HC Deb 08 July 1858 vol 151 cc1079-80

said, he rose to ask the question of which he had given notice, and at the same time to state that the Commission appointed under the Oxford University Act had now expired. Before its expiration, the Commissioners issued an Ordinance regulating St. John's College. That Ordinance divided eighteen Fellowships into two equal classes—nine open and nine close Fellowships, to be between certain public schools. Under the power given by the Act St. John's College, however, put their veto upon that Ordinance of the Commissioners. The Commission having expired, St. John's College would remain in its present state unless some step be taken by that House. He would, therefore, ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his intention to propose to the House any measure for confirming the Ordinance of the Oxford Commissioners for regulating St. John's College?


said, the right hon. Gentleman had correctly stated the facts as they now existed in regard to St. John's College. The right hon. Gentleman would, no doubt, agree with him (Mr. Walpole) that it would have been improper to force upon the College an Ordinance which was framed contrary to the wishes of two-thirds of the College. The inexpediency of such a course would be more apparent when they recollected that the Commissioners of the University of Cambridge were now dealing with the College Statutes. He should like to see the result of the negotiations that were now going on with the College—the number of statutes assented to or dissented from—before the Legislature were called upon to act in this matter. The difference between the Commissioners and the College was really whether there should be nine open and nine close Fellowships, as proposed on the one side, and ten open and eight close Fellowships on the other. He trusted, when they had had the whole matter before them, the House would be enabled to deal with any difficulty that might appear to have arisen from the operation of the Act. On looking into the matter with a good deal of care, it struck him that, if anything were to be done by them, it would be probably more desirable in the first instance to refer any point of difference to the Committee of Privy Council.