ruling nations, and men of business conduct- ing ureal financial operations,' as the saying is now, down to the beggar-woman, who comes to ask charity, the rule of the world is that honesty is not" the best policy; that falsehood and cun- ning are not only profitable, but necessary; that in proportion as a man is in trouble, in that proportion he has a right to go wrong. A right to do wrong. A right to make bad worse. A right to break God's laws, because we are too stupid or too hasty to find out what God's laws are. CHARLES KINGSLEY.
4. Society. As the unknown force seizes, fashions, and sub- ordinates the elements which form Jthe body of a man, so the genius of a State gathers up the human units, co-ordinates them in villages and towns, educates them in colleges and schools, purifies their lower instincts by leading them through religion into a recognition of their higher destiny, and of the obligations attaching to it, and then distributes them among the trades and professions which are the beaten highway of practical life. The tissue of the body perishes hourly, and is hourly renewed. The individuals die, but the State has its own life independent of them; as one falls another takes its place. This is the ancient notion of a community which regards it not as an aggregate of dust, but as a compact and organised being, and out of this notion of it grew the virtues which Englishmen used most to admire —patriotism, loyalty, fidelity, a sense of duty and self-forgetfulness. J. A. FROUDE.
Thoughts in aid of Faith. C3. These sentiments which are born within us, slumbering as it were in our nature, ready to be awakened in action immediately they are roused by hint of corresponding circumstances, are drawn out of the whole of previous human existence. They constitute our treasured inheritance out of all the life that has been lived before us, to which no age, no human being who has trod the earth and laid himself to rest, with all his mortal burdens, upon her maternal bosom, has failed to add his contribution. No generation has had its engross- ing conflict, surely battling out the triumphs of mind over material force, and through forms of monstrous abortions concurrent its births, too hindeous for us to bear in contemplation, moulding the early intelligence by every struggle, and win- ning its gradual powers-no single soul has borne itself through its personal trial—without bequeath- ing to us of its fruits. There is not a religious thought that we take to ourselves for secret com- fort, in our time of grief, that has not been dis- tilled out of the multiplicity of the hallowed tears of mankind; not an animating idea is there for our fainting courage that has not gathered its aspiration from the bravery of the myriad armies of the world's heroes. SARAH HENNELL. 0
The Human Body. Our bodies are all times like the fire which was shown to the hero of the 11 Pilgrim's Progress" in the Interpreter's house, which had water poured on it on one side of the wall against which it biazed, and oil on the other. Here one tissue is burning fuel, and there another is becoming the depository of combustible matter. We have, as it were, millions of microscopic wind-furnaces con- verting into carbonic acid, water-vapour, and other products of combustion, all the combustible elements of the body; and millions of blast furnaces, reducing the starch and sugar of the food, and the ,sulphates and phosphates of the body, into inflam- jnable oils and other fuels, which are finally transferred to the wind-furnaces, and burned there. Burning, and what we must call in contradistinc- tion, unburn.j, thus proceed together the flames .of life, like a blow-pipe flame, exhibiting an .oxidizing and reducing action, at points not far .,distant from each other. Such is the human body —ever changing, ever abiding-a temple always .complete, and yet always under repair, a mansion which contents its possessor, and yet has its plans and its materials altered each moment; a machine never stops working, and yet is taken to pieces in the one twinkling of an eye, and put to- gether in the other; a cloth of gold, to which the needle is ever adding on one side of a line, and from which the scissors are ever cutting away on other. Yes. Life, like Penelope of old, is ever weaving and unweaving the same web, whilst her grim suitors. Disease and Death, watch for her halting; only, for her is no Ulysses who will one day in triumph return. DR. GEORGB WILSON. ♦
Our Human Life. If your life were but a fever-fit—the madness of a night, whose follies were all to be forgotten in the dawn—it might matter little how you fretted away the sickly hours; what toys you snatched at, or ''let fall; what visions you followed wistfully, with the .deceived eyes of sleepless frenzy. Is the earth .only an hospital of play, if you care to play on the tfloor of the hospital dens. Knit its straw into what crowns please you; gather the dust of It for treasure, and die rich in that, clutching at the black motes in the air with your dying hands; and yet it may be well with you. But if this life be no dream, and the world no hospital: if all the power, .and peace, and joy you can ever win must be won .now, and all fruit of victory gathered here—or soever—will you still, throughout the puny totality of your life, weary yourself in the fire for vanity 1 If there is no rest which remaineth for you, is there none which you might presently take? Was this grass of the earth made green for your shroud only, not for your bed ? and can you never lie down upon it, but only under it ? The heathen, to whose creed you have returned, thought not so. They knew that life brought ita eontest. No proud one I no jewelled circlet flam- ing through heaven above the height of the un- merited throne; only some few leaves of wild olive, cool to the tired brow, through a few years of peace. It should have been of gold, they thought, but Jupiter was poor." This was the best .the god could give them. Seeking a greater Lhan this-, they had known it a mockery. Not in war, not in wealth, not in tyranny was there any happiness to be found for them-only in kindly peace, fruitful and free. The wreath was to be of wild olive, mark you; the tree that grows carelessly, tufting the rocks with no vivid bloom, no verdue 4»f branch, only with soft snow of blossom, and full-filled fruit, mixed with grey leaf and thorn-set stem; no fastening ofdiademfor you, but with such sharp embroidery! But this, such as it is, you may win while yet you live—type of grey honour and sweet rest. Free-heartedness, and graciousness, and undisturbed trust, and requited love, and the sight of the peace of others, and the ministry to .their pain these, and the blue sky above you, and the sweet waters and flowers of the earth beneath; and mysteries and presences innumerable of living things,—these may yet be here your riches; un- tormenting and divine; serviceable for the life ithat now is; not, it may be, without promise of that which is to come JOHN RUSKIN.
PARLIAMENT HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY. THE TITHE RENT-CHARGE (RATES) BILL. The adjourned debate on the second reading of the Tithe Rent Charge (Rates) Bill was resumed by Mr. COURTNEY, who said he intervened in this debate with unfeigned reluctance, He wished the Bill had never been introduced (opposition cheers), and he fancied that in that respect he was not peculiar even on the Ministerial benches (cheers). When the Bill was introduced the House had no opportunity of pronouncing an opinion on it (loud opposition cheers). He considered that the intro- duction of this highly contentious Bill under the ten minutes rule was an abuse of the power con- ferred on the Government (opposition cheers). The outcome of the previous night's debate was that the supporters of the Bill based their case on the ground of justice, but he confessed to have great difficulty in following the arguments in support of that contention (hear, hear). If it were a question quite de novo" of considering how the wants of the parish could be met no one would dreantof setting up such a system of local taxation as now existed. But we had a system, the foundations of which were laid three centuries ago, which brought into contribution towards meeting the wants of a parochial community different kinds of property, and provided the machinery by which assessments could be levied in respect of that property. It was essential that distinction should be kept in mind. If the distinction was sound the arguments from justice failed to apply. If we were the inheritors of a policy under which certain properties had been set aside to meet certain uses by an assignment long since passed, we might, as a nation, conceive the revision of those uses, but the ideas suggested in relation to the assignment of the property went out of the problem (cheers). Instead of consider- ing rates upon the tithe-rent he asked the House to consider tithe-rent itself. It was no doubt much older in origin than the rates or tithe-rent, but they would all unite in repudiating the sug- gestion that any personal injustice was involved in the payment by the tithe-rent payer of the sum he was required to pay. If his view was correct the truth was the incumbent was entitled from the first only to what was left after the rates were paid (cheers.) There was no personal obligation on him in respect of the pay- ment of rates, The case was exactly as though the property was severed into parts, and the one part assigned to the use of the poor and the other to the incumbent (cheers.) This was undoubtedly the state of the law in respect to tithes prior to the Reformation. The first burden was the use of the poor, and the ecclesiastical burden came after; and the statute of Elizabeth only maintained what was the law before the Reformation. Would they wish to remedy the poverty of the endowments of some parishes by giving them an additional and a new endowment, which was the effect of this Bill (loud cheers); or would they advocate some such action as would cause a rearrangement of the endowments as a whole, so as to cure these evils, the existence of which they must all deplore? (Cheers.) The Bill, even for the purpose in view, was a miserable attempt (cheers.) The poorer the endowment the less the aid that was given (cheers.) As a respecter of property, he protested against a form of bene- volence which would lead them astray in legislation and subject them to a confusion of principles, injurious from the nature of things to the objects they held most dearly at heart. Under the Bill as it stood they would give up one half of the rates on tithe rent charge attached to a benefice, but were to make no allowance whatever in respect of tithe rent charges in the hands of the lay impropriator. Supposing a lay impropriator conveyed Z120 of his tithe rent in augmentation of the endowment of the benefice of the rector or the vicar and his suc- cessors in perpetuity,would the tithe rent so conveyed enjoy the remission of one half under the Bill ? If the rates had amounted to 920 the lay impro- priator would have given £100, but the amount the rector would receive would be P,110, so that there would in such a case be a fresh absolute endowment of ClO (Opposition cheers). If, on the other hand, the amount so given did not receive the benefit of the Bill, there would be this extraordinary position, that with regard to one part of this tithe rent charge the vicar would be entitled to a deduction of half his rates and in respect of another portion would be entitled to no deduction at all. That was an absurdity so palpable that he did not think it could be the right answer. But even if they took this Bill upon, the basis of the arguments advanced by its supporters, the fatal answer was that it did not proceed upon that basis. It sought to remedy an injustice not by putting the additional burden upon the persons who had hitherto benefited by the injustice, but upon the whole community. Where was the justice of that ? (Opposition cheers). The Bill was not a real solution of a problem in local taxation. The Government did not venture on the courageous, honest, and just course. They threw the burden upon the nation.—(Mr. Balfour Upon the ratepayers). Certainly, upon the rate- payers, but upon the ratepayers not in each parish where the rates had been paid, but the ratepayers of the whole country (Opposition cheers). As an economist and a financier, he must protest against this method of meeting the difficulty in which the Government found themselves. But here they were giving 93,000,000 of money— £ 87,000 a year capitalised meant E3,000,000-to increase the endowment of the Church of England. Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT, who was received with Opposition cheers, said we were living in a new Parliamentary" regime" of legislation on interim reports—(Laughter and cheers). It was a completely new and, he believed, unparliamentary system. They sent to a Commission or Committee whom they trusted to examine the large subject which dealt with a great number of interests, and solicited them to report not upon all those interests, bnt to pick out some particular interest which they desired to favour. Then, upon the faith of that report, they selected a sum of money to bestow upon that interest, and left the rest to shift for themselves.—(Opposition cheers). That experi- ment was first begun in the Agricultural Rating Act. A Commission was appointed to consider the whole condition of the agricultural interest, an interim report was cooked up in a hurry, and on the security of that report they managed to obtain about one and a half million, a demand which, if the full report had been waited for, nobody would have had the courage to make.—(Hear, hear). There were a great many recommendations in that report which would have been of benefit to the farmers and others. They had heard nothing more of that. The one and a half million had been ob- tained, and the other recommendations had been allowed to become obsolete.—(Opposition cheers). If ever there was any question which deserved to be treated as a whole on account of the multiplicity of interests concerned in it, it was this question of rating. They could not rate one man more without giving an advantage to another. They could not rate one man less without an injustice to another. It was a question in which partial dealing with a single interest was more to be condemned than in any other. It was under these circumstances that they had appointed a Commission to consider the most important and complicated question that could be submitted to a Commission—namely, the reform of our rating system,—and they managed, he supposed, on the advice of the Cabinet Minister in charge, to hurry up an interim report and endeavour to smuggle it through the House of Commons as a ten minute bill. That was how they were dealing with the great question of rates in this country. It was a system destructive of any sound legislation, and perfectly unfair to all interests except the particular one they desired to favour.— (Opposition cheers). That was a thing against which they were bound to protest. The finance of the Bill was equally to be condemned. The money collected by public taxation was to be allotted to a special class. The Minister for Agriculture said he believed that the burden would not be felt by any of those upon whom it would fall. It was a burden, he said, of which the taxpayers would not know but for the speeches of the right hon. gentle- man and hon. gentleman opposite (opposition cheers and laughter). Why they had been praying for an active opposition ? (opposition cheers). And yet what they desired was to be allowed to smuggle through this Bill, and to rob the taxpayers of £ 87.000, and they said that if they only had the amiable compliance of the Opposition they would manage tol do it without the knowledge of the ratepayers of the country' His right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition jumped up at once and told them that these expectations were entirely unfounded (hear, hear). They declined to be parties, he would not say to this dishonest, but to this disingenuous finance which desired, with the connivance of the Opposition, to conceal what they were doing from the ratepayers of England (opposition cheers). There was a remarkable statement in the conclusion of the Royal Commission which said that this relief was to be given on account of exceptionally accute dissatisfaction. Well, there was exceptionally accute dissatisfac- tion about most of the taxes, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequor was prepared to give away hun- dreds and thousands where he met with exception- ally acute dissatisfaction he would be obliged to part with the income tax for instance (opposition laughter). The question was not whether there was acute dissatisfaction, but whether there was a just ground. The opin- ion that there was an injustice rested upon a fallacy. The fact was that the rate was not a rate upon the person at all, but upon the property. When the rate was put on the property the the individual suffered no injustice, receiving the property, as he did, subject to the conditions (Opposition cheers.) H6 did not desire that the clergy of the country should be dealt with unfairly. Indeed, he bad always borne his testimony to the honourable and useful part and the great sacrifice with which they had laboured, He knew, too, of the carking care which beset them owing to the diminution of their incomes. But they were told that the Bill had nothing to do with poverty of the clergy, but was an act of justice. The remedy proposed in the report was by deductions. It was a very remarkable fact that the Government had rejected that method and had adopted in its place relief by means of a lump sum, which was a grossly unjust system as compared with deductions. They were told that the lump sum was equivalent to Lhe deductions, but he should like to know what were the deductions that were claimed. Every one of the deductions mentioned in the report had been disallowed by the courts of law, and had been declared to be inconsistent with the statute of Elizabeth. Nothing could be more inaccurate than the statement that the rating was on the gross value. Yet here was the Conservative party taking away a charge which rested on a tradition of 300 years in favour of a class they desired to conciliate. That was not good Conservatism, not even good Liberal Unionism (laughter and cheers.) It had been laid down by the law courts that it was a fallacy to comfound the rateable value of the poor rate with the remunerative value of the incumbent; and yet it was upon the remunerative value of the incumbent that the whole of this claim for deduc- tion was founded. That was contrary to the whole law of rating, and it was a claim which had no foundation at all. If the Government were going to give Z87,000 a year, or any other sum, in order to depart from that rule, they were in point of fact giving away the property of other people in order that the people who ought to pay should not pay (Opposition cheers.) That applied equally to the case of personal service. If personal service was to be a matter of deduction, why not the rectory in which the man lived 1 That was part of his personal service. Did anybody contend that because a parson had to reside in the rectory that rectory was not to be rated? The argument of personal service would not hold water for a moment. But making a new rating law in this country was a very serious matter. It affected millions of people, and they could not proceed too carefully to deal with a question like that. But this attempt to hustle an interim gift to a particular class under the cloak of rating was one of the most unstatesmanlike proceedings that he had ever seen in this House (hear, hear). What was the sort of authority upon which they endea- voured to support this Bill ? He heard the great authority of Mr. Gladstone quoted (hear, hear). The date that was given of Mr. Gladstone's opinion was 1852, very nearly 50 years ago. Since that time Mr. Gladstone was First Minister of this country several times. He was Finance Minister still more often. Mr. Gladstone was a man who was not careless of the interests of the clergy, and yet he never attempted to meddle with this tithe rent charge. He ventured to think tnkt when Mr. Gladstone examined the question he came to the conclusion that there was no ground for touching it (Ministerial laughter and Opposition cheers). Did they think that if Mr. Gladstone had been convinced that a great injustice was being done to the clergy in this matter which he had the power to remedy he would have done so ? If they did they had a different appreciation of the character of Mr. Gladstone than he had (Opposition cheers). He (Sir W. Harcourt) confessed that, looking at this Bill and the manner in which it had been brought forward, he was lost in amazement to account for the genesis of it. The Government knew that it was loudly condemned by their opponents, and that the condemnation was audibly whispered by their supporters (Opposition cheers). He read that morning in one of the leading ecclesiastical journals a condemnation of the im- prudence, in the interests of the Church, of the course which the Government were pursuing (hear, hear). Party bias, no doubt, might compel gen- tlemen opposite to support this measure, but he ventured to say it would not be a hearty support. They knew very well to-day, and they would better hereafter, what a new State endowment for the wealthiest religious community in the world was (" Oh. oh," and Opposition cheers). In the Tithe Bill (hear, hear). Did they really believe that they were going to strengthen the Church in the affections of the people by presenting to them in the aspect of this Bill a Church with a bounty- fed clergy subsidised out of the rates (opposition cheers) ? What right had the Government to take a lump sum of money from the ratepayers of this country and give it for religious services to a parti- cular religious community (hear, hear)? No wonder that the stomach of the Liberal Unionists rebelled (laughter and opposition cheers). The Government had put a good many straws on the back of the Liberal Unionist camel, but this was the last straw (more laughter and cheers). A scheme more cal- culated to bring public odium upon the Church it it was impossible to conceive. It violated all the laws of civil and religious equality. The Govern- ment said it was a small sum, but the principle was not a small one (opposition cheers). Eighty-seven thousand pounds a year-was there ever so great a birthright trafficked away for so miserable a mess of pottage ? He believed there was many a true son of the Church who regarded the provisions of the Bill with a sense of shame. The Government had a large majority, and they would use it that night (ministerial cheers). He hoped they would (opposition cheers). They had made their bed, and on that bed they would have to lie. This Parliament would be remembered in future times for nothing more than this-that its principal and its almost only feats had been class legislation (opposition cheers). These were not their profes- sions at the election which returned them to Parliament. It was not upon such grounds that they solicited and obtained the confidence of the country. They had used their powers and were using them that night for purposes for which they had no mandate. They had made their choice, and the Opposition had made theirs. The Opposition had resisted and would continue to resist to the utmost of their power these most unjust proposals, and would wait with confidence the judgment of the nation between a policy of class legislation and the principles of equal justice (loud opposition cheers). Sir E. CLARKE said the right hon. gentleman had asked why this Bill was introduced. The right hon. gentleman might have found an explanation for himself in the report of the Commission. The explanation was that the supporters of the Govern- ment as a body represented to the Government that there was throughout the country in all parts a deep-seated and long-enduring dissatisfaction with the conditions which put an absolute injustice on the clergy. Sir W. Harcourt had treated the in- terim report of the Royal Commission with con- tempt, but he would remind the right hon. gentleman that the body was not composed entirely of supporters of the Government or of men whose antecedents would naturally predispose them to suggest such a measure. He agreed that this was not a case in which an appeal was being made to the House for charity. Sir J. PEASE said he looked upon the Bill as a direct additional endownment to the Established Church. It had been described as an act of justice but there was no justice in giving relief in much larger measure to those who did not require it than to those who were really suffering from poverty. Mr. KENYON recognised the injustice under which the clergy now suffered, not only with regard to the rating of tithe rent charge, but also with regard to the great falling off in the value of that property- They saw how great the fall of prices had been when they compared the prices of 1836 with those of 1894 and 1898. The result of these low prices was that between 1875 and 1895 over two million acres of arable land were turned into pasture. While the farmers and tithe-owners had suffered owing to these low prices, the rate- payers and taxpayers in the towns had greatly benefited. and he believed that those whom he represented were quite willing that the people who had suffered such an injustice should now have a remedy. Mr, J. H. JOHNSTONE said it did not lie in the mouth of the Honse of Commons, at any rate, to say that that injustice did not exist, because in 1897 the House by a sufficient majority declared its opinions that the burdens of local taxation on the clergy were excessive, and that the grievance was one which called for substantial relief (hear, hear). Mr. J. C. WILLIAMS, who had paid a compli- ment to the striking and courageous speech de- livered by Mr. G. Whiteley observed that the Bill owed its appearance at the present time to the imminence of the general election and the threats which had been uttered by the clerical supporters of the Government. The advocates of disestablish- ment were bound to increase their efforts because of the new danger with which they were threat- ened in the Bill. Mr. LLOYD GEORGE said the right hon. gentleman who had just spoken seemed to be very confident of the view of this measure that would be taken by the electors. That confidence did not seem to be shared by the Conservative candidates for Oldham.—(Opposition cheers and laughter),— for he had heard that last night both Conservative candidates had repudiated this bill, and said that if returned to Parliament they would vote against it.—(Renewed cheers and laughter). Perhaps the measure had destroyed every chance they would have of putting that pledge into practice.-(Hear, hear). As a Welshman he protested against the bill because it proposed to employ funds which were at present used for educational purposes in Wales, and because a most beneficent work in that country would thereby be seriously interfered with.—(Cheers). The hon. member proceeded to show that the rates of the general community had been increased through the miserable system of doles initiated by the present Government. It was no marvel that there was a strong feeling in every part of the country as to the iniquity of this pro- position. The main pillar of support for the pro- posal in this bill was a clergyman of the name of Mr. Jones, and in the interim report of the Com- mission the changes wer rung upon the Rev. Mr. Jones, age after page until one got sick of the Rev. Mr. Jones in spite of the honourable and ancient name he bore, and at last one did not care what happened to Jones."—(Loud laughter). What an answer this proposal was to Welsh constituences. which at the last election gave up their share in the great struggle for religious equality which was the in- heritance of their race for the prospect of a five- shilling pension at the age of sixty-five.(Opposi- tion cheers). The mess of pottage that was promised to them was being consumed by other gentlemen who were higher up in the scale. The money that was to be given in old-age pensions was being to the landlord and the parson. The squire and the parson had broken into the poorbox and divided its contents among them.(Ministerial laughter and Opposition cheers). The men who had been promised some provision in their old age were left out in the cold, and the Tammany ring of landlords and parsons were dividing the money among them.—(Opposition cheers). Mr. F. W. LOWE supported the bill, and said he was not at all afraid of the effect which the bill would have on the working classes of Birmingham. —(Opposition laughter). Sir HENRY FOWLER opposed the bill. He dealt with the present rating on tithe as being strictly in accordance with the law passed in 1836. He quoted the opinions of Sir George Cornewall Lewis and others in favour of the payment of rates on tithe, and went on to deal with the report of the Royal Commission on the subject. He admitted the grievance of the tithe ratepayers and the agricultural ratepayer, but the grievance of the urban ratepayer was ten times greater, and the borough ratepayers had had no relief and no special report by a Royal Commission. If the law was unjust, alter the law (cheers.) But don't vote a sum of money out of the public purse to be scattered indiscriminately among clerical tithe-payers. The right hon. gentleman went on condemn the way the money was to be provided. Lancashire would get Z10,000 out of the sum. The clergy had a right to better pay, but their right was not against the State, but against the Church, at whose altars they ministered (cheers.) He pointed out what was done in Scotland for the Free Church clergy, and what was done in England by the Wesleyan body for their ministers (cheers.) Mr A. BALFOUR repudiated the idea that the Church was asking for alms. Its claim was one for justice and not for pity (cheers.) He defended the way the Government had dealt with the Bill, causing a good deal of laughter by stating that a Bill was introduced by a Glasgow member for the disestablishment of the Scottish Church under the ten minute rule. As to the method of finding the money, he taunted the Opposition with having intercepted twice as much money to deal with swine fever (laughter.) He did not desire to compare pigs with clergy, but in the present measure the example of the Opposition was followed as to the financial arrangement. He observed that Mr. Courtney was accustomed to play the part of candid friend, and was always ready to tell his own party of their faults; but he sometimes thought that Mr. Courtney pressed that congenial role" almost to excess (laughter and cheers.) Mr. Courtney's argument was preposterous, for it would prevent ony rating grievance being remedied by the House. Let the House hear no more of talk about en- dowment when rate were remitted. Let everyone who was to vote against the Bill ask himself if any other class suffered under this kind of disability he would either make a speech against the Bill or give the vote he intended to give. For his part he felt that at the bottom of the opposition to this bill there was not any theory of rating but a deep- rooted animosity to the Church of England (cheers). He doubted weather the result the Op- position anticipated would follow from their action against the bill. The Government might be doing little to catch votes, but when the country saw that this claim was based on justice, he did not think the result would be what the Opposition had represented. THE DIVISION. The House divided- For the second reading 314 Against 176 Majority for 138 The Coommittee stage was put down for to-day Thursday. HOUSE OF LORDS.—FRIDAY. THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN BILL. SECOND READING CARRIED. Viscount KNUTSFORD moved the second read- ing of the Education of Children Bill, which is to raise the age of exemption from school from eleven to twelve years. He explained that the measure was in no sense a party measure, while it was a step in the right direction in improving the educa- tion of school children. That it was not a party measure might be gathered from the fact that the principle of raising the age of exemption from eleven to twelve years was granted in the Eduction Bill of 1897. That bill, however, only got to second reading. The member for South Shields (Mr. Robson) introduced that principle into the present bill in the House of Commons, and the measure was there passed by a majority composed of both sides of the House. As regarded the law affecting half-timers, when a child had attained a certain age fixed by Parliament it was able to claim partial exemption and could become a half-timer if it passed an examination which was fixed by the local authority in the district in which it lived. It must be admitted, from experience in this country and on the Continent, that the half- time system was absolutely necessary, both in manufacturing and agricultural districts. At the same time it must be admitted that the half-time system was disadvantageous to the children from the educational point of view. It was found that the children who went to work as half- timers were much less capable of receiving in- struction than those who went through a regular course of school education. Experience had shown that the half-timer soon fell behind other school children in educational progress. He would quote a case which was referred to in the House of Commons, because the facts of the case afforded a sufficient answer to the main argument adduced by the opponents of this measure-that it was most important that children at the earliest age possible should acquire a technical knowledge of the work, whether in the mills or in the field, which they would later in life have to take up. The case to which he alluded was known as the Bolton case. In Bolton there were 535 or 555 technical knowledge scholarships and something like 3,000 or 4,000 half-timers, and yet out of all those scholarships only one child who had been a half-timer secured one. That showed very dis- tinctly that there was a disadvantage from an educational point of view in the half-time system (hear, hear). For some years past there had been a great change of opinion noticeable in favour of raising the school exemption age, both in the agri- cultural and manufacturing districts. When he had the honour of being Vice-President of the Council of Education in 1885 and 1886 the school- age exemption was ten, and the educational standard was fixed by local authorities, the educa- tional standard being the second, third, and even the fourth standard-generally the third standard in the manufacturing districts. Their Lordships would know what an amount of knowledge was required in a child to pass these standards. Coupled with the fact that the standard of age exemption was ten years, they would understand what a deplorable state of things existed in those days. Yet after very careful inquiry, the matter having been brought under the attention of the then Lord President of the Council and himself, it was found there was in both the agricultural and manufacturing districts so strong an opinion against raising the age that it would have been difficult or impossible for a Government to have introduced and carried a measure with that object in view' It was not until 1891, under the Factory Act, that some improvement was brought about. There was a clause introduced into the Act which prohibited the employment of children in factories and workshops under the age of eleven years. The clause was not introduced for educational purposes, but with the desire of improving the health of the children who were employed in factories and work- shops. At the same time he thought that that legislation in 1891, although for a different object facilitated very much the passing of the educa- tional Act in 1893 raising the age of school child- ren (hear, hear). Since that time a great change of opinion had come about, and so great was it that it had been possible to introduce the present measure into Parliament raising the age from eleven te twelve years (hear. hear). He might be asked how they were to test this change of opinion. In the first place they would test it by the very high position that was given to the measure in the House of Commons. The bill was introduced in the House of Commons by Mr. Robson in a speech of great ability, and the facts were put forward by that hon. member in a temperate manner. The bill was opposed mainly by some Lancashire mem- bers who represented the textile industries (hear, hear), but it was not to be supposed that the entire county of Lancashire opposed the measure, because it was found that as many Lancashire members supported the bill as those who were against it. He believed also that as many Lancashire members spoke in support of the measure as those who op- posed it. The bill passed its second reading by a majority of 317 against 59. Many of those 59 members who represented agricultural districts, were satisfied at a later stage with the proviso that bad been introduced into the bill, and the result was that the third reading was carried without a division (hear, hear). Another test as to the change of opinion was that many persons who were opposed to raising the age in 1893 and pro- phesied evil result from such a course had since found that their prophecies has been falsified, and were very warm supporters of the bill. Another test, and a very important one, was the change of view of those interested in education-those most capable of forming an opinion because they them- selves were well acquainted with the course of teaching in the schools. The teachers were unani- mously in favour of raising the age from eleven to twelve years, and they would like to see it raised it even higher. In raising the age they were really fulfilling pledges which were given by this country through its representatives at the Conference at Berlin in 1890. The provision to which he had alluded provided that the local authority for any district might by by-law for any parish within their district fix thirteen years as the minimum age for exemption from school attendance in the case of children to be employed in agriculture, and that in such parish such children over eleven and under thirteen years of age who had passed the standard fixed for partial exemption from school attendance by the by-laws of the local authority should not be required to attend school more than 250 times in any year. They would thus see a great distinction between the case of the children in agricultural districts and those in manufacturing districts. Although many sanitary improvements had been made in the mills, the work there could not be said to improve the health of the children. The work went on in the mills day after day throughout the year uninterruptedly. This provision, which was carried in the House of Commons by the majority of 245 to 26, only dealt with the agricultural districts. At a certain period of the year in these rural districts children were required by farmers, and so strong was the feeling in these districts, and so urgent was the case, that the school attend- ance officers shut their eyes to what was going on when the education of children was neglected by their parents, and were loth to issue summonses on parents for the non- attendance of their children at school. Magistrates, instead of inflicting fines upon parents, were content to give them a caution. Therefore there was some ) reason for making a change in the direction of this proviso. He mentioned that in one school in one of these rural districts out of a possible 338 attendances the returns showed the attendance during the busy period of the year to be from 54 to 64. The proviso only applied to cases where the age of exemptinn had been raised by local authorities to the age of thirteen. The adoption of a scheme in Germany and Switzerland under which children were allowed to work in summer and attend school in winter had worked most admirably, and in certain districts in those countries the exemption age was as high as fourteen, fifteen, and even sixteen years. The child did not lose any schooling, and it got two winters' schooling for one summer's play. By this system the parents would obtain the earnings of their children, who would be working legitimately for a period of the year and be saved the annoyance of visits from a school attendance officer. The adoption of this system would also be of great advantage to the farmers, for they would get assistance just at the busy period of the year. The proviso had been very carefully considered by the Education Department and by experienced officials of that Department, who saw no reason why it should not be passed. He commended the bill to their" Lordships, and in moving its second reading said he did so with the belief that the measure would, when it became law, prove a beneficial reform.—(Cheers). The Duke of DEVONSHIRE said that the education authorities were united in desiring the change the bill would effect. The only doubt was whether the working classes had been in favour of ii; but that had been conclusively removed by the large majority by which the bill was carried in the other House. The position of the agricultural labourer in so many parts of the country was one of great hardship, and any alteration might make a great difference in the income of the family; The proposition which had been made would make it possible for a child to remain longer at school, but that during the last few years of his school life he would have holidays which would enable him to work during the summer and attend school in the matter. He was very glad that they were now likely to make a gi eat improvement in our educational system. The Earl of KIMBERLEY desired to avail him- self of the opportunity of expressing his cordial support of the Bill. It was extremely satisfactory that after nine or ten years' delay Parliament was now endeavouring partly to redeem the pledge given by former Governments at international Conferences. He quite understood the natural reluctance of the working classes to part with earnings which no doubt might in some cases be valuable to them, but he felt quite confident that, although the taking of this step might seem to some people rather difficult, in the long run, when the Act had been at work, it would be found that the hardship was no longer felt. Step by step we had advance in the direction of securing the better education of our children, and he could not refrain from recording that many things which years ago were regarded with great appre- hension and suspicion were now accepted as matters of course (hear, hear). He thought it would be recognised not only as a measure which could be acquisced in, but as one which would meet with thr hearty support of all classes. He believed that the amendment relating to children in agri- cultural districts which was adopted in the other House would give entire satisfaction, and in con- conclusion he congratulated Mr. Robson upon his success in thus far carrying this; one of the most useful and important measures introduced for some time past. The Archbishop of CANTERBURY rejoiced that although it had been delayed this step was now being taken. One of the circumstances which seriously damaged the education of children all over the country was that at so early an age they left the school and forgot a great deal of that which they had learned. He very much hoped that in the agricultural districts they would fix upon thirteen instead of twelve years of age. He thought they were to be congratulated that at last they had had the courage to do that which those who had studied education carefully would have wished to have seen done some considerable time ago. The Archbishop of YORK said that those who during the summer worked in the fields would re- turn with a new zest to their work in the schools. The measure would do something to check the migration of children from the country to the towns, which was a very serious evil from many points of view. He regarded the bill as a real moral gain to the children of the country. The bill was then read a second time.
Board of Guardians. At the fortnightly meeting of the above Board on Monday, there were present: Mr. W. A. Miller (vice-chairman) in the chair, Rev. T. A. Penry, Messrs. George Fossett Roberts, B. Ellis Morgan, J. J. James, R. James, Edward Jones, David Lloyd, J. B. Morgan, E. J. Evans, T. E. Salmon, Edward Jones, Ceulanmaesmawr Thomas Jenkins, Cyfoeth-y-Brenin J. B. Morgan, Cynullmawr; Richard James, Henllys Thomas Powell, Llan- fihangel Upper; E. J. Evans, Llangwyryfon, John Jones, Llanrhystryd; Richard Thomas, Tirmynach; David Lloyd Vaenor Lower, Richard Jenkins, Llan- cynfelin; James Jones. STATISTICS. The statistics for the past fortnight were as follows :—Aberystwyth District—number of paup- ers, 159, relief paid 948 8s 3d, as compared with 161, £46 Os 8d respectively during the correspond- ing fortnight of last year; Llanfihangel,-185, P,25 lis Od. as compared with £191, P.50 17s Od, and liar, 134, P,42 7s Od, as compared with E137 and £44 3s Od. The Master reported that the number of inmates during the first week was 33 as against 44 during the corresponding week of last year; and number of vagrants, 9 against 9. THE TREASURER. A letter read from Mr. J. R. Rees, the treasurer, asking that Mr. H. E. Roberts, who had taken the place of Mr. R. Brodie Griffiths, who had left Aberystwyth for Birmingham, might be allowed to sign all documents on his behalf in his official capacity when necessary.—It was resolved that the authority be given. LATTO'S CASE. The Clerk drew attention to the case of Latto, who had been charged before the magistrates with having deserted his wife and children. He was a most respectable man and won the entire sympathy of the magistrates. He had now taken the children with him, and a girl who was in service at Aberystwyth had given notice, and intended going to live with her father, who was in a com- fortable home.—The report was considered satis- factory. TENDERS. The tender of Messrs. Evan Edwards and Son (P,7 15s.), for cementing the outer wall of the kitchen and washhouse was accepted. AN INTERESTING POINT. Mr. B. E. Morgan next quoted an extract from the Local Government Board Chronicle" to the effect that if a pauper refused to enter the workhouse it did'nt relieve the guardians from responsibility, and the proper course would be to direct the Relieving Officer to watch the case.—Mr. J. Jones Is that good law 7-The Clerk replied that he did not think it was. If the guardians offered a person food and lodging in the workhouse, and the person refused to come in the guardians would not be responsible for the consequences, but might in the same way be responsible if a pauper refused to act on an order for relief in kind.
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