HC Deb 04 May 1908 vol 187 cc1620-1
MR. MASSIE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether inasmuch as a detailed classification, with credentials, of the persons proposed as the first Senate of the University to have its seat in Belfast has been published in Cd. 4042, the omission of a similar classification in Cd. 4041 in respect of the University to have its seat in Dublin has occurred by inadvertence; and whether he will remedy this omission.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Senate of the new University to have its seat in Belfast will be constituted on a permanent basis, out of elements already in existence, after the period of five years referred to in the first clause of the Bill. Though all the members of the first Senate are to be nominated by the Crown, it has been possible in selecting the members to keep in view the exact proportion of the classes into which members of the permanent governing body will fall. Though the assignment of some members of the first Senate to one category rather than to another is a somewhat arbitrary matter, the names are shown in relation to the permanent constitution; and this will facilitate the filling of casual vacancies during the initial period in such manner that the Senate will work from the beginning as if it were a representative body. But the other University is to be of a federal type, having three constituent colleges, each of which will in time have its own governing body constituted on the principle of representation. These governing bodies, each containing representatives of the Crown, the University Senate, the professors, the graduates, and the local governing bodies, will send representatives to the Senate when that body is constituted on its permanent basis. But of the three colleges, one does not yet exist and the other two will not have governing bodies constituted on a permanent basis until some three years after the inauguration of the new University. I did not consider it practicable to observe an exact correspondence with the permanent constitution of the Senate in choosing the members of the first nominated Senate. For this reason the names are arranged in alphabetical order and not in classes. As regards the credentials of the members, I know that every one is qualified to be a member of a University Senate, and the great majority have had ample experience of education as teachers or administrators.