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sat in the last Session, to inquire into the Education of the Lower Orders in the Metropolis. A great deal of Evidence was taken before the former Committee, much of which Evidence was necessarily ex parte. It appeared to him that a considerable portion of it, therefore, was susceptible of correction and revision, and it was in order to afford an opportunity for obtaining that correction, on the part of the Witnesses, by another investigation, that he now moved the revival of The Committee,which was agreed to.”
On the 7th of July, 1817, The Committee reported, that they had been prevented, by accidental circumstances, from making further progress in the Inquiry which had been referred to them,-but being impressed with a deep sense of the importance of the subject, they recommended that it should be taken up at an early period of the next Session :
That having considered the information communicated to them during the last Session, from various parts of the Country, touching the state of Education, and more particularly the misapplication of Funds destined, by Gift, Bequest, or Devise, to that purpose, they were of Opinion, that it would be expedient to extend the instructions under which they acted, so as to embrace an Inquiry into the Education of the Lower Orders generally throughout England and Wales.
2 The Parliamentary Debates, vol. xxxvi. p. 822.
No immediate Legislative measure was proposed by The Committee, and the reason assigned for the omission was, that it appeared to them that the objects of their Inquiry would be best intrusted to a PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION, composed of persons whose abilities fitted them for the undertaking, and who would be enabled to visit different parts of the Country. The
expense of this Commission need be but small, and might be defrayed by a small per centage on the money recovered by their exertions.
Mr. Serjeant Onslow bore testimony to the zeal, knowledge, and indefatigable exertions which were manifested by his honourable and learned friend, Mr. BROUGHAM, in the production of this Report. He was sure that the subject could not be in better hands, and he had only to wish that the Inquiries of The Committee might be extended to the state of Education amongst the Lower Classes, and to the state of all Endowed Institutions whatever.3
On the 5th of March, 1818, Mr. BROUGHAM moved the renewal of The Committee, which had already in two former Sessions been engaged in a great and laborious investigation, and from which a large body of Evidence had already been reported to The House,-he alluded to The Committee appointed to inquire into the Education of the Lower Orders. The Committee had not been enabled to complete it's labours before the close of last Session,-but he then pledged himself, that he should move the renewal of The Committee at an early period in the present Session, that it might lay the result of it's labours before The House in sufficient time to admit of some measures being adopted before the close of the Session. After stating to The House some proceedings which The Committee were of opinion ought to be taken, to remedy the want of Education in different parts of the Country,—and after commenting upon the Charter Schools of Ireland,—he observed, that there existed throughout the Country large funds, which had been bequeathed by individuals for all purposes of Charity,—and particularly, for the Education of the Poor. For the purpose of investigating the subject, another Tribunal ought to be instituted, besides a Committee of The House of Com
3 The Parliamentary Debates, vol. xxxvi. p. 1303.
A Committee of the House could not transport itself from place to place,it's powers were limited,--and to bring witnesses from different places throughout the country to London, would be attended with great inconvenience and
expense. If Commissioners or Agents were appointed
for this business, one journey to the different places would do, instead of bringing Witnesses from all the different parts to London. In many places abuses existed, of which no knowledge could be obtained until persons went to the spot. Funds had also been bequeathed for various other purposes, besides Schools. The House would find that they were but entering on their task, —for they ought to inquire generally into the misapplication of all Charitable Funds, --this was a matter of absolute necessity. He, therefore, anticipated a recommendation to Parliament to adopt a plan of Education for the Poor throughout the Country, -and, secondly, the appointment of a Parliamentary Commission to investigate into the misapplication of the Charitable Funds destined for the Education of the Poor,--and it would be extremely desirable, that a similar measure should be adopted for inquiring into the general misapplication of all Charitable Funds. He concluded with moving, “That “ a Select Committee be appointed, to