HL Deb 03 July 1879 vol 247 cc1275-8

, who had given Notice to ask Her Majesty's Government, Whether, in the event of the University Education (Ireland) Dill passing the House of Lords, and going down to the House of Commons, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government, in the course of its progress through that House, to propose or accept Amendments proposing that endowments or grants, in addition to those now given to the Queen's University, shall be made to the said University; also, whether Her Majesty's Government intend, during the passage of the said Bill through this House, to state names of members of Senate to be named by Her Majesty's Government?— said:—I really do not know whether there is any use in my putting this Question now, because I find that the noble Earl (Earl Granville) has already asked a Question having a similar intention. I think this is a somewhat unusual course, and somewhat inconvenient to the public, considering my Notice was on the Paper, and that the noble Earl had not given Notice of his intention to ask the Question. Had the noble Earl intimated to me his wish to ask the same Question, in his position I should have felt myself bound to defer to him. The noble Earl took the opportunity, the other day, of calling a Friend of mine to Order; but I do not think he was quite in Order or quite orderly, in asking the Question he has done. I need not read my Question, as it is before your Lordships. But I will, in a very few minutes, state the reasons for my asking why this Bill has been brought forward, very unexpectedly, by Her Majesty's Government? They were a very long time in expressing their opinion upon the Bill brought forward in " another place," and when they did do so it was adverse to the measure. If this Bill is brought forward by Her Majesty's Government, it is only just and fair that the whole intention of the Government should be expressed regarding it. So far as the noble and learned Earl explained the Bill which he laid on the Table, we all understand it perfectly clearly, and there is no difficulty in knowing what it means; but this is not the place where any origination of endowment could take place—at any rate, any endowment that would come out of the general taxation of the country. The noble and learned Earl might say that it was a matter for consideration in " another place," and that he had told your Lordships all that concerned you; but the entire principle of the Bill must depend upon the fact whether any endowment is to bed given or not. Supposing the grant to be made on the same principle as " result fees," surely that would be denominational endowment? and yet it would be extremely difficult to reject it. I think that, in that case, the Bill should have been introduced in that "other place," and not in your Lordships' House. Therefore, I ask the noble and learned Earl that part of the Question. With regard to the other part of the Question—Whether the names of the Senate will be stated by Her Majesty's Government when the Bill is before the House?—them whole operation of the Bill will depend upon who are members of the Senate; and, therefore, I have thought it my duty to trouble you by asking the Question of which I have given Notice.


I think I am, to a certain degree, open to the complaint which the noble Lord has made against me, and I should like to explain. The Question, of which Notice was given by the noble Lord, was not in the form of the Question I thought it necessary to ask, and I was anxious to obtain an answer. I, therefore, framed a Question to which I thought an answer might be given, and I did not think that was the case with the Question of the noble Lord.


I will endeavour, if I possibly can, to extract some light from the Question of the noble Lord, which, indeed, seems founded on this principle — that the noble Lord, acknowledging the proposals of the Government, as embodied in the Dill which has been read a first time in this House, were perfectly clear, has endeavoured to obfuscate the subject by imputing to Her Majesty's Government the probable intention of introducing other matters quite different, and, indeed, in some degree, quite contrary, to the scope of the Bill. I really cannot find any difficulty in answering the Question of the noble Lord. The noble Lord wishes to know whether Her Majesty's Government, if the Bill which has been introduced in this House should happily pass your Lordships' House, and be introduced in the other House, are prepared to propose any scheme of endowment? Well, we are not prepared, under these circumstances, to propose any endowment. We hope that if the Dill passes this House it may also pass the other House, and that it will be, in its policy and general scheme, substantially that introduced into this House. With regard to the inquiry of the noble Lord as to whether Her Majesty's Government will be prepared to accept certain Amendments in the other House of Parliament? without in any way wishing to change the statement I have made, I can assure the noble Lord that there is no wish on the part of the Government to stand in the way of the noble Lord, or his Friends, in proposing any Amendment which they may think expedient. If the noble Lord is himself desirous of proposing some measure of endowment, or if he has communicated with other Friends in the other House of Parliament who wish to do so, I have not the slightest doubt their propositions will receive respectful consideration. But I hope that, in discussing this measure, noble Lords will not impute to Her Majesty's Government any other measure or policy than that which, all must acknowledge, has been placed before the country by my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack with a lucidity which could not be exceeded. It may be assumed that Her Majesty's Government, whether in this House or in the other House of Parliament, will ask the opinion of Parliament regarding the Bill they have introduced.

House adjourned at a quarter past Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.