§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. SPENCER WALPOLE,
in rising to move that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that, with the exception of some very minute particulars in matters of detail, it was identical with the University of Oxford Bill, which stood next to it on the Paper, and therefore he would briefly state the general objects of both the measures and the means by which it was sought to effect those objects. In the first place, he wished to make one remark on the speech delivered on a former occasion by his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe). The only point on which he agreed with his right hon. Friend was that if there was no need of legislation the Universities ought to be left to themselves to carry on their work. If no impediments were placed in their way, they would, he firmly believed, do as much as Parliament could to extend the University system within and beyond their own borders with general benefit to all classes of the community. But it appeared from the Reports of Royal Commissions, from the Reports of University Syndicates, and from Memorials presented to Ministers of the Crown, that many things which ought to be done could not be done, and that many demands were made on the Universities which could not be substantially met, and therefore everybody must admit that it was the duty of any Government, whether Liberal or Conservative, to apply some remedies where they were 1051 imperatively demanded. His right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London had said that these Bills were a reversal of the policy adopted by Parliament in 1854 and 1856. Really it was astounding that such a statement should have been made by his right hon. Friend. If his right hon. Friend had recollected correctly what took place in those years, and compared it with what was taking place now, he must have come to the conclusion that these measures were the supplement and complement of those Acts, which opened up the Universities and the benefits connected with them, so that they might become more extensively available, and that this measure would encourage and promote the study of the various branches of learning, so that every student might select that branch of study most consistent with his inclination, or which might best further his interest or welfare. To call such a Bill as this, therefore, a reversal of the former policy of Parliament was a complete misnomer and a complete delusion. Then his right hon. Friend said the House was being asked to proceed without inquiry and without information, and was going to legislate in the dark. But the Report of the Commissioners for the Advancement of Science had been for three years before Parliament, and there was now an important Report of the Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, which pointed out clearly all the deficiencies now existing there. At the close of their Report the Commissioners said that though much had been done, much more remained to be done, and that work so well begun ought to be further continued. The main difficulty was not the want of will, but the want of means, which prevented the Universities from making the necessary improvements for themselves; and that brought him to the main problems the House had to meet. The Science Commissioners stated that the Universities, as distinguished from the Colleges, were not wealthy bodies, and the University funds were entirely appropriated at present, while there was no prospect of their being largely augmented, and that without the contributions from the Colleges the Universities could not do what was required. This statement was fully borne out by the Report of the Royal Commissioners appointed by the late 1052 Prime Minister to inquire into the property and revenue of the two Universities and of the Colleges. The Commissioners divided this revenue into what they called external and internal revenue, the internal income being that derived from taxation, fees, dues, and other pecuniary payments, while the external income was that derived from real property, tithes and other rent-charges, money in the Funds, property, and other investments. The internal income was entirely appropriated; it was balanced by outgoings, and might be put out of account. External income stood on a different footing. He had stated on a previous occasion that the income of the University of Cambridge derived from property was £14,000 a-year, while the income of the Colleges of Cambridge from the same source was £264,000. This statement was not quite accurate as regarded the University, because it left out of account University income derived from trust property not vested in the University, and some other sources of income, which would bring up the income of the University as derived from property to £24,000 a-year, while the income of the Colleges as derived from property would be £264,000 a-year. As the two Bills were to be taken together it would be convenient to give a comparative statement of the present and prospective income of the two Universities derived from property, and the income of their Colleges and Halls from similar sources. The present income of the University of Oxford was £30,000 a-year, and that of the Colleges and Halls £307,000. The present income of the University of Cambridge was £24,000 a-year, and the income of the Cambridge Colleges and Halls was £264,000 a-year. The prospective increase of income of the University of Oxford was £2,000 a-year; that of the Colleges and Halls was estimated by the Commissioners at £96,000 a-year. The prospective increase of the income of Cambridge University might be set down at nil; while that of the Colleges and Halls of Cambridge was estimated at £34,000 a-year, which might be more correctly put at £30,000, as some deductions would have to be made. Thus it would be seen that the same disproportion between the revenues of the University and of the Colleges existed at Oxford as at Cambridge, though the 1053 University income at Oxford, both present and prospective, was much larger than that of Cambridge, and the needs of the University of Cambridge, therefore, were proportionately greater than the needs of the University of Oxford. Upon the prospective increase of College revenue at both places much depended, because this was an accruing income which might be reasonably applied in a different manner from that of the present revenue. The main question, of course, was whether, the finances of the two Universities being what they were, it was reasonable that something should be contributed out of the Collegiate funds to that which was for the common benefit of the University and the Colleges collectively. That was a most important matter, and upon it the whole question of the improvement of superior teaching rested. The principle which he had mentioned, as contained in the Bill, and also the qualification of it, was both, he believed, reasonable. The principle was reasonable, because the Colleges were part of the University, and had the same or similar interests. The relation of the Colleges to the Universities and of the Universities to the Colleges must be, if they were both to thrive, a relation of mutual assistance, co-operation, and support. What was contained in the Bill would form the solution of many of the difficulties which had arisen, but what was needed was some external power or authority that might arbitrate between these different corporations, so as to induce Colleges to contribute rateably and equitably with the other institutions to what was necessary for the common good of all. It would be said, no doubt, why not leave the Universities and Colleges to do that of themselves, and not force it upon them? The answer was obvious: Unless you had some external authority to do it, the thing would not be done; because, without external authority, you would not be able to settle the amount in just proportions which the Colleges should contribute. Now under the Bill this difficulty would be overcome. Several of the Colleges—Trinity, St. Peter's, and Sidney, Sussex—had provisions in their statutes by which they undertook to contribute 5 per cent of their income for University purposes; but that undertaking was a conditional one—namely, that all the other Colleges should do the same. The consequence had been that this provision, 1054 which would have been one of the best for the University to enable it to meet the wants that were pressing upon it, had remained a dead letter; it never had been acted upon, and without some external authority he believed it could not be acted upon. Here he had great satisfaction in stating that at this moment two of the Colleges at Cambridge had passed resolutions that those Colleges were to contribute 5 per cent out of their distributable income for University purposes; and the second resolution embodied this proposition—that they should also settle on the maximum tenure and the maximum value of the Fellowships. In general harmony with those resolutions was another document, the last with which he would trouble the House. When the Commission was appointed by his right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) to inquire into the property of the two Universities, his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe), who had dealt so hardly and, he would say, so unadvisedly with the two measures before the House, was a Member of the Government, who must have known what their object was in issuing that Commission. He would undertake to say that everybody in the two Universities knew perfectly well that legislation would follow upon the Commission. A year after the appointment of that Commission, a most important Memorial was laid before his right hon. Friend the First Minister of the Crown in 1873;and that memorial was also laid before his right hon. Friend now at the head of Her Majesty's Government. That Memorial, he had no hesitation in saying, was signed by some of the most eminent and influential resident members of the University. They might number them by dozens. They were men of all political opinions, but they all had the interests of the University at heart, and were as familiar as it was possible to be with its working. They drew up four resolutions, which they pressed with earnestness on the attention of his right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich, with a view to any legislation for advancing the educational efficiency of the University, and also for promoting the advancement of learning. The first resolution stated that no Fellowship should be tenable for life, except only when the original tenure was extended in conside- 1055 ration of services rendered to education, learning, or science, actively and directly in connection with the University or Colleges. That was one of the matters with which the Commissioners would certainly have to deal. The second resolution was to the effect that a further professional career should, as far as possible, be opened to resident educationists or students, whether married or not. The third resolution was to the effect that provision should be made for the association of the Colleges, or some of them, for educational purposes, so as to secure efficient teaching, and to the teachers more leisure for study. And the fourth resolution was that the pecuniary relations existing between the University and Colleges should be revised, and that, if necessary, a representative Board of University Finance should be established. These recommendations, he had no hesitation in saying, the University of Cambridge was anxious to see considered in the most careful manner, he would not say with a view to the adoption of all, but of such as might seem best adapted to promote the advancement of science and learning, and the Resolutions concluded with the hope that the reforms indicated would be distinctly recognized in any Bill which might be proposed. He would now conclude were it not for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke), which was—That, in view of the large legislative powers entrusted to the "University of Cambridge Commissioners by this Bill, this House is of opinion that the Bill does not sufficiently declare or define the principles and scope of the changes which such Commissioners are empowered to make in that University and the Colleges therein.If hon. Members would look to the Preamble of the Bill, and to the clauses framed to carry that Preamble into effect, he thought that it could be seen, and that the hon. Baronet himself would see that the principle and scope of the Bill were as clear and distinct as they well could be made. The Preamble said that it was—Expedient that provision be made for enabling or requiring the Colleges in the University to contribute more largely out of their revenues to the purposes of the University, especially with a view to further and better instruction in art, science, and other branches of 1056 learning, where the same are not taught, or not adequately taught, in the University.The scope of the changes to be carried out was entirely contained in the clauses of the Bill. He knew that it had been said by the right hon. Member for the University of London that the directions given in the two former Bills were more specific than those given in this Bill. He (Mr. Spencer Walpole) said, however, that the Bill indicated as clear as language could make it the principle upon which the Commissioners were to proceed, and the scope of the changes which they were authorized and empowered to put in force. That being so, he apprehended that it would hardly be deemed necessary that the hon. Baronet should press his Amendment. All the details of the proposed reform could hardly be settled by Parliament, and they had much better be left to the Commissioners. Such, for example, were the limits to the tenure of Fellowships; the extension of the Professoriate; the Collegiate contribution to University purposes; the complete organization of the admirable system of inter-Collegiate lectures and teaching; and the mode on which scientific investigations and original research could best be prosecuted and encouraged. Many of the questions must, in fact, be determined upon the spot, where sound and accurate opinions and every information could be had. One of the consequences of carrying the Amendment must be to postpone legislation for another year, and nothing could be worse for the Universities than to keep them in a constant state of uncertainty as to what duties they were to discharge and what arrangements they were to make to carry into effect the desires of Parliament. It was for these reasons that he could not concur in the Amendment, and it was for these reasons also that he hoped the House would give a second reading to the measure.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Spencer Walpole.)
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE,
in rising to move, as an Amendment,—That, in view of the large legislative powers entrusted to the University of Cambridge Commissioners by this Bill, this House is of opinion that the Bill does not sufficiently declare or define the principles and scope of the changes which such Commissioners are empowered to 1057 make in that University and the Colleges therein,said, on the last occasion on which they had debated the University Bills the speaking had been all on the side of those who thought, as he thought, that the powers given to the Commissioners were far too undefined. This view had been expressed by no less than six Members of the House. Two Conservatives, and four Liberals, on this point, at least, condemned the Bills. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had defended the Bills in reference to matters on which they had not been attacked, and the right hon. Gentleman who had moved the second reading of the Oxford Bill (Mr. Hardy) had seemed to agree with its opponents as fully as did the other right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) who had that day moved the second reading of the Cambridge Bill. What had those right hon. Gentlemen said of the "increase of the Professoriate," of the "abolition of idle Fellowships," and of the "endowment of Research," which, according to a noble Marquess in "another place," were the objects of those Bills? They had said that there should not be any increase made to the Professoriate without "caution," and "full consideration." They had said that, in their opinion, the holders of "idle Fellowships" were not "idle;" that, without Fellowships, "men of small means would be unable to go to the Bar." They had further declared, with regard to the "endowment of Research," that they "did not know what was meant by those who made use of that phrase." Well, that was the case of the opponents of the Bill. They asked for "caution" and "consideration," and they did not find them in the Bill. They had doubts as to the wisdom of a noble Marquess in proposing to sweep away what he was pleased to call "idle" Fellowships. They did not quite understand what was meant by the "endowment of Research," and they had a hesitation as to the policy of handing over to Mr. Burgon, or even to Professor Lightfoot, the power to destroy whole Colleges, and the power to make of new theological Professors members of lay foundations. They went so far as to believe that if Lord Salisbury intended to follow the guidance of certain residents of the Universities, they should one day discover that he had destroyed 1058 the noblest foundations in the world, and built up second-rate German Lyceums in their stead. The gist of their complaint was that too much power was left to the Commissioners, one of which at least they profoundly distrusted and disliked. The Secretary at War replied that the 15th clauses of the Bills were there to guide them. Would he answer a question? The revenue of the University of Cambridge being £14,000 a-year, and that of the Cambridge Colleges £300,000 a-year, and it being admitted that something was to be taken from the Colleges and given to the Universities, was there one word in Clause 15 to show whether that part, so taken, was to be another £14,000, or whether it was to be £200,000—whether, in short, it was to be a flea-bite, or whether it was to be half the whole? Their complaint was, that as far as any limitations went the Bill enabled the Commissioners to strip the Colleges in order to make a couple of bad copies of a German University. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his reply to the right hon. Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe), had said that the late Government had appointed a Commission on the Revenues of the Colleges and Universities, and that the appointment of that Commission had led to the present Bills. Now, it had led to a Bill, but not to the particular Bills that they had before them. Not to Bills to enable two sets of Commissioners to do exactly what they pleased. What case had been made out so grave as to need that desperate remedy? They were asked to place the whole College system of England at the mercy of two Commissions, one of which was profoundly clerical, while the other contained a clerical minority so strong, that with three reactionary Commissioners in the case of each reactionary College they would have a reactionary majority. The result would be, at Oxford a reactionary policy supported by a section of the Liberal Party who were tempted by the vast advantages given to residents by the Bill, and at Cambridge, an advanced policy as regarded Trinity College and Trinity Hall, and a reactionary policy as regarded most of the other Colleges of the University. Why should they be forced to count heads even upon the better Commission of the two, and seriously to consider whether Professor 1059 Lightfoot was more clerical or less clerical than the Bishop of Worcester? He had used the word "reactionary," and not the word "Conservative," because a large number of the Oxford Conservatives were in full agreement with the old-fashioned University Liberals upon these points, just as, on the other side, the ultra-clerical party was acting with the friends of endowment of Research. "But," said right hon. Gentlemen opposite, "let them look at Clause 15."The clause did not tell the Commissioners what they were to do. It told them only what they could do, which was a very different thing. It was vague in the extreme. For example, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for his University (Mr. Walpole), and the Secretary of State for War were in favour of the clause. Now, the clause pointed to the increase of the Professoriate, and the endowment of Research. But those right hon Gentlemen themselves declared that they were rather afraid of the increase of the Professoriate, and that as for the endowment of Research they shared our fears that this might mean the creation of sinecures. They hoped that the money given for Research would be taken away if the researches were not made. By what machinery they did not say, and he (Sir Charles Dilke) pitied Mr. Burgon and his Colleagues if they had to invent a plan for robbing a so-called scientific investigator of his income, unless his supposed researches produced results. Mr. Burgon and his Colleagues were to increase the Professoriate. The Secretary of State for War had said, "with caution." But the wild residents said, "with no caution at all." On the contrary, with so bold a hand that there were to be Professors of every language in Central Asia, Professors of Kalmuck, and of Kipchok Tartar, and "four new Professors of Theology at least." One, he supposed, of the theology of the Vatican; one of that of Mr. Burgon;one of that of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley), and one of that of Mr. Congreve. A brilliant resident, whom he had the honour to count among his friends, wished to see a Chair of critical journalism founded to expose the errors of the daily Press. Another of his friends thought that there should be a Professor of spelling reform. But, seriously, were they so sure that 1060 Professorships were of real advantage, that they must jump at any proposition for increasing them, at any cost? Why, one of the most distinguished Professors who ever lectured at Oxford, Professor Max Müller, never lectured except to empty benches. Professor Monier Williams was drawing a large audience just now to his lectures about India; but it was an audience composed of ladies, not as yet members of the University, whatever might happen in a few years, and these ladies went to applaud vivid descriptions of the Prince's tour, and appeals touching the evangelization of the benighted heathen, rather than lectures on "Sanscrit," which it was the business of Professor Williams to teach. Dr. Legge, one of the best specialists in England, had lately, after much trumpeting, been appointed to a brand new Professorship:—didany Oxford man in that House venture to assert that he would ever have any one present at his lectures, except a private friend. He (Sir Charles Dilke) remembered to have heard how, in Paris, Professor Stanislas Julien, a man of world-wide fame, used to lecture, winter after winter, in an empty room. At last he was one day gratified by the presence of a party of three, two gentlemen and a lady, who came in in the middle of his lecture, sat down, stayed for a quarter of an hour, and then went away. The next day one of the gentlemen came again, but this time with different companions. Greatly delighted, Stanislas Julien rushed off to discover through the keeper of the lecture hall who were these persons, when to his grief he had found that the man who had come twice was a commissionaire who for five francs a-day was showing Paris to foreigners, and who, selecting the most singular of sights, had brought his employers "to see a Professor lecturing to a stove." As for the "endowment of Research," or "research after endowment," as it had cleverly been called, no two persons were agreed. Were Mr. Burgon and his Colleagues to search the pages of the monthly magazines to find ideas upon the subject? When they had found ideas, let them just think of the quarrels and the "jobs." There were many, he was glad to say, who still held to the good old University belief that the best abstract work was done by men who had, as to a portion of their time, other regular daily work 1061 to do. There was a passage in Lord Macaulay's letters which illustrated this view; he had taken two pupils to read with him, and he wrote of the effect upon himself—I find that I read much more in consequence, and the regularity of habits necessarily produced by a periodical employment which cannot be procrastinated, fully compensates for the loss of time which is consumed in tuition.The Bill before them was a Bill to place unlimited power of abolishing Colleges which were unlike anything else in the world, and of cutting and carving at their will the great University to which he had the honour to belong, in the hands of Commissioners, who, while not so objectionable to him as were most of those to whom was committed the power of demolishing Oxford, held, nevertheless, many of them, opinions which could only be gathered by guesswork. He had said "unlimited power." Nearly unlimited. Limited only when limitation told against Liberal ideas. They had no power to reform those anomalous bodies—Congregation, Senate, Convocation, and Electoral Roll. They were forbidden by the Bill itself to leave the government of Colleges in the hands of those who now exercised it with such skill. Whether the Commissioners wished it, or whether they did not, the lay non-resident Fellows were to be excluded from the government of Colleges, which, by Clause 47 of the Oxford Bill, and Clause 53 of the Cambridge Bill, passed chiefly into clerical hands. To Mr. Burgon and his Colleagues was given, on the other hand, the power to maintain those clerical restrictions which narrowed the choice of persons to fill nearly all the Headships of Colleges in both Universities, two-thirds of the Fellowships at Oxford, and many Fellowships at Cambridge. Could any one doubt what this power meant? Could any one doubt that Mr. Burgon and his Colleagues would maintain these restrictions? Why, the only Member of the Oxford Commission who could assuredly be trusted to vote for their removal was the hon. Member for Northumberland (Mr. Ridley). He was a Conservative; but, nevertheless, he was their trust, for he was the only young Member of the Oxford Commission, and the only one of its members who really knew the fresh University opinion of the day. No one 1062 defended the clerical restrictions; why, then, should not they be removed in the Bill? Why should "unfettered discretion" be left to Mr. Burgon, when the use that he would make of it was as certain as if he were to be fettered. This matter was not properly understood. The newspapers talked about "the abolition of clerical Fellowships," which was a misleading phrase. No one wished to declare that holders of Fellowships should not be in Holy Orders, but only to remove the compulsory limitation of nearly all Headships and of many Fellowships to Clerks in Orders. That limitation had the effect of narrowing the field of selection, lowering the standard, and preventing the best man from being in all cases elected. It was a limitation which might sometimes cause hypocrisy, and which must of necessity draw with it those evils which led to the abolition of tests—an abolition not now regretted even by the Conservative Party in the Universities. He contended that the retention of these restrictions was contrary to the policy, and that the successful policy, of the Universities Tests Act. It was a public scandal that men of distinguished ability could not be selected for the Headships of their Colleges, however much the most fit persons for the post, because they did not happen to be clergymen. To show, however, that those who wished to abolish these restrictions neither desired to secularize the Colleges nor were possessed with what Lord Salisbury called "clericophobia," he could quote the opinion of no less clerical a personage than the Primate of England. It had been argued that the retention of a certain number of clerical Fellowships was a security for an element of Christianity, but this view had been pooh-poohed by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself. As the Primate thought the argument of no weight, why should others attach importance to it? It was more than doubtful whether the Church gained by the maintenance of clerical restrictions. Conscientious scruples in regard to the pecuniary temptations held out had not unfrequently deterred men of high character and great ability from taking Orders. On the other hand, it was also a scandal from which the Church suffered harm that young men should be tempted to take Orders without feeling 1063 any fitness for the calling, in consequence of clerical restrictions thus imposed. The suppression of clerical Fellows was not involved in the "abolition of clerical Fellowships." The reduction of the total number of Fellows in Orders would probably be small. At New College, Oxford, for example, where there was not, nor ever had been, a clerical restriction, there was not, and never had been, a lack of Fellows in Orders. No measure of reform could be final; but there would be no question left open to immediate agitation if that point were conceded. If, on the other hand, they were to maintain the restriction, the first opportunity would be seized to reverse their decision. With regard to the power and influence of the clerical Fellows in any College, that influence would not be left alone by the present Bills. It would be increased, and increased, he feared, not without hurt to the Universities. A clause of each Bill enacted that non-resident Fellows should not vote in College meeting except when they were outnumbered in the proportion of two to one by Fellows holding University or College office. A far larger proportion of the College and University officers were clergymen than of the non-residents, so that by these clauses the influence of the Church in the Colleges would be vastly increased. A Cambridge resident had written to him—Clause 53 will affect every College, for there is not one where the University and College officers absorb two-thirds of the Fellowships. Its effect will be to secure, not only a clerical majority among the residents, but even a clerical representation of the non-residents, for lay non-residents will hold their Fellowships only for a limited time, and hence, under the new statutes, choice by seniority will in all probability mean choice of clerics.If he might state a case in point—the society to which he had had the honour to belong, that of the Master, Fellows and Scholars, of Trinity Hall, was a lay foundation. The effect of Clause 53 would be to clericalize it. Why were the meetings of Colleges dealt with by the Bills, and not the meetings of the Universities? There had been no outcry for the reform of College meeting—there had been a great outcry for the reform of Convocation, Congregation, Senate, and Electoral Roll. The government of Colleges was at present 1064 chiefly under lay influence. The government of the Universities was chiefly under clerical influence. The Bills clericalized the government of Colleges which was at present lay, and left the clerical government of the Universities untouched. Non-resident Fellows were to be prevented from voting at the meeting of their own College, the affairs of which they thoroughly understood. No attention was paid by the promoters of the Bill to the long-existing and reasonable dissatisfaction felt by all but a few reactionary residents at the swamping of the votes of the residents of both parties in Convocation and Senate by the votes of the hastily whipped-up "country clergy" of Oxfordshire, or "Fen Parsons" of the Isle of Ely. Let them take for an example of the evils which cried for remedy that which had occurred at Oxford just before their last debate, when the London. Society for the Extension of University Teaching, itself composed of leading members of the Universities, asked Oxford, Cambridge, and London each to elect three persons to a joint board of management. Oxford was asked to allow three Members of Convocation to be nominated by the Vice Chancellor and Proctors. Professor Burrows was offended. The "country clergy" had been summoned by the crack of his "whip," and the grace rejected on the characteristic ground that the University of London, with which Oxford was thus to be associated, was a secular institution. He admitted that the Bills before them had the support of a majority of the residents. It was natural that this should be so. The residents would receive from the Bills vast advantages in money and in dignity. The sweeping away of Fellowships, the "Increase of the Professoriate," and the "Endowment of Research," meant the spending among the residents of fresh funds. The married residents were, of course, in favour of a scheme which gave not only increased income to themselves, but also a future to their sons. Doubtless some experiment in this direction must be made; but he prayed them to make it but an experiment at first. These Bills did not make it an experiment. They gave to Mr. Burgon and his Colleagues power to spend, if they would, the whole of the revenues of the Universities upon the residents. They 1065 might, if they would, put down every non-teaching Fellowship at one blow, and many residents would urge them thus to act. He had tried to show how much good these Fellowships had done. Let them pause before consenting that they should be swept away. Let them shorten their tenure if they would. To destroy them would be to put an end to the most democratic institution in modern England, but democratic in the best sense; democratic in that sense in which democracy and aristocracy were one—one in the triumph of the principle of merit. They were obtainable by merit only, and not by favour, and they gave a chance in life to poor men. These Fellowships it was that had enabled barbers' sons and tailors' sons to become Judges and Lord Chancellors. Their abolition would involve this consequence—that middle-class schools would cease at once to send to the Universities the picked poor boys of England. Every schoolmaster in England was opposed to their abolition. It might be said that that opposition was interested. Not so interested as was the support given by residents to the endowment of Research. Both might be, and were, as he hoped and believed, honest. Let them tell the Commissioners what it was that they wanted them to do. If they wished them to mate dozens of new Professors to lecture to empty benches, let them say so; but let them not hand over the whole future of the Universities to the Commission without a guide. He had made these remarks, which he believed to be not only true, but also necessary, without the least heat against the proposers of the Bills in that House. Had they before them only the speeches of the two right hon. Gentlemen opposite, his remarks would not have been made. But they had the Bills themselves, vague and mysterious, and they had the random reckless speeches of a certain noble Marquess in "another place." He would ask those two right hon. Gentlemen to whom he referred to believe that those who were members of the two great Universities, on whichever side of the House they sat, had but one desire—namely, to so legislate that the glories of those Universities might be maintained in the future at their present height, even if it were not possible that they should receive increase.
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in view of the large legislative powers entrusted to the University of Cambridge Commissioners by this Bill, this House is of opinion that the Bill does not sufficiently declare or define the principles and scope of the changes which such Commissioners are empowered to make in that University and the Colleges therein,"—(Sir Charles W. Dilke,)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. FORSYTH,
in supporting the second reading of the Bill, said, he hardly knew whether he ought to consider the speech of the hon. Baronet who had just sat down as one in opposition to the Bill or not, because as to a greater part of that speech he entirely agreed with the hon. Member; and, in fact, all that the hon. Member desired could be carried out by the introduction of clauses, which might be proposed in Committee. He would remind the House that, under the measure of 1856, undefined powers were, as in the present instance, given to the Commissioners, and it was absolutely necessary they should be entrusted with those powers if the scheme committed to their hands was to be advantageously worked out. He might further observe that as each College would, under the operation of the Bill, be represented by three Commissioners, there was very little danger that any rash project would be sanctioned in opposition to their wishes. There was, he was happy to say, the additional safeguard that the names of the Commissioners themselves were universally approved, and he was quite sure they never would be subjected to that sort of criticism in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe) had indulged with respect to those who were to be Commissioners under the Oxford University Bill. The two main objects of the Bill were, first, to divert a certain portion of the College funds for the purpose of increasing the stipends of the present Professors, of creating new Professorships, and for the endowment of Research; secondly, to make provision as the eligibility and tenure of Fellowships. It was well, he thought, that the Commissioners should be made aware what 1067 were the views of hon. Members on both sides of the House as to the nature of the functions they would have to perform, and the true theory of what an English University really ought to be, for upon that point some strange and startling doctrines had lately been propounded by some writers of great ability, who seemed to think nothing of the Tutor, but much of the Professor. What they desired to see was a body of men maintained who should pass their lives in learned research, and by writing books and other means contribute to the advance of human knowledge. Now that he, for one, believed to be an erroneous idea of an University, which he contended should not only be a place of education, but a place of discipline, in which young men might be trained up in habits of religion and order. The proposal which had been made to increase the Professoriate by the addition of no less than 35 new Professorships to the existing Staff was a startling proposal. He should like, he might add, to know how many pupils some of those new Professors who were spoken of were likely to obtain, and whether there was not the danger to be guarded against that there might be men receiving £500 a-year who would have no classes, and who would sink into a life of idleness and ease, unless they felt compelled by some strong moral principle to write a book for the purpose of enlightening the world. For his own part, he thought nothing could be more mischievous than that the minds of young men should be dissipated in a great variety of subjects; and he, therefore, hoped the Commissioners would be very cautious in increasing unduly the number of Professorships, and taxing the Colleges in any such degree as to imperil their usefulness. With regard to the tenure of Fellowships he thought that it was a most improper thing to make it a condition of any Fellowship that the holder should take Holy Orders. Many young men accepted that condition rashly, but repented it when they came of mature age. There was no case more pitiable than that of a clergyman who, after holding a Fellowship for 25 or 30 years, was presented to a College living without possessing any knowledge whatever of his parochial duties. He knew of a case, when he was at the University, where a Fellow advanced in years obtained a 1068 College living, and when a poor woman came to him in a state of spiritual distress to consult him, he told her to get some string and make cabbage-nets, which he said was his own resource when he fell into low spirits. There was at Cambridge a strong opinion, which he himself shared, that no one with the exception of persons who had been long engaged in the teaching work of the University, should be permitted to retain a Fellowship for a longer period than seven years after taking his M.A. degree. Then young men would get a fair start in life, and there would not be temptations to sloth, idleness, and indolence hereafter. The discussion of the Oxford Bill had shown that the House was not going to offer any serious opposition to this Bill; and therefore he advised his hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea to endeavour to carry out the objects he had in view by proposing new clauses and Amendments when they got into Committee, rather than endeavour now to impede the progress of a measure, which he believed his hon. Friend in his heart thought was a good Bill.
§ MR. LYON PLAYFAIR
In addressing the House I must admit that I am an outer barbarian, for I have never enjoyed the advantages of an English University education. But perhaps this fact enables me to look upon these Bills with a less partial eye than some of my Liberal Friends who have addressed the House. In fact, I have heard no Liberal speeches from this side. The Secretary for War (Mr. Hardy) did make a Liberal speech; but when my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Denbigh County (Mr. Osborne Morgan) and my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) spoke, I did not recognize my Radical friends under their University toga. They seemed to me to forget that these Bills reach further than Oxford or Cambridge, for they involve far wider interests in their bearing on national education and on the advancement of science and learning. With revenues amounting to about £750,000, Oxford and Cambridge have serious responsibilities to the nation. If hitherto their benefits have been enjoyed more by the rich than by the poor, that is a misfortune due rather to their system of education than to their intentions, for they have sought by their Scholarships and Fellowships to bring 1069 their advantages within the reach of both classes. Have they succeeded in this laudable desire? Allow me to give the answer to this question by the only quotation which I propose to make. It is from a work by a high Oxford authority, the Rev. Mark Pattinson, Rector of Lincoln College, who says—Class education would seem to me to be as rooted an idea in the English mind as denominational religion. But if the Universities are only schools for the wealthy classes, why should they enjoy a large national endowment? Why should the nation, out of its national endowment fund, provide gratuitous education for the sons of precisely that class which is best able to pay for whatever education it may think proper to have?These questions lie at the root of the whole matter. Either these Bills are good because they complete the national character of our Universities, or they are bad because they continue to limit their advantages to a class of wealthy men and to the poor who win Scholarships. Now, in the speech which I make, I know that I am not in unison with the feeling of the House. Among its Members are no fewer than 225 men who have been trained in and who love their Universities. Upon them my remarks will fall like grating discords on the ears of a musical audience. To them Oxford and Cambridge appear as the highest types of Universities. But whether they are better or worse than others, there is no doubt that they are exceptional. This arises from the fact that they aim to give mental culture for its own sake and without reference to the utilities of life. And doubtless this is a high conception of University training. Other Universities also have a high purpose, but not such an unselfish ideal of education. European Universities generally, perhaps even in their origin, but certainly in their operations, aim at infusing liberal education into the various learned professions and scientific industrial occupations. In this respect they differ from ordinary technical schools, which look only to professional training; while the Universities, such as those of Scotland and Germany, unite technical training with mental culture. They thus try to mellow the professional and industrial life of a country. Now, I readily admit that the Oxford and Cambridge system of imparting culture for its own sake is the most noble and unselfish, though it is obviously more 1070 adapted to the wealthy than to the middle and poorer classes of society. As the latter require to enter professions or industries, they cannot afford to stay at Universities in which honours are only to be won at 21 or 22 years of age, for by that time their technical training ought to be ended. It was this want of consonance between the English University system and the needs of the middle classes which produced their decadence previous to 1854. The Commission of that year largely extended their benefits. They opened up new Scholarships and Fellowships to induce the middle classes to take the educational commodities which the Universities had to offer. These Scholarships are bounties of £80 a-year for boys who pass a good school examination, and who are wealthy enough to stay long at school. They are wages given to young men mainly to learn Greek, Latin, and Mathematics; for the few Scholarships given to other subjects are too insignificant in number to demand attention. After 1854, when this stimulus was applied, Undergraduates increased in number, just in proportion as the Scholarships were augmented in number and money value. A few years ago, one out of every three of the Undergraduates was paid for his attendance; and even now, one out of four is in this position of a paid scholar. Why should this be necessary for Oxford and Cambridge? In Germany, in France, in Ireland, and in Scotland, students go to Universities without being paid. They go to acquire knowledge, which ought to be a commodity beyond all price. The reason is that in these Universities the preliminary culture is made to bear on the future occupations of the students, while in Oxford and Cambridge it has no such bearing. It is quite true that the education given at our English Universities is excellent in itself; but as it has no immediate bearing on the exigencies of professional life, the middle classes have to be tempted by strewing with gold the pathway which connects the school with the University. And this is only the beginning of the bounty system for study. In advance, these paid scholars see some 20 annual Fellowships offered for competition to those who spend three years and a-half at study in their Colleges. Out of 200 Fellowships given in the last 20 years, only 12 were for science, so that still the great pre- 1071 ponderance of prize money is given for Greek, Latin, and Mathematics, and the general result is this, that Oxford and Cambridge give an annual endowment of £70,000 to lads for prospective Scholarships in these subjects, and £200,000 to graduates for their retrospective Scholarships. The latter are what the Marquess of Salisbury styles "idle Fellowships." Can they be made more nationally productive than they are at present? The Chancellor of Oxford University (the Marquess of Salisbury) and the right hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Walpole) obviously think they can, or they would not have introduced their Bills. They look upon the Fellowship fund as one which can be drawn upon to strengthen the University without unduly weakening the Colleges. Are they right or wrong? Now, nothing is more certain in the academic experience of the world than that parents will send their children to Universities without money bribes if they can there acquire the learning suitable to their wants in life. Oxford and Cambridge have learned this by their outside experience. They have an admirable system of local examinations of school pupils in various provincial centres. They are eminently successful, and yet I do not think they have given a single reward of any kind either in money or in prizes. But they have adapted their examinations to the subjects which they find school boys and girls willing to learn. Why, then, should it be necessary to offer £270,000 a-year to entice young men to be educated when all other Universities are overflowing without money inducements, except of a very meagre kind? All this lavish expenditure of wealth has been insufficient for its purpose, for if it had been sufficient these Bills would not be before us. It so happens that we can make a comparison, because Oxford and Edinburgh have each nearly the same number of resident students, about 2,000. Now, Oxford has a net income of £400,000, and Edinburgh one of £23,000, and yet the number of their students is almost equal. It is clear, therefore, that wealth does not suffice to ensure Undergraduates. And as the standard for pass degrees in arts is admittedly as good in one as in the other, the result is startling. You cannot get rid of the fact by scoffing at Scotch Universities, as these 1072 Bills do in the 2nd clause, when they define them as "schools." The fact remains that the Scotch University in its poverty has not far from the same number of students and graduates as Oxford in its wealth. The explanation is that Oxford and Cambridge, having cut themselves adrift from the occupations of the people, must offer prize money for the educational commodities which they seek to give. And if I were to admit that this system is wise, I should agree with Lord Cardwell when he called Fellowship the primum mobile of the English University system. If Greek, Latin, and Mathematics are to continue to be the main higher food of the nation, to the practical exclusion of other kinds of food, Fellowships are the very life blood of the Universities, and you are making a most hazardous experiment when you pass these Bills. In my point of view, though I do not dream of getting the House to agree with me, any system of education is wrong when it results in making parents and their children look to Universities as places to gain money and not simply as places for acquiring knowledge. Nor do I pause to point out at any length the evils which the present Fellowship system has produced by converting the Universities into huge examining machines. I will only say that modern writers on higher education are nearly unanimous in thinking that incessant examinations enfeeble the spirit of research and arrest the progress of science in a nation. I would rather point to the fact, which ought to be significant to hon. Gentlemen opposite who profess to adhere to the wishes of pious founders, that Fellowships, as they are now given, are wholly different from their original purpose. By the old statutes, the degrees of doctor could only be got after from13 to 19 years' study, and the object of Fellowships was to support men in the three faculties of theology, law, and medicine, till they got their doctor's degree. But with the exception of theology, the other professional faculties have become dwarfed in the Universities, and the Fellowships are now mere sinecures, without conditions either of personal study or the advancement of learning. It may be that the Commission of 1876 will attach these conditions to Fellowships in future. Certainly the Commission of 1854 failed to do so. All that it did was to make 1073 the Universities more efficient examining machines, and to render the Colleges more comfortable boarding schools for young men; though doubtless it laid the broader basis for other studies, which hare been growing in the Universities, although they receive only the crumbs which fall from the rich tables loaded with classics and mathematics. These Bills will fulfil their purpose if they succeed in adapting the Universities to the needs of the nation, so that they may infuse a liberal education into those professions and industries which depend upon learning and science, which ought at the same time to have their boundaries advanced by the tutors and Professors who devote themselves to an academic life. I give full credit to the Government that these are the motives with which they seek new reforms. But they have so framed the Bills that we cannot tell either what they will do or what they will leave undone. For the Bills do nothing but put Parliament in commission. No doubt the Bills recite a catalogue of useful objects which the Commissioners may take up if they please; but legislatively we do nothing but shuffle off our powers of reform on seven distinguished gentlemen representing each University. Not one of them represents the outside interests of the nation. All of them have been bred in the system which they are called upon to reform. Not a single man of academic knowledge outside that system has been appointed to represent national or Imperial interests. The very same Government which introduces these Bills has within a few weeks issued a Royal Commission for the reform of the Scotch Universities. They have not shuffled off our powers on that Commission, but have desired it to report to Parliament. Nor have they made it an Edinburgh or Glasgow, or even a Scotch Commission. They have made it an Imperial one, and have put on such names as Huxley and Froude, men of academic knowledge, but having no permanent relations to Scotland or its Universities. But the Commissions under these Bills are not Imperial—they simply represent local interests. Cambridge men for Cambridge, and Oxford men for Oxford, constitute the whole Commission. No doubt they are eminent men, but all have been trained under a restricted system. And although they are constituted in this 1074 local and partial spirit, the Bills do not lay down any common lines of reform upon which the Colleges are to proceed. They are invited for a year to prepare schemes for their own reform in any separate and disjointed way they like, and with powerful representation of College interests within the Commission. Of course, I know the reply of the Government to such strictures as these is, that a like course was followed in 1854, and the Executive Commission then produced salutary reforms. But the position then and now is quite different. In 1852 a Royal Commission had made an exhaustive Report on the state of the Universities. The duty of the Executive Commission of 1854 was to remedy the abuses ascertained to exist and to alter statutes which were antiquated and obsolete. That is not our position now. There has been no previous inquiry, and there are no glaring abuses to rectify, nor obsolete statutes to repeal. If you believe that the present system is on the whole good, modifications in it could be better made by the University and Collegiate authorities than by a statutory Commission. It is one thing to reform obstructive corporations; it is another thing to direct the reforms of progressive corporations. The Universities are strongly progressive. They have opened new schools and new triposes, and are trying to adapt themselves to changing conditions of liberal culture. Radical changes in the system may be desired by some of us; but I have more confidence in getting these from the action of University reformers than from Commissions composed of men of a previous generation brought up in ancient lines of study. Such a Commission does not feel the want of contact with the people, which University teachers do feel. None of us wish to see Oxford and Cambridge converted into mere technical schools for professions. But we do desire to see them brought into harmony with the exigencies of professional and industrial life, so that the middle classes may again flock to them, as they once did, to receive that liberal culture which ought to be the basis of all the occupations of life. Though I do not think that the Commissions named in the Bills are likely to contribute much to this result, I quite admit that the Bills will do so in a way not contemplated by their framers. For if the Fellowship fund or Collegiate 1075 revenues be largely used to strengthen the University, the fictitious props which now uphold a restricted education will, to some extent at least, be knocked away. No doubt the first result will be to diminish students of these subjects; but this evil will soon be remedied if the curriculum of studies is varied so as to suit the many and not the few. Cambridge recognizes this weakness of her intra-academical curriculum by the wide extent of her teaching through a system of provincial lectures. She suits these to the varied wants of the people, and assures a splendid success without money bribes. My right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London(Mr. Goschen), as Chairman of the London Committee, promotes this extended curriculum in the provinces, and I hope he will soon be convinced that it would be wise to adapt it to the teaching and graduating system within the University. The pressure of this Bill will quicken the growth of this conviction within the University, and I hope the Commissions will not stunt this growth. If they would revert to the original statutes of the founders and connect the Fellowships with specific faculties of arts, theology, law, medicine, and science, much would be done to bring back the middle classes to the Universities. Of all the professional faculties one only now has a sensible proportion of Fellowships. The faculty of theology has certainly the lion's share. In both Universities the other professional faculties have now about a dozen Fellowships, while Oxford alone has more than 100 clerical Fellowships. I do not wish to see these entirely swept away, as some of my Friends propose on this side of the House, though I should like to see them reduced to some seemly proportion. It is obviously important that the ministers, I will not say of the Church of England alone, but of all Churches, should be induced to study at our great English Universities. It is better for them and for us that they should be brought up at a common University with laymen, than that they should be gathered apart in a mere technical school of priestcraft. Germany found the evil of this, and has been forced to compel her clergy to take a common University training before they learn the mere technics of their profession. Our Universities have saved us from this evil, at least so far as our 1076 national Church is concerned, and have first educated our clergy as citizens before they have become contracted into priests. I would ask my hon. Friends on this side to pause before they sweep away all clerical Fellowships. The Universities have already nearly driven away the other professions from their walls. We may make a further mistake if we drive out the clerical profession also, and divorce priestcraft from citizenship. I think the essence of our reforms should be to induce the professions to take their preliminary liberal culture at our Universities—not to cut them adrift as we have been doing in England. Of course, 110 clerical Fellowships at Oxford are altogether disproportionate, and form much too large an attraction to connect one profession with a University. Besides, they are not given to the clerical profession as a whole, but only to theclergy of the Church of England. I fail to see any justification for this limitation now that tests are abolished, and when the Universities are made national. If clerical Fellowships are to remain, is it unreasonable that they should be opened to all ministers of religion, of whatever creed? This is our practice in regard to theological degrees at the Scotch Universities. We give them simply for theological knowledge, not for theological belief. In like manner, clerical Fellowships might be given for distinction in the subjects included in theological learning. But that is not the motive for clerical Fellowships, even under their present restrictions to the English Church. A right rev. Prelate, the Bishop of Ely, advocated them on far narrower grounds. He argued that there was much difficulty even now in supplying parishes with clergymen, and urged if the clerical Fellowships were to be abolished, that difficulty would be greatly increased. I cannot conceive a more damaging argument for such Fellowships. If the Church of England cannot attract to its service learned and religious men except by University bribes, the Church is in a far more dangerous state than I believe it to be. Clerical Fellowships can only be defended, like other professional Fellowships, or those for philology and science, on the ground that it is desirable to encourage a profound study of the learning embraced in them, and in the hope that they may even conduce to 1077 the advancement of the boundaries of learning and science. Although my opinions are not in unison with those of the many University-trained men in this House, I have ventured to express them because this is the only occasion on which Members of Parliament can influence English University reform. We, under the guidance of a Ministry strong in the numbers of their followers, are about to put Parliament into commission in the reform of our English Universities. The Commissioners who absorb our legislative and reforming powers are men attached to the existing system. They may prune and trim the straggling branches, but they are not likely to plough up new ground or to sow new crops for the feeding of the nation. Parliament confers upon them a trust which is solemn and important, for it certainly determines the position of our higher education for a whole generation. They can best fulfil their trust if they extend the advantages of the Universities to all classes which are capable of benefiting by them. They can do this if they develop their teaching power not only in the direction of the learning of the past, but also in that of the present. It is in this development of teaching both literature and science that we must look for a corrective of the evils of excessive examination, which palsies University life in every part of the country. The examination system forced by a stimulus of reward, which we inherit from the Jesuit fathers, has, in its excessive application, destroyed originality in France, and it is fast destroying it in this country. Our Universities are intended for education, and are not places such as my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe) would make them, something like the Scotch Fishery Board, which brands herrings of various qualities, just as my right hon. Friend would brand students, B.A. for low quality, M.A. for the same more mature, and D. for superior quality. A University, in its true and not Chinese sense, is a place of Education. And always keeping this in view, I do not care to join in the movement for diverting its funds to the endowment of research unconnected with educational duties. It is quite true that the means for teaching practical science in the English Universities is, in various sciences, quite insufficient, and that laboratories and museums require de- 1078 velopment, but these are educational agencies. If the Universities will only give fair play to modern as well as to ancient knowledge, not only by efficient teaching but also by a fair proportion of prize Fellowships and Scholarships, research will follow as surely as fruit follows the sowing of the seed. When the Commissions have helped Oxford and Cambridge to adjust their curriculum to modern needs, the Universities will, as they once did, spread their influence over the whole nation, which will again send its poorer sons to them for the knowledge which they give and not for the gold which they offer. But that is rather an aspiration than a belief, for I have little confidence that the Commissions named in the Bills will produce such a result. And so I shall see without a sigh these Bills sacrificed in the impending Slaughter of the Innocents, which must soon be announced to us at this period of the Session.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
I must express great pleasure at the line which the debate has taken this evening. In the position of honourable responsibility of watching the interests of the great University which is the subject of the present debate, I should be unworthy of the trust reposed in me if I regarded the question with any reference to the side of the Houseon which I happen to sit. This is emphatically a question in relation to which Party politics must be put out of sight, with a view to promote the real and permanent good of those great institutions, the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Under these circumstances, I may fairly say that, after much reflection, after considering the matter from many points of view, after having tried as far as I could to master what other people, for whose opinions I entertain respect, have to say about it, my desire and my hope is that the Bill now before the House should become law. I do not consider it to be incumbent upon me to argue whether or not it is cast in the best shape. The question is—taking the Bill as it is, the public discussion which has taken place throughout the country, and the debate of to-night—ought the Bill to go forward or not? In my opinion it ought to go forward; and I think it will go forward with as much general acquiescence, I will not say enthusiastic acquiescence, on the part of this House, as any measure could be 1079 reasonably expected to receive; and from that general acquiescence I will not except even my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke), to whose temperate, well-argued, and thoughtful speech I have listened with much pleasure. My hon. Friend criticized the Bill freely, not unfriendlily; but the upshot of his criticisms was rather, in the first place, to throw out suggestions of Amendments which might well be considered in Committee, and thus to give hints to the Commissioners as to the use of their powers in re-constituting the Universities in the most satisfactory manner. It appears to me that the drift of the discussions which have taken place tends far more to a wise and cautious, than a reckless way of dealing with those institutions. Much weight has been attached to words—sharp, trenchant, and epigrammatic—which have been uttered in "another place." Well, what was behind those words, what it was that led to them, I suppose we do not know, and have no right to ask. But I should argue the other way, and instead of fearing that those words were intended to govern the Bill, I should rather suppose them to be an ebullition of original genius than a key which was to unlock a cabalistic mystery. I come now to a speech to which I listened with much interest and not a little astonishment; I mean the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the two Universities North of the Tweed, Edinburgh and St. Andrews (Mr. Lyon Playfair). I shall not hurt his susceptibilities by calling them anything else than Universities. I shall call them persistently the Universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrews; but I must ask the right hon. Gentleman in return, as a favour, not to call Eton, Harrow, or Rugby, Universities. They are schools, while, like Edinburgh and St. Andrews, they carry out the useful task of educating a large portion of the community, at an age when they have ceased to be boys, and have hardly become men. We need not, however, quarrel over names. But the right hon. Gentleman exhibited so many flashes of chaotic acuteness, and at times seemed so much to appreciate, to understand and to relish the system of our old Universities, that I believe if he had known more about them he would have spoken in a much less critical spirit. All 1080 I can say is, that having a knowledge much less of the Scotch Universities than he has of the English, I do not think that, if I have ventured to speak on a Scotch University Bill, I should have approximated to facts as often as he has done. The right hon. Gentleman started with the assertion that the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford are the holders to an enormous amount of national funds. Now, whatever else their funds may be, national funds are the one thing which they cannot be termed. University Professorships, College Fellowships, Scholarships, Bedelships, prizes, everything, in fact, in the Universities that carries emolument with it, are either paid for out of private endowment, or by current fees. True, the objects of the Universities are national; but to lay down the principle that they are national institutions, sustained by national funds, is to incapacitate yourself from carrying out consistently any well-matured scheme of reform, simply because you misapprehend the body with which you are dealing. Then the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that Cambridge and Oxford are unlike the Scotch Universities, inasmuch as they are institutions for the upper classes, and do not educate the middle and poorer classes. Upon that I take issue with him; but I am sorry to say that I cannot support my argument by full reference to specific facts which, but for conventional scruples, I might bring forward in connection with particular names. Were it not for such considerations, I might designate many distinguished persons, now alive, or who have but lately passed away, who by their honourable struggles raised themselves from humble positions to places of trust and honour, first in the Universities, and then in the Church or in the State, or in the universal republic of literature and science. If I could with propriety reveal these facts, well known as they are to those who are intimate with University life, I think there would be an answer more than complete to the assertion of the right hon. Gentleman, which I am sure he will be the first to regret having made when he looks to-morrow into the columns of some daily paper at what he has said to-night. I do not deny that the Scotch Universities do educate the middle and poorer classes; I believe 1081 that they do. But, perhaps, the difference between the Universities of the two countries is this—that the Scotch Universities, with their Professorships and spacious lecture-rooms, take up the members of the middle and lower classes, educate them, and leave them members of the middle and poorer classes still; whereas Cambridge and Oxford take the same classes, and by their system of prizes, Scholarships, Fellowships, examinations and discipline by their tutorships of which the results are known to the world, raise them to the ranks of that best of aristocracies, the aristocracy of respect, of influence, and of power. But the right hon. Gentleman then went on to inquire what can you do with institutions that will not give a man honours until he is of the age of 23 or 24. No doubt, I will grant it, that we have a complaint at Cambridge now and then, though it may be a fictitious complaint in the sense of that assertion. It is that gentlemen are apt to come to Cambridge from those counties of the United Kingdom which lie north of the Tweed and do not take honours till they are 23 or 24 years of age, so that the indigenous Englishman who goes up for honours at 21 or 22 is apt to find himself over-weighted when pitted against gentlemen who have already graduated and taken honours in institutions which we are forbidden to call schools. So far, and only so far, as that, is there some foundation for this charge of the right hon. Gentleman. Let me now look at this Commission. The first name in the list is that of a Senior Wrangler, the Bishop of Worcester, and he was Senior Wrangler at, I believe, 21, while I know that the man who was Second Wrangler on that examination, and who on the subsequent and co-equal examination for the "Smith's Prizes" beat him, was only 21; that man is now Duke of Devonshire, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. The second name on the Commission is that of Lord Rayleigh, and he, too, was Senior Wrangler at 21. So much, then, for the assertion that the highest honours cannot be got before the age of 23 or 24.
Again, the right hon. Gentleman talked of the "Fellowship fund." He talked of Fellowships as if they were doles, and as if some mysterious authority wrapped up sovereigns in paper, which were then handed out to those 1082 gentlemen of 23 or 24 after passing their examinations. The idea of a Fellowship, as incorporating a man into a great and honourable society, as a profession, as a distinction, a sort of cordon bleu, involving work and responsibility, had not occurred to the right hon. Gentleman; and without this conception of the institution of Fellowships; without the idea of its being—I will not flinch from using the word—a "caste," but a caste of the highest and most useful sort, and like the mediæval order of knighthood carrying duties and obligations with it; without this idea of a Fellowship—which is the idea of our Universities in fact and in deed, but which the right hon. Gentleman showed by his speech of to-night that he cannot realize—he cannot adequately deal with the constitution of our Universities. His one idea of a Fellowship seemed to be that it was given only for proficiency in Greek, Latin, and Mathematics. Has the right hon. Gentleman never heard that Trinity College has given Fellowships for Natural Science? Does he not know that one of the most distinguished Oriental scholars in Europe is a gentleman who rose from a quiet and obscure position to his present eminence, and that he had a special Fellowship given him in the College of one of our Universities on the sole ground of his attainments in Oriental Scholarship? The fact is, that the qualifications for which the Colleges may give their Fellowships are in the hearts of the Colleges themselves. When the curriculum of studies was more contracted, naturally they were given in those branches of study which were then in vogue; but the area of study is ever widening, and as it widens there is no difficulty whatever in widening the conditions upon which a Fellowship is given also. They may be different in different Colleges. Some Colleges give their Fellowships on a specific examination. Others give them as a testimonial for exceptional proficiency. Others accept the test of the degree examination. No doubt the system of examinations may be, and I dare say is, carried too far sometimes; but I own I was startled to hear the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh trace it to such an origin, and describe it as if it were the child of the Jesuits and the grandchild of the Chinese, I 1083 cannot dispute that the examinations of the Scotch Universities may be traceable to the Jesuits and the Chinese; but those at Cambridge and Oxford are the legitimate successors of the disputations in the Middle Ages before Ignatius Loyola was born, or Marco Polo found his way to China, and which assumed their present shape in days when Jesuits would not have been called into counsel. Ladies and the inhabitants of the more distant parts of the United Kingdom are often puzzled by the term "Wrangler." The name is derived from the public disputations in which candidates for degrees formerly took part, so that a Wrangler was a proved disputant, and the Senior Wrangler the best disputant of the year. Question papers to be answered in writing, step by step—it was a gradual process—took the place of those disputations, but there was no breach of continuity. The best men were at one time sought out by disputations, now they are so by a comparison of answers. But to assert that the system of examinations was imported from China, at least in Cambridge or Oxford, is a thing which I have heard for the first time this evening. Then the right hon. Gentleman has another charge. He says, why not bring in outside Commissioners; why should Oxford and Cambridge have each its own Commission composed of members of their own Bodies? My best answer to that is, that the thing was so convenient and natural that, although the Oxford list has been many months before the world, and the different names composing it have been fully canvassed, and although the Cambridge list has been many weeks made public, this particular objection in limine to the Commission of each University being composed of members of its own Body, has for the first time been urged in the debate of to-night. The argument would have been a more plausible one, if the right hon. Gentleman had confined himself to his generalities; but he went on to quote two names of living men, Mr. Huxley and Mr. Froude; and he asked why not put them on the Commission. Well, it is true that Mr. Huxley and Mr. Froude were not on the Commission; but, curiously enough, out of these two names which he has selected one is that of a distinguished Oxford graduate and a former Fellow of Exeter College, Mr. 1084 Froude. So much, then, for that charge.
I turn now to the well-argued speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea. That a speech of that sort should have proceeded from my hon. Friend seems to have raised surprise in the right hon. Gentleman, who said that he was unable to recognise his Radical Friends around him when they had once put on the academic gown; that gown seemed to have cast a glamour over them, so that, "clothed and in their right mind," they walked and talked as good Conservatives! All I can say is, that knowing as I do the strong opinions of my hon. Friend, knowing as I do the remarkable courage with which he never shrinks from bringing forward his principles, whether they are or are not popular, the fact that, with his opinions and antecedents, he could speak of our Universities as he has done is to my mind a convincing proof that the attack of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the two Scotch Universities was prompted by the perfervidum ingenium Scotorum, and not by any solid weight of arguments behind. I come now to the question of "idle" Fellowships. The word "idle" unfortunately attaches to them as a nick-name, which they will, I suppose, not easily shake off. There is no great harm in that, however; they are strong enough to stand a nick-name; but my hon. Colleague has so amply vindicated them that it is unnecessary for me to dwell upon the point, though perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would like to understand what an important position they occupy in our University system. They are not merely prizes for running a successful academic career; they are not merely the means of floating men in their professions, though they have infinite value in this aspect; but they are the regulating and the harmonizing element between learning and intellect on one side and the mere material money-making and spending, which is necessary to keep the high social classes of the country in equilibrium. Reverting, then, to what the right hon. Gentleman spoke, and spoke truly, of the great social advantage of having a priesthood educated along with the laity in a general University, I will extend his argument, and referring not merely to the hierarchy of religion, but to the hierarchy of influence, of learning, and 1085 of law, I say that institutions like this, which bring the élite of the country into the Universities, from which they carry away with them its associations, recollections, and influences, in the quality of Fellows of Colleges, are a great national advantage. My hon. Friend has argued that the 47th clause of the Oxford Bill, and the 53rd clause of the Cambridge Bill, militate against this. All I can say on that is, that I trust those clauses will not be considered by any one as being of the essence of the Bills. I shall wait to hear what is to be said for them by those who advocate them; and, no doubt, my right hon. Friends have a masterly argument for having inserted them. In the meantime, as that argument has not been heard, they are excrescences on the Bills, whether they are good or not. They have nothing to do with the question which lies more immediately within the four corners of the Bill, and I presume will not prejudice anyone for or against it. My hon. Friend found fault with that part of the Bill, and only that part of the Bill, which preserves the status of clerical Fellowships. Whatever may be said of it, it is abundantly clear that once you import a theological difficulty into the Bill—once that you bring into question any further dislocation of the rule of the University—you will have no chance of passing those Bills in the present Session, nor, I believe, for many Sessions to come. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Marylebone (Mr. Forsyth), with characteristic chivalry, dashed into the fray, and gave Notice that he should move to strike out certain words saving clerical Fellowships, and, of course, we shall hear from him what he has to say at the proper time; but, taking up once more the argument of the right hon. Gentleman, and looking at the necessity from my point of view, for the sake of the respublica, of having a clergy not only learned, but enlightened, and with broad views, I am not ashamed to say that that is cheaply purchased by attaching a certain number of those Fellowships to the profession of ministers of the Gospel in that form of religion which is recognized by the State. But plausible as may be the contrary theory, and ready as I should be to listen at a time of greater leisure to the ingenious arguments of clever men in a free fight of 1086 free Churches over general principles, I do not think that any reasonable man would propose to insert the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Scotch Universities for clerical Fellowships on a principle of no preference into a Government measure. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Marylebone was, from his point of view, sentimental over the case of a man who took Holy Orders simply for the material income of a Fellowship. I could be equally sentimental by supposing Law Fellowships to be instituted by the Inns of Court, and men getting them who had no real heart in the work in the noble study of the law. Arguments ad captandum of that class weigh but little against the practical considerations which ought, as society is constituted, to govern our decisions. If they prove anything, they prove too much.
With regard to the so-called "endowment of Research," I think that the general popularity of the argument against that nebulous theory speaks well for this measure as one which is likely to be worked on considerations of practical good sense. Some of the advocates of the endowment of Research fall back upon the antiquarian argument that the Universities of the Middle Ages were what they call institutions for the endowment of Research, and the right hon. Gentleman referred to the long term of years during which the student was left at one of those mediæval Universities so conclusive against the supposition that he was there for all that time as the recipient of teaching. But why was that so? Because there was no institution existing in the world at that time for this peculiar work of developing knowledge besides the Universities. On the one hand, for example, there was no Royal Society, no British Museum, no French Academie: there were none of those institutions; but there was the University. On the other hand, no lay gentleman was expected to carry his literary education further than to be able to write the sign of the Cross, opposite which his chaplain would sign his name. So, too, as to those academies, libraries, and laboratories, which we find in our great cities: these are all the produce of an elaborate and ever-growing civilization, and did not then exist; and in fact, there was then no demand for the 1087 education of the laity. The result was, that Colleges and Universities carried out the work that was then wanted to be done—for no other institutions existed to carry it out—while no attempt was made to supply a want that was not yet known or felt—that of the literary education of the lay upper classes. Now-a-days, therefore, with our libraries and academies on the one hand, and on the other hand the absolute moral and physical necessity of education for the laity, this attempt to rout out those musty references to the 13th or 14th century in favour of these new experiments of modern progress is to shut your eyes to facts in a way that surprises me greatly, Reduce the laity of the present day to the position of the laity of the 13th or 14th century; abolish all the literary institutions and aids to learning in our great cities; and the advocates of the endowment of Research may have something to say for themselves. Until then I leave them to the criticisms of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea. Research is a thing that you cannot endow systematically. Research makes itself. You may endow it indirectly by means of your Fellowships; but I am convinced that if you endow it directly, the endowment of Research would soon become the research of endowment on the part of speculative philosophers. Those words, no doubt, occur in the Bill, and have come into current talk. Indeed, there is an inevitable law affecting Parliamentary language, by which a word, however vague, obtains an illicit and provisional meaning when once it is used in an enacting clause; but I have too much faith in the gentlemen whose names are mentioned in the Bill as Commissioners to suppose that they will ever build up a wall by the endowment of Research to run their own heads against. On these general grounds, then, and trying to divest myself of any feeling of enthusiasm one way or the other, while endeavouring to look at the matter impartially, I trust that the Bill will not only be read a second time to-night—that is saying very little, for the state of these benches shows it to be impossible that it should not be read to-night—but that it will go through its other stages in the present Session. No doubt our Order Book is most painfully full of important matter. It is in reality an 1088 appalling document at this date in July; but the question of the Universities has been raised, and has excited a certain amount of alarm. That alarm has, however, now died away, and a moderate, a reasonable, and a practical interpretation has been put upon those proposals, which gives the assurance that they will be worked so as to carry out not what some people have said of them, but what they say of themselves; and I appeal to Her Majesty's Government, I appeal to all the Members of this House, to sacrifice a little time in completing this important work. If, when the Herodian decree goes forth, these Bills fall in the Massacre of the Innocents, an opportunity will be given for agitation throughout the Recess. They will be canvassed and questioned by the schools of thought, which are represented by the unlearned enthusiasm of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Andrew's and Edinburgh Universities. The fallacies which he has scattered broadcast to-night will be taken up by interested coteries, and the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford will be denounced as not national, but sectional and aristocratic institutions. A feeling will be raised which does not now exist, and the subject will be much more difficult to deal with next year. Therefore, I must make an earnest, a serious, and respectful appeal to my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government to endeavour to pass these Bills in the present Session. I am sure that he will pass them if he can. I know there are difficulties in the way; but they may be overcome by putting off, if necessary, other measures on the Order Book which do not ramify into those considerations of a moral order, out of which distemperature most certainly arises, and which can therefore better bear to be postponed.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
said, the hon. and learned Member for the Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Osborne Morgan) had said on a previous occasion that if some Rip Van Winkle could return to the English Universities he would no longer think they were the same places which they were 20 years ago. If some political Rip Van Winkle returned to this House and listened to the debates on the question now before it he would have a contrary impression, and believe that there had been no change at all in the relation of political parties. From the Liberal side of the 1089 House had been heard little but allusions to ancient institutions, the objectionable character of change, the sacredness of existing interests, and alarm at the revolutionary character of the measure. The powers conferred on the Commissioners were said to be too large, unlimited, and ill-defined. But it must be recollected that definition almost implied limitation, and it was one of the faults of the Commission of 1854 that, partly owing to the limitation of its powers, it left many important questions entirely untouched. If there was any fault to be found with the powers conferred upon the Commissioners, it was that they were not large enough. For example, he could not see that under the Bill the Commissioners would be able to deal with the government of the University. As regarded the settlement of 1854, the burden of proof lay upon those who said that the Bill proposed to reverse it, and he had not as yet been able to hear such a proof even attempted. In his opinion, the Bill proposed to act in the spirit of the measure of 1854, while extending reforms in new directions. They were told that the noble Chancellor of the University of Oxford had uttered certain sentiments, and that it might be anticipated that the University Commissioners would act in the spirit of those sentiments. For himself, he would not say whether the sentiments attributed to the noble Marquess—for whom he entertained the highest respect—were or were not justifiable; but could it be supposed that the Commissioners would feel themselves bound to act in accordance with the language of a particular speech instead of remembering that their business was to hear evidence, and to act according to the facts brought under their notice? It would be equally logical to say that the Cambridge Commissioners would take their tone from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who proposed the second reading of the Bill, which had been said to be the exact opposite of the speech of the noble Maquess. He would now observe on some observations which had fallen from particular Members. The noble Lord the Member for Bury (Lord Francis Hervey) seemed to suggest that if the University wanted money they might make it by increasing the revenue of the University Press, the funds of which he said were wasted in publishing inferior educational 1090 work of an elementary kind. It was not his business to defend the University Press at Oxford, more especially as the facts and figures of the noble Lord had since been declared to be imperfect and misleading. He believed, however, he might say that the publications of the University Press bore a high character, and that in associating itself with the general education of the country, it had taken a step which would meet with general approval. In regard to the composition of the Commission, without thinking it necessary to adopt every statement that had been made about individuals, he could not help feeling that his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe) expressed a general feeling when he attacked the composition of the Oxford Commission, and he rejoiced to think that the Cambridge Commissioners were so different a body. He would suggest to the Government that they should insert the Cambridge Commissioners into the Oxford Bill, and he assured them that Cambridge would not ask for reciprocity. He hoped that in any case the Government would allow two more names to be added to the Commission—names such as those of Lord Cardwell and Professor Henry Smith. The observations of the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge reminded him of Lord Chatham's saying that England had withstood the Roman invasion, the Danish invasion, and the Norman invasion, but he doubted whether she would be able to withstand the Scotch invasion. In the case of those who competed for the highest University honours, he thought it was not just that men should be kept back for the special purpose of competition. He considered that a certain limit of age should be fixed, for there were cases now when men competed who were nearer 30 than 20 years of age. By endowment of Research he (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) should understand something of this kind—that funds might be expended on the promotion of special studies by the University, the building of laboratories, and the purchase of apparatus. Surplus money could in that way be profitably applied. Certain Colleges might, with advantage, devote themselves to special branches of learning or science. The main features of the Bill he cordially approved. What were the cir- 1091 cumstances which had caused a demand to arise for University reform? They were these:—Under the old system a successful candidate for a Fellowship frequently took Orders, which enabled him to hold his Fellowship for a considerable period, during which he did College work, and at the end of which he took a living. The livings acted as a retirement fund. A considerable degree of permanence was thereby secured to the teaching career at the University. Now, however, owing to a variety of reasons upon which it was unnecessary to enter, great reluctance existed among the Fellows of Colleges to take Holy Orders. They consequently had to resign their Fellowships at the end of a limited number of years, and they could not take College livings. There was consequently no permanence in the teaching career, and considerable difficulty was found, owing to the competition of other professions, to induce men to devote themselves to an educational career, and the double evil existed of teachers holding office for very brief periods and never gaining experience, and of the teachers themselves being selected from a more limited area. Another great change had also of late years come over the University. He alluded to the introduction of modern studies, and especially of natural science, which had brought with it great needs in the way of apparatus, laboratories, and buildings. Teachers were wanted for these subjects, for modern philosophy, and modern history, not to mention other subjects, as well as for the ancient languages and mathematics. At the same time, there had been an actual increase in the number of Undergraduates at the University—that was to say, of persons wishing to be taught, and the University even proposed to carry its work beyond its own walls into the large towns. Thus it might be said that a great increase in the educational demand had coincided with a great diminution of the educational supply. There was yet another evil which the changes to which he had alluded made more conspicuous. Each College formally professed to be able to give a complete education with its own staff. There was always a great waste of educational power, because men might be found teaching the same subjects at the same time at two different Colleges; but the weakness of this system became doubly 1092 apparent when the number of subjects to be taught increased. He hoped he had now shown that to give permanence to the teaching career and to organize the teaching body in all the various branches of study and research were the two main objects of University reform. In order to accomplish these ends it would be necessary to abolish the artificial restraints, of whatever character, which hampered the educational career. He might add, in addition to what he had said on the subject of clerical restrictions, that the Commissioners would probably have to consider how far they might be able to relax the rule which made celibacy a condition of retaining a Fellowship. In order that the teaching body should be more efficiently organized, it would be necessary to take further steps in the direction of bringing the teachers of various branches of study into communication with each other, and filling up any gaps which might exist in the present system. It was only natural that the University which largely represented the Colleges, and at the same time was independent of them, should take the lead in this reform. The University of Cambridge had recently appointed a Syndicate to consider the question, and the report of that Syndicate was before the House.It is evident," that Report said, that "considerable additional teaching power is required in most departments of University study. Without entering, however, upon a detailed examination of the requirements specified by the Boards of Study, the Syndicate think that these requirements may be partially met (1) by an improved organization of the present Inter-Collegiate system; and (2) by the establishment of a new class of University teachers. There shall be held once a-year, or oftener, if the Boards think it desirable, a conference of the Professors, University Readers, and recognized Inter-Collegiate Lecturers in each branch of study, for the purpose of arranging a plan of combined action in teaching, and of considering and determining a scheme of lectures, such scheme to be submitted to the Board, and if approved by it published at the beginning of the academical year by its authority.Of a similar character were two of the recommendations of a Memorial addressed to the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli). That Memorial recommended that a permanent professional career should be, as far as possible, secured to resident educators and students, whether married or not; that provision should be 1093 made for the association of the Colleges, or of some of them, for educational purposes, so as to secure more efficient teaching, and to allow the teachers more leisure for private study. In order, however, that the University should be able to play its proper part, it was necessary that the University should be independent. As matters now stood, the Colleges were rich and the Universities poor—the Colleges powerful and the Universities weak. In an early period of history the University had been independent; but probably owing to their superior wealth the Colleges had gradually got the upper hand, till at last nobody who did not belong to the Colleges was allowed to become an Undergraduate. The Act of 1854 had taken the first step in emancipating the University. The introduction of non-collegiate students was another step in the same direction. It was now necessary to go further. Hence the third recommendation of the Memorial—that the pecuniary and other relations existing between the University and the Colleges should be revised. Such, then, were the main objects of University Reform and the means of attaining those objects in the opinion of those persons most competent to judge. The question remained—from what sources could funds be obtained for the University? He himself would propose that they should at once abolish that comparatively useless position of Heads of Houses. He believed it could be shown that after making provision for the discharge of the necessary duties now performed by them, at least £15,000 a-year would remain. At Oxford, All Souls' College might, with advantage, be wound up, and its funds transferred to the University. At Cambridge a similar course might be pursued with Sydney College. He now approached the question of Fellowships, as to which so much had been said, and such contradictory opinions expressed. He also felt that a great deal of unjust prejudice had been created against then on-resident Fellows by a small body of their number who, imitating the language of Oriental romance, in which people were described as the "Light of the Harem," and the "Glory of the Flower Garden," had described themselves as the "Light of the Bar Mess," the "Glory of the Country Vicarage," 1094 and the "Chief Support of Periodical Literature." That language had been expressly disowned by other non-resident Fellows, and he trusted the House would not allow itself to be prejudiced by it. There could be no doubt that there was a question connected with these Fellowships, and it was precisely one of those best left to a Commission which could examine it in detail; and, considering that these schemes could be canvassed if necessary in Parliament, the non-resident Fellows might probably rest assured that no injustice would be done them. A certain number of non-resident Fellowships might either be abolished or all the Fellowships, resident and non-resident alike, might be taxed for University purposes. He approached the question himself with diffidence. Many of his own most intimate friends were non-resident Fellows, and it was difficult not to be influenced, even if unconsciously, by the circumstance. Again, it was impossible not to feel that there was a great deal to be said for as well as against the non-resident system. It served to a certain extent as a link between rich and poor, and it helped to keep up a high standard of education by increasing competition. On the other hand, it might fairly be argued that the educational needs of the University and the Colleges ought to be the first charge on University and Collegiate funds; that for one career outside the University which a non-resident Fellowship might be the means of opening to a poor man, the foundation of an educational post inside the University, with the funds appropriated from a Fellowship, would open another, and that more could be done for poor men by cheapening the cost of education generally within the University than by throwing down a certain number of salaries to be scrambled for by the ablest men, who often were very well off pecuniarily. He now asked himself, did the Bill make it possible to organize study, to give permanence to the teaching staff, to alter the pecuniary relations of the University and the Colleges? The 15th and 16th clauses, which were the enacting clauses of the Bill, evidently did. These were the clauses of the most importance, and he believed they did most of what was required. He might regret that the abolition of clerical Fellowships was left to the Commissioners' discretion instead 1095 of being expressly directed; he might regret that the powers of clerical visitors were left untouched; he might wonder what object there was in giving the Archbishop of Canterbury an ex-officio connection with or rather control over the Universities which he did not now possess; he might wish the Bill recognized the great work being done by the Universities in the large towns. But those were subordinate points; and having now gone through the preliminary objections to the measure and shown that they were either based upon a misconception of facts or sprang from Conservative ideas with which he had no sympathy, having also shown that the condition of the University required reform and that the Bill promised the reform needed, he would leave it to the House to judge whether it would not do wisely to urge on the Government to proceed with that measure which they could easily pass, and not allow it to be lost in the sands of July.
§ MR. MARTEN,
as representing a constituency largely interested in this subject and as having formerly been a Fellow of one of the Colleges of Cambridge University, wished to make a few observations on the question. The hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) had objected to such large powers being conferred upon the Commissioners. He quite admitted that the House should regard with great jealousy large and indefinite powers being given to any body of Commissioners; but, on the other hand, the powers so given must vary with the circumstances of each case. It should not be forgotten that one Commission had already exercised very large powers with regard to the Universities to the thorough satisfaction of Parliament, and that the powers given by the present measure were restricted by very efficient safeguards. The House might therefore entrust the Commissioners with these great powers in the full assurance that if they came to any decision which was open to question it would, in the first instance, be considered by the Universities Committee and afterwards by Parliament. The composition of the Commission itself formed an important element in determining the question, especially when it was remembered that the members of the Commission were unexceptionable, and that each College 1096 had the right to send one Commissioner to protect its interests. An entirely new Governing Body of the Colleges, including the Fellows and graduates, was constituted by the Bill. This new Governing Body would have power to make regulations which would have the same effect as though they had been made by the Commissioners; but in this connection it was important to remember that in the University of Cambridge the ordinary government of each College was left in the hands of the Master, and the Senior Fellows, which last must have arrived at the standing of Masters of Arts. In this Bill, as it stood, there was no restriction, nor was there any rule laid down either as to the date at which the annual or other meetings of the Governing Bodies should be held, or the notices which should be given of the business to be brought forward. These were points on which he thought distinct rules ought to be laid down, and when the Bill reached the Committee stage he should be prepared to move Amendments tending in this direction. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Playfair) had made several important suggestions in reference to the Bill; but he had gone a little astray in complaining, as a grievance, that the Universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrew's were described in the Bill as "schools" merely. The same observation applied to the University of Oxford, as described in the Cambridge Bill; and, though he had no absolute knowledge on the point, he had little doubt that a similar remark would apply to the Oxford Bill. Furthermore, the right hon. Gentleman had stated that in the English Universities the facilities for education were confined to the rich classes; but, as a matter of fact, sizarships were in existence at Cambridge, by means of which many poor men had been educated, and some of them had afterwards risen to positions of high distinction. As to the question of age the right hon. Gentleman had been misled, for the Minor scholarships were confined to students under 20. The right hon. Gentleman also spoke of the enormous bribe which was needed to maintain the study of Greek and Latin, and suggested that young men flocked to the University for the purpose of obtaining the gold which he said was lavishly scattered 1097 about. It was true that a great many students could not afford to go to the University if it were not for the Scholarships and Fellowships; but he could say with the greatest confidence of successful students that they prized more than anything else the honour obtained in open competition. The right hon. Gentleman could not have seen all the laboratories, as in some Colleges they were excellent. The subject of research had been magnified far beyond what it deserved. Those who were advocates for the endowment of research were only reproducing the idea of "idle" Fellowships. Why had such Fellowships been founded? Not for the purpose of teaching, but in order that learned persons might, with a modest endowment, have sufficient leisure for pursuing general research. Then, as regarded non-resident Fellows, the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) said that those who were late Fellows would be in favour of those Fellowships. Not only would late Fellows, but all, he thought, who had experienced the benefit of that particular system would be slow to advocate its total abolition. A University was a comprehensive and many-sided institution, and one limb could not be removed without serious risk of injury to the efficiency of the whole body; and non-resident Fellows presented this advantage, that when they come up to College they maintained their relations with it and brought the leaven of active life to those remaining at College and labouring in the ordinary work of tuition, to the great advantage of the College. Then, again, the noble Lord had suggested the total abolition of the Heads of Houses. That was a proposition which certainly ought not to be adopted without mature consideration. Although the Heads of Houses had comparatively little duties to perform, they had great responsibilities in respect of the government and management of the Colleges, and they were by no means idle men; on the contrary, they were among the hardest-worked men of the University. If they abolished the Heads of Houses they should provide some other means of government, and should probably resort to elected and annual governors, a system which answered very well in municipal corporations, but would not, he thought, be suited to a University. It was de- 1098 sirable that University Scholarships should be increased. The proposal that power should be given to the Colleges to lend money to the Universities was one which would be gladly accepted. There was one thing the Colleges would be very willing to lend money to the University for—namely, for necessary buildings, and also for any other purposes which might be approved. For his part, he hoped the Bill would become law this Session, because he was certain that, at least so far as Cambridge was concerned, it would give entire satisfaction. Whatever difference of opinion there might be as to the mode in which the various changes proposed might ultimately be carried out, it was felt that the Bills were calculated to produce great advantage to the Universities, and through them to the progress of learning throughout the kingdom.
MR. GRANT DUFF
Sir, before expressing any opinion even upon the larger features of the scheme of reform proposed by Her Majesty's Government for the University of Oxford, I wish to say that I approach the subject with a sincere desire to agree with as much and to disagree with as little of it as possible. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Hardy) and I have voted in different Lobbies about Oxford affairs many a time, but not a few of the questions on which we voted have been settled; and as they were settled not in the way he wished, but in the way I wished, it is the more natural that on matters which do not involve differences of political principle I should be inclined to support him. Now, I understand that the essence of the Bill is that the revenues of the University and Colleges should be better distributed, with a view to the interest:—First, of religion; second, of education; third, of learning; fourth, of research: and that these objects should be effected by the agency of a Commission, selected not for the purpose of carrying out foregone conclusions, but simply for the purpose of making the best scheme which can be made, after a fair consideration of all relevant facts and opinions. If, Sir, that is the essence of the Bill, then I must claim to be thus far an ardent supporter. The problem before us seems to me this—Given the vast revenues of Oxford, how can they be distributed so as while you keep all that is best and 1099 most distinctive in Oxford, to engraft on it all that is best in the other leading Universities of the world? Now, the things most distinctive of Oxford are its charming situation, its buildings, its gardens, its great traditions, and its social life. As to them, all the supporters and all the opponents of the Bill will, I doubt not, be quite agreed. Then, again, there will practically be no difference as to the first object to which the revenues of the Universities and Colleges are, under this Bill, to be appropriated. Persons at Oxford and persons here may have all kinds of different views about religion; but I presume it is quite understood that no one intends by this measure, or any measure that may be substituted for it in its passage through Parliament, to make any change in the religious observances hitherto practised in Oxford. These, I understand, are by common consent to be left as they are, although we may have differences of opinion as to the relations of various offices to the Established Church, after the usual religious observances have been provided for.
MR. SPEAKER (interposing)
said, that the Bill before the House referred to the government of the University of Cambridge, and it was not competent for the hon. Member to discuss the details of the Oxford Bill on the present occasion.
MR. GRANT DUFF
said, that the House had agreed to the second reading of the Oxford Bill on the distinct understanding that the fullest opportunity would be given upon the Cambridge Bill for discussing all the matters that could have been debated on the Oxford measure.
Divergence of opinion and action will begin with the second head—that of education. It has long been said outside of Oxford, and has been very generally admitted in Oxford, that the education she gives deals too much with words and too little with things. There is no doubt that the Commission of a quarter of a century ago resulted in very considerable improvement in this as in other respects; but whereas the system in vogue before the changes of the last generation—changes of which that Commission was a part—erred in concentrating attention too much upon the text and contents of a limited number of books, the present system errs in en- 1100 couraging too much a sophistical turn of mind and an over-ready power of making more or less clever observations upon many subjects connected with these books. The new schools would if they had had fair play have neutralized this tendency. But they never have had fair play, and it is the philosophical teaching of the University which gives, and has long given, the tone to the mind of the place—philosophy, or "science," as it used invariably to be called in Oxford, meaning there merely the opinions of speculatists, chiefly about things with regard to which opinions vary continually, not a knowledge of the ascertained facts of the Universe, or any part of them. I am far from denying that this study as now pursued in Oxford is much more fruitful than it used to be 30 years ago; but, improved as it is, it still holds too large a place in her curriculum. This defect, which ramifies in a thousand directions, being hardly disputed, except by people who have grown up so completely under the influence of the present system as to have their mental vision distorted, I think the Government acted quite wisely in placing the duty of attending to the interests of education very high amongst the objects of the present Bill. But there are other defects in the present system of things at Oxford which are not less grave in themselves than the defects in her plan of education, and which re-act upon it with most mischievous results. She is doing far too little either for learning or research; in fact, she is doing so little for either of these that some people have really, it would seem, forgotten that their promotion is one of the main objects of a University worthy of the name. To think of a University merely as an educating body is altogether to lower the old conception, and nothing is more certain than that a University into which fresh streams of truth are being continually brought by the exertions of those who live in it, will be infinitely more successful than a University which gives its whole attention to teaching, for it is always the newest knowledge that is most stimulating. This defect, again, is admitted by most people who have the interests of the University at heart; and, again, I think the Government has done quite rightly in placing the interests of learning and research amongst those which it desired to ad- 1101 vance by this Bill. Well then, how are these defects to be cured? To this I should reply—in order to cure these defects a great many changes must be made; and first, there must be a considerable increase to the Professoriate. It is to the last degree disgraceful that at such a University as Oxford any branch of human knowledge which is recognized by the other great Universities of the world should not be taught, excepting always branches of learning which have merely a local importance, or which there is some good reason for not teaching—as, for instance, from there being a place in the immediate neighbourhood where they are specially well taught. Why should Oxford strike her flag to Berlin or Heidelberg, or any other University on the face of the earth? Are they richer than she? Are they more dignified than she? Have they to minister to a nation which has more world-wide interests than ours? A noble Lord recently used as an illustration of useless Professorships—Professorships of Chinese and Slavonic. Sir, it seems to me difficult to speak with sufficient shame of a nation which has our position in Asia not having had till the other day a Professorship of Chinese in the wealthiest of its Universities. Did the noble Lord forget that China is inhabited by some 360,000,000 of men? that she has the oldest and most extraordinary civilization in the world; that we have commercial relations with her of great importance; and that a change that might at any time come about in the policy of that country might increase these relations quite enormously. Is there anyone who has given attention to the subject who will deny that it is possible that within the next 50 years the Chinese race may be playing a part of first-rate importance in the world? So much for the direct importance of Chinese; but is that all? Just listen to what one of the leading philologists in Oxford says on this very subject—The importance of Chinese," says Mr. Sayce, "to the science of language need not be pointed out, nor the mass of literature described which its study has called forth; and yet those only who have devoted their attention to the science of language can have any idea of the loss occasioned to it at Oxford by the absence there of a Chair of Chinese. How much would not the Oxford students of language have given for on opportunity of questioning and listening to a Professor of Chinese, whom it has been left 1102 to the far-sightedness of some Liverpool merchants to call to the University.And Slavonic.—I only wish that we had had for many years back Professorships of more than one of the Slavonic languages. Perhaps, if we had had them, the present difficulties in the East would not be so perplexing as they are. I entreat anyone to whom such a remark may appear strange to turn to the collected works of one of the most brilliant and gifted of English scholars, the late Lord Strangford, a most devoted son of Oxford, and read the masterly, the admirable paper entitled Chaos, which deals with this very subject. People who talk as the noble Lord talked have surely not the faintest idea, either of the vastness of the field over which human knowledge extends, or of what other nations are doing in cultivating that field. Some time ago, Professor Max Müller was asked what Chairs should be founded in Oxford in connection with his own subject. To this question he replied, inter alia, as follows:—If it were wished to establish at Oxford a real School of Comparative Philology, the following Professorships would be necessary:—[Laughter.] Hon. Members laugh, and very naturally; but we are dealing with University affairs, and we must introduce words and subjects very unfamiliar to our usual debates. Mr. Max Müller goes on to observe—
- 1. A Professorship of the Teutonic languages;
- 2. A Professorship of the Celtic languages;
- 3. A Professorship of the Neo-Latin languages;
- 4. A Professorship of the Semitic languages, independent of the Professorship of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis; 5. A Professorship of Persian, including Zend;6. A Professorship of the language and antiquities of Egypt; 7. A Professorship of Chinese, coupled, if possible, with Tartaric and Mongolic."Such a Staff, though it may seem large, exists in almost every University in France, Germany, and even Russia, the Professor being expected not only to teach and prepare pupils for examination, but to inspire them with a love of special subjects, to carry on the work handed down by former generations, and to increase as much as possible the inherited capital of knowledge by means of original research.Now, I beg the House to consider this statement. It sounds strange to us, but if other great nations act thus, can it be so very unreasonable? Mr. Max Müller proceeds to say—Considering the peculiar duties which England has undertaken to fulfil in India, a Professorship of the Neo-Sanscritic languages (Ben- 1103 gali, Hindustani, Mahratti, &c.), and of the Dravidian languages (Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, &c.), would likewise seem to be required in the first University of the English Empire.The non-existence at Oxford of any adequate representation of the various branches of knowledge which are specially Indian, is surely one of the very strangest phenomena observable in Europe. There died the other day a great Persian scholar who had made his fame in a land not his own. If an English student wanted to attend the lectures of M. Jules Mohl, whither had he to go—to an English University? No—to the Collège de France. Yet, what interests has France in Persia, or Persian, at all comparable to ours? The noble Lord the Under Secretary for India will correct me if I am wrong when I say that the decay of Persian learning amongst Indian officers is a serious practical inconvenience—an inconvenience which has attracted the attention of Government and to which it is not easy to apply a remedy. Quite recently several of the Indian languages have become recognized at Oxford; but I remember when there was not even a teacher of Hindustani; and to this hour if any one wants to have a notion of what is doing in current Indian literature, he must turn again to the Collège de France and read the annual statement of one of its Professors, M. Garcin de Tassy. Let any one who cares for the good name of Oxford look at what the Orientalists have done since the days of Sir William Jones, and then count up what share Oxford has had in that splendid page of human history. It is getting late, but it is not yet too late for her still to take her part. Can the present generation of her children really wish that her historians in the end of next century shall not have a very different tale to tell from what could be told of her now? What should we think of any other nation which had such an appanage as India and did not recognize it in its greatest national University? Do the Dutch at Leyden ignore their Eastern possessions? Very far from it. The mere fact that Haileybury was created far away from either Oxford or Cambridge, speaks volumes as to the melancholy state in which they were in those days. Of course it is an open question how far certain minor branches of knowledge, especially professional knowledge, 1104 which are well taught in London, should be taught at Oxford or Cambridge. If the Inns of Court, which are doing their duty better than they used to do, were doing all their duty, I suppose some departments of law might be left quite unrepresented at Oxford, at least, till more pressing wants had been supplied. And what may be said of law may be said, I presume, even more confidently, of medicine. In such a study again as engineering, Oxford might most reasonably decline competition with Cambridge, and so with all departments of mathematical inquiry not hitherto represented within her walls. The accidents of history have made Cambridge the great mathematical University, and it would be a waste of revenue to compete with her. But how stands the case with regard to one of Oxford's own subjects—with theology. Any one who inquires will find out that the higher branches of theology are hardly represented at all. Now, unless we are prepared to say that these studies are not worth encouraging—and I trust it has not quite come to that—there is a hiatus in our organization which should immediately be supplied. Any one who cares to see how great our wants are, should read the paper on this subject by a working theologian in the volume lately published by the Rector of Lincoln, entitled the Endowment of Research. Some people say—What is the good of increasing the number of Professors, seeing that those you have already get so very few to come to their lectures? Of course, those you have already get very few to come to their lectures—and why? Because the University has adopted one of the strangest plans for neutralizing its own efforts that it ever entered into the heart of man to conceive. First, it takes a large sum of money and devotes this to paying Professors—many of them men of great ability and capable of carrying their hearers very far in their respective subjects. This done the University takes a very much larger sum of money and singling out a few subjects from amongst those which the Professors teach says to all persons in statu pupillari—the last thing I want you to do is to follow any of my Professors very far into his particular subject. I want you to regulate your reading by my examinations, which have nothing in the world to do, except 1105 on the rarest occasions, with Professorial lectures. Side by side, however, with the Professorial lectures you will find another system in active operation worked by College tutors and private tutors. Throw yourself into that—succeed in it, and I will shower down on you honours and emoluments. No wonder that the academic youth leave the Professor's lectures and go in crowds to the College tutors and the private tutors. Besides in my time, and I suppose to this day attending your College tutor's lectures was a matter of obligation, and these lectures were so arranged as to have made it very difficult for any one to have regularly attended Professorial lectures, even if he had wished to do so; but hardly any one did wish to do so, or could wish to do so, when doing so was quite foreign to the spirit of the place, and would unquestionably have in the case of any man who was likely to do well in the schools been made a subject of grave remonstrance by College authorities and friends. If, however, all this is changed; if a very large part of the money which the University now uses to bribe young men not to go to its own Professor's lectures is taken away, there is no reason why the Professor's lectures should not be attended at Oxford just as they are at any other University. But, after all, you do not want Professors merely for the purpose of teaching students, you want them for two other purposes—First, to represent their particular subject, and to influence by so doing the general body of learned opinion in the University; and, secondly, to push on their own subject by experiment or editing of new texts or otherwise as the case may be. One of the very best ways to advance the interests of learning and research is to create Professorships with certain moderate but well-defined duties in the way of publishing the results arrived at, whether by lectures or in transactions as would often be better. An hon. Friend of mine told us in the early part of the evening that Stanislas Julien had only three pupils. But surely that very case showed that teaching was not the only duty of a Professor. My hon. Friend would be the last man to deny that Stanislas Julien had done a great deal for our knowledge of China. The leisure which his Professorship gave him enabled him 1106 to push on the study in which he excelled very greatly indeed. I daresay the Professor of the Semitic languages at the Collège de France had only three or four pupils. Why should he have a large number? No one wants any large portion of the youths of France or England either to study the Semitic languages. What is wanted is some one fit to teach the few that do, and, further, a man able to add to what is known as about Semitic antiquity not by pupils, but by Professors. But although the founding of Professorships, or sub-Professorships, or Lectureships, either permanent or occasional, is one very good way of endowing research, it is not the only way, and there should be ample funds at the command of the University for stimulating research, not often, or even generally carried on within her walls. Those who find any difficulty in this, have surely never reflected how all branches of knowledge hang together, and in how many ways success in one direction enables enquirers to advance in some apparently at first sight quite different direction. Thus far, then, I think I have shown that I quite agree with the purpose of the Government, and now I want to say a little on the way in which it proposes to carry its object into effect. It proposes to create a Commission. I listened with very great interest to the trenchant observations of my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London upon the composition of that Commission and upon the characters of its individual members—observations which exhibited, as all will admit, the most engaging frankness; and when my right hon. Friend was examining, for example, the character of Lord Selborne, whom he had known intimately for fifty years, I had nothing to do but to listen. When, however, he came to the character of Sir Henry Maine, my position was different—for if I had not known Sir Henry Maine for fifty years I had known him extremely intimately for three and twenty years in all sorts of situations and capacities, and I must take leave to dissent from the view of him which was given us by my right hon. Friend. My right hon. Friend was quite misinformed when he said that Sir Henry Maine was the alter ego of Lord Salisbury. He is nothing of the kind. He is a man far too original and far too 1107 independent to be the alter ego of Lord Salisbury or of any one else, and it is no disparagement to one whose ability those of us who have sat many years in this House have had many opportunities of estimating and admiring, to say that on University subjects and on Indian subjects Lord Salisbury would be much more likely to be the alter ego of Sir Henry Maine than Sir Henry Maine of Lord Salisbury. But the truth of the matter is that they are simply two extremely able men, who chance upon several matters which happen to be before the public at this moment to have come, from very different sides, to the same conclusions. To-morrow they may come to different conclusions; and, if so, they will frankly act upon their conclusions, for neither of them is in any sort of way bound to agree with the other. I have seen much more of the working of the Council of the Secretary of State for India than any man now in this House, and I may say that the position of a Member of the Secretary of State's Council is one of perfect independence. If he is a sensible man he will of course wish to support the Secretary of State when he can, just as the Secretary of State will in his turn always wish to carry his Council with him. Unless this disposition prevails on both sides Indian business will be badly done; but no Member of Council of whom it could be truly said that he was the alter ego, or anything like the alter ego, of the Secretary of State would be expected either by his fellow Councillors or by the Secretary of State himself—
§ MR. MAITLAND
rose to Order. He wished to point out that the observations which the hon. Gentleman had just made, and his reference to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London on the Oxford University Bill, were not relevant to the question before the House.
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, he had already called the hon. Member to Order, but he understood that it was the wish of the House that both the University Bills should be discussed as one.
MR. GRANT DUFF proceeded
It was quite necessary for me to enter into these details in justice both to Sir Henry Maine and to the Indian Council, but I now return to the main line of my argument. I am not going to add any- 1108 thing to the adverse comments which others have made on the names of the Commission, nor am I going to suggest any new names, but surely there are two most palpable omissions. Is it possible that in the present state of science any Government should be satisfied without having some person to represent the sciences into which life enters, the same which used to be, roughly speaking, lumped together under the name of natural history? Mr. Justice Grove, of course, represents one side of science, but how has the other side fared? Is there any one who knows or cares anything about it on the Commission as at present constituted? Again, have we not a great deal to learn from Foreign Universities? Is there any one on the Commission who knows anything whatever about these. My right hon. Friend who has charge of this Bill will, in his capacity of Minister of Public Destruction, admit that the War Office has learned much from Germany. I can hardly think that he will maintain that in the capacity he temporarily fills, of Minister of Public Instruction, he has nothing to learn from the countrymen of Moltke, and Goeben, and Roon. There should be manifestly on the Commission some one who either knows already, or will, for the purposes of the Commission, make a special study of at least the German Universities. The addition of two such members as I have suggested seems to me of most urgent necessity. This is no Party question. I, for one, am nearly indifferent to the political opinions of the persons to be selected, but not to have two such persons on the Commission will expose us to the ridicule of all Europe. There are various provisions in the Bill to which exception must be taken at the proper time, as, for instance, the proposal that three members of a College should be elected by that College to sit with the Commissioners—a most unfortunate arrangement, and one likely to cost the Commissioners a great deal of trouble. I will not, however, dwell upon any of these points at present, because I wish to concentrate attention upon the Commission. If that Commission is strengthened by the addition of two such members as I have mentioned, I think we can with some confidence hand over the University and its Colleges to their manipulation; but if the present Commission is 1109 to remain as it is, then I think it will be the duty of those who sit on this side strongly to oppose the further progress of the Bill. The wish, however, which we have expressed is so reasonable, is so absolutely without bearing upon any question that is open between the two Parties, that I should hope the Government would entertain it favourably. It cannot be their object to create a Commission which is wanting in such essential elements as the representation of one whole side of science, and the presence of some person who has an acquaintance with what other nations have done for the higher education of their people. The little volume which I have in my hand gives a bird's-eye view of the vast Professorial activity of Germany, and that that Professorial activity results in an astounding literary and scientific activity. Mr. Appleton, a member of a most Conservative College—of Archbishop Laud's own College, writes as follows:—In Oxford, the actual additions to knowledge that are made in the course of a generation in the old traditional studies of Latin and Greek philology are, as compared with what is done in Germany, almost inappreciable. Perhaps I may be allowed to speak with some authority on this point, as it so happens that the whole learned and scientific literature of England and the Continent comes in some form or other regularly before me year by year. And I do not think that I am doing England an injustice when I say that, whilst the annual product in Germany of original investigations in the sphere of the classical languages and literatures amounts to something like 200 distinct works, those produced by England in the same time and in the same province do not exceed a dozen. I may quote also a similar opinion expressed recently by Dr. Frankland in his evidence before the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction, with respect to the comparative amount of original work contributed by England and by Germany respectively to chemical science. He says—'A year or two ago I took the trouble to look out in regard to chemistry the number of original investigations made in each country during one year…In the year 1866, which was the year I enquired, 1,273 papers were published by 805 chemists. Of these, Germany contributed 445 authors and 777 papers; France, 170 authors and 245 papers; the United Kingdom, 97 authors and 127 papers. I may mention, however, speaking exclusively of chemistry—for I have not gone into the other sciences—that as far as research in Great Britain depends upon our scientific training, our case is much worse than appears from this comparison, because a large proportion of those papers contributed by the United Kingdom were the work of Germans residing in this country, but who had not been trained in this country.'1110 He then goes on to quote some most interesting statistics of the comparative literary activity of the two countries in 1873, statistics which are again not to our advantage; and I beg the House to remember that from the beginning of 1866 to the end of 1873, not literature and science, but politics and war, were the chief occupations of Germany. Within that period she revolutionized all her political arrangements, struck down two great Empires, and fought some of the most tremendous battles that are recorded in history. At the beginning of last century the German Universities were far inferior to our own. A little more than a hundred years later they were far in advance of them; but there is nothing to prevent their respective positions being entirely reversed before the year 1900, if we are only wise now—if, that is, we take the trouble, in reforming our Universities, to pay regard to what other nations have been doing; and if we further remember that a University which does not, at least, try to advance within its walls, as well as to teach, every branch of human knowledge, which there is not some special reason for its not teaching, is not such a University as a great country like this ought to be satisfied with.
§ MR. RAIKES
was anxious that the question, having been once opened, should be concluded during the present Session, and he therefore asked the House to consider one serious evil which existed in both our great Universities, and which might seem to warrant the interference of the Legislature. A system had been growing up which had deprived many of the poor scholars of those means which would have enabled them to emulate the glory of those who had risen from that class. The system which existed had placed advantages more within the reach of rich men than within the reach of those who were somewhat unfairly handicapped. By bestowing endowments in the shape of prizes, we heaped emoluments on those who could make their way elsewhere, and withdrew funds which might be employed in educating their fellow-University men. All who had had the advantage of a University education must have been struck by the fact that everything in education that was worth having had to be paid for by the student himself. The expenses of living at the Universities were 1111 such, as almost to frighten a parent in the first instance; and when a student got there, he found that he had to pay £40 or £50 a-year for a private tutor, for the College lectures were not at all calculated to qualify a man to take honours. In view of these circumstances, he trusted the Commissioners to be appointed under the Bill would make it their endeavour to improve the educational facilities of the Colleges—to make the education bestowed by the Colleges, in fact, such a reality as might suffice for a University career. It was, he thought, a great and a crying scandal that a man should be called upon to provide for himself that which the University might reasonably be called upon to give. Another circumstance to be regretted was that men of the greatest attainments were frequently attracted from the Universities by higher emoluments elsewhere. Without particularly wishing to see the army of Professors increased, he hoped some pecuniary provision would be made in order to retain for the University the services of distinguished men. He trusted the House would take such steps as it could to impress upon the Government the necessity of taking the advantage that was now afforded of legislating once for all on this important subject.
§ Mr. GREGORY
confessed that on first reading the Bill it appeared to him calculated to sacrifice the interests of the Colleges to the University; but he had been re-assured on that point by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who introduced the Bill, and by the tone of the debate generally. As he understood the right hon. Gentleman, the College revenues were to be appropriated only to such purposes as were common to the Colleges and to the University; and the interests of the Colleges, so far from being sacrificed, would be carefully protected. In these circumstances, a great number of the objections which occurred to him on first reading the Bill, fell to the ground. His right hon. Friend felt that there were University requirements for which further development was necessary, and that the Colleges had some means which might be appropriated to that service; but he thought there should be some kind of assessment fixed by the Bill or understood by the Commissioners, beyond which the contributions of the Colleges should not be 1112 required, and hoped that some clauses would be introduced into the Bill for the protection of those Colleges in that respect. He also hoped that some power would be given to the Commissioners for regulating the residence of Undergraduates and the terms which they were required to keep as a qualification for a degree. It appeared to him that three years was quite unnecessary for an ordinary degree, and that it frequently led to a waste of time on the part of the student and to useless expenditure by his parent.
§ MR. BRISTOWE,
referring to the criticisms of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lyon Playfair) said, he looked upon Oxford and Cambridge from a different point of view from that of hon. Members who agreed with the right hon. Gentleman; they looked at them as examining Universities, while he regarded them as residential Universities. This all-important fact constituted an immense distinction between Oxford and Cambridge and the Scotch and German Universities. The right hon. Gentleman said that every four undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge held scholarships or exhibitions; but here he must have been strangely misinformed, for certainly not more than one in 10 or 12 did so. With regard to the Commission, he thought, on the whole, that it might with advantage have included some Members who would represent "new blood," and who had not been educated at the Universities; and he also endorsed the opinion that the duty of University reform belonged to the State, and should not be shunted on Commissioners. He could not understand why a change should be proposed in the composition of the Governing Body, and feared that the inevitable tendency of these Bills would be to increase largely the Professorial Staffs of the Universities at the expense of the College Fellowships. He saw no objection to the Colleges contributing a certain amount for the purposes of the University; but the most serious matter was the power taken in the Bill to impose Fellows on the Colleges because they held University offices. No doubt it was only a power, but that power might be exercised, and against the will of the Colleges. Moreover, he could not approve the creation of an inter-Collegiate Staff, as the effect of it would be to destroy that wholesome competition which 1113 had hitherto existed between the different Colleges. It seemed to him that it would be far better if the powers of the Commissioners were somewhat more limited, and if the objects of the Bill were more clearly defined. But he believed no difficulties would be placed in the way of passing these Bills into law.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
said, he thought that the House and the 225 Members of it who, they had been informed by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Lyon Playfair) had been educated at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, had every reason to be satisfied at the tone in which those Bills had been discussed, and at the feeling which had been expressed with regard to their general objects, so far as they were at present able to make out what the result of the Bills would be. He must take exception to a phrase used by the hon. Member for Cambridge when he spoke of the Universities as not being national. On that (the Opposition) side of the House the contention had always been that the Universities were national institutions. He was glad that the fact had been more and more established; and, thanks to those conflicts which had been fought a few years ago, in which they were victorious, the public attitude towards the Universities on all sides had greatly changed. But for the spread of the feeling that the Universities were more and more developing the character of national institutions, the application of the large funds at their disposal would have been treated differently in the House. He was glad to think that from no quarter of this House at least—though he did not know what the friends of Research might have done out of it—had there been any suggestion that any portion of the funds should be devoted to any purpose distinct from Collegiate and University purposes. Allusion had been made to the work done by the Universities beyond the precincts of Oxford and Cambridge, and to the local examinations by which they were more and more establishing their hold over the general education of the country. He believed that the Universities were now reaping the reward of the system which they had lately been pursuing, and that the House was able to treat those questions with greater unanimity than would have been the case at any time during the last 40 years. In these 1114 circumstances, the House was asked not to legislate, but to give enormous powers to the Commissioners to legislate in its place and to perform certain functions which they were beginning to hope might be defined in the House, but also which they were beginning to believe would be totally different from the objects originally contemplated. The original objects laid down by a Cabinet Minister were mainly two—first, to deal in a comprehensive and somewhat revolutionary manner with what were called "idle Fellowships;" and, secondly, to transfer the funds from them to the endowment of Research. He was happy to see that so far as the debate of two nights had progressed, there were two points on which the House was agreed—one, that no revolutionary measure was to be applied to those Fellowships, and the other, that Research was not to be endowed in the way that seemed to be originally contemplated. But he wished to know what security they had that these views, which were also the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Spencer Walpole) and of the Secretary of State for War, would also be the views of the Commissioners who were to legislate for the University. At the same time, he might express a hope that the debates in that House would have a useful result in showing the opinion which the House of Commons entertained on the subject. As originally drawn, the Bill had a bias in favour of the University as against the Colleges, and it was the existence of that apparent bias which had considerably alarmed many who took an interest in University education. He admitted, however, that he did not discover that bias in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War; but the words Professorial system, as contrasted with the tutorial system, were so little understood out of that House that it might not be out of place to say a few words on the subject. They were asked by the Bill to increase the staff of Professors; but everyone acquainted with the matter knew that the duties of Professors, as distinguished from tutors, were outside the curriculum of the University teaching. What security was there that if Professors were appointed measures would be taken that those Professors should have pupils? 1115 At present every undergraduate could pass through the University and get his degree without attending a single lecture. The College tutors were not prepared to say that they would hand over to the University Professors any work they now performed, and accordingly the lectures of the Professors would continue to be a kind of collateral luxury, very good in itself and useful to those who had time to attend the lectures, but which did not fit in with the general teaching. It was therefore desirable that the greatest precautions should be taken in increasing the staff of Professors, lest in doing so they should be only creating a certain number of sinecure offices. He had heard that the lectures of a new Oxford Professor lately appointed at a salary of £400 a-year were attended in the first term by four pupils, in the second by only one pupil, who was a personal friend, and in the third term by not a single pupil. It was urged that unless a number of new Professorial Chairs were established, it would be impossible to keep the best men at Oxford; but he strongly objected to increasing the Professoriate merely in order that there might be a greater flow of promotion among the tutors. Nobody, he thought, would contend that the Oxford and Cambridge Professors had not sufficient leisure at present to devote to study and Research. Their lectures might do a great amount of good in raising the tone and broadening the general line of study on various subjects, but they must be regarded as collateral adjuncts to the University system and scarcely as a part of it. Then if there was to be this increase in the number of Professors the mode of appointing them must be looked into. He trusted that the Government would exercise its influence to induce the Commissioners to look into this matter, as there was no part of University reform so important. If the mode of election were not satisfactory the appointments would not be satisfactory. It was notorious that at Oxford not only religious but political considerations were taken into account.
§ MR. SPENCER WALPOLE
pointed out that by Clause 15, section 5, power was given to the Commissioners to inquire into the mode of the election of the Professors.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
aid, he was aware 1116 of that, but the point was not dwelt upon by the right hon. Gentleman himself, nor by the Cabinet Minister who was responsible for this measure in "another place," nor by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War. He might state that on making inquiry at Oxford he found that the unattached students who did not belong to any particular College did not attend the University lectures in any great numbers or as a part of the educational system of the University. Now, as to the "endowment of Research," he was rather curious to know whether, after the opinions which had been expressed by so many Members on both sides of the House, those words would be allowed to remain part of the Bill. He had expected to hear from his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Playfair) that research ought to be endowed; but his right hon. Friend distinctly dissuaded the House from endowing research, so far as giving more money to enable them to study was concerned; but his right hon. Friend was favourable to the endowment of research by supplying actual physical means for prosecuting studies of this kind, such as laboratories and libraries. For his own part, he had no objection to sums being granted from the funds of some of the Colleges for University purposes, provided that they could be satisfied that those purposes would be really fulfilled, and that these were purposes which would command general sympathy. When the word "research" was used, they did not know whether it was used in a restrictive sense. His right hon. Friend had pointed out that the real work of research, had generally been conducted by men engaged in the work of education. Take the great classical names of the Professors in Germany—they were engaged in teaching work in the Universities, and it was in their leisure hours that they conducted their researches. His belief was this, that though in "another place" a feeling was produced that great progress would be made by the endowment of research, public opinion had so far been brought to bear on the point that a considerable change had occurred, and the fear now appeared to be felt that the result would be the creation of sinecure offices. He agreed that this question must not be looked at in a mere Oxford 1117 and Cambridge point of view, but nationally. Our Universities did not educate a single class of the community, but they were doing national work. It was a very false view to imagine that the Universities taught only Greek, Latin, and Mathematics. A distinguishing peculiarity of the English University system was that it did not give a narrow education in any particular profession, but proceeded upon a broad basis. A result of this characteristic had been that the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge had laid the foundation of all the liberal professions in the country, and had also established a most valuable bond of union between the members of those professions. It was no discredit to these great institutions that they had been able to send as many as 225 Members to that House. In other countries theologians went to their Universities to learn theology, and lawyers went to study law, but they suffered from the want of the career which was provided in England. It formed part of the history and traditions of the Universities that they should be broad and professional in their character. Then as to the mode in which the Bill was to be carried out. He was sorry to find a theological element in the Bill and a strong theological element in the Commission that was to carry out the Bill; and he hoped that in Committee the Government would assent to clauses with regard to the theological Fellowships. Agitation as to University reform would not come to an end so long as a large proportion of Fellowships were to be tenable only by clergymen of the Church of England. So anxious were the framers of the Bill to protect everything connected with theology, that there was a clause to legalize the continuation of voluntary payments by the Colleges. This meant that they were to have the power to appropriate a portion of their funds to the augmentation of College livings. In a Bill dealing with Academical reform, no such proposal ought to be found, and he hoped it would be expunged before the Bill was allowed to pass through Parliament. Again, what was to be the policy of the Commissioners? There had been two different declarations upon this subject in the two Houses of Parliament—and the Commissioners would be able to act in one sense or in the other. It was 1118 said that the Commissioners were to have perfect freedom, and therefore they must look to the constitution of the Commission. They would have power to change the tutorial into the professorial mode of teaching. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge had read a memorial of leading and resident members of the University of Cambridge in which they expressed a wish that the principles which Members on the Opposition side of the House approved of should be recognized in the Bill. But those principles were not recognized in the Bill. They wanted to know what was the scope of the action of the Commissioners. Supposing they had perfect confidence in the Oxford Commission, which they had not—he had not heard any one outside the Government circle say that it was a really satisfactory Commission; Lord Selborne was President of it; they had confidence in him, but if he resigned his office of President, the remaining Commissioners might choose their Chairman, and it might happen that by way of compromise a weak man would be chosen. The Commission had been appointed under Parliamentary criticism, and as its powers were to extend from 1876 until 1883, its whole constitution might be rapidly changed. This was not a satisfactory position in which to place the question, and he suggested a compromise by which, if the Government would provide a more satisfactory Commission, the House of Commons should be less particular in its inquiries as to what the Commission was to do. As at present constituted he entertained serious misgivings as to the arrangements in regard to the Commission. Even at this late stage he thought Her Majesty's Government might be urged to satisfy the House that certain principles would be laid down and what would be the scope of the reforms.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
cordially joined the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Goschen) in congratulating the House on the tone and temper in which this debate had been conducted. He also congratulated his right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) upon the admirable choice of Commissioners which he had made. He thought he had some reason to complain of the language of the right hon. Gentleman 1119 the Member for the City of London with regard to the Oxford Commission. That Commission was selected, not merely by Lord Salisbury, but by the whole of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman said he should like the Commissioners to come down to that House and make a statement as to their proceedings. There had been a number of Commissioners appointed of late years; but although some of the Commissioners were Members of that House, no one had ever heard of their coming down and making a public statement. A more extraordinary—he would almost say a more preposterous—statement he had never heard.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
explained that he had only put the case hypothetically. He had said that if it were possible for the Commissioners to make a statement the House might feel more confidence.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
said, that the right hon. Gentleman had asked what the Commissioners were to do. They would have the same freedom of action as the Committee of 1854, and it was known what they did. He (Mr. Mowbray) contended that there was a substantial agreement on both sides of the House as to the merits of the Bill. Hon. Members opposite had, it seemed, no great fault to find with the Bill itself, but they had expressed some distrust of language which was said to have been used in "another place," of which the House knew nothing, and with which it could not deal. What that House had to do was to look to the Bills themselves, and the exposition of their provisions that had been given by his right hon. Friends who had charge of them. There had been no proposal from any authorized quarter of an unlimited extension of the Professoriate. There had, no doubt, been vague and wild schemes floating about the Universities. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Grant Duff), who had "surveyed mankind from China to Peru," had proposed that there should be Professors of a great many languages. A moderate extension of the Professoriate, and a moderate endowment of research were to be desired, but nothing more. Allusion had been made to the theological element on the Commission. There had been Bishops, Deans, and clergymen on former University Commissions, and it was almost impossible 1120 to conceive a good Commission to carry out these Bills unless they contained a certain amount of the clerical element. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lyon Playfair) said that the Universities ought to be conscious of their responsibility to the nation, and that University teaching ought to meet every profession and every occupation. He contended that the Universities had shown themselves conscious of their responsibility to the nation. It was the fault of society and not of the University system that men did not go to College when they were very young. It had been generally admitted to-night that a necessity for legislation existed, and that that necessity arose out of the Report of the Commissioners appointed by the right hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) in 1871. If legislation on the subject were necessary, there could be no doubt that the present was an exceptionally favourable time for introducing it, and there could be no doubt that the feeling both in the Universities and within the walls of that House was in favour of a settlement of the matter. The only opponent of the measure was the right hon. Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe), who was anxious for delay not for academic, but for political purposes. The right hon. Gentleman objected to a Conservative Government reforming the Universities. All he wanted was that the matter should be delayed, upon any pretext, in order that the glory of dealing with it should be obtained by the Liberal Party. As regarded non-resident Fellowships, while he (Mr. Mowbray) was prepared to limit their tenure, he was not prepared to abolish them. They were a great incentive to industry in students during their undergraduate career; they formed a fitting reward at the close of that career; they were a great assistance in the early struggles of professional life; they were useful in maintaining a connection between the Universities and the world; and he hoped a certain number would still be maintained, even after the expiration of the term to which they were limited, if only on a small nominal income, at £50 a-year or less. Moreover, such Fellows would always form a valuable element in the election of Heads, for if the number of Fellows were considerably reduced, there would be too small a constituency for the election of 1121 Heads. He doubted if any one would be prepared to follow the revolutionary suggestion of the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) to sweep away the Heads of Houses. It might have been popular three or four years ago, but so far as he could learn the idea was losing ground. There must be Heads in great establishments like the Colleges within the Universities, and it was a mistake to suppose that they had not active duties to perform as well in connection within their own societies as in relation to the University. He heartily welcomed assistance being given to meritorious students, who were poor; but he hoped such provision would not be limited to the "unattached" members of the University, but extended to young men equally poor who might be found within the Colleges and especially the Halls. The competition and rivalry between the University Press of Oxford and Cambridge and the Queen's printer, the latter having the monopoly of printing Bibles and Prayer Books, was very great. The University Press of Oxford had a proposal made to it which it was obliged to decline to supply Bibles at prime cost, and give in the binding, which showed that the work was not so very remunerative as many supposed. Some of the minor books published were remunerative, and they found as ready a sale in America as in England, and also some of the better books.
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY
said, he did not refer to their being unprofitable, but that they were unworthy of the University to publish.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
said, the Bills before the House were favourably regarded in the Universities, and he earnestly hoped the House would pass them this Session.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, that if he were asked why they had spent two nights in discussing the principle of those University Bill she would say it was this—that they had been engaged in repudiating the motive, the aim, and the object which was professed by their promoter in "another place," and which no one had more distinctly repudiated than had the four Representatives of the Universities in question in that House. They might therefore treat with the disregard which it deserved all that had been said as to "idle" Fellowships and Research. There was, as had 1122 been acknowledged in the course of the debate, nothing whatever in the Bills of either of them to justify the speech in which they had been introduced to the public. In fact, the object of the two nights' debate had been to repudiate the motive for the introduction of the Bill which had been propounded by the Chancellor of the University of Oxford. It was because he believed that the Commission to be appointed would not adopt the scheme of the Chancellor of the University, and would not carry out his views as expressed in his speech, that he supported the Bill. His right hon. Friend (Mr. Lyon Playfair) praised the Scotch system, and said that if our Universities would adapt themselves to modern wants and occupations they need not offer gold. But what had the Scotch Universities done? They came to the English Universities for their best men. They had taken away Mr. Jebb, Professor Thomson, and others. The reason was because the Scotch Universities could not offer sufficient inducements to men to become ripe scholars and distinguished mathematicians. You could not breed your Bentleys, Porsons, and Adamses unless you could offer the advantage of these endowments. The talk about repudiating "idle Fellowships" could only have proceeded from men ignorant of University life and of the principles on which Universities worked. That mischievous phrase was one of the obstacles which had stood in the way of the Bill. With regard to the appointments of new Professors recommended by the Commissioners, the new men were men who, in his opinion, would not obey the Commissioners who appointed them. They were of a class of men who constituted themselves into Mutual Admiration Societies, and congratulated each other as "deep thinkers." They might be deep thinkers, but they produced nothing. Those were the class of men whom the Commissioners were contemplating to appoint. They prided themselves on being masters of Research. Now, Research was very important when pursued by such men as Sir Isaac Newton; but there were various kinds of Research, and the idea of giving a man £1,000 a-year to go into a corner to think was absurd. It reminded him of a man in church, who, when he was woke up, closed his eyes and said he was "absorbed in deep thought." He would be 1123 sorry to see the younger Professors marry in too great numbers, because they would not be able to maintain their families without resorting to other employments, such as writing articles. It reminded him of the famous lines of Dr. Johnson—What ills the scholar's life assail—Toil, envy, want, a patron, and a gaol!In this couplet he would only substitute one word, and make it read—What ills the scholar's life assail—Toil, envy, want, a matron, and a gaol!The proposal to increase the number of Professors was highly objectionable. There were at present five theological Professors at Cambridge, and yet there was now talk of increasing the number, as if five were not sufficient to teach all that could be known of that science, grand as it was. As to shortening the terms of Fellowships, that was a point upon which they were all agreed. There were some things in Cambridge which wanted doing very much. Better buildings were wanted for the conduct of the business of the University. The want of museums was a scandal; and it was only recently that, thanks to the liberality of a Chancellor who did not make speeches, but gave £10,000, they had obtained a Natural History Museum. The reason the University of Cambridge was satisfied with this Bill was that they had confidence in the Commissioners, and knew that they would not countenance the nonsensical views which had been put forward by some persons on the subject. He was sorry that Oxford was dissatisfied, and he thought had cause to be dissatisfied, with the gentlemen in whose hands their destinies were to be placed. It would ill become him to criticize those gentlemen, and he would only say of them what Mr. Burke said of Lord Chatham's Cabinet—that it was a curious piece of tessellated work. The names of some of these gentlemen had created the greatest amazement at Oxford, and the name of one of them was received at the University as a joke. One of those gentlemen to whom he was indebted for his earliest University instruction was Sir Henry Maine, a man of the greatest eminence; but he had got the duties to discharge of transacting the affairs of 200,000,000 of people, and of instructing the young men at Oxford in 1124 law, and it was impossible for him to find time to act on this Commission. Then there was Mr. Justice Grove, a distinguished man of science and a most able Judge; but he had always understood that the time of a puisne Judge was so fully occupied in his judicial duties that it was impossible for him to find a leisure moment. Yet this gentleman was selected to be a member of a Commission that must occupy much of his time for years. The Oxford Commission did not inspire the University with confidence; and, this being so, its work was not likely to be accepted as a final settlement. Fortunately, these remarks did not apply to the Cambridge Commission, which had been happily selected, and would, he hoped, perform a useful work for the benefit of this University.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, he was somewhat amused at the conclusion to which his hon. and learned Friend had come. He was horrified that a Judge should be put on the Commission for Oxford, but he praised the Cambridge Commission, forgetting that one of its members was the Lord Chief Justice. He might remind him also that Mr. Justice Coleridge had served on the Oxford Commission of 1854. If it was a dreadful thing to employ a Judge on business outside that of his office, what a terrible thing it was to send Sir Alexander Cockburn to Geneva to spend so much time there on an arbitration on the question of the Alabama claims. In fact, the hon. and learned Gentleman came down with jokes rather than arguments, and some of them were very good jokes indeed. Instead, however, of firing them off, he should have attempted to answer the arguments of the hon. Member for the Elgin Boroughs (Mr. Grant Duff) and those of the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice). The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Goschen) had said—"If you are going to make this multitude of Professors you must give us an engagement that you will find them pupils." He repudiated the intention to make a number of Professors, and he equally repudiated the duty of finding them pupils. As long as the present system of examination prevailed, which required the existence of the tutorial system, the Professors would not have many pupils; 1125 but, at the same time, the Professors performed very useful services though, their lectures might not be largely attended. With respect to the appointment of Professors, the Bill gave the Commissioners power to alter the terms of eligibility and the method in which they were to be appointed. The decision of the Commissioners would not be final, and every care was taken that the interests of the Colleges should not be disregarded. It was an assumption outside the Bill that there should be any robbery of the Colleges to the extent of bringing them below the purposes for which they were instituted; but it was intended that there should be established an inter-dependence between the Colleges and the University for the benefit of both. Research had been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London, but he might mention that there was no reference in the Bill to its endowment.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
admitted that that clause had reference to the pursuit of Research, although it did not in terms give funds for the purpose. The mode in which the object was to be attained was to be left to the Commissioners. He readily admitted that some of the proposals which had been made respecting the endowment of Research were most extravagant. For example, the writer of an article in Nature said that if £200,000 a-year were granted for scientific research, it would be only the beginning of what was required. He seemed desirous to absorb the whole of the revenues of the Universities, for he said that 100 posts should be created at an annual expense of £800,000, which happened to be the exact amount of the revenues of the Universities. Exception had been taken to the phrase "idle Fellowships" which was used in the House of Lords, and he admitted that "non-resident Fellowships" was a better term, because many of the persons who held them did good work in the country and well deserved the positions they occupied. At the same time, an almost universal opinion prevailed that a limitation ought to be put on the tenure of Fellowships, and this was one of the objects contemplated by the present Bill. In conclusion, he thanked 1126 the House for the discussion that had taken place, because it had convinced him that these Bills had been met in a manner quite free from Party spirit or a desire to embarrass or defeat the Government. If the House continued to meet the Government in that spirit, he was sure the Bills might be carried during the present Session, and this was essential to the peace and prosperity of the Universities, which ought not to be kept any longer in suspense.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
remarked that the discussion had been so entirely in favour of further limitation of the powers of the Commissioners that he would consent to withdraw his Amendment, and leave the object he had in view to be effected in Committee.
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY
commented on the non-production of the Returns asked for by the House relative to the management of the Press and the emoluments of the Professors in each University.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.