I beg to move, in page 4, line 14, to leave out from the word "If" to the end of the Clause, and to insert instead thereof the words:
the Council requires the services of an examination board to test by examination the possession of qualifications prescribed by the Council for admission to the Register then the Council shall provide for the holding by the examination board (constituted in accordance with the Second Schedule to this Act) of such examinations at least once in each year and at such times and places as the examination board may with the sanction of the Council determine. The Council shall recognise as examinations under this section examinations the passing of which is, or may be, recognised for exemption from the final examinations of the incorporated architectural electoral bodies enumerated in section one of the First Schedule to this Act, and may recognise as examinations under this section examinations for the time being organised and held at any school of architecture.
Provided always that recognition of examinations, degrees and diplomas under this section and sub-section (b) of section five of this Act may be withdrawn, but shall not be withdrawn without the approval of the Privy Council.
I have had the privilege of making a number of brief speeches this morning, but I am afraid that I shall have to keep the House a little longer in order to ask them to consider a very vital Clause in this Bill. We had a great controversy in Committee on the question of the instrument which is to be set up for the purposes of architectural education, and among other improvements that were made in this Bill was that, as stated by the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel), a very comprehensive Regis-
tration Council was formed. It was given full and complete powers with regard to the registration of architects, and to the extent to which the Committee upstairs accepted that alteration of the original structure of the Bill, it naturally affected other provisions in the Bill which set up other statutory committees. Now, for the first time, it is proposed to give full powers to the Registration Council by way of admission, examination, and registration, and then, in Clause 7, to begin to whittle away those powers by recognising and giving statutory authority to what is, in effect, a private instrument and a specific school of architecture, the Board of Architectural Education. It would be altogether contrary to the main purpose of the Bill if you first of all give full powers to the registration authority and then confuse the issue and conflict the issue by setting up another board entirely which will advise the Council.
The words of the Bill are exceedingly interesting. If you look at Clause 7, you will see that this all-powerful Registration Council must be dependent on the advice of the Board of Architectural Education. That is an existing body which is brought holus bolus into the Bill, and it is, unfortunately, not a body which is acceptable to the whole of the architectural profession. I notice that an appeal was made by the promoters of the Bill, or by one of its supporters, to support the Measure on the ground that the Bill was acceptable on this point amongst others because of the imprimatur of the London County Council, but a letter came from the chairman of the Building Acts Committee of the London County Council, in which he stated that the committee were so dissatisfied with the ability of men who were examined by the Royal Institute of British Architects, that is, by this Board, and held their diplomas, that the council decided to hold examinations themselves, which they did in the years 1928, 1929 and 1931. If the examinations of this particular private instrument do not satisfy the London County Council, what good reason can be suggested why we should give them a preferential place, and, indeed, a place where they practically control, for all time to come, the kind of examination which shall be set, the recognition which shall be given and the quality of the examinations?
Therefore, I do ask the House to repair what we were unable to repair in the Committee upstairs, although only by a small majority, what is obviously a great blot on the Bill by deleting Clause 7 altogether. I do not want to open all the controversial ground we had in Standing Committee A, but why should this particular instrument of one particular architectural organisation only be put in the Bill? Why not put in the Bill also the examinations board of the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors, the building examinations board of the Faculty of Architects, and the examining board of any of the universities? Why this preferential posision for this particular Board of Architectural Education? The answer is, that it happens to be the handmaiden of the promoters of the Bill. That is the short answer to that question, and for that reason only, the promoters have been exceedingly diligent, and so far successful, in getting this Clause into the Bill, and we are asking very confidently—and especially am I appealing now to this side of the House—that this blot on the Bill should be removed. If it be removed, it will also remove a great deal of the opposition which hitherto we have found, in the public interest, to be essential. I made a statement that this particular board is the private instrument, the handmaiden of the promoters of the Bill. I read, for example, in the calendar of the Royal Institute of British Architects:
The training of architects and the practice of architecture in Great Britain are controlled by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
They are controlled through this organisation provided in Clause 7. For 20 years the organisation, the Royal Institute of British Architects, have used their charter authority to establish a Board of Architectural Education, and to promote this architectural education for the purpose of ear-marking thousands of school students, so that they can be gently shepherded into the ranks of the Royal Institute of British Architects. This is really, in a sense, a recruiting school for one particular close corporation, and it is exceedingly inadvisable, in fact, I go further and say, that it would be a public scandal if an organisation representing, after all, only a
minority of the architects of this country; could use a private institution of this kind to give a preferential position in an Act of Parliament, and say, "Through this gate only, this examination only, shall you be able to enter the architectural profession," and that the advice of this particular private outside body shall be the controlling advice to the registering authority. It is undemocratic. It is unfair, and, I venture to say—I speak with knowledge from representations made to me by private architects—it would be absolutely unjust to such architects as have not that supreme confidence in this Board of Architectural Education that the parents of this body have.
If hon. Members will look at the Bill, they will find that it is absolutely unnecessary to have Clause 7 in the Bill at all. It is an extraneous and an unnecessary Clause. It conflicts with what we have already passed this morning. Clause 5 says:
The council shall from time to time make regulations prescribing the qualifications necessary for registration of all persons other than those referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection"—
And then come the vital words:
and for testing by examination or otherwise the possession of the council's prescribed qualifications.
Having already decided this morning to give the council power to test "by examination or otherwise the possession of the council's prescribed qualifications," we undo what was done in Clause 5.
I, myself, being an Englishman, am not given to such strong language as that, but, obviously, the House of Commons cannot put itself in such a contradictory position as to pass in Clause 5 provisions for examination to be made by the council itself, and then, in Clause 7, begin to undo the good work already done. I could say much more on this particular issue, but I hope that I have said enough to carry with me the sense of the House. In this matter I am pleased to have the support of quite a number of Members who sit on the two Opposition benches, and I hope that the promoters will be wise enough to accept this. If they do not accept this deletion, I am resting on the good sense of the Members of the House
to see that this blot on the Bill is removed. If it be removed, then this instrument, which we have produced with much labour upstairs, will, in my judgment, become a fairly efficient, although not a perfect Architects' Registration Bill, and will give general satisfaction to the whole of the architects and to the public, whose interests will be protected. But with this Clause in, the whole of the otherwise valuable Clauses of the Bill will be vitiated, and you will be handing over to the promoters of the Bill a power which they ought not to exercise, and be showing a preferential treatment for one particular examining body which ought not to be given to any association. It is not as though there were not other examination bodies just as competent. I have in my hand, for instance, an examination paper which I have been reading with great interest this morning. It is not the examination board, by the by, of this organisation. If the House will have patience, I will venture to read one of the questions in this paper:
Describe the main characteristics of Egyptian architecture and explain the conditions which led to its development.
My hon. Friend the Member for Walsall (Mr. McShane) suggests that we might ask the promoter of this Bill to answer that question, and, if the answer is satisfactory, he will get 25 marks. I want to draw the promoter's attention to the fact that there are other examination boards in existence than the one which is now to be incorporated, if the promoters get their way under Clause 7, and that they are equally competent to set examination papers demanding as high a standard as, if not a higher standard than, that which is now named in Clause 7. If the standard of this board which is going to give advice to the council, is high enough to meet the necessary qualifications of an architect to satisfy the public, then undoubtedly the council will give to this particular examination board, as to all others, the right to carry out examinations and the recognition of their diploma.
It seems to me that the promoters of this Bill are uneasy. They are not quite confident in the competence of their board or in the standards of the examination referred to, and they are not sure that it will come up to the necessary requirements when the registration council is established. Therefore, they are going to make sure of it, by saying that for all time the examination and the standards of architecture are to be stereotyped. On those grounds, I move the deletion of the Clause.
I beg to second the Amendment.
I hope that it will be accepted by the promoters. We have set down in Clause 5 that the council shall have certain powers, but it does seem as though a privileged position is once again being asked for by a particular body. I have tried to visualise what would happen if people in the various trades of the country ever asked the House of Commons for registration, and it were suggested that, because a particular sectional trade union in an industry happened to have a committee termed an education committee, it should be inserted in an Act of Parliament that such a committee should be recognised for the purpose of passing people into the trade or occupation. I was rather surprised that this was not acceptable when we were upstairs. Now that we have decided in Clause 5 that the council shall have powers, let us trust the Council with those powers. If an examination is required end the council sets up the examination machinery, it must not look upon one section of the architects as having all the rights and all the opportunities to engage upon this work. I do not blame a particular section for endeavouring to make use of it, because it will give them a standing in the profession and enable them to increase their membership, probably at the expense of other people, but I can imagine what the promoters would say if I came along from the trade union of which I happen to be a member, and asked the House to give me an opportunity of increasing the membership of the union at the expense of others.
If what the last speaker said were correct that one organisation is to have a privileged position as an examining body, I would be the first to fall in with the opposition to this Clause. I do not see why one educational board should have a monopoly of carrying out examinations in the future and testing the qualifications for architecture. I think that would be going too far. It is remarkable that the Mover of the Amendment never referred to this when dealing with the Schedule. So far from the Royal Institute of British Architects being in that position, the Bill proposes that Parliament itself should lay down in the Bill what character the board should take. I would ask the House to refer to the Second Schedule. If there is any criticism of the board, it is rather that it is too comprehensive, too wide, too large, and has too big a number of organisations represented. It is really a democratic body, in the wider sense. It might almost be said to be a mass meeting, because there are no less than 70 members drawn from other organisations, and it is to be the authority responsible for setting examinations. The size and character of the board was due to the benevolence of the promoter in trying to meet every opposition in the most reasonable spirit.
I cannot help having a suspicion that there are some people who do not want us to have a proper examination for the qualification of registered architects. Clause 7 is an essential part of the Bill. Without it, my hon. Friend would be wise to drop the Bill and not to proceed further with it. All that Clause 5 does is retrospective, in bringing in existing architects. Clause 7 provides for the future, that men who are to be qualified to call themselves registered architects, shall have proper examination tests.
May I ask the hon. Member a question about Clause 7? A paragraph in that Clause says:
The council shall recognise as examinations under this section examinations, the passing of which is or may be recognised for exemption from the final examination of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
It has been suggested, and I put this forward with an earnest desire to see if we can reach an agreement, that after these words there should be inserted the words: "or of the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors." In all our Debates on the Committee stage, there was obviously a battle between the two associations. If it is possible for the phrase that I have just given to be inserted, it may be possible to reach agreement.
I am not the promoter of this Bill, and am not in a position to accept Amendments or, really, to speak on behalf of the architects. I have really been on the Committee as a detached observer. I am informed that the examinations of the Royal Institute of British Architects have been going on for many years, while on the other hand—I am not going to make any bones about it—this mushroom organisation, which was promoted for one purpose and one purpose only, to prevent this kind of Bill from becoming an Act of Parliament, and has had no examinations up to the present, wish, now that we have this Bill, to invent an examination for the purpose of bluffing the House of Commons. Mr. Culpin, who is a Labour Alderman of the London County Council, and a former president of this mushroom organisation, was so disgusted with its members that he has resigned all connection with it. The hon. Member, in a very conciliatory spirit, has given very reasonable prominence to this new organisation, he is going to get it into the Bill, and I think he ought to be satisfied with that. As far as I am concerned I do not attach much importance to the examinations of the Royal Institute of British Architects, but I do attach importance to the examinations of the Board laid down in the Schedule to this proposed Act of Parliament.
The hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Winterton), in his attempts to justify his Amendment, has indulged in a most blood-curdling tale of the iniquities of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He has made all sorts of charges against it which really cannot be sustained. As a beginning, he tells us that it is a snobbish institution and a close corporation. I do not think he said it was "a snobbish institution"; it was one of his friends who supplied that adjective, and he adopted it as his own.
I will not enter into questions of geography with the hon. Member, but I say these attacks on the Royal Institute of British Architects are most unworthy. As Members of this House we ought to remember that this Chamber was built by Sir Charles Barry, who was the son of a poor itinerant book-
seller. He went into the architectural profession with nothing, and eventually became President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. To throw about unworthy charges of its being a close corporation and of its snobbery degrades the House and does no justice to whatever motives lie behind the opposition to this Bill. No doubt many hon. Members have received a letter this morning protesting against this Bill from the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors, which indulges in the most wild charges. It begins in a way which may commend itself to some Members of the House:
To you as a Member of Parliament, a lover of justice, and a defender of the rights of the people, I appeal.
Then it goes on to make quite unsustainable charges against the Royal Institute of British Architects. This organisation, which we are told is to be regarded as quite as eminent as the Royal Institute of British Architects, has a most curious council. Its president is Sir Edwin Lutyens, who is probably the greatest architect alive in these islands, and who, I consider, has done more to increase the loveliness of this country than any architect of our time. But Sir Edwin Lutyens is a genius, and his translation from the Royal Institute of British Architects to this organisation is rather an instance of the artistic temperament than any evidence of his genuine love for educational work in architecture. I notice, also, the name of the Duke of Marlborough. I have a great respect for the Duke of Marlborough; he is a friend of mine and has one of the most beautiful houses in England; but I could not regard the Duke of Marlborough as being an architectural authority. Then we see the name of a late Member of this House, Sir Wilfrid Sugden, whom we have never regarded as being an architectural authority. There are also the names of a number of members of another place. That in itself seems to be a little bit snobbish. It is outrageous that this organisation should search the country for vice-presidents and yet not select a single Member of this unfortunate Chamber.
There are also the names of Lord Colwyn, Lord Rutherford, Sir William Bragg and others, but the only name which really commends itself to the House is that of the distinguished Scottish Member sitting below me and I take it that he himself is there in his capacity as an engineer and not as an educationist in architecture. This Amendment has been brought forward, I maintain, simply as a wrecking Amendment. It will break up the whole purpose of the Bill. I have no brief for the Royal Institute of British Architects, but I feel it is essential that this particular Clause should remain intact, because the whole question of our architectural education is at stake. We cannot strike out an essential Clause and leave the whole position unregulated.
We shall be doing great harm if we do not make this Bill as taut as possible. I should have thought its object would have commended itself to the Labour party. All over the country there are boys and girls whose parents are sacrificing considerable sums in order that they may be educated. Some of these boys and girls have won scholarships. By striking out this Clause we are saying that any person, a tinker, an undertaker, or any sort of charlatan, can call himself an architect and practise in competition with thoroughly qualified young men and women who have spent four or five years in an educational school such as the University of Liverpool architectural school, or the school, in connection with the London University. The best thing I can say about the Clause is that two of the most eminent teachers of architecture in this country, Professor Reilly, of the Liverpool University and Professor Richardson of London University who have done more for architectural education than almost any others in the country, have both said that the Clause is absolutely vital for the education of young architects and for assuring them a decent career. Hon. Members opposite had their run in Committee and were defeated, and I appeal to them now to accept the Clause and allow us to do tardy justice to a great profession.
On a point of Order. I attended the Committee very regularly, and, as for my knowledge of the Bill, I do not think that is very relevant to the hon. Member's argument.
I strongly resent the fact that the four or five months' sincere work which I have put in to try to make this a decent Bill should be interpreted in the way it has been. I care not a scrap for the Royal Institute of British Architects or the other association, but I claim that when I have finished with this Clause 7 no hon. Member on the other side of the House will be found willing to support its retention in the Bill. That is a serious and a strong statement to make. It has been well said that this Clause is the heart and core of the Bill. During the past day or two extraordinary social pressure has been brought to bear with a view to securing that this Bill shall pass. Architects in general are placed in a position to bring great social pressure upon hon. Members. I have here a letter from a local secretary, saying:
Architects (Registration) Bill.
The Report stage and Third Reading of the Bill will probably be taken in the House of Commons on Friday morning, the 17th day of April. I enclose a stamped postcard, and shall be glad if you will kindly complete this and address it to your local Member of Parliament at the House of Commons and post not later than the 15th April.
It is of special importance that Members residing in the Division of Mr. W. T. Kelly, M.P. for Rochdale, and Mr. Guy Rowson, M.P. for Farnworth, should comply with the above request.
P.S.—I am enclosing an additional two postcards, and should be glad if you would kindly have same completed either by your wife or professionally interested friends.
I do not see why that request should be restricted to a man's wife, and I do not see why his uncles and his aunts should not be brought in. A good deal
of pressure has also been brought upon hon. Members who have been trying to make this Measure into a decent Bill. I am afraid that those who make up the membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects have been deluded by the pressure which has been brought to bear upon them. Only those who have been closely associated with the work of the Committee can speak with authority on the Bill. I will try to put before hon. Members an explanation of our position, although we have been condemned in advance and personal motives have been attributed to us. I am in favour of the registration of architects, but I want to see the public protected. If this Bill had passed as it was introduced on the Second Reading, it would have been nothing short of a public scandal. I claim credit along with my hon. Friends for having, in a large measure, prevented that from happening. Unless Clause 7 is radically dealt with this morning, there will be no working-class boy—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—who will ever have the chance of moulding another building as beautiful as the one in which we are assembled.
I will now deal with Clause 7, and I ask hon. Members carefully to follow my argument. First of all, the Board of Architectural Education is in the Bill but not of the Bill. It is in the Bill, but the Council have no control whatever over that board, and I challenge any hon. Member to deny that statement. I challenge the promoters of the Bill to say explicitly that any activities of that board are under the authority of the Council. The Council is under the authority of the board. Clause 7 says:
The council shall recognise as examinations under this Section examinations, the passing of which is or may be recognised for exemption from the final examination of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) made an excellent speech in which he said that not even the universities should have a permanent hallmark in this Bill. May I point out that the Royal Institute of British Architects are demanding in this Bill—and will get it if the Measure passes—a permanent hall-mark in the Bill. As an organisation, I have nothing against
the Royal Institute of British Architects. I have not a friend nor an enemy in that body, and to me it is an impersonal organisation. It is, however, a trade union, and I protest that the House of Commons should give to a trade union a power over and above and beyond the supreme power of the Council. The Board of Architectural Education is a chartered instrument of the Royal Institute of British Architects. I am not attacking that organisation as such, and I am not pleading for this or that association, but I am asking that the class from which I sprang shall be protected. I repeat my statement that the Board of Architectural Education is the chartered instrument of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Here is the charter from which I will quote Clause 4:
Subject to the by-laws for the time being, the Council shall formulate and from time to time alter and amend a scheme or curriculum for education in architecture and may appoint in relation thereto such boards or committees (whether or not consisting wholly of members of the Royal Institute) as may from time to time be prescribed by by-laws, and the Council may apply the funds of the Royal Institute in making provision for and furthering and developing any such scheme or curriculum, and in providing for lectures or teaching, and for the holding of examinations in accordance therewith, and for granting certificates in connection therewith and (subject to such exemptions as may be allowed by or in accordance with the by-laws) no person shall in or after the year 1913 become entitled to admission for the final examination for associateship of the Royal Institute unless he shall have passed through a course of study under or in accordance with such scheme or curriculum.
The point that I make is that this is a chartered instrument of the Royal Institute of British Architects. When was it introduced, and why is it pressed now with such insistence? The reason is this. The Admission Committee was originally a statutory committee, but, in Committee upstairs, we got it put under the control of the council; and then, as another way out of the difficulty in which they found themselves, it was insisted that this chartered instrument of the Royal Institute of British Architects should be inserted in the Bill—not under the control of the council, but the council would have to accept its demands and its orders, instead of vice versa. That is a position which no House of Commons could allow to be maintained. The hon.
Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) said that, if it could be shown that the result would be to form a close corporation, he would not assent to it.
A memorandum has been sent out by another organisation, not of architects, but the Institute of Builders, and I regret that that memorandum does not seem to have had the close attention that it merits in connection with this matter. It gives the history of this Board of Architectural Education, and it says this:
It will be seen from Clause 7 that the Bill provides, first, that the Registration Council"—
that is the dominant authority of the Bill—
must accept for recognition the examinations recommended by only one board of education. It provides that the Registration Council shall employ"—
only one examining board, and that the Registration Council shall have no authority to regulate the decisions of the Board of Architectural Education.
I want to go further. This Bill in its purpose is a Registration Bill; that is accepted; and no Registration Bill ever passed in this House, whether in relation to doctors, dentists, or nurses, containing within it an educational or examining instrument. There is being inserted into this Bill a wing or an instrument of the Royal Institute of British Architects, whose main purpose is to control the examinations in its own trade union interests. Is there anyone who doubts that?
I have here an extract from a report issued by the Royal Institute of British Architects in about the year 1927, on the question of overcrowding in the architectural profession. It is a report by a joint committee of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Association of Architects, Surveyors and Technical Assistants; and I want hon. Members to associate that question of overcrowding with the power that it is now proposed to give to this instrument of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The report says:
There are to-day some 12,000 architects, including 1,300 pupils and students, in England and Wales, as against 7,000 40 years ago. These figures are obtained from the census returns, and represent an increase of 70.65 per cent. The population of
England and Wales has increased from 26,000,000 to 38,000,000 during the same period, representing an increase of 46.15 per cent. In other words, there is to-day one architect or potential architect to every 3,167 of the population of England and Wales, compared with one to 3,714 40 years ago. It appears, therefore, that the number of architects who describe themselves as such in the census returns has risen in a greater proportion than the population during the past 40 years. Admitting that these figures are incapable of absolute proof, the Joint Committee feel that at least as many men are entering the profession as the profession can at the present time absorb.
What is the significance of that? I am anxious that this Bill should go through as a decent Registration Bill for all architects, but let it be remembered that the membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects numbers somewhere about 7,000 architects, so that, by this Clause, complete power is to be given into the hands of that organised body of 7,000, not merely of examination, but of moulding the curriculum and raising the standard of education so that no lad of my class will have any opportunity whatever of entering the profession. The hon. Member for South West Bethnal Green said that we need not worry about that, that the Board of Architectural Education in the Second Schedule was to be settled when we came to it, and that we could put in what we chose. But that Board of Architectural Education is a chartered body, and you can put in whom you please. An hon. Member shakes his head. May I ask him—
The Board of Architectural Education to be set up by this Measure is an entirely different body from the body to which the hon. Member has been referring. The Board of Architectural Education for the purposes of this Measure is constituted in the Schedule. I have listened very carefully to the hon. Member, and confess that I have been unable to follow him.
Mr. DEPUTY - SPEAKER (Mr. Dunnico):
If the answer be a simple negative or otherwise, the hon. and gallant Member is entitled to say so, but it would form a very bad precedent if, when challenges were offered by hon. Members, they were continually answered by the hon. Members to whom they were offered.
I thank you very much, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, for the forbearance which you have shown towards me. I do not want to put a rhetorical question; I demand a plain answer to a plain question, when the promoter of this Bill is replying, as to whether that Board of Architectural Education is the chartered body I have referred to, and whether it has not had a charter from the year 1913. I demand an answer to that question when the hon. and gallant Member replies, and I would ask hon. Members to note whether the answer is "Yes" or "No."
I was dealing with the effects of this proposal. If this instrument be given the power which it is proposed to give to it upon the council, making the council subordinate to it, then that body will have a complete, close, corporative grip on all interests in the architectural profession from now onwards. If I may strike a personal note, I would say this. I left school at 14. I worked in a wagon works till I was 21. At night school I studied from the age of 16 onwards every night till I was 21. I got home at six in the evening, sat up studying till two in the morning, and got up at five in the morning, and, at long last, after an indescribable time, I got to the University. I say that no lad in that position can ever hope in the future, if this Clause be passed, whatever may be his study in the building trade at technical institutions at night, to become an architect.
Hon. Members on this side of the House who opposed the Second Reading, and who, for some strange reason, supported some of the proposals made during the Committee stage, opposed it on that ground, and they were assured by the hon. and gallant Member that those points would be seen to in Committee. We did try to do that. We had an
Amendment providing that 30 per cent. of the fees should be given in order to enable scholarship lads to go forward. It was ruled out of order, because that is not the purpose of the Bill, which is a Registration Bill, and, indeed, I questioned, on a point of order, whether it could be made an educational instrument. I have here a speech of the hon. Member for Salford, a very eloquent speech indeed, with regard to this matter, in which he said:
There ought to be no class bias. If I felt that the ordinary worker had not as much opportunity to contribute his brains and skill and experience to this great profession, I should be the last to support this Measure.
It was promised by the promoters that something should be done for that. I challenge the hon. and gallant Gentleman to show me in the Bill that anything has been done to give special facilities for working lads. There is nothing. The hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) said just now that, if a certain Amendment were accepted, he would be prepared to accept that. I am not prepared to accept that on behalf of the public and on behalf of the class from which I have sprung. He made a speech also in which he asked that special provision should be made and special guarantees given for that. The speech of the Under-Secretary on behalf of the Government was also significant. He said:
On the other hand, there is criticism from many that by virtue of a Measure of this kind we are apt to create a very close corporation, and many people in these days view that with great suspicion,
We are entitled to regard the matter from a different point of view from the powers extended to the medical profession, the dentists or the legal profession, and this Bill gives a decided advantage to architects over and above the medical profession, the legal profession, the nurses' profession, or the dental profession:
It would be unfortunate if art should be robbed of the greatest artists merely because they were not registered."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th November, 1930; col. 1278, Vol. 244.]
There is another argument. I hope I speak with some knowledge and authority as an educationist. This is an educational instrument inserted in a Bill which will help to mould architectural education
and all education in this country. It is of the very essence of architectural education that it is a creative art. To attempt to mould it and to make it rigid would be the maddest folly in the eyes of any educationist. That also is the purpose of the Bill. I am a registered teacher, and I want to see men who are architects given proper safeguards, and I want the public to be protected, but I beg hon. Members to cut out all ideas of any association from their mind. I know the Bill from the first word to the last. If it it passed in its present form, for many a year those who come after us will say it is incredible that the British House of Commons gave such powers. Our position has been simplicity. When the Bill first went upstairs, I said, "Give me an independent council representative of the architects and the allied and kindred interests and the public. Let that council appoint its own committees, its admission committee, its registration committee, its discipline committee, and you can have your Bill." That was surely a fair offer. It is perfectly straightforward and simple. It is because that was not granted that these interminable difficulties have been caused and devious means have been adopted to get forward what should have been a plain, simple instrument for giving I label and qualification to architects.
Whatever our political views may be, I know that hon. Members above and below the Gangway have as great an anxiety and desire to protect the public and working-class children in regard to education in this respect as I have. I beg of them to see that that Board of Architectural Education, above the council in its authority, dictating to the council in its authority, not only getting complete control and grip of the entrants, but moulding the architectural education for many years to come—I beg hon. Members opposite, who may differ from me often politically, to understand that I am prompted only by the sincere desire to give a decent opportunity to working-class lads and girls who may come forward in the future, and also to protect the interests of the great public.
I rise to support the Amendment. When the Bill was being read a Second time and it was going to be opposed, I felt very diffident about speaking on the matter, but I did
my best to get the opposition withdrawn. The promoter made this statement:
I am authorised on behalf of the promoters to say that, if the Bill is sent to Committee after having received Second Reading, we shall be prepared to meat any reasonable suggestions which will make the Bill a better, more efficient or more effective weapon to secure the object that we have in view."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th November, 1930; col. 1261, Vol. 244.]
I know my hon. and gallant Friend will say that he has done so. From the beginning this has been the contentious Clause in the Bill. This Educational Board is the authority in the Bill. All that we want is that it shall be subject to the council. There is an elaborate council established, but its powers are taken away, because the Clause says:
If on the advice of the Board of Architectural Education.
The council can only act on the advice of this Board of Architectural Education which, therefore, is the supreme body in the Bill. It is appointed by the council of the Royal Institute of British Architects, so that we shall have the council of the Institute of British Architects, which is the supreme authority, in the Bill made a statutory authority.
Not directly but indirectly, in that they appoint the architectural board. I want my hon. and gallant Friend to see if he cannot do what I think is a reasonable thing, and make this council, which is a representative body, and which we have gone to great trouble to get made a representative body supreme. The admission committee is subject to the council. Why then make the council subject to the Board of Architectural Education? That is the whole of the difficulty that we have to meet, and that is what is causing the confusion. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) said the Board of Architectural Education is a very large body and, as such is representative. My objection to it is that it is far too large. An ad hoc body is one that has few interests in common. It is appointed from different bodies but their interest is in only the one thing for which they are appointed. If members belonging to any particular body, teachers, architects or anyone else, come together they have many things in common. It means that this Board of Architectural Education is really a committee which is in existence at the present time, and it is the supreme body in this Bill.
I reiterate what has been said that the Registration Council must recognise the examination of only one organisation. They must employ only one examining body, and that is the examining body which is not subject to the authority of the council mentioned in the Bill. The council can only act upon the advice of the examining body. The Clause is not necessary at all, because Clause 5 makes provision for doing all that is necessary. The Bill will stand as a unit without the present Clause.
Sir M. MACDONALD:
May I appeal to the promoters of the Amendment, and also to the promoters of the Bill, to see whether the point of both parties cannot be met by a very small alteration in the middle of Clause 7, where it says:
The council shall recognise as examinations under this Section examinations … of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
I think the position would be met if the word "shall" were removed and the word "may" inserted in its place. The Clause would then read:
The council may recognise as examinations under this Section.
If that were done, the apparent hold of the Royal Institute of British Architects over the council would be removed, because the council would be empowered to accept their examinations or not as they thought fit. I make this suggestion, and I hope that both the promoters of the Bill and of the Amendment will accept it.
As this discussion proceeds my astonishment increases. One hears statements of fact made here with great assertiveness by Members who have given many hours to this Bill upstairs which cannot be supported by the text of the Bill we are discussing. At this moment, we are being asked to believe that the Bill, as it stands, restricts the examinations contemplated by the board to the examinations of the Royal Institute of British Architects. That is not correct. I invite hon. Members to look at the Clause which we are discussing. A great deal of
prejudice has been imported into this discussion. Let us try and get clear of it and look at the actual words which are before us. In Clause 7, page 4, line 23, it says:
The council shall recognise as examinations under this section examinations, the passing of which is or may be recognised for exemption from the final examination of the Royal Institute of British Architects,
One would suppose that there the Section ended if we listen to some hon. Members, but it goes on to say:
and on the advice of the education board the council shall recognise as examinations under this Section examinations for the time being organised and held at any school of architecture.
How any Member of this House can get up and represent that the examinations contemplated in this Bill are examinations conducted only by the Royal Institute of British Architects passes my comprehension, when I look at the actual terms of the Measure. What is the authority under this Clause which has to give the advice for the inclusion of these further examinations? If hon. Members will look at the Second Schedule, they will find that the education board is constituted on remarkable lines. No section of this great profession and no body of organised representatives who have relative interests is left outside the composition of the board.
I am sure that my hon. Friend does not wish to mislead the House.
The council shall recognise as examinations.
That is the first reference, and further:
If on the advice of the Board of Architectural Education …. constituted for the purposes of this Act in manner prescribed in the Second Schedule to this Act, and to be appointed annually by the council, the pre-
scribed qualifications include the passing of any examinations, the council shall provide for the holding by the education board"—
which is not under the control of the council and over which the council has no control or influence whatever.
I am very anxious, and I am sure that my hon. Friend will accept the assurance, to get this Bill through the House to-day. I have received numerous communications from architects in the cities of Nottingham and Derby, and in the whole of the Midlands begging me to do what I can to-day to assist in passing the Bill, and I have risen now merely for that purpose. I have confined myself to two questions of fact with which my hon. Friend dealt in eloquent terms and on which, I think, he unintentionally misled the House. In misleading the House, it may well be that in his own mind he is not quite clear as to the intentions of the Bill. The first question I think I have already established by referring the House to the actual words in the Bill. It is not correct to say that the examinations contemplated by this Bill are only examinations of the Royal Institute of British Architects, because the Bill goes on to provide for other examinations. The second question of fact is as to the composition of the board which is the authority under the Bill to which further examinations shall be referred.
When I gave way to my hon. Friend whose devotion to this matter we all recognise, I was directing the attention of the House to the Second Schedule of the Bill which sets up the authority which recognises the examinations. I was asking the House to realise that this authority is constituted on the widest and most responsible lines. It includes representatives of the Workers' Education Association—I am speaking as an old member of the national executive of that body—representatives of the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives, the Art Workers' Guild, and all sorts of bodies whose interests are directed to the great profession of architecture. I ask the House to say that the composition of that authority, which is to determine what further examinations shall be held under this Bill, is of such a character as to satisfy this House and that the widest possible limits have been searched to bring within the ambit of the Bill all interests, all classes and all sections of the community which ought to be included. I know that it is the desire of my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall (Mr. McShane) to achieve that object, and I appeal to him to realise that everything has been done to effect those purposes. This is my first intervention in the discussion. Here is an opportunity for the House to lay the foundations of a great and enterprising profession, on which are built the hopes of countless men and women who are devoting their energies to this high cause, and I plead with the House to pass as rapidly as it can to the remaining stages of this Bill in order that those hopes shall not be defeated.
I do not want to take up the time of the House, but one or two very definite questions were put to me which I should like to answer. I was asked by the hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. McShane) in what way I or my Friends seek to provide facilities so that a poor boy may find a happier and easier way into the architectural profession. An Amendment was put down in Committee by some of the hon. Member's Friends, to the effect that 50 per cent. of the fees which were paid by applicants for registration on the register should be devoted to bursaries and scholarships for those of inadequate means. Unfortunately, owing to the wording of the Amendment and the place where it was sought to insert it, the Chairman had to rule it out of order. This morning, however, we have devised a fresh Amendment, which I am happy to say will be put before the House. It is on the lines which the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) and others had in view.
The hon. Member for Walsall also asked me whether there was a charter for the Board of Architectural Education. Of course, there is no charter. We are only setting up that body under this Bill. There was a charter for the Royal Institute of British Architects and its ramifications, but the board in that case was a body solely dominated by the institute. The board which we propose in
the Bill is an independent Board of Architectural Education, and at this moment it has no charter of any kind. The hon. Member for Walsall also referred to a statement made in Committee to the effect that the London County Council had approved of this Bill, and he said that that was subsequently denied by the late chairman of the County Council. I have taken the opportunity to look up the minutes of the London County Council for the 18th May, 1927, and I find that the statement in the minutes is as follows:
The Board of Architectural Education set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects has been in operation for some time and is of a widely representative character, as is indicated above.
The County Council were discussing this Bill. Finally, they passed a resolution:
That the provisions of the Architects (Registration) Bill be approved on educational grounds, and that the Parliamentary Committee be so informed.
What I said was that Sir Robert Tasker, Chairman of the London County Council, had written a letter in which he said:
The only examinations"—
We are talking about examinations by this particular private institution which are to be exalted into pre-eminence by the Bill—
held by the Royal Institute of British Architects during the past six years, when I was chairman of the Building Acts Committee, 1924–1929, and discussed by the Building Acts Committee or the Council, related to the examination of candidates for the office of district surveyor. The Committee were so dissatisfied with the ability of men who were examined by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and held their diploma, that the council decided to hold examinations themselves.
Yet it is those examinations which, under Clause 7, the Council shall accept.
The hon. Member's argument is really in favour of the Bill. The whole object of the Bill is to raise the standard of architecture and examinations, so as to produce a better type of architect in the future than has been the case in the past. When the Bill has been passed, that result will be achieved. I should like to tell the House how the Board of Architectural Education came to be established. Over 25 years ago there was no such board. There were various schools operating all over the country and various individuals with architectural ideals were in various branches developing on these lines. There were many organisations such as polytechnics and technical institutions, but there was no co-ordinating link. The Royal Institute of British Architects, therefore, felt that they were justified in taking up what ultimately proved to be probably their greatest task, that of co-ordinating, revitalising and directing these various schools on one common line and subscribing to one common standard of education. It was only a standard of education and in no way restricted architectural development. That went on for a short time and then it extended to such a degree that the Institute felt that it was getting beyond their hands, and they put it in charge of the Board of Architectural Education. That is how the board started. It consisted of representatives touching every side of architectural education, and it brought democracy into the educational side, which was all to the good.
The board has worked for 25 years to the complete satisfaction of every architectural student, every architect and every architectural organisation. It is a body that has advised His Majesty's Government. The London County Council goes to it for advice and are represented on it. All these efforts are to be suddenly scrapped, we are to undo the work which has slowly and wearily evolved during 25 years and to hand over the duties of this great organisation, this widespread, widely-represented democratic organisation, to a committee of this new purely professional council. You are stereotyping architectural education by the Amendment and it is for that reason mainly that I suggest that the House should reject it. I could say a lot more on this subject, but as we have spent over an hour considering this question I hope that we may now come to a decision.
Can the hon. and gallant Member say whether it would be within the power of this body to limit the number of entrants to the profession? Will they also be able to set up a standard of education as well as limit the number of entrants? Would it be possible, for example, for this body to say that women should not be allowed to enter the profession?
I am not quite clear as to the functions of this Board even after the explanation that has been given. It must get its instruction from some other body or council. It is a hotchpotch, which is simply a device of the council to create a privilege for itself. It seems that the council is to set up an Education Board and that it is then going to take instructions from the Board. If that is the position it requires some elucidation and simplification if it is going to be satisfactory. I am not against the registration of architects, but I object to a special privilege being given to the profession. I am quite willing that it should be put on the same basis as the teaching profession and protected in the same way. The hon. and gallant Member in charge of the Bill became rhetorical and told us that all that has been said by those who are opposing the Bill was moonshine. He told me on one occasion outside the House that he had the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives in his pocket—
I think I am entitled to put that construction upon what he said. The National Federation of Building Trade Operatives have no authority to speak for the building trades in this matter. I am a member of the building trade and I have never been consulted as to my attitude towards this Bill. My attitude has been guided by the result of my experience as a member of a Scotish education authority. One of our most difficult tasks is to advise boys what to do when they reach the age of 16 and 17. I have had to tell them to carry on at the evening school, where there is a course in building and engineering which may lead to naval engineering and to architecture, but if this Bill goes through and you leave the control in the hands of the Institute of Architects—
I am aware of that, but if they are the puppets of the Royal Institute of British Architects it is just as bad. I do not think we should stultify our evening school education in this way. We are spending money on developing evening school education, and we are going to allow the Institute of Architects to shut the door on pupils who may have the ability to go from one stage to another until they become the 20th century successors of the late Sir Charles Barry. If we allow these channels to be closed and are going to rely on the universities and other public schools it will not be in the interests of architecture. If the Amendment is rejected, I hope we shall be given an independent body not subordinate to the Royal Institute of British Architects.
|Division No. 213.]||AYES.||[1.54 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Leach, W.|
|Albery, Irving James||Ferguson, Sir John||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Fermoy, Lord||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Foot, Isaac||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Arnott, John||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Berry, Sir George||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Marjoribanks, Edward|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Mathers, George|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Glassey, A. E.||Milner. Major J.|
|Blindell, James||Gould, F.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Granville, E.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gray, Milner||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Mort, D. L.|
|Bracken, B.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Muff, G.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Grundy, Thomas w.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Brothers, M.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Buchan, John||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Owen. H. F. (Hereford)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, p. G. T.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Palin, John Henry.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Harris, Percy A.||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Burgess, F. G.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Haycock, A. W.||Penny, Sir George|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hayes, John Henry||Perry, S. F.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Chater, Daniel||Hoffman, P. C.||Potts, John S.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Horrabin, J. F.||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Pybus, Percy John|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hurd, Percy A.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Raynes, W. R.|
|Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Isaacs, George||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Davison, sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Jones, Llewellyn-, F.||Remer, John R.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Knight, Holford||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Duncan, Charles||Knox, Sir Alfred||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Lathan, G.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Sandeman, Sir N, Stewart||Sutton, J. E.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Sawyer, G. F.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Sexton, Sir James||Thomson, Sir F.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Tillett, Ben||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Tinker, John Joseph||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Sherwood, G. H.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Withers, Sir John James|
|Simms, Major-General J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon||Womersley, W. J.|
|Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Walkden, A. G.||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)||Walker, J.|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert||Sir Robert Gower and Lieut.-Colonel Moore.|
|Smithers, Waldron||Watkins, F. C.|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||West, F. R.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Alpass, J. H.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Ayles, Walter||Henderson, w. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hicks, Ernest George||Rowson, Guy|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Sandham, E.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Kelly, W. T.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cove, William G.||Lees, J.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Daggar, George||Longden, F.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Deviln, Joseph||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Wallace, H. w.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Freeman, Peter||McElwee, A.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||McEntee, V. L.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Gossling, A. G.||McShane, John James||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Manning, E. L.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Marley, J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Matters, L. W.||Mr. Winterton and Mr. March.|