The Education Bill of 1902 (September 1901–December 1902)
We noted in an earlier chapter that, among the causes of Chamberlain’s abandonment of Old Age Pensions, was the existence of a rival measure of Social Reform. This was an Education Bill sponsored by Balfour himself and enthusiastically supported by a majority of the Tory party. The merits of the educational controversy are now of little interest, but its political implications were momentous; not least for Chamberlain. It would foster the reunion of the Liberal party and would estrange a powerful section of the Unionist following in the constituencies. We must, therefore, devote some little space to the issues involved; and if at times the subject-matter may seem dry, the patient reader will none the less be rewarded by some curious sidelights on the contemporary conduct of our affairs.
KeywordsLocal Authority School Board County Council Education Bill Liberal Party
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