Titre: “Lord Russell on Separate Schools” (from scrapbook Manitoba Schools Question 1896 – 1906, Newspaper clippings p.9)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, P5316, Manitoba Schools Question 1896 – 1906, Newspaper clippings p.9
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Lord Russell on Separate Schools.
Lord Russell of Killowen gave his
views to a press correspondent last
week on the question of religious
teaching in the schools. His opinions
are thus reported:
“I can understand the gov-
ernment of a state saying, ‘Edu-
cation is no affair of ours. That must
be left to the individual head of the
family.’ But if, as in Great Britain,
the state has accepted the position of
recognizing it to be the duty of the
state that the young of the nation
shall be educated, then I think it is
the duty of the state to consider, as far
as is consistent with a national system
of education, the religious feeling, or
if you prefer it so, call it the religious
sentiment or prejudices, of the various
sections of the community.
“Again, if the duty which the state
has accepted is discharged by anybody
in the community, so far as the secu-
lar teaching is concerned, I hold that
while the state ought not to be called
upon to pay for religious teaching, it
is only just that it should pay for the
secular teaching which it has confessed
to be its duty to impart to the child,
whether that teaching be imparted by
members of a religious body or not,
and this even although that body may
set apart certain hours of the school
day for instruction in religious matters
which may be more or less sectional.
“It should pay those who impart
that secular education, even although
they may be recognized as a body of
religious teachers. But while I say
this, I say at the same time there
should be the fullest possible con-
trol given to the state in the
matter of inspection, so that it
may see that the standard which it
proposes to maintain will in point of
efficiency be carried out. In other
words, the state should see that it is
getting full value for the money which
it is paying out.”
The Chief Justice was careful to
add that he was speaking of the matter
ia [in] the Old Country, and desired to
make no allusion to the school question
in Canada. But the principle he
enunciates applies equally to this
country, or to any country for that
matter, but more particularly to this
country because it is supposed to copy
British precedent and to have respect
for the British system. Those who
are so fond of announcing themselves
as the exponents of the British idea
in this country should see to it that
their views square, on a vital principle,
with the vast majority of Catholics
and Protestants there who administer
the government and who maintain the
teaching of religion in the schools as
a permanent feature of their educa-
tional structure.

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