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tract at the beginning of this article. Sir Robert Peel was loud in protesting against the insult offered to the House of Lords, by a mode of proceeding which virtually excluded that branch of the legislature from all voice in the question of national education, and enabled the Government of the day, by the most insignificant majority in the Commons, to carry measures the most adverse to all the institutions of the country, and to the true sense of Parliament and of the people. The same ground was taken by Lord Ashley, who designated the arrangement as "this hideous chimera of an Educational Committee of the Privy Council." On the order of the day for going into committee of supply,—the form in which the question came before the Lower House,-being put to the vote, the Government had only a majority of five votes; 280 voting for it, and 275 against it; and this majority was reduced to two in the division upon the grant itself; the numbers being 275 against 273.
Nor was the House of Lords quiescent. The boldness and the success with which the late Archbishop of Canterbury stood forward, not only in vindication of the rights of the Church, but in defence of the interests of national religion, will ever be remembered as one of the brightest passages in His Grace's history. The division in the Commons, which, by an inglorious majority of two votes, affirmed the annual grant (raised from 20,000l. to 30,0007.), and with it the existence of the Committee of Council, as the body to whose administration the money was to be entrusted, took place on the 24th of June; and on the 5th of July the Archbishop moved a string of Resolutions, condemnatory of the appointment of the Committee. After recounting the whole of the proceedings which had taken place in regard to it, as well as to the Minute of the 11th-13th of April, since withdrawn, the Resolutions declared
"That it appears to this House, that the powers thus entrusted to the Committee of Council, are so important in their bearing upon the moral and religious education of the people of this country, and upon the proper duties and functions of the Established Church, and at the same time so capable of progressive and indefinite extension, that they ought not to be committed to any public authority, without the consent of Parliament."-Hansard, 3rd Series. Vol. xlviii. col. 1253, 1254.
The resolutions next adverted in particular to the Order in Council of June 3rd, drawing attention to the fact, that no assurance was thereby given, that the scheme of April 11th-13th, would not be hereafter carried out at the discretion of the Committee, and concluded by the proposal of an address to Her Majesty, conveying these Resolutions, and praying
"That her Majesty will be graciously pleased to give directions that no steps shall be taken with regard to the establishment or foundation of any plan for the general education of the people of this country, without giving to this House, as one branch of the legislature, an opportunity of fully considering a measure of such deep importance to the highest interests of the community."-Hansard. 1. c.
These Resolutions were carried against ministers by a majority of 229 (171 present, and 58 proxies), against 118 (80 present, and 38 proxies). The debate, in the course of which the Bishop of London made the powerful speech to which we have already referred in our opening remarks, was characterized on the ministerial side by the greatest bitterness of tone. Lord Lansdowne
made a personal attack upon the Archbishop, whose "magnifying-glass," he said, "he must borrow, in order to see the objections to the Order in Council, which had excited so much animadversion." Lord Brougham, also, whose pet-child was strangled in the birth by these Resolutions, failed not to pour forth all the vials of his wrath, and all the torrents of his vituperation, upon the heads of those who supported the Resolutions, and especially of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. The address to the Crown having been drawn up and duly presented, was replied to in a tone not often resorted to by the Crown in addressing the House of Lords, and especially the spiritual Peers, who had taken the lead in the motion for the address. The main substance of it is contained in the following passage :· :
"It is with a deep sense of that duty (the duty of supporting the Established Church), that I have thought it right to appoint a Committee of my Privy Council to superintend the distribution of the grants voted by the House of Commons for public education. Of the proceedings of this Committee annual Reports will be laid before Parliament, so that the House of Lords will be enabled to exercise its judgment upon them; and I trust that the funds placed at my disposal will be found to have been strictly applied to the objects for which they were granted, with due respect to the rights of conscience, and with a faithful attention to the security of the Established Church."-Hansard, 3d Series. Vol. xlix. col. 128.
After the communication of this reply to the Upper House, on the 11th of July, 1839, the question assumed the form of a drawn game. With a majority of but two votes on their side in the Commons, and an adverse majority of one hundred and eleven in the Lords, it was evident that the Government could not carry out their theories of education, at least "for the present." Still they made one more attempt, in an indirect manner, to bring the education of the country within their grasp. A minute of the
Committee of Council drawn up on the 24th of September, 1839, settled the regulations which should govern the appropriation of the Parliamentary grant; and among these was the following:
"The right of inspection will be required by the Committee in all cases; inspectors, authorized by Her Majesty in Council, will be appointed from time to time to visit schools to be henceforth aided by public money: the inspectors will not interfere with the religious instruction, or discipline, or management of the school, it being their object to collect facts and information, and to report the result of their inspections to the Committee of Council."—Minutes of Committee of Council, 1839-40, pp. 1, 2.
The object of this inspection was avowedly to "secure a conformity in the regulations and discipline established in the several schools, with such improvements as might from time to time be suggested by the Committee." This part of the Minute was, subsequently, withdrawn; but though the intention was no longer avowed, it was not on that account given up so soon as the existence of the Minute became known, through the applicants for aid, to whom, in reply to their inquiries, this condition was communicated, it roused the almost uniform opposition of the promoters of Church schools throughout the country. The effect which it produced cannot be better described than in the words of the Venerable Treasurer of the Society :
"In the month of September, 1839, when I first entered on my duties as Secretary to the National Society, I received letters every day from clergymen and other parties engaged in building Church schools, who stated, that, in compliance with their application to Government for assistance, they had obtained the offer of a grant from the Parliamentary vote; but that a new condition was annexed, which caused them much embarrassment. A State inspector, neither sanctioned nor directed in any way by the authorities of the Church, was to have the right of entering their schools, and, without inquiring into the religious education of the pupils, was to examine and report exclusively upon their secular attainments. The declared object of his visit was 'to secure a conformity in the regulations and discipline established in the several schools, with such improvements as might from time to time be suggested by the Committee of Council.' As State inspection was in itself a novelty, and as the form it had assumed seemed liable to serious objection, my correspondents throughout the country expressed an anxious wish to be advised, whether they should submit to the required condition, or reject the offered grant. The whole of the parties were impatient for an immediate solution of their difficulties, inasmuch as all were called upon by the Government to return an answer within a prescribed period, which would soon expire.
'Applications of this kind poured in upon me from every side, and caused me much embarrassment. My embarrassment was not lessened VOL. XI.—NO. XXI.-MARCH, 1849.
by the circumstance, that the Committee of the National Society had previously fixed their next meeting for a day subsequent to the period alluded to. The members were all dispersed over the kingdom, and yet some immediate measures must be adopted. In this emergency I issued a private Circular, advising the several applicants to ask the Privy Council for further time, in order that, before returning a final answer, they might consult the National Society.
"This Circular produced the favourable result I had anticipated. On the 16th of October, 1839, when the Committee assembled, I was able to inform them, that in case they should resolve on advising the applicants to decline public grants, I had already ascertained the general disposition to comply, however serious the pecuniary loss to be sustained. This fact had great influence. The Committee adopted the decided measure of recommending, that until the obnoxious condition was either modified or withdrawn, public money should be refused. The grounds of this recommendation are fully stated in the Society's Papers and Reports; and so deeply did they impress the public mind, that out of two hundred and four applicants for Government aid, only forty-nine accepted it; of that small number, fourteen afterwards declined it. Others in the strongest terms expressed their wish to do the same, if their poverty would permit them; while several boards of education in the country intimated their desire that the Society should have recourse to stronger measures, and expel from union any school, the managers of which should throw it open to the State inspector." Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex, in May, 1845, by the Ven. John Sinclair, Archdeacon of Middlesex, &c., pp. 8-10.
The uniform resistance thus made by the Clergy to the proposed right of inspection, boded another storm in the approaching session of Parliament, and the Government were, therefore, not indisposed for an amicable settlement of the terms on which the Church should, through the National Society, participate in the education grant. Negotiations were opened between the Committee of Privy Council and the Archbishop, the result of which was an Order in Council, dated August the 10th, 1840, sanctioning an arrangement for a regular system of inspection on the part of the Government, but under certain limitations, and with certain guarantees, stipulated for on the part of the Church. The following is the Order in question :--
"At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 10th of August, 1840. Present,-THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCIL. "WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Report from the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education, dated the 15th July ultimo, in the words following, viz. :—
We, the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education, beg leave humbly to recommend to your Majesty that the following arrange
ments be made for the inspection of such schools as are in connexion with the National School Society, or with the Church of England.
"That before we recommend to your Majesty any person to be appointed to inspect schools receiving aid from the public, the promoters of which state themselves to be in connexion with the National Society or the Church of England, we should be authorized to consult the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, each with regard to his own province, and that the Archbishops should be at liberty to suggest to us any person or persons for the office of inspector; and that without their concurrence we should recommend no person to your Majesty for such appointment.
"We further beg leave to recommend to your Majesty that if either of the Archbishops should at any time, with regard to his own province, withdraw his concurrence in our recommendation of such appointment, your Majesty would be graciously pleased to permit us to advise your Majesty to issue your Order in Council, revoking the appointment of the said inspector, and making an appointment in lieu thereof.
"We further beg leave humbly to recommend to your Majesty to direct that such portions of the instructions to these inspectors as relate to religious teaching, shall be framed by the Archbishops, and form part of the general instructions issued by us to the inspectors of such schools, and that the general instructions shall be communicated to the Archbishops before they are finally sanctioned by us.
"We are further of opinion that each of the said inspectors, at the same time that he presents any Report relating to such schools to the Committee of the Privy Council, should be directed to transmit a duplicate thereof to the Archbishop of the province, and should also send a copy to the Bishop of the diocese in which the school is situated, for his information.
"We are further of opinion that the grants of money which we may recommend to your Majesty should be in proportion to the number of children educated and the amount of money raised by private contribution, with the power of making exceptions in certain cases, the grounds of which will be stated in the annual Returns to Parliament.'
"Her Majesty, having taken the said Report into consideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to approve thereof: and the Lord President of the Council is to take the necessary steps herein accordingly.
C. C. GREVILLE,"
On the part of the National Society and the Clergy generally, this arrangement was hailed with the utmost satisfaction; but there appears in the cautious language in which the Archbishop expressed himself on the subject in his place in Parliament a lurking fear lest the arrangement come to after so much dissension, should after all be disturbed or evaded by the Committee of Council:—
"He felt it incumbent (His Grace is reported to have said) on him to