HC Deb 16 March 1864 vol 174 cc102-61

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving the Second Reading of the Bill, said: Two tests are now required at Oxford as necessary conditions for the degree of Master of Arts or of Doctor of any Faculty. The one is a subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, the other a subscription to the Three Articles of the 36th Canon. This last involves assent to the whole of the Prayer Book, and further a promise, absurd enough when required of a layman, that he will use that book only in public prayer, and administer the Sacrament according to its rites. These tests are accompanied by a declaration that the graduate subscribes to them heartily, willingly, and to their fullest extent. The Bill proposes to abolish these subscriptions on taking any degree. It does not even except degrees in divinity, for these degrees are only conferred upon persons in holy orders, or at all events upon such as have been pronounced by the bishops qualified to take holy orders. A test in such a case appears superfluous, and therefore better omitted. Let it, however, be distinctly understood, that the Bill does not interfere with the discipline or religious teaching of the University. It leaves untouched the declaration of conformity to the liturgy which the Act of Uniformity requires of all heads of houses, fellows, and tutors. It leaves untouched those University statutes which require such persons or any professors to be members of the Church of England, or, at all events, to teach nothing contrary to her doctrines. The Bill itself provides that no graduate shall in virtue of his degree take any office in or out of the University hitherto confined to churchmen, unless he shall have made a declaration of membership with the Church. The form of declaration is borrowed from Cambridge, was framed by that University, and is by her required of her own untested graduates as a sufficient qua- lification for such offices. There is then no occasion for alarmists to conjure up pictures of the University converted into an arena for the conflicts of contradictory theologians, or a stage for divinity lectures from which all divinity has been eliminated for fear of offending the susceptibilities of some sect of hearers.

It would be wasting the time of the House to advance objections to these stringent and complicated subscriptions. If they be looked upon as legal tests, they are nugatory because they cannot practically be enforced. If as moral tests they must be construed either literally or conventionally. If literally, they are too onerous to be exacted from young men, the majority of whom have only a knowledge in theology sufficient for the schools. If conventionally, then, all other difficulties apart, you must entirely ignore the declaration which states that they are made heartily, willingly, and explicitly. I will not say that the University confers at once a degree in arts and a license in mendacity; but I do say that you can only escape the unreasonable stringency of the tests by a correspondingly unreasonable laxity of interpretation.

The Oxford Commissioners in 1853 reported that those tests were morally injurious and engendered a habit of playing fast and loose with solemn obligations. Those eminent and experienced teachers in the University who signed the petitions last year presented to both Houses, repeated that statement, adding that these tests troubled the consciences of some, prevented others who would be valuable members of the University from joining her, and failed to promote religious harmony. If any confirmation of this were needed we had it in the extraordinary spectacle presented at Oxford only yesterday week. But I do not anticipate that any one will venture upon a defence of these subscriptions. Last year, when the petitions referred to were presented, debates ensued in both Houses; the petitions were much criticized, the petitioners still more. Indefinite dangers to the Church and the University from some unknown quarters were apprehended if their prayer were granted; but no one defended the subscriptions themselves. But the Bill not only abolishes these stringent subscriptions; it allows degrees to be taken without any religious test whatever. Well, that is the case now at Cambridge, at Dublin, and at the Scotch Universities. Are the Members for Cambridge or Dub- lin, or Scotch Members, therefore, prepared to admit that their Universities are godless institutions, divorced from religious teaching? But, precedent apart, how is it reconcilable to common sense that a lay University should say to a man, as Oxford does now, you have distinguished yourself in mathematics, in classics, in history, or in science, but I refuse you the higher degrees which should be the reward of your competency and your conduct; I will not give you the degree that should be your passport into the world, unless you make a profession of holding certain religious opinions.

These tests were imposed in times when religious opinions were indissolubly associated with political opinions, and when the triumph of one faction meant the destruction of another. We do not live in the 17th century. All opinions are now not only tolerated, but recognized as having as good a right to exist as those of the Establishment. There are men who conform to the Church yet are not prepared to give a formal approval to all her doctrines. There are others just outside her pale who do not wish openly to declare themselves dissidents. Is it just or politic to call upon such men to take their stand on one side or the other of a rubicon of orthodoxy. It is the duty and the interest of the Church to invite all to avail themselves of her teaching and her ministrations without stopping to investigate the soundness of their creed. She does so, and why is a lay University to be more religiously exclusive than the Church herself?

It may he said the Bill will admit to the University avowed dissidents from the Church. The Church and the University should rejoice that they have something to offer that can attract young men of that class within the sphere of their influence. If dissenting parents, attracted by the advantages of an Oxford career, care to expose their sons to its influences and associations, surely the Church should be the last to complain. The University cannot fear their numbers, and will scarcely admit that she stands in dread of the learning and ability of her own pupils. Granting, however, that the presence of Dissenters would be a difficulty, it is one the University ought not to shrink from. She boasts of being a seminary of orthodoxy; but it is a cheap boast if she takes care to discourage all from coming, except those who come with a foregone conclusion to accept all her teachings, Some school- masters acquire a fleeting reputation for their schools by keeping none but docile and clever boys; but the master who really does his duty and is deserving of honour is he who takes all comers and makes the best of the disposition and abilities of each. Much more is such a course the duty of the University. The University has great privileges bestowed upon her and secured to her by the State, not in order that she should shut herself up in dignified indolence, but that she should bravely bear her part in the work of the age, and grapple with its difficulties, of which, from the point of view of that Church with which the University is connected, Dissent is one of the greatest.

After all, the Bill introduces no new principle. In 1854, the Legislature pronounced that the advantages attending education at Oxford should be open to all, irrespective of their religious professions. This change formed no part of the original scheme of the Oxford Reform Act. It was hastily introduced and imperfectly carried out. The subscriptions then required at matriculation and on taking the degree of B.A. were abolished; but the even more objectionable subscriptions, required for subsequent degrees, were left subsisting. But it is obvious that the attractions of a University career consist not only in the education, but still more in the degrees which stamp the man as having received and profited by that education. When the Cambridge Reform Act was passed two years later with more experience and more deliberation, the error committed in the case of Oxford was seen and avoided, and the requirement of religious tests was abolished in the case of all degrees. Perhaps the objection will be made that the Bill would allow the untested Masters of Arts, among whom might possibly be some Dissenters, to vote in Convocation, or, according to the phrase often employed, would admit them to the governing body of the University. How far can Convocation be properly styled the governing body of the University? It is the parliament of the University, or rather, perhaps, the electoral body, for its legislative powers are very limited indeed. Be this as it may, the vote has hitherto always accompanied the degree, and has been one of its attractions and privileges; and it has not appeared to the promoters of the Bill necessary, in order to secure the position and teaching of the Church in the University, to interpose, for the first time, a disfranchising test between the degree and the vote. But, if this be an objection, still it affords no reason for refusing the second reading of the Bill. It is a question for Committee, and one which, although I confess I prefer the Bill as it stands, although I believe I shall be able to show good cause for maintaining it as it stands, I shall be ready fully to discuss and consider in Committee.

Sir, a petition has been presented against this Bill, under the seal of the University. I do not know whether the hon. Baronet who moves that the Bill be read this day six months will be very anxious to direct attention to that petition, but I am. One paragraph states— That this Bill, should it become law, would destroy to a great extent the existing securities that the government, teaching, and discipline of the University, and of its colleges and halls, shall be intrusted to members of the Church of England. That as to the colleges generally, it would remove the most important of those securities, whilst with respect to the University as a whole it would abolish them altogether. When that paragraph was adopted, the University must have been still under the influence of that hurricane of religious frenzy and panic which has recently swept over it, for calmer reflection would have shown that the Bill does not interfere with the colleges at all; that it does not impair the existing securities for the discipline or religious teaching of the University; but, on the contrary, made assurance doubly sure, by providing that no untested graduate should hold any office hitherto tenable only by a member of the Church, until he should have made the declaration of membership. Another paragraph states— That such a change would not tend to promote the efficiency, harmony, and general interests of the University, but would, on the contrary, as your petitioners believe, be injurious both to the University and to the Church. The harmony intended is no doubt religious harmony, but when Convocation speaks of that, one is tempted to think that that grave body is, to use a vulgar expression, "poking fun" at the House of Commons. It talks of religious harmony, when within the last few days we have seen one member of Convocation saying to another "We do not believe in the same God." If Discord I and all her serpents were summoned from Pandemonium and admitted to Convocation they would find they had nothing to teach but possibly much to learn. As to the interests of the University, her true interest is to show that she is not what her enemies would have her to be, a monkish and effete institution, but to prove that, while preserving her own identity, and asserting her own distinctive principles, she can adapt herself to altered circumstances, and encounter the difficulties of the times as they arise. It does not, moreover, appear to have occurred to the petitioners, that there were any interests but those of the University to be considered. Now, the University is not a mere creature of the State; she is a great corporation; but she enjoys great privileges from the State which she is not slow to claim and to insist upon; but she is placed in her high position, not solely for her own benefit, but for that of the country at large, whose interests are in such a case as this not to be forgotten. Yet another paragraph states— That the Oxford University Act, 1854, whilst it abolished all subscriptions and declarations at matriculation, and on taking the Bachelor's degree, left untouched the conditions required for taking those degrees which confer a share in the government of the University as a corporate and educating body. And that no cause has since arisen for depriving the University of the power then left in its hands, of retaining or modifying those conditions as may in its deliberate judgment be best for the interests intrusted to its care. An unanimous petition against any concession scarcely indicates a spirit of concession; and probably most persons will think that if the matter be left to the judgment of the University, that judgment will indeed be deliberate. Possibly Oxford might even be tempted to follow the example of a sister University which, when a Bill of a character somewhat similar to this was impending over it, petitioned Parliament that the subject might be left to the University; and, when the question was submitted to the University, rejected it on the plea that it ought to have been dealt with by the Legislature. It would, however, scarcely be fair, even if the desired result could be so obtained, to leave this subject to the discretion of the University. In her different legislative bodies the clerical element, and still more clerical power and influence, vastly predominate. The persons composing them have subscribed these tests, and have undertaken that their teaching shall be in accordance with them. Such persons cannot propose the abolition of the tests without exposing themselves to the taunt, however unjust and unfounded such a taunt would be, that they had themselves misgivings as to the subscriptions they had made.

The Bill seeks to render education at Oxford really free, and to abolish the pre- sent stringent tests. That proposition is made in the interests of all, whether Churchmen or Dissenters, who now do, or who may hereafter, resort to Oxford. It is made in the interest of the country at large, which is directly concerned in seeing that the utility and popularity of its greatest educational institution be not marred and diminished by unnecessary trammels; it is made in the interest of the Church; it is made in the interest of the University, lest defences erected for her protection in times of dynastic dangers and political convulsion, but which have long ceased to be safeguards, should remain as barriers to restrict the just liberties of those within her walls, and to deter others, who would come to add to her strength and to her honour, from entering her gates. The hon. Member then moved the second reading of the Bill.


begged to second the Motion. He confessed that he entered into the question of the tests with the greatest reluctance. His long and still continued connection with the University of Oxford, although it would not allow him to shrink from the task of bearing testimony to, he believed, the justice of the proposed Bill, nevertheless brought him in direct opposition to several persons whom he had ever regarded with feelings of respect and affection. Whatever pleasure he might have felt in his association with such men, he now felt proportionate pain in opposing them. He did not concur with all that had been said by his hon. Friend in reference to the character of the Oxford Convocation and of their petition. The University of Oxford—he spoke of the resident body of it—was composed of men who were not only eminently just and virtuous, but also a very wise and tolerant body. He could well understand how reluctant they might be to adopt a measure which, though it might not destroy, yet they felt it might seriously impair, the character of the University in its connection with the Church of England—a measure which might seem to give to religious teaching a less definite and authoritative character than it now possessed. It was not, however, his intention to enter into the objections urged against this Bill. Before he took leave of that part of the subject he would willingly distinguish the resident body of the University from that extraneous element, which, however glad they were to see them at their commemorations, when they added so much to the dignity and pomp of the celebrations, and also when they saw them at the elections, when they brought their assistance and the benefit of their experiences, the weight of their position and wealth, and their numbers in the country, but yet they would most willingly that they stayed away when the University was managing its own affairs. And he said that as one of the resident body. He pointed out the direct compromise that was suggested and devised by all those who represented the piety, learning, and wisdom of the University, which, however, failed on a recent occasion by the tumultuous intrusion of most unwelcome visitors, who were responsible for that act, and to whom the discredit and remorse of that victory belonged. They were, however, indebted to the opposition then displayed for this, that it would be a strong argument for the House to interfere and enlarge the spirit of that Convocation which had so unwisely set itself in opposition to the better sense of the great English public. His hon. Friend had shown that the real character of the University was, that it was a lay and public corporation. At one time, indeed, it was a question whether it was not to be an ecclesiastical corporation, and the Pope, with the bishops under him, claimed jurisdiction over it; but, happily for us, the University resisted that claim, and asserted its right not to be subjected to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but to have the benefit, as all other corporations had, of the protecting control of the Court of Queen's Bench. The University, however, could not expect to have it both ways. They would be glad to be fenced in by the hedges of the Church, and they claimed, at the same time, immunity from her jurisdiction; but if they chose—and they did choose—to shut out episcopal jurisdiction, they must consequently let in the principle upon which the House of Commons and the public generally acted. The University was no more a Church of England corporation than every corporation in the kingdom was before the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act; and he could not see any good reason why the University, from its character, should have been exempted from the effect of those tests, except that it was too powerful a body, or that it would have answered no good purpose to have made the attempt The House perhaps did not accurately understand what was the exact position of Dissenters in reference to the University. There was no exclusion from the benefits of all the studies, but they did not go beyond the degree of B.A., which really amounted to hardly any admission at all; and if such young men were to be cut off in their career there, just at the time when others were about to enter upon theirs, very few would avail themselves of such privileges; for what young man of spirit, he asked, would enter into the public career of official life if he was never to aspire beyond the office of a Lord of the Treasury? That was about the position of Dissenters in our Universities. By the University Act, no man could open a hall unless he was a member of Convocation—that was to say, that a Roman Catholic or a Dissenter (although the Universities had wisely altered their examination so as to admit them) were only admitted on the condition that they would place themselves under the tuition and direction of members of the Church of England. So far as the Universities were considered, there could be very little doubt of the propriety of such a measure, but only its justice. He would not shrink from considering what might be the effect of the present measure on the colleges. He admitted that it would be but of little value unless it was to pave the way to full admissions and to emoluments. With regard to the professorships, which were in the gift of the University, there would be little difficulty, but it would be a very difficult and delicate question how to deal with the colleges. The colleges were eleemosynary corporations, while the University was a lay corporation. There was nothing inconsistent in having a University not founded exclusively upon the basis of the Church of England, and there was an instance of it in the University of London. By the charter of King's College, London, an extract from which he had obtained by the kindness of the principal, it was provided that no person who was not a member of the United Church of England and Ireland, as by law established, should be competent to act as governor by virtue of his office, or to be nominated or act as life governor, member of the council, or fill any office in the college except the two professorships of Oriental and Modern Literature. He should, however, add, that the reverend divine who had given him that information stated in the letter which accompanied it, his most earnest hope that the House of Commons would not pass this Bill. He, however, availed himself of the information so conveyed (in relation to the University of London) to show that it was conceivable to have a Church of England college within a University not founded on that exclusive basis; but whether it was desirable to maintain that distinction was another thing. If the present Bill should become law, he believed it would be made a handle for gaining admission into the colleges, and he admitted that one of the reasons why the petition in its favour was not opposed by a more numerous majority was, that the Bill as it stood failed to answer that object. A few, however, protested against it, and there would have been many more if the Bill had been more decided in its character. That brought him to the consideration of how far the colleges in the University of Oxford should be allowed to retain their exclusive character. All charitable endowments were to a certain extent for the public benefit, and so long as they answered their original purpose, and they were useful, so long the conditions upon which they were founded should be preserved, and he should be sorry to say anything that would impair the great principle of charitable endowments; but he admitted it might be a question hereafter whether, as they were now bringing our Universities into harmony with our other institutions, they might not at no distant time bring the colleges into harmony with the Universities. He thought the practical difficulty of attaining that object was greatly exaggerated. He did not see why there should not be an Act passed for securing the religious teaching and worship of the colleges according to the doctrine of the Church of England. At present no test was imposed upon undergraduates, and it was only the prospective test which seemed to have the effect of imposing on all members an education in the doctrine of the Church of England, and practically he could see no difficulty in the colleges retaining their Church of England character and education without any such tests. At present the test with regard to the colleges did not depend on the subscription of the Articles. That was enforced by the Act of Uniformity, or rather it would be so if the operation of the Act was not annually suspended by an Act of Indemnity. According to the Act of Uniformity there was an obligation to subscribe to a certain declaration, but in practice it was never made. He next came to what he considered to be the most difficult and the most delicate part of the subject — the delicate question whether the University should admit Members of other persuasions than that of the Church of England. That question might involve great difficulty; but the real difficulty was, that members of the Church of England were not willing to pledge themselves to that large amount of dogmatic theology which was contained in the Thirty-nine Articles. There was a great difference between subscriptions as carried out in former years and now. In those days, subscription was a sort of ceremony gone through by a youth of eighteen or nineteen, who was told to look upon it in that light. At the present time it was imposed on men of twenty-four or twenty-five, accustomed to think seriously and look at the act of subscription as a solemnity. He apprehended that many were deterred from completing their University career by the subscription. He was aware that both in and out of Oxford there prevailed a considerable amount of laxity of religious belief. Although he thought that young men were sound in essentials, still there were many doubts about points of subscription, and they objected to it as an unjust exaction. But whatever might be the difficulty and danger that might arise from that laxity of belief in certain points, was any good done by continuing the distinction of tests? Had the existence of tests prevented the growth of that spirit of unbelief? And would their continuance restrain it? If it were to be cured at all, it must be, not by the restraint of tests, but by the example of life. In that respect, nothing could be beyond the example set at Oxford. And there must also be the authority of learning as well as life. The progress of the spirit of unbelief was never effectually restrained by the impositions of tests. What would be the inevitable result of driving young men from the University from the necessity imposed upon them of taking a test which they could not approve? Would it not be to swell the ranks of conscientious Dissenters? The minds of the undergraduates could not fail to be influenced by the spectacle of conscientious dissent, regardless of personal sacrifice, on the part of those who were many of them the brightest and best trained intellects in the University; and to what would the men turn who were thus excluded? They would most probably recruit the ranks of the press, which, with one or two exceptions, although not of an irreligious character, certainly shrank from any acceptance of dogmatic theology; and what was now only a friendly scepticism would he converted into severe and hitter hostility. That consideration brought him to the brink of a question, compared to which the usual subjects for discussion brought before that House sank into comparative insignificance. He hoped that hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House would not treat the present as a party question. He knew very well that there was a disposition to assume or affect a patronage of the Church. There was also in a portion of the Church a willingness to accept that patronage. But the alliance would be prejudicial to both. It would not be in the interests of the Church to connect itself with any political party, and whatever advantage hon. Members opposite might derive at the next election, and perhaps the next but one also, by the support of the Church, many of them would hereafter regret to find that they had weakened the Church by leaning too heavily on it. So far as the test produced the exclusion of Dissenters, it was unjust; so far as it imposed acceptance on reluctant members of the Church, it was immoral; and the Bill was therefore recommended to adoption by the principle of justice and the principle of morality; and if it had justice and morality on its side, it was haul and dangerous to say that religion was against it.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill he now read a second time."—(Mr. Dodson.)


said, that he rose to move an Amendment, of which he had given notice. The Bill bore on its face the avowal of the principle, that there should be a disruption of the connection which had hitherto prevailed between that which, with all deference to the mover, he must call the governing body of the University of Oxford and the Church of England. If there had been any doubt as to the real intention of the measure, it would have been removed by the remarks of his hon. Friend who had charge of the Bill, and still more by the very able speech of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Oxford City (Mr. Neate). Notwithstanding the disclaimer of his hon. Friend the Member for East Sussex (Mr. Dodson) he held Convocation to be the governing body at Oxford. It was the court of ultimate resort; it passed the laws; it appointed the officers; it regulated the relations of the University to the Church. Consequently, he was bound to consider how far such a body could safely he dissociated from the Church. His hon. Friend, while he did not disguise his desire to carry out the Bill as it stood, held out hopes that if the House would agree to the second reading, it might be so modified in Committee as to place certain guards on it. In the early part of his argument his hon. Friend said his object was to place the University of Oxford in the position of the University of Cambridge; but there was really a great difference between the situation of the latter and that in which Oxford would be placed by the Bill. At Cambridge the degree of M.A.—that was the mere title to affix those letters to the end of a man's name—could be taken without any declaration at all; but the mere degree gave the possessor no weight in the University, No one could become a member of the Senate who had not submitted to a certain test, showing that he was a member of the Church of England. Now, the principle of the Bill was to break altogether the connection between the government of the University of Oxford and the Church of England. His hon. Friend's proposal as to the subsequent modification of the measure simply amounted to saying, "If you will only agree to the principle of the Bill now, when we go into Committee we will cut out that principle and put in something very different, or, at least, I will discuss the question with you whether we shall do so or not." He was satisfied that it would not be prudent to accept the advice of his hon. Friend. Had the Bill been brought in originally for the purpose of placing the University of Oxford on the same basis as Cambridge, although he could not approve of the change as being altogether satisfactory, still he should have been under considerably greater difficulty in opposing it. He owned that in his opinion uniformity in the regulations of the two Universities would be in itself a great advantage. On that ground he opposed the very regulation in question when first brought forward. There was, no doubt, a very great attraction in the idea of avoiding the necessity of imposing on any lay members of an institution terms which were more stringent than the ordinary conditions of lay communion. There were good reasons, however, why the Oxford system was best. He knew perfectly well that the uniformity of the two University systems had no attraction for his hon. Friend opposite, or else he would not have proposed in his Bill to establish at Oxford a regulation different from that at Cambridge. The fact was that if the Bill were carried, it would only furnish an argument for another advance in the same direction, and for pushing Cambridge forward to the position which Oxford would then occupy. A Bill which struck at the root of the principle of association between the governing body of the University and the Church was not one about which it was wise or necessary to argue at any length. It depended very much on the broad principles on which hon. Members had made up their minds. From certain points of view everything was clear, and the very same facts and arguments might lead to precisely opposite conclusions, according to the aspect in which they were regarded. He assumed that the Universities were Church institutions, not only in theory but in fact. They threw open their education, their honours, and their first degree to all who could get the use of them, but, in point of fact, nineteen-twentieths of those who were in a position to avail themselves of these advantages were Churchmen. Taking his stand on that assumption, he could not agree to a Bill which would dissociate the Church from these institutions. As to the proposal of his hon. Friend which (without meaning any personal offence) he must characterize as insidious, to pass the second reading and amend the Bill in Committee, he had had some experience as to the dangers of such a concession. He and other hon. Members had more than once, already, consented to the second reading of a Bill in the hope, and sometimes on the understanding, that it would be modified in the next stage. The result had been that, although they failed in getting the desired Amendments, they had never heard the last of their assenting to the second reading. The only justification for giving way on the present occasion would be the conviction that the suggested Amendment would not only improve the Bill, but also the existing state of things, and that he did not think it would do. He must, therefore, meet the Bill by direct opposition. It might be desirable to state to the House how the matter actually stood at Oxford with regard to these tests. After the B.A. degree at Oxford everything remained open as at the commencement. It was only on taking the M.A. degree that any difficulty arose. He could not but believe that the distinction at Cambridge between the two classes of masters—those who had merely the degree and those who had taken the test, and were members of the Senate—was an evil. At Oxford the consequences of the change would be more serious than some supposed. Since the University Act of 1854 numbers of lay fellows of colleges and lay tutors had entered. These gentlemen were B.A. 's, who had not taken the declaration. The statutes of the colleges, however, required their fellows to proceed as soon as possible to the higher degree, on taking which they were, of course, identified with the Church through the subscription. If, however, the declaration were made conditional merely on admission to Convocation, many would be able to hold the fellowships and tutorships without ever identifying themselves with the Church. When laymen voluntarily put themselves in the position of teachers, of whom a great number were clergymen, he did not think that they had any right to complain if they were subjected to more definite obligations as to the Church than the ordinary terms of lay communion. That was an important consideration. If, then, he could not believe that any Amendment would put this Bill into a better shape, it was too much to ask him to assent to the second reading, and, to use a common expression, to be "dragged through the dirt," by admitting a principle which could not be afterwards modified by any improvement at a further stage. On these grounds he begged to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.


begged to second the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Sir William Heathcote.)


Sir, I regret to find that the hon. Baronet who has just sat down has no intention of accepting the conciliatory proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for East Sussex. That proposal should not be misunderstood. We have no idea of yielding the point about the vote in Convocation; all we say is that that point, although an important one, is but a single point, and not the principle of the Bill, and we think that the fight over it might well be postponed till we go into Committee; but before I go further, Sir, there is one assertion of the hon. Baronet so novel and extraordinary, that I must really draw attention to it. Where is his authority for the statement that the University of Oxford is a Church institution? Every one knows that, from accidental circumstances, it has been very closely connected with the Church; but it is a lay corporation, and if any evidence can be given in favour of the view put forward on the other side, I hope we shall hear something more about it from succeeding speakers. I have allowed my name to be put on the back of this Bill for three reasons. First, because I think it makes a reasonable concession to the claims of the Liberal party within the Church. Secondly, because it makes a concession too slight, but still a concession, to the claims of Nonconformists; and thirdly, because, independently of its influence on the fortunes of any sect or party, I think it will be useful to the University. My hon. Friend's Bill echoes, as has been said, the petition presented last Session; from 106 members of the University of Oxford, a number considerable in itself, but far more significant when we recollect who were the petitioners, and how strong were the motives to induce them not to sign. These 106 represent a very large and very influential section of University men, but above all, they represent a growing party—a party which is becoming stronger with every succeeding term. In the years between 1827 and 1833 it became sufficiently evident that the movement which had rolled all over Europe, and had in this country carried successively the repeal of the Test Act, Catholic Emancipation, and the Reform Bill, had reached at last even the University of Oxford, and there seemed not a little chance that that great corporation might awake from the sleep in which it had been long held, and make at least some steps forward, carrying the Church of England along with it. No sooner, however, had the first symptoms of a desire for progress shown themselves, than some of the most intelligent men of the University began, compelled by the influences amidst which they had been brought up, to look about and see whether it was altogether necessary to yield to this movement from without; whether there were no forces other than the mere high and dry church and king Toryism which could be brought into the field. They fell back upon the Laudian theology, and called to their aid the church principles of the 17th century. The principles which they enunciated in the "Tracts for the Times" had infinitely greater charms for the minds of young men at the University than the dull and lifeless theology which had previously been in fashion there, or than the productions of another school which was widely popular in that day in various parts of the country, but which, for reasons to which it is unnecessary to allude, never flourished in the atmosphere of Oxford. The great majority of the ablest young men who were educated there during that period fell under the influence of the new teachers, who succeeded not only in damming back but oven altering the direction of the current of thought in Oxford for twelve years. Well, time passed on; "the merciless logic" of the leader of the movement brought its natural results to him and to others. The great secession to Rome took place. Then came a change at Oxford. A few followed, one by one, with hesitating steps, but many paused, and listened to other voices before they went further. And other voices soon made themselves heard. Men who had been formed under Arnold at Rugby were just old enough to speak with some authority in the University, and hardly had they begun to fill the void than the new burst of liberal opinion, which shook half the thrones of the Continent, came to scatter mediaeval fancies. Those who were at Oxford in those days will not readily forget the abiding change which the events of that year produced, increasing tenfold the interest in and knowledge of the Continent—its social, political, and religious modes of thought. Since February, 1848, the history of opinion in Oxford is merely a branch of the general history of religious opinion in Protestant Europe. It has lost altogether the curiously local and exceptional character which it had during the so-called Oxford movement. Any one could foresee what would be the end of that movement who had read the history of the great storm of the 17th century, or had observed the ripples of reactionary opinion in Italy, France, or Germany, in the first half of this century. But he who presumes to say how and when the present movement will end, must be able to look far down through history, and calculate the results of influences such as have never before been called into action. Point out to me any Protestant community in Europe in which reforming agencies are not being set to work as powerful as any of those which heralded the revolt of the human mind against the Latin Church. In England, in Scotland, in Germany, in France, in Switzerland, in Holland, I see everywhere the same questions being raised, and becoming the property no longer of a few thinkers but of the great public. It is not as if it were a new movement; it is a very old one, and can be traced year by year, name by name, from the days of Bacon to our own. Do you deny that it has made itself felt powerfully in Oxford? Do not look merely to this petition, or to this Bill, go down to Oxford and talk there with those who know what men are really thinking in the place. Is it really seriously maintained that the obligation of adopting the Thirty-nine Articles and the Prayer Book which now exists, preserves anything like uniformity of opinion amongst members of Convocation? Rome and Geneva, Tubingen and Canterbury, are hardly further apart than were many of the groups which gathered on Tuesday the 8th in the Sheldonian Theatre. Is there not something extremely absurd in the idea that Dr. Pusey and Mr. Maurice, Professor Jowett and Dr. Cotton, have all signed the Thirty-nine Articles and accepted the Prayer Book, and are, no doubt, perfectly ready to sign them again on the shortest notice? I dare say many who hear me read at the time the famous tract 90. Well, after the publication of the views therein contained—views which are still, as every one knows, the views of not a few clergymen of the Church of England—what, I would venture to ask, can you expect from the Thirty-nine Articles? If the very views against which they were chiefly directed can be held in the teeth of them, how, in the name of wonder, are they, or the Prayer Book either, to exclude from the governing body of your Universities persons whose heresies were never dreamt of in the days of Queen Elizabeth? We ought not to forget, Sir, that neither professors nor tutors, nor clergymen in pulpits, are now the true teachers of Oxford. Books are its teachers, as they are ours; and I am ready to stake my whole case upon this assertion, that there is no one book written by any author living or lately dead which is now powerfully influencing men's minds, either in London or in Oxford, which breathes a spirit in the slightest degree favourable to the sort of views which commend themselves to the minds of those who are in favour of theological tests in learned institutions. Is it worth while urging the immorality of a system which teaches men to think so little of what once was supposed to be a solemn engagement? Is it worth while to show that any man who can deliberately and ex animo adhere to every clause in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Prayer Book must either be talking of what he does not understand, or must not only have mastered the results of all the controversies of the era of the Reformation, but must have thought himself, wonderful to relate, precisely into the intellectual attitude of the two different and opposing sets of men who drew up these forms 300 years ago? Every one gives himself a little latitude in subscribing, some more, some less, and must do so from the very nature of things. Is it worth while to point out to how many scrupulous people these tests are a cruel snare, or that the great originators of heresies are after all the test-bound clergy? Turning, Sir, to the case of the Nonconformists, I pass over numerous powerful arguments which have been, or will be, urged in the debate, such as, that this exclusion from the Universities is one of the last vestiges of persecution, that the Universities are the property of the nation, and not of any particular religious body or set of persons in it; that it is infinitely important for the whole nation as well as for the Nonconformists, that they should obtain that higher culture which Oxford gives, and which they at present find it difficult to obtain; that religion has only to gain by the disappearance of sectarian hatreds; that, with a view to the maintenance of our position in the world, everything that promotes the unity of the nation is infinitely desirable; that certain sects of Nonconformists, the Methodists, for example, cannot he said to have deserved ill of the Church; that in our Scotch Universities, not only is the governing body of the University open to all creeds, but all the professorships except the divinity professorships have been freed from tests, without the slightest bad effect upon the religious character of the nation. I will dwell, however, for a moment upon two other arguments which ought to have some weight with the hon. Gentlemen opposite. Have they really so little faith in the attractions of the Church of England as to doubt that it will rob many of the Nonconforming sects of some of their most distinguished young men, if once the obligation of passing under the yoke of the Thirty-nine Articles and of the Prayer Book considered as a test at their M.A. degree is done away. Can any one doubt that many who go up Nonconformists will come away Churchmen in their hearts, if they are not compelled to an ignominious retractation? Again, Sir, can any one doubt that those hon. Gentlemen upon the other side who dislike and fear the Liberal or movement party within the Church more than they fear and dislike almost any Nonconformists, will find in "the orthodox Dissenters," if admitted to convocation, most useful allies against their dreaded foes? Oxford has not been always so jealous about her tests. She was not even so jealous in days when toleration had made but little progress. Towards the end of the 17th century, a Greek College was established in Oxford for students of the Oriental Churches, and I do not read of any attempts having been made to proselytise the young men who attended it. This College was soon broken up, but from casual circumstances, and not from any religious motives—chiefly, I believe, because greater facilities were offered to Greek students in Halle and in Paris. From twenty to thirty years later, there was the case of Courayer, who was made a D.D. of Oxford, with all and each of the privileges appertaining to the; doctorate in sacred theology. Courayer was then a Roman Catholic, and a Roman Catholic he remained to the day of his death, in spite of his Protestant or Anglican inclinations. Lastly, Sir, I support this Bill, because I think it will be useful to the University. Experience has taught us that Oxford has always most flourished when clerical influence has been weakest there. Every improvement which has been made in the place in our times, and I in all other times, has been made in the teeth of clerical opposition. With almost every humiliation that has befallen the University, from the earliest times down to the disgraceful scene which took place upon the 8th March, clerical influence has been closely connected. Public opinion, acting either directly or through Parliament, has, on the other hand, always been her best friend, and assuredly she wants all her best friends at present. No one is a more attached or loyal member of that great corporation than I am, but I am obliged to confess, with sadness—when I consider her vast wealth, her unequalled prestige, and her enormous influence—that there is scarcely a University in Christendom which, in proportion to her means, is doing so little for science and good learning.


said, he had felt at the close of last Session, from the movement in that House with regard to subscription to those formularies which had hitherto constituted the membership of the Church of England for laymen as well as ecclesiastics, that there were about to be introduced into the House proposals for changes of the greatest magnitude. The course of the present debate had shown that his anticipations were not ill-founded. When, towards the close of the last Session, the hon. Member for East Sussex (Mr. Dodson) drew attention to a petition signed by 106 persons, among whom he (Mr. Newdegate) was willing to admit were distinguished members of the University of Oxford, he felt perfectly convinced—although the ostensible object of the hon. Member was to place that University, with regard to subscription and church membership, on the same footing as the University of Cambridge—that he would be dragged far beyond the limits he intended, and that his proposals would be made the vehicle of carrying forward objects in which he would fain believe the hon. Member did not participate. He thought the course which the present debate had taken, clearly showed that the anticipations he had ventured to entertain were not unfounded. The hon. Member for Elgin (Mr. Grant Duff) stated, at the close of the Session, that as an advanced Liberal he felt himself placed in a very difficult position. The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Cobden) had declared that the system of free imports could be carried no further; the Earl Russell had stated that the question of Reform was to be allowed to sleep, so the hon. Member for Elgin appealed to the Government in order to ascertain to what measures such ultra-Liberals as himself were to resort for the sake of action to his class of politicians, whether for good or for evil, essential as the air they breathe. In short, the hon. Member described himself as a "frozen out gardener." He hinted that in an attack upon the Church might be found agreeable occupation for those who abhorred inaction in the cause of extreme change and destruction. The Bill before the House was introduced as one of those various changes which, under the guise of moderate principles, went far beyond the scope of those who would reform rather than destroy; it appeared to him not of a very candid nature. What did that Bill propose? It proposed to abolish the well known and well understood declarations of Church membership as a condition of the admission of a member of the University of Oxford to the degree of Master of Arts, It nevertheless proposed that these well known subscriptions should still be retained as an essential security that the clergy should adhere to the true doctrines of the Church, and teach in accordance with those doctrines. The Bill had not the honesty to abolish the declaration for the laity altogether, but it proposed that while the ecclesiastical Master should continue to subscribe the well known articles and formularies of the Church, the lay Master should only declare himself a bonâ fide member of the Church of England. He trusted the House would carefully observe this declaration of bonâ fide membership of the Church of England, and consider in what it originated, and what desires and feelings it was intended to satisfy. It was perfectly clear that if no one objected to any portion of the articles or formularies of the Church, there could be no reason for the change now proposed—namely, a declaration that they were simply bonâ fide members of the Church. The proposal, therefore, implied, under a vague generality, that the House were unwilling to admit to the governing body of the University of Oxford men who did not concur in all the Articles or all the formularies of the Church of England as hitherto subscribed by every person admitted to the degree of Master of Arts, which it was proposed should still be hereafter subscribed by the clerical Master. The Bill of the hon. Member for East Sussex (Mr. Dodson) established a distinct difference between the terms of Church membership for the laity and the clergy. The hon. Member for the City of Oxford (Mr. Neate) said that there had been too much clerical influence in the government of the University of Oxford, and the hon. Member for East Sussex (Mr. Dodson) said there had been a monkish spirit displayed in the government of the University. But what was now proposed? It was proposed to assimilate the terms of Church membership in the governing body of the University of Oxford to the terms of the Church membership which existed in the Church of Rome. In the Church of Rome the governing body meant the clergy. The laity were placed in an inferior position; they were the subjects of the clergy, and it was now proposed to degrade the lay members of the Church of England, who willingly subscribed the Articles and formularies of the Church, into a position similar to that of the Roman Catholic laity, by enacting that the declaration now required of the lay Masters shall be superseded, and that, for the purpose of governing the Church, they ought to be placed on a level with men who did not accept the tests, which had always been required, and were still to be enforced in the case of the clergy. The result was that if they assented to this Bill they would constitute a governing body with the lay element stamped as unsound. That was the position in which the governing body of the University of Oxford would be placed if the power of legislation was retained to them. They would constitute the clergy a separate class still abiding and bound by the declaration which he believed nine-tenths of the lay Masters of the University were willing and anxious to subscribe. He could conceive nothing more dangerous, and nothing more dishonourable, than that proposal. He would much rather that such subscriptions and declarations were done away with altogether. But let the House look at the extreme illiberality and intolerance produced by latitudinarian opinions. The hon. Member for Oxford City (Mr. Neate) stood before the country as an advanced Liberal; and what was his proposal? He complained that the University of Oxford, the great nursing mother of the Church, was free from Episcopal supervision and control. He was discontented that that intelligent and learned constituency, that that first of all corporations, should continue to govern the University according to the will of its majority as at present constituted. What was the ground of his discontent? It was because a proposal recently submitted to Convocation had not been passed, out of the usual course, for the endowment of a Professor appointed by the Crown, not by Convocation; a Professor who, unfortunately, held opinions which had been condemned as latitudinarian, which were disapproved by the Episcopal bench as well as by the nearly unanimous feeling of the members of the Church of England. A petition had been presented to that House, signed by 106 members out of 800, and that House was asked to compel the majority to bend to the will of that small minority. They were told that that was a growing minority; but it was not denied that it was a minority, and that the feeling of the majority of the Masters of Arts, as well as the general feeling of the Church of England, was against the change. Of all the strange phases of liberalism he regarded the present as one of the strangest—that it should be deemed Liberal, that a small minority should seek to overbear the voices of the great majority of the educated classes of the country. In point of fact the liberty now claimed was not claimed on the part of the great majority, but liberty for a few talented and ambitious men to enforce the arbitrary dictates of their own wills, it might be their capricious fancies, as the ruling principle of the University, in opposition to an overwhelming majority of men equal in learning and superior in principle to themselves. Such was the tendency of the proposal before the House, and he trusted the House would reject it as unsound and deceptive in itself, and dangerous in the consequences to which it was likely to lead. As to the proposed declaration of bona fide Church membership, he held that words "bona fide" were worth nothing if the terms of the membership were not those hitherto recognized by the University and the country. He had rejoiced in hearing the able, temperate, statesmanlike speech of the hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Sir William Heathcote), in defence of the freedom of the University of which he was the honoured representative. That University was now the only seminary limited exclusively to the Church of England. Were they then to subject this University to a measure of Reform still more extensive than the Act which now governed the University of Cambridge? He would ask the Members for the University of Cambridge what hope they could have if this measure passed for Oxford, but that Cambridge would be secularized after the manner of the University of London, which, though it might have produced men distinguished in learning and science, had not yet given proof that it was likely to rise to the position of the two great Universities which were now condemned because in them was taught the pure Protestant faith of the Church of England, whereby those great principles of true freedom were inculcated which had rendered the people of this country fit for the freedom they enjoyed. This had been effected by providing them with teaching, untrammelled by the narrowness of bigotry and untainted by the wildness of latitudinarian speculation. He knew that many hon. Members would vote for the second reading of this Bill in very different senses. If there were a division he was satisfied that this would prove to be the case. He addressed the moderate Liberals on the other side of the House, and would ask them to consider, before they sanctioned this Bill, whether they were willing to commit themselves to an extreme policy. Let them look at the history of the world, and of the great national changes which had been effected. If analogy could teach them anything, they would see that if they took, this step they would be urged onward by an irresistible power, and he entreated them to have the courage to resist a measure which would commit them far beyond their intentions. He trusted that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer who, he saw, was about to address the House, would not countenance a measure distasteful to the constituency which he had so long represented, which had been so proud of being represented by him, which had exhibited towards him a forbearance and a confidence that he himself would be the first to acknowledge. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: Hear, hear!] And he would ask the right hon. Gentleman what had that constituency—what had that governing body done that they should be degraded as was now proposed? Had they proved intolerant? Certainly not: against that imputation the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to he their witness. On the contrary, it had been used as a reproach that, within the University of Oxford, there was a freedom of thought, a latitude of opinion, an extent of speculation which amounted to absolute dissoluteness. It was difficult to imagine what more could be wanted. Surely, some valid objection could be urged, when the House was asked to disturb a system which had done so much to maintain the Protestant character of our religion. He had heard the honoured name of Arnold appealed to. He admitted that Arnold was a bold thinker, whose mind was endowed with rare powers of discrimination. Rejoicing in the fulness of his intellect, he had enunciated maxims which were now misunderstood and perverted by those who falsely professed themselves his disciples; because, if there was any principle to which Arnold adhered, it was that all Government in this country should be Christian, and distinctively Christian. And yet it was now proposed to use his authority for the purpose of breaking down the safeguards of that great corporation which had proved itself the best defender of the Christian faith—the Church of England—the best defender of the Christianity which should rule the nation—and all this in the name of Arnold! It pained him to hear the memory of the illustrious dead dishonoured. He would only further express the hope that this Bill would be rejected on the second reading. He regarded the Bill as hypocritical, tending to purposes which had not been avowed; but the result of which must be to overthrow an organization which had worked most satisfactorily, and which would not be succeeded by a better. Against such an innovation he begged to enter his earnest protest.


Sir, we are invited to reject this Bill on the second reading by the Motion of my hon. Friend and Colleague the Member for the University (Sir William Heathcote), and if there is any voice and any authority in this House which would weigh with me to adopt such a course, they are the voice and the authority of my hon. Friend. For many years we have represented the University in common, and I do not know that on any great question involving her interests or the interests of the Church, although we have sat during those years on different sides of this House, we have ever materially or widely differed. But, Sir, I am not able on this occasion to follow the call of my hon. Friend, and I cannot help expressing the regret with which I heard the conclusion at which he had arrived, and that he was to move the rejection of this Bill. My hon. Friend must not underrate through his natural modesty the importance of his own position. If I view these questions aright, I believe they are questions that can only be settled by the mediating influence of intelligent minds, and the weight of character; and the judgment and intelligence of my hon. Friend, and the deservedly great weight attaching to his character, qualify him, perhaps more than any other, so to mediate and bring about a kindly accommodation of these difficult and contested questions. But my hon. Friend refuses to accept that task, and invites us to reject this Bill on the second reading. Let us consider, then, a little, the position in which we stand. It has been said—and said, I think, with irrefragable truth — by my hon. Friend who is the main author of this Bill, that the question of the application of religious tests in the University of Oxford has been partially considered, but never has been settled by Parliament. In 1853 my noble Friend Earl Russell—then the leader of this House under the Government of the Earl of Aberdeen—and the whole of that Cabinet determined, and as I think wisely, that when they were attempting to deal with the multitude of questions connected with the discipline, the studies, and the property of the University and the Colleges, it was far better for them to prevail on Parliament, if they could, to lay aside altogether that class of considerations which might very materially have disturbed that general reform which they contemplated. But in one of the very last stages of that measure, when all the numerous and complicated questions properly connected with it had been disposed of, a Motion was made in this House and carried after a single discussion, which had the effect of abolishing the application of religious tests on admission to the University and on admission to a bachelor's degree; and it was intimated, on what was thought to be a very good authority by a noble Lord sitting in this House, that that Motion would not be effectually opposed by the predominating influences in another place. Well, it is hardly possible, I think, to say that a decision of that kind carried within itself prima facie evidence of being a complete solution of the question. But we have more conclusive evidence, because, when only two years afterwards the question connected with the reform of the University of Cambridge came to be discussed, then Parliament, on full consideration, and I think at the instance of the mover of this Bill, and the Government of my noble Friend now at the head of the Administration, adopted a system materially different from that of the University of Oxford. It is with the recollection of these circumstances that my hon. Friend and Colleague invites us to reject this Bill. Now, I ask, is he acting wisely in assuming an attitude of indiscriminate resistance, or is he taking a course altogether consistent even with the argument he has used? He does not hesitate to admit that there is great advantage in a general correspondence between the two Universities in the regulations relating to this vital question; but that advantage he proposes to forego by the rejection of this measure. My hon. Friend, by what, I must confess, seems to me a very forced assumption, undertakes to declare that the admission of Dissenters to the governing body is in such a sense the principle of this Bill that every- thing else which it contains is altogether subordinate; and that is the proposition on which my hon. Friend justifies the Motion he has made. Now, is that statement not palpably contrary to the true construction of this Bill? Is it not true that the Bill involves a question, of which I am sure he would not depreciate the importance, which is totally unconnected with the admission of Dissenters to the governing bodies, or even to degrees? Sir, there are many questions involved in this Bill, but there are two which are not only distinct in themselves, but which are each of sufficient importance to justify, if need he, the introduction of a distinct and separate measure. One of those questions is, whether the restraints of the University ought to be relaxed as regards Dissenters; the other is the question whether, as regards the membership of the Church of England, the tests now apply a proper means of ascertaining it. If we are of opinion that the tests applied in the University of Oxford for the purpose of ascertaining membership in the Church of England are tests which are not fit to be applied under all the circumstances of the day, and in the present state of our law, to the laity and the large and somewhat miscellaneous body which constitutes the Convocation, that is a state of facts which amply justifies us in voting, and even imperatively requires that we should vote, in favour of the second reading of this Bill. The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken grapples with this question, as is his custom, in his usual frank and manly way. He takes his objection outright and on principle to any proposal for substituting a declaration of bonâ fide membership for the present declaration respecting the Articles and the Prayer Book. My hon. Friend, if I may so presume to call him, has gone the length of saying that this declaration of bonâ fide membership of the Church of England is a hypocritical system. [Mr. NEWDEGATE: As standing by the side of the existing tests.] Well, I am ready to let him have the benefit of that explanation, whatever that may be. But when I heard that language, although I took some pains, Sir, to secure your eye, I was not without apprehension that the hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn), whose great in stitution is administered on this system, would in his vehemence have risen to anticipate me and to reply to the hon. Gentleman who sits beside him, because this declaration of bonâ fide membership in the Church of England, although undoubtedly its scope has been extended by Parliamentary legislation, was yet not due in its origin to such legislation. It is the University of Cambridge itself, I believe, to which is due the whole credit or discredit, as the case may be, of having invented this hypocritical system of dealing with one-half the consciences of the laity and those of a great portion of the clergy of the Church of England. My hon. Friend and Colleague was, in my opinion, indistinct and unsatisfactory in this vital branch of his argument. He told us that in a certain part of his speech he would show that it is fitting in the University of Oxford to apply the test of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles and the Prayer Book, as contained in the canon, to the case of lay membership in the Church of England; and I vainly listened to him with the utmost eagerness in order to discover what demonstration he would give us on that subject. For he admitted the strength of the primâ facie reasoning that there ought not to be in the University of Oxford alone a mode of ascertaining membership in the Church of England which is totally unknown to our law and practice everywhere else throughout the kingdom. Well, what is the argument adduced by my hon. Friend and Colleague to justify this singular state of things? It is simply this, that there are in Oxford a certain number of lay fellows and teachers, and that with respect to such lay fellows and teachers, when you consider the character and traditions of the University, and that they educate a large portion of the clergy, it is fair to require of them something more than a bare declaration of membership in the Church of England. This I understand to be the argument, and the whole argument, of my hon. Friend on that point. Now, there may be twenty, thirty, or forty gentlemen — I do not believe there are so many — standing in the category thus described by my hon. Friend—that is to say, of laymen who are, nevertheless, teachers of future clergymen; and I do not prejudge at this moment the question of what course you ought to adopt with them. [Mr. NEATE: There are not, I believe, over half-a-dozen.] Well, I have probably overstated the number; but let that pass. The question I have to put is this:—Granted that there may be a score or so of lay teachers at Oxford who are training future clergymen—granted, if you like, that it may be right to ascertain from these teachers that they are not merely bonâ fide members of the Church of England in a general sense, but also specifically acquainted with and adherents to its doctrines. I ask is that a reason why the same test of adherence to the Thirty-nine Articles and to the Prayer Book, why the teachers' test of the Church of England, why the clerical teat of the Church of England, should be applied to the 3,000 laymen constituting the majority of Convocation? I venture to say that there is no answer to that question. My hon. Friend did not attempt to provide an answer to it, and there is none to be found. I am not aware of any valid reason whatever why a special and exceptional rule is to he maintained in the University of Oxford for the purpose of ascertaining the Church membership of the lay members of Convocation, which is, as I have said, totally unknown to our law and practice elsewhere. I submit that that consideration is an ample justification for us to vote in favour of the second reading. But, Sir, I am not prepared to adopt this Bill without amendment. I could not support it on the third reading as it now stands in respect to certain of its provisions. I do not think it quite consistent or becoming in us, for example, to lay down by law the principle that no test shall he applicable to the taking of degrees in divinity, because, although the degree of divinity may be restricted by the present practice to persons in orders, yet I do not know that that restriction rests on any broad and universal principle; and the question whether such degrees should be accompanied with a test is a matter which I think it better to leave open, and not close by law. I admit it to be a very fair subject for consideration what test should be required from persons who are to teach in the University; and I am bound to say that, as regards the governing body of the University, I think, with my hon. Friend, that that governing body should not be thrown open irrespective of religious distinctions. It is not possible to decide a question of that kind on abstract principle. We must look at the general state of the country, at the division of religious communities, at the manner in which that division crosses the division of the classes of which society is formed. When I take that survey, I find in the first place that the education of Oxford is, and always has been, and I trust ever will continue to be, a strictly and formally religious education. Since the passing of the Act of 1853 the University has, in my opinion, with very good judgment, endeavoured to provide that the liberal enactments of that measure relating to Dissenters should in no respect affect the course of its tuition with regard to members of the Church of England. That being so, and such being the character of the education in the University, on whom does the maintenance of that character depend? On the governing body of the University. It is needless to enter into the question whether or not the governing body consists of Convocation; and for this reason, that the governing body, if it does not consist of Convocation, does consist of it together with the Hebdomadal Council; but no test is to be left for the Hebdomadal Council that is not to be applied to Convocation, and therefore these bodies will go together. We have, then, to consider whether the governing body itself is, or is not, to be composed of members of the Church of England. When we take into view the character of the education at Oxford, and likewise consider that the enormous majority of all classes which are likely at any period within our view to partake of the benefits of the University are members of the Church of England it is, I think, not unreasonable to say that the governing body shall be composed of such members. What right have you to expect of those who do not belong to the Church of England that they shall, as members of that governing body, give themselves to the careful and jealous maintenance of the religious teaching of the University? It is not even fair, I think, to call upon such gentlemen to discharge duties for which by their religious profession they are necessarily in a great degree disqualified? But, besides that, I must take this into view:—In my opinion, the great justification for now opening this question, and also one great difficulty in the way of those who would have us refuse this Bill a second reading, lies in the state of the legislative arrangement deliberately adopted by Parliament for the University of Cambridge. I venture to say, that in the present circumstances, the best course which we can take—the course which would be fairest to those members of the Church of England who desire relaxation—the course most conducive to the interests both of the Church and of the Universities generally, and most just also as regards the Nonconformists, is to adopt for Oxford in the main the system already adopted for Cambridge, I, for one, am not able to defend the present legislative arrangement of Oxford. I would greatly have preferred that the University herself, by the exercise of her own powers, should have made the changes which are reasonable. There are, I think, five points on which changes might be fairly made at Oxford, all of which have been made at Cambridge; some of them must be made by the Legislature, and the rest might be made by the University herself. I confess I do not see how you are to justify the exclusion of Dissenters from lay degrees, nor how you are to justify the maintenance of the lay test for Churchmen; and I hope that those who may follow the in this debate will address themselves to the solution of that difficulty, which I venture to say was left, if not wholly untouched, yet wholly unsolved, by my hon. Friend. In the third place, I must confess I think it would be very well if those who govern the University had the power of admitting, even into the governing body, by special decrees made for that purpose, persons whom it might be desirable to introduce upon special or exceptional grounds, although they might not individually belong to the Church of England; just as at King's College, as has been mentioned by the hon. Member for the City of Oxford, certain professorships are thrown open to particular persons, irrespectively of their religious communion. There is another point which, although it has not been distinctly referred to in this discussion, is yet of great practical importance, and one with regard to which Oxford and Cambridge are under a different legislative arrangement. I mean the question of private Halls. As far as I am acquainted with the feelings of the Nonconformist bodies—and especially with the feelings of some among them—I believe that what they are most anxious for is to be allowed to found private Halls in the Universities under masters of their own persuasion. The provisions of the Oxford University Act as to private Halls have proved almost entirely inoperative, and if somewhat amended after the manner of the Cambridge University Act, advantage might be anticipated from them. The difference between the two Acts in this respect is apparently very slight. But the Oxford Act provides by its 25th section, that any Member of Convocation—that is, of the governing body—having obtained a licence for the purpose, may open a private Hall. This confines the superintendence of private Halls entirely to members of the Church of England, and consequently imposes on the Members of other religions denominations this disability — that they must either refrain from sending their children to the University altogether, or place them under the direct control of persons belonging to the Church of England. Now, the exaction of these terms might be justifiable if absolutely necessary for the welfare of the University; but I own I do not see what mischief or danger could arise from allowing young gentlemen of other persuasions than the Church of England to come to Oxford and be placed under the disciplinary care of persons of their own denomination. That is not my opinion only, but the opinion of the Legislature; because by the Cambridge Act of 1856, there is this modification introduced, that the privilege of establishing private Halls in that University is given, not to the members of Convocation, but to members of the University. Therefore, gentlemen, having taken the proper degrees and qualified themselves in other respects in such manner as to conform to any general rules laid down, may open private Halls at Cambridge without being members of the Church of England. That is a matter of great practical importance, and one the solution of which would depend not at all on our adopting this Bill as it stands, but on our adopting that provision of it which liberates degrees from the application of any religious test. Then, with regard to college emoluments, it is difficult and somewhat invidious to maintain the existing law at the University of Oxford after the eon-cession which has been made at the sister University. At Cambridge you have made this concession, that no declaration shall be taken or required on admission to any college emolument which is made the means of assisting a young man in going through his course as an undergraduate; and I confess I do not know why admission to such emoluments should be by law restricted, excepting as far as it involves admission to the governing body either of the University or of the Colleges. If that be the state of the law—if these are the points which remain open for discussion without interfering with the exclusive possession of the governing body by the Church of England, I confess that I am quite at a loss to understand how my hon. Friend can, even to himself, reconcile the course of undiscriminating resistance to which he commits himself, I do not think it is wise, as re- gards the interests of the University, to exhibit her in such a position. It is not for those who petitioned against the Bill to take distinctions between the second reading and the Committee; and I cannot wonder that the authorities at Oxford should have expressed their objections to the opening of the governing body. But it is for us to reconcile in the best way we can the various conflicting claims and interests with which Parliament is appointed to deal. Lately it has been too much the fashion to adopt a policy of indiscriminate resistance. I cannot conceal my own opinion on that subject. If you look back upon history you will find that the greatest vice and misfortune of the Church of England has been that, for many generations past, on questions not of temporal but spiritual interest, her friends, or those who thought themselves her friends, have shown a great deal too much tenacity in clinging to their privileges to the very last moment that it was practicable, and at length only had them positively wrenched from their grasp when concession had lost all possible grace and value, and when consequently nothing could be obtained in return. Sir, if I take my present course, it is not because I believe that this is an easy time for the Church of England, or a time without its dangers. On the contrary, as regards the religion of that Church, I admit that these are days when it is subject to peculiar and, perhaps, unprecedented dangers. But these dangers will not be averted or even mitigated by declining to make concessions which do not touch her faith, but indicate her desire to live in good will with every branch and section of the community—to consult, as far as possible, the feelings of all Christians and of all persons, be they Christians or not, to whom it is possible for the Universities to impart a portion of their benefits; and thus to show that when she does take a course of resistance it is from no narrow or hasty impressions, but because she is convinced that the vital interests are at stake of that faith which is committed to her charge. That is the policy upon which I desire to act. I am not here to seek for favour by holding language which would allow it for one moment to be believed that I think the maintenance of the definite religion of the Church of England is a matter of small or secondary importance; on the contrary, I believe that there is no higher object which any member of that Church could set before himself than that; and especially for me, in my position as one of the repre- sentatives of the University of Oxford, to depart from that duty would be one of the basest acts of desertion of which any man could be guilty. But, nevertheless, while I do not question the sincerity, I do question the wisdom of the disposition which for several years past we have seen evinced. No doubt it is natural to bodies of men—and the history of all religious sects and parties shows it—to make use of the day of prosperity not as, I think, true wisdom would dictate, for the purpose of accommodating difficulties and removing grounds of offence, but for the extremest assertion of every right and every privilege to which it still remains within their strength to cleave. I was once, Sir, taken to task for questioning the judgment of this House, but I think it is quite competent for us, in a manner consistent with all due respect, to lament any decision at which this House may have arrived. It is not necessary now to enter into particulars, but various Bills have been proposed involving concession in one shape or another to Dissenters and persons who desire the relaxation of tests; and it appears to me that the readers of our discussions and those who learn the decisions to which this House has come during the last two or three years will have concluded with regret, if they are readers of wise and dispassionate mind, that very precious opportunities—golden opportunities, have been lost of uniting and knitting together the minds and hearts of men by reasonable concession, and that the assertions of right by majorities, which have been perhaps somewhat ruthlessly and certainly sternly made, are by no means calculated to diminish those dangers which lie in the future—that they procure, indeed, the gratification of a triumph for the moment, but that they store up difficulties for those who are to sit on these benches in this House hereafter. With that policy of indiscriminate resistance to almost every measure aiming at relaxation or relief, even down to the poor little measure—for so I must call it—of my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield), which, I think, we carried through this House only by a majority of four, merely to undergo very shortly the miserable fate which too certainly awaited it in another place—with that policy I must say it is not simply as a Minister of the Crown, and not only as a Member sitting on this side of the House, that I decline to associate myself, but because I believe that, however sincerely, however honourably intended—and that I do not for one moment question—it is a policy no more fatal to the application of the principles of civil and social justice than to the best interests of the Church of England herself.


said, he had not intended to take part in that debate, but, as the hon. Member for East Sussex (Mr. Dodson) had appealed to him, and as the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had referred to the case of the University of Cambridge, and by a mistaken application of that case, had endeavoured to lead the House away from the matter before it—namely, the principle of the Bill, he felt called upon to offer a few remarks, with the view of bringing the House back to the proper subject of their discussion. In answer to the appeal of the hon. Member for East Sussex he was ready to admit that the Act of 1856 had not in any degree severed the connection between the University of Cambridge and the Church of England; but he could not endorse the assertion of that hon. Member, which had been repeated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the effect of the Bill before them would be to assimilate the condition of the two Universities. On the contrary, they had only to compare two statements made in the able and temperate speech of the hon. Gentleman in introducing the Bill, to see how wide a difference there would be between the two Universities under a measure like the present. The first of those statements was that the object of the Bill was the admission of persons to all degrees without any religious test whatever. With regard to that statement, the hon. Member for Sussex was correct, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer quite as incorrect. The second statement of the hon. Member for East Sussex was to the effect that the Bill would admit persons without any religious test to the Convocation, which was the Parliament of the University. Let them take together these two statements, the accuracy of which he acknowledged, and contrast them with the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who admitted that it would be a great evil to admit persons to the governing body of the University without a religious test. But was not the Parliament of the University its governing body? If so, would not the very evil which the right hon. Gentleman had deprecated, directly follow from the Bill which he had; so earnestly supported? Then they were told that, under the Act, the University of Oxford would be in the same position as that of Cambridge. But what was the position of Cambridge? True, in the Cambridge Act of 1856 the mode in which the declarations constituting the test were to be made was left to the discretion of the governing body of the University, but the essential principle of that Act was, that no person should be admitted to the Senate unless he had, in the manner prescribed by the University, signed some declaration or made some statement that he was a bonâ fide member of the Church of England. What was the effect of that? Why, that the governing body of that University must necessarily consist exclusively of members of the Church of England. Now, he would read a few lines of the Bill, the object of which had been fairly stated by its introducer, and then again ask the House to compare them with the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech. The Bill provided that no person should be required, to enable him to take the degree of M.A., or any other academical degree, to subscribe any formulary of faith, or to make or subscribe any declaration or take any oath concerning his religious profession. The right hon. Gentleman complained of his own Colleague for not grappling with the question before the House; but how had he dealt with it himself? Why, he invited them, in a debate on the principle of this Bill, to follow him into a discussion of five favourite points of detail of his own, and particularly into the question of private Halls, which had nothing whatever to do with the principle of the Bill now before the House. The hon. Member who seconded the Motion very candidly stated what was the object of the Bill. The House, however, did not require that statement. On the presentation of petitions on that subject last year, the House was clearly and distinctly told that the object was not merely to introduce persons of any religious persuasion and without any test into the governing body of the University itself, but also to enable them to hold fellowships, and to introduce them into the governing bodies of all the individual colleges. And that had been stated again today. Last year, indeed, they said they would not go so far as to make every one eligible as a head of college. There might, according to this proposal, be a body of fellows all Unitarians, and who might govern a College according to their own views, except that when they came to elect a head, they must turn to a member of the Church of England. That was the limit of last year; but it was obvious that the reli- gious test, if confined to the headship, could not be maintained, and in the Bill before them that condition had been removed. The hon. Member for Sussex drew a picture of what, in his opinion, was a properly constituted educational establishment. He said a good schoolmaster should be one who did not limit his scholars to those not difficult to deal with, but that he ought to admit all who came, and deal with each of them as the urgency of the case required. Well, apply that to the Universities. Was there any exclusion? He maintained that there was no exclusion of persons of any denomination from the Universities, which were open to all who desired to obtain the advantages of academical education and academical degrees. There was, therefore, an absolute absence of any grievance to justify the adoption of the dangerous principle embodied in the measure. It was said that a Dissenter was deprived of the passport and stamp to his character for learning which a degree afforded, and which might help him in his future career. Was that the fact? Happily there were several cases where Dissenters had distinguished themselves at the University, and if such a person became a Senior Wrangler at Cambridge, or took a first class degree at Oxford, he was admitted to the degree of B.A. without any test whatever. Did he not, then, thus possess his passport and stamp of character to show how he had succeeded in his academical career? Would anybody care or inquire whether he afterwards went on to take the formal degree of M.A., which was the mere result of the payment of certain fees and the lapse of a few years. The real passport was obtained by the competitors for the B.A. degree and the honours thus conferred. He thought it would be wasting the time of the House to endeavour further to refute the statements so confidently made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he said that the effect of the Bill would be to assimilate the practice at Oxford to what now existed at Cambridge. Far from it. The real effect of the Bill, as described by its seconder, would be to do that for Oxford which no dissenting body would permit to be done in the case of any school or college instituted for the religious education of the members and ministers of a particular persuasion—namely, that the members of the governing body of that institution should be admitted without any religious test or qualification whatever. That, and that only, was the simple proposal of the Bill, and that reason alone, for no substantial grievance existed, ought to lead to its rejection. The very fact that the two Universities had gone so far as they had done, in opening their doors to Dissenters, and all other persons, without any religious test or qualification, was urged as an argument against them. They had recently had at Cambridge the scion of a distinguished Jewish family, and a Dissenter, the son of a dissenting minister, had lately obtained high honours there; but this only rendered it the more necessary that they should be cautious when they came to the consideration of the question, who were to be members of the governing body? He could not help regretting that here, as in the case of the small schools, they were continually being compelled to contest such questions, when within a few years the whole matter had been settled by the wisdom of Parliament. It was not consistent with what was due to the real prosperity of these educational establishments that they should he perpetually harassed by such attacks. More than anything else they required a period of repose, and it was only in cases of some pressing emergency, where there was a real and substantial grievance, that that House should interfere with the internal arrangements of bodies such as these. The evil effects of a measure like that before them would not be limited to members of the Church of England. Those persons who were receiving the benefit of admission to the Universities would themselves be the greatest possible sufferers; for supposing the schemes which had been advocated in that House were carried into execution to the fullest extent—supposing they brought the Universities, he would not say down to the level, but to the condition of the University of London, what would be the inevitable result? His hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford had said, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had also said, that nineteen-twentieths of those who desired and were in a position to reap the benefit of a University education were and would for a long time be members of the Church of England. He believed they might go further and say that that was the case with ninety-nine out of every hundred. What would be the necessary result if they carried into execution those measures? It would be that the parents and guardians of those young men who desired to see them educated in the principles of the Church — if the connection between the Church and the Universities were rudely severed, as it would be by the passing of the Bill—would at once set about the establishment of some other body with features of exclusion so cardinal and fundamental as effectually to keep out the sons of Dissenters. The sons of Dissenters went to the Universities not merely to acquire classics or mathematics but also for the sake of that social distinction which arose from being members of the University; they would not be willing to be confined to private Halls of their own; and the inevitable result of severing the connection between the Church and the Universities would be that some other exclusive Church of England institution would be founded, which would deprive the sons of Dissenters of the great social advantages they now enjoyed. But they were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it was wrong to oppose the second reading of this Bill—that they were engaged in a course of indiscriminate resistance, of which they would some day rue the consequences and see the folly. He confessed he differed entirely from the right hon. Gentleman on that point, and he appealed to the experience of the last five Sessions as to which was the wiser course to take. They had tried both courses—they had tried the system of concession. They had themselves proposed measures of concession, and they had accepted them from the other side of the House. What had been the result? They had tried the policy recommended by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the case of the Endowed Schools Bill and in the case of the Burials Bill. In that case the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as in the case before them, picked out one difficulty, some minute matter of detail, and because the state of the law was not altogether perfect, he said he would vote for the second reading and discuss the Bill in Committee. On every occasion when they had taken a single step in the path of concession it had not led to the settlement of the question, but had been treated as a steppingstone to further aggression. That proved the wisdom of the course they had determined to take in reference to that and similar questions. And when they were told that the object and effect of the Bill would be to admit persons to the governing body at Oxford without any religious test at all; when they were told that afterwards the same principle was to be applied to the Uni- versity of Cambridge, and that afterwards it was to be applied to all colleges with the exception of the headship of those colleges, they were bound, if they wished to preserve the connection of the Universities with the Church, to reject a measure involving such a principle. There was one portion of the speech of the hon. Member for East Sussex which he had heard with great regret. That hon. Member, who usually spoke with great ability and moderation, towards the close of his speech had thought it right to allude to what had recently taken place at the University of Oxford, and, summoning spirits from Pandemonium, spoke of the discord and disunion which prevailed at the University. That was certainly not the proper time to discuss such matters, but if the University was in the condition he described, the passing of such a Bill as that must tend to promote that disunion, and perpetuate that discord. If the measure were carried, every evil he described would be aggravated, and every meeting of Congregation would necessarily become an arena of religious discussion and acrimonious controversy. He deprecated the revival of such discussions in that House. They had had five Wednesdays without anything of the kind, and he had trusted that the Session would have passed without the introduction of any such measures. It was with great regret he found the hon. Member for East Sussex, usually so moderate, embarked in these religious controversies. He regretted still more to hear him refer to the disunion which had existed in the Church, more or less, since Apostolic times. If that disunion existed, it was rather a reason for moderation and abstinence from attack than an argument for the introduction of such a Bill. There was abundance of work to be done by all, both within and without the pale of the Church, who wished to advance the cause of religion and morality. Heathenism and infidelity were increasing around them at home—the infant Church in the colonies was struggling under great difficulties—the vast field of missionary labour was unoccupied; and while all that work remained necessarily to a great extent, unperformed, it was a great pity to enter upon such discussions and dissensions, especially when no real grievance existed. Bella geri placuit nullos habitura triumphos. It was not merely because he felt satisfied that the measure would be dangerous to the University which he represented—that it would be injurious to the cause of religion and religious education, and to the best interests of the Church of England, but because he believed it would be deeply injurious to those sons of Dissenting parents who were now receiving the benefits of a University education, that he called on the House to reject the Bill.


said, that personally he might be thought in a dilemma with regard to the measure before the House, being bound by his duty as a Catholic to do nothing to strengthen, and by the oath he had taken as a Catholic Member to do nothing to weaken the Church of England; yet he should support the second reading of the Bill, which he did not think would impair its legitimate strength. It did not strengthen the Church of England to see three distinguished Members for the Universities out of four opposing indiscriminately the second reading of a Bill which would only enable those who could write B.A. after their names to write M.A. To that extent only the Chancellor of the Exchequer went in his support of the Bill. He was sorry the right hon. Gentleman was Member for the University of Oxford; if he were free from that incubus there could be little doubt he would soon go the length of advocating the admission of Dissenters to the University as members of Convocation. He did not see what mischief that could do to the Church of England. He would not go into the religious question. The hon. and learned Member who last spoke gave no reason whatever why the degree of M.A. at Oxford should be placed on a different footing from that in which it stood at Cambridge. Both Universities should act on the same principle. He believed the mere teaching and preaching of the Church of England were open to the members of all persuasions, to Dissenters, Turks, or Infidels, who were all rigidly excluded from the loaves and fishes. The admission of Dissenters into Convocation was not a question of religion, but of loaves and fishes. Nothing was talked of but mixed education for Ireland; why should not the same system be adopted in Oxford? Two years ago he accompanied a deputation to the Government for the purpose of securing a charter for the Catholic University of Ireland. The noble Lord at the head of the Government talked in a strain of great liberality of mixed education, and would not countenance anything exclusive, although he took the liberty of reminding him that in the public schools of Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and at the University of Oxford, the system was exclusive and carried on exclusively by Protestant clergymen. Those who represented Oxford need be under no apprehension if the second reading of this Bill were carried. It would probably be so curtailed in Committee that it will only assimilate the law at Oxford to that at Cambridge. The Bill, however, involved an important principle which he thought the House ought to affirm.


said, he would not detain the House for more than two or three minutes. It seemed to him that the difference between the two sides of the House would be completely bridged over if the author of the Bill would only insert in it three words, placing Oxford exactly on the same footing as Cambridge. The arguments which had been used went to that extent; and those which had been used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer were very strong—he thought totally irrefragable. Some hon. Members, he was aware, went a great deal further than that, and would have no tests at all, not even a subscription for clergymen; but with such he could not agree. He did not think the hon. Member for Sussex, who moved the Bill, would go so far as that. The hon. Member for the City of Oxford had said that all he wanted was to proceed upon the same principle as the House of Commons and the State acts upon. When Members took their seats, they must all take an oath abjuring certain doctrines as injurious to the State. Even the Queen on the throne took an oath, and submitted to a test without which a Stuart would now be on the throne. They had no business to inquire into the private opinions of a man. In his private capacity he had a perfect right to hold what opinions and notions he chose; but it was a different matter when he became a public teacher. When he took upon him a national office he was bound to teach only those doctrines which had been approved by the nation. The nation considered it a duty to give religious education to the people. The State paid for that education; for endowments, educational endowments, although originally established by individuals, were dealt with at the time of the Reformation as national property, and must now be so considered; they paid so much money for having certain religious principles instilled into the people. It was therefore necessary to define accurately what should be taught; or rather, to guard against what should not be taught. There would otherwise be nothing but confusion and vagaries in doctrine. Would they have the teachers in one parish contradicting and perhaps anathematizing another in the adjoining parish? The State, therefore, imposed certain tests, and said, "Those only may teach who will teach according to the articles which we impose. Into your private opinions we don't inquire; but your public teaching must be in accordance with these articles." That was the principle which had been laid down by the Lord Chancellor in the judgment which he had pronounced the other day in the case of the Essays and Reviews. His words were these— That only is matter of accusation, which is advisedly taught or maintained by a clergyman, in opposition to the doctrine of the Church. The doctrine of the Church was determined in that trial by the Articles of the Church, It was, therefore, only where the teaching was openly and advisedly in opposition to the doctrines of the Church that it could form matter of accusation against any public teacher. A fortiori those who train youths in the University must teach ac cording to the Articles. If that were not so, they would have every clergyman setting himself up as the sole arbiter of doctrine; and there would be an Ecclesiastical tyranny as intolerable as that of the Star Chamber. Public opinion again would establish a penal system, and the basis of the Church would be narrowed. Already public opinion was more narrow than the Articles. Thus a sum of money had been raised, not for the prosecution, but the persecution of Bishop Colenso, and a subscription had been also got up for the prosecution of Mr. Wilson and Dr. Williams. Still more recently there bad been an attempt made by private individuals to impose certain tests; and if any clergyman did not sign the paper which was sent round for signature, he was hunted down by the religious papers of the day as a heretic. Yet this paper condemned the decision of the Privy Council, and was against the law of the land; it set up an imperium in imperio. With respect to the Bill, if the hon. Member for East Sussex would only agree to the same simple test for the governing body of the University of Oxford which was imposed at Cambridge, he would meet most of the difficulties on that (the Opposition) side of the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had allowed that the governing body ought not to be free for every Dissenter, but only for those who held the doctrines of the nation. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would give them an undertaking, that if the Bill passed the second reading he would in Committee introduce words such as he had indicated.


said, that hon. Gentlemen opposite argued that the House ought to adopt their views because they represented the opinions of the majority of Members of Oxford University. But could the House forget what had occurred a few day since, when the whole governing body of Oxford was overcome by an irruption of angry bigots from every corner of the land? And yet hon. Gentlemen opposite invited the House to submit to the judgment of a mere numerical majority like that! In his opinion no attempt had been made either by the hon. Baronet or the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University, to meet the great argument in favour of the Bill—that the present system weighed with cruel oppression upon the consciences of many young men. According to the present system, if a young man hesitated to accept the tests, he was marked as a Dissenter or a sceptic, and consequently in most cases men forced themselves to swallow the tests, although with reluctance. Thus the University tempted the young men whom it fostered to tamper with their consciences by pretending to accept that concerning which they entertained serious doubts. Coming to the Bill itself, they had been told that the real aim of this proposal was to assail the Established Church. That he denied. Practically, the hold of the Church of England on the University would remain exactly what it was then. Even should a few Dissenters make their way into Convocation, they would be an almost imperceptible minority, and under the provisions of the Bill every functionary of the University, and every one actually engaged in teaching, would still have to declare himself a bona fide member of the Established Church. In fact, it was a delusion to suppose that this was in the main a Dissenter's question. No doubt the Bill might relieve a certain number of Dissenters, but its main effect would be to relieve those who, while still loyal members of the Church, were yet unable to subject their minds to every part of her dogmatic teaching. And there lay the very gist of the whole question. The strife was between the principle of religions subjection and the principle of religious liberty. It was impossible to understand the meaning of these tests, or even to imagine any possible plea for them, unless they were regarded as parts of a great system which emanated in days gone by, from the idea that uniformity of belief was the first essential, and that it was therefore the bounden duty of the people to submit their minds to the religious teaching of the national Church. That idea could not be more vividly expressed than in the words of the declaration, which was incorporated by law with the Thirty-nine Articles, as a constituent part of them. In that declaration the Sovereign says— It is most agreeable to our Kingly office not to permit unnecessary disputations, or questions to be raised…. We do, therefore, require all our loving subjects to continue in the uniform profession of the Articles of the Church, and we prohibit the least difference from the said Articles." Again, it says that, "From the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England we will not endure any varying or departing in the least degree;" the conclusion—the logical conclusion— being that "if any person in either of our Universities shall hold any public disputations upon the Thirty-nine Articles, he shall be liable to our displeasure, and we will see there shall be due execution upon him. There was expressed in the plainest of words, the idea from which these tests naturally issued. That idea 300 years ago led the Government of almost every land in Christendom to attempt the extermination by fire and sword of all who broke through the required uniformity of belief, and who dared to dissent from the national Church, whatever that Church might be. By degrees humanity revolted from that course, but still even in England, within two centuries, imprisonment and banishment were not thought too harsh penalties for those who worked out their own faith for themselves. A length even those measures were found, in England at least, unbearable. But even till our own day that idea so far wrought upon the law of the land that no one might serve the State in any way unless he had declared himself a subject of the national Church. That oppression had also disappeared. But this test, still inflicted on the laymen educated at Oxford, was in fact nothing else but a miserable rag and tatter of the system which issued from the idea that uniformity of belief was essential, and that all men ought to bow the knee to the religion established by the State. And those who would maintain these tests were, one could plainly see, swayed mainly by the feeling that the national Church ought by right to enjoy the undoubting, uncompromising, loyal allegiance of the whole people, and that no acknowledgment should be made which could be staved off of men's right to reject her supremacy over their mind and conscience. Now, on the one hand, he was sure that his hon. Friend (Mr. Dodson), and most of those who supported his Bill, were fully alive to the unspeakable value of the Established Church, and fully admitted, not merely the utility, but the absolute necessity of doctrinal teaching and the means of worship being offered for men's acceptance. And strongly as he (Mr. Buxton) detested the tyrannical stringency of the existing subscription required of the clergy, he entirely allowed that those who were to preach from the pulpits of the Church, and to serve at her altars, must in some way be ascertained to be true members of that Church. But, when he came to a test thus thrust upon laymen, he could not but see that it was nothing but an expression of the right of the Church to a dominion over men's minds, and he advocated the abolition of that test distinctly upon the principle of religious freedom—the principle, namely, that every man had an absolute, indefeasible right, with which no other man and no law of man could be entitled to interfere, to think out his own faith, to believe or to disbelieve, to accept in part or to accept as a whole the religious teaching that was set before him. Holding that right to religious freedom to be among the first and foremost of the natural rights of man, and perceiving that these tests were a trespass upon that freedom—upon that ground, far more than upon the ground of the oppression they caused, he demanded their repeal. He was well aware that this was not a popular view to take, but, at least, they might have the satisfaction of feeling that in founding themselves upon it they were conforming themselves to the realities of the life around them. They were not, like hon. Gentlemen opposite, clutching vainly at an ideal state of things, but were seeking to bring the law of the land into harmony with actual facts. It was happily the fact that such uniformity of belief, such subjection of men's minds and consciences to the dogmatic teaching of others, was quickly becoming a mere dream of the past. The younger generation of men, those who would stamp the age, were grappling more and more boldly with religious truth, throwing their own minds upon it, and working their way to their own conclusions. Some looked on that state of things with alarm; others, to his mind wiser, rejoiced in it as a sign of vigorous life—life far higher than any which was possible in the dead level of uniform belief. But, whether they thought of this with hope or with awe, at any rate nothing could be more futile than the endeavour to keep down that strong movement in men's minds by such poor and decayed trammels as those which it was the aim of the Bill to sweep away.


said, he had no wish to detain the House by entering deeply into the somewhat desultory discussion to which the Bill had given rise, but before a division took place he wished to recal the minds of hon. Members to the exact position in which they stood, and to justify the position they had taken upon that side of the House. They had been censured by very high authority for what had been called "indiscriminate resistance" to measures of this kind. The justification for indiscriminate resistance on the present occasion was to be found in what he must call the indiscriminate nature of the attack. Let the House remember what was the exact position of the Bill. It was a remarkable fact that there had been no less than three distinct views taken as to the intentions and object of the Bill. The hon. Gentleman who introduced the Bill, in a speech of great moderation, said that he was about to introduce no new principle, but simply to complete what had been begun in 1854 that the principle of 1854 was, that education at the Universities should be thrown open to Dissenters, and this Bill was simply the complement of what was done in 1854. The hon. Gentleman said that it was not only the education but the degree which stamped that education which was of importance. Upon that point the hon. Gentleman was set right by the seconder of the Motion, who was himself practically acquainted with the subject, who said in effect that it was a delusion to say that the conferring a degree of M.A. was giving a stamp to the education that had been received, That stamp was given when, after passing through the curriculum, a man obtained the degree of B.A. The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion, however, said he wanted something more—that the prizes of the Universities should be open to Dissenters, a step which the mover did not seem to wish to take, nor the Bill to contemplate. Then there was the view taken by the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Buxton), who reproved Members on that side of the House for saying that the Bill would weaken the connection of the University with the Church of England. But that expression had been first used by the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Neate), who knew the practical working of Convocation. That hon. Member had told them that he was aware that if this measure was passed it would, if not destroy, certainly impair the connection between the Church and the University; that it would have the effect of rendering less definite, less authoritative, the teaching of the Church at the University. When such arguments were brought forward by such authority it was time for the party with which he had the honour to act to ask, before going to a division, what was really the principle of the Bill, and what were they going to vote upon. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he wished to pare the measure down to a minimum, that he was ready to defend the colleges and to keep the prizes in the hands of the Church; that he was decidedly of opinion that the governing body must be retained in the hands of the Church, thus far differing in toto from the hon. Gentleman who moved the second reading of the Bill. But the right hon. Gentleman then said he thought that the House ought to take the step of assenting to the principle of the Bill with the view of placing the University of Oxford on the same level as that of the University of Cambridge. Now that view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was wholly different from the view put forth by the mover and seconder of the Bill, and the Bill itself. Was there, he (Sir Stafford Northcote) asked, anything whatever in the Bill that would lead the House to suppose that its object was simply to place the two Universities upon the same footing? The Bill, on the contrary, was well calculated to revive the rivalry which in the course of advance some time ago existed between the two Universities. For nearly a century there had been a marked distinction observed between the two Universities. At one time it was thought desirable that Oxford should obtain a step in advance of Cambridge. At another time it was considered prudent that Cambridge should obtain a step in advance of Oxford. The result was a constant desire on the part of each to obtain an advantage of the other. The present measure, if carried, would have the effect of reproducing that restless and unnatural competition between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. While it would be consistent for Gentlemen who held the views which the promoter of this Bill held to support a measure that would have that effect; the party with whom he had the honour of acting felt themselves not only justified, but actually bound by their principles, to resist the progress of such a measure. If they did not wish to be false to their principles they must take their stand in opposition to the measure. They could not accept the advice tendered them, of assenting to the second reading of the Bill in the hope that in Committee, by the cutting out of all its most important provisions, they might bring it to such a miserable fragment as the Chancellor of the Exchequer wished to reduce it. They knew very well what the consequences of such a course would be. If they assented to the second reading with that view it would be said that they admitted the main principle of the Bill, and their standing ground would be cut away from them. He hoped that they would take no such course, and that they would continue to stand upon the firm ground they then occupied. The Chancellor of the Exchequer entreated them to consider the position in which they stood, and he reminded the House that some years ago the Government of which he was a principal organ came forward with a measure to settle the status of the University of Oxford. That was a great measure, embracing a large number of questions, which were kept distinct from any plan for admitting Dissenters; but that towards the close of the discussion, a private Member brought forward a clause for the admission of Dissenters to the University. That clause was passed at a single discussion, and in that way the present state of things was inaugurated at Oxford. But the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that that was no solution of the question. He (Sir Stafford Northcote) maintained it was a solution of the question by Parliament deliberately proposed and amply discussed. Two clauses were proposed which were deliberately discussed. One of them was accepted and the other was rejected. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that some years afterwards a Bill was proposed with much more deliberation in regard to the University of Cambridge, and very different from the hasty measure respecting the University of Oxford, and passed into a law. The right hon. Gentleman then called upon the House to agree to a Bill which gave rise to such conflicting opinions, even amongst its promoters, and said that the Government would make it the means of introducing a settlement of the question, by making the measure hastily passed consistent with the measure deliberately passed. If that were so, why had not the Government taken the subject in hand, and proposed a measure on their responsibility, instead of leaving it to a private Member? But he (Sir Stafford Northcote) would venture to ask whether the settlement arrived at in respect to Cambridge was so satisfactory that the House was prepared to stand by it? Were the Dissenters in Cambridge University satisfied? Why, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. E. P. Bouverie) last year came down to the House and said that the position of the Dissenters at Cambridge was intolerable—that Parliament had no doubt granted them an A.M. degree, but that it shut them out from what the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Scully) called the loaves and fishes. The right hon. Gentleman then went on to argue upon the propriety of giving the Dissenters in the University of Cambridge admission to the prizes of that University, and asked the House to do by them what the hon. Member for the City of Oxford wished to he done by this Bill. Now, as a matter of justice to those with whom he (Sir Stafford Northcote) acted, he was determined that the House should not go to a division upon any such understanding as that to which he had referred, and that it should not be supposed, though the party with whom he acted were opposed to the principle of the Bill, that they were prepared to offer an indiscriminate resistance, as the right hon. Gentleman said, to any measure that might be presented for altering the position of the University of Oxford. They had never shown a disposition to offer an indiscriminate resistance to what was really good and proper. But when an important measure was brought forward, in respect of which there were three distinct and contradictory views taken by its supporters, when they heard the ablest and the best amongst its supporters say that they looked upon it as a step for throwing open the prizes to Dissenters, and for weakening the connection of Church and State, they (the Conservatives) would be betraying their principles and not doing their duty as members of the Church if they did not stand up and say that they were determined to resist the further progress of the measure. If it was desired to place Oxford upon the same footing as Cambridge, and to deal with the five points referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, let the Bill be withdrawn or negatived, and then let the Government take the matter into their own hands; or, it the Government should shrink from the task, let any hon. Member who was anxious for that settlement bring forward a measure for that purpose. But with regard to this Bill, he called upon the House not to be deluded into thinking that it was wrong to offer indiscriminate resistance to indiscriminate attack, and therefore he appealed to them not to assent to the second reading.


said, it was very discouraging to Members who, like himself, felt great difficulty in making up their minds upon the subject to find, upon looking for guidance and information to those Gentlemen who from their position might be supposed to understand the question, that they were rather at cross purposes upon it. Such was certainly the case in the present discussion. Whatever might be the intentions of the hon. Member for East Sussex, there could be no doubt that the Bill, as it stood, went the whole length of throwing open Convocation or the governing body of the University of Oxford to all persons indiscriminately, without the application of a theological test. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in supporting the second reading, told the House that that was not what he meant; that he did not want to throw open Convocation; that he thought the connection of the Church of England with the governing body of the University should be maintained as it at present existed. When, however, that element was taken out of the Bill nothing would remain in it. The only grievance to be dealt with, then, was of so slight and imperceptible a nature that it was difficult to understand what it was. He had himself been a Master of Arts of Oxford University for twenty years, but he had not considered it a privilege of so extraordinary a nature that he should go far out of his way to obtain it. When the whole object of the Bill, as weeded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would be to confer the barren privilege of being a Master of Arts without a right of voting, upon certain individuals not members of the Church of England, he did not think such an object was worth the time or trouble of discussion in that House. He admitted that the question as to members of Convocation was very difficult and important. He was himself entirely opposed to maintaining the existing test of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, and he thought the hon. Member for Oxford University (Sir William Heathcote) went almost as far when he said that he saw no reason for imposing upon laymen the same tests of Church membership as were required of ministers of the Church. He would be content with such declaration as was to be found in one part of the Bill, that any person becoming a member of Convocation should declare he was bonâ fide a member of the Church of England. But that was not what was brought before the House. The Bill proposed, if anything, that all theological tests whatever should be withdrawn as regarded members of Convocation. That raised a still more difficult question, whether it was possible to take away from the University of Oxford, as distinguished from the colleges, that distinctive character of being identified with the Church of England which at present it assumed to possess. He would be sorry to commit himself at present to any definitive opinion upon that point, but it seemed to him that a very complicated position might arise if the University of Oxford were placed in the position of the University of London with a number of Church colleges attached to it. Let any one consider what would be the position of the University of London if a number of Church colleges were to be attached to it, and then they could form a notion of what the University of Oxford might become if the Bill passed in its present shape. While he was prepared to support any measure for substituting a declaration of bonâ fide membership of the Church for the test at present applied to members of Convocation, he could not support the Bill in its present shape, and he did not think it would be worth while going into Committee upon it if it was, as he gathered from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, his intention to weed it entirely of that portion which hon. Gentlemen opposite regarded as the mischievous part of the Bill. He hoped, therefore, the measure would be withdrawn, but should it be pressed to a division he would be compelled to vote against the second reading.


said, the hon. Member who had last spoken was in error in saying that the principle of the Bill was to admit to the government of the University per- sons who could not sign a declaration of Church membership. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had also spoken upon that point, and it had been argued that the Bill contained no other principle. To say that was to overlook one of the chief motives for bringing forward the Bill, which was to get rid of a system which distressed conscience, promoted dishonesty, impeded learning, discouraged theological study at the University, and on the whole was unjust, intolerant, and inquisitorial. The Bill proposed to remove the evil by abolishing tests for academical degrees. The question of honesty had not been noticed by the opponents of the Bill. When it was stated that the cause of learning was endangered by the test, the cry in answer was, "The Church in danger." But let hon. Gentlemen opposite consider how they could deal with the case of a man who came to the University with a superficial form of adherence to the Church, and, under the stimulus of the very learning and study which it is the duty and highest privilege of the University to enforce, found that although he wished to believe certain things, yet honestly he could not. Was such a man to be told, "Stifle that morbid craving after truth; if you cannot give an intelligent adhesion to the Church, give it anyhow?" Or would they say to him, "You ought to have arrived at one conclusion only from your study, and you have arrived at another. We wished you to listen and not to reflect. Your learning is great, your genius undeniable, your character unblemished, but you dissent from one of the 500 propositions contained in the Thirty-nine Articles, you are weak enough to confess it, and you can never be a member of that University, which otherwise you are so fitted to adorn?" He left the opponents of the measure the benefit of the choice between these two answers.


The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has his name on the back of the Bill, but he has certainly not made more clear than it was before what is its principle. The principle announced by the Mover, and which is contained in the Bill itself, is exactly that which was so clearly stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University (Sir William Heathcote)—namely, to admit to the governing body of the University persons who are not members of the Church of England. That is the principle contained in the Bill. The principle contended for by the hon. Seconder is to go still further, and to admit Dissenters, not only to the governing body of the University, but to all the endowments of the colleges. The Chancellor of the Exchequer supports the Bill, not on the principle of the Bill itself, not upon the principle of the Mover, nor on that of the Seconder, but upon the principle that he wants simply to place the University of Oxford upon the same footing as the University of Cambridge. And then the hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the House, with his usual acuteness and ability, starts another principle quite different from all the others—namely, that you ought to import into this Bill the question of subscription. I have a strong objection to Bills, professing to contain certain principles, being brought in and the sanction of the House asked to their second reading, with the intention afterwards of adopting and carrying into effect totally different principles. The Chancellor of the Exchequer calls our resistance to Bills of this kind, "indiscriminate resistance to all improvement." No, it is anything but indiscriminate resistance to all improvement. It is the application of a practical rule of wisdom to be observed in this House, where we have had previous experience of similar propositions on former occasions. I will explain what I mean. We have had three measures submitted to us of late years. One related to the great question of church rates, which was mainly argued at first upon the ground that Dissenters had a grievance in being required to pay for a Church which they did not frequent, and with which they were not in communion. We attempted to meet that grievance. I myself proposed a Bill to relieve Dissenters from it; but that Bill was opposed, and measures for the total abolition of church rates were advocated instead, because the promoters had ulterior views as against the Church Establishment itself. Then came the Bill relating to endowed schools. That Bill was ostensibly brought in because it was said that the children of persons not belonging to the Church did not have fair play in religious instruction if they went to endowed schools. The objection was removed by a conscience clause, and yet other measures were still persisted in because their promoters would be content with nothing less than that Dissenters should become managers and trustees of those schools, though they never belonged to them. Then take the third question of burying-grounds. It was said that it was a grievance that the body of a person who in his lifetime had not been a member of the Church could, if the law were strictly enforced, be refused interment in the churchyard, where his remains might rest near those of his own relations. We offered to relieve Dissenters from that grievance, but they were not satisfied; they required the use of the Church and the churchyard, as if they were their own; and they demanded the right to have any ceremonies performed in them, other than those of the Church of England. And now we have a Bill which the House is asked to pass upon the ground that it is to assimilate Oxford University to Cambridge University, while we know well, from what we have heard, that such is not really the object in view. Now, in my humble judgment, that is not a fair way of dealing with the House. If it be intended merely to assimilate the two Universities, let Her Majesty's Government bring in a Bill for that purpose and I venture to say that little or no opposition will be made to it on this side of the House. But if a measure is introduced professing one object, but really having another, then, I say, we are not only justified, but absolutely called upon to give our opposition to such a proposal.


I only wish to say that, in voting for this Bill, I distinctly disavow doing so upon the assumption that its principle is such as has been described by hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side — the severance of the connection between the Church and the University. I do not find that principle in the Bill. If we were reading this Bill now a third time, that might be the effect of it. But we are not reading the Bill a third time. We shall have to go into Committee upon it if this stage is passed. I have now only to look to the principle, and that I take to be that there shall no longer be any test upon taking academical degrees with certain qualifications. In the Cambridge Act the qualifications are enumerated. It says that an M.A. degree taken without test shall not enable any person to become a member of the Senate or to fill certain offices. My hon. Friend proposes to consider in Committee the question of adding the qualifications which are not now inserted in the Bill, to the effect that an M.A. degree shall not entitle any person to become a member of Convocation without test. No one can deny that it will be competent to add that qualification when the Bill gets into Committee.


said, he thought he had cause to complain that the principle of his Bill had been misrepresented by hon. Gentlemen opposite. The principle of the Bill was not the admission of Dissenters into the governing body of the University, but the completion of the opening of University education by the removal of all unnecessary tests, at the same time maintaining the offices of the Church in the hands of members of the Church. The grievance created by the test had not been denied. The test itself harassed those who went to the University, deterred others from going there at all, provoked religious disunion, and added fuel to religious discord. To refuse to allow the second reading of the Bill would be to refuse to the laity a concession which by common consent was pronounced necessary in the ease of the clergy.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 211; Noes 189: Majority 22.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2°, and committed for Wednesday, 1st June.

Acton, Sir J. D. Buller, Sir A. W.
Adair, H. E. Butler, C. S.
Adam, W. P. Butt, I.
Agnew, Sir A. Buxton, C.
Alcock, T. Caird, J.
Antrobus, E. Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Athlumney, Lord Castlerosse, Viscount
Ayrton, A. S. Childers, H. C. E.
Aytoun, R. S. Cholmeley, Sir M. J.
Baines, E. Churchill, Lord A. S.
Baring, H. B. Clay, J.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F.T. Clifford, C. C.
Baring, T, G. Clifton, Sir R. J.
Barnes, T. Clive, G.
Bass, M. T. Cobden, R.
Bazley, T. Collier, Sir R. P.
Beale, S. Cox, W.
Beaumont, W. B. Crawfurd, E. H. J.
Beaumont, S. A. Crawford, R. W.
Bellew, R. M. Crossley, Sir F.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Davey, R.
Berkeley, hn. Col. F. W. F. Dering, Sir E. C.
Berkeley, hon. C. P. F. Dillwyn, L. L.
Biddulph, Colonel Douglas, Sir C.
Black, A. Duff, M. E. G.
Blake, J. Duke, Sir J.
Blencowe, J. G. Dunbar, Sir W.
Bonham-Carter, J. Dundas, F.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Bouverie, hon. P. P. Enfield, Viscount
Brand, hon. H. Evans, T. W.
Bright, J. Ewart, W.
Bruce, Lord E. Ewart, J. C.
Bruce, H. A. Fenwick, H.
Buchanan, W. Fermoy, Lord
Buller, J. W. Finlay, A. S.
Fitzroy, Lord F. J. Packe, Colonel
Forster, C. Padmore, R.
Forster, W. E. Paget, C.
Fortescue, hon. F. D. Paxton, Sir J.
Fortescue, C. S. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
French, Colonel Peel, rt. hon. F.
Gaskell, J. M. Pender, J.
Gavin, Major Peto, Sir S. M.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Pilkington, J.
Gilpin, C. Pinney, Colonel
Glyn, G. C. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Goldsmid, Sir F. H. Ponsonby, hon. A.
Gower, hon. F. L. Potter, E.
Greene, J. Pugh, D.
Greenwood, J. Robartes, T. J. A.
Gregson, S. Robertson, D.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Russell, H.
Gurdon, B. Russell, A.
Hadfield, G. Russell, Sir W.
Hanbury, R. St. Aubyn, J.
Hankey, T. Salomons, Mr. Ald.
Hardcastle, J. A. Scholefield, W.
Hartington, Marquess of Scott, Sir W.
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. Scully, V.
Henderson, J. Seely, C.
Henley, Lord Seymour, H. D.
Herbert, rt. hon. H. A. Seymour, A.
Hibbert, J. T. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Hodgkinson, G. Sheridan, R. B.
Hodgson, K. D. Sheridan, H. B.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Smith, J. B.
Ingham, R. Smith, A.
Jackson, W. Smith, J. A.
Jervoise, Sir J. C. Stacpoole, W.
Johnstone, Sir J. Staniland, M.
Kershaw, J. Stanley, hon. W. O.
King, hon. P. J. L. Stansfeld, J.
Kinglake, A. W. Steel, J.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Stirling, W.
Knatchbull - Hugessen, E. Stuart, Colonel
Sykes, Colonel W. H.
Layard, A. H. Talbot, C. R. M.
Langton, W. H. G. Taylor, P. A.
Lawson, W. Tite, W.
Leatham, E. A. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Tomline, G.
Lewis, H. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. H.
Lindsay, W. S. Turner, J. A.
Lloyd, T. Vane, Lord H.
Locke, J. Verney, Sir H.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Vernon, H. F.
Lysley, W. J. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
MacEvoy, E. Vivian, H. H.
Mackinnon, W. A. (Lymington.) Warner, E.
Watkins, Colonel L.
Mackinnon, W. A. (Ryo.) Western, S.
M'Mahon, P. Westhead, J. P. Brown-
Marjoribanks, D. C. Whalley, G. H.
Martin, P. W. Whitbread, S.
Merry, J White, J.
Mildmay, H. F. White, L.
Miller, W. Wickham, H. W.
Mitchell, T. A. Williams, W.
Moffatt, G. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Moncreiff, rt. hon. J. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Morris, D. Woods, H.
Morrison, W. Wyld, J.
Neate, C. Wyvill, M.
North, F.
Ogilvy, Sir J. TELLERS.
Onslow, G. Mr. Dodson
O'Reilly, M. W. Mr. Goschen.
Owen, Sir H. O.
Adderley, rt. hon. C. B. Hamilton, Viscount
Addington, hon. W. W. Hamilton, I. T.
Angerstein, W. Hardy, G.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Hardy, J.
Archdall, Captain M. Hartopp, E. B.
Astell, J. H. Harvey, R. B.
Baillie, H. J. Hervey, Lord A.
Baring, T. Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Barrow, W. H. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Barttelot, Colonel Heygate, Sir F. W.
Bathurst, A. A. Heygate, W. U.
Bathurst, Colonel H. Hodgson, R.
Beach, W. W. B. Holford, R. S.
Bective, Earl of Holmesdale, Viscount
Beecroft, G. S. Hotham, Lord
Bentinck, G. W. P. Humberston, P. S.
Benyon, R. Hume, W. W. F.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Hunt, G. W.
Bernard, hon. Col. Ingestre, Viscount
Bernard, T. T. Jermyn, Earl
Bond, J. W. M'G. Jervis, Captain
Bramston, T. W. Jolliffe, rt. hon. Sir W. G. H.
Bridges, Sir B. W.
Briscoe, J. I. Jolliffe, H. H.
Bruce, Major C. Kekewich, S. T.
Bruce, Sir H. H. Kelly, Sir FitzRoy
Burghley, Lord Ker, D. S.
Burrell, Sir P. Kerrison, Sir E. C.
Cave, S. King, J K.
Cecil, Lord R. Knatchbull, W. F.
Chapman, J. Knight, F. W.
Codrington, Sir W. Knox, Colonel
Cole, hon. H. Langton, W. Gore
Collins, T. Leeke, Sir H.
Cubitt, G. Lefroy, A.
Curzon, Viscount Legh, Major C.
Dalkeith, Earl of Legh, W. J.
Damer, S. D. Lennox, Lord G. G.
Dickson, Colonel Lennox, C. S. B. H. K.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Leslie, C. P.
Du Cane, C. Leslie, W.
Duncombe, hon. A. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Duncombe, hon. W. E. Longfield, R.
Du Pre, C. G. Lovaine, Lord
Dutton, hon. R. H. Lygon, hon. F.
Edwards, Colonel Lytton, rt. hon. Sir G. E. L. B.
Egerton, hon. A. F.
Egerton, E. C. Mainwaring, T.
Egerton, hon. W. Malcolm, J. W.
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. Malins, R.
Estcourt, rt. hon. T. H. S. Manners, right hon. Lord J.
Fane, Colonel J. W.
Farquhar, Sir M. Manners, Lord G. J.
Farrer, J. Miles, Sir W.
Fellowes, E. Miller, T. J.
Fergusson, Sir J. Mills, A.
Ferrand, W. Mitford, W. T.
FitzGerald, W. R. S. Montagu, Lord R.
Fleming, T. W. Montgomery, Sir G.
Floyer, J. Mordaunt, Sir C.
Franklyn, G. W. Morritt, W. J. S.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
George, J. Murray, W.
Getty, S. G. Naas, Lord
Gore, W. R. O. Newdegate, C. N.
Gower, G. W. G. L. Newport, Viscount
Graham, Lord W. Noel, hon. G. J.
Greenall, G. North, Colonel
Grey de Wilton, Visct. Northcote, Sir S. H.
Grogan, Sir E. Packe, C. W.
Hamilton, Lord C. Pakington, rt hn. Sir J.
Papillon, P. O. Tollemache, J.
Patten, Colonel W. Tottenham, Lieut.-Col. C. G.
Peel, rt. hon. Gen.
Pennant, hon. Colonel Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.
Pevensey, Viscount Turner, C.
Powell, F. S. Vance, J.
Powys-Lybbe, P. L. Vansittart, W.
Repton, G. W. J. Verner, Sir W.
Ridley, Sir M. W. Verner, E. W.
Rogers, J. J. Vyse, Colonel H.
Rolt, J. Walcott, Admiral
Rowley, hon. R. T. Walker, J. R.
Salt, T. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Sclater-Booth, G. Walsh, Sir. J.
Scott, Lord H. Walter, J.
Scourfield, J. H. Waterhouse, S.
Smith, A. Watlington, J. W. P.
Smith, S. G. Welby, W. E.
Smyth, Colonel Whitmore, H.
Somerset, Colonel Woodd, B. T.
Somes, J. Wyndham, hon. P.
Stanhope, J. B. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Stuart, Lieut.-Col. W. Yorke, J. R.
Stracey, Sir H.
Surtees, H. E. TELLERS.
Taylor, Colonel Sir W. Heathcote
Tempest, Lord A. V. Mr. Selwyn.
Thynne, Lord E.