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for this purpose was undertaken clause exempting Scotland and
by Mr. M. Milnes, who, on the Ireland from its operation, moved
24th of February, moved for leave as an amendment a resolution,
to introduce it. The question, that any measure that would
he observed, which had been re- have the effect of placing the law
peatedly debated in that House, of marriage with regard to the
was one of public justice, and prohibited degrees on a different
concerned the comfort of many footing in different parts of the
of our fellow subjects. The exist- United Kingdom would be highly
ing law, which was called “ Lord inconvenient. He suggested an
Lyndhurst's Act,” but was not obvious difficulty that might
really his, began in injustice, and arise under a partial change of
had done nothing but injury, and the existing law, and urged ob-
he proposed a remedy in the jections, social and moral, to any
form of a very simple Bill. He change.
knew there were social objections Mr. Ker Seymer, without dis-
to the measure; but these mar- cussing the religious question,
riages did take place, and proved considered it a matter of great
happy unions, though the law importance to place the law of
sometimes inflicted a heavy pe- the land in conformity with the
nalty upon the innocent children law of the Church of England,
in the devolution of property. which, as well as that of the

Mr. Walpole did not oppose Church of Scotland, regarded
the introduction of the Bill; the marriages proposed to be le-
but he wished to guard himself galized as contrary to the Word
against being supposed to assent of God. The law of the land
to one or two propositions in the had always held these marriages
speech of Mr. Milnes, who had to be illegal, and the argument
not, he said, given a fair repre- in favour of an alteration of it
sentation of the existing law or derived from their frequency
its effects. He (Mr. Walpole) would be applicable to bigamy,
put his argument against this which was equally frequent. The
measure, on the ground that the practice of foreign Protestant
last thing a nation ought to do countries upon this, as well as
was to alter the law of marriage other points, should be no guide
known to the country, especially to us.
when it had been sanctioned Mr. Pease and Sir M. Peto
for many centuries; and, if it supported the Bill: Mr. Lygon,
were to be altered at all, he de: opposing it, contended that the
precated the alteration unless the arguments urged by its advocates,
Legislature took its stand upon would be equally valid in support
some definite principle that would of polygamy.
prevent it from extending the Mr. Denman was of opinion
alteration much further, and that it was unnecessary and
he believed this was not pos- unfair to keep up the restric-
sible.

tion, and that the law ought The Bill being proposed for a to be altered. The most diffi. second reading on the 17th of cult part of the question, he April,

admitted, was the practical effect Mr. Hunt, adverting to the of the change in relation to the

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freedom of intercourse with a however, being found consistent wife's sister: but he had found with each other, both of them that in other countries, where the received the sanction of the Lelaw was different from our own, gislature. the inconvenience was not se- Another Act of this session, riously felt.

which deserves notice, was one Mr. Whiteside reminded Mr.

passed for extending the advanDenman that the highest legal tages and improving the security authorities had pronounced of Savings Banks. This meaagainst the proposed alteration sure was introduced by the Chanof the law, and asked him whether cellor of the Exchequer, under he had considered how the pre- the title of the Post-Office Sasent Bill, excluding Scotland and vings' Banks Bill. The scheme Ireland, would affect the inheri- on which it was founded was that tance of property.

The infor- of making the offices and funcmation which Mr. Denman had tionaries of the Post-Office inreceived from Norway as to the strumental to the purposes of the effect in that country of the law Savings' Banks, and thereby ofnow proposed did not satisfy him fering increased facilities and (Mr. Whiteside) that our law was conveniences to depositors in the founded upon mistake, and he various localities of the country. referred Mr. Denman to the Sar- Although the measure emanated dinian marriage law, which, on from the Government, it was not the point in question, corre. regarded as a party question, sponded to our own.

but received support from both Mr. Milnes having replied, the sides of the House of Commons. House divided, when there ap- Some objections, indeed, of a peared,

practical kind were made, and

inconveniences were predicted as For the amendment 177

likely to result from the mixed Against it

172

functions of post-office and bank

One of the foremost opponents Majority

5

Lord Monteagle in the

House of Lords, who said that This division disposed of the the measure amounted to a subBill.

version of the present system, The law relating to Wills of and the substitution of another British subjects domiciled abroad, of a very questionable character. which had been long in an un- No plan had been submitted of satisfactory state, was again this the future machinery to be creyear brought under the attention ated, and no estimate of the proof Parliament. Two Bills, which bable funds with which the deproposed somewhat different me- partment would be called on to thods of amending this branch deal. He strongly condemned of the law, were introduced, the the interference of the Governone by Lord Kingsdown in the ment in local concerns, and the House of Lords, the other by possible speculations of a Chanthe Attorney - General in the cellor of the Exchequer with a House of Commons. The pro- capital of 40,000,0001, which, visions of the two measures, with the knowledge he possessed,

.

.

was

would resemble gambling with in. He proceeded “ to examine" loaded dice.

what he termed the inaccuracies The Marquis of Clanricarde of the Report, quoted statistics to also anticipated that the measure show that the Ragged Schools would prove a failure, and urged were by no means so insignifithat it would, in the meantime, cant in numbers and in income increase the expense of the Post as the Report bad assumed, and Office for the performance of repelled with some warmth the duties for which that department accusations of the Commissionwas never intended. Lord Col- ers against the discipline and chester, however, who had been cleanliness of the schools-acPostmaster-General under Lord cusations which he stigmatized Derby's Government, supported as a “gross libel.” The Comthe Bill; which, if carried out missioners, he said, were dewith success, he thought would cidedly wrong in asserting that be an excellent measure. The the bulk of the scholars were the opinions of the most competent children of parents who could judges in both Houses were to afford to pay for their educathe same effect, and the measure tion at the ordinary day-schools; was passed into a law.

and as to the proposal of the The subject of Public Educa. Report for separating the children tion came under discussion on from their families, in order to some occasions during this Ses- subject them to the discipline of sion, in both Houses, chiefly the industrial schools, he asked with reference to the Report of whence would funds be forththe Royal Commission on Na- coming for that purpose ; why tional Education, which, after a parents should be exonerated protracted inquiry, was presented from their duties towards their to Parliament in the early part of offspring; and why the indirect this year. The Report on the beneficial influence of the Ragged whole was much commended for Schools, exercised through the the ability and research which it children, should be denied to the evinced; but certain observations parents themselves. In regard contained in it with reference to to the opinion of the CommisRagged Schools gave dissatisfac- sioners that better results would tion in some quarters ; and com- be obtained by clothing the chilplaints on

this
head

dren, so as to enable them to formally brought by the Earl attend the ordinary schools, he of Shaftesbury under the notice was convinced that the clothes of the House of Lords. On the would find their way to the pawn13th May, the noble earl, in brokers, that and valuable funds moving for the evidence on which would be so far uselessly wasted. the part of the Report of the The opinion of the Commissioners Education Commission which that no beneficial effects had been related to Ragged Schools was produced by Ragged Schools was founded, protested against the amply refuted by the decrease in Report as untrue, unfair, and un- juvenile delinquency in London generous, and trusted that some during the last five years, the reexplanations would be given of turns showing in that period a the conclusions arrived at there- decrease of no less than 2524 in the number of offenders. In done. He then detailed what corroboration of these returns, steps the Coinmissioners had Lord Shaftesbury quoted the taken to carry out their objects, opinions of Mr. Leigh, of Wor- and how the statistics in the Reship Street, and of the Rev. S. port were obtained, and observed Warleigh, late chaplain of Park- that if there were any inaccuracy hurst Prison, testifying to an in the number of Ragged Schools improved moral tone in the

were

the secretary of the Ragged youthful population since the es- School Union was alone respontablishment of Ragged Schools sible for such inaccuracy, and and Reformatories, and he con- that

any

fault on this head must tended that it was neither just attach to the body with which nor fair in the Commissioners Lord Shaftesbury was connected. to ignore the fair inferences to He next proceeded to state the be drawn from such facts. He ground on which the Commiswound up his argument on this sioners had come to the conclusubject, by showing how thrift sion that “ Ragged Schools in and frugality had been encour. which industrial instruction was aged among the poor, and how not given were not proper subtheir children had been ena- jects for public assistance"bled to obtain an honest living, viz., that it would be detrimental by the humane and persevering to the other schools of the counefforts of the promoters of try—and contended that the these schools. All this, how- class of children at present in ever, had been lost sight of by Ragged Schools would be more the Commissioners, who in an advantageously placed either in inaccurate and incorrect report ordinary schools, reformatories, had brought "vile accusations” industrial schools, or in the pauagainst men who had sacrificed per schools of the country. The their own comforts for the good Commissioners had dealt in their of their humbler brethren. Report with schools of a higher

The Duke of Newcastle, having class, and had made similar redenied that there was one word commendations to those which in the Report which could be con- they offered with regard to Ragged strued into an accusation against Schools. The noble duke quoted Ragged Schools, and having from the reports of police supercongratulated Lord Shaftesbury intendents and assistant-commisthat he had brought this sub- sioners who had investigated the ject before the House in a educational condition of the meless "grandiose style " than he tropolis, to show that Ragged had used at Exeter Hall, vindi- Schools were principally taken dicated the Commissioners from advantage of by a class which did the charges of misrepresenta- not so much need their assistance, tion and malignity, feeling con- and he put it to their lordships vinced that they had exhibited whether he had not shown the the greatest impartiality in re- accusations of the noble earl to gard to every scheme brought be unfounded. He defied Lord before hem, without putting Shaftesbury to point out a single forth any such claim to infalli- word in the Report implying that bility as the noble earl had Ragged Schools had done no

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good ; what the Report stated was a local rate. He drew the attenthat Ragged Schools ought not tion of the House to the position to be looked on as a perinanent in which this question stood with system of national education, and reference to public grants, which that consequently they should there was a disposition on the not be recommended for a public part of the Government to disgrant.

courage, and he complained of Earl Granville expressed his the denial of aid to Ragged hope that, as the papers referred Schools, a class greatly needing to had been already presented to such assistance, and especially the House, no division would be deserving it. It was proposed, called for on this question; and he remarked, in the Estimates, to after a few words in reply from vote 100,0001. for the improveLord Shaftesbury, the discussion ment of science and art, out of terminated.

which sum prizes awarded to A more general debate on the youths of the higher classes were conclusions of the Education paid, while 15,000 schools were Commissioners took place in the languishing for want of succour. House of Commons on the 11th The general character of the Reof July, the subject being intro- port justified him, he thought, in duced by Sir John Pakington, saying with confidence that the who called attention to the Report present system could not meet with the view of learning, as he the requirements of the nation. stated, to what extent Her Ma- He did not, however, press the jesty's Government intended to Government to make any definite adopt its recommendations. He announcement of their intention, recapitulated the views and the considering the voluminous and arguments he had urged upon complicated nature of the Report, the House in former years on the but he hoped that the subject subject of national education, in would receive their anxious atrelation to the number of the un- tention, and that at no distant educated, the want of schools, date they would be prepared to the early age at which children legislate upon it. left the schools, the necessity of Mr. Henley cordially concurred local agency, and of a larger in recommending this valuable amount of public aid, and he Report to the consideration of the read extracts from the Report, Government. There was much which, he said, supported and in in it which seemed to give some some respects adopted identi- sanction to the views of Sir J. cally, those views. He gave a Pakington in favour of secular summary of the conclusions at education. At the same time, the which the Commissioners had Commissioners admitted the exarrived, and of their recommend- cellence of the present system as ations. They said that, whatever regarded religious teaching. He might be the merits of the pre- drew conclusions from the Report sent system, it was not adapted different from those of Sir John, to spread education so widely as remarking that it was clear that was required. Among their re- a great discordance of opinion commendations they included bad prevailed among the Comlocal inspection and control, and missioners. In specifying the con

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