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1. Essays upon Educational Subjects, Read at the Educational Conference of June, 1857, with a short account of the objects and proceedings of the Meeting. Published by Authority of the Committee. Edited by Alfred Hill, one of the Honorary Secretaries. London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts, 1857.


2. The Twenty-second Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, (for the year 1855,) with Appendices. Vols. 1 and 2. Presented to both Houses of Parliament, by Command of Her Majesty. Dublin: Printed by Alexander Thom and Sons, 87 Abbey-street, for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1856.

The Statistics of the last Census showed, that out of 5,000,000 children in England and Wales who ought to be at school, 3,000,000 were absent, of whom only 1,000,000 were at work, leaving 2,000,000 on the streets graduating in crime. As to the few kept at home to assist in transacting household business, the number is too insignificant in a question of such magnitude to be taken into consideration.

The absence of children from such cause is generally only temporary, and therefore, the number is not included in the statistics above. But even admitting the number kept permanently at home, to be considerable, we are prepared to point out, before the close of this paper, a safe and simple remedy. The question is not, how shall we provide schools for the children in England and Wales-but how shall we provide children for the schools? His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, at the Meeting of the Educational Conference held last June, glancing at these statistics said, "Gentlemen, these are startling facts which render it evident, that no extension of the means of education will be of any avail unless the evil which lies at the root of the whole question be removed, and that it is high time that the country should become thoroughly awake to its existence, and prepared to meet it energetically. To impress this upon the public mind is the object of our conference. Public opinion is the powerful lever which in these days moves a people for good or for evil, and to public opinion we must therefore appeal if we would achieve any lasting and beneficial result. You, gentlemen, will richly add to the services which

you have already rendered to the noble cause, if you will prepare public opinion by your inquiry into this state of things, and by discussing in your sections the causes of it, as well as the remedies which may be within your reach."

England is a great manufacturing country-long may she continue so-her greatness as a nation depends upon the stability and excellence of her manufactures, therefore, nothing must be done which would clog her free action in this respect. English factories give employment to nearly 1,000,000 children. Neither the employers nor the parents would be willing to forego the benefits of the labour of these children. It would be worse than madness to attempt force, and while pounds, shillings, and pence are in the way, no persuasion will take any effect. Many schemes based upon the voluntary principle have been devised to meet the evil, but none are found able to cope with it-and we fear it will be so. Appeals to employers in these days of amazing competition, both home and foreign, to give up the 1,000,000 children in their employment, even for half the day to attend school, would if responded to, paralyze their efforts to compete with foreign manufacturers, unless another 1,000,000 of children were found to fill up their places during the remaining half of the day. It does not appear at all probable that the employers, as a body, could ever be induced by the most thrilling appeals to do any such thing-but even if they were, would the parents of the children now employed be satisfied with half their present wages? Doubtless there are some well educated and Christian men amongst the employers of England who would sacrifice a great deal to promote the education of their people; but it would not be fair to expect them to do so,as their losses would be pocketed by their less conscientious competitors in trade.

Many of the employers voluntarily tried the half-time system, as it is called, that is, allowing the children to school for half the day-but upon the best authority, the inspector of factories, Mr. Redgrave, it proved a failure, owing to the partiality of its adoption.

This gentleman, in his paper on the operation of the halftime scheme in factories, read at the Educational Conference, states, that

The most prominent of the schemes which have hitherto attracted public attention are the half-time schemes and the certificate system.

To these a serious objection would at once be found in their disarrangement of labour. An employer may be willing to adopt the half-time system, but he will find many difficulties arise which are not easily surmounted. In the first place he will require twice as many children as he formerly employed; in the next place he has to satisfy the parents with half the weekly wages for the children's labour; the school fee has to be provided for; if left to the parents they will too often neglect and refuse to pay it; if the employer does not exercise some control over the school attendance it will be irregular, and the absences very frequent. But judging from the effect of the half-time system in factories, employers will cease to employ young children whenever the supply of children of a riper age is sufficient, and thus the half-time system would be valueless to the children. But the chief objection to a voluntary half-time or certificate system would be the partiality of its adoption. If parents presented a memorial to employers, urging them to adopt the halftime or certificate system, or to postpone the age at which children would be admitted to work, then we might reasonably expect employers as a body to concur in such a memorial; but can employers of juvenile labour in the present day, when competition in price is most severe, a competition frequently depending upon the cheapness of manual labour, can they be expected voluntarily to restrict the class from which the cheapest labour is to be obtained.

We repeat the question," can employers of juvenile labour in the present day, when competition in price is most severe, a competition frequently depending upon the cheapness of manual labour, can they be expected voluntarily to restrict the class from which the cheapest labour is to be obtained ?”—certainly not; and therefore the voluntary adoption of such a system must be partial so long as the employers of juvenile labour are of a mixed class.

At the final meeting of the conference, it was moved by Sir J. K. Shuttleworth, that registration, certificate, and prize schemes have been shown to have been applied in certain localities with advantage, and to be worthy of more extensive trial. Mr. Baines seconded, this resolution, which was sup ported by Canon Girdlestone and carried. It is now six months since a more extensive trial of these schemes was recommended by the conference, and where, let us ask, has a further trial been made? If all our employers of juvenile labour were Prices, Bagnals, or Winfields, then indeed the education of factory children would be secured.


men do not require to be reminded of their duty to their people, but with employers of another stamp the case is different. Many of our employers have but one idea-how to make money, and nothing will ever, we fear, entice them to receive any other.

As long therefore as existing circumstances continue, so long is day schooling out of the question, for boys employed during the day. We might be able to persuade all employers to open night schools for their people, by a strong appeal accompanied with a plain proof that the opening of such schools would further their own best interests. We will allow one of themselves to make the appeal, and at the same time permit him to prove by his own practical experience, that it is the interest of an employer to provide for the education of his people. “I appcal then to the great manufacturers of our country, to men who are gaining thousands from the labour of young persons. Capital and influence have their duties; and whatever may he the distance between employer and employed, no elavation of the one can separate their common interests; and those who neglect the interest of others will themselves eventually suffer. If employers will educate their people, their labour and expense will return ten fold into their own bosom; they will give joy, and happiness, and prosperity, to many a dark and desolate home: they will as faithful stewards discharge their duties; and they will be blessed and rewarded by him who loves children, who wills not that one should perish, and who says, 'inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.'"

"Your people became attached to you. They serve you from a love to you, because they feel you care for their best interests. They are not eye-servants. We have no strikes, no disorder. I have our lads at my house under perfect control; we can trust them, and look upon them all as members of our own family. Workmen and children prove, by their conduct, their gratitude; and though from knowing our own schools best, I could speak more fully of them did time permit, yet I could go away from them and refer to others in proof of the success which has attended (evening) factory schools." From the testimony of this gentleman (J. F. Winfield Esq. of Birmingham), it is plainly the interest of the employers to provide education for their people, and we require nothing to convince us that it is just as much the interest of the people. Now we know Bull won't allow his liberty to be invaded-Bull is right. But some people confound Liberty with License. No one enjoys liberty in one sense. So long as Bull has the enjoyment of that true liberty defined by Archbishop Whately, viz: "that every man should be left free to dispose of his own property, his own time,

strength, and skill, in whatever way he himself may think fit, provided he does no wrong to his neighbours," we think Bull will be satisfied, and from what we know of Bull, he is not at all an unreasonable creature.

Now when it is clearly the common interest of employer and employed, that education should be provided by the employer for the employed, and when, it is to be feared, some employers through ignorance or prejuduce can never understand all their own interests, it certainly could never be called an invasion of their liberty to compel them to act in such a manner as they themselves would assuredly chalk out, if they were thoroughly enlightened as to their own best interests.

Surely it would not be unreasonable to say to the employers, you may have the labour of children up to 18 years of age, each day from 6 o'clock, A. M., till 6 o'clock, P. M., provided they are allowed an hour for breakfast, and an hour for dinner. You must register opposite the name of each child in your employment, the evening school which he attends, and you must forward a copy of this list to the Chief of Police in your district; the trouble won't be much, as the one list will probably last a long time. Of course you are to let the Chief of Police know in. writing when any change takes place, so that he may have always a faithful copy of the one in your own office. As you will find abundance of lads willing to attend evening schools, until they shall have earned a "certificate of competency,'

The following might answer as a form of a Certificate of Competency:

Having examined we certify that he is able to Read a newspaper with ease and intelligence; to write from Dictation in a good legible hand, with correct spelling, any passage in Archbishop Whately's "Easy Lessons on Money Matters;" to work sums in Commercial Arithmetic, and to be familiar with Scripture History. Inspector of Schools. Teacher.

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The Certificate to be parchment, and a Register kept of those to whom Certificates were awarded.

It would be well to have Certificates of Honor issued to those passing an examination in English Grammar, Geography, and English History, in addition to the proficiency required above.

Certificates of a yet higher order might be given to such as passed an examination in the Physical Sciences as applied to the arts, &c.

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