§ (Mr. Gathorne Hardy, Mr. Assheton Cross, Mr. Walpole.)
§ COMMITTEE. [Progress April 30th.]
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 16, (Objects of statutes for University).
§ MR. COURTNEY
moved, in page 6, line 1, to leave out "either at any College or Hall within the University." His object was to provide that the appointments to Scholarships created by the action of the Commissioners to be appointed under the provisions of the Bill should be confined to unattached students.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, the question had been fully considered, and he did not think any hardship could be inflicted upon unattached students by the provisions of the Bill as it stood. The Commissioners would have power 269 to make special rules with regard to the Scholarships in question. He could not, therefore, accept the Amendment.
§ MR. LOWE
moved an Amendment on the clause with the object of securing an "examination by the University of all persons seeking to be matriculated." He understood that in the existing course of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge there was no examination before students were admitted. The person seeking admission might be in the most lamentable state of ignorance, and yet be admitted to the Universities. There was an examination in several of the Colleges, he did not know of what sort; but he thought the present was an unsatisfactory state of things, as without such examination as he proposed a great deal of time, which otherwise might be turned to better account, must be wasted on elementary instruction. The Universities ought not to be occupied in mere teaching, that belonged to public schools. Mr. Pattison, Rector of Lincoln, a scholar, and a gentleman who had paid great attention to the subject, while pointing out in a work of his the existing unsatisfactory state of things, argued that, though the Universities had no examination, the Colleges had, and that beyond that put forward in the Responsions, the University examination would be of no use at all. But from the fact that a great many persons were plucked at the outset, the inference was rather in favour of the value of such examinations. The University examinations would be more strict than those of the Colleges; and if the thing was worth doing at all it was worth doing well. It would tend greatly to raise the standard of instruction at the Universities if such examinations were granted, and it would also have the important collateral effect of keeping schools up to the mark. The principle of the proposal was already admitted in some of our best Colleges and Universities, and he hoped it would be adopted in this Bill.
Amendment proposed,In page 6, line 5, after sub-section 8, to insert the words "For the examination by the University of all persons seeking to be matriculated."—(Mr. Lowe.)
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, the Amendment seemed at first sight to promise great advantage, but on study- 270 ing it carefully he was not prepared to admit it into the Bill. His right hon. Friend wished to have such an examination that nobody who was not perfectly qualified should be admitted into the University; and he supposed, which was contrary to the view that he had generally taken, that the University was the teaching power, and not the Colleges. At present the Responsion was the first University examination, but the Universities had so many examinations now to conduct, that he (Mr. Hardy) could not think it was advisable to add another. Many of the College examinations were as hard as the Responsion, and a question had been raised whether the Colleges were not straining out men too much by their examinations. The object of the Committee should be, not to make the Universities exclusively for honour men; pass-men gained many advantages by their connection with the University, learning a good deal, and being brought into contact with men of great ability. As to plucking, he could point out to the right hon. Gentleman at least one in a very remarkable list connected with this Bill who had been plucked in the Responsion, and if he had been excluded from his future career in the University, the world would have lost a great deal. Under the circumstances, he thought there was no ground for altering the present system. The University had already the power in its own hands. It could at any time lay down a rule that no one could be a member of the University, unless he passed a certain examination; and, therefore, there was no use empowering the University to do what it could do now.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
said, he was glad to hear the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, and thought the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Lowe) had this great fault—that it really amounted to an arbitrary dictation to the Commissioners that they should insist upon the Universities reforming themselves after one exclusive model and no other. The present system could be so extended as to provide that no one without a reasonable amount of knowledge should enter a University. ["No!"] Trinity, as well as some other Colleges, he believed, at Cambridge had an entrance examination which answered to the Responsions at Oxford. The exami- 271 nation for the degree used to be taken at the end of the career of a non-honour man; now it was divided into two, the earlier part being taken in about two years, after which he had at his own option to go up for a second examination in some special subject. Thus, for a Trinity non-honour man, there were in all four examinations, varying in character—entrance, little-go, general and special, besides the intermediate College examinations. He was astonished at the financial argument of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London, who said the Colleges wished to let in men easily in order to fill their rooms, &c. So far from the Colleges going into the highways and byways to tout for men, there was a tendency to raise the examination standard almost to a degree which some old-fashioned persons might think not desirable with the view of meeting the pressure of so many men coming in. The difficulty of the University, on the other hand, was a want of resources. But the object of the Bill was to take money from the rich Colleges in order to enrich the poor University, and the experiment, such as it was, had best be tried without the interference of his right hon. Friend's suggestion. He trusted that the Committee would not accept the Amendment.
MR. OSBORNE MORGAN
said, it might be true that there was a preliminary examination at Cambridge. [An hon. MEMBER: There is not.] He left Cambridge men to speak on that, but certainly that was not the case at Oxford. Every College there had an examination of its own, or dispensed with an examination altogether. There were 14 or 16 different standards of examination. At his College, Balliol, the standard which those entering the College as fresh men had to satisfy was exceedingly high — almost an honour standard. He remembered that when he was at Oxford there was one Hall which was called a back door of the University, because men could slip into the University by that door without examination at all. Was that a proper state of things? There should be a general matriculation examination, so as to exclude those who could never be taught anything, and went to the University merely to waste their time. The clause of his right hon. Friend was 272 merely an enabling clause—it left the subject to the judgment of the Commissioners, and, therefore, he would support his right hon. Friend if he went to a division.
said, in most of the Colleges at Cambridge there was no entrance examination at all. It would be unfair to allow students at Colleges to enter upon easier terms than the poorer unattached students. He should support the Amendment. It did not propose to legislate for the University, but merely suggested to the University in what direction it should legislate for itself.
§ MR. KNATCHBULL - HUGESSEN
said, that there was more in the Amendment than at first appeared, and that if adopted it would change the whole character of our English Universities; and although it was true enough as regarded most of the points raised, that this was only an enabling clause and it might be left to the discretion of the Commissioners to deal with them or not, yet it was different in the present case, which was whether or not to give a quasi direction to the Commissioners to introduce a new principle into the Universities. The real point was not whether there should be a preliminary examination, but whether it should be uniform and conducted by the University instead of by the Colleges. It was a mistake to suppose that the Colleges at Oxford admitted students without examination. Some, no doubt, were more lax than others, but upon this point as upon some others, he could not help saying that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Lowe) seemed to speak of the University as he knew it 30 years ago, since which time great changes had been effected. In Balliol, University, and some other Colleges the standard of matriculation was high, and the result secured an aggregation of clever and reading men in those Colleges. In most of the other Colleges young men were required to pass an examination, showing them to be fit to pass their Responsions, and the unattached students were subjected to a similar examination before they were allowed to enter the schools for their Responsions. This Amendment would be changing the existing system altogether. No doubt the standard differed in different Colleges; but did they want all men to go in for honours, or did they want or- 273 dinary men as well as extraordinary, to go to the University? He did not think it desirable to have a uniform examination conducted by the University. If they did so, the standard must either be high; in which case, many men would be kept from the University who under the present system, went there with great advantage to themselves; or it must be low, which would prevent the aggregation of talent in Colleges which now obtained that result by strict examinations. He held strongly the opinion that the first entrance to the University should not be made too difficult, and that the subsequent and regular University examinations should be the real tests of proficiency.
§ MR. A. MILLS
said, that in some Colleges the entrance examination was too high, and in others it was too low, and in others there was no examination whatever; for that reason he should like to see the matter in the hands of the University. The Amendment would put an end to such an unsatisfactory state of things. He should therefore support it.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
thought that, as by matriculation a man became a member of the University and not a member of a College only, the University as a whole should determine what wore the conditions on which students should be admitted to that body. The greatest curse to the University was a class of Colleges which would notoriously admit anybody upon any terms. He should support the Amendment, inasmuch as it would exclude the dunces and idlers who went to the Universities without ever intending to take a degree, but merely for pleasure, just as some men went into the Guards, and whose presence there was injurious to the discipline of the place. Surely the University ought to be able to say it would not admit a man to come to a place of study unless he knew something and intended to learn something more.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
opposed the Amendment as unnecessary. He believed that at Oxford every College had a preliminary examination for students. There were between 250 and 300 unattached students who were examined by delegates appointed by the University. Within the last few years the University had appointed a body of delegates to conduct examinations at public 274 schools, and there were many of the boys now at school who had passed the examinations conducted by the delegates appointed by the University. The present system was an elastic one which was adapting itself to existing requirements, and would do all that could be desired if time were allowed.
§ MR. WALTER
said, there were some words wanting to his right hon. Friend's (Mr. Lowe's) Amendment, which, if they were inserted, might induce him to vote for it; otherwise he regretted that he could not do so. The words he would suggest were "in lieu of the present college matriculation examinations;" because there could be nothing more cruel to young men entering the University than that they should have first to pass through a University matriculation examination and then have to undergo a second examination to get into a particular College. In the case of unattached students, a University examination might be a very proper thing, because those students did not belong to a particular College. But the proposed University examination, if it was to be good for anything at all, ought to be good for the Colleges as well as for the University. He doubted whether the idea of making certain Colleges corps d'élite was good either for the young men or for the Colleges. The attempt to maintain such a standard as that of Balliol would require them to drive away at once two-thirds of the undergraduates. That would be a bad thing. No University could do anything of that kind, and it would be ridiculous to attempt it. If they were to have a University examination, it must be a more moderate one than the examination which now existed in certain Colleges; but, on the other hand, a second examination ought not to be insisted on for admission to a particular College. He, therefore, hoped that his right hon. Friend would accept the words he had suggested as an addition to the Amendment.
§ MR. LOWE
agreed with the view of his hon. Friend who had last spoken, but thought that by his suggestion they 275 might, perhaps, be going too far in the way of interference. It would be wrong in his opinion to limit the powers of the University without a full discussion of the question. It was quite conceivable that there might be some better mode of dealing with the matter than even the one which his hon. Friend proposed.
§ MR. FORSYTH
admitted that his opinion had been somewhat changed in the course of the discussion, and he was now disposed to vote for the Amendment of the right hon. Member for the University of London. It was rather preposterous that there should be no general rule among the Colleges on that subject.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
observed that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lowe) having always argued that the Colleges were the teaching bodies and the University was the examining body, was perfectly consistent in now proposing that the examination should be conducted by the University, and not by the Colleges. The right hon. Member opposite (Mr. Mowbray) urged that the University had appointed an Examining Board which was now practically carrying on a matriculation examination. But that was an argument for the present Amendment, and not one against it.
§ MR. J. G. TALBOT
opposed the Amendment because it would introduce an uninteresting uniformity in the Universities, and might operate unjustly towards the dull men. If Mr. Carlyle's description of the great body of the people of this country was true, the majority of the students must be below the high standard advocated by some right hon. Gentlemen. He hoped that a standard would not be adopted which would keep out ordinary men.
contended that Balliol College, for instance, would not accept an ordinary University standard for a matriculation examination. He opposed the Amendment, not because it was not a very desirable Amendment in itself, but there were so many difficulties in the way of carrying it into practice that it would cause greater evils than those it was intended to remedy. He believed he was correct in stating that there was no entrance examination in the Scotch Universities.
MR. GRANT DUFF
said, the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman was perfectly correct. There was no en- 276 trance examination in the Scotch Universities, and Scotch educational reformers deeply regretted it. But why was there no entrance examination at the Scotch Universities? Simply because a good many of their students were so miserably poor that they could not obtain adequate preparation. Was that the case at the English Universities? Surely not. Why the only people for whom there was a University entrance examination at Oxford and Cambridge were the unattached students—that was, the poorest students.
§ MR. HENLEY
believed that the Amendment would shut the door to that large class of persons called "unattached students." They were an important element of our University system, and nothing should be done to deprive them of the advantages they now received from a University training. He regarded the Amendment as a very retrograde step.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
explained that the examination of unattached students was not a University education.
Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
The Committee divided:—Ayes 180; Noes 239: Majority 59.—(Div. List, No. 111.)
§ MR. GREGORY
moved to insert in page 6, after line 5, the following words:For regulating the resinence of undergraduates and the duration thereof, and the number of terms to be kept by them as qualification for a degree.He said, under the present system young men had practically to reside three years at a University before taking their degree, and it seemed to him that it was a great hardship to require so long a residence from many who might be perfectly able, if they applied themselves to work, to take their degree in a shorter time. He did not think, generally speaking, that young men were qualified to enter a University before 18 or 19, three years' residence brought them to 21 or 22, and if they had to go to the Bar or to medicine they would require two or three years' additional study before they would be able to practice at their Profession. That would bring them to 24 or 25 before they could earn a shilling for themselves. In addition to this, the fact of having more time to prepare for his degree than was necessary tended to demoralize a young man rather than 277 otherwise. There was also another consideration. The expenses at the University were not much less than from £200 to £250 a-year, which to a large number of persons was a considerable sum, and to many parents was a question of capital rather than of income. Now, if we could save the young men a third of the expense and enable them to go to a profession a year earlier than at present, it would be conferring on them a great benefit, without, as he believed, any injury to the University.
Amendment proposed,In page 6, after line 5, to insert the words "For regulating the residence of undergraduates and the duration thereof, and the number of terms to be kept by them as a qualification for a degree."—(Mr. Gregory.)Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ MR. RATHBONE
supported the Amendment, on the ground that to oblige young men in all cases to spread their University education over so many years neither tended to raise the tone of University education, nor did good to the young men themselves. He had spoken to many men who had not only been at the University, but distinguished themselves there, and they told him that the first year they did very little work, the second year they put on more steam, and they made a spurt at the end. Therefore, there was much useful time wasted under the present system. It might fairly be said that the tone of Oxford was too sceptical and critical, and not sufficiently practical. A very distinguished man had even told him that he considered an upper fourth form boy in some respects better fitted for practical life. The degree of Bachelor of Arts, at all events, should be allowed to be taken at the end of two years if a man passed the necessary examination, and that of Master of Arts might be reserved for longer residence. Two years would certainly enable a student to go through a very sufficient course at the University, to give him a foundation which, followed up by reading afterwards, would render him a very useful member of society. At present, a boy stayed in the sixth form of our public schools, under very admirable discipline, until he was 18 years old, and adding to that four years at the University, and two or three years for learning a busi- 278 ness or profession, he would be 25 before he began the practical work of life. In these days there was often no time for an education so prolonged which would be practically unavailable except to those who had a profession not only ready for them, but which would be kept waiting for them. He hoped that power would be given to the Universities to include men who were anxious to add culture to their business qualifications, and he was confident that this could be done without diminishing the significance of the University degrees.
§ SIR WILLIAM FRASER
said, as one of those who by privilege, though with the same examination as others, had taken his degree in two years, that in his own day the feeling was that three years was too long a time to spend in reading for an ordinary degree. There was nothing objectionable or revolutionary in the proposal that the Commissioners should have power to consider whether an alteration should not be made in the present system. He considered, too, that the Long Vacation ought to be shortened.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
wished to point out that there were two separate branches of the question; first, the actual time, or the number of terms, spent by undergraduates at Oxford; and, secondly, the length of those terms. The time, then, might evidently be curtailed in two ways. He would suggest the addition of the words "for regulating the residence of undergraduates and the duration thereof and the number of terms to be kept," an addition which would not involve the cutting down of the terms. The time spent at the University might be the same as at present, but put into a smaller number of years. Certainly the arguments for a shorter time were very strong; but, in his opinion, it would be better to lengthen the terms than to shorten the time required for study. Those who were in favour of the Amendment did not wish to diminish the aggregate standard of work necessary for obtaining a degree, or to lay down any definite rules, their object being to direct the attention of the Commissioners to this important subject and to give them powers to deal with it.
MR. OSBORNE MORGAN
considered the Amendment valuable, and remarked that it had always been his opinion that men went up to the Universities too late and stayed too long. He had been very 279 glad to hear the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Rathbone) express his views on the matter. Those views bore out what he had himself heard in Manchester lately. He asked some friends there if they considered the expense of a University education too high, and if they would send their sons to the Universities if the expenses were lower. Their answers were—"No; we are not influenced not to semd our sons to the Universities by the consideration of the expense. Money we can spare for the object; but we are influenced by the too long time necessary for them to obtain their degrees; and we are anxious to bring our sons into business earlier than a University education will admit." Persons who intended to go into business as solicitors, merchant, &c. were now in the habit of going to the Universities, and he thought they ought to be enabled to curtail the period of study by one year.
§ MR. GREGORY
expressed his willingness to add the words suggested by the right hon. Gentleman to his Amendment.
§ MR. J. G. TALBOT,
though sympathizing with a great deal which had been said, felt bound to oppose the Amendment, as he did not believe it possible to crowd into two years what now required three years. It, moreover, interfered with the internal arrangements of the Universities, which had far better be left in their own hands.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
agreed that it was desirable that the members of artistic and other professions should enjoy the advantage of a short University career; but this was a matter relating to internal studies, with which this Bill—very properly, as he thought—did not propose to interfere. The Amendment had much good in it, and he did not see why there should not be a class of undergraduates who should recognizedly go to Oxford or Cambridge, not for the purpose of taking the Arts degree, but to pass creditably their Little Go, or Moderations. Still, this was a matter of internal regulation which ought to be considered by the Universities themselves.
was of opinion that a reform in the direction indicated by the Amendment would never be effected if it were left entirely to the internal administration of the University. The Fellows themselves were the greatest opponents of any curtailment of the period.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, be did not think the Amendment was very appropriate to the clause upon which it was submitted. That clause began "with a view to the advancement of art, science, and other branches of learning," and he could hardly see how the Amendment would tend to advance art, science, or other branches of learning. The Amendment, on the contrary, was intended for the benefit of certain classes in the country. He would not take objection to it, however, on that ground, because he had a strong impression that a University education was desirable for the professional classes. His reason for opposing the Amendment was, that he did not wish by this Bill to interfere with the internal administration of the Universities. The object of the Bill was to give the Universities power to improve themselves, which they did not at present possess. They, however, at the present time, possessed the power to shorten the term of residence, and he had heard that preparations were being made at Cambridge to try an experiment upon the subject. Personally, he should be very glad to see a shorter period of residence allowed to persons who chose to qualify themselves for a degree.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
said, he could not quite accept the position of the right hon. Gentleman in reference to the interference of Parliament in this matter. The interests of the Governing Bodies of the Universities might not be in conformity with the wishes of Parliament. The academical terms had been in existence for a very long period, and there had been no movement on the part of either University to curtail the period of residence. This, he thought, was a matter which ought not to be withdrawn entirely from the cognizance of the House.
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY
regretted that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill had not accepted this most reasonable Amendment. He would prefer that the Amendment should be carried rather than the whole of the Bill. He would not dwell upon the economical 281 advantage of the Amendment, but urged its adoption mainly on the ground that it would contribute most materially to "the advancement of art, science, and learning." It was a scandal, which was being more and more felt, that the Universities should practically be lying idle for more than half the year, and he, therefore, begged to move to amend the proposed Amendment by the insertion, after the word "number," of the words "and length," so that the Commissioners might have power to prolong a term if they thought fit.
Amendment amended, by adding, after the word "number," the words "and length."
Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
The Committee divided:—Ayes 135; Noes 143: Majority 8.—(Div. List, No. 112.)
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
moved, in page 6, to leave out sub-section 11, and to insert (as one of the purposes for which the Commissioners might from time to time make pro-vision)—For erecting and founding any office connected with any special educational work done out of the University under the control of the University, and for remunerating any secretary, officer, or officers employed in the management of such educational work: Provided always, That the performance of such educational work shall not entitle a person to hold a Fellowship in any College for a longer term than seven years.The noble Lord said the University of Cambridge had recently established a syndicate to promote teaching of a higher character in the large towns. The work of this syndicate had been very successful. It employed men of the highest distinction, who taught very large classes. The salaries and other expenses of the teachers were paid by the large towns. The University at the same time had appointed another syndicate on University teaching in the University. This syndicate had recommended a large increase in the number of University teachers. It was believed by many persons that the two systems might be brought into connection—the system inside and that outside the University—and that the teachers in the large towns should hold their appointments direct from the University, and 282 have the position and status of University teachers, while continuing to be paid, as at present, by the votes of the large towns for University teaching. If that were done, they would come within the terms of' those clauses which in several Colleges it had been proposed to confer, under new statutes, upon University teachers—that was to say, they would be able to retain their Fellowships for the performance of such work. In order, however, to prevent too large a number of Fellowships being held in this manner, he proposed to limit their tenure to seven years, more especially as he was informed by Professor Stuart, that there was a wish to treat these University Lectureships away from the University as probationary posts, from which the occupant would be promoted to posts within the University after a certain length of service. A clause similar to that he was proposing was among the revised Trinity statutes, and he had received strong evidence of support from many influential members of both Universities. The Amendment also proposed to enable the University to pay the secretary and inspectors for the work done in the large towns, but not the teachers. On this latter point he did not understand there was much difference of opinion between himself and the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
thought that the proposal of the Government and that of the noble Lord were in effect the same, both being to enable the Commissioners to make provision for carrying on the same good work of University extension, not by means of confiscation of College revenues, but by sending teachers to the large towns. He feared, however, that the Amendment was so drawn as to admit of the appropriation of University funds to the payment of secretaries and so on who would be located out of the University, and would be as much municipal officers as a town clerk.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
assured the Committee that nothing was further from his intention, and he believed the clause was framed to carry it out.
§ MR. MUNDELLA,
as one connected with towns in which the University Extension scheme was being worked with great success, wished to say, on the part of those towns, that they desired to pay 283 for all the teaching they received. The relations of those towns with the University Staff were characterized by mutual regard and appreciation, and the towns were only anxious that the members of the staff should lose no advantages. The object of the Amendment was to authorize the payment of an organizing Staff, such as a secretary to the syndicate and an inspector to examine and report upon the work done in the towns, which supervision would be undertaken on account of the University. For all besides that the towns were willing and anxious to provide, regarding University extension as the greatest educational movement of the time after the development of elementary education. The towns could not go to the University, and they found the University coming to them. In Sheffield there were 1,500 and in Nottingham 1,000 students of all positions in life, who received the same instruction in the same classes. A bookseller had told him that, in consequence of this movement, he had sold in one year more books on political economy and constitutional history than he had sold in many years previously; and it was one of the most hopeful signs of the times that these .subjects were being studied by the trades unionists, who carried their textbooks about with them, and had their proficiency tested by examination and recognized by certificates. A pleasing result was the development of voluntary effort in all forms, up to the munificence which prompted an anonymous donation of £10,000 to Nottingham, and a gift of £20,000 from Mr. Mark Firth to Sheffield for the erection of University buildings, which would be an ornament to each town. It was thus the towns were doing their part, and Parliament would be glad to do anything in could to encourage the work.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, there was really very little difference between the noble Lord and himself, and apparently it arose from some misunderstanding of the Amendment. They agreed as to the advantages of the educational work commenced by Cambridge outside the University; that the management of it ought to be within the University, and that somebody ought to be paid for managing it. The difficulty in the way of creating an office within the University might not be insuperable, 284 and it was absolutely essential that work done out of the University should not be paid for by the University, which had no superfluous funds. He would suggest to the noble Lord that he should not press the last provision of his Amendment, and that he should accept two Amendments to make it clear that no payment should be made out of University or College funds, and that any officer appointed should be resident in the University.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
said, he had great pleasure in accepting the proposal of the right hon Gentleman.
said, that the most convenient course would be for the noble Lord to withdraw his Amendment, and then for the Committee to agree to the clause as amended by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE,
in opposing the Amendment, said, the noble Lord proposed to omit the sub-section, which was already open to objection, and to make it worse. The noble Lord's new sub-section represented the views of Professor Goldwin Smith and of Dr. Jowett in favour of paying Examiners in the great provincial towns. If the Universities were rolling in wealth, it might be wise to adopt his scheme, but the Universities were poor, and the great towns were rich, and if they wanted to be lectured and examined, they ought to pay for the luxury themselves. The proper function of an University was not to teach school all over the country, and to examine all its adult inhabitants, but to give, by residence and by consort with the best minds, the highest training to the picked youth of England.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, that the lecturers who went to the towns would be paid by them; but the University would be ready to pay the secretary, because he would remain in the University, and because the Bill set up an office that was a University office. No change would be made as to any part of the money of the University.
Amendment (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice), by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) agreed to.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE,
in moving to add, in page 6, the words—For altering the qualifications required for membership of congregation at Oxford, and for admission to the electoral roll of the University of Cambridge: and for limiting or abrogating the power of the convocation of the University of Oxford and of the senate of the University of Cambridge respectively to regulate matters relating to the studies of the University, and to the education given in it,said, there were two Bodies at Oxford and two Bodies at Cambridge, which were dealt with by this Amendment. A Body consisting of all who had taken their Master's degree, and numbering some thousands in each case, called Convocation at Oxford, and Senate at Cambridge, and a Body consisting of resident Masters called Congregation at Oxford and Electoral Roll at Cambridge. Roughly speaking, and without going into small details, it might be said that the larger Bodies, Convocation and Senate, had the following powers:—They elected the Members for the University, the Chancellors and the High Stewards, powers which the reformers would not touch; they interfered by veto with schemes for the reform of the studies of the Universities, a power which he believed they were not competent to exercise, and of which he would at least enable the Commissioners to deprive them if they thought fit. The smaller Bodies, Congregation at Oxford and Electoral Roll at Cambridge, elected the governing oligarchies, and consisted of some hundreds in each case. The majority of the members of these smaller Bodies were the persons most fit to exercise the powers at present entrusted to them; but in each there was a minority consisting of persons most unfit. Let him state the case of his own University, with which he was best acquainted. There were about 280 names upon the Electoral Roll of the University of Cambridge. About 200 of them were persons engaged in the government of the University or of Colleges, or in the educational work of the University. The remainder consisted chiefly of two classes, the parochial clergy and the sons of tradesmen and others resident in the town of Cambridge, who happened to have taken a Master's degree without ever having held any University or College office. It was a mere accident that these persons had their names placed upon the Electoral Roll, and he wished to remove them from a position in which it was 286 never intended that they should be placed. This question of the government of the University was one doubtless which would have to be settled by a compromise, but he wished to point out to the House that it was in fact a compromise which he suggested. The Liberals did not like to see the country clergy brought up in hundreds to Oxford to vote against a Broad Church clergyman, whose name had been proposed as one of the University preachers for the year; but, although that was the case, they did not suggest that Convocation should be deprived of such a power. On the other hand, they did emphatically protest against the 30 or 40 curates at Oxford, who were locally known, he believed, as "the black dragoons," being even potentially a controlling element in the direction of the studies of the University. It was not only of the curates that they complained; but why, he asked, should the ordinary residents of an ordinary provincial town, who happened to have taken their ordinary degrees, the doctors, the solicitors, and the chief constable, able and estimable persons though they might be, have a voice in the administration of affairs for which special qualifications and attention were needed? Now, when the Board of Studies at Oxford had agreed on some much needed reform, and had even succeeded in pushing it through Congregation in the teeth of the opposition of the local clergy, through the unanimity of the residents really engaged in educational work, Conservatives and Liberals alike, it had also to pass Convocation, for which the local clergy then whipped up their allies, and the country clergy then succeeded in throwing out the scheme at the trouble only of that which they were known greatly to enjoy—a jaunt to Oxford to beat the Radicals, a name applied by them to University Conservatives as much as to University Liberals. Such a day's pleasuring was an agreeable variety and relief from a dull country parish, while the men, perhaps a majority of Convocation, who would support the other side, were busily engaged at the Bar, in schools, or in public life, and could not come. An Amendment such as that which he proposed, which would give the Commissioners power to remove from the province of Convocation questions of University discipline and education, would probably do more than any 287 other single reform to elevate the work of the Universities. The Government proposal in 1854 was his proposal, but their Bill was mangled in Committee upon this point. It was foreseen at that time, and prophesied in the debates that then took place, that the absurdity would become evident of committing the decision as to the studies of the University to a body of several thousand gentlemen who knew their University not as it was, but as it had been, and who could not be supposed, as a body, to have given much consideration to the question of what it ought to be. The right hon. Gentleman, who was now Member for Greenwich, pointed out with great clearness in the debates of 1854, that the persons who come up to vote, upon whichever side, were the red-hot partizans, and not the quiet, judicious, impartial men able to judge dispassionately of the merits of the case. Railways, and other modern facilities for travelling, had now completely changed the government of the Universities for the worse. In old days Convocation had been only attended by the residents, and they proposed once more to make the University in this matter what it had been.
Amendment proposed,In page 6, to add the words "(12.) For altering the qualifications required for membership of congregation at Oxford, and for admission to the electoral roll of the University of Cambridge; and for limiting or abrogating the power of the convocation of the University of Oxford and of the senate of the University of Cambridge respectively to regulate matters relating to the studies of the University, and to the education given in it."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)
§ MR. DODSON
suggested that the words referring to the qualification for membership of the Congregation of Oxford and to admission to the Electoral Roll should be omitted, and that the first part of the Amendment should only be adopted.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
pointed out what the present state of the law was in regard to the matter, and showed that in certain instances the proposed change might work disadvantageously.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
was willing to withdraw the first part of his Amendment, on the understanding that he would move it again.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
contended that this was too difficult a matter to 288 be decided by an Amendment on the present Bill. The objection taken to the Electoral Roll that there was too much variety in its composition was, in his eyes, an advantage. He might, for instance, criticize the circumstance that they had on the Electoral Roll a certain number of men who were put on it as examiners ab extra, men who had never before seen Cambridge in their lives. Still, these persons were few and eminent, and brought in a new element, while the addition of resident M.A.'s, lay or clerical—parents, it might be, of students—not engaged in tuition was a man of the world addition which wholesomely counterbalanced the possibly too exclusively class feelings of a body containing none but teachers. He should be sorry to see the Roll revolutionized, by their names being struck off, and he trusted that for such a small objection they would not be called upon to enter into a matter which would produce great disputes in the University.
§ MR. MARTEN
said, the Amendment of the hon. Member for Chelsea went entirely beyond the scope of the Bill. It would be much to be deplored if Parliament were to give the Commissioners such a power as that which the Amendment involved, and which would enable them to alter the existing Act passed in 1856 for the regulation of the University of Cambridge, whereby the composition of the Electoral Roll was determined. A body of persons more fit to be entrusted with a share of the government of a great University like Cambridge than those who formed the existing Electoral Roll could scarcely be found. If this matter was to be dealt with practically, there could not be a more convenient arrangement than that by which the working of the University was vested in those who were its actual officers for the time being, and at the same time Masters of Art, who were representatives of the liberal professions, engaged in the everyday business of the town, and well able to judge what was for the benefit of the University at large.
MR. OSBORNE MORGAN
could not conceive why a man should be thought fit to interfere in the government of the University of Cambridge because he resided within a certain number of yards of the Church of St. Mary's. Among the educating body of the University 289 there was but one opinion as to these extraneous elements—namely, that they were the greatest nuisance that could be conceived. He intimated that in the event of the present Amendment being rejected, he would move another one disenfranchising these members of the University directly rather than, as the present Amendment proposed, giving the power of disenfranchisement to the Commissioners.
§ MR. KNATCHBULL - HUGESSEN
said, that if the question was to be raised at all it must be upon this clause, which determined the subjects with which the Commissioners might deal. As to curtailing the powers of Convocation to deal with matters affecting University education, he could hardly conceive a body less qualified to deal with such matters, consisting as it did of men scattered all over the country, having long lost, if they ever possessed, any knowledge of University affairs, and being occupied in various pursuits and professions elsewhere. As to the smaller Bodies, the Congregation at Oxford and the Electoral Roll at Cambridge, the proposition seemed to him incontrovertible that the people who managed the internal affairs of Oxford and Cambridge Universities should be engaged either in tuition or in the government of the Colleges. It was most undesirable to have the interference of another element consisting of people who had really no more concern in the management of the Colleges and Universities than any other members of Convocation. For his own part, he could not conceive why the Commissioners, who had already been entrusted with the exercise of most important functions, should not have the power to make alterations in the direction indicated by the Amendment, should public opinion in the University point to them as desirable.
§ MR. RODWELL
opposed the Amendment. It involved a far greater question than was ever contemplated when the Bill was introduced, and struck at the very constitution of the University. If that question was to be raised at all, it ought to be raised in a more prominent shape, so that those who were to be disfranchised might hove due notice of the proposal.
agreed that the question raised by the Amendment would more properly be dealt with in a sepa- 290 rate Bill. In the Hebdomadal Council of Oxford there were not six members who did not belong to the clerical party. Why a person living a mile and a-half from Carfax should be entitled to fill these important posts was most difficult to understand. A reformed Congregation would be much the best body for the election of certain offices now discharged by Convocation. At present there was much complaint of the appointment of improper persons, and what was going on now in the matter of canvassing with respect to the vacant offices of Public Orator and the Professorship of Poetry gave this Amendment greater importance. He trusted, therefore, that it would be generally supported by the House.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
believed that in 1854, when this subject was before the House, it was debated for several nights, and if the right hon. Gentleman wished that could be done again, as hon. Members on his side of the House had plenty to say and plenty of arguments to advance against this proposal. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that hon. Members on that side of the House attached the greatest importance to this Amendment. It might be desirable to raise the question at issue upon subsequent clauses, allowing the present Amendment to be withdrawn for that purpose; but, if its withdrawal was objected to, he would support the Amendment. The addition of the resident clergy to Congregation had not worked satisfactorily. The fact of residence alone was not a sufficient qualification, to the exclusion of non-residents. It was not, however, a question between the clergy and the laity. He would prefer the opinion of the purely University body on purely University questions. The functions performed by the two bodies had not yet been discussed, and should be raised at some stage of the Bill. The exercise of patronage was liable to abuse, and no more important function could be assigned to the Commissioners than to see that these abuses were not perpetuated.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
did not complain of fair debate, but what had been alleged against the clause went a great deal beyond what was the original purport of the Bill. The Government had no intention whatever of making this Bill a large disfranchising measure, 291 and the noble Lord who introduced the Bill last year in another House distinctly stated that fact. With regard to the Public Orator and Professorship of Poetry, he saw no reason why Convocation should not appoint them. The Professor of poetry should be a man known beyond the University to have a special knowledge of the subject and a critical acquaintance with it. The duties of Public Orator were not those of teaching, and therefore no real objection could be urged against the present system of election. With regard to the statutes passed by Convocation, nonresident Masters of Arts did not leave their parishes to come up and vote unless there was some important change under discussion; and unless the members on both sides were nearly equal, these gentlemen could not turn the balance. Indeed, there were no reasons why they should be all on one side. There were 364 members of Convocation at Oxford, and not 20 were resident M.A.'s not connected with the teaching of the University. It could therefore be only on very particular occasions that their vote could influence the result. They had but a small modicum of power, and there was no reason why they should vote any one particular way. It was only natural that members of either University residing at Oxford or Cambridge should take a greater interest in its management than those resident at a distance were able to do. When statutes were passed the non-resident Masters of Arts could put the necessary check on them; for although passed by one body they required to be confirmed by the other. But it was seldom that nonresident members had to interfere. Considering, then, the real scope of the Bill, he could not consent to any Amendment like this, which would interfere with the very roots of the constitution of the Universities.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
said, they were all agreed that after the passing of this Bill the Universities should be left in peace for some time, and not be harassed with the immediate expectation of further legislation. Surely, then, it would be wise that the present Bill should deal with all the matters likely to arise soon or in the near future. If this question were not now fully considered, it ought to be at some future stage of the progress of the Bill.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, the Amendment which the hon. Baronet has proposed is one which, if passed into law, cannot fail to have a permanent and, in the opinion of some who are very well qualified to judge, a most salutary influence upon the future of the Universities. It has absolutely nothing political, religious, or controversial about it. Its effect will be educational and educational alone. The arguments in its favour appeal exactly as much to hon. Gentlemen opposite as to hon Gentlemen on this side of the House. In fact, it will be almost unnecessary to use those arguments; because, if once fairly stated, the case is so plain that it may fairly be left to argue itself. I feel satisfied that hon. Gentlemen are of opinion that this Bill, which professes to be a Bill for making our Universities as useful as possible, should secure that the task of directing the studies of the Universities should be lodged in the hands that are best capable of discharging it. If we omit to ensure this we may just as well drop the Bill at once. Now, the process through which any scheme for altering the system of education in the University of Cambridge has to pass is as follows:—Let us suppose that there is a general feeling that enough attention is not paid to the historical side of Greek and Latin literature. In order to correct this tendency, the Board which has the supervision of classical studies comes to the conclusion that greater weight should be given to history in the final degree of examination. The first step that the Classical Board takes is to lay their proposal before the Council in a Report. The Council, in its turn, appoints an extraordinary Syndicate, which reports on the matter to the Senate, and the Senate meets in the Art Schools to discuss the Report of the Council. Up to this point there is nothing to criticize; but from this point forward the process of University legislation becomes unequalled in absurdity among all the methods of transacting public business which men have ever adopted since society became organized. The Senate, as hon. Members very well know, consists of more than 5,000 persons, of all ages and callings, scattered over the whole civilized and uncivilized world from Calcutta to the Lands End. The consequence is that the body which assembles in the Art Schools to discuss 293 the question is not, and cannot be, the Senate, but those members of the Senate who are resident at Cambridge, and who are engaged in carrying on the work of the University. These gentlemen, than whom a more competent body for the purpose could not easily be found, take the matter into consideration. Speeches are made for and against. The personal influence of the great authorities on classical questions—such men as Dr. Thompson, Mr. Munro, Dr. Lightfoot, Canon Westcott—are brought to bear. Opinions are altered and modified; and then I presume hon. Gentleman suppose that the assembly, having had the case fully laid before them, proceed in due course to a decision. But that is not the way in which matters are carried on under the existing constitution of the University. Instead of having a division upon the spot, while those present are fresh from the argument, a future day is fixed, on which a poll is taken; a poll not confined to those who have listened to the debate in the Arts Schools—not even limited to those who are practically engaged in the educational work of the place—but a poll at which every one of the 5,000 members of the Senate who will take the trouble to come up to Cambridge will have a right to vote. Then at once there begin all those proceedings with which it is the misfortune of all of us here present to be practically acquainted. One poll is very much like another, whether it is about the election of a Member of Parliament or the choice between one system of study and another. There is a canvass and a whip. Postcards and circulars go out by the thousand. Offers of hospitality are lavishly made; for there is no law against treating in questions of higher education. Men come up to vote this way or that, not because they know anything about the merits of the case, but because they have received a pressing summons from someone who, 30 years before, rowed next but one to them in their College boat. When the day comes the resident members look anxiously round them to see whether there are many strange faces; for they are only too well aware that, if such is the case, the deliberate opinion of those who, responsible for the education of the University on abstruse and delicate questions which it requires a life-time to study, may be 294 swamped by a multitude of persons who are no more fit to decide such questions than a country gentleman of 50 would be fit to draw up a new system of infantry tactics because between the age of 20 and 22 he had been a cornet of dragoons. Hon. Gentlemen may think that I exaggerate; but, in describing the results of a system as anomalous as this, no one can exaggerate, unless he has an imagination much more lively than mine. Some years ago—certainly not a year too soon—it was proposed to introduce a reform of a most vital nature into the final classical examination. The great majority of those concerned in conducting the classical studies of the place were in favour of the change. But, unfortunately, the poll was taken on a day when, besides the excitement of the contest, there was the additional attraction of a flower-show. Non-resident Masters of Arts trooped into the town from a circuit of 50 miles round. Their wives and daughters went to the flower-show, while they themselves crowded into the Senate House, in order to overset, by an off-hand vote, a scheme which had been drawn up with infinite care and after long consideration by a committee composed of some of the greatest scholars of Europe. Sir, it is bad enough for those who have been debating a question in this House, with full knowledge of the subject, when the bell rings, and a crowd of Gentlemen hurry to the Bar, ready to dispose, between two mouthfuls of soup, of a matter the nature of which they have perhaps heard for the first time from our worthy Doorkeeper; but what is that to the crying abuse of a system under which abstruse educational problems, on which it may depend whether the intellectual efforts of the coming generation are to be directed into the right or the wrong channel, are decided by the haphazard vote of people who actually were 100 miles away from the place when the question was discussed, and who, when the matter is once settled, will return home to their own avocations, and very likely by the end of the month will have forgotten that such a question has ever existed. That was the method in which the all-important question of whether Greek should be made a compulsory subject was settled, and, as the people who know best appear to think, wrongly settled a few years ago. It is to enable the Commissioners to apply a 295 remedy to this state of things that the hon. Baronet has placed his Amendment on the Paper. If the Committee thinks fit to agree to this Amendment; if the Commissioners—leaving to the Senate and to Convocation their ancient and splendid functions, the right of electing the University representatives and many of the University officials, the right of petitioning this House, and of laying addresses at the foot of the Throne—confine the duty of superintending educational arrangements to a smaller and more responsible body, then a reform will have been effected which is eagerly desired by many of those who are most actively engaged in the practical work of our Universities. The judgment of hon. Members must, I am satisfied, be in favour of this Amendment; and, on a matter which does not touch Party, the judgment of hon. Members is never appealed to in vain.
MR. STAVELEY HILL
observed that there were other assemblies besides the Senate of the University in which it was not necessary that a member should hear all the discussion to enable him to vote. At Cambridge and Oxford the great desire was to bring the question to an end as soon as possible, so that they might know what changes were to be made. He was a member of Congregation and Convocation, and no great change was desired in either of those bodies. He had never heard any dissatisfaction with the present state of things. They could not attempt to make any alteration in this respect in the present Bill, as the subject was not within its scope.
§ SIR THOMAS ACLAND
could not agree with the last speaker that there was no dissatisfaction with the Governing Bodies of the University. It was very doubtful whether the constitution of Congregation did not place too large a power in the hands of the tutorial interest, many of them being very young, acute, and subtle men, with a very moderate acquaintance with the general affairs of the world. Hastily to decide now that the Convocation should be confined to the present teaching members of the University might possibly be a leap in the dark, which might hereafter be regretted. He did not think the University would rest till the Governing Bodies were improved, but seeing no prospect of the question being thoroughly 296 settled by separate legislation, his only course was to support the Amendment.
§ MR. C. DALRYMPLE
said, it was only on particular occasions, as at the election of the Public Orator and the like, that non-resident Masters of Arts voted, and it was an exaggeration to say that the outside voters really overbore the opinion of the University. It appeared always to be assumed that the opinion of nonresident was adverse to that which was wise and enlightened, as well as to any change in the University system. He (Mr. Dalrymple) could remember at least one occasion, when non-residents flocked to Cambridge to support a proposal for a readership in American history, which had been strongly opposed by resident-members of the University—a proposal which, at all events, had the merit of novelty, and might have been of great use to the University. His objection to the Amendment was that the opinion of the outside world was very often of great value, and he believed that, as a rule, questions of education were left to the resident Masters of Arts.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, as to the objection that this Amendment was not within the scope of the Bill, he begged to remind the hon. Members who made it that the Committee had not passed the Preamble, and that the object of postponing the Preamble was that in case of modifying the scope of the Bill the Preamble might be modified accordingly. The Amendment had nothing whatever to do with the election of Members of that House. He would have been willing to withdraw his Amendment and then to propose it in the form suggested some time ago had he not been prevented from doing so.
Question put, "That those words be there added."
The Committee divided:—Ayes 115; Noes 143: Majority 28.—(Div. List, No. 113.)
§ MR. COURTNEY,
in moving his Amendment, stated that as far back as the year 1869 there had been a College for women modelled after the organization of the Colleges, and its promoters desired that the students should be subjected to examinations like those at Oxford or Cambridge. The authorities at Cambridge were not prepared at the time to accede to this request, but they 297 had intimated that the Examiners, in their private capacity, might look through the papers, and this had been done from the year 1870 to the present time. In that year the Examiners of the previous examination had consented to furnish these female students with Examination papers and report on their answers, judging them by the University standard. That had been done, and the examiners had certified with respect to them, and the custom had prevailed for the last seven years, not only in the case of the previous examination, but in the case of the pass and the higher examinations for honours. He could not better explain the process than by reading a letter which had been written by one of the examiners of the Classical Tripos in 1873, in which he stated that his colleagues and himself would be happy to examine papers sent up to them, but that it must be distinctly understood that they did so in their private capacity. The whole scope of his Amendment was to give an official recognition to what had thus been done in an unofficial manner. Nothing was wanted but the recognition of the University. He would point out the extent to which this examination of women had been carried. In the year 1870 five students passed the previous examinations, two of them in honours. In 1871 two others passed in honours. In 1872 five passed, and four took honours. In 1873 two passed, and two took honours. In 1874 five passed, and two took honours. In 1875 six passed, and five took honours. In 1876 18 passed, and 12 took honours. Of late years ladies had been tested by the degree examination standards. In 1873 a lady took a position equivalent to a second-class in the Mathematical Tripos; and another, a second in the Classical Tripos. In 1874 two passed in Natural Science. In 1875 two reached the Classical Tripos standard. All these came from Girton College. There was also at Cambridge, Newnham Hall, and an arrangement by which ladies who were members neither of Girton nor of Newnham were admitted to the lectures of the University Professors, and students from Newnham had been examined like the students from Girton. It was not impossible that the ladies attending the Professorial lectures might be admitted to examination in a similar way. All that he wished to suggest was that 298 what was now done by favour should be done publicly and in a recognized manner. The matter was one of considerable importance, and it could not be argued that the practice which the Amendment proposed to legitimate was novel or dangerous. If a gentleman wished to send his boy to a school he could ascertain the character of the schoolmaster; but in the case of girls parents had no kind of authority to which to refer. But the voluntary organization to which he had referred had introduced such an authority, which had been found most useful. Public schools for girls, analogous to high schools for boys, had been established at Notting Hill, Chelsea, Clapham, Norwich, Manchester, and other parts of the country. He did not know, considering the strictly permissive character of this proposal, what objections would be raised to it. He must add a word or two on the second part of his Amendment. Last year an Act was passed enabling any authority which could grant degrees to men under the Medical Act to confer them on women also. It might, perhaps, be argued that under the provisions of that Statute the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge could grant medical degrees to women. But his present proposal did not relate to the granting of degrees of any kind. At present the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge granted licences to practise medicine, but only as a corollary to a medical degree. He now proposed to enable the Universities to grant such licences to practise to persons who had not graduated, provided they fulfilled the necessary conditions of knowledge. The sub-section was purely permissive, and if it were passed the probability was that Cambridge would take the matter up, and that Oxford would not. The greater liberality of Cambridge in this respect was perhaps, due to gratitude for what that University owed to women. It was a remarkable circumstance that at Cambridge six Colleges were founded by the benevolence of ladies. Considering, therefore, how much we were thus indebted to women, we ought to do what we could now to promote the education of women.
Amendment proposed,In page 6, after sub-section 11, to insert the words "(12.) For enabling the University to examine female students concurrently with 299 male students, subject to such conditions regulating the residence and discipline of such female students as the University may from time to time approve or ordain; and for enabling the University to grant licences to practise medicine to female students who have passed the examinations and fulfilled the conditions which are necessary for obtaining degrees in medicine in the case of male students in that faculty."(Mr. Courtney.)
§ MR. FORSYTH
said, that, although no one could accuse him of being indifferent to the claims of women, he confessed he felt some difficulty with regard to this sub-section, which was rather ambiguously worded. Its first object was to enable the University "to examine female students concurrently with male students." That meant, he supposed, that they were to be in the same lecture-rooms, to sit side by side on the same benches, and that the Examiners were to walk up and down while the young gentlemen and young ladies were answering the questions. He was afraid the attentions of the young gentlemen would be paid to the young ladies, and not to the examination papers. His real objection to the clause had reference to the first part of it. If ladies were examined in classics and mathematics by University officials, and no degrees were conferred, no better results would follow than were now attainable at Girton College. If the hon. Member for Liskeard had had the courage to carry his Amendment to its logical conclusion, and had proposed that the ladies who acquitted themselves well in the examinations should be named in the Tripos list, and should afterwards have degrees conferred upon them, he would have voted for the proposal. He thought no reasonable argument could be shown why women should not be able to attain degrees, if they passed the proper examinations. As to the second part of the sub-section, he thought it right that licences should be given to female students of medicine who proved themselves fit to practise.
§ MR. HOPWOOD
supported what he regarded as the just demand embodied in the Amendment. He fully recognized the great services which the hon. and learned Member who had just spoken had rendered to the cause of women in this country. He regretted that his hon. and learned Friend had not the courage of his convictions, and had not suggested such an alteration in the proposal of the 300 hon. Member for Liskeard as would carry those convictions to their legitimate conclusion. In reference to the argument that nothing would be gained, he thought a great deal would be gained by the adoption of the proposal; he thought that the mere fact of official recognition of what was now done unofficially would be an immense gain. This Amendment was moderate and effective. It was a very just demand upon the part of those who were making great exertions to elevate those women who showed that they had talent and ability, and, therefore, he should vote for it.
concurred in hoping that the Government would see its way to concede something at least in the direction of the hon. Member's Amendment. He reminded the House that last Session an Act was passed empowering the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to grant medical degrees. The Amendment only asked that the Commissioners should recognize existing facts. Women were examined at the present time, and it was only sought to give the examinations official sanction, He must, however, express his concurrence in the opinion that the first part of the Amendment did not go far enough.
§ MR. RATHBONE
said, the great value of what was at present done was shown in the very superior class of school-mistresses which the system had been the means of providing in some of the schools for girls throughout the country. Female education was one of the most important works of the present day, and nothing would tend to give it such an impetus as to provide a better class of mistresses for girls' schools. The adoption of this proposal would be invaluable to those engaged in the work, and would materially strengthen their hands.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
said, he thought it was a proposal which would introduce a very great change, which ought, if made at all, to be made in a more open and direct form. Many ladies had distinguished themselves at the voluntary examinations; but this Amendment would legalize the position of these ladies as being formally entitled to the honour examinations of the Universities. It could not end there. If once ladies were admitted as a constituent part of the studying or Undergraduate body, not only would they claim to compete 301 with men in the degree examination, and use the degree to which that was the portal, but they would establish an equitable claim for the substantial awards to which examinations lead and demand to be candidates for Scholarships and Fellowships. If Fellows, how could they be excluded from becoming tutors, deans, and masters of Colleges? A charming and an accomplished lady dean would be sure to draw a large number of gentlemen Undergraduates to the College which she ruled; but what would Paterfamilias say? These were not extreme considerations; for the fact was the Amendment proposed to make a great change, as to which no one could see the end.
§ LORD FREDERICK CAVENDISH
said, the hon. Member argued against the Amendment as being the thin end of the wedge, and, as usual, he was against all change. He would support the Amendment because it sought to recognize and to regulate the examinations now conducted by the University Examiners at Cambridge of the students of Girton and Newnham Colleges. Great efforts were now being made to improve the education of girls, especially in connection with some of the endowed schools and in public day schools; but the great difficulty was to obtain really efficient teachers. The Colleges to which he had referred were doing much to supply that want, and by means of the voluntary and gratuitous assistance of the University Examiners an independent test was applied to the attainments of their students; and it was because it was now proposed to enable the Universities to take in hand this work now done in a manner unrecognized by them that he should cordially support the Amendment.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
pointed out that the examination of the two sexes together would not be a novelty in connection with the Universities, the present local examinations being conducted in that manner. Women had no professional career open to them. If such career could be opened to those who distinguished themselves at the University, some hope might be entertained for the better education of girls.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
understood the object of the proposal to be to bring women in as Undergraduates of the Universities. Practically, it was 302 proposed to put them under the authority of Proctors. He was not opposed by any means to female students having the opportunity of passing examinations and obtaining degrees which might enable them to fill situations and practise medicine; but what he did object to was that they should be subjected to the same conditions and pass through the same examinations concurrently with the male students, for whom originally all those conditions were devised. The hon. Member for Liskeard had spoken of the Colleges which in times past were founded at Cambridge by women, but he must remember for the education of men; and it had been overlooked that in those times the education of the women was carried on in convents, and, of course, separately. He was not aware that Girton College admitted young men. In that very case the advantages of separation seemed to be recognized. The scholars there were under the superintendence of women; they had lecturers of their own; and, he was told, that when they attended lectures away from their College, they still had lecturers for themselves. The whole system, therefore, was one, not of mixed and concurrent education for both sexes, but distinctly of separate education. He believed the success of the teaching was greatly owing to the privacy of the arrangements. Believing, as he did, that this separation was most desirable, he must oppose the Motion of the hon. Member. If the object was to overturn the whole system of male and female education in the country, this was a matter which ought to be settled by Parliament, and ought not to be delegated to Commissioners. With respect to the latter part of the Amendment, relating to the granting of licences to female medical students, it had already been pointed out that it was not needed. If the Universities wished to give medical degrees, they might do so; but he did not think it likely they would exercise that power. While recognizing the importance of giving educational facilities to women, he thought the proposal of the hon. Member for Liskeard to bring female students under the regular discipline of the Universities was not likely to meet the wishes of those whom it was intended to benefit, and that the attempt to carry on the education of both sexes together would only destroy the system of separate education for 303 young ladies, which was at present flourishing.
§ M.R. COURTNEY
explained that he did not wish, as the right hon. Gentleman supposed, to bring the girls of Girton College under the same regulations with respect to discipline as the Undergraduates at the Universities. He observed, moreover, that it was not proposed to delegate any absolute final authority to the Commissioners, but only to invite them to frame some working plan which would in due course be submitted to the University Commission and to Parliament.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he at last understood the purport of the Amendment. The Universities had been spoken of by the advanced Liberals as "monastic institutions." He was not prepared to vote for their being "conventual institutions" as well.
Question put, "That those words be there added."
The Committee divided:—Ayes 119 Noes 239: Majority 120.—(Div. List, No. 114.)
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY
moved, in page 6, line 23, after "the same," to insert—(13) For the administration of the University Press and of the funds belonging thereto, and for the publication, not less than once in each year, of the accounts thereof; (14) For the management of the financial affairs of the University.He remarked that the Press at Oxford some 15 or 20 years ago brought in a net revenue of £13,000, a sum which was now considerably less; but he could not think it right that no accurate information should be given as to what became of a sum of money amounting to a quarter of the whole annual revenue of the University. Account should be rendered of so important a source of income. It was to be remembered that the Delegates of the Press enjoyed the monopoly of printing Bibles, and it might be urged that Convocation had a right to know how its servants administered their money. He could not admit the plea so often put forward, that the University Press was a trading concern. If that was the case, it would be the first occasion on which he had ever heard that a great centre of learning was a trading concern. And in that 304 case the Press authorities should do what other trading concerns did, and lay their accounts before Parliament, instead of shrinking from publicity. He would not charge any individual with mismanagement; he merely wanted to learn the prospective income of the University.
§ MR. MOWBRAY
said, his noble Friend had not been quite clear as to the authority to whom these accounts should be rendered; one thing, however, was quite clear, that the names of the Board of Delegates furnished an ample guarantee against maladministration. It was to be recollected, moreover, that the Clarendon Press was divided into two parts, one of which certainly was a trading concern, and the managers had their capital embarked in it; therefore the public had no right to inquire into it.
Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Thursday next.