HC Deb 06 March 1912 vol 35 cc377-8

asked whether the Government has made itself respon- sible for the housing of the University of London throughout its history; whether in the Treasury Minute, dated 16th February, 1899, the liability to provide a dignified and suitable home for the university, and also to make such provision as might thereafter be needed for the full extension and development of the university under the Statutes and Regulations made by the Commissioners appointed by the Act of 1898, was acknowledged; and what steps His Majesty's Government propose to take in the matter, in view of the present unsatisfactory accommodation for the university as disclosed in the Report of the Royal Commission on University Education in London issued on the 15th day of December, 1911?


The Government have, as a matter of fact, provided accommodation for the London University throughout its history. The Treasury Minute cited by the hon. Member was written before the removal of the old university to South Kensington, and refers to the possibility of an arrangement, which was actually carried out, between the authorities of the Imperial Institute and the Treasury. It must not be construed as admitting liability on the part of His Majesty's Government to provide for all possible requirements of the university in the future. The recent Report of the Royal Commission points out that the University must depend to a large extent upon private endowments for its full development. The Government do not think that it would be opportune to take any step in connection with the present accommodation for the university before the final Report of the Royal Commission has been issued.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that a large number of public bodies which are ready to contribute towards the establishment of a building for London University are only waiting to see what action the Government will take in accordance with their promise?


I believe that is so.