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doubtful whether that effort will may be applied to it; but it is be successful; and if the bill is not only every now and then that to be carried by the end of the it attracts the attention of the financial year, the raison d'être of constituencies, and their eyes are a short and simple measure con more generally fixed on the confined to voluntary schools falls to duct of business in the House the ground. It seems idle to say of Commons. It is by this that that they will be no losers by the the great body of the public form postponement of the promised re- their estimate of Ministerial calief for another twelve months. pacity; and if a notion once gets But there are more reasons than abroad that the Government of one for making the despatch of the day is deficient in the practical this measure à matter of the energy required for this purpose, gravest urgency. The loss of it takes a series of extraordinary money to the schools is perhaps successes to eradicate it, far less the least among them. It is in likely to follow than a series of the loss of reputation by the disasters. Without ripping up old Government that
the sores, we may fairly say that the greatest cause for anxiety. Fail Government are now on their trial, ure to pass the bill by the ap- and that unless some qualities are pointed date must necessarily be displayed which were thought to imputed either to mismanagement be wanting last year, and have or indifference, for Ministers had not yet been exhibited this year, the whole autumn in which to more seats will be lost, and the make their calculations, and could prestige of the Ministry seriously have called Parliament together impaired before the next prorogawhen they pleased; nor can Mr tion. We hope with other UnionBalfour plead a second time that ists that the lost ground may be he was unprepared for the kind regained. But it is an awkward of opposition which the bill en- thing when the stroke-oar catches countered. The retirement of the a crab at starting. Government from the ground We forbear for the present to which they were universally un comment on the scheme for the derstood to have taken up will increase of the Army explained everywhere be interpreted as a by Lord Lansdowne to the House sign of weakness. In connection of Lords on February 5. It is with the collapse of last session, enough to say that it is among we cannot help being afraid that the minor disappointments which it will produce a most unfavour- have dimmed the prospect since able impression on the public mind. the opening of the session. HowIts influence is to be traced at ever, if we turn to the brighter Romford and Walthamstow. And side of the picture, we have plenty though Bridgeton is reassuring, the to reassure us. The clouds still behaviour of two English con darken the sky in one direction, stituencies on which the Unionists but there is sunshine in another. confidently relied is even still more England is first in the concert of significant. The result no doubt Europe. There is corn in Egypt. was due to a combination of From the side of their foreign causes. But that this was one policy, the right wing of their of the most influential seems to position, the Government are unbe generally acknowledged. assailable. That is now fortified
The foreign policy of the Gov- against all attack, and the battle ernment will stand any test that of the session must be fought at
some other point. The Turkish mestic policy, have so largely conpapers now published and laid tributed. before Parliament last month ex The debate on Egypt, which hibit the six Powers in agreement ended in a majority of just three on the necessity for coercion to one for the Government on policy which Russia for a time February 5, brought no new arguresisted, but ultimately recognised, ments into the field, for there were though only to be used in the last to bring But both Mr resort by all the Powers combined, Morley and Sir W. Harcourt have and in such a manner as to pre- enriched our political experience serve the integrity of the Ottoman with another choice specimen of empire. Whether this policy is what an Opposition too weak to in the abstract the wisest that be responsible can stoop to in could be adopted may be thought the way of faction. Rather than an open question. But coercion lose the opportunity of a passing by all the six Powers combined, hit, they did not hesitate to and coercion by one alone, are two make an effort to set England very different things; and it seems and France, and England and to be believed that when once the Russia, by the ears, and to repreSultan is convinced that the Allies sent to both these Powers, with are in earnest there will be no whom we are acting in concert, necessity to resort to force. At that her Majesty's Government all events, the line taken, and had insulted them ! The Chanfirmly adhered to, by Lord Salis- cellor of the Exchequer made a bury is thoroughly in accordance simple statement of facts which with British public opinion, and have been patent to the whole closes the door against all serious world for the last ten years, and attacks from the Liberal or Radi- which neither France nor Russia cal party. The commanding posi- has
called in question. tion occupied by the Government France deliberately withdrew from on the greatest public question of the joint occupation of Egypt the day may compensate us for the when she might have continued effect of some other mistakes, which it with great advantage both to we have no intention of minimis- herself and others, and left Enging, and are all the more at liberty land alone to do the necessary to criticise, after doing full justice work. Is the mention of this fact to their statesmanship in foreign an insult? Or if it is, why does affairs.
Mr Morley himself reproach We cannot indeed say that we go France with her folly in not acthe whole length with Mr Chamber- cepting Lord Salisbury's offer in lain as to the comparative value 1887, which would have terminof foreign and domestic questions. ated the English occupation? If National institutions and national allusion to the one fact is an incharacter act and react upon each sult, allusion to the other is surely other; and nothing that affects the a much greater one! It is all last can ever occupy a secondary very well for dog-fighters to set position in the eye of a true states- two dogs at each other by pinchman. And, what is more, it seems ing their tails, but it is hardly to us that our position in the becoming in a British statesman world is mainly dependent on the to seek to embroil his country preservation of that national char- with a foreign Power by the adopacter to which our domestic in- tion of a similar device. stitutions, and therefore our do But this sort of thing is "all the
fun of the fair" in the eyes of the there must be something rotten in Opposition. The attempt made on such
an arrangement which re. the 16th of last month to drag the quires prompt examination. This Government into a premature and is the common-sense view of the therefore most dangerous discus- question; and all the well-feigned sion on the Cretan question was
horror of Sir William Harcourt another example of their reckless- at the idea of questioning the deSir William Harcourt pro
cision of a court of law will not fessed the greatest anxiety to suffice to overshadow it. We say nothing that might embarrass say "well - feigned,” because we the Government. He only thought can hardly suppose Sir William Lord Salisbury's words would be Harcourt to be really ignorant of taken to mean that England was the history of the mixed tribunals, “actuated by a spirit of hostility which are liable to revision 'every to the Greek nation and Greek five years, and were only adopted population wherever situated." as a remedy for a state of affairs The last thing Sir William thinks which has now entirely passed of is embarrassing the Govern- away. To claim for the judgment ment, - he would not do it for of a provisional institution, estabworlds; and then he calmly de- lished for a temporary purpose livers himself of a sentence emi. and regarded only as an experinently well calculated to make ment, the sanctity due to a venGreece turn a deaf ear to all the erable constitutional authority to representations of this country, which nations have bowed for cenand to sow discord among the turies, is—well, what is it? If Powers who are now in close necessity has no law, desperation concert.
has no conscience. With regard to the repayment by tion of Egypt, as Mr Morley England of the money contributed himself was obliged to admit, is by the Caisse, and the object for mainly France's own doing; and which it was required—the latter she cannot be permitted out of being in reality the main topic of pure vanity to render nugatory the the Opposition — the subject has exertions of others in carrying out been so fully discussed already in a necessary work which she refused the columns of 'Maga'that we need to undertake herself. not reopen it at present, even if But the most satisfactory feature such an inquiry came within the of the whole debate, if not indeed scope of the present paper. But of the whole session, as far as it neither on this nor on the Turkish
was the manly and question was it our intention to straightforward speech of Sir do more than merely indicate its
Michael Hicks-Beach. He knew position in the political view opened what he meant, and he said it. out before us. The less familiar It is time we left off playing point raised in the debate was the with the Egyptian question. And legal system now established at though we cannot fairly charge Cairo by means of which a decision the Government with not knowing adverse to this country was ulti their own minds upon the subject, mately obtained. It is sufficient since here, at least, they have to observe at present that if the shown no signs of indecision, yet judgment of a court on which the the country at large will be all the Powers are fully represented can better for the few strong words be set aside by a tribunal on which spoken by the Chancellor of the they are only partially represented, Exchequer, which ought to set all
doubts at rest if any still exist and above that limit, should not be upon the question.
recognised by the Department unNext to this in “order of merit” less the local subscriptions should comes the loyal alacrity with which be raised to the same extent. the whole Conservative party After the seventeen-and-sixpenny answered to the call made upon limit had been reached, the parliathem by Mr Balfour when it be- mentary grant and the local incame necessary to closure the de- come were to balance each other, bate on the Financial Resolution. but not before. The grant to the This should surely give him the voluntary schools is now courage which he seems to want increased by 58. a - head, which, for resolving to show the firmness however, will do little more than that is necessary on all occasions, represent the increased cost of and so to fulfil the promise which education since 1876, now amountwas certainly given in the spirit if ing to 40s. a - head. But there not in the letter.
will be nothing to prevent the We have now noticed both the school from receiving all which it clouds wbich have darkened and can earn in excess of this amount. the promise which still brightens By the third clause of the bill the the political prospect. We must voluntary schools are exempted therefore pass on, so to speak, to from rates. This provision was the order of the day, the ques- most ably defended in the debate tion which at the present moment by Sir Robert Finlay, who obis the absorbing one—the Educa- served that while a great boon tion Question.
to the schools, the loss to the The bill itself consists of five rates would be only a feather in clauses. It provides an additional the scale compared with what grant of five shillings a-head for would be lost by exempting board the whole number of children in schools. But the most contenvoluntary schools, and abolishes tious part of the bill is the prowhat is known as the seventeen- posed association or federation of and-sixpenny limit for all schools, schools, the object of which is to As the working of this last-men ensure the best possible distributioned arrangement may not be tion of the grant. The managers familiar to everybody, we may as of each association will form a well explain that the parliamen- board, whose business it will be tary grant of seventeen and six- to advise the Department on this pence & -head was supposed to subject. Sir John Gorst explained represent half the cost of each the working of the proposed archild's education; the principle rangement at some length. The adopted by the Newcastle Oom- extra grant will not be given to mission in 1858 — namely, that all voluntary schools, but only to the parliamentary grant should such as stand in need of it; and equal half the cost of education, the managers of each association having been always in theory ad- will, it is thought, be better judges hered to. When in 1876, to meet of such matters than the Education the increased cost, the grant was Department. We believe the idea raised to the amount at which it is distasteful to some, at all events, now stands, it was calculated that of the Government supporters; the cost was thirty-five shillings and as for another board, we a-head; and it was further pro- have too many boards already. vided that whatever the school But if the plan is adopted, we might earn by proficiency over trust it will be an understood
thing that the word “necessitous" Scotch schools as well, will both refers to every kind of expendi- be attended to in their turn. ture which is forced upon volun- Their claims are recognised, and tary schools by the authorities in are likely to be much more speedWhitehall. If the word is re- ily satisfied if taken one by one stricted exclusively to the cost than if all thrown together into of teaching, and managers are for a single bill, as we may learn bidden to use any part of the from the history of last session. money in aid of other compulsory It would be no real kindness to expenses, it is feared in many either to hurry legislation on the quarters that the relief so afforded subject. Such an attempt could will be illusory.
only defeat itself. If two men It will be observed that, in spite ride on a horse, one must ride of all the Government assurances behind ; and if there are three, -in spite of what they know to only one can be in front. be the truth, the whole Radical People write and talk as if, after party both in and out of Parlia- the present session, parliamentary ment have persisted in represent- government were coming to an ing the new Education Bill as end. But let them consider what a final measure. What a shame would have been the position of not to relieve necessitous board necessitous board schools now if a schools, while the working man is limited measure like the present taxed for the relief of voluntary one had been carried last year. schools! What a shame to leave Their turn would have arrived, out Scotland! And more to the and they would be now about to same effect. Statements of this
receive that equitable considerakind are simple, wilful, and un tion to which no doubt they are qualified falsehoods. The working entitled. Then let them look to man will not be taxed for the this time next year, or perhaps to benefit of the voluntary schools. an earlier date, and ask themselves Scarce a halfpenny of the additional what their position will be then, grant will come out of his pocket, if the present bill is not passed. and nobody reminds him of what It is a very disheartening, not to a very much heavier school - rate say sickening task, to be constantly he would have to pay if voluntary engaged in exposing such impuschools were allowed to perish. dent falsehoods as are dangled Necessitous board schools are not before the eyes of the working left out. Scotland is not left out. classes. It is impossible to deThe Government have a large molish them as fast as the fabrischeme in hand which includes cator can spin them. both.
Last year they tried to do everything at once, and the “Destroy his fib or sophistry! in vain : Opposition prevented them. This The creature's at his dirty work again.” year they are doing one thing at a time, and the same Opposition are The creature is a rapid workequally obstructive. We do im
But unless Conservatives plore the working men of Scot- and Unionists will stoop to the land and England not to be led labour of sweeping away his flimsy astray by such gross untruths as fictions, unless they will dog his were palmed off on the electors tracks, and follow him from street of Walthamstow, and to some ex to street and from house to house, tent on the electors of Bridgeton. with written exposures of his Necessitous board schools, and calumnies, such as every man can