Imatges de pÓgina

taken by the Government, and should give sponsibility of saying that the subject his vote most cordially for the second should not receive further consideration, reading. and reject a Bill which had been carefully MR. EWART said, he thought that the drawn up in the other House, and which, Bill had failed to find the real remedy for however unsatisfactory the wording of a the cases of fearful cruelty which had been particular clause might be, ought, he cited. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. | thought, to be read a second time. Phillimore) had stated that the difficulty of proving these cases resulted from the master sweep closing the doors of the rooms in which the boys were engaged. Why could they not, then, as in the Gaming-houses Bill, enact that the doors should be left open? He should support the second reading of the Bill, but he trusted that in Committee a more practical remedy than the Bill at present contained would be provided.

MR. WALPOLE said, he thought no good reason had been shown for bringing in a Bill which would be extremely detrimental in its effect, and he believed would not meet the evil. By the law as it stood, no young person under the age of twentyone, was allowed to climb any chimney. There was the same penalty applied to the offence now as that in the Bill before them, and the only reasons for extending the provisions of the present law must be that they were going to give a better remedy. But it was expressly laid down by the third clause that the same remedies were to be pursued which were now available. The effect of another clause would be to prevent any person from assisting a chimney sweeper in any way, and it would be illegal for the man even to employ his son of fifteen years of age in driving his donkey. If, however, it were intended only to prevent cases of aggravated cruelty, in which boys were sent up crooked and unsafe flues, and brought down in a state of corporeal suffering, he maintained that the law was already sufficient for that purpose. He opposed the Bill because it would interfere with legitimate trade, so as to prevent even a lad of fifteen from being employed in a way that would not be detrimental to his health in any respects.

SIR THOMAS ACLAND said, the Upper House had had a Committee, and had taken evidence upon this subject, which evidence the House of Commons had not got. The House, therefore, was going to decide upon a case the evidence upon which they had not heard or read a single word of, except that portion which had been given by the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Phillimore). Would the House, under these circumstances, take the re

MR. T. CHAMBERS said, the objection taken to the Bill was, not that a case of great cruelty had not been made out, but that, with the best possible intentions, this Bill utterly failed to provide a remedy for the evil which existed. It purported to facilitate the process of proof, and so to enable you to convict for offences committed under the former Statute; but, instead of doing this, the Bill created an entirely new class of offences, and turned those things into offences which the House certainly never wished to regard as such.

LORD JOHN RUSSELL said, he would have been quite content not to say a word upon this subject, if those hon. Gentlemen who disapproved the Bill would vote against it. There seemed, however, to be a disposition on the part of the House which he did not think was very favourable to good legislation. Because, it was argued, there were evils in the law with respect to chimney sweepers, therefore this Bill must be read a second time, whatever its provisions might be. He did not think this was a reasonable mode of proceeding. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Phillimore) had stated several very dreadful cases in which the law had been violated, and young children had been made to do that which had not only affected their health, but very often was fatal to their lives. Well, then, if there was to be a Bill upon this subject, let the House see, in the first place, that it would punish those who were guilty of these offences, and, in the next place, that it did not punish those who were innocent. regard to the punishment of the guilty, he did not see that there was any mode described by this Bill by which the practices it was sought to repress might not still be carried on. He did not think that a boy merely walking by the side of a chimney sweeper would be sufficient proof of any offence; but suppose the chimney sweeper took the lad with him into a house for the purpose of getting him to ascend a chimney-as soon as they entered there was an end to the proof that the boy was imprcperly employed unless the doors were opened, and no conviction could be obtained. But, then, if another chimney


sweeper did not employ a boy in climbing
chimneys, but in riding his donkey or in
carrying a sack, that man might be con-
victed of an offence. No mode, therefore,
of convicting the guilty was supplied; but
there was a mode by which the innocent
might be convicted. He could not think
that such a Bill was one which ought to be
read a second time. But then it was said
that, although the Bill did not contain a
single provision which the House was
likely to adopt, some provisions might be
suggested, and clauses introduced in Com-
mittee. Now, he had not heard during
this discussion any such clauses suggested.
The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr.
Ewart) had, indeed, suggested that when
the chimney sweepers entered a house the
doors of that house might be ordered to be
left open.
But were they to have a gene-
ral provision of this kind? Was every
householder, at four or five o'clock in the
morning, when his chimneys were being
swept, to be made to leave the street door
open for burglars or pickpockets to walk
in ? He could not think that the passing
of this Bill would be at all efficacious in
preventing the evil; and he was afraid,
with this law, as with respect to many
others, we should not have the means of
putting it in operation until we had a public
prosecutor. Until we had persons charged
with seeing that the laws were enforced,
he did not think that a Bill of this kind
would have any effect.

SIR BENJAMIN HALL said, he should oppose the Bill, as likely to prove quite ineffective. He thought the law, as it stood, was sufficiently ample, and that it was not worth while wasting the time of the House in considering this measure.

SIR JOHN SHELLEY said, he did not doubt the importance of this subject, but he was opposed to the second reading on the ground that there were measures before the House in which the public took a deeper interest, and which this Bill had the effect of deferring.

MR. KEATING said, he did not think the time of the House was misspent in considering a question of this description, when it was admitted on all sides of the House that the evils which the Bill sought to remedy really existed. According to the present state of the law, the age of sixteen was the earliest at which a boy could be apprenticed to the business of a chimney sweeper; but that enactment was evaded by chimney sweepers employing boys under sixteen, but who were not apLord J. Russell

prentices, in going up flues and chimneys, by which the evil the Bill had in view was produced, and not now denied. He thought it rather too much to say that the Bill should not be read a second time, and that the House was not to consider in Committee the best way of meeting the evil complained of.

MR. J. G. PHILLIMORE, in reply, said he had never heard more frivolous arguments than had been urged against this Bill. He admitted the existing law was efficient, provided it could be thoroughly carried into effect; but experience had shown that that was next to impossible; and if some such Bill as the present was not passed into a law, the only hope of its promoters, as the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had said, was blank despair, and those miserable children would continue to be the victims of a heartless tyranny.

LORD JOHN RUSSELL: I did not say any such thing.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question.'

The House divided:-Ayes 39; Noes 112: Majority 73.

Words added:- Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to. Second Reading put off for six months.


Order for Second Reading read. MR. WALPOLE said, the present Bill was a singular measure. It empowered the Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works to repair and maintain the public statues in different parts of London, and those statues were enumerated in a schedule annexed to the Bill. He found, however, that several of the public statues were omitted, which was very singular, inasmuch as those which had been omitted were statues of persons who had been Members of that House, and all of them distinguished ones. The statue of Lord George Bentinck, for example, had been omitted. But, what was more remarkable, those of two distinguished men, the Leaders in their time of the two great parties in that House, had also been excluded from the Bill-he meant the statue of Mr. Fox, in Russell-square, and that of Mr. Pitt, in Hanover-square. He wanted to know why those statues had been omitted?

MR. LOWE said that the reason was, that these statues were private property. That of Lord George Bentinck, was the property of the Duke of Portland; that of

Mr. Fox, of the Duke of Bedford; and that | parish schoolmasters would be secured in of Mr. Pitt, of the Earl of Harewood.

SIR WILLIAM JOLLIFFE said, he wished to know whether it was true that this Bill had been suggested by the abstraction of one of the early kings of the House of Hanover?

MR. LOWE said he believed it was the fact, that the Bill had been introduced on account of the disappearance of the statue of George I. from Leicester-square, and of the abstraction of the sword of the statue of Charles I. at Charing-cross.

Bill read 2°.

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their salaries up to June, 1854. He (the Duke of Buccleuch) had taken the opinion of counsel on this point, and was confirmed in the conclusion to which he had come, that the salaries under the averages of the last 25 years expired in November last; so that at the present averages the salaries of 34l. and 251. would be reduced to 261. and 191. He was anxious in the last Session of Parliament that an Act should be passed for continuing the salaries at the same rate at which they then stood, if not for perpetuity, at all events for a limited period, so that this deserving body of men should not be placed in the miserable position in which they now found themselves. In many parishes the heritors had not yet met to decide as to the amount of the future stipends of the schoolmasters, having abstained from meeting under the hope that the

MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS:-2a Navy Pay, &c.; Government would bring in a Bill to settle

Manning the Navy.

3 Boundary Survey (Ireland).



THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH presented a petition from the ministers and elders of the Synod of Dumfries against any measure by which the control and superintendence of the presbytery are to be superseded. His Grace said, he had put a question to his noble Friend at the head of Her Majesty's Government, towards the end of last Session, with a view to learn the intentions of the Government in reference to the parochial system of schools in Scotland, as he had reason to fear that the efficiency of that system was imperilled. It was no doubt known to their Lordships that the system of which he spoke was one of great antiquity, there being Acts of the Scottish Parliament respecting parish schools and schoolmasters so early as the fifteenth century. The Act of 1690 fixed the salaries of parish schoolmasters at 117. a year for the maximum, and 51. for the minimum. A new graduation having become necessary, an Act was passed in 1803 which determined the salary by the conversion of a certain number of bolls of wheat into money, fixing the maximum at 221., and the minimum at 161. In 1828 the average was again struck, when the maximum was fixed at 347., and the minimum at 251.; that average expired in 1853. The question he had put was as to the mode in which the averages were to be struck for the future, and in reply to that his noble Friend said that at all events the

the point; in others they had met, and decided that they were to stand for the future at 251, and 197.; but many had adjourned the assessment for these two amounts until June. The schoolmasters no doubt had their remedy by legal proceedings against those heritors who had omitted to assess themselves, but in the meantime they were in the unfortunate predicament of being without any salaries whatever. They had before them the alternative of having the amount of their salaries reduced by one-third, or having to wait several months before they got any salaries at all. He wished to know what the intentions of the Government on this subject were, and the rather that their measure for the extension of education in Scotland had failed in the other House. It was not his intention at that moment to enter into the general question of education; but he knew that those who were opposed to that measure had been charged with wishing to impede the progress of education in Scotland. To that charge he gave as strong a denial as Parliamentary language would allow him. He appealed to every one who had any acquaintance with Scotland, whether, instead of impeding education, it had not rather been their wish to extend it. The connection of parochial schools with the Established Church in Scotland, was regarded as an object of the highest importance; and what was desired by the heritors and landed proprietors had been expressed in a memorial signed by 2,000 of them, namely, that the parochial schools should continue to be connected

with the Established Church of Scotland. | temporary nature, because it is still hoped Seeing the position in which the school- that augmented provisions for the schoolmasters were now placed in consequence masters may be connected with a general of their salaries being reduced under the system of education in Scotland, to be Without such new averages by nearly one-third, he proposed to Parliament. wished to know what steps the Government connection, I should certainly feel it to be intended to take to provide for their better impossible, and quite unreasonable, to call remuneration—an object which the noble on Parliament largely to augment the stiEarl at the head of the Government stated, pends of the schoolmasters from the public last Session, he would bring in a Bill to funds. Consequently, what is intended to carry out, if he were not able to proceed be done at present is merely to continue with the Bill on the general subject of that assessment on the heritors of Scoteducation. land which has existed up to last November.

THE EARL OF ABERDEEN: I should just as soon think of accusing my noble Friend of being hostile to the extension of education in Scotland as, I am sure, he would be unwilling to accuse me of wishing to starve the schoolmasters. Last year, when my noble Friend asked me a question on this subject, I informed him that the schoolmasters were under a mistake in supposing that their stipends, at that time payable, would not be paid in the month of November. I found that they were secure in the month of last November, and I felt that, before bringing in any new Act to increase and extend the stipends of the schoolmasters, it was desirable to connect with it a general scheme of education, intended by the Government to be introduced early in the present Session. That was done; and, in the Bill so introduced, the salaries of the schoolmasters were largely augmented. The Bill, however, did not pass through the other House of Parliament; and, consequently, the schoolmasters, who up to the present time had been secured in the receipt of the rate established by the last average of twentyfive years, would now be reduced to the low averages of 271. and 201. Under these circumstances, I am at once ready to fulfil the pledge which I gave to my noble Friend last year, namely, that if no provision for augmenting the salaries of rochial schoolmasters as part of a general measure of education should be passed, I should be perfectly ready to introduce a temporary measure on the subject of the stipends of the Scotch schoolmasters, keeping them up to the amount enjoyed under the last averages. Therefore, in reply to my noble Friend, I have to state that the Lord Advocate will immediately introduce into the other House a Bill for the purpose of making temporary provision for the Scotch schoolmasters, keeping their salaries up to the amount they had hitherto enjoyed. The measure would only be of a The Duke of Buccleuch


THE MARQUESS OF BREADALBANE said, he much regretted that a measure so well adapted to meet the wants of Scotland and the great changes which had taken place of late years in that country as the Education Bill of the Government should have been thrown out in the House of Commons; but he would remind their Lordships that, according to the division which took place on the second reading, the representatives of Scotland were almost entirely in its favour. All the Scotch representatives voted on the question, and while the names of no less than thirty-six of them appeared in the minority, only thirteen went with the majority. Allusion had been made to the declaration, or rather advertisement, of the heritors or proprietors in Scotland with regard to the Bill; but he looked upon that as a very extraordinary way of prejudicing the legisla tion of the country, and he, for one, hoped it would not be successful. He was sorry to say there was a great want of sympathy between the heritors and the people of Scotland. He dared say the noble Duke would inform the House that only two or three counties were in favour of the Bill; but he (the Marquess of Breadalbane) would remind their Lordships that if the decisions of the county meetings had been taken and acted upon as faithful representations of the feelings and opinions of Scotland, none of those salutary reforms which had benefited the country would have been carThere would have been ried into effect. no constitutional reform, with its extinction of monstrous abuses-no municipal reform-and the restrictive Corn Laws would still have been pressing on the industry of the nation. This want of sympathy between the heritors and the people had existed not only upon the present subject, but upon all other important questions in Scotland. He was sure that the noble Duke (the Duke of Buccleuch) did not

wish to impede the progress of education declaration against separating the paroin Scotland; but if he still adhered to the chial system from the Established Church, principle that the parochial school system being opposed to the extension of educamust be upheld as exclusively connected tion, they were prepared to have additional with the Established Church, he (the noble burdens placed upon themselves for the Marquess) could only say that the adoption purpose of introducing improvements wherof such a course would only tend to the ever they were necessary. The noble Mardefeat of any sound system of national quess (the Marquess of Breadalbane) had education for Scotland. laid some stress on the circumstance that a majority of the Scotch representatives had voted in favour of the Bill; but he must remember that they were, for the most part, Members for burghs to which the parochial system did not so much apply, and many voted for the second reading who were opposed to much of the details of the measure. He (Lord Kinnaird) rejoiced that the noble Earl (the Earl of Aberdeen) intended to redeem the pledge he gave last year, that, at all events, the parochial schoolmasters should not suffer in consequence of a difference of opinion in Parliament as to the maintenance of the existing system. He (Lord Kinnaird) had a notice on the paper for a future evening, for the appointment of a Commission to inquire into the subject of education in Scotland-which notice he would now withdraw in the hope that the Government would themselves institute an inquiry before any new measure should be introduced. His reasons for placing such a Motion on the paper was, that he believed the Bill of the Government contained two assertions which were, in his opinion, unfoundedfirst, that the means of education in Scotland fell short of what was required for the increased population; and next, that the present superintendence and management of education were greatly defective; and he trusted that, before any attempt was again made to introduce a general system, some inquiry would be made into the real wants of the country in those respects, as he did not believe they would be found to exist to anything like the extent which had been stated. The Scotch proprietors were willing to place the schools in a state of the fullest efficiency, and to increase the salaries of schoolmasters, but they hoped to arrest any measure which went to the destruction of a system which had worked so well in Scotland, and obtained for her the high renown which she had acquired with regard to education. He believed that the measure of the Government was concocted and drawn up by Free Churchmen, and that it was mainly with the object of getting their schools placed on the assessment it had been introduced. He could state,

THE EARL OF EGLINTON said, he wished to add his testimony to the fact that the opposition to the Government Bill on the part of the Scotch Members of both Houses of Parliament, and of the numerous body of Scotch proprietors who had signed the memorial which had been referred to, did not arise from any wish to impede the progress of education in Scotland. The desire expressed by them in that document was, that the parochial system should remain in the hands of the Established Church much in the same way as at present. They were not only willing but most anxious that popular education should be improved, and they would have been most happy to have carried out some parts of the Government measure if they could have done so without infringing on the present parochial system. The Government, however, refused to divide their Bill, and those who supported the connection of the educational system with the Established Church were, therefore, compelled to vote against it. The noble Marquess had said that the great majority of the Scotch Members of the other House of Parliament voted in favour of the Government Bill. But the fact was that politics had something to do with the votes of hon. Members on educational as well as on other matters; and he was sorry to say that the great majority of the Scotch representatives were supporters of the present Government. But it must be recollected that the Bill was thrown out, not only by a part of the Scotch, but also by a large body of the English Members voting against it, because they were informed by the noble Lord the Leader of the House (Lord John Russell) that it was the precursor of a similar Bill with reference to England. He flattered himself that that proved that the system proposed by that Bill had not only failed to find favour with the Scotch proprietors, but that it was not likely to receive a great amount of support in England.

LORD KINNAIRD begged to confirm the statement of the noble Earl, that, so far from the 2,000 heritors who signed the

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