HC Deb 07 April 1843 vol 68 cc726-7

On the question that 2,006l.. for the salaries and allowances to the professors at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, be granted to her Majesty,

Mr. Hume

rose to object to this vote. The universities possessed private funds of their own, and the House was not in possession of any means of ascertaining how those funds were appropriated. Under those circumstances it was not fit that the House should vote away the public money. He wished, therefore to know from the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he could give any explanation of the appropriation of the private funds, and he ventured to submit to the House, that until they had such an explanation, they should not agree to this vote.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

did not know whether the committee would agree with the boa. Member, that this vote should be refused; but he thought that the committee would be hardly disposed to concur in that proposition. It would be remembered that the universities were corporate bodies, having private funds at their own disposal for specific purposes, limited by their own statutes. If these funds were mismanaged, it was open to any one to take the same course with a view to a remedy which might be taken in reference to other corporations. The universities had been established altogether independent of the Crown; but after a time, out of the liberality of the Sovereign, a sum of money was appropriated to them out of its hereditary revenues. When an alteration took place with regard to the civil list, the charge in this respect was transferred to the estimates, and it now rested with Parliament to reject or grant this vote. He could not help remarking that the Crown derived considerable revenue—even to an amount greater than the grant to the universities—from the duties payable on the distribution of honours.

Dr. Bowring

thought that the objection of his hon. Friend applied more strongly to Oxford than to Cambridge; because, while at the latter place dissenters were allowed to study, at the former they were excluded from all participation in the liberality of the country.

Mr. Hume

thought that the right hon. Gentleman had not answered his question; for it might be that the universities had funds of their own so large as to make any further vote unnecessary.

Vote agreed to.