§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee (on Re-commitment) read.
§ Moved, "That the House do now resolve itself into Committee."—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE
said, that the postponement of the Cambridge Bill to another Session would be regarded as a great disappointment by those who were interested in that University. There was a very general feeling in the University itself that Parliamentary action was desirable. He would not go into the details of the present Bill, but he wished to offer a few general remarks upon it. It had become clear that some systematic organization was necessary to the fuller development of the combined resources of the University and Colleges; and there was very little doubt that even had it been left to the University themselves, it would have made an attempt to work out the matter. There was, however, a general desire that the Government should deal with the subject; and the best way was to deal with it by a Commission. Some of the Colleges, however, did not look with satisfaction on the powers that were conferred upon the Commissioners, and thought that the Bill, as it now stood, did not give sufficient security to the Colleges.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER
said, he had received a Petition from the Rector and Scholars of Exeter College, Oxford, praying, among other matters, that direction should be given as to the principles upon which the preparation of the statutes should proceed; that two-thirds of the governing bodies should have power of stopping any legislation bearing on the College; and that, in making statutes for 927 the Colleges, provision should be made for pensions and retiring allowances. He would only address himself to the subject of the first prayer of the Petition, because he did not think the noble Marquess had sufficiently considered the clause which gave Colleges power to make statutes for themselves. In the old University Reform Act that power was quite in place, because the Colleges had simply to consider how they could best do their own work; but under the present Bill, which brought them into relations with the University, they had no means of knowing what would be required of them on account of those relations. How was it possible for the Colleges to frame statutes in order to meet certain requirements on the part of the University of which they knew nothing? If they made any statutes under these circumstances, the Commissioners might say—"Your statutes would be very good if you had taken the same view of University requirements that we do. But we have taken an entirely different view, and consequently your labour is thrown away. "It was, therefore, obvious that, if the Colleges were to exercise the power proposed to be conferred upon them by this Bill, they ought to know beforehand what the Commissioners intended to demand of them on behalf of the University, and also on what principle the Commissioners proposed to make these requirements upon the Colleges in their relation to each other. It might be said that the Commissioners would consider this matter in concert with the University, and that as they were men of common sense they might be trusted to do what was right. But while they were engaged in this consideration the time for the Colleges to make their statutes would be running on; and when the Commissioners could give the necessary information the Colleges might find that it was too late for them to act. This appeared to him a very serious defect in the Bill, and he hoped the noble Marquess would do something to remedy it. All that was wanted, as far as he could see, was a clause directing the Commissioners, after due inquiry, to make a public statement of the requirements of the University, and how those requirements ought to be met by the Colleges, and providing that the time during which the Colleges were to make statutes for 928 themselves should commence after the publication of that statement, and should be sufficiently long to admit of the subject being duly considered.
§ VISCOUNT MIDLETON
said, that every University man with whom he had come in contact thought they owed a greater debt of gratitude to the Colleges than to the University, and desired that the Colleges should be fairly dealt with. The question as between the Colleges and the University had been tried during the last 20 years, and he maintained that the Colleges had fairly beaten the University, though they had been heavily weighted in the race. English parents still preferred—and he did not wonder at it—to send their sons to Colleges where they were brought into contact with, and were under the personal influence of, able and talented men, rather than to send them simply to be students under any Professor, however learned, who could not exercise over the minds of his pupils those direct personal influences which were most valuable in education. There could be no more fatal course than to do anything which could detract in anyway from the efficiency of the existing College system. He was exceedingly sceptical as to the effect upon the promotion of original research which would be produced by the endowment of largely paid sinecures. If original research was to be promoted at all, it would be done far better by attaching some condition of special study to Fellowships in certain Colleges, and, if possible, by endowing two or three scholarships for the same object. He would take the single case of Physics as an illustration. At the present moment there was a most able Professor working at Oxford, but what was his complaint? That it was impossible for him to go into all the subjects which made up that most interesting but intricate science. There were at least three branches into which Physics ought to be divided, and there should be, if possible, a Professor in the shape of a Fellow competent to teach each particular branch of the subject, for it was impossible that any one man could do justice to all three. He presumed it was not contemplated by that Bill to endow three Professors for that Science; and he much doubted whether the real study of the Science would be promoted even if that were done. Infinitely more would be accomplished by giving two or three 929 particular Colleges an interest in a particular study by attaching to the Fellowships the duties of a Professor, and so bringing him more directly into contact with the body who would form his class, and thus enabling him to exercise a personal influence over them. With regard to "idle" or—as he preferred to call them—"prize" Fellowships, they ought to be careful how they allowed them to be diminished. The probable effect of such a course on the Church had been previously pointed out to their Lordships. He wished to refer to its effect on the Bar. Never, he believed, was mediocrity more rife at the Bar than now. The race of life was now so hard, and the competition so keen, that it was almost impossible for any able young man who took up the Bar as his profession to make his way for years, unless he had some means to depend upon while he fought his uphill battle. It became, therefore, a matter of importance, having regard to the fitness of candidates for high legal appointments, to consider how real ability was to be attracted to the profession unless something were done to secure, for the benefit of the nation, the services of those who could not follow that most expensive profession unless some means were placed at their disposal during the earlier part of their career. Again, there was an utter absence of any apparent provision in the form of scholarships for the unattached students—a numerous and increasing body, which was supposed to be the most promising result of recent University reform. Some such provision might, he thought, be introduced into the Bill, giving encouragement out of any surplus revenue which might be obtained to young men of rare ability and narrow means to go up to the University. Then, with respect to the sale of small livings, the greatest difficulty now existed at the University in getting Fellows to accept those livings. Something in the shape of Lord Westbury's Act with regard to the Chancellor's livings might be applied with benefit to the University to some of the smaller benefices in the gift of the Colleges. The reform of Congregation ought also to be included in a Bill like the present. As now constituted, Congregation included not only those who were interested in the studies of the University, but also the incumbents of every parish who had taken their degrees at the 930 University, and laymen who had graduated and had happened to take up their abode within a certain distance. Considering the questions which came before Congregation—questions purely affecting the discipline and teaching in the University—it was not desirable to depute to so heterogeneous a body as that the task of their regulation:—and some test of fitness should be imposed on those who took part in such deliberations. Again, it was a grievous anomaly that the country clergy, the country gentlemen, and the professional men who formed the bulk of the electors of the University should be whipped up from time to time to pronounce, it might be, on the orthodoxy of a particular divine, or, perhaps, on his fitness for the post of Select Preacher. He did not see the good of asking men to decide on a question on which the opinion of not one in ten of them was worth having. Again, considering the enormous power with which the Commissioners would be invested, and that in every scheme they sanctioned they would be bound to have regard to the general benefit it would confer on the University, it was most desirable that those schemes should be placed before their Lordships—not as those of the Endowed School Commissioners were, one by one—but that they should be all laid on the Table as part of a harmonious whole, with a Report showing the precise relation which each bore to the other, and how they could all be combined into a great scheme for the common advantage of the University.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
regretted that the speeches they had just heard were not addressed to the House on the second reading, when he thought they would more properly have suited the occasion. It would seem that noble Lords having failed to address the House on the second reading had been stung by remorse, for they had since sought opportunities of delivering the speeches which they ought to have delivered at that stage. Now, most of the objections now raised were answered by the propositions in the Bill before them. He never thought of sacrificing one iota of the efficiency of the Colleges to the efficiency of the University. All he had contended was that these Colleges had not only enough, but a superfluity; and having a superfluity, he thought it might very fairly be applied to the in- 931 creasing of the efficiency of the University, to which these Colleges owed their influence and their power. The interests of the Colleges would be attended to first, and those of the University afterwards. The noble Viscount who had just spoken (Viscount Midleton) said it was very desirable that some harmonious plan should be devised; but he (the Marquess of Salisbury) thought it would puzzle the noble Viscount and their Lordships to put that plan in an Act of Parliament in such a shape that it would not hamper the Commissioners and prevent them from carrying out their views. He had no doubt they would frame some such a plan; and as the Commissioners on the one hand and the Colleges on the other were not to be locked up from one another, no doubt there would be such a communication between them as would prevent the possibility of isolated schemes, such as the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter) appeared to fear. The only other point on which he thought it necessary to remark was that which referred to unattached students. He believed the Bill would give ample provision for the encouragement of students not attached to Colleges.
§ VISCOUNT CARDWELL
said, that one of the Memorials that had been presented from Oxford on this subject stated that it was absolutely necessary that there should be a complete inquiry into the revenues and requirements of the University before it could be decided to what objects the surplus funds of the Colleges could be best applied; that since the passing of the Act of 1854 great changes had been going on in the University and the Colleges; that there was more want of knowledge as to the present state of the University and the Colleges than there was in 1854; that there had been no proper discussion in the University itself as to the best mode of applying these funds; that the first thing to be done was that the Commissioners should obtain a thorough knowledge of the different views taken at Oxford about the best reforms that could be adopted, and that there should be a thorough knowledge on the part of Parliament and the country, not merely that knowledge of the funds which the Report of the recent Commission had supplied, but that which was still wanting, a knowledge of the objects to which those funds could, with the greatest advantage, be 932 applied. Great alarm had been excited by what his noble Friend opposite had said about "idle Fellowships." It would be very easy largely to endow Chairs, or to convert large sums into new buildings, and if that money should happen to be improvidently expended it would not be easy to recall it. There was a very general opinion on the part of those who had taken the greatest share in advancing the progress of Oxford that, after all, those "idle Fellowships" were the primum mobile of the whole University. He hoped that the first things to which the Commissioners would apply themselves would be to ascertain the requirements of the University.
§ THE DUKE OF CLEVELAND
agreed with the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter), who said, very properly, that before you proceeded to legislate upon the Colleges you should ascertain by some process or other what were the requirements of the University itself. He believed it would be a mistake to expect a great increase of revenue at an early date, and that therefore they should not commence at once to endow Professorships out of the College funds.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
thought that as the larger points involved by the principle of the Bill had been disposed of, the House might now go into Committee upon the measure with advantage.
§ House in Committee.
§ Clauses 1 (Short title) and 2 (Interpretation) agreed to.
§ Clause 3 (Body of Commissioners) agreed to.
§ Clause 4 (Nomination of Commissioners).
§ Verbal Amendments made.
THE EARL OF MORLEY
said, this was really the important clause in the Bill. It was a very delicate and invidious task to scrutinize the composition of a Commission—especially when it consisted of men of great public reputation—but he could not allow this clause to pass without taking exception to the composition of this Commission. He felt it his duty to state his opinion—which he believed was shared by most of those 933 who were interested in University reform—that the Commission, as now constituted, was most unsatisfactory to those who took an interest in the progress of our Universities. He must remark, in the first place, upon the absence on that Commission as nominated by the clause of any individual except one who was thoroughly acquainted with the modern phase of Oxford. The gentleman whose name stood third upon the list, the Dean of Chichester, was the only one who was acquainted with Oxford in the modern sense of the term, and he, unfortunately, was known there as a most decided partizan—although it was beyond a doubt that the views he held with so much pertinacity were most honestly entertained. The appointment of the Dean of Chichester would be unacceptable to most of the Colleges. He must ask their Lordships whether it was right that so strong a partizan should be appointed on this Commission. He entirely disclaimed being influenced in this matter by what the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) had termed clerico-phobia—his objection to the gentleman to whom he referred was in consequence of his well-known views upon University questions, and not because he was a clergyman. He hoped that the noble Marquess would consent to strike the name of that gentleman out of the clause, and would substitute for it one who, besides being well acquainted with Oxford, entertained more moderate views on the questions which would come before the Commission. He regretted that owing to the course taken by the noble Marquess last night he had been unable to give due Notice of his intention to move an Amendment upon the clause. He now moved to amend the clause by striking out the words "The very Reverend John Williams Bargon, Dean of Chichester."
§ Moved to leave out ("The very Reverend John Williams Bagon, Dean of Chichester.")—(The Earl of Morley.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, that the course taken by the noble Earl (the Earl of Morley) was without precedent in moving an Amendment of such importance without having given Notice. The list of the names of the Commissioners had been made known last Monday, and since then the noble Earl had had ample opportunity of giving Notice 934 of his intention to move his Amendment had he thought fit to do so. Nothing could be more difficult than to meet an Amendment of this nature, because it was impossible to discuss in public the reasons why Her Majesty's Government had selected the gentlemen whose names had been placed on the Commission—it must be obvious that great reserve must be exercised on such a subject. When the noble Earl said that the Dean of Chichester was a partiazn, that meant the Dean of Chichester did not agree with the noble Earl. That was, no doubt, true;—but it was the duty of Her Majesty's Government to find gentlemen who would represent different colours of opinion. As a matter of fact, on looking at the names of the Commissioners he found that it would consist of four Liberals and three Conservatives; and that among the latter there was one whose views with regard to University questions were not generally entertained by Conservatives. But because there was on the Commission one single individual whose opinions differed from those of the noble Earl, it was said that his name ought to be struck off the list on the ground that he was a partizan. He thought that this was a tyranny of opinion on the part of the noble Earl which might perhaps be justified if the Conservative Party were in a hopeless minority, but which certainly could not be justified when Parties were, to say the least of it, tolerably well balanced. The appointment of the Dean of Chichester had recommended itself to Her Majesty's Government on the ground that he was well acquainted with Oxford, that though a clergyman deeply attached to the Established Church, he was not a man of extreme theological views, that he was well acquainted with the University, and that, on the whole, the appointment was one that was desirable. He must, however, absolutely decline entering upon the invidious task of analyzing the character of the Dean of Chichester, and all he could say was that if the noble Earl pressed his Amendment to a Division, he should vote against it.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
protested against the doctrine that they were precluded from criticising the composition of the Commission. The names of the Commissioners were in the Bill, and were therefore public property; and 935 as it was proposed to entrust very important powers to the Commission, Parliament had the right—it was their duty—to criticize whatever names they thought proper. He could not conceive a more vicious principle than to select men for this Commission because they were Liberals or Conservatives. He objected to the Dean of Chichester being placed upon this Commission, not because he was a Conservative, but because he had taken such a part in University affairs as disqualified him from sitting upon this Commission.
, as a personal friend of the Dean of Chichester, repudiated the idea that he was a partizan in University affairs—he would go further and would assert that from his long and intimate acquaintance with Oxford he was most fit to sit on this Commission.
§ LORD CARLINGFORD
said, he had heard with surprise the statement of the noble Marquess that the proposal of his noble Friend (the Earl of Morley) was without precedent. The noble Marquess could scarcely have forgotten the fact that on the occasion of the former Bill being introduced in the other House of Parliament the names of the proposed Commissioners were canvassed at great length, and the result was, if not an alteration of, at any rate some additions to, the names proposed in the Bill. He understood the proposal of his noble Friend to have been made because while none of the eminent men who could represent reforming opinions in the University had been proposed to be placed upon the Commission, it was intended by Her Majesty's Government to include in the list the name of a gentleman who had for a long time passed expressed in the plainest terms the strongest anti-reforming views.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that in view of the fact that the names of the proposed Commissioners were openly announced in their Lordships' House on Monday last, he was surprised that no notice of intention to raise objection to any of the names suggested had been given, either publicly or privately. The Government had, therefore every reason to suppose, until the noble Lord moved to omit the name of the Dean of Chichester, that the composition of the Commission had given satisfaction. The only objection he had heard to the Dean of Chichester was, that he was a partizan. 936 What did that mean? Why, that the Dean was a man who held strong views on various questions, and did not fail to express them. But it was not to be supposed that other members of the proposed Commission were in perfect harmony with him, or that they would refrain on occasion from expressing their own opinions on the matters with which they would have to deal. He should despair of any satisfactory result if the Commission did not embrace men of different views, representing different schools of thought. He thought the Dean of Chichester would be an advantage rather than a disadvantage to the Commission.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
said, he should support the proposal to omit the name of the Dean of Chichester from the Commission, on the ground that his name would not command the confidence of a very considerable section of the University.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, the opinions of the other members of the Commission were not so well known as those of the Dean of Chichester. He had not the pleasure of knowing the Dean; but he certainly had heard from the University strong expressions of amazement at the proposal to appoint him as one of the Commissioners. The Dean had for a long time held and expressed extreme views on University matters; and if, as the noble and learned Lord had said, those views were likely to be met and dealt with by other members of the Commission, he should like to know the name of the learned counsel on the other side.
§ On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 60; Not-Contents 30: Majority 30.937
|Canterbury, Archp.||Carnarvon, E.|
|Cairns, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Dartmouth, E.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)|
|Bath, M.||Hardwicke, E.|
|Hertford, M.||Harrowby, E.|
|Salisbury, M.||Jersey, E.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Malmesbury, E.|
|Belmore, E.||Onslow, E.|
|Bradford, E.||Shrewsbury, E.|
|Cadogan, E.||Stanhope, E.|
|Waldegrave, E.||Dumnore, L. (E. Dunmore.)|
|Hawarden, V. [Teller.]||Ellenborough, L.|
|Strathallan, V.||Elphinstone, L.|
|Bangor, Bp.||Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)|
|Chichester, Bp.||Hampton, L.|
|Ely, Bp.||Harlech, L.|
|London, Bp.||Headley, L.|
|Rochester, Bp.||Howard de Walden, L.|
|St. Asaph, Bp.||Massy, L.|
|Mont Eagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Acton, L.||Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)|
|Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)||Rayleigh, L.|
|Clanbrassill, L. (E. Roden.)||Skelmersdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Clinton, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Colchester, L.||Templemore, L.|
|Delamere, L||Ventry, L.|
|de Ros, L.||Winmarleigh, L.|
|Saint Albans, D.||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]|
|Lansdowne, M.||Carlingford, L.|
|Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine)|
|Camperdown, E.||Ettrick, L. (L. Napier.)|
|Dartrey, E.||Foley, L.|
|Granville, E.||Monson, L.|
|Kimberley, E.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Morley, E. [Teller.]|
|Canterbury, V.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)|
|Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)|
|Abinger, L.||Waveney, L.|
|Belper, L.||Wolverton, L.|
§ Resolved in the Affirmative.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 5 (Vacancies among Commissioners) agreed to.
§ Duration: Proceedings.
§ Clause 6 (Duration of the Commission).
§ The clause limited the duration of the Commission to the year 1880, with power to Her Majesty in Council to extend the limit to 1883.
§ THE MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE moved an Amendment limiting the power of prolonging the powers of the Commissioners to one year.
Page 2, line 17, leave out after first ("and") and insert ("seventy-nine; and it shall be lawful
for Her Majesty if she think fit, with the advice of Her Privy Council, further to continue their powers until the end of the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty.")—(The Marquess of Lansdowne.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
feared that the effect of the proposed restriction might possibly be the scamping of the inquiries in order that the labours of the Commissioners might be concluded within the prescribed time. He did not at all desire that their labours should continue longer than was necessary; although he could not concur with those who thought that needful reforms would not be carried out during the existence of the Commission. He believed that they would.
§ Amendment (by Leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 7 (Chairman and meetings of Commissioners); Clause 8 (Seal of Commissioners); Clause 9 (Vacancies not to invalidate Acts) agreed to.
§ Statutes for University and Colleges.
§ Clause 10 (Power for University and Colleges to make Statutes).
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
asked whether statutes made by a College before the Commissioners took the matter in hand would be submitted to the Committee of the Privy Council?
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 11 (Power for Commissioners to make statutes for University and Colleges) agreed to.
§ Clause 12 (Limitation of one hundred years.)
§ The Clause provided that the Commissioners shall not make a statute affecting a University or College unless the instrument of foundation or of endowment thereof was made or executed more than one hundred years before the passing of this Act.
§ THE EARL OF MORLEY moved, in page 3, lines 39 and 40, to leave out ("one hundred") and insert ("fifty,") the alteration, he said, being necessary in order that the University might not 939 be placed in a worse position than at present.
said, he should vote for his noble Friend's Amendment, but, at the same time, he should not object to see the clause left out of the measure altogether.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
admitted that the clause raised their old Friend "the pious founder" again, who had formerly given so much trouble. Some people seemed to think that there should be no permanence given to bequests, and that what a man left to day Parliament ought to dispose of tomorrow. If this principle obtained, bequests would absolutely cease. He did not seek to establish the doctrine of perpetuity in respect to charitable bequests any more than in respect to bequests of a private nature. Now a private bequest might, under certain circumstances, be tied up for 100 years; and there was nothing unreasonable in proposing that a bequest of a public nature should be maintained for the same period. He thought their Lord ships would confer a high benefit, not only on the University, but on the nation at large by establishing the limit which he proposed in the Bill.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
said, he rather agreed with his noble Friend behind him (the Earl of Morley)—50 years was long enough for all purposes—but he thought he had exercised a wise discretion in not moving the omission of the clause. He thought the noble Marquess had exaggerated the danger with regard to bequests. As far as he had remarked, people were now beginning to see the inconvenience of tying up bequests in too close a manner, and the desirability of leaving them more open to be decided according to the exigencies of the time. The great convenience, to his mind, of the Amendment was that it was not creating any new precedent, but was maintaining the exact principle which, some years ago, Parliament laid down.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
said, this Bill would establish a state of things which might be expected to last for a considerable number of years.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
observed, that events moved rapidly now-a-days. Some limitation less than 100 years was desirable.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
said, Parliament ought to take care not to 940 frighten Founders, and that in the matter of limitation it would be well to err on the safe side.
§ VISCOUNT CARDWELL
said, that looking to the change which time was constantly making in the circumstances under which the bequests of Founders were applied, it was extremely probable that Founders would prefer to leave their foundations to the discretion of Parliament at the end of 50 years.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, he would accept the Amendment provisionally, leaving the Government free to deal with it as they might think fit at any future stage of the Bill in either House.
§ Then Amendment made; the words "one hundred" being struck out, and the word "fifty" inserted in lieu thereof.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 13 (Regard to main design of Founder) agreed to.
§ Clause 14 (Provision for Education, religion, &c.).
EARL GRANVILLE moved, in page 4, line 10, after ("requisite,") to insert—
and they shall make or continue such provision as they think necessary for the purposes of religious instruction and worship in the University or College; and after making such provision they shall as regards all University or College emoluments or offices have regard to the ensuring and shall make such statutes as are necessary for the ensuring the same being conferred according to personal merit and fitness; and (except in so far as is requisite for the purposes of religious instruction and worship) none of the tests, conditions, or obligations referred to in the third section of the Universities Tests Act, 1871, or in the provisoes thereto, shall be imposed or continued as part of the conditions of eligibility to or of tenure of any University or College emolument or office.
The noble Earl said, that the object of his Amendment was to get rid of the restriction that at present existed in reference to clerical Fellowships. He did not for a moment pretend to say that the clerical were not equal to the lay Fellows at Oxford, but he maintained that the presumption was entirely in favour of open Fellowships. The most distinguished men, even if they intended to be clergymen, naturally looked upon in open Fellowship as a greater honour and prize, and they would compete for one and obtain it; while, on the other
hand, men of inferior ability would compete for a clerical Fellowship. If they wished to attract the best men to the University and to retain them there—if they wished, above all, to secure the best men for secular education at the University—they must throw open the Fellowships to them all. It was a matter of great doubt among those who had most considered the question whether any advantage was gained even for the Church itself by maintaining those strictly clerical Fellowships. Cases not unfrequently happened that men of the highest character, the greatest ability, and the greatest culture absolutely refused to take Holy Orders, being very much influenced by scruples they felt in regard to the pecuniary temptations held out to them, and also by the opinion which they feared others would probably entertain as to the motives which governed them. It was also a scandal to the Church and to religion that young men should be tempted, through the restriction now imposed on these Fellowships, to take Orders without feeling their fitness for so sacred a calling. Then, with regard to the Heads of Colleges, was there anything more likely to weaken authority and impair discipline than that they should have, as was often the case, at the head of a College a clergyman—very respectable no doubt, but who in point of natural talents and acquirements was very inferior to the able men over whom he was called upon to preside?
THE BISHOP OF LONDON
said, that so far as his experience went, the authorities had not power to remove the restrictions by which only clerical candidates could obtain Fellowships.
THE BISHOP OF OXFORD
protested against the clerical Fellows being considered as a class, and spoken of as if they were inferior in attainments to the others. Up to the time of taking Holy Orders they mixed with others and partook of the same amusements and same studies, and if the restrictions complained of were removed to-morrow, there would be an equal number of young men applying for admission to Holy Orders. It must be remembered that the question with which they were now dealing was created by the last Act for University reform; he believed that these clerical Fellowships were created under the existing Act as a sort of a com- 942 pensation to the Church for privileges that the Act took away from it. But it was a monopoly, and he believed an injurious one. He was therefore willing that the restrictions in respect of clerical Fellowships should be removed. He doubted, however, whether it would be an unmixed good. He was afraid there could be no doubt that there were some Colleges in which many of the Fellows were not Christians; it was therefore very desirable to take care that provision was made for religious instruction and worship in each College. It would be a serious risk for a boy who had been religiously brought up at home to enter a College in which he would have no opportunity of hearing one word or seeing one practical example that would lead him to live there as a Christian.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, he did not urge the maintenance of clerical Fellowships on the ground of the benefit which would thereby be given to the Church of England—he urged it in consideration of the interests of the particular community in which we lived. The right rev. Prelate who had just spoken (the Bishop of Oxford) told their Lordships, with a great deal of candour, that there were Colleges in which some of the Fellows were not Christians. He (the Marquess of Salisbury) was afraid that was an undoubted fact. There was no doubt that the proposed clause of the noble Earl (Earl Granville) provided for religious instruction, but it did not provide for the government of the Colleges, and the Colleges were governed by their Fellows. Whatever else you might say of a clergyman, you might say, with at all events an approach to probability, that he was a Christian. That could not be said with any certainty of the Fellows to whom the right rev. Prelate had alluded. If you had a certain element of clerical Fellowships in Colleges, you had a security for a certain element of Christian government. If you eliminated that element, whatever security you might give, or profess to give, for religious teaching, you would have no security whatever that those provisions should not be neutralized by the anti-Christian teaching of Fellows in whom the government of College might be vested. That element was the main argument for the maintenance of these clerical Fellowships. As long as they placed the government of Colleges in persons selected 943 absolutely without any reference to their moral qualifications, so long would some such security as was afforded by this clause be absolutely necessary. Another question which was raised by the Amendment of the noble Earl was whether laymen should be allowed to become Heads of Colleges. In his opinion, considerable injury would be done to the Universities, they would be brought into disrepute, and parents would be seriously alarmed if some very distinguished persons holding the views referred to by the right rev. Prelate were placed at the head of any of the Colleges. Such an event would be deplorable, and disastrous to the University. The Bill did not profess to deal with the constitution of the University. The Heads were the point where the Colleges touched the University; and if they removed the restrictions now existing, they would alter the character of the constituency which elected the Hebdomadal Council and the essentially Christian character of University government. This, however, was a question that involved a much larger subject than this Bill proposed to deal with.
THE EARL OF MORLEY
supported the Amendment. He protested against the present restriction as one injurious to the Colleges and to the University at large, by preventing men of distinguished ability being selected for the Headships because they did not happen to be clergymen.
THE BISHOP OF ELY
said, it would be a great discouragement to many distinguished persons at Cambridge, who were now exerting themselves with much success to raise the study of theology, if the clerical Fellowships were to be swept away. There was much difficulty even now in supplying parishes with clergymen educated at the Universities, and if the clerical Fellowships were to be abolished that difficulty would be largely increased.
§ LORD HATHERLEY
supported the Amendment, remarking that in the University of Cambridge, where, for a few years, he held one of what were called the "idle Fellowships," there existed no clerical Fellowships of the same nature as those at Oxford. The candidates for Fellowships entered upon their examinations without even knowing who were or were not about to take Holy Orders, the only condition attending the holding of 944 Fellowships being that at the end of seven years after taking his degree of M.A. a Fellow was compelled either to take Orders or to resign his Fellowship. Even this restriction was, to his mind, objectionable, in that it put a strain upon the consciences of Fellows; and, on the whole, he thought it was not to the interest either of the Colleges or the Universities to retain the restriction, even in a modified form.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
thought it important that their Lordships should clearly understand the real question before them. As far as he understood the matter, there was nothing in the Bill to prevent either a diminution in the number or the entire abolition of clerical Fellowships; and the only question was whether such diminution or abolition should be left to the discretion of the Commissioners to determine as they considered best in each instance in reference to this matter, or whether they should be fettered by an instruction contained in an Act of Parliament which would render it obligatory upon them to follow a particular course. For his own part, he thought it would be the wisest course to leave the Commissioners free to exercise, or refrain from exercising a power conferred upon them by the Bill as drawn by the Government. If the Amendment of the noble Earl was adopted, they would lay down a rule for the Commissioners in this matter; whereas, if they followed the present practice, whatever was done would be done under due consultation and deliberation with each College as to how far these clerical restrictions ought to be diminished. He fully agreed with much that had been said of the evil of the lately introduced system of clerical Fellowships. He was not one of those alarmists who thought that by such a change as that proposed the University would be un-Christianized; on the contrary, he thoroughly believed there would always be—both in the University of Oxford and in that of Cambridge—maintained the same amount of Christianity which was found to exist in the nation. They need not alarm themselves if the Amendment was adopted; but, for his part, he would on the whole, prefer the Bill as it stood.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, that the question involved in the Amendment was one of principle, not of detail, and ought to be decided by Parliament 945 and not by the Commissioners. He had hoped the most rev. Prelate would have given it his support. The argument of the noble Marquess put him forcibly in mind of what had occurred during the debate on the Tests Bill. Every endeavour was made by the noble Marquess to show that that was a dangerous measure; but, with all his ingenuity, the noble Marquess had not invented such an argument then as he had put forward that night—namely, that clerical Fellowships would operate as an indirect test—it was in order that the government of the University should not get into non-Christian hands that the clerical test was to be maintained. This was a proceeding in the teeth of the Tests Act—the discovery of a mode of thwarting the spread of free thought in the University by the retention of an indirect test. Nevertheless, they had accepted the principle that the Universities should be open to all, free from all tests, and had trusted to the natural strength of Christianity to maintain itself.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
observed that no one was less open to a charge of unfairness than the noble Earl who had just spoken; but nothing could be more unfair than the imputation that his noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury) had so arranged the Bill as by a device to retain an indirect clerical test.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
explained he had not referred to the Bill, but to the argument of the noble Marquess.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The real point in issue was clearly contained in the clause and the Amendment—namely, whether the Commissioners should have power to say where and how far clerical Fellowships should be abolished. The point was, what did the Bill propose; and it was unfair to suggest that there was anything in the Bill which did not leave the Commissioners perfectly free to act as they thought fit, and according to the particular circumstances of each case, in respect to those clerical Fellowships. But it was said that the Commissioners might exceed their powers—suppose them to say there should be no clerical Fellowships at all—well, what would happen then? The whole thing was within the power of Parliament—the Bill required that every statute should be laid before Parliament; and it did not require that both 946 Houses should agree in rejecting what was disapproved, because it was sufficient that either House objected, and it was disallowed. What further safeguard could be required than this—that if the Commissioners exceeded their discretion, the matter was absolutely in the control of their Lordships' House?
§ VISCOUNT CARDWELL
said, that the real question raised by the clause and the Amendment was, whether this matter was one that should be decided by Parliament or left to the discretion of the Commissioners. The proposition of his noble Friend (Earl Granville) was that, after providing for religious instruction and worship, all the emoluments of the Colleges should be open to the nation. In this way they would be made what they should be—national institutions; and the moral evil would be done away with, that young men should be told that there were pecuniary advantages to be gained by professing a particular form of religious belief. All the materials necessary for the decision of that question were before their Lordships. It was not one of detail, to be settled according to particular circumstances, but one to be decided on general principles.
§ THE EARL OF HARROWBY
thought they should not overlook this fact, that the giving of a religious education was the main object of our Colleges and Universities, and further, that it was most desirable, as far as possible, that the clergy should be brought up in our Universities, and not be driven into separate theological schools. He thought that within certain limits the Universities should be specially connected with the Church of the nation, and that therefore the Commissioners should not be tied up so that they would be bound to abolish clerical Fellowships.
§ On Question? The Committee divided:—Contents 40; Not-Contents 57: Majority 17.947
|Bedford, D.||Airlie, E.|
|Cleveland, D.||Camperdown, E.|
|Devonshire, D.||Dartrey, E.|
|Saint Albans, D.||Ducie, E.|
|Somerset, D.||Granville, E.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Morley, E.|
|Canterbury, V.||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)|
|Halifax, V.||Ettrick, L. (L. Napier.)|
|Exeter, Bp.||Hatherley, L.|
|Oxford, Bp.||Lawrence, L.|
|St. Asaph, Bp.||Monson, L. [Teller.]|
|Aberdare, L.||Romilly, L.|
|Acton, L.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)|
|Blachford, L.||Seaton, L.|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]||Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)|
|Carlingford, L.||Thurlow, L.|
|Cottesloe, L.||Waveney, L.|
|De Tabley, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Canterbury, Archp.||Rochester, Bp.|
|Cairns, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Bagot, L.|
|Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)|
|Richmond, D.||Clanbrassill, L. (E. Roden.)|
|Bath, M.||Clinton, L.|
|Hertford, M.||Colchester, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Delamere, L.|
|de Ros, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)|
|Bradford, E.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Cadogan, E.||Elphinstone, L.|
|Carnarvon, E.||Forbes, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)||Forester, L.|
|Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)|
|Feversham, E.||Hampton, L.|
|Hardwicke, E.||Harlech, L.|
|Harrowby, E.||Headley, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Houghton, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Howard de Walden, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Inchiquin, L.|
|Shrewsbury, E.||Massy, L.|
|Stanhope, E.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Hawarden, V. [Teller.]|
|Strathallan, V.||Saltoun, L.|
|Skelmersdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Chester, Bp.||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Chichester, Bp.||Templemore, L.|
|Ely, Bp.||Ventry, L.|
|London, Bp.||Winmarleigh, L.|
§ Resolved in the Negative.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 15 (Objects of Statutes of University).
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE moved the addition of words providing for temporary or occasional Professorships, Lectureships, or Readerships in any art of science. His purpose was to provide for the case of there being resident at the University, whose services the University might be glad to retain 948 by nominating him to such a temporary office as was indicated in the Amendment—a person specially versed in some particular subject.
Moved, in page 4, line 25, after sub-section (6), to insert the following sub-sections:—
(a.) For providing for temporary or occasional professorships, lectureships, or readerships in any art or science;
(b.) For providing for the instruction and discipline of members of the University not being members of any College or Hall."—(The Marquess of Lansdowne.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, the provision suggested by the noble Marquess was perfectly unnecessary; because, under the existing law, it was perfectly competent to the University to do what the noble Marquess proposed out of funds of its own.
§ On Question? Resolved in the Negative.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
My Lords, the Amendment of which I have given Notice calls the attention of the Commissioners to the importance of diminishing the expense of University education. The Bill before your Lordships' House refers rather to the improvement of the University arrangements for its present students, and not to the admission of a class now excluded. The Royal Commissioners for the University of Oxford, in their Report of 1852, stated their conviction that it was most desirable to make provision for the admission of a class of students whose poverty makes the University at present inaccessible to them. In Page 35 of their Report they allude to the various representations on this subject which had been brought before the public, and especially to one memorial supported by the authority of the Earl of Shaftesbury, of the noble Earl now sitting on my left, who was at that time Viscount Sandon, and of Mr. Gladstone.
My Lords, I rejoice to know that in consequence of changes introduced into the University of Oxford since the date of the Report I have quoted, the number of undergraduate students has increased from about 1,500 to about 2,500. But no one, I presume, will say that this increased number represents what ought to be the proportion of young men receiving University education, out of the millions of the population of this country. Your 949 Lordships have heard from one of my right reverend Brethren this evening, that there is a daily increasing difficulty in obtaining candidates for Holy Orders who have received a University education. I do not attribute this to any unwillingness on the part of young men or their parents to seek a University education. I do not myself believe that there is any widely extended fear of un-Christian influences at work in Oxford, or that this fear deters students from seeking to enter the University. I believe that, though certain young men among the College Fellows and Tutors, intoxicated by a sense of the unbounded liberty which recent changes appeared to them at first to have introduced, have from time to time spoken or written very foolish words, yet a more sober cast of thought is gradually prevailing, and that Oxford, like Cambridge, will be found very fairly to represent the deeply-seated Christian feelings of this Christian nation. We have heard from one of my right reverend Brethren, the Visitor of more than one College in Cambridge, that in his University the number of young men of the highest intelligence who are preparing themselves for Holy Orders is on the increase. And in this respect, as Cambridge has often in other matters been ready to follow Oxford, so I believe Oxford will not be slow to follow Cambridge.
My Lords, it is from no fear of contagion of opinion that the clergy, for example, hesitate to send their sons to Oxford. It is because they are poor and the education of the Universities is expensive; poorer now than they have ever been before, from the fact, that, while the numbers of the clergy are greatly increased, the funds available for their maintenance are not increased in proportion. My Lords, numbers of English parents are knocking at the door of the Universities to obtain admission for their sons, if only they may be admitted at a cost which is within their means. It is a great advantage that the plan devised by the original Royal Commission—at first violently opposed, but at last, I am thankful to say, heartily accepted, by the University—of admitting unattached students, not members of any College, to the benefits of University teaching, has borne such good fruit, that there are this year reported to be some 250 950 such students at Oxford, living according to that scale of cheapness which their poverty prescribes. I rejoice also that there are a great number of students living at a very moderate cost in Keble College. That institution, valuable as it is, can by no means contain all the poor scholars who ought to frequent the University—and many, perhaps, for various reasons, might hesitate to associate themselves with that institution even if it could receive all. In the old days, my Lords, poor students were sent in large numbers to the Universities through eleemosynary foundations, or by private charity of individuals. In the Middle Ages it was thus that poor scholars rose often from the lowest rank, to fill and adorn the highest posts in Church and State. Do not let it be said, my Lords, that competitive examinations to open scholarships and Fellowships supply all wants. Admirable as is this system of open competition for distributing the prizes of successful study and of intellect, such prizes, unless multiplied to a degree which would make them cease to be distinctions, cannot meet the wants to which I refer. We require cheap education, available not only for exceptionally clever lads, but for all who have ability to rise and serve the country usefully in Church and State, if only they can be properly trained. Let it be remembered that to gain the great prizes of the University a youth requires, not only excellent abilities and sound health, but also in most cases an expensive preparatory education. We ask a cheap education for those who wish to live cheaply, with a sufficient amount of rewards and helps to enable deserving poor students to maintain themselves at the University. It may be said that subscriptions have been raised and committees formed to assist in this object, and the source of private charity is not dry. But, my Lords, it is not charity that these persons ask; it is the opportunity of living quietly, modestly, and cheaply, in the enjoyment of University privileges. Do not let it be said that the unattached students can gain scholarships in Colleges. My Lords, it is a mockery to say to such a young man, as I have been speaking of, who is struggling to maintain himself on some £80 or £60 a-year, that he may gain a scholarship of £40 or £50 in a College where he will be 951 expected to live at the rate of some £150 or £200. We desire that the unattached students should have some direct benefit from the superfluous wealth of the Colleges. These Colleges were founded mainly for poor students—the application of a portion of their superfluous wealth will not be unfitting to the purpose which I have suggested. If it be true that one College divides annually some £35,000 a-year and does not educate a greater number of young men than others which have an income of £7,000 or £8,000, does it not seem reasonable that provision should be made to facilitate the education of poor students out of some portion of this income, especially as there can be no doubt that the education of such students was a main object of the founders of such Colleges? We desire then first, that, as Balliol, Oriel, Exeter, and all other Colleges have scholarships tenable only by persons who become members of these societies, so the unattached students may have scholarships of their own, open indeed to public competition in the whole University, but tenable only like the College scholarships by those who are willing to join the society of the unattached, and to conform to the rules which govern that body. Moreover, we can see no reason why salaries out of the surplus funds of the Colleges should not be assigned to Tutors and Lecturers of the unattached, that thus really good instruction may be secured to them at a rate of payment within their means. We do not desire that our clergy should be trained at a distance from our Universities in seminaries separate from the laity. It is no doubt well that in many cases they should have a special professional training, either at Oxford or elsewhere, after their general liberal education has been finished; but it is, I fully believe, the general wish of the Bishops, as well as of our candidates for ordination and their parents, that our future clergy should mix, during the period of their education, with young men preparing for secular professions, and should have the full advantages of that general and enlightened culture which is scarcely to be expected in small theological Colleges, but is of the very essence of a great University.
I have, as is natural, spoken chiefly of the claims of the clergy in this matter. I venture to repeat again, that 952 the present clergy of the Church of England, as a general rule, have had the benefit of being themselves educated at one or other of our ancient Universities, and that they desire a similar privilege for their sons, but the expense of University education stands much in their way. It is one of their peculiar functions, in an age and country given to money-making, and in which money is worshipped, to exhibit both to rich and poor an example of those higher humanizing influences, which a man of very moderate wealth or even of straitened means, but of cultivated mind, may exercise in a position secured to him in virtue of his office, through those qualities of refinement which fit him well to discharge its duties. The clergy, I say, are anxious in the struggle for subsistence, which the increasing wealth of the country brings upon them, to be enabled by self-denial, amid many discouragements, to secure for their sons the blessings of that culture which, in their own experience, they highly prize. Therefore, they ask your Lordships to consider their case, and I am sure they will not ask in vain.
But, my Lords, it is not solely, or even chiefly, for the clergy that I would speak. There is a strong feeling on this subject in the community generally, and especially amongst all the less wealthy classes, whose interests it touches. I hold in my hand a Petition in favour of the Amendment which I have the honour to propose, a Petition well worthy your Lordships' attention. It comes from the East of London, and is signed by clergymen, schoolmasters, artizans, mechanics, and others. The list of names presents a remarkable combination. I observe, among others, the name Bradlaugh, journalist. The petitioners desire that by cheapening education in the Universities, Parliament may open access to the highest training to those promising sons of the poor, who, if they could only obtain the advantages secured to their richer brethren, might rise, and become ornaments of the higher professions, and useful servants in every Department of the State. I believe, my Lords, that the feeling on this subject is by no means confined to the East of London, from which this Petition emanates, but that you will find some supplement to the present College and University system is much desired throughout the whole kingdom. It 953 might be visionary to expect that our ancient Universities should ever be crowded again with such numbers of students as are reported to have resorted to them in the Middle Ages, in a totally different condition of society from the present; but, still, I think that their influence over the whole nation might be extended by such a change as I advocate, and, for my own part, I should prefer that they should thus influence the mass of society by attracting more students within their walls, before they begin to pay, as has been proposed, for sending down lecturers to promote education in our large manufacturing or commercial towns.
I hold, my Lords, in my hand a letter explanatory of the Petition to which I have referred. This letter states that the Petition is signed by parents of the boys who have got scholarships in the elementary schools, and my attention is directed to the case of a weaver's son, whose name need not be mentioned, who having obtained the Laurence scholarship from a school in Bethnal Green, has gone to the City of London School, the master of which has told his father that he expects to get him on sufficiently that he may be prepared for Oxford. He and two others from the same neighbourhood are, I am told, the first boys who have got scholarships from elementary schools under recent arrangements; and it is urged that the cheapening of Oxford education would come just in time to be of use to many such. My correspondent informs me that some such opening as I propose is much desired by the more intelligent workmen in the East of London, and that the absence of it under present arrangements is much deplored. Your Lordships will, therefore, see that the Amendment I have proposed is one which reaches far beyond the interests of the poorer clergy, and would secure a boon to all who are not wealthy in all classes of society.
I must apologize for occupying so much of your Lordships' time at this late hour. Had time permitted much more might have been said on the subject I have brought under your notice. It is of great national importance in reference to the social relations of the various classes of the community, and somehow it has scarcely as yet received the attention it deserves in the 954 discussions on this Bill. There is a widely spread desire that University education should not continue to be henceforward, as it has too much been hitherto, a mere aristocratic luxury; but that Oxford and Cambridge should be open not in name only, but in reality, to all who can hope to profit by the education they impart.
Moved, in line 30, after sub-section (7.), to insert the following sub-section:—
(8.) For diminishing the expense of University education by founding scholarships tenable by unattached students not members of any College, or by paying salaries to the teachers of such students, or otherwise."—(The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
had not the slightest objection to drawing the attention of the Commissioners to the subject included in the most rev. Prelate's Amendment. He thought all the objects of the noble Marquess's (the Marquess of Lansdowne's) Amendment would be obtained by that of the most rev. Prelate, and it would be more convenient if the former were withdrawn.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
said, he would leave it to their Lordships to judge between the two Amendments.
§ Amendment agreed to; words inserted.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 16 (Objects of Statutes for Colleges in themselves).
THE EARL OF AIRLIE
, who had given Notice to move an Amendment, in page 5, line 2, leave out ("other than the headship"); line 19, after ("them") insert—Provided, that it shall be lawful for the Commissioners to annex to the headship of a College any office which is restricted to persons in holy orders, or the holder of which is required to subscribe any article or formulary of faith, or to make any declaration or take any oath respecting his religious belief or profession, or to conform to any religious observance, or to attend or abstain from attending any form of public worship, or to belong to any specified church, sect, or denomination,said: The Amendment which I have now to submit to you stands on a somewhat different footing from that which has just been proposed by my noble Friend (Lord Granville). He proposed that it should be obligatory on the Commissioners to throw open all Fellowships and other collegiate offices, with the ex- 955 ception of a limited number. The effect of my Amendment, if your Lordships should accept it, will be to enable the Commissioners to throw open the Headships, but not to oblige them to do so. I confess it was with some surprise that I saw that the Commissioners were to be restrained from touching the Headships. The noble Marquess when he introduced the Bill gave us no intimation that he intended to restrict the powers of the Commissioners in this direction. On the second reading every one of us who spoke from this side objected to the exception made in the case of Headships, and asked the noble Marquess why he had departed in this respect from the precedent of the Act of 1854, and why he had sought to maintain the clerical restrictions on the Headships—for that is the question really at issue—in the teeth of the recommendations of the Commission of 1852. But the noble Marquess not only did not reply to our objections—he did not even condescend to notice them. And it is only now, when we have gone into Committee, and have reached the clause which contained this reactionary provision, that we can hope to obtain from the noble Marquess some statement of his reasons. I have referred to the Act of 1854, and I must say that the limitation in this Bill of the powers of the Commissioners with regard to the Headships is the more striking, inasmuch as in other respects the powers conferred on the Commissioners are larger and more indefinite than the powers conferred by the Act of 1854. In every other respect the Commissioners under this Bill may deal as they please with the Colleges. They may make, for example, such root-and-branch changes in the matter of Fellowships as may alter entirely the composition of the Governing Body. They may suppress any number of Fellowships, and devote the revenues so acquired to founding Professorships to be employed as bribes, as the noble Marquess told us, for the purpose of inducing men of science to enlist on the side of the Church; but they must not touch the Headships nor relax in the slightest degree the clerical restrictions which now exist; and this clause, while it ties the hands of the Commissioners so as to prevent them from removing the present clerical restrictions, yet leaves it open to them to impose such restric- 956 tions where they do not now exist. If you look at the fourth sub-section, you will see that the Commissioners may make provision "for annexing any emolument held in the College, to any office in the College, on such tenure as to the Commissioners seem fit, and for attaching to the emolument in connection with the office conditions of residence, study, and duty, or any of them." The Commissioners may therefore annex a Lectureship or Readership in divinity or some office of that kind, which is to be exempted from the operation of the University Tests Act, to the Headship of a College where there is now no obligation to take Holy Orders, or to subscribe any religious test. The clause, therefore, as I have said, enables the Commissioners to impose new tests and restrictions on the Headship, while it bars them from relaxing those which now exist. I think you will now be able to appreciate the spirit in which this clause has been drawn, and the animus which pervades the Bill generally. I do not know whether in moving this Amendment I shall expose myself to the taunt which the noble Marquess threw out against us on the second reading, that we are afflicted by what he called "clerico-phobia;" but, however that may be, I can at any rate retort upon the noble Marquess that in framing this clause he has shown himself more ecclesiastically-minded than the right rev. Bench. Of the seven eminent persons who constituted the Commission of1852, which unanimously recommended that the Headships should be thrown open, five were clergymen. One of the Members of that Commission was the most rev. Primate. Another was the then Bishop of Norwich. But not only was the change recommended by Members of the right rev. Bench; they have also given their assistance and co-operation in carrying it into effect. A few years since Balliol College abolished the clerical restrictions on its Headship. But this could not have been done without the sanction of the right rev. Prelate who presides over the diocese of London, and who is visitor of that College. So that a measure which these right rev. Prelates have strongly recommended and assisted in giving effect to, appears to the noble Marquess to be so dreadful, and so detrimental to the interests of the Church, that he secures 957 the earliest opportunity of putting a stop to anything now being done in that direction, and of reversing as far as possible what has been done already. I do not think I need detain you at any length by arguing in favour of that which has already been supported by such high authority. It stands to reason that you are more likely to get a competent person if you have a considerable number to select from than if your choice is limited to those who happen to be in Holy Orders. Nobody objects to a clergyman being appointed to the Headship of a College if he is fit for the post. What we object to is that the choice should be restricted, and that you shall run the risk of appointing a man who is not so fit as others, merely because he happens to be in orders. It is obvious that this must be bad for the College, and that it places the individual himself who is appointed over the heads of better men in a false position; and the Commissioners of 1852 point out that you are very likely not to get the best men even from among the clerical Fellows to whom your choice is restricted. They refer to their evidence to show that the person selected is often not the best man, but the Fellow who happens at the time of the vacancy to be the incumbent of the best living, because the Fellow to whom that living will fall next naturally uses his influence in favour of the incumbent, so as to secure the living for himself. There is a practical illustration at this moment in Oxford of the mischief of these clerical restrictions. The case is one which is within the cognizance of the noble and learned Lord opposite, as he is ex officio visitor of the College (Oriel) to which I refer. It happens that the Provost of Oriel, Dr. Hawkins, is incapacitated by age and infirmity from discharging the duty of Provost. In these circumstances, it is usually understood for the College to submit three names to the visitor that he may fix upon one. That was done in the case of Oriel, and the noble and learned Lord selected Mr. Munro, a gentleman who, I believe, has gained great distinction at the University, so that by common consent Mr. Munro is the fittest man take the leading part in managing the affairs of the College. But if a vacancy were to occur, Mr. Munro could not succeed to the Provostship, because he happens not to be in 958 Holy Orders, and there is a canonry attached to the Provostship. The College has long desired to have the Provostship detached from the canonry. Some time since they brought in a private Bill for that purpose, but it did not pass. I think the noble Marquess could tell us something about the means by which it was defeated. As regards the feeling of the Colleges on the matter, Balliol and others—among them, I think, Merton and University—have petitioned for the removal of restrictions on the Headships. I do not think now whether, in the face of these authorities I have cited, the noble Marquess will allege the interests of the Church and of Christianity as a reason for retaining these restrictions. I am content to leave him to settle that matter with the right rev. Prelates who have recommended that the Headships shall be thrown open, and who have co-operated in doing so. But the noble Marquess has so often put himself forward as the champion of the Church of England, he seems so thoroughly to have persuaded himself that every one who does not share his views as to the relations between the University and the Church of England must be hostile to that Church, that I should like before I sit down to be allowed to say a word on that matter. For my part, I believe that the Church of England would have been in sorry plight by this time if her safety or her healthy life had depended on her acceptance of the nostrum which has from time to time been prescribed for her by the noble Marquess. The noble Marquess has shifted his ground a good deal from time to time. During the progress of the University Tests Act the noble Marquess seemed to think that the safety of the Church depended on the rigorous exclusion of Dissenters from all University and Collegiate prizes, and on the discouragement as far as possible of the reading of such books as those of Kant and Hegel. Evidently, if it had been practicable, he would have liked to have placed books of this kind in an Index Expurgatorius. Now, no doubt as regards the policy of exclusion, the noble Marquess is still consistent, though he is obliged to work within narrower limits. But as regards Science and Philosophy he has changed his tactics altogether. Science and Philosophy are no longer to be suppressed, but the philosopher 959 and the men of science are to be bought. They are to be bribed by lucrative Professorships and other posts of that kind to give their countenance to dogmas in which they may or may not believe. I do not think this last idea of the noble Marquess can be described as a happy thought, either as regards the philosophers or the Church. I do not think that the men whose lives are passed in scientific research or philosophical investigations are likely to be flattered or conciliated by being likened to those mercenary bands who used to sell their services to the highest bidder. And as to the Church, I do not think that the fate which has invariably befallen every nation and every dynasty which relied on the support of mercenary troops is so very encouraging as to induce the Church to adopt this new-fangled policy of the noble Marquess. But, for my part, I do not think the Church requires to be bolstered up by any of those clever expedients of which the noble Marquess is so fond. So long as the Church of England has that legitimate hold on the affections of the people of England which she derives from the purity of her doctrines, and the virtues and abilities of her ministers, she has no need either to buy off her opponents or to seek to maintain a spurious and factitious influence by monopolizing endowments which ought to be conferred on the candidates, not because they happen to belong to this or that religious denomination, but by reason of their personal merits and fitness.
§ Amendment moved, to leave out ("other headships.")—(The Earl of Airlie).
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, the noble Earl had made a long speech which had very little reference to the clause itself, though it dealt with a great number of other subjects. He could not accept the Amendment. At that late hour he would not go into all the arguments he might give; and it would be sufficient to refer the noble Earl to the Bill itself. This question of the Headships was the precise question on which the Colleges touched the Universities. In framing this Bill Her Majesty's Government had been anxious to draw a distinction between the constitution of the University and its relation with the Colleges. The former question had been settled by previous 960 legislation; and by this Bill they did not attempt to interfere with either the government of the University or the government of the Colleges within themselves. The Headships were part of the constitution of the University, and if they were touched the constitution of the University would be modified, and he did not think that the power of dealing with those offices should be placed in the hands of the Commissioners. If the emoluments of the Headships were diminished their character would be altered, and thus a complete change in the government of the University might be brought about. On this ground, therefore, he thought it was not desirable that the Amendment of the noble Earl should be accepted.
§ LORD CARLINGFORD
said, the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) appeared to have forgotten that within the last few years Parliament had declared that Oxford was a national and essentially a lay University. But this Bill proposed that the Heads of Colleges should, as far as possible, be restricted to members of the Church of England—which would be inconsistent with a national and lay establishment. The Amendment did not say that they should not be so if the Fellows of the College chose to elect them.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
was understood to refer to the possibility of a conflict between the Colleges, who might desire to remove the restriction, and the Governing Body, who might desire to retain it.
THE EARL OF MORLEY
said, their Lordships were placed in some difficulty by not having before them copies of the Memorials of several Colleges, which the Government had promised to produce, but had as yet not been printed and circulated. He had, however, seen some of them, and they were unanimous in favour of the omission of the words proposed by his noble Friend to be left out. There was no intention to impair the dignity or reduce the emoluments of the Headships of Houses. It would tend to increase their dignity if restrictions on the appointment of the man most competent to fill the position were removed.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER
said, it seemed to him somewhat extraordinary, after the discussion on the 14th clause, 961 when they had refused to take out of the hands of the Commissioners an important matter of principle which many of their Lordships thought ought to be decided by Parliament itself, the authors of the Bill should now contend that the Commissioners were not to be trusted with the application of that principle to the Headships. He must express his great surprise that the Commissioners had not been more carefully selected, so that they might be more thoroughly trusted.
§ On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 55; Not-Contents 44: Majority 11.962
|Cairns, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Chichester, Bp.|
|Bath, M.||Bagot, L.|
|Exeter, M.||Clanbrassill, L. (E. Roden.)|
|Salisbury, M.||Clinton, L.|
|Bathurst, E.||Delamere, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||de Ros, L.|
|Belmore, E.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)|
|Cadogan, E.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Carnarvon, E.||Elphinstone, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)||Forbes, L.|
|Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)|
|Hardwicke, E.||Hampton, L.|
|Harrowby, E.||Harlech, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Headley, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Howard de Walden, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Inchiquin, L.|
|Orford, E.||Massy, L.|
|Shrewsbury, E.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Waldegrave, E.||Raglan, L.|
|Hawarden, V. [Teller.]||Skelmersdale, L. [Teller.]|
|Strathallan, V.||Templemore, L.|
|Bangor, Bp.||Winmarleigh, L.|
|Canterbury, Archp.||Camperdown, E.|
|Cleveland, D.||Dartrey, E.|
|Devonshire, D.||Ducie, E.|
|Saint Albans, D.||Granville, E.|
|Somerset, D.||Kimberley, E.|
|Airlie, E. [Teller.]||Cardwell, V.|
|Halifax, V.||De Tabley, L.|
|Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)|
|London, Bp.||Ettrick, L. (L. Napier.)|
|Oxford, Bp.||Foley, L.|
|St. Asaph, Bp.||Houghton, L.|
|Aberdare, L.||Monson, L.|
|Acton, L.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Belper, L.||Romilly, L.|
|Blachford, L.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]|
|Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)|
|Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)|
|Carlingford, L.||Waveney, L.|
|Cottesloe, L.||Wolverton, L.|
§ Amendment negatived.
§ House resumed; House to be again in Committee (on Re-commitment) on Thursday next.