§ Mr. Bannerman
then rose to ask the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Home Department (Sir J. Graham), whether it were the intention of her Majesty's Government to remove from their professorships in the Universities of Scotland, those Gentlemen who have adhered to the Free Presbyterian Church; and also whether he had any objections to lay on the Table a copy of any memorial addressed to the Government from the colleges of St. Andrew's, relative to the removal or disqualification of the Principal of that University, in consequence of his having adhered to the Free Church.
§ Sir J. Graham
would give all the information to the hon. Gentleman which he possessed. With respect to certain professorships, it appeared that many of the persons who held them had, upon conscientious grounds, and not in consequence of their being removed by her Majesty's Government, voluntarily surrendered their appointments, thinking that to retain them was inconsistent with their own views and sentiments. He was unable to give a general answer to the question of the lion. Member, because various professorships were held by peculiar tenures, and particular charters. Some of them need not be held by Gentlemen of the established religion: the right hon. gentleman the rector of the University of Glasgow (Mr. Fox Maule) was aware that the Greek Professorship of that University was held by an Episcopalian. The duty of the Government, in the cases of Dr. Chalmers and Dr. Welch, had been first to decide whether it were consistent with the charter under which they held their professorships that they should retain them. With respect to the second part of the question, respecting the memorial addressed to the Government from the college of St. Andrew's, relative to the removal or disqualification of the Principal of that University, in consequence of his having adhered to the Free Church, be was aware that Sir David Brewster, the gentleman alluded to, had ceased to be a member of the Established Church of Scotland, and it would be a question to determine according to law whether it was, therefore, consistent with the charter of the University that he should continue to hold the office of Principal. The matter had recently come under his cognizance, and he had referred it to the law-officers of the Crown in Scotland, for them to give their opinions on the subject.
§ Mr. Fox Maule
said, the question de- 1354 served the most serious consideration of Government; and, if they acted in the illiberal spirit of the memorial from St. Andrews, it would lead to the most serious consequences.