§ 23. "That a sum, not exceeding £15,984, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1898, for sundry grants in aid of scientific investigation, etc., and other grants."
§ 24. "That a sum, not exceeding £66,059, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1898, for grants in aid of the expenses of certain Universities and Colleges in Great Britain, and of the expenses under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889."
* MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)
wished to call attention to the case of King's College, which was to be one of the participants of this Vote. It was the only college in the list which was of a sectarian character. The money was not originally granted by Parliament: it was the act of the Treasury, and when the five years for which the grant was originally voted was about to expire, the late Government gave to the College the option of abandoning its ecclesiastical tests, or of losing the grant. The College authorities declined to abolish the tests, 288 and appealed to their supporters to raise an endowment, to take the place of the Parliamentary grant. This appeal was not adequately responded to, and, therefore, when the present Government came into office, the College applied for a restoration of the grant. The request was complied with, and without any stipulation as to religious tests. Not only so: it was now to receive an additional £500 a year. That was the result of art application from all the colleges for an increased Vote; which was now to be £25,000, instead of £15,500, a year. Before, however, allocating the increased sum, the Government took the very proper step of ascertaining how the work of the colleges was being done. They appointed Mr. Warren, President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Professor Liveing, of St. John's College, Cambridge, to inquire into the quality, character, and results of the work done at each college. Those gentlemen agreed to a Report on the 31st December, which was presented to the Treasury and laid before the House on the 17th June last. They reported in general terms that the colleges were doing good work, and realising the purpose for which they were established. In addition, they reported as to each of the 14 colleges in receipt of the Parliamentary grant, and in every case but one they spoke in terms of high commendation of the sufficiency and the efficiency of the machinery of the college, and of the high quality of the work done. The one exception was King's College. Not only did the Report contain very little in praise of that institution, but almost every feature of the college was spoken of in terms so disparaging as to suggest that the inquirers must have had some difficulty in recommending that the college should have any addition made to its grant. Here were some of the statements of the Report:—On the Arts side it cannot be said that at present any amount of work of a high standard is being done in the college. In Arts proper we found practically no Honour work being done. Most of the work, both in Arts and Science, is of an elementary kind; although it is very difficult to form an estimate of the results of the work in Arts and Science.Then it was said that the college does not properly prepare its students for 289 the examinations of the London University, or encourage them to present themselves. The college held its own examinations; but the questions were not of an advanced type. In five years only twelve students seemed to have taken the Associateship in the Faculty of Arts—that was less than three a year. It was further stated that—in Arts the quality of the students does not appear to be generally as high as it was formerly.It appeared also that the professors were poorly paid, and that new financial arrangements were proposed which would have the effect of still further reducing their stipends. In addition, the college buildings were spoken of as being inadequate; while the library was described as being "by no means up to date," and the sum expended on it was insufficient. The only unqualified praise to be found in the Report related to the Theological Faculty, which was statedto be strong and doing good work of a valuable kind for a number of deserving students. In theology, the professional and teaching staff appears to be thoroughly adequate.The general impression produced by the Report was that, except as an institution for theological teaching and ecclesiastical training, King's College was a practical failure, compared with the other colleges which shared in the Parliamentary grant. How far that resulted from the fact that it was a sectarian institution, and excluded from its professorial staff everyone not a member of the Church of England he did not know; but this was the institution the Government had gone out of its way to specially favour, by placing it in the list of colleges for Parliamentary aid, after it had been most properly removed from participation in the grant. On a former occasion he had said nothing in disparagement of King's College; but this Report justified the objection to any increase of its grant. He had a further reason for calling attention to the subject, in the fact that a Bill for the creation of a new University for London had been introduced, which gave to King's College a very important position. Three of the proposed University Commissioners were, he believed, intimately connected with the college, which was also 290 to appoint two members of the Senate. As one who had taken an active part in securing the passing of the Act which abolished all ecclesiastical tests at the national universities, he protested against such retrogression as was involved in both the additional grant to a sectarian institution like King's College, and in the proposal to give to it a leading position in a new university for London.
§ Resolution agreed to.
§ 25. "That a sum, not exceeding £2,450, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1898, for a Grant in aid of the Expenses of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland."
§ 26. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £2,300, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1898, for the Salaries and Expenses of the National Gallery."
§ 27. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £18,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1898, for the Expenses of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, including a Grant in Aid of the Teachers Pension Fund, Ielrand."