HL Deb 13 July 1877 vol 235 cc1242-67

House in Committee (on Re-commitment), according to Order.


Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.


Clauses 3 to 6 agreed to, with Amendments.

Duration: Proceedings.

Clauses 7 to 10 agreed to, with Amendments.

Statutes for Universities and Colleges.

Clauses 11 to 14 agreed to, with Amendments.

Clause 15 (Provision for education, religion, &c.)


rose to move the addition of the words— And that they (the Commissioners) 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 insuring, and shall make such statutes as are necessary for the insuring 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. This Amendment was the same as that which he proposed last year, and which was then rejected. The numbers of the division on that occasion, however, compared with the normal majority which generally supported the Government, showed that his proposal was not viewed with great disfavour by the House; and although the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) who then had, as now, charge of the Bill, took high ground in objecting to the whole of the proposal to remove clerical restrictions, he proposed and carried at a subsequent stage of the Bill an Amendment which he claimed to be considered as a partial concession to his (Earl Granville's) views. The statistics connected with the clerical Fellowships were somewhat complicated as regarded both Universities, and he should not refer to them further than was necessary to explain his case. At Cambridge there were, in one sense of the word, only 13 Clerical Fellowships—Fellowships to which from the first clergymen alone were eligible. But there were 52 Fellowships which must be held by clergymen; the difference being that the 13 were definite Fellowships, not liberated by any number of other Fellowships being held by clergymen. But, beyond the 52, the vast majority of Fellowships were subject to clerical restrictions. He was told—but he spoke subject to the correction of the noble Duke the Chancellor of the Uni- versity of Cambridge—that there were 350 Fellowships at Cambridge, of which 52 were clerical, 99 open, 16 lay, and 183 neither clerical nor strictly open, but open Fellowships, the tenure of which was limited by a clerical privilege. In short, at Cambridge there were 115 Fellowships not subject to clerical restrictions, and 235 subject to them. At Oxford the case was this—There were nine Clerical Fellowships at Queens', at Lincoln they were all so but two, at Brasenose there were six; at St. John's, and some others, only one-third might be held by laymen; at Christ Church, out of 26 forming the Governing Body, only seven could be laymen. There were in Oxford 116 clerical Fellowships, with a larger number affected by clerical restrictions. There were three ways in which the Clerical Fellowships to which he had adverted worked. In the first place, there were those to which only men who were already in Holy Orders could be elected. This, of course, greatly limited competition; because, as a rule, men were elected to Fellowships at an earlier age than it was competent for them to enter into Orders. In the second place, there were Fellowships to which candidates might be elected who, although not in Orders, made a declaration of their intention to take Holy Orders. This was a premium on making such declarations, limiting competition in a considerable but less degree than the first. In the third place, men might be elected to Fellowships which were vacated if the holder did not take Orders within, say, three or some other limited number of years. This limited the competition without ensuring that the man elected should go into orders. An abuse arose out of it, popularly called "going in on the three years' system." The question to which he wished to draw the attention of their Lordships was this:— Were the Clerical Headships and Clerical Fellowships advantageous to the Fellow himself, to the College, to the Church of England, or to the community at large? He believed they were not. As regarded the young man who was a candidate for the Fellowship, it was absolutely injurious. A pecuniary temptation was offered to him to accept with indifference a test which ought to be accepted only after long and due consideration—the important step of devoting themselves to the Christian ministry—and, while it acted as a quasi-bribe to some, it acted as a discouragement to others who were more scrupulous. They dreaded the imputation of having been influenced by the temptation of a Fellowship easily obtained, and they mistrusted their own motives in becoming a candidate. These conditions were injurious to the Colleges, because they narrowed their power of selecting the best men for teachers. When he spoke on this point on the second reading, some Members of the Episcopal Bench deprecated the notion that Clerical Fellowships were in any degree inferior to Lay Fellows. He was not able to give any opinion as to how the case might be now; but that that should be a normal rule appeared to be impossible. Was it likely that in the long run men who beat only a limited number of competitors should be equal to those who had beaten the whole world? It was notorious that many of our most able scholars had been precluded from offering themselves as candidates by these clerical restrictions. He was told that, on an average, where four or five competed for a Clerical Fellowship, 18 or 20 competed for one which was open. As to Headships, it was often most injurious. There were not unfrequently more than one man who were pre-eminent in merit, who were passed over, when a much inferior candidate was by that rule necessarily chosen for a position which ought to have great influence both on the College and the University. As to the advantage which the Church of England derived from the system, he had only to repeat what he had already said as to the encouragement which that system gave to the indifferent prematurely to enter a holy profession, and the discouragement which it placed upon some of the most scrupulous and conscientious. It might be said that if they abolished these Clerical Fellowships, there would not be a sufficient supply of candidates for Orders. But the right rev. Prelate who presided over the diocese of Oxford gave his opinion last year that the number of candidates for Holy Orders would not be diminished at all by such a proceeding. As to the community at large, was it not desirable, while they provided for due religious instruction on the one hand, that they should endeavour, on the other, to obtain the best men possible for the government and teaching of the Univer- sities? And whereas it was desirable for the community at large, as well as for the Universities themselves, that these important institutions should be of a national character, did they contribute to that end, when they reserved more than one-half of the prizes for a limited class of one denomination, excluding all the laity of that great denomination and the whole of those who did not conform to the doctrines of the Church of England? What were the arguments against his proposal? The argument held last year by the noble Marquess in charge of the Bill—-but which he was not aware was held by any other Member of the Government— was that the present system was good in itself, because it was necessary to check the progress of atheism in the University. [The Marquess of Salisbury dissented.] The noble Marquess discarded the argument of its being advantageous to the Church of England; he stated it was necessary in the cause of religion itself. Now, if that argument was sound, in order to be consistent with it, instead of at a subsequent stage giving up the Headships of Colleges, as he had since done, to the tender mercies of the Commissioners, the noble Marquess ought rather to have saved the Clerical Fellows from the possibility of being tampered with by that body. But was the argument sound? Had it never been used before? When it was proposed some years ago to relieve young men of 16, 17, and 18 years of age from the necessity of pledging their faith in the most solemn manner to the complicated theological details of the Thirty-nine Articles, was it not urged that such a relief would at once introduce atheism into the University? Could anyone say that, whatever might be the freedom of religious discussion at the Universities at the present time, atheism had been in the least promoted by the admission of Nonconformists to them? He was told on the highest authority that that was not the case. On the other hand, if freethinking had increased in the University of Oxford, could it be denied that increase had been coincident with that extension and development of clerical degrees which had occurred during the last quarter of a century? If the evil existed, the remedy in new and greater doses had not proved to be efficacious. He was not one who was ready to admit that all sincere, moral, and religious feeling was monopolized by the Clergy, however estimable that profession might be. There was one consideration with regard to the Clerical Fellows, and the moral and religious influence which they might be supposed to exercise from being on the Governing Body of the Colleges, which ought not to be overlooked. They were not, as a rule, clergymen who had training in the practical work of their profession. They had not the experience of men and things, looking at them from a religious point of view, which clergymen holding cures in London, in our provincial towns, and some of the large rural parishes had. A portion of them laboured, often unjustly, under the imputation of having yielded to the pecuniary temptation offered by the Fellowships to enter into Holy Orders. Others were more full of questions of dogma than of practical religious and moral life. Some were apt to attach great and undue importance to the rights and obligations of the priesthood—a state of things which tended to repel rather than attract a large proportion of the Undergraduates; while it, perhaps, influenced in a manner which might not altogether be whole some a small portion of intellectual and conscientious men. Was it not conceivable that the influence of a layman of ability and of sincerely religious views at the Head of a College or belonging to its Governing Body might not have a much greater influence from the very fact of its being more readily and with less suspicion accepted by the general body of young men? But all that argument, whatever it might be worth, rather assumed that his Amendment would exclude the clerical element from the Fellowships of the University. He believed it would do no such thing. If it was contended that it would do so, it must then be admitted that those who were in orders Or intended to enter them were inferior in ability and intellectual training. There were now men intended for the Church who honoris causâ competed for the open Fellowships. There were others who had obtained such open Fellowships who subsequently entered into Holy Orders, although under no obligation to do so. The number of these would necessarily increase with the abolition of Clerical Fellowships. Such men were more likely to use real influence than those to whom some suspicion of inferiority attached. But there was another objection to his Amendment which, if he might judge from what had happened in "another place," was likely to be urged in their Lordships' House—that, without defending the present state of things, the question of Clerical Headships and of Clerical Fellowships ought to be left to the unrestricted judgment of the Commissioners. Now, he had nothing to say against the present composition of the Commission. In some he had the highest confidence—and he had heard objections made to one of the two names which had been added which on good authority he believed to be not well founded. There was one thing which he regretted, but to which he did not wish to attach undue importance. It was that there was no Commissioner who had not been a member of the University. A little fresh blood might have been of use. But he had confidence that the present Commission would discharge their duties with prudence and liberality; and he had therefore not raised any objection to the wide discretion that had been given them to deal with all the details of finance and of University teaching and discipline. But the point raised by his Amendment was not one of practical details requiring special knowledge. It was one of principle—one with which Parliament was competent to deal, one on which it was bound to give some indication of its views to the Commissioners, and one the responsibility of which it was not entitled to shift from its own shoulders to those of the Commission. In asking the House to do that he was not without authority; and he could not be accused of wantonly proposing an injury to the Church or to the University. The most rev. Primate, although he preferred leaving the matter to the Commissioners, stated last year that he apprehended no danger from such a change. Another Member of the Episcopal Bench said the same thing. A Petition was presented to "another place" in favour of such an Amendment which was signed at Oxford by four heads of Colleges, one acting Head, nine Professors, 96 Fellows, 11 class Fellows, all resident; 45 College tutors, and 44 lecturers. Among the above were to be found 32 clergymen. The great majority of those who signed a counter memorial were clergymen. He trusted he had said enough to show that he had some reason and some authority in favour of the course which he proposed to their Lordships; and although, if Her Majesty's Government opposed it, he had no chance of a majority, he trusted that there would be, as there had been to a remarkable degree in "another place," evidence of no inconsiderable feeling on the part of their Lordships being in favour of the proposal.

An Amendment moved, To add at the end of the clause the following words ("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 he imposed or continued as part of the conditions of eligibility to or of tenure of any University or College emolument or office.")— (The Marl Granville.)


said, the noble Earl (Earl Granville) commenced his speech by reciting the number of clerical Fellowships which existed in the two Universities, and dwelt upon that consideration with some earnestness. Again, he dwelt upon their unequal distribution, and upon other details affecting the mode in which this principle was applied in the Universities. He (the Marquess of Salisbury) was not careful to answer him upon that matter, because it really had no connection with the Motion he had made. In this Bill they placed the most absolute confidence in the Commission. They gave them the power of dealing with Clerical Fellowships as well as all other Fellowships—that was to say, of determining whether there were too many in particular Colleges for the purposes which the statutes had in view: and they gave them the power in extreme cases—he did not expect they would ever exercise it—of dispensing with Clerical Fellowships in any particular College altogether. But what the noble Earl proposed by his Amendment was not to reform any evil which he pointed out. What he proposed to do was to take this question out of the general category of all the questions mentioned in the Bill, and to make it an exception to the mode in which they dealt with the Commission; upon this point, and upon this point only, they were not to trust the Commission—upon this point, and upon this point only, they were themselves to enter into details from which they had otherwise abstained, and say that they would force a particular policy upon the Commission, whether the Commission thought it wise or not. Considering the great legal advice which the noble Earl and his friends probably had the advantage of employing, he was rather surprised at the words in which the noble Earl proposed to carry out the object he had in view. He told them that he proposed to enact, in the first place, that no office or emolument should be held at any University or College on any other terms but those of personal merit and fitness. Now, those words "personal merit and fitness" had obtained a technical meaning. They were inserted in the statute of 1854, and were the basis on which rested that system of open competition by which all Fellowships in the University of Oxford were given. But they were used with reference to the system of local preferences which then existed to a great extent; and in that sense the words "personal merit and fitness," on a competitive examination, had a very distinct meaning. They were applied to Fellowships alone. But now the noble Earl proposed to apply them to all offices or emoluments in a University or College. That would include such emoluments as, for instance, the Bampton Lectureship, and if the noble Earl's Motion were agreed to, the Bampton Lecturer would have to be elected by competitive examination. He was not sure that that was not the noble Earl's meaning, as his speech betrayed such an intense belief in competitive examination. The noble Earl repeatedly dwelt upon the evils of Clerical Fellowship, because, he said, if they were not first in competitive examination, inferior men for the purposes of College Government would necessarily be preferred to superior men. Now, the foundation of that philosophy was that the effort of memory required in order to obtain the first place in a competitive examination was a guarantee that a man had all the moral virtues and other qualifications enabling a man to become a governor of men. That was an idea which the noble Earl shared with few people at the present day. Having made so sweeping an enactment, the noble Earl proposed, to provide an exception which was equally sweeping and very vague. He said, "except in so far as is requisite for purposes of religious instruction and worship." Now, of course those words were as vague as possible; because a person who believed thoroughly in the advantage of having a clerical element in the education and government of youth would say that the whole of the existing system was requisite "for the purpose of religious instruction and worship." He was quite sure that the proposal of the noble Earl would cause great difficulties to the Commissioners and great heart-burnings in the Universities. The words proposed by the noble Earl would, he thought, to the ordinary reader bear the meaning that the noble Earl would not allow any emolument or office to be connected with Holy Orders unless in a particular case religious instruction and worship could not be carried on without it. Now, the first thing which he (the Marquess of Salisbury) would press upon their Lordships was to consider the question with reference to the whole doctrine of endowments. Undoubtedly in the present day we had dealt much more freely with endowments than our forefathers would have done; but we had always desired to maintain, at least as far as the change in circumstances would allow, the same regard to the intention of those from whom the endowments originally came. Now, if there was one thing certain about these endowments, it was that the foremost object in the minds of all the donors was the promotion of religious instruction and worship. That was true not only in the old Roman Catholic times—we had Colleges founded since the Reformation, and a number of lectureships; and he might say that in the great majority of cases the prime object of the Founder was religious instruction. Well, now, what was proposed? Not that their Lordships should alter and modify according to the wants of the day the original provisions of those from whom these foundations came, but that they should take the whole of them and say that the one thing they 'would not allow was that there should be required any religious element in the government and guardianship of youth. Why, the Founders would have recoiled from any such proposal. Their Lordships could not deal with this question according to the exigency or fancy of the moment, and imagine that they had done with it. It would beget a long line of similar measures in future. With respect to endowments, in dealing with this question they must determine the principle on which they could regard the wishes of the Founders; and they would find that if they accepted the proposal of the noble Earl they would not merely modify the terms, but diametrically contradict and overrule the whole spirit with which these foundations were established from the earliest to the latest ages; and they would find that the precedent would cling to endowments in future. They were driven to accept one of two alternatives—either to accept the principle laid down by the noble Earl, by which endowments would be rendered altogether untrustworthy or impossible, or to take at the bidding of a very advanced Party their very advanced view of the value and utility of ministers of religion. He pressed upon the House this question of endowments, because it was one which, in dealing with the Universities, necessarily came before them, and to prevent precedents on this subject being made for the future. They must not, however, regard this question merely as being one of endowments. These were living institutions, each having a certain work to do, and performing it nobly and successfully. They were great national institutions, existing not for their own sake, but for that of the nation which benefited by them; and they were institutions in which the cultivated classes of this country received their highest education. If these Colleges were the educational establishments of the country, those who held the Fellowships were —if he might use the expression with bated breath, lest any such might be present — the schoolmasters of those educational establishments; and what it was proposed to the House to say was, that while every other qualification might be required by the Commissioners with regard to these schoolmasters, the one which should not be required of them was that they should be ministers of religion. He wanted to know how such legislation as that would be regarded by the parents of this country? The Commissioners might constitute their Governing Bodies as they pleased. They might determine that one Fellow should possess a certain amount of mathematical learning—they might—although he did not recommend that they should do so— require that a particular Fellowship should be held by a Q.C., in order that the study of the law might be properly superintended—or they might require that another should be held by a physician who should superintend the study of the science of medicine; but over one branch of study they were to have no power and no jurisdiction; they were to be forbidden to require that those who were to have the guardianship of the morality and the discipline of the Colleges should be qualified for exercising such office by having entered into Holy Orders. What would the parents of this country think of such an arrangement? Their Lordships must not merely ask themselves what their own opinion on the subject was. They must think of themselves, when dealing with the great educational establishments of the nation, as representing the great constituency of parents. What did the parents themselves do in this matter? Did they carefully avoid employing the clergy in educating their children? Did they seek lay teachers in preference to ministers of religion? Did they regard the latter as though they were something dangerous, and to be avoided? Did they desire that teachers should be selected for them by competitive examination, or did they prefer to have a clergyman whom they trusted? Whatever might have been the progress of our views, this, at least, remained unchanged — that the parents all over the country—at least, in the vast majority of cases — selected ministers of religion to superintend the education of their sons. But their Lordships were now asked to say that the Commissioners should not have power to do that which the parents forced upon the schools by the law of supply and demand, and that to entrust a clergyman with the education of children was so horrible a thing, that Parliament could not permit it to be done. It was necessary also to keep in view the interests of the Colleges in this matter. The Colleges had no longer a monopoly of education at the Universities. A new College had sprung up—and not only a new College, but a race of non adscripti, who were increasing so rapidly in numbers as to compete with the old Colleges. What had been the tendency in this matter? Their Lordships were aware that a College had lately been erected on a totally different system on account of this very danger of Parliamentary interference, and that in it the superintendence of education by the clergy and laymen deeply interested in religion was secured in such a manner that Parliament had no power to interfere. He did not say whether that system was right or wrong; but what he wished to point out was that the College was marvellously successful, its rooms being filled as fast as they could be constructed. Was this not a proof that the old Colleges were in danger from a competition which might reduce them from the high position which they had hitherto occupied, and that that competition would be strengthened by such legislation as their Lordships were now asked to approve? He therefore urged that for the sake of the Colleges themselves their Lordships ought not to take this power of appointing clergymen to Fellowships out of the hands of the Commissioners; but should leave it to them to determine to what extent and under what conditions and modifications the system of Clerical Fellowships should continue to exist. Before he sat down he wished to draw their Lordships' attention to another matter that would be involved by putting this exceptional provision into the Bill. If this had been a measure full of details, and if it had gone carefully into every subject, there might have been no special insult involved to any particular class, or to any particular set of opinions, by enacting that Clerical Fellowships should no longer continue to exist; but by having carefully abstained all through the Bill from entering into any sort of detail, and by having left the Commissioners entirely free except on this point, a special brand was placed upon the Clergy, and their Lordships must consider how the Clergy and the Laity of the country would look upon what was so marked an exhibition of legislative displeasure. It was a very dangerous thing, as the experience of this and of other countries had shown, to attempt to interfere by legislative action with religious influences, the only result being that the religious influences became more antagonistic, more narrow, and more powerful. The strength of the Clergy of the Church of England up to this time had been that they had been with the Laity subjects of a common Sovereign and fellow-countrymen with them of a common country, and that therefore they had never been marked out as a special class. But no one could doubt that in some degree at least this state of things was not so conspicuous as it was a few years ago; and it might be that the constant legislation of Parliament during the past quarter of a century had driven the Clergy to herd together and to render them less subject to the influences of the sentiments and the feelings which were common to us all. Nothing could be more dangerous to the interests of religion than that the Clergy should be segregated into a body apart from the rest of us. But if we were to avoid that, we must avoid expressions of hostility and ill-will towards them such as this exceptional legislation, and their Lordships must avoid recording in the Statute Book that the influence of the Clergy was an evil to be put down. He therefore earnestly hoped their Lordships would refuse to accept this clause, which would increase the danger he had adverted to, and would widen the chasm between the Clergy and the Laity, while it would overweight the Colleges in their competition with other sources of learning, and would render them less fit to fulfil their high duty, which up to this time they had fulfilled with such brilliant and admirable results, to the best interests of the nation at large.


said, the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) had objected to the word "emolument" as covering a great many things, which he was certain his noble Friend who had moved the Amendment never intended it to cover. But the question at issue was not one of detail, but of principle; and it was not fair to the Commissioners, nor was it consistent with the dignity of Parliament, to leave to the discretion of the Commissioners a question like this—which was not only a question of principle, but of very important principle. Upon such a ques- tion it was of the utmost importance that the voice of Parliament on the point should be so distinct as to guide the Commissioners in the task which they had to perform. The speech of the noble Marquess in charge of the Bill seemed to have underlying it a misunderstanding of the motives which actuated the noble Earl whose Amendment was under consideration. As far as he could see there was no ground for the suggestion that the Amendment proposed would involve either an insult upon, or a segregation of the clergy. The Amendment was one of comprehension, and not of exclusion. It did not exclude the clerical Fellow; all it did abolish was the compulsory restriction of Holy Orders. The noble Marquess had proceeded to refer to the subject of endowments; but if the doctrine laid down by the noble Marquess were carried into effect in legislation generally, hardly any changes whatever would be made in the Universities. If anything affected endowments it was the Tests Act, and the corollary of that Act was the Amendment now proposed by his noble Friend. The Clerical Fellowships confused, in a most objectionable manner, the two objects sought to be attained by the Amendment—namely, the qualifications for the Fellowships and provision for religious services and religious education. But the Amendment, if passed, while it made ample provision for religious teaching in the Universities, would have the effect simply of providing that the men elected to Fellowships should, before election, have shown themselves to be possessed of merit. If, therefore, clerical members of the Universities presented themselves for examination and proved that they were competent, they would have equal chances of Fellowships with any of the other candidates who might desire similar positions. The noble Marquess, he must venture to say, had a rather low idea of those whom he had endeavoured to defend, if he thought the clergy would seldom possess sufficient personal merit and fitness for Fellowships. He could not help thinking that the adoption of the proposal as it stood in the Bill would be disadvantageous to the Universities, to the Church, and to the country at large, and he hoped their Lordships would accept his noble Friend's Amendment.


said, he did not doubt the capacity of the Commissioners to deal with this question; but, in his view, there were but two ways in which the forms and services of the Church and religious instruction could be secured in the Colleges—that was, either by College chaplains, or by clerical Fellows. He thought no Member of their Lordships' House would be prepared to say that it would be wise to entrust the religious instruction in the Universities to chaplains who were not Fellows. It was not to be supposed that the influence of a chaplain so appointed would equal that of a clerical Fellow who had won his Fellowship by merit. He admitted that inconvenience might arise out of the present system, and it was possible that a young man might now and then take Holy Orders from the low motive referred to—that of keeping their Fellowships. Such cases were, however, rare; it might be that sometimes men were admitted into the Governing Body of a College by reason of this restriction who were of somewhat inferior acquirements to others; but this evil, whatever it was, was not to be weighed against the evil which would result from leaving the Colleges at times without any religious instruction to be given by one who, from his position and character, and for the honours he had won, was calculated to have influence with those whom he taught. The state of the case would, he believed, be better if, instead of religious Fellowships, the Colleges were provided with the logical Fellowships. Theology was a science, and the University of Oxford had no less than six Professors to teach it. If Mathematics had its Fellowships, why should not Theology also? He trusted their Lordships would not accept the Amendment of the noble Earl. The Bill provided the Commissioners with ample powers, and surely it would be wiser, instead of laying down a hard-and-fast principle, to allow them to provide for the religious instruction and worship of the Colleges in such way as to them might seem best?


hoped that the fears entertained by the right rev. Prelate were not generally entertained by their Lordships. The right rev. Prelate would see that, under the Amendment of his noble Friend, the Commissioners would be at liberty to retain as many Clerical Fellowships as they pleased for the purpose, but only for the purpose mentioned in the Proviso. The noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury), maintaining and exalting the discretion of the Commissioners, left them free to retain a certain number of those Fellowships, while he evidently desired that they should do away with an unstated number of them in cases where they considered the number to be too many. His noble Friend (Earl Granville) on the other hand, stated the reasons owing to which the Commissioners would be at liberty to retain whatever number of those Fellowships they might think fit. The noble Marquess desired a certain number of these Fellowships to be retained in order to counteract the sceptical and anti-Christian elements. That was a ground which they on that side of the House were not able to take up. Their wish was to provide for religious teaching and worship in the Colleges, and that done, that the residue of the clerical Fellowships should be thrown open. The arguments argued by the noble Marquess against the Amendment came on too late—the greater part would apply quite as much to the abolition of tests as to the retention of these Fellowships. A great many members of the Church of England entertained strong objections to the retention of these clerical Fellowships, even supposing the Universities had remained open exclusively to members of the Church of England. But now that they had ceased to be purely ecclesiastical institutions — now that the law had thrown them open to all comers—ho submitted it was too late to use the arguments they had heard from noble Lords opposite. When Parliament had done what it had for the Universities— when it had thrown them open to all Englishmen, irrespective of creed or Church—he submitted it was in the highest degree inconsistent to require that any of the holders of offices or emoluments within them should not only be members of one particular Church, but that the acceptance of Holy Orders in that Church should be made the absolute condition for the retention of a large number of the most valuable prizes and rewards in the Colleges.


said, the question before their Lordships had been so often discussed that most of the arguments used were familiar to them all. The objections raised on the present occasion had not been directed so much against the existence of clerical officers in the Universities, but it had been asserted that these clerical Fellowships were bribes to men to enter the Church who would otherwise have chosen some other profession. That might have been so when two-thirds of the Fellowships were in the hands of the Clergy; but the wide opening of the field to laymen had removed any inducement there might have been to a man to take Holy Orders in order to retain his Fellowship. There were two questions to consider — first, whether any disadvantage could be shown to exist under the present system; and, secondly, whether this was the proper time and place to discuss the expediency of a change? For his part, he was not disposed to pitch the advantages too high. He was not prepared to say that these Fellowships were absolute guarantees or securities of a Christian education. What he did say was, that the presence of a certain number of Fellows who were in Holy Orders in the Governing Body was a security—so far as in these things there could be any security —that Christianity would be a main consideration, and that they would exercise over the young men committed to their charge that influence which this House desired, which Parliament desired, and which undoubtedly every parent desired to see exercised. The noble Lord who preceded him (Lord Carlingford) spoke of the Universities as having long ago ceased to be ecclesiastical bodies. He would venture to say rather that the Universities were still bound up with the Church of England, although perfectly open to Dissenters; and he believed this was understood by the country to be the case. That being so, it was only reasonable that there should be some members of the Colleges directly connected with the Church of England. Their Lordships would remember that during the last few years the University of Oxford had established honour schools in Divinity. This was an additional reason for having a number of Fellows in Holy Orders. It was desirable, moreover, that the services of the College chapels should be performed by members of the Colleges, and not by outsiders. To go a step further—he could not help thinking that in the mingling together of Clergy and Laity in the Colleges of the Universities there had been up to this time a combination of the highest possible advantage to both. If the proposed Amendment were passed it would certainly cause a considerable change. It would lead, if not to the entire elimination, at all events to a great reduction of the clerical Fellowships. There could be no doubt that hitherto a very large proportion of these Fellowships had been given to cultivated men, who had exercised an influence which could hardly be over-estimated; and, for his part, he thought it would be wise to retain some security in the future, as in the past, that men of character and position were chosen as members of the Governing Bodies of the Colleges. These were reasons—indirect reasons, he granted—why their Lordships should pause before adopting the Amendment which had been proposed. But the main question involved in this discussion was, it seemed to him, whether they had confidence in the Commissioners who were to be appointed. It was admitted on both sides of the House that the Commissioners were men of eminence and well fitted to discharge the serious duties imposed on them. To them it was proposed to entrust very extensive powers with reference to discipline, study, and other matters. Now, the matter at present under consideration was a matter of detail. It could not be said to be of more importance than discipline or study. Why, then, should this one question be prejudged? Why should Parliament deny itself the opportunity of hearing the Commissioners' views upon it? Why should Parliament seem to imply in this matter a certain distrust of the judgment of the Commissioners? If, after hearing all the evidence, the Commissioners should condemn the continuance of the present system, well and good; there would be an end of the whole controversy. If, on the other hand, they should decide in favour of retaining the system, their Lordships would not be debarred from dealing with the question. The Commissioners might take a middle course, and propose to lessen the proportion of the clerical Fellowships. In that event, as in any other, Parliament would be equally at liberty to re-consider the whole question. Whatever might be the merits of the question in itself—and he thought the bulk of the arguments advanced had been rather in favour than against clerical Fellowships—one thing was clear, and that was that the noble Earl (Earl Granville) proposed to allow the Commissioners the full exercise of their discretion, and yet at the last moment stepped in and robbed them of that power—thereby implying, as he (the Earl of Carnarvon) thought, a certain distrust of their judgment.


said, as the House was evidently ready for a division, he would only detain it for a few moments to say that the concluding remarks of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Carnarvon) showed a misapprehension of the purport and purpose of the Amendment. The Amendment expressly left to the Commissioners all the powers they could possibly require for the purpose of making or continuing all the regulations necessary for proper and sufficient religious instruction. This Amendment did not abolish clerical Fellowships, because clergymen might, by their personal merit, obtain them against laymen; but it did abolish the special privileges given to the clergy. The question really was—whether this ought to be done by Parliament or by the Commissioners? Now, a great general principle was involved in this, and his noble Friend proposed, by his Amendment, to embody it in the Act of Parliament, leaving to the Commissioners full power to provide for the religious wants of the different Colleges. To his mind that was precisely a question which should be settled by the action of Parliament.


said, he desired clearly to understand what the purpose of the Amendment was. The noble Viscount had said that the House was prepared to divide; but, unless he knew the meaning of that upon which they were going to divide, he must necessarily vote against it. He did not gather from the speech of the noble Earl who had moved the Amendment that his object was what the observations of the noble Viscount who had just spoken and of the noble Earl who had preceded him represented it to be—namely, that the Commissioners should have power to retain as many clerical Fellowships as they might deem necessary for religious instruction and worship. If that was the meaning of the Amendment, he was quite prepared to vote for it; but he did not read it in that sense. The difficulty which presented itself to his mind was this—that in certain Colleges, if the clerical Fellowships no longer existed, no clergyman—he was afraid he must say, no very decided Christian—would ever be elected. It was perfectly well known in the University of Oxford that there were some Colleges where a decidedly Christian man would not stand a fair chance. There were other prejudices besides clerical prejudices in the world, and certain philosophers liked to have in the Colleges to which they belonged a decided majority of men of their own opinion. Now, by keeping so many clerical Fellowships as were required for the purpose of religious instruction and worship, it was provided that a religious voice should be heard in the various Colleges—not that the Chaplain should steal in at the time of prayers, and then betake himself to his lodgings, but that there should be a clerical representative who could boldly assert himself. Some of their Lordships seemed to forget how very small bodies some of the Colleges were. They might consist of six or seven—a physiologist, a mathematician or two, and somebody else—and he did not know that those persons were in all cases proper guides for the youths who came up to them from school. The whole status of the Colleges had been altered—the College of the future was to be an Act of Parliament boarding school. The old character impressed upon the Colleges by their founders was changed, and a new kind of thing—Act of Parliament boarding houses—created, and they were bound to make some provision for the Christian and moral care and culture of the pupils. A noble Lord had said that laymen ought to be as good Christians as clergymen; but, if so, such laymen would in some Colleges have no chance. He would not detain the House further than to ask for some explanation.


said, he was well satisfied with the discussion that had taken place—it did not appear to require from him many words in way of reply. He wished, however, to rectify an omission he had made in stating the case in respect of the Amendment. Under the Amendment a sufficient number of clerical Fellowships would be retained for religious instruction and worship; after which all Fellowships quâ Fellowships would be open. It would, however, be in the discretion of the Commissioners to provide an additional clerical Fellowship or two in any of the Colleges.

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 69; Not-Contents 103: Majority 34.

Devonshire, D. Carrington, L.
Grafton, D. Chesham, L.
Saint Albans, D. Churchill, L.
Somerset, D. Crewe, L.
De Mauley, L.
Ailesbury, M. Dinevor, L.
Lansdowne, M. Foley, L.
Northampton, M. Hammond, L.
Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)
Abingdon, E. Hatherley, L.
Airlie, E. Hatherton, L.
Camperdown, E. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)
Cawdor, E.
Chichester, E. Lawrence, L.
Cowper, E. Leigh, L.
Ducie, E. Lovat, L.
Fortescue, E. Lyveden, L.
Granville, E. Monson, L. [Teller.]
Ilchester, E. Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Kimberley, E.
Minto, E. Mostyn, L.
Morley, E. O'Hagan, L.
Northbrook, E. Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough)
Spencer, E.
Sydney, E. Robartes, L.
Romilly, L.
Cardwell, V. Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Eversley, V.
Falmouth, V. Rossie, L. (L. Kinnaird.)
Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.) Sandhurst, L.
Seaton, L.
Sherborne, L.
Oxford, L. Bp. Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Barrogill, L. (E. Caithness.) Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)
Beaumont, L. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Camoys, L. Vernon, L.
Carew, L. Waveney, L.
Carlingford, L. Wolverton, L.
Cairns, L. (L. Chancellor.) Winchester, M.
Marlborough, D. Amherst, E.
Northumberland, D. Bantry, E.
Richmond, D. Bathurst, E.
Wellington, D. Beaconsfield, E.
Beauchamp, E.
Abergavenny, M. Bradford, E.
Bath, M. Cadogan, E.
Bristol, M. Carnarvon, E.
Hertford, M. Clonmell, E.
Salisbury, M. De La Warr, E.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.) Colchester, L.
Crofton, L.
Delamere, L.
Feversham, E. DeL'Isleand Dudley,L.
Harewood, E. Denman, L.
Harrowby, E. de Ros, L. [Teller.]
Jersey, E. De Saumarez, L.
Lindsey, E. Digby, L.
Mansfield, E. Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)
Morton, E.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Egerton, L.
Nelson, E. Ellenborough, L.
Powis, E. Elphinstone, L.
Rosslyn, E. Forbes, L.
Stanhope, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Verulam, E.
Wicklow, E. Gage, L. (V. Gage.)
Gordon of Drumearn,L.
Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.) Grey de Radcliffe, L. (V. Grey de Wilton.)
Hardinge, V. Harlech, L.
Hawarden, V. [Teller.'] Harris, L.
Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.) Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Lifford, V. Hastings, L. (E. Loudoun.)
Strathallan, V.
Templetown, V. Hawke, L.
Heytesbury, L.
Chester, L. Bp. Howard de Walden, L.
Inchiquin, L.
Chichester, L. Bp. Leconfield L.
Ely, L. Bp. Manners, L.
Gloucester and Bristol, L. Bp. Minster, L. (M. Conyngham.)
Lincoln, L. Bp. Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)
London, L. Bp.
St. Albans, L. Bp. Penrhyn, L
Winchester, L. Bp. Raglan, L.
Rivers, L.
Abinger, L. Silchester, L. (E. Longford)
Airey, L.
Alington, L. Sinclair, L.
Bagot, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Bolton, L. Strathnairn, L.
Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.) Strathspey, L. (E. Sea-field.)
Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.) Talbot de Malahide, L.
Tollemache, L.
Clanbrassill, L. (E. Roden.) Ventry, L.
Wynford, L.
Clinton, L. Zouche of Haryng
Clonbrock, L. worth, L.

Resolved in the Negative.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 16 (Objects of statutes for University).


expressed a hope that there would be some provision of a permanent character for the promotion of the Fine Arts at the Universities.


thought the suggestion of the noble Viscount would be well worthy of the consideration of the Commissioners; and as those gentlemen would have the power of hearing evidence, he hoped his noble Friend would go before them and explain his views.

On Sub-section 6 (for abolishing Professorships or Lectureships),


said, that by their local examinations and lectures in large manufacturing towns the Universities were breaking entirely new ground and were penetrating to centres where there were many persons possessed of great means who were interested in promoting various branches of learning which had a practical application to manufactures and commerce, and who, provided they had a security that their foundations would be carried out, would be likely to make very munificent gifts, either for new branches of science in the Universities, or by establishing Lectureships in those great centres of industry. Those persons being shrewd and businesslike, would not be disposed to give their money freely for such a purpose unless they had some such security as he had indicated. It was not simply a question of disregarding the intentions of the pious Founder, or of discouraging testamentary benefactions; but it was a question of deterring persons of large property from making benefactions and creating new Professorships or Lectureships while alive, by gift. He was not aware that there was any redundancy of Professorships or Lectureships, and he had supposed the Bill to be intended to extend rather than to contract the teaching powers of the Universities. If it were intended to amalgamate existing Professorships, that was already effected by Sub-section 4; all that was desired could be effected, without brandishing the bugbear of abolition before them. In order to bring the question before the attention of the noble Marquess he would move the omission of that Sub-section.


said, his impression was that this sub-section had been introduced into the Bill in the other House to gratify some ardent Liberals who were in favour of abolition generally. He did not, however, think it would be well to expunge it now without inquiry. He could imagine a case arising in which it might be desirable to combine the Lectureships in two Colleges.

On Question? Resolved in the Negative.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 17 to 22, inclusive, agreed to.


proposed, after Clause 22 (Union of colleges and halls, or combination for education) to insert the following clause:— The Commissioners in statutes made by them may also, subject to the consent of the majority of the Governing Body of a College, make provision for the appropriation of the property of any College in the University of Oxford for the purposes of the Bodleian Library, and for that purpose for the complete or partial union of that College with any authority or institute in the University. The Bodleian Library was a most magnificent institution, but the funds appropriated for its support were insufficient.


said, that he was favourable to the partial endowment of the Bodleian Library from the revenues of College referred to (All Souls) (supposing the principle of the diversion of College revenues to University purposes to be generally adopted); but that he was opposed to the complete union of the College with any University institution, as its Fellowships under the present system performed a useful function as encouragement to the study of Law and Modern History.


said, the object contemplated by the noble Earl was provided for in the 16th clause, which enabled the Commissioners to make such application of the revenues of the Colleges as they might think fit. He should not, however, object to the clause in a modified form, and would consider the matter before bringing up the Report.

Amendment (by leave of the House) withdrawn.

Clauses 23 to 35, inclusive, agreed to.

Representation of Colleges and Halls.

Clauses 36 to 38, inclusive, agreed to.


Clauses 39 to 43, inclusive, agreed to.

Universities Committee of Privy Council.

Clause 44 agreed to.

Confirmation or Disallowance of Statutes.

Clauses 45 to 50, inclusive, agreed to.

Effect of Statutes.

Clauses 51 and 52 agreed to.

Alteration of Statutes.

Clauses 53 to 55, inclusive, agreed to.

Reference of other Statutes to Universities Committee.

Clause 56 agreed to.

Tests Act, 1871.

Clauses 57 to 59, inclusive, agreed to.


Clause 60 agreed to.

Electoral Roll, Cambridge.

Clause 61 agreed to.


The Report of the Amendments to he received on Tuesday next; and Bill to he printed, as amended. (No. 146.)