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mittee to have arisen partly from the apprehension which is felt lest the Committee of Council should not only recommend, but proceed absolutely to enforce, in all cases, the adoption of one or other of the present clauses as a condition in making a grant towards building a school, and partly from objections to the forms themselves.
"The Committee of the National Society would still desire to see as large an amount of liberty as possible preserved to the local founders of schools, through fear of checking the efforts of many of the friends of education.
"But dissatisfaction has also arisen from specific provisions in the management clauses. Now, when the clauses were first adopted by the Committee of Council, the Committee of the National Society felt that their attention was called to a subject on which they had not heretofore bestowed sufficient consideration; and being anxious to supply this defect, and to co-operate with the Committee of Council, they were ready, as far as possible, to acquiesce in the forms suggested, even though they might not contain the exact provisions which the National Society would itself have originated, or embody all that the Society might think desirable. Accordingly, the Committee of the National Society would now proceed to suggest certain alterations, which they believe would make the clauses more generally applicable and more readily accepted."—National Society's Monthly Paper, No. xxii. p. 9.
Into the details of these suggestions, and of the negotiations which followed, both before and after the annual meeting of the Society on the 8th of June, 1848,-when the agitation of the question afforded evidence of the strong feeling that is abroad on the subject, we have neither space nor inclination to enter. The painful discussions which have taken place are no doubt fresh in the recollection of our readers; and those who are not familiar with the subject, and wish for further information, we would refer to the correspondence itself, as published in extenso, in the Society's Monthly Paper, No. xxii. pp. 8-20, and to Mr. Denison's Letter to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, mentioned at the head of our article. There is one point, however, which we cannot forbear noticing, seeing that it is the most important point remaining still at issue-a point, not unnaturally, of conscience with those who conceive that to the episcopal office belongs the power of supervision over the whole work of education,-and that the refusal of the Committee of Council to accede to the request of the Church in this particular furnishes a striking proof of the profound ignorance of the Committee on the subjects on which they so arbitrarily legislate, or rather dictate. The case is thus stated by the Secretary of the Committee of Council, in his last published communication to the Archbishop:
"The Committee of the National Society appear to concur with their
Lordships in the adoption of these arrangements (the provisions for arbitration in cases of dispute) as a general rule; but they urge the admission of an exception in those cases in which two-thirds of the persons subscribing to the erection of the building (as in the adoption of Clause D) shall desire that the appeal, on matters not relating to religious instruction, should be made to the Bishop of the diocese alone.
"My Lords have given their careful attention to the precedents afforded by the statutes of ancient foundations, and to the state of the law with respect to grammar and other schools. They do not find that the law has ever recognised a visitatorial or appellate authority in the Bishop over such foundations and schools; but, on the contrary, that in the cases where any such special authority is conferred, it owes its origin to the will of the founder.
"Their Lordships are of opinion, that the broadest distinction exists between schools which owe their origin solely to private benefactors, and those the establishment of which is largely aided by the State, and which must also, to a great extent, depend for their efficiency, if not for their existence, on annual assistance from the public resources.
"On these grounds their Lordships must finally declare, that they cannot consent to permit the permanent constitution of the school in so important a matter as the establishment of an appeal to the Bishop of the diocese in matters not relating to religious instruction to be determined by the local subscribers to schools, to the establishment and support of which it is now provided that the State should so largely contribute."-National Society's Monthly Report, No. xxii. p. 20.
Now without going back to the dictum of Chief Justice Twining, in the reign of Henry IV., "La doctrine et information des enfants est chose espirituelle," without travelling over the many proofs of the jurisdiction of bishops over schools which might be adduced from the earlier part of the history of our Reformed Church, or the many individual cases which might be brought forward of an episcopal visitatorial power over foundation schools, it will suffice to point out the enactment of the canons of 1603, which subjects the exercise of the schoolmaster's calling to the licence of the Bishop; a provision, the principle of which was re-affirmed by Chief Justice Holt, in the case of "The King v. Hill," in the year 1701, when he laid it down, that, "without doubt, schoolmasters are, in a great measure, entrusted with the instruction of youth in principles, and, therefore, it is necessary they should be of sound doctrine, and in order thereto, subject to the regulation of the Ordinary.” How much longer this principle continued to be acted upon in practice it is difficult to say, as it appears to have fallen into desuetude very gradually, and almost imperceptibly. What has been said, however, is quite sufficient to establish the total inaccuracy, as to law and fact, of the plea on which the Committee of Privy Council rely for their refusal to permit Churchmen, if they wish it,
to refer to the Bishop alone all disputes arising in the management of a school founded by themselves, at their own expense. As for the flourish about the State contributing "so largely" to the establishment of schools, it is hardly necessary to observe, that, in all cases, especially of Church schools, the contributions of the Committee of Council from the Parliamentary grant bear an exceedingly small proportion to the sum total of voluntary offerings.
Leaving the question of the Management Clauses, which is still pending, the negotiations having been re-opened since the ultima
5 While these sheets were going through the press, we have obtained a copy of the latest communication addressed, after long and anxious deliberation, to the Committee of Council, by the Committee of the National Society, which accordingly we subjoin:-
"Sir, I have the honour to inform you that your letter to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, dated the 30th of August, 1848, on the subject of the management clauses in the trust deeds of Church schools, was forwarded by his Grace to the Committee of the National Society. Their answer has been delayed to the present time, in consequence of the continued absence of the majority of the members of that Committee from London.
"The Committee lament that the appeal to the Bishop of the diocese is still restricted by their Lordships to matters relating to religious instruction. They lament this the more, not only because the distinction between religious and secular instruction is sometimes narrow and hard to be defined, especially in elementary schools for the poor, and when that distinction becomes a question for legal interpretation, but because many of the warmest supporters of national education consider that appeal to be a point of the greatest importance in respect to the principle it involves. The Committee see much reason to apprehend that this restriction may have the effect of deterring many zealous friends of education from cooperating heartily with the Committee of Council and the National Society in the promotion of that important object.
"The Committee would ask of their Lordships to reconsider the restraints which they recommend in the adoption of Clause D, some of which the Committee believe are not really necessary to secure the efficient management of schools, whilst they remain open to the objections stated by the Committee in their letter of the 9th August, and would practically prevent the promoters of schools from exercising that limited freedom of choice which it is intended they should enjoy.
"The Committee also solicit the attention of their Lordships to the permission (which has been already granted) to vest the management of schools in Church communicants; but which permission it is proposed to subject to restraints which seem unnecessary, and may be inconvenient; and the Committee believe that unre. stricted permission to place schools under the control of Church communicants when that qualification for the office of lay managers is desired by promoters of school buildings, will be regarded with favour by many zealous friends of the religious education of the people, and can in no degree obstruct the efficient management of schools.
"The Committee desire to point out an important omission in the clauses which their Lordships will no doubt see the necessity of supplying. No provision has been made for enforcing the decision of the appellate jurisdiction. If the Bishop, for example, should, on appeal being made, decide that any book objected to on religious grounds ought to be excluded from the school, no power at present exists to enforce his decision; and even if he should determine that the teacher, on account of his defective or unsound religious instruction, is unfit for his office, such teacher might continue to be the instructor of a Church school, no provision being made for his dismissal.
tum of the Committee of Council of August 30th, 1848, we now turn to another part of the subject, in which the mischievous effect of the discretionary power vested in the Committee of the Privy Council appears in a still more glaring light: we allude to the recent determina
"It is also doubtful whether provision has been made to give the Mixed Board of Appeal those powers which are indispensably necessary for the effective discharge of their functions.
"The Committee cannot doubt but that their Lordships will carry out the manifest intention of the clauses by the insertion of such provisions as shall give effect, in the foregoing cases, to the decisions of the person or persons in whom the appellate jurisdiction is vested.
"The Committee have been influenced by a strong desire to render the management clauses framed by the Committee of Council more generally acceptable to members of the Church of England, being convinced that, without their cordial co-operation, the present system of promoting national education, by public grants in aid of local efforts, cannot be successful; and that the most perfect machinery for public education which fails to engage the sympathies, and draw forth the exertions, of religious persons, will be utterly unavailing.
"When the Clauses were originally framed the Committee agreed to recommend them upon the distinct understanding, that the promoters of education throughout the country should be at liberty to select the Clause best adapted to their own case; and they have expressed, on various occasions, their desire that applicants for aid should have the same liberty of choice, as to the constitution of their schools, which had previously been conceded to them both by the Committee of Council and the National Society. To the withdrawal of that concession on the part of their Lordships, and to the enforcement of a particular Clause as a condition of receiving public aid, must be attributed, in a great measure, that jealousy of a central control, and those apprehensions with respect to government interference, which have been so decidedly expressed in various parts of the country during the last few months. It would no doubt have been a great advantage (as the Committee of the National Society have acknowledged) if Management Clauses could have been so framed as to be adopted by general consent. But it has become more and more apparent, during the progress of this correspondence, that the Clauses which have hitherto been proposed are not generally acceptable, and that the attempt to enforce them has caused serious embarrassments; and it may be reasonably doubted whether, in the present state of the question relating to national education, it be expedient to impose upon the founders of schools any system of management which shall not be open to modification by competent authority at some future time.
"In these and all their previous suggestions the Committee have endeavoured to point out practical improvements, and they have given warning of difficulties likely to interfere with the attainment of the end which they have at heart, in common with the Committee of Council. But they feel that they should not fully discharge their duty in this respect, if they did not advert to the very widely-spread feeling of uneasiness arising from the uncertainty of the basis on which all arrangements, relative o the distribution of Parliamentary grants for the purposes of education, at present rest. To re-establish general confidence is admitted on all hands to be an object of the highest importance; and the communications received by the Committee of the National Society have impressed them with the strongest conviction, that there is little likelihood of attaining this object without the adoption of some measures by which the previous sanction of the two Houses of Parliament shall be made requisite for every important step to be taken by any public authority in the matter of national education.
"I have the honour to remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
"To the Secretary, Committee of Council on Education,
VOL. XI.—NO. XXI.-MARCH, 1849.
tion of the Committee to grant aid to Roman Catholic schools. That the recognition of Popery in the matter of State education was contemplated all along by the party whose theories it is the aim and the business of the Committee of Council, as at present constituted, and of its Secretary at all times, to carry into effect, has already come out incidentally in the preceding account of the various stages of this great national and religious controversy. So far as the consistency of that party is concerned, they are to be found fault with, not for the admission of Papists to a share in the Parliamentary grant, but rather for the strange contradiction of their using every effort to deprive Church schools of their distinctive, or, as they term it, "exclusive" character, and to mould them to their latitudinarian notions, while, at the very same moment, they are making arrangements for giving aid to Roman Catholic schools, upon the most exclusively Romish principle. What we are concerned with, however, is not so much to inquire into the consistency or inconsistency, in evil, of the party which has identified itself with these baseless and pernicious education theories, as to examine what reliance can be placed upon the Committee of Council on Education, for carrying out, bona fide, and honestly, the intentions of the Legislature, and the principles of State assistance for educational purposes which were settled by the compact of 1839-40, not only between the Archbishop and the Privy Council, but between the two great parties in the State.
The history of the case, as far as the Roman Catholic question is concerned, is exceedingly brief and simple. The Treasury Minute of August 30th, 1833, proves, that in voting the first education grant, the Legislature contemplated assistance only to schools established under the auspices of the National School Society, and the British and Foreign School Society; in other words, to religious education, founded upon instruction in the Holy Scriptures. To the same effect are the regulations laid down by the Committee of Council itself, in a Minute dated December 3rd, 1839, which had for its object to determine what inquiries should be made in cases of application for aid coming from other parties, and not through the two societies before named; such cases being contemplated as "special cases" by a previous Minute of September 24th, 1839. Among these inquiries is the following:
"Whether the Bible or Testament will be required to be read daily in the school by the children, and whether any and what Catechism will be taught, and whether, if the parents or guardian of any child object to such catechetical instruction, it will be enforced or dispensed with." -Minutes of Committee of Council, 1839-40, p. 13.