§ MR. FAGAN
said, he rose to ask leave to bring in a Bill, having for its object the opening of the University of Dublin, in every particular and for every purpose, to students and professors of every religious denomination. He regretted that some person more competent than himself or of higher standing had not undertaken the important task. But, seeing that no other Irish Member was inclined to do so—seeing that the Government had determined not to interfere in the matter, he felt it his duty, as one who had for years been an earnest advocate for the extension of collegiate education in Ireland, to submit the subject to the consideration of the House, the more particularly as the Dublin University Commissioners, in their Report, had made no recommendations that interested the people of Ireland; and even those recommendations which were of any value were rejected by the college authorities. Every one knows that the education afforded in that University is as high, as extensive, and as erudite as in any other University, whether in that country or on the Continent. And yet, singular to say, while, in England and on the Continent, members of Universities had risen to distinction in the fields of literature and science, the great national University of Ireland has obtained the title, and deservedly, of the "silent sister." This does not arise from deficient intellect in Irishmen—it does not arise from insufficient funds to reward the successful labourer in the fields of literature and science. Trinity College is said to be the richest in the world. It has estates valued to the poor rates to over 92,0001., and amounting to two hundred thousand acres of land in the different provinces in Ireland. Its whole income, 377 including the internal receipts of the college, comes to 64,000l. When the Act passed in 1851 begins to operate, which enables the college to let for ninety-nine years without fines, and at least within three-fourths of the market value, instead of one-third, as at present, and in perpetuity, this income will be increased to over 100,000l. a year. Now, this enormous income is divided thus:—To the provost 3,500l. a year, while the heads of houses in Oxford, which correspond with that of provost, get but 764l. a year each, and in Cambridge, 749l. The fellows in Trinity College are divided into five classes. The first class, namely, the senior fellows, receive on an average 1,800l. a year each; the second class, that is, the first class of junior fellows, numbering six fellows, get 790l. a year each; the second, consisting of eight, 626l.; the third, consisting of five, 390l.; two junior fellows, the junior bursar and junior proctor, each get 1,600l. a year, and another, the professor of natural philosophy, 868l. Four non-tutor fellows get 125l. a year each. One non-tutor fellow, 80l. a year, and the other being an absentee, and a professor in the Queen's College, Cork, gets nothing. Now, in Oxford, the average payment of fellows is but 211l. a year, and in Cambridge but 209l. Well, then, the inferior reputation of the University of Dublin does not arise from want of adequate endowment, but from the restricted sphere in which the large endowment is dispensed. Instead of encouraging the intellect of the middle class of all religious denominations, the college confines its favours to the favoured religion, to the members of the Established Church. The provost and thirty-five fellows, who receive amongst them 34,000l. a year, must not only be Protestants of the Established Church, but they must be also—all but three—clergymen. The seventy scholars, who receive altogether, in various benefits, about 80l. a year each, for five years, must be all of the Established Church. The professors, receiving together near 7,000l. a year, must nearly all be, and practically all are, of the Established Church. And 117 exhibitioners, receiving 2,000l., also, are practically Protestants. That is to say, over 48,000l. a year, out of a revenue of 64,000l. a year, is paid to persons of the Established Church, most of whom must be clergymen. Thus, then, the great rewards which stimulate to exertion and to the development of knowledge and talent 378 in science and literature—namely, fellowships, scholarships, and professorships and exhibitions, are shut out from the Roman Catholics and the Dissenters. What is the consequence? Why, this, that not thirty Roman Catholics, in the year, enter Trinity College—that is, not one to ten of the Protestants who enter—and that of the entire 51,000 on the books as undergraduates, not 200 are Catholics. There are about fifteen scholarships vacant and contended for every year. If even such a prize as that were thrown open to the competition of the "whole country," what a stimulus it would give to learning amongst those of humble means. So great a temptation is even this, that Roman Catholics have been known for the occasion, and temporarily, to change their religion, and these hypocrites have been permitted by college authorities, in their love of proselytism, to approach the sacrament of the last supper, though they must know it was done for a bribe. But if scholarships, worth about 80l. a year each, cause such competition, what would be the intellectual result no one can foresee, if fellowships and professorships were open to all persuasions. The next question arising is—why is so vast a benefit refused to Ireland? The reason assigned is this—in the words of the Report of the Commissioners:—Because this foundation was made by Elizabeth on application of some of the heads of the Established Church in Ireland. The institution was at its commencement, and has ever since continued in its most essential characteristics, a Protestant institution.Now, in the first place, he asserted, with all due respect to the Commissioners, that the charter was granted on the application of the Catholic corporation of Dublin; next, that it was granted for the education of the whole people of Ireland; and lastly, that it was contributed to and sustained in its infancy, principally, by the Catholics of Ireland. To prove these assertions, he would read to the House extracts from the speech made by the Lord Chancellor and Archbishop Loftus to the corporation of Dublin—from the charter of Queen Elizabeth—from the letter of application for contributions from the then Lord Lieutenat, Earl Fitzwilliam—and from the reports made in reply to this application by his agents in the provinces:—Archbishop Loftus told the corporation of Dublin that the creating of a college will not only be a means of civilising the nation and of enriching this city (Dublin), but that your children by their birth in this place will so, as it were, fill 379 opportunely into the lap of the muses, and that you need not hazard them abroad for the acquiring of foreign accomplishments, having a well-endowed University at your doors.This was addressed to the Roman Catholic corporation of Dublin. The result was the grant, not only of the site on which the college is founded, but also of considerable property in the city of Dublin, which now yields 1,600l. a year. He would now read an extract from Elizabeth's charter:—Whereas Our well beloved subject, Henry Ussher, Archdeacon of Dublin, hath humbly entreated us in the name of the city of Dublin, because no college hitherto exists within our Kingdom of Ireland for the instruction of scholars in literature and the arts, that we should deign to erect, found, and establish a college, the mother of a University, near Dublin city, for the better education, training, and instruction of scholars and students in our aforesaid kingdom. * * * * Know ye that we, by reason of that extraordinary concern which we have for the pious and liberal education of the youth of our Kingdom of Ireland, and by reason of that affection with which we regard literary pursuits and those who follow them, graciously assenting to this pious prayer of our special favour, and from certain knowledge, and of pure inclination, will grant and ordain for ourselves, heirs, and successors, that there be, and shall be a college, the mother of a University, to be called the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, near Dublin, founded by Queen Elizabeth.Now, in this charter three things are distinctly set forth:—First, that the application for a University was from the citizens of Dublin, and not from the heads of the Established Church. Next, that the object of the foundation was for the instruction of scholars in literature and the arts, and not for the propagation of the established religion. And lastly, that Trinity College was only intended as a nucleus, or, as the Commissioners term it, the commencement of a University like that of Oxford or Cambridge. It will be necessary for the House to keep those, facts in view, as they were essential for establishing the case he had to submit to its consideration. Again, the Earl Fitzwilliam, addressing the people of Ireland to support this institution, thus writes:—Whereas their benevolence may be showed to the putting forward of so notable and excellent a purpose as this will prove to the benefit of the whole country, whereby knowledge, learning, and civilitie may be increased to the banishing of barbarism, tumults, and disordered living from among them; and whereby their children and children's children, especially those that are poor, as it were in an orphan's hospital, freely may have their learning and education given them with more care and lesser charges than in other Universities they can obtain it.380 Now, two things are undeniable on the face of that document, namely, that this "knowledge, learning, and civility" was intended for the "whole country," and especially for the "poor," who of necessity were then, as they are now, Roman Catholics; and who, being "poor," were to be supported as "scholars" out of the endowment. The next extract he would read was from one of the reports of the collectors of this contribution:—Upon the receipt of your honour's warrant hereunto annexed, having taken into my assistance one Walter Delamar, assigned unto me by the Sheriff of Westmeath, I did impart the effect of your honour's directions unto the freeholders of the barony in warrant contained, and how I prevailed with them, together with the freeholders' names, appeareth as followeth.Then he gives the names of the subscribers, nearly every one of whom were Catholics, namely, the "Nugents." Again, another despatch, signed Thomas Norreys, states that the county of Limerick did agree to contribute three pence and four pence out of every plough land. The county of Cork also freely contributed; so did Connaught. In fact, it was a national subscription for a national object. Thus he had proved that there was no foundation for the statement that the University of Dublin was established for the purpose principally of propagating Protestantism. But the supporters of the present exclusive system go further, and state that it was founded mainly for the education of Protestant ministers of religion; and in proof of this they point to Loftus and Usher as the chief promoters of it as an ecclesiastical establishment. Now, in the first place, no great reliance in the argument ought to be placed on the fact that Loftus was archbishop, and Usher dean of Dublin. Loftus was also Lord Chancellor, and in those days the clergy were the only persons having pretension to learn in or love of literature. Besides, the heads of the Protestant Church in Ireland, in those days, did not agree with Elizabeth in religious faith, and though she could, and did, impose the thirty-nine articles on Oxford, she could not venture it in Ireland; and while she was willing to aid in giving general education to the "whole country," she preferred that the clergy should receive their education in a more orthodox locality. Thus it would seem evident that Elizabeth designed the University of Dublin to diffuse the blessings of knowledge, science, and civilisation to all her Irish subjects within the sphere of its action, without distinction 381 of creed. But it is quite true she gave the provost, fellows, and scholars powers to make rules and regulations. What those rules were are not known, except that towards the end of the reign of James I., they showed a tendency to religious exclusiveness, and it is more than probable that the charter of Charles I. was founded on the system of Protestant ascendancy then in vogue. It is well known how much the fanaticism of those times pressed and urged into acts of persecution that unhappy King, and acting on the maxim pro ratione temporis, he gave the Dublin University a charter which, ipso facto, made it a Protestant institution. But at the sane time he took away from it the power of altering the Statutes he then gave the college, or to deviate one particle, or in the most trifling particular from the Statutes according to the ordinary grammatical meaning of the words, and according to his intentions, and, in point of fact, for altering the hour of closing the college gates, a Royal letter in 1819 had to be obtained. In clearly and obviously omitted cases the college had power to make laws. There can be no doubt the charter of Charles I. intended that Roman Catholics should be excluded from the University. One of the Statutes states this:—Moreover, it shall be the duty of the Provost and senior fellows to take heed that no opinion of Popish or heretical doctrine be supported or propounded within the boundaries of the college, whether publicly or privately. Which if it shall happen, we will that the progress of the impious doctrine be intercepted as soon as possible. Besides that no one shall be elected into the number of fellows who shall not have renounced the Popish religion and the jurisdiction of the Pope by a solemn public oath.Thus Catholics became legally inadmissible; but if admitted, there was nothing to prevent their becoming scholars, for the oath of a scholar was one a Catholic could take. But from fellowships, which were designed for clergy of the Established Church, Catholics were formally excluded. These Statutes of Charles I. were clearly a violation of the charter of Elizabeth, and the following extracts from the journals of the Irish House of Commons in 1640 prove that it was then so considered. The journals state—that, in consequence of the charter of Charles, the Government introduced into the college had subverted the ancient and first foundation thereof, and must tend to the discouragement of the natives of this kingdom and is a general grievance. Thus things remained up 382 to 1793, Roman Catholics and Dissenters surreptitiously entering the college and obtaining scholarships. In 1793 the Relief Act passed in the Irish Parliament; by this Act Catholics became admissible into the college and to all offices except fellowships and provostships, and became entitled to be members of any corporation except that of Trinity College. In 1794 a Royal letter was issued in conformity with this Act, allowing Catholics to enter Trinity College. This, in point of law, abolished all impediments to their then becoming scholars. But what did the provost and fellows do to counteract the intentions of the Legislature? They immediately passed a by-law which they never published, which made it necessary for a person who had passed for scholarship to partake of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. This was not publicly announced, but the student got a gentle hint that it was necessary, and therefore, unless he was willing, it was useless for him to enter for scholarship. This by-law was clearly contrary to the Statutes, except it could be shown to be a casus omissus, which it would be difficult to do, except that a scholar was a member of the college corporation, to which a Roman Catholic was still inadmissible; but as the oath was one which a Catholic could take, and as there was no provision in the Statutes for testing whether a person was a Catholic or not, now that the test at entrance required by the Statutes was removed, it was argued that a casus omissus occurred which it was permitted the college to supply. But this casus omissus was caused by subsequent legislation, and therefore did not come within the meaning of the words of the Statute, which says that these ordinances can only be made "where nothing certain is defined in the Statutes." However, be this as it may, the fact is, that the Catholics are thereby excluded from scholarships unless they consent to become hypocrites and temporary recreants from their faith, and then, to the disgrace of the Established Church, these men are received with open arms. Indeed, from the commencement, the entire system appears to have for its object the proselytising of the Roman Catholics. Partial indulgence on the one hand, and when ambition was to be gratified, restriction set tip on the other, and every temptation held out to the student to forget the higher obligations of his conscience, and to abandon for a purpose his religious faith. It was gratifying to find, at all events, that 383 the present Provost was in favour of removing these restrictions, as regards scholarships, on the ground that scholars had no longer anything to do with the government of the college, and were merely in name members of the corporation, and some of the Commissioners were also of that opinion. Well, but it may be said all these restrictions respecting scholarships may be removed by a Queen's Royal letter, and what necessity is there for legislation? This is doubtful in consequence of the exception in the Statute of 1793. But, be that as it may, he thought the time arrived when the full advantages of the University should be thrown open to persons of all religious persuasions. Then will there be given a stimulus to the higher attainments in science and literature, which cannot be otherwise afforded. How is this to be effected without injuring the efficiency of Trinity College, as a great educational institution for the clergy of the Established Church? It is clear that college, if it is to remain essentially and principally an institution for that purpose, cannot open its fellowships and professorships to free competition to all religious sects—that he freely admitted. Nay, more, he saw the justice of permitting Trinity College to be devoted principally to the education of persons for the Established Church. The Catholics had Maynooth, the Presbyterians bad an endowed college at Belfast, for Presbyterian clergymen, in connection with the Queen's University. Let, then, the Established Church, as it was so long in possession, keep Trinity College as it is. Then the necessity arises for putting into operation the 219th section of the Act of Settlement, 14 & 15 Charles II., Irish Act, which empowers the Lord Lieutenant in Council to found another college to be of Dublin University, except with this material distinction, that, instead of being inferior in rank and powers, it must be coordinate with Trinity in both. This will necessitate the alteration of the constitution of Trinity College as to its University powers. History hints that Loftus, being apprehensive that the ancient University of St. Patrick's would be revived, and Trinity College annexed to it, got the University powers given to the college. The reason of his apprehension was, that he had alienated amongst his family the lands belonging to St. Patrick's, which would be reclaimed if the old University were reestablished, and he got up the other with full powers to prevent such a consumma- 384 tion. It was clearly never intended that these powers should be annexed exclusively and permanently to Trinity, in the event of another college being erected. It was the mother or commencement of a University, and so long as it remained the only college in the University, with it alone the powers rested. On this point, Miller, "in his examination of Charter and Statutes of Trinity College, in reference to the supposed distinction between the College and the University," has, in page 9 of the work, the following remark:—We must regard the original college as constituting the whole University, until some other college should have been erected on the same foundation, and a necessity should have occurred for introducing a new federal constitution, which might comprehend both under the authority of the convocation of the whole University.That was formerly his (Mr. Fagan's) view on the subject; and it is curious to observe when the University was governed within itself, and by itself, and not by Royal Statutes, how anxious they were to have the University powers separated from the college. In the University Calendar of 1833, he found the following:—The board, conceiving that the regulations of Oxford and Cambridge were essential to the nature of an University, and that, therefore, a system which acknowledged no corporate distinction between the college and the University, must be radically defective, made an effort to obtain for the latter a distinct charter, and for this purpose they, on the 13th May, 1616, voted an allowance to the provost, to defray the expenses of his journey to London, about the public good and service of the college, and, particularly, for procuring two distinct charters—one for the college, the other for the University. At that time the negotiations with the Government about the new Statutes were in active progress, but the unwillingness of the fellows to surrender their former charter, with the privilege of legislating for themselves which it conferred upon them, appears to have defeated the whole design.This is precisely the project he (Mr. Fagan) proposed, and pro ratione temporis, there was justice in the demand. Trinity College was an exclusive college for an exclusive purpose. The growing demand for education amongst the middle class required a second college, which the Act of Settlement enacted should, whenever established, be called the "Queen's College," and which the 33 Geo. III. (Irish Act), sect. 7, declared should be open to all religious persuasions. True it is that they had now provincial colleges and a Queen's University; but still the middle class was deprived of the high incentives for study and for making science and literature a 385 permanent pursuit, which the great prizes of the Dublin University afforded. The provincial colleges, though giving a very high and enlarged education, were not in a pecuniary position to do this. Besides, the province of Leinster and Dublin itself were without the advantages which the cities of Cork and Belfast, and Galway, and the provinces of Ulster, Munster, and Connaught possessed. This was well stated in a memorial from certain Dissenters, published in the evidence given by the Commissioners:—On behalf of the Protestant Dissenters, and especially on behalf of such of them as are resident in Dublin and other parts of the province of Leinster, and can derive little advantage from the Queen's Colleges in Ireland, we desire to draw attention to the religious restrictions now imposed," &c.On these grounds, then, and not confining himself to the opening of scholarships in Trinity College, which these Dissenters only looked for, and in favour of which was the present Provost, and also many of the Commissioners, he proposed that there should be established a second college coordinate with Trinity College—that the University powers for both colleges should be exercised by the Senate of the University, to be elected by the Convocation, and to consist of the provosts of each college, the senior fellows of each, four junior fellows of each college, and two professors, not fellows, of each, making in all, with the chancellor and vice-chancellor, a senate of twenty-four, having power to confer degrees and the other powers vested in a University. He proposed that the present Provost, during his life, should preside over both colleges. After his death each college to have a provost, with one-half the income of the present, and to be selected by the Crown. He proposed that the present fellows should be distributed amongst both colleges—four of the senior fellows to remain attached to Trinity College, and three attached to the Queen's College. Their incomes and emoluments to remain the same as at present, and their duties as near as may be. He proposed that the junior fellows, according to their different classes, tutor and non-tutor, should he equally distributed between both colleges—their duties not to be confined during their tenure of office to one college, if the exigencies of the other require their services. This, however, only to continue during existing tenures of office, and until a new arrangement consequent upon an 386 avoidance thereof, enables each college to have exclusively its own fellows. This observation also applies to professors, who may be non-fellows, except the professors of divinity. He proposed that when one of the present senior fellows in either college came to hold his fellowship, that two junior fellows should be co-opted by the board of senior fellows and provost to the vacancy, the income of the present fellow to be divided by each. He proposed that the two vacancies in the junior fellows, caused by promotion, should be filled up by two elected after examination as at present, and to rank according to merit, and he proposed that all be tutors fellows in Trinity College, under the same restrictions as at present. In the Queen's College the competition to be open, with this restriction, that the fellows are not to be in holy orders. As the funds of the two colleges, disposable for the purpose, increased, he proposed that each college should have, if necessary, separate professors, who were non-fellows. Thus, vested interests would be preserved inviolate, and the colleges go on in usual routine, without any very manifest or abrupt change. The estates of the college or University were given for the benefit of the "whole country" by Elizabeth and James, and at a time when a second college was contemplated. Therefore, on the same principle that the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) proposed to allocate 50,000l. a year of funds left by private parties to Oxford University to professorships and halls, entire and independent of the colleges, he proposed that these estates belonging to the University should be equally divided by the two colleges. He proposed that the livings should belong exclusively to Trinity College, except the four livings which had been purchased by the funds of the University, which should be resold, and that the internal revenue of the University should be equally distributed. Lastly, he proposed that the Act should not come into operation for twelve months after its passing into law—that the undergraduates should then select to which college they should belong—that, therefore, no degree should be granted to an undergraduate of Trinity College without having passed at least two examinations in divinity, and attended courses of lectures in theology for one year. He proposed that no person should continue a graduate of Trinity College unless a candidate for holy orders, and no person a graduate of Queen's College who was intended for the Church. 387 In Trinity College, the scholarships, fellowships, and provostship to be held by members of the Established Church. In Trinity College these offices to be open to laymen of all religious denominations. He proposed that the professors of the University, except the professors of divinity, which would exclusively belong to Trinity College, should belong to both colleges. He proposed that deans of residence, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Dissenters, should be attached to the Queen's College, and should report monthly to the provost on the moral and religious conduct of the students under their respective care. And, lastly, he proposed that the Roman Catholic Archbishop in Dublin, and the head of the Presbyterian Church, should be two of the visitors of Queen's College; and that the visitations should be at least once a year, and oftener if need be. Such was the nature of the Bill he submitted to the consideration of the House. He felt it was founded in justice. Without interfering with Trinity College, it opened all the offices in the University to all denominations. Thus a great scheme of education would be fully carried out in Ireland, in the provinces, in the capital, and amongst the people, to the manifest benefit of the whole country.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for the better government of the University of Dublin; for the establishment and maintenance of a second College therein, with co-ordinate authority, and, as near as may be, equivalent income, with Trinity College, to be called, in pursuance to the Act 14 & 15 Chas. II., c. 2, 'The Queen's College;' and further for the extension, in pursuance to the Act 33 Geo. III., c. 21, to students of all religious denominations, of the honours, degrees, benefits, emoluments, and offices, in the said Queen's College.
§ MR. G. A. HAMILTON
said, he rose to offer the proposition of the hon. Member his unqualified and most decided opposition. Before, however, he proceeded to touch upon the Motion itself, he felt called upon to notice two or three startling preliminary assertions made by the hon. Member. It Was the first time in his (Mr. Hamilton's) life that he had ever heard it stated by any one that the foundation established by Queen Elizabeth in Dublin was intended by her for the education of her Roman Catholic subjects in Ireland. Was it reasonable, was it possible, that at the very time Queen Elizabeth was excommunicated—when she was held to be deposed by the 388 Catholics—when her right was denied by them, and her subjects released from their allegiance by the Pope, with the Act of 1560 in existence enforcing the oath of supremacy upon all persons holding office in any of the Universities—that it could have been her intention to open the University to Roman Catholics? He, resting on these facts, appealed to the common sense of the House to say whether it could admit that the assertion of the hon. Member was well founded. Was it reasonable either, in another point of view, to suppose that a college, instituted by such men as Usher and Lord Burleigh, and the other great men of that day, would be instituted on the principles stated by the hon. Gentleman? Reverting to the report of the University Commission, to which the hon. Member referred, and in which a great deal of information would be found on the subject, it would be seen that this point had been fully treated. That Commission was appointed in 1851 by the noble Lord opposite, and the distinguished individuals who composed it—namely, the Archbishop of Dublin, Lord Chancellor Brady, Lord Rosse, the Bishop of Cloyne and Ross, Dr. Mountifort Longfield, and Mr. E. J. Cooper, were persons not at all likely to take a narrow or a contracted view of the obligations of the University in connection with the subject of their inquiry. But what did these Commissioners say? They said:—As this foundation was made by Queen Elizabeth, on the application of some of the heads of the Established Church in Ireland, the institution was, at its commencement, and has ever since continued, in most of its essential characteristics, a Protestant institution, although by subsequent legislation Roman Catholics have been admitted to receive their education and obtain degrees; and, by the liberality of the college authorities, Dissenters have long enjoyed the same privileges.In another place they also said:—In 1794, the Roman Catholic Relief Act of the previous year was followed by a Royal letter, admitting persons of that persuasion to be students in the college, and to obtain degrees in the University. By the Statutes of King Charles there were religious duties imposed on all students, which implied that they must be members of the Established Church. But the college authorities have extended to all Dissenters the exemption re-respecting these religious duties, which had been granted by Royal letter to Roman Catholics; so that for nearly sixty years education in the University of Dublin has been open to persons of all religious denominations.For a period of upwards of sixty years, therefore, the college authorities had extended exemption from these religious duties, and education, in the words of the 389 report, had been open to persons of all religious denominations. It would be seen, consequently, that while the Commissioners recognised the Protestant character of the institution, the authorities had opened their doors as widely as possible, not alone to Roman Catholics, but to all religious Dissenters. But there were other authorities as well as the Report of the Commission. He recollected on the introduction of the Bill for the establishment of colleges in Ireland, in 1845, to have heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, then the Home Secretary, now the First Lord of the Admiralty, when that right hon. Gentleman expressed himself so explicitly, so clearly, and so manfully, on the subject of the University of Dublin, in introducing that Bill. He (Mr. Hamilton) was one of those who had supported that Bill, because he felt that while Dublin University should be kept for the education of the clergy in Ireland, there was a large class of persons in that country who needed these colleges, and that, therefore, it would be good policy to establish institutions of the kind, in which the higher offices would be open to Roman Catholics and Dissenters as well as to Protestants. On that occasion the right hon. Baronet said:—I am of opinion that neither policy, nor equity, nor justice, will admit of any interference with Trinity College, Dublin, as it is now founded, and as it now exists. That college is entirely a Protestant foundation. It was founded originally by Queen Elizabeth, and was founded avowedly for Protestant purposes, which purposes have from that time to the present been steadily maintained; and it is from that source chiefly that the Established Church of Ireland draws its priesthood. Now, I find that Trinity College is an institution that was endowed by a Protestant Sovereign, avowedly for the purpose of providing for the education of the ministers of the established religion in Ireland, and I cannot, therefore, consent that its property should be invaded, or the uses to which it is appropriated be disturbed."—[3 Hansard, lxxx. 360.]Recollecting the memorable prohibition of the right hon. Gentleman as to Hansard, he (Mr. Hamilton) should have been slow to quote the words of that right hon. Baronet if he did not believe that he entertained the same opinions now which he expressed on that occasion. The next assertion of the hon. Member for Cork was, that there were no rewards for Roman Catholics or Dissenters in Trinity College. The hon. Member must, however, have been rather careless in preparing himself, or he would have seen the contrary in the Report of the University Commission. 390 When this subject was introduced on a former occasion, he (Mr. Hamilton) had gone at length into it, and he had then read a list of all the honours, offices, and emoluments, to which Roman Catholics and Dissenters were admitted, and from which they were excluded. He held that list in his hand now, and he should read it to the House—In the first place, it should be understood that there was no test whatever on entrance, or with reference to any degree, except degrees in divinity; the oath of allegiance was all that was required on the taking of any degree except divinity. And next, with respect to the honours and emoluments of the college, there were thirty sizarships, objects both of honour and advantage, open equally to Roman Catholics and Protestants; and no imputation of unfairness or partiality had ever been imputed to those who conducted the examinations of Dublin College. All the University honours at the term examinations, and the gold medals at the examination for degrees, were open equally to Roman Catholics and Protestants; so were the University degrees, except in divinity; so were the vice-chancellor's prizes—prizes in English, Latin, and Greek, prose and verse; the Primate's Hebrew prize, Law's mathematical prizes, the Berkeley gold medals, the prizes for modern languages; in history, the medical prizes, those in biblical Greek, those in the Irish language; the moderatorships, or highest honours in mathematics, classics, ethics, and logic; premiums in political economy, catechetical premiums, Hebrew premiums, the exhibitions (which were emoluments) from schools of the foundation of Erasmus Smith, at Drogheda, Ennis, Galway, and Tipperary; the royal scholarships, twenty-five in number, and from 50l. to 30l. in value, from the schools of Armagh, Dungannon, Enniskillen, and Middleton, and the two Lloyd exhibitions.These honours and emoluments were open to Roman Catholics equally with Protestants among the students in Dublin College. He would now come to the higher offices in the University; and he was enabled to state that the following offices and professorships were open equally to Roman Catholics and Protestants:—The professorship of English Law, the regius professorship of physic, the high office of Astronomer Royal, the professorship of French and German, of Italian and Spanish, of political economy, of civil engineering, the lectureship in natural history, the professorship of moral philosophy, and of the Irish language.The pecuniary amount of these offices and emoluments open to Roman Catholics he estimated at about 6,900l. a year. The first office from which Roman Catholics were excluded was the provostship. He thought it could be scarcely necessary for him to defend that exclusion. There was no one, he thought, in that House, whatever might be his religion, who could 391 say that, considering the objects and constitution of the college, it would be at all consistent with the nature of that high office that it should be filled by any one but a member of the Established Church. Roman Catholics were rendered ineligible by letters patent of Charles I., by the college Statutes, by several Acts of Parliament, the Act of Uniformity, and the Act of 1793. The same arguments and reasons were applicable to the office of vice-provost. The nature, also, of the office of the fellows—their being engaged in the religious as well as general education of the Protestant students—appeared to him to justify and render necessary the exclusion of Roman Catholics in reference to the fellowships. It was expressly declared by the college Statutes that all fellows, except three, should take priests' orders in the Established Church, clearly proving the object of those offices. By the college Statutes, also, Roman Catholics were excluded expressly. The same Acts of Parliament, moreover, which applied to the provostships, applied to the fellowships. The professorships of divinity must obviously be confined to members of the Established Church. The professor of Greek, by the college Statutes, must be one of the fellows, and, as such, a Protestant. The professors on the foundation of Erasmus Smith—a private foundation—must be fellows, and, as such, Protestants. The three University professors of anatomy, chemistry, and botany, by the Act of 25 Geo. III., for establishing a school of physic, were open to Protestants of all countries; and of course, by inference, Roman Catholics were excluded. The professor of civil law, by the King's letter of 1668, must be a fellow. Since then it had been judicially decided that scholarships should be confined to members of the Established Church, and the reason was obvious. Out of 244 fellows, no fewer than 177 were elected from among the scholars alone. This, in itself, would show that the object of the institution of scholarships was to create a class from which to fill the offices of fellows of the University. The value of the various offices to which Roman Catholics and Dissenters were eligible was 6,9001.; that of the various offices to which Protestants only were eligible was 8,000l. That was the real state of the case. The third assertion of the hon. Member was that Trinity College—that the University of Dublin—possessed a reputation inferior to that of other Universities in this empire—that 392 it was called "the silent sister"—and that it did not produce men of eminence and talent. Recollecting the names of the many distinguished men who had been an honour to their country, and who had been educated in the University of Dublin, he confessed he was greatly surprised. He remembered, on a former occasion, a portion of the speech of the late Bishop of Limerick (Dr. Jebb) on this subject, which he would read to the House, as he had quoted it in his own speech on the occasion referred to. Dr. Jebb stated—The University of Dublin, which in its earliest days produced Usher, the most profoundly learned offspring and ornament of the Reformation; and Loftus, in Oriental letters rivalled only by his great coeval, Pocock; which afterwards sent forth to shine among the foremost of an Augustine age, Parnel, the chastest of our poets; Swift, the purest of our prose writers; and Berkeley, the first of our metaphysicians; Goldsmith, the most natural depictor of life and manners; Burke, the greatest philosopher and statesman of his own or any other age or country; Grattan, the eloquent asserter of his country's rights—the parent of Irish independence." And, in later times, he (Mr. Hamilton) would remind the hon. Member that the erudition and learning of Dr. Hales and Archbishop Magee, and Dr. Graves and Dr. Miller, and the eloquence of Plunket and North, and Curran and Bushe, and in this House could they be forgetful of Sheil, who always prided himself in having been educated in Trinity College. Then there were Dr. Romney Robinson, and Professor M'Cullagh, whose premature fate was so deeply deplored, and Bishop O'Brien and Sir William Hamilton, and Dr. Wall, and Professor Lloyd, men of our own day, in every profession, and who were equally an honour to their country and their University. The hon. Gentleman had insinuated that certain offices in the University, though ostensibly open to Roman Catholics, were not, in fact, occupied by them; as if an undue preference had been shown to Protestant students by the authorities of the University. He (Mr. Hamilton), however, appealed to the House whether it had ever been surmised, still less suspected, that in the examinations of the University of Dublin, the slightest partiality had been shown on the ground of religion. He believed, on the contrary, it would be generally admitted that no examination could be conducted in a fairer manner, and that no persons could exercise their functions on all occasions more honestly than the examiners. He would now come to the Motion 393 of the hon. Member. The hon. Member proposed—A Bill to make provision for the better government of the University of Dublin; for the establishment and maintenance of a second college therein, with co-ordinate authority, and, as near as may be, equivalent income with Trinity College, to be called, in pursuance to the Act 14th and 15th Charles II., c. 2, 'The Queen's College;' and, further, for the extension, in pursuance to the Act 33rd Geo. III., c. 21, to students of all religious denominations, of the honours, degrees, benefits, emoluments, and offices, in the said Queen's College.This modest proposition of the hon. Member was, in fact, to subvert the University of Dublin, and to establish upon its ruins a college on different principles from those laid down in the intention of the founders; and to carry this proposal out, the hon. Gentleman proposed to confiscate one half of the revenues of the University fur the endowment of that college. The hon. Member rested his proposition on two Acts of Parliament, namely, the Act of Settlement and the Act for the Removal of Restrictions upon Roman Catholics, passed in 1793. The object of the Act of Settlement was to deal with such estates as had been confiscated to the Crown in the Rebellion of 1641, some of which had been granted to adventurers, others were supposed to have been wrongly confiscated, and others were reserved by the Crown; and the clause in that Act on which the hon. Gentleman rested as his groundwork gave to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland the power to erect a second college, to be called the King's College, in Dublin, out of the revenues of those estates, with an endowment not exceeding 2,000l. a-year. But the hon. Gentleman overlooked the fact, that none of the estates of the Dublin University had been confiscated in the Rebellion of 1641, and that, consequently, no case could be made arising out of the Act of Settlement for dealing with the estates of Trinity College. Besides this, the third section of' that Act contained a strong clause protective of the estates of the University as they stood in October, 1641; and the 204th section continued the University in the possession of their estates for ever. But then the hon. Gentleman rested on the other hand on the 33d George III., cap. 21, under which Roman Catholics were rendered eligible to take degrees in that University. That Act, however, contained a provision to the effect that Roman Catholics could not become members of the governing body of the College of the Holy 394 Trinity of Queen Elizabeth, though they might of any lay body corporate, and consequently that they could not become fellows of Trinity College, Dublin. The University Commission had reported as he (Mr. Hamilton) had shown, not only that the University of Dublin was a Protestant institution, but that it was also as liberal as it could possibly be, consistently with the principles and intentions of the founder. With reference to the co-operation of the authorities of that University in the inquiry, the Commissioners further stated,—From the provost and senior fellows, and all the other officers of the college and university, we received the fullest and most explicit information on the different subjects of our inquiry.It was only right the House should be informed of the promptness of that body in facilitating inquiry. He would next quote the remarks of the Commission on the state of the University—the subject on which the hon. Member had so loudly complained. They said:—We find that numerous improvements of an important character have been, from time to time, introduced by the authorities of the college, and that the general state of the University is satisfactory. There is great activity and efficiency in the different departments, and the spirit of improvement has been specially shown in the changes which have been introduced in the course of education to adapt it to the requirements of the age.It would be found stated in page 6 of the report, that—Four of the professorships which were formerly held by senior fellows, have been separated and thrown open to others, for the purpose, as the board state, of carrying out the improvements in professional and scientific education which have been introduced of late years, and are still in progress. These are the professorships of civil law, natural philosophy, mathematics, and Archbishop King's lectureship on divinity. The object of separating these offices from the senior fellowships was to confer them on persons who should have, as far as possible, no other duties.In that manner had been carried out by the University of Dublin, anterior to the issue of the Commission, those improvements which were suggested to other Universities, with the view of stimulating education in the country. Some important improvements originated with Dr. Lloyd. One of these improvements had reference to the double lectures. Then the expenses of the Magnetic Observatory of Dublin were defrayed out of the funds of the University. A school of engineering was established, and provision made for teaching experimental philosophy, natural sci- 395 ence, political economy, botany, natural history, and medicine; and arrangements were made to facilitate the study of the law, jurisprudence, and English law. These improvements were made irrespective of the recommendations of the Commissioners. With reference to the suggestions of the Commissioners, they made no less than thirty-four suggestions with reference to improvements in the University. The far larger proportion of these suggestions had been adopted by the authorities. Some of these were important, for instance, that which had reference to the constitution of exhibitions resembling scholarships, which were to be open to persons of all denominations. The authorities of the University, therefore, have adopted, in a greater or less degree, nearly the whole of the suggestions of the Commissioners; and a Queen's letter was now in preparation, under the sanction of the noble Lord opposite, the Home Secretary, for giving effect to them. Now this was the institution which the hon. Member proposed to subvert—an institution liberal and tolerant, as he had described it—and actively engaged in extending its usefulness. But the objection to it was, that it was a Protestant institution. For himself he would say that this was the very reason why he would resist any proposition to interfere with it. It was because he considered the University of Dublin a Protestant institution, and because he believed the Protestant institutions of the country to be the foundation of the constitution, and the surest and best means of maintaining the civil and religious liberties of this great empire, that he felt it to be his duty strenuously to oppose the motion of the hon. Member for Cork.
§ MR. HEYWOOD
said the practice of the present day was much modified. He had seen Catholics and Protestants sitting together amicably in Trinity College; but, if the rules of admission were looked into, they would be found so framed as apparently to exclude Roman Catholics. He would admit that the system had been much modified, but still further liberal relaxations were needed. At Trinity College, Dublin, there was a remarkable practice among Roman Catholics with respect to certain scholarships. The Roman Catholics became what was termed "quinquennials"—that is, they gave up their Roman Catholic faith for five years, in order that they might enjoy the benefit of certain scholarships, and at the end of the 396 five years they resumed the profession of the old faith. He was in favour of further relaxation in the rules of the college, so as to give equal advantages to Roman Catholics and Protestants.
§ SIR JOHN YOUNG
said, the hon. Member's proposition was a very simple one—it was to erect a second college in the University of Dublin, and to endow it out of the funds of the existing college. To that proposition he was directly opposed. He had heard nothing to shake his opinion that it was better to leave Trinity College as it was than to adopt the motion. He looked at the proposition of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Fagan) with regret, because it appeared to him to be one of a series of motions likely to lead to recriminatory debate—motions which aimed at endangering all the Protestant institutions of Ireland. He willingly admitted that his hon. Friend had stated his case in language against which no exception could be taken; but the institution against which his Motion was directed, was an establishment endowed for certain purposes, and, looking at the question in that light, he could not but deprecate the Motion and regret that it had been brought forward. With respect to the funds of Trinity College, there was no denying the fact that the funds of that college were destined to particular uses, one of which was for the inculcation of loyalty. Now he admitted that the meaning of loyalty in the time of Queen Elizabeth was somewhat different to that of the present day. In the time of Queen Elizabeth there was the Spanish invasion, and religious matters were in such a state that a true Roman Catholic could not really be loyal. The words in the charter showed conclusively that it was the intention of the founders that the college should be exclusively a Protestant institution. He would also admit that in the time of Queen Elizabeth opinions on religious matters differed with respect to England and the University in Ireland. The High-Church doctrine prevailed here, which was not far removed from Roman Catholic doctrines, but the University of Dublin held doctrines approaching more closely to the doctrines of dissent, they were nearer to the Dissenters in their doctrines than to the Roman Catholics. Nothing could be plainer, taking the Act of Charles II., and the discussions in the Irish Parliament than this, that although the intention to establish a second college might have been entertained, it 397 was never intended to take a share of the endowments of the college and an agreement was made that there should be an endowment for a separate college. It bad been suggested by an hon. Member that it was advisable to give the scholarships to all classes of religionists. In the Report of the Commissioners there was a provision which met that point. The recommendation was to increase the number of exhibitions, and to open them to all denominations. That he thought fairly met the case, and avoided the injury to the poorer class of Protestant scholars, which would arise if the scholarships were thrown open as proposed. With respect to the revenues of the college, the Commissioners certainly expected some addition to the funds, but they did not think the funds would be largely increased. It was, therefore, unlikely that the funds would be found to be very much larger than would be required for the purposes to which they were to be devoted. The recommendation of the Commissioners did not involve any fundamental changes in the University. The report was made by men thoroughly acquainted with the subject. When Sir Robert Peel's Government established the Queen's Colleges, the question of establishing a second college in Dublin University was well considered; and on the 9th of May, 1845, the right lion. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) made the following declaration:—I find that Trinity College is an institution that was endowed by a Protestant Sovereign avowedly for the purpose of providing for the education of the ministers of the established religion in Ireland, and I cannot therefore consent that its property should be invaded, or the uses to which it is appropriated be disturbed,"—[3 Hansard, lxxx. 360.]In conclusion, he begged to say that he would be happy to assist in the establishment of a new college in Dublin if one were required; but he would not consent to endow it from the funds of the University, nor would he agree to any alteration of that institution which involved a departure from the intention of its founders.
said, he did not understand that any proposition was made to confiscate the property, or to interfere with that kind of education to which the funds of the University were to be devoted. He thought, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman had quite misunderstood the purport of the Motion. He perfectly well recollected, when the Maynooth question was brought forward in the time of the late Sir Robert 398 Peel, that the House was of opinion that the funds of the University should not be applied to the education of Catholics. He agreed with that view of the case; but that was not the proposition of his hon. Friend (Mr. Fagan). His hon. Friend said there was a sum of 64,000l. not wholly applied to purposes of education, and he wished the sum to be made use of for further useful purposes. The whole objection to his hon. Friend's proposition was, that the Commissioners had not made that recommendation. He really thought the matter was worthy of the consideration of the Government, especially as the affairs of the University of Oxford had come under legislative supervision. He wished to see education spread as widely as possible, and that Roman Catholics should participate in its blessings equally with Protestants.
§ MR. WHITESIDE
said, that whatever the words of the Motion were, the object and meaning of the Bill which the hon. Member for Cork wished to introduce was to take away the property belonging to the University of Dublin, and which was applied to one purpose, and to apply it to another purpose. That he called confiscation. In 1793, when the University agreed to an Act of Parliament to admit Roman Catholics into that institution, Mr. Grattan pronounced an eulogium on the authorities, and described it as an act of liberality which had not been equalled by any University in the Empire. But to what extent had Roman Catholics availed themselves of that privilege? The number of Catholic gentlemen of the middle classes who had an opportunity of obtaining honours in the University, and who entered themselves in the course of the year, was about twenty, while the number of Protestants who entered during the same period was from 1,500 to 1,800. He had never heard of the practice of Roman Catholics adopting the Protestant faith for five years in order to get scholarships, and after the five years returning to the Roman Catholic faith. He believed the misapprehension arose this way: If Roman Catholics, after having entered the University, had changed their religion, it would be found to have been the fruit of an enlarged education, and of a course of scientific study and of literary and classical acquirements, which necessarily opened the mind; and if gentlemen, under such enlightened influences, had ever embraced the Protestant faith, he believed the purity and strength of that faith was sufficient to rescue 399 them from the imputation cast upon them by the hon. Member for Cork, and to prevent them from lapsing again into the Catholic faith. After having established the Queen's College for the express use of the Roman Catholics, and after having admitted Roman Catholics and Dissenters into the University of Dublin, they were now called upon to deliver over to the Roman Catholics that property which had been granted to that University by the Protestant Kings and Queens of England, for the purpose of establishing in Ireland that faith which it had maintained in its purity from the first hour of its foundation to the present day—for there were no Puseyites there, none but pure and intelligent Protestants. He did lament, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman should have been induced to bring forward a Motion which seemed to prove that there was nothing sacred, nothing ancient, nothing long-established in Ireland that could be considered safe. But suppose the hon. Gentleman succeeded in establishing his college, how was it to be governed? Was the hon. Gentleman, himself a lay member of his church, authorised to tell the House how the head of his church would permit the college to be governed? What had been the case with regard to the Queen's College? There was a Report from the president of the Galway College, which stated that the Pope had commanded the Roman Catholic vice-president and the Roman Catholic professors to abandon their duties, and they had done so accordingly. Should the hon. Gentleman succeed in his Motion, what assurance could he give to Parliament that a similar interdict would not be issued against him and the professors of his college? He could conceive no just grounds for the Motion, and much regretted that it had been made.
MR. J. D. FITZGERALD
said, if any acrimony had been introduced into the debate, the House might thank the hon. and learned Member who last addressed them. It struck him that the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside), with his characteristic dexterity and boldness, had entirely misrepresented, if he did not misunderstand, the objects of the hon. Mover of this Motion. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Fagan) merely asked to lay upon the table of the House, for its consideration, a measure that would have the effect of opening the University of Dublin substantially to Roman Catholics; whilst, at the same time, he did not profess or intend by that measure to take away one 400 shilling of its revenues, nay, it was rather his intention to cast a protection round the Protestant clergy of that establishment. He wished to ask what right had the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen to call that confiscation? What the hon. Member for Cork wished to do was to establish a second college in connection with the University of Dublin, and all he asked of the House was, that he should be at liberty to introduce his Bill, and on the second reading the proper opportunity would be offered of deciding on its principle. What argument was it against the Bill to refer to other colleges, because certain college ecclesiastics had felt themselves bound, under the obligations of conscience, to withdraw? The hon. Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. G. A. Hamilton) had met that proposition by saying that it was in contradiction to the intentions of the founders of the institution. He (Mr. Fitzgerald) would try the question upon that test. What, he asked, were the intentions of the founders of the University of Oxford, or of the University of Cambridge? Would they be prepared to hand over the University of Oxford or of Cambridge to the Roman Catholics? But he would take the objects of the founders as declared by contemporary records, and would not take it from idle gossip; and he would ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) to turn to the charter of Queen Elizabeth, and point out one word from which it could reasonably be inferred that the Catholics were to be excluded from the benefits of the education there provided. Queen Elizabeth, with characteristic generosity, while establishing a University, gave nothing to support it, and the monastery of All Hallows, which had been granted to the corporation of Dublin, supplied the site where Trinity College now stands. So far was Elizabeth from treating Ireland as a Protestant country, that five years before the foundation of Trinity College she summoned several of the Roman Catholic bishops to Parliament. And there could be no doubt that in the beginning of the reign of James I. the majority of the corporation of Dublin were Catholics, because in that year thirteen of the Members were summoned before the Privy Council because they still continued of that religion. The hon. Member for the University had referred to the fact of the Act of Uniformity having been passed, as proving the exclusively Protestant charac- 401 ter of the institution. That Act, however, was passed by the artifice of Mr. Stanihurst, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, who got together a number of Members who were favourable to it upon a day when it was expected the House would not sit. Subsequently, the Lord Lieutenant, upon being remonstrated with, promised that its penalties should not be enforced, and the Act was never put into operation during the remainder of the Queen's reign. He would, therefore, challenge any one to point out a passage in Queen Elizabeth's charter showing that it was intended to exclude the Catholics from the educational advantages of the University, and in a speech of Adam Loftus to the Dublin corporation, he told them that—It would be of good acceptance to the Court, of honour and advantage to themselves, and that they need not now send their children abroad to be educated, seeing they would have a goodly University at their own doors.As another proof, as soon as the charter was granted, the Lord Lieutenant sent a letter to the various counties in Ireland, calling upon the people to supply funds for an institution which was stated to be founded "for their children's children, and especially for those that be poor;" and history informs us that upon this the counties voluntarily taxed themselves for its support. No doubt when Pemberton became connected with the institution, the Statutes showed that those who then ruled over it intended its benefits to be confined to Protestants; but no documentary evidence of such an intention at an earlier date could be found. When the Catholics were subsequently allowed to be educated in the University, this was done because the heads of the institution knew that this would largely increase its funds. But the honours, the real emoluments, and the incentives to exertion which the University held out to Protestants, were still refused to Catholics, who were not admitted to share in one-seventh of the emoluments of the University, exclusive of the fellowships. Besides the emoluments from which Catholics were formally excluded, there were many exhibitions in connection with royal endowed schools, from which Catholics are practically excluded, because these schools being under the direction of Protestant clergymen, were only resorted to by Protestants. In fact, even the admission of the Catholics to be educated in the University was to be attributed, not to the liberality of the fellows, but to their seeing 402 that the institution could not be maintained if they were excluded. The hon. Member for the University (Mr. G. A. Hamilton) said that this was a modest proposition to confiscate the revenues of the college. That term might he applied to the Motion if it was proposed to take away the funds of Trinity College and to apply them to some other institution, or if it was intended to change the character of the college. But the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Fagan) had expressly said that he did not intend to interfere with the divinity class, or with the education of the Protestant clergy. All that was sought was, that while this was left untouched, the emoluments, the incentives to exertion, and the honours of the institution should be opened to Roman Catholics. No objection had been offered to their admission to the scholarships except by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland (Sir J. Young), who said that the scholarships were intended for the clergy; the fact, however, being that the majority of them were held by persons of other professions. There might be some difficulty in dealing with the fellows, because they were the governors of the institution; but still the Catholics might to a limited extent be admitted to the fellowships, without in the slightest degree changing the character of the University, or rendering it an unsafe place for the education of the Protestant clergy. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland had also said that this was one of those recriminatory attacks on the Established Church which was calculated to do mischief, because it led to fresh attacks on the other side. If he believed that this Motion was brought forward in that spirit, or that it was an attack upon the Establishment because it was an Establishment, he would not vote for it; but he believed that the Mover was not at all animated by any such intentions. The hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) said that this was a novel proposition, and that when the subject was mooted in the Irish Parliament, Mr. Grattan himself opposed it. He did not know this was so, but he did know that on that occasion an Amendment to admit Roman Catholics to the fellowships and scholarships was moved by John Claudius Beresford. He most cordially joined in the high character given by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hamilton) to the University of Dublin; but as he had introduced the name of the late Mr. Sheil as one who praised the management of that 403 institution, he would read a passage from one of Mr. Sheil's speeches, while he was a Member of that House, as to the mode in which the establishment was carried on. Mr. Sheil said:—An Act of Parliament had been passed to appoint three professors for the University—for astronomy, history, and botany—which should be open to Protestants of all nations. Was it not a reproach to this country that natives of the land should be excluded from the honours of the only national establishment we had, when any alien or outcast, so that he was a Protestant, should be eligible?Mr. Sheil added, that that intolerant system—tended to foster a mean, despicable proselytism, which degraded all connected with it.It was certainly true, as had been stated, that the large majority of the persons who belonged to the college were Protestants. But why was this? Simply because, although the Catholics could be educated there, they could not be members of the governing body, or gain any of the honours of the University; and they would not, therefore, send their children to an institution where they were not on an equality with Protestants, but were simply tolerated. He would conclude by calling upon those who said that this was an exclusively Protestant institution, to prove it from the charter or any other contemporary documents.
§ MR. NAPIER
said, he should oppose the Motion, because he thought the object and scope of it were essentially incompatible with the foundation principles of the University of Dublin. He believed that it would be found that the University had already gone to the utmost possible extent of liberality consistent with the primary and paramount object—both a lawful and a laudable one—for which it was established. Trinity College had been established after the Reformation, and was not supported out of the public funds to which all parties in the kingdom contributed, but by Royal donations, which were rather of a private than a public character; because they consisted of lands forfeited to the Crown, and which might again be given away by the Crown. It so happened, however, that the annual income of the estates so vested in the University of Dublin was less than the annual grant to the College of Maynooth. In 1793, Dr. Troy, a Roman Catholic archbishop, in referring to the facilities given to Roman Catholics for education at Dublin University, said they were not sufficient for the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, 404 as the peculiar character of that Church required that their education should be separate from that of the laity. Accordingly the request of the Roman Catholics was complied with, and for educational purposes connected with their clergy, a larger grant is now made to Maynooth out of the public funds than the annual rental of the estates granted to Dublin University. The grant to the Roman Catholic Church was for the exclusive education of their clergy, and was not shared in by their own laity. The principle adopted in the education of the established clergy was a far sounder one, for the laity were admitted, and educated along with the students destined for the Church. Religious instruction was not regarded as a separate and exclusive matter for the clergy, but all students were admitted to an acquaintance with its essential doctrines. A great deal had been said about the charter which was granted by Queen Elizabeth to the University, when it was established, some time after the commencement of her reign. It must be recollected that Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy—the latter containing a clause that no person should take a degree without taking the oath of supremacy—had then been passed. Besides, look at the language of the charter. It stated that the University was founded "that they might be assisted in better learning, in the arts, and in cultivating virtue and religion." That was in the thirty-fourth year of the reign of Elizabeth; it was, therefore, clear what religion was intended. Further than this: the Fellows on being admitted, took an oath, in which they stated that they recognised the supreme authority of the Scriptures in religion, and would stedfastly oppose ali doctrines against the truth of Scripture either of the Popish or of any other religion. Was not that Protestantism? But a judicial construction had been put upon the charter in a case where a Roman Catholic gentleman claiming a scholarship appealed to the visitors of the college. The learned Judge, who delivered judgment on that occasion, said:—The charters of Elizabeth and Charles I., and a body of College Statutes accompanying the latter charter, clearly contemplate an institution for the advancement of religion, and in which not only all the members of the corporation, but all the persons receiving instruction, should be Protestants.He well recollected the ability with which his hon. and learned Friend the Member 405 for Youghal (Mr. I. Butt) had argued that case, and he considered the argument of his hon. and learned Friend well worthy of attention. The hon. Member who had last spoken had referred to the Dublin corporation as Catholic, or, as he would say, Roman Catholic, in the time of Elizabeth. He was at a loss to know how any one could believe that there was a Roman Catholic corporation in Dublin in Elizabeth's time. The hon. Member had also spoken of Catholic bishops having been summoned to Parliament in Elizabeth's reign; but they were not Catholic bishops in the sense in which the hon. Member wished the House to regard them. At the time of the Reformation there was no disruption of continuity or succession as regarded the bishops, and those bishops who had been referred to belonged not to the Roman Catholic but to the Irish Church. As respected Trinity College, the argument did not apply, because it was not founded till after the Reformation. It was established by Sovereigns who were Protestants, and was endowed for the maintenance of the Protestant faith, and for the education of a Protestant clergy. So great, however, was the liberality with which the establishment had been conducted that in course of time it was opened to Roman Catholic students. In fact, everything was opened to them except matters on the foundation. If Roman Catholics should be admitted on the foundation, the whole character of the governing body would have to be altered. It appeared, however, that nothing would content them short of equality with Protestant students. According to the doctrine in the Dublin Review, Roman Catholics ought to have in the new college their own chapel, equal foundations, and co-ordinate authority. Speaking from his own experience, he thought that the education of Roman Catholics at Dublin University had been productive of good results. But how could they be admitted on the foundation without destroying the character of the institution? He feared that what was aimed at was a small bit of religious triumph, and a breaking up of an institution which worked well, and which had made concessions as far as they were compatible with the object for which it was instituted. With regard to Trinity College itself, he was a little startled at an observation which he had heard from an hon. and learned Gentleman in a previous debate. He remembered that when, not long ago, he brought forward his Motion for inquiry into the Inns of Court, the hon. 406 and learned Gentleman (the Attorney General) said that he consented because Commissions had been issued to inquire into Oxford and Cambridge, and then, turning towards him, said, "He hoped that when the time came Dublin University would have its Commission, and that he (Mr. Napier) would yield with a good grace." He then informed the hon. and learned Gentleman that Dublin University had had its Commission. He had supported that Commission with regard to Dublin University, because he knew that inquiry would show the system at Trinity College to be sound and liberal, and that it had gone far to meet all the exigencies of the time. The inquiry was accordingly agreed to, and the Report was creditable to all parties. It might be asked how it happened, after so much had been done, that the Commissioners had hardly suggested any change in the system of education at Dublin University? The reason was that Dublin University had advantages which the Universities in this country had not. In the first place, Dublin University had but one college, and was thus saved the conflicts that arose from various colleges established on different foundations, public and private. It had also large powers vested in the governing body, by which they were enabled to carry on the work of suitable and useful reform. A system of the most liberal improvement was now being carried into effect in the University of Dublin. There had already been established there a school of engineering, and it was in contemplation to create a number of new professorships. The school of divinity in the Dublin University was not inferior, he believed, to any similar institution in the United Kingdom, while it had also a professor of Irish, in order to instruct in that language those who were about to discharge the duties of clergymen in those portions of Ireland in which the people were desirous to receive religious instruction in their native tongue. A number of English students every year were candidates for honours in the Dublin University, and the Commissioners, in their Report, had stated that they had found the most liberal spirit manifested by the authorities of the University in furnishing all the information which lay in their power, and that the position of the University as an educational institution was one of the most satisfactory character. In those cases in which a student was destined for any one of the liberal professions, he was per- 407 mitted by the heads of the University to select for his more peculiar study in. the fourth year special departments of knowledge which might be considered as likely to prove most advantageous to him in the peculiar profession which had been made the object of his choice. The student was permitted to adopt that course in the fourth year of his University career, during which period it was sought to convey to him those general principles of useful knowledge which were supposed to constitute the soundest and best foundation for the future acquisitions which he might find it necessary to make in connection with the department in life upon which he had determined to enter. In short, by prudently blending, the two antagonistic systems, the tutorial and the professorial, as far as possible together, the authorities in the Dublin University had succeeded in establishing a scheme of education which he, for one, was not ashamed to place in comparison with any which prevailed in the long-established Universities of this country, or with that which with the advantages of recent improvements had been introduced into the most modern public institutions which had been founded for educational purposes in any portion of the United Kingdom.
Upon what grounds, then, he should ask, could that House justify an interference with the existing position of the University of Dublin? In what respect had that institution been found wanting? Had not its revenues been well applied, and had it not presented to Roman Catholics as well as to Dissenters all those advantages which, consistently with the essential principles of its foundation, it was enabled to confer? The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Fagan) desired to have the members of the Roman Catholic religion placed upon an equality with those who professed the Protestant faith, so far as the honours of the University were concerned; but he (Mr. Napier) might be permitted to ask the hon. Gentleman whether in the Queen's Colleges in which the equality for which he sought had been guaranteed, the efforts of Parliament had been successful in attaining the object which he so much desired to effect? Those colleges which his (Mr. Napier's) Colleague and his predecessor in the representation of the University of Dublin had supported not only had not been attended with the good results which had been anticipated, but, owing to the opposition which they had met with upon the part of the Roman Catholic 408 hierarchy and clergy, had to a great extent failed. The hon. Member for Cork proposed that the Roman Catholic archbishop should be appointed a visitor of the new college which it was the object of his Bill to establish. Now, he (Mr. Napier) happened to hold in his hand that valuable book which contained the decrees of the Roman Catholic bishops who had assembled at Thurles, with this same Archbishop as the president, and which had been printed, as the title-page announced, jussu superiorum. It was a work of which, he believed, it was not easy to procure a copy, but he had nevertheless been so fortunate as to obtain one. The book to which he referred had been approved of at Rome, so it might be regarded as possessing all the authority and force of Papal Statute law. Well, in that work was a chapter which treated exclusively de Collegiis Reginœ, which began by alluding to the authority of the Pope, and stating how difficult was the duty which he had to discharge in protecting the people of Ireland from the spread of pestiferous and poisonous doctrines. In the rescript of the Pope upon the subject of the colleges it was ordained that no Roman Catholic bishop in Ireland should take part in the government of those institutions and that none of the Roman Catholic clergy should hold any office, or become or remain professors or deans of residence, in connection with them. The rescript further stated that any parent who should have the temerity to act in contravention of the commands of the Pope upon these points should, ipso facto, be subjected to the penalty of immediate suspension. With respect to history and moral philosophy it had also been ordained that no Roman Catholic was to receive instruction from a Protestant; and he must be allowed to observe upon that point, that if the history which they had that evening heard from the hon. Member for Ennis (Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald) with reference to the reign of Elizabeth and the Act of Uniformity were a sample of the history which the Roman Catholic clergy wished to have impressed upon the minds of the Roman Catholic youth, there certainly did exist a very wide difference between it and that which a member of the Protestant Church must be supposed to teach, and he could thus very well understand the objections to a Protestant professor of history, which upon the part of the Roman Catholic clergy were manifestly entertained. At the time of the institution of the Queen's Colleges, Roman Catholic 409 pupils in those institutions were prevented from attending the lectures upon history, upon logic, metaphysics, geology, or anatomy, unless the lectures upon those subjects should be delivered by professors of the Roman Catholic persuasion. Now, how was it possible, he would ask, while such a state of things but too clearly prevailed, to have that equality in the education of the youth of the country which the hon. Member for Cork seemed so anxious to attain? Why, in those very colleges in which the principle for which the hon. Member contended had been established, the attendance of Roman Catholic students had by the clergy of that Church been most unequivocally denounced. In the University of Dublin, Roman Catholics enjoyed as much of equality as, consistently with the essential principles of that institution, it was possible to confer upon them. But then it was sought that Roman Catholic students should have their own chapels and professors of their own persuasion. Then the question clearly resolved itself into one by which it was demanded that the principles upon which Trinity College had been founded should be annihilated, and that its resources should be applied to purposes which had never at the period of its origin been contemplated? He would ask the House, whether was it wiser to continue an institution where admission was freely offered to the Protestant clergy and laity, and also to the Roman Catholic laity, or to break up the college altogether, and leave the endowments to be struggled for between the two religions? With respect to the number of Roman Catholic students who availed themselves of the advantages which the University of Dublin held out to them, he should observe that when it was taken into consideration that the course of education at that University entailed upon the pupils much greater expense than they would have to incur at the Queen's Colleges, or other institutions of a similar character, and when the proportion which the property of Ireland in the hands of Protestants bore to that which was in the possession of Roman Catholics was taken into account, it would be found that the relative numbers of Protestants and Roman Catholics in Trinity College was very much in accordance with that proportion. But let that be as it might, the fact of a greater or a less number of Roman Catholics availing themselves of the benefits of a University education furnished no argument for the destruction of an ancient and meritori- 410 ous institution, The hon. Member for Cork had remarked, that by the members of the two Universities in this country, Trinity College was designated by the appellation of the "silent sister." Now, he might be allowed to say that a little discreet silence was no bad qualification in an Irishman. But in reply to the slur which by the term "silent sister," seemed to be cast upon Trinity College, he should observe that in that University the number of fellows, as compared with the number of students, was not large, and that those who were tutors led in general a life so laborious, that they had but little time at their disposal for the purposes of authorship. Their duties were of a character the most severe, and having struggled hard to obtain that knowledge which was requisite, in order to become successful candidates at the fellowship examination, they had to enter upon their tutorial labours—labours which were of no light character, and which being interrupted only by a vacation shorter than that which barristers enjoyed in autumn, doubtless deprived them of that elasticity of mind which was necessary to enable them to undergo the fatigues of which authorship must be accompanied. Notwithstanding those impediments to which he had referred, hon. Members would find that the fellows of the University of Dublin had contributed in no slight degree to the useful learning of the country. They might find among "The Transactions of the Royal Society," that some of the ablest papers in the collection had been furnished by men connected with Trinity College. He might refer both to the living and the dead. He believed that in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge might be found in use the mathematical work of a member of the Irish University—he meant Mr. Salmon; and in one of its fellows—Dr. Hincks—he felt assured the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard) would bear him out in the statement he was about to make, the country possessed a man who had distinguished himself in the highest degree in connection with the deciphering of the cuniform inscriptions. He might also, with some pride, mention the names of Robinson and Lloyd. That being the case, then, he saw no reason why he should be ashamed of the position which the University of Dublin maintained in the domain of science or of literature. He did not seek to put forward upon behalf of that institution any claims which he was not of opinion that he was justified in set- 411 ting forth. He should refer the House to the report of the Commissioners in corroboration of much which he had stated. One of the members of that Commission was the present Chancellor of Ireland, and Dr. Longfield, one of the Commissioners of the Encumbered Estates Court—a man who entertained the most liberal views. Those distinguished persons had given it as their opinion that the University of Dublin was decidedly a Protestant institution, and that it was desirable it should be allowed to carry on its system of education in the same spirit in which that system had begun. The noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department had received a communication from the Board of Trinity College, in which they dwelt upon the subject of the further improvements in the course of instruction which they were willing to introduce. They had expressed themselves as being willing to increase the sum for exhibitions, and to make those exhibitions substantial, and open them to Roman Catholics. They were willing, instead of having the professorships in the University confined to Protestants, to extend to Roman Catholics the privilege of discharging the duties of those offices; and he might observe that the gentleman who at present filled the chair of professor of political economy in that University was a member of the Roman Catholic persuasion. The Board were prepared, also, to permit foreigners to take degrees without subjecting them to the necessity of taking either the oath of supremacy or allegiance. A school of practical engineering had been founded in the University; lectures upon botany and agriculture were delivered there; and with regard to the study of law, improvements the most important were likely to be introduced. The utmost willingness, in short, had been exhibited upon the part of the Board to meet the exigencies of the times, and the utmost liberality had been displayed by them in admitting both Roman Catholics and Dissenters to a share in all the advantages which, in the shape of a good education, it was in the power of the University to confer. He trusted that the observations which he had deemed it to be his duty to offer to the House were such as they would deem sufficient to justify them in resisting the Motion which had been made that evening by the hon. Member for Cork. He stood before them as the advocate of the rights and interests of the University of Dublin; and he felt assured that in defending these rights and in- 412 terests he should have the co-operation and support of the British House of Commons.
§ MR. HEYWOOD
said, he wished to explain, in reference to some observations which had fallen from the right hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, that in the History of the University of Dublin, which had been written by Mr. D. C. Heron, it was stated that the term quinquennials was applied to those parties who, being Roman Catholics, had professed themselves members of the Protestant Church for five years, in order to enable them to compete successfully for University scholarships.
§ MR. NAPIER
said, it was quite new to him, but he must add that many statements which had been made in Mr. Heron's work had been contradicted by the Commissioners in their Report.
§ MR. I. BUTT
said, that before the hon. Member for Cork replied, he was anxious to say a few words. He would be quite content to leave the defence of the University of Dublin to the very able and temperate speech which had just been delivered by his right hon. Friend; yet, being the only Member of the House who had been, if he might use the expression, officially connected with that University—having had the honour for some time of filling one of its professorships—he was unwilling to permit the discussion to close without offering a few observations upon some matters not mentioned in the debate. As to the expression quinquennes, he must say he had never heard it—he had been a resident student in the University—he bad been one of the scholars—he had then for five years been a professor—he had been in constant intercourse for many years with his fellow-students, and he had never heard of the phrase, and, he must add, that during all his personal experience of the University, he had never known a single instance of a Roman Catholic who abandoned his religion for the sake of obtaining a scholarship. He must now ask the attention of the House to the real question which was raised by the Motion. It was not whether scholarships and professorships should be thrown open to Roman Catholics,—but it was whether in order to create scholarships and fellowships that might be so open—the whole system of the Dublin University should be broken up. The proposal of the hon. Member for Cork was to establish in the University a second coordinate college, and to endow that college 413 by taking away half the revenues of Trinity College. He (Mr. Butt) could conceive persons anxious to see Roman Catholics admitted to the fellowships in the University, but who would not consent to attain that end by breaking up our whole University system. The proposal to deprive Trinity College of one half of its revenues for the purpose of endowing with them a second and an antagonistic college, he must call one of confiscation. But this, at all events, was plain, that this was totally to break up all the existing arrangements of the University. Now, he asked of those who, like the hon. Member for North Lancashire (Mr. Heywood), bore testimony to the excellence of that system, would they support a Motion which must, if successful, break it up? It was one thing to wish for the admission of Roman Catholics, and quite another thing to be ready to destroy the existing system for the purpose of accomplishing that object. But what was the amount of exclusion to which Roman Catholics were now subject? This should be clearly understood. In Dublin University, unlike the English Universities, no religious tests were imposed either at entrance or as a qualification for degrees. Roman Catholics, therefore, were freely admitted to education—they received that education without the slightest attempt to interfere with their religious profession—and—he said confidently, without ever being made to feel the slightest discomfort on account of their religion in their intercourse either with their fellow-students or the authorities of the college. To all that really constituted the advantages of education the University freely admitted them—they competed for its honours—they received all its instruction—and the Roman Catholic and the Protestant who sought an education in the University, for the purpose of qualifying them for the labours of a profession or the duties of after-life, left it with precisely equal benefits. More than this—there was an institution established for the purpose of giving gratuitous education and support to young men of merit and limited means—an institution, let him say, that had supplied some illustrious names to Ireland, and to these sizarships the Roman Catholic of struggling merit, and of the humblest origin, was as freely admitted as the Protestant of the same class. So far, then, as the benefits of education were concerned these benefits were equally open to all. But the complaint was, that Roman 414 Catholics were excluded from fellowships and scholarships. The fellows and scholars formed by their charter the corporation of the college. But the scholarships were practically nothing more than an exhibition of about 50l. a year, held for five years, and given as a reward for classical attainments. Now, he (Mr. Butt) said at once that he would much prefer that Roman Catholics should be admissible to such places, and if they were now for the first time establishing such an institution in the University, he would cheerfully consent that it should be open to all. But this was not the question with which they had to deal; and when he weighed against the advantages of admitting Roman Catholics to scholarships, the disadvantages that must always attend the violation of old-established principles, the breaking in upon long cherished feelings, and the danger of diverting funds long devoted to Protestant purposes, he (Mr. Butt) must on the whole believe that the object ought to be attained, not by interfering with the existing scholarships, but by establishing, as had been recommended by the Commissioners of Inquiry, new exhibitions, to which students of all persuasions should be eligible. As to fellowships, this involved the whole principle of maintaining the Protestant character of the University. He avowed his deep persuasion that the attempt to establish educational institutions which would fulfil the higher purposes of such institutions, and in which at the same time, all religions should be placed upon an equality, was an impossibility. It was quite another question whether it was not possible to admit into a University, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, such a spirit of wise toleration that, while it preserved its essentially religious constitution, it might yet extend the blessings of education to all. This they had accomplished in the University of Dublin. But to have a University take its place among those ancient and venerable institutions, it must have a religious constitution. He did not discuss whether the attempt to form one on the basis of the equality of all religions was right or wrong—it was impracticable and absurd. Such an institution could gather round it no attachment or respect—it could be regarded with no veneration, and by those educated in it it could be remembered with no affection. To any attempt then to destroy the Protestant character of the University, he must give his most determined resistance. But, he must still ask for what object were they to 415 do this? The hon. Member for Cork, who had brought forward this subject in a spirit of which no one could complain, desired to establish a college in which there should be no religious ascendancy, with a view of satisfying the Roman Catholics. It would not do so. Such a college would be denounced by the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland. He did not wish to involve the hon. Member in the penalties of an excommunication, but he must ask him had he never heard of the decrees of the Synod of Thurles? The hon. Member proposed that a Roman Catholic archbishop should be visitor. He would find no Roman Catholic archbishop to accept the office. The decrees of that synod expressly forbade it. And if they acceded to the Motion of the hon. Member, they would find this new institution denounced with an hostility which had never been shown to the Protestant establishment of Trinity College; and that this attempt to conciliate had ended as such attempts generally did, in throwing new elements of discord into a country in which heaven knows they have enough of them already. No matter what might be the opinions of hon. Members, he (Mr. Butt) earnestly appealed to them not to sanction this project, which was sure to fail in attaining the very object at which it aimed. There was still one point to which he wished to advert. If he had rightly understood what fell from his hon. Friend the Member for Enniskillen, it was necessary to correct an error into which he had fallen. It was not true that the Roman Catholics of Ireland stood aloof from Trinity College. On the contrary, the proportion of Roman Catholic gentlemen who sent their sons to the Dublin University, was quite equal to that of Protestants. It certainly was so up to the issuing of the decrees of the Synod of Thurles. He (Mr. Butt) was able to state, upon the highest authority, that for many years the proportion of Roman Catholics to Protestants entering the University, was about one-tenth. Of the latter, a considerable number were the sons of clergymen. In comparing the numbers, these must be deducted, as there was no corresponding source of supply upon the other side, and, taking the rest of the students, it would be found that the proportion of Roman Catholic students was at least as great as the proportion of the professors of that religion among the classes likely, from their position in society, to send their sons to a University. He believed Roman Catholic gentlemen sent 416 their sons to the Dublin University quite as generally as the Protestants. In the last two or three years, since the promulgation of the decrees of the Synod of Thurles, there had been a slight falling off in the number of Roman Catholic students. [Mr. LUCAS: Hear, hear!] The hon. Member for Meath might rejoice at this. He (Mr. Butt) looked upon it as a calamity—he should deeply regret that it should continue. In the kindly intercourse of early education with his Roman Catholic fellow-students, he said for himself, that he had learned much which he would not willingly forget, and, while the remembrance of that intercourse did not make him a worse Protestant, he believed it made him a better man. Both for the sake of the Protestants and the Roman Catholics of Ireland, he would deplore the cessation of that intercourse in the University, which upon both exercised the most useful influence. These were the few observations with which he thought it necessary to trouble the House. He confidently trusted that the House would not lend to this attack upon the University of Dublin even the sanction that would be implied in permitting the Bill to be brought in.
§ MR. GEORGE
said, though he had never held an official appointment in the University, yet as one who had graduated there, he could not give a silent vote on this occasion. Whether this measure was one of recrimination or not, it was certainly in his view a measure of spoliation. Though the University had wisely opened honours for all temporal purposes to all classes and creeds, yet he hoped the day would never come when a single shilling which had been devoted to special purposes would be diverted from those purposes. He must say that, though the Roman Catholics had now obtained the virtual control of three-fourths of all the funds devoted to educational purposes in Ireland, still he had not found, especially since the Statutes of Thurles, that they availed themselves of those advantages; and he believed that no person connected with their creed would ever permit mixed education, and he might remind them that in the College of Galway the Roman Catholic clergy had been compelled to abandon their places and to draw away with them a large portion of the Roman Catholic youth.
§ MR. P. O'BRIEN
said he must deny that the object of the Bill was spoliation. The object, as he understood it, was to 417 carry out the original intention of the founders of the college, which was to provide for the education of the country generally, and though the founders might wish to carry out their general views by sectarian means, yet he thought the present generation ought not to lose sight of the end in the means. He was ready to corroborate the statement of the hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. I. Butt). During the short period he (Mr. O'Brien) was at the University, the best and kindest feeling existed between the different classes of students. But still there were grievances that notoriously existed. Allusion had been made to Mr. Walsh holding the professorship of political economy; but it ought to be remembered that the salary of that appointment was only 100l. to be held for five years, and the professor was put to the cost of publishing his own lectures. In conclusion, he was quite certain that his bon Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Fagan) was not actuated by any intention to destroy, but rather to reform, a University which he was free to admit had evinced a greater disposition to conform to the existing spirit of the age than the two English Universities.
§ MR. FAGAN
, in reply, said that as the Government had shown a determination to support the Members for the University of Dublin against his Motion, he should not divide the House, but wait for a more favourable opportunity of pressing the subject. He had no reason to complain of this discussion. His anxiety had been now to make a beginning on this question, and to hear the sentiments of the Government upon it. He had been disappointed in the speech of the right hon. Secretary for Ireland, for he did not go so far as the Provost of Trinity College himself, who wished to open scholarships to Roman Catholics and Dissenters, while the right hon. Gentleman wished to confine those classes to exhibitions only, which would not satisfy the Roman Catholics and Dissenters of Ireland. He (Mr. Fagan) denied that his Motion was brought forward in a recriminatory spirit; but as public attention was now turned to University reform, he thought it was a proper time for some Irish Member to state his views with regard to the great national establishment in Ireland; and if he did propose that a second college should be added to the University, he did it with a view only of keeping Trinity College apart for the education of the Protestant clergy, instead of 418 the scholarships and professorships being thrown open indiscriminately. He made his Motion in no spirit of spoliation, but in a persuasion that the University was intended for the education of the whole people of Ireland.
§ Question put, and negatived.