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sition and that of employers; to see what religious instruction combined with secular capital could, and what it could not do, instruction; or a national system of secufor them. The House might depend lar instruction disconnected from religion; upon this, that if the schoolmaster were or the system commonly called denominaleft to do his part, and were enabled to do tional. He would not follow the hon. it well, the clergyman would be able to Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobperform his task, and perform it satisfac- den) into discussion with respect to a systorily. It was, therefore, because he be- tem of secular education separated from lieved that by separating them, the in- religious instruction, because in Scotland, terests of both would best be promoted, at all events, such a system was utterly that he had, therefore, voted, and should impossible, for the people would not have continue to vote, for the separation of re-it. ligious and secular education.

MR. F. SCOTT said, that if we began by teaching children only their duty to man, and neglected to combine with it their duty to God, we could not expect to make them either good citizens or good Christians, and it was for this very reason that he objected to the Bill of the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate-that it did not take sufficient precaution to instil into the minds of the pupils the religious element. Not one of those who had spoken in favour of the Bill had given unqualified approbation to it. They had supported the Bill on the ground that they could make alterations in Committee. He thought that a Bill which proposed to make alterations in a system which had a period of 300 years to recommend it, ought to come to that House recommended by something of a more substantial character. The Bill took away all power of testing the religious belief of the teachers; it removed the teachers from clerical control, and placed them under a body subject to the influence of the Government of the day; and it abolished entirely all clerical superintendence. It must also be borne in mind that this Bill was held up as the pattern and model upon which another Bill might hereafter be framed, and he therefore claimed the support of English Members in the opposition which he felt it his duty to offer to the


THE LORD ADVOCATE said, he considered that the vote the House was about to give involved a question of much more serious importance than the success or failure of this particular Bill, for that vote would in fact decide whether a national system of education was possible not only in Scotland, but also whether a system of national education was possible in Great Britain. It was not to be disguised that the alternatives set before the House were clear and distinct. They must either have a national system of education based upon Mr. Cobden


If the hon. Gentleman could show that a system of secular education would be adopted by that House, or was practicable in Scotland, he (the Lord Advocate) would have to determine whether he would throw obstacles in the way of the education of the people. But he was confident the people of Scotland would not have such a system; neither did he believe that the House of Commons would not adopt such a system; the voice of the country was against it; and, in this discussion, they might as well throw that question aside altogether. Then there was the denominational system. They had the denominational system already in Scotland. It had been tried and proved, and had been found most unquestionably wanting. There were great evils connected with it. fore they could educate the people by the denominational system, they must be sure that the denominations were willing and ready and able to educate the people. By such a system they would render the education of the people dependent upon the will, the position, the feelings, and, it might be, the caprice of the denominations to which they trusted. The consequence would be, as had been found to be the case both in England and Scotland, that, while they were subsidising the denominations, ignorance would grow faster than the denominations could be subsidised. The denominations would erect schools, not where they were wanted, but where it was most convenient to establish them, and ignorance and crime would remain as they were. If that were the case, then, they must endeavour to ascertain upon what footing they could establish a national system of education based upon the combination of religious with secular education. He had been told that he ought to have commenced this discussion with statistical statements. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment (Mr. Stirling) had said, that he (the Lord Advocate) ought to have waited until a Parliamentary Commission had established the


necessity of an enlarged system of educa- would not effect what the hon. Gentleman tion. The hon. Member for Rochdale desired to accomplish. It would not at (Mr. Miall) had also expressed surprise once raise the class to which he had rethat he had not laid a foundation for the ferred from ignorance and crime to the Bill, by showing that there was an amount position of good citizens, but it was part of educational destitution which rendered of what Parliament was bound to do; and this measure necessary. He (the Lord if the hon. Gentleman or any other hon. Advocate) admitted that he did not so Member would propose a Bill which would commence the argument, because he effect the sanitary improvements to which thought that, at this time of day, he he had alluded, and which would raise the might safely take that fact as granted. physical as well as the moral condition of He did not think it a matter to be decided the people, he (the Lord Advocate) would by statistics, or by the average propor- not say, "I will not consent to carry out tion of children educated throughout the these sanitary improvements until you country. What was it to him if one have educated the people." He (the fifth of the population of Inverness-shire Lord Advocate) had been disappointed or one-tenth of the population of Banff with the tone which the discussion of shire went to school? What was it to this subject had assumed both in and out him if one portion of the population of that House. Surely the time had come was highly educated while the remainder when they could afford to throw aside were in a state of the greatest igno- their minor and narrower feelings, when rance ? This was mere idle trifling and they might cease to discuss whether this waste of time upon such a question. The man or that man-this sect or that secthon. Member for Rochdale, in his very was to have the management of schools, remarkable speech, had no sooner told the and when they might endeavour to ascer House that the people of Scotland were tain, in a fair and philanthropic spirit, in educated to the extent of one-seventh than what manner they could, if it were poshe pointed out in the most graphic manner sible, consolidate the basis of their social the class of society-the miserable and institutions. This Bill was an attempt to squalid dregs of society, who were the accomplish that object. He thought the very ban of our social institutions-who right hon. and learned Member for the require to be educated. Having done this, University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) had however, the hon. Gentleman asked what greatly misconceived the grounds upon was the use of education for these classes? which the measure was based. The Bill "They will be no better," said he, "if started with the assumption that Scotland you do educate them. Light them, feed was a Presbyterian country; that Scotland them, clothe them, let their houses be was agreed in creed and in religion; that drained; but you must accomplish all this that country required a system of religious before education will do them any good." and secular instruction; and that any such Surely, however, it did not escape the system, under fair and popular control, perspicacity of the hon. Gentleman that should necessarily be a system based upon with all this misery ignorance was asso- the Presbyterian canons, and upon the ciated. The hon. Gentleman's argument general creed professed by the Established was a lecture against education. He Church and by the other Presbyterian demight have said, "Do not drain the nominations. The Bill proceeded upon the houses of these people; it is of no use assumption that the people of Scotland to do so if you don't give them light; were substantially agreed with regard to don't light their houses because you can- doctrine, and that they wished to have not clothe them; don't clothe them be- their children educated according to that cause you cannot feed them." Now, was doctrine. The Bill had been before the not this the very way in which they went country for two months, and he would on trifling with this question from one year admit that it had met with a variety of to another? The argument of the hon. opponents. One man objected that it ex, Member simply amounted to this-that cluded religious teaching; another opposed we must change the face of society before it because it included religious instruction. we can ameliorate the condition of these He read a pamphlet the other day, bearing people, Was the House, then, to sit the signature, J. C. Colquhoun," which down and do nothing until they could endeavoured to prove that the Bill involved change the face of society? He (the the American system, while the hon. Mem Lord Advocate) admitted that this Bill ber for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) had

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to-night held up the American system to had not previously enjoyed. It was also him (the Lord Advocate) as the model proposed to give facilities with regard to he ought to have adopted, and complained dismissals and superintendence which had that he had not followed it. He found the not hitherto existed. Then, with respect most extraordinary coalitions existing in to additional schools, the hon. Gentleman Scotland with reference to this measure. who had complained that no inquiry had The Rev. Dr. Muir and Lord Dunferm- been instituted seemed to have forgotten line had joined in opposing it. The mea- entirely the provisions of the Bill. The sure might, perhaps, be too liberal for the first provision of the measure was that one, while there might be too much of the there should be an educational survey of religious element in it for the other. After Scotland, to be completed on a scale never all, however, the Bill had received a very yet attempted, the result to be reported to large amount of support in Scotland, not Parliament in two years. Some hon. Genfrom the Free Church, as had been repre- tlemen had complained that this was not a sented, but from moderate and philanthro- final measure. It was not, and never was pic men of all denominations. He had the intended to be, a final measure, but it was other night presented a petition adopted intended to lay an authentic and authoalmost unanimously in favour of the Bill ritative basis for legislation. Not only was from the town council of Glasgow, which a survey to be instituted, but, while it was contained a large proportion of the mem- in progress new schools were to be estabers of the Established Church. He had blished wherever the necessity for them also presented another petition to the same was found to exist. Was this, then, legiseffect from members of the Established lating in the dark, or putting the cart Church in Glasgow, and that petition, before the horse, as one hon. Member had which did not emanate from a public been pleased to state. The Bill contained meeting, but was laid upon the table of another clause, which he regarded as one the Glasgow Exchange, received in a few of its most important provisions. They days the signatures of more than 100 men wished to establish a system of reformatory of the highest reputation, respectability, schools, and that their opponents proposed wealth, and intelligence in that city, in- to put an end to. They were going to cluding the Lord Provost, the Dean of try an experiment which many of the best Guild, and twelve elders of the Church. friends of civilisation had wished to try, Now, why was this? The reason was, and against the means to be employed he that Glasgow was a place where poverty had heard nothing like an argument, yet and wealth ran shoulder to shoulder, this also was to be rejected on the second and where crime held its revels close reading. On what ground were provisions by the palaces of the merchant princes which all admitted to be beneficent, to be of the west. They saw that crime be- thus sacrificed? The objections brought fore their eyes day by day; they knew were twofold, and singularly inconsistent that, while these vain contentions conti- in their character, one, that they proposed nued, the time would come when the evil to do away with the test which limited the would have overgrown any efforts they choice of schoolmasters to the Established could make; and they felt the period had Church, and that they made provisions arrived when contention should be laid which were said to be insufficient for reliaside, and when they should set themselves gion; the other, that they were dealing earnestly to work to remedy the existing with the religious question, and left power evils. The object of the Bill was, in the in the hands of the Establishment. With first place, to regulate the parochial schools, respect to the latter class of objections, it which they could not help dealing with in was not necessary to deal with them in consequence of the position of the paro- detail. The voluntary party in Scotland chial schoolmasters. It was proposed, not had behaved with great moderation on this only to give the parochial schoolmasters subject; although individual speeches had the position they held before the expiration been made to which that description was not of the Act, but almost to double their applicable, yet throughout the voluntary salaries. It was proposed to give them party he had many good friends to this 501. a year as the maximum-nearly dou- measure. One of these he could not resist ble what they previously received-and the pleasure of mentioning, than whom a 251. as the minimum salary, to increase more trustworthy, stout-hearted Liberal the house accommodation, and to give the never breathed, a gentleman who was masters retiring allowances, which they known to most Members of that House, The Lord Advocate


but who was intimately known and respected by all the Scottish Members-Mr. Adam Black; and he, the leader of the voluntary party in Scotland, came boldly forward and said that, however much he might wish to see this Bill modified in certain particulars, still he was too good a friend to his country to think of opposing it. The real reason why they wished to sacrifice this Bill was, because it proposed to take the exclusive power out of the hands of the Established Church of Scotland. There was no other reason; it was not because there was not sufficient security for religion, for that security could be given without making members of the Established Church the only parties eligible to the office of schoolmasters; but they would not take any security but one, and that was the security which secured a monopoly. He was entitled to say that, for he had said to the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and he said it again, If you are willing to surrender that test, which only limits the choice of good men to a particular class, who hold the same opinions with their brethren, differing only in belonging to a particular communion, I am ready to meet you on the rest of the clauses of the Bill, and consider them with you.' He was not wedded to any particular mode of carrying out his views, but he saw plainly that if that test were not done away with, it would be utterly impossible to carry out any reform whatever. Hon. Gentlemen opposite did not like the Census return, which had been published most opportunely, and which disclosed a state of things which he was certainly not prepared for and did not expect. He asked hon. Gentlemen to consider the position of the Church of Scotland with reference to the other sects. The Dissenters in Scotland belonged nearly to the same denomination as the Established Church, one portion of whom went off in 1730 on the question of patronage, and the other in 1843, on account of the undue interference of the civil courts, but both one and the other maintained the doctrines founded by John Knox at the time of the reformation of the Scotch Church. This test was not a test which made the schoolmaster declare a certain confession of faith, but one that made him declare that he was a member of the Church of Scotland, and no person but a member of that communion could be chosen for a schoolmaster. Now, if they were to pay Government money under this Bill to place those schools on a VOL. CXXXIII. THIRD SERIES.]



proper footing of efficiency, he contended that Government and Parliament were perfectly entitled to consider whether these or any other provisions were necessary for the good of the Established Church. He would ask hon. Gentlemen who occupied the bench opposite to him whether it was possible to say with any show of justice or reason that, in the state of things he was now going to describe, this test could be maintained. Taking the five northern counties of Scotland-namely, Caithness, Sutherland, Inverness, Ross, and Nairn, he found by the returns in the Census for the different towns that the proportion of the Established Church was 6,000, and that of the Free Church 41,000. Could they say that if there were established a national system of schools in those northern counties, where the proportion was something more than six to one, the choice of schoolmasters should be confined to that which had the smaller proportion? might be said this was an exceptional case unfortunately it was too general. It made the heart bleed to see the confusion and jealousy that were engendered by the present system-to see children who were learning the same thing taught to look with suspicion on each other because they attended different schools. So long as they maintained the present system, they must expect to see the spirit of disunion subsist; but let them remove the barriers which now kept the different classes of pupils apart, and they might see those mingling in harmony who were now separated. But if those northern counties were exceptional counties, how did it stand with others? Let them take the larger counties of Aberdeen, Forfar, Perth, Lanark, and Edinburgh. He could not give them the figures in each instance, but he could tell them the Established Church numbered 102,000 to 117,000 of the Free Church and 17,000 of the United Church, making together 134,000; and on what principle he would ask, if a national system of education were to be established in Scotland, could they hope to maintain the choice of schoolmasters for the particular denomination of the Established Church? It might be said he wished to attack the Church of Scotland, but he was convinced that the sweeping away this subject of contention was doing a most friendly act to that Church. The real difficulty, therefore, being entirely on their side, it was only for them to say they did not insist on the schoolmaster taking that test,


and there would be an end of it. He the parochial schools had been going down, came next to the question of superinten- and he believed that there had never been, dence of the Church. In the observations for 150 years, a period in the history of which he had the honour to make on the Scotland when the schools had been so introduction of the present measure, he low, and the management so low, as in never stated that he considered the ques- that latter year. From 1830 to 1835 tion of superintendence as one of the same occurred that revival in the mode of eduimportance as that of the test; and he cation, under the superintendence, he bedid not know, if the question of test were lieved, of the late Dr. Welsh, and when that given up, that that of superiutendence unfortunate disruption happened in 1843, need trouble them, but he felt it necessary the Free Church went out, and carried on to make a few remarks upon it in conse- their system of education, and the other quence of some observations which had remained behind, and carried on theirs. fallen from his hon. Friend the Member The laws by which the superintendence of for Perthshire (Mr. Stirling) and an allu- the presbytery is regulated rendered it sion made by another hon. Member. It impossible that such superintendence could seemed to be supposed that the preamble be efficient. They could not remove a of the Bill, and the observations he had schoolmaster without his being proved made with respect to the superintendence guilty, and to prove him guilty the presbyof the schools, were intended as a slight, tery at their own expense must prefer an and that he was throwing a slur upon the indictment against him, and such cases Church of Scotland. If, in any observa- were very liable to be upset at the Court of tions he had made there was the least Session. The result had been that schoolexpression tending to create such a feel- masters who have been tried for most ing, he should be the first to acknowledge intolerable offences had succeeded, under his error, and say that his former speech some point of law, in escaping; but it on the subject was a little too highly co- had more often happened that the presbyloured, or contained expressions of too tery, wearied out with the law's delay and strong a character; but, on the other expenses, had rather allowed an inefficient hand, when he found that a Committee or schoolmaster to remain in his situation than Commission of the General Assembly of be dragged through all the proceedings the Church of Scotland had stated that necessary to obtain his removal. He knew the preamble of the Bill was a foul calumny, it to be the case that, from this state of the he felt himself impelled to make a few ex- law, in many, many parishes the schools planations, and he would say, in the first were ineffective, owing to an inefficient place, that the expressions he had used master continuing in his situation during did not relate to the gentlemen who seemed the whole of his life. He thought it right, to have taken them so much amiss. He without entering further into these facts, was speaking of that period of the history to state to the House, not on evidence exof the Church of Scotland, when those trinsic, but from the minutes of the Genegentlemen either for good or evil had not ral Assembly, from which it appeared that much to do with the swaying of her coun- in 1799 an order was issued that the prescils; he was thinking of that period of the byteries should send up annual reports as history of the Scottish Church, when men to the schools within their bounds. with whom he himself had been associated, order was systematically disobeyed. The ruled her councils, when Andrew Thomp- last of these reports was dated 1832-3; son and Thomas Chalmers left the Church and from the minutes it appeared that in of Scotland what she was-the cheapest, 1832 twenty-two presbyteries, including a the most hard-working, the most popular great many parishes, had made no return, Church. It had been his good fortune to and of these two had made no return during live on terms of intimacy with those men the last five years, and nine had made of liberal hearts, distinguished knowledge, none during the last six years, and the sympathising with the people and possess- minutes recommended that measures should ing the confidence of the people. They be adopted in order to obtain better comwell knew the Church of Scotland, and pliance with the order. He was, therethey had been forced to lament that under fore, justified in his observations on the the present system of superintendence the superintendence of the presbytery, when he parochial schools had, in many instances, said that, taken in detail, it had not proved been debased and degraded. It was a efficient; and he accordingly proposed this notorious fact that between 1800 and 1825 Bill, with a view of remedying this deficiThe Lord Advocate


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