§ Order for Second Reading read.
Sir, I rise for the purpose of saying a few words on this Bill. I need not say it is not my intention to repeat any portion of the lengthened argument and statement with which I troubled the House upon the introduction of the Bill. But I wish to refer very briefly to several representations which have been made to us, or to myself, by various persons entitled to speak with interest, and with more or less authority, on the subject of this Bill. We have received several statements from those who think the provision made for vested interests is not, in all respects, complete or sufficient. With regard to that provision I desire to have it understood, so far as I myself am concerned, so far as the Government are concerned—and, I think, I do not assume a dangerous liberty in giving it as my opinion that I may add as far as the House is concerned—the disposition of 1187 the House is invariably to deal liberally with interests of that kind. It is not merely as to the question of money, but as to status and condition; and although the time for settling details of that sort naturally does not arise at an early stage, and they are better taken after all the leading provisions are definitely adopted; yet those persons may, I am sure, remain confident that they will be dealt with in the same spirit as other persons similarly situated have been dealt with in other Bills. Well, then, a statement has been offered to us by the Council of Queen's College, Cork, who make representations on various points with respect to which they think the Bill should be amended. One of those alterations is not of very great importance; but as its introduction would improve the Bill, it is our intention to adopt it. It relates to the future introduction of Colleges into the University. The Bill as it now stands leaves that introduction of Colleges to the sole action of the Council of the University. The recommendation of the Council of Queen's College, Cork, is that the Council of the University should inquire into the sufficiency of the means of instruction possessed by any College; that, having done so, and being able to certify that it possesses sufficient means of instruction, they should make a formal recommendation to the Crown that the College be introduced within the University; and that upon that recommendation the Crown should be enabled to introduce the College within the University. My own impression is, that under the present law the Crown would have that power; but whether that is so or not, that is the form which it is proposed to give to this particular provision; and we think it is an improvement on the arrangement for the introduction of Colleges within the University. There is another addition to the Bill to which I wish to refer, though I cannot describe it as a change in the Bill. It is with regard to an important expression contained in the Bill. The House will have observed that with regard to the power or title of Colleges to send a collegiate member to the Council of the University, the condition of it is their having a certain number of students in statu pupillari who, having been students in statu pupillari of the College, have been matriculated in the University, and have passed an examination such as the Bill requires. 1188 The words in statu pupillari require a description, and I propose to insert in the Bill the conditions which shall be deemed sufficient to fulfil the meaning of that important phrase. The principal conditions will be these:—in the first place—as of course it is not intended that a premium should be offered for the affiliation of mere boys—we propose that they should be not less than 17 years old; and, in the second place, they must not belong to more than one College, for the purpose of enabling that College to send a collegiate member. That, I think, is in the Bill at present; and, in the third place, they must have passed all the examinations required by their standing, whatever it may be; in the fourth place, if they have only passed a matriculation examination, the College must undertake to present them on the next examination; in the fifth place, they must be certified—being Undergraduates—to be in regular attendance upon lectures in Art; and being not Undergraduates, but Bachelors— which would still leave them, according to the academical meaning of the phrase, in statu pupillari—they must be certified to be in attendance upon some other branch of knowledge, having already received a Bachelor's degree. These are the principal conditions which we should propose as a definition of the term in statu pupillari, for the purpose of giving to the College its title to send a collegiate member to the Council. In the 25th clause of the Bill, which relates to examinations, there is a sub-clause or heading which requires the Council to subdivide the Faculty of Arts into several branches, which are there enumerated. We think that a good deal of difficulty and inconvenience may arise from an attempt by Parliament to fix the form of that subdvision. Therefore, we propose to withdraw that subdivision from the clause and instead of it to do that which will be equivalent to it, so far as the main objects are concerned, but which will leave a greater liberty to the Council with regard to the division of the very numerous branches comprised under the name of Faculty of Arts. The effect of the substitution of that heading would be this—that the Council should divide the Faculty of Arts into branches for the purpose of any examination to be held with a view to a degree and to determine what branches should be sufficient for 1189 the said purpose. But it would remain subject to these conditions. We propose that the examination in Modern History, in Ethics, and Metaphysics shall be voluntary; next that Ancient Languages and Literature shall suffice for obtaining a Bachelor's degree, if such proficiency shall have been attained as the ordinances of the Council may require. These are the changes of form in three different parts of the Bill, which seem to be worth mentioning; and with the permission of the House, should the Bill be read a second time, I will consider whether it will be more for the convenience of the Members to put them into the Bill at once, by passing the Bill pro formâ through Committee, or whether it will be more desirable that they should be placed on the Notice Paper of the House, simply as Amendments. The House will perceive that, although I wish to give full information with respect to these matters for the guidance of any Gentleman about to take part in the debate, they are not matters of any great consequence in reference to the general substance of the Bill. A good deal has been said on a point on which I wish to make a few remarks, and that is the embarrassing position in which Parliament is said to be placed with reference to the composition of the future Council. The future Council is to consist of twenty-eight ordinary members. It is said, however—and I quite agree with the observations of those critics of the Bill—that a great deal of the success of this measure will depend upon the choice made of the persons who are to form this Council. Indeed, I might truly say that so much, I think, will depend upon the selection of those members that, even supposing the Bill were a thoroughly good and satisfactory one, and that its provisions were universally approved of, if there were a bad list of names inserted as Councillors, if names of incompetent men, or names of mere partiazns, sectarian or political, were inserted in the Bill, it would defeat the whole beneficial effect of the wisest provisions of the Legislature, and therefore there is a desire, which I admit to be a very natural desire, that the names of those who are to be appointed should be made known to the House. But, unfortunately, we are very often given—such is the condition of human nature—to desire several things that are in their 1190 nature quite impossible to attain; and that is the state of the case, as I shall show after some further explanation, with respect to the proposal that we should at the present time produce the names of the twenty - eight ordinary members of the Council. I will first observe that it is commonly said when these twenty-eight ordinary members of the Council are once proposed, the House has no choice but to accept them; that the act of the Government so far is final; and that the House may find itself in a false position and may be bound by the erroneous judgment of the Government in a matter essential to the main objects of the Bill. Well, my answer to that is, that such a list is not immutable, and I will give the House precedents to show that I am correct. In the case of the Oxford University Bill the names of the Commissioners were not printed in the Bill, although their duties were comparatively easy. They were stated, however, before the second reading of the Bill; but a largo proportion of the House were not altogether satisfied with their names. My right hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) made a Motion adverse to the list we proposed. He did not succeed in carrying his Motion; but I see that he voted in a minority of 141 against a majority of 169—rather a respectable demonstration. The argument of post hoc propter hoc, which is often not applicable, seems to have held good in this case; for I find that, that having occurred in May, I moved in Juno the addition of two more names—the Earl of Harrowby and Sir George Cornewall Lewis—in order to give to the body that representative character required. This is an instance in which, though a complete list of names was furnished, that list was changed in deference to a feeling indicated by the House. Having now given the House one example at the expense of myself, I will in turn refer to one at the expense of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), taken from the case of the Representation of the People Bill in 1867. In that case the right hon. Gentleman on the 21st of Juno proposed Lord Eversley, Mr. Walter, Mr. Bramston, Sir John Duckworth, Mr. Bouverie, Mr. Russell Gurney, and Lord Penrhyn as the gentlemen who were to act as Boundary Commissioners. The introduction of 1191 these names, though not leading to a division, nevertheless gave rise to indications that the list was not altogether satisfactory. That is again affording proof that the production of the list by the Government is not considered a final act, and the right hon. Gentleman, on the 24th of June, in lieu of the former list, produced a list which contained one new name, and from which three of the former names were omitted. That list, which consisted of Lord Eversley, Sir John Duckworth, Mr. Walter, Mr. Russell Gurney, and Sir Francis Crossley, was finally adopted. Now these are precedents for our having printed this Bill without the names of the Commissioners, and for our having declined to give them. In the Oxford University Bill, where there was no question of principle raised, and where, therefore, there was very little doubt as to the nature of the duties to be performed—even there we did not propose the names. In the case of the Cambridge University Bill, which after the passing of the Oxford Bill had become a matter of course, the names of the Commissioners were put into the Bill. Then with respect to the Representation of the People Bill, there would have been no great harm in fixing the names of the Boundary Commissioners. But what took place? No names were produced until the House had read the Bill a second time, and gone into Committee, and had reached the 24th clause in Committee, after having settled, if I recollect right, a great portion of the many important questions raised by the Bill. The names were then produced, and it was even then moved to insert them in the Bill the same day they were proposed; but they were not inserted until four or five days afterwards. I will take another case—that of the Irish Church Bill of 1869. The main outlines of that Bill were tolerably fixed; but still a great deal depended upon the details as to the mode in which matters were to be finally adjusted. We therefore found it difficult to go to gentlemen and ask them to bind themselves to exercise the duties of Commissioners under the Bill, until they knew with tolerable distinctness the course which Parliament intended to take with regard to its main provisions. Therefore, we read the Bill a second time, and we went into Committee, without giving the names of the Commissioners, and against that course 1192 we received no remonstrance. We came at length to the clause of the Bill in which the Commissioners were to be named, and we postponed the consideration of that clause until the close of the Committee on the Bill. We gave notice of the three Commissioners on the 4th of May, and their names were inscribed on the Bill on the 7th of May, at the close of the Committee. Now, I do not want to stand upon precedent even in matters of this nature, if it were in our power to accommodate hon. Gentlemen. But what is the use of asking us to do that which I think I have shown to be utterly impossible for us to do? Is it not a most extreme measure for any hon. Member to propose a Vote of Censure, because we have not done that which it is impossible for us to do? Although in terms the Resolution expresses regret, it is really a Vote of Censure on the Government, as hon. Gentlemen are well aware. It would be impossible for Government to insert the names in the Bill without tampering with the free action of the House and forgetting the respect which we owe to its authority and opinion. Suppose we were to make application to any gentleman connected with Ireland to become a Commissioner or member of the Council under the Bill. What sort of a person ought he to be? Is he to be a mere satellite of the Government? Even if he were, I should greatly doubt whether there could be found any satellite so servile or so abject that he would not say—"I decline to serve under your Bill until I know what your Bill is to be." I do not, of course, mean to say that a gentleman would insist upon final absolute knowledge; but he would certainly ask for, and be entitled to, such knowledge as would enable him to form a general idea of the scope and extent of the Bill. That would be true even if this were a Bill like the Irish Church Bill, which had one commanding object—namely, the disestablishment and dis-endowment of the Irish Church, every other object being subordinate and subsidiary. But this Bill, on the contrary, is full of clauses, nearly everyone of them dealing with matters of great importance and principle, and bearing nice relations to each other, and the decision of the House upon them may perhaps entirely alter the colour and complexion of the Bill. We should, in my opinion, be utterly unworthy of the offices we 1193 hold if we should—as it is vulgarly called —attempt to pack this Council. If we select men from Ireland we ought to go to men of the greatest weight and capacity, and we should not in the first instance ask what their politics or their principles were. We should not think because a man voted against the second reading or the passing of the Bill, that he was discharged from all fitness or capacity to sit under this Bill. I ask any Gentleman on the opposite side of the House whether it is possible for us, consistently with a proper respect for him, to apply to him and ask him to become a member of the Council under this Bill before the sense of Parliament has been taken upon it. Such a Gentleman would possibly say—"I shall have nothing to say to you or your Bill under the circumstances." He might, of course, give us that answer, and we could make no reply to him if he did. But still it is our duty not to take it for granted that that would be the answer, and with the view of promoting the best interests of Ireland we ought to give something of a comprehensive character to the position of this Council. Suppose such a case as this. There is a most distinguished person, whose fitness, I believe, would be acknowledged on all hands, if I were at liberty to mention his name, who is an ex-Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and a senior Fellow. He has written to more than one Member of the Government expressing the strongest approval of this Bill. How could we ask him to be a member? He would probably say—" I am perfectly satisfied with its provisions as they stand in respect to Trinity College. You have, it is true, mulcted Trinity College; but you have left it in a position of comparative affluence, if not of munificence. You have altered its position. You have taken away the command of the University from it; but you have left it that qualified independence which such a great academical institution should possess. But suppose that, instead of the independence of Trinity College, Parliament should say that it should be the slave of the University. I am willing to serve as member of the Council under the Bill as it is; but certainly not under it in a form so altered. You may present my name to Parliament; but I give you notice that I will reserve my right to withdraw it, if the Bill should 1194 undergo any such alteration as I have suggested." What, then, would be our position if we brought down 28 names under such conditions? Let me suppose the case of a gentleman who may be very friendly to the Bill generally, but who values it most of all on account of the carefully devised security for conscience contained in it. If we asked him to serve, he might say—"I am very well satisfied with such securities as you have provided for conscience at present; but how can I be sure Parliament will endorse them?" He would be obliged to reply to us either that he could not serve on the Council, or that if we took his name we must do so provisionally, and be prepared to have it withdrawn if Parliament materially altered the structure of the Bill. What I have said shows it is not merely difficult but impossible for us consistently with due respect for Parliament to present to the House the list of persons who have agreed to be members of the Council under this Bill. Obviously, if they were content to serve before they knew what form the Bill would finally assume, they would not be the proper persons to serve. That, Sir, is the state of the case. And are we to be told that the House of Commons is to be asked to pass a Vote of Censure on the Government for not having attempted what it would be ridiculous to attempt and impossible to form? That such a Vote of Censure will be passed I am not going to assume; but that such a Vote should be asked for is a fact, I think, worthy of commemoration in the annals of Parliament. I beg leave to move that the Bill be read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Gladstone.)
§ MR. BOURKE
moved, as an Amendment, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words—This House, while ready to assist Her Majesty's Government in passing a measure for the advancement of learning in Ireland,' regrets that Her Majesty's Government, previously to inviting the House to read this Bill a second time, have not felt it to be their duty to state to the House the names of the twenty-eight persons who it is proposed shall at first constitute the ordinary members of the Council.The hon. Gentleman said, that after the powerful reply they had just heard from 1195 the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government in anticipation of a speech not yet delivered, he regretted more than ever that the Resolution he was about to propose had not fallen into abler hands, because the subject was of such great importance that he felt quite unable to do justice to it. Before entering upon the question at issue, he could assure the House that, although he had received promises of support both from Gentlemen on that side of the House and also from others with whom it was his misfortune to differ on many political topics, this Resolution had not been framed for the purpose of catching votes from one side of the House or the other; but it was simply the expression of an opinion which, as an humble individual, he ventured to submit to their consideration. Indeed, the Amendment of the hon. Member for Westmeath (Mr. Smyth) would have answered better, if the only object in view were to secure votes; but, notwithstanding the measure was objectionable from beginning to end, it must not be forgotten that it was a Bill for the advancement of learning in Ireland, and he felt that if the constitution of the Council had been settled to the entire satisfaction of the House, he would have been glad to withhold opposition to the second reading of the Bill and assist in re-modelling it in Committee; but until that were done it was impossible to assent to the second reading. No one could approach the subject of University education in Ireland, and follow the history of it during the last 10 years, without feeling that it was a most difficult and delicate one; but when they remembered the course taken by the University of Dublin during the last few years, every candid person must admit that the present Government were placed in a more favourable position for the satisfactory settlement of the question than any other which had preceded them. Owing allegiance as he did to that University, he trusted he might be excused for saying—in these days of University reform—that the University of Dublin had shown herself true to those great principles of enlightened liberality that had ever distinguished her; she had applied to Parliament for powers to open her doors to all persons, whatever their creed, anxious to participate in the benefits of her teaching and discipline and emoluments, and the posi- 1196 tion she had thus assumed not only made the task of the Government easier, but gave her peculiar claims upon the favourable consideration of the House. The University of Dublin was entitled to ask the House to pause before it handed over the powers she had so well exercised for more than 300 years to a body whose names even were unknown, and whose qualifications were undefined. And not the University of Dublin alone, but all persons interested in the higher education of Ireland in its broadest and highest sense were entitled to make the same appeal to Parliament. Whether the University was to flourish or to fade, it was an institution of which both England and Ireland might be proud—which England might be proud of giving and Ireland proud of keeping—and which stood out alone and unique as a great moral, intellectual, and physical symbol of the beneficent effects of the connection between the two countries. It had been admitted on all hands—in Parliament, in the Press, and by the Government—that upon the ordinary members of the Council depended the success or failure of this scheme. The right hon. Gentleman in the course of his splendid speech, introducing the Bill to the notice of the House, admitted that these ordinary members would form the "main stock and material," and the "main strength and force," of the Governing Body; he had admitted the same thing this evening; yet, notwithstanding, it was obviously impossible to form a guess at the future character of the University of Dublin—either in the immediate or the distant future—until we knew what the composition of the Governing Body would be; yet the right hon. Gentleman refused to place the House in possession of the names of those to whom he proposed to commit these enormous and extraordinary powers, academical, administrative, and judicial. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to certain precedents for the course he had taken in relation to this subject; he (Mr. Bourke) was prepared to rest his case upon them. The right hon. Gentleman had mentioned the case of the Bills dealing with Oxford and Cambridge Universities—precedents distinctly against the right hon. Gentleman, because in the one case the names were inserted before the Bill was read a second time, and in the other 1197 at the time the Bill was introduced. As regards the third precedent—that of the Reform Bill of 1867—no one could for a moment compare the duties that were to be performed by the Boundary Commissioners under that Bill, or could draw the slightest analogy between those duties and the most serious and important duties that were to be imposed on the Council of the University under the present scheme. The precedent of the Irish Church Bill he claimed as in his favour; because, although the duties to be performed by the Irish Church Commissioners could not be compared with those to be discharged by the proposed Council, inasmuch as the action of the Commissioners would not determine the character of the measure, when the right hon. Gentleman came to the clauses giving powers to the Commissioners, the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. G. Hardy) objected to those clauses being proceeded with until the names of the Commissioners were before the House. Well, that course was acceded to by the right hon. Gentleman. But let the House recollect that in this case the duties to be imposed on the Council were of the very essence of the measure. The Council was to control the management and the discipline of the University, its books and studies; to appoint and control the officers, and, in short, to exercise all those great functions which might legitimately be discharged by the most ancient, well-known, and well-tried academical body. The House had been told that upon the ordinary members of this Council "the main strength and power" of the Bill rested. In the Oxford and Cambridge case, upon whom were analogous powers conferred? Not upon the Commissioners named in the Bill, but upon the great Hebdomadal Council, the members of which were as well known and as well designated as if they had been named in the Bill, and whose character, status, and intellectual rank gave a guarantee to the House that the duties imposed upon them would be performed in a satisfactory manner. But in the case before the House no one knew who the members of the Council would be. Tonight they had been told that Her Majesty's Government entertained scruples about asking any Gentleman to act as Commissioner until some of "the leading provisions" of the Bill had been agreed 1198 upon by this House. If the right hon. Gentleman had those scruples, the House of Commons might justly be entitled to have corresponding scruples of a far graver character when the question was of giving over the whole cause of University education in Ireland to a body of persons whose eminent qualifications are described by a blank Schedule of a Bill, which has been condemned by every academical body in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman had just informed the House that there was no person so abject, so servile, or so complete a satellite of the Government, that he would dare to ask him beforehand whether he would servo on the Council. Who were in the Oxford and Cambridge Bill the abject and servile satellites of Her Majesty's Government? Why, the great Hebdomadal Councils who were above suspicion. And those were the persons whom the right hon. Gentleman was satisfied to propose for the discharge of those duties which he now said no one could be asked to undertake without being considered a servile satellite of the Government. It might be said that it would be inconvenient to take the course which he now ventured to propose. His reply was, that the inconvenience was self imposed because Her Majesty's Government had, introduced a measure which was defective and incomplete. He must, therefore, enter his humble protest against asking the House to take this "leap in the dark," because Her Majesty's Government had produced an incomplete and defective measure. Then it was said by the supporters of Her Majesty's Government that it would be unworthy of the British Parliament to object to the names which might be proposed; but what, then, became of the remarks which had just fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, and which he also made in the speech in which he introduced the Bill to the House, when he threw great responsibility upon the House in accepting names that might be afterwards selected? If there would be no difficulty in producing the names, the House was entitled to see them immediately. But he confessed when he looked at some of the clauses of the Bill he felt that it might be very difficult to obtain the services of eminent gentlemen for such duties as would be imposed on the Council. And if they could not get such 1199 men, then they would be obliged to fall back on persons of inferior calibre, such as the House would not wish to see in the position of councillors of this University. What man of eminence would look with any degree of satisfaction or pride on being the member of a University Council from which theology, modern history, and moral philosophy were excluded, more particularly when the reputation which Dublin University enjoyed in the field of metaphysics and moral philosophy was considered—a field which had been cultivated with equal success by the Protestants and Roman Catholics of Ireland? The members of such a Council might indeed consider themselves an inferior and degraded body compared with that illustrious Board which since the time of Elizabeth had managed the University education of Ireland. If the House examined the duties of the Council still further they would find them in some respects savouring rather of the Star Chamber than of the Council of an enlightened University. It would be difficult to find eminent men willing to serve upon a Council whose duties would be to reprimand and punish some learned Professor for committing an offence manufactured in this Bill. In a country like Ireland, where political feeling ran high and religious feeling ran higher, it would be a very odious and difficult thing to debate and decide, whether a Professor, had by his teaching or writing given wilful offence to a somebody or a nobody, whose religious convictions might be those of Torquemada on the one hand, or those of Tom Paine on the other. He might, perhaps, be excused if he made a personal allusion. Suppose the right hon. Gentleman were to occupy a Professorial Chair in the proposed University—any one of which he would adorn with his genius—and were to make such a speech as he had done the other day at Liverpool, any undergraduate who professed the religious opinions of Herr Strauss would have an opportunity of bringing the right hon. Gentleman before his own Council for the purpose of degrading and punishing him, and probably depriving him of his position. Considering the violent controversies which were raging in Ireland at this moment with regard to the Bill, one could not but suppose that those controversies would find an echo in the 1200 University Council. But supposing the Council were successfully formed, all persons interested in higher education in Ireland were asking themselves these crucial questions—whether it was to be formed on the principle of satisfying the religious scruples of contending sects?—was it to be constituted on the principles of mixed education or of denominational education? If it were to be formed on the principle of satisfying the religious scruples of contending sects, he predicted for it a mischievous and short existence. In the case even of primary education in Ireland everyone knew the difficulty of getting eminent men conscientiously to act in harmony upon the Board; and, lamentable and unfortunate as the case might be, one could not but feel that those differences of opinion and want of harmony that took place on the National Board in Ireland were insignificant and unimportant to those that would take place in the Council of a great University. Those that took place on the National Board would only affect children, who heard and knew nothing about them; but the disputes and discussions that would inevitably take place in the University Council would be debated by every batch of students in the country—in every collegiate community and in every Professorial body in the country. The House, therefore, was entitled to ask whether this Council was to be formed of men who were friendly to denominational or to mixed education. And certainly anyone who knew Ireland would think it perfectly impossible that the allies of denominational and the advocates of mixed education could sit in the same Council. The two parties were fundamentally antagonistic. They disagreed absolutely upon the questions of the introduction of the clerical element, the books which were to be taught, and the principles upon which the Professors were to be, appointed. The correspondence which had been carried on between the Catholic hierarchy and the Government in 1866 and 1867, and the correspondence as to the Supplemental Charter showed that it was perfectly impossible that the advocates of mixed education could have any sympathy with those who were in favour of denominational education. His Roman Catholic countrymen in the House would admit, aye, glory in the admission that those who 1201 swayed the political opinions of the Irish people were in favour of denominational education. On that side were found all the Catholic hierarchy and a small number of Protestants who thought that in the denominational system was to be obtained a greater security for faith and morals than in the system of mixed education. On the other hand, they would find that the friends of mixed education embraced the whole of the academic aristocracy of the country, with the exception of the Professors in the Catholic University, and also a considerable proportion of the lay Roman Catholic population. They were entitled, then, to ask what was to be the composition of a Council such as this, which might sweep away altogether, and without scruple, everything that was to be found in the University education of Ireland that was favourable to the principle of mixed education. Those who thought that Dublin University had done a great work in the past, and was going, perhaps, to do a still greater work in the future, might legitimately ask the House to pause until they knew whether the system of mixed education in that University was still to prevail, or by whom its destinies were to be controlled. The right hon. Gentleman stated that there were a great number of Colleges that might be affiliated by this Bill. He did not think that the observations that had just fallen from the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the affiliation of these Colleges were entitled to much weight; because, as it now turned out, the Colleges were to be affiliated only upon the recommendation of the Council and the decision of the Crown, and of course the Crown would be guided by the Council. And as to the Crown, that would of course depend upon the Minister of the day, and they now knew what the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman was; because in his opening speech the other night he expressed a hope that these Colleges would multiply. If so, no doubt at the end of 10 years, when the Council would have come to maturity, those Colleges would have multiplied to the extent some people imagined, and which the House was given to suppose the right hon. Gentleman wished; then, under those circumstances, no doubt there would be an end of mixed education in Ireland. He thought they were entitled to ask the Government which of 1202 these great forces they were in favour of. He entirely repudiated the idea that two such forces, representing respectively mixed and denominational education, could combine to carry on any great University system. He had now only to thank the House for the attention with which they had listened to these few remarks, and he now commended his Resolution to the favourable consideration of the House; because he believed it was in harmony with precedent, with expediency, with just policy, and common sense. He was sure that, although the right hon. Gentleman had one Fellow of Trinity College on his side—whose name and description were as unknown as those of the members of the Council—he was sure that, with that exception, the University of Dublin would, with one consent, say "No" to this very mischievous Bill. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Amendment.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
rose to second the Resolution which had just been proposed by his hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn, and he could assure the House that it was with a feeling of no ordinary responsibility that he did so. Only very special circumstances could have made him wish to adopt a course which might seem on a question of this importance hostile to the Government; but he ventured to think that the House would be ready to grant that those special circumstances did exist. They were these—A measure of first-rate public importance had been introduced in a speech by the Prime Minister, which it was no exaggeration of language to say threw the House and the country into a mesmeric trance. Gradually, the country—and the House as representing the country—began to recover from this trance, to rub its eyes, and ask itself what it was about. The scattered murmurs of discontent began to gather to a head, and many men on that side of the House were whispering to their neighbours that something ought to be done; but nobody seemed disposed to do anything himself. He waited, and when the time for the second reading of the Bill came, and the right hon. Gentleman was still insisting that the House should take a blindfold leap in the dark and pass a measure which, so far as its most important clauses were concerned, was still a dummy Bill, to be filled up at his good pleasure 1203 afterwards, he felt that, though he might correctly describe himself as impar congressus Achillei, it would be better that even so unimportant a person as himself should put in a protest, rather than that side of the House should unanimously help to register the decrees of the right hon. Gentleman, as if it were the Parliament of Paris under Louis XV. and not the English House of Commons, and he would equally have felt this even had he been able to foresee that the Achilles in question was about to destroy him with the thunders of his eloquence, before ever he had had the opportunity of putting in a word. Accordingly, he trusted the House would believe that it was from no feeling of personal passion or prejudice that he resolved to second this Resolution. Since the time that the Bill was introduced many other schemes had been suggested and discussed, but it was not his intention to discuss any scheme but that before the House; although if he might be allowed to express his own opinion, the wisest scheme would have been to let the Queen's University alone, beyond giving it a general examining power similar to that of the London University, and to have let Trinity College and the present Dublin University alone, beyond abolishing tests, carrying out a few needed internal reforms, and giving that University power to recognize any other undenominational College which, besides Trinity College, might exist or be founded in Dublin. If the Government had adopted such a scheme as that they would have been treading in the steps of the late Sir Robert Peel and Sir James Graham. They would have been following the doctrines of that illustrious man Mr. Sheill. They advocated mixed education as a palliative, if not a cure, for the sectarian differences which lay and always had lain at the root of the misfortunes of the sister island; but when the right hon. Gentleman introduced his measure, very scant and niggard was the praise he bestowed on mixed education in Ireland. He came down with a statement of a great denominational grievance, in order that the House should adopt his remedy, and he gave his assumption of the existence of that grievance the benefit of a frequent repetition, in order, as it may be supposed, to conceal its want of every other recommendation. It was per- 1204 fectly certain that a man who possessed a great deal of imagination might, if he stayed out sufficiently long at night, staring at a small star, persuade himself the next morning that he had seen a great comet; and it was equally certain that such a man, if he stared long enough at a bush, might persuade himself that he had seen a branch of the Upas tree; and everyone knew that if a man nursed a small grievance for a long time, it was possible to persuade himself and his friends that he was suffering under a gigantic grievance. The right hon. Gentleman, recognising the existence of a certain denominational grievance in Ireland, which nobody denied, persuaded himself, and attempted to persuade the House, that there was a gigantic denominational grievance. The facts and figures on which the right hon. Gentleman relied in proof of his assertion were those through which a coach and four had been driven many times by the hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Lyon Playfair), and the fallacious character of which had been so often demonstrated as to render any repetition of them quite superfluous, apart from the fact that any such repetition by himself would be an infringement of the copyright of his hon. Friend. As regarded the other facts on which he mainly relied—namely, that there had been an absolute decrease in the numbers of University students in Ireland since the date at which he started his calculation, it was, in the first place, difficult to see that this was more a Roman Catholic than a Protestant grievance; while it must have occurred to hon. Members that the fact itself was easily accounted for by the great absolute decrease in the population of Ireland, and in the increased facilities for locomotion which had undoubtedly attracted the youth of Ireland in great numbers to the English Universities. As regarded the statements made as to the failure and inutility of the Queen's University and the Queen's Colleges, the figures before the House were the best answer that could be given; but when the right hon. Gentleman condescended to make the use he did of the facts and figures before him, he must not be astonished if suspicions were aroused of the existence of some occult influence which biassed the mind and destroyed the value of his conclu- 1205 sions. Nor were these suspicions allayed when it was found that in the case of the Queen's University the figures of the right hon. Gentleman were the same figures which were to be found at page 23 of the last Pastoral of Cardinal Cullen, in which—[Mr. GLADSTONE: No, no!]—the year 1868–9, because it happened to be the most unfavourable year, was taken as representing the normal state of things in those Colleges. Similarly, the right hon. Gentleman had taken 181 as representing the Catholic attendance at these Colleges, which was to take the figures of 1867–8 and 1868–9. Now the figures of the past year showed a very different result. He did not charge the right hon. Gentleman with selecting them in preference to others for the purpose of misleading the House; but he did think that he might have gone to some other source rather than have taken his figures second-hand from the Pastoral of the right rev. Prelate. He wished to remind the House of the history of Galway College. It was planted, now 25 years ago, in a poor district, and on a soil inhospitable to learning. The town in which it was established had dwindled away, owing to commercial reasons, and before many years a rival establishment was set up in its immediate proximity, with the avowed intention of thwarting its labour and impeding its progress. Meanwhile, from Synod after Synod went forth decree after decree fulminating spiritual penalties of the most atrocious character against the students and the parents of the students who were receiving their education within its walls. It was threatened with destruction, but its foundations were planted on the rock; it was called a godless College, but it held to the path of duty; it was recovering, it had recovered from its earliest difficulties; it had survived the curses and the imprecations of its spiritual enemies, and then suddenly, in the moment of its greatest usefulness and of its returning prosperity, the right hon. Gentleman, emulating the fame of the man who, according to the poet, is described as having doneThe double sacrilege to things divine, First robbed the relic, then defaced the shrine,proposed to blot it out from the face of the country which it adorned, and from among the people in whose affections it had found a place. While in the case of 1206 Galway College the Bill made darkness visible, over the rest of the Bill only played that sort of light which was just clear enough for you to see to trip yourself up. The right hon. Gentleman started with the denominational grievance, and naturally led the Roman Catholic Prelates, whose sincerity was entitled to respect, to suppose that for a great denominational grievance there would be provided something like a great denominational remedy. The right hon. Gentleman had introduced a novel form of political homoeopathy, in having proposed a strong dose of secularism for a great denominational grievance; but the Roman Catholics were not prepared to swallow it. He introduced a Bill to establish a secular University, with affiliated Colleges and a body of secular Professors, whose lectures nobody in particular need attend. The question naturally arose—who would attend those lectures, and for whom were they intended? It was clear the students of Trinity College would not have the least necessity to attend them, for they had their own teachers already. The students at the Queen's Colleges and the other affiliated Colleges clearly would not, for the students of those Colleges would be in one place and the Professors would be in another. Would the non-collegiate students, whose existence was contemplated by the Bill, attend and be instructed? Where were the non-collegiate students to come from in the present condition of intermediate education in Ireland? The probability was that, even in the event of some great accession of strength being made to the intermediate schools, that accession of strength would make itself felt by a rise in the numbers of the Colleges like Carlow, Magee, and the Queen's Colleges, so that where the non-collegiate students were to be conjured up from, in order that they might attend the Professors' lectures in Dublin it was difficult to see. There remained the Catholic College on St. Stephen's Green, which claimed now to have 43 students, though unfriendly critics positively asserted that it had only seven. The students at this College would, no doubt, be able to attend the Professors' lectures; so that we were finally landed in this conclusion, that the gigantic endowment asked for the Professors of the University, in this Bill, was to be spent for the benefit of the few inmates of this 1207 College, which had already got a staff of its own—a luxury with which it would, owing to the generosity of the State, be no doubt soon able to dispense. And here he wished to turn for an instant, in order to notice the strange use the right hon. Gentleman had made of the precedents of English University reform which he quoted under four heads. First, he mentioned the abolition of tests, which for the past three years he and he alone had prevented being carried out in Dublin; then he quoted the throwing open of endowments—but he, on the contrary, was going to restrict their enjoyment; next, he quoted the enfranchisement of the University from collegiate influences; but he was going to enslave his University to denominational Colleges, of which there were any number all ready and anxious, like the never-to-be-forgotten Magee College, to be affiliated; and, finally, he quoted the resident, though non-collegiate, students of Oxford and Cambridge as constituting a precedent for non-resident students at Dublin. It seemed to him that the analogies from the English Universities failed the right hon. Gentleman at every step. Then, again, there was the distinction between students in Arts and other students, which was also to be found in the Cullen Pastoral. Did the right hon. Gentleman mean that a man reading for a law degree at Cambridge was not a University student in the proper sense of the term? Why, such an idea was in direct opposition to all modern ideas of University reform. He now came to the famous "gagging clauses." A censorship would be exercised, under which, out of deference to sectarian prejudices, certain subjects, most important subjects of study, would be excluded from the curriculum, and under which anybody might be allowed to say anything without suffering in the examination, the words of the clause being, as far as he recollected them, that "no person shall suffer from expressing any preference for any one opinion more than another." He must apologize for having called this a "gagging" clause; it was a new "licence" Bill clause. A reference to the circular of the Bishops, addressed to Sir George Grey in 1866, would show whence and at whose desire these "gagging clauses" arose. What a delightful thing it would be not to suffer 1208 in an examination because you said two and two made five; or if, on account of some religious scruple, you said that certain mathematical propositions were untrue, or preferred to be examined in the Ptolemaic system of astronomy! But while there was a laughable side to the question, there was also a very serious one. When he read the clauses, he asked—"What enemy of Ireland has done this? Who is it? Who is the Minister that perpetrates this satire upon the Ireland of the 19th century, and to a nation which, in the moment of its greatest misfortunes, always prided itself upon its love for knowledge, now in the moment of its returning greatness, offers an education from which are excluded those liberal studies which are now being encouraged by all University reformers?" From such a University, from a University governed by a Council, starting under such auspices, and in which the balance of power would be held by the representatives of denominational Colleges,—from a University debarred from teaching the noblest subject of human study, the youth of Ireland would turn away. The right hon. Gentleman spoke, in his opening speech, of an absolute decrease in the number of University students in Ireland. He forgot, as he had already pointed out, that the population of Ireland had been decreasing of late years, that the facilities of locomotion were greater than they were a few years ago, and that numbers of Irishmen were to be found at Oxford and Cambridge; but if this Bill passed all that was noble intellectually in the youth of Ireland would turn from the Irish University and go to Oxford, Cambridge, or London. He was willing to grant that conclusions widely different from those which he had just drawn had been drawn by others. It had been urged in the Irish newspapers, and it was apparently the opinion of the majority of the Irish Bishops, that the Bill would destroy the Catholic University. He did not believe it would, for the reasons he had stated; and when once the Bill was passed he should be very much astonished if the most was not made of it by those who from that side most denounced it; indeed, some of the Bishops at the recent conclave, it was said, were already looking forward to the time when this University Council would fall 1209 into their hands. Therefore, he felt he was not urging upon the House a paradox or an argument which had occurred to him alone. He wished it, however, to be clearly understood that he was not attacking the Roman Catholic Prelates; they had always spoken with great clearness and sincerity upon this question, and he respected them for that; but while he differed from them, he wished to state that he preferred even the platform of the Roman Catholic Prelates as now put forward by themselves to what would seem to be the probable future working of this Bill. What they asked for was a charter of endowment for their Universities, and if they got that, they would be content to let mixed education and separate Protestant education alone. But what this Bill did was to destroy Protestant education, and also to destroy mixed education, in order, at a future date, to give a monopoly of a second-rate inferior academical article to the Roman Catholics. He wished them joy of the dish prepared for them; but he should be much astonished if they accepted it. In order to justify himself he wished to ask the House to consider how great the powers of this Council were to be, how many forces might be represented on it, and to attempt to realize for a single instant how various its composition might be. It was to appoint Professors, adjudge prizes and emoluments, affiliate Colleges, work the gagging and the licensing clauses; it was to include and exclude subjects and persons; it was, in a word, to be omnipresent and all-powerful. Now was this most important body to be constituted on sectarian principles like the present National Board, and with the same admirable result as shown in the O'Keefe case; or was it to be partly sectarian and partly unsectarian; or wholly educational; or partly sectarian and partly educational? Were its members to be Irish residents, or many of them absentees; or partly one and partly the other? Were many of them to be practically nominees of the Castle, or was the body to be entirely independent of Castle influence? When the list was given it would have to be accepted or rejected en bloc? How different would be the feeling as to the acceptance or the rejection of that list, according as the answers to the questions he had just put were favourable or the reverse. Now, as to the precedents 1210 brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman. He denied that they were in pari materiâ. He would ask hon. Members if they really thought that the work of the Boundary Commissioners was, in any sense, analogous to the work which the proposed Council would have to do? Yet that was mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman as a precedent in this case. When he turned to the history of the Commission that had to a great extent to determine some details referring to the University with which he was connected, he found that the precedent told exactly the opposite way to that intended by the right hon. Gentleman. There were hon. Members who would recollect that the Cambridge Bill suffered at a late stage in "another place" an evil fate, and it suffered that fate chiefly because the names, when announced, were not liked; but when it was introduced in this House by an hon. Member, with the names printed in the measure itself, the Bill went through the various stages with ease and rapidity. Therefore, he said that the precedent proved, if anything, what he wanted, and not what the right hon. Gentleman wanted. But this question was one not of precedent, but rather of principle. Had there ever been a Bill conferring such vague, and, at the same time, extraordinary powers on a body of unknown persons? He ventured to doubt it. Was it fair to ask the House to adopt a measure the whole future consequence of which depended on the composition of the Council which it would bring into existence? Was it fair to ask the House to constitute a tribunal of unknown persons, and arm them with gigantic power? Was it right to ask hon. Members to perform a work without knowing the character of the work which they were asked to do, but for which they would be held responsible for all time? Was it equitable to ask the House to set its hand and seal to a deed of which it ignored the contents? He said it was not. He asked the House to refuse to proceed further with the Bill till they received further information, believing that in so doing he was making a demand that was fair, that was right, that was moderate, and equitable. He might at least with his hon. Friend (Mr. Bourke) say for their proposal what was said on a memorable occasion by a great man, himself a 1211 Liberal, and a University Reformer—he meant Lord Brougham—that it was justice they asked for, that more than justice they dared not ask, and less than justice they would not accept; and, finally, they said that they believed that if the House would endorse the course which they, with a full sense of the unworthiness of their advocacy, and with an equally strong conviction of the goodness of their cause, had urged upon it, it would be of opinion—and that at no distant date—that by so doing, it had been true to the advancement of learning and not insensible to the rights of conscience.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House, while ready to assist Her Majesty's Government in passing a measure 'for the advancement of learning in Ireland,' regrets that Her Majesty's Government, previously to inviting the House to read this Bill a second time, have not felt it to be their duty to state to the House the names of the twenty-eight persons who it is proposed shall at first constitute the ordinary members of the Council,"—(Mr. Bourke,)
§ —instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. C. E. LEWIS
said, he trusted that the manner in which he had identified himself with the cause of mixed and united education in Ireland, and the course he had taken on that question when presenting himself to his constituents there would relieve him from any charge of interposing unnecessarily in the debate. Indeed, there was this peculiar characteristic in the contest which ended in his return to a seat in Parliament—that the right hon. and learned Gentleman who was opposed to him appeared before the constituency clothed in opinions of the most extreme character on that subject, which he would neither renounce nor explain; and that he would not himself, in all probability, have had the honour of being the successful candidate had he not unflinchingly expressed his antagonism to anything approaching denominationalism, whether connected with primary, intermediate, or University education in Ireland. He now proposed to take advantage of the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for King's Lynn (Mr. 1212 Bourke) to state his objections to the principles on which the measure now before the House was founded, and the reason why, if the Amendment should not be carried, he should support the Motion for the rejection of the Bill. At this moment, for the fourth time during the present Parliament, the House had before it a definite proposition for opening wide the portals of Trinity College to members of all religious denominations; so that the House was not confined to the acceptance of the Bill of the Government with the object of improving University education in the country. Moreover, besides the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for King's Lynn, there was one which stood in the name of an hon. Gentleman who sat on the opposite side of the House (Mr. Smyth) for the rejection of the Government scheme. That being so, he had no hesitation in saying that if the former Amendment were not carried, he would vote for the latter—although he could not be supposed to have the slightest sympathy with the opinions which would probably be advanced by the hon. Member for Westmeath. He did not mean to say that if the Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for King's Lynn were agreed to, and that the names of the Council were placed on the Table, he should not be disposed to go into Committee and try to make out of the Bill something like a fair measure; but if the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government still declined to take that course, then he (Mr. C. E. Lewis) could not but look upon his refusal as a determination to withhold information which would probably end in the rejection of his scheme. It would be remembered the right hon. Gentleman in introducing the Bill submitted to the House as the basis of its provisions, two main allegations. He said there existed a great religious grievance in connection with University education in Ireland, and that grievance was not confined to the Roman Catholic portion of the community, but was participated in by the great Presbyterian body. The right hon. Gentleman added, that, in addition to the religious grievance, there was great necessity for academical reform in Ireland. His statement as to the existence of the religious grievance to which he referred the right hon. Gentleman supported by statistics 1213 from which he drew three or four conclusions. He, in the first place stated, as arithmetical evidence of the grievance, that the Roman Catholic community constituted three-quarters of the population, and yet that they had only one-eighth of the students in Arts; adding that Scotland, which had only half the population of Ireland—which statement was not quite accurate—had two-and-a-half the number of students in Arts. The right hon. Gentleman went on to point out to the House that there had been a gradual falling off of students in the Queen's Colleges, and that the result had been similar in the case of the Dublin University during the last few years. Now, it was not his (Mr. C. E. Lewis's) intention to sift these statistics—that he would leave to hon. Gentlemen more conversant with details; but he would, with the permission of the House, point out a few considerations which appeared to him to alter altogether the effect of the right hon. Gentleman's figures, and in some cases to impeach the statistics themselves. The right hon. Gentleman never, in the first place, alluded to the great decrease of population in Ireland during the last few years; he, in the next place, made no allowance for the vast social changes which increased means of intercommunication between England and Ireland had produced; nor had he taken any account of the increased facilities which the opening up of the English Universities now afforded to Irishmen to take their degrees in this country. To all these matters the right hon. Gentleman had paid no attention whatever. He further wished to show that the comparison which had been instituted by the right hon. Gentleman between Irish and Scotch University education was an erroneous one, and calculated to mislead rather than to instruct the House. In the first place, the proposal to exclude from his calculations all but students in Arts was not a sound one, having regard to the less wealth of the middle classes of Ireland, who in sending their sons to a University were more likely to do so in connection with one of the learned professions than in England and Scotland. Again, the right hon. Gentleman, in stating that the number of students in the Scotch Universities was 4,000, had not distinguished between those who were students in Arts and those who were students in other facul- 1214 ties. Yet he had compared the entire number of Scotch University students of all classes with the number of students in Arts only in the Irish Universities. The right hon. Gentleman had also appeared to forget the fact that in Scotland University students were not required to pass a matriculation examination before admission, while Irish University students were required to pass such an examination. Again, it was the fact that whereas in Scotland only one in seven of the University students matured into graduates, the proportion was raised to one in three and a-half in Ireland, or just double the number. Another fact worthy of notice was, that the Scotch Universities were more favourably situated in a geographical sense than was the University of Dublin. The result was, that while a vast number of youths entered the Scotch Universities—which they used rather in the sense of great schools than of Universities—the present state of things in Ireland prevented students entering into the Irish Universities with the same freedom. If the House would permit him to compare the statistics of England, Ireland, and Scotland pertaining to this subject, he thought he should be able to show that the position of Ireland was not the worst in regard to University education, taking into consideration the difference of population in the three countries. In Scotland the number of University students compared with the population was 1 in 860; in Ireland it was 1 in 2,200; and in England it was 1 in 4,020. Under those circumstances he asked the House to pause before it accepted mere arithmetical statements like those put forward by the right hon. Gentleman as proofs of the existence of a religious grievance, and before, acting on the belief that those statements were accurate, it made a vast and radical change in the existing system of Irish University education. But admitting that there was a great relative paucity in the number of University students in Ireland, from what did it arise? Was it not well known that the state of intermediate education in Ireland was wretched? If they had not got the seed, they could not hope to raise the plant. If the right hon. Gentleman had begun to deal with this question at the right end, he would have accepted the Bill introduced by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), and would have 1215 supplemented that measure by a Bill for improving the state of intermediate schools in Ireland. In support of this proposition he would bring forward the evidence of three witnesses. In the first place, he should rely upon the memorial from Limerick to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred in introducing this Bill, in which the right hon. Gentleman opposite (the Postmaster General) had placed in most decided terms before the Government the necessity of founding middle-class schools as one of the great educational requirements of Ireland at the present day. He would also refer to the Report of the Endowed Schools Commission, in which that body distinctly referred to the want of intermediate and middle-class schools in Ireland, not merely at the present day, but 10 years ago, when that Report was presented. He would next refer to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman himself in introducing the Bill, in which he referred to the memorial to which he (Mr. Lewis) had just alluded, and admitted that the subject of intermediate education in Ireland was one of great importance, and one on which legislation must necessarily follow, though it did not accompany the passing of this Bill. The alleged religious grievance was not, however, entirely based upon statistics, for the right hon. Gentleman supported his allegation by a reference to the remarkable decline and alleged failure of the Queen's University. He (Mr. C. E. Lewis) for one, was not prepared to admit that the Queen's University had been a failure.
said, he was not aware that he had expressed an opinion that the Queen's University had been a failure.
§ MR. C. E. LEWIS
said, that the right hon. Gentleman had certainly used in his speech the expression that the Queen's University was a comparative failure.
The hon. Member said "failure." He did not desire it to be assumed that he regarded the Queen's University as having failed.
§ MR. C. E. LEWIS
said, that the expression used by the right hon. Gentleman, that the Queen's University was a "comparative failure," was sufficient for his purpose. Failure, comparative or otherwise, was what he wished to fix on the right hon. Gentleman. He (Mr. 1216 C. E. Lewis) was satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman, with his University training, with his University traditions, and with his University experience, would endorse his statement that a University could not be made in a day, nor even in a generation. Those Universities—not in this country only but in every part of the world—which had most flourished, and which had done the most work, were those which had struck deep root in the land where they were established, and into the habits and minds and the history of the people in whose midst they had grown up. What could be expected of a University that had had a mere fitful and threatened existence of 27 or 28 years, such as the Queen's University had had? From the very moment of its establishment its work had been carried on in the midst of continual and persistent hostility. Would it have been surprising, if with the sword ever hanging over its head and the heads of its Colleges, it had failed? But under these most discouraging circumstances he was prepared to deny that the Queen's University had failed; he was prepared to join issue on the question with the right hon. Gentleman, and to maintain that, on the contrary, it had been a comparative and actual success. Was it not the fact that since its establishment the Queen's University had imparted a University education to 5,398 students? Did not that show an amount of educational and academic work that deserved to be respected and worthy something better than the treatment to which it was proposed to submit both the Queen's University and the Queen's Colleges by this Bill? The right hon. Gentleman would probably meet this statement by replying that the greater number of those students were Protestants; but the fact was, that of 5,398 students entered, no less than 1,536 were Roman Catholics—a circumstance that showed that this University had made great progress in welding together the two antagonistic religious sections into which Irishmen were divided. Did not that fact show that had the University been left to grow in peace and tranquillity the scheme of the great statesman who founded it would have been successful? And successful it certainly would have been had the University been allowed to mirror itself in that clear sea to which the right 1217 hon. Gentleman had alluded the other night. But had that University been allowed to rest and grow in peace? Had it not been continually assailed by agitation? At one time it was threatened with a Commission—at another anathemas were hurled at it—at another a Bill was threatened. Had it been allowed a quiet time—had it been permitted that placidity, that quiet, that rest which it was essential a University should enjoy, would it have been possible for the right hon. Gentleman to come forward and say that the Queen's University was a "comparative failure" instead of saying, as the fact was, that it was a great success? Could the House imagine the conditions under which the Queen's University and Colleges had been carried on? Let them listen to the kind of anathemas which had been hurled at it by the heads of that very section of the Irish community for whose benefit it had been established. At a mooting of the Roman Catholic Bishops at Maynooth on the 18th of August, 1869, the following resolution was passed:—They reiterate their condemnation of the mixed system of education, whether primary, intermediate, or University, as grievously and intrinsically dangerous to the faith and morals of Catholic youth; and they declare that to Catholics only (and under the supreme control of the Church in all things appertaining to faith and morals) can the teaching of Catholics be safely intrusted. Fully relying on the love which the Catholics of Ireland have ever cherished for their ancient faith, and on the filial obedience they have uniformly manifested towards their pastors, the Bishops call upon the clergy and the laity of their respective Hocks to oppose by every constitutional means the extension or perpetuation of the mixed system, whether by the creation of new institutions, by the maintenance of old ones, or by changing Trinity College, Dublin, into a mixed College.At a meeting of the same persons at their Marlborough Street Cathedral, on the 17th of August, 1871, they said—We hereby declare our unalterable conviction that Catholic education is indispensably necessary for the preservation of the faith and morals of our Catholic people. In union with the Holy See and the Bishops of the Catholic world, we again renew our often-repeated condemnation of mixed education as intrinsically and grievously dangerous to faith and morals, and tending to perpetuate dissensions, insubordination, and disaffection in this country.Now, that was the condition under which this University, which had been founded for the purpose of offering a good edu- 1218 cation to Roman Catholics, had struggled on; and was there any hope that it could succeed? And lest there should be any doubt in the minds of the Roman Catholics of the views of their hierarchy, the following resolution was appended to the previous declaration—These resolutions will be read on the first convenient Sunday at one of the public masses in each of the churches and chapels of this kingdom.—Dublin, October 20, 1871. Signed, Paul Card. Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin; George Conroy, Bishop of Ardagh; James M'Devitt, Bishop of Raphoe, secretaries.The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government admitted when he introduced this Bill that one of the main grounds of the comparative failure of the Queen's University arose from Romish Episcopal interference; but he seemed to attach greater responsibility for that comparative failure upon the denunciations pronounced in this House by Sir Robert Inglis upon the occasion of the passing of the Bill for the establishment of the Queen's Colleges. Now, he (Mr. C. E. Lewis), would ask, did the House for a moment believe that the Roman Catholic population of Ireland would count as a feather's weight the opinion of Sir Robert Inglis on such a subject as this? Was that observation introduced by the right hon. Gentleman as a kind of salve to the Roman Catholic Prelates, whose interference he had just referred to? It seemed to be asking the House to believe too much, when the right hon. Gentleman asked them to believe that the comparative failure of the Queen's University among the Roman Catholics arose from any interference or any denunciation from the well-known Popish Bishop, Sir Robert Harry Inglis. The right hon. Gentleman did not like to place the religious grievance before the House as a purely Roman Catholic grievance, and he accordingly said it was also a Presbyterian grievance. They all recollected with what considerable pomp and circumstances the Petition was presented at the Table of the House from Magee College. The right hon. Gentleman was not content to place the Petition on the Table—it was signed by two persons, representing only 40 at the most—but he evidently thought that he had got hold of the representative Body of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He (Mr. C. E. Lewis) did not pretend to represent the Presbyterian Body in Ire- 1219 land, though he happened to have a large number of them among his constituents; but he had not the slightest doubt they would hear in the course of the debate from the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. W. Johnston), who could claim to have a close representative connection with that body—a distinct and authoritative statement of their opinions on this subject. But they were not altogether without documents which would enable the House to judge how far the Prime Minister had got hold of the right horse when he supposed he was riding the Presbyterian horse to the winning post on this occasion. The Presbyterian General Assembly had, upon the education question at Trinity College, a standing committee, which was not appointed with reference to this Bill, but had its origin so far back as 1868. The standing committee met on the 24th of February last. There were 12 persons present, and in the division on the resolutions there were 7 in favour and 3 against, and 2 of the 3 were Professors of Magee College: the Moderator of the General Assembly, who was well known as a leading Liberal politician and a strong supporter of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, did not vote. The following were among the resolutions adopted:—5. We object to the recognition by the State of Denominational Colleges as a part of a National system of University education, and to the affiliation of such Colleges with the University of Dublin. 6. We object to the representation of Denominational Colleges, as such, upon the Council of the proposed University of Dublin. 7. We object to the exclusion of Modern History and Mental and Moral Philosophy as subjects of examination for the rewards of the University. 8. We object to the proposal to dissolve the Queen's College in Galway, and we believe that the Queen's Colleges and the Queen's University cannot be held to have had a fair trial until Government shall have established a proper system of Intermediate education in Ireland.That was the utterance of the standing committee of the General Assembly. The House was aware that the Presbyterian body had a large Theological College in Belfast, immediately opposite Queen's College. It was a place where most of their ministers were trained. So largely had the Presbyterian body used Queen's College in Belfast, in accordance with the leading principles of their Church, that between 1865 and 1871 no 1220 less than 471 Presbyterian students entered Queen's College, Belfast, alone, and during those six years the greatest number of attendance of Presbyterian students in one year was 285, and the lowest 214. He thought that arithmetical evidence which was well worthy of being placed against that of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman said they had nothing to do with the question whether the objections of the Roman Catholics to the present system of University education in Ireland were right or wrong—the question, he said, was whether it was, right in us, or wise that Roman Catholics should be excluded from University training? He did not put his case as one of justice to those who were suffering from some religious disability. His case was, that something should be done for persons who denied themselves privileges which the Legislature had conferred upon them, merely because they had some particular object connected with their own religious community. That, the right hon. Gentleman said, was a reason for the House to interfere on the footing of a grievance actually proved. But what would be the result of the admittance of such a principle as that with reference to other educational questions that might come before the House? Let it be tried with reference to national education in Ireland, and then the Roman Catholic Bishops, who had endeavoured for years to keep the children of Roman Catholics from the National Schools, would establish another grievance, which would entitle the right hon. Gentleman to come to the House and ask them to alter the system of primary education in Ireland. Therefore, as the right hon. Gentleman himself said, the course which Parliament might take in regard to this Bill, and the principles it might adopt for its own guidance, would be of the utmost importance when any Government came to frame a measure for the intermediate schools of Ireland; for if they admitted in this case that the Roman Catholics had a grievance, the Roman Catholic Prelates would then come forward and demand the establishment of denominational intermediate schools. He would warn hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House that if the principle of the right hon. Gentleman were acted upon with reference to Ireland, a demand would be raised to apply the same prin- 1221 ciple to England; for the members of the Church of England were equally entitled to say that it oppressed their consciences to send their children to purely secular schools; and if they admitted that in their dealings with Irish education—the basis of grievance laid down by the right hon. Gentleman, they could not possibly apply a different principle in dealing with the English education question. But he had no doubt that obsta principiis would be the motto of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and that they would do their utmost to prevent the establishment of a denominational system of education in Ireland. Once for all, he must state what he felt on this subject, and that bound him to oppose the Bill in its main feature. He asked himself was the grievance proposed to be remedied a real grievance, and was the remedy propounded for it a just and proper one? The Bill was composed of two parts, a destructive and a constructive part; and each was equally objectionable. It really destroyed the ancient University of Dublin and erected a new one; for what was left when you took away the entire Governing Board of a University and all its Professors? The right hon. Gentleman had borne testimony to the high character of Dublin University. Why, therefore, destroy it? Then, though the right hon. Gentleman admitted that the influence of the Queen's University was unmixedly good as far it went, he proposed to destroy this University also. He could not understand the right hon. Gentleman's argument with reference to the weakness of the Queen's University, and the manner in which he proposed to remedy it. He said it was weak now; take away Galway College and the University would be weaker than it was before, and therefore he proposed to destroy it altogether. As to its want of representation, which the right hon. Gentleman lamented, he could readily rectify the want. For the last three years Ireland had been deprived of two of its Representatives; and, instead of destroying the Queen's University, in order that it might share in the representation of the University of Dublin, he need only give to it one of the seats taken from Sligo and Cashel. The proposed excision of Philosophy and Modern History from the course of examination would bear with peculiar hardship upon the Presbyterian body, 1222 whom the right hon. Gentleman so much respected and so desired to conciliate. He would explain how that was. Hitherto that body had encouraged all students to graduate, and would not accept a degree as a qualification for the Theological College unless it included Ethics, Metaphysics, and Logic. If Philosophy and Modern History were excluded from the University course, few Presbyterians would go up for their degree, and would, consequently, have to fall back upon the Examining Board of their own Church; so that, instead of increasing the number of University students by cutting off these two subjects of study, the right hon. Gentleman would diminish sources of supply now in existence, in the hope of creating a source of supply which only existed upon paper. In other words, the right hon. Gentleman proposed to injure one class, who were partaking liberally of the moans of education provided by the State, in order to meet the prejudices of a class who had rejected these facilities and say they will continue to reject them. The Returns relating to the three Colleges showed that out of 200 Roman Catholic students 64 attended the Philosophy class, and out of 545 Protestant students 169 attended it; so that the proportion of Roman Catholics attending the class was slightly greater than that of Protestants. Thus it appeared that, notwithstanding the anathemas levelled at them, no religious difficulty or grievance prevented Roman Catholic students from making use of the Philosophy class just as the Protestants did. Then, as to the suppression of the Galway College. In establishing these Colleges, Sir Robert Peel placed one in Ulster, in order to meet the wants of the great Protestant community in the North of Ireland; he selected Cork in the South as a fit place in which to provide for the educational wants of the great Roman Catholic community in the South; and, lastly, he placed a College in Galway to meet the wants of Roman Catholics in the West of Ireland. Why did the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government seek to disturb the equilibrium of educational supply thus wisely arranged? When the tempest raged against the whole of the Queen's Colleges Galway sank to the lowest position; just at the time when comparative peace reigned Galway revived; and there was not the slightest ground for supposing 1223 that Galway had been such a complete failure as to justify its destruction. Passing from the destructive part of the Bill, he came now to the constructive portion:—and if the destructive part of the Bill was objectionable, the constructive part was more objectionable still. The Bill provided a Governing Council, to be composed of ordinary and collegiate members. He did not know which form of appointment was the more injurious. For 10 years there would be no alteration with regard to the ordinary members, and seven years more would elapse before the Council would shed its original skin. Thus for 17 years the University would work more or less under the influence of the nominees of the Government—he used the words "nominees of the Government," because the phrase used in the Bill, "nominated by the Crown," is a mere euphemism. Was this the way to start a new University—to fetter it with a Government nomination for 17 years? He did not for a moment mean to insinuate that the right hon. Gentleman did not intend to make these nominations fairly; but had not the University a right to look for a free and unfettered existence? Why should Ireland be supposed incapable of electing proper persons upon the Council? "Fiat experinmentum in corpore vili" seemed to be the principle on which the right hon. Gentleman acted; but he (Mr. C. E. Lewis) maintained, on behalf of those who formed part of the University system in Ireland, that they ought to be trusted by the Legislature with the same powers as were given to the English Universities, and ought not to be kept in swaddling clothes. Moreover, the House was in entire ignorance of the principles on which these twenty-eight members were to be selected. Was there to be a nice balancing of denominations upon the Council, having regard either to the relative population, or the relative social status, or the relative possible supply of students from each denomination? Were the interests of higher education to be regarded, or the interests of sects? Were eminent and prominent divines of each Church to be included, or ipso facto excluded? This was a most important question; but the right hon. Gentleman, whose answer, by anticipation, no doubt, possessed considerable weight, was silent respecting it. Would the oracle of the 1224 Treasury Bench open his mouth and enlighten the House on this subject? If academical distinction alone were to be regarded, would it be contended that the Bishops and religious leaders, who demanded to have control over these young men from first to last, would be satisfied with the Bill? Would they not commence an agitation the next morning after the Bill passed, with the design of uprooting the principle on which it was founded? The justification for the present Motion was, that it was necessary to have the great lines of the Bill marked out on the Council, in order that the House might judge whether there would be the least chance of the success of the measure. The most pernicious provision of all in the Bill was that relating to the collegiate members of the Council. The Bill contained no description of the character of the Colleges which were to be admitted—there was no limit to their number;—and although under stress of bad weather the right hon. Gentleman came down to the House that night to suggest certain changes in their constitution, he would ask the House whether those changes were satisfactory? The affiliation of denominational Colleges to a National University was an anachronism and an anomaly which the House ought not to sanction, because it was the introduction of denominationalism in its worst form into the Governing Body of the University. The twenty-eight members of the Council nominated by the Crown would probably be men of high standing, perhaps in the Church, but certainly in the State. They would be unable to give their time from day to day, and would pay only a fitful attention to their Council duties. But it would be otherwise with those who represented the denominational Institutes and Colleges. Nine out of ten of them would be eager ecclesiastics, and would make it a point of honour and duty to attend every meeting; and the uppermost element—the active and attendant element—would be always found in its place in the Council; and thus the Bill would give a denominational character to the University which was not designed by its promoters. This seemed to be one of the most important objections to the Bill. What were to be the duties of the Council? They were to appoint Professors, to affiliate Colleges, and to prescribe the subjects for 1225 examination for degrees, and for all University honours and emoluments. Then, what was to be the mode of their election? Many Members of the House who had been connected with the Universities must be surprised to find that the election was given to the students and not to the graduates—to the tyro of yesterday, in fact, who had just passed his examination, and was newly added to the muster-roll. Any College having 50 students was to be entitled to return one member to the Council. The right hon. Gentleman would, perhaps, say that they must be matriculated students of the University. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Liberal party proposed to return to the old close small-borough system in the election of the members of the Council. He seemed to have "returned to his old love," and. saw in the old close corporation the model of a representative body. Trinity College with 500 members, and Cork and Belfast with 500 or 600 more would only be entitled to four or six members; while six small Colleges, with an aggregate of only 300 students, would be entitled to return the same number as the other three with 1,000 or 1,100 members. In these days of advanced reform, when they heard so much of the equalisation of the county and borough franchise, was that the sort of proposal to be placed before the House by a Liberal Minister in order to secure a fair representative body for the new University? If hon. Members would take up Thom's Directory they would find not less than 20 so-called Colleges, every one of which would be able to qualify itself by getting 50 students, and would then be entitled to return one member to the Council. That was a state of things most improper, and which would never receive the sanction of the House. This was not a case of the Minister of the Crown coming forward and saying—"Here is a portion of Her Majesty's subjects suffering wrong, and we must do them justice." The right hon. Gentleman carefully guarded himself, and said he would not discuss the question whether they were right or wrong—he would not ask whether it was more than a sentimental grievance that was complained of. The persons, however, for whom he would provide a remedy said they would not have it. The Roman Catholic Prelates rejected it with scorn. Of course, they 1226 would not be bound not to agitate if this Bill passed. They would take it, and thank the right hon. Gentleman for it, and then begin a new agitation the next day. The real object of the Roman Catholic Prelates was not to have the power of granting degrees, but to obtain educational endowments for their Colleges. That could be proved by documentary evidence. In the year 1866, 29 Roman Catholic Prelates signed a letter to Sir George Grey which left no doubt on this subject; and in 1868 Bishops Leahy and Derry addressed a letter to Lord Mayo which was equally explicit. He did not think it desirable, as he had addressed the House at such a length, to go into the question of academical training; but he would ask the House to consider, in conclusion, whether the efforts of the right hon. Gentleman to meet the so-called grievance of one portion of Her Majesty's subjects would not tend entirely to alter and subvert the system of National Education in Ireland, and whether it would not lead the House into inextricable confusion and inconsistency? What he asked the House to do was not to take a step backwards by passing the Bill before it, but to set down its foot firmly and uphold the system, carried out by successive Ministers for 40 years, of that undenominational education which had already produced so much fruit in Ireland by allaying sectarian bitterness, and by drawing together classes of the community who had hitherto been kept apart. Otherwise they would be reversing a most beneficial course of legislation.
MR. OSBORNE MORGAN
said, that the Amendment before the House was nothing more nor less than a Vote of Censure, and never had a Vote of Censure been based on so narrow a ground. It was a mere attempt to run away from the main issue. He should therefore follow the example of the eloquent speaker who had just sat down, and pass from the Motion to the Bill itself. He had never heard so many objections to any measure in the same space of time, but he was consoled by the thought that they could not all be right. It would be impossible that a 13i11 should be at the same time denominational and godless—that it should be destitute of all religious education and confer an advantage on one particular sect. Thus one objection neutralized the other. The 1227 Bill being essentially a compromise, perhaps one of its greatest merits consisted in the fact that it absolutely satisfied nobody, and he would now state why, although he disapproved some of the details of the measure, he meant to give it his support. It seemed to him that the Bill combined the greatest possible amount of concession to the Roman Catholics with the strict maintenance of the secular principle in State education by combining voluntary denominational Colleges into a State-supported undenominational University. Certainly, he thought none the worse of the Bill because it was repudiated by the Roman Catholic Prelates. Indeed, if it had received their unconditional approval he should believe there was some mischief lurking within it. The majority of Englishmen and of educated Irishmen regarded this question of education from an entirely different point of view from that taken by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, who thought the function of a University was to educate good Catholics and sound Churchmen, whereas the former thought its function was to educate sound scholars and enlightened citizens, and, therefore, the two parties were moving upon lines which, if prolonged to all infinity, would not meet. He went as far as any man in claiming justice and equality for his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, who, however, were not content with "a fair field and no favour," but wanted exclusive possession of the field for themselves. Admitting that the Irish Roman Catholics did not get their fair share of University education, he was willing to redress their grievance, to give them their own Colleges, and to let them have their own religious instruction, worship, and discipline. He would also admit them to degrees; but he was opposed to the standard of University education in Ireland being dragged down to the level of Stonyhurst or Maynooth. Neither would he consent to vote a penny of the public money for endowing a Roman Catholic University, which, from the very nature of things, must become a nest and nucleus of Popish propaganda. Any Bill which proposed such an endowment would not have the smallest chance of passing, and no Government could retain its seat which proposed it. It might be urged that, if the English Parliament would not grant the only thing the Irish hierarchy 1228 wanted, it would be useless to propose any measure for removing the Roman Catholic grievance, and there would be great force in this argument but for the circumstance that there was growing up outside the sacerdotal pale an element which was strengthening every day—a lay Catholic opinion, which he believed regarded such questions as these very differently from the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Looking at the Bill as it affected academical institutions in Ireland, it seemed to him that the institution which had the least reason to complain was Trinity College, Dublin. It kept four-fifths of its endowments; it retained its educational machinery, and it would be its own fault if it did not get the hon's share of the endowments of the new University as well. Was it to be supposed that that College, with its historical traditions of 300 years, its revenue of £50,000 a-year, its magnificent Fellowships, compared with which the prizes of Oxford and Cambridge were only a paltry pittance, could not hold its own against the Roman Catholic University, with its seven students, or Magee College, of which until the other day he had never heard? It seemed to him that the new Colleges would not be unworthy of their elder sister, and that Trinity College would, as the best Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge did, derive benefit from the healthy rivalry between College and College; but, if the worst should happen, Trinity College would get something like a monopoly of the new endowments amounting to £50,000 a-year, so that giving up £12,000 a-year was the best investment that Trinity College could make. As to the opposition of the Queen's University, on the other hand, he was disposed to sympathize with the objections it made to the Bill; because, under its provisions, the Queen's Colleges would be in danger of being left out in the cold. The new University would be located at Dublin, while the Queen's Colleges would be at Belfast and Cork, and he did not know how his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government proposed to combine a Professoriate in Dublin with bodies of students located in provincial towns. Of course, if the proposed University were to be a mere examining Board, the objection would be idle; but, according to the Bill, it was to be a teaching University, and this disadvantage would weight 1229 the Queen's Colleges unfairly in the race, even if it did not prove fatal to them. What, he asked, would become of the University of Oxford if Baliol were located in Cumberland, Exeter in Norfolk, and Lincoln in Cornwall? There were some points in the Bill which required amendment, and. its worst feature was the entire suppression of the Galway College. That institution had only been in existence for 23 years—a very short period in the life of a University—and it had not been in working gear for anything like that time. Yet, although from its infancy it had been placed under the ban of the priesthood, and although it was situate in the poorest province of poor Ireland, it had achieved a very respectable success. No less than 94 students presented themselves in a recent Session for matriculation, of whom 31 were Roman Catholics and 29 Episcopalians; rest fairly represented other sects. Last Session 60 students presented themselves, nearly one-half of whom were Roman Catholics. This represented a very respectable success, and induced the impression that the proposals of the Government with regard to Galway were harsh. He also objected to the quasi-penal clauses, which were intended to fetter the teaching power of the Professors; either they went too far, or did not go far enough. A Professor who taught Newton's Principia, which, he believed, was one of the books in the Index Expurgatorius, might be brought under their operation. Besides, they opened the door to great disputes between the examiners and candidates. The effect of the clause excluding from the examination moral philosophy and modern history would be to exclude these branches altogether from the whole University curriculum, as students would study only those subjects which were imperatively required. As an Oxford man, he considered these two subjects worth all the other subjects of learning put together. It was being held now-a-days that there was no such thing as modern history as distinguished from ancient, and. that all history was continuous—at least, that was Mr. Freeman's theory; but, under the clause, the first part of Gibbon would be ancient, and not modern history, so that it would allow a Professor to teach and the University to examine in the 15th chapter of Gibbon, and not in the Wars of the Roses. He 1230 thought some restriction ought to be put on the number of Colleges that might be affiliated; and as regarded the system of government, although his prejudices were all in favour of self-government, he was convinced a self-governed national University could not prosper in Ireland. If the members of the Governing Body were elected by the Council itself, or by the Senate, the Council Chamber would be a perpetual battle-ground for contending sects. He did not, therefore, object to the proposed form of appointing the ordinary members of the Council: but surely it could not be intended that Trinity, with her 500 or 600 members, should have no more than double the representation on the Council, of any College able to scrape together 50 students who were not even required to be graduates? So much for details; and as for the more immediate question of the Amendment, he submitted that if the Bill were as radically bad as had been described, it would be better to kill it at once. A coalition between the English Conservatives and. the Irish Home Rulers—between the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) and the hon. Member for Westmeath (Mr. Smyth)—might prove fatal to the Bill; but would. that result be creditable to those who produced it, or to the House? He insisted that the burden lay on those who opposed the Bill to propose some working alternative, and the only alternative before them was the scheme of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), which did. not solve the question, and. would not satisfy the Catholic laity. Any solution of it must proceed on the lines of the Government measure, and involve a combination of self-supporting denominational Colleges into a State-supported national University, undenominational in its character. Mr. Lecky had, in a recent work, prophesied an early abatement of sectarian animosity in Ireland, and there were other reasons why the present was an auspicious moment for settling this question. They had a Government peculiarly qualified by its academical experience to deal with the question, and both the Irish and Scotch Universities were well represented in the House. With such aids he thought they might establish a University in Ireland worthy of the country of Sheridan, and Grattan, and Burke.
said, he believed that great responsibility attached to all that they might say or do in reference to establishing a University for Ireland, and that the measure before the House was one which, from its character, commanded at least a qualified approval and an unbiassed consideration of its provisions; but there were other reasons which induced him to consider and receive it favourably. Her Majesty's Government had laboured assiduously to promote the well-being of Ireland; they had done more for the general welfare of the great body of the Irish people than any Administration which ever existed, and he had no doubt that the spirit which had animated them in the past had also induced them to undertake the task of Irish University reform. But while he gladly gave them credit for the best intentions, he was bound to consider what effects the measure might have in the eyes of those whose views on education were based upon principles which were immutable and incapable of compromise. The House had been assured, on the highest authority, that external influence had nothing whatever to say to the preparation of this Bill. The Government wished it to be clearly understood that they had been actuated solely by their sense of public duty, and no one would be more unwilling than he to impugn that statement. But whatever the cause might be, this Bill had been so contrived as to include within its scope and give practical effect to the various crotchets and hobbies into which all sections of the community were divided on the education question. The Protestant Episcopalians were to a considerable extent satisfied because they saw Trinity College lavishly endowed. The Presbyterians were satisfied because they saw the mixed system established, and the consequent exclusion of ecclesiastical control, and because they saw no provision for the endowment of an institution where the Catholic youth of Ireland could be educated under the supervision of the authorities of their Church. In his judgment, all had some reason to be well pleased except the 4,000,000 of Catholics for whose benefit the measure was especially designed, and whose position with respect to University education had been acknowledged by the right hon. Gentleman to constitute a great religious grievance. This was a most important statement, considering the quarter from 1232 which it emanated—a statement, in fact, of incalculable value. It placed before the House with the utmost distinctness that the object of this Bill was to relieve a great religious grievance of 4,000,000 Irish Catholics, but for whom we should never have heard of it. The weight of evidence was entirely with the right hon. Gentleman, who had clearly established a case for legislation on the admitted basis that the Catholics had insuperable conscientious objections to all existing systems of University education in Ireland. It might not be amiss if he reminded the House that it was about to legislate in this matter for the Irish Catholics almost exclusively. The Episcopalian Protestants and the Presbyterians had no educational grievance. The former had Trinity College, the richest in the world, a denominational institution; the latter had the College of Belfast, also denominational, largely endowed by the munificence of Parliament; while the Catholics, who constituted the Irish nation, had not succeeded, after years of agitation, in obtaining State recognition for a Catholic College, and did not receive one single shilling for the purpose of higher education, but were left with regard to that education in a position which the Prime Minister had declared to be "miserably bad, scandalously bad." Even should this Bill pass, Trinity College would still be the richest College in the world, still essentially denominational; and whatever deductions might be made from its colossal revenues would be more than compensated by the advantages, placed by the Bill within the reach of Episcopalian youth. The Presbyterians would have the College of Belfast, also denominational, amply endowed, and with a corresponding increase of prizes within the reach of their youth. The Catholics would retain what they possessed—that is to say, nothing—to which would be added the privilege of competing with their countrymen, and possibly with all the world, for some Fellowships, exhibitions, and bursaries, possibly a few Professorial chairs, and the barren honour of being represented on the Governing Council by two or three gentlemen of well-ascertained flexibility. So far, therefore, as Protestants and Presbyterians were concerned, this was an admirable Bill. That Government were perfectly well aware of the state of 1233 public feeling in England and Scotland on the subject of University education, and of the state of feeling in Ireland on the same subject. They took the only prudent course open to them. They could not call into consultation the Representatives of England and Scotland without extending their invitation to those who represented Irish opinions, and, accordingly, they excluded all from their deliberations. But the Government well knew that between the Liberals of England and Scotland and the Roman Catholics of Ireland there was an irreconcilable difference on the education question. The English and Scotch supporters of the Government, but for the secrecy to which they had resorted, would have shouted in their ears, as they valued their confidence, that they should establish the mixed system; while the Roman Catholic Members would have insisted with equal determination that they should establish and endow denominational education in Ireland. They did not arrogate to themselves authority to dictate to the people of England and Scotland in the matter of education, but they claimed the right, which Englishmen and Scotchmen would not relinquish, of deciding for themselves in all matters connected with the education of their children, as they should think proper. This language was not stronger than the occasion required. The privacy in which the Government had shrouded their deliberations had postponed the difficulties of their scheme, which were inevitable, and which now met them face to face. The Government ought to have recollected that this Bill was not intended for Englishmen or Scotchmen, but for Irish Catholics; and that of all subjects education was the one on which the Catholic conscience was most susceptible. They should have recollected that Ireland had to be treated exceptionally, and in accordance with the feelings of her people. On a question of this nature, he maintained that a majority of that House had no right to interpose its veto, except where acquiescence in their wishes was calculated to shake the stability of the Union. He could conceive no other conditions on which union would be tolerable. Was not the education of their children one of the most sacred and intimate of their concerns? And might they not take their own course in regard to it without 1234 endangering the safety of the Empire? It was a fundamental principle of their faith that religion and education were inseparably connected. They desired that the education of their children in all its branches should be under the entire control and supervision of the clergy. On what grounds could their demands be refused? Could it be maintained that the intellectual results of the denominational system were inferior to those of the mixed system? He objected to this measure, not on account of what it did for the Episcopalian Protestants and Presbyterians of Ireland, but because of its most flagrant omission—because it made no provision for the endowment of a firmly-established College or University to be the centre, seat, fountain, and guardian of Catholic education. That was what the Catholics of Ireland, lay and clerical, required; and he ventured to assert that with nothing short of that should they be content. Irish Members would have the satisfaction of having done their duty in placing before the House the wishes of their constituents, and the House must be responsible if they annulled the constitutional privileges of 4,000,000 of people, and set at defiance their expressed opinions in matters which exclusively concerned interests of their own. For his part, he had always voted with the Liberal party; but, if on this occasion he had to separate himself from them in opposing this Bill, he believed he was still adhering to those principles to which he had always been faithful, and that it was the Liberals who were doing violence to those opinions.
LORD ROBERT MONTAGU [The Times report]
said, the noble Lord the Member for Calne had remarked that he considered this question one of the greatest public importance, and in that opinion he concurred, because the question involved the whole future history of Ireland. We cried out for higher education where there was none, because it raised the people, and without it they were degraded. The question involved was no less than this—whether Ireland was in the future to be contented and to be raised in the scale of nations, or whether she was always to remain discontented—a thorn in our side and a danger in case of war? He looked on that Bill very much as he did on the Alabama arbitration, as a step in the 1235 right direction—as an attempt to do what was right and beneficial to the country, though somewhat bungling in the way in which it was carried out, and not performing all that they desired it should effect. He did not blame the Government altogether for that, but ascribed it to our Parliamentary system. If Lord Palmerston had been there and had been consulted on that Bill, he would have said that he hated the bigotry of secularism, that he did not care one whit for the religion of denominationalism, but that there was one thing he loved and revered—namely, a majority. He did not believe the present Prime Minister would have said a thing exactly like that; but he had no doubt that in the preparation of the Bill the right hon. Gentleman had heard it urged that if he did this and did that he would not secure a majority in the House of Commons. It was a vice in our system that the person who had studied the subject in all its details, and knew what was best for the country, found himself thwarted by the 666 Gentlemen who came to that House to legislate the moment the shooting was over. But if the right hon. Gentleman failed in carrying his Bill, he would have worked a great change in public opinion, and prepared the way for more successful attempts in another year. The Conservative party had always held the doctrine that learning was but a means of education, and that the essential thing was training, the forming of the mind, the acquisition of moral and religious habits. To secure that they must have denominational Colleges, because those Colleges stood in loco parentis, and were bound to teach moral and religious habits. If Conservatism meant anything, it meant resistance to revolutionary doctrines, and the inculcation of respect for authority. The late Lord Clarendon, in a letter to Dr. Murray, said the Government would fail in its object in training the youth of Ireland to be good men and loyal subjects, if religious instruction and moral conduct were not duly provided for and guarded by every precaution which the most anxious solicitude could devise. If the Irish people were apt to take up with Fenianism and other political agitations, it was because they had not made them loyal subjects by giving them the religious education they desired. That father 1236 of Conservatism, Mr. Pitt, in 1799 proposed a union of the Legislatures of England and Ireland, and, as a necessary consequence, the granting to Irish Roman Catholics of all the rights and privileges enjoyed by their Protestant fellow-subjects. Part of his scheme was an adequate and effectual provision for the Catholic clergy. It would be well for the puny Conservatives of our days to try to imitate that policy. Again, in May, 1805, Mr. Pitt, recurring to the same subject, said—My idea was to render the priests dependent in some sort upon the Government, and thus links, as it were, between the Government and the people.At that period there was a State Church in Ireland—i. e., the principle of the State treating all religions on an equality was denied. Now that principle had. been affirmed, and therefore the argument in favour of Mr. Pitt's views was now all the stronger. On the 13th of February the present Prime Minister asked—Do we intend, or do we not intend, to extend to our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects the full benefit of civil equality on a footing exactly the same as that on which it is granted to members of other religious persuasions?The House then expressed its assent by cheers, and the right hon. Gentleman conjured it on grounds of "generosity and policy" to "hold that opinion boldly and frankly." No doubt it was hard for the British House of Commons to look on Irish questions with Irish eyes, but it could look on them in the light of justice and equality, and determine to maintain no invidious distinctions in religion, or to make conscience a bar to advancement. The Protestant majority of that House should act upon the golden rule of doing to others as they would be done by. Supposing "Home Rule" bore sway in Ireland, how would the Protestant minority there like their rulers to treat them? In regard to higher education in Ireland, both sides of the House had admitted the existence of a grievance. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire practically admitted it in 1868 when he mooted his scheme. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire showed his foresight by proposing to give a charter to a Catholic University in Ireland, which was the only reasonable 1237 solution of the difficulty, and the House of Commons showed its want of foresight by opposing it. The Prime Minister had admitted the existence of a grievance which prevented a large number in Ireland from taking advantage of higher education, and he had described the state of education as miserably bad, though the people had always shown a desire for learning under all their difficulties. He had spoken of Trinity College and the Queen's Colleges as declining, while Maynooth was advancing. He might have added that a Catholic University had sprung up in a marvellous manner in the last few years and was increasing in numbers, and that the Catholic Colleges were increasing. Where religion was part of education Colleges increased, and where it was banished they declined, because the people would not have such education. The course to be pursued, if the object was the spread of education, was therefore plain. The Prime Minister's speech in introducing the Bill satisfied everybody, his speech containing nothing but an exposition of these principles; but the Bill had not proved to be in accordance with them. The mountain had brought forth a mouse, not, he believed, through the right hon. Gentleman's fault, but through the Bill having been curtailed and maimed in the Cabinet. Some might object to encourage any sort of religion but their own, but surely it was unjust to give the Colleges of the minority large endowments—Trinity College having at least £50,000 a-year, and the Queen's Colleges having already absorbed £820,000 of the public money—and to give the Colleges of the majority nothing. Trinity College, moreover, derived its funds from estates confiscated for no other reason than that their owners were Catholics, and the Queen's Colleges were supported by taxes to which the large Catholic majority contributed. The secularization of these institutions would not remove the invidious distinction, for while Catholics might dislike Protestantism, they hated secularism; and whereas they had hitherto objected to Trinity College as Protestant, they would now certainly shun it as godless. The original aim of the Irish national education system, though that system had become denominational through the resistance of Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Catholics, was the same as that of 1238 these godless Colleges—namely, the gradual extinction or smoothing over of religious antagonisms; but that aim had utterly failed, through the determination of the Irish not to attend them; and he believed religious antagonisms were greater than before this mischievous scheme was devised. It had proved equally futile in Germany, for, as mentioned in the Rev. Mark Pattison's report to the Royal Commission, Van Altenstein, a strong advocate and founder of mixed schools and Colleges, was eventually obliged to issue a rescript against them, on the ground that the promotion of tolerant feelings between members of different communions was seldom or never attained. It was evidently unfair to leave the Catholic University, Catholic Colleges, and diocesan, monastic, and conventual schools dependent on voluntary efforts, and to endow institutions which the majority would never make use of. He had been glad to hear the Prime Minister state that the object in constituting the Council was to secure the confidence of the majority and induce Irishmen to resort to the Colleges. He presumed the Government had found it impossible to make it consist of representatives elected by each College, but he begged the House to keep in view no other consideration than that stated by the Prime Minister. If the Council to be appointed did not command the confidence of the people of Ireland the whole scheme of the Government must be a failure. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government assured them that the Colleges were to preserve their autonomy, and were to determine the subjects of examination. That was all very well, but if the examination was to be onesided—if the results were to depend on the peculiarity of the learning in certain Colleges, while those very peculiarities in another College would prove fatal to the candidate, surely such a system could not stand the test of experience. Moral philosophy was the basis of moral theology; but if the various examiners in moral philosophy were to be allowed to alter the basis, the superstructure must necessarily be altered also. Again, one lecturer in history might tell the students in his class that Henry VIII. was one of the jolliest of kings, and had patted Robin Hood on the back, and another might give that monarch a very different character. They 1239 should remember that all disputes and differences of opinion in Ireland did not relate to theological subjects, but had reference to historical events also, such as the battles of the Boyne and of Aughrim. There was another objectionable clause in the Bill—namely, that under which anyone might come up from any part of Ireland to be examined without having to receive any College training whatever. Examination no doubt tended to raise the standard of the schools, but he agreed with the learned Professor the Member for the University of Edinburgh, that what was principally required was training. But ought not the learned Member, when he so stated, to have gone a little further, and said that if College training was the one thing required help ought to be given to the Colleges, and not endowment to the secular University, which gave no training whatever? He had taken his stand on the ground of justice and equality, but there was this further ground—that Ireland was to be brought into sympathy and harmony with England. That fact had been pleaded in favour of the Bill, and why? They had endeavoured to keep Ireland without any higher education at all, and when that could be so no longer, they tried to force upon her a system which she had long and consistently refused to receive. How could they hope to bring Ireland into sympathy and harmony with England by running counter to the principles to which she had been, and would continue to be, true? The Bill of Her Majesty's Government did not meet the admitted necessities of the case. The great majority of the people of Ireland were dissatisfied with it, and, therefore, even if it passed, the agitation would be continued. It had been said that the Roman Catholic Bishops were divided in opinion on the subject. That was not the case. ["Oh!"] They were united in opinion. ["No, no."] There was not the slightest difference of opinion among them on the subject. ["Oh!"] That he asserted as a fact, and there was no use in denying it. [Mr. GLADSTONE made a gesture of dissent.] If the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government denied it, let him produce his proofs. He again asserted that the Bishops were of one mind, and he asserted too that an agitation would arise in Ireland which would, perhaps, make 1240 England fear. ["Oh!"] Yes, Catholic emancipation had been wrung from the fears of England; agitation had obtained an increase of the Maynooth Grant; the Fenian organization had disestablished the Church in Ireland. ["No, no," and "Hear, hear."] The same organization had disestablished the landlords of Ireland. ["No," and "Hear, hear."] Let them not wait until dangers in the East and threatenings in the West forced them to grant to Ireland that education which in justice she demanded. By refusing that just demand they were giving the most cogent argument to the Home Ruler, and placing the most powerful weapon in the hands of the Fenians, who would say they had never got justice from an English Parliament, and never would until they obtained it for themselves.
§ MR. FAWCETT
said, that if the Bill they were now asked to read a second time should be rejected, its defeat would constitute, perhaps, the most striking homage ever offered to the eloquence of a statesman. Had they been asked to express an opinion upon the measure at the conclusion of the speech which introduced it, they were so charmed, so dazzled, by the eloquence of the Prime Minister, that no one could doubt there would have been almost an unanimous opinion in favour of the second reading. But experience had taught them, and never had a truth been more forcibly shown than on that occasion, that it was impossible to judge of a measure simply by the speech of the Minister who brought it in, but that the clauses must be carefully studied. Hearing from the Prime Minister that the great object he had in view in introducing the Bill was to promote the advancement of learning in Ireland, he had endeavoured to study the question from that point of view; and, in doing so, he had the advantage of being assisted by many men of distinguished academical position, who were most competent to form an opinion upon its probable influence upon the advancement of learning and upon University teaching. He had been very anxious not to be betrayed either into premature approval or premature condemnation of the measure. It was evident the Prime Minister had devoted so much labour and so much thought to the measure, that it was only due to him his production 1241 should receive a corresponding amount of careful attention at their hands. He had, therefore, with the assistance of the friends to whom he had alluded, endeavoured to study the Bill as closely as he could, and, with the permission of the House, he would, as briefly and candidly as possible, lay their conclusions before them. It would be in their recollection that a great portion of the speech of the Prime Minister was occupied in proving that University education in Ireland was not in a satisfactory condition, and that a certain class in that country were suffering under a grievance. Both of these propositions were cordially endorsed—at any rate on that side of the House. It would be strange if he and those about him, who had striven for six years against every obstacle that could be placed in the path of independent Members, to force the question upon the attention of Parliament and the consideration of the Government had not accepted them. They admitted that University education in Ireland was not in a satisfactory condition. But admitting the existence of the grievance— although they gave to it a very different interpretation from that given by the Prime Minister—would the present measure remove that grievance? On the contrary, without doubting the good intentions or the perfect sincerity of the Prime Minister, he thought he could prove that the measure would make the condition of University education in Ireland not more satisfactory, but more unsatisfactory; that it would introduce worse evils than it would cure, and would utterly fail to touch the grievance as stated and as understood by the right hon. Gentleman himself. Never had a measure been introduced into this House which had been rejected with so much unanimity. The very class for whose benefit it was meant were the first to repudiate and reject it. He might be told that the merits of the measure were shown by the fact that it satisfied the extremes of neither party. If it rendered them discontented only, he could admit the force of the argument; but could it be proved that even moderate men in Ireland were satisfied with it? The reason for the general dissatisfaction was easily understood. No principle was consistently carried out in the Bill. It was just one of those compromises on the give-and-take principle, which, in- 1242 tended to please everybody, ended by pleasing nobody. The Roman Catholic Prelates who had condemned it in such uncompromising language had been accused. of being illogical, inconsistent, and ungrateful. Without, however, in the least agreeing with their views, he was bound to say the Roman Catholic Prelates had always told us what they wanted with perfect straightforwardness, and we had never been left a moment in doubt as to what would satisfy their demands. It was not they, but the Prime Minister, who had been illogical and inconsistent; for, according to his speech, and, what was more important, according to the provisions of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman was bound to gratify the demands of the Roman Catholic Prelates, and to give an adequate and proportional endowment to their educational institutions. Before dealing with this subject, he would ask the House to consider those provisions of the Bill which might be regarded as its accessories. First of all, it was proposed to abolish the Queen's University and Queen's College, Galway. As to the abolition of the Queen's University, no one had asked for it. No academic reformer approved it. On the contrary, everyone whose opinion was worth anything, was against it, and the whole experience of every other country was antagonistic to such a proposal. In countries where University education was most prosperous, had obtained the deepest hold, and did the most to form national character and develop the best national qualities, there would be found not one, but several Universities. On the other hand, in countries where education had most declined, this unfortunate plan of centralization had been adopted. If you wished to point to countries where University education had been most prosperous, you would select Germany, with its 20 Universities, and Scotland, a small country, with its four Universities. Now, Scotch Members were generally shrewd enough to take care of their own interests; but he would warn them "that coming events cast their shadow before them"—and if they were induced to vote for this centralising policy in University education, where would their four Universities be in 10 years time? They would be amalgamated into a Central Board, the creature of political nomination, with a 1243 political officer presiding over it—possibly the Lord Advocate. France had only one University, and every writer on the subject regretted it. Belgium was in much the same position, and a high authority said—"It causes the Professors to conform to a uniform standard, and by degrees it stifles initiative, and the genuine spirit of research." The proposal to abolish the Queen's University was indefensible from every point of view. It would stifle wholesome competition. Everyone who knew anything about our English Universities knew that their condition would not be so satisfactory were it not for the stimulus one University gave the other. Cambridge would not be in so satisfactory a position were it not for Oxford and London; and so with Oxford and London. But indefensible as it was to abolish the Queen's University, the proposal to abolish Queen's College, Galway, was more indefensible still. He could not help repeating the complaint of the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice), that the Prime Minister, in describing Galway College, did not quote the figures for the last year, which happened to be one of the most prosperous years in its existence. No one could doubt that at the present time Galway was doing excellent work, considering the unfavourable circumstances in which it was placed. It was not resorted to like Oxford and Cambridge by the sons of the wealthy. Those who frequented it were chiefly the sons of small farmers and poor tradesmen. But considering the number of students turned out by this College in the remote West of Ireland; considering their position at the present moment—high up in the English and the Indian Civil Service, pursuing honourable professional careers, or even sitting on the judicial Bench—what would their position have been had not this College existed? And could the House for a moment think of sanctioning this objectionable proposal? Nothing in the Prime Minister's speech did he regret so much as the part in which the right hon. Gentleman estimated the cost of the students in Galway. In the first place, there was a fallacy in his argument. The right hon. Gentleman estimated the cost of each student in Arts at £230; of each medical student, £180; and of each law student, over £300. But he arrived at these results by con- 1244 sidering that each Professor's work was solely to be estimated by the number of students who proceeded to degrees, and not by the number he taught. [Mr. GLADSTONE: No, no!] He protested against the whole system of estimating the utility of a system as an auctioneer, a salesman, or an appraiser would estimate it; and we could have little expected such a mode of appraising results from a Prime Minister who, above all others, was distinguished for his high culture and his great scholarship. If the right hon. Gentleman proceeded upon this plan, where was he going to stop? If Galway College were to be abolished, why did the right hon. Gentleman a few hours afterwards recommend Her Majesty to fill up the chair of Pastoral Theology in the University of Oxford? What was the justification of many of the Colleges in the right hon. Gentleman's own University? Last Session 75 students entered at Galway College, which had an income of £10,000 a-year. At Magdalen College only 25 students matriculated, and its revenues were said to be £40,000 a-year. The arithmetical argument, therefore, in favour of abolishing Magdalen College was 12 times as strong as it was in favour of abolishing Galway College. But take the very College of which the right hon. Gentleman was so distinguished a member. The average matriculations at Christ Church, were 70 a-year. This was about the number matriculated at Galway. But compare the revenues of the two Colleges. If, then, the arithmetical argument were pressed to a logical conclusion, the right hon. Gentleman would arrive at some very awkward results. To prove the necessity of destroying Queen's College, Galway, the right hon. Gentleman laid down the extraordinary doctrine that no one was to be considered a University student unless he was a student in Arts; and he added that everybody who knew anything of the Universities would endorse this opinion. Now, he (Mr. Fawcett) emphatically denied the assertion, and most University authorities would confirm his statement. If the Premier's opinion were well founded, what became of the 4,000 Scotch students on whom he dwelt so much? They were not all students in Arts. As he was informed, at least one-half of them were professional students. Moreover, the doctrine of the right hon. Gen- 1245 tleman seemed to him to be opposed to the whole current of University reform. University reformers at Oxford and Cambridge had been trying to establish other schools besides the schools of Art. Yet Queen's College, Galway, was to be sacrificed, forsooth, because it had only so many students in Arts. Accept this proposal of the Government, and Queen's College, Cork, was not worth a year's purchase. The arguments for its abolition were much stronger than those for the abolition of Queen's College, Galway. If they took the test of the right hon. Gentleman himself—namely, the students in Arts; the number of those in Cork at the present time only exceeded those of Galway by 40 per cent, while the population of Cork exceeded that of Galway by 600 per cent. So that a stronger argument could be made out in favour of the abolition of Queen's College, Cork, than of the College at Galway. The truth was, that this proposal to abolish Queen's College, Galway, indicated a settled determination to disparage united education in Ireland, and ultimately to root it out of the land. The Prime Minister's argument was ingenious and elaborate; but when the House considered the circumstances of the country, the poverty of the people, the anathemas of the Church, and the threat of constant Parliamentary interference, instead of these Colleges being a failure, it proved that a strong desire was really felt by the Irish people to participate in the advantages of united education. What do we find upon looking back a few years. The figures quoted by the right hon. Gentleman proved that up to 1865 these Colleges were in a state of progress—from that year they began to decline. Was this an accidental circumstance? In 1865 began the policy of denouncing these Colleges. In 1865 Archbishop Cullen said that those parents and guardians who permitted their children to attend these Colleges were unworthy of the sacraments of the Church, and should be excluded from them. Just at the same time Dr. Derry, the Bishop of Clonfert, declared that those fathers and mothers who persisted in sending their children to receive this kind of education disregarded the warnings, entreaties, and decisions of the Head of the Church, and that those who were guilty of such conduct should be deprived of the Holy 1246 Sacraments and the Eucharist. Was there ever a more cruel, cowardly—he would even say a more inhuman—denunciation ever uttered? Why, this Bishop could not have used stronger language if these parents had been sending a daughter to prostitution or a son to some sink of vice. But that was not the worst—these denunciations showed that Parliament had not completely carried out the work of emancipation when it had struck off the fetters which prevented men from enjoying bodily freedom. He regretted to have to say that at the time these cruel and cowardly denunciations appeared they were aided and abetted by a Liberal Government. The period in question was that of threatened Parliamentary interference—the period of the Supplemental Charter for the Queen's University—which they were so anxious to force on that they violated their undertaking with Parliament. That was strong language—and he should not have used if it were his own—it was the language of that master of artistic description, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. These denunciations being hurled by the superior clergy, and the threat of Parliamentary interference being constantly repeated, was it surprising that the Queen's Colleges should somewhat decline? Why he, for one, should not have been surprised if they had ceased to exist altogether. But they had turned the tide. The struggle they had carried on with so much success under such unparalleled obstacles, showed that the people of Ireland, in spite of priestly denunciations, appreciated united education, and he did not believe that the British Parliament would deprive them of this blessing and advantage. He now came to the main provisions of the Bill. First, there was the constitution of the Governing Council. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) had quoted various precedents to show that the House ought not to ask for the names of his Council. His precedents, however, had been satisfactorily disposed of. What was there in common between the appointment of four or five Boundary Commissioners and a Governing Body which was to control the fortunes of a National University, and to which it was proposed to intrust powers never given to any University Council that ever existed before? What was wanted was impartial men; but the Prime Minister 1247 was absolutely silent as to the principle on which this Council was to be constituted. Was he to be guided by men of the greatest academical experience, or was he about to adopt a principle fraught with especial mischief in Ireland, that this Council must necessarily represent not academic learning, but religious opinion? Was it to contain a certain number of Protestants and a certain number of Roman Catholics? But he had a wider and more potent argument against this Council. He objected to having the new University handed over to be the creature of political nominations. The Prime Minister attempted to draw a parallel between this Council and the functions of the Governing Bodies at Oxford and Cambridge. But let the House consider the difference. This Council was to be the creature of political nominations. It would have to appoint Professors, to prescribe the subjects for examination, to subject the Professors to a sort of censorship never dreamt of before, to frame a curriculum, to dispose of vast endowments, to decide what Professorships should be established, and to manage everything connected with the University. The Councils of Oxford and Cambridge were not the result of political nomination, but were purely academical bodies elected by the Universities themselves. They were not intrusted with a tithe of these powers. They were simply councils of initiation. They could not appoint new Professors, or increase their salaries, or alter the examinations, or introduce the slightest change into the curriculum, without first obtaining the sanction and authority of the Senate of the University. Therefore there was no parallel whatever between the two Councils. But not only would this new Council be the result of political nomination, but it seemed to him that the most extraordinary provision of the Bill was that the Chancellor of the new University should be the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He wished for one moment to ask hon. Members what they would think if it were proposed that the English Universities should be presided over by some one who, by the exigencies of party or by faithful voting, had been made Home Secretary or First Commissioner of Works? But, then, it might be said that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was not simply a political officer; he was also a Court 1248 official. Well, he wondered what would be thought at Oxford and Cambridge if it were proposed that they should be presided over not even by a Home Secretary or a First Commissioner of Works, but by the Lord Chamberlain? The proposal was so preposterous that it would be scarcely necessary to advert to it, if it did not show a settled determination, which ran through the whole of the Bill, to fetter this new University which the Government were going to call into existence by the degrading bonds of political subserviency. And, forsooth, this policy was to be tried in Ireland of all countries in the world, as if every Minister responsible for this Bill did not know far better than he could tell him that, above all things that had caused the misfortunes of Ireland, nothing had done so much to bring her unhappiness as the curse of political subserviency. Trinity College, Dublin, had been a place where honours and emoluments could be won without subserviency to political party, but henceforward it was to be subordinated to a politically created corporation. It was the more necessary to scrutinise the composition of the Council, and to force from the Government the principle that was to regulate its construction, when they remembered the extraordinary powers that were to be intrusted to it. There was to be no check, as far as he could discover, on the numbers of the Colleges which it might affiliate. It might affiliate 20 Roman Catholic seminaries in Ireland. There was no reason, indeed, why it should not also affiliate every Roman Catholic seminary in England and Scotland. But that was not all. What would be the inevitable effect of this facility for affiliation? It would act as an instruction to the authorities of the various educational institutions to enter upon a rivalry of denominational schools, in which the interests of the higher education would be forgotten in order to obtain the denominational majority on the Governing Council. He now came to still more extraordinary provisions. Not only would the Council have to affiliate Colleges, but they would have to enforce a degrading censorship upon Professors. Its members would have to carry out provisions which, as he should presently show, would exclude almost every branch of learning, and they would have to be the administrators of such regulations with regard to ex- 1249 aminations that examinations might henceforward become a farce. Never before were such proposals brought forward by any Government, even in the most despotic country, as those proposals to exclude certain subjects from the University curriculum, and to impose the most degrading censorship ever thought of upon the Professors. If modern history and mental and moral philosophy were excluded, what is the University going to teach? Why, even the teaching of the favourite language of the Prime Minister would be rendered a farce, as a Professor would not be able to lecture on the most distinguished classical authors. Last week, being at Cambridge, he gave a copy of the Bill to a distinguished lecturer on Aristotle, and without saying a word which might bias his opinion, he asked him to read the "gagging clauses," and to state what would be the result if similar clauses were extended to this University. And here he would, in passing, remark that the rights of conscience were as sacred in England as in Ireland, and that if the rights of conscience in Ireland required this protection, they would soon require the same protection in Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, St. Andrews, and Aberdeen. Well, he gave the Bill to the lecturer, saying—"Consider these clauses with regard to your lectures on Aristotle." His reply was—If these clauses were extended to this University, I could never give a lecture on Aristotle without breaking the law.If the House would excuse him for quoting his own individual experience, he would add that it was absolutely impossible to lecture on political economy without referring to the events of modern history. Take up Adam Smith, for example, glance over ten pages of that great author, and you would find that to teach political economy without referring to modern history made the subject a political farce. Again, the Professors were to be subjected to the most degrading censorship ever dreamt of. He would frankly own—he did not like to be constantly referring to his own experience, but it happened that people could speak with greater force on matters which were within their own experience, and this must be his apology —he could frankly say that there was no position in life which he was likely 1250 ever to enjoy that he valued so much as the Professorship he held at Cambridge. Now, if the Prime Minister could succeed in introducing these clauses into the English Universities, he should feel that he could not conscientiously hold his Professorship for a single hour. He would not submit to the degradation. By way of illustration, he would suppose a Professor of Political Economy were lecturing on pauperism. This he could not do without referring to the history of the Poor Law, and he could not treat of that subject without referring to the indigence produced by the breaking-up of the monastic institutions and rendering the Poor Law necessary. If, however, in lecturing he referred to monastic institutions, a student would perhaps write and say—"If you refer to them again you will offend my religious convictions." Now, would any man submit to be called before a University Council—not created by the University, but the creature of political nomination—and to subject himself, without power of appeal, to suspension or any other punishment the University might devise? But this was not all. Examinations would be reduced to an absolute farce, because the Bill said that no student was to suffer any disadvantage for adopting in law, medicine, modern history, mental or moral philosophy, or any other branch of learning—he wondered why the previous enumeration was made—any theory in preference to the received theory. Of course, if there were any questions which a student could not answer, he would say—"I shall not answer that question, because I do not adopt that particular opinion." For example, if a student were asked what was the 47th proposition of the first book of Euclid, he might say—"I cannot answer the question, because I do not adopt the theory that the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the sum of the squares described on the other two sides of the right-angled triangle." This clause would remain a monument of the strange vagaries of distinguished statesmen. He would now call attention to the "gagging clauses," and present them to the House in a very serious point of view. When he said to his hon. Friends around him" Surely you are never going to pass a Bill by which the teaching of modern history, moral and mental philosophy, is prohibited, while a degrading censor- 1251 ship is imposed on teachers and examiners?" they all said—"Oh, of course, the Government will drop those clauses." Yes, of course, the Government would have to drop them. But the Government could never repair the mischief which their very proposal had inflicted on the future of Irish education. Never, indeed, had there been a truer exemplification of the saying— "The evil that men do lives after them." The House might reject the Bill and repudiate these clauses; but henceforward every priest who desired to cramp and fetter the mind would be able to say—"This is not my opinion. I am not acting in obedience to orders from the Vatican. In telling you that you cannot go to an institution where modern history and philosophy are taught, I am not expressing my own opinion, but am simply giving effect to a policy which has received the sanction of an English Government and the approval of a Liberal Administration." Now, bearing this consideration in mind, it would not be difficult to show that the Bill, if carried, would inevitably prove fatal to united education, and could lead to no other conclusion than the endowment of denominational institutions in Ireland. Everybody knew from the denunciations which had been uttered by Bishops and priests in Ireland what a terrible struggle those Irish parents and guardians had had to carry on, who wished their sons to enjoy a united education. The point he wished particularly to impress on the House was that henceforward that struggle would, in consequence of these proposals of the Government, became infinitely more difficult, and, in fact, impossible; for each priest would now be able to say—"You send your sons to Cork, to Galway, and to Trinity. In those institutions there are Professorships of History and of Moral and Mental Philosophy; but an English Government and a Liberal Cabinet has told you that your conscience cannot be safe in institutions where those subjects are taught, and therefore you are bound to remove your sons from them." Thus, in a few years the enemies of united education, having this weapon to work with, would be able to get almost every Catholic out of Trinity College and out of the Queen's Colleges. What would be the next inevitable step? They would say, and say with truth—"Trinity College has an 1252 endowment of £50,000 a-year, and the Queen's Colleges have an endowment of £10,000. In these institutions those subjects are taught, which an English Government says ought not to be taught, if adequate protection is to be given to rights of conscience. Therefore, you cannot safely intrust your children to them. You must come into our own institutions, which possess no endowments. We have a claim to endowments, and that claim it will be impossible to resist." Let hon. Members reflect for a moment on the consequences of destroying united education in Ireland. Was there any Catholic in that House who had been educated in Trinity College, Dublin, who would not bear him out when he said that he must look back on his College career with the utmost satisfaction, and be glad he had been brought into contact with his Protestant fellow-countrymen? Again, was there any Protestant in that House who would not regret to see Catholics excluded from Trinity College? In consequence of being associated together in early life, Protestants and Catholics alike took a kindlier view of life than they otherwise would, and looked with a juster toleration on religious differences. Therefore it was impossible to inflict a greater injury upon Ireland than by encouraging a policy which would place a new and a powerful weapon in the hands of the opponents of united education. The Prime Minister's case rested on the fact that certain sections of the people of Ireland had a grievance in regard to higher education. He (Mr. Fawcett) admitted the existence of the grievance, but thought it admitted of a remedy entirely different from that proposed by the Prime Minister. If, however, the right hon. Gentleman had satisfied the grievance, he was bound to say he should look not too scrupulously into the provisions of the Bill. But he had not satisfied the grievance; indeed, he had not satisfied a single class in Ireland. There was not the poor consolation that any section of opinion in Ireland would be rendered more contented, while it was certain that the Bill contained principles which would produce the utmost mischief. Never before had a measure been condemned by so great a consensus of opinion. The Roman Catholic Prelates had repudiated it. The Roman Catholic students in the Catholic University had been the first to repu- 1253 diate with indignation those safeguards which the Prime Minister seemed to think their conscience required. The Senate of the University of Dublin—that institution which the House had been told was under such galling thraldom to Trinity College—had united with the authorities of the College in protesting against the Bill. The authorities of the Queen's Colleges, too, had protested against many of its provisions; while the Nationalists had said that the measure supplied a conclusive proof that an English Parliament was utterly unfit to govern Ireland. He should, however, be sorry to overstate his case. The Bill, after all, had not been unanimously rejected. Magee College had petitioned in its favour. It appeared to him that there could not be a more conclusive proof of the ill effects which the Bill had produced in Ireland than that the Prime Minister should have been reduced, in order to obtain even the most minute modicum of approval of his measure, to ask that the Petition should be read by the Speaker. ["No, no!"] Then the right hon. Gentleman read it himself. ["No, it was read by the Clerk at the Table."] Well, the Clerk at the Table had at the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman read a Petition emanating from an educational institution in which the average entry was a student and a-half a-year. There were many other objections which he should like to urge against the Bill, and he would, perhaps, have an opportunity of doing so on some future occasion. But he wished, before he sat down, to guard himself against one reproach which he understood might be urged against him, and which had already been hinted at by his hon. Friend the Member for Tralee (The O'Donoghue). He seemed to think that those who opposed the Bill and who held certain views with respect to University education in Ireland were the victims of a "No Popery" mania. Now, that was an insinuation which he thought they might with some confidence repudiate, for had they not always done what they could to admit Catholics to avail themselves of all the advantages of the English Universities, and to place them on an exact equality with every other member of the community? Roman Catholics were at the present moment unhappily excluded from many positions 1254 of honour in those Universities, but that was not his fault nor the fault of those with whom he acted. It was not they, but the present Government who prevented the policy of perfect equality from being carried into effect. As to the Bill there were no doubt many hon. Members who, while they objected to it, would vote for the second reading in the hope that it might be amended in Committee. He wished, however, to point out to the House that there was a practice growing up of treating the second reading of Bills as a matter of no importance. But high as the example set him was, he was not going to do what was done last year on a similar occasion, when a Bill was allowed to pass the second reading, the principle of which afterwards was found to be so objectionable that it was resolved that it must be met with the most determined opposition. If the House voted for the second reading, it voted for the principle of the Bill; and when what were called the "gagging clauses" came on for discussion in Committee, and some hon. Gentlemen were going to vote against them, a Member of the Treasury Bench might rise in his place and say—"What, are you going to oppose these gagging clauses, notwithstanding that you have voted for the second reading, and thus endorsed the principle of the Bill? We told you that this measure was Intended to secure the rights of conscience, and these clauses are to secure those rights." For his own part, he thought there was in politics nothing like a clear and intelligible course. It might be said that entertaining the opinions which he did he ought not to be content with voting simply in favour of the Resolution of the hon. Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bourke), and that he ought to oppose the second reading. Well, he wished there had been a direct opposition to the second reading instead of the Resolution. But of the Resolution as far as it went he approved, and as it was the question before the House he should vote for it. When, however, he had an opportunity, he would act, he hoped, consistently, and vote against the second reading. He trusted, at all events, that the measure would be either accepted or rejected on its merits, and that the decision would not be influenced by collateral considerations. The House was well aware that the judgment even of 1255 the most sagacious politicians was sometimes warped by rumours industriously circulated of a Ministerial crisis. Well, what did a Ministerial crisis mean? If such a crisis should arise there would be either a resignation of the Government or a dissolution of Parliament, and it was easy to estimate what would happen when the same persons again returned to office in some succeeding year with principles re-invigorated and restored. If there were a dissolution, some hon. Members might not return to that House; but if it was their lot to be defeated at the poll, they would only be anticipating their fate by a few months. And should they be returned, would it not, he would ask, be infinitely better never to enter this House again than to sanction a measure which would destroy an ancient and illustrious University, and set up in its place a corporation created by political nominees, which would impose on University teaching a censorship to which no man of independence would for one moment submit, which would endorse the principle that the events of modern history and the ideas of some of our greatest men could not be expounded without suggesting the miserable suspicion that the object which the teacher must have in view would be to promote some sectarian squabble, instead of strengthening and developing the minds of his students and extending the range of thought? He begged to thank the House for the patience with which it had listened to him, and he had in conclusion only to express an earnest hope that a measure would not be allowed to pass into law which, so far as University education was concerned, would, in a country already unhappily disturbed and distracted, unsettle everything without settling anything, annihilate much that was good, and call into existence much that was bad, and which would, above all, in the brief but eloquent and memorable words of the Roman Catholic students themselves, "prove fatal to high mental culture?"
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, there was one part, at all events, of the eloquent speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down to which he could give his cordial assent. The hon. Gentleman, in speaking of what were called the "gagging clauses," stated that he would feel considerable 1256 difficulty in discharging his duties in any University in which they were in force. Now, he never had the advantage of hearing any of the hon. Gentleman's lectures, but he thought he might, nevertheless safely say that if he introduced into his discourses on scientific subjects something of the same tone which was to be discovered in his political speeches, he would be extremely likely to feel the effect of the clauses to which he had referred. He must, with the greatest possible respect for the hon. Gentleman's ability, be permitted to add that he doubted whether he would be exactly the most fitting Professor to lecture on disputed subjects to a mixed audience composed of Protestants and Roman Catholics. The hon. Gentleman stated at the outset of his speech that he had given his best consideration to the provisions of the Bill, in the hope of finding in it a solution of the difficulties which beset the question with which it dealt. Not, apparently, having been satisfied with the solution which it contained, he had spared no means of damaging it and throwing discredit upon it. He did not know with what object at the present stage of the debate the hon. Gentleman had devoted so large a portion of his speech to the proposal to abolish the Queen's College at Galway, seeing that his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government had stated in introducing the Bill, that the abolition of Galway College was not of the essence of the plan of the Government. With what other object, then, except to damage and discredit the proposals of the Government, had the hon. Gentleman devoted so large a portion of his speech to the clause relating to that institution? He was not surprised that his hon. Friend who moved the Resolution (Mr. Bourke), and his noble Friend who had seconded it (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) had shown some not unnatural irritation at some parts of the speech of his right hon. Friend in opening the proceedings that evening. Although the hon. Gentleman had set out with the statement that he intended to answer every word of that speech, he had failed to refer to the most essential part of it. The right hon. Gentleman had asked the House, whether in their opinion it would be possible for the Government at the present stage of the Bill to nominate and lay upon the Table the names of the 1257 Council. The hon. Member had shown several very good reasons why it was desirable that the Council should be nominated, but he had not answered that part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech in which he had proved—he thought conclusively—that the thing was an impossibility. The right hon. Gentleman had. acknowledged—and all the hon. Members of the Government acknowledged—that it would be exceedingly desirable, and that it would materially assist to pass the Bill, were the Government in a position to lay upon the Table the names of the Council. He would, however, ask whether the second reading was the only stage at which the Bill might be opposed? What was the use of the Report or of the third reading, if the measure might not then be rejected by the House if it objected to the Council as constituted by the Government? He agreed entirely with what had fallen from an an hon. Member (Mr. Osborne Morgan) that evening—namely, that never before had a Vote of Censure upon a Government, or the rejection of an important measure, been moved upon grounds so trifling as those now relied upon by the hon. Member opposite and by the hon. Member behind him. He was not sorry that the debate had not been confined within the narrow limits of the Motion of the hon. Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bourke), and that in reality the principle of the measure was being debated. It appeared to him that the difficulties of this question—and he did not deny that they were numerous—were enormously increased by the exaggerated importance which a number of persons attached to their peculiar opinions on the subject. Public opinion on this question appeared to be divided into three sections. There were—first, the Roman Catholic Bishops and those who represented their opinions in the House; amongst others there was the hon. Member for Tralee (The O'Donoghue), who thought that the solution of this question was contained in denominational endowment. He could quite understand that if the refusal to endow a Roman Catholic institution involved any political or social stigma upon any part of Her Majesty's subjects, an immense importance might well be attached to it, but he thought he should be able to show by-and-by that no such stigma was cast upon the Roman Catholics of 1258 Ireland by the refusal to endow their Colleges. In his opinion, endowment was merely a question of money, and although he admitted its importance, still money was not everything. If it were true, as he believed it was, that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were sincerely desirous of having denominational education, surely it was not beyond the powers of those who had always shown themselves ready to make the greatest sacrifices in every cause they held dear, to endow their own institutions by voluntary efforts. But if, on the one hand, the Roman Catholics held an extremely exaggerated idea of the refusal of endowment, he was equally unable to agree with those advocates of undenominational education, with whom it seemed to be a sacred and cardinal article of their faith that not a single sixpence derived from the taxpayer should be applied to the endowment of any religious institution whatever. He was unable to see the sacredness of that belief. If the House would permit him he would endeavour to show why endowments in this case were not expedient, although he could quite conceive a case in which an endowment of a denominational institution might be expedient. There was another class of persons, he might almost say of fanatics, to whom the name of an examining Board was everything that was wrong and bad. That sect was headed, he believed, by the hon. Member for Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities (Dr. Lyon Play-fair), and from some observations which had fallen from the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), he should suppose that he was the devoted adherent of that doctrine. He quite admitted that a teaching and an examining University was a very superior thing to a merely examining University, but from what he read and heard of the opinions of this sect, they appeared to have forgotten altogether that a great number of the students at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford were never taught by their Universities at all, but were merely examined by them. To that extent, therefore, these Universities were nothing but examining Boards. He quite admitted that the character of a University was greatly influenced by its teaching as well as by its examinations, and the Government in bringing forward this measure had fully recognized that 1259 fact by endeavouring to make the University of Dublin a teaching as well as an examining body. But if the circumstances of the case appeared to require that some departure should be made from the principle that all Universities should be teaching institutions, he was by no means prepared to admit that, by departing from the rule, they should, as the hon. Member for the Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities appeared to think, be bringing upon the country all the evils of centralization to which France owed the disasters of Sedan and the fall of Paris. The hon. Member had been unable to find anything in Europe which would fitly describe the state we should get into, in his opinion, were the country to adopt the Government view of the question, and he had had to go as far as China before he could find institutions in a condition parallel to that to which ours would be reduced. He had not the slightest expectation that anything which he could say would have the slightest effect upon the devoted adherents of those three opinions. He should, therefore, in the few observations he was about to make, seek to address himself not to those who had formed inflexible opinions, but to those hon. Members who were disposed to look upon this question from a more practical and reasonable point of view, and who were disposed to shape this measure rather according to expediency than to some ideal notion of unattainable perfection. What, then, were the principles upon which the Government had endeavoured to deal with this question? The first principle which they had endeavoured to keep in view had been to adhere to the policy which had been adopted by Parliament in 1869, in dealing with the Irish Church—namely, the establishment of complete religious equality in Ireland. In order to carry out this principle, it was necessary that religious tests should be abolished in Trinity College, and that the Queen's University should continue to be open without restriction to all religious denominations. But, on the other hand, it did not appear to them to be necessary that any sect or religious communion should be debarred or placed under any disabilities whatever, if its members thought fit to found and endow a denominational educational institution of their own. On the contrary, it had ap- 1260 peared to them to be a most necessary consequence and development of the principle of religious equality, that any denomination should be allowed to found and endow whatever institution might suit their views with reference to education. Another principle which the Government had endeavoured to keep in view was this—that whatever change it might be necessary to make under the circumstances, the University institutions in Ireland should be extended, and the standard of University instruction should be maintained. With this view the Government had adopted principles which were, he believed, held by the great majority of University reformers in this country—namely, that it was the province of the University rather than the Colleges to grant degrees and to impart the higher education; that it was essential that University independence should be secured; and that, while it remained in close connection with the Colleges which it contained, it should not be in subjection or subject to the government of the Colleges. Another principle of the Bill was, that the new University, as ultimately constituted, should be a self-governing body, and not subject to any Department of the State. He believed that a fair and candid examination of the measure would show that those principles had been kept in view, and that anything which appeared in the Bill not in accordance with them was an exception, and had been detailed by considerations of obvious expediency, and did not form an essential part of the scheme. The two principal exceptions to these principles were the nomination of the first Council, and next the exclusion of certain subjects from University instruction. An extremely unfair remark had been made in the course of the discussion that evening as to the constitution of the University Council. Attention had been almost entirely directed to the fact that the University Council should be in the first instance nominated by Parliament, but this fact had been almost entirely ignored—namely, that the Bill provided that at the expiration of a certain period, the Council should be a body representative of the Colleges contained in the University, of the teachers of the University, and of the undergraduates of the University. It was perfectly obvious that a body elected by the present constituency of the University would not be a Council 1261 that could be expected to secure the confidence of those bodies whom they hoped for the first time to include within the University. With regard to the exclusion of certain subjects from University instruction, and the making of these subjects not compulsory for the purpose of honours and degrees, the Government did not certainly hold out that part of the scheme as an ornament to it. That provision was put forward as an inducement to Roman Catholics to accept the scheme. It was an exception to the general principle of the scheme, which the exigencies of the case imposed on the Government. No doubt, as had been said by hon. Members who had taken part in the debate that evening, if the Council consisted of unreasonable men, they would find subjects on which they disagreed, rather than those on which they could agree; but the Government hoped the Council would consist of reasonable men, who would find subjects on which they could agree, rather than subjects upon which they differed. He wished to say one word upon what the hon. Member for Brighton called the "gagging clauses." The hon. Member was extremely angry at Clause 11, which enabled the Council to reprove or dismiss a Professor or teacher who wilfully offended the religious convictions of the students. What was the statement made by the Council of the Queen's University, which the hon. Member spoke of as a perfect University. They said—Each Professor is bound in lecturing, examining, and in the performance of all other duties connected with his chair, carefully to abstain from teaching or advancing any doctrine, or making any statement derogatory to the truths of revealed religion, or injurious or disrespectful to the religious convictions of any portion of his audience. It is well known that the provision has been honourably observed.He should like to know how this "gagging clause" differed from that proposed by the Government? Almost every hon. Gentleman who had addressed the House that evening said that the scheme of the Government had been condemned by all parties in Ireland. He admitted that there had been an expression of opinion in various quarters of Ireland which had not been altogether in favour of the Bill. But he was not prepared to admit that any condemnation of the Bill had yet proceeded from the Irish people. By whom had the Bill been condemned? Admittedly by three parties. A Petition 1262 had been presented against it from the Senate of the University of Dublin; the students of the Roman Catholic College in College Green objected to certain portions of it; and the Roman Catholic Prelates of Ireland had denounced it. But he was not prepared to admit that these three parties represented the Irish people. The Irish people had not yet expressed their opinions upon the Bill, and he would not accept any condemnation which did not proceed from the Irish people themselves. He would admit that it had been one of the great evils of Ireland, that it had been extremely difficult to elicit from the great body of the Irish people, who did not hold extreme opinions, any expression of opinion. Men who held moderate opinions, and who might be favourably disposed towards this scheme, might not find courage to express their opinions, and they frequently allowed those who held extreme opinions to put themselves forward as their representatives. Of all the opinions that had been expressed on the subject of this Bill, it appeared to him that the opinion of the Senate of the Dublin University was couched in the tamest language. What was the first objection which the Senate of the Dublin University made to this Bill? That the monopoly proposed to be given to the new University would destroy the principle of competition, and would lower the standard of academical education. The Senate of Dublin University appeared to acknowledge that they were not to be trusted to keep up the standard of University education, unless they were stimulated by the competition of the Queen's University. But was it so self-evident that the academic standard would be lowered if competition were abolished? Primâ facie, competition between University and University tended rather to lower the standard than to raise it; and the onus rested upon the Senate of the Dublin University to show that the existence of the Queen's and of their own University, both naturally anxious to attract to their own halls as many students as possible, tended to raise the standard of academical learning. In their next resolution, the views of the Senate of the University of Dublin appeared to be rather exaggerated. They compared the system to be established under the Bill with the complete centralization of University education as in 1263 France. Now, Ireland was not a separate country, but part of the United Kingdom; and was there any resemblance whatever between the French University system, which was under the complete control of a Government Department in Paris, and an independent University in Ireland, competing with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, and Scotland? He could not but think that the Senate of the University of Dublin were in straits for arguments when they passed so exaggerated a resolution. They went on to declare that the standard of attainment would be further lowered by the affiliation of small schools or Colleges, the result of which would be that the standard would be accommodated to the weakest. If the affiliated institutions were weak, such an argument would not be well-founded, because the standard was not to be applied by the Colleges, but by independent examiners, and the effect therefore would rather be to raise the standard of the affiliated Colleges. But no one intended that small provincial schools or Colleges should be affiliated to the University. Such a proposal never formed part of the Bill or of the introductory statement of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone); and if any doubt existed on the subject the explanations of the First Minister to-night, showing the precautions which would be taken in admitting affiliated Colleges, would entirely dissipate the fears of the Senate. Another resolution was, that the withdrawal of the government of the University from men who had been educated there and had spent their lives in the work of teaching, for the purpose of transferring it to a Council who would be nominated to represent particular views in politics or religion, would be prejudicial to the interests of the University and to the education given there. If the premises of the Senate were correct, their conclusions followed as a matter of course. But had not the Senate somewhat drawn upon their imagination in assuming that the Council were to be nominated upon religious and political instead of upon academic grounds? If anything was explicit in the statement of his right hon. Friend it was, that the members of the Council would be chosen, not as representatives of religious opinions, as such, but as representatives of academic, literary, 1264 and scientific eminence. The views of the Committee of Convocation of the Queen's University had not been expressed in so succinct a form as those of the Senate of the Dublin University. They had published a pamphlet of considerable size, in which, however, it was easy to discover their chief objections to the Bill. They condemned the practice of the University of Dublin in granting degrees to non-resident students, who had never been subject to University training. In their opinion, knowledge acquired by collegiate training was better than knowledge acquired without it. He entirely agreed with them. But was it necessary, because one thing was better than another, that you should force all the students of a country to accept the particular form of education which you yourself thought best, imposing an absolute disability upon them unless they did so? If the State placed the power of granting degrees exclusively in the hands of a University, and if the University would give no degrees to non-resident students, the State, in fact, denied to A. B., who had acquired his knowledge without collegiate training, a certificate which might be as absolutely necessary to him as tools were to a workman. Such a system could not be maintained. It did not exist in England, because the degrees of the University of London were open to all. The claim of the Committee of Convocation of the Queen's University really was that students in Ireland should be compelled to undergo their collegiate course at Trinity College, at one of the Queen's Colleges, or at a denominational seminary, under penalty of absolute exclusion from all University privileges or certificates. It appeared to him that this was protection for State institutions in its very worst form. A great deal was said about the demoralizing effect which would be produced if, instead of resorting to Colleges, students were prepared by "grinders," and people declared that "grinders," instead of Colleges, would monopolize the education of the country. It was some time since he had been a student at Cambridge; but in those days the "grinder" was a person not altogether unknown in that University. In more recent times he thought he had seen that men who had achieved the highest honours had recourse to a "grinder" quite as much as to the lecturer of his College or the University 1265 Professor; and even men who were not going in for honours, but for degrees on the easiest terms, resorted not unfrequently to the same quarter for assistance. The Petition of the General Assembly, with which the House was probably familiar, was another instance of the charming want of unanimity on the part of the opponents to the measure. He was anxious to hear the opinion of the right hon. and learned Member for Dublin University (Dr. Ball) on the Petition of the General Assembly and their proposals with regard to the revenues of Trinity. By far the most important and strongest denunciation of the scheme was that put forward by the Roman Catholic Prelates. They objected to it on the ground that it continued the system of mixed education, and because it did not endow a Roman Catholic University. But if it was possible to imagine Parliament conceding their demand for an exclusive endowment their first objection would remain; they would still object to the opening of Trinity College and the maintenance of the Queen's Colleges, because they believed that mixed education at all was objectionable. He did not know what concessions Parliament might be prepared to make at any time to the wishes and desires of all classes of Irish Roman Catholics, but the language of Parliament, however, upon this point was clear; it would never close the doors of Trinity College when the College desired them to be thrown open, and it would never support the Queen's Colleges a single day after they ceased to be open to all denominations. Whether the Queen's Colleges flourished or decayed, as long as they existed the object of Parliament would be to maintain them, in the words of Sir Thomas Wise, one of their original supporters, for the purpose of creating that knowledge which taught men to forget their prejudices, remove the scales of ignorance from their eyes and make them remember not the differences between them and their fellow-men, but the points in which they resembled each other. As it was absolutely certain Parliament would maintain the Queen's Colleges on their present footing as long as they existed, the sooner the Roman Catholic Bishops recognized the fact the better. He had already stated, with regard to the suggestion that a separate endowment should be granted to the 1266 Roman Catholic University, that he had no prejudices upon the subject. If it were practicable he, as an individual, saw nothing wrong, unjust, or sacrilegious in the endowment of a denomination, but under the circumstances endowment of a denominational institution in Ireland was absolutely impracticable. In the first place, a large majority of the House, and, he believed, of the country, were opposed to any extension of denominational endowment whatever; and in the second place endowment of a Roman Catholic College would, instead of producing equality as the Roman Catholics professed to desire, establish a most glaring inequality. Unless Parliament was prepared to endow an Episcopalian, and also a Presbyterian College as well, on what principle could it be asked to endow a Roman Catholic College in Ireland? The Queen's Colleges were not set up to please the Protestants in Ireland; they were designed in the interests of the Roman Catholics. The Protestants denounced them when they were first proposed, but they had seen fit to alter their opinion. The Protestants of Ireland used the mixed Colleges, but the Roman Catholics, for whom they were designed, had seen fit to disapprove them; that, however, was no reason why they should not do what all others were free to do—establish their own Colleges and voluntarily endow them. But those concerned in this measure would do well to consider what they would gain by it, for all of them would unquestionably be gainers, as they would be losers if the Bill failed. The Queen's Colleges would have the least to gain. Situate away from any University centre, and far from any active centre of life, they could not hope to be very prosperous; but surely they would have a better chance of success as members of a great centre endowed with large revenues and stimulated by competition, not between University and University, but between College and College. Surely the Queen's Colleges had nothing to fear from admission into an ancient and national University instead of being members of a University which, whatever may be its merit, must, as long as the University of Dublin exists, remain in a secondary position. Trinity College, too, had a great deal to lose by rejecting this Bill, and it would also secure its position. It would retain the greater 1267 part of its revenues, and as a teaching body it would be as rich and as efficient as it was now. The University Professors to be established under the Bill must, if Trinity College came heartily into the scheme, be of great assistance to her. There were, no doubt, some branches of instruction which Trinity College would desire to keep in her own hands; there were other branches which she might be willing that the University should take up; and thus Trinity College would be able to devote itself with increased energy to its own special instruction, and to make large reductions in the expenses of its teaching staff. There was no prohibition on any College of the University to teach modern history and moral philosophy as much as it pleased, and Trinity College would not only be able to teach both these branches of knowledge, but to assign whatever weight it might think proper to them in its own collegiate honours, and probably Trinity College would devote itself with renewed energy to the teaching of both these subjects. Further, Trinity College would be able to exercise in future a far wider influence over the education of Ireland—Roman Catholic as well as Protestant—than it had done hitherto. It had had almost undisturbed control over the education of the Protestants of Ireland, and he saw no reason why it should lose any portion of that influence; but it must necessarily exercise a great influence over the University. The practical experience and ability of the members of Trinity College would give them a weight in the Council far greater than the mere number of her representatives would entitle her to. He would admit, if the measure of Her Majesty's Government should be rejected, that Parliament might be induced in this or some future Session to pass the Bill of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett). But did Trinity College think that the passing of that measure would settle the University question? No one who had read the debates which had lately been carried on in the Senate of Trinity College would say so. It had been over and over again admitted in those debates that there was a Catholic grievance, and there appeared to be a very strong opinion in the Senate of Trinity College that this Catholic grievance would not be remedied by the University Tests 1268 Bill of the hon. Member for Brighton, but by a system of concurrent endowment. He believed there were Fellows of Trinity College now in London, probably some who that night at that moment were listening to the debates in the House. They would have an opportunity of studying the feeling of England during the progress of this discussion. Let them, on going back to Ireland, report to their constituents whether they thought the Catholic grievance was likely to be remedied by concurrent endowment within any reasonable time or not. Let them report whether the tide of public opinion was setting that way. Well, if it was almost impossible that the grievance should be remedied by concurrent endowment, how would it be remedied? Some day, probably, Parliament, wearied by the constant attacks of the Irish Representatives, would make up its mind to establish, at all events, equality in educational matters in Ireland. But let the Fellows of Trinity College who were present at these debates report to their constituents whether it was not more probable that the Catholic grievance would be remedied by impartial disendowment. Then what would the Roman Catholics gain by the adoption of this Bill? They would gain the removal of all the disabilities now attaching in the matter of University degrees, University honours, and University prizes to students educated in a Roman Catholic College. They would be able to establish under this Bill, if they chose, a College or Colleges as denominational as they pleased. He believed, if they chose, they could raise for these Colleges as ample endowments as could be required. Would anyone get up and say that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were not prepared, or were not able, to endow Colleges for themselves? He believed they were fully able, and that if once they could remove from their minds that fatal delusion which appeared to have taken possession of them, that sooner or later they would obtain a Parliamentary endowment, they would endow a Catholic College for themselves. They would obtain under this Bill a certain representation in the Council of the University; they would obtain, when the elective principle came into operation, just as much—and no more—influence upon the Council as would be due 1269 to the success of their efforts in University education. A considerable number of graduates by that time would be Roman-Catholics; a considerable number of Professors might be Roman Catholics; and they might have both ordinary and collegiate members on the Council, which would be another gain to them. He had said it was extremely probable, if the House rejected this measure, they might be induced this Session, or another Session, to adopt the Bill of the hon. Member for Brighton. Was that a good prospect for the Roman Catholic members? Would that be a settlement in any degree more satisfactory to them of the Roman Catholic grievance? Supposing that they despaired of obtaining from Parliament the endowment of a denominational College, would it be in any way more satisfactory to them to have an institution disendowed, of which all Irishmen were, he believed, more or less proud—he meant the institution of Trinity College? What prospect did Roman Catholics see, if they did not adopt this Bill, of obtaining better terms for themselves? He hoped they would consider gravely and deeply before they insisted on the rejection of this measure, and he trusted they would admit the Government had fairly, honestly, and to the best of its ability brought forward a scheme which was calculated to effect a just settlement of the grievance of which our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects complained.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, it was with some diffidence that he rose at that hour of the evening, to express his opinions on a question which had been found so difficult and delicate by two successive Governments, before it had been taken up by the present Ministry, apparently a little to their own discomfort. But anyone who had been connected with an English University, and had thus learnt to value the advantages of University training and associations, could not but take an interest in the question now before the House, especially as regarded from that religious point of view which had occupied for so many years the attention of this House with respect to the English Universities. The noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington) had told the House that though this question was of long standing, he thought that both parties attached a somewhat exaggerated 1270 importance to their opinions upon it. Now, if there was any man in this House to whom that exaggerated importance was more particularly due, it was to the right hon. Gentleman who now filled the post of Prime Minister. The House would remember the speech of the right hon. Gentleman in 1868, when he used a simile which was now become too stale to quote, and spoke of the three branches of Protestant ascendancy—the Church, the land, and education in Ireland—stating his intention, if the country expressed their confidence in him and his Government, of dealing with these three questions in succession. The right hon. Gentleman had redeemed his promise with regard to the Church and the land, and had at length introduced a Bill on the subject of Irish education; though for his own part, he must say with regard to Protestant ascendancy in Ireland, if it existed at all at the present moment, it could only be considered a persistent and difficult effort on the part of the Protestants of that country to keep their heads above water. Before he dealt with the proposal of the Government, he asked the House to consider for a moment what was the actual grievance which they had undertaken to remedy. The grievance had been differently stated at different times and by different persons. In 1866, it was considered to be a disability or difficulty, on the part of the Irish Roman Catholic youth, in obtaining University degrees. At least, if they might judge from the famous Supplemental Charter of that year, that must have been the grievance. The Supplemental Charter was the attempt of the Government of that day to remove the grievance, and what did it provide? That non-resident students might take their degrees at the Queen's University, and that Roman Catholic Colleges might be affiliated to it. But when that Charter came to light, it was objected to by the body of graduates, and on appeal to the Rolls Court in Ireland, it was declared to be invalid, as deteriorating the Queen's University degree. Yet, in spite of that decision, non-resident degrees and affiliated Colleges were revived by the Bill now before the House. But what was the grievance, at the commencement of the present Session, judging from the tenor of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister on the 1271 introduction of the Bill? So far as he could gather it, it amounted to this—a feeling on the part of a majority of the Irish Roman Catholic youth that they could not adapt themselves to the teaching and examination of an undenominational University. Now, if that constituted a grievance on the part of the Roman Catholic youth, he could not understand why England and Ireland should be treated on a different footing in that respect. If it was a grievance on the part of the Roman Catholic youth that they were called on to go up to an undenominational University, in order to obtain University degrees, what must it be to English Episcopalians to have the English Universities, endowed by private founders in connection with the National Church, deprived of their denominational character? But the grievance had now been carried much further. In the debate of this evening it had been sufficiently admitted that the grievance as brought forward by the Irish Roman Catholic Prelates, was that they had not a University or College endowed by the State, and subject to their own entire control; and that the Queen's Universities were allowed to exist, and their demand was that the State should endow a University entirely subject to themselves. Now, the Roman Catholic Prelates would be pleased to learn from the statement of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington) that endowment was a mere matter of money, and that, practically, they would be able to found the University for themselves. This demand of the Roman Catholic Prelates amounted to the entire control of University education for the Roman Catholic youth at present, and entire control over the whole University education of Ireland for the future. How far was that demand met by the proposal of the Government? The noble Marquess admitted that the endowment of a Catholic University was asked for; but, at the same time, he distinctly repudiated any intention, on the part of the Government, to grant such endowment by this or any other Bill. Well, then, what was the use of this Bill if it did not meet the grievance of the only parties who complained? The Bill did not directly endow a Roman Catholic University; but he thought he should be able to show that it did something far worse; for it was so artfully arranged as indirectly to grant 1272 both the full control and endowment asked for, without doing anything openly to offend the just susceptibilities of the English and Scotch people. They had heard something about the principles of the Bill. They seemed to him of a somewhat fugitive or vanishing nature. He had some difficulty in ascertaining what the actual principles of the Bill were, or whether there was any principle in it at all. So far as he could understand the Bill, its principles were—the establishment of a new University governed by a State-appointed Council, to which hereafter were to be elected representatives from affiliated Colleges, a mutilated curriculum of University education, and the spoliation of Trinity College, Dublin. That was precisely a fulfilment of the promise of the Prime Minister, who told them he was about to deal with education in Ireland in the same spirit in which he had dealt with the Church and the land. He had done so, and it was in the spirit of destruction. In the name of the advancement of learning, the right hon. Gentleman proposed to destroy two Universities, both doing good work—one of them renowned throughout Europe for the learning of its members and the excellence of its teaching—and in their place he substituted a brand new University, for as to the distinction drawn by the right hon. Gentleman between the University of Dublin and Trinity College, he looked on it as the "baseless fabric of a vision." He subjected this new University to a Council nominated by the State, after the pattern, so fashionable now-a-days, of an Education Board, too large in numbers for the purpose of any real work, and sufficiently largo for polemical difference and discussion. Trinity College, Dublin, was the one institution of English foundation which had really prospered in Ireland, and why? Because it was self-governed, and therefore could not be regarded as a badge of Anglo- Saxon domination; because it was ruled by men able and qualified in every respect as University administrators, and not chosen by the State for their political or religious distinctions. He could not believe that a Council whose head was to be the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for the time being, was likely to promote true education in Ireland. But he much feared that this Council would be so selected as to make this measure 1273 one of indirect endowment of the Roman Catholic Church. No doubt the Prelates of the Roman Catholic Church and their faithful Representatives in that House appeared to be opposed to the Bill. He was afraid it would be found this was a very deep political move on the part of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. If, as the Prime Minister had said, some of the members of the Council were to be chosen on account of their weight and influence in Ireland, who had greater claims in this respect than Cardinal Cullen and the Roman Catholic Bishops? If it had not been the intention of the Government to give a preponderating influence on the Council to the Roman Catholic hierarchy, there was no reason why they should not have named the Council at the time they brought in the Bill. Supposing such an influence to be once obtained, was it not clear that none but Roman Catholic Professors would be allowed to lecture, or examiners to examine; while as to scholarships and exhibitions, Roman Catholic students were carefully protected from competition with the best men of Trinity College, by the provision that they should not be held together with any other public academical emolument in Ireland, though they might be held by non-residents, or even, to all appearance, by those who had given up all University studies. But even supposing the constitution of the Council were in the first instance unobjectionable, then would come into operation the "unornamental" clauses, as the noble Marquess called them, and the Council would be precluded from embarking in a course of real University education, just at a time when the older Universities were every year introducing a greater range of subjects for competition. They were asked to found a University from which modern history and philosophy would be practically excluded. He said, practically, for if no prizes were awarded for them their study would not be actively pursued. There was no study more useful than modern history for those who were about to take a part in public life; and nothing had more excited the greatest intellects of all ages and countries than moral and mental philosophy. Even in the dark time of Charles I. the statutes of the University of Dublin distinctly provided that the students should be 1274 instructed in the logic and ethics of Aristotle. What harm could there be to any Roman Catholic youth from studying those subjects. If he should happen to form what was thought an improper impression from any particular work, he could easily correct it by studying another authority; for University students were not such mere children as to be unable to make allowance for the bias of an author. Lingard was now a text-book at Protestant Oxford, and in the Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin, discussions were conducted by Protestants and Roman Catholics with mutual toleration and respect. But what could be more amusing than the examinations which were likely to take place under the wonderful clause which allowed a student to adopt any particular theory in preference to any other generally received theory. Fancy an examination in astronomy by an examiner who believed that the earth moved round the sun, whilst the student believed the old theory of the Church that the sun moved round the earth. There was really no end to the absurdities that might arise under these clauses. It had been argued that if the affiliated Colleges were admitted to have each a vote then the University Council might very soon be swamped, not only so far as the nominated Council was concerned, but also as related to the representatives of Trinity College and the Queen's Colleges. This was another way in which Ultramontane supremacy might be secured; but he wished specially to point out the influence which might be exercised by these affiliated Colleges in lowering the standard of University education. How could the students from Colleges in distant parts of the country attend lectures given by University Professors? That being so, the students of the affiliated Colleges would be unable to come up to the standard of the University, or else the standard of the University would be lowered to meet their requirements. In the former case, the poorer class of people would not send their sons there, and the new staff of Professors would be comparatively useless; in the latter event, the richer parents and those who wished their sons to rise, would send them to Oxford or Cambridge, where they could obtain a better degree. They would have a teaching University, from whose teachers 1275 no one need learn, and where some of the most important subjects could not be learned at all, and an examining University practically ignoring philosophy and modern history; an unsectarian University which recognized no such thing as a clearly ascertained truth in any branch of its teaching, and to establish this they were asked to consent to the spoliation of Trinity College, Dublin. He might be told that it was easy to criticize, and might be challenged to suggest a better mode of settling the question. He would say, in reply, that the Roman Catholic grievance which could be remedied by that House was not a large one. The alleged grievance was a very large one, and could not be met, except by handing over the entire control of the University education in Ireland to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. To that, Parliament would not consent. The Roman Catholic hierarchy demanded Home Rule in respect to Irish University education, they themselves to be the rulers. He was in favour of denominational religious education, and had fought for it in our own Universities. But this demand went far beyond that, and as, on behalf of the laity of the English Church, he would object to place University education entirely under the control of the Prelates of that Church, so, for the sake of the Irish Roman Catholic laity, he would resist such a demand on the part of their Bishops. He distinctly repudiated both the doctrines and arguments of the noble Lord the Member for Huntingdonshire (Lord Robert Montagu). He believed that that noble Lord represented no one but himself on that bench or on the Opposition side of the House; and he had a shrewd suspicion that since the noble Lord held office his opinions upon this subject had undergone a very great change. For his own part, of the two schemes on Irish education now before the House, he much preferred that of the hon. Member for Brighton to the present Bill. That hon. Member proposed to abolish the existing religious tests in Trinity College, precisely as they had been recently abolished in our English Universities. He (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) had supported these tests at Oxford and Cambridge, because their endowments had been left to them in connection with that Church which still remained the Es- 1276 tablished Church of England. But when the Church of Ireland was disestablished, the Irish nation repudiated any form of religion, and he thought that, under these circumstances, it was only logical for the national University to decline any longer to uphold its connection with any particular religious denomination. But the hon. Member for Brighton proposed to maintain a self-governing University, unfettered in its teaching by any "gagging clauses." Surely this was far better than a scheme which, while handing over to Rome the whole power over University education, still left her the grievance that the endowments were mainly retained in other hands. What could be more likely to lead to further agitation, or less calculated to satisfy all parties affected by it? The hon. Member for King's Lynn asked the Government to state the intended composition of the Council, and thus to prove that this measure was not framed in the interest of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. That seemed to him a fair and moderate request, and it would receive a warm support, not only from himself, but, he believed, from all who sat on his side of the House. But even if the Government should now turn round and give them the names of the Council, he confessed it would not satisfy his objections to the Bill. There would still remain the proposals of a State-appointed Council, the spoliation of Trinity College, affiliated Colleges, and non-resident degrees, and a maimed system of University education. And if other reasons for opposition were wanting, there was one above all worthy the attention of the House. The noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland (the Marquess of Hartington) rather laughed at the idea of the Irish people being opposed to this Bill. Nevertheless, every Irish Representative who had addressed the House had spoken against the Bill. When the right hon. Gentleman opposite was introducing some of his Irish measures, he was glad to quote the opinions of the Irish Prelates in support of his own. Had he no respect for the opinions of the Irish Prelates in condemnation of his present scheme? The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church had also strongly condemned the measure. Could they, in the face of such universal hostility, affirm the principle of this Bill, and thus 1277 furnish a text to certain agitators who would be only too ready to tell the people that this was a sample of the way in which the English Government forced upon them measures of which they disapproved. This grievance, after all, was that of the Roman Catholic hierarchy alone, and their demands were such as could not be satisfied. Was it not more honest and more politic to tell them so boldly and plainly? They might, in consequence, encourage the cry for Home Rule; but the unwonted spectacle of a little firmness on our part would do much to stop that agitation. Sooner or later the Irish must be told they were crying for the moon, and could there be a better opportunity than the present, when English opinion was supported by all the education, all the intelligence, and all the independence of the Irish laity? With this help, let Parliament decline to blight liberal education and despoil an ancient University in order to rivet more closely the fetters of ecclesiastical domination round the minds of the people of Ireland.
was afraid there was no chance of resuming the debate to-day (Tuesday). Some hon. Members with Motions on the Paper were willing to withdraw them, but there were one or two Motions which it was impossible to get rid of.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Debate adjourned till Thursday.