§ MR. ROCHE (Galway, E.)
I rise to move the resolution which stands in my name. This question has been frequently debated in Senates, Parliament, board rooms, and county council meetings, and on public platforms, with the obvious and necessary conclusion that in this matter Ireland has a real and substantial grievance which ought to be redressed. Very recently, after an animated discussion at the Oxford Union, in which men of the highest culture and intelligence took part, seventeen voted for and only twenty-six against the following resolution—That this House would view with satisfaction the establishment in Ireland of a State-aided Roman Catholic University.The question has also been debated by distinguished Members of the House of 934 Commons, including the Leader of the House, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, the hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed, and at least one of the Members for Dublin University, also by the King's Representative in Ireland, and other leading public men—all admitting that the Catholics of Ireland are entitled to the same rights and privileges with regard to higher education as are enjoyed by other citizens of the United Kingdom. I trust that the Government, with its huge majority, will grasp this opportunity of settling this question in a statesmanlike manner. I ask Englishmen to be just and liberal towards Ireland in this matter of education. I beg to move the motion standing in my name.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I rise to second this resolution, and in doing so I wish to state that I feel that since this great question was last under the attention of the House a revolutionary and vital change has been effected in the political situation as far as higher education in Ireland is concerned. Since the last debate on this question the Government have taken a certain step and made an announcement which so alters the situation as to make it difficult, if not impossible, to debate the question on its merits to-day. Speaking on the 9th of March, in reply to a deputation, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland declared that the Government had decided to issue a Royal Commission to inquire into the whole question of university education. Therefore, any attempt now to argue this question upon its merits would be met by the well-known formula that the subject had been referred to a Royal Commission, and that until that Commission had brought its labours to a close the Government are not in a position to consider the matter. I recognise the situation created by that decision. But whether for good or for evil this; great question has now been referred to the Royal Commission, and until that Commission brings its labours to a conclusion and produces a Report, or a litter of Reports, it will not be possible for us to have any real debate upon the merits of the question in this House, whatever may be done by way of agitation 935 outside. Within my memory many great questions have been referred to the tender mercies of Royal Commissions, with the result that they have not been heard of again within the domain of practical politics for many years. I trust and sincerely hope that the result may not be similar in the present instance, but I feel it my duty at the very beginning of this debate to declare, as I now do declare, that the National party who sit upon these benches have no responsibility whatever for the appointment of this Commission. We did not ask for it, and we were not consulted about it. So far as any information has reached me I understand that the Irish hierarchy did not ask for this Commission, and I feel confident that they would not make themselves responsible for its issue without consulting the Irish party. Therefore, the Irish party are free from all responsibility in regard to this policy of referring the question to a Royal Commission, and the National party will retain their freedom of action in the matter whatever course the Commission may adopt. I feel it all the more necessary to emphasise that fact in view of one of the most remarkable and sinister passages which occurs in the speech of the Lord Lieutenant made on the 9th of March. He says—One of my reasons for approving of an inquiry at the present time is this—let us, at all events, come to some decision on this matter. If there is no remedy for the system, if no one can suggest or, rather, if all parties cannot agree upon any proposals which are likely to command the confidence of the public and meet with success—then do not let us continue the controversy, which does not certainly tend to the promotion or improvement of education in Ireland, which, every day it is prolonged, on the contrary, reacts unfavourably in Ireland, and let us acknowledge there is no system under which we can possibly improve higher education in Ireland.That is a position which the Nationalists are not prepared to take up, and if this Commission succeeds in arriving at a unanimous Report of such a character as would remove, if carried into effect, the grievances of the Irish Catholics, or whether they disagree or produce a litter of Reports, this question will not die, but the Irish party and the people in Ireland who are so deeply interested in it will retain their right to continue the agitation and to demand justice.
936 As I stated before, this Commission was not asked for either by the National party or by the hierarchy of Ireland. But what body did ask for it? It was asked for by the Senate of the Royal University on the 22nd of February last, when they passed a resolution unanimously asking for this Commission. I will read that resolution to the House, because, as hon. Members will immediately perceive, it is of the very utmost importance. On the 22nd of February last the following resolution was unanimously adopted at a meeting of the Senate of the Royal University—That in the opinion of the Senate the relation of the university with its own colleges and students, and with other colleges and students, are unsatisfactory, and that it is most desirable that a Royal Commission should be issued to inquire into the working of this university as an examining and teaching body in relation to the educational needs of the country at large, and to report as to the means by which university education in Ireland might receive a greater extension and be more efficiently conducted than it is at present.Hon. Members will notice that the resolution consists of two distinct parts. The first portion sets forth the grounds on which the present situation is considered to be unsatisfactory. I must confess that I rejoice at the first portion of the resolution, because everyone who has followed the history of this question in Ireland will agree with me that the language of the opening portion of this resolution is accepted as a condemnation of the whole method and system of the Royal University in Ireland. It appears to me to be a great step in advance in the struggle for true university teaching for the masses of the Irish people, that those who have been responsible for the working of the Royal University system, after twenty years experience, have now had to declare that the system is unsatisfactory, and that they have condemned it. From the earliest days of the foundation of the Royal University, which is over twenty years ago, I have been regarded as a bigot in my hostility upon this question, but I never could bring myself to accept the foundation of the Royal University as a step in the right direction, or as any point gained for the cause of higher education in Ireland. On the contrary, I have always regarded the foundation of the Royal University as a 937 retrograde step, inasmuch as it was the introduction and endowment of a system of higher education in Ireland, which, however much it might commend itself to a number of individuals who were enjoying or hoped to enjoy its money prizes, was bound in the long run to degrade education in Ireland and to discourage and extinguish that high ideal love of learning and higher knowledge, for which Ireland has been distinguished in the past as much as any other nation in Europe. I rejoice, therefore, after twenty years experience, to find that the Senate of the Royal University has condemned the whole system and declared—That the relations of the University to its own colleges and students and to other colleges and students are unsatisfactory.The truth is, that in drafting and passing the Bill for the establishment of the Royal University in Ireland no one for a moment cared for the interests of education in that country. The whole object was to give something to the Irish Catholics which would bear at all events the semblance of concession without arousing the furious opposition of those sections, both in this country and in Ireland, who are the victims on this question of ignorant bigotry; and so on the occasion of the foundation of the Royal University the interests of the Irish people on the question of higher education were ruthlessly sacrificed, as they have always been sacrificed, to political considerations, and rather low political considerations, throughout the whole century that has gone by. Why in the world sacrifice those interests in order to disarm the hostility of sections of the population who on this question are the victims and the slaves of formulae based on no real knowledge? I do not think I would be in the least degree exaggerating if I were to affirm that throughout the whole of last century no Irish educational problem was ever considered on its merits, or with a sincere desire for the advancement of true learning in Ireland, until the recent appointments of the two Commissions that sat and inquired into primary and secondary education in Ireland.
If time permitted I should desire to say a few words as to the reasons why those 938 two Commissions were able to deal with the questions of primary and intermediate education. They were enabled to address themselves at once to educational problems, and they were enabled to get their recommendations carried into effect without undue or unreasonable delay. As is well known, the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury takes a sympathetic interest in this question of Irish education, and the truth is that in the case of the two Commissions to which I have alluded, happily for the cause of primary and secondary education in Ireland, the Commissioners approached their task with no political complications to face. In the case of primary and secondary education no great dividing principles existed which had aroused the passions, prejudices, and bigotries of large sections of the population, and the result was that they were enabled to approach the question from the point of view of educational experts, and with the happy results I have already described. If there was any hope that this graver question of university and higher education could be dealt with and settled on the same lines and methods which have been so successfully applied to the case of primary and secondary education, no one would be more rejoiced than I would, because then the Irish party would be relieved of the burden of one of the most difficult and one of the gravest cases they have to handle in this House. We would then be within measurable distance of the time when there would be lifted from the shoulders of the people an intolerable and crushing burden in connection with the provision of that higher education which is becoming daily more and more essential to the existence if the people. Nobody knows better than the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury that unhappily there is no prospect of being able to settle the question of university education so peaceably and quietly. The Lord Lieutenant himself has recognised that in the speech in which he declared that he could not undertake the responsibility of dealing with this by a vice-regal Commission, and thought it should be a Royal Commission of a most influential and weighty character. The reason is very simple. In the case of the University, the question has become mixed up with 939 politics, and at the very outset of their investigations the Commissioners who are to be appointed will be met by great dividing questions of principle, which will make their task one of the greatest possible difficulty. On that point a suggestion has been made which is rather amusing. It is contained in a resolution passed by the Liberal Unionist Association of Belfast, a very intelligent and superior body. What do they suggest? They say—We have observed with satisfaction that on the advice of the Lord Lieutenant the Commission is to be a Royal rather than a vice-regal Commission. We infer from this decision that it is the desire of his Excellency and of His Majesty's Government that the Commission should be composed of men of universally acknowledged eminence in educational and public affairs, and who are known to be superior to sectarian and political partisanship. We earnestly urge the Government, whatever pressure to the contrary may be exerted upon them, to adhere resolutely to this constitution of the Royal Commission, as otherwise its conclusions will fail to command respect in any quarter, and will simply result in intensifying the existing confusion in Irish university conditions.Where are the Government going for these Commissioners? I shall look with curiosity to see. There are Gentlemen in this House whom I trust sincerely may be on that Commission, such as the Members for the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The members of the Commission must be men of great eminence in science and art, without any prejudice on the question at all. That is the view of the Lord Lieutenant, and he is determined to carry it out. If that is the only practical suggestion, I am afraid we have not got much further on the road.
I wish to say a word on a rather delicate subject—whether this question is really at its present stage ripe for a Commission at all, whether this question in the present political situation can best be dealt with by reference to a Commission. If I were consulted on that matter, as I have not been consulted, I should say that I do not think it is. It appears to me that a better course would be, if it were possible, to agree on the principle on which the Commissioners were to operate, and then, after the precedent of the London University, to appoint a Commission for the working out of details. It appears 940 to me that it would be a tar more practical method. I do not myself think that the system of referring the question to a Commission at this stage is the best method of procedure. But I trust that things may turn out better than I am disposed to think they will.
Taking it that a Commission will be appointed in view of the decision of the Cabinet announced by the Lord Lieutenant on the 9th March, two questions force themselves on our attention. First of all, what ought to be the terms of the reference and the scope of the inquiry; and, secondly, what ought to be the composition of the Commission; these are two questions of vital importance, and it seems to me that the debate to-night must turn largely upon them. With regard to the scope of the inquiry, it is manifest from the resolution I have just read that the original demand of the Senate of the Royal University was for the widest possible inquiry, that the Commission should be absolutely unfettered, and that they should have full discretion to make inquiry wherever they thought necessary. That was perfectly plain. The Lord Lieutenant, when waited upon by a deputation from the Senate of the Royal University, declared that a Commission would be granted, and that the terms of the reference would be those indicated in the resolution of the Senate of the Royal University. I would earnestly recommend to hon. Members the reading of the full report of the interview between the Lord Lieutenant and the Senate. No more interesting and important document has been published in the recent history of the Irish University movement. Referring to the fact that the deputation had agreed to the omission of Trinity College, the Lord Lieutenant said—I allude to the great and glorious institution which you have in your midst in Dublin, which is endeared to all Irishmen both by its great traditions and memories, and also by the work which it has done, and I hope will continue to do, for the benefit of education.And then his Lordship went on to say—I do not believe myself that any such importation as an inquiry into the condition and circumstances and official work of Trinity College, Dublin, could possibly strengthen your hands. I believe, on the contrary, it would alienate from you a great deal of 941 sympathy—it would alienate the feeling and interest, of which you have heard so much, as to the necessity for such an inquiry.Now I may say that, differing as I do in general politics from Lord Cadogan, I recognise in him a man who, like the First Lord of the Treasury, has become convinced of the necessity of dealing with this question, and I desire to give him full credit for a sincere and earnest desire to give such a settlement as will be acceptable to the Irish Catholics, always provided that the Orangemen of Ulster will allow him. At first sight, to exclude Trinity College from the scope of an inquiry into the facilities for university education in Ireland seems so absurd as to be incredible. It is precisely on all fours with a proposal to issue a Royal Commission, composed of the best and most influential men in the United Kingdom, to inquire into the general condition of university education in England, with this proviso, that it shall not take into consideration the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. After giving the matter my most careful consideration, absurd as this restriction at first sight seems, I am not at all sure that we Irish Catholics have any strong reason to object to it, and I will explain why. I do not know whether the authorities of Trinity College have thoroughly appreciated what is involved in the exclusion of that institution and of Dublin University from this proposed inquiry; but in the exclusion there is involved the assumption, which lies at the base of the inquiry, that Trinity College is an institution to which Irish Catholics cannot be expected to resort. Otherwise, if that is not the assumption, what could be more grotesque and absurd than to direct a Royal Commission to inquire, with all pomp and ceremony, into the facilities afforded to the people of Ireland for acquiring a university education, and debar it from inquiring into the greatest university in the country! The inference is absolutely irresistible. But I do not need to rely on my own opinions, because the Lord Lieutenant, in his speech in reply to the deputation from the Senate, used these extraordinary and most interesting words—But after all, Gentlemen, it would he idle, of course, to ignore the fact that the question of the Catholic grievances, and the alleged— 942 I suppose I must say alleged until they are proved—the alleged injustices under which Catholics suffer with regard to education in this country is the dominant factor in the desire which is at present felt that we should enter into a consideration of perhaps an entire renewal or renovation of the system of university education.The dominant reason for this attempt to reconstruct the system of education in Ireland is the grievances of the Irish Catholics! But if the Irish Catholics can reasonably be expected to resort to Trinity College, where is the grievance? Therefore, I say beyond all question, that the exclusion of Trinity College from this inquiry is an admission that Irish Catholics cannot reasonably be expected to resort to it.
There is, however, another word to be said. I qualify what I have just said as regards the position of Irish Catholics towards this exclusion by referring to the qualification made by Dr. Healy at the deputation. He agreed that there should be no inquiry into the emoluments, the methods of teaching, or the administration of the funds of Trinity College, but he pointed out that it would be impossible to leave out of mind in this inquiry the existence and wealth of that institution, on which the whole inquiry is, to a large extent, based. With that qualification, I do not care whether this exclusion is persisted in or not. But we are in a very difficult position. As regards this exclusion of Trinity College we are entirely in the dark as to the attitude of the Protestants themselves—that is, the attitude of the Church of Ireland. We have had no indication from the Trinity College authorities as to whether they desire to be excluded, though there is some very remarkable evidence that there is a fluttering in the, dove-cotes, and also evidence of the feeling of the Presbyterians of Ireland. When this announcement was made the Higher Education Committee of the Presbyterian Synod passed a resolution protesting in the most violent terms against the exclusion of Trinity College. Here is an extract from a speech delivered at Magee College on 4th April by the Rev. John A. Hamilton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland—What changes might he proposed by the Commission on university education, recently 943 promised by the Lord Lieutenant, it was impossible to foresee, and whether any of these would he carried out by the Government it was equally impossible to foretell. But one thing in the statement of his Excellency, he (the Moderator) for his part most deeply regretted—namely, that Trinity College and the University of Dublin were excluded from the inquiry of the Commission. It was surely not statesmanship that an institution which was the creature of the State, and which owed its prestige to its State connection, but which had done so little for the progress of the community in the path of education, should be carefully fenced round and regarded as the inalienable property of one-eighth of the population of the kingdom.That is rather a serious declaration, I can assure those who take an interest in Trinity College. Now what do we see? Trinity College is beginning to get a little alarmed, and not without some ground. We Irish Catholics have been always liberal and reasonable in our attitude towards Trinity College, but when they hear from the Presbyterians of Ulster they get alarmed. In to-day's Times there is a most extraordinary report of a debate at a meeting of the Board of Trinity College, when this wonderful state of things was revealed. The junior fellows presented the following resolution, signed by twenty-two out of their whole number of twenty-five—That the junior fellows wish to urge on the Hoard the desirability of intimating publicly and officially to the heads of the Roman Carbolic Church their readiness to provide facilities for the catechetical and religions instruction of Roman Catholic students by lectures, examinations, and the supervision of their religious observance by clergymen of their own Church, and of inviting their co-operation in drawing up a scheme for securing this.And then they go on to say—That the junior fellows further urge on the Board the desirability of commencing negotiations with the heads of the Presbyterian Church, with a view to establishing a Presbyterian divinity school, and arranging for Presbyterian religious services in Trinity College.The next thing we shall have will be an invitation to the Jesuits to set up their camp inside Trinity College. It is a very certain sign that these gentlemen are beginning to see, to use the words of the Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly, that it is intolerable that this great institution, which for 300 years has absorbed the higher education of Ireland, "should be fenced round and 944 regarded as the inalienable property of one-eighth of the nation"—that one-eighth, moreover, which can very well afford to pay for its university education.
What has been the position of Irish Catholics in this regard for long years? When we agitate this question we speak for three-fourths of the population who have been left out in the cold in the matter of the higher education, while the whole endowments of the past have been plundered from us by confiscation. We have said to Trinity College over and and over again—"Unjust and unreasonable as it may be, we Irish Catholics are content to leave you this great property, fenced round and maintained as the exclusive property of an eighth of the population, on one condition—namely, that we are allowed to secure for the three-fourths of the population equal rights, and an institution to which our people can resort, as well endowed and as well equipped as Trinity College, Dublin." But the time has come to address a warning to the governing body and representatives of Trinity College that this offer on the part of the Irish Catholics cannot stand open much longer. It will be an evil day for Trinity College if, as on the land question, the Catholics come to an agreement with the Presbyterians. In view of the very persistent opposition to our moderate claims I think that I may ask, on behalf of the Irish party and the Irish Catholics, from the governing body of Trinity College something more than a cold neutrality on this question. Gratitude for past favours and for favours to come ought to secure their warmest support. Assuming that Trinity College and Dublin University are excluded, two or three questions arise which I would like in all seriousness to ask the First Lord of the Treasury. Is Trinity College to be represented on the Committee? and are the professors of Trinity College to be invited to give evidence before the Committee, while their own institution is excluded from all inquiry? I say that Trinity College (and this is to me a vital question) ought not to be allowed once more to make the monstrous plea, which has been frequently put forward before, that even if we Irish Catholics consent to 945 allow it to go on its own path with its gigantic endowments, its vast revenues, and all its long traditions, no unfair competition shall be set up against it—in other words, that no system of education more available because cheaper to the Irish people, shall be set up in Ireland from fear that it would interfere with its preserves.
Before I pass from Trinity College, Dublin, I must refer to the high eulogium passed upon that great institution by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He said it was deep-seated in the confidence and love of the people of Ireland. I traverse that statement. I say that in Trinity College there is not a spark of Irish spirit. I do not believe it is up to the level, in its general education, of any university of modern Europe, and that is why it is so much afraid of competition. I go further, and say, so far as the true spirit of our people, the true spirit of the old race in Ireland is concerned. Trinity College might as well be located in Birmingham or Manchester as in Dublin. It is not an Irish institution. It is a foreign institution planted in our midst three hundred years ago for the purpose of degrading and putting down our people and catering for the wants of the English garrison in Ireland. For three hundred years it has been faithful to the teaching and spirit of its founders, and treats the Irish people outside its gates as pariahs. Was there ever paraded in any country of the world a more scandalous exhibition of bigotry and anti-national feeling than that paraded by Trinity College in its present bigotry and malignant hatred against the native language? That college, with its ancient fame, has buried in its library most valuable MSS. dating from the time when Ireland shone as the greatest home of learning in Europe. Yet down to yesterday they have turned the cold shoulder to the ancient literature and language of the country in a manner which has been a monstrous scandal, when Trinity College ought to be the centre of all that is great in the intellectual life of the country. That is all I have to say as to Trinity College—it is not an Irish institution. But we are willing to leave Trinity College in undisputed possession of all its great emoluments and equipments, because we feel it 946 is necessary to secure some opening for the unfortunate people for a chance of Irish education, and I would not allow for a moment any bitterness of feeling, such as I now display, or any memory of our wrongs to remain in the way of its receiving those emoluments. What I say is that, bigoted and stereotyped as it is, so far as education is concerned, I would gladly welcome Trinity College if it will only consent to come under the investigations of the Commission, but I maintain that if it is to be excluded from the investigations of this Committee it should be excluded in more ways than one. It should be excluded from seeking to affect the decision of the Commission if it will not submit itself to the Commission. I have said that, in my judgment, and I repeat it, it will be very easy indeed to set up a better system of education in Ireland. It has been the custom, and a very absurd custom, to indulge in extravagant eulogiums with regard to the college. I am ready to admit that it is a great institution, and that it has produced some great men, but I submit it is not up to the level of modern requirements in the matter of university education. We want in Ireland a system of university education up to the level of modern ideas and requirements, and suitable to the needs of the country, and that is a matter not to be left out of consideration in dealing with this question. We want an educational system like that of Germany or Scotland, or that which has lately been started in Wales—a system which will bring home the benefits of university education and training to the doors of the poorest labourer of Ireland. We want no aristocratic university, which caters for a small section of the population, and that the section which is best able to cater for itself. If the university education question was simply concerned with the needs of the wealthier Catholic classes I would never raise my voice in favour of it, nor would any man on these benches; but because we speak for the poor we ask, not for a university for aristocrats and the sons of wealthy men, but for a university where the children of the artisans and labourers of Ireland will sit side by side with the sons of the most wealthy, without any distinction, save that which God 947 made when he created one with more brains than another.
It is charged against us, and is put as a reason why we have not had a university given to us, that we have asked for one governed by Roman Catholic bishops and priests. That is a false charge; we have never asked for such a university. We have asked for a university which shall be in its inception as Catholic as Trinity College is Protestant, and nothing more, and if we get such a university, it will remain Catholic as long as the people remain Celtic and Catholic. That is what will be the result if you make its constitution free. If such a university is set up I promise we will waive our animosity to Trinity College. Such a university would be Irish in sentiment and spirit, and would, I trust and believe and know, open its arms wide and endow its chairs for our ancient literature and language, which is not one of the characteristics of Trinity College; so that men who come to the university would come to the highest centre of learning in Ireland, and not to a foreign institution. Let me just refer to the remarkable words uttered by Father Delaney—one of the most enlightened men who has dealt with this question. What did he say? He said—He had one other observation to make, and it was this: their object was not merely to obtain equality—that was the political aspect of the education question in Ireland—equality between the different classes and religions in Ireland. Their object was to obtain the highest and best modern education, and anyone who had studied the developments of science and its application in recent times could say that the development of a country depended almost entirely, or certainly to a very large extent, on the degree to which people were educated in the best and most modern systems. He hoped, therefore, that they would have a Royal Commission, on which science would be adequately represented, and that, if possible, they should have on it some men representative, not merely of the science of fifty years ago, but of the science of to-day, who would come to Ireland and realise bow hopelessly and deplorably backward we were in what was essential if we were to hold our place with the other countries of the world.That utterance is not uninteresting, coming as it does from a Jesuit priest—a sect which is held up by ignorant people as being against the enlightenment of Ireland. Yet here was this gentleman inviting the most enlightened people in 948 the world to come and say how higher education for Ireland is to be obtained. I agree most heartily with the desire expressed by Dr. Delaney; by all means let us have some of our greatest scientific men to inquire into this matter. Many things will be proved when they come to look into this question, and I can anticipate nothing but good resulting from the highest intellect you have coming to Ireland and making this investigation; but I think there ought also to be on the Commission some adequate representation of those acquainted with Catholic claims, so that their views should be adequately expressed and put before the Commissioners, so that the Commission could say whether their grievances, or alleged grievances, demand a remedy. The secretary ought to be a man intimately connected with the condition of affairs in Ireland, and one who could be trusted to assist the Commissioners, by his knowledge, to arrive at a just decision.
I have only one more word to say, which I address to those on both sides of the House who are irreconcilably opposed to any such university. I believe those gentlemen are honest in their convictions, and I will only say that those convictions are based upon an ignorance of the situation. When this question was debated before, I found a number of hon. Gentlemen protesting on principle that no endowment should be given to sectarian institutions; yet some of those hon. Gentlemen voted for sectarian schools in this country. Is it not extraordinary? What have they done? I have read the statement of Father Delaney, who says what they have done. Are you aware that under the Royal University system, at the very first meeting of the Senate they devised a scheme openly for the purpose of endowing a Jesuit college on St. Stephen's Green, and that of their revenue £4,000 is paid over to the governing body of the college? When you endow a Jesuit college with public money, the teaching of which you cannot control in any way whatever, which from their point of view is absolutely indefensible, the only defence of hon. Gentlemen is, "We will allow this money to be allocated to this Jesuit college so long as the matter is done through a back door"; but if we are asked to endow a sectarian institution, 949 the charter of which could be laid on the Table of this House, they say, "No." What humbug! What monstrous hypocrisy! Was there ever a country like this? You endow a Mohammedan college at Khartoum; you endow sectarian colleges in this country—we have the very wastrels of the street put into the industrial schools of this country—you endow colleges and universities in the North, where the Presbyterian is the religion; you endow every form of education in Ireland on strictly sectarian principles; you endow a Jesuit college on St. Stephen's Green, through a back-door process, but you will not endow in Ireland a great national university which will be free to all. It is only in England that such an attitude could be taken up. I hope the day is not far distant when we may see the scales fall off the eyes of this House, and that for the unhappy people who have been kept out in the dark for centuries the golden gates of learning may be unrolled, and Ireland may take her stand, where once she stood, among the most forward of the learned nations of the earth.
To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the question, in order to add the words 'in the opinion of this House, the provision for universities is totally inadequate, and none can be regarded as equitable which does not secure for the Roman Catholics of Ireland, equally with other members of the community, facilities for university education without violence to their religious feeling'; instead thereof."—(Mr. Roche.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
The hon. Member for East Mayo addressed a considerable portion of his speech to the discussion of the Commission which is to inquire into what takes place in Ireland in this matter, and objecting very strongly to Trinity College being withdrawn from the purview of that inquiry. I myself should be very glad to see Trinity College come under examination, for I believe if it did it would come out triumphant. The hon. Member also supported his argument by quoting the endowment of the Jesuit college in Dublin. That was effected entirely with- 950 out the knowledge of Parliament, and I earnestly hope, when the investigation takes place into the whole system of university education in Ireland, that endowment will be withdrawn. I do not intend to devote my time to criticising the future action of the Commission. I will address my remarks to the proposal of the hon. Member opposite embodied in this motion. This motion proposes, "That in the opinion of this House, the provision for universities is totally inadequate, and none can be regarded as equitable which does not secure for the Roman Catholics of Ireland equally with other members of the community facilities for university education without violence to their religious feeling." I thought, when the hon. Member commenced his speech, he would point out how it comes about that the Roman Catholics find themselves handicapped for university Education in Ireland.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
The hon. Member certainly said they could not learn Irish at Trinity College. I do not believe the hon. Member can speak Irish, and he is not a member of the university.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
And no doubt was an ornament to the college from which he came. The hon. Member for Waterford was also in Trinity College, and everybody will agree that he is a very excellent specimen. I do not believe anybody will say that the Protestant atmosphere of the college, to which Roman Catholics so much object, had any deleterious effect on either his faith or morals. We object to a Roman Catholic college in Ireland, because it would be dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. That is the view I take and which I shall try to prove, and in order to do so, it is necessary to take the evidence of Roman Catholics themselves upon the matter. What did the Bishop of Down say?
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
1868. The views on faith and morality held by the Catholics in 1808 are the same as they 951 hold in 1901, and this is what the Bishop said—The managers should use no books in the school but such as would be approved by the heads of their religious denomination. Q. How far will extend the right of judging as to the secular portion of the instruction?—A. The Church has a general right to examine any book, and to see whether or not there is anything in the book contrary to sound faith and morals—any book whatever. Incidentally there may come into any book a proposition which may be very objectionable. There is no book which I conceive the proper authority of the Church would be excluded from examining.I ask the House to mark how he went on, as this shows the amount of liberty which the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland allows to its members—But a parent may, if he likes, independently of the Church, say, 'I will not be tied down by the Church. I will not be priest-ridden.' He may do that, but if he does it is by the violation of his principles, or by following an erroneous conscience as a Catholic.So that a Roman Catholic in Ireland has no choice whatever. Either he must follow the education given to him and superintended by the priests of his Church, or, if he tries to obtain education where that authority is not exerted, he does so at the peril of his position as a Catholic. Therefore, if the House wishes to know why Roman Catholics in Ireland have not of late years gone in largo numbers to Trinity College, the reason is to be found in that statement of the Bishop of Down. You cannot expect a Roman Catholic who firmly believes in his religion, in the face of that utterance, to send his son to Trinity College, or any other college where the priests are not supreme. Of course, I shall come into that category described by the hon. Member for East Mayo as "intolerant bigots." [Nationalist cheers.] I knew that would evoke a cheer; but my idea of bigotry and that of hon. Gentlemen opposite are entirely different. I do not say that a man who holds very strong views on the religion he professes is a bigot, but I do say that that man is a bigot who tries to force his opinions down the throats of those who object to them. Nobody will be able to show, in the course of this debate, that a Roman Catholic who goes to Trinity College 952 has to confront any attempt to undermine his faith. I appeal to the hon. Member for Waterford, who has been to Trinity College, to tell me whether, during the time he was a member of the college, any effort was made to injure or undermine his faith, or whether, during his residence, anything was done that he saw or heard of which would be offensive to the most tender conscience of a Roman Catholic.
Why do Roman Catholics not go to Trinity College? For one reason and one only—that they are not allowed. In the debate two years ago the Leader of the House said, "What a terrible thing-it would be if the Catholics did come in great numbers," and he asked how we should like that. Why, if they came in shoals, we should receive them with open arms. We should be only too glad to see our Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen coming to receive their education at the same college as that at which we received ours. We believe that by that means a bridge would be built over the gulf which religious intolerance and bigotry have placed between different portions of the population. For my own part, I repudiate bigotry or intolerance, but I will oppose to the bitter end any attempt to create in Ireland a university which inevitably must be directly guided and governed by the Roman Catholic priesthood. I would equally oppose the creation of a university absolutely governed by the Protestant Church. There are priests in every denomination—and I equally dislike them all. In what way is a Roman Catholic who enters Trinity College at the same time as a Protestant handicapped or interfered with in his progress towards the prizes which the open competition of the university holds up for its scholars? Is it not perfectly true that they are treated absolutely fairly, irrespective of the faith they profess, and that all the prizes and fellowships of the college are open to the competition of both? It cannot be denied that that is so. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has in the past made great claims on the Legislature of this country. It began, and rightly, by pleading for toleration. It got it. It then pleaded for equality, and, although the Irish Church had to 953 be disestablished, it got that equality. It now asks for absolute supremacy over the education of the majority of the Irish people. A few years ago, when this question was under discussion, I had a letter from a Roman Catholic gentleman in Ireland hoping I would stick to my guns in the matter, and he said that on the governing body of a Roman Catholic university, with a predominance of laymen, if there were one bishop, that bishop would have more weight than all the rest put together. The position of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland is absolute. The House of Commons is asked to create and endow a Roman Catholic university. What do hon. Gentlemen opposite offer in return? Do they promise loyalty? Do they propose to bury the hatchet which they and their friends and the priests have been sharpening all these years? Do they intend to try, as far as they can, to cause the Irish people to forget those dark days, which, thank God! have long passed away? No; they promise nothing, and expect to get everything. The House of Commons, which is essentially a businesslike assembly—except sometimes—will naturally ask itself, if we do grant a Roman Catholic university, guided, influenced, and practically dominated by the priestly authority, What kind of citizens will it turn out? The House has not far to go to see what kind of citizens Roman Catholic education in Ireland turns out. There are about eighty specimens below the gangway opposite. I do not use the word "specimens" in any offensive sense. I do not say "bad specimens," as that would be very uncivil to hon. Gentlemen opposite. I do not say "good specimens," because that might be insulting to the Irish people. I take it that hon. Gentlemen opposite are merely ordinary specimens of the output of Roman Catholic education in Ireland. Can you hold up the Nationalist party in this House as an example of what good citizens of this Empire should be? They themselves openly avow that they hate the British Empire, and that whoever strikes great Britain is their friend. [Nationalist cheers.] They are perfectly frank. But is it likely, if the output of Roman Catholic education increases, 954 it will be for either the well-being treat Britain or the good of Ireland? I do not think it will.
One cannot deny that the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland have gone outside the natural boundary of the religious domain, and have entered the field of politics. They have pointed out that they cannot sever their views of religion from politics, because politics affect morals. There is one opinion which I will ask the permission of the House to quote. A very great authority. Mr. Gladstone, in speaking of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, pointed out that there the priests were absolute over the people, the bishops were absolute over both, and the Pope was absolute over all three. This Roman Catholic university, their own priests said, must be planted by themselves or Roman Catholics will not be allowed to go to it; they must have their learning passed through ecclesiastical filters before it reaches their mind; and is that, in the twentieth century, a university which ought to, or can, command the respect of the world at large, or even of Ireland?
Two years ago the First Lord of the Treasury sympathised with the idea of establishing a Roman Catholic university in Ireland. I venture to point out to my right hon. friend and the House that the position since then has materially changed. My right hon. friend may have had in his mind the hope, which is not well founded, that by concession to the Roman Catholic clergy and hierarchy he might secure their loyal support to the Government of the country. What has happened during the last two years? This country has been engaged in a great and bitter war, and what course did the Roman Catholic hierarchy pursue, in sympathy with hon. Gentlemen opposite? Why, all over Ireland the Roman Catholic clergy have held up our enemies to admiration and condemned Great Britain. These are the men whom you propose to place at the head of Irish university education. Last, but not least, they really showed their true colours when this country suffered under the bereavement of the death of our beloved Queen. Who, among all her subjects, alone showed no sorrow, sent no testimony of their sympathy? 955 The Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland. That, in itself, was sufficient, I should say, to open the eyes of my right hon. friend to the men into whose hands he proposes to commit supreme authority for the education of Ireland. Do you think that these men will turn out loyal citizens—these men who side with our enemies, who refused to express sorrow at the death of our Queen? Are they the men into whose hands you think it would be a good thing to confide the educational destinies of Ireland? I say. "No," and when I say, "No" I think I am speaking for the majority of the House of Commons and for the great majority of the Protestants of the Empire. I have spoken somewhat warmly, for I feel very warmly upon this subject, but I think that it would be a supreme and almost a criminal mistake for this or any other Government to ever try to persuade the House of Commons to hand over the education of Ireland to these men, to this Church, to this hierarchy, and thus forge a chain which would be bound for ever round the intellect of Ireland, by giving it over to these clerical fomenters of discord and teachers of treason.
§ * MR. MORRIS (Galway)
I should like, with the indulgence of the House, which I hope will be extended to me on this, the first occasion of my addressing it, not to let this opportunity pass by without giving expression to the views which I hold upon the interesting question which has come before us tonight, and which I hope the House will consider in a fair-minded, tolerant, and sympathetic manner. I am quite certain that time will show that this is a question fraught with the greatest importance, not only for the intellectual development but for the whole social and public and political life of the country to which I belong, and whose interests I have so much at heart, and a portion of which, and that the capital of the most Catholic province in Ireland, I have the honour of representing in this House. And I hope that I am not presumptuous in thinking that there are one or two reasons why my views may not be without value to this House because, owing, to the chances of my life, I have, I think, had special or certainly varied opportunities 956 of forming the views which I hold. Perhaps the House will in this matter excuse my being a little personal in my remarks, but I desire to say that I was educated in England in my school days at a Catholic school, which was presided over and influenced by one of the greatest Englishmen of his day, and one who added to his other great claims of distinction that of having made the most valuable contribution and given the most brilliant advocacy to the very question which we are now discussing, and who was also the founder and first rector of the Catholic University started in Dublin in the middle of the last century. I refer to Cardinal Newman. I lived, therefore, at that school in a Catholic atmosphere. My fellow students were Catholics, and the masters were Catholics, but there was no undue clericalism. They were all laymen, and I had thus the opportunity of being educated under the best and healthiest Catholic auspices. When my school days were over and I returned to my own country, the only option I had, if I wished to go to a university, in the strict sense of the word, was to go to Trinity College. I went there and spent four years of my life at that college, and, as I hope to be able to show from my own experience, I spent four years in one of the most Protestant institutions which I believe it is possible to conceive. I also happen to live in the neighbourhood of one of the Queen's Colleges, and am familiar with its history and working. I only mention these facts in order to show that I have come into contact with the question from various points of view, and am acquainted with the many conflicting interests involved in this question, which is undoubtedly a vexed and difficult one. But there is another reason why I think my opinions should receive the attention of Members, on the Ministerial side more especially. I am the sole Unionist in the House of Commons out of three provinces of Ireland, and I am the only Catholic Unionist in the House from Ireland. Practically speaking, Irish Catholic Unionists are unrepresented in the House of Commons, because, though a large, they are a scattered body, and at no place do they exist in sufficient 957 numbers to return a representative to Parliament; nevertheless they are a large body, and particularly in connection with this question, as they happen to belong to a class who are one and all interested directly in its solution. And I think they have some claim upon the Government, and upon Members on this side of the House, because as in the past they remained loyal, in spite of terrible laws and the loss of their position and property, to the faith of their country, so in recent years they have, in the face of an immense amount of undeserved unpopularity and loss of local influence, remained loyal to the Throne and the Constitution. On their behalf, then, I appeal more especially to this side of the House for a sympathetic consideration of this question. But beyond mentioning the fact that there is such a class in Ireland, and that they are so unrepresented in this House, and yet that they are so deeply interested in the settlement of this question. I do not wish to lay stress on political distinctions, because know and cordially recognise that the Catholics of Ireland, whether Unionists or Home Rulers, are solidly united in one body in demanding justice in this matter.
If the House will allow me, I will briefly review the university opportunities that at present exist in Ireland, and are available for the possible Catholic student. There is, first of all, of course, Trinity College, Dublin. It is pre-eminently first. And before I say a word about Trinity College, I wish for myself to offer a tribute of warm affection and regard for my old university. I hope I am not an entirely unworthy son of an university where I spent much pleasant time, and the memories of which I recall with sincere gratitude; and I would go further and say that there is no Irishman, no matter what his political opinions or religious views may be, no matter whether he happens to have been to Trinity College or not, who ought ever to mention the name of Dublin University, the mother of so many distinguished and patriotic Irishmen, without the greatest respect and pride. It was the university of Berkeley, Swift, Congreve, Goldsmith, Burke, Flood, Grattan, Plunket, Curran, Moore, and Lever; and I may remind the hon. Member for 958 East Mayo that it was also the college of Wolfe Tone, Emmet, Davis, and Butt. Such are my personal feelings with regard to what is a most distinguished institution, which has in the past done good work in Ireland from its own point of view, and which is now doing good work from its own point of view, and which I hope will continue to do good work from its own point of view, and which is my own Alma Mater. But I would ask whether I am guilty of a want of filial respect if I say that my collegiate mother is a Protestant, for that is all I desire to say with reference to Trinity College, and what also I do not wish to see changed, but I do say that Trinity College is a Protestant institution from top to toe, from the provost at the head of it to the porters at the gate. It is Protestant in its birth, history, traditions, and customs; in its system of education; and it is Protestant this very minute in its composition and administration. It is idle to deny that it is Protestant in its atmosphere and spirit, when it is Protestant in substance and reality, and it is absurd and unfair to ask any Catholic in Ireland to be satisfied with it as a means for higher education. How could it be otherwise with Trinity College? We know what it has been for three centuries. Trinity College has been openly and avowedly a disseminating fountain of Protestant thought, culture, and feeling in Ireland. It has been the actual centre and rallying point of the Protestant ascendency, which ruled Ireland up to a few years ago. It was in past years openly and avowedly connected with proselytism. It was founded and endowed for such purposes, and it should be remembered that Trinity College is a State founded and State endowed institution, and that the State endowment includes a divinity school. For two centuries Roman, Catholics were not even admitted to the college, and only in recent times have the positions of emolument been opened to them. It may be said that all that is past, that the tests and disabilities which prevented Catholics from going to Trinity College no longer exist. But, nevertheless, I maintain that the college cannot be considered acceptable or congenial to the Catholics of Ireland. I would ask hon. Members to picture to themselves the 959 converse of such a university as I am describing, and if they do so, I think they will have to admit that although Catholics are no longer excluded by law from Trinity College, it is a Protestant institution, and dangerous, if not positively injurious, to the faith of Catholics. I ask you to look at Trinity College as it exists to-day. This is the college which we are told meets the requirements of the Catholic people of Ireland, who are the great mass of the nation. More than 90 per cent. of the students attending Trinity College are non-Catholics; the provost, all the fellows, and all the professors are Protestants. The provost and many of the professors are in addition Protestant clergymen. I ask hon. Members whether such an institution, if equally Catholic, would be acceptable to Protestants to send their sons to. There is in connection with Trinity College an official chapel. When the bell rings the Protestant students congregate dressed in cap and gown, but what becomes of the Catholic student on that occasion? If he attends at all, under such circumstances, to the duties and observances of his own religion, he has to sneak out of the college into the streets of Dublin to follow his devotions. The chapel in Trinity College is a most conspicuous feature of the social life of the college. Its ceremonial goes on daily before one's eyes and in one's hearing. I speak from experience and observation, and I again ask hon. Members to picture the converse. Then the divinity school of Trinity College is one of the largest, most important, and most influential schools in the university. It is the actual training school of the Church of Ireland, and in connection with it there is, of course, the retinue of professors and lecturers in theology—men, too, who lecture on controversial points as between Catholics and Protestants, and who afterwards lecture Catholic students in subjects of philosophy and morals and modern history. It is one of the richest schools in connection with the college. There are a number of prizes, exhibitions, and sizarships open only to Protestants, because they can only be competed for by students coming from the Protestant preparatory schools in Ireland, and in connection with the chapel and the divinity school there are several social 960 and debating societies, such as the college theological society, the church musical society, choir societies, and university missions. But, leaving aside the actual College chapel and the divinity school, I say that the influences which permeate the whole college and constitute its spirit and atmosphere, with respect to even the smallest detail, are as Protestant as it is possible for them to be. The provost is a distinguished Protestant theologian, actually famous for his writings against Catholics. Books are included in the college courses which are essentially Protestant in their nature; the Catholic student is lectured and examined in philosophy and history by a professor, who that morning may have been conducting services in the chapel, preaching controversial sermons, or, very properly, from his point of view, lecturing in the divinity school on subjects of theological differences between Catholics and Protestants. It is a thoroughly sectarian college. Even students who are not divinity students, but who are members of the Church of Ireland, have to attend services in the chapel, and attend catechetical lectures and examinations. The Dublin university press is, too, the principal Protestant publishing firm in Ireland.
I could go more into detail, but I think I have said enough to show the House, in dealing with the only university in the strict sense of the word that exists in Ireland, that it is carried on actively in connection with, and is steeped in the spirit of a particular form of belief, that it is a most sectarian college, and that it is idle and ridiculous to deny that its atmosphere is Protestant—an atmosphere which always seemed to me like a sort of cold, smokeless incense—when the actual composition and administration of the college are so intensely Protestant. Trinity College, therefore, can never be a college for the Catholics of Ireland. If it does not actually injure or destroy the faith of a Catholic, it certainly subjects it to the greatest danger, and it certainly humiliates all the religious sentiments and susceptibilities of an Irish Catholic. I think it is monstrous to ask an Irish Catholic, who is a member of the religion to which the great mass of the nation belong, when he wants to finish his 961 education to, as it were, leave his country behind him, leave his religion behind him, and all the associations connected with his faith and home and earlier education, and go into such an institution, where he practically finds himself living alone like a pariah; and I ask again, would Protestants send their sons to a college as Catholic, or half as Catholic, as Trinity College is Protestant? But the Catholics of Ireland have no desire to touch Trinity College. We recognise that it meets the requirements of a large section of the Irish people. We know that it was founded for the purpose of teaching the Irish people through the medium of Protestantism, and we are perfectly willing that it should continue to do the good work it has done in the past, but I say it is unfair to ask Catholics to be content with it. Trinity College, however great, however much I admire it in many respects, is part and parcel of the old Protestant ascendency, and when the Catholics of Ireland take into account its history and traditions it is absolutely uncongenial to them and thoroughly out of touch with all their views and feelings. It is an exotic and unnational institution. One of the Fellows of the college himself said that it was not a national institution, and had never pretended to be such. It has, I believe, been called by the other universities "the silent sister." and could there be a stronger piece of evidence of how uncharacteristic it is of the country it is located in? Now, I have endeavoured to survey Trinity College as it exists as a university available for at least open to the Catholic students of Ireland, and I wish now to ask what other opportunities they have in the matter of higher education. To my mind there is no other university. It is said that there is the Royal University; but the Royal University is not a university at all, it is not even a college. It neither educates nor teaches the Irish people. It has simply one of the most perfunctory attributes of a university—that of examining. It is a university without residence, without pupils, without teachers, without class-rooms, without reading-together, without debates. I have seen it mentioned as a criticism of all university teaching in these days, even in the 962 oldest colleges in this country, that it is too much a process of cramming. If that can be said of Oxford and Cambridge, with all their intellectual and social life and spirit of culture, how much more is this the fact in the case of a dry examining board, a question and answer machine, a university of results? In my opinion the Royal University cannot in any high and formative sense educate or advance the mind of the people of Ireland. There is nothing which arises out of old traditions, no genius loci, none of the advantages of personal stimulus and oral instruction; no interchange of ideas and comradeship between young men coming from different parts of the country, creating enlargement of mind and tolerance; no social or even festive life or athletics. In a word, none of the unstudied education or unwritten lessons which are the most valuable part of university training. I have seen it said that the Houses of Parliament and the atmosphere around them are a sort of university of politics. If an hon. Member of this House never came here but occasionally to vote, if he missed all the valuable oral instruction that can be gained here, say in the debates—the social life of the place—what the hon. Member for Kerry calls "the ins and outs of the smoking room"—all that can be learnt from the manners and customs of the place—could it be said that such a Member was deriving all the advantages which can be gained as a student in this university of politics? The same may be said of the Royal University of Ireland, which is thoroughly unsuited to the social and intellectual needs of the Irish people, is a miserable makeshift, a sham university, and has been condemned by its own governing body.
There is only one other form of higher education in Ireland to which I would refer, and that is the Queen's colleges. The Queen's colleges were founded by Sir Robert Peel, when he tried to force a purely secular education on the people of Ireland; but they are absolute failures in regard to meeting the requirements of the Catholic people of Ireland. The only one which has taken root is now practically a Presbyterian college. Any attempt to force a purely secular education 963 on Ireland will never be acceptable to the Irish people. Secularism is absolutely repulsive in the eyes of the Irish people, including the Protestants, for they are just as keenly opposed to un-denominational education as the Catholics. The Irish people will never accept any education from which religion is banished. But it has been said that to found a Catholic university would be retrogressive, that it would be to go back on the principle of not endowing any institution in which religion is taught. The Irish people have never accepted that principle, although it may have been accepted sometimes in this country. The reliligious conscience of Ireland is absolutely opposed to such a principle. The other day I read a description of that principle by a great educationalist, a distinguished Englishman. I will quote it for the benefit of hon. Members on the opposite side of the House who are such advocates for the principle. He called it "that spavined, vicious-eyed Liberal hobby expressly bred to do duty against the Irish Catholics." Moreover, all existing education in Ireland—whether primary, intermediate, or university—is sectarian. Trinity College, for instance, is. And I would point out that to attempt to secularise Trinity College will be of no earthly use to meet the demands of Irish Catholics. I say that if any such thing is attempted it would ruin Trinity College as an institution for Protestants, and, far from making it a half-way house, would remove it thousands of miles further away from Irish Catholics, for they would much prefer a Protestant atmosphere to an agnostic or atheistic atmosphere in a university.
I have dealt with the only opportunities that exist for university education in Ireland. I have spoken of Trinity College and its Protestant character, of the Royal University, and of the Queen's colleges, and have shown how unsatisfactory for different reasons these all are, and how there is no possibility of their meeting the daily growing needs of the Catholic people of Ireland, who desire a university education. I now wish to answer some of the objections which have been made to establishing a Catholic university in Ireland. One objection I have heard raised is, "It is all very fine to make this demand, but 964 why do not you found a university yourselves? Why do you always come, like beggars, to us?" The reply is that we are too poor, and that it is your fault that we are so poor. The history of Catholic Ireland is the history of the poor. And we have no wealthy men who could dream of founding a fully equipped university. I would ask the House to consider how much the poor Catholics of Ireland have done, and are doing, for the cause of education and religion. They support their own clergy; they have had to build in recent years churches to replace those confiscated from them in penal times; and they have subscribed liberally to innumerable educational institutions. It is simply marvellous to consider how much has been done by the generous and faithful poor of Ireland for religion and education. But not only do they support their own Church and educational institutions; the poor Catholics of Ireland in the past, and indirectly at this moment, support the Protestant Church there, because we all know that their money went to endow the Church of the wealthy Protestant minority, and that, although the Tithe Commutation Act was passed, the burden falls still upon them indirectly through the rent. Not alone are they poor, but it is your fault that they are poor. The other day there was a debate in the House when some hon. Member referred to Irish history. The First Lord of the Treasury in reply afterwards—and there is no gentleman whom, from an Irish point of view, I more admire, or who has shown as a British statesman a more sincere desire to deal with the great problems he became familiar with in Ireland—deprecated in discussing Irish questions references to Irish history. In discussing English questions in this House there is no necessity to refer to history. The questions which come before the House in reference to England are questions that have arisen owing to modern developments and the conditions of modern society; but, unfortunately, the questions we have to bring before the House from Ireland are not modern questions. They are old questions. I wish that they were modern questions dealing with new social and industrial complexities. The questions which we have to ask the House to consider 965 refer to the redress of ancient wrongs in Ireland and the necessity for doing justice to Ireland; unfortunately most of the demands from Ireland are for arrears of justice, and it is absolutely necessary, when bringing them before the House, to look into Irish history. No Irishman looks into Irish history except with a shudder, but he has to do so in order to trace the springs of the wrongs and anomalies which exist in his country in so many cases. And there you will find that the poverty of the Irish people is due to the infamous penal laws which were directed against not only the religion but the property and position and trade of the Irish people. A century ago it was a felony for a Catholic to learn. They were offered either Protestantism or Catholicism and ignorance. They chose the latter, but of course suffered. So the Catholic population lived on in Ireland without colleges, or schools, or religion, not allowed to hold property of any kind, and yet you are now astonished that the Irish people are poor. But now these laws are at an end you have coming before this House the demands and necessities of the immense daily growing Catholic population of Ireland who have just emerged from the suppression of the past, after centuries of persecution, and who ask you to deal justly and fairly with this matter. I consider, for my part, that the penal laws of Ireland may be said still to exist to a certain extent so long as you prevent the Irish Catholics from having university education, and so penalise them from entering the higher walks of professional life. Complaints are made of so many Protestants being appointed in Ireland to various offices, and I often think that this is due to the fact that they are the most highly qualified, because the Catholics have not had the educational advantages which they have had. I agree with the hon. Member for East Mayo that the proposed university should be instituted upon the lines of those of Scotland, where the poorest can go. The fact is that the revolution has taken place in Ireland. Democracy rules in Ireland as elsewhere, and a new generation has arisen to whom you have given political and local power, but to whom you still deny the power of knowledge. I hope the House 966 will now deal with this question once and for all. It is high time that it was settled. For generations the House has seen the Catholics of Ireland come here and by every means in their power endeavour to persuade the House to deal fairly in this matter, and I trust that the present Government, which I look upon as friendly to Ireland, will not allow this occasion to go by without settling a question which is so important to the whole intellectual and social development of the country from which I come.
§ * MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Brightside)
said this was essentially an educational, and only accidentally a religious, question. He had seen a circular from the Liberation Society in which it was said that there was no reason why Irish Catholics should not frequent Dublin University, inasmuch as English Catholics went to Oxford and Cambridge. As an English Catholic who had been to Oxford he could say that there was no arguing from one to the other. English Catholics had not the numbers for a university of their own, and there was not that historical wall of division between them and their fellow-countrymen which unfortunately existed in Ireland. Unionists had always insisted on the duality of Ireland; and the worst way to create a real unity was to endeavour to force a factitious uniformity between alien elements. He found among his own friends the greatest misconception as to what was really asked for. The Irish hierarchy had laid down distinctly that the university they wanted should be subject to four conditions—(1) the majority of the governing body were to be laymen; (2) no chair of theology was to be endowed out of public funds; (3) the independence of the professors was to be guaranteed by the appointment of outside visitors; and (4) the university was to be open to all comers. When they had a declaration of that kind, how could it be said that an endowment of Roman Catholicism was desired? He believed that, if these conditions were clearly laid down and endorsed by Irish Members opposite, and if they went before the Commission and made it perfectly clear in black and white that that was what 967 they asked for, they would have an irresistible case, not only with this House, but with the whole of the people of England. But he was afraid that hon. Members on the opposite side of the House could not be surprised if they found on the Ministerial side a certain very natural prepossession against anything that emanated from them. He feared that they had not been so mindful of the dignity of Parliament, so careful of the susceptibilities of Englishmen, so zealous for the honour and credit and integrity of the Empire, that now, when they asked for a large concession, they could expect to be welcomed with open arms by those who were concerned for the honour and credit of the Empire.
§ * MR. JAMES HOPE
said he hoped, however, that the House would take a higher and broader view of the position. It was not a case of pleasing hon. Members opposite or of satisfying the Irish hierarchy, but it was a case of doing the right and proper thing by the young generation of Ireland.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
I must ask the hon. Member for East Clare and other hon. Members near him to refrain from interrupting.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
On the point of order, Sir, I desire to ask you whether the hon. Gentleman is in order, instead of addressing himself to the Chair, in addressing us and giving us a lecture.
§ * MR. JAMES HOPE
said he was perfectly aware that what he had said would not be acceptable to hon. Members opposite, but every word he had said was true.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Why did your uncle stand by when the King insulted us? Why did not the Duke of Norfolk object?
§ * MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member persists in interrupting and obstructing the business of the House I shall have to call attention to his conduct.
§ * MR. JAMES HOPE
said that hon. Gentlemen opposite had prided themselves on the sentiments to which he had referred, and how, then, could they be insulting to them? French Canada was a source of strength to the Empire, because there the people had the education that suited them. Ireland was a source of weakness because Irish people had not been able to get the education which they had a right to. For educational and national reasons, and not because he was a Catholic, he trusted that this question would be settled on the lines suggested in the Amendment.
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
Of the two speeches which have just been delivered I infinitely prefer that of the right hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh. The hon. Member who has just sat down has presumed to lecture the Irish Nationalist Members on the dignity of Parliament and various topics. We want no lecture from the hon. Member, and, what is more, we will take no lecture from him. If we were to gain our demand by his single vote, I would rather lose it—non tali auxilio. The hon. Member's speech was most impertinent, and was characteristic of the class to which he belongs, and which always makes me think that the Catholics of Ireland were very ill-advised when they struggled for emancipation, and emancipated not only themselves, but such specimens of Catholicism as the hon. Gentleman opposite, who probably would have remained a slave to the present day but for the efforts of persons whom he now has the impudence—
§ MR. CLANCY
I did not hear what you said, Mr. Speaker, but I, of course, withdraw any expression that you regard as unparliamentary. But the substance, of what I say is perfectly plain. The speech of the right hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh voiced the sentiments of Portadown—sentiments which I will illustrate with a short story. A Protestant was conversing with an artisan, also a Protestant, on Portadown station, when the former said to the artisan, "You ought not to speak so badly of the Pope, because he is a very good-living man"; and the artisan replied, "Well, all I can say is this—the Pope may be a very good man, but he has a very bad name at Portadown. The right hon. and gallant Member spoke on behalf of a very small and fanatical minority, rather than on behalf of the great bulk of the Protestants even of Ireland. The right hon. and gallant Member pointed to the "manifestations of disloyalty" which had come from the Irish benches, and made that the ground for refusing the demand for further educational facilities for the Catholics of Ireland. That, surely, is an argument against himself, for if the result of the present system of education in Ireland has been to produce those disloyal persons [pointing to the Irish Nationalist Members], it is only reasonable to expect that an extension of university education would lead to an improvement. Apparently the right hon. and gallant Gentleman thinks that, bad as we are now, we would be ten times worse if we were better educated. That may be, but the future will speak for itself. I observed that when the right hon. and gallant Member was speaking of manifestations of disloyalty, many hon. Members around him enjoyed it, and regarded the whole thing as a joke; but the Members who have to deal with the problem of governing the people of Ireland were as glum as death. They did not laugh. They know very well—probably the right hon. and gallant Gentleman himself knows—that the result of the present system has been to 970 produce what are called a "band of rebels." I do not apologise for those "rebels," because everything they have done is justified by British rule. One of the causes of their disloyalty is the fact that they have been refused those educational rights which are never denied to any free people except by a tyrant who uses his power as a tyrant.
The right hon. Gentleman asked, "What have we to give in return for this boon?" Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that justice is to be sold? If our demand is just, why should anything be given in return for the granting of it? If it is unjust, refuse it; but if it is just, why ask any price for it? It should be given freely and voluntarily. The result would be to make discontented people contented. We have two sets of opponents on this question. The right hon. and gallant Member represents a small and fanatical minority of Irish Protestants. All Irish Protestants, I am glad to say, are not opposed to this demand. Trinity College itself has declared, through the mouths of several of its leading spokesmen, in favour of it; and it is supported by the two Members for Trinity College. The principle was also assented to, during the debate on the Home Rule Bill in 1893, by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the present Solicitor General for England. The majority of the Presbyterians are, I think, opposed to it, but the opposition is not unanimous, for one of the principal lawyers in Ireland, and one of the leaders of the Presbyterian body, delivered a lecture in support of the claim in Queen's College, Belfast, with the president of the college in the chair. In a recent speech the Marquess of Londonderry said that to assent to the proposal made on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland would be to do an injustice to the Protestants of Ireland. I deny emphatically that any real injustice would be done. This cry comes badly from the opponents of this demand. The Protestants were planted in Ireland as a garrison, and got the fat of the land; indeed. Trinity College itself was built and endowed on the ruins and out of the revenues of a Catholic college. It is living to-day on the proceeds of the pious founders of 300 years ago, who were all Catholics. Catholics have been allowed to grow up almost brutalised without 971 education; they have been deprived of nearly all means of getting on in the world, and now, after 300 years, when this really miserable demand is made, a representative of the Protestants of Ireland gets up and says it is an injustice to Irish Protestants. I should have thought a gentleman like the right hon. and gallant Member opposite would have defied Portadown, and said, "After 300 years we do owe something to the Catholics, and I for one am willing to pay the debt."
But if the conduct of the Protestants is reprehensible, that of the Presbyterians is absolutely mean. The Presbyterians were persecuted as the Roman Catholics were, and when the Roman Catholics were emancipated the Presbyterians were also at the same time. It was our agitation that obtained for them religious equality and the rights they now possess. They never obtained anything for themselves. Even to-day they are in the habit of allowing the Catholics to work for them, and then, when a beneficial Act is obtained, they come in and reap the fruits. I solemnly declare that for my part I would rather have the enmity of an outspoken institution like Trinity College, objectionable though it is from every point of view to the Catholics of Ireland, than the miserable system of sectarian education which the Presbyterian mind so devotedly admires.
I come now to our British opponents. I understand that a large majority of the Liberal party are opposed to this demand, but we have never yet had an authoritative declaration to that effect from the Front Bench. Unionist Members at the last election pledged themselves in their addresses that the British Parliament was willing to do for Ireland everything that an Irish Parliament would do itself. We challenge those Members to say that an Irish Parliament would not decide this question in the way we desire, and we call upon them to fulfil that pledge. As to Members on this side of the House I recollect the hon. Member for Carnarvon speaking to this effect—I was willing during the debates on TNT Home Rule Bill to give you the power of establishing a Catholic university for Ireland if you wished, but I am not willing to vote here for it myself.972 The distinction he drew was that in the one case he would not be responsible for a thing he disliked, while in the other case he would. I say that is futile and trifling; it is pure humbug. He would be equally responsible in cither case, and he ought to be ashamed to use such an argument.
But let me face frankly the great objection urged against a Catholic university. The right hon. and gallant Member put it brutally, perhaps, when he said that such a university would be dominated by the Catholic clergy. I do not admit that that is so. The argument has been put in this way—that the Catholics of Ireland cannot expect this Protestant nation to contribute to that in which they do not believe, and which they detest. That is a curious illustration of the absolute incapacity of some people to take account of the position of others. Supposing we were arguing for a Catholic university—one with religious tests, and one which must remain Catholic to the end of time because tests were imposed—have we not as much right to ask for that as the Presbyterians of Ulster have to ask for a non-sectarian university? Suppose Catholics regarded with horror the system of education called non-sectarian, and looked upon it as certain in its results to lead to indifference in religious matters, to infidelity, immorality, and bad citizenship, and felt it a grievance to be obliged to contribute towards its propagation and maintenance. Have they not, as taxpayers, as much right as Protestants have to demand what they think to be right? What superiority or infallibility have the Protestants to say they are right and we are wrong? The Nonconformists say that this is a Protestant nation, and that you cannot do a thing which offends the convictions and susceptibilities of the people. That means that all your boasts of religious equality are a sham, and that you still maintain a Protestant ascendency in this realm. You say that all sects are equal before the law, and that all denominations are upon a level, and yet when we make this demand in accordance with our religious tenets we are told, "Oh, the equality does not extend to that. We are still a Protestant nation, and to any-thing which offends the Protestant 973 convictions and susceptibilities of the nation we will object," If that is the argument, it is an argument against all that has been done during the last fifty years to establish religious equality. If it be true, the Irish Church aught never to have been disestablished, or a single penny voted for the education of Catholics in Ireland. All should have been brought up as strict Protestants. The opponents of this demand should have the courage of their convictions, and say as Cromwell once said—"I do not object to the Catholics of Ireland practising their religion—they may do as they like, but they must not go to mass." That is exactly the same position as when it is said that there is religious equality in this land, but not such equality as will permit Irish Catholic parents to educate their children as their consciences dictate.
Then, I desire to draw attention to the remarks of Lord Londonderry the other day on the question of this Commission. Lord Londonderry as well as Lord Cadogan is a member of the Cabinet, and I should like the Chief Secretary or the First Lord of the Treasury to explain his Lordship's statement at Belfast; it would throw a great light upon the meaning of the appointment of this Commission. Lord Cadogan is in favour of our demand, and has repeatedly said so. We also know that Lord Londonderry is not in favour of our demand, and yet he, too, is in favour of the appointment of this Commission. I would like to know whether it is the Londonderry or the Cadogan element that is going to be uppermost in this Commission. It is all the more necessary to ask this question, because Lord Londonderry himself has laid stress upon the composition of the Commission. He said in a speech delivered in Belfast that what we have to do is to see that the Commission is properly constituted, but what is properly constituted from Lord Londonderry's point of view cannot be so from the point of view of Lord Cadogan. With most of the speech of the hon. Member for W. Galway I entirely agree, and this is one of the few questions upon which I do agree with him. I wish to point out, however, that the hon. Member could not have been elected for W. Galway if he had not declared himself 974 in favour of a Roman Catholic university for Ireland. With one of the pleas put forward by the hon. Member I do not agree. He spoke of the poverty of Ireland as a ground why this demand should be granted, but I object to put the case upon that ground. We do not come to the House as beggars upon this question.
§ * MR. MORRIS
I did not put it upon that ground, though I did say that the Catholics of Ireland were incapable of founding a university for themselves on account of their poverty.
§ MR. CLANCY
I contend that that is a plea of begging, and I will not make any such plea on behalf of Ireland. We are only asking for what we are entitled to. I will take every opportunity of saying that we do not ask for one single penny of English money, for whatever sum of money is given to us, whether it is one, two, three, or five millions, you will not be giving us one penny which you have not robbed Ireland of in the past. I will never admit that whatever money Ireland gets from the British Treasury is due to the generosity of England, or that it is anything else but a restitution of our stolen or plundered property. I put our demand upon the ground of justice. The Protestants of Ireland are amply endowed; but the Catholics, who are in a great majority in Ireland, are without endowments. As taxpayers we have a right to equal treatment for our educational needs. I should be ashamed to go back to my constituents if for a moment I put this simple demand for justice upon any other ground than that we are entitled as of right to what we are asking for.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (Sir EDWARD CARSON,) Dublin University
I desire to intervene in this debate for a very short time, not at all as a member of the Government, but as representing Trinity College, Dublin, in this House. I do so with certain regrets, because I would much rather that the task could have been undertaken by my colleague, whose absence from illness I am sure the House deplores. As has been pointed out, I was myself probably the first member from Ireland representing a Unionist constituency, 975 certainly the first representing Dublin University, who gave my support to propositions for doing something for the higher education of Catholics in Ireland—something that would satisfy the demands of the great majority of the population. I have taken up that attitude now for many years, and I have upon every occasion, I think, that this question has come before the House expressed my views fearlessly, and I hope clearly. Upon the last occasion I had the honour of being returned as the Member of Parliament for Trinity College, notwithstanding a very strong speech to the contrary by the eminent gentleman who did me the honour of opposing me, I felt it my duty to again reiterate those sentiments. I did that because, in the first place, I was convinced of the necessity of conceding these demands in some form or another; and, in the second place, I believed that, in taking up this attitude as a representative of Trinity College, I was acting in accordance with the Liberal traditions of the University of Dublin. I suppose the majority of hon. Members will agree that the highest ideal of a university would be one in which students of all religions, and even those of no religion, might meet upon a common platform. I myself look back with the greatest pride and pleasure to the friendships of gentlemen of a different religion to my own which I made and cemented within the walls of Trinity College, Dublin; and those friendships which are made in a university career are perhaps the best that one makes through the whole period of our professional life. If I were asked and had the power to set up an ideal university for the education of the youth of Ireland, I should prefer to set up one such as we have had to a large extent established, not only in Trinity College, but all over the kingdom, in which all religions and all creeds meet together upon a common platform. I know that a strong argument put forward against the demands of Irish Catholics is that it is a fatal thing to put young men at the very outset of their career in opposite camps, and to bring them up apart and separate the one from the other. That may be true to a large extent; the present system in Ireland has, however, been tried, and Roman Catholics have not taken advantage of it. 976 For my part I value so highly a university training that I would make almost any sacrifice which would enable Roman Catholic young men to receive the benefits of such a training.
It is essential, at any rate for Englishmen, who probably do not know exactly how the question of university education stands in Ireland, to see what efforts have been made in the past to bring about what I have called the ideal state of university training. In the first place, there is Trinity College. Listening to the speech of the hon. Member for East Mayo, and to the very able speech which we all listened to with so much pleasure made by my hon. friend the Member for Galway, one would be led to think that in Trinity College we have some great bigoted Protestant institution. Such is not the case. Trinity College was originally founded for the purpose of propagating the Protestant religion in Ireland. Even since the year 1873, which is now somewhat ancient history, every office, every fellowship, every prize in Trinity College is accessible without any test to any person of any religion whatsoever. The governing body of the University of Dublin is open to persons of all religions and creeds, inasmuch as the board of Trinity College is composed of fellows according to seniority. If the Roman Catholics had gone freely into the college and captured the fellowships, the Catholic fellows would necessarily in time have become members of the governing body. True it is that there is attached to the University of Dublin a divinity school, but I would remind the House that as large a grant as £400,000 has been given to the Catholics by Parliament for the purpose of founding a Catholic divinity school at Maynooth. Trinity College has always been perfectly willing that Roman Catholics should have within the walls of the college exactly the same treatment as Protestants have, by the instruction and services of Roman Catholic priests. Notwithstanding all this, it is perfectly true that we are not educating in a university career the large majority of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. But let it not be supposed that Trinity College is the bigoted Protestant institution that has been described by some hon. Members. If the governing 977 body of Trinity College were asked to-morrow to have exactly the same institutions inside the walls for Catholics as they have for Protestants, they would themselves welcome the overture and do all in their power to meet any such suggestion. Another attempt was made when the Queen's colleges were established, in which no religion was taught. That, however, was not what either Protestants or Catholics in Ireland desired. No sooner were they established than they were denounced as godless colleges, because there was no religious education there at all. The Queen's colleges, with the exception of the one in Belfast, which has practically become a Presbyterian college, have been an utter failure in bringing about what was desired. Another effort was made when the Royal University was established, which was not really a university in any proper sense. There they attempted to bring about a satisfactory state of things for Catholics and Protestants alike by, I think, establishing a board on which there should be almost an equal number of Protestants and Catholics. But the Royal University has been rather less successful than the Queen's colleges, because it does not give the advantages of university education, and certainly in connection with that university the way in which the professors are appointed seems to me to be little less than a scandal. I am not now saying that because I object in the least to the endowment. Of course my speech is directly the contrary of that. You have had all these efforts, and you have had all this money spent with the view of bringing about an ideal university. That has failed. We have bad. I am glad to say, within the walls of Trinity College about 10 per cent. of Catholic students who. I venture to say, have no ground of complaint against the institution for trying to interfere with their faith or morals. I think the best testimony to that is the fact that the hon. Member for Galway himself has passed unscathed in that respect through its portals, as his father had done, and. I believe, a distinguished brother of the hon. Member is at present within the walls of Trinity College. But while that is so, we cannot but say that the Catholics of Ireland are still without university education. The question 978 before the House is, Are you going to leave them in that condition for ever simply because you say you will not devote public funds to sectarian purposes? If you do not do that, what are the various alternatives before us to settle the question? With reference to the observations of the hon. Member for East Mayo, I would say that Trinity College. Dublin, is not on its trial in this matter, and is not to be considered at all. If every privilege that is given to Protestants inside Trinity College were given to Catholics, the Roman Catholic Bishops would not be satisfied. On the other hand, they would not be satisfied if an Act were passed saying that no religion of any kind should be taught there You must face the real facts of the case.
I should like to ask hon. Members who object to this scheme of what are they afraid. For my own part, while I should be sorry to say anything that could be thought disrespectful, I should prefer Roman Catholicism highly educated to Roman Catholicism in ignorance, and the only way in which that result can be brought about is by the establishment of some system of higher education. I have attempted to show that Trinity College has done all that could be done by it in furtherance of this system, and that other efforts have also been made. Now, at all events, we are about to do something. For my own part, I hope and believe that the Commission which we are granting will be composed of men of the very highest character in educational matters, and it certainly could be a very grave misfortune if Catholics themselves were not to a very large extent represented on that Commission, as I am perfectly sure they will be. The hon. Member for East Mayo made a rather curious speech in regard to the inclusion or exclusion of the affairs of Trinity College, and I really could not make up my mind whether the hon. Member wished Trinity College to be included or excluded. All I can say is that when the deputation waited on the Lord Lieutenant to urge the appointment of such a Commission Bishop Healy, on behalf of the deputation, specially disavowed any desire to have the affairs of Trinity College included in the reference to the Commission, and the Lord Lieutenant most specifically 979 stated that Trinity College would not be included. If you concede that what you want is not a mixed education inside Trinity College or the exclusion altogether of religious education from Trinity College, you must recognise that the only other alternative, if the affairs of Trinity College are to be included, would be to turn it into a Catholic seminary of some kind, which, I think, no person of sense would suggest. Nothing therefore that could be inquired into in relation to the college could in the slightest degree advance the object which hon. Members opposite and the Bishops of Ireland have in view. I have attempted to put the situation clearly and fairly before the House, and I can only say that, so far as I am concerned, I shall keep the attitude I adopted when I entered the House, and will give any assistance in my power to put within the reach of the great mass of the people of Ireland the benefit of university education.
§ MR. JOHN GORDON (Londonderry, S.)
said he simply desired to express his views in regard to the question of Catholic university education in Ireland as it had been represented to the House and in the form in which it had been put down in the Paper. At first sight there was not much to object to, but when regard was had to the way in which the question had developed, it would be seen that the idea was to have an entirely separate Roman Catholic university in Ireland. As a Member of the Presbyterian religion of Ireland, he wished to give his view in regard to that. The first question which would arise was why the Roman Catholics had not equal facility for university education with the other inhabitants of the country. In Ireland at the present time there was an old university, established for centuries, and whatever might be its past history, everyone knew that it was open to all, no matter what religious belief was professed. If any body desired to have religious education, Trinity College would be delighted to meet them and afford them every facility for obtaining religious instruction. When, under those circumstances, Government were asked to set up a separate. Roman Catholic university, 980 it would be wise to consider what underlay the proposals which had been pressed so often, with so much vigour, both within and without this House, for separate denominational education, There was something more than a desire to have a good education. The Queen's Colleges, which had been established on non-sectarian lines, had been described as godless colleges. The people who sent their children to those colleges had a right to look after the religious training of the members of their own church, and they had appointed persons to look after their religious education; but why should that be paid for by the Government? The Presbyterians of Ireland were satisfied to send their children to the Queen's Colleges to be trained by the clergyman appointed in residence to look after them. Why did not the Roman Catholics do the Same? Directly those colleges were founded they denounced them as godless colleges, and would have nothing to do with them. The college established in Belfast was availed of by the population of Ulster to a very large extent, but the Roman Catholics, instead of making the college in Cork the success which the Belfast college was, which they could easily have done, kept away from it, and now complained that the Protestants had used the colleges and made them useful for their own people, and argued that as the Presbyterians were adequately provided for, they having taken advantage of the colleges placed in their midst, that was an argument for establishing Roman Catholic colleges for the rest of the population. In 1873 an attempt was made to do something for university education in Ireland, and the Royal University was established, upon the lines of the London University, granting degrees as high as any in the world, but having no religious teaching, That had the element of being free and untrammelled, and open to every person who chose to come and take advantage of its degrees. The student was not subjected to any religious test. He was perfectly free to come; and be educated there. Why should there be in Ireland a State-founded and State-endowed university simply for the purpose of satisfying the wishes of one particular religious denomination? In Ireland the 981 people should be, as far as possible, on an equality. The, people should be judged or classed, not according to their religion, and provided for upon that basis, but simply as subjects of the country. Trinity College was perfectly free and open, and religious instruction would be provided for Roman Catholics in exactly the same way as for Protestants. An institution was not denominational simply because, while it was open to all, only one particular section took advantage of it and filled its halls. Other people had a perfect right, and were at liberty to go there and take up the same position. He was not concerned to defend Trinity College to any greater extent than to say that it was open and free. The Queen's Colleges were also open and free, but it was idle to say that those colleges were in any sense to be regarded as godless colleges. Every religion had a right to appoint its dean, and did so, with the exception of the Roman Catholics. It was said that Trinity College belonged to the Episcopalians, and was an Episcopalian university, and that therefore the Catholics required a Catholic university. That Roman Catholic university would have to be endowed, provided for, and equipped by the State. Then there would have to be a Presbyterian university. Where was it to end? Was a university to be provided for all the smaller religious denominations which existed? Every denominational institution had been widening its lines and opening its halls to all students, no matter to what denomination they belonged, and to establish such a university as was now asked for would be a distinctly retrograde step. No parallel could be found. It was argued that the Scotch universities were Presbyterian. Yes, but they were not Presbyterian in foundation; they were not State-aided Presbyterian institutions. They were established for the benefit of everybody, and it was perfectly true that in Scotland, where the vast majority of the people were Presbyterians, the Presbyterians flocked to the universities. But that was a very different thing from establishing and endowing a university solely for one class of the community. The way in which the question had been argued was very curious. The 982 hon. Member for Galway had said a great deal about the benefits to be gained by people coming from different parts of the country, interchanging their views, and making friends for themselves for life. The right hon. Gentleman representing Trinity College had referred to the same matter. This was a point which ought not to be lost sight of in dealing with educational questions in Ireland; there were in Ireland quite enough causes of difference, and quite enough matters which created dissension; but why should another be permanently added to the number? Members of one profession worked together, met each other every day, and, although belonging to different religious bodies, had the greatest respect for each other. Why should the sons of these men be sent one, because he belonged to one religious faith, to one university, and another, because he belonged to another religious faith, to another university, to be brought up with feelings of distrust and estrangement existing between them, where all ought to be amity and friendship?
With reference to the proposed Commission, whatever views might be held about Trinity being brought within the scope of the inquiry, if the Commission was to deal with the matter on the broad lines which ought to be laid down, he was unable to see how Trinity College could be excluded. The hon. Member for East Mayo suggested that on the Commission there should be two or three members advocating the one view, two or three supporting the other, and that some poor unfortunate persons who did not care about either should be thrown in to be torn to pieces by the conflicting opinions. He also appeared to imply that it would be impossible to get men of high educational standing, with a knowledge of public affairs, who would be above party and sectarian feelings. He (the speaker) did not believe that that would be the ease, and he urged those who would be responsible for selecting the Members of the Commission to endeavour to appoint, not partisans from the one side or the other, but men of acknowledged standing, who would be able when dealing with a question of this kind to put aside mere personal feelings and to treat the subject on broad lines. 983 As one who knew something of the Protestants of Ireland, he unhesitatingly declared that with the exception of a very few the Protestants were against this proposal. They considered that it would be a step in the wrong direction, that it would accentuate differences which ought to be healed rather than perpetuated, and that, above all, university education in Ireland would suffer by it. In a country with 4,250,000 inhabitants, the vast majority of whom were very poor, it would be a great mistake to have three separate and distinct universities. The degrees of such institutions would cease to carry any weight whatever. Parliament should be careful not to do anything which would encourage the idea of an endowed separate denominational university in Ireland. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Except for Protestants.] The Protestants had not asked for an endowment, and where had the Presbyterians got a separate Presbyterian university? They asked nothing for themselves which they did not freely concede to every other man in the country. Hon. Members opposite could not cite a fact or document or an incident in the history of the country which would bear them out in the suggestion they had made. He hoped the House would reject this proposal.
§ * MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)
As an Ulster Member I wish to place before the House of Commons the claims of my Catholic fellow-countrymen upon this question. I could not be satisfied with giving a silent vote upon this occasion. I had not the advantage of hearing the entire speech of the hon. and learned Member who has just sat down, but such portion as I did hear reminded me of the old fable of the dog in the manger. The hon. Member purported to speak on behalf of the Presbyterians of Ireland, and he argued that they did not want a university. But was that any reason why a university should be withheld from the Catholics of Ireland, who do require it? They did not want a university as Presbyterians, because they have already got all the advantages of education through the medium of the Belfast college, but I am not at all sure that a great section of the Presbyterians have not put forward a claim by which they also will get a university as well as 984 the Catholics. The Presbyterians of Ireland know how to take care of themselves, and my hon. and learned friend evidently had not this historical fact before his mind, that by the Scotch Act of Union the benefit of university education was secured to the Presbyterians of Scotland. They made it a condition when entering into the Treaty of Union, but unfortunately when the Irish Act of Union was passed there was no one to speak on behalf of the Catholics, in order to secure to them the same measure of of justice. I cannot believe that the Presbyterians of Ireland are in any way, as a body, averse to the concession of this boon to the Catholics. On the contrary, I believe that those whose opinions are of the greatest weight are altogether in favour of it. I am coming forward to support what I believe to be the least measure of justice that my Irish fellow-countrymen are entitled to, and I am willing to meet this case and argue it quite apart from the case of the Presbyterians. The hon. Member for Galway, in a most admirable maiden speech, which contained a good deal of the hereditary ability of his father, stated that he came forward as the only Catholic Liberal Unionist in the House. [Cries of "No, no."] I believe he called himself a Catholic Liberal Unionist.
MR. RENTOUL (Down, E.)
No, the only Catholic Unionist.
§ * MR. HEMPHILL
Perhaps he did not call himself a Liberal Unionist, but I thought that all Unionists who were not Tories were proud of being Liberal Unionists, and I understand that the essence of a Liberal Unionist is that he is Liberal in everything except Home Rule. The hon. Member for Galway says that he is the only representative of Catholic Unionism in Ireland. I may say that I am the only representative of what may be called Protestant Liberalism in Ireland. All my friends on both sides are possibly far less Liberal than me, but I happen to be unique in this, that I am the only Protestant Liberal sent from Ireland to plead the cause of Liberal Protestants in this great assembly. I protest against the hon. and learned Member who has just sat down purporting to speak on behalf of the Liberal Protestants of Ireland. 985 It is quite fair that he should represent Presbyterians, but he has no authority to say what the feelings of Liberal Protestants in Ireland are with regard to this question. I am a medalist of Trinity College, and I have spent some of the happiest days of my life there, and I join with my youthful friend the Member for Galway in expressing admiration for Trinity College as a great Protestant institution, but only as a Protestant institution. Trinity College was founded to propagate Protestantism in Ireland. It was founded by Queen Elizabeth three centuries ago in order to stamp out and extinguish the Roman Catholic religion, and for nearly three centuries it fulfilled that mission, and it was not until the year 1873 that a single emolument or a single fellowship or scholarship was thrown open to the Catholics. It has been suggested that Catholics, by passing fellowship and scholarship examinations, might partake of the benefits of the institution, but to do this they must un-Catholicise themselves. When I was there there were some eight per cent. of the entire pupils members of the Catholic religion, and I know well that there was a, feeling more or less of inequality and humiliation amongst them. Men of the ablest intellects and with the greatest industry saw their Protestant brethren come in for prizes from which they were excluded. It is admitted that though nominally Trinity College is open to Catholics, it is really a Protestant institution. I am not going to trouble the House with many quotations, because I know there are many hon. Members who wish to speak upon this subject. In the year 1891 I was present at the opening meeting of the Historical Society in the hall of Trinity College, where a very distinguished audience assembled, and upon that occasion a very eminent man of great literary qualification, who had been himself a fellow of the college, and who is now a county court judge—I allude to Judge Webb—used these words—Their University (said the judge) was founded by Protestants, for Protestants, and in the Protestant interest. A Protestant spirit had from the first animated every member of the body corporate At the present moment, with all its toleration, all its liberality, all its comprehensiveness, and all its scrupulous honour, the genius loci, the guardian spirit of the place, was Protestant. And as a Protestant 986 he for one said, and he said it boldly, Protestant might it ever more remain.That was his opinion of the Protestantism at Trinity College. Upon the same occasion Lord Justice Fitzgibbon, who was then, and happily still is now, one of the greatest ornaments of the Irish Bench, said—They in that University claimed to be proud of their college and content with their University. Their work challenged competition; it therefore should he free from disturbance. But if it was to be made safe from disturbance, it should rest on the foundation of justice, and that could only be laid by the States providing for others what Queen Elizabeth and King James and their own conscientious discharge of their duty for three hundred years had provided for that place.That is from a Protestant Unionist—a man of the greatest eminence among living Irishmen. Now that is all they ask. We, the Presbyterians, are satisfied with the status quo as regards Trinity College, but three-quarters of the Irish people are Roman Catholic, and they demand to have what they are fairly entitled to—a university in which their youth may matriculate and graduate without any scruple or fear of having their faith shaken or disturbed. One of the great fallacies is that Dublin College is, as at present constituted, sufficient to satisfy the wants of the Irish people. Reference has again been made to Scotland. Scotland has a population even now of much less than Ireland, low as the population of the latter is at this moment, and yet Scotland has the Universities of Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. All these universities are largely endowed. I do not know whether they are at the present moment endowed by original grants from the Crown, like the case of Trinity College, but undoubtedly the fact is that each has considerable endowments. I quote now from the title "University" in the Encyclopœdia Britannica, which we know is a work of singular authority—The sums voted annually or charged on the Consolidated Fund for the ten years ending 30th March, 1883, were for Aberdeen, £65,821; for Edinburgh, £85,906; for Glasgow, £66,182; and St. Andrews, £38,111, In addition to these sums Edinburgh had received £80,000 and Glasgow £20,000 in the form of grants in aid.Why should Ireland be in a worse position than Scotland for the sons of farmers 987 and small shopkeepers? If there was nothing else to render the demand of the Irish people unanswerable it is that the people were too poor at present to compete with those who are in the habit of sending their sons to Trinity College. I think that is what the hon. Member for Galway meant, in that I would be inclined to agree with him. I want that a young Irishman who may be in a very humble position, who may not be endowed with the gifts of fortune, should have the portals of a university thrown open to him, where he could enter without fear and without scruple. I know that Trinity College can now admit other colleges to be affiliated with it, but I, as an Irishman, having had considerable experience of various shades of life and society in that country, am satisfied that the true and best solution of this question is to start a university, de novo, constituted on the lines to which attention has been called by the hon. Member for the Brightside Division, who marred an interesting and liberal speech by an unnecessary attack on my friends below the gangway (the Nationalist Members). Perhaps if he had been Irish, and if he had been brought up with the antecedents of some of my friends below the gangway, if he had been brought up in the traditions of a persecuted race, he would have had a more sympathetic feeling for the position in which they are placed.
§ * MR. HEMPHILL
I am sure that no one now regrets the observations into which he was betrayed more than the hon. Member himself. If I wanted an argument in favour of my position I would refer to the fact that amongst the Gentlemen occupying the benches below the gangway are some of the keenest intellects in this House, and some of the most eloquent speakers in this House. Everyone who has been watching the proceedings of the House since the opening of the present Parliament must admit that I am right in what I am saying and vet very few of them have had the opportunity of graduating in a university. Why should such men be 988 placed under circumstances that deprive them of the advantage of university education? We all go on the postulate that there is great value and importance to be attached to university degrees. Why exclude any class of clever, intelligent Irishmen from attaining that position? Why prevent the priesthood of Ireland from being armed with a university degree? I would like to appeal to the sense of justice, to the love of fair play—which, however, in some instances it may be overlaid with political prejudice or religious bigotry, is, I believe, the bedrock of the English nature—not to withhold this advantage from three or four millions of the Irish people. It will cost very little. The conditions read out by the hon. Member show that it is not a Roman Catholic university that is sought but a university into which Roman Catholics may enter, a university not presided over by a man who has brought his great talent and genius to bear in the polemical controversy between the Church of Rome and the Church of Ireland, to the disparagement of the former.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, E.)
In the course of the debates which have taken place on this question in previous sessions we have not had much enlightenment as to the real character of the organisation of the university proposed to be set up, for both on this side of the House and on the other side the supporters of this project have carefully abstained from departing from the platform of vague generalities, and from defining in clear and precise language what are the limitations by which this new university is to be established and maintained as an undenominational institution, and at the same time to be impregnated with the Roman Catholic atmosphere. Rut though we have only got so far as to understand that Roman Catholic atmosphere is an essential, if not the most essential, feature of this university, and though we have not yet been informed by what machinery this Catholic atmosphere is to be generated, the debates which have taken place have not been altogether without some real value, for the House is now in possession of the general facts bearing on 989 the question at large, which cannot be overlooked in dealing with the nebulous proposal placed before Parliament. We in the first place know that in England Roman Catholics go to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge with the fullest sanction of the spiritual authority of their Church; and we know that neither the organisation, nor the Government, nor the curriculum of these universities differs in any distinctive feature from the University of Dublin. We know, moreover, that in foreign countries Roman Catholic students go to universities which are as little under the control of the clergy of the Church of Rome as the Queen's colleges in Ireland; and that in no foreign country does the State provide specially for the university education of Roman Catholics. We further know that in Roman Catholic countries, such as Spain and Bavaria, institutions founded and endowed by the Roman Catholic Church have now been secularised. It is plain from all this that this proposal is one that cannot be substantiated by any appeal to the condition of affairs in foreign countries, and that the Roman Catholic Church and bishops in Ireland are now endeavouring to obtain from this Parliament what they have not been able to obtain from any legislative authority or assembly in Europe. There is another fact which we cannot overlook, and that is that members of the Roman Catholic Church have been in the habit of taking advantage of the facilities for university education that are afforded in Ireland; and it has never even been suggested in this House, in any debate, that any one of these students have been seduced from the faith of their Church.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
I will give the hon. and gallant Member an opportunity afterwards of substantiating his case; but I say that there has been no suggestion that any Roman Catholic student has been seduced from the faith of his Church—[An HON. MEMBER on the Irish Benches: There have been several.]—or has suffered the slightest inconvenience from the atmosphere of Trinity College The hon. Member for 990 Galway spoke of Trinity College being the symbol of Protestant ascendency, but what has it done for his distinguished father? It has promoted him to the highest offices, and that distinguished peer felt so much the benefit of the education he himself had received at Trinity College that he sent there not only the hon. Member, but the hon. Member's younger brother.
§ * MR. MORRIS
I said that there was no alternative, if a Catholic student wanted to follow a university career in Ireland.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
My argument is that there was no danger to the faith of either his father, himself, or his brother. That is a material fact which this House cannot overlook, and I submit that the House must come to the conclusion that if it were not for some special and peculiar pressure exercised by the bishops in Ireland, the laity would take larger advantage of the facilities that are offered by Trinity College, just as the laity do in Italy, Germany, Spain, Bavaria, and other Roman Catholic countries. These being the facts, let us see how far we have got in formulating any definite proposals for this scheme. The Leader of the House, the First Lord of the Treasury, said in the month of February, 1898, thatthe Roman Catholic bishops would be content that any new educational institution in Ireland should be placed under the same limitations—no less and no more—that now exist in the universities of England and Scotland.Well, if it were desirable to multiply universities in Ireland—a policy which is extremely doubtful, having regard to the population of the country—there would, in my opinion, be no great objection to a university which was founded and organised upon that general preposition. But my right hon. friend went on to point out very clearly in the rest of his speech that that was a mere phrase, that it had no real meaning, and that it did not touch the essence of the policy of which he himself was a supporter. And he went on to say that—of course it is the essence of the case that the college or university should be founded upon such lines as would make it Roman Catholic in the same sense that Trinity College is Protestant: and that you must do that or you will fail in your policy.Now here there is a cleavage of the most 991 profound character—a cleavage between the system of the English universities and Trinity College and this new university-proposed to be set up—a cleavage which separates them entirely and distinctly. The atmosphere of the English universities is not the product of legislation; but you have at once a forewarning from my right hon. friend that by legislation you are going to impress upon this new university an atmosphere, an organisation which is something absolutely and entirely different from anything which exists in any English university, or in the university of Dublin. Well, it is plain that this must be carried out with some limitations. What these limitations are the House is absolutely ignorant. My right hon. friend has never told us what he proposed to do in regard to them. These limitations are still shrouded in a mass of vague generalities, and it is not to my right hon. friend, but to the Front Bench opposite, that the House is indebted for coming more closely in touch with the question. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose Burghs in the same debate laid down five different conditions which were essential to any scheme to which he would give support in the future. These were: First, that there was to be no test for any chair except that of theology; second, no test for any student; third, no student was to be shut out from any competition on account of his religion; fourth, there was to be no State endowment of the theological faculty; and fifth, the most important of all, that the governing body was to be nominated by this House, and afterwards replenished by the Crown.
§ * MR MACARTNEY
These are the conditions laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose Burghs. What we have now to consider is how they approach the ideal of Catholic education in Ireland. That matter has been pronounced upon by one of the bishops of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in a clear and unmistakeable note. The Bishop of Limerick said, in regard to the conditions formulated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose Burghs—It must be evident to the least informed person that an institution constituted under 992 these five conditions cannot be regarded as a Catholic university in the true sense of the word. … In a Catholic university the authority of the Pope would be supreme, and reach directly and indirectly every part of its organisation and pervade and inform its operation. He would grant its charter and sanction its degrees. All its intellectual life would be carried on under ecclesiastical supervision and control.Now, that is a perfectly clear and frank definition of what the atmosphere of a Roman Catholic university should be.
§ MR. DILLON
The right hon. Gentleman is making a mistake. The reverend bishop went on to say that he would accept such a university as was proposed by the right hon. the Member for Montrose Burghs.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
If any hon. Gentleman goes to the Library and looks up the Nineteenth Century for January, 1899, he can satisfy himself whether I am not actually quoting the words of the Bishop of Limerick. This is a perfectly frank exposition of what ought to be the atmosphere of a Roman Catholic university, and which cannot be created under the conditions postulated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose Burghs. Here we have, on the one side, the ideal of the Catholic bishops, and on the other side the makeshift presented by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose Burghs. I ask the House, Does anyone suppose that the Catholic bishops of Ireland are going to withdraw from their ideal, or that they would rest for a moment until the new university would be so pervaded and so leavened in its constitution that the whole of the intellectual life of the university would in the future be under ecclesiastical control and authority? Anyone who has watched the Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland will know that that is the inevitable result of the policy of my right hon. friend, however he may have intended otherwise. I ask how does this policy stand now? Is it a policy of developing in Ireland a university as we know it in this country, or as carried on on the Continent? Nothing of the sort; on the contrary, it is diametrically the opposite. It is a policy which proposes to create an atmosphere, and when 993 it has created that atmosphere to endow such an educational system as this atmosphere will not smother. As it has been very appropriately named, it is a policy of social expediency, because it undoubtedly prefers the bye-ways of political convenience to the ethics of education. This policy aims at destroying and limiting all the real elements of university life, until they are lowered to the level demanded by the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland. The right hon. Member for Montrose has gone as far as he could to try and meet the demand of his supporters below the gangway. The right hon. Gentleman said his policy was justified, because it was accepted by three late Chief Secretaries for Ireland, a most dangerous triumvirate. There are no persons whom the House ought to be more chary of following in a question of this sort. I will accept, for the purposes of argument, that the First Lord of the Treasury may be a most bigoted Protestant; but, if so, he is the last person to be entrusted with this problem, because fanatics of this description have a dangerous tendency to go from one extreme to the other. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose said he was opposed to clericalism, but in Irish matters he invariably capitulates to its forces, and, therefore, I hope the House will not accept the arguments of these three gentlemen, though they be ex-Chief Secretaries. It has been argued that there is a difference between a Roman Catholic university and a university for Roman Catholics. There is a difference, but it is only a difference of phraseology; in either case it is evident, from the statement of the Bishop of Limerick, that there must be what the Bishop calls ample security that the teaching will not be contrary to the principles of the institution. We have been told that the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland have accepted four out of five conditions laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, and that we may quite accept this as a justification for this policy, but I do not admit that at all. Two of those conditions are absolutely immaterial. The faculty of theology we know is to be in this university. The Bishop of Limerick has told us that it is to be the principal factor in 994 creating a Roman Catholic atmosphere. Nothing appears to me to be more ridiculous than the affectation of unsectarianism which this proviso covers. This university must of necessity be under the control of the dominant theological faculty, and, just in order to enable the supporters of this policy to say the Government have not endowed the Roman Catholic Church, they have omitted to endow the faculty which is to control the study and teaching of the university. We are told also that the Roman Catholic bishops have consented to a majority of laymen, who must of necessity be Roman Catholics, being on the governing body. Under these circumstances, it is a matter which is absolutely immaterial whether the governing body is to be lay or clerical. A whisper from the Bishop of Limerick would govern all the Roman Catholic laity in Ireland—[Cries of "Withdraw!" from the Irish Benches.]
§ * MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! If the hon. Gentleman had said anything which required to be withdrawn, I should have called upon him to withdraw it.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
The Bishop of Limerick would govern all the Roman Catholic laity of Ireland when anything occurred to affect the faith and morals of the Church. I say that these provisions which are put forward as security for undenominationalism in this university are absolutely unsubstantial. The Roman Catholic bishops know that they are unreal and empty, and therefore have no hesitation in accepting the makeshift that is put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose.
What is to be the result of this policy? At the age when university education begins for every Irishman you are going to divide my countrymen into two or three separate universities. The Roman Catholics are to go to this new university; the Presbyterians are to be taken by the neck and flung into the university at Belfast, and the Episcopalians are to go to Dublin. Just at the age when one is most likely to form those friendships and those acquaintances which do so much to soften the bitterness of political or religious feelings in after life you are going to take away every chance of this 995 being done, and are going to perpetuate in Ireland in connection with higher education that unfortunate division which has been countenanced already in primary education. Yet my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury and the supporters of this policy affect to believe that this is going to benefit Ireland. The very class in Ireland upon whom the future of the country depends most is to be separated forcibly if this proposal passes, and is to be driven into three camps at a time when the students are most open to form those friendships which, as I have said, do so much to soften the bitterness of political and religious differences of after life. I can only say I look upon this policy of separation with absolute horror, and I say to treat the education of Ireland as a question of social expediency is unworthy of this House. The hon. Member for Stow-market will probably say this is a question of ancient prejudice. He presented himself to the House last year as the product of Scotch porridge and the national covenant, and he implored us all to divest ourselves of ancient prejudices, but he did not convince me. He, like Jacob, is emphatically a smooth man. This scheme has been presented to the House with many plausible representations, but none more plausible than that of the Solicitor General, who speaks with great authority on this matter. The Solicitor General said, "Let them start with what the Catholics offered to accept, namely, what the Protestants have got." What have the Protestants got in Ireland?
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
Trinity College, Dublin, which is the principal university, was open to students of every religion, and its fellowships and governing body were open to persons of every religion. The governing body is not under the control of the bishops of the Irish Church or the Presbyterian Assembly, and it is quite possible to conceive that the Professor of Divinity at Trinity College, Dublin, might in his lectures teach theology repugnant to the prevailing opinions of the bishops of the Irish Church and of the General Assembly.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
But the Professor of Divinity might survive the test, and having changed his opinions deliver any lecture he chose. I adhere to my opinion. The Professor of Divinity might deliver lectures which were repugnant to the bishops of the Irish Church, but they would not have the slightest control over him. There is now a very strong feeling of dissatisfaction in certain sections of the Irish Church with regard to the teaching given by the professor at Trinity College. Is that the kind of university governing body which the Roman Catholic bishops are prepared to accept? This is one of the plausible forms in which this question is presented to the House, a form which when tested by examination fails entirely. There is no foundation for the argument of my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury, that because the primary education of Ireland is denominational so far as three-fourths of the country is concerned, the House ought to agree to a denominational university. Whether the schools are Protestant, Presbyterian, or Roman Catholic, the general teaching is undenominational, and I regret most strongly that the principle of unmixed schools has taken such a hold on the primary education of the country, and I cannot admit that having gone so far in the wrong direction in regard to primary education is any ground for applying to the higher education of the country a system which, in my opinion, is absolutely wrong. The proposal of the hon. Gentleman has the support of only one class in Ireland, and I fail to find that in that class there is any large majority which goes in for higher education. This is not a question merely of Trinity College; it is a question affecting the whole of the higher education of Ireland. All the graduates of the Royal University of Ireland are unanimously against this policy. On the 25th of June, 1900, there was a meeting of the graduates at which the following resolution was passed—We reaffirm our conviction that the establishment of State-endowed universities under sectarian control is repugnant not only to the fixed principles of modern educational policy, but also to the teaching of universal experience, 997 and, being detrimental to the best interests of higher education, cannot be made the basis of a satisfactory settlement of the Irish university question.That is the voice of educated Ireland, and the House may listen to it or it may not, but it is as much entitled to a sympathetic hearing in this House as the councils of social expediency. If you do not listen to the voice of educated Ireland, how are you to be certain that this policy will succeed? Are you certain that the policy of my right hon. friend will settle all these difficulties? I have here the words of Dr: Alexander Dempsey, who wrote this letter to the Freeman's Journal in March last—Those who expect the Catholics of Belfast and the north of Ireland generally to be, satisfied with a college in Dublin to supply all their requirements for university education know little of the feeling of the people. The Catholics of this enterprising progressive city will not send their sons to Dublin where they have no friends or business relatives of any kind.And he went on to postulate the demands of the Roman Catholics for the establishment of Roman Catholic university colleges in convenient centres throughout the country. The policy of social expediency is a long lane, the end of which no man can see, and we may rest assured if we once endow a denominational college in Dublin we shall have to go on endowing denominational colleges all over Ireland. As to the proposal to appoint a Royal Commission, no one will object to a Royal Commission investigating this subject in the fullest possible manner, but I cannot understand why Trinity or Maynooth College should be excluded from the purview of the Commission. If such exceptions are allowed, it can only end in the demolition of the scaffold upon which this policy has been erected. In the formation of this Commission I trust my right hon. friend will exclude from it everybody connected with education in Ireland. That is perfectly fair to all sides, but if my right hon. friend supposes he is going to obtain from the Commission a report upon which he can act, he is a much more sanguine man than my experience of Irish affairs would lead me to believe. It may be that the Commission is intended as only a stepping-stone, or an excuse, for the Government to carry out their policy. If that be so, I warn the Leader of the House that he cannot expect that its recommendations will be received with anything but the 998 most suspicious scrutiny. I cannot imagine why a Commission should be appointed at all, unless it is to inform the Lord Lieutenant, who seems to be one of the most uninformed persons in Ireland on education. It would have been much better for the Lord Lieutenant and his party if he had left the question alone. There have been useful Lords Lieutenants before him, who have been quite as successful, and who have failed in their attempt to deal with this problem. If ever this policy is carried out, the universities cannot but be deeply impregnated with a Roman Catholic atmosphere.
§ * MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has made a most interesting speech, one point of which it is very important to consider, which was that in no foreign country could we find university education so endowed. That was a curious statement, and shows that the right hon. Gentleman could not have regarded the university education system of the British colonies. I approach this question with all the greater feeling because, unlike the majority of my fellow Nationalists, I have had the advantage of a varied university education, having attended the universities at London, Bonn, and Oxford; and it is exactly because I have had this advantage that I can feel what it is for my fellow-countrymen to be deprived of the advantage of education in their own country. In the British colonies we find that the position of the Catholics is recognised, and that there is what we call State endowment for universities for them. Last year, three weeks after the debate which took place on this question, a Parliamentary Paper was published showing the way in which university education was carried out in the British colonies, and within the last few days two volumes of Reports have been published by the Board of Education which add to the strength of my argument on this point. Let me quote from the introduction of Mr. Sadler—The chief characteristic of education throughout the British colonies is the freedom with which it has been allowed to adjust itself to the different needs experienced by different parts of the Empire. There has been no centralised control over educational policy, though literary and other traditions, have naturally had a strong influence on the scope and methods of instruction. The educational systems, as described in there volumes, are marked by the utmost variety of legislative enactment.999 That is introductory to the whole of the volumes. Now let me come down to specific instances, and first—New South Wales. It will be found on page 2 of the Parliamentary Paper, page 239, Vol. 5, Education Report.In 1854, an Act of Legislature of New South Wales was passed to provide for he establishment and endowment of colleges within the University of Sydney. The preamble of the Act is as follows: 'Whereas it is expedient to encourage and assist the establishment within the University of Sydney (of colleges), in which systematic religious instruction and domestic supervision with efficient assistance in preparing for the university, teachers and examiners shall be provided for the students of the university, be it therefore enacted, etc. This Act provides, under certain conditions, for a grant from the Government of not less than £10,000 nor more than £20,000 for building purposes, in each case provided that an equal amount shall be raised by private subscriptions; and also for a grant of £500 per annum in perpetuity for the payment of the principal of each college.The point I wish to come to is that, under that Act, the four Churches or religious denominations are the United Church of England and Ireland, the Church of Rome, the Church of Scotland, and the religious society denominated Wesleyan Methodists. I speak from personal experience. I visited this university, and have seen the particular college erected for the Catholics, and the Catholics of New South Wales are satisfied with the provsiion made.
Now I turn to the case of Canada (page 13, Parliamentary Paper; page 211, vol. 4, Education Report)—The Laval University was founded in 1852 (two years previous to the founding of the Catholic University in Dublin by Cardinal, then Dr., Newman) by the Seminary of Quebec at the request of the Bishops of Lower Canada. The aim was to throw open to the French Catholic population an institute of higher education capable of equalling in importance those frequented by persons of other languages and religion. The then Governor of Canada, Lord Elgin, and his ministers wrote: 'We have no hesitation in acknowledging the justice and propriety of securing to the numerous and important body of Catholics in Canada the benefit of a University of which they have been until now deprived.'Could anything more exactly fit the case of Ireland? This happened fifty years ago, but the Catholics of Ireland are still in the position then occupied by the Catholics of Canada. And with reference to the branch of the university estabished at Montreal, I find (page 18 of the Paper, page 214 of the Report) that there is a Government grant of 20,000 dollars distributed amongst the faculties 1000 of law and medicine, general administration, and the polytechnic and veterinary schools. This is in the case of a university solely for Roman Catholics. I come now to the third case—that of Malta—an important case, because it resembles Ireland in that by far the greater proportion of its population is Catholic. According to the Report—It appears that 99 per cent. of the people of these island are Roman Catholics, and that the instruction imparted in the University and in all Government Educational Institutions in this Colony is based on Roman Catholic principles.I further find that for the year 1899 the expenditure provided for in the Annual Estimates for the university—attended solely by Catholics—was over £4,000. Here, then, are three colonies in which the university education is carried out in a way which is entirely agreeable to the religious opinions of the Catholics. Two of those colonies are self-governing, and the other is a Crown Colony. You say you have undertaken to govern Ireland better than she would do it herself. If that is so, you have a double responsibility cast upon you. In your self-governing colonies the just claims of Catholics are recognised; in Ireland no provision is made for such recognition, and you pursue a totally different policy from that adopted in the colonies. It has been said that the Irish priesthood cannot compare with the clergy in other countries. In reference to this matter I cannot help quoting an article which appears in the current issue of the Edinburgh Review, dealing very largely with this particular question of Catholic university education, as it affects the priesthood of Ireland.It is remarkable," says the writer, "that a State like Prussia, which is mainly Protestant, not only supports Catholic theological faculties in mixed universities, such as Bonn and Breslau, but also subsidises the Academy at Münster and the Lyceum at Braunsberg, which are practically entirely devoted to training candidates for the Catholic priesthood.The writer further goes on to say—It is remarkable that at Bonn and Tübingen there is a Protestant as well as a Catholic theological faculty working side by side apparently without hostility or friction. This university training may account for the fact that the Catholic clergy in Germany have amply shared in the general intellectual activity of their country during the quarter of a century.In the debate last year special reference was made to the reports from foreign 1001 countries with regard to university education, showing that the Catholics in those countries are satisfied with the facilities afforded to them. It therefore is not necessary for me to go into that point, but I should like to point out that Catholics abroad have everything they want in the way of university education. It is admitted that they are successful. We are always told that the Catholics of Germany have taken a high intellectual position, and we agree. Is it not a curious fact that you will not look into the case, and see that it is exactly because you do not give the Catholics of Ireland the fullest educational privileges that you are able to bring forward charges of a certain lack of culture—charges which are very difficult to refute, because the position is due to a lack of educational facilities? Sir Francis Bacon wrote in his letter to Lord Burghley, "I have taken all knowledge to be my province." If one man had taken all knowledge to be his province, surely a university should take all knowledge to be its province, and it is precisely because Dublin University has not done so that we come before you to-night and claim that you must enlarge the university facilities in Ireland. We have been told to-night that there is no reason to inquire into the case of Trinity College, but I consider that there is every reason for so doing. Remember, we on this side have no responsibility whatever for this Commission; but I would point out that this is not a question of merely founding a Catholic university, or a difficulty of which there is no other possible solution. Such is far from being the case. The Archbishop of Dublin, in a letter to the Dublin Daily Express, on November 16th, 1900, repeating the declaration of the Irish Hierarchy on this subject in 1871, points out that there are three possible solutions of the difficulty. He says—I have not concealed my personal preference for the settlement of our University question on the basis (1) of one National university for Ireland, a university, of course so constructed as to provide the maximum of possible freedom for all its colleges. Failing that, a settlement on the basis (2) of the establishment of a second college in the University of Dublin has always seemed to me a good solution of the problem.And yet the Catholics of Ireland are charged with being veiled in their demands!Both these lines of settlement have over and over again been considered at meetings of 1002 our Episcopal Hotly, with the result that both have been regarded as satisfactory. But the preference undoubtedly has always been given to (3) that form of settlement which was originally claimed in Cardinal Cullen's time, that is, the establishment of a separate University for Catholics.There are, therefore, three possible solutions of the question admitted by the Irish hierarchy, the second of which contemplates the establishment of a second college in Dublin University. If, however, Trinity College is excluded from this inquiry, how will it be possible to come to a satisfactory conclusion upon that proposal?
There are many other points to which I should like to refer, but, as several other Members desire to speak, I will mention only one. There is an educational movement going on in Ireland which is not thoroughly appreciated in this country, and one of which Trinity College—the only existing university in Ireland, the Royal University is a sham—has taken no notice. I refer to the revival of our national language. How can a university claim to be in any sense a national university which ceases to regard the movements of the people? How could Oxford University have ever claimed to be a national university if it had not been thoroughly representative of the people and the great movements of the time? The great Tractarian Movement in the middle of the century is a case in point. But in regard to Dublin University we find nothing of the sort. A university which takes no interest in, or, as an hon. Member tells me, attacks a movement of such educational value as the Gaelic revival, cannot possibly be regarded as a national university. I would conclude by reminding the House that in the colonies this question has been treated as one of equity. Come nearer home, and look upon this claim of Irish Catholics as one which is at least deserving of as full and careful consideration as in any of your colonies, because we are older than any of them.
§ * MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)
The hon. Member who has just spoken has made a speech showing how the mind of young Ireland is moving on this question. Earlier in the debate we had another interesting maiden speech. The hon. Member for Galway, who made a brilliant first appearance, took his side with the majority of his fellow-countrymen. 1003 He told us he was a Unionist. Until he spoke to-night I wondered how he contrived to get returned for a city which I conceived to be rooted in a creed of a different kind. After I had listened to his speech I felt that he at least had shown how it was possible to be permeated by the doctrine of governing Ireland according to Irish ideas. I congratulate him upon his brilliant speech, and I hope we shall have many more such interventions in this debate.
There is one thing in the course of this debate which I confess has struck me with astonishment, and I wish to refer to it because I think it has an important bearing upon the form the reference to the Royal Commission must assume. The motion before the House affirms two propositions which are distinct. The second one, important as it is, is the grievance which the Irish Catholic population are suffering under the existing system of education. The earlier part of the motion affirms a proposition which no speaker deems it worth while to deal with, and that is that the provision of education of the university type in Ireland is wholly inadequate. Is that a proposition which anybody in this House can controvert? I am not an Irish representative, but I have followed this question with keen interest, and I have studied these matters in Ulster and Belfast and upon the spot, and nothing has struck me so much as the total inadequacy of the speeches of the representatives of Ulster to represent the real grievance. The right hon. Gentleman who sits on the Front Bench below the gangway addressed this House as if there was really no question except one between Catholics and those who thought Catholic demands ought not to be granted. The right hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh, who spoke earlier in the debate, took exactly the same line. They ask, What is the justification for this motion? They do not seem to be aware of what the position of Ireland is in this respect as compared with the rest of the United Kingdom. Ireland has one single teaching university. It has colleges, but for every one college it has got you can point to three in this country. Ireland has one teaching university for a population of 5,000,000, whereas Scotland, with the same population, has four, 1004 England has seven, and Germany, with a population of 50,000,000, has twenty-two, besides almost innumerable technical schools of university rank. At the present moment Queen's College, Belfast, is making an effort to raise money to put itself in an adequate position, the funds with which it is endowed being totally inadequate. Thus the only college of the kind in the middle, of a great commercial city finds itself in such a position that it is not able to carry out its functions efficiently. The success of the industries of large cities depend upon the application of skill, knowledge, and of science. Any of the small insignificant German towns would put Belfast in the shade in this respect. Not long ago, through the courtesy of the authorities, I made a study of the technical institution at Berlin. This institution, which ought to have something corresponding to it in the Queen's College, Belfast, gives instruction in shipbuilding, in the application of chemistry to various industries, and in many sciences, and sends out 2,000 students annually, whom employers are glad to secure, and to the ablest of whom they give premiums for their inventions. It is a scandal that the industrial industries of the north of Ireland have not instruction of this type. A Royal Commission is to be appointed, and I share the misgivings of the hon. Member for East Mayo as to the utility of this. It is no new question. Sixty years ago Sir Robert Peel took the matter in hand and founded the Queen's colleges, and there have been innumerable inquiries and discussions since. I should have thought that a Government with a powerful majority could have offered something less jejune than a Royal Commission.: It is not long ago since the First Lord of the Treasury expressed his own opinion upon this question in an admirable letter, in which he vindicated the claims of Ireland with great courage. He put forward a scheme for two new universities, one for the north, in Belfast, and another for the south, in Dublin, which might form the basis for the general principles. Why not first lay down the general principles, and then appoint a statutory Commission to give effect to them, as was done in the case of the London University? It was for the Government to determine the prinicples.
Assuming that this Commission is 1005 going to be an accomplished fact, it is important that we should realise what the position in Ireland at this moment really is. There are at present three colleges—one in Galway, one in Cork, and one in Belfast—having an endowment of about £10,000 a year each. Galway educates a little over 100 students, Cork 200, and Belfast about 400, although Belfast used to educate more. The case of Belfast has been grossly neglected in this debate. I wish to emphasise the fact that the grievance which the House is invited to remedy is a Protestant grievance as much as a Catholic grievance. The Catholics constitute the majority, but you cannot leave out of account the important Protestant grievance. What is the position of Queen's College, Belfast? Until the year 1880 these three colleges constituted what is known as the Queen's University, which examined students and gave degrees to them. In 1880 the administration of Lord Beacons-field took a very remarkable step. To begin with, it abolished the Queen's University, and constituted the Royal University as a mere examining board. But in the next place, while professing to do this, and this only, it founded a number of Fellowships of £400 a year apiece, with the intention that a large number of them should be assigned to the Roman Catholic University College in Dublin. That was a Jesuit institution, and by this step Catholic endowment was brought about through a back door With regard to the Jesuit Institution, he had seen something of its work, which would do credit to some much better-endowed institutions. It has a substantial endowment, and the income goes into the common fund. But it has got something more. It has a large influence in regard to the examination of the Royal Irish University. Its teachers are, in many eases, examiners. I hear from all quarters that the Queen's College students feel the injustice of this, and the disadvantage at which they are placed as compared with the students of the University College in competing in the examinations of the Royal Irish University. The result is that in Belfast there is a very real grievance felt in the advantage which the Jesuit College possesses over the colleges in other parts of Ireland. In that condition of things, what is the prospect which the Government has to face? The plan of 1006 the First Lord of the Treasury seems to me to be an admirable one. He proposed to constitute two universities, one for the north and the other for the south of Ireland. They were to take the place of the Royal Irish University, and they were to be teaching universities just as much as the London University, which includes King's and University Colleges. The new university in the north was to have its seat in Belfast, and would take in as colleges, not only the Queen's College, but probably the Magee College in Londonderry, and some of the teachers of the training college at Belfast. In the south the university was to have its seat in Dublin, and would have embraced certain of the teaching bodies in the south of Ireland. That was an intelligible policy, and why was it objected to? It was objected to upon the ground that inevitably the government of the university in the north would become in the main Protestant, while that in Dublin would become Catholic. I think that was very likely to be so. You cannot avoid it in a country where denominationalism permeates every institution. In Ireland undenominational education means the equal treatment of all denominations, and nothing more.
When people like myself have to choose between no education at all and education which is denominational, I for my part much prefer that there should be denominational education—as little denominational as possible—but education I must have of some kind. It is idle for people to come here and ask, Why cannot Catholics go to Protestant colleges, or to colleges with no religious features about them? The answer is that Catholics will not go, and I do not see why they should be punished for refusing. The House is dealing with a country where four-fifths of the people are Catholics, and how is it possible to set their tenets at naught? Distinguished members of the Catholic Church in Ireland have told me that they do not ask for an atmosphere in which the teaching should be directly Catholic, but for this as a minimum—an atmosphere into which they could send their sons and daughters with some certainty that they would not be exposed to influences which would undermine their Catholic faith; they would rather have influences that were Anglican, Baptist, or Plymouth 1007 Brother than the influence of Agnosticism. You may agree or disagree, but it is a perfectly intelligible proposition. When you go to the North you find an equal demand on the part of the great Presbyterian organisations which exist there. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has taken an active part in this matter, and it has sent forth resolutions from time to time absolutely condemning the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ * MR. HALDANE
I have read half a score of them, pointing out that the existing university education is absolutely unsatisfactory.
§ * MR. HALDANE
Now at last the right hon. Gentleman stands forth as a repentant sinner. The important point is that education of a university type, for Protestants and Catholics alike, is, so far as Ireland is concerned, totally unsatisfactory. There has been before the country for some time past a definite and perfectly clear view of what the situation is from the university point of view in Ireland. You have also to recognise that there has been a proposition put forward of a perfectly specific and definite order for remedying the difficulties existing there. I have seen no reason to doubt that by far the best scheme is that which, to his credit, will ever be associated with the name of the First Lord of the Treasury. I regret that the colleagues of the right hon. Gentleman in the Government do not show the same courage that he showed. With a majority of 140 on a matter which has been thought out and debated they thought it necessary to appoint a Royal Commission! This is not the way to get anything done, and I do not think anything will come of a Royal Commission. Apparently the Government regard Trinity College as like the Ark of the Covenant—that he who laid a hand upon it would surely perish. There is a real and substantial grievance to be dealt with, and it must be dealt with according to Irish ideas, and not according to British prejudices.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester E.
Every Member of the House who was a Member of it in the last Parliament is aware that I have on several occasions had to address speeches to it on the important subject before us now; and my views, which are personal views, and which do not commit my colleagues, as they were never intended to commit my colleagues, have so often been laid before this Assembly that I do not think it necessary or desirable to attempt to traverse the whole ground or cover all the issues which are raised by the resolution on the Paper. I am rather struck by the fact that but few English or Scottish Members have risen to oppose the motion. I do not wish to emphasise that fact, or to suggest for an instant that it indicates that there is anything like unanimity or general approval on either side of the House with regard to the motion. But I do think it indicates the fact that it is not very easy to argue that the needs of Irish education—for that is the fundamental point which we have to consider—are not of a kind which require the intervention of this House, or some further assistance than this House has yet been able to give. Do not let it be understood that I underrate the natural reluctance and objection which an Assembly in the main Protestant may feel towards the proposals which I or others have from time to time recommended for solving this problem. I do not underrate those objections. They are natural, and they suggest themselves without difficulty to the electors of English and Scottish constituencies. And yet I am persuaded that they are objections which have in them no real weight or substance. My right hon. friend the Member for South Antrim quoted a statement of mine which I confess I had forgotten, but which I am quite ready to acknowledge if he fathers it upon me, that I am a person of bigoted Protestant tendencies; and he doubted whether the bigotry or, at any rate, the quality of my Protestantism was not open to some serious question. Let us just consider that point. My right hon. friend and those who think with him have two objections to a scheme for giving further facilities for the higher education of Roman Catholics in Ireland. The first is a political objection, the second is an 1009 educational objection. Now, the political objection is that the Roman Catholic Church, as its history tells us, in Ireland and elsewhere, has not only been a great religious organisation, but also a great religious organisation which has intervened very powerfully in politics in a manner in which my right hon. friend and I agree, in many cases at all events, in deeply deploring. Granted that—I am speaking in the character of the bigoted Protestant of my right hon. friend—how is the proposal of giving higher education to Roman Catholics in Ireland likely to increase the political power of the Roman Catholic Church regarded not as a religious but as a political organisation? For the life of me I am unable to see it. My right hon. friend the Member for North Armagh quoted to-night a sentence of Mr. Gladstone's, written, I think, in 1874, in which he said that the Irish priest was the master of the Irish people, that the Irish bishop was the master of the Irish priest, and that the Pope was the master of all three. If that be the present condition of the Irish people—and that is my right hon. friend's hypothesis—how is that position made worse by educating the Irish people?
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
My right hon. friend will admit that there is no university in Ireland to which the Roman Catholic laity can go except to Trinity College, Dublin. If a new university is created it would be under the authority of the Pope and the laity would be forced to go there under the authority of the bishops.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is a very argumentative interruption; but let us assume with him that the five per cent. of the Roman Catholics among the Trinity College students cease to go to Trinity College in future and go to some other college with equal liberality of statute as Trinity College. I want to ask him what difference that would make as to the control of the Irish priests over the Irish people, the Irish bishop over the Irish priest, and the Pope over all? I confess it seems to me almost inconceivable that any one should seriously suppose that the grip of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical organisation on the Irish people should be politically increased by the formation of such a university as is contemplated here. 1010 I go from the political to the educational objection. I admit that the educational objection is one which naturally appeals to the Protestant mind. What is that objection? The objection is this, and I hope that no Roman Catholic in this House will object to my stating it as it appeals to me, at all events. I believe it to be the fact that in many universities on the Continent, and perhaps elsewhere, the bases of education which have been under entirely Roman Catholic control have not shown that broad spirit of free investigation which we regard as one of the highest qualifications, one of the highest attributes of a modern university. Very well, let us assume that that is true, and my own view is that in some cases it has been true; but what then? Is it I not better that you should have a university of some kind in which education in science, in languages, in literature, in classics, in ancient history should be taught, than that you should have no I university? In these subjects there can be no clerical control. A Jesuit teaching Latin and Greek, a Jesuit teaching mathematics—[Ministerial cries of "History"]—a Jesuit teaching ancient history—(HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh.) I am putting it from an extreme point of view—what can he do to pollute the pure spring of education He can do nothing. Well, is it not better from an educational point of view, supposing that these sinister ecclesiastical influences were to have all the effect which my light hon. friend attributes to them, at all events that there should be some place where our Irish fellow-countrymen should learn these great elements of a liberal education, than that they should have no place at all? Mark you, I am putting it at the worst. I am assuming, what I have no right to assume, that some portions of modern science would not be taught with that freedom of investigation which we all desire. I mentioned, I think, in the topics that could not be perverted, classics, ancient history, mathematics; I might add all the physical sciences. Yes, all the physical sciences. They cannot be touched by clerical influence. All the secular arts—they cannot be touched by clerical influence. Are they nothing? And because my right hon. friend supposes that the views of modern history—modern religious history especially— 1011 and of modern philosophy may possibly be perverted by clerical influence, are we, on that account to refuse to the great majority of the Irish people the blessings of the higher education in those great subjects which we all admit can be equally well taught, and are equally well taught, in every university where competent teachers are allowed? I therefore venture to say that from the extreme Protestant point of view neither the political danger nor the educational danger, taken at their extreme limits, are of a kind which ought to induce this Assembly, which is in the main a Protestant Assembly, to refuse to the Irish people those great benefits of higher education which are so freely given to Scotchmen and to Englishmen.
But, while I take that view, I confess that, speaking as a bigoted Protestant, I cannot follow my right hon. and gallant friend in the view he has expressed about Trinity College, Dublin. My right hon. and gallant friend said he would welcome Trinity College, Dublin, being flooded by Roman Catholic students from all parts of Ireland. I confess my Protestantism, my liberality, does not go that length. I look at the history of Trinity College. Dublin. I see it has from the very beginning of its history been associated with Protestantism. I see that now, although it is perfectly true, as my right hon. friend near me has pointed out, that it has thrown open the door to every form of opinion, and interposes no obstacle in the way of any student, whatever his religious or irreligious opinions may be, still the prevailing atmosphere of that university is Protestant. Frankly, I rejoice at it. I am glad that in a country where the great mass of the population are not Protestant there should be this great historical place of education, Protestant by tradition, Protestant in fact, and I hope it will remain Protestant in fact, and that through all time Trinity College will be a place where a Protestant parent may send his son with the certainty that he will find in it, not, indeed, bigoted priests, not, indeed, narrow views, not any spirit of proselytism abroad, but those principles of intellectual freedom which we Protestants associate with university education. My right hon. and gallant friend differs from me. He would like to see the majority of the students 1012 Roman Catholic. He would like to see, as a consequence, the provost Roman Catholic. [Cries of "No."] All these results follow logically, directly, and immediately from the view which my right hon. and gallant friend has presented to us. I hope I am not incapable of breadth of view, but my breadth of view does not lead me into those illimitable speculations of my right hon. and gallant friend. I hear him express some dissent; where is my logic at fault?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
My right hon. and gallant friend gave an inarticulate groan, but whether it was from any defect in the reasoning I presented or not I cannot say. In any case, my view is that, however regrettable it may be, you will not see the needs of Irish education satisfied unless you follow in the case of the higher and university education of Ireland the course which you have been driven, whether you like it or not, to take in the case of primary and of secondary education. I regret it, but the man who does not accept the facts which are thrust before his eyes by every incident alike in contemporary and past history surely is guilty of deliberate blindness.
The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Haddington called the attention of the blouse to what is, or what ought to be, our leading consideration on this occasion. Has Ireland, or has it not, an adequate practical machinery for the higher education of the youth of the country? I say it is behind England, Scotland, France, Germany, and America in that respect. Do you think it an adequate way of dealing with the situation to say, "If the Irish only knew their own business they would send their sons to Trinity College, Dublin." Well, they do not send their sons to Trinity College, Dublin, and the result is that the Roman Catholics of Ireland do not have those educational advantages which we desire for them. But have all Protestants in Ireland those advantages? When I was Chief Secretary for Ireland, a good many years ago, the representatives of the Belfast Queen's College came to me more than once and earnestly pressed upon me the obvious necessity of doing something considerable for that institution. I thought their case was unanswerable; 1013 but I was obliged to tell them that the idea of giving sums of public money to the Queen's College, Belfast, which is, broadly speaking, a Presbyterian college—[Several HON, MEMBERS: No!]—well, which in the main is a Presbyterian college—[Several HON. MEMBERS. No!]—in order to equip it in the manner it ought to be equipped, was entirely illusory and absolutely impossible; that no Government would take it up, that no practical statesman would look at it, until an attempt was made to put higher education in Ireland upon a rational basis; and from that day to this Protestant education in Belfast—the great manufacturing centre of Ireland, which has to compete with England. Germany, Prance, and America—is starved because we will not consent to deal in a broad spirit with this question. I earnestly press upon the House, irrespective of those religious prejudices which stand like a wall in the way of progress, to consider whether it is decent or tolerable that we should continue to starve the education, not only of the Roman Catholics, but of the Protestants in the north of Ireland, on account of views and feelings which, though they have their justification, and are natural, must on analysis vanish before the light of higher wisdom.
I am afraid I have plunged again into the broad merits of the controversy on which I have dwelt almost too often, but I will content myself now with saying a word or two about the Commission. The hon. and learned Member for Haddington complained that the Government had consented to the Royal Commission. He said we knew all about the question, that we were a strong Government, and that, therefore, we ought to have taken the matter in hand and dealt with it. To that I would point out, in the first place, that the Commission was not our suggestion. It was suggested by the Royal University of Ireland, who, irrespective of creed, unanimously begged us to appoint a Commission to investigate their own shortcomings—I do not use the word in a critical sense, but their own failure to carry out the work for which they were created. When a great body like that, representing men of all religious opinions, came forward, and said, "We have tailed to do what we were constituted to do, we cannot do it under our authorisation, and we ask you to appoint a Commission 1014 to investigate the subject of university education in Ireland," was it possible for any responsible Government to refuse such a request? It was not possible. That alone was an adequate justification for the course which the Government have pursued. The hon. and learned Gentleman talked of this being a question to be taken up by the Government as a Government question. He knows very well that, by a tradition now existing for at least three or four generations, this is one of those questions which, in the nature of the case, are open questions. Then do not ask the Government as a Government to take it up, for that clearly is impossible. If the hon. and learned Member were Leader of a Government would he regard it as otherwise? I understand the two Front Benches are agreed as to that. I should say there is even less sympathy upon that bench than upon this. It is necessary in these circumstances that we should have the fullest information on the subject, and I trust that when the Commission reports—which I do not think will be very long—the result will be that public opinion in the country will render it perfectly possible for this House to deal practically with the problem which I have been endeavouring to elucidate.
That is all I have to say on the merits of the question. I will just say one word on the Vote which is to be given to-night if the Amendment is carried to a division. The original motion before the House is that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair, to which an Amendment has been moved dealing with the question of Irish University education. I may be permitted to say, as there may be some Members in the House not quite familiar with its forms, that, according to the universal practice, it is necessary for all those who desire to support the Government to vote for the original motion, and of course everybody on this bench, including myself, will take that view, and all who desire to support the Government will follow their example. What will be the result? The result of that will be that a division, if it is forced, will in no sense represent the views of the House on this question. Many gentlemen on this side of the House who agree entirely with me must go into the lobby against the Amendment, and that being so I would venture to 1015 suggest to the hon. Gentleman who has moved the Amendment that he would probably serve the cause he has at heart by not enforcing a division, by contenting himself with the discussion and with the general expression of the feelings of the House, which are much better indicated by the speeches which have been delivered than they can possibly be by a vote given on the Amendment. In these circumstances I trust the hon. Gentleman will not press the motion to a division. If he does, I am sorry to say I shall have to vote against him.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
I trust the House will permit me in the few moments which still remain to express very briefly some views upon this question. I desire to acknowledge in the fullest way the sympathetic tone in which the Leader of the House has spoken. This is not the first time he has spoken on this subject with sympathy, and expressed a desire to settle the question; but I must give expression to the feeling which is strong in my breast, and which must be strong in the breasts of all Irishmen who have followed this question for some years, and that is the feeling of how difficult it is to distinguish between the action of the right hon. Gentleman as an individual and his action as the representative of the Government. As an individual I admit in the fullest way the sympathy and support which he has given for many years past to this question, but I dispute altogether the proposition he has laid before the House to-night, that this is to be regarded as the one question of great and paramount importance which is to be left an open question to all Governments. What does he mean? When has it become the rule or the fashion that the Irish University question should be an open question with Governments? It was not so twenty or thirty years ago. I know not by what right he asserts that to-day it is a question upon which Members of various Governments may fairly be allowed to differ. I have not time to enter upon an elaborate argument, but I desire to put one argument before the House, viz., that there is no question affecting Ireland the history of which is such a conclusive argument in favour of Home Rule as this question of University Education. Here 1016 is a grievance affecting an overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland, and affecting them in the most intimate way, admitted to be a grievance for the last thirty years from time to time by statesmen of different parties. For the last thirty years this has been admitted to be a grievance injuriously affecting the whole wellbeing of the Irish nation, and yet generation after generation of young boys have been allowed to grow up into manhood without the advantage of university education. There never was a question upon which Government pledges, given in all solemnity to Ireland, were so flagrantly broken. In 1878 Lord Cairns, representing the Conservative party in the House of Lords, in introducing the Intermediate Education Act, said—This Bill is the necessary preliminary to a great measure dealing with higher education, the need for which is acknowledged by all political parties. This important Bill is the building of the walls of which a University Bill will be the roof.In 1885, when the Conservative party were again in office, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, then the Leader of the House, gave a specific pledge. It was not then the doctrine of the Conservative party that this was an open question. Upon that occasion the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking on behalf of the Government, gave an absolute pledge on this question. He said—They would continue to regard this question with hope, with the wish to do something to make University education more general and widespread in Ireland; and, should it be their lot to be in office next session, with the determination to make some practical proposal that would deal in a satisfactory way with this important matter.I submit that that was a specific pledge on behalf of the Government. The Conservative Government were in office the next year, and from that day to this, with the exception of the period from 1892 to 1895, they held the reins of office, and yet this pledge has never been redeemed. I respectfully say to the Leader of the House, when he declares to-night that he speaks only as an individual and not as the representative of the Government, that in 1889, when he spoke in this House, he gave an absolute pledge on behalf of this Government. He said, speaking on behalf of the Government—That the Government had no alternative but to try and devise a scheme by which the 1017 wants of the Catholics of Ireland would be met,and when pressed by Mr. Parnell on behalf of the Irish Members for an even more definite pledge, he said—There is no possibility of dealing with the question except by a Bill, and I cannot give a pledge at this moment of the exact order in which the various questions will be dealt with by the Government next session.I say with all respect that was a specific pledge, given in 1889, by the present Leader of the House, not as an individual, but as the representative of the Government. But from that day to this the pledge has remained unfulfilled.
It cannot be said that the Government has been impeded in this matter by the want of co-operation on the part of the representatives of the Catholic people of Ireland, for in, 1889 the present Leader of the House, in a speech delivered in Scotland, laid down the conditions on which the Government would deal with this question. Those conditions were specifically accepted by the Catholic hierarchy and the Nationalist Members of Parliament. Those conditions were, first, that there was to be no Catholic university in the sense of being so exclusively Catholic as to shut out people of other denominations; second, that no State aid was to be given for a theological chair; and third, that there should be a conscience clause. All those conditions were accepted. They were formally accepted by a declaration of the Catholic hierarchy, and yet no progress has been made with the question since then. I repeat that the whole history of this question is one of broken pledges given by the Government to Ireland, and I say that if the case for Home Rule stood alone on this question of university education, there would be a conclusive case made out on behalf of remitting to the Irish people the management of their own affairs. Of all the grievances affecting Ireland this is the most practical. The idea that this question affects only the richer and higher classes is an absurdity. It affects every class in the community in Ireland. To give an instance. Only the other day I was making inquiries in Dublin as to the working of the new Department of Agriculture. What was the information 1018 I obtained? That department is engaged in endeavouring to create schools of science and technical education in various parts of the country; but I was informed that the work is absolutely blocked; and why? They have found it almost impossible to get teachers for these schools in Ireland. The result will be that these schools will be permanently blocked, or else it will be necessary for the department to bring over teachers from England and Scotland. I think it would be impossible to prove in a more conclusive way the injury done to Ireland by the deprivation of the advantages of higher education.
In listening to some of the speeches to-night it struck me that there is still some apprehension as to what exactly the Catholics of Ireland are asking for in this matter. We are asking simply for equality. Allusion has been made to Dublin University by many speakers. That university was founded with the avowed object of planting the Protestant religion in Ireland. For over two hundred years that university was exclusively Protestant, and it is Protestant to-day in this respect, that the entire of its governing body is Protestant; its teaching body is Protestant; and it has a divinity school and a chapel within its walls with Protestant services. Its traditions, its spirit, and its atmosphere are all admittedly Protestant. It is unnecessary to labour that point. Trinity College is proud of its Protestant traditions, and I sympathise to a large extent with the views of the First Lord of the Treasury on that point. I remember when the Test Abolition Act was passed the Irish Catholic Members protested against a policy of secularising Trinity College. We Irish Catholics do not desire to see Trinity College divested of its Protestant atmosphere. We far prefer that it should be a Protestant institution rather than that all religion should be banished from it, and that it should be lowered to the level of the godless colleges in Cork, Belfast, and Galway. All we ask for is that the Catholics of Ireland, the great bulk of the population, should receive an equality of treatment, and should have a university as Catholic in character as Trinity College is Protestant.
1019 And, speaking of Ireland generally, let me say there is a large amount of agreement in that country on this question. The right hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh does not represent the largest or most important section of Protestant opinion in this matter. Trinity College itself has spoken in no uncertain voice, and has declared by its most distinguished professors, and to-night by one of the Members representing it in this House, that it is not opposed to a university for the Catholics of Ireland; and I say nothing is easier for the Government of the day than to propose a scheme carrying out the views which have the support of so large a number of the leading Protestants of Ireland. They have not, however, done so. They have instead proposed a Royal Commission, and on that question I desire to associate myself to the full with the remarks made by the hon. Member for East Mayo. We did not ask for this Commission. We were not consulted about the appointment of this Commission. I may say that if we had been consulted about it—speaking for myself—we would not have approved of it. I regard this Commission as an evasion of the solemn pledges of the Government, as an evasion of a plain duty, and as an attempt to postpone legislation because the Government fears to introduce a Bill. It is not the Irish opinion that on this great question, which you admit is a grievance, prevents you introducing legislation, but opinion in England. And this constitutes the strongest argument conceivable in favour of Home Rule. I have not time to deal with the question in reference to this Commission beyond saying that although an inquiry into the emoluments and management of Trinity College is to be excluded from the purview of this Commission, at the same time it will be impossible for any Commission to conduct this inquiry into university education in Ireland without taking Trinity College into account. There it is, with all its emoluments and all its educational advantages for the Protestants, and in considering how the claims of the Catholics can be fairly met this Commission will be forced to take that college as it stands, and our claim will be that they shall afford to the Catholic people of Ireland at least as high 1020 facilities and as good an educational medium as Trinity College for the benefit of Protestants. My opinion about the Commission—and I say it perfectly boldly and frankly—is that nothing will come of it. I hope the contrary will prove the truth. At the same time I would be sorry to take any responsibility in wrecking this Commission, and I do not want to do or say anything to discredit it in advance.
This brings me to the question of what advice I can give to my hon. friend with reference to taking a division. Of course I recognise the truth of what the First Lord of the Treasury has said. No division on this question to-night can fairly or honestly represent the opinion of the House, but there is something weighing on my mind above and beyond that. I believe a division taken on this question to-night, even it be an unreal majority—even if there is a large majority against the Amendment of my hon. friend—will be a discrediting beforehand of the work of the Commission. Therefore, under these circumstances I cannot advise my hon. friend to proceed to a division. My advice to him is to rest content with the debate that has taken place and with the position which we have taken. We do not take any responsibility in regard to this Commission. We do not wish to thwart or impede this Commission. We say, "Go on with your inquiry; if it leads to nothing, as most probably it will, the responsibility will not rest upon us; it will rest on you." Our hands will be untied; we will be free, as representing the laity of Ireland, to take what action we think fit in proposing a remedy, quite irrespective of any influences that are at work. For these reasons I would advise my hon. friend to withdraw his motion.
§ Objection being taken—1021
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
I submit that the closure not having been moved any hon. Member has a right to address the Chair, even though midnight is striking—
§ It being midnight, Mr. SPEAKER interrupted the business, whereupon—1022
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 235; Noes, 147. (Division List No. 134.)1023
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lawrence, William F.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Duke, Henry Edward||Lawson, John Grant|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Durning, Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. H.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Faber, George Denison||Leveson-Gower, Fredk, N. S.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J (Manc'r||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Finch, George H.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Fisher, William Hayes||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fison, Frederick William||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J (Manch'r)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Flower, Ernest||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Forster, Henry William||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Garfit, William||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond.||M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cambs.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb., W.|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. W. W. B (Hants||Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bond, Edward||Gordon, Maj Evans- (T'rH'ml'ts||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Melville, Beresford V.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Middlemore, John T.|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Milward, Col. Victor|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Graham, Henry Robert||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Bull, William James||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Montagu, C. (Huntingdon)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||More, Robert J. (Shropshire)|
|Butcher, John George||Grenfell, William Henry||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Gretton, John||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Hain, Edward||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hamilton, Rt Hn L'rd G (Midd'x||Moss, Samuel|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Mount, William Arthur]|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm.||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Channing, Francis A listen||Haslett, Sir James Homer||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hay, Hon. (Maude George||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Chapman, Edward||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Charrington, Spencer||Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Helder, Augustus||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Higgin bottom, S. W.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Horner, Frederick William||Penn, John|
|Colston, Chas, E. H. Athole||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Perks, Robert William|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Howard, John (Kent, Faversh.)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Purvis, Robert|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil||Rasch, Maj. Frederic Carne|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Remnant, Jas. Farquharson|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Renwick, George|
|Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'ml'ts, S Geo.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Keswick, William||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Ropner, Col. Robert|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Bound, James|
|Doughty, George||Law, Andrew Bonar||Rutherford, John|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Thornton, Percy M.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Tollemache, Henry James||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Valentia, Viscount||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Seely, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Wanklyn, James Leslie||Wylie, Alexander|
|Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)||Warde, Col. C. E.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Ta'nt'n||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Spear, John Ward||Welby, Sir Chas, G. E. (Notts.)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Stewart, Sir Mark J. M Taggart||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Stock, James Henry||Whitmore, Charles Algernon||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Hammond, John||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud||Hardie, J Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Harwood, George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Asquith, Rt Hn. Herbert Henry||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Dowd, John|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Bell, Richard||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Black, Alexander William||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Mara, James|
|Boland, John||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Boyle, James||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O'Shee, James John|
|Brigg, John||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Partington, Oswald|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Horniman, Frederick John||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Caine, William Sproston||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Caldwell, James||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Priestley, Arthur|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Rea, Russell|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Bell, Richard||Jordan, Jeremiah||Reddy, M.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Joyce, Michael||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kearley, Hudson E.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Kennedy, Patrick James||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Colville, John||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Labouchere, Henry||Rigg, Richard|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lambert, George||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Crean, Eugene||Langley, Batty||Roche, John|
|Cremer, William Randal||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cullinan, J.||Leamy, Edmund||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Daly, James||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh|
|Delany, William||Leng, Sir John||Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Levy, Maurice||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire|
|Dillon, John||Lough, Thomas||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lundon, W.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Spencer, Rt. Hn C R (Northants|
|Duffy, William J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||M'Cann, James||Sullivan, Donal|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Dermott, Patrick||Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings|
|Edwards, Frank||M'Govern, T.||Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)|
|Emmott, Alfred||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan N.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Tomkinson, James|
|Field, William||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Tully, Jasper|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Markham, Arthur Basil||Ure, Alexander|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Minch, Matthew||Weir, James Galloway|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Mooney, John J.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Gilhooly, James||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||White, Patrick (Meath, North|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J.||Murnaghan, George||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Murphy, J.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Grant, Corrie||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Norman, Henry||Sir Thomas Esmonde and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
Question put accordingly, and agreed to.
§ Main Question put accordingly.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 239; Noes, 138. (Division List No. 135.)1027
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Fison, Frederick William||Malcolm, Ian|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fitzroy, Hn. Edw. Algernon||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden||Flower, Ernest||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Foster, Henry William||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Garfit, William||Middlemore, Jno. Throgmorton|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond.||Milward, Col. Victor|
|Arrol, Sir William||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gordon, Maj Evans (T'rH'mlets||Morgan, Hn Fred. (Monm'thsh.|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mount, William Arthur|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Graham, Henry Robert||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Ban bury, Frederick George||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry|
|Bartley, George C T.||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Grenfell, William Henry||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Gretton, John||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants.||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hain, Edward||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens-|
|Bond, Edward||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'ry||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Brigg, John||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Penn, John|
|Bull, William James||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Heath, J. (Staffords., N.W.)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Butcher, John George||Helder, Augustus||Purvis, Robert|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hermon-Hodge, Rbt. Trotter||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Higginbottom, S. W.||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Horner, Frederick William||Renwick, George|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Ridley, Hon. M. W (Stalybridge|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversh.)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hozier, Hn. Jas. Henry Cecil||Round, James|
|Chapman, Edward||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Rutherford, John|
|Charrington, Spencer||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Kenyon, Hn. Geo T. (Denbigh||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Cohen, Benjamin L.||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Keswick, William||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Colston, Charles Edw. H. A.||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Law, Andrew Bonar||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lawrence, William F.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lawson, John Grant||Spear, John Ward|
|Cubitt, Hon. Hemy||Lee, Arthur H (Hants, Fareham||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stock, James Henry|
|Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'inlets, S Geo.||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol, S.)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Doughty, George||Lowther, Rt Hn. W (Cum. Penr.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Dske, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. Hart||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Warde, Col. C. E.|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Macdona, John Cumming||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Faber, George Denison||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Maconochie, A. W.||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. (Manc'r||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||M'Calmont, Cl. H. L. B. (Cambs||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und Lyne|
|Finch, George H.||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Majendie, James A. H.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Wilson, John (Falkirk)||Wortley, Rn. Hon. C. P. B Stuart-||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Wilson, John (Glasgow)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud||Harwood, George||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Mara, James|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bell, Richard||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Shee, James John|
|Boland, John||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Perks, Robert William|
|Boyle, James||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Horniman, Frederick John||Priestly, Arthur|
|Caine, William Sproston||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Rea, Russell|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.||Jameson, Maj. J. Eustace||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||Reddy, M.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Jordan, Jeremiah||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Joyce, Michael||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)|
|Colville, John||Kennedy, Patrick James||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, George||Rigg, Richard|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Langley, Batty||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Crean, Eugene||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Roche, John|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leamy, Edmund||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cullinan, J.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Daly, James||Leng, Sir John||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Delany, William||Levy, Maurice||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Lundon, W.||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Dillon, John||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Soares, Ernest|
|Doogan, P. C.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Norh'nts|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||M'Cann, James||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Duffy, William J.||M'Dermott, Patrick||Sullivan, Donal|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||M'Govern, T.||Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thomas, J A (Gl'morg'n, Gower)|
|Edwards, Frank||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N.|
|Emmott, Alfred||Minch, Matthew||Tomkinson, James|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Mooney, John J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Field, William||Morton, Arthur H A. (Deptford)||Tully, Jasper|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Moss, Samuel||Ure, Alexander|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Murnaghan, George||Weir, James Galloway|
|Gilhooly, James||Murphy, J.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||White, Patrick (Meath, North|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Grant, Corrie||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Williams, O. (Merioneth)|
|Grey, Sir Edw. (Berwick)||Norman, Henry||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||G'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Md||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.||Sir Thomas Esmonde and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Hammond, John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|