HC Deb 31 July 1889 vol 338 cc1801-3

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


I wish to make one remark in regard to this Bill which I had not the opportunity of making when it was passing through Committee—namely, that I do not think it will work satisfactorily, owing to the inadequate nature of its pecuniary arrangements. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that possibly one-fourth or one-fifth will be abstracted from the fee-fund by the arrangements for extramural teaching and affiliated colleges. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in referring to the subject, was careful to enlarge on the comparatively large salaries drawn by about 50 of the present professors; but he forgot to add that there are 50 professors whose incomes average only about £4 70, and that if they are to be raised to £600 according to the recommendation of the Commission, the amount of £6,500 will be at once chargeable on the fund; and that there will have to be added the cost of the new professorships, the assistant professorships, the endowment of new Chairs, and other natters recommended by the Commission. It will be found that the cost of these, if carried out on the most moderate scale, will be £25,000, and if this be added to the amount for the salaries of the professors it sems to me to be impossible that £42,000 should meet all the charges. I have forgotten to include the arrangement for compensation, and when I look at all these matters it seems to me that the measure is in danger of shipwreck for want of resources to carry it out. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make it certain that those who succeed him will be responsible for providing everything in the nature of compensation or pensions it might be possible to arrange for carrying out the proposed reform; but if no such arrangement is made, the result will be disastrous to this measure, and possibly we may have to resort to the calamitous expedient of trying to increase the revenues of the University by increasing the contributions of the students. I beg, Sir, to move that the Bill be read a third time this day three months.


Does any hon. Member second the Motion?

MR. STOREY (Sunderland)

Yes, Sir; I will second it.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the question to add the words "upon this day three months."—(Mr. Wallace.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


I am somewhat surprised that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sunderland, who is generally on the side of economy, has supported the Motion of the hon. Member for Edinburgh. The hon. Member was not in his place yesterday, when, in reply to a question which stood in his name, I stated that it was utterly impossible for Her Majesty's Government to assent to the proposal that compensation should be paid out of public funds, inasmuch as such a course would lead to the raising of all sorts of extravagant claims. I cannot recognise the duty of Parliament to undertake such a task, and beyond this I entirely demur to the view that Parliament is bound to provide for a University on the scale suggested by the Royal Commission. Royal Commissions do not always primarily regard the interests of the taxpayer. I think that Parliament has dealt very liberally with the great Scotch Universities, and I must repeat my belief that there is a large margin of economy to be effected in those Universities by a revision of the scale of payment to the professors, a scale which is very largely in excess of similar emoluments paid to the professors in other Universities.


Perhaps I may be allowed to state that I merely seconded the Motion of my hon. Friend in order that the Government might be induced to reply to the points raised by the right hon. Gentleman. Having done that, I do not mind adding that I agree in the views expressed by the right hon. Gentleman, and shall not press the matter any further.

Question put, and agreed to.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the third time (Queen's consent signified), and passed.