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of collection, whilst the education rate represents the net amount paid into the exchequer of the School Boards.

The Education Act called into existence a number of cager supporters of elementary education who had been indifferent to the question so long as it largely depended upon the liberality of its supporters, but who became enthusiastic when the funds had to be furnished by the ratepayers, and there was some local distinction to be gained by the administration of them; and when, moreover, the new system could be used as a weapon of offence against the Established Church.

It is only when these facts are taken into consideration that the true character of such sentences as the following, which recently appeared in this REVIEW, can be estimated at their proper value, and their liberality and generosity to opponents duly appreciated.

" Among the many abuses which follow from delegating to irresponsible and private managers the authority over most of our public school system is the vague and arbitrary power of taxation enjoyed by them through the school fee” (p. 239).

“The truth is that no reform in the management of the voluntary schools is worth looking at which does not secure the transfer of the appointment of the teacher from private and denominational patronage to the elected representatives of the locality" (p. 243).

" But before we can be considerate of minorities we claim for the majorities, that is, the community as a whole, the absolute right of managing and directing the schools to which the children are bound to go.

If the local community as a whole is Anglican the elected School Board will reflect the views of the community. If, as in Wales, the community is not as a rule Anglican, it is a clear hardship that the State should perpetuate by its grants a system of school government which subjects the school to influences adverse to the general sentiment of the community” (p. 244).

To speak of the State delegating the management of Church schools to the existing managers is ludicrous. The Church has spent over £30,000,000 on the elementary education of the country, and the State has not seen fit to confiscate schools that owe their existence to private liberality, or to rob their managers of the right to control them. This control is the security that the instruction

given in them will not be entrusted to persons of any religion or none, and that the religious purpose which their founders had in view will not be lost sight of. Is it necessary to say that religion can only be taught effectually by those who believe what they teach? What would be the effect of a Roman Catholic or a Secularist teaching religion in a Church school? What is the effect of Atheists teaching in the elementary schools of France?

But the third of the paragraphs is the most disingenuous. “The local community,” however Anglican, Roman, or Jewish it may be, could only teach religion on lines of which it disapproves if the whole education of the country was committed to School Boards fettered by the existing law relative to the teaching of religion. The State has tied the hands of the managers, so that if every man, woman, and child in the district of a School Board desired and petitioned that the Church, or any other religious Catechism, should be taught in its schools, it could not grant their request. These schools have been made Nonconformist or Secularist by Act of Parliament, and if those who advocate so strongly the right of representatives, popularly elected, to decide how the schools of the locality should be carried on really believe what they advocate, let them prove the sincerity of their convictions by procuring the repeal of the Cowper-Temple Clause, and so leaving the most important subject to be dealt with at the discretion of elected representatives. The real difficulty of the question is a religious one, and so long as the State regulation endows Nonconformity or Secularism with the education rates of the country, those who desire a different system of religious instruction cannot be satisfied.

I have not cared to deal with statements that seem to lower the fight over the education question to a mere party or political contest, such, e.g., as a regard for “a good teacher who is not subservient to the clerical needs being liable to be dismissed”; or "a fear that the village schoolmaster may be forced to be a political partisan,” because

the mass of the Established clergy belong to the Conservative party”; or “to many clergymen the Church school means an organist and Sunday-school teacher for nothing”; or “the schoolmaster is in many ways made the assistant of the clergyman. Sometimes he is required to be a lay preacher," and so on. Those

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who can only estimate the value of the education given by its effect upon party politics, or by the benefit or injury it will inflict upon the Church, or its excellence by the percentage of passes and the character of the merit grant, do well to limit their remarks on the education question to what bears on these and similar topics. They serve to divert attention from the real point at issue and to hide, as they may think, or to manifest, as it may appear to others, the narrow sectarian spirit by which they are actuated. To me the only matter really worthy of serious debate, and to which all others should be subjected, is the consideration of what system will raise up the most patriotic and law-abiding citizens and implant in them principles which will lead them, in the fear of God, to be honest, sober, pure, truthful, honourable, upright men and

The test I should wish to see applied to all schools would be the manner in which those educated in them answer to these conditions after they have been proved for a few years by the trials and temptations of ordinary life.

Perhaps it may be said that so far as we can apply these tests. they prove the excellence of our modern system. It may be said that the number of criminals tried has fallen from 17,578 in 1870 to 12,099 in 1889, the latest return. Those who put forward this argument ignore or forget the very serious alterations in the criminal law that have been made in the interval, and the enormous extent to which these alterations affect the result.

In 1870 there were 11,539 children in these institutions ; in 1889 27,938. Then, again, the number of offences summarily dealt with has grown from 526,869 in 1870 to 689,158 in 1889; whilst the cost of the police has increased from £2,182,521 in 1870 to £3,734,916 in 1889, and this although we were assured that the saving in our police rate would pay the education rate. I would also cite the rapid growth of strikes, with the barbarous manner in which those engaged in them trcat those not connected with their organisations, as an illustration of the influence which the change in the religious instruction given in so many schools has had upon the people brought up in them ; for it must be remembered that it is frequently said by the newspapers that the mass of those most prominent in strikes are the younger men. In 1870 such

VOL. IV.-No. 23.

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events were comparatively rare; in 1891 the daily papers are seldom, if ever, found without some information concerning them. Before 1870 the basis of the moral teaching was the fear of God : since then it has been in many schools the influence which immorality of any kind may have upon a man's position in the world, and success in acquiring money; or, in other words, enlightened selfishness.

And now to turn from the principle at stake in the discussion of the education question to that of free education, which is for the moment specially before us. It is not correct to say that “the National Society has capitulated,” and we have yet to see what the Conservative party will do when the subject is discussed in Parliament. What it would be correct to say is that the National Society has determined to stand aside until the proposals of the Government are before the country, and then to determine what line it will take with regard to those proposals. The question as at present stated is a political, rather than an educational, one. is brought forward because it is expected to benefit a large class of the poorer members of the community, not with the design of benefiting the schools or education. For the Church to have opposed before it knew what the proposal was would have been represented by those now taunting it for silence as hindering those who needed the help from gaining it. I do not see how the payment of the children's fees by the Government can in any way alter the relations of the managers of the schools to Government. It would certainly be difficult to regard the remission of fees as a principle, when at the outset we have seen that all elementary schools were free. It is also clear that it must be a matter of indifference to the managers by whom the fees are paid. It is assumed that the amount the Government will pay will only represent the average sum now paid, and as managers can now claim the fees from the parents, the schools will be no gainers. If, as in the case of all averages, some are benefited, it must follow that others will be sufferers to an equal extent. On what, then, does the claim rest for more popular control over the schools in the event of the Government paying the children's fees instead of their parents? Or if the claim is made for greater

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influence to be given to the State, it must not be forgotten that the Education Department has already overwhelming power in all that relates to elementary education ; so that there is no ground left for the Government claiming more authority in the management. The buildings in which it is to be carried on must be erected according to plans of which the Education Department 'has approved ; or, if already built, they must be altered to suit its requirements. The only teachers who can be employed must have received its authorisation to teach, whilst it determines the minimum number that must be employed. The curriculum of study must be that which it directs, and the hours which are to be devoted to each :subject must be approved by its appointed officer. An inspector commissioned by it has to visit the schools annually, and unless its requirements have been complied with there will be no grant made, whilst the sum actually awarded depends entirely upon his award. *The hours in which religious teaching can be given are fixed by its unalterable rule, and every child who wishes to be exempted from such teaching has only to express the wish for it to be complied with. The liberty of the managers is therefore brought within the narrowest limits, and the chief-almost the only—matters left for them to decide are the character of the religious teaching to be given to those willing to receive it, and the selection of the persons (out of those approved by Government) by whom it may be given, and to supply the funds needed to carry on the schools ; whilst their task in obtaining such funds in School Board districts is enormously increased by their subscribers having to pay heavy rates for the maintenance of a system which they disapprove, and the funds they have to raise being increased by their school being compelled to pay out of its scanty revenues towards the support of the hostile schools, which are endowed to whatever extent their managers like with the whole wealth of the community.

ROBERT GREGORY,

Dean of St. Paul's.

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