§ Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [21st May], " That the Bill be now road a second time."
And which Amendment was—
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "while this House recognizes that the funds set free by the disestablishment of the Irish Church should be devoted to the benefit of the people of Ireland, provided they are not again applied to the support of any sectarian religion, it is not desirable to devote additional public funds to the further promotion of higher education in Ireland till adequate provision is first made for elementary teaching in that Country without aid from Imperial funds exceeding that given to other parts of the United Kingdom,"—(Sir George Campbell,)
§ —instead thereof.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. SYNAN
In rising to continue the adjourned debate upon this most important question, I may be allowed to call the attention of the House to the fact that we are obliged, by the refusal or the inability of Her Majesty's Government to give us a day, to debate this great question on a Wednesday; and we therefore appeal to the forbearance and the honour of the Members of this House who propose to speak to confine themselves to the principles of the Bill, which is the only question at this stage, and not to countenance any attempt to prevent a Division or talk the matter out. There is another preliminary question which I feel it my duty to make an observation upon, in order to give it an answer that I hope may be satisfactory and final. It has been made a subject of complaint by some of the Press of this country that we, the Irish Catholic Members, have not produced any declaration from our Bishops that they accept this Bill as a settlement of this question. I will not question the right to ask the 597 question, nor the spirit in which it is asked—whether to discredit and prejudice the cause of the Catholic laity of Ireland by introducing the names of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, or for a bonâ fide object of ascertaining our and their views. We consider this the question of the Catholic laity of Ireland. On their behalf we bring in this Bill, which is accepted by them as a settlement, and whatever they accept the Catholic hierarchy accept. That has been done in the case of the National Education, in the case of the Intermediate Education, and will be equally the case upon this great question, which we regard as the crowning of the edifice you have raised for the purposes of Irish education. As there was no opportunity of answering the objections made to the second reading of this Bill on the last Wednesday, it becomes my duty now to answer them briefly; and if I do so conclusively, I hope that course may be the shortest and the most satisfactory. My hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) will excuse me if I pass by his irrelevant Resolution on the subject of Irish primary education. Having India and Egypt on his hands, he cannot be expected to have time to devote to this question; but in order to satisfy my hon. Friend, I make this offer to him on the part of the Irish Members. If he will give us facilities in passing this Bill, we will give him facilities in discussing his Resolution at the proper time. My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M`Laren) would do well to vote for the second reading, in order that he may have an opportunity of repeating in Committee the speech he has delivered. If he does so, I undertake to answer him in Committee, and show him that he is completely mistaken as to the details of the Bill, and to prove to him that the University under this Bill will be one to which he can send his grandchildren, as his ancestors, ten centuries ago and earlier, did to the Irish Colleges of that day. I now come to the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice), which has been considered by our opponents, but particularly by his Friends at the other side of the House, a complete answer, and an unanswerable argument against the second reading. I hope I shall satisfy the House that it is an argument in favour of the second 598 reading. The noble Lord, from his University standing, family connection with Ireland, and knowledge of her affairs, must be taken as an authority upon this subject; and, therefore, any conclusion that can be fairly drawn from his speech in favour of this Bill must have great weight with the House. The noble Lord began by admitting that Irish Catholics had a grievance upon this subject-I hope he has converted his Friends to that view—and that the House ought to apply a remedy to the grievance. The noble Lord said — "Trinity College is practically the College of the Protestant Episcopalians; the Queen's Colleges are the Colleges of the Secularists. The Catholics should have a College of their own, affiliated to the Queen's University." Shade of Rip Van Winkle! has the noble Lord been asleep all these years? Was not his remedy that of the Bill of 1873? The noble Lord says he was not asleep —he was wide awake, and he admits that he helped to kill and bury the Bill of 1873. Is it worthy of the noble Lord to go to the grave of that Bill and dig up its dusty remains in order to defeat the present Bill? Is the noble Lord a worker of political miracles? He is ambitious; he is able; but surely he does not hope to vivify the dry bones of the Bill of 1873? Why, then, this argument? If the noble Lord's character was not above such a suspicion, I would say it was merely to defeat the Bill; but, being what he is—and from his political connections and associations likely to occupy the Treasury at some future time—I have come to the conclusion that he wishes to keep this question open until he is able to be a party in the settlement of it, and likely to acquire the honour that may arise from settling it. Whether he expects to convert my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr (Mr. Richard), and my hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney), and to take them to the Treasury Bench with him to settle it, I will not say; but it is well to be hopeful of conversion. The noble Lord had a word, also, to say upon the question of endowment. He knew—nobody knew better—that the Irish people were too poor to endow a University, although they have out of their poverty subscribed £200,000 to build a Catholic College, for which they asked a charter and were 599 refused; but the noble Lord endowed it for them out of the property of the rich English converts. The millionaires of Manchester, said the noble Lord, have endowed a College and asked for a charter; let the millionaire Catholic converts endow the Irish University. The noble converts, to whom the noble Lord refers, stand as high in the ranks of the English aristocracy as the highest; their abilities, their virtues, their bounty to the charities of the country, their profuse gifts in the cause of education and religion, require no panegyric from me—they speak for themselves. But, greatly as we admire them, we do not ask them, nor would we allow them, to endow our University. Ireland is rich enough, and able enough, to endow it, if you allow her, out of her own funds. But does the noble Lord see the consequences of his own argument? The rich aristocracy endow their own Universities. This is admirable doctrine; but I will venture to say that it will not be used except against this Irish Bill. There is a common saying that any stick is good enough to beat a dog with. Now, I ask, what is the conclusion to be drawn from this speech? The grievance is admitted; the remedy proposed by him has been rejected. The endowment proposed is a joke. What greater argument in favour of this Bill than the non possumus speech of the noble Lord. To be consistent, the noble Lord should follow his speech, and vote for this Bill. I will now refer briefly to the speeches at the other side of the House. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Trinity College (Mr. Plunket) was sent up as the pilot balloon on this occasion. He drifted with each current—now at one side, now at the other. He had nothing to say for the Bill, and not much against it; but the little he did say was an exaggeration and a mistake. Fall of the millions given to the Irish Church, he quadrupled the figures in this Bill. He turned twenties into hundreds, and conditional endowments into certain ones. He followed the endowments of the Irish Church and of Trinity College. I hope he will be as good as his word in Committee. All he wanted was that Trinity College was safe. If I were in the place of my hon. and learned Friend I would vote for the Bill to make Trinity College safe, and, in my opinion, he will 600 do the same. Now, come to the speech of the day—that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Some of my Friends look upon that speech as unfavourable. I took the opposite view. The right hon. Gentleman, in his usual conciliating manner, did not oppose the Bill, but made objections with a view to being answered and obtaining assurances. I think I am in a position to answer the objections and give the assurances. He states that the sum in this Bill was £500,000 more than in the Act of last year. I admit the fact, and need not inform the right hon. Gentleman that that is a subject for Committee. He then objected that there were no rival institutions in the case of the schools under the Intermediate Education Act. The Chief Secretary might have informed him there were; there were the Endowed Schools, the Royal Schools, the Erasmus Smith Schools; and the Act of last year protected the new candidates for prizes from unequal competition. The Home Secretary, if favourable to this Bill, might answer, in his quick, legal, incisive manner, the case runs all fours with the case of last year. The right hon. Gentleman then objected that lie saw no Conscience Clause in this Bill, and he wanted assurances on that head. Certainly, on the part of my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don), I give the assurance. My lion. Friend was of opinion that it was not his part to introduce such a clause—that it should come from the Government. A Conscience Clause objected to by Irish Catholic Members in this House ! That would be a practical contradiction. Our raison d'être here is a Conscience Clause. Our whole history from the Union to the present time is one long Conscience Clause. In the cause of conscience we won Emancipation; in the cause of conscience we won back our National schools to save our children from violation of conscience. In the cause of conscience we got the Intermediate Act of last year; and in the same cause we now bring in this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman then came to his last and apparently weightiest objection —that this Bill excluded Parliamentary control over the endowment, and that it was a very strong proposal to vest this sum in the Senate under this Bill. I admit that; but must remind the right lion. Gentleman that my hon. Friend an- 601 ticipated that objection, and left it altogether to the Government and the House. By all means let it be on the Estimates, if the Government so wishes. The right hon. Gentleman has evidently a voracious appetite for Estimates. I do not know if the appetite of the Secretary to the Treasury is equally keen. We have no fear on that subject as long as my hon. Friend the Member for Meath (Mr. Parnell) takes his part as watchman below the Gangway. I think I have now exhausted the objections made to this Bill, and I ask any unprejudiced Member in the House, has there been one single objection made to the principle of this Bill? I admit that objections have been made to some of the details; but I implore the House to reserve them for Committee. I was, however, near forgetting one hon. Member, the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate). The Cassandra of the Tory Party rose from his mountain, and, in solemn tones, warned the Government to beware. He pointed to the Christian Brothers' Schools in Mallow; informed us that they were a branch of the Jesuits; that both were in rebellion against the Bishops; and that he has it on the best authority that the Bishops appealed to the Pope in vain. Here is a pretty quarrel. Here is an extraordinary junction—the Pope and the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. What do the planets say? No wonder the weather is bad and the farmers in their present condition. But what has this to say to the Bill? Everything. The Jesuits want this Bill to blow up the Bishops. But my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr (Mr. Richard) has told us, at the meeting of himself and the Members for Calne and Liskeard, that my hon. Friend has brought in this Bill for the Bishops; that my hon. Friend, with all his mild looks, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is going to eat up all the Irish Nonconformist lambs. The force of folly, and prejudice, and contradiction, cannot go further than this. I cannot deal with such a subject in a serious manner, and must only appeal to Horace's defence of himself in similar circumstances—Quamquam videntem dicere verum, Quid vetat.If I were dealing with opponents who agreed in their opinions and in their objections to this Bill, I have made out a conclusive case for this Bill; but, unfor- 602 tunately, the adversaries of the Bill assume as many shapes as Proteus himself. The grievance is admitted by the noble Lord who leads the opposition to this Bill. Will the Members for Liskeard and Merthyr admit it? If not, how do they happen to hunt with the noble Lord? Do they only use him as an ornamental performer?Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo.It is objected—first, that there is no Catholic population in Ireland from which a University could be supported. It is said—" The Papists are only a parcel of bog-trotters. There are 4,500,000 of them, it is true; but what pretensions can they have to University Education." That allegation is, made in open defiance of the Returns on the Table of the House. I hold in my hand the Declaration of the Catholic laity in favour of the Bill, signed by 8 Peers, 3 right hononrables, 392 Justices of the Peace, 6 baronets, 3 knights, 36 Members of Parliament, 41 deputy lieutenants, 12 Queen's counsels, 2 LL.D.'s, 25 A.M. and A.B.'s, 200 doctors, barristers, and solicitors, 200 merchants, 200 Poor Law guardians, 100 mayors and town councillors; in all, 1,230 of the very class from which University students are likely, nay certain, to come. Previous to the Intermediate Act, there were 1,500 Catholic students each year in voluntary intermediate schools. Under that Act there are 4,000 candidates for examination. Of these, 3,000 are certain to be Catholic. How many of these in Trinity College and Queen's Colleges? In Trinity College, 75 out of 1,200 students; Belfast, 5 out of 463 students; Cork, 133 out of 261; Galway, 73 out of 175 —that is, out of 1,500 that ought to be students, you have 300; out of 3,000 that you will have, you are not likely to have more, unless you give them a University. The hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett), a few years ago, said—Throw open Trinity College and the Roman Catholics will flock into it. There are already two or three waiting for Fellowships.But the fact is, the millennium so much desired by the hon. Member for Merthyr will arrive before any such result as the hon. Member for Hackney desired will be attained. Take it, now, in relation to population. In Ulster the Catholic population is as 60 per cent of the whole. What is the number of Catholics in Bel- 603 fast College? Five? The 18 Professors in that College are all Protestant, mostly Presbyterian. There is a Divinity School. Belfast College is practically a Presbyterian College. No wonder they wish to keep things as they are. Take, now, the question in relation to the Catholic population of Ireland. The Catholics of Ireland are 4,150,867 out of 5,500,000, and they have only 300 University students, out of 2,100—that is, the proportion of Catholic population is 7 to 1, and the proportion of Catholic students is 1 to 7. The grievance is so great, and the injustice so monstrous, that the great Liberal statesman who tried in vain to apply a remedy has expressed himself in his usual strong and eloquent manner on the subject. The right hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) said—It comes to this—that there are still in Ireland civil disabilities on account of religious opinions. There is not a single educational institution in Ireland in harmony with the religious sentiments or with the feelings of the great majority of the people.I do not know whether that opinion is to have some weight with the right hon. Gentleman's followers, or whether we have come to a time in the history of the Liberal Party when the followers will not follow. Since that language was used, six years ago, the Intermediate Education Act of last year was passed, which has removed the inequality as far as Intermediate Education is concerned; but that very Act renders the present Bill or some similar measure absolutely necessary, for otherwise it would only increase the inequality with respect to University Education. But we are told the present Universities are open to them. That is the argument upon which the Church Establishment was supported. The churches were open to them; why not adopt the State religion? That was the argument upon which the Kildare Street Schools were supported. The difference is only in degree; but the Irish Catholic laity will not have the secular system which excludes all religious teaching. The exclusion of all religious teaching is the exclusion of Christianity in any definite or positive form, and is the parent of all the systems that have led on the Continent to Communism and Socialism. At all events, the Irish Catholic parent will not have it, and this Bill is brought in 604 for the vindication of parental authority and the freedom of education. For 300 years the Irish have resisted the compulsory system of education that England endeavoured to impose upon her. She has emerged from the contest, after persecution and penal laws had been tried in vain to break her spirit, comparatively victorious, and in that career of history she will not be arrested until she reaches the goal and is crowned with the prize of free University Education. In matters of this kind you must consider the feelings, the religious sentiments, the genius, and habits of a people; you cannot apply the law of Procrustes to a nation. Laws must be made for the people, and not the people for the laws; and to act in any pedantic or absolute system, whether you be a Parliament or a tyrant, is to defeat the object you have in view, and render all law impossible of execution. The other day I came across some language of my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett), in relation to India, which, I think, he might well apply to Ireland and to education. My hon. Friend says—"In considering questions of taxation, nothing can ho more unwise than to conclude that that must be best which is most in accord with the principles of science. The tastes, the habits, the wishes of the people ought to be most carefully considered.That was Burke's opinion, both in relation to Ireland as well as India, and I offer the example of Burke for imitation to my hon. Friend in relation to Ireland on this question. This Bill, as far as the principle to be decided on the pro-sent occasion is concerned, is very simple, very concise, and very clear. It is this— Will you give to the Irish people a University where the competitors may obtain degrees in secular knowledge which is to be maintained by result fees and prizes to the best students upon secular subjects? Theology is expressly excluded, and no religious teaching is to be paid for. All the other parts of this Bill are matters of detail and for discussion in Committee, and are only introduced by the opponents of the Bill for discrediting and defeating it. What is the objection to such a Bill? It is this— that some of the Colleges in which these students are to be trained are superintended by ecclesiastics. The Colleges are selected by the parents; the teachers 605 are not to be paid for religious teaching, but, because they may and will teach religion, the Bill cannot be accepted. That objection applies to the denominational Colleges of England; it applies to the Act of 1870; it applies to the National system in Ireland; it applies to the Intermediate Education Act of last year. If it is resolved by this House that religious education must be expressly excluded, and, for that purpose, that ecclesiastics cannot be allowed to be at the heads of Colleges affiliated to Universities supported by the State, then you are bound in justice to repeal the Act of 1870, and put an end to denominational education in England. And this opposition is made in the name of civil and religious liberty. Oh, Liberty what crimes are committed in thy name. This is the liberty that the Emperor Julian proclaimed, when he issued his decree against the teaching of Christanity in the schools. That decree concluded with these remarkable words—" For no restraint is laid on any young man as to the source from which he will seek education." So the opponents of this Bill declare to the young Catholic Irishman, Catholic Christian education is to be expressly excluded from all Colleges, so that no young Catholic Irishman may be prevented from getting degrees. The young Irish student may be a Deist, a Positivist, a Pantheist, an Atheist, and get degrees in a University endowed by result fees; but he cannot be a Catholic. Surely the Christianity and common sense of this House must revolt at such a doctrine as that. It appears to me that such an argument is an insult to our common Christianity. And by whom is this opposition supported? By persons who have no common bond of union, but who are at the opposite poles of the educational system. By Protestant denominationalists at the opposite side of the House, by secularists, and by opponents of denominational education at this side. And why? Because the Irish Catholics, who are now practically excluded from degrees, are to be the persons benefited. You have refused to give them a charter for their University—you have refused them affiliated Colleges. This is the only mode in which they can obtain degrees, and you resist it. And this unholy, unprincipled alliance is maintained against the Representatives of the Irish people, Pro- 606 testant and Catholic. Does not the House see that if you do this you practically repeal the Act of Union? If in a matter entirely Irish, and a fund belonging to the Irish people, you overwhelm the Irish representation by the weight of your numbers, the Irish people will see that the Act of Union is maintained by force. Canada is free, and has her free Universities, Catholic and Protestant; and Ireland is bound by the Act of Union, and will not be allowed to have a free University where a conscientious Catholic can get a degree. To reject this Bill is to tell the Irish people to bide their time and do as Canada has done. We present to you in this Bill a compromise which, I hope, the good sense and statesmanship still to be found in Parliament may induce you to accept as a settlement of this question. An outcry has been raised outside this House by interested parties against the Bill as the endowment of religion. That cry is false, and false to the knowledge of the people that make it. We are threatened by the organ of a small Party with ostracism if we persevere with this Bill. We support our principles, and despise the threat. If any attempt to break up the Liberal Party is made in this House or out of it, it will not be made by us. Our principles have been tried in the furnace of persecution and will stand the assault of faction, whether influenced by bigotry or hostility to Christian teaching. Let those who want to introduce into this country the educational principles which have led in other countries to Communism, and Socialism, and Revolution, take care and not break up the Liberal Party, of which they are a small and contemptible part. I am not afraid, as long as we have on the Opposition Bench a man true to the principles of Fox—the equal of Fox in eloquence and statesmanship, and the superior of Fox in devotion to the interests of England and of the human race. Six years ago the right hon. Member for Greenwich tried to settle this question, and risked power and place to do what he considered an act of justice and of true statesmanship. He failed; but I have that opinion of him that the remembrance of the conduct he then met with will not prevent him from supporting this Bill if he considers it contains the germs of a satisfactory arrangement; and I have equally no fear 607 that the Liberal Party will follow him, and not the organs and the howling of an ignorant, an exclusive, and an intolerant faction. I do not know what effect an appeal to the Protestant denominationalists on the other side may have, or whether they will remain true to their principles. But I beg to remind them that nine years ago the cause of Protestant denominationalism in this House hung in the balance, and the Irish Members were appealed to. Did we hang back? We owed you nothing —we had nothing to be grateful for—you were the persistent enemies of our country; but we forgot everything but our principles. We answered your appeal, went into the Lobby with you, and saved denominational education. Will you imitate that example this day? Will you be true to your principles, or, clinging to your prejudices, will you—but it is impossible; I will not insult you. I am sorry to see that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer is absent, who, from his speech on the last occasion, I thought was favourable to the second reading of this Bill. Illness, I understand, has deprived us of his presence. I regret his absence, and I regret the cause; but that absence is ominous. However, we must take the consequences, come what may. And. now, in conclusion, a word to the Government. Is this a Government I see before me, or is it only a number of individuals. If it is a Government, let it declare its policy, and let every individual Member of it go into the Lobby in favour of this' If it is a Government, let it call upon that solid body of supporters which sit behind it, which has followed it even when it was wrong; let them now follow the Government when it is right. If they will not do this, the Government is without a policy, and an Irish policy is as important in the history of this country as an Eastern policy—aye, they will find it even more important. If, on the other hand, the Government make this appeal to their supporters, and if they follow them like loyal men to vote for the second reading of this Bill, they will do much to complete that edifice the foundation of which has been laid last Session, and thus they will send another message of peace to Ireland.
said, that as he was anxious the House should divide 608 that afternoon on the Bill, he would not detain it long. The hon. Member who had just addressed the House had alluded to the exceedingly eloquent and able speech of the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) when this Bill was last under discussion, and had stated that the noble Lord would have no objection to Roman Catholic Colleges being, affiliated with the Universities; and, before that, the hon. Member had asked whether the noble Lord had forgotten what took place in 1873? None of them, he supposed, had forgotten what took place in that year; but the proposal to affiliate Roman Catholic Colleges with the Universities was rejected, because the Bill by which it was to be effected proposed to bring down the studies of the Universities to the level of the Colleges proposed to be affiliated. Some said. there was, no doubt, a grievance; but he believed it was sentimental, and created by the highest authorities of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. They would not allow the members of their denomination, if they could help it, to attend Colleges which were not Roman Catholic, because they feared the effect of association with persons of a different faith. What would be thought if a town had a large supply of water of excellent quality open to all, and. one portion of the community declined to go near it because persons of a different religion from theirs drank it If the Belfast College was practically Presbyterian, it was because the Presbyterians took advantage of the education offered, and not because there was any interference with religion there; and he thought it would be found difficult to get any of the Roman Catholic students to say that his religious principles had been in any way tampered with. Those who attended the Colleges of Galway and Cork were equally free from any interference with their religion. Was any Roman Catholic who ever attended those Colleges since 1861, when they had come fully into use, able to say that there had been any attempt to influence his religious opinions; or could any person be pointed to who, while a student, was brought over from any one religion to any other? Before the principle proposed to be established by the Bill could be fairly brought before the House, it should be proved that the 609 Queen's Colleges were a failure on their own account, and not on account of the Roman Catholics declining to attend thorn, owing to the opposition of the heads of their Church. From 1861-2, they had gone on increasing, notwithstanding the opposition of the Roman Catholic clergy. In 1861-2, the number of students who entered was 310, and those attending numbered 758; in 1864, there were 288 entrances and 837 attendances, eight more than the average entrances in the University of Dublin for many years. In 1869, 1870, and 1871, there was 'a slight decrease; but there were in attendance 732 students; and last year and the year before the number was 898, the largest ever known, the entrances in the year being 321. The religion of the students was as follows:In 1877-8, the number of Church of Ireland students was 221; Roman Catholics, 242; Presbyterians, 347; and other denominations, 88—making 898. The small number of Roman Catholics, in comparison with their proportion to the population, was to be accounted for, not only by the antipathy of the Roman Catholic clergy to the College, but also by the circumstance that the greater number of the University students were destined for the Church, and Roman Catholics had the Maynooth College, with large endowments out of the Disestablished Church. In 1845, there were 430 students at Maynooth, and it was difficult to get any statement of the number since then; but taking it at 300, which was 130 less than in 1845, the number of Roman Catholics receiving University Education in Ireland, including 150 attending Dublin University, would be brought up to 692 out of 1,606 of all denominations. They were told that the Bill was not connected with religion at all; but that was the very objection made by the Roman Catholics to the Queen's Colleges. They were said to be godless institutions. Would hon. Gentlemen opposite tell the House that they were proposing to establish another godless institution at a cost of £1,500,000, to stand side by side with the Queen's Colleges, to which Roman Catholic gentlemen would not send their sons? If the Bill came forward honestly and fairly, and with a plain face, he would know better how to meet it. If it had been proposed as a Bill to establish a Roman Catholic University which should 610 be exclusively open to Roman Catholic students, and which should be under the exclusive control of the Roman Catholic clergy, and managed from Borne, there would have been no difficulty in inquiring straightforwardly and honestly into a claim fairly and openly set up. The question was, whether it was just for such a purpose to take £1,500,000 out of a fund derived from the Disestablishment of a rival Church, which had been disestablished for the purpose of conciliating the Roman Catholics, in disregard of the feelings and sentiments of the Protestants of Ireland? When that was done the principle was laid down, and distinctly and universally accepted, that no part of the funds taken from the Church should be used for religious purposes, or any purpose that might possibly become matter for religious discussion; and, though this was not the same Parliament, he thought it was equally bound to maintain that decision. He did not wish to make use of irritating language; but he could not conceal from the House the great and strong feeling that was among the Protestants of Ireland against this measure. The hon. Member who last addressed the House spoke of the unanimous feeling of the Irish Members as being in favour of this Bill; but there were at least 33 of the Irish Members who belonged to the other side; and all that could be said was, that there were two to one of the Irish Members who were in its favour. He now came to the question of the constitution of the Governing Body of the proposed University. It was said by the promoters of the Bill—" We make a most fair proposal, because we leave it to the State to appoint the Governing Body, which shall consist of 24 members, with one Chancellor and a Vice Chancellor." The State, of course, meant the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and anybody who had the slightest knowledge of the manner in which appointments were made in Ireland would well know what was likely to take place. The Lord Lieutenant would be advised to appoint 12 Roman Catholics, a certain number of Episcopalians, and a certain number of Presbyterians. After a few years, when a constituency had grown up that could elect its own members, there would be six more elected by the graduates. The students of the new University, he supposed, would be Ro- 611 man Catholics. It was intended they should be. They, of course, could elect Roman Catholics, so that three-fourths of the Governing Body would ultimately be of the Romish persuasion; and he did not believe that anybody in the House would dispute that 18 out of 24 would not conduct everything in accordance with the dictates of their belief. If they did not do so, they would be acting in opposition to every tradition and idea which had been adopted by their co-religionists previously. That being the case, he concluded that it was intended --although it did not appear so on the surface—to be an exclusively denominational University. There were many Roman Catholic Colleges in Ireland managed entirely by the Prelates of the Roman Church, and if they were to be affiliated, and if the students proceeding from these Colleges were to form the constituency which was to elect the Governing Body, he thought he was riot wrong in concluding that they would naturally elect those who had given them their education. He imagined, therefore, that before many years had elapsed this University would be exclusively a Roman Catholic institution, to which no Protestant would dream of sending his sons. What had been the tenour of the legislation of the past 50 years with regard to education? Why, it had been a constant opening of the Universities to persons of every denomination. The Dublin University was now perfectly open to men of all creeds. In fact, the only connecting link in the old association that prevailed was that the students belonging to the University, who happened to be members of the Church of Ireland, were required by the Fellows to attend Divine Service in the Chapel belonging to their own persuasion. Others were equally free as regarded matters of religion. Then, again, the Fellowships were open to the competition of all; and although the hon. Gentleman opposite sneered at the thought of a Roman Catholic being admitted a Fellow, he (Mr. Macartney) understood that if there had been a second vacancy at the last competition a Roman Catholic gentleman would have been elected who had been the second best answerer, and had run the successful candidate very close. To sum up the argument; if this was not to be a denominational institution, proposed to 612 be endowed by the State, contrary to the whole tenour of the legislation of the last 50 years, he asked what would be the use of establishing it? If it was to be a denominational institution, it would be repugnant to all the principles which had been advocated in Parliament for many years. He wished to add that if the hon. Member who had moved the first Amendment withdrew it, as he believed he proposed to do, he would himself be prepared to move the Amendment he had placed on the Paper.
§ MR. LYON PLAYFAIR
In one sense, I am in a different position from my political Friends on this Bench. The late Cabinet brought in a Bill to do justice to the Roman Catholics of Ireland in regard to University Education. They, therefore, must look favourably on any practical attempt to satisfy what they consider the just claims of Roman Catholics to receive higher education. But I opposed the Bill of the late Government, on two grounds—first, because it pulled to pieces an existing University system which was doing good work; and, second, because I thought it was constructed with too great submission to the ecclesiastical prejudices of the Irish hierarchy. This Bill avoids my first objection, because it leaves the Dublin University and the Queen's University to work in their own way, and to continue their salutary influences on University teaching and graduation; and my second objection does not appear to lie in the framework of the Bill, for it provides that the State, and not the Roman Catholic clergy, shall have full authority in the management of the new University. The initial question, however, must be considered—is there need of a third University in Ireland? The hon. Member for Tyrone (Mr. Macartney) says there is not. But there is one consideration which all will admit. When a country is poor in the natural resources for manufacturing industries, this disadvantage can only be compensated by improving the intellectual condition of her population, so that by increased intelligence applied to production they can compensate for the higher price of the raw materials of manufacture. Instances of this kind are seen in Holland and Switzerland, where manufactures flourish in the absence of coal, the source of power, and iron, the material for strength. In a 613 less obvious degree it is seen in Scotland, which possesses these materials only in a narrow and confined district. Ireland is washed with an ocean communicating with all great producing countries, and if her population were adapted for manufacturing industry, there is no preponderating disadvantage which would prevent its development. She chiefly requires that all classes of her population should be so educated as to compensate for the natural poverty of the country by the superior intellectual productiveness of the people. Scotland has more or less obtained this result, not in the most scientific way, but after a rude fashion, through primary schools which teach secondary subjects, and through four Universities suited to the genius of the Scotch people; and Scotland, now with a population not much more than half that of Ireland, has double the number of University students. Why is that the case? We must admit the only conclusion which is legitimate—that the Roman Catholics, as a body, do not find the existing Irish Universities suitable to their wants. Personally, I deeply lament this fact, for I think it is a doleful thing that religions which aim to unite men in eternity should separate men in time, and prevent them growing up in a common brotherhood at the same schools and Colleges. I go further, and wonder that intelligent Roman Catholics do not conquer their prejudices, and insist, in spite of their priests, that they should use more largely than they do the Colleges of Belfast, Cork, and Galway, or the very tolerant Protestant Trinity College of Dublin. I do not at all admit that either the Queen's University or Trinity College has failed. The Queen's Colleges, on an average, have 31 per cent of Roman Catholic pupils, and Trinity College has also a considerable number. Both, taken together, have many more University students in proportion to the population than England. But I do not think this an argument against University extension in Ireland. It is fairer to compare a poor country like Ireland with Scotland. Both are countries with such a poor population that special facilities are required to enable their population to study at Universities; and here is the broad fact that while Ireland, with between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000 of people, has only about 614 2,000 University students, Scotland, with between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000, has more than double that number. Again, in Ireland, a country with 76 per cent Roman Catholics, the Protestant students are to the Catholics as four to one. The poverty of the Catholics is an obstacle, but not a bar, to University Education; and if the obstacle were made surmountable, as it is in Scotland, by a system of bursaries and Scholarships, we might expect a great development of University students, provided we make the University system suitable to their wants. At present, the learned Professions are most unequally represented in respect to religion in Ireland. Even as regards the clergy, the Roman Catholics have only one priest to 1,500 of the population, while the Protestants have one to about 500. In law, the Roman Catholics have one barrister to 21,000 of the population, and the Episcopalians one to 1,400. In medicine, the Roman Catholics have one physician to 4,600 of the population, the Episcopalians one in 500, and the Presbyterians one in 1,600. Hence it is clear that the learned Professions are not largely recruited from the existing Universities by Roman Catholics. Will this Bill enable them to have fair play in this respect? Now, I desire to obtain a fair hearing from my Roman Catholic Friends to my criticism of this Bill. They are inclined to think that every Scotch Member is their natural enemy. Above all, they must deem Scotch University Members to be in this category, for they have intimated the intention of attacking the Scotch Universities on the Estimates. Now, I desire to remove this idea. It is true that Scotland is as intensely Protestant as Ireland is intensely Roman Catholic. It is true, also, that I, individually, am thoroughly imbued with the Protestantism of my race. But, individually, my opinion is of little worth, for it is only as the exponent of nearly 6,000 Scotch graduates that I have a claim to be heard in this debate. Now, what has been their action in regard to this University Bill, which has excited keen hostility in many quarters? The remarkable fact is, that I have not received a single communication hostile to the Bill from either a constituent or from the Governing Bodies of the two Universities which I have the honour to represent. My interpretation of this is, 615 that they trust their Representative to discuss the Bill in its relation to the interests of higher education, but above the prejudices which are apt to influence popular constituencies. I know that my Universities would be glad if we could devise any measure which would provide higher secular education among Roman Catholics. They have no sympathy with the "No Popery" cry which has arisen in certain quarters against this Bill. Such a cry has little meaning, and vast insult to a country which has 76 per cent of Roman Catholics among its population; and I am quite sure that I would misrepresent the Liberal feelings of my Universities if I were to refuse fair consideration to any scheme for promoting higher education among Roman Catholics because it provided that their religious faith should be preserved during the acquisition of secular knowledge. The demand for a new University may be, and is, I think, based on purely conscientious and sentimental grounds; but do not conscience and sentiment lie very nearly at the roots of all religion? At all events, they have been strong enough to prevent the development of University Education among Irish Roman Catholics; and we ought not to imitate the Papal cry of non possumus, which Protestants so often condemn, by refusing fair consideration to a scheme because it joins secular education to securities for religious belief. The Bill is founded on two principles, which must be considered separately as well as in combination. The first principle is to stimulate education by paying students for the results of secular knowledge as attested in their graduating examinations. If the Bill stopped there we would have a University in Dublin on the principle of the London University, only vastly better endowed. There might be sectarian institutions attached, as there are in London University; but the State funds would have no direct payments to make to any person except the successful students. The second principle is to follow the student to his College, and pay that College for having taught him successfully. I assume this to mean that the promoters of the Bill see that a mere Examining Board is not a University in its fullest sense, and they want to cluster around it well-ordered Colleges for systematic teaching under a recognized 616 curriculum of study. Let me take the College of St. Stephen's Green as an example. Here we have a College chiefly under ecclesiastical management, but with Lay Professors for lay subjects, and professing instruction in arts and sciences, as well as in professions. According to the scheme, such a College would be richly paid by the Bill for successful secular results. To see the effect upon the College, let us assume that it gets annually 100 new students in arts, 50 new students in medicine, 30 in law, and 15 in engineering. Then, according to the scale of payments in the Bill, allowing one-fourth of the students to win honours and one-tenth of them exhibitions, St. Stephen's College might get about £17,000 per annum under the Bill. This, no doubt, would be a grand endowment for such a small number of pupils. But that is a detail. Let us look at the principle. Because this College is superintended by Roman Catholics, are you prepared to refuse any aid to a distinctly Lay College, supposed to be well ordered and well taught, when good secular education is attested by a Senate appointed by the State? No doubt, it might be wise to impose some conditions before giving aid, and to bargain for an infusion of lay management in the Governing Body. But are you prepared to deny aid to purely secular education because an institution is superintended in morals and discipline according to Roman Catholic views? I fear, then, that yon may tell the Roman Catholics of Ireland at once that they must go on without facilities for their higher education, and that no more Irish University Bills will be considered by this House. I, for my part, am not prepared to refuse to well-ordered Lay Colleges in Catholic Ireland pecuniary aid for attested secular knowledge, simply because they are supervised by a Governing Body exclusively of Roman Catholics. But is this all that the Bill asks? Let me take another well-constituted College, with distinguished ecclesiastical Professors — in no sense a Lay College, but one for the training of the priesthood—I allude to Maynooth. Let us examine the possible application of the Bill to Maynooth under its two principles—the payment of students for attested secular knowledge, and the payment of the College for having taught them. In regard to Maynooth, for in- 617 stance, I might approve the first principle and utterly reject the second principle. I beg the House to observe that there is not one word which would exclude Maynooth or other Theological Colleges from large endowments under the clauses of this Bill. By no practical process that we could devise could we, in such cases, separate secular from theological teaching in these priestly seminaries. If Maynooth, for instance, sent its pupils in tolerable numbers, like St. Stephen's Green, it might win some thousands a-year under the Bill. In such a case it would be useless to assert that we were not practically adding largely to the endowments of that already well endowed Theological College. I wish, again, to consider the two principles apart. I would not deny to any students coming from Maynooth the prizes which they might win in arts graduation simply because they were preparing for the priesthood. That would be to me a high recommendation. If we can enlarge the education of the priesthood in secular subjects, and bring it within the region of public education, so that the priest may become a cultivated citizen, I would rejoice in that result. But it is one thing to pay for the results of secular education in the form of prizes and Scholarships to the successful students, and another thing to pay large subventions to the strictly Theological Colleges teaching them, over which a University Senate could not possibly have control. Of course, payments to students may indirectly mean some sort of aid to the Colleges which teach them. But, in the one case, you have absolute security that you are paying for secular education; in the other, you are practically supporting Colleges which have a theological purpose. Of course, it may be argued that if we pay a theological student for taking a degree in arts, we do, in fact, give some degree of warmth to religion, which we desire to keep out in the cold. If I feed a sheep in order to produce mutton, some of the food, no doubt, goes to the wool which grows on its back; but my primary and main purpose is achieved notwithstanding this accident. If I am to starve the sheep because I cannot help part of the grass going into wool instead of mutton, I am unworthy of participation in the practical affairs of life. It is not such an accident that 618 would prevent me, as an opponent of concurrent endowment, from paying to students money prizes for secular results, whether the students were lay or clerical. It would be a vast gain if the close education of the Irish priests were opened .up to the enlarging influences of modern knowledge and thought, and if their secular education became an object of national concern and a part of the common education of the people. If this can be done through result payments to students without endowing Theological Seminaries, I am very willing to do so. But I am not prepared to endow even mixed Seminaries when they are entirely beyond public control or supervision. A well-ordered Lay College, under the immediate supervision of the University Senate, might properly be aided; but Ecclesiastical Seminaries stand on a wholly different footing. I know my Catholic Friends in the House protest that that is not the object of the Bill. Yet, the Bill by its clauses carefully excludes Trinity College and Queen's College from any participation in its benefits; but its wording is wide enough to include Maynooth, the Diocesan Seminaries, and all the monastery schools of Ireland, and, in fact, any boarding-school with 20 pupils. There is no limit to the affiliated Colleges. If they are of a like kind to many of the affiliated Colleges of the London University, there would be very small guarantee indeed of their well-ordered fitness for Collegiate Education upon a type that would compare favourably with Trinity College or the Queen's Colleges of Belfast, Cork, and Galway. Putting aside the College of St. Stephen's Green, where are the Lay Collegiate institutions in Ireland? Do they exist, or have they to be created? There are 18 diocesan and other Catholic Colleges in Ireland. Some of them are almost wholly devoted to the training of future priests; but others are mixed, lay and clerical. Let me take three examples of Colleges which profess to prepare for the degrees of the University of London, and, therefore, may be considered as likely to conic under this Bill. The best College is probably St. Patrick's, at Carlow. It has five clerical and ten lay Professors. St. Stanislaus, at Thurles, also professes to prepare for the London degrees. It has 15 clerical Professors, and two lay 619 Professors. Then there is St. Kieran's, at Kilkenny, which is connected with the London University by Royal Charter. It has nine clerical Professors, and five lay. Clongowes also prepares for London degrees, and I believe all its Professors are clerics. If we take the Protestant Magee College at Londonderry, as another College of the kind likely to be included, it has eight clerical Professors and two lay. Now, it may well be that a cleric is the best Professor you can have for a particular subject, but this would be an accident; while the rule of a preponderance of clerics in these institutions shows that religious teaching is of much more account than secular instruction. These Colleges are just now under the Intermediate Education Act, and as long as they continue to be so would be excluded from the Bill. But this Bill offers Collegiate prizes of such unparalleled magnificence that it would be their interest to affiliate themselves to the new University. Never in the history of the world was it proposed to start a perfectly new and untried University with such grand endowments. I should like to show how they would act. There are sectarian Colleges now affiliated to the London University. In fact, the very Irish Colleges likely to range themselves under the new St. Patrick's University, are actually in affiliation with London. But the London Alma Mater offer few inducements for affiliation except those resulting from the reputation of her degrees. There are a few open Scholarships; but, practically, no money is given to Colleges. Let us consider how the new University of St. Patrick's would work. I must make some assumption on which to base calculations. I assume, then, that the Roman Catholics, in return for their magnificent endowment, would think their University a failure unless it were as successful as Trinity College, Dublin, and drew together 300 fresh students in arts annually. I distribute 100 of these to the Central College in Dublin, and 200 to three provincial well-ordered Lay Colleges in the Provinces, to compare in efficiency with Cork, Belfast, and Galway Queen's Colleges. Of course, I am aware that the Bill speaks of a College with 20 students; but that is altogether so preposterous a limit for a well-ordered College to participate in great 620 endowments that I cannot be unreasonable in asking 70 new entries for the Roman Catholic Provincial Colleges .of the future. Unless this was achieved, there would be no justification for the new University. These three Colleges would, under the Bill, for 200 first year passes— calculating honours at one-fourth, exhibitions one-tenth—for 187 second year students, 167 third year, and 133 fourth year students—these decrements being the result of experience—receive as result fees alone in the single Faculty of Arts a sum of £22,464, or, in round numbers, £7,500 each College. Well, with such splendid prospects, have not the most liberal-minded among us a right to ask securities under the Bill that these sums shall not be frittered away among Diocesan Seminaries of second or third-rate rank, partly engaged in lay and partly in clerical teaching, but that well-ordered lay Roman Catholic Colleges shall be created, and then be clustered around the new University of St. Patrick? But, under the Bill, there is not one line showing that such is the intention or that such will be the working of the measure. If such well-ordered Lay Colleges were established, instead of the present Diocesan Seminaries of Ireland, no doubt, lay students intending to enter the liberal Profession would largely use them in order to procure a basis of liberal culture for their professional training. I am glad that the promoters of this Bill have seen, though, perhaps, not with perfect clearness, that any University in a poor country must chiefly rely on professional degrees. England is, perhaps, the only country in Europe in which Arts' degrees form the chief part of University training. This is because the students belong chiefly to the wealthy classes. In Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Scotland, and Ireland, the Universities must and do devote themselves largely to professional training, and depend mainly upon it. Take one Profession alone—that of medicine. Of medical licentiates, only 3 per cent come from the teaching Universities in England, 30 per cent from those of Ireland, and 36 per cent from those in Scotland. In Germany, nearly all the professional men pass through the Universities. The poorer the country, and the greater the struggle for existence, the more must 621 the Universities throw themselves upon professional training. The framers of the Bill have recognized this fact in their provision for professional degrees. They justly look at the Arts Faculty as a preparation before professional study is begun. But do not the promoters see in this wise recognition that their affiliated Colleges ought to be well-ordered Lay Colleges, embracing all the faculties, and that the Professors ought to be laymen, experienced and wholly devoted to the subjects which they teach? I know that Roman Catholics fear that while they gain knowledge they may lose faith. I, therefore, would give to their Colleges what securities were most agreeable to them for the preservation of faith and morals, provided these were not paid for by the State; but would make it a condition that the Colleges, with regard to secular instruction, were completely under the supervision of the University as to the curriculum of study, and as to the appointment of properly qualified Professors. I know that there are several of my hon. Friends in this House who would see even in such Colleges the cloven hoof of concurrent endowment; but, on the other hand, there are many who would gladly aid Roman Catholics to obtain a higher University Education, suitable to their wants, if they and their hierarchy would consent to give legislative assurances under this Bill that the affiliated Colleges are not to be Diocesan or Ecclesiastical Seminaries, but genuine well-ordered Lay Colleges partly under lay government and lay teaching. As Bill is framed just now, there is no security whatever that such is the meaning or such the end sought. The organization of the Governing Body of the new University is on a liberal basis. Its introducer has rightly understood that it would be impossible for him to pass any Bill through this House which submitted the government of a University to ecclesiastical authority. Science and literature have flourished vigorously both in Roman Catholic and in Protestant countries, when their religions have allowed liberty of thought and action. But they have been equally strangled in both, as much by the Calvinism of Geneva as by the Popery of Rome, when ecclesiastical authority became paramount over the intellectual development of the nation. This Bill chiefly reposes 622 upon the State. To the State, as proctor for the nation, the welfare of the Roman Catholic ought always to be as great an object of interest as that of the Protestant population, and, whatever be the form of Government, that feeling should remain the same. Under a Senate in which the State is so largely represented, the question in relation to a curriculum of study and examination ought always to be not " How will the Bishops like our scheme? " but " How is it best suited for the intellectual development of the Roman Catholic population?" At the same time, I cannot help remembering that Irish Governments have generally been favourable to the pretensions of Irish Bishops to get a preponderating influence in educational establishments. The first Charter of Maynooth College contained the condition that the Governing Body should always be half lay and half clerical. It is now wholly ecclesiastical. I intend to move in Committee that the graduates of the Universities should equal the nominees of the Crown on the Senate. I have a great belief in the liberality of well educated lay Roman Catholics. The students and pass-men of the Catholic College in Stephen's Green have shown a liberality of thought and culture far in advance of the ecclesiastical rulers of that institution. In the future management of St. Patrick's University, I would like to see a larger influence among its graduates, and a smaller influence among State nominees, who may possibly be appointed more in reference to political exigencies than to the higher interests of education. That, however, is a detail, and not a principle. But, to my comprehension, there is no clear enunciation of the only principle upon winch I would feel justified in voting for this Bill—that the Colleges intended to be affiliated are to be Lay Colleges, under the complete supervision of the Senate of the University, as to its curriculum for lay teaching. Even then, I cannot say that I think the Bill will constitute a high type of University. There is too much about it of the Examining Board, and too little of well-ordered teaching, to suit my ideas of a good University. That which pleases my right hon. Friend (Mr. Lowe) displeases me. But I do not intend, at this stage of the Bill, to state my objections to its proposed machinery. I would only now 623 say that I see it will intensify the evils of examination to a great degree. The demon of examination, not only through Universities, but also through competition for public services, is beginning to prey upon the vitals of intellectual life in England, as it has already done upon those of France. Examination is, no doubt, necessary as an evidence of knowledge and of accuracy; but it is not the end of educational or professional training, but only a necessary evil connected with it. Education aims at giving slowly intellectual food, not more rapidly than it can be healthily assimilated. But examination defeats this healthy intellectual nutrition by forcing the student to cram in ill-assorted and mechanically accumulated learning. When education and examination are united in the same teaching institution this evil is at its minimum; but when the teaching College and the examining authorities are separated it rises to its maximum. Now, this Bill runs madly on examination. Before a student can become an M.A. he must stand five University examinations. If they are really worthy of academic rank, the student will be rendered intellectually sterile by the time he has attained his degree, and will be worth nothing to himself or to the nation in intellectual productiveness afterwards. This is not a chimerical, but very grave evil to be guarded against. In France, the incessant examinations stimulate the intellect into excessive activity during youth, and the discoveries and writings of youthful philosophers are brilliant but evanescent. After 40 years of age we look for them no more in modern France, because the brain has become prematurely sterile. Now, this must be guarded against in the case of Ireland, for we have to deal with a people excitable by nature, and liable to injury by mental as well as by physical stimulants. Now, I know what reply the Irish Members will give in regard to my criticism of this Bill, which I hope that I have not attacked in an unfriendly spirit. They will say—" You are unfair and illogical in refusing to our Theological Seminaries that State aid which is given to Scotch Universities with Theological Faculties." But I would remind them of a difference. These Theological Faculties had scanty aid afforded them during the reign of William III., and by the Treaty of Union the State is 624 bound to continue this aid. But whenever the State has in modern times added to the resources of the Scotch Universities, as it did in 1858, it has distinctly refused to give any new recognition or support to the Theological Faculties; and whenever the State has aided a University in modern times, as in the case of the London University, it has distinctly refused to mix itself up with theological training. There was a time when theological teaching was the only thing thought worthy of State support; but that time has gone by. Will the new University Charter which is likely to be given to Owen's College in Manchester contain a Theological Faculty, or, if it did, would Parliament vote to it one shilling of State support? Roman Catholics ask us to legislate according to their sentiments; but they must recollect, when they ask the State to give large endowments for University teaching, that there are deeply-rooted convictions and sentiments throughout all parts of the United Kingdom that such State aid should be given for secular education alone. This is, no doubt, the profession of the Bill. But the stream of money is so overflowing, and the secular dam to keep back its waters so low and insecure, that it will rush over it, and fertilize all the Theological Roman Catholic Seminaries of Ireland. I believe that the day is past when the public feeling and conviction of this country would sanction such a result. Honestly anxious as I am to see higher secular education promoted in Ireland in accordance with the religions convictions of Roman Catholics, I cannot vote for a Bill which is so loosely constructed as to include all Theological Seminaries under the assumption that we are confining our aid to institutions for the promotion of secular education.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. GIBSON)
As one of the Members for the University of Dublin, I desire to make a few observations on the Bill now before us. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Assheton Cross) will, before the discussion closes, speak on behalf of the Government. I feel that the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken must be under a misconception if he thinks that the Bill will work no injurious consequences to existing institutions. But the main object of the speech we have just heard seemed to me 625 to make an amiable apology to hon. Members from Ireland for not supporting the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman has given us some reasons for certain clauses in the Bill; but he has also given us some powerful criticisms against the major portion of it. In fact, it seemed to me, a considerable part of his remarks was addressed to the disarming of criticism upon the Scotch University Votes. As to the effect of the Bill upon existing institutions, no one who examines the matter with any care can question or deny it. The fact has been assumed, and must be admitted, that the Bill, if passed in its present state—and we can only deal with its present form, and I have heard no suggestion of modification—must obviously and immensely damage the Queen's University and the Queen's Colleges. Of course, it would be optional for all Roman Catholic students to withdraw from these. This would be regarded as only a legitimate exercise of free choice; but it must be borne in mind that—to use the words of the right hon. Gentleman—the extravagant prizes and re- wards offered at the new University would subject the Queen's Colleges and University to a competition against which they could not stand for a moment. A clever student without an exceptional effort could, if diligent, under this Bill, acquire Scholarships, honours, passes, and a Fellowship, and win, in the aggregate, a sum of £1,100; while the equally clever student, laying himself out for every prize, could not win at the Queen's University as much as £200. And here, it must be obvious, is a kind of competition that must seriously impair the success of the Queen's Colleges. Then, it has been assumed that the University of Dublin will not be affected, or only to a very trivial extent, by the Bill. But this is an entire and complete mistake. The University which it is sought to call into existence would at once become the richest and best endowed in the country. At once it would become the richest; and how? It cannot be forgotten that the source of this great wealth is a source specially distasteful to Irish Churchmen—Irish Protestants, who have not yet learned to forget that it was the product of the Disestablishment of their Church, one grave and sad effect of which they recognize in the fact that by its opera- 626 tion many of the clergy of long standing and of high character at the present hour are in suffering and distress. This attempted use of the surplus funds of the Irish Church is open to another criticism, assuming that this Bill is right in principle, assuming there is a question to be settled, at all events it must be conceded that the funds produced by the disestablishment of one denomination should not be utilized for even the indirect establishment of another denomination. My remark just now, that this University would be the richest of the country, seemed to be questioned by a gesture from an hon. Member opposite; but there cannot be the slightest question of this. £1,500,000 is to be at once handed over; and the hon. Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don), computing the minimum rate of interest, estimates this will produce £45,000 a-year. This is a tolerably good income, and even that is a larger public endowment than exists in the case of any other University in Ireland. But it is ridiculous to take it at this sum, because the Irish Representative Church Body have succeeded in placing investments so well that they, on an average, produce something over 4 per cent; and, taking this to be the case, the revenue of the University would receive by the transfer and without the slightest difficulty very little short of £60,000 a-year. There is another circumstance I may here add. The income of this £1,500,000 could not, even with the most prodigal expenditure, be spent at once. In four or five years they might get into good working order, and during that interval very likely some £200,000 savings would be added to the sum. So I may be justified in assuming that the revenue of this University, with its £60,000—as I think it would be, and which, at any rate, will not fall far short of £50,000—would be the largest in Ireland. And this large sum is to be absolutely in the unfettered control of the Senate, the constitution of which has been already criticized. Contrast this with what is done in the case of the Queen's University. There, every shilling of the money provided by the State is placed upon the Estimates, subject to criticism, and granted by Parliament. The gross amount of the payments for the University and the Queen's Colleges is about £31,000 627 a-year; and if we add to that the interest on account of building grants, about £5,000, then from all sources there is debited to the Queen's University and Colleges about £36,000 a-year. My hon. and learned Colleague (Mr. Plunket) has already referred to the incomes of Dublin University and Trinity College. They are something like £40,000 public revenue, with a few thousands from private revenues, together much under £50,000; so I am justified in my statement that the new University would be distinctly richer than the Queen's University and Queen's Colleges, and very considerably richer than Dublin University. A circumstance never to be lost sight of is that existing institutions are entitled to consideration, and it is not fair to handicap them too severely in the race. The Queen's University and Colleges charge very reasonable fees, I believe £8 or £9 a-year, and Dublin University charges very substantial fees, taking into account that the country is poor and the University going classes are, in Ireland, mainly professional. Dublin charges for matriculation £15, and charges 16 guineas a-year to each student—not large, perhaps, when stated to the House, but large when taking into account the circumstances of the country. But there is no provision in this Bill, and I do not know that there is under the Bill any necessity to charge a student of the new University one farthing; and so parents will have to consider the propriety of sending their sons to the Queen's University at moderate charges; or to Dublin University, where the fees are considerable; or the new institution, where not one farthing is charged, where the education is assumed to be liberal with result fees and prizes extravagant in value. It is obvious that very many would be attracted by this more than gratuitous University Education, and thus the two existing institutions must suffer. The mode of dealing with existing institutions is enphasized by the 18th clause, to which reference has been made. This is the clause which excludes the Queen's Colleges and Trinity from having, under any condition, any participation in the benefits of the Bill, or competing in any shape for one of the prizes. Now, this cannot be defended. This is not a part of the Bill 628 which has been introduced much to the observation of this House; but, I suppose, other hon. Members who take an interest in the Bill will speak upon the subject. But I should like to know why this clause has been introduced; or, being in, how it can be defended? No University should object to fair competition. Dublin does not. Anyone who chooses may matriculate there without condition as to where he comes from; and, in fairness for ourselves, we ask that the Queen's University and Dublin University should be allowed to compete for prizes. Why, London University has seen her prizes carried off by Cambridge men, and others distinguished in the English Colleges, and the competition is, on the whole, a healthy one. There is no reciprocity in this. No matter what may be done in other institutions, Dublin University has no intention of closing its portals under the influence of unworthy jealousies. No matter whether this Bill pass or not, we shall not narrow the bounds of our competition. As a proof of the fair working of this, I may mention that at the recent examination for Fellowships a Moravian gentleman (Mr. Purser) was declared at the head, and next came a Roman Catholic gentleman of great attainments (Mr. Maguire), who will probably be a successful candidate next year. This is the result of the Bill for removing tests, because this same gentleman, Mr. Purser, was successful on a previous occasion, and was previously accredited first in the order of merit and elected for the Fellowship; but he had to forego taking it, because he could not accept an oath disagreeable to his conscientious convictions. Another part of the Bill, which again will largely affect the existing institutions, is the proposal of result fees. As well as I can understand the observations of the right hon. Member who spoke last—I am not going fully into the principle of result fees—but following his argument, I believe he stated that if ever this principle should be applied to University Education, it should be so applied as to exclude all institutions like Maynooth. All I desire to say on this principle of result fees is, that it is unusual in University Education, and only last year was it introduced into the Intermediate Education Act, where I trust it will 629 work advantageously; but when it is attempted to apply it to the system of University Education, it is incumbent, I think, upon those who advocate its extension, to show that it can be applied without derogating from the true interests of academical learning, and without damaging existing institutions. It is obvious that, from an academic point of view, the principle cannot be applied in the case of a University without the exercise of the most jealous caution, and for this reason. If a College or a University are given a direct pecuniary bonus for each graduate educated within its portals, the institution will be subject to a grievous temptation to lower the standard of its examinations, in order to manufacture as many graduates as possible. What, again, is the effect of the result fees as stated in the Bill, even assuming they are somewhat modified, in reference to existing institutions? These will be still so heavily weighted in the race that it will practically be impossible, in many cases, for them to continue competing in many branches of learning in which they are very successful at the present time. Take the case of a College with 20 students, that is a College within the definition of this Bill. Suppose four men passed with honours in the arts and professional courses, 13 obtained ordinary passes, and three failed, that would secure an income for an institution with 20 students of £900 a-year—something like £45 income for each student. No College could stand in competition with an institution so subsidized; and, in fact, it would come to this-that it would be to the interest of the affiliated Colleges, so far from exacting fees from their students, actually to pay them to come and win these large rewards. I am disposed to think, from the manner in which the Bill has been introduced, that the hon. Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don) does not intend that the measure should damage any existing institution. Many of the consequences of the Bill which I have pointed out were not, I believe, contemplated by the hon. Member. We are, nevertheless, bound to deal with the Bill as we find it. I take it as it has been proposed to the House, and before I close my remarks I cannot forbear one or two words on the extraordinary attempt to apply the novel principle of result fees to professional schools. However desir- 630 able it may be to encourage the study of arts and all liberal education in Ireland, and however necessary or desirable it may be to satisfactorily settle the pecuniary difficulties surrounding the question, no one, I think, can suggest that Ireland is not sufficiently professional. We have enough doctors, engineers, barristers—and if anything can be urged against us on the point, it is that we are too professional. There has been absolutely free trade between the five different medical licensing Bodies in Ireland; but if you disturb the balance by giving one or two of these institutions result fees, it is perfectly obvious that by these advantages you cripple and ruin other schools, and you will have an outcry from one end of the country to the other from those who have worked under free trade in medical education. It cannot be denied, when examined on principle, if the Bill passed in its present shape, with its professional result fees and prizes, the effect would be practically to empty the professional schools both of the Queen's University and Dublin University. It would be impossible for them to stand against the competition with result fees and other extravagant prizes against them. The Bill and its prizes would also have the effect of drawing away from existing institutions many of their Arts' students. In conclusion, I wish to remind the House that the University of Dublin is admittedly open to all, and is afraid of no fair, reasonable competition. It has never been illiberal; never taken a bigoted or intolerant part in dealing with any public question. Its portals are open to all religions, and if Roman Catholics come they are very welcome; while if they find from conscientious objections they cannot come, we deeply regret it. The University is always willing to consider any suggestion having for its object the extension and development of education; but, for the reasons I have given, as well as for other reasons the House has heard before, and will hear hereafter, I am unable to give my support to the second reading of this Bill.
§ MR. LEATHAM
Sir, the arguments of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Gibson) bear mainly on a subsequent stage of the Bill. I do not rise, therefore, to endeavour to reply to them, nor, for that matter, to speak in favour of the 631 Bill, but rather to attempt to show why I venture to think that we ought to pause before offering it our uncompromising opposition. Some hon. Members, no doubt, are prepared to resist, almost to the death, anything and everything which they are led to believe has received the assent of the Pope and of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland, however reasonable and moderate the proposition may appear to others. My argument is not addressed to them, but rather to hon. Friends of mine with whom I have had the honour and pleasure of voting and acting for more than 20 years; from whom I should separate myself with pain even for a single day, but who seem to me, judging from speeches which they have made out-of-doors, to press their opposition to this measure beyond the point which even the most rigid interpretation of our principles requires. Now, what is the object of this Bill? Is it not to give to the Roman Catholics of Ireland University Education in a form which is worth having, and, at the same time, in a form which they will accept? To give it in any other form, I need hardly say, is not to give it at all. Now, first, as to whether the proposed education is worth having? Some hon. Gentlemen are opposing the Bill upon this very ground—and with some degree of plausibility—for we all remember that when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich introduced his Irish University Bill, one of the most formidable objections which were brought against it was that the proposed University was a teaching University, from whose teaching almost every object of human interest was carefully excluded—for example, philosophy, and modern history. Now, if the exigencies of the case were such that, in order to bring his Bill within the concurrence, as was supposed, of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the right hon. Gentleman was compelled thus to limit and thus to emasculate the education given; what are we to think of my hon. Friend's Bill, which, as we understand, has received the assent of the Roman Catholic hierarchy? Are we to have true science, and are we to have true historical investigation? If we are, then we must congratulate the Roman Catholic hierarchy upon a great march of opinion; if we are not, then I must plainly tell my hon. Friend that I shall 632 be unable to support his Bill at a subsequent stage, because I cannot vote what is, practically, public money for the endowment of a University Education which, in the view of the public, is no University Education at all. My hon. Friend will, no doubt, tell us that the State will have taken ample guarantees under his Bill for the bonâ fide character of the education to be given. At this stage of the Bill, I think we may assume that this is the case. At all events, before the Bill becomes law, we shall have ample opportunities of seeing that it is so. And, upon the assumption that the Bill will give to the Roman Catholics a University Education of the highest grade, it is hardly possible to exaggerate the importance of what we shall have done. We shall have done that which, in my humble opinion, may change the whole current of the history of Ireland. For what is it against which we have had chiefly to contend? Before all things, against the consequences of our own misrule—against fanaticism, exasperated to the utmost by our whole political demeanour towards Ireland for centuries. But, in the introduction of the highest University training, in a form which will be heartily embraced by the Irish people, I see, by-and-bye, the end of that fanaticism, because it will be the end of the ignorance upon which it is based: I see, at all events, an honest attempt to wipe away some more of the traces of an injustice which is past, and I discern the dawning of a nobler era for Catholicism itself, when the "faith which can remove mountains" shall dare to leave the twilight, and ascend into the day. Well, if there be any truth at all in these anticipations, what importance are we to attach to the arguments of those who are opposing this Bill upon the ground that the affiliated Colleges will be sectarian? What we are endowing is not the Sectarian Colleges, but the effort of the State to wring from the Sectarian Colleges an education which shall be worthy of the name. Believe me, we have not done enough for University Education in Ireland, in offering it to the Catholics in a form in which, if they were not Catholics, they ought to accept it. If this were all that we had to do, we have nothing to do, for we have done it already. But will anyone seriously maintain, after what took place in the House a few years ago, that the Univer- 633 sity question is not a real and living question in Ireland? Now, when a question becomes a living question, there are only two courses open to you. You must solve it somehow, or you must refuse to solve it anyhow. Of course, you could draw yourselves up and say— " Unless we can solve this question in strict accordance with our principles, or with the interpretation which we choose to put upon our principles, we will not solve it at all, and Ireland may remain without a congenial University until Doomsday." But it is precisely because I am a stickler for religious equality that I cannot bring myself to this ungenerous and, as I think, this unjust conclusion. "We have, no doubt, done much for religious equality in Ireland; but, with all our doing, we have left what is, perhaps, the greatest inequality of all untouched. The Presbyterian is in full enjoyment of his University, and the Episcopalian is in full enjoyment of his University; but the Irish nation, which is neither Presbyterian nor Episcopalian, but Roman Catholic, is in the enjoyment of no University at all. Now, this is a great and very painful anomaly. There is no use in blinking the matter. The disability is a religious one. It is because these people are Catholics, rigid, conscientious, and consistent Catholics, that they are debarred from all the advantages of our Universities. I may be told, perhaps, that this is the result of prejudice. " Prejudices," said one of the most acute of modern writers, " are the stop-gaps in the hedge of truth, and, like other stop-gaps, are often more difficult to get through than the hedge itself." And when prejudices are national, when they become the prejudices of an entire nation, they seem to me to rise almost to the dignity of principles, and to command respect. At all events, the statesman who would legislate just as though they did not exist is no statesman at all. But are these merely prejudices, after all? We all know that the Roman Catholic attaches an eternal importance to the belief in particular dogmas. Why should it be matter for surprise or ridicule that he should hesitate to plunge his son, at an age when we are peculiarly susceptible of new impressions, and when religious principle is proverbially weak, into an atmosphere which is so completely impregnated with 634 Protestantism as to be almost deadly to the belief in particular dogmas? Why are we to draw a sharp line round all who feel this hesitation, and say—"You must throw over your apprehensions, or there is no University Education for you. You must do violence to the conviction that in sending your son to our College you are sending him, I may say, with his religious life in his hand, or you must forego all the emoluments and distinctions, all the social prestige, which goes with high University training?" And we are told to do this in the name of religious equality, forsooth! Every College and University which the Catholic is debarred by his scruples from entering is piled high with endowments. There are to be no endowments for those which he might enter; even although the fund from which it is proposed to take those endowments was, in its origin, essentially and exclusively Roman Catholic. Now, perhaps, those who are the most prominent in their opposition to this Bill are Nonconformists. I should like to ask my Nonconformist Friends what has been their experience of the opening of the old Universities in this country? We have opened the Universities, and the sons of Nonconformists have flocked to them. What has become of their Nonconformity? It is notorious that, in many cases, the air of the place has been too strong for it, and that they are adorning the pulpits of the Church. Well, if this be the case, why taunt the Roman Catholic with his fears? Now, if these fears are to be respected, the measure which gives University Education to Ireland must either be a measure granting everything which the Catholics desire, which this does not; or it must be a measure of compromise, which this is. Now, the question which I wish to put to my hon. Friends is this. Granting that this measure must be one of compromise, are we ever likely to see a compromise, so harmless, so little dangerous, or which makes so small an inroad upon our principles, as that which is now before the House? My hon. Friends seem to me to argue as though the legislation of the last 50 years had been one unbroken series of triumphs for the principles which we profess. There can be no greater fallacy. The Irish Church Act itself, which is the fulcrum upon which you work, was a compromise, and a compromise of 635 the most liberal and generous kind. If it had not been so—if you had really stripped the Church naked—then I could understand the argument against levelling up in place of levelling down. But if by the very Act to which you appeal as your great precedent, and which was passed in a Radical Parliament, with the full light of voluntaryism turned upon us, we practically re-endowed the Episcopal Church, why should it be so monstrous to take some portion of the remaining spoils of that Church and to endow with them a non-sectarian University, just because the endowments will filter and trickle down from the University which is not sectarian to the Colleges which are? I am afraid that I must tell my hon. Friends a home truth. They hardly approach this question with dispassionate minds. The thought will obtrude itself, not simply and solely what is just, but how will this measure affect the future of Roman Catholicism in Ireland? How will it help our Protestant Propaganda? For my own part, if I could entertain such a thought in such a connection, I should despise myself; I should feel that I was a traitor to my Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, and never again, so long as I lived, should I have the courage to ask a Roman Catholic elector for his vote. And this leads me to say just one word before I sit down, with reference to the taunt which, happily, we have not heard to-day, though we have heard it loudly out-of-doors. I mean that those of us who are not prepared to turn our backs at once upon this Bill are actuated by the desire of purchasing, by a sacrifice of principle, the Roman Catholic vote. I am surprised that such a taunt should have been heard at all. I think that it speaks ill not only for the moral and intellectual acumen, but the political acumen of those who use it. There are hon. Members who have enjoyed the honour of a seat hero, it may be, for 20 years, and who have never hesitated, when the occasion required it, to give votes which must and which have insured for them the active hostility of every Roman Catholic elector. Against which of us is this taunt levelled? It may be that by the course which we are now pursuing we may provoke the anger of some of those with whom we have habitually acted; it may be that we shall incur the displeasure of 636 certain formidable organizations; but the very fact that we are willing, if necessary, to run these risks, ought to clear us at once from the imputation that we have arrived at our decision upon selfish or unworthy grounds.
§ MR. HOLT
said, it appeared to him that the speech of the hon. Member who had just addressed them was one in favour of concurrent endowment, and had been made in view of a General Election, under the conviction that there were Roman Catholic voters in Hudders-field. It seemed to him (Mr. Holt) that the Bill before them was a new method for dealing with an old subject. The method, as far as he could learn, was not one which found particular favour with the country. The opposition to this Bill was not great at first, but had grown day by day more powerful, for the more people saw of the measure the less they liked it. As to the subject, the House was pretty familiar with it. Successive Governments had burnt their fingers in endeavouring to grapple with it, and they had found that any possible solution of it was impossible. Hitherto the demands made from Ireland in respect to that question had come from the Roman Catholic Prelates, who desired to have a University in which they should have absolute and exclusive control. He would do those gentlemen the justice to say that their claim had been advanced in terms perfectly plain, if not, somewhat peremptory—terms which were liable to no misapprehension and admitted of no compromise. The result was that the country had learnt to look on all negotiation with the Roman Catholic Prelates with the gravest suspicion; and he hoped they should hear nothing more of anything of that kind. The occupants of the Treasury Bench must be aware that recent rumours, whether well-founded or not, had caused the greatest anxiety among many of their followers. The negotiation with the late Lord Mayo was not forgotten; and it was no secret that there had been a fear out-of-doors that the Government might possibly attempt to meet Irish obstruction by concessions to Ultramontane claims. He, for one, had been most unwilling to attribute any such policy to the Ministry. It was perfectly natural that such an idea should be encouraged by hon. Gentlemen opposite; for they knew how to take advan- 637 tage to the utmost of any mistake of that kind, and they would be glad to see the Government meeting the country with a shattered Party and a damaged reputation. He congratulated Ministers on their having the courage and prudence to decline to take up the question; but he hoped they were aware that the country expected, and their interests required, a frank disavowal of any such policy. If by such concessions, or promises of concessions, they hoped to get the support of the Irish Party, they would soon repent of their error. It would be a support on which they could never rely, and it would cause the alienation of friends whose confidence they would never regain. Hitherto, as he had said, the demand had been made by the Roman Catholic Prelates, and in discussing the question he could not ignore the fact that that demand had never been withdrawn. When he was asked to vote for this Bill the question arose in his mind, what was the need for such a measure, and what object was it to attain? In introducing this Bill, the hon. Member for Roscommon said it was intended to meet the demand of the Irish laity based on conscientious convictions, and also to provide a system of University Education for a number of young men who were ready and anxious to avail themselves of it. The hon. Member did not say the Bill was one which would satisfy the demands of the Irish laity; but lie did say that it was a compromise, and was not to be regarded as a complete measure; but he did not state who were the parties to the compromise, nor whether it was to be of a permanent or a temporary character. The Bill might be looked upon as an instalment of the demands of the hierarchy—an instalment of a debt hereafter to be paid in full. The measure was so drawn as to veil its sectarian character, but it must be read in the light of the speech of the hon. Member who introduced it; and, in that light, it seemed to him (Mr. Holt) its policy was clear. The reasons which had been given to induce the House to adopt it seemed to him to be totally inadequate. If the necessities of the Irish laity might be satisfied with something less than a denominational University, the House ought to be shown why the existing University institutions of Ireland did not satisfy or could not be made to satisfy those necessities. If they were asked by this Bill to provide 638 a secular University, he asked why they should not improve and extend the existing Universities. The Queen's University and the Queen's Colleges were non-sectarian, they were easy of access, they were not full, they were capable of expansion, and if more accommodation than they could afford was needed, they could be enlarged. The Queen's Colleges appeared to be gradually making way with the Irish people, notwithstanding the serious opposition of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. If that opposition were withdrawn, he understood there would be a large accession of students to those Colleges; and their steady progress ought not to be interfered with by a scheme like the present one. The hon. Member for Roscommon had not shown that the system proposed by the Bill was superior to the existing institutions; and, therefore, lie would submit that if the demand which came from Ireland could be satisfied with a non-sectarian institution they ought to avail themselves of the existing institutions, and reform them if necessary, but not to create a now University. But was not the defect to be remedied rather this—that the existing institutions were not sufficiently narrow and exclusive. They were asked to provide by that Bill to establish and endow Colleges which would, or might, be Sectarian Colleges, to be affiliated to a colourless University which should hereafter assume a denominational character under the control of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. That was the scheme which the Bill was calculated to promote; and he was, on that account, compelled to give it his opposition. It was, as he conceived, a scheme for a Roman Catholic University in disguise. The Bill contained no Conscience Clause, and no provision for freedom of religious opinion in the case of the students and Professors in the proposed new University of St. Patrick. In short, there was nothing to prevent that University from becoming the most Ultramontane institution in the world. What were the safeguards provided by the Bill? It provided that there should be no payment in respect of religious instruction, no theological degree, and no theological Chair. These were really all the safeguards in the Bill, and they applied rather to the University than to the Colleges. He objected to the proposed 639 definition of a College, and contended that there was nothing in the Bill to prevent the Senate of the new University from becoming a body composed exclusively of Roman Catholic ecclesiastics. The University itself would be of an exclusive character, as its Scholarships and Fellowships could not" be competed for by persons belonging to any of the existing Universities. He could not think that a Bill containing such provisions would commend itself to the approval of Parliament. The speech delivered by the hen. Member for Roscommon in introducing the Bill contained a demand for concurrent endowment, based on a threat of ceaseless agitation. Surely, the hon. Gentleman must have forgotten that the noble Lord now at the head of the Government had pledged himself, in 18(39, and again in 1873, to oppose anything like concurrent endowment? He denied that those who objected to the Bill were committing an act of intolerance. They had no objection to Roman Catholics having perfect freedom for the education of persons of their own faith. What they objected to was the establishment by the State, and the endowment with public money, of an institution to be exclusively under the control of the Roman Catholic priesthood. That was not only a religious, but also a political, body, whose avowed aim was to destroy the Protestant Constitution of this country. But, putting aside all considerations of a religious kind, he maintained that the establishment of a Catholic University was not the way to promote sound, liberal education in Ireland. On that point he would not trouble the House with arguments, but would give them a few facts, which would show the inferiority of the secular instruction given in Colleges and Seminaries which were under the control of the priesthood. In his Report to the Italian Government, in 1870, on the Colleges and Seminaries of the City of Rome, the Italian Minister of Public Instruction said—The well-known fame of the various Colleges induced us to believe that if certain studies were thought dangerous or useless, and were, therefore, prohibited or neglected, others, on the contrary, were cultivated with so much the more assiduity, and we expected a solidity and profundity of knowledge in certain branches of learning that would almost compensate for the effect of the timid, mistrustful restriction of others. . . . As for mathematics, we can say all we want in two words. The pupils who 640 were examined were found in a state of total ignorance, not having the slightest idea either of geometry, algebra, or arithmetic. Such was the instruction of young men who came from the schools of the humanities and rhetoric, and who asked to be admitted into the first or second class of the Lyceum. After six or seven years of study, according to the particular school from which they came, all their instruction was limited to an imperfect knowledge of Latin.With regard to the study of history and geography, the Report said—The students who were examined showed that they had not the most elementary knowledge of the earth's form and surface. They were even ignorant of the geography of Italy—as seas, mountains, rivers, and populous and celebrated cities. Questioned by me,' says a Professor, as to what they knew of geography, some did not even know the meaning of the word; others, after having assured me that they had studied it for two years, said that the Adriatic was a mountain, Sardinia a city, Milan the capital of Sicily,' &c. One told me Brutus was a tyrant, another that Dante was a French poet.That was the result of putting education in the hands of the Roman Catholic priests; and lie believed this country would never approve of putting the education of Ireland in their hands. The advocates of denominational education in this country were sometimes taunted because they refused to extend the system to Ireland. His answer was that, in his opinion, denominational education was itself a compromise adapted only for a country where there existed an. Established Church. In Ireland there was no Established Church, and, with disestablishment, all reason for compromise came to an end. In 1869, Parliament was distinctly told that State endowments of religion in Ireland were to cease for ever. Moreover, the denominational system, as it now prevailed in England, would not be acceptable to the Irish Roman Catholics. He sympathized with the desire for religious education; and if the Roman Catholics demanded to send their sons from Roman Catholic Seminaries to take degrees at Queen's University or at Dublin University, and to compete there for prizes, he should offer no objection; but he could not for one moment consent to support a measure that was calculated to establish a third University in that country. He believed the Bill now before the House was calculated to have that effect, and that he should express not only his own conviction, but the opinion of the majority of his constituents and of his 641 countrymen by recording his vote against the proposition.
§ MR. RICHARD
I confess, Sir, that I listened to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham) with no little surprise. I do not in the least impugn the perfect purity of his motives, or wish to insinuate that he is moved, in the course he has taken to-day, in separating himself from his political Friends by any electioneering purposes. But how he can reconcile the speech he has made with the Nonconformist principles which he has so often and so eloquently advocated, wholly passes my comprehension. It seemed to me that his speech went entirely in favour of denominational education, and, as the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Holt) has said, for concurrent endowment. I do not see how, on the principles which my hon. Friend has laid down, he could resist a proposal to take the remnant of the fund accruing from the disestablishment of the Irish Church and apply it to the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood. When my hon. Friend said that those who opposed this measure had more regard to the effect it might have upon their Protestant propaganda in Ireland than for what was just, I venture to say that he made an utterly unfounded imputation. My hon. Friend had justified the reluctance of the Roman Catholics to send their children to the Queen's University by the alleged experience of the Nonconformists in the English Universities. He said that the results of the Nonconformists sending their sons to the Universities was that their convictions as to the faith of their fathers had been undermined. I utterly deny the accuracy of that statement. I believe that, in the immense majority of cases, the young Nonconformists who have gone to Oxford and Cambridge have bravely held their own in religious matters. But if it were otherwise, if Nonconformists could not stand against the arguments which might be brought to bear by those who were the advocates of Establishment, why let Nonconformity go. I do not admire what Milton calls " a fugitive and cloistered virtue," which is afraid to come into the open field where truth and error are in conflict. I, therefore, regret to hear our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects declaring that they could 642 not avail themselves of the advantages of mixed education, because they were afraid that if they did so, their young men would no longer adhere to their faith. I wish I could convince hon. Gentlemen from Ireland by whom I am surrounded, how sincere is the reluctance —I might almost say the pain—I feel in being obliged to oppose them on a matter that is so near to their hearts as this University Bill. If any proposals had been laid before us that I could have supported with any show of consistency, I was prepared to lend a willing and indulgent hear to such proposals, in the hope that this difficult and perplexing question might be finally settled. But I cannot accept this measure without practically repudiating principles which I have professed and proclaimed all my life, and recanting everything I have said in this House, ever since I have had the honour of a seat here, whenever questions connected with education have come up for discussion. What are those principles which we Nonconformists have always avowed? I do not know that I can explain them better than in the words of my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. John Bright). He was speaking in this House, many years ago, when an Education scheme of the Whig Government was before the country. The Nonconformists had opposed that scheme on account of its strongly denominational character: Their agitation against it had been stigmatized in the House by a distinguished man, as " the clamour out-of-doors." Adverting to that phrase, my right hon. Friend said—Just recollect, when the whole of the Nonconformists are charged with clamour, what they mean by being Nonconformists. They object, as I understand, at least I object, to the principle by which Government seizes hold of public funds to give salaries and support to the teachers of all sects of religion, or of one sect of religion; for I think the one Plan nearly as unjust as the other. Either the Nonconformists hold this opinion, or they are making a sham. They object to any portion of the public money going. to teachers of religion belonging either to the Established Church or to Dissenting bodies; they object to receive it themselves . . . . Their very principle is that the Government has no right to appropriate public funds for the purpose of religious instruction."—[3 Hansard, xci. 1094-5.]That is the principle on which I take my stand. I can assure my hon. Friends from Ireland, for myself, and I believe 643 I am correctly interpreting the sentiments of the Nonconformists if I associate them in the assurance, that we are not moved in the course we are taking on this occasion by any " No Popery" feeling, by any bigoted hostility to the Roman Catholics or the Roman Catholic Church. No doubt, ecclesiastically, we, the Nonconformists, are at the furthest remove from the Roman Catholic Church. Nor do I affect to believe that the points on which we differ are trivial and unimportant. On the contrary, I think they are of the gravest character in their influence not only on religious, but on political and national life. But we Nonconformists have always maintained that, however widely we may differ on such matters from our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, they are entitled to perfect equality of civil and political rights with ourselves. And we have always aided them in acquiring and maintaining those rights. When they were engaged in the struggle for Roman Catholic emancipation, we stood loyally by their side, and contributed in a considerable degree to the success of their agitation. I am anxious to make this point clear, because a few years ago a very able and distinguished man, Lord O'Hagan, in pronouncing an eloquent eulogy upon the character and services of Mr. O'Connell, stated incidentally, but quite mistakenly, that the Dissenters were opposed to Roman Catholic Emancipation. I think I can disprove that allegation by the most conclusive evidence. At that time there were in existence two Bodies which might claim to be emphatically representative Bodies of Nonconformists. One was the deputies of the Three Denominations. The other was the Board of Dissenting ministers of the three denominations—Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists. Both these Bodies petitioned in favour of Roman Catholic emancipation. The Petitions of the latter Body were raised into great prominence by the speeches made on their presentation in the House of Commons by Lord John Russell, and in the House of Lords by Lord Holland. If the House will permit me, I will cite two or three sentences from the speech of Lord Holland on that occasion. After stating who the petitioners were, he said—They were distinguished for their attachment to the Reigning Family. They were de- 644 cidedly opposed to the errors of the Church of Rome. They had always been keen in detecting anything like an approach to civil or ecclesiastical tyranny, and the first to oppose and defeat the attempt. Such were the men who now approached their Lordships, praying them to extend the principles of civil and religious liberty to all classes of His Majesty's subjects. He would confess that if he required any new fact to render him favourable to the great measure of Catholic Emancipation, if he required any authority to induce him to support that cause, the authority of such men would weigh more with him than that of almost any other body of men in the Kingdom.If any additional evidence were required, it might be found in the language of Mr. O'Connell, who, in 1829, the year after Roman Catholic Emancipation, came of his own accord to a meeting of Protestant Dissenters held in the City of London, and used these words—I have come here as the representative of the warm-hearted feelings of the people of Ireland. I stand here, in the name of my country, to express our gratitude, in feeble but in sincere language, for the exertions made on our behalf by our Protestant Dissenting brethren. I have come hero to express my thankfulness for the support which they have given to the great cause of my country.And ever since, we have also helped them in their endeavours to assert their rights. My honoured friend, Mr. Miall, was one of the first to call attention in this House to the evils of the Irish Church Establishment, and there were no more strenuous advocates of the Disestablishment of that Church than the whole body of Nonconformists, and that expressly on the ground of its injustice to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. But, certainly, we did so with no intention or expectation that the funds of that Church were to be handed over piece-meal to another Church. The best proof I can give that I am not opposing this measure from any sectarian motive, is to point to the course I have always taken when Bills for English and Scotch education were before the House. I resisted strongly and consistently the denominational character given to those measures. And for myself, I can say with all sincerity, that if every penny of the money proposed to be dealt with under this Bill were to go, not to Roman Catholic, but to Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Congregational Colleges, I should none the less strenuously oppose it. My objection is not that the money should pass to Roman Catholic institutions, but that it should 645 pass to sectarian institutions. There may be hon. Gentlemen in this House who may find it difficult and embarrassing to vindicate their own consistency in this matter. When hon. Gentlemen opposite were strenuously contending for denominational education in England and Scotland, we did not fail to warn them that the time would come when they would have to confront this Irish question, and might then be placed in a position of considerable perplexity. It is not for me to find an apology or justification for them. But we have nothing to reproach ourselves with.Let the galled jade wince, Our withers are unwrung.We have not swerved from our consistent protest against endowing religious opinion with public money, against promoting sectarian education by authority of law. At the same time, I am bound to say that the argument from English and Scotch precedent does not hold good to the extent that is sometimes assumed. It does not hold good at all as respects the higher education. So far from confirming and extending sectarian education in Universities and Colleges, the whole tendency of our legislation has been to unsectarianize these institutions, to make them less denominational and more national. And even in regard to primary education, though that is far more denominational than I like, there is in the introduction of the Conscience Clause a distinct and formal recognition of the fact that schools receiving public money are not to be exclusively and purely sectarian. But it may be said—" This Bill is not an endowment of sectarian education." Well, let us see. No one pretends to deny that the affiliated Colleges, into whose hands will pass by far the greater part, I believe the whole, of the money proposed to be appropriated, will be denominational institutions of the most pronounced character. Well, what does the Bill propose to do to these institutions? It first gives rewards in the form of exhibitions, scholarships, and fellowships to the students trained in them, and to that I, for one, have not the slightest objection. But it goes much beyond that. It pays directly to the institutions themselves, result fees for all the students brought up within their walls who pass examinations. It pays 646 lecturers for teaching the students. It pays for providing and keeping in repair Colleges, museums, and laboratories for the use of those institutions. And this is done, observe, by grants that are final and absolute, without the protection of a Conscience Clause, without power of revision or control by Parliament, without the right of inspection by the State, without which no public money has ever been given to educational institutions. And to tell me that, after all this you do not endow these institutions, is really to make a demand on one's simplicity and credulity which I cannot yield to. It may be said that you only pay for the secular education given in those institutions. Those who say that, do not understand what the essential theory of the Roman Catholic education is. No Roman Catholic will say it, for the very gist of their contention is that there ought not, there must not, there cannot be any separate secular instruction—that all knowledge and learning must be saturated with Catholic teaching; so that hon. Gentleman must not try to pacify their consciences on the plea of only paying for secular instruction. I am willing to give Roman Catholics everything that I would accept for myself. The Nonconformists of this country have a considerable number of denominational institutions of their own, where they teach their own theological and ecclesiastical views. But they support those institutions out of their own pockets, and they would be ashamed to come to Parliament to ask for a grant of public money to support them, on the plea that along with those theological and ecclesiastical views they teach also some amount of useful secular knowledge. If such an impossible thing could be imagined as that the present Government, or any Government, should come down to this House and propose an endowment for those Dissenting denominational Colleges, I am confident that not a fortnight would elapse before every Member of this House that has Nonconformists among his constituents—and there are none who have not some—would be overwhelmed with letters and Petitions from those Nonconformists, praying to be saved from such a degradation. But I should be wanting in candour if I did not add that, apart from these objections, which, I urge, on the special grounds of my 647 principles as a Nonconformist, there are other objections I feel to this measure, though I do not wish to implicate anyone else in the avowal I am about to make. I object to this Bill because its tendency, I may fairly say its object, is to place the education of the youth of Ireland wholly under priestly influence, and that influence deriving its inspiration from a foreign and alien source. No one could have studied the history of this question of Irish education without finding that the difficulty has always been here. I believe that if the Irish people were let alone they have no objection to avail themselves of the mixed education offered to them. When Mr. Stanley, afterwards Lord Derby, brought his scheme of National Education before this House, the leading Catholic Representatives, including Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Shiel, and Mr. Wise, accepted it with satisfaction and gratitude; and I believe the Queen's Colleges would have been accepted by all, as they were by some, were it not a dead set had been made against them by the Roman Catholic hierarchy and priesthood. That this opposition sprang, as I have said, from an alien and foreign source, is clear from the distinct utterances of the Roman Catholic Prelates themselves. Monsignor Woodlock, Rector of the Catholic University, writing in 1866, with regard to a proposed affiliation with Queen's University, to the Catholic author of a Lay University scheme, says—Permit me to say that I think you have fallen into two or three mistakes. First, in supposing that the Bishops would for an instant entertain the thought of affiliating their University to the Queen's University as at present constituted . . . . . Where is the line to be drawn in a system of affiliation? I answer, it is to be drawn so as to secure for the Catholic University the positions it is entitled to at the head of the Catholic education in Ireland. Less than this the Sovereign Pontiff will not sanction.In a pastoral of Bishop Derry, in 1865—Our Most Holy Father has caused to be sent to all Bishops a list of more remarkable errors condemned by him in the course of his Pontificate. To one or two only of these errors do we mean to call attention. They relate to education; and it may be observed that no one thing appears to alarm the Holy Father more than the false principles on which it is sought to found educational systems. He sees the conspiracy that has been organized to withdraw the education of youth from the influence of the Catholic Church. . . It is expressly enjoined on us to use our best efforts to keep youths away from Colleges of that description. Parents and guar- 648 dians of young men are to understand that by accepting education in them for those under their charge they despise the warnings, entreaties and decisions of the Head of the Church. Adhering to the discipline in force in this diocese, we once for all declare that they who are guilty of it shall not be admitted to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist or of Penance while they continue in their disobedience.Far be it from me to say one disrespectful word of the Head of the Roman Catholic Church. I feel no such disposition, and, if I did, it would be unpardonable to indulge it in the presence of so many hon. Gentlemen who hold his office and character in so much reverence. But, perhaps, I may say this without offence, that we, as a Legislature, owe him no allegiance, and I confess I do not relish the the idea of our legislation in this House being controlled and dictated by a foreign sacerdotal Power. It has been said that we ought to make concessions. Well, I am willing to make concessions, but they ought not to be one-sided. At present, the attitude of Irish Members, and of the Roman Catholic hierarchy by whom they are controlled, is one of unbending and uncompromising exaction. Again and again have efforts been made to found a system of superior education, but they have peremptorily rejected all those efforts. Nothing will satisfy them but a system endowed by the nation and controlled by the priesthood, and against such a system I, for one, most earnestly protest.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
said, this House ought to determine for all time if that were practicable, at any rate so far as it was possible, the lines upon which education in Ireland should be based, and he fancied, at least ho had thought, they had already determined that great question. The hon. and learned Member for Louth (Mr. Sullivan), in far from a complimentary speech, had said the Government had been coquetting with Ireland on the subject, and by letters and telegrams had been asking on what conditions the question could be settled. He did not intend now to inquire into that matter. It might be true, or it might not be true; but this they did know, that the great majority of the people of the United Kingdom had determined upon what lines the question should be settled. Both front Benches had endeavoured to settle it, but in vain, because the majority of the people in 649 England and Scotland, and a large class in Ireland, were determined that it should hot be settled by the direct endowment of a Roman Catholic University in Ireland. This was a question of fact. We had disestablished the Irish Church, and had also established a national system of education. On what ground were we to endow a Roman Catholic University, when we would not give any endowment to Roman Catholic primary education? It had been hoped by this system that religious animosities in Ireland would as far as possible be put on one side, and that all classes should be brought up together, so that they might live together without those heart-burnings which were sometimes engendered by denominational education. These things being so, no Government would be able to deal with this question on the lines of this Bill. The hon. Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don), in his admirable speech, hinted at the affiliation of any number of Roman Catholic Colleges with St. Patrick's College in Dublin. But before this House granted a farthing, it must be shown that there was some absolute necessity for the endowment. In looking over the Papers, and in carefully considering how the Queen's Colleges had worked, so far as he knew and had been able to learn, so far from being the failure which hon. Members had stated, they had practically been a great success, and there had been educated in those Colleges, since the time they had been formed, between 2,000 and 3,000 Roman Catholics, which was quite as many as could be expected, considering the number of Roman Catholics in Ireland who might be supposed to wish for higher education. Had those students been tyrannized over? Had their faith been tampered with? That he most positively denied. So far as he was aware he had only heard of one man, and that the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. O'Donnell), who complained of the education he had received in the Queen's Colleges, and he was surprised that any man who had such an education as the hon. Member had, or, no doubt, he might have had, should stand up in the House and denounce those Colleges. At all events, it could not be denied that they had received him within their walls. He believed that it would not be for 650 the interests of Ireland that a great denominational College should be endowed, but that the better plan was to encourage in every way unsectarian places of education such as the Queen's Colleges. He would not say a single word against any Roman Catholics, nor did he wish to exclude them from any of the benefits of education; he only hoped that the supporters of the Bill would believe that their opponents in Scotland and Ireland as well as in England alike desired that Roman Catholics should share all the benefits of citizenship; but he felt that the Bill had been rightly characterized by the noble Lord the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) as a retrograde measure, and that the question could never be settled upon the lines laid down by the hon. Member for Roscommon. He could not for a moment suppose that the House—or, indeed, any Parliament—would allow the funds of the Disestablished Church, which by a clause in the Disestablishment Act were to be made available for purposes totally different from this purpose, to be dealt with, not as the House might order, but according to the dictation of others. The proposed solution of the difficulty would not for one moment be tolerated by the country, and he should, therefore, vote against the second reading of the Bill.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
Sir, the hon. and gallant Baronet who has just sat down has spoken with great energy, and with the directness with which he always addresses the House. When he speaks we always know exactly what he means. He never leaves the House in doubt about his views or opinions. Ho has addressed the House, not simply on his own behalf; but he has spoken on behalf of the majority of his country, not only present, but future, and he declares most positively that there shall be no alteration made in the system of Irish University education, either by this Government or by any other. That is a statement of very great comprehensiveness; and I observe that the hon. and gallant Baronet bases it upon an assumption made not only by him, but by others, that my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don) proposes by his Bill the religious endowment of Roman Catholic Universities in Ireland. But my hon. Friend has disavowed any such intention, and I will address myself to that part of this 651 subject, and give my reasons for believing the hon. Member is correct in his views of the results of the Bill. It appears to me that this most difficult matter must be considered not only as an educational question, but also as an Irish question. Undoubtedly this is a matter upon which a good deal of disagreement exists, and I do not altogether agree with the remarks of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Lyon Playfair). He treated the question almost entirely as an educational question, and many of the criticisms which he made, I think, demand the serious attention of my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon. But the right hon. Gentleman's objections appear to me to be eminently matters for consideration in Committee. Now, will the House let me look at the question for a moment as an Irish question, and as a subject affecting legislation for Ireland by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. We have heard a great deal with regard to the Roman Catholic Bishops, and the influence they exercise. To my mind it is not a question of the influence of the Roman Catholic Bishops in respect to this question, but I believe it is a question upon which the Roman Catholic people of Ireland have a conscientious opinion. I respect the views of the Roman Catholic Bishops. It would be most unreasonable and unwise that we should not give their opinion and wishes full weight. I do not, however, consider that their wishes and opinions alone ought in any way to determine the conclusions of this House on the educational question, or any other question. But I am forced to believe that in this matter the largo majority of the Irish people of all classes, and especially of that class most deeply interested in higher education, do agree with their Bishops, and that we have to deal with them and not with their Bishops. It is a mistake to say that they are under the control or order of the Bishops in the matter. They are acting, so far as I can see, from their own voluntary and sincere conviction, and not from the conviction of the Bishops. The large majority of Irish Roman Catholics—that is, the large majority of Irishmen—tell us this—" We want University education." My right hon. Friend has clearly shown in his speech why they should want it—why the circumstances of Ireland, poor as they were, especially 652 demanded it. They say—" We want higher education and University education, but we prefer a religious education combined with secular education." The hon. and gallant Baronet says they ought to prefer mixed education. Is he not a little more enthusiastic for a mixed system for the sons of Irish parents than he would be for the sons of English parents? Many of us have a strong feeling that a mixed system would be better. We see its advantages; but how are the religious animosities, which are said to exist, to be got rid of by this united system? After all, however, it is not what the English Members say—not what the lion and gallant Baronet (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) says—not what the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Richard) says. What we have to consider is what the Irish people themselves prefer. Do they prefer this mixed system? " No," they reply—" It is a fundamental conviction of our faith that religion and education are inseparably connected." I am not saying whether that is right or not, but we have to deal with the Irish view of the matter. But then they go on to tell us that, notwithstanding that conviction, they are our fellow-citizens and fellow-taxpayers, and, therefore, they have a right to their share of State aid and. State acknowledgment in the settlement of this education question. That appears to me to be the first fact to take into consideration; but there are two other facts which I think the House ought not to lose sight of. If we had let Ireland alone in the past, if we had. not conquered her, and treated her for centuries as a conquered nation, who would deny that the University of Dublin at this moment would have been as completely a Catholic institution as it is now Protestant? Again, if we were to repeal the Union, or pass the measure of Home Rule which is pressed upon us, and which I trust we never shall pass, who would deny that not merely this Bill would be passed by a Parliament sitting at St. Stephen's Green, either upon the principles of Home Rule or upon those of repeal of the Union, but a very much stronger Bill, or a Bill, I may say, very much more objectionable to Englishmen? Well, then, this is an Irish demand with which we are brought face to face. The question is how to deal with it. I do not think it is a question of votes either in this House 653 or out of it. We very often say that matters are not Party questions, and the statement is often received with incredulity; but I think this is not a Party question, and for this reason. What with English and Scotch opposition on the one hand, and Irish support on the other, the cleverest political manager or electioneerer would be at fault if he attempted to deal with this subject solely with regard to its Party results, and I would defy him to make his calculations. I am quite aware that my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr, and the right hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh, have no notion of viewing it in that light. But there is a much deeper question than the one whether English Members or the Conservative Party, or any special candidate would gain or lose by any attempt to settle this University difficulty or by supporting or opposing this attempt to settle it, and that is, how legislation for Ireland by this Parliament ought to be conducted, how the union which we wish to preserve can be cemented, and how the desire for disunion can b e discouraged and diminished? I think we are beginning at last to realize what ought to be the conditions of union between Great Britain and Ireland. What are, in fact, those conditions? That the wishes of the Irish people, expressed through the majority of their Representatives, ought to be considered, and most fairly and carefully considered. I do not say that those wishes ought to be conclusive in any matter; but I do say that their clear and unmistakeable expression makes a strong primâ facie case in favour of any measure, and throws the onus probandi on its opponents. I think that when this House rejects the clearly expressed wish of the Irish people, stated through their Representatives, it ought to have good reason to believe that the fulfilment of that wish would be contrary either to justice or to high policy—and by high policy, I mean the safety and prosperity of the Realm. I think you, the Irish Members, have a right to tell us that in purely Irish matters we should not legislate for you, or for Ireland, merely in accordance with our preconceived opinions, or prejudices, or sentiments. But you have no right to ask us to do an unjust thing, or what we believe would be contrary to the interests and the security of the United Kingdom. Perhaps I may be allowed 654 to appeal to my own conduct. I resisted the demand for Home Rule, because I believed it would greatly injure the welfare of the United Kingdom—of Ireland as much as or even more than of Great Britain. But I say that there would be a stronger argument for Home Rule than any argument used by the hon. Gentleman who so ably brought it forward if we got into the habit of taking the ground taken by the lion. Member for Lancashire (Mr. Holt) and by the hon. and gallant Baronet who has just sat down, that we should decide Irish questions purely in accordance with English opinion, when Irish wishes are not contrary to the principles of justice and equality. I feel that we could not put a greater weapon into the hands of Home Rulers than to treat Irish questions thus—a weapon which they would use with effect, and with which they would strike with force on the sentiment of the English and the Scotch people as well as on that of the people of Ireland. I have said that in resisting a demand we ought to have good reason to believe that it is contrary to justice or high policy. Now, with regard to justice-I am but speaking my own opinion—but I confess that I think justice and fairness are on the side of my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon. I cannot see why it is just that a Roman Catholic student should not have quite as good a chance of getting his degree and obtain quite as much State help in the acquisition of high University culture as the student who is not a Roman Catholic. [Admiral Sir WILLTAM EDMONSTONE: So he may now.] So he may now, says the hon. and gallant Admiral. So he does not now —and why? Because, in accordance with the religious sentiments and opinoins in which he has been brought up, and in obedience to the convictions of his parents, he prefers to have his secular teaching combined with religions teaching. The hon. and gallant Admiral may be right or not, but the youth of whom I am speaking, is not the hon. and gallant Admiral's son, and he is not to lose the State help because he differs from him. I entirely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham), that to inflict such disadvantages upon him is in reality to foster a religious disability. To inflict it is not an assertion of the principle of equality, 655 as is so often stated, but to maintain the contrary of the principle of equality. To my mind there is no religious equality in putting A in a worse position than B, because A is a strict Roman Catholic, and B is not. Now I come to the question of policy. There are many hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House who strongly believe that this University Bill would increase the power of the priests in Ireland, and that that power is a power of evil, and, therefore, this Bill must be opposed. I think there is some little misapprehension with regard to the power of the priests, and I am not sure that, after all, we should find Ireland much easier to govern if this power of the priests were entirely destroyed. But however that may be, I do not believe that this Bill will increase their power for evil. It is possible that the influence of the priests—especially of the Ultramontane priests—may be, in many respects, opposed to civilization, and what I count the spread of true knowledge, and even to the principles of free government. But when is the power of the priests a bad influence for having that effect? When it can be brought to bear on uneducated men, on half educated men, or badly educated men. It is powerful just in proportion to the want of education of those on whom it is used. Remember this, that you cannot force your Roman Catholic youth to attend your Protestant or Secular Colleges; you cannot make them go to the Trinity College in Dublin, or the Queen's Colleges in Belfast or Cork; but, practically, you have to choose between their going to a Roman Catholic College or no College at all. It will be the fault of this House if the secular education obtained in these Colleges is not comprehensive and sound; and depend upon it, even if that secular education be given by priests, or by professors who are under the guidance of priests, the youth who gets it will have his mind widened, and not narrowed. He will be less bigoted and less prejudiced than if he did not get it. If, then, there be no ground either of justice or high policy why this demand should not be granted, I would ask English and Scotch Members whether there can be a more purely Irish matter than the promotion of Irish education out of Irish money? My hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon does not bind him- 656 self to this particular fund of the surplus of the Irish Church, but no one will deny that it is an Irish Fund; and when it is stated that it is a breach of faith to apply it to Irish education—which I do not think it is—it is such a breach of faith as a very large portion of the House has already committed. It is precisely what was done last year, and what was proposed to be done by my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) when he brought forward his Bill. I think it will be exceedingly difficult for the Government to say that though they proposed to apply the Irish surplus to intermediate education last year they would not appropriate it to University education this year, because, last year, there was no breach of faith committed, and this year there would be. The last speaker thinks we ought to leave the matter alone. We cannot leave it alone. It comes on every year, and, I suppose, must do so until it is settled. We seem to be driven to the conclusion that some such plan as that proposed by my hon. Friend is the only possible mode of settlement. I should myself have preferred only one University in Dublin, but my right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) proposed this and failed, mainly owing to the opposition of the present Government. My noble Friend. the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) remarked how much better it would be to affiliate the Roman Catholic Colleges to the Queen's University. There would be many advantages in that plan. I am not sure that it would not be the best. But does ho propose to give the same State aid to the Roman Catholic College which is now given to the Queen's Colleges? Without such aid, I think his proposal would be almost a mockery; and with it, would not the opposition be as great as to the present Bill? We have not heard yet what the Government intends to do. When the Bill was last under consideration the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a very ingenious speech; and if he meant that no hon. Gentleman on either side should understand what course he was going to take, he was completely successful. The Attorney General for Ireland has taken care to do no more to-day than defend Trinity College. I think it is hardly generous for the champion of that very rich and powerful institution to look 657 with so much suspicion on the proposed University, and I cannot but believe that he is needlessly alarmed at the prospect of future competition. For instance, he seemed to have calculated what sums might be attained by a student at the new University, and he stated it was £1,100. I think all these matters require careful consideration as to whether they are not on too large a scale; but the Attorney General for Ireland must remember that calculations have also been made as to the value of the prizes at Trinity College; and I have been told that if you go to an actuary, he will say that the value of a fellowship at Trinity College may be £9,000 or £10,000. The hon. Member for Roscommon would, no doubt, be only too delighted, as I should be myself, if the Government would take the matter in hand and bring a Bill forward. I fear they will not. The lion. Member for Lancashire (Mr. Holt) warned them not to try to settle the matter because of the effect the attempt would have on their own Friends; and the hon. and gallant Baronet (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) who last spoke, seemed inclined to take the same view. He alluded to the negotiations which were said to have taken place at the beginning of the present year; and I hope that when the Home Secretary speaks, he will tell us that there is some public reason why those negotiations should not be disclosed to the House, or will say whether it is or is not true that a man in very high authority—no less a man than the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland —I am only speaking of what the rumour is—that an offer was made on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant—or, rather, that a message was sent by him to gentlemen having the confidence of the Roman Catholics—asking them whether a Bill almost precisely the same as the present one would receive their support? I think that is a matter we ought to know something about. Possibly the Government may say that the negotiations were of a private character, and cannot be made public; but, in my opinion, when matters have gone so far, the Government should make a clean breast of it. The House will not be surprised to hear if I say now that I shall feel it my duty to vote for the second reading of the Bill. But, in doing so, I vote for the principle and the principle only; and I understand the principle to be, 658 in the words of a Petition I presented, that " the religions convictions of a Roman Catholic are to be no bar to his educational career." That the State is in this matter of University education to look to the secular teaching, and to the secular teaching only. That it is to require the same qualifications for a degree from an undergraduate at a Roman Catholic College as from an undergraduate at any other College. That it is to appropriate State aid simply and solely in payment for secular results. That it is not to concern itself with the questions how far the students may or may not prefer to combine their secular with their religious, or denominational teaching, or whether that denominational teaching be Roman Catholic or Protestant. I believe that to be the principle of the Bill of my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon. But when the Bill comes into Committee I think that the statements of my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Play-fair) will have to be most carefully considered. He says, in effect, that there are provisions in the Bill which, under the colour of secular endowments, give a religious endowment; and we shall have to consider whether payments to individual students, which certainly seem to be large, and also whether the payments to Colleges warrant this statement. My hon. Friend (the O'Conor Don) disavows any intention to obtain any religious endowment, and when the Bill comes into Committee I shall hold him to his assurance, and I have the most perfect faith in its sincerity. He has shown in this House again and again that he is not the man to say one thing and mean another. And now a word as to our present Parliamentary position. It seems to me to involve the fact that both Parties and the Governments of both Parties have failed in dealing with this difficulty. We have it now brought forward with all the disadvantages of its being brought forward by a private Member. I do not think a private Member can be held responsible for omissions as a Governmont might be. I do not think, for instance, the omission of a Conscience Clause is such a fault in my hon. Friend's measure as it would have been if brought forward by any Government. But we have the advantage that now we have the Irish demand 659 stated by Irishmen in a proposal carefully considered, and, from their point of view, as reasonable as they think they can make it. It is now quite late in the Session, and we have a good deal of work before us; but I doubt if we have any work so urgent as the settlement of this Irish demand. I hope there will be a Division to-day. Even if my hon. Friend succeeds in carrying the second reading, the Bill will still require to occupy much of the time of the House. I have observed it stated in the Press that my hon. Friend wishes to rush the Bill through the House; but I am sure my hon. Friend is far too sensible a man to have any such idea, and the matter is far too difficult to be disposed of in that manner. But the great thing, after all, is that there is an opportunity of settling this difficult question. Have we anything better to do? If we succeed we shall relieve a somewhat barren and dreary Session of the reproach of having done almost nothing. It would be a very great credit to the Government to have this question settled, oven by their affording help to a private Member, and that credit I should not begrudge them. Although I do not agree with the Bill exactly as it is proposed, I appeal to hon. Members on both sides of the House to read it a second time, with the intention of fairly considering in Committee all objections that may be urged. None of them seem to me to affect the principle of the Bill; and I think the House ought to be willing to sacrifice sonic time, and give some trouble to the solution of a question which it is necessary to deal with, and which the present affords an opportunity of dealing with in a satisfactory manner.
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
Although my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is present, it is impossible for him to speak now having already spoken in this debate. I should, therefore, like to offer, on behalf of the Government, and on my own behalf, a few observations before this debate closes. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has appealed to the Government and the House to settle this question, and he treated the matter as if the solution was very easy; but I would ask him whether he could settle it among his own Friends on the bench on which he sits, and whether, if we came to discuss this question in Com- 660 mittee, he could offer on any one clause the united support of those Gentlemen with whom he acts? He has stated that it is a question which ought to be treated as an Irish question, and so ought to be carefully considered. I most entirely agree with him in one observation which fell from him—namely, that any Irish question on which the large majority of the Irish Members bring before the House, with positive evidence that they are united in asking the consideration of the House, a matter so brought forward ought to receive the most careful consideration of the House. I entirely agree with that. I am one of those who would not impose a civil and religious disability on any of my fellow-subjects, whether in Ireland or in any other part of the United Kingdom; but when the right hon. Gentleman pushes his argument further than the mere words, and goes on to say that because this demand is supported by a large number of Irish Members, we are forced to adopt it without consideration, he is putting before us an entirely different question. If we accept that principle as a whole, of course, we accept Home Rule and everything else; and the argument which justifies him going on that ground, quite irrespective of the merits of the case, would, of course, support him in any demands ho made on any other subject. [Mr. W. E. FORSTER: Yes.] The right hon. Gentleman says " Yes; " but I differ from him, it being a question of high policy, and, as I think, injurious to the Empire; and what we have to consider, when such questions come before us, is, whether the measure brought forward is consistent with the principles of justice, and is required by justice to the Irish people, and also whether it is consistent with the high policy which is demanded of a Government. We must ask, in considering this question, whether the measure brought forward so fairly by the hon. Member for Roscommon is necessary, in order to do justice to our Irish fellow-subjects, or not. That is not a question to be decided merely because Irish Members say it is so. We are all to decide the question for ourselves by the dictates of common sense, and with the most full and fair and candid consideration which we can give to it. But, when we come to this question of high policy, then I must remind the 661 House that there is a question of high policy involved in this Bill, which was put forward by the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr Richard), and it is contained in the clause which gives the endowment to the University. That is a question of high policy on which the opinion of Irish Members has been taken again and again, and they have joined with the Liberal Party, and a great number on this side of the House, to affirm that this practice of endowment for religious purposes shall not be allowed to go on any further. I am not going to follow the right hon. Gentleman through all his criticisms; but I wish to state, on the part of the Government, as thoroughly as I can, one or two points on which they feel strong objections to the Bill—objections which I will put to the House for their consideration. Some of them have been stated by the Attorney General for Ireland; but there are also some questions of principle, on which I think the House will be nearly unanimous. In the first place, the hon. Member for Roscommon, when he brought forward the measure, himself admitted that it was an inherent evil of his Bill that in his scheme he had to propose a third University for one single nation. On that particular point, the Government have undoubtedly a strong opinion that the creation of the third University is a great evil, and that, if this matter is to be dealt with at all, it had better be dealt with on some other principle than that. I do not, and the Government do not, agree with the principle of affiliated Colleges, as proposed in this Bill. I cannot help thinking that, if the University question is to be dealt with at all, it had much better be dealt with without a measure of that kind restricting the University examinations, as such affiliations must necessarily do. On behalf of the Government, I also must say this is not a question to which, after the understanding of 1869, they could consent that Irish Church surplus funds, or any of them, could be applied. True, the hon. Member for Roscommon says he does not care from what source the funds come, provided he gets funds. But there is another question to be considered. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford, while saying he would vote for the second reading of the Bill, could 662 not pledge his support to any one clause, and when we got into Committee we would find ourselves completely at sea, and even without his guidance as to what clauses should be passed, and what not. Now, we cannot read the Bill through without seeing that, in the words of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh, it is practically a theological endowment with State money, which we are asked to sanction by passing this Bill. I should have thought that, at any rate, the practice of money coming from annual grants for this purpose had been swept away when we cleared the ground for the Disestablishment of the Irish Church by taking away the Maynooth Grant. What has been the policy of the Government, and of all Governments of late years, in regard to this matter? The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have been thrown open. There is no endowment for any religious teaching of any sort in the London University. A proposal has been made for the establishment of a University in the North, and we have not had the slightest hint or suggestion that any endowment for religious purposes from the State could possibly be obtained. The whole tendency of modern legislation has been the other way, and the House has set its face against any such endowment, for religious purposes, whether with respect to Roman Catholics, or to any other denomination of Christians. Then the question comes, what is the precise nature of the Irish grievance, and what is it that the Government are asked to support? It has been said upon one side, on that point, that all the Roman Catholics, if they choose, may go to the Queen's University or Trinity College, Dublin. I quite agree with that, as far as it goes. You cannot say that the funds given to the Queen's Colleges form an endowment for any denomination. It is a State endowment to an institution to which all parties are free to come, whatever their religions opinions may be. But, even with this fact before us, we find that out of 4,500,000 of inhabitants in Ireland, the great majority of whom are Roman Catholics, there are about 1,250,000 belonging to those classes in which University education would be required; but that, as has been stated, there are out of that large number only about 300 at 663 present in the enjoyment of University education. I quite agree that it is of great service to the State that you should go oven beyond the pale of those who naturally expect University education, in order to place facilities in the way of those who, in ordinary circumstances, would not go to a University—that is, in cases where distinguished talent or aptitude was shown; but, taking the figures as they have been given, we have the fact that the Roman Catholics, although they may, to a certain extent, have taken advantage of the Queen's University and Trinity College, Dublin, yet have not, as a body, done so to the extent that might have been expected. You must take people as you find them. We may say to the Catholics—" We have made you a fair offer, we want you to come, and we cannot understand why you do not come." But the fact remains that they do not come. I see no reason why the Roman Catholics should not come and receive this University education; but it must be admitted that the Roman Catholics, whether by the advice of the priests or not, do not take that advantage of these Queen's Colleges which they were expected to do. That being so, the question is whether any remedy can be found for that state of things? After what I have said regarding the Bill itself, I am quite willing to admit that there is a particular grievance pressing upon the Irish population, and that it undoubtedly ought to be remedied. It is clear that if Roman Catholic students do not go to those institutions to which I have referred, the only way they can get their degrees is to come to the London University, and that is a question which ought to be taken into serious consideration. Therefore, we are willing, and nobody on either side of the House would be unwilling, to remove, as far as possible, any real and substantial grievance which rests on the Irish population, subject to those conditions to which I have alluded in taking exception on the part of the Government to the Bill of the hon. Member for Roscommon. It is quite true, Sir, that in the earlier part of the Session, when a great number of measures were brought forward, some of which would take a long time in passing, we came to the conclnsion—in which, I think, we have been fully justified by events—that there would be no time in the present 664 Session of Parliament fairly and adequately to consider this question. We had just passed an Intermediate Education Act, and we wished to see how it would work. I think we may congratulate ourselves upon that measure having been a success. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said, and the Government joined with him in coming to the conclusion, that it would be unwise, for these reasons, to bring forward any measure on this question, looking to its extreme difficulties. Now, has anything happened to afford ground for changing our views in that matter? The hon. Member for Roscommon has brought forward a measure which has been much discussed in Ireland and out of it. I have pointed out the serious objections we entertain to that measure on the question of endowments; but there is another question which also presses on the Government considerably. We understand that a great agitation has taken place in the North of England in favour of a Northern University being formed, and a Petition will be presented to the Queen, asking that a Charter may be granted for it. I do not want to anticipate for a moment the advice that may be given by Her Majesty's Government with respect to that Petition when it is presented; but, undoubtedly, it is a matter seriously to be considered whether, if that Petition should be brought forward in such a way that it cannot be resisted, we should give facilities for establishing such a University for the North of England without saying anything at all about the state of University education in Ireland. Under these circumstances, and bearing in mind the objections I have raised to the Bill of the hon. Member for Roscommon, the Government have come to the conclusion that it would be right, at all events, to put in form their views of what might be done on the question of Irish University education; and the Lord Chancellor will, to-morrow, ask leave, in " another place," to introduce a measure on that subject.
§ MR. MORLEY
wished to see some proposal that would give a guarantee against this measure dragging them into a system of ecclesiastical endowment. Not only had obstacles been removed out of the way to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, but these Universities themselves were vieing with each other 665 in extending their benefits. It appeared to him that what was good for England was good for Ireland; but if there were impediments that were not consistent with the ecclesiastical opinions of Irishmen, he thought that greater facilities ought to be given. Therefore, if they could get into Committee, he would vote for the second reading of the Bill. He would accept the assurance of the hon. Member for Roscommon that he was prepared to make large concessions. He objected to the theological part of the Bill. He objected to the 18th clause, and he objected to so enormous an amount of public money being transferred to this object; but he should be glad to give his support in obtaining a measure which would secure the result they were all aiming at.
THE O'CONOR DON
wished to know what was the concluding sentence of the Home Secretary's speech, as it had only been imperfectly heard? Did he understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that the Lord Chancellor would, tomorrow, in the House of Lords, introduce a Bill dealing with University education in Ireland? [Mr. ASSHETON Cross assented.] Then, under these circumstances, he thought it was undesirable that they should go to a division on the present occasion, and he, therefore, begged to move the Adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, " That the Debate be now adjourned."—(The O' Conor Don).
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
What I said was, that we had strong objections to many parts of the present Bill, some of which I stated, and that, therefore, we should vote against the second reading; but, at the same time, I stated that the Lord Chancellor would, to-morrow, in "another place," and on behalf of the Government, introduce a Bill upon the subject of University education in Ireland.
§ MAJOR NOLAN
asked, whether there was any chance of the provisions of the Government Bill becoming known this Session, or would the Bill be just read a first time in dummy form, and never get printed at all? Would the Bill be printed and circulated?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
I hope that a division on this important subject will not take place under any misapprehension or misconception. The right hon. Gentleman has stated the objections of the Government to the Bill, and has just announced their intention, in consequence of what has taken place, of bringing in a Bill, and I think that they ought not to be anxious to have an opportunity of voting against the present measure; but that they should be perfectly willing that the proposal of the hon. Member for Roscommon should be considered at the same time, and in competition with their proposal. It appears to me that my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon was perfectly justified in bringing forward his Bill; but only for this reason, that the Government had shown no disposition to undertake the introduction of any Bill on the subject. Now, however, we know that the Government do intend to lay such a measure before Parliament; and, under these circumstances, I think my hon. Friend has exercised a wise discretion in agreeing to postpone the consideration of his own proposal until he sees how far that of the Government goes. I cannot conceive that in any part of the House there will be any desire to force a division. We should divide in complete misapprehension, if we were to do so now. I should, therefore, think there will be an unanimous agreement to await the provisions of the Government measure before we arrive at a conclusion on this Bill.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, that if no one else opposed the Adjournment of the debate he should, because he knew it was only desired in the interest of a measure to which the majority of the House objected.
§ MR. COGAN
trusted the House would unanimously agree to the Motion for Adjournment. He confessed he did not, after the Home Secretary's speech, look with any strong hopes to the Government measure as likely to be satisfactory. His belief was, that the postponement of the measure of the hon. Member for Roscommon, and, consequently, of legislation to remedy an admitted grievance, would cause great dissatisfaction in Ireland. He complained also that the Home Secretary had not given any answer to the Question of the right hon. Member for Bradford as to the negotiations which were said to 667 have taken place between certain persons connected with the Government, and persons supposed to be in the confidence of the Catholics in Ireland, and the promise which the Government were alleged to have held out of bringing in a Bill on the subject of Irish University education; if this was so, some information ought to be given to them on the subject. He entertained strong hopes that this question would be dealt with by the Government, as it was a measure of justice. He urged the House to adjourn the debate, as was proposed by the noble Lord the Leader of that side of the House; and he trusted that, in the event of the debate being adjourned, the Government would give facilities for its being resumed.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I think we are entitled to know what the proposals of the Government are before we adjourn. The Government has placed the House in an unusual, and, I must say, in an unexampled condition. The Government has been in the habit of treating this House with surprise, and I think a better device, a better concealed secret to themselves, has never yet been accomplished; but it has been a surprise accomplished at the expense of the time of the House. If Her Majesty's Government intended to bring in a University Bill, why is it brought forward on the 26th of June? Why was it that the Government told the hon. Member for Tralee, months ago, that they did not intend to bring forward a measure in regard to this subject? What has the Northern University to do with the question; and what are the circumstances to induce the Government in a single sentence at the end of a speech to state that they must now do what for months they have been steadily refusing to do? Are we ever to get to the bottom of the secret and the mystification of this Bill? We have not heard what were the negotiations that have taken place between the Government and the Irish Bishops on the subject of University education. All of a sudden, we hear what the Government have to tell us as regards this question. Why have we been debating all day? If the Home Secretary had got up immediately after the first speaker to-day, the whole matter would have been at an end, and we might have been engaged on another subject. Why have we sat for nearly six hours, and then, 668 after 5 o'clock, to have this announcement on the part of the Government made? And yet the Government complain of a waste of public time. The public time of Parliament has never been more wasted. First, there is the forcing of my hon. Friend the Member for Roscommon to introduce a measure which has brought about a two days' debate, and which has led to all sorts of negotiations; and all the time it was in their power, and it was their duty, to introduce a measure on the subject. I want to know whether this is a ten minutes' University Bill to meet the exigencies of the debate, or is it a well-considered measure which the Government have had in their pocket during the whole of this discussion? If it is a ten minutes' Bill, I do not know where is the sagacity of Her Majesty's Government; but if it is a well-considered Bill which they had in their pocket, I hardly know what to think of their candour. It is certainly the most extraordinary way of dealing with Public Business on a question of such importance I have ever known; and I think, under the circumstances, we are entitled to know what Her Majesty's Government are going to do with regard to this question of adjournment? I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will give us an explicit answer to that Question.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down has indulged in a good deal of criticism, very much in his peculiar style, to which I do not feel it necessary to reply. I had risen with the hon. and learned Gentleman to express what our feeling is with regard to the question of adjournment. What we feel regarding the Bill has already been expressed through the mouth of the Home Secretary. It is that, having very carefully considered this Bill, introduced by the hon. Member for Roscommon, having listened to his explanation, and considered the views expressed since the debate commenced on the second reading, we have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for the Government to accept this Bill, even as a basis for any measure upon this subject, and, therefore, that it is essentially necessary for us to vote against the Bill. My right hon. Friend has stated in brief and terse, but in perfectly clear, language, what it is we 669 object to. We object to the proposal for a third University. We object to the system of affiliated Colleges. We object to anything in the nature of religious endowment. Although we have been told by some speakers that they supported the Bill in the expectation that when it got into Committee it might be largely amended, yet we see no possibility or probability of such an amendment as would bring the Bill into a form in which we could approve of it. At the same time, feeling that we are called upon reluctantly to reject the Bill proposed by the Irish Members in order to deal with a real Irish grievance, we have felt that it was our duty to consider whether we could not offer to Ireland what we thought might be done in order to meet that grievance. We are asked —Why not propose it at an earlier period? We had thought that this was a matter which it were better not to attempt to deal with this year, and that it might have stood over; but when we were pressed to give a vote, which we do most reluctantly, against a measure which is proposed in a temperate way with considerable authority by the Irish Members to meet that which we cannot but consider a grievance, we thought it was but reasonable that we should say what we ourselves propose. If we were merely to content ourselves with saying in speeches that we objected to this measure, but that we would be ready to vote for some other, we should be doing a thing which would not be very convenient to the House or the country, and we thought it was far better that we should bring forward our counter-proposal, which will be introduced in the regular form of a Bill and laid before Parliament, and about the provisions of which there need be no mistake at all. As to this question of adjournment, there is no time for two divisions now. If the House will come to a decision upon the merits of this Bill which we take by itself, we are prepared to express our opinion; but a division on the question of adjournment is not expedient, and I think it would be far better that such an Amendment should be withdrawn, and that we should rather go at once to a division on the second reading of the Bill. As far as the Government are concerned, however, it is a matter of indifference to us whether such a division is taken or not; 670 but it must be thoroughly understood that if there is to be an adjournment, the Government cannot be expected, and will not consent, to give another day for the renewal of the debate.
§ It being a quarter of an hour before Six of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned tillTo-morrow.