§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
moved the omission, from Clause 3, of the words relating to the Colleges within the Universities.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
then said, he rose to move, after Clause 5, to insert the following clause:—(Form of declaration to be subscribed by professors and others at Universities.)Every person hereafter to be elected or appointed to any professorship in the said Universities, or either of them, or to the office of tutor or lecturer in any College within the same, shall, before he shall be deemed capable of entering upon or discharging the duties of such office, or entitled to receive the emoluments thereof, make and subscribe, before the Vice Chancellor of the University, or before the head or other chief governor of his College (as the case may be), the declaration following:—' I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely declare that as [here describe his office], and in discharge of the said office, I will never endeavour, directly or indirectly, to teach or inculcate any opinion opposed to the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, or to the doctrine or discipline of the Church of England as by law established.'They all knew the old proverb, give a dog a bad name and something unpleasant happened to him. A bad name had been given to this proposed clause by some Members on both sides of the House; it had been described as a new test. But if he thought it deserved that name in a sense material to the matter in hand he should not have proposed it. It was nothing of the kind. It was simply a declaration to be made, to a great extent, in the very words which Parliament had thought fit to require from the Scotch lay Professors when tests were abolished in the Scotch Universities. It did not contemplate any declaration of religious belief or disbelief in any tenet whatever, but was simply a negative promise that the person assuming the teaching office in the University, or one of the Colleges, would not endeavour directly or indirectly to teach or inculcate any opinion opposed to the Divine authority of Holy Scriptures, or to the doctrine or discipline of the Church of England as by law established. He should be surprised to learn that any hon. Member of that House was prepared to say that it would be right to permit any Professor or Tutor to 1091 teach ex cathedrâ what was opposed to the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, or to the doctrine or discipline of the Church of England. The declaration was merely, that he would not act in a manner inconsistent with his duty, as prescribed by the existing statutes of the Universities and Colleges, and the good sense and right feeling of every Member of the House would, he was sure, admit the propriety, in substance, of such a declaration. He had not heard that any uneasiness had been felt or shown by the Scotch lay Professors as to the extent or meaning of the obligation. The declaration did not define or explain what were the limits or nature of the Divine authority of Holy Scriptures. All the different Nonconformist bodies acknowledged their Divine authority, and the declaration did not tie any one to any particular dogma. It only required them, so far, to abstain from using their chairs or tutorships to inculcate infidelity or disbelief of Scripture on the students within the University. If they wished this Bill to pass, let them do what they could to allay the apprehensions, no doubt exaggerated and wild in some cases, which were felt by many excellent men of both Universities, that the effect of this Bill would be to undermine the legitimate authority and influence of religion. They did not intend that it should have that effect; then, he said, there was no possible reason for not making that as clear on the face of this Bill as it was on the face of the Scotch Lay Professors Act. Those who wished the Bill to be successful would, he thought, do well to accept the clause of which he had given notice, and which he begged to move.
§ DR. LYON PLAYFAIR
The Scotch Members have recently seen, with gratification, several instances in which England has copied some of the laws and customs of the northern part of the Kingdom. But I doubt whether any satisfaction will be expressed by Scottish Members, on either side of the House, at the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) to import into the English Universities this lay professorial test from the Universities of Scotland. There are two aspects to the question now before us—the first having reference to the immediate results on the persons who take the test; and the second to the proximate results on the subjects affected 1092 by the test. Now, as to the first, I freely admit that there is no strong feeling against this test among the Professors in the Universities of Scotland. The reason for this is, that it is, on the whole, considered to be innocent and irrelevant. The test does not bind the consciences of individuals or their action as members of society; it simply binds them not to introduce theological subjects into their prelections. But they have no temptation to introduce theology or any part of it into their courses, for the subject-matter involved is for the most part entirely distinct. The test, therefore, involves a disability which is little felt, and is looked upon with indifference. It is just as if you made the condition of giving a chair to a Professor of Science or Classics that he should not lecture on Buddhism or Fenianism—subjects wholly foreign and irrelevant to the branches of knowledge professed by him. Hence the test does not rasp on men's consciences, because they rarely come into contact. I signed that test ten years since, and have lectured under it since then in utter forgetfulness of its existence, for it has so degenerated into a mere formality that it is never discussed or brought under the attention of the Professors. It is not that test which preserves religion in our Scotch Universities, but the inherent truths of religion itself. I have admitted that I am unable to oppose the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond by any positive experience of the Scotch Professors as to the injurious effects of such a test, for its innocence and irrelevance have prevented it having any effect at all. But still I would put it seriously to the House whether it would be wise in us, when we are about to remove a strong test, to substitute another the only merit of which consists in its weakness. Tour strong tests have never been able to keep back the current of truth, though that truth may, for a time, have been in opposition to the teaching of the Church. Let me cite an instance in the memory of many Members of this House. About thirty years since, the clergy of all the Churches had a general belief that the world was created in six days of twenty-four hours each. Who was it that gave the death-blow to fids narrow interpretation of creation? It was a Professor of Oxford, himself in the Church, and who 1093 had taken the strong tests which we are about to remove. I have myself heard my much-lamented friend, Dean Buckland, within the precincts of Christ Church, teach those enlarged views of creation which are now universally accepted, but which then distressed many sincere members of the Church, both lay and clerical. Would it have been well for religion, or for science, or for the reputation of the University of Oxford, that these tests should have arrested the researches of the philosopher, or the exposition of the truth which these researches established? But I trifle with the subject. No test that you can devise will prevent truth from being sought for, or from being taught when it is discovered. That truth may sometimes conflict with narrow and false interpretations, but it never can conflict with truths in the Holy Scriptures. Divine truth is strong enough of itself without the aid of human laws, to clear away presumptuous errors. No doubt, the reply will be given that the test is levelled against these errors, and not against truth. Surely, in this respect, nothing could be more feeble, for if men will continue to propagate error against all evidence, sacred or profane, do you think their consciences will be chained by a declaration like this? Why, then, should we cumber our statute book with a useless test. Like all tests it would have no effect on the convictions or conduct of strong and decided men, and could only operate on tender and wavering consciences, which do not require such restrictions. Your strong tests in Oxford and Cambridge have never prevented the free expression of religious or scientific thought. Are your weak tests likely to be more successful? These tests, whether they be strong or weak, are not required for the protection of true religion, and they never do and never can muzzle science. Nevertheless, they are positively prejudicial to the subjects affected by them—that is, both to religion and science. They injure both because they assume, and by this very assumption create, an apparent, when there is no real, antagonism between religion and science. They thus prevent the alliance and diffusion of both—the diffusion of that religion which deals with man's higher spiritual nature now and for the future; and of that science which ought in itself to be a re- 1094 ligion because its object is to elicit the infinite wisdom of the Creator, as displayed in the laws which govern created things.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, he found it impossible to support a clause which embodied the minimum of utility with the maximum of irritation. What he objected to was not ex cathedrâ teaching, but that influence which could be brought to bear by constant, early, and familiar contact between persons of great ability and high academic authority and young men at the most impressionable time of life. He could not see that the clause of the hon. and learned Gentleman met that objection. But it was not merely that he believed the clause useless; he had also to consider the effect likely to be produced by it. The exclusion from University office, which at present was the law of those not members of the Church of England, might very possibly be regarded by many as an injury, but this test must be looked on as a positive and direct insult. It was not merely that a Nonconformist was excluded by somebody else, but here he was required to put the muzzle on himself, to enter the University as it were through Caudine Forks. This clause reminded him more of Mrs. Partington's attempt to keep out the Atlantic than of anything else.
§ MR. C. O. MORGAN
said, he was glad to find there was no disposition on the part of the Committee to accept the clause. Dissenters rather than be saddled with a test of this kind would prefer to remain as they were. It was not fair to seal the lips of Nonconformists by a declaration which was utterly opposed to freedom of speech. Besides it would be useless. While in his chair a man's lips might be sealed, but the moment he quitted it he was at liberty to enter into discussion. From his experience he could say that the power of a Professor was equally great, whether speaking in the chair or out of it. If they wished to resist the inroads of unbelief it was not by such declarations as these. They might as well try to defend a mediaeval fortress against the assaults of Pallisers and Armstrongs. Those tests were an anachronism. They were all very well at the time they were invented; they were useless against modern thought. He would recommend in this case the advice of the ancient 1095 lawgiver, who said 3,000 years ago—"Trust not to your intrenchments, but trust to yourselves." Let them trust to the simplicity and purity of their doctrines, because it was only by doing so they could hope to save those noble edifices from ruin by the folly of their own defenders.
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, he should have been willing to have manifested his respect for the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) by supporting the clause had it not been for the last argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman, who called upon those whom he termed his political Friends—not that there appeared to be much in common between them—to assent to the introduction of this clause if they desired that the measure should be successful. As, however, he did not wish that the measure should be successful, he should oppose the clause.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, the question before the Committee was what are we to pay for. Were we to pay for an education adverse to the truth of the Holy Scriptures? If we had to pay for the performance of a duty, we had a right to define the duty. This Amendment was a proof of the rashness with which the House was proceeding in sweeping away the affirmative declaration. If he could not obtain a better security against the teaching of wrong doctrine, he should feel himself compelled to accept the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ MR. SARTORIS
said, the proposed clause, partaking of the character of a religious test, and being, therefore, entirely opposed to the principle of the Bill, he felt bound to refuse it his support. It would appear from some of the observations which had been made that religious teaching meant theological teaching, but he agreed with the remark of a modern historian that, while God made the Gospel, the Devil invented theology. The Bishop of Peterborough, when he made that extraordinary speech which those who had the good fortune to hear would never forget, said that the people of Wales, although Dissenters, did not differ more from the Church of England than members of that Church differed among themselves. The truth of that statement he could vouch for from his own personal experience. When he went into a church in one part of London fre 1096 quented by the higher classes he heard sermons in which the fundamental doctrines of the Church of England were treated with contempt, and were almost entirely set aside; while on entering a church in another part of the metropolis he found himself in a dim religious light, while the air was impregnated with incense, and, altogether, it was difficult for him to recollect the fact that he was in smoky London instead of being in the sacred city. Those who lived in glass houses should not cast stones, and those who differed so much among themselves respecting doctrine should not attempt to define what was and what was not contrary to the doctrines of the Church of England. The clause would trench upon one of the most essential rights that the Reformation had secured for us—the right of private interpretation—and therefore, on the part of the Dissenters, he must protest against it. He had only been able to extract one practical argument from the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) and that was, that if the Bill went to "another place" with the clause which he had proposed it would have a chance of succeeding. Now, if the Bill could only pass on that condition he thought it had better not pass at all.
§ MR. WALTER
said, he hoped, after the opinion which had been expressed by both sides of the House upon this subject, that the hon. and learned Member (Sir Roundell Palmer) would not think it necessary to divide the Committee upon the clause he had proposed. He hardly yielded to the ton. and learned Gentleman either in attachment to the Church of England or in reverence for the Holy Scriptures; still he was by no means sure that, if he were to be appointed to any professorship in the College to which he had the honour to belong, he could conscientiously sign the proposed declaration. The hon. Member referred to the subject of theology, upon which he said it was quite possible that the feelings and the conscience of a lecturer might be embarrassed and perplexed in a very painful degree in consequence of having signed a declaration of this kind. Now, he would recall to the recollection of his hon. Friend an event which had happened within the memory of both of them in the Church of England. If there were a Professor of Oxford University who sym- 1097 pathized with his hon. Friend it would be that eminent divine, the Regius Professor of Hebrew. Yet he must remember that that distinguished man was not only charged with teaching doctrines which were held by the authorities to be contrary to the doctrines of the Church of England, but was suspended by those authorities. To call upon a man to sign a declaration that he would neither directly nor indirectly teach anything which should contravene the doctrines of the Church of England was a matter of such extreme delicacy and difficulty that no conscientious person could take it with any safety. Take the extreme case that some avowed infidel was appointed a Professor. The heads of Colleges and those who had the appointment of Professors, Teachers, and Lecturers had under the Bill the entire responsibility thrown upon them in regard to the fitness of the person appointed; and it was possible that, if they knew a candidate to be an Infidel or of doubtful moral character, they might not appoint him, however eminent he might be, to a responsible position in which he would have to teach the students. But this declaration would relieve them of this responsibility, and they might appoint an avowed Infidel upon the condition that if he would sign the declaration he might hold the office. He might be supposed to be charged with an unlimited power and desire of doing mischief and of imperilling the interests of religion, and yet it might be imagined he would be restrained by this miserably flimsy safeguard against propagating error. That was a state of things neither desirable for those who had the appointment nor for the Professors themselves, and these considerations would prevent him from supporting the declaration of his hon. and learned Friend.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, nothing could induce him to accept this clause, which he had stated on the second reading would to his mind be fatal to the usefulness of the Bill. If by any unfortunate accident the opinion of the upper and middle classes who sent their sons to the Universities should become such as to give this test any practical operation, did his hon. and learned Friend think it would present even the feeblest obstacle to carrying that opinion into effect? The argument for these tests rested upon an assump- 1098 tion against which he protested. The Church of England and the Christian religion did not depend upon these tests, and were not strengthened by them, but depended upon their own truth and the arguments which might be adduced in their defence. If his hon. and learned Friend and men like him were to have the enforcing of these tests, then, if they were not mischievous, they would be perfectly harmless. But he had no such confidence, and he appealed, as his hon. Friend the Member for Berkshire (Mr. Walter) had done, to the past course of the University, and would ask whether there were not numbers of persons who would make an irritating use of such a test? He had no confidence that it would not be used for entangling those men of sensitive consciences whom it would be least desirable to exclude. Tests were not only contrary to modern legislation, and to the whole course of modern thought and inquiry, but were positively mischievous, and he must therefore oppose the clause.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
said, that after the opinions which had been expressed he would not ask the House to divide. He agreed with almost every general opinion which had been expressed in this discussion, but what he did not perceive was their application to the subject in hand. He quite agreed that the Church of England must rely upon the truth of her doctrines, and not upon any external bulwarks, nor was it in that point of view that he proposed the clause. It was not a test at all, but a declaration, such as was made by other persons on entering upon offices, not to do certain things which he assumed to be contrary to the duties of the office. An hon. Member (Mr. Raikes) opposed this declaration on the ground that it combined the minimum of usefulness with the maximum of irritation. It might possibly be true that the usefulness of any declaration of this kind might be very small; but when an hon. Member gravely said that it would cause the maximum of irritation, this j only showed that when a man got on | his legs he was apt to indulge in the maximum of rhetoric with the minimum of reason and justice. If he were ambitious to be a Professor on lay subjects, either in a Scotch or Roman Catholic University—andhewas neither a Presbyterian nor a Roman Catholic—he should 1099 not complain of a declaration of this kind as "Caudine Forks" or as placing a muzzle upon him, according to the language used by some hon. Members. He should not feel that he was being humiliated. He should simply feel that he was an honest man, who was ready to declare that he was not taking an office for one purpose and using it for another.
§ Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, having the maximum of consideration for the House, he would not press the clause of which he had given notice.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
said, he had now to move after Clause 7 to insert the following clause:—(Act not to interfere with lawfully established system of religious instruction, worship, and discipline.)Nothing in this Act shall interfere with or affect, any further or otherwise than is hereby expressly enacted, the system of religious instruction, worship, and discipline which is now or which may hereafter be lawfully established in the said Universities respectively, or in the Colleges thereof, or any of them, or the statutes and ordinances of the said Universities and Colleges respectively, or the power of any persons having authority in the said Universities and Colleges respectively, to maintain and uphold such system of instruction, worship, and discipline, according to such statutes and ordinances.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ MR. FAWCETT
said, he rose to move a new clause, and, as any proposition on this subject coming from him might be considered extremely dangerous, he desired to explain its nature. At the outset it was desirable for him to state that the clause was not his, but that he had been asked to bring it forward by some of the most moderate, experienced, and leading members of the University to which he had the honour to belong; and the two persons who had drawn it up were among the most influential and active of the junior members of that University. He was himself in favour of a compulsory Bill; but he felt bound not to attempt to alter the permissive character of the measure during the present Session, as the second reading was agreed to on the understanding that it was only to be permissive. The object of the clause was to carry out in its full entirety that permissive character. According to the principle of the Bill, the Colleges were to have the power to determine by themselves and of them 1100 Selves whether Dissenters and others not being members of the Church of Eng-land should be admitted to College Fellowships and to positions in their Governing Bodies, and the clause he was about to move sought to enable the Colleges to exercise that power in the easiest and most inexpensive manner. The clause proposed to enact that one-third of the Fellows of a College should have power to call on the Head of a Colllege to summon a meeting after due notice to each Fellow of the College; and if, at that meeting, the Head and. Fellows determined by a majority to alter any statute affecting the right of Dissenters and others to enjoy College endowments, they should have the power of altering the College statutes for that object, without the necessity of going through the expensive and cumbrous process now requisite. He believed that there was not a single College at Cambridge which, if the Bill passed, would be able to elect a Nonconformist to a Fellowship without repealing some statute. If the Colleges wanted to alter any statutes they must get the consent of the majority of the Fellows, and that was what his proposition also would require them to do; but then they had, in addition, to apply to the Queen in Council to sanction the alteration, and that was a tedious and expensive process, the minority being entitled to be heard by counsel against it. With respect to Oxford, however, still more serious difficulties arose, for there it was absolutely necessary to get the consent of the Visitors to the alteration of the statutes, and in the great majority of cases the Visitors were Bishops, and their consent was not likely to be given to any proposal tending to admit a Dissenter. He feared that the Government would oppose his clause on the ground that it would endanger the passing of the Bill in "another place." But the clause did not affect the permissive character of the Bill, and, if the Bill was to be permissive in any respect, would it not be fair that every facility should be given to the Colleges to give effect to its permissive character? The proposal did not proceed from men of extreme opinions, but was drawn up by a moderate politician and by a distinguished scholar; and a letter in defence of it had been published by four of the most moderate and best-known residents at Cambridge University, all of them 1101 having been Tutors in the largest College of that University, and three of them being clergymen. That letter concluded thus—We trust that all who have at heart the object of this Bill will support this clause. We believe that if the Bill is to remain permissive it cannot be fairly effective without some such amendment as this clause would introduce.Clause (Holding of meetings for repeal of statutes imposing tests or disabilities,)—(Mr. Fawcett,)—brought up, and read, the first time.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
said, that no one in the House had the object of the Bill more thoroughly at heart than he had. Such a measure had been brought in by him several times, being based all along on the assumption that some Colleges, both at Oxford and at Cambridge, were willing to admit to Fellowships persons not being members of the Church of England. It was intended that, in that respect, the character of the Bill should be purely permissive. On a previous occasion Mr. Heywood, formerly a Member of that House for South Lancashire, proposed a clause with respect to Fellowships, to the effect that no religious tests whatever should be applied, and much could be said for that proposal; but the promoters of such a Bill as the present had hitherto pursued a more moderate and temperate course. He was now unwilling to depart from that line of proceeding, and he wished to point out that they could not in fairness accede to the proposition of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), without giving equal facilities to Colleges to exclude Nonconformists. The hon. Gentleman was not altogether correct in saying that the Bill could not be carried into effect in any of the Colleges without the alteration of some statute, because five of the principal Colleges at Cambridge, including Trinity College, could carry it into effect the moment it was passed. He should be sorry to give to a chance majority in some of these Colleges the power of excluding Nonconformists, which they might do by giving them, by such a clause as this, the power of admitting them. He believed it would be better to leave the measure in its present comparatively temperate and tentative form.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
admitted that at some of the Colleges at 1102 Oxford, though there was some obscurity in the phraseology, yet it had been advised by some eminent lawyers that the Visitors would have a veto on any such change as would be necessary to the admission of Nonconformists as Fellows. In some cases the Visitors were laymen—noblemen or the Chancellors of the University; but unquestionably a great many were Bishops, who had on several occasions used, quâ Bishops, their power as Visitors, for the benefit of the College against the wish of the College, though repeatedly expressed, because the change proposed was thought by them to be detrimental to the interests of the Church. Sooner or later, it might be necessary to alter that; but, so far as this Bill was concerned, it would, he thought, be injudicious and unwise to go beyond its broad principle—as regarded the University making it compulsory, but leaving it permissive with the Colleges. He certainly would most strenuously oppose the clause.
§ MR. DENMAN
said, he had received a very strong letter from Trinity College, Cambridge, of which University he had the honour at one time to be a Fellow, urging him to support the clause, because it was felt that unless some such clause passed very little would be done. He should vote with his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) if he pressed the clause to a division, but he questioned whether it would be wise to do so. The clause was objectionable in one respect, however. It proposed that a third of the Fellows of a College should have power to require the Head of that College to summon a meeting, and then a bare majority of the meeting, however small the meeting might be—for there was no provision as to the number which should be necessary to form a meeting—would have power to alter a statute. An alteration, carried by a bare majority at a small meeting, would not be satisfactory, and it might give rise to a great deal of irritation. Under the circumstances he thought it would be better to leave legislation in the direction of this clause for another Session, when a Bill might be so drawn up as to be free from the objections which undoubtedly attached to the proposal of his hon. Friend.
§ MR. W. FOWLER
said, if the clause were to be acted upon in the manner pointed out by the right hon. Member for 1103 Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie), to exclude Nonconformists, that would be acting contrary to the spirit of the Bill, which sought to get rid of disabilities, and not to impose them. The clause had been carefully drawn up, and it was supported by high authorities at Cambridge. He should certainly vote for the clause if pressed to a division.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, the clause might undoubtedly have the effect which the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock attributed to it—of enabling Colleges to exclude Nonconformists; for, the words "to amend or repeal" would give power to the majority of Fellows to render the statutes more stringent for the exclusion of Nonconformists as well as to relax them for their admission.
§ MR. WALTER
said, he should be extremely surprised if any court of justice whatever would give that interpretation to the amendment of a statute for removing disabilities which his hon. and learned Friend (the Solicitor General) supposed possible. He could not conceive that were a College to alter its statutes in the direction of rendering disabilities more stringent, any Court would consider it an amendment. He was bound to say that, much as he disagreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) in wishing to impose any compulsory legislation on the Colleges, he did think that this clause was only a logical attempt to carry out the principle of the Bill, and to put the Colleges in train for applying themselves, if they thought fit, to the removal of disabilities. He did not mean to say that the words of the clause were the most effectual for their object, and he would suggest to his hon. Friend that, in any case, the meetings should not be held oftener than once in the year, otherwise dissension and quarrelling would be obviously created in the Colleges. He would vote for the clause of his hon. Friend.
§ MR. WINTERBOTHAM
said, he was perfectly satisfied that unless some such clause was inserted the Bill would be utterly useless. It was a mere mockery to tell Dissenters that they would be admitted if the Bishops would let them. He was informed that four-fifths of the Colleges of Oxford had Bishops for Visitors, and although the Solicitor General expected they would act in this matter without regard to their own professional views, yet everyone knew how 1104 they had interpreted their duty and acted upon it hitherto. Therefore he was saying nothing unfair when he said that they could not expect the Bishops, or any number of them, to give their assent to a statute to throw open the Colleges to Dissenters. If the construction which the Solicitor General had put on the clause was correct, it might be worth while to take time for consideration and bring up a clause on the Report, but if the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) thought fit to divide at present on his clause he should vote for it.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, he wished to call attention to the practical tendency of the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were very willing to allow free thought and free action to the Fellows of Colleges when they saw that it tended to throw open the Colleges; but as soon as free thought and free action tended to close the Colleges against the admission of Dissenters, then they at once stepped forward and said they would not allow it. The hon. Member who had last spoken and the Solicitor General thought it highly objectionable that the Fellows of any College should by any vote so alter their statutes as to impose tests upon Dissenters, but if Fellows were to be allowed to alter their statutes in one way why not in another. He (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), however, objected to giving to a temporary and fluctuating body like the Fellows the permission to alter the statutes of their College.
§ MR. FAWCETT
said, he should be perfectly willing, if the clause were read a second time, to accept any Amendment which might render it better suited to its purpose. He should like to put in words, as suggested by the hon. Member for Berkshire (Mr. Walter), to prevent the Colleges from being worried by to frequent applications. He was quite willing to withdraw the clause if the hon. and learned Gentleman (the Solicitor General) could convince him that it in one tittle infringed the principle of the Bill.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause be now read a second time."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 147; Noes 234: Majority 87.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported, with Amendments, and an amended Title; as amended, to be considered upon Monday next.1105
§ Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,
§ House adjourned at Nine o'clock till Monday next.