§ The Order of the Day for the further proceeding on consideration of this Bill having been read,
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
presented a petition from the master and fellows of Pembroke College, against the clause which had been adopted by the House a few nights ago, on the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Plymouth (Mr. Roundel( Palmer). The effect of the petition—for, of course, he should only state its object 616 in very general terms—was earnestly to pray the House not to place the petitioners under the control of a small municipal corporation, which would be the effect of such a clause as this, but to release them from all such foreign intervention in the election of fellows and scholars as that to which they were now subject, and which interfered with the proper discharge of their high and responsible duties. He had now to move the insertion of the names of the Earl of Harrowby and Mr. Cornewall Lewis as additional Commissioners; and also that the Dean of Wells should be mentioned in the first clause by name, as well as described by his office, doubts having arisen whether, if this were omitted, his successor in the deanery would not be entitled also to succeed in his place in the Commission.
§ MR. MANGLES
said, he rose to move the omission of the names of Sir John Taylor Coleridge and Sir John Wither Awdrey from the list of Commissioners. Having been for thirteen years a supporter of the noble Lord the President of the Council, it was with much pain that he felt that, in making that proposition, he was taking a course in opposition to the Government, and to the noble Lord whom he had followed, through evil report and good report, for so many years; and his reluctance was increased by the consideration that he had not himself had the advantage of being educated at either of our Universities. That reluctance had been only overcome by the conviction that these great institutions were the heritage of our children, and of our posterity, and that the general interests of education were very much identified with them, and very much dependent on the reform now undertaken being effectual. He was further embarrassed by the recollection that he had himself voted for the Commissioners now named in the Bill, in opposition to a Motion made by his hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman). If, however, he had known then what he knew now, he should not have given that vote. At that time he knew nothing, or very little, of Sir John Coleridge, except what he had gathered as to his character and opinions from his letters in the life of that great. and good man, Dr. Arnold. He knew, indeed, that he was a High Churchman, but he had no desire whatever that that section of the Church should not be adequately represented in the constitution of the Commission. He thought it important that it should be 617 so represented, but he had satisfied himself, and he believed he should be able to satisfy the House, that Sir John Coleridge was much inure than a high Churchman; and that by his antecedents—by what he had said, and what he had done, in past times—he had become disqualified from occupying a seat in this Commission with advantage to the country. No doubt Sir John Coleridge was a very accomplished gentleman—a man of high honour and unsullied character; but he had said and clone things which ought to take from him the confidence of the people of this country for the particular post for which the Government had selected him. He would proceed at once to state the grounds on which he considered Sir John Coleridge disqualified for the office, merely premising that no man could be fitted for it who did not possess the confidence of the University, and also the confidence of the country. He did not wish to say one word against Sir John Coleridge personally; but he felt bound to state that he was notoriously a partisan of the strongest description—a man firmly attached to one particular party, not only in the Church, but in the State, a party fully disposed to act together in all matters connected with the reform of our institutions. It was possible that. a partisan night be an unexceptionable member of the Commission, provided he belonged to any large party in the Church; but Sir John Coleridge belonged to a segment of a party in the Church, which, within the walls of Oxford, was small and insignificant as compared with the members in the University, and which had no real power or respect in the country, and which could not have the confidence of the country. The first document to which he would call the attention of the House was the address presented by a body of gentlemen to the Vice Chancellor of Oxford in 1843, protesting against the suspension of Dr. Posey from preaching for two years on account of the doctrines which he set forth. That protest was drawn up in so objectionable a manner that it produced a reply from the Vice Chancellor of the University, dated from St. John's College, the first sentence of which ran thus-Sir,—The address which you have been Commissioned to present to me, reached me by yesterday's post. I return it to you by the hands of my beadle.And then he went on to state that—Whether the document was addressed to him in his individual or official capacity, it was de- 618 serving of the strongest censure, and he warned those who signed it"—ammngst them was Mr. Justice Coleridge—" to be more careful in respect of the oaths which they had taken on admission to their several degrees, for that such acts had a tendency to disturb the peace and interfere with the orderly government of the University.Now, he would ask the House whether a person upon whom so strong a censure had been pronounced by the authorities of the University, should have been selected from the whole body of English gentlemen, English lawyers, and English scholars, to legislate for the University. About the same time, however, or a little anterior to it, the celebrated Tract No. 90 was published—the avowed work of Dr. Newman—that drew upon him the distinct censure of the governing body of the University. It was not too strong to call that tract a publication of gross sophistry; it was a most able and elaborate disquisition on the art of evasion in all its branches. The authorities spoke of it—"As an attempt to evade rather than explain the sense of the Thirty-nine Articles; as reconciling the subscription to them with the adoption of errors which they were designed to counteract; and as inconsistent with the precepts of the University." Now, he was credibly informed that the name of Sir John Coleridge was attached to the address subsequently made by certain members of the University calling upon the proctors to exercise their powers and place a veto upon the vote of censure brought forward against Dr. Newman, as the author of Tract No. 90. Well, the proctors did use their power, and they declared that such a resolution should not be passed. He believed also that Sir John Coleridge's signature was attached to the protest against the formation of the bishop. He of Jerusalem. He would frankly admit that it might be said that Sir John Coleridge had expressed no opinion on the merits of the several questions; it might be argued that he had only objected to the mode in which they were to be brought to trial, and to the manner in which it was endeavoured to settle disputed points of doctrine by the interference of an absolute authority. Such sentiments—apart from all coincidence of opinion with Dr. Pusey or Dr. Newman—might be natural to a man brought up in Westminster Hall. But he was in a position to prove that Sir John Coleridge had given his concurrence to all the opinions of Dr. Newman. So short a time since as a year and, a half ago, when public decency was outraged by the trial for a libel, written by Dr. Newman, 619 Mr. Justice Coleridge delivered the sentence of the Court upon the defendant, and he used words which he should quote to the House, and hon. Gentlemen would see that, while Mr. Justice Coleridge's object at the moment was to clear Dr. Newman from a charge of acrimony and severity, they would also see that in the most unequivocal manner he spoke of his writings with unmingled praise and commendation, giving, in fact, his adhesion to their every word. The charge was delivered on the 31st of January, 1853, and the words to which he alluded were these—If the defendant had published a wilful slander against the Church of England, he was no longer within her fold; but he might appeal to the defendant's invaluable writings whilst at Oxford, in which, great as was their ability, sound as was their doctrine, urgent as was their teaching towards holiness of life, nothing. was more remarkable than their tenderness and gentleness of spirit. Nay, he might go further, and say with regard to those controversial writings which he published while still a member of the University, that, though his arguments might have sometimes been severe, because just and unanswerable, they contained nothing like personal bitterness.Now, he would beg to ask the House whether a gentleman who had delivered himself from the bench in such terms, could possess either the confidence of the University primarily, or of the country at large, and whether in selecting him for this task the Government was not going out of its way? But before he sat down he could not help returning to his opening confession, that it was with extreme reluctance that he moved in this matter, as lie was thereby placed in antagonism to the Government. Still, though an humble Member of that House, he felt that the support which he had given to the Liberal party through a long course of years justified him in stating long opinions to the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) with all the frankness consistent with the respect and honour in which he (Mr. Mangles) held him. The noble Lord had connected himself with a body of Gentlemen not less distinguished for their great talents than for the smallness of the number which, upon the formation of the Coalition Government, they brought to the aid of the Liberal party in that House. Now, he was not by any means disposed to quarrel with that Coalition; on the contrary, he had long before denied that it might take place, and that with the least possible delay, for he believed that those Gentlemen who had joined what was termed the Liberal party had been purified from all their former bad principles in the great lavatory of free trade. And 620 he was satisfied that, with the single exception of what he should term religio-political opinions, there was no real difference between the right hon. Gentlemen and the great Liberal party, and therefore he thought it was an honest and honourable Coalition. However, now these Gentlemen were seated in front of a large party consisting almost entirely of Whigs and Liberals of different sections and degrees. And if there was one fact in the history of the country more certainly recorded than another, it was this—that during long centuries the Whig party has been always distinguished for being, to say the least, most assuredly not High Church. Well, then, he would say to those right hon. Gentlemen who were willing to act as their leaders, and whom that side of the House was willing to follow, he would say to them "Show some respect for the known opinions of the hundreds who sit behind you." He did not ask them to do violence to their own principles, but simply to respect theirs—simply not to attempt to extort from their liberal supporters the approval of such appointments as that of Sir John Coleridge. And were he to continue on such a theme he might allude with equal sorrow to nominations recently made to the episcopal bench. He would entreat them, for the sake of fair consideration to those whom they desired to lead, to have some respect for the political opinions of their followers. There were many on that side of the House that held Puritan blood in their veins; and they were, therefore, but little disposed to give their countenance to any extreme or ultra High Church views. His Motion, however, might be defeated—defeated, perhaps, as was the Motion of last night—and as was the Motion with respect to church rates a few nights ago. It might be defeated by the noble Lord, going into the lobby with all his ordinary opponents, and against almost all his own followers. But, he must say, such triumphs as that would be ruin to the party—ruin to the great Liberal cause throughout the country, which was the cause of the country, for the majority in that House was not at this moment a mere accidental majority, produced by the result of a general election—but it represented the feelings of the great bulk of the people of England. A few more such defeats, then, as that of last night, and it would end in the ruin of the Liberal cause, which would be brought about, not by the prowess of hon. Gentlemen opposite, but simply through a want of consideration on the part of the Govern- 621 ment for the known opinions of those who sat behind them.
seconded the Motion.
Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 5, by leaving out the words—"The Honourable Sir John Taylor Coleridge, one of the Justices of the Court of Queen's Bench."
Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, it was not necessary for him to follow the hon. Gentleman at any length in the statement which he had made, further than freely to make the admission—that, considering the nature of the task which he had to perform, and which he himself described as one disagreeable to his own feelings, he felt he had accomplished his task in a manner as fair and as inoffensive as the nature of his subject permitted. Now, with respect to Sir John Coleridge, the hon. Gentleman had spoken of the insertion of his name—and so far he had not spoken quite accurately—he had spoken of the insertion of the name as if it had borne an analogy to an appointment by the Government. But it really could not be considered to bear any such analogy; for it was not an appointment by the Government, but simply a proposal subject to the approval of that House, And he believed that those who had witnessed the fate of various proposals of the Government, and the different votes on the University of Oxford Bill, would be aware that the distinction to which he now referred was not a narrow, au unreal, or an imperceptible distinction. The wish of the Government was to act in the spirit which the hon. Gentleman had described—that was, to place upon the Oxford Commission the names of gentlemen who would carry with them the confidence both of the University at large and of the country. He said of the University at large, because he entirely agreed with the hon. Gentleman, that it would have been most, unwise—considering the Parliamentary ordeal to which the names would have to be submitted—it would have been a perfectly suicidal act upon the part of the Government, if it had knowingly and willingly proposed any gentleman associated with extreme opinions—at variance with the laws and spirit of the Church of England—to act upon such a Commission as this. Now, the hon. Gentleman had referred to three circumstances in connection with the case of Sir John Coleridge. Two of these were cases in which the hon, 622 Gentleman stated Sir John Coleridge objected to censures which it was proposed to inflict upon certain persons on account of their theological opinions. Well, he was bound to say that he considered that the hon. Gentleman had himself furnished an answer to that portion of his speech, because he very fairly suggested that it did not follow that those who objected to a particular theological censure concurred in the opinions expressed by the man whom it was proposed to censure. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had found seven individuals to claim the benefit of that admission; and he had reason to claim it in more directions than one; because, while he had upon more occasions than one objected to theological censures of the description referred to, it had been likewise his fate and duty, and that upon a very recent occasion, to take objections of precisely the same description to a theological censure proposed to be pronounced in London upon a gentleman of very great eminence and very great ability, for opinions which, if they went astray at all, did so in a direction entirely the opposite to that of which the hon. Gentleman spoke—he referred to the case of the Rev. Mr. Maurice. He would say, then, that if that principle was good in one case, it ought to be extended to other cases, unless they had a full and distinct proof against Sir John Coleridge, or any other person, with respect to the opinions which they might have uttered. Now he thought the hon. Gentleman refrained cautiously from representing that the name of Sir John Coleridge did not carry confidence to the University of Oxford. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) was bound to say. that he did but justice to the University in saying, that it was not pervaded by extreme opinions of any nature—the hon. Gentleman stated that manfully and candidly. He believed it was notorious to all connected with the University that a very great freedom and diversity of opinion prevailed within it; but if that diversity had a tendency to lapse into extremes in one quarter, it was also true, as stated by a right hon. Gentleman on the opposite bench, that it had likewise a tendency to pass into another extreme. But at any rate, if the existence of such views was to be deplored, he believed the fact to be, that the opinions of the great bulk of the University lay between them, and that they were not coloured by either one extreme or the other. For his part, he should be very sorry to draw a distinction between 623 any two of the seven names included in the Commission. His knowledge of the members of the University of Oxford was not limited, particularly of those who, being collected on the spot, represented the University, both on account of their own eminence, and from their habits of communication with others. And he was bound to say he had received the most emphatic testimony—not in reference to one name on the Commission or another—but generally, that the names on the Commission did carry the confidence of the University, as the view taken of the Commission had not so much reference to precise individuals as to the concurrence of each name on it with every other name, and to their general moderation, their eminent qualities, their competence for their duties, and their power and intention to give themselves honestly and effectively to perform the task before them. Now, he Neat bound to make a confession which he bad never made before in that House, though he knew that when one got upon questions of religion strong protests were generally more likely to confirm than allay suspicion, still he frankly owned that he had rarely known an instance where important functions were conferred in matters of education, where theological teaching was so little likely to interfere as with the duties of the Commissioners. Indeed, he hardly knew anything which they would have to do with regard to which the course taken by one Commissioner or another could possibly be portended or traced out, inasmuch as that Commissioner was not connected with either one or other of the popular appellations, High or Low Church. He thought it was most important that these Commissioners should be men who entered into the views of Parliament, and be really was at a loss to know what questions would be raised in the University, where the effects of religious opinion, in all their variety, would be traced. There was, however, one reference made by the hon. Gentleman to which he must allude. The hon. Gentleman had referred to certain words which he said were used by Sir John Coleridge. Now, the hon. Gentleman did not state from what source he derived those words, and he must say—he could not help saying—that, considering the nature of this Motion, it would have been right—he was bound to say fairness demanded such a course—he must add it was absolutely necessary, for the satisfaction of Parliament—that the hon. Gentleman should have taken the pains which were 624 easily within his reach, to verify those words which he quoted. He certainly confessed they were words heard by him (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) for the first time; and he had no knowledge whether they were delivered by Mr. Justice Coleridge or not. He must say he felt bound to conclude that they were not so delivered. The hon. Gentleman had himself stated there were various writings of Dr. Newman which were very laudable writings. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman did not know what position Dr. Newman occupied twenty years ago. At that time he was well known as being attached to those who were called the High Church party at Oxford: and he could remember very Well, that when he was an undergraduate at Oxford, Dr. Newman filled the highly unpopular office of secretary to the Church Missionary Society of Oxford—a society which he doubted very much if at that time there were three dignitaries at Oxford who would have touched it or its concerns with a pair of tongs. And this he would add, that in all the phases of his life—in all the varied passages of his career—Dr. Newman delivered himself of various and multiform writings—the only uniformity which they displayed was in the great ability and high moral character invariably distinguishing them. Now the hon. Gentleman stated that Mr. Justice Coleridge spoke of the theological writings of Dr. Newman. It was very well known, however—and he did not now speak of anonymous writings—that his writings mostly related to the controversy between the Church of England and the Church of Rome, in which he was chiefly remarkable for the great force and vehemence of the hostile epithets which he applied to the Church of Rome. He thought that the hon. Gentleman was making a leap in the dark if he founded his Motion solely upon the information which he had submitted to the House. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) granted that with the views which the hon. Gentleman entertained he might conceive that his proposition was in accordance with the fulfilment of his duty. But the hon. Gentleman should recollect that the fulfilment of his duty involved neither more nor less than the censure of Parliament upon the character of Mr. Justice Coleridge. [Cries of "No, no!"] Yes; the vote proposed by the hon. Gentleman was the formal rejection of Sir John Coleridge from a Commission for which he admits—whether this distinguished Judge be a High Churchman or a Low Churchman—whether be be even 625 a strong High Churchman or a strong Low Churchman—he is otherwise perfectly qualified. The proposition amounted to nothing else than the rejection of a gentleman—an eminent Judge of the land, who in such capacity might be even called upon to deliver judgment upon matters touching ecclesiastical concerns. It might be softened down as they pleased, but the effect of the proposition of the hon. Gentleman was nothing more nor less than a political censure. Now, it was the absolute duty of that House to know well the grounds upon which they were about to proceed. It was the duty of the hon. Member to verify the truth of the words attributed to that gentleman. It was the duty of that House to ascertain whether the language quoted was really uttered by Mr. Justice Coleridge or not. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) submitted that, as regarded the sense put upon the words referred to by the hon. Member, the House had no evidence at all to justify this interpretation. It was, however, the duty of the hon. Member, before he took a step which involved a vote of censure upon the character of Mr. Justice Coleridge, to have inquired narrowly into the facts, and into the nature of the offence charged against this distinguished and eminent gentleman.
§ MR. WALPOLE
said, he fully concurred in the concluding observation of the right hon. Gentleman, but he certainly did not concur in the observation of the right hon. Gentleman that the appointment of those Commissioners was the appointment of the House of Commons. He thought that that House was ill-suited to take upon itself the responsibility of those appointments, though it might be but reasonable to give it the responsibility of exercising a veto in respect to those appointments. The House should consider whether, looking at those proposed Commissioners as a body, they could safely intrust to those Commissioners, composed of a body of gentlemen selected by the Crown, the discharge of certain functions intended to be committed to them by this Bill. He, therefore, wished the House to consider, that if hon. Members raised objections to any one of the names proposed, upon grounds which they might feel, personally and individually, to be strong, they would necessarily provoke a discussion upon every other name proposed, to whom some individual Member might have an objection. This was a discussion upon which he (Mr. Walpole), for one, would be most unwilling to enter. He could only say, for himself, that the names 626 proposed by the Government would not be exactly the Commissioners which he would select; but, looking at them as a body, he thought that no great objection could be urged against them. He would venture to say that, whatever gentlemen were proposed, there would be found hon. Members in that House to say that they would prefer some one or other gentleman instead of the particular individual selected. But he thought that personal discussions of this nature were most disagreeable. It was, however, difficult to lay down a definite course by which they ought to be guided in such matters. He was of opinion, that, unless some grave and positive objections were stated to call upon the House to exercise its right of veto, they ought to acquiesce in the names proposed by the Government. Now, in respect to Sir John Coleridge, he (Mr. Walpole) thought he should be acting extremely wrong if be did not bear his humble testimony to the character of that eminent Judge. Without reference to any opinions upon theological subjects entertained by that learned individual, he begged to say that he knew the merits of Sir John Coleridge as a Judge; and he believed him to be a man of high honour and principles, and one not likely to be swayed by personal, party, or religious feelings in the exercise of the important functions intrusted to him. Looking at the character, capacity, and high honour of Sir John Coleridge, and considering the merits of the other gentlemen proposed as Commissioners—though he would not have selected those gentlemen to discharge the duties of Commissioners—he yet thought, upon the whole, that the House could not do better under the circumstances than to acquiesce in the proposition made by the Government.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, he agreed in the opinion that no question could be of a more delicate or painful character than discussing the personal qualifications of a man placed in the high position of Mr. Justice Coleridge. When the House was in Committee upon this Bill, it would be recollected that he then stated his objection to the appointment of Mr. Justice Coleridge; but that objection was confined to this point—that Mr. Justice Coleridge was so overladen with judicial and professional avocations, it would not be proper that he should take upon himself the onerous duty of Commissioner. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had placed them in a false position when he told them that if they expressed an opi- 627 nion adverse to the qualifications of any of those gentlemen to act as Commissioners, they would be taking upon themselves the responsibility of passing a judicial verdict upon them. Now, the House was not responsible for those discussions. The Government alone was responsible, who had brought those names before it. Whether Mr. Justice Coleridge was a High or a Low Churchman, was nothing to him (Mr. Horsman). It should, however, be recollected that during the last fifteen years there had been a religious movement going on in the University of Oxford which had attracted much attention. There were two members of that University who had made themselves particularly prominent tit the outset of that movement. Those members were Dr. Newman, who had since become a Roman Catholic, and Dr. Pusey, who was still Regius Professor of Theology in the University. Both of these gentlemen had received the censure of the University for their writings, and in both of those cases Mr. Justice Coleridge had unnecessarily come forward to censure the University for having censured those writings. When they had men of high character and eminence in the country, the Government should not have selected for the office of Commissioner a man who was in the position of having been censured by the University. He felt much regret at being obliged to object to the appointment of such an eminent man as Mr. Justice Coleridge, but he could not but feel that that distinguished Judge had, by his own act, created his disqualification for the office of Commissioner.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
I think, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Walpole) has taken a right view of this question, and that the responsibility of appointing. this Commission rests mainly with the Government. But if the House should find that the persons whom we propose to form this Commission should be persons destitute of learning, devoid of probity, and unworthy of the confidence of the House, it would be the part of the House to interfere with the appointment of that Commission. But I beg to submit, without discussing the merits of the men who are named in the Bill as Commissioners, that a desire is displayed on the part of the Government to have a Commission composed of men who are fit to be intrusted with such high duties. With respect to Lord Harrowby, no objection is taken; but if all the High Churchmen in the House had arisen and had ob- 628 jected to him, and if, in consequence, Lord Harrowby had been excluded, that would not have been a very just mode of proceeding. Mr. Cornewall Lewis is another Commissioner whom he thought no one would accuse of High Church opinions. It has been our duty to endeavour to have upon this Commission men who are qualified for their task; and with regard to Mr. Justice Coleridge, no one has disputed his probity or his high character, and no one will say that any learned Judge possessing his learning and taste for literature is not peculiarly fit for an office of this kind. I am told, however, that Mr. Justice Coleridge ought to be excluded on account of some censure which has been pronounced upon him by the University of Oxford. Now, for myself, I confess that I am not disposed to look with very great respect to those censures which have been pronounced by the University of Oxford. Both with regard to one side and the other—with regard to those who have held too liberal opinions, and with regard to others like Dr. Pusey, concerning whom I might be supposed to express the same opinion, that their doctrines are not sound—I think the University of Oxford has generally been rather hasty in her condemnation, and cannot be supposed to pay much respect to her censure, for I advised Her Majesty to place upon the bench of bishops one who had incurred the censure of that body. The question for the House, however, is not whether they agree in the opinions of Mr. Justice Coleridge. I may sympathise very little with those opinions, and they may be very distasteful to me; but that is not the question. It is, whether these seven gentlemen are a body qualified to perform the duties intrusted to them. The first responsibility is with the Government; but if they are men wanting in learning and integrity, the House will do quite right to refuse its sanction to their appointment.
§ MR. DRUMMOND
It is somewhat worthy of remark, Sir, that the opposition to the appointment of this distinguished Judge conies from a body of Gentlemen who generally assume the sole right and title to the toleration of all religious opinions. But still, what is more extraordinary, my hon. Friend who brought forward this Motion calls upon the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) by all Ids hereditary reminiscences—to do what? Why, to do an act of bigotry and intolerance, as if to the Whigs there was not more peculiarly due than to other political parties, the assump- 629 tion of those Liberal opinions which the noble Lord the leader of that party is now called upon to violate. But then, says the hon. Gentleman, you owe us something—you would not let us rob the Church of her rates—you grudge us exceedingly the tithes—we have not had a bit of plunder. Now do grant us this.
Amendment, by leave. withdrawn.
§ MR. J. G. PHILLIMORE ,
in moving, pursuant to notice, the omission of the 33rd clause, said that the Constitution of this country rested, as the noble Lord the Member for the City of London would not deny, in a great measure on prescription, and yet in the present measure they were going to depart altogether from it, as far as it applied to the University of Oxford. The University was to have the power of changing the destination of property after fifty years; would anybody acquainted with the characteristics of the people of this country suppose that, if this principle were suffered to prevail, anybody would leave property to Oxford, with a knowledge that, if the University chose, it might be changed from its destination? Nobody was more disposed to admit than himself that what was originally beneficial might eventually become pernicious, still, he must say, that the power of changing the destination of property ought to rest in that House, and not in the University. With respect to the right of prescription, it was the principle which guided the old Roman law, and, when he read this clause he felt it was a proof how much ignorance existed in that House on the old Roman law, for no man who was acquainted with that admirable system of civil jurisprudence would venture to propose such a clause as this. He objected strongly to a principle such as that embodied in the clause being admitted and incorporated into the jurisprudence of this country, tending, as it would, to restrict the bounty of individuals intended for particular purposes.
MR. BOWYER seconded the Motion.
Question proposed, "That Clause 33 stand part of the Bill."
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, that so far from the principle in the clause being a new one, only last Session a similar clause giving power to the Commissioners to vary certain trusts, was introduced into the Charitable Trusts Bill. In fact, the main object of the present measure could hardly be carried into effect unless it created some power of this kind. Where, from circumstances, the trusts had become 630 narrowed in their operation, and did not tend to the advancement of learning, it was certainly desirable that the interests of learning should be regarded as superior to the mere letter of the will of the donor.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. ROUNDELL PALMER
moved to add at the end of Clause N the following words—And when any right of preference shall belong to any school contingently only upon the failers of fit objects from some other school or schools entitled to and in the enjoyment of a prior right of preference, then and in such case the power of dissent hereby given shall only belong to the governing body or governing bodies of the school or schools entitled to and in the enjoyment of the first right of preference.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCITEQUER
said, he would take that opportunity of stating the course which the Government intended to pursue with reference to this clause. After the strong objections which were urged by his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) and himself on the part of the Government on a former night, it was only natural that they should endeavour to induce the House to rescind the clause altogether, or to alter it. He gladly admitted that, so far as respected many of the working objections which were then stated against it, they would be materially narrowed by the amendments now introduced by his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Roundell Palmer), but the substance of the clause still remained intact. In deference to a considerable majority of the House, who bad given their sanction to the principle of the clause, he should not ask that it be struck out of the Bill; but he should endeavour to induce the House to adopt two Motions. One of these he did not apprehend would draw any opposition even from the Mover of the clause himself. The effect of it would be that in all cases where, whether by a college or the governing body, the veto had been exercised, and no new scheme substituted or accepted, the scheme which had been rejected should, instead of waiting for the general Report of the Commissioners, be forthwith submitted in a Report to one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, in order to its being laid before the two Houses of Parliament, with a view to draw the attention of the Legislature to the case. A clause to this effect it was his intention to propose on the third reading of the Bill; but he also intended to propose as an Amendment on the clause of his hon, and learned 631 Friend the insertion, after the words "any emoluments," of the words "other than a fellow or studentship." The object of that Amendment was to leave to the schools, very much upon the principle on which the Bill was framed in its former shape, that which could be understood or construed to be an endowment for the purposes of education, but subject to review by the Colleges and the Commissioners, and at a subsequent period on appeal by the Privy Council, whatever scheme affected preferences when they came to apply to the teaching offices or governing offices of the University. A notice to this effect he now begged to place upon the books of the House.
§ MR. ROUNDELL PALMER
said, he believed that the adoption of the Amendment, of which his right hon. Friend had given notice, would be inconsistent with the principles of his clause; he begged, therefore, to state that, as at present advised, he should be prepared to offer it his decided opposition.
The words proposed to be added at the end of Clause N were then agreed to.
In reply to Mr. WALPOLE,
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the Government did not contemplate any further amendments than those of which notice had been given; and that they intended taking the third reading of the Bill the first thing on Monday next.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, the announcement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he intended to make a proposal which would go far to reverse the decision arrived at by a very large majority of the House would prove a surprise to a great number of Members who, since that decision, had gone into the country. Monday would also be a particularly inconvenient day, and he earnestly hoped that, considering the importance of the question involved in the third reading, the Lord President of the Council would consent to postpone the measure to a late period of the week.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
regretted that he could not comply with the request of the right hon. Baronet, as it was the desire of the House of Lords to have the Bill before them as early as possible. With regard to the principle of the measure, that had already been fully discussed, and he did not anticipate any long debate so far as that was concerned. And as to the clause of the hon. and learned Member 632 (Mr. Roundell Palmer), he thought the proposal of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whilst in some degree it modified that clause, would not go to alter it materially.
Bill to be read 3° on Monday next.