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The following is a copy of the invitation to the Generul

Meeting.

NATIONAL EDUCATION LEAGUE.

OFFICES—47, ANN STREET, BIRMINGHAM.

September 16th, 1869.

Sir,

We beg to inform you that a GENERAL MEETING of the

Members of the NATIONAL EDUCATION LEAGUE will be held at the

EXCHANGE ASSEMBLY Rooms, Birmingham, on TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, the 12th and 13th of October, and to hand you a Programme of the

proceedings.

The Provisional Committee desire to express their earnest hope that you will be able to attend during the whole, or at least a part of this very important Meeting, at which a large number of the leading Members of the League are expected to be present.

It will much facilitate the completion of the arrangements for the Meeting if you will inform us at your earliest convenience whether you will be able to attend.

We are, Sir,
Yours respectfully,

GEORGE DIXON, CHAIRMAN.
JESSE COLLINGS, Hon. Sec.
FRANCIS ADAMS, SECRETARY.

PROG R A M M E

FOR THE FIRST

GENERAL MEETING TO BE HELD AT BIRMINGHAM,

On Tuesday and Wednesday, October 12th and 13th, 1869.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12th.

MORNING SITTING, FROM TEN O'CLOCK A.M. TILL ONE P.M.

Election of Chairman.

The Report of the Provisional Committee to be read.
Election of the Council, Chairman, Treasurer, and Executive Committee.
The following Resolution will be submitted to the Meeting :-
“Resolved, that a Bill, embodying the principles of the League,

be prepared for introduction into Parliament early next
Session.”

AFTERNOON SITTING, THREE P.M. TO FIVE P.M.
Papers and Discussion on the best system for National Schools, based
upon Local Rates and Government Grants.

EVENING, EIGHT P.M.
Soirée at the Town Hall, given by the Mayor of Birmingham.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13th.

MORNING SITTING, TEN A.M. TO ONE P.M.
Papers and Discussion on Compulsory Attendance, and on the best
means of enforcing it.

AFTERNOON SITTING, THREE P.M. TO FIVE P.M.

Papers and Discussion on Unsectarian and Free Schools.

EVENING, HALF-PAST SEVEN P.M.
Public Meeting in the Town Hall ; the Mayor in the Chair.

Members wishing to contribute Papers are requested to communicate
with the Secretary.

NATIONAL EDUCATION LEAGUE.

FIRST MEETING OF MEMBERS.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN.

HENRY HOLLAND, Esq., Mayor of Birmingham, moved that Mr. George Dixon, M.P., be elected Chairman. He said that Mr. Dixon, as the originator of the League, and by the zeal, ability, and devotion which he had shown, not only of late but in past years, in the cause of education, was deserving of the position which it was proposed that he should occupy. The appointment of Mr. Dixon would give satisfaction, not only to the ladies and gentlemen present, but to those friends of education throughout the kingdom who were with the League in spirit, though there were many of them who could not attend the meeting.

Mr. EDMUND POTTER, M.P., delegate from Carlisle, seconded the motion, which was carried.

THE CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS.

THE CHAIRMAN said: The movement which we have met to inaugurate to-day is one of momentous national importance, involving in its issues not merely the future material prosperity of the nation, but its intellectual, moral, and I will venture to add, its religious progress. The originators of this movement have met with a response far exceeding their expectations. On their behalf, I very heartily welcome here the many eminent men who have come from various parts of the country to assist in the deliberations of the League, to return to their homes, I trust, with a deepened sense of the importance of the scheme, and with a stronger determination to exercise all their influence in its favour. We have as yet made no appeal for subscriptions; but our expenses have been heavy, and will rapidly increase as the area of our operations widens. To collect information upon all the various branches of the great subject we have taken up, to put this information into a popular form, and to circulate it everywhere, especially among the working classes, will require very large funds indeed. But, in addition, we desire to send able lecturers all through the country, who shall explain our views, and excite discussion upon them everywhere. To create an irresistible public opinion is a work of the greatest magnitude, and one which will task our powers to the utmost. Our success will largely depend upon the means placed at our disposal. You will see, by the

paper which has been placed in your hands, that a few friends have commenced a subscription list, upon a scale which, if imitated in other parts of the country, will give us all we want ; and I invite you to fill up the forms with as large amounts as you are able. And to stimulate you further in this good work, I will read you a few letters which have been received by me. The first is from the Secretary to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce in London, Mr. P. Le Neve Foster. He says :

“ The Council of this Society have much pleasure in sending (enclosed) a cheque for twenty guineas as a donation to the funds of the National Education League, and have directed me to attend with a depu tation, and represent the Society at the meetings of the League at Birmingham next week. The Rev. Wm. Rogers, and Messrs. E. Chadwick, C.B., and E. Carleton Tufnell, have been requested to form the deputation. The Council think it right to say that they cordially concur in the programme of the League in so far as its object is to ensure the groundwork of instruction to all the children of the United Kingdom, and that they shall not be less well educated than children in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway ; but as a question of general policy, and as representing many different opinions among the numerous members of the Society, they hesitate at the present time to pledge the Society to all the details of the League programme. The Council think it desirable that all the various modes of ensuring universal instruction to the children of the United Kingdom should be amply discussed from many points of view, and they intend to invite members of the Society and others to a discussion of them after the meetings

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