§ 1. £405,015, to complete the sum for Science and Art Department.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE (Surrey, Kingston)
submitted to the Minister in charge of the Vote that it would be very convenient to the Committee if he made a statement about it. When the Education Vote was before the Committee they had had a most interesting statement from his right hon. Friend, and the Vote for Science and Art was not less in importance than the Vote for Education.
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Mr. ACLAND,) York, W.R., Rotherham
It has not been the custom to make any statement on this Vote.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE
said, he noticed that various items in the Vote were increased. The House would never grudge the Department the resources which it required; but it would be better, when they were asked to vote an increase of money, that a statement of the reasons for the change should be made. He asked for some explanation of the fact that there had been increases in the Vote under the heads of salaries of staff from £13,000 to £16,000, Science schools from £120,000 to £129,000, Art schools and classes from £50,000 to £58,000, Scholarships, local examinations, and prizes from £8,000 to £9,500, and building grants from £6,000 to £9,000. Turning to the sub-heads in the Museum division, in respect of South Kensington, Bethnal Green, and others, there was positively a decrease in salaries from £10,000 odd to £9,000 odd, and, in fact, the whole amount for the South Kensington Museum appeared to have fallen from £12,000 odd to £11,000. That, at first sight, would appear rather strange, 1410 as South Kensington was known to be one of the most important Museums in the world, for which the public would not grudge any assistance. Probably there were reasons for this decrease in expenditure, and it would be instructive to them if they could learn in a few words from the Minister what was the true position in that regard. In the item dealing with purchases for the Museums under the sub-head Works of Art there, was an increase from £7,000 odd to £10,000 odd. There were, no doubt, very valuable reasons for this, but it would have been desirable that a few words should have been added stating what were the works of art which had been purchased in such increasing quantity. He should also like to hear some explanation for the increase of the charges for copying from £12,000 to £13,000, and the rise from £12,000 to £14,0C0 for artisans, cleaners, and labourers.
§ MR. ACLAND
said, he would answer the questions which had been put to him by the hon. Baronet. First of all, the increase of salaries was partly due to changes made in the reorganisation of the staff. A certain number of copyists became abstractors, and thus rose to a higher class. The increase affecting Art schools and classes was due to a large development of technical schools growing up under the County Councils and to the increased demand for instruction in Science and Art. A large portion of the money was usefully used in many towns of the country in setting up important Technical Institutions. The next question of the hon. Member was as to Scholarships and local Exhibitions and prizes. The grant under this head in 1891–2 amounted to £20,000. The prizes in Art had been almost entirely converted into Scholarships, which were tenable for three years. In the first year the minimum amount was payable, the maximum being obtainable in the third year. That accounted for the increase involved during the present year. The building grants were necessary to meet the grants which had been made by localities for buildings which had been completed in the financial year. The same stimulus which had been given to Science and Art by the Local Taxation Act had led to the opening of a number of new local technical schools, and the Department made a certain grant towards 1411 the erection of those schools. The decrease of salaries referred to was due to retirements from posts which were not going to be filled up, though this did not mean less efficiency in the staff. Then, as to the increase in the purchase of Science and Art Collections for the Museums and for circulation, the hon. Baronet noticed there had been an increase of £2,700. That was the exact amount previously knocked off this Vote for the purchase of objects for the Museums and for their circulation throughout the country. The Treasury consented to put back the amount which the late Chancellor of the Exchequer knocked off at a time when he was somewhat hard up. The £2,700 had been restored, which simply meant that things were put back as they were about three years ago, in order that the Department should have an adequate Vote for purchases and for the circulation of works of Art in all the towns of the country where Museums existed. The increase in copying was one which must necessarily arise with an increase of work. As to artisans and labourers, he found that at South Kensington there were a few men working very long hours, some of them 16 hours a day. The matter was laid before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and stops were taken to have that condition of affairs altered by not only lessening the number of hours worked by the artisans and labourers so as to bring them down four or five hours a week, but also to increase the wages, and to bring them up to the proper Trade Union scale.
§ SIR F.S. POWELL (Wigan)
said, that two or three years ago he called attention to the scandalous provision made for the exhibition of students' work sent from schools in the Provinces. He had now heartily to acknowledge his indebtedness to the Department for the steps they had taken to remedy that defect, and for the excellent arrangements they had now made for the exhibition of these works.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 2. £87,500, to complete the sum for British Museum.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE
desired to call attention to the fact that the Vote showed a decrease as compared with last year, though the general impression of the public would be that more funds would 1412 be required towards the expenditure on material for this magnificent National Institution. The amount had fallen from £116,000 to £115,000 and though that was but a slight decrease, still even the slightest decrease was disappointing when one might have expected the very opposite.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. T. HIBBERT,) Oldham
said, the decrease was in salaries and wages, and not in purchases.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE
did not agree, because he found that purchases and acquisitions showed a falling off from £22,000 to £20,000. The general idea was that, instead of less, they required larger grants for acquiring material for this magnificent Institution. The Vote for the Natural History Museum at South Kensington, which was the next in importance to the British Museum, also showed a slight decrease. South Kensington Museum was really one of the bright ornaments of our nation, and one would have thought that an increasing Vote would have been allowed year after year. He was sure the British taxpayer would not grudge the amount for such an Institution. South Kensington was in the hands of some of the best scientists of the day, and one would hope that due appreciation would be shown for this work in the shape of an increased money grant. Taking the two Museums together, the grants on the aggregate showed a falling off of from £161,000 to £160,000. He hoped they should hear some explanation on the point.
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
said, there was, he admitted, a slight decrease in the amount allowed for purchases for the British Museum proper, but that was due to the fact that in 1892–3 there was a special grant of £1,500, which did not re-appear in the current year. But though there was a decrease in that item for the British Museum, there was a considerable increase in the Natural History Museum. A purchase had been made of a valuable collection of insects, which was considered a good purchase, and was much appreciated by the Trustees of the British Museum. It would be a matter of great satisfaction for the Committee to know that the number of visitors to the Institution had increased.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE
remarked, that whereas the amount for the purchase of acquisitions had risen from £4,900 to £6,900, yet, pari passu with that, the amount for the purchase of pictures had fallen from £5,800 to £4,300?
§ SIR F. S. POWELL
said, that some years ago they had a discussion about attendance in the evening, and it was agreed to allow the British Museum to remain open in the evening. He should be glad to hear whether many had availed themselves of this opportunity?
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 3. £6,382, to complete the sum for National Gallery.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
said, he had heard it stated that purchases of pictures had been restricted on the ground that there was no immediate accommodation for their exhibition. It would be very much to be regretted if good opportunities for purchasing valuable pictures were lost merely because there were no means to exhibit them at once.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir W. HARCOURT,) Derby
said, it had long been felt that the space in the National Gallery was inadequate, and arrangements had been made to obtain further space by the additional accommodation which would be afforded at Millbank. The restriction of purchases was rather due, he suspected, to want of money than of space.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 4. £736, to complete the sum for National Portrait Gallery.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE
pointed out that there was a fall in salaries from £2,200 to £1,700. No doubt there was some good reason for the decrease.
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
could not give any definite reply as to when the work would be finished. The decrease in the 1414 salaries was due to the fact that the Director who had retired did not receive a salary, but a gratuity for services he rendered.
§ MR. BURNS (Battersea)
expressed the hope that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury would consult with the First Commissioner of Works in order to see whether the approaches to the National Portrait Gallery could not be improved by taking away entirely or setting back the ugly railings opposite St. Martin's Church.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 5. £13,663, to complete the sum for Scientific Investigation, &c.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
asked whether a larger amount might not properly be made to the Royal Geographical Society? He saw the sum of £4,000 was allowed to the Royal Society. No one would say that was a vast amount, considering the work that was to be done. Having regard to the vast importance of proper geographical investigation and the admirable work which was done by the Royal Geographical Society, it was desirable for the Government to consider whether the time had not arrived when a larger grant should not be made to that Society. There was no doubt if a larger amount were granted it would be used in a manner calculated to produce the greatest possible benefit to this country.
§ SIR R. TEMPLE
said, that there was no Society which did more useful work than the Royal Geographical Society.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
was sure the people of this country would not look coldly upon the efforts made in South Africa to open up new markets and promote the interests of this country.
§ MR. PAUL (Edinburgh, S.)
would oppose any grants to this Royal Geographical Society unless and until it admitted women as Fellows.
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
said, the points raised should receive consideration, but no application had been received for an increase in the grant.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 6. £49,000, to complete the sum for Universities and Colleges, Great Britain.
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)
The Committee will remember that in the latter part of 1891 King's College and University College endeavoured to obtain a Charter for a new London University, of which they would have been the dominating constituents. Happily, as I and many others think, the scheme for creating the Albert University failed, and it is, therefore, not necessary for me to enter into that controversy on the present occasion. I refer to it because of the fact that during the discussion great surprise was expressed at the discovery that King's College was in receipt of a Parliamentary grant of £15,000 a year. The surprise was due to the fact that, whereas, by passing the University Tests Abolition Act of 1871, the Legislature had abolished all religious tests and disabilities at the National Universities, Parliament had accorded national support to an Institution in which those tests and disabilities exist and are rigorously enforced. The original Charter of King's College declared that the College was established as a College "In which instruction in the doctrines and duties of Christianity, as taught by the Church of England, should be for ever combined, with Other useful branches of education;" and the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the time being, was appointed Visitor. It was further declared that no person who was not a member of the Church of England should be competent to fill any office in the College, except the Professorships of Oriental Literature and Modern Languages. I am aware that that Charter is not now in force; but in 1882 King's College obtained an Act of re-incorporation, and that Act distinctly re-affirmed its Church of England character, and also maintained the religious test. I cannot speak from my 1416 own knowledge, but I am told that these provisions of the Charter are rigorously carried out, so that all officials, from the highest to the lowest, must be members of the Church of England. I am also informed that the Archbishop of Canterbury has a voice in all the College appointments. There are about 12 Colleges in all which participate in the grant of £15,000 a year annually voted by Parliament, and it is the only denominational College in the list. How came it to find a place there? In 1889 the late Government included in the Estimates for the first time a Vote of £15,000 for University Colleges in Great Britain, and by a Treasury Minute, dated March 11 in that year, they appointed a Committee of four persons to advise them as to the best mode of distributing the grant. That Minute named certain Colleges as claimants, and among them was King's College. The Committee proposed that grants of various sums, ranging from £500 to £1,800 should be paid to 12 Colleges, and King's College was set down for £1,700, which it has since annually received. Last-year the same Government appointed a second Committee, to report as to the results of the grants, and to consider whether they might be advantageously increased, diminished, or withheld. That Committee recommended, not only that the grants should be continued to each College until the expiration of five years from the date at which they commenced, but that there should be a substantial addition to the total amount—that, in fact, it should be doubled. They also proposed a new scale of payment, and had it been adopted King's College would have received, not £1,700 a year, but more than double that amount, or £3,500. For reasons with which I am unacquainted, the Government did not adopt the recommendation of the Committee, and so the amount has continued to be as at the beginning; the Vote now before the Committee being £15,000, of which King's College will receive £1,700. Now, there is a passage in the Report of this second Committee which has an important bearing on the question I desire to raise upon the Vote. The following appears as an addendum to the Report:—We have not dissented from the recommendation of the Committee that King's Col- 1417 lege, London, should be included in the grant to University Colleges, because we understand that questions of general policy have not been referred to this Committee. But we desire to record our view that King's College, being by its constitution a strictly denominational institution, so far as relates to its Governing Body and its teaching staff, stands in a position differing from that of the other Colleges dealt with in this Report; and we reserve our own freedom of action on the subject, as Members of the House of Commons, in case the question of the right of King's College to participate in the grant should hereafter be raised in Parliament.That note has attached to it these signatures "H. E. Roscoe; J. Bryce." I am heartily glad that the Chancellor of the Duchy has put on record his opinion on this subject, and has reserved his freedom of action in the matter, and I now confidently look to him to use his influence with the Government of which he is so efficient a Member to induce them to give effect to the view thus expressed. I am also glad that the hon. Baronet the Member for South Manchester has done the same, because he has the advantage of even greater freedom than the Chancellor of the Duchy. This is not a case in which vested interests stand in the way of a change; nor can any cry of confiscation, or spoliation, be reasonably raised. The Treasury Minute, July I, 1889, after stating that if the grant is continued it should be liable to be reviewed every five years, proceeded to say that—My Lords are anxious clearly to establish the principle that no College is to have a vested right to share, even for a limited number of years, in the sums voted by Parliament. On the contrary, each College should be considered as liable to be excluded at any time from further participation in the grant, if it should appear to the Treasury that, from any cause, it has ceased to be deserving of support from the National Exchequer. But any change must be made in connection with the Estimate, and be brought under the notice of Parliament.And, as I have already said, the second Treasury Minute also asked the Committee to consider whether the grants should be increased, diminished, or withheld. Parliament is, therefore, quite free to act in the matter; and this Government is also free, as not having been a party to the present arrangement. I, however, do not propose any harsh or precipitate action, and, therefore, do not wish the grant to King's College to be withheld this year. But as the term of five years, for which it was promised, is approaching its termination, 1418 I wish to elicit from the Government an expression of opinion on the subject, and to obtain an assurance that it shall be dealt with, not by a Departmental Committee, but on the responsibility of the Government and of this House. The Committee will have observed that I have said nothing in disparagement of King's College as an educational institution. But however efficient it may be, and however useful, it is disqualified for receiving Parliamentary support by the fact that it belongs, not to the nation or the public, but to a single religious body. The founders of King's College were fully entitled to give it a denominational character if they thought fit; but they must submit to the disadvantages, as well as enjoy the advantages, of denominationalism. They have had the opportunity of abandoning religious tests, and of throwing their doors as wide open as those of the other Colleges which share this grant. They were recommended to do so by an authority of great weight—I refer to the Duke of Devonshire's Committee on Scientific Instruction, from whose Report I quote this passage—With regard to King's College, we would further suggest that the College should apply for a new Charter, or for an Act of Parliament, with a view of cancelling the proprietary rights of its shareholders, and of abolishing all religious restrictions (so far as any such exist) on the selection of Professors of Science, and on the privileges extending to students of Science. We consider that any grant of public money which may be made to King's College should be conditional on such a re-constitution of the College as should effect these objects."The Commissioners who so expressed themselves were not Liberationists, and certainly were not opponents of King's College; for they included, besides the then Duke of Devonshire, the Marquess of Lansdowne; Professor Miller, a Professor of King's College; Professor Stokes, and Sir J. Lubbock. This weighty advice of the Commissioners was not taken; for, when King's College obtained its new Act of Incorporation, these restrictions were not, as they then might have been, removed, and the authorities of King's College deliberately resolved to remain a denominational institution. They had a right, if they thought fit, to disregard this plainly-expressed opinion of the Commissioners; but there were two other bodies who ought not to have ignored it—I mean the Committee which 1419 recommended this grant to King's College and the Government which adopted their recommendation. I think that these are facts which should be brought under the notice of this House before it renews the grant even for a single year. And I hope that, as the result of the consideration which the subject deserves, the present Government and the present Parliament will by their future action re-affirm the great principle that Universities and Colleges claiming public support should, in the language of the University Tests Abolition Act of 1871, be "freely accessible to the nation."
§ MR. ACLAND
My hon. Friend has called attention to a subject which has more than once engaged the attention of the Government. As he says, the grant was not absolutely promised, but it was indicated that at the end of five years the present arrangement would cease. It is perfectly true that the Charter which was laid on the Table of the House a year or two ago, which gave King's College, or proposed to give it, an established position in relation to the new London University, was largely affected by the condition of King's College in relation to the demands made upon its Professors and officers in regard to their being members of the Church of England, and I have no doubt myself that, among other causes of dissatisfaction which caused the withdrawal of the Charter, that was a very important one. But, of course, that is not the question immediately under our consideration. We have to note that when it was proposed to increase the grant to these University Colleges, two Members of this House—the hon. Member for Manchester (Sir H. Roscoe) and the Chancellor of the Duchy (Mr. Bryce) did place on record their view that King's College, being by its constitution a strictly Denominational Institution as far as relates to its Governing Body and teaching staff, stands in a position differing from that of other Colleges dealt with in this Report. If we take our great Universities and the Welsh Colleges, and all the other University Colleges which get grants from Parliament, there is no doubt the position is an exceptional one. In the King's College (London) Act, 1882, which gives the Charter, it is stated—and no doubt it is the fact— 1420 that no person in King's College who is not a member of the Church of England shall be competent to fill any office in the College except the Professorship of Oriental Literature and Oriental Language. That, of course, means that whereas at Oxford, Cambridge, and elsewhere no such demand is made for a Professor of Science, a Professor of Ancient Languages, or Political Economy, and the like, King's College stands alone in that particular, and in demanding that such Professors shall declare they are members of the Church of England before they can receive an appointment. I do not think it is necessary to enter into this matter in a controversial spirit My hon. Friend has stated it in a perfectly reasonable and fair way, and I can only say that the Government will carefully consider the matter on the lines which he has indicated, both in view of any increase of the grant or possible modification of the conditions under which the grant may be received. I understand he does not complain of the five years' arrangement; therefore, there is no actual complaint of the Estimates now, but he wishes us to look into that matter, as we shall do very carefully, in the future.
§ SIR F. S. POWELL (Wigan)
said, he had given notice to move a reduction of the Vote, but he should not proceed with that Motion, confining himself to a few general observations, his remarks applying more particularly to the Welsh Colleges. First of all, he wished to say one or two brief words respecting King's College. He thought the recommendations or suggestions which had been quoted would have carried more weight if they had come from Members of different political Parties. His hon. Friend the Member for Manchester and the Chancellor of the Duchy were both justly eminent Members, but they were of one particular Party. He thought it was rather unfortunate there should not have been recommendations from both sides; for more weight would have been attached to recommendations so originated. He thought there was also a broad distinction between King's College and these new Colleges. King's College was an existing Institution with an ancient constitution when these new Colleges were established, and it was not unnatural that these latter should 1421 be based on what some regarded as a wider and more liberal foundation. Considering that only the previous night the House declared in favour of denominational teaching in Ireland in connection with Training Colleges, it was a rather hard measure that the members of the Church of England, only a few hours afterwards, should be exposed to difficulties and embarrassments in their career. He did not understand that the restrictions which referred to the teaching staff of King's College had occasioned the slightest difficulty to those who were taught. As regarded University Colleges, especially in connection with University Colleges in Wales, he felt anxious to make his position perfectly clear. He was by no means antagonistic to University Colleges. On the contrary, he had borne a humble but most energetic part in the foundation of the Yorkshire College at Leeds, and was a member of the Court of the Victoria University, which had to deal with these most promising, hopeful, and already most valuable undertakings. But what occurred to him was this: that they ought to have, as regarded these University Colleges, further particulars, so that they might be able to see what work these Institutions were doing. The statement as to these Colleges was almost a blank; whereas in regard to the Scotch Universities, the Royal University of Ireland, and the Queen's Colleges, Ireland, the fullest information was given on all the different points. He hoped the Government would next year present a Report from which they might really gather what had been done.
§ SIR F. S. POWELL
hoped the word "considered' would be taken in a Parliamentary sense, and that it would lead to action. He did not desire a meddling interference with these Colleges—he should deprecate any such interference—but he thought there should be such a statement as would secure public confidence in these Institutions. Then, with regard, to the Welsh Colleges, perhaps he might be permitted to make some brief remarks respecting Bangor. Some weeks ago he should have been inclined to state the case of Miss Hughes, who was the head of the women's portion of Bangor College, but the progress 1422 of matters had been such that her position had been fully established.
I must point out to the hon. Baronet that this, being a matter of internal discipline, cannot be brought forward in Committee of Supply.
§ SIR F. S. POWELL
bowed to the Chairman's ruling, but submitted that the conduct of the teachers of this College, which was maintained out of the Vote, with reference to a person holding a high position, was a matter that they might discuss in Committee.
§ SIR F. S. POWELL
said, of course, he would obey the ruling of the Chair; but perhaps he might be allowed to say that Miss Hughes's character was entirely restored. Though he was not allowed to say anything on this subject, he felt that those who guided this College, those who were responsible to Parliament for the administration of the funds provided by this Vote, should have regard, and very careful regard, to the delicate character of their duties; for when they were bringing together as an experiment young men and young women, and the mothers of England were asked to send their daughters to a College sustained by a Parliamentary Vote, they were entitled to be thoroughly satisfied that the most anxious care would be taken as regarded, not only the teaching and discipline, but the formation of the character of these young persons. There was, as they all knew, a considerable number of young women in Cambridge, but they were gathered together at Girton College and Newnham College, and some slight difficulties had at first arisen there, but, at the same time, he was only speaking of the fact that there were—
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER (Mr. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
As the hon. Member has made that statement, I feel bound to say that if he has been informed that there were difficulties at Girton or Newnham he has been misinformed. I have been from its first foundation one of the Governing Body of Girton College, and I can 1423 assure him that no difficulties have arisen.
§ SIR F. S. POWELL
would not carry the point any further. Another question he wished to ask was, how many students there were in these Welsh Colleges? There seemed to him a great contrast in the numbers between the Welsh Colleges and the Victoria Colleges. In the Yorkshire College the number was 1,110; at Bangor, 120; Aberystwith, in 1891, 132; and what number there was at Cardiff he did not know, but it seemed to him that if real good work was to be carried out there must be a considerable enlargement in the number of students, and he hoped the increase would soon take place. He had not spoken in a hostile spirit with reference to these Colleges, for he hoped and earnestly desired their prosperity. Another important point connected with the College was, how many students took advantage of the complete curriculum, and how many attended, as it were, only incidentally and, so to say, as amateurs? Another question was whether there were any means for recording any comparison between the students of Welsh nativity and residence, and students of other nativity and other residence? It had been reported of some of the Colleges that they were greatly frequented by English persons. He did not regret that circumstance, but he thought the Committee should have cognisance of it, as it might have some effect on the deliberations of Parliament in regard to the Vote. Of those educated at these Colleges, he wished to know how many were men, and how many were women? He rejoiced to see the attention paid to the education of women at two of these Colleges. Then he thought they should have some information of the character of the entrance examination, and the instruction given throughout. The success of any establishment and institution must depend on the attainments at the entrance. If the attainment was inferior, the teaching throughout would follow that inferiority. He hoped to hear in answer to his remark that there was an effective examination and entrance in order to made certain that the students were qualified to take advantage of the instruction given in these Colleges. He should then wish to know how many students in these Colleges had taken 1424 degrees in the University of London? In Manchester there was a great desire to have the examinations by teachers at the College where the instruction was given to the students, and this was one reason for the application for the Charter. He hoped someone in charge of the Vote would be able to inform them what were the number of degrees won by the students at the London University. The only other point he desired to mention was the fees paid by the students. He himself was entirely ignorant of the scale of fees paid, but they had an important bearing on the financial position of any University, and no University could prosper without being in possession of considerable funds. Thanking the Committee for the patience with which they had heard him, he only wished further to say that he had not made these remarks in a hostile spirit, because he hoped that a career of prosperity was before the University Colleges.
§ MR. ACLAND
I think I had better answer the points raised by the hon. Baronet at once. Certainly, in relation to the Colleges, my hon. Friend has a very reasonable and real right to speak, as few men have taken more intense interest in them than he has himself. I will not touch the general question further than to say that questions of internal discipline are not matters with which we, as a Government, ought to interfere; we think that so long as a College goes on reason ably and satisfactorily in general education the Education Department is not called on to look into questions of internal discipline. You must trust the College authorities to do their duty, and until you have grave reason to suppose that they are not doing so you would not be justified in considering the withdrawal of the grant. This is the first time the Vice President has been asked to extend the Vote, and I can only say I echo what my right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury has said, that we have enough material—and the authorities of the College will assist us in this matter—to lay before the House in another year some adequate Report on many of the points raised, as to the men and women students, as to the numbers, the degrees, and generally such an account of each College as Parliament is thoroughly entitled to see. As to the 1425 English and Welsh Colleges, I think I ought to say the number of day students in the first instance are between 600 and 700; and if we take the Yorkshire Colleges, the day classes are something over 300. The work at the Welsh Colleges and the increase of students has been of a most remarkable character. I am not able to give the number of London degrees, and for details of that sort we must wait for the Report I have promised. I can say the Welsh Colleges are doing as rapidly increasing and good work as the English Colleges, and when they get, as we hope they may now get, some arrangement of their own in connection with the University, I have the fullest possible confidence that every one of these three Colleges will develop and increase even more rapidly than before.
§ SIR A. ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said, that as allusion had been made to King's College, and some criticism had been directed to the denominational character of the College, and as no one connected with the College had replied to them, he thought he ought to say a few words. He would not go into the question of denominational education, though he thought what was said last night in regard to the Training Colleges in Ireland was perfectly relevant. The Queen's Colleges were denominational. According to the district in which they were placed, there the religious denomination of that locality was prevalent. For instance, Belfast was distinctly Presbyterian; Cork was almost entirely Roman Catholic, and a denominational character, as was natural, was given to those Colleges. As to King's College, not only did students come from all parts of the world, but he did not know any College or school where the religious character of the College was more diverse. Persons of all religions were educated in common at King's College, and he need scarcely add that in these days a Conscience Clause not only existed, but was rigidly acted upon, so that all the benefits of a high education were given without the disadvantage of any encroachment on the religious opinions of any student. He preferred to leave that question, and to say they were prepared to report fully and regularly on the character of their work. So far as the education given was concerned, the higher class work was well performed, 1426 and in one instance it would be impossible to improve on the work done at King's College—he meant the instruction given in Civil Service work; it had been extremely useful to the large class of students who had to get their knowledge how and as best they could. He regretted to be compelled to admit that by no means as many of their students went to their own University of London as they should wish. It had been his personal desire to stimulate that in every possible way, and to ally the College as much as possible with the University. The whole question, they must remember, of education in London had been in solution; they were looking anxiously for the Report of the Royal Commission, which he presumed they would got about December, and he hoped one of the elements of that Report would be a closer association with the University, which was the only means of doing a good teaching work in London. The Parliamentary grants had been extremely useful, and he did not know how they could have carried on the work at King's College without them. Their teaching staff, also, had made great sacrifices in order to continue the work, and he hoped the time might come when, instead of £15,000, a larger grant might be made for higher education. Everything pointed to the greater cost of modern scientific education. They must have equipment, appliances, modern laboratories, and the like, both for teaching and examination purposes, which rendered the cost infinitely greater than in the old days, when the education was of a classical character, extremely useful in its way. And he would point out as a suggestion for more help what might, perhaps, surprise the Committee. The encouragement given by other nations to higher education was remarkable. In the case of Germany the fees paid by the students at all the Universities in the country did not amount to the sum paid by the students attending King's College in London, and that meant a great State subsidy, and it was a sacrifice that was economical and most amply repaid. Take the case of what had been done at Strasbourg, since the war. That University had risen until it consisted of some eight departments, each of which was better than anything they had here; and when they found competing nations 1427 doing that class of work, and showing the effect of that work in their everyday industry, it ought to be followed. He had only one word to say in conclusion, and that was in regard to secondary instruction. This work would not be complete until, by a process of selection, the poorest clever boys and girls were enabled to rise, first, to these Colleges, and, ultimately, to the attainment of the University degree. He hoped the day was not far distant when they would be able to put the whole course of instruction on a higher and a better footing.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon, &c.)
said, before this Vote was taken he wished to make a few observations with reference to Bangor College. He fully recognised the way in which the hon. Baronet had referred to this College, and he only wished the same spirit which animated the hon. Baronet had also animated the hon. Baronet's friends in the country and in another place. He was sure that if it had, a great deal of difficulty and a considerable amount of ill-feeling would have been spared. He was aware the Chairman had ruled any reference to this matter out of Order. The College itself had nothing to gain by burking any discussion; they were fully prepared to refer to the whole of the circumstances, and he was positive the College would not lose by the discussion. Perhaps he might be permitted to make one observation about the character of Miss Hughes now being perfectly established. He was not aware that any attack was made upon her character by the College authorities; his recollection was that it was the other way about; that Miss Hughes made an attack on the College authorities. He quite agreed with what had been said about the desirability of having an annual Report of what occurred in the Colleges, and he was glad that the Vice President of the Council would do his best to carry it out.
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
After the interesting discussion we have listened to, may I appeal to the Committee to allow us now to take this Vote?
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
only wished to make a few observations. The hon. Baronet regretted that both political Parties had not joined in the recommendation with regard to 1428 King's College. He (Mr. Bryn Roberts) joined in that regret, but if they had to wait until the Conservative Party joined the Liberal Party in a representation for the removal of religious disabilities he feared they would have to wait for a very long time, and that none of those which had been removed would have been removed if they had to wait until the Conservative Party joined with the Liberals in attempting to remove them. With regard to Bangor College, he was not going to discuss the difficulties that had arisen there, but he must notice one observation that was likely to lead to a misapprehension. The hon. Baronet referred to difficulties of a delicate nature which might probably arise in mixed Colleges where young men and young women were educated together, and that rather led to the supposition that the dispute that recently arose in Bangor had reference to that mixed education. He wished to point out that it had no reference whatever to anything of the kind. Male and female students had been educated there ever since the establishment of the College, 12 years ago, but no difficulties of any kind had ever arisen in consequence of the mixed character of the College. In this matter the real difficulty that had arisen—
MR. BRYN ROBERTS
said, he only wished to say that the difficulty arose amongst the female students with the Principal.
MR. POWELL-WILLIAMS (Birmingham, S.)
said, his hon. Friend opposite had made the best defence that could be made for King's College, but, after all, it seemed to him to be unsatisfactory. The hon. Member had spoken of the Conscience Clause, but why on earth should not the Conscience Clause be applied to the Professorships? It seemed to him that a system under which they excluded a Christian from a Professorship because he did not take precisely the same views they took, and at the same time admitted a Buddhist or Mohammedan to a Professorship, was in itself ridiculous. King's College was a Theological College, and they were subscribing national funds to support it; it had a very strong theological side, and it was difficult to say the contribution it received from the Crown was not in some 1429 sense in aid of that theological side. He thought his hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham (Mr. Carvell Williams) was right in calling attention to this matter, and he hoped it would receive the consideration of the Government.
§ SIR F. S. POWELL
only wished to say that from the latest Report 440 students attended the evening classes, and there were 670 regular day students.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 7. £12 (including a Supplementary sum of £100), to complete the sum for London University.
§ MR. A. C. MORTON
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had considered the question, raised early in the Session, with regard to the reduction of the fees, so as to make the University examinations still more useful to the people?
§ SIR A. ROLLIT
said, that further accommodation in the University of London was urgently needed. The examinations could not continue to be properly carried out without it. These examinations were highly scientific, and required special accommodation. The Thames Embankment had been suggested as the place upon which the accommodation could be given, but he was representing the views of those connected with the University when he said that that would not be a satisfactory site. With regard to the fees of the University, he would point out that they went to the State.
said, that the fees for local examinations were higher than those charged at the University itself. The fee was one guinea at the University, but two guineas at some of the local centres, which was clearly a grievance.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 8. £2,650, to complete the sum for National Gallery, &c, Scotland.