HL Deb 08 March 1831 vol 3 cc177-9

The Earl of Haddington, adverting to the circumstance that a plan of Reform was under consideration in the other House, by which some additional Members of Parliament were to be given to Scotland, observed, that it might be well worth while to consider whether it would not be expedient to give the power of returning a Member to Parliament to each of the two principal Scotch Universities. It was known that all the Universities of Scotland had lately been visited by a Royal Commission, to examine into their state and situation, and this might facilitate the means of procuring that information which might be necessary to enable their Lordships to come to a sound conclusion on the question. He did consider it due to these learned bodies to consider whether it might be proper, so far to extend the elective franchise to them. In order to bring before their Lordships the information to which he alluded, he moved that an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that his Majesty would be pleased to cause to be laid on the Table of this House an account of the number of Graduates who had taken the degree of Doctor in Divinity, Law, or Medicine, or the Degree of Master of Arts, in the University of Edinburgh, from the year 1800, to the year 1830, both inclusive; and also a similar return for Glasgow.

The Earl of Rosebery, although it was not usual to second motions in that House, was yet anxious to express his cordial approbation of the Motion of his noble friend, and of the object for which it was made. He wished that the right of Representation might be extended to those learned bodies, and he had no doubt that they would receive the boon with gratitude, and exercise it to the advantage of the community at large.

The Bishop of London

wished, that a distinction should be made between the resident and non-resident graduates.

The Earl of Haddington

said, that was hardly possible, for the Scotch Students did not reside within the walls of their several Universities and Colleges.

Lord Tenterden

observed, that it was highly desirable that the distinction should be made, for it often happened that persons in very inferior grades in the profession of medicine, and perhaps in other professions, went to these Northern Universities, and, without any residence or attendance at lectures, or, at least, after a very short residence or attendance, procured diplomas for themselves.

The Earl of Haddington

was not aware that there would be any difficulty in pointing out the amount of attendance on lectures given by the several persons who graduated during the period mentioned, although it would be impossible to make the distinctions required by the right rev. Prelate.

Lord Wynford

thought, that the amount of attendance ought, at least, to be distinctly specified.

The Earl of Haddington

withdrew his Motion, in order to put it in a different shape,