8 APRIL 1876, Page 3

Mr. Dixon, M.P. for Birmingham, moved on Wednesday the

second reading of his Education Act Amendment Bill, for extending educational compulsion to the whole nation, and extending it by means of universal School Boards. He made a very moderate speech, intimating that though he wished for universal School Boards, universal School Boards were not nearly so essential as compulsion, and showing that the cost of the School Boards, when elected only to enforce compulsion, the school accom- modation being assumed to be already sufficient, might always be -covered by a rate of a penny in the pound. The expense of 75 School Boards, where there had been no schools to build and maintain, had been covered by an average rate of that magnitude. The necessity for compulsion being admitted on almost all sides, the debate turned on the advisability of the universal extension of School Boards, which Lord Sandon strenuously entreated the House by its vote to repudiate, throwing, indeed, a quite fac- titious intensity of resistance into his denunciation of that step, —probably because it would never do for the Conservative party to seem too near adopting a Liberal policy. We have reviewed the real issue involved in another column. Mr. Bright, in an otherwise excellent speech, admitted a rather unnecessary fear lest the children of labourers should be given an education too elaborate for their condition. Surely the real fear is quite the other way. Does not Mr. Bright know that, in Australia, Cam- bridge wranglers and Oxford class-men find even their education no impediment to the mending of roads and the minding of sheep? Mr. Dixon's Bill was rejected by a majority of 121 (281 to 160).