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INTRODUCTION.

The Bill "to amend and extend the provisions of the Law of Scotland on the subject of Education" was introduced into the House of Commons by the Lord Advocate on the 12th of February 1872; read a second time on the 7th of March; considered during nine days in Committee and on Keport; and passed the Lower House on the 27th of June. It was read a second time in the House of Lords, on the motion of the Duke of Argyll, on the 5th of July; passed through Committee on the 12th; and after being again amended in the House of Commons, it received the Eoyal assent on the 6th of August.

This Act is the conclusion of a series of efforts which have been made by Liberal Governments during a period of eighteen years to establish a system of National Education in Scotland. Five bills were introduced into Parliament on the subject between 1854 and 1870, and only one of them, the Act of 1861 (repealed by this Act), was carried. In 1870 the Elementary Education Act for England and Wales was passed, and in the following year a Bill for Scotland was introduced, being the sixth in the series. That Bill commanded much popularity in Scotland, and might have passed into law. But the work of the session was unusually heavy, and, owing to the lengthened debates on the Eegulation of the Forces Bill and the Ballot Bill, no time was found for it. The Act of this year (1872) is in its main features a reproduction of that Bill, the only material differences between them being the provisions regarding

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