HC Deb 04 June 1877 vol 234 cc1240-90

(Mr. Gathorne Hardy, Mr. Assheton Cross, Mr. Walpole.)

COMMITTEE. [Progress 17th May.]

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


in moving as an Amendment after Clause 54 to insert the following clause:— On and after the fifteenth day of Michaelmas term, one thousand eight hundred and seventy seven, so much of section sixteen of the Act of the seventeenth and eighteenth years of Victoria, chapter eighty-one, as enacts that all residents, being members of convocation of the University of Oxford shall be members of congregation shall be repealed; and, instead thereof, it shall be enacted. that all resident members of convocation of the University of Oxford being or having been fellows of colleges, or certified by the head of any college or hall to be engaged in the discipline, tuition, or administration of such college or hall by virtue of some office or employment existing at the time of the passing of this Act, or to be created. by statutes made after the passing of this Act, shall, with the other persons mentioned. in the said sixteenth section, be members of congregation. said, the new clause referred to the composition of Congregation in the University of Oxford. In the Act of 1854, the legislation was founded on the Report of the Commissioners of the previous year, and it was in conformity with the terms of that Report that the present clause was now submitted. In 1854, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University had proposed to include, in addition to the various persons mentioned in the clause, "the resident-members of Convocation," which had, by the legal interpretation, been held to include all M.A.'s who had resided 180 days in the year within a mile of Carfax. The only object of this was to place in a position, for which they were in no way qualified, a large number of parochial curates and College chaplains. The Congregation of the University, which was to be the Body to legislate on all academic questions affecting the University, ought to be an aristocracy of learning, which was quite incompatible with the existing system. He had to ask his right hon. Friend, in stating his objections to the clause, to explain in what respects he considered the adoption of the clause would be inconsistent with what the Commission of 1854 recommended as expedient ? He wished also to give Notice that in the event of the clause being rejected, it was not his intention to move the second clause of which he had given Notice, which proposed to transfer the elective offices made at present by Convocation to Congregation, except in the case of the Chancellor, Lord High Steward, and the Burgesses who represented the University in Parliament.

New Clause (Composition of congregation of the University of Oxford,)— (Mr. James,)—brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."


observed that, as they might be told they had debated the question before, he wished to point out that what they had debated was the question of giving powers to do that which it was now proposed that they should do themselves by this clause; and as they were then met with the objection that the matter should be settled in Parliament, they now distinctly put their scheme before the House. No division had taken place upon the issue he had stated.


said, that the proposition of the hon. Member for Gateshead (Mr. James) was to narrow the Congregation very much at Oxford, which he believed would be very pernicious. He was able to quote the authority of Mr. Thorold Rogers against it. He said its first effect would be to exclude many most useful men from the Congregation, and among them three eminent physicians, and others who took a deep interest in University affairs. The present system worked extremely well, and he (Mr. Hardy) did not think it would be wise to leave everything in the hands of the Professoriate. The persons who would be excluded were particularly well qualified to decide upon arrangements connected with the education of their children, and he could not therefore, under the circumstances, assent to the second reading of the clause.


thought it very desirable that Convocation should be reformed, and still more so that the offices in the University connected with the teaching should be in the gift of the Congregation, and not of the Convocation. The two points were quite distinct, and if the hon. Member for Gateshead (Mr. James) did not move his second clause, he (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) should feel it his duty to do so, in order that the point might be discussed.

Question put.

The Committee divided: —Ayes 108; Noes 136: Majority 28.—(Div. List, No. 147.)

On the Motion of Sir CHARLES W. DILKE, the following new clause was agreed to, and added to the Bill:— (Notice of objection to be given.) No objection to the list of members of the electoral roll of the University of Cambridge, promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Act nineteenth and twentieth Victoria, chapter eighty-eight, section seven, made on the ground of any person being improperly placed on or omitted from the said list, shall be entertained unless notice of it is given in writing to the Vice Chancellor at least four days before the day for publicly hearing objections to the said list; and the Vice Chancellor shall, at least two days before such day, cause to be promulgated a list of all the objections of which notice has been given.


in moving, as an Amendment, after Clause 55, the addition of the following clause:— The Commissioners, in statutes made by them for a College, shall provide that the entering into or being in Holy Orders shall not be the condition of the holding of any headship or fellowship, said, with regard to Oxford there were still a large number of Colleges in the hands of clerical Fellows, or in the hands of a Governing Body on which the clerical Fellows were decidedly in a majority-. At Exeter College every Fellow was obliged to take Holy Orders within 15 years of his election, unless he had served the College as tutor or lecturer for 10 years. This, however, was an exceptional case. In Queen's there were nine clerical Fellowships, the persons elected to them, if not already in Orders, having to declare their intention of taking deacon's Orders within three years and priest's Orders within two years thereafter. In Lincoln there were only two Fellows who might remain laymen, all others must proceed to priest's Orders within 10 years after admission. At Brasenose there were six clerical Fellowships. At St. John's and Worcester only one-third might be held by laymen, and this was the case with several other Colleges. This was a very important matter, inasmuch as the Fellows really constituted the Governing Body. At Christ Church the Governing Body consisted of 34 members, 27 of whom were already in Orders, or pledged to take them. He doubted whether the state of things shown by these facts was generally realized. By being compelled to select men who were either in, or pledged to take Holy Orders, the general field of selection was much narrowed, and it was a matter of history that the men who applied for the clerical Fellowships were in a large number of cases men who had failed to obtain the open Fellowships. After taking his degree a man generally required some time to choose his Profession. During that time he would stand for an open Fellowship, and should he fail in that, he might find there was a good chance of success, if he was willing to declare he would enter the Church. He maintained that the system held out a distinct bribe to a man to take Orders at a time when most of all his judgment ought to be entirely unfettered, when it might be premature to determine the choice of a Profession, and when it was especially undesirable that the Profession of a clergyman should be hastily chosen. Was the Committee to suppose that if no restrictions were placed on those Fellowships, then no Fellows, or very few, would become clergymen at all? He could scarcely conceive hon. Gentleman opposite wishing to commit themselves to that doctrine. He had some difficulty in arguing the question, because he could scarcely anticipate the argument which might be brought against the clause. The question, however, was not whether they were to have clergymen on the Governing Body, but whether they were, in the interests of the Church herself, wise to offer these inducements to men to take Holy Orders. For his own part, he thought it most unwise in the interests of religion to have at so early a stage of a man's life a pecuniary temptation held out in that way. Another result might be that many men would be placed in the unfair position, if, after three years, from conscientious motives they refused to enter the Church, of appearing to have obtained their Fellowships under false pretences. Indeed, he could not conceive a more false position in which a young man could be placed than that in which many were placed under the present system. That also was the opinion of a very large number of the residents at Oxford and the majority of the teaching Body. A large number of clergymen had signed a Petition to that House in which they prayed for the removal of those restrictions. It was signed by 96 out of 150 or 160 resident Fellows, or nearly two-thirds of the whole number, by 11 ex-Fellows, 45 College Tutors, and 45 College Lecturers. These numbers were in the proportion of nearly two-thirds of the whole Body. When the counter Petition was spoken of in the Committee, he hoped it would be stated how many of those by whom it was signed were clergymen. Those clergymen who had signed in favour of his Amendment had not omitted the prefix to their names, whereas in the case of the other Petition a large number of clergymen had not stated whether they belonged to the Church or not. And what danger, he should like to know, would result to Oxford or Cambridge from the removal of the restrictions on clerical Fellowships? There were Colleges in which at present no such restrictions existed, as, for instance, at Wad-ham. Had parents, he should like to know, been found in consequence less willing to send their sons to that College? Again, at Balliol, clerical Fellowships had been reduced to two. There were also only two in one of the very best Colleges—University College — so that it was quite clear they were not required, either for the purposes of education, or for the proper conduct of the Colleges. Everyone must desire to see religious instruction maintained in the University and Colleges, and the chapel services properly conducted; but these were otherwise provided for, and it could not be urged that it was necessary to retain clerical restrictions on the Fellowships for those purposes any more than any other object. He hoped, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War might be induced to make the concession for which he asked, and he felt quite satisfied that if the Colleges were left to themselves many of them would abolish those Fellowships altogether. Indeed, opinion at Oxford on the subject was so strong that it would be scarcely possible to leave matters in the position in which they now stood, and University Reform could not be considered as terminated while such an anomaly as that against which his Amendment was directed existed. If the right hon. Gentleman could do nothing in it, depend upon it that the House of Commons would take the matter up year by year, and at length compel the great and much needed change which the adoption of this clause would permit the Commissioners to make. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his clause.


in seconding the Amendment, said: The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Goschen) raises here the question of clerical Headships and Fellowships. My words are very nearly the words upon which Lord Granville divided in the House of Lords in 1876; but the new clause suggested by the right hon. Gentleman is more sweeping and complete than mine. It has been denied that there are any great number of clerical Fellowships in existence. If there were but one, there would be a case for our Amendment; for it is necessary that we should get rid of all restrictions which in any way limit the free and open selection of the best men to fill any and every post. But what is the extent to which clerical restrictions exist at the present time I reply that they exist in the case of the great majority both of Fellowships and of Headships of Colleges. Let us take the case of Cambridge. In one sense of the word there are only 13 clerical Fellowships at Cambridge—that is to say, there are only 13 Fellowships to which from the first clergymen alone are eligible. But there are 52 " clerical" in the Cambridge sense — that is to say, 52 Fellowships which must be held by clergymen. The difference is this, that the 13 are definite Fellowships not liberated by any number of other Fellowships being held by clergymen. Although there are only 52 Fellowships which must be held by clergymen at Cambridge, the vast majority of the remaining Fellowships are subject to clerical restrictions. I have gone carefully through the Colleges of the University, and I hold in my hand a table in which I have classified them, College by College, under four heads—clerical; open; lay; and open, subject to clerical restrictions at the end of a certain time. I find that there are 350 Fellowships at Cambridge, of which 52, as I have said, are clerical—that is, they must be held by persons in Holy Orders-16 are lay; 99 are open, as we would make them all to be; and 183 are neither strictly clerical, nor strictly open, but are open Fellowships, the tenure of which is limited by a clerical privilege. This last list includes all the Fellowships at Trinity, John's, Caius, and Queen's, and all the Fellowships at Clare and Emmanuel that are not absolutely clerical. At Trinity and John's all the Fellows are required to take Holy Orders within seven years, except those who for 10 years have been engaged in College tuition. At Caius and Queen's all are required to take Holy Orders within 10 years. At Clare not only are there clerical Fellowships, but the holders of those Fellowships, which are nominally open, have to take Orders at the end of 10 years. At Emmanuel there are clerical Fellowships, and the holders of other Fellowships nominally open have to take Orders at the end of seven years, or vacate their Fellowships at the end of 10 years. On the whole, then, at Cambridge there are 115 Fellowships not subject to clerical restrictions, and 235 Fellowships subject to clerical restrictions. It is obvious that all restrictions upon choice are bad in themselves as tending to prevent the selection of the best men. Their existence throws the burden of proof upon the other side, and entitles us to ask our opponents, who would preserve the restrictions, why they are to be preserved. It cannot be for the purpose of providing for the celebration of Divine worship in the Colleges; the restrictions are far too numerous to be merely intended for that purpose, and the argument would at the most apply to about half of the clerical Fellowships properly so called. But even as regards so small a number as this, it cannot be necessary to attach the performance of clerical duties to the holding of Fellowships of the College, and it would be far better that chaplaincies should be created. What reason, then, can be given for the retention of the clerical restrictions ? That you have a security for an element of Christianity in the government of the College. But in those Colleges where there is not, nor ever has been, a clerical restriction; there is not, nor never has been lack of Fellows in Orders: at New College, Oxford, for example. Moreover, this argument has been publicly abandoned by no less a person than the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, who, in his place in the House of Lords, declared that under the circumstances of the case it could have no weight. We have been told to leave the matter to be dealt with by the Commissioners, and not to tie their hands. To this argument there are two replies. In the first place, we know the use that Dr. Bellamy and the majority of his colleagues are likely to make of the unfettered discretion, which seine hon. Members opposite wish to leave them. On the Oxford Commission we can count only for certain upon two votes, and one of those Liberal votes will be the vote of a Conservative, the lion. Member for North Northumberland (Mr. Ridley). But the real answer to the argument which has been used is that this change is distinctly one of those matters which ought to be dealt with by Parliament itself. It is not one of those questions of University or College discipline as to which Parliament is ill-informed, but it is a matter of public policy with which Parliament is competent to deal. To two Commissions, the composition of which is thoroughly satisfactory to those who wish to see clerical restrictions maintained, there is committed by this Bill the power to preserve them, and even to perpetuate their existence. The restrictions injure the College and the University, by limiting the field of selection, and consequently the standard of capacity. They injure, too, the individual by causing that hypocrisy which it was the object of the University Tests Acts to avoid. They injure the whole nation by giving privilege to a single creed. It is not the abolition of clerical Fellows, but that of compulsory clerical limitations which we propose. To show how completely they misunderstand us who think we wish to exclude clergymen from Fellowships and Headships of Colleges, let me remind the House that clergymen have often been elected to those few Headships of Colleges which are open to laymen, and elected by lay majorities. Those clergymen have been elected to the Headships of their Colleges by lay and Liberal majorities—in cases where laymen could have been preferred—because they were the best men for the post. All we ask is reciprocity, and that Colleges in which the best man for the Headship happens to be a layman should not continue to be prevented by law from electing him, however much his election may be wished. If clergymen are elected to open Headships now, when it might not unreasonably be argued that it were wise to keep the few Headships that are open to laymen in lay hands, it is certain that such elections would be most common if complete freedom were to be given. All we ask is that compulsory restrictions should be removed and the Fellows of each College left free to choose the best man, whether layman or clerk to be their colleague or their master.

New Clause (Provision as to clerical conditions,)—(Mr. Goschen,)—brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."


hoped the Committee would pause before they assented to the clause which had been moved by his right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Goschen.) The question of clerical Fellowships was a difficult one, and would be much better dealt with in the way proposed by the Government than by the proposal now before the Committee. His right hon. Friend's proposal was totally inconsistent with the existing state of things at Oxford, where several of the Heads of Colleges held ecclesiastical appointments. Perhaps it might be contended that this was a matter which could be met by legislation; but he maintained that the proposition was of far too sweeping a kind for the House to assent to. He could not reconcile with the information he himself had received the statements made by his right hon. Friend with re- gard to Exeter College. He was informed that of the 15 Fellows of Exeter only one was required to be in Holy Orders.


said, that perhaps his right hon. Friend might be alluding to the scheme proposed by Exeter College, but not passed into law, under which the clerical Fellowships were to be abolished. That scheme had, he believed, been arrested by a provision in the present Bill.


explained that he was reading from a statement relating to last year, when there was only one clerical Fellow in Exeter College. The case as regarded the other Colleges was undoubtedly what the right hon. Gentleman represented. He wished, however, to remind the right hon. Gentleman of the proportion in which Fellowships were divided between clerical and lay Fellows. In the year 1859, which was the last year in which the old state of things existed, of the 480 Fellowships, 277 were held by persons in Holy Orders; whereas, at the present time, of 337 Fellows at Oxford, only 116 were required to be in Holy Orders, while as a matter of fact 132 were actually in Holy Orders. With regard to the Memorial referred to by the right hon. Gentleman, on reference to the signatures attached to it, it would be found that they by no means supported the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that there was a very large majority opposed to the proposal in the Bill, and at all events they showed that opinion in the Universities was divided on the question. He denied also the accuracy of the assertion of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) that the Memorial from Oxford was disingenuous. Of the 138 persons who signed the Petition on the other side 104 were not in Holy Orders. In the Memorial presented to the House in favour of retaining these restrictions and preserving in the Governing Body a majority of the clerical element, there was a greater authority both as to the number and position of the signatories. He therefore considered that it would be an unwise and dangerous thing to adopt so revolutionary a proposal as that of the right hon. Gentleman in opposition to opinion of the majority of the members of the University. To show what that was he would refer to the opinion of Mr. Neate, formerly a Member of that House, who had entertained most liberal views on this question, but who had since declared that the burden of proof was on the side of those who sought to bring about a change on this point. It would be found that all the statutes of the Universities, the expressed intentions of the various founders, and the genus loci required that the Universities should be places of religious instruction. The question was, whether they meant to interfere in this way with the Governing Bodies of the Colleges and to make a total change —and it was indeed a total change to depose religion from its present position. He trusted the matter would be left to the Commissioners. It was a difficult and delicate subject, and with great wisdom was left by the Bill to that Body. They would have no power to increase the number of Fellowships, or to make any new restrictions; and the matter was better left in their hands than that the House should consent by the Amendment to sweep away everything connected with religion in the management of the Colleges, and thus cause a revolutionary change in their constitution and government.


said, that the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Mowbray) had forgotten that the Petitions which had been presented showed that the vast majority of the Tutorial Body was in favour of the proposed change. His only serious argument had been that the matter should be left to the discretion of the Commissioners. For himself, however, he considered it a broad question of principle, from which the Legislature ought not to shrink; if they did, he should look upon their action as one of cowardice, and as a desire to shirk the question and to put it on other shoulders. The question had for many years divided Oxford and Cambridge into hostile camps, and it was necessary that it should be settled at once and for ever. If this were not done, he felt certain that it would be brought up again year after year. He had endeavoured to ascertain the actual number of Fellowships affected by clerical conditions—that was to say, of which the holders had either to be in Orders at the time, or to take Orders after their election. At Oxford there were 325 Fellowships, of which 149, or nearly one-half, were more or less affected by clerical conditions. As to Cambridge, he was not able to speak with equal certainty, but the figures of the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) showed that substantially the same state of affairs existed at that University. That was a very startling proportion, and was only to be accounted for by the fact that it was a relic of the days when these Fellowships were founded, when the word " clerk " meant a man who could read or write. It was a relic of the days when William of Wykeham and John Balliol founded their Colleges. But all that was completely changed, and very recently changed. Twenty or 30 years ago the Colleges were little better than theological seminaries educating men for Holy Orders. At that time four-fifths of the people who were educated at the Universities were theological students, and not more than one-half of the men who were called to the Bar were University men. During the past year at least nine-tenths of the men who were admitted to his own Inn were University men. Merchants and bankers now sent their sons who were intended for business to the Colleges, so that it was clear that there was a large and increasing lay element at the Universities, and a corresponding decrease of the clerical element. He challenged anybody to deny the statement which he asserted as a fact that the best men would not now go into Orders. Again, looking at the question from an academical point of view, it was obvious that the standard for Fellowships must be lowered, if the area of selection was reduced. There ought only to be one standard in these matters, and that was the standard of merit. Were they to choose an inferior man simply and solely because he was a clergyman? "Detur digniori" was the only principle which ought to govern the selection. Not that he would in any way wish or attempt to exclude clergymen. He simply desired that Orders should not be a necessary condition, especially as there was no advantage gained by such a restriction. In his own opinion the restriction lowered the standard, degraded the tone of the University, and seared the conscience of many young men who held their Fellowships on the condition of taking Orders. Young men neither were, nor ought to be, like the old Fellow of Brasenose, who used to beast " that he would like to see the oath that he would not take in order to keep his Fellowship." This plan of subsidizing religion and of bribing men to be clergymen was, he thought, a very poor compliment to Christianity. For these reasons, then, because he considered that the present system did real harm and tended to promote the spirit of hypocrisy, he would vote for the Amendment.


desired to call the attention of the Committee to the very unfair, invidious, and incomplete way in which this question had been projected into the discussion. It had been treated by hon. Members opposite as if the question raised in the Motion stood by itself, and as if it were a proposed measure of reform which was to deal, irrespective of all other University legislation, with this special class of existing Fellowships—on the pretext that reform were urgently called for. But what was the real state of the case? The whole Bill gave ample powers to the Commissioners in each case to deal with the respective Colleges; and, in spite of these broad powers given to deal with the Fellowships in question, the Committee was called upon to fix a stigma upon the clerical element, and in fact to tie the hands of the Commissioners so as to prevent them from dealing with the whole of the circumstances brought before them. The College to which he (Mr. Beresford Hope) belonged, Trinity College, Cambridge, had no clerical Fellowships for which only candidates in Holy Orders could present themselves. It was open to all; and he did not know of a case in which a candidate—except in a few very exceptional cases—could be anything else than a layman, because he must be elected before he had taken his M.A. degree. If, however, he elected not to take Holy Orders afterwards, his occupancy of the Fellowship terminated in seven years after his degree of M.A. It was practically a terminable Fellowship lasting from eight to ten years after election, unless continued by taking Holy Orders; in which case it might be a Fellowship for life for clergymen, with some special privileges attached to a long tenure of certain college offices. He was not prepared to advocate the continuance, without change, of this system, for he thought that in the future Fellowships for life must be exceptions, and not the rule. However, this clause, if carried, would be a great stigma upon the study of theology, and a wholly exceptional provision. He trusted, therefore, that the House would reject it.


Sir, there is one point in this question on which much stress has not hitherto been laid, but to which the Committee would do well to direct its attention. During this Session, and the last, the aspect of the University question, which has been discussed most copiously, and, I think, most effectually, has been the different methods by which the funds of the Universities might be used to encourage men of high genius to devote their lives to study and research. Now, Sir, I am justified in saying that the opinion of the Committee was that we should not be parties to founding a sort of hierarchy of sinecures, to be held by men of all ages, from youth upwards, which would have to be filled, whether there were men fit to fill them, or whether there were not. But, on the other hand, we were all pretty well agreed that, in the case of a man who, by the books which he had written and the discoveries which he had made, had given unmistakeable proofs that he was inspired by the genuine ardour of letters and science, we should be glad if means could be found to relieve such a man from the hard struggle for a livelihood, and enable him to devote all his time and all his energy to the studies in which he excelled. Now, Sir, a great deal might be said as to the expediency of retaining the Headships of Colleges on their present footing. But as long as our Headships of Colleges are what they are, what better use can we put them to than to make them into posts that may be held by men of acknowledged learning and distinguished genius ? What would add more to the reputation and prestige of our Universities than that the Masters, and Wardens, and Provosts should be scientific men of the stamp of Professor Owen and Professor Tyndall, or literary men of the fame of Mr. Grote or Mr. Hallam ? Men who have proved that they love work for its own sake, and that they work to good purpose, are the very men for these positions, which would provide them with the rewards which they have so well deserved and the leisure which they so well know how to employ. But as long as you keep up the condition of Holy Orders in the great majority of our Colleges, such men as these are absolutely excluded from functions which they would so admirably exercise. But it will be said that there are many divines who come within the category of men who have a claim to the enjoyment of learned leisure. Well, Sir, for learned divines there surely are sinecures enough within the pale of the Church itself. I do not know any ground upon which the existence of deaneries and canonries can in these days be defended, except that they provide means for rewarding and utilizing such men as Dean Stanley, and Dean Milman, and Canon Kingsley. Surely, then, we do wrong in cutting off from eminent laymen their one and only prospect of obtaining such a position, by insisting that no one shall be at the Head of Balliol, or Christchurch, or Trinity, except he be in Holy Orders. Why, Sir, we are not without example of how nobly these places would be filled if their occupants could be chosen from the broad field of secular life. In the great Elizabethan era, when genius and learning were held in more veneration than they appear to be held now, the conditions which required Holy Orders as a qualification for holding the Provostship of Eton College were for a time relaxed. And with what admirable results ? In 1595, Sir Henry Savile, who is described as the most learned Englishman in profane literature of his day, and whose knowledge of Divinity was so extensive that he went by the name of the " lay-Bishop," was appointed Provost; and during his tenure of office Eton was honourably known as a centre of letters throughout the European world. Sir Henry Savile was succeeded by one Dr. Murray, a clergyman, who died soon after his appointment; and the next candidates for the post, seven in number, were all of them laymen, and all of knightly rank. One of the candidates was no less a man than Lord Bacon, who, to use his pleasing expression, regarded the Provost's house as " a pretty cell," in which he might spend his declining years. It was not that he intended to be idle and indifferent to his duties. "The College," he writes, "I do not doubt but I shall make to flourish. I could do as much good to the College as another, be it square cap or round." In the end the choice fell upon Sir Henry Wotton; a famous traveller, linguist, and diplomatist, who did much to keep up the repute of the Provostship. And the line of eminent Eton Provosts might have remained unbroken to this day, had it not been that the possession of Holy Orders was once more made a necessary condition, in consequence of the increased respect in which religion was held in the moral and virtuous Court of his sacred Majesty Charles the Second. Sir, if the Headships of our more celebrated Colleges were once thrown open to the acceptance of laymen, there is no limit to the eminence of the men who would welcome the opportunity of filling positions at once so honourable and so desirable. It may be said that it is of importance that the Head of a College should be able to address from the pulpit the members of the Body over which he presides. But, Sir, as I have the honour of addressing an Assembly of practical men, who take things as they are, I venture to appeal to hon. Gentlemen and ask them whether it ever has been known that the Head of a College makes use of the pulpit to exercise over the young men that powerful, that salutary influence which Head Masters of our public schools exercise over their pupils. Anyone who was under Dr. Arnold, at Rugby, and Dr. Vaughan, at Harrow—anyone, I will venture to say, who has been at Harrow under the present régime —will admit the immense advantage which a Head Master enjoys who can every week or fortnight address the school in the character of its religious guide and adviser. But anyone who knows our Universities will allow that such influence has rarely indeed been exercised by the Head of a College; and I am one of those who think that, with the ecclesiastical world in the state it is now, such an influence would be by no means without its dangers. Another reason for passing this Amendment is, that as long as half our Fellowships and two-thirds of our Headships are more or less subject to clerical restrictions, so long the clerical element will be so dominant at our Colleges that education itself will suffer. The money which ought to go to encouraging learning, goes to improving the position of the ex-Fellows who hold livings, and the prospects of the existing Fellows, who hope to hold them. It has been calculated that five Colleges alone spend more than £20,000 a-year on improving their livings; a sum of money which, I am afraid, far exceeds that which this Commission, whatever its powers may be, will contrive to extract from those Colleges for the advancement of science and learning. This country is not so poor, nor are its inhabitants so indifferent to the interests of religion, that it cannot afford to pay for its system of public worship without trenching on the funds which ought to be used for the spread and maintenance of public education; and one of the certain results of removing these clerical restrictions is, that we should gradually get together in each College a body of Fellows who would be ashamed to divert our not too-abundant educational resources, for the purpose of enriching the livings which they are themselves to hold. Sir, when the University Tests Act was carried through the late Parliament, a pledge was, as it were, given to the nation that this House disapproved of the existence of religious tests. If that is not so, what meaning is there in the Preamble which heads that Act ? But the maintenance of clerical Fellowships involves the existence of a religious test of the most stringent nature, which has, in addition to the evils of other tests, certain still greater evils peculiar to itself. At many Colleges in both Universities, including the two Colleges which stand far at the head of the Cambridge list in numbers and importance, a layman is permitted to win a Fellowship and keep it for a certain number of years; but at the end of that period he must either take Orders or leave the College. Sir, let hon. Gentlemen just picture to themselves the meaning of this arrangement. You take a young man, who, in most cases, comes from a family which is rather poor than rich; you allow him, as the reward of industry and ability, to obtain a position as enviable, in many respects, as any position in the world—a position on which, from the height of their fame and prosperity, many of our most eminent statesmen and lawyers have looked back with fond regret. You make him one of the masters of a renowned and rich institution. He is lodged in buildings with which nothing in our domestic architecture can compete except the country seats of a few of the most fortunate of our most ancient nobility—kitchens, cellars, and stabling—everything about him is provided with the taste and comfort natural to an establishment where a community of wealthy bachelors have been living for several centuries. He has at his command libraries of European reputation, and gardens which possess a charm of their own that can be found in no other gardens in the world. And when he has lived for six, or seven, or ten, or fifteen years amidst all this luxury, mental and material; when the habit of so living has become part of his nature, and he can no longer do without it, then you tell him to leave this Paradise, and go forth into the world at an age when it is almost too late to commence a fresh career, unless he is prepared to say that he is inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon himself the office of the ministry. Sir, this is a temptation to which we have no right to expose anyone. For the sake of the individual, and for the sake of the Church itself, I think we ought to put a stop to this device for entrapping recruits into the ranks of the clergy. The clergymen whom you get by this method are no longer worth having. Public feeling, on these topics, has changed; and it is time that our legislation should change with it. There was a time when a young man who wanted to keep his Fellowship had no scruple whatever about joining the Church. A College Fellow used to take Orders as naturally and lightly as a Member takes the oaths at this Table. But it is so no longer. On this question it is, of course, impossible to quote statistics; but I appeal to the personal experience and observation of every University man in this House, who is under five-and-forty, to say whether it is not the case that a large—a very large—a quite preponderating proportion of the most distinguished men at our Colleges are unwilling to become clergymen under the same circumstances as formerly. They are willing to take Orders, if they intend to devote themselves to spiritual ministrations. They will not take Orders that they may qualify themselves for holding an educational post. Do you want a proof ? Look at our public schools. Twenty years ago almost all the under masters were in Orders. Now, not even the immense temptation of succeding to the Headmastership of Eton, Harrow, and Rugby, will induce many of our most able and efficient under masters to wear the white neckcloth. The result of making Orders a necessary qualification for holding a Fellowship or a Headship is not that you bring good men into the Church, but that you keep the best men out of the College. If there were a Fellow of Trinity who was engaged on writing a history which would rival Thirlwall; if there were a Fellow of Saint John's who was engaged in prosecuting discoveries of equal value with those of Herschel or of Adams, when his term of grace has expired, he must take on himself the vows of the Ordination Service—vows which mean nothing, if they do not mean that he is to leave his studies and devote himself henceforward to the spread of religion and the salvation of souls—or he must give up his Fellowship, and fall to writing leading articles for his daily bread. Sir, if these clerical Fellowships did attract into the Church any great proportion of the talent and the energy of the country, I should still oppose their maintenance, on the ground of justice to our Nonconformist fellow-countrymen; but the object of the remarks to which the Committee has so kindly listened has been to show that it is in the interests of University education, and, as I venture to thin-kin the still higher interests of truth and morality that we should support the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member the City of London (Mr. Goschen).


said, that although he felt a good deal might be said in favour of the Amendment, insomuch that he could not vote against it, yet he did not feel himself justified in voting for it, as it included clerical Headships to which he saw no objection. He objected altogether to clerical Fellowships because he believed that practically they were most mischievous. If he thought that those clerical monopolies, which were not monopolies of the Church as such, but only of a small. portion of it, were of any kind of use to the Church, or were even merely harmless, he should hesitate to vote for their abolition; but he was convinced that they were positively mischievous to the Church and to the Fellows themselves, and of no sort of use to the University. His objection was founded on practical grounds, and arose from the altered circumstances of the last 20 years. During that time those Fellowships had tended to become more and more isolated monopolies of a narrower and narrower character. It was an undoubted fact that, in the first place, the best men did not enter the Church in such numbers now as they formerly did; and, in the second, that the picked men who took Orders competed, not for monopolies, but for open prizes; and those clergymen who competed boldly for open Fellowships did the Church much greater honour than did those who depended upon the nursing system of close Fellowships. The sweeping away of the latter, which had indeed become " idle Fellowships " would not, he believed, affect the religious teaching of the Universities, as they would still have lectures, daily services, and the teaching of Professors and Fellows who bad gained their prizes in open competition. If they even had to choose between idle laymen and idle clergymen, he would be inclined to give the preference to the former; but it was those clerical monopolies which had a tendency to create idle Fellowships. He knew that a good many men who had won these clerical Fellowships took work as curates; but the direct tendency of the system was to put £200 or £300 a-year into their pockets and to require no clerical work from them in return. A successful candidate might go "loafing" about the world doing nothing, and yet he was told that, although he might do nothing for the best years of his life, he would, if he lived, ultimately fall into the possession of a rich College living. It was a mischievous and almost a fiendish thing to dangle such a temptation before a man's eyes as an inducement to him to take Orders, and it was almost worse when, after being for many years in the enjoyment of such a Fellowship, he was told that he must either renounce it or go into Holy Orders. The system was condemned by the Commissioners of 1854, and condemned unanimously in the case of Oxford, and this condemnation ought to have great weight with Parliament. If the temptation was great at that time it was much greater now, and a point deserving consideration in connection with the question was that Parliament had lately, within the last 10 years, made it as easy for a man to divest himself of Holy Orders as to divest himself of an old shoe. Another consideration deserving of notice was, that owing to the nature of the education now given at Oxford, easy and ingenious methods had been discovered of explaining away the responsibility incurred in signing the Thirty-nine Articles. But while he objected to these Fellowships he did so entirely on practical grounds, and had no sort of sympathy with those who said that these privileges of the Church of England should be swept away in deference to the Nonconformists; and it was because he did not see that the same objection could be made to the clerical Headships as to these Fellowships that he could not, as he had said, give his vote.


I so far agree with the hon. Member who has just sat down (Mr. Hanbury) that this question is by no means free from difficulty; but I do not feel entitled to relieve myself from that difficulty by the method he proposes to adopt—that of not giving my vote upon it. I will state my own views impartially on the question. In the first place, I feel a great difficulty in admitting the force of the argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Mowbray), who says—" Let us leave this matter to the Commissioners." I am rather disposed to say, whatever we do, we ought not to leave this to the Commissioners without an indication of the general view and sense of Parliament. The questions of principle involved in the Motion in one way or the other, and likewise the questions of practice, are of such importance that I hardly feel justified as a Member of Parliament in desiring to shift the responsibility of deciding them to a body, however responsible or well chosen, whom I am not disposed to invest with unlimited legislative power in a matter of so much consequence, and lying so near the foundation of the whole of our academical system. There is, I think, considerable weight in the representations from the University on both sides; but I cannot fail to be struck with the large number of persons practically conversant with the actual work and instruction in the University who have signed the application in favour of the removal of restrictions which certainly, I think, have the effect of giving somewhat greater relative weight to the desire that they have expressed than could be assigned to it on the ground of the mere ma- jority—not a very large one—in numbers which their body possesses. It is rather remarkable that we have this fact before us. If we go back to the period preceding the Act of 1854, I do not think it will be found that there was in existence in the University of Oxford at that time a single case in which a person in taking a Fellowship was called upon to declare his intention ultimately to take Holy Orders. For some reason, which the Commissioners under the Act of 1854 found to be cogent, they have introduced a system which is very largely or altogether new, and under which a preliminary pledge is asked of the candidate for the Fellowship that he will make use of his Fellowship in order to bring him into the Clerical Profession. I own it appears to me that there is great force in the objection taken to the exaction of that pledge at so early a period of life as that at which most young men become candidates for Fellowships. At the same time, if the other system be preferable, as possibly on the whole it may be, it would be extremely difficult to revert to it after receiving something like an authoritative condemnation in the fact of its having been abandoned by the Commissioners and Colleges of a former period, who certainly were well qualified to discharge their duties, and to weigh the arguments for and against on all questions which they decided. On the other hand, I cannot but feel that there is a great deal of force in what has been said by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and by my hon. Friends on this side of the House, as to the various dangers, which are partly anticipated, and partly witnessed, in using this method for securing a due infusion of Clergy into the Teaching and Governing Body of the University. We have it represented that clerical Fellowships are in danger of partially losing caste, and that the practical operation of the test at this moment is in certain cases to induce men to enter into Holy Orders without that deep sense of the responsibility of the step they take which undoubtedly distinguishes the Clergy in general. If I go back to the time, half-a-century ago, when I was myself conversant with the practical life of the University of Oxford, I cannot say that at that time there was any evil attendant on the system of clerical Fellowships, although the re- strictions then imposed operated more largely than at present. And, though I am far from saying that the system of the University was perfect, or that the tone of the entire resident Body was everything that could be desired, yet I cannot say, on the other hand, that any serious amount of evil could be traced to the existence of clerical Fellowships. I am afraid that is not now the case; and I think there is considerable force in what the hon. Member who has just sat down has collaterally introduced—namely, that the legal, I will say nothing, about the ecclesiastical, character of the clergyman is not now a character assumed once for all, but it is a character of which he may divest himself. So that, by the system of clerical Fellowships, we are now in the position of offering a very great pecuniary and temporal inducement to a man to engage that he will go into Holy Orders for the sake of obtaining that position, when he has a perfect knowledge that at a time when his mind may take that direction he may divest himself of the clerical character, and so in effect neutralize and frustrate the pledge he has given. Considering all the difficulties inherent in the case, I am disposed on the whole to go with my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Goschen), and to say that I would not rely upon the absolute holding of Fellowships by clergymen for securing objects which I, nevertheless, feel to be of great importance. What are the objections? The Memorial circulated, which is largely signed in favour of leaving this matter to the discretion of the Commissioners, professes the desire of the memorialists that there should be a certain proportion of Clergy in the Teaching and Governing Bodies of the Colleges. To that it is answered that there will be a certain proportion, because by the Tests Act we have enacted that provision shall be made for religious instruction and worship at the Colleges. But, so far as religious worship is concerned, it is not provided by law that the offices that may be established for the conduct of worship in College chapels shall be offices connected in any manner with the Governing Bodies; and I conceive that chaplains not belonging to the Governing Body, nor forming essential parts of it, but simply appointed to discharge duty in the chapel, however excellent in that personal character, are of no influence whatever, and in no respect able to give a tone to the Governing Body. Then it is said by my hon. Friend the Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) that a layman may be a theologian. That I do not doubt, and we have an instance in the distinguished Archbishop of Syros and Tenedos, whose name was well known at the time when he visited this country, who was a theologian long before he became a clergyman, and who had been even a Lecturer and Professor of Theology without having taken Holy Orders. But what I have in view is this—The University and the Colleges are teaching Bodies, which undertake not only to give instruction within the four walls of the lecture-room, but to take charge of the lives and conduct of the young men. And, therefore, I have to consider whether, with regard to the composition of these Bodies, anything further is required than the adoption of the rule detur digniori in the disposal of Fellowships. There is not, if we give a sufficiently large meaning to the latter word. Although I have long laboured to promote the application of simple unmitigated competition to what I may call all junior offices and emoluments, yet when I have to speak of the permanent or senior members of Teaching Governing Bodies, I cannot say that the result of any examination at all constitutes a sufficient test. I throw over the sectarian question altogether. I am not thinking of any sectarian distinction, for I believe that not in every case is a clergyman better than a layman; but looking at the matter broadly, with regard to the Colleges of Oxford, governed by men, many of them young, living together, I have not the smallest doubt that the presence of a considerable number of clergymen in these resident Bodies is of the highest importance for their efficiency as Teaching Governing Bodies, not merely for scholastic instruction, but the great business of discipline. There is one argument I should like to use, and it is not devoid of importance. Allusion has been made to the body of junior masters of our public schools. But in hardly any case since the election of masters has been made entirely free have the trustees gone beyond the Clergy for the Head Master. This is a fact of considerable weight. The Governing Bodies of the public schools have no motive but to secure the highest efficiency and prosperity of the school, and they have found it for the interests of the school, as a general rule, to commit the principal charge to a clergyman. It may be said that one objection is that the Motion includes the Headships. But I cannot draw a fundamental distinction between Headships and Fellowships, for there is no part of the Oxford system that requires a more drastic application of principles of reform than the Headships. What I hope to see is the Head of every College in Oxford, with the exception, perhaps, of the Dean of Christ Church, whose position is exceptional, become the mainspring of the whole governing discipline and instruction of his College, and contributing to those as largely and efficiently as the head of any public school now does to the government and instruction of that school. Having made the admission I have made, that an infusion of clergy in the resident Bodies is of the highest importance to their efficiency, I may be asked how I propose that that end shall be gained, if I no longer look to attain it by means of clerical Fellowships. I do not look to attaining it simply by the provisions in the Tests Act that there shall be certain officers for religious worship and instruction; but it appears to me there are two things which ought to be clearly borne in mind by the Commissioners who will have to act under the Bill. First, I assume that all Fellowships will, in one sense, be open; that many will be simply Fellowships of reward—prize Fellowships, partly for what has been attained, and partly with a view to further attainment. Now, I think that in the allocation of Fellowships for special studies, which of late years has been a feature of University improvement, a fair proportion ought to be distinctly assigned to the study of theology. This does not import the clerical test. Independent of the question whether there was an intention to take Orders, there would be no pledge; but they would contribute to the stock of men among whom candidates for Orders would be found. In proposing examinations in theology, as in other subjects, I do not propose to treat it as a test of the theology of this or that particular Church, but simply as a proof of the knowledge or the acquirements obtained in that particular study, and I am assuming that the choice for a Fellowship will be in many cases distinct from a choice for an office admitting into the Governing Body of a College. I assume that the first admission to a Fellowship is one thing, and the admission into the senior Governing Teaching Body is another. I therefore come to consider what should be the test of admission into the permanent Teaching Governing Body; and the only test I would propose is that it should be founded not on the results of examination, taken simply, but on general fitness to promote the purposes for which the College was founded as a place of religion, education, and learning; and I think this will lead to the admission of a large number of the Clergy as members of the Governing Body. Under the Act of 1854 we have retained, to my very great regret, this most exceptionable system of Fellowships for life. There is therefore now but one door to the Governing and Teaching Bodies, and that is more and more exclusively the mere result of examination. There appeared to be an impression on the passing of the Act of 1854 that Fellowships should be disposed of according to the simple result of the examination papers sent in. I wish to render my testimony that there cannot be a more complete mistake as to the intention of Parliament. What the legal effect of the Act may be I do not know—what interpretation has been put on it by the Commissioners I do not know; but having been concerned in the drawing of the Bill and having had charge of it, I am perfectly justified in asserting, so far as any individual can speak for the intention of Parliament, that it was not the intention of Parliament that in the election to Fellowships, which is the only door to the Governing Body of the College, the mere results of examination should be attended to. I repeat, I think the test of admission to the permanent Governing Body should be general fitness for the purposes designated as the purposes of the College. That would in no sense be theological; it would not be professional; but they would look to all the qualities which give weight and efficiency to men who teach and govern; and the result, I believe, would be that they would get a fair proportion of clergymen in those Governing Bodies. There is another point which it is important to consider —the composition of the choosing body. I have very great doubts whether simple co-optation in each College would be entirely safe as the exclusive method of choosing the permanent Teaching Governing Body. The junior Fellows can hardly be considered a dominant influence in the choice of those who are to be the senior Governing Body; if the choice is not to be made by the whole body of the Fellows, it will be made by a very small body—the permanent and senior Fellows; and I question whether it will be safe to allow a small body to proceed by co-optation. It may be necessary to call in assistance from beyond the College walls, either from the Professorial faculty, or some other influence, in order that the most efficient choice may be made. I have thought it right thus to point out what should be the objects we should have in view, for we cannot afford to lose any of the moral weight of the Governing and Teaching Bodies. I do not say that as regards the teaching, discipline, and character of the Governing Body at Oxford there is any clamant evil; but there is an evil against which precautions may justly be taken, when we are providing means for the modification of the present system. My position is this — I most distinctly and strongly desire that among the governors and teachers of youths in the Colleges of the University there shall be a considerable infusion of the Clergy. The mode of securing that, as it now stands, I am not prepared to defend, and, consequently, I shall give my vote for the Amendment of my right hon. Friend.


said, he felt he had no reason to complain of the course which the debate had taken from the beginning. It had been entirely free from those asperities which had occurred before. But he would venture to recall the Committee to the position in which the question now stood. In 1871 the University Tests Act was passed, and a provision was inserted in the 3rd clause which retained the rights of all those who took Holy Orders to the advantages which they possessed at that time. Those rights had, to a certain extent, been interfered with by the Act of 1854 and the ordinances made in consequence of it, and clerical Fellowships had been very materially reduced. At the time when the new order of things came into force the number of clerical Fellowships was stated at nearly one-half, or 270, as against 480; and he believed that at present there were only 116 of these Fellowships, and they were not all provided for in the same way. In some cases a pledge was taken at once, and in others there were Fellowships which were held for a certain number of years, and the holder was then called upon either to take Holy Orders or give up the Fellowship. It was very rare indeed that the holder was called on contemporaneously with his election to declare that he would take Holy Orders, it being the general rule that he became a clergyman before the time expired. It was not necessary to go into a defence of the present system. But almost everyone who took Orders could make up his mind at 22; a vast number became deacons at 23. They were not called upon to elect before other young men chose their profession. In every profession there would be men who had sought their emolument in a way others might think improper. But single instances were by no means conclusive as to the general result. There might be exceptions, but his belief was that the men who did take clerical Fellowships did, in the main, devote themselves to clerical duties, and it would be found that they not only undertook the duties, but that they discharged them with zeal and efficiency. What was the result of that discussion ? He did not propose that the Bill should retain everything exactly as it existed at present in the University of Oxford, or that there should be the same number of clerical Fellowships in every College for the future as there was now. On the contrary, he would say now, what he had said on the introduction of the Bill, that it was an academical Bill, and that if it had been a measure proposing to deal with religious tests he should not have brought it in. He must repeat that it was a purely academical Bill, which put into the hands of the Commissioners the means of improving the Universities in various ways, as places of religion, education, and learning, and they would have the power among other things of altering the conditions on which Fellowships were held; they would be able to make, if they thought it desirable, a different mode of entering and retaining the Fellowships from what there was now. It seemed to him that in dealing with the question of religious instruc- tion it was most material there should be members of the Colleges who, in discussing the statutes, would be able to call the attention of the Commissioners to the circumstances of the Colleges with respect to that point. It should also be remembered that the Colleges were not merely teaching Bodies. They were disciplinary Bodies, taking charge of the young men at a time when it was most important that, in order to influence their minds, a wise discipline should be exercised, and the Commissioners therefore would have the means of inquiring into and of dealing with not only the permanent teaching Bodies of the Colleges, but the disciplinary Bodies also. It was said that by this means we should get nothing but inferior men. Two arguments were used—one was that the best men went into other Professions, and that men superior not only in intellect, but in morality, would not take Holy Orders for the sake of gaining clerical Fellowships. His own impression was that though there might be exceptions, yet as a general rule there was no special exemption which would prevent men from making immoral bargains, although they were possessed of the highest intellect. High intellect did not necessarily involve the highest morality. And when it was argued that a preliminary pledge was immoral, his answer was that that was just one of the things which the Commissioners would have power to alter if they should I think it necessary. He could recollect when he was at Oxford that many of the clerical Fellows were men who exercised the most beneficial influence possible on the young men in every part of the University. He knew there were such men now, and it was quite a mistake to suppose that the present system had produced anything like the results which hon. Members opposite had imputed to it. He quite agreed with those who said that chaplains would be the worst possible substitutes for the Governing Body of the Colleges, and he remembered several cases in which chaplains were not held in the same respect as the Governing Body. It was not necessary to go into the question of co-optation raised by the right hon. Member for Greenwich, asit did not affect the issue now before the Committee. But what he wished to impress on the Committee was that this Bill must be treated simply as an academical Bill. If it were true that the interests of education were suffering from the existence of these clerical Fellowships, it would be in the power of the Commissioners to diminish or abolish them. If it was found that they exercised an influence hostile to intellect and morality in the University it would be in the power of the Commissioners to alter them. They would, in short, be competent to deal with everything. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Goschen) proposed to tell the Commissioners in the most peremptory manner that these things should not endure for a moment; and, therefore, so far from agreeing to the clause, he (Mr. Hardy) could not assent to it even in the smallest proportion, because it was taking the most perilous step of abolishing the whole system, which, it should be remembered, was but the remnant of a state of things in which the Clergy had much greater rights. It was said that no condition should be imposed in any instance or in favour of any Headship. That would include the Dean of Christchurch, which he thought very objectionable, as it would separate the Deanery of the Cathedral from the Headship of the College. As he had said, the Committee ought to leave this question to the Commissioners. He thought that a great concession to hon. Gentlemen opposite, and beyond it he was not prepared to move.


said, he would not detain the Committee for more than a few minutes; but he thought it worth while to point out that during that extremely interesting discussion not one single speech had been made on either side of the House in which any hon. Member had stood up boldly in defence of clerical Fellowships. It was true that various objections had been taken to the clause of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Goschen)—that it was too short, that it was too sweeping, too peremptory, and so on; but the real objection was, that it pointed out its object too clearly—that it would take away clerical Fellowships, and not a single Member had stood up in their defence. But the question was, what course did the Government intend to pursue ? They said that that was one of those matters which must be relegated to the Commissioners; but that would be an abdication by Parliament of one of its most important duties, without giving the slightest indication of what its mind or intention was. It should be observed, too, that no indication had been given of the mind of the Government. They had not defended the retention of clerical Fellowships or Headships, and he gathered from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that they were perfectly prepared, if the Commissioners should recommend the abolition of clerical Fellowships and Headships, to consent to it. The matter was left entirely to the discretion of certain Commissioners; but the Committee had a right to know, at all events, what was the opinion of the Government on the question—whether the Commissioners were to be invited or encouraged to recommend the retention of those clerical Headships or Fellowships, or whether they were perfectly free to recommend their abolition. His right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) had made several suggestions, by which he thought the evils arising from the competitive system might be avoided. Those suggestions would be most worthy of the consideration of the Commissioners; but he did not think his right hon. Friend's object would be attained, or that his right hon. Friend himself believed it could be attained, by the retention of a system of tests, the only effect of which could be to lower the standard, both intellectual and moral, of those gentlemen who were in future to form the Governing Bodies of those Colleges. Holding that opinion, he had no hesitation in voting for the clause of his right hon. Friend.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 138; Noes 147: Majority 9. — (Div. List, No. 148.)


said, that he had not, during the discussions on the Bill, taken up much of the time of the Committee, but he would now propose the Amendment of which he had given Notice, that— Nothing in this Act shall authorize the Commissioners to reduce the existing number of Fellowships in any College or Hall. He submitted that, as they had appointed Commissioners, they should entrust them with the more important details which they would have to carry out; but his Amendment raised a question of fundamental importance—it was a question of principle, as to whether they should otherwise appropriate those magnificent endowments which had been derived by the Universities from the munificent donors of the past. Those who had resided at the Universities could not but have been struck by the fact that there was a powerful party there who desired to destroy the Fellowship system. He spoke of that party with the utmost respect, because amongst it were many of his friends, and they belonged to that Party in politics of which he was a member. But there was no political issue raised by his Amendment, and, with regard to the Commissioners, he should go as far as anyone in the object of improving the rules and raising the standard of intellect in their Universities, Colleges, and Halls, and the object of his clause was entirely intended to operate in that direction. He thought it of great importance that the endowments of the Colleges should be carefully guarded and administered; and in reference to them and other matters, he might state that in discussions at Cambridge he had been jocularly described by some of his friends as being even a worse Tory than the two Members for the University; but whether that was so or not, he would be able to show that this was not a Party question, and he could advocate his Amendment with perfect consistency to the opinions which he had always held. There would be this practical question which the Commissioners would have to consider, and which would have to be considered by the Universities. The object of the Bill was that from every College endowment the University should be able to obtain a certain sum of money which should be applied to a general fund. But the practical question was, from what source was that sum to be obtained ? If a College was called on to supply £1,200 a-year out of its corporate funds for University purposes, the amount might be found by the rough expedient of abolishing four Fellowships of the value of £300 each, or by reducing the value of existing Fellowships, or, again, by appropriating a portion of the increment accruing upon the income of College property. Now, the danger against which he wished particularly to guard was that the University should be assisted by the sacrifice of existing Fellowships. If such a thing were allowed, it would encourage a certain amount of selfishness, because the existing Fellows would be able to assist the University, without contributing a single penny themselves, but simply at the expense of their successors and of those students of promise who were looking forward to a Fellowship as a legitimate reward. It might be said that Cambridge and Oxford now had a superfluity of Fellowships; but he wished most emphatically to deny that allegation as far as his own University was concerned. At present there was no such superfluity at Cambridge, where no Fellowships were conferred on those who did not deserve them; but, on the contrary, with an increasing number of distinguished students coming to the University they had not enough Fellowships to reward their intellectual achievements. Since he first entered Cambridge, a quarter of-a-century ago, the number of Undergraduates had nearly doubled, and the number of men reading for high honours had increased in a far greater ratio. Moreover, it now required far harder work and more lengthened study to obtain a position in the first 10 Wranglers or in the first 10 of the Classical Tripos than it did 25 years ago. Again, since he had known the University at least three or four new Honours Triposes had been called into existence, and every year the standard in them had been raised. Now there were an important History Tripos, a Law Tripos, a Natural Science Tripos, a Moral Science Tripos, &c. During the last quarter-of-a-century not a single Fellowship had been conferred at Trinity College, Cambridge, on a student who had not obtained the highest honours, and in consequence of the paucity of Fellowships many a man had to be rejected on whom the College would have liked to bestow such a distinction. As an example he would mention that there was a student recently at Trinity whose conduct he knew was unexceptionable, and who obtained a most distinguished position—that of fourth Wrangler of his year—but so few were the Fellowships that Trinity had to bestow as rewards for meritorious study, there was not a Fellowship to be bestowed on a student so distinguished as the gen- tleman he referred to. It was, therefore, idle to pretend that there were too many Fellowships in the University. At Cambridge, hitherto, as a general rule, no one had been able to obtain a Fellowship unless he had secured distinction either in the Classical or the Mathematical Tripos. His own College, Trinity Hall, was often described as a " Law College," yet during the last 20 years, so far from having any superfluity of Fellowships, they had never been able to give a single Fellowship to a man who had distinguished himself in the Law Tripos. Those holding advanced views on education wished the new Triposes to be encouraged; but if they had not enough Fellowships to confer on those who obtained the highest positions in those Triposes, what chance was there of their acquiring the prestige which would attract the most distinguished students in the University ? It might be said the Bill would increase the number of vacant Fellowships from year to year, because one of its chief objects was to limit the term of their tenure. But, on the other hand, it was contemplated by the Bill that those who were doing educational work in the University and the Colleges, such as Tutors and Lecturers, were to continue to hold their Fellowships, even although they became married men. Thus they would diminish the number of vacancies by allowing more Fellowships to be held by men filling permanent offices in the University. The opponents of Fellowships argued as if the present system was to remain unaltered; but, as a matter of fact, there was now a general consensus of opinion in favour of a limitation of the tenure of Fellowships. In his opinion, the term of tenure of non-resident Fellowships should be limited to seven, eight, nine, or ten years. He also thought that all celibate restrictions on these non - resident Fellowships should be abolished; but he thought the last thing they ought to seek to abolish was the Fellowship system itself. Prize Fellowships enabled the child of the poorest parents to begin the battle of life by the unaided powers of his genius, on equal terms with the children of the richest, and without seeking the favour of the great. He did not know whether it was Toryism to preserve such an institution; but whether it was Toryism or not, he thought they should be anxious to defend a system which was the means of conferring important benefits on deserving students. Having been fortunate in obtaining a Fellowship himself, he was too conscious of the benefit it had conferred upon him, and should ever prize it too highly, not to be anxious that others should not be deprived of the same advantages. He begged to move, therefore, the clause of which he had given Notice.


said, he could find no flaw from first to last in the argument of his hon. Friend the Member for Hackney. If the multiplied Honour examinations—Triposes or Schools as they were respectively called at Cambridge and Oxford—were to take their places alongside the ancient and well-established ones, there must be a correlation of reward for the men who came out of them with distinction, and that could not be obtained if the number of Fellowships were to be diminished. But while warmly sympathizing with the Amendment and its object, he would ask his hon. Friend to consider whether it would be politic for him to divide the Committee at this unfortunate middle part of the evening, and in the then deserted state of the House. A division taken under those circumstances would be no test of the feelings of the Committee, and would be apt to be misunderstood. If, however, his hon. Friend did go to a division, he should feel it his duty to vote with him.


remarked, that when the Bill was brought into the other House last Session the prime object suggested by Lord Salisbury was the taking away of certain funds from the Colleges and diverting them to the Universities; and although that object might have been attenuated considerably by the noble Lord's Colleagues, it constituted the reason why this measure was approved by some of the most ardent spirits at Oxford, and by some also, he believed, at Cambridge. The main purpose proposed. to be served was the endowment of certain Professorships. There were not to be Professorships in the ordinary sense of the word, but offices created for the purpose of developing research in particular subjects. The chief object was to have in the Universities certain persons whom people might consult on certain branches of study. For example, there might be Professors of Chinese, Pali, and Pushtu, appointed not to teach those languages, but in order to enable the Universities to say—" Here is our man who knows Chinese, or Pali, or Pushtu." He contended that prize Fellowships were to a large extent the very centre and stimulus of the whole educational machinery of the Kingdom. In the course of this Committee there had been a good deal of talk about the functions of a University. Many men went there to obtain a degree and to enter by the easiest way the ministry of the Established Church. Another function of a University was to occupy a certain portion of the time of the jeunesse dorée of the Kingdom, and, of course, as long as this class of young men come up, the examinations must be adapted to them. Then there was a third class, that of the lads who began at the various schools and passing through higher schools reached the University by means of the local and other examinations which had been established during the last 20 years. Boys from all schools throughout the country came in to compete for the minor Scholarships which not a few of the Colleges had established, and they were thus enabled to go to the University, and to pursue their studies there, and eventually to find the highest positions in the world open to them. There were numerous instances in which boys who had got to the University in this manner had succeeded in attaining the position of Prelates, Judges, and even of Ministers of State. This was not a new process, and he need only refer to one illustrious case—that of Prior, who, having filled the office of British Ambassador at Paris, had retired to his University to end his days amid the associations he had formed in early life, but by the abolition of limitations and preferences in favour of particular localities the competition throughout the country had been immensely developed in the present generation. In this way the relations of the whole social organization of England were kept healthy and strong, while careers were opened to all classes of boys, so that each might be said to carry his fortune in his satchel. No one defended life Fellowships, still less would he, and at Cambridge they were gradually going out of favour. At St. John's College there were only two life Fellowships tenable by laymen, one of which was held by himself, and to those two no more life Fellows would be appointed. He must express a strong opinion in favour of Fellowships tenable for seven years, which he preferred to any fanciful Professorships that could be devised. He was most anxious that the system from which he had derived such great advantages should not be swept away; and he looked with some alarm to the possibility of the predominance of those opinions which prevailed at Oxford, and to a lesser extent at Cambridge, which would sacrifice the whole of the machinery which had hitherto worked so beneficially on the erroneous supposition that by it learning was vulgarized and education degraded. Although he strongly supported the Amendment and was prepared to vote for it, he concurred in thinking that it would not be wise to take a division at that moment.


said, that when he listened to the speeches of the hon. Members for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney) and for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett) he began to doubt whether after all he was not a great revolutionist. He was somewhat amazed at the courage displayed by those hon. Gentlemen in venturing to lay down from their experience of their own Colleges the general principle that everything was as perfect over the whole of the two Universities as it was thereat all events, as regarded the Fellowships —that the Commissioners should not have the power to reduce the number of the latter under any circumstances. The speeches of the hon. Members indicated that they believed that the existing systems were going to be changed, and that the Commissioners were going down to the two Universities to uproot the whole system of Fellowships, Exhibitions, Scholarships, and Foundations. There was no pretence for such a supposition. Should the view of the hon. Members be adopted, the Commissioners would have no power to unite two very poor Fellowships into one moderate one, however beneficial such a union might be to the College to which they belonged. There was also a College where no teaching went on at all; but according to the clause of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Hackney none of those Fellowships could be suppressed and the proceeds diverted to other purposes. It was gratifying to find that Alma Mater had so strong a bold upon the mind of the hon. Member for Hackney, and that no hon. Member was inclined to throw contempt upon that faithful mother who had reared so many of them. The Committee, however, had already negatived the proposal of the hon. Member for Hackney, because they had agreed to a paragraph in Clause 16 giving the Commissioners power to divide, suspend, or suppress any emolument of any College; and he trusted that they would adhere to the principles upon which they had throughout been acting, and would not attempt to tie the Commissioners' hands in a matter which was so essential in the working of the scheme contemplated by the Bill.


said, they had been told by the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill, when objection was raised to the funds of the Colleges being taken for the support of the Universities, that the Commissioners would only have to deal with the superfluous funds of the Colleges. It was, of course, the Commissioners who would decide what were superfluous funds, and if they were to be at liberty to make superfluous funds by suppressing emoluments, the Colleges would be altogether at their mercy. In his opinion, it would be going too far to give them the power to reduce the number of Fellowships. He knew that many parents sent their sons to the Universities for the emoluments as well as the honours of the place, and he considered that it would be unwise to give the Commissioners the large power of reducing the prizes. He strongly objected to any reduction whatever, and if the hon. Member for Hackney went to a division he would support him.


remarked that he himself had felt the value of " idle Fellowships," and he was sure, as a matter of money, from the statistics contained in the Blue Book of the Commissioners, that for the next few years all reasonable demands for appliances in teaching physical science, modern history, languages of the East, and other subjects would be met without touching one of the existing Fellowships. He maintained that there could be no reason for interfering with these Fellowships. The old Commission had suspended, but not suppressed, Fellowships, and that was, in his opinion, far the better course. A previous clause of the Bill was quite sufficient for the object of the hon. Mem- ber for Hackney. He did not think it desirable to suppress any of the existing Fellowships at Oxford, and thought it would be a breach of faith to do so, as they would break the word which Parliament had given to them by the old Commissioners.


said, in reply, that the discussion which had taken place was so extremely satisfactory that it had completely answered the object which he had in view, and he would not divide the Committee, inasmuch as the division might be misunderstood by the Commissioners, for there was not a single hon. Member who had taken part in the discussion, except the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War, who had not supported the principle of the clause, and it was not his intention to press it to a division.


said, he was sure that his hon. Friend (Mr. Fawcett) was mistaken in thinking he had a majority on the question. On the contrary, if the Committee had divided he would have found himself in a considerable minority. He believed that the great majority of the resident Fellows at Cambridge were opposed to his Amendment, which would have come with greater propriety from the other side of the House than from his own.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

New clause, to follow Clause 25, (Mr. Gosehen) postponed.

New Clause (New statutes), to follow Clause 11 (Mr . Balfour), postponed.

New Clause (Commissioners before deciding on scheme disposing of college emoluments shall consider corresponding scheme proposed for the other University), to follow Clause 20 (Mr. Balfour), by leave, withdrawn.


moved, after Clause 24, to insert the following Clause:— No statute or ordinance shall be made under this Act affecting the trusts, conditions, or directions of the will of John Snell, Esquire, deceased, or any scheme approved by the Court of Chancery relating thereto, without the consent in writing of the University Court of the University of Glasgow.


assented to the introduction of the clause, re- marking that it appeared to him the exhibitions belonged rather to Glasgow than to Oxford.

Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.


moved to insert the following Clause:— On and after the first day of Michaelmas Term, One thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, the election to any office in the University, except the office of Chancellor, of the High Steward, or of Burgesses which are now made by convocation, shall be made by the congregation of such University. He thought the present elective body was too large, and the election was constantly carried by political influence. The Congregation of the University was better acquainted with the qualifications of a candidate for a Professorship, and if the powers of such election were delegated to Congregation a qualified man was more likely to be elected to the office than under the present mode, under which a system of canvassing and electioneering prevailed which was by no means creditable or advantageous to the University. He would give as an instance the election of Public Orator the other day. He (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) had received a number of letters on behalf of one of the candidates. One gentleman—being a personal friend of his—recommended this candidate as a personal friend of his own; others, because he had been connected with the Apollo Lodge of Freemasons at Oxford, which gained him many votes; and, finally, he (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) was persuaded to vote for this candidate because he found that all the members of his own College were going to do so. But no one canvassed him on the ground that this gentleman was the candidate best qualified for the office; and it was not until his arrival in Oxford to vote that he found many of the residents, most competent to judge, were supporting another candidate upon the ground of his superior qualifications. Surely, Congregation, comprising as it did those who did the daily practical work of the University, was, even though unreformed and containing some persons not so engaged, a body more competent to judge of the fitness of men for these offices than the larger body of Convocation, the vast majority of which were men who had long ceased to have any connection with the University. He had been told that the same system of electioneering would prevail in the smaller body; but he had greater confidence in the men who composed the Congregation of Oxford than to suppose they would to any great extent be guided by other motives than the qualifications of the candidates, and the public opinion of the University would be more easily brought to bear upon them than upon Convocation.


opposed the Amendment. The present system gave the University a voice in these appointments which it was undesirable to interfere with. Further than that, the clause would have very little effect, Convocation and Congregation so nearly coincided the one with the other.


said, he was anxious not to hamper the Commissioners too much. This was a question which might very well be left to them. The proposed change would not get rid of canvassing or personal feeling entering into elections, and he doubted much its resulting in a better clause. In Cambridge free election had given to the world as its Professor of Geology, Adam Sedgwick, one who perhaps did more to advance that study than any man who ever lived. His opponent was Mr. Gorham, who afterwards became very notorious in the suit of Gorham v. Bishop of Exeter. Had the election been in a limited body, it might have appointed a clergyman about whose geology nobody afterwards knew anything, though there could be little doubt as to his theology.


said, he agreed with his right hon. Friend (Mr. KnatchbullHugessen), that Convocation was not a proper body to make the election, and that many abuses existed. He was disposed also to think that Congregation was not always the best body to elect Professors, seeing that it was still liable to the objection that it would in individual electors be open to circulars and the same influences of which his right hon. Friend complained; only they would be stronger, because the electoral body would be smaller. He trusted his right hon. Friend would be content with having called attention to the subject, would withdraw his Amendment, and leave it to the Commissioners to devise some better means for the election of Professors.


pointed out that under the 16th clause the Commissioners would have power, if they saw reason to do so, to alter the electoral body.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Postponed Clause 2 (Interpretation).


said, that in the clause the word "school" included in its definition "Colleges in Scotland," which he thought was degrading to those Colleges. He wished to be informed what was the reason for this definition, and thought that at all events the Colleges of Glasgow and Edinburgh, which were co-extensive, and by statute identical, with the Universities of those cities, should be classed in the Bill as Universities.


said, the definition given in the measure was entirely unnecessary, and would give offence where none was intended.


said, he would consider the matter on the Report.

On the Motion of Mr. GATHORNE HARDY, Amendments made in

Page 2, line 3, after "Oxford," insert, as a new paragraph— The Governing Body of a College" means, as regards the Colleges in the University of Oxford, except Christ Church, the head and all actual fellows of the College, being graduates, and as regards Christ Church means the dean, canons, and senior students.

Line 14, after "place," insert "in the University or a College."

Line 16, after "by a," insert "head or other."

Line 17, leave out "and in," and insert— or having attached thereto an income to be so held and enjoyed, arising wholly or in part from an endowment, benefaction or trust, and includes the income aforesaid, and all benefits and advantages of every nature and kind belonging to the place, and includes, as regards.

Clause, as amended, agreed to, and ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Postponed Clause 18 (Provision for religious instruction, &c.).

On the Motion of Mr. DODSON, Amendments made in—

Page 7, line 8, leave out "for a College."

Line 12, after "prayer," insert "in Colleges."

Line 12, after "make," insert— directly or indirectly through the consolidation or combination of any office or emolument with any other office or emolument, whether in the University or in a College.

Line 14, after "headship," leave out "or."

Line 14, after "fellowship," insert "office or emolument."


in moving to leave out the latter part of the clause, and insert words to the effect that the Commissioners, after making provision for religious instruction and morning and evening prayer, should with respect to all College emoluments or offices have regard to the ensuring, and should make such statutes as might be necessary for ensuring, the same being conferred according to personal merit and fitness, and (except in so far as was requisite for the purposes of religious instruction and worship) that none of the tests, conditions, and obligations referred to in the third section of "The Universities Tests Act, 1871," or in the provisoes thereto, should be imposed or continued as part of the conditions of eligibility to or tenure of any College emolument or office, said, the question raised by his Amendment was not exactly that decided by so narrow a majority before dinner. It was framed so as to avoid the criticisms directed against the Amendment of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Goschen). The two right hon. Gentlemen opposite (Mr. Hardy and Mr. Mowbray) and his right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) objected to the former Amendment, because it would be necessary to create chaplaincies for the due performance of religious services, and because chaplains were an inferior class and a different stamp of men, and further because the religious element in Colleges would be better recognized by attaching these religious functions to Fellowships. In the case of his Amendment these objections fell to the ground. It was couched also in much milder language, and he therefore hoped that the very narrow majority against the other Amendment would be converted into a majority in favour of his Amendment. Statistics had been given of the Fellowships of each University, but no one had given the totals of both together. So far, however, as he could ascertain, there were at Cambridge 350 Fellowships, and at Oxford 337. The highest number at Oxford computed to be subject to clerical conditions was 149, and the lowest 116. As to Cambridge, there were no difference of opinion, the number of Fellowships subject to clerical restrictions being 235, and only 115 being free from those conditions. The hon. Baronet concluded by moving the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, In page 7, line 4, to leave out from the words " office or emolument," to the end of the Clause, in order to insert the words "and after making such provision for religious instruction and morning and evening prayer, they shall as regards all college emoluments or offices have regard to the ensuring, and shall make such statutes as may be necessary for ensuring the same being conferred according to personal merit and fitness, and (except in so far as is requisite for the purposes of religious instruction and worship) none of the tests, conditions, and obligations referred to in the third section of The Universities Tests Act, 1871,' or in the provisoes thereto, shall be imposed or continued as part of the conditions of eligibility to or tenure of any college emolument or office."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."


said, that notwithstanding the milder form of the Amendment, it raised the same question and was open to the same objections as that which the Committee had rejected. Most of the Amendments offered to the clauses had been recommended on the ground of expansion and of liberality, but this was an illiberal proposal, and would only have the effect of contracting the powers of the Commissioners. If the Amendment were accepted, although some provision might be made for religious instruction, clerical Fellowships as such would cease to exist. The Conservative opinion of the Universities on this subject was that which did not express itself most loudly. The speech of the right hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) was so convincing, that it was to be regretted it had not been supported by his vote. The question was one, not of the social position and the privileges of the Clergy, but of the benefit to the Colleges as places of learning. The study of theology and religious teaching must occupy a great part of the attention of the Colleges; and, if the position of the teachers of religion was lowered, a great injury would be done to the cause of religion and of liberal education. Reference had been made by the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Charles W. Dilke) to the feelings of parents. For himself, he thought it was quite clear, and quite natural and right, that parents desired to entrust their children, at least in their earlier years, to those who were in Holy Orders, and many arguments to the contrary seemed to be drawn from a former generation. There was now no fear of clerical domination, and if there was any fear at all, it was of too little rather than too much religious influence. At Balliol, the seat of advanced Liberalism, the chaplain had been made an honorary Fellow, so that the Undergraduates might not look down upon him, as they might upon one who came in to perform clerical duties and was not a member of the Governing Body of the College. He did not take a non possumus or status quo position; but he said that, having appointed Commissioners, they ought to trust them to carry out in a truly liberal spirit any amendment which might be desired in this direction.


supported the Amendment, although he did not vote for the clause of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for London, because it was too sweeping and was open to objections from which this Amendment was free. That clause would have interfered with the principle of the academic constitution of Universities all over the world, for there were in every University a preparatory Faculty of Arts, and professional faculties for Theology, Law, and Medicine; and the clause would have placed disabilities upon one of these only. Had the clause not imposed an actual disability, but simply asked that the clerical Fellowships should be reduced to a reasonable number, in fair proportion to the other professional Faculties, and thus opened them to the clergy of all denominations, he would have supported such a proposition with alacrity. But a clause of absolute prohibition was quite contrary to the progress of the Universities, which were trying to make themselves useful to the occupations of the people. Cambridge had recently established 10 Fellowships in connection with Law, and six in connection with Science, and why should it have these new Fellowships, and not any in connection with Theology? As a Liberal, he thought it would be fatal to the progress of Liberal principles that the Clergy should become seminarists, instead of being educated at the great Universities. It was education at the Universities that made them have such a hold over the people. If they became seminarists and were educated in mere clerical institutions, they would be made simple dogmatists. The evil of all special or technical instruction, apart from University training, was that the education had length without breadth. It was important that the Clergy should be educated with the laity, in order to acquire public sympathies, and thus be expanded into citizens before they were contracted into priests. Foreign countries had found it most injurious to public progress that the priests had become a caste separate from laymen; and in Germany Prince Bismarck had found it necessary to propose a law to compel candidates for the priesthood to go to Universities before attending theological seminaries. The Amendment did not abolish clerical Fellowships, but it abolished tests in regard to them. It promoted the science of Theology as distinct from Belief, and would allow the granting of degrees and honours without asking what a man's opinions were. That was already the practice in the theological Faculties of the Scotch Universities. It would surely be for the advantage of the country if Dissenting ministers went to our Universities for training, and thus acquired culture in addition to theological knowledge.


said, he could not help observing that that Amendment would introduce disturbance in that very Faculty on which all the Colleges were founded. They were all based on religious education and connection with the Established Church of the country. If they broke up that basis, or severed that connection with the Established Church, they would do a vast amount of injury, not only to that Church, but to the Colleges themselves, for some parents would feel reluctance in sending their children to an institution which was dissociated from the Church, while others would send their children to theological Colleges or seminaries, which would have an injurious effect, by separating those who were to be our future clergy from local education with the great body of the laity. That was, in his opinion, a strong reason why they should do nothing to diminish the connection between the Universities and the maintenance of clerical Fellowships. He admitted that many improvements could be made in different Colleges; but he did not see how good was to be effected by laying down a hard Procrustean rule applicable to all. The Bill should be treated as a purely academical one, leaving to the Commissioners and Heads of Colleges full powers of action. He could not support the the Amendment.


said, that he hoped many lion. Members opposite would come over and vote for the Amendment, having bad time for reflection since the last division. The discussion had done this good, it had justified the action taken by the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea in raising the question a second time in a different form. If any excuse were needed, it could be easily found in the tone taken by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge himself. They had now from the right hon. Gentleman the statement which he (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) had attempted in vain to draw from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Hardy) as to what the meaning of " religion " in the Bill really was. This Amendment was opposed, because it was said it would interfere with the sacred connection, which had never yet been abolished, between the Universities and the Church of England. It had been his impression that the Tests Act had, once and for all, separated that connection with the Church of England; but the right hon. Gentleman said that was a mistake. That was a statement against which he must distinctly protest. If they wanted an excuse for pressing the Amendment to a division it would be found in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. It was said this matter should be left to the Commissioners. But the question lay at the root of all University and College reform; it was not academical, but it was bound up with many deep-seated political questions—it was part and parcel of the question of religious liberty, which had been discussed for over 100 years in that House, and, therefore, the Committee should not leave it to the Commissioners to do what they might think fit. The Colleges could not deal with their organization or re-organization, unless the Committee settled this question for them. The hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. Talbot) said that religious education would be in danger; but that was the same cry when the University Tests Act was passed, and yet no harm had resulted from the passing of that Act. It reminded him of a saying of the late Mr. Hallam, of which he (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) approved, that the Established Church was only in favour of liberty when they wanted to overthrow Liberal institutions. It was not necessary to have Fellows in Holy Orders for the purpose of giving religious instruction. You might have persons who would give that instruction without being clerical Fellows. Competition had produced the same effect upon the study of Theology at the Universities which competition had produced in everything else—it had stimulated it. As long as we kept the Universities closed, Theology slept; but when we threw the Universities open, the Church of England woke up and saw that it must set to work, and now at Cambridge, of what were called the new Triposes, there was none, except the Law Tripos, which was so much sought after as the Theological Tripos. Last year there was a larger number who had gone out than the year before, and he was told that this year the numbe would be still larger. He could not help thinking that it would be far better that the Committee should say at once and for all time that these disputes should be put an end to; that they should treat this question in a purely academical spirit, and that they should make the great Universities open and free to all; and then they would gain, as they had been gaining, more and more upon the intelligence and affections of the people.


said, that if he had been in the House in the earlier part of the evening, he would have voted for the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London. He thought that the fact that a person to obtain a Fellowship must take Holy Orders was a most objectionable thing. It induced young men to enter into Holy Orders for the sake of an income. He had known cases of young men who had been tempted to take that course simply that they might get £300 a-year. But at the age of 23 they were hardly able fully to understand the nature of the obligations they were about to undertake, and afterwards they groaned under the burden, because, until a few years ago, they could not be relased from it. The object of the present Amendment was to allow any man—if he were personally fit as regarded his academical attainments—to take office, and then, if he should think proper, to enter into Holy Orders. But the present system at both Cambridge and Oxford was, in some cases, not to confer a Fellowship upon a man, or continue it, unless he was in Orders. That was a great temptation to induce men to take Orders to escape from poverty, and, in his opinion, was wrong.


said, there was one view of the question which had not been put before the Committee. He had not had the opportunity of being a member of either of the great Universities, and there were a great many more persons in this country in the same position. He thought the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole) had made a distinct attack upon Nonconformity. [Mr. WALPOLE denied that he had done so.] Though not intended, it was done, for the right hon. Gentleman said, in the plainest language, that the teaching of the Universities was based upon the principle that they were bound to the Established Church. [Cheers.] He was very thankful to have that statement cheered by hon. Gentlemen opposite, because it was time they should be told, if they had never heard it before, what was the opinion of that (the Ministerial) side of the House upon this question. The statement was not the opinion of, at all events, a largo number of the people of this country, and it was an indignity and an insult to the Nonconformists of the country. Some years ago they professed to admit young men unconditionally into the Universities—the sons of Nonconformists—but they carefully kept from them all the advantages of such a step, by depriving them of any chance of obtaining a Fellowship or any other of the emoluments attached to these institutions, unless they became members of the Church of England. By that means, instead of their Universities being educational, they were proselytizing establishments. [Cries of "Oh, oh ! "] Hon. Members might say Oh, oh, but it was nevertheless true. They got from the Nonconformist Bodies their best and most promising youths, but prevented them from obtaining any of their prizes, unless they renounced the Churches in which they had been born and to which their forefathers belonged. The Nonconformists of the country did not acknowledge the Church of England as the religion of the people—they did not envy the Universities the power of giving away the best livings to those of their own communion; letthem do so by all means. But let them act fairly, and not bribe the best of their youth to enter Universities where nothing was given them but inducements to become members of the Church of England. On that ground he protested against such a state of things, and supported the Amendment.


as a Nonconformist, supported the Amendment, and wished to know why the clergy of one Church only should be entrusted with the education of the children of Nonconformists ? They were now deprived of the opportunity of obtaining Fellowships at the Universities; but he believed the day was fast coming when that course could no longer be pursued.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 173; Noes 151: Majority 22.—(Div. List, No. 149.)

Clause, as amended, agreed to, and ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Postponed Clause 56 (Operation of Tests Act as regards theological offices).

On the Motion of Mr. GATHORNE HARDY, Amendments made in page 15, line 34, after " learning," insert— Which they are hereby empowered to do, provided the office be not a headship or follow-ship of a college then.

Line 35, leave out " statute," and insert " office."

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


observed that there was no definition of the word " office " in the Bill, but the effect, as he ap- prehended, would be to give the Commissioners power to create theological appointments ad libitum, provided they were neither Headships, nor Fellowships. That, he conceived, was contrary to the policy of the Act of 1871, and he would therefore move to leave out the clause.


explained that, by the clause, the Commissioners would have power to create offices for the teaching of Theology like any other Faculty in the University, but they could not take funds for that purpose which had not been heretofore so applied. An Amendment had already been agreed to in the shape of the succeeding clause, which would meet the objection of the right hon. Gentleman, and if the Amendment did not make it sufficiently clear, he would make it so on the Report.


maintained that they still left it within the power of the Commissioners to apply funds which were not now devoted to exclusively ecclesiastical purposes for the endowment of offices requiring theological learning.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 170; Noes 119: Majority 51.—(Div. List, No. 150 . )

On the Motion of Mr. STAVELEY HILL, Preamble amended by leaving out in page 1, line 16, the words "Whereas it is desirable."

Preamble, as amended, agreed to, and ordered to stand part of the Bill.

In reply to Mr. GOSCHEN,


said, it would be impossible at present to fix the day when the next stage of the Bill would be taken.

House resumed.

Bill reported, as amended, to be considered upon Monday next, and to be printed. [Bill 183.]