HC Deb 21 February 1888 vol 322 cc987-8
MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)

asked the hon. Member for Penrith, Whether he is aware that the deed of foundation of the Royal Holloway College expressly provides that no arrangement shall be made which would identify the College in any way with any particular sect or denomination of Christians; whether the Charity Commissioners have, notwithstanding such provision, appointed, as the first Governors of the College, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Dean of Windsor, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester, and nine others, who are all members of the Church of England; whether the deed of foundation further provides that the lady principal's age at the time of her appointment must not exceed 40 years; whether the Charity Commissioners have, nevertheless, authorized the Governors, with the consent of the Commissioners, to appoint any person lady principal, or a resident female Professor or teacher, notwithstanding that her age may exceed 40; and whether a lady principal above that age has been appointed; and, whether the Commissioners will lay before Parliament such Papers as will show what were the proceedings which led to such action on their part, as well as the grounds on which they so acted?

MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)

The statement contained in the first paragraph is substantially correct. The Charity Commissioners have appointed the gentlemen mentioned in the second paragraph; but they are not aware of the religious views of the nine gentlemen specially referred to. Seven out of the nine Governors mentioned were originally suggested by the Founder himself. The whole number were selected by the Trustees of the Founder, and were appointed by the Charity Commissioners on their application. The two Trustees appointed by the Founder are members of his family, and were also the executors of his will, and wore presumably well qualified to carry out his wishes. Public notice was duly given of the names of the Governing Body proposed to be appointed, and no objection was taken to any of them. Among those appointed were Earl Granville, Lord Thring, and the right hon. Member for the Brightside Division of Sheffield (Mr. Mundella). The statement contained in the third paragraph is correct. After considerable investigation, the Governors applied to the Commissioners for an order for a scheme modifying the restriction as to age. After obtaining the approval of the Founder's representatives, the Commissioners agreed to make the Order, and public notice of their proposed Order was given. Subsequently the Order amending the scheme was made, and public notice was given that the Order had been made. The Governors thereupon appointed a lady above the age referred to as principal of the College; and, after public notice had been given by the Commissioners of their proposed approval to the appointment, and no objections having been made, the appointment was confirmed. I regret that I am unable to comply with the request of the hon. Member contained in the last paragraph; but I shall be glad to furnish him with any further information on the subject that he may desire either publicly or privately.

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

said, that he was the eighth Governor, and had been appointed in succession to the late Mr. Samuel Morley, who had been nominated by the Founder. He had often been solicited, when Vice President of the Committee of Council, during the Founder's lifetime, but was unable to serve.