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express the great satisfaction which he experienced at the adjustment of the differences which had existed between the friends of Church education and the Committee of Privy Council. The chief difficulty related to the appointment of inspectors, and that difficulty, he was happy to say, had been overcome. Should the arrangements which had been made, be fully and fairly carried into effect, which he believed would be the case, he had no doubt, judging from the nature of the discussions and negotiations which had taken place in reference to them, that they would be found to operate very beneficially."-Hansard, 3rd Series. Vol. lv. col. 754.
In the House of Commons, the doubt with regard to the practical working of the arrangement was still more strongly indicated by Mr. Goulburn, who, after expressing in general terms his satisfaction at the adjustment of the difficulties which had previously existed, observed :
"He still retained those objections he formerly expressed, as to confiding the management and superintendence of the whole education of the people to a lay commission, composed upon the principle of recommendations by the Government. He felt that on a question involving the interests of all classes, it would have been expedient and more advisable that it should have been regulated rather by an Act of the legislature, than by a discretion vested in a Board, constituted as that was by which this pecuniary grant was to be administered."
That the suspicions thus expressed were not altogether unfounded, became first evident in the debate which took place in the year 1843, on the subject of Sir James Graham's Factory Education Bill; and more especially from the tenor of the Resolutions moved on the 1st of May, by Lord John Russell, as the leader of the opposition, and which it may not be useless at the present moment to draw forth from their hiding-place in the pages of Hansard. They were to the following effect:
"1. That in any bill for the promotion of education in Great Britain, by which a board shall be authorized to levy or cause to be levied parochial rates for the erection and maintenance of schools, provision ought to be made for an adequate representation of the rate-payers of the parish in such board.
"2. That the chairman of such board ought to be elected by the board itself.
"3. That the Holy Scriptures in the authorized version should be taught in all schools established by any such board.
"4. That special provision should be made for cases in which Roman Catholic parents may object to the instruction of their children in the Holy Scriptures in such schools.
"5. That no other books of religious instruction should be used in such schools, unless with the sanction of the Archbishops of Canterbury and
York, and the concurrence of the Committee of Privy Council for Edu
"6. That in order to prevent the disqualification of competent schoolmasters on religious grounds, the books of religious instruction, other than the Holy Bible, introduced into the schools, should be taught apart by the clergyman of the parish, or some person appointed by him, to the children of parents who belong to the Established Church, or who may be desirous that their children should be so instructed.
"7. That all children taught in such schools should have free liberty to resort to any Sunday-school, or any place of religious worship, which their parents may approve.
"8. That any school connected with the National School Society, or the British and Foreign School Society, or any Protestant Dissenters' school, or any Roman Catholic school which shall be found upon inspection to be efficiently conducted, should be entitled, by licence from the Privy Council, to grant certificates of school attendance, for the of employment in factories of children and young persons.
"9. That in the opinion of this House, the Committee of Privy Council for education ought to be furnished with means to enable them to establish and maintain a sufficient number of training and model schools in Great Britain.
"10. That the said Committee ought likewise to be enabled to grant gratuities to deserving schoolmasters, and to afford such aid to schools established by voluntary contributions, as may tend to the more complete instruction of the people in religious and secular knowledge, while, at the same time, the rights of conscience may be respected."-Hansard. 3rd Series. Vol. lxviii. col. 744-6.
We shall hardly be charged with unfairness if we consider these Resolutions, put forward by the present Prime Minister while out of office, as the programme of what he and the Committee of Council, composed of members of his Cabinet, consider the most perfect arrangement for "national" education, and as the key to the measures adopted by that Committee since the return of the Whigs to office. The principal features of the plan set forth in Lord John Russell's Resolutions are :
Local government of each school by an elective body, without any religious test.
Central government of all the schools throughout the country, by a State department of education.
The supply of schoolmasters, indifferent upon the point of religion, being, in their official capacity, of no religion, from training schools established under the auspices of the State.
The incorporation of these schoolmasters, as a profession distinct from the Church, under arrangements which render them dependent upon the State, as the party to whom they are to look for advancement, for gratuities, and the like.
Lastly, the separation of secular from religious instruction, confining the latter to certain hours, and committing it to the hands of the ministers of religion, under regulations which contemplate the National Church as one of many sects, and assign to her a kind of precedence of honour contingently upon her being in a majority in the school.
These being the points embodied in Lord John Russell's Resolutions, it is only giving him and his party credit for consistency of purpose to conclude that on his Lordship's return to office means would be sought for carrying these views into effect; and they have no right, therefore, to complain if their opponents, the supporters of religious, scriptural, Church education, think they can discern in the subsequent proceedings of the Committee of Council symptoms of approximation to the Whig ideal of popular education. It is certainly a remarkable coincidence, that the return of the Whigs to office in July, 1846, should have been followed within less than two months by the large scheme for the extension of the system of Government inspection, and for the employment of apprentice teachers, embodied in the Minutes of August 25th and December 21st, 1846; the whole of the machinery created by those Minutes having a direct tendency, by the prospect of pecuniary and other advantages, to produce in schoolmasters a feeling that it is highly to their interest to obtain the approbation of the Government inspectors, and, through them, of the Committee of Council. While, on the one hand, it would be unfair to deny that an organization of teachers and apprentices, such as is contemplated by those Minutes, cannot fail to add considerably to the efficiency of the whole system of popular education, it is impossible not to perceive that in proportion to the power resulting from such an organization must be the danger to sound religious education, if the supreme direction of the whole should happen to be in hands unfriendly to the Church, and to all positive and distinctive religious teaching. In what light such teaching is regarded by the present Committee of Council, and by their Secretary, may be gathered, among many other proofs, from the communication addressed by the latter to the Wesleyan Education Committee, in which he distinctly deprecates the rule of Church of England schools, which makes attendance at the Church and Sunday-school, and instruction in the Catechism, obligatory upon the scholars.
"Their Lordships greatly regret that the children of Dissenters are not admissible into Church of England schools without these requirements, and they would rejoice in a change in the regulations of such schools, providing for their admission.
"While on the one hand my Lords regard with respect and solicitude
the scruples which religious parents among the poor may feel to permit their children to learn the Catechism of the Church of England, they have felt themselves precluded from insisting upon a condition which might at once exclude Church of England schools, or at least the majority of them, from the advantages to be derived under the Minutes. of Council.
"Their Lordships hope that much may be expected from a careful review of the civil and political relations of the school, which has not at any previous period been so fully acknowledged to be a national institution. Regarded in this light, their Lordships cannot but hope that the Clergy and laity of the Church of England will admit, that the view they take of the obligations resting upon them, as to the inculcation of religious truth, must be limited by their duty to recognise the state of the law as to the toleration of diversities in religious belief, and especially in those who, on the basis of the Apostles' Creed, approach so nearly as the Wesleyan communion do, in doctrine, to the Church of England."-Minutes of Committee of Council, 1846, vol. i. pp. 23,
And a much greater authority than Mr. Kay Shuttleworth, Lord John Russell himself, declared, in his place in Parliament, on the 19th of April, 1847, that
"He thought a very great hardship in many of the Church schools in this country, the existence of a rule disallowing children to come to them unless they learn the Church Catechism, and attend the Church on the Sabbath. He should see with great pleasure any improvement in the rules of Church schools on this point."-Hansard, 3rd Series. Vol. xci. col. 975-6.
But however great may be the danger of the Committee of Council acquiring by degrees a pernicious ascendancy over the personnel of teachers in Church schools, through the operation of the scheme laid down in the Minutes of August and December, 1846, and the explanatory letter of July, 18472, the danger is a remote one, the system proposed being necessarily slow and indirect in its operation; and, accordingly, the Minutes of August and December, 1846, have not only not provoked any violent opposition, but have, on the contrary, met with acceptance, we cannot help fearing, rather prematurely, at the hands of many managers and promoters of Church schools.
Not so the famous Management Clauses. In them the chains by which it was proposed to fetter Church schools, in such a manner as to render them susceptible hereafter of further modifications in accordance with the cherished theory of a universal
2 The whole of these documents are contained in the first volume of the octavo edition of the Minutes of the Committee for 1846, the original Minutes at pages 1-15, and the explanatory letter at pages 34-46.
and purely secular State education, were too apparent to escape detection for any length of time. They seem to have been originally devised by the ingenious Secretary of the Committee of Council, whose views are, as is well known, in accordance with those of the party which returned to office in 1846. In the early part of the year 1846, he appears to have improved his leisure by framing those clauses, and imposing them, in the form of a recommendation which applicants for a share of the Government grant found it difficult to decline, upon Church schools. The parts principally objected to were, in Clause A :
"The minister for the time being of the said or, in his absence, his curate, shall have the superintendence of the religious instruction of the scholars attending the said school; and in case any difference should arise between the said minister or curate and the committee of management hereinafter mentioned respecting the religious instruction of the scholars, or any regulation connected therewith, the said minister or curate, or any member of the said committee of management, may cause a statement of the matter in difference to be laid before the Bishop of the diocese, in writing, a copy of such statement having been previously communicated to the said committee of management, and also to the minister or curate, if not prepared by him the said Bishop may inquire concerning and determine the matter in difference; and the decision of the Bishop, in writing, thereon, when laid before the committee of management, shall be final and conclusive upon the matter. But in all other respects, the management, direction, control, and government of the said school and premises, and of the funds or endowments thereof, and the selection, appointment, and dismissal of the schoolmaster and schoolmistress, and their assistants, shall be vested in, and exercised by, a committee, consisting of the minister of the said for the time being, his licensed curate or curates, if the minister shall appoint him or them upon the said committee, the churchwardens for the time being, if members of the Church of England, and of other persons, members of the Church of England, residents, or having a beneficial interest, to the extent of a life estate at the least, in real property, situated in the said and subscribers in the current year, to the amount of twenty shillings at the least, to the said school: the said last-mentioned persons to be elected annually in the month of by subscribers to the said school to the amount of ten shillings per annum at the least, and qualified in other respects as the persons to be elected."-National Society's Monthly Paper, No. xxii. p. 2.
The latter provisions, regulating the constitution of the committee, were somewhat varied in the other Clauses. After the words "shall be vested in, and exercised by," Clause B reads"a committee, consisting of the minister of the said the time being, his licensed curate or curates, if the minister shall