§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time said, that its object was to take the College out of the anomalous position in which it was left by the Commission of 1854. Christ Church was not only a college, but a cathedral, The Commission was not empowered to deal with the cathedral body in the first instance, and the fact that it had not done so led to considerable difficulty and to disagreements between the Students and the Dean and Chapter. The students of Christ Church stood in the same relation to the Dean and Chapter to that in which the scholars of other Colleges stood towards the Fellows. The Dean and Chapter previously were the governing body; they had the sole management of the estates, and the Students were in a subordinate position. The statutes of the several Colleges having been altered, close fellowships were done away with, and the competition between the different colleges placed the 1426 Students of Christ Church at a disadvantage. Being no part of the governing body, and not having sufficient funds to promote educational purposes, difficulties arose which it was the object of the Bill to remove. One disadvantage from which they suffered was that sermons could not be preached in the chapel for the benefit of the undergraduates. These matters were submitted to five referees—Sir John Coleridge, Sir W. Page Wood, Sir Roundell Palmer, Mr. Twisleton, and himself, and the result was the preparation of the Ordinances attached to this Bill.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Archbishop of Canterbury.)
§ EARL STANHOPE
said, he was glad the most rev. Primate had brought forward this Bill, He approved in particular of the 28th clause, the effect of which, as he understood it, was to abolish academical distinctions of dress and designation between the three classes of students; distinctions moreover which involved three different scales of charges to students sitting at the same table.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
said, he feared the noble Earl was mistaken about the effect of the 28th clause, which seemed to him to be in effect permissive, inasmuch as it was exempted from taking effect along with the other ordinances. He entirely approved the general scope and tenor of the Bill.
§ EARL STANHOPE
thought he was substantially right, as he had lately been assured, on competent authority at Oxford, that the Bill would give power to the Governing Body to abolish these distinctions.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
said, that the clause removing academic distinctions was qualified to the extent that there was a transference of the power of fixing the terms of admission for Noblemen and Gentlemen Commoners; and he should not have said that the question of distinction was raised in the way the noble Earl (Earl Stanhope) supposed. He objected to the transference of the power to the Governing Body, inasmuch as it placed the Dean of Christ Church in a position occupied by the Head of no other College; it disqualified him from exercising a power he always had exercised; and so far the clause would be productive of inconvenience. It did not follow that the Governing Body would exercise their powers in the way contemplated by the 1427 28th clause, by removing distinctions of dress and designation; but it was competent for them to do so whether the Dean approved or not. The clause, he believed, was no part of the original ordinances, but it had been introduced since they were drawn up.
§ Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.