HL Deb 03 May 1888 vol 325 cc1180-206

(The Marquess of Lothian.)


Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, it had no direct bearing on any educational matter in England, but he thought he should have the attention, at any rate, of those Members of their Lordships' House who were connected with Scotland, and who, if their experience during the last few weeks in any way resembled his, had been forced to take an almost painful interest in the Bill. It would, perhaps, conduce to a better understanding of the Bill if he referred very shortly to the history of legislation with regard to the Universities of Scotland. He would not go further back than the Commission of 1831, which was presided over by a Predecessor of the noble Earl (the Earl of Rosebery). There were other Commissions in 1837, 1839, 1843, and 1845, which were appointed to inquire into individual Universities, and a Bill, founded on these Reports, was introduced and passed in 1858. That was the Bill under which the government of the Universities of Scotland as it now existed was appointed. A Commission was appointed to carry out the provisions of that Bill, and that Commission reported in 1863. But educational interests had so changed during the interval that another Royal Commission was appointed in 1876, and it reported in 1878. Parliamentary action had been taken on the Report of that Commission on several occasions, but no Bill had ever passed through Parliament. Year after year, Session after Session, in 1883, 1884, 1885, and last year, Bills dealing with the Universities of Scotland had been presented to Parliament, but they had all shared the same fate. He earnestly hoped that the Bill which the Government had introduced this Session might fare better, because he could conceive nothing more inimical to the interests of higher education in Scotland than that this transitional state of things, which made it impossible that any definite arrangements, either with regard to educational or financial matters, should go on year after year. He would ask their Lordships to look upon the Universities of Scotland as differing essentially from those of England. The oldest Universities of Scotland had been founded generally upon the same principles as those of England, but in consequence of progress in every direction the Universities of England had diverged very largely from their original foundations, while those of Scotland, although they had altered also, remained more nearly what they were when founded. The Universities of England were generally resorted to by what might be called the higher classes, whereas the Universities of Scotland were attended by all classes of the community. Nothing could be a greater test of the difference in the way Universities were looked upon in Scotland and in England than the single fact that while the proportion of the population of England that attended the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge was about one in 5,000, in Scotland the proportion that attended the Universities was about one in 600. There were other differences. In Scotland there were no resident students, and the Universities had no control whatever over the students unless when they were within their walls. The system of teaching, too, was different, being given in class-rooms, which were often overcrowded and insufficient to accommodate the numbers attending. Another point of difference was that in Scotland the attendance was compulsory, no degree being granted without the required attendance, and the payment of the foes necessary for such attendance. There was no doubt whatever that the system of the Scottish Universities was very much cheaper than in England. He would not be far wrong if he said that an annual sum of about 10 guineas might cover the whole of the fees exacted in Scotland to enable a student to qualify for a degree. The constitution of the Universities as it existed under the Act of 1858, and which it was now proposed to alter, consisted of three bodies—the University Court, the Senatus Academicus, and the General Council. Among the points on which the Royal Commission of 1878 reported were the constitution and powers of the University Court; the course of studies in arts, medicine, law, and divinity; the expediency of introducing any new fellowship or degrees; extra-mural teaching, and the conditions under which it should be recognized. With regard to the constitution of the University Court, it was composed, generally speaking, of six members—of the rector, the principal, and assessors nominated by the Chancellor, the rector, and General Council, and the Senatus Academicus. In the case of the University of Glasgow, there was one additional member—the Dean of Faculty—which made seven; and in the case of Edinburgh there was added the Lord Provost, and an assessor nominated by the Town Council. That made the largest Court, consisting of eight members. Under this Bill it was proposed largely to increase the numbers of the University Court. He was aware that one of the objections to this proposal was that a small body was more capable of dealing with financial and educational details than a very much larger body. But he had considered that in making new constitutions for the Universities it was exceedingly desirable to admit others beyond the limited number which constituted the Board under the Bill of 1858. Further powers and duties were given to the Court, and it was proposed to give a place on the Board for the first time to those who represented the public interest, and from whom they hoped so much improvement in the future. That was the only new element imported. Whereas in the Court as now constituted there was one assessor representing the General Council and one representing the Senatus Academicals, it was proposed to multiply that representation by four. In the Report of the Royal Commission of 1878 it was proposed that the Senatus Academicus should have one more assessor on the University Court, and that the General Council should have two more. He had not thought it advisable to give effect to that proposal, but he had increased the number of the assessors of both these bodies in equal proportions. There was one clause which had given rise to a great deal of discussion, and that was Clause 5, subsection 1, relating to the admission of heads of Colleges. He would not, however, refer to this point until he came to the clause dealing with the powers of the Commissioners with regard to affiliation of other Colleges. In reference to those powers, he wished to direct attention more particularly to those special clauses which provide for the future extension of the Universities of Scotland. Formely those powers of extension were represented by the solitary case of St. Andrew's. In the present Bill power was given to the Commissioners in the first instance, and after the expiration of their powers to the University Court, with the consent of Her Majesty in Council, to extend the existing area of the Universities, and to add to them, by any suitable means of union which they might consider desirable, any existing Colleges, or any Colleges which private generosity might in future establish. He thought the necessity for extending University education in Scotland could not be denied. Every year the number of students was increasing, every year the demand for higher education and for new facilities was becoming stronger. At present the classes of some of the Professors were filled to overflowing, and already rival institutions were rising up in the great centres of population. They must either give facilities under just conditions for these rising institutions to amalgamate with the ancient seats of learning—namely, the Universities—or they would have to meet the irresistible argument of those other Colleges which were asking for University privileges, and were rising up as competitors to the existing Universities. He thought if foundations were started and large endowments were given to new Colleges, that it would be a great misfortune if there were no means of uniting these Colleges to the existing Universities of Scotland, because it would create competition between these Colleges and the Universities, which could have only one result—namely, a depreciation in the value of the degrees conferred by the Universities. But he had rather anticipated what he had to say about the affiliation clauses, which should have properly been dealt with in referring to Clause 14. By the first sub-section of Clause 6 it was proposed to transfer to the new University Court the administration and management of the whole funds and property of the University, and power was given to ad- minister, not only the funds and endowments and revenues of existing Colleges, but also the endowments and funds of any College which might be in any way united with the Universities. The Commission which sat in 1831 recommended the establishment of a University Court, and that recommendation directly pointed to this, that in the opinion of the Commission the control of the property and funds of the College should not be committed to the Senatus Academicus, because they said a University Court should be appointed in order that it might exercise a control over the funds and property of the University. At present it had nominally the control, because the dealings of the Senatus Academicus in regard to money matters was to be subject to the University Court, but the control was only a nominal one. He believed the transfer of the management of the funds to the University Courts would be a very great convenience, and it seemed very desirable that this relief should be given to the Senatus Academiens. There was another point in Clause 6 which had created a good deal of opposition. That was Sub-section 3, which gave power to the University Court to review any decision which the Senatus Academicus might come to in the exercise of their powers under Section 7, sub-section 1. If it should appear to their Lordships desirable that some alteration should be made in the clause, he should be prepared to consider the matter in Committee, in order, if possible, to meet the strong objections of those who were opposed to the sub-section. What he had just said would apply also to Clause 7, sub-section 1, which was in much the same position. With regard to the powers proposed to be given to the Commissioners, there was some question as to the transfer of the patronage which was now vested in private bodies. In deference to the strong feeling in Edinburgh, with which he concurred, he proposed to introduce words safeguarding the patronage of the curatorial Court. He would now return to the "affiliation" clauses, about which doubtless there was a great difference of opinion. It had been said that no proper definition had been given of the words "affiliation," "incorporation," and "union." He would venture to interpret the word "affiliation" as moaning a union in a subordinate degree with the power of dissolving that union should circumstances require that such union should be dissolved. The term "incorporation" might be defined as union on an equal and permanent footing; and "union" was meant to cover any other form of union which might seem desirable to the Commissioners. These words had simply been introduced in order to give the Commissioners ample power to unite with other Colleges if it might appear to them desirable. The whole object of the clause was to give opportunity for the extension and elasticity of University teaching. Those who were best acquainted with the University system in Scotland would not deny that such an opportunity was desirable, and that it was important to give powers to the Commissioners to make such regulations as should ensure elasticity of teaching in the Universities of Scotland. It was claimed that this power already existed, but it only existed to a certain. extent. It existed in Edinburgh chiefly by giving Professors of extra-mural classes the right for graduation in the University. In Edinburgh affiliation extended far beyond Edinburgh itself. Edinburgh had affiliated Professors in Aberystwith, Bangor, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, and Dundee. That affiliation gave the power to all those who attended the classes in those different places to obtain University degrees at Edinburgh. But would it not be very much better that the Commissioners should have power to lay down rules, regulations, and ordinances with regard to the manner in which these Colleges or extra-mural classes should be affiliated with the University of Edinburgh and other Universities? Under this Bill there was every kind of safeguard given for the protection of the Universities. But, although the conditions in the Bill were stringent enough, there was nothing in the Bill to prevent the Commissioners from making such rules as they might think right to make those conditions more effective. Unless some such powers as were sought were given, he was afraid that the extension and growth of the University system of Scotland, which it was the object of the Bill to foster and promote, would not really take place; and if progress was impossible, and things came to a standstill, he was afraid they would never in the future get the benefit of large endowments for the establishment of Colleges in connection with the Scottish Universities. This was not a new principle, nor against the principle of the University system in Scotland. Their original principle was very much the same as that of Oxford and Cambridge. The original title of Edinburgh University was "the College of King James in the University of Edinburgh," and the Principal of Glasgow University was, until quite lately, called the Principal of the College of Glasgow in the University of Glasgow. But the real difficulty which had caused all this feeling about an affiliation of new Colleges, especially in connection with the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, was the fact that the existing Colleges had become so intimately united with the Universities that there was no possible division between them, and the fear was that if new Colleges were actually united to the central College, they would have control not only over the University funds, but over the funds and administration of the Colleges, which now practically constituted the University. That was a point of difficulty, and had not now arisen for the first time. It had been fully gone into on a former occasion, and an attempt was made to separate the Colleges from the Universities, and give the Colleges power and control over their own administration and funds as apart from the Universities. That was found to be alike impossible and undesirable, and this Bill made no attempt whatever to deal with the matter in that way; and he would ask their Lordships to believe that in the proposals the Government now made they had had one single idea—namely, what was really for the good of the Scottish Universities. This had been called a crude measure. That was rather a harsh word; but he would only say that the result would have ended in disaster if the Bill had attempted to define exactly the relations and position of the Colleges. Again, it was said that some of these provisions were proposed in consequence of the noisy clamour of persons unconnected with the Universities. He protested against such language. He believed that every one of those who had made representations were, like himself, actuated by but one motive—namely, to do that which was best for the future of the Universities. He did not wish to adhere exactly to the words of some of those clauses, and if Amendments could be suggested in their Lordships' wisdom that would be for the benefit of the interests of the Scottish Universities, he would be willing to consider them. He did not think he need go into many other of the provisions of the Bill. They were chiefly technical; but, perhaps, he might refer to the proposal to transfer the Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh from the Town Council to the University. He understood that there was considerable opposition to that proposal; but in connection with that, it was owing to an understanding on that subject come to with a former Government that this clause was inserted. But as there was no doubt considerable objection to that proposal, he would consult those who were the proper authorities in the matter, and see if some arrangement could not be arrived at, by which the gardens could be transferred in such a manner as to meet the views of those who were now objecting to the change. The only other point was the question of finance, which it was, perhaps, hardly proper for him to take up in this House. He bad now shortly—perhaps too shortly—laid before their Lordships the main provisions of this Bill. It was one which had created in Scotland, where the interests of the Universities were much more closely interwoven with the national life—owing partly to the more general feeling in regard to education, and more still to the larger number from whom the ranks of the students were recruited—an amount of interest which might seem, perhaps, to their Lordships to be out of proportion to the subject itself. However that might be, it had been his great object—the object of Her Majesty's Government—to lay before their Lordships a Bill which, though, as he would be the first to acknowledge, it might in some ways be usefully amended by the experience and knowledge of their Lordships, was a sincere attempt to settle this long-pending question. He had, with that view, desired to give every opportunity for remark, criticism, and discussion. He purposely gave as long an interval as possible between the first and second reading, so that, before the subject came before their Lordships, there might be every opportunity for considering all the provisions of the Bill, affecting, as it did, the interests of many. From a strategic point of view, possibly this was not his best course, as it had, of course, given every opportunity to those who objected to the provisions to get up opposition. But his action had at least shown that he desired nothing more than that the Bill should be one which should give satisfaction. Indeed, he thought he might fairly say that it was so recognized. Even those who were now opposed to different points cordially express their desire that the Bill should become law. He therefore now left this—speaking as a Scotsman—most important measure in their Lordships' hands, only earnestly impressing upon them this, that no action would be more injurious, no such alteration in the Bill as it was now presented could be more harmful, to the interests of the Universities than that any change should be insisted on which might endanger or prevent the passing of this measure of University reform, and leave those who were most interested and who were most concerned in the welfare of Scottish Universities to the unhappy conclusion that, after so many Bills had been presented, so many earnest attempts had failed, Parliament itself was practically unable to cope with the difficulties attending this great and vital question.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a." (The Marquess of Lothian.)


said, he thought that the great bulk of the clauses of the Bill would be accepted by the people of Scotland, who took a deep interest in the extension and welfare of the Universities. He therefore echoed the noble Marquess's wish that the Bill should pass this Session. But if, unhappily, it should fail to do so, the fault would in some measure lie with the noble Marquess, because along with clauses which met with general acceptance there were others about which the people of Scotland entertained great doubt, both as to their meaning and effect; and with respect to which there had not been sufficient inquiry and consideration. The subject had been before Parliament for several years, and many of the questions had been so thoroughly discussed that he believed that although there were still differences of opinion, yet, on the whole, a fair compromise of disputed points had been arrived at in the Bill. There were, again, some clauses full of promise to the eye providing for the institution of new professorships, scholarships, and lectureships. If all this could be done and adequate endowments provided, the heart of every Scotchman would indeed be gladdened. He was bound to say that, although the Scottish Universities stood in need of aid and amendment, there was no amendment and no aid which they more urgently required than an addition to the funds in their exchequer. Of course, how far the financial arrangements would prove satisfactory depended on the manner in which the clause dealing therewith might be filled up in "another place." Upon that the practical value of the measure would mainly depend. The new clauses of the Bill might be divided into two parts. In the first place, there were those which dealt with the transfer of financial administration from the Senatus to the University Court. It was not suggested that the administration of University funds by the Senatus had been anything but honest, fair, and efficient; and he had no doubt the same result would follow upon the transfer. But he regretted that the Bill omitted to direct the Commissioners to make some adequate pecuniary provision out of the funds of the University for the purpose of enabling the Senatus to pay the expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their duty. The absence of such a direction might lead to misapprehension. But by far the most important matter for consideration was the question of affiliation, union, or incorporation. He regretted to say that the able speech of the noble Marquess had left his mind as much a blank as to what those words meant as it was before he commenced. That feeling was shared by the very bodies to whom the noble Marquess appealed as the persons who wore desirous of having this part of the Bill. In support of that statement he would refer only to the resolutions come to by the General Councils, which were composed of all graduates of the University in meeting assembled, upon this part of the measure. It had not been discussed until very recently as a practical measure before Parliament. There had been little time to discuss it, and there was little knowledge of its actual meaning and effect. The noble Marquess assured them that they were all as much informed as he was himself, but ho ventured to say that there were very few people who knew anything about these Colleges which were said to be springing up, and which in a short time would ask for incorporation. The General Council of the University of Edinburgh was of opinion that these powers as to affiliation were too vague, that they should be defined, and that they should be restricted to affiliation. The Glasgow Council, which, he believed, numbered amongst its members some of the strongest advocates of the clauses the noble Marquess had introduced, was of opinion that it was absolutely necessary that the terms of affiliation and incorporation should be defined, and that due regard should be had to the interests of the Universities. In Aberdeen the Council came to a resolution that a more judicious proceeding would be to make it an instruction to the Committee to inquire and report in regard to the subject-matter of affiliation. He could quite understand what affiliation meant; it was affiliation for the purpose of graduation only. Reference was made by the noble Marquess to the case of extramural teachers and outdoor teachers who were accepted by the University. Now, the only effect of recognizing extramural professors or outdoor teachers was this, that their teaching was accepted as qualifying for examination for a degree, and under proper conditions he did not see any reason why, in the case of the Universities of Scotland, as well as of Oxford and Cambridge, such a connection between the University and the other teaching bodies ought not to be permitted. Affiliation in the English University was on condition that the union should not be effected without the consent of the University, and that it should be dissoluble at the will of either of the parties to it. In such a case it was absolutely essential that some provision should be made for dissolving. The University, in the case of affiliation, had no control whatever over the funds of the affiliated body, over the patronage of its teaching staff, and manifestly the University ought not to be compelled to continue to accept its teaching for a single moment after it became the opinion of the University Authorities ineffec- tive. He did not know what incorporation meant in this Bill. He knew very well what in Scotch law and Scotch vernacular incorporation meant. Out of this Bill it meant that the thing incorporated became an integral part and portion of that with which it was incorporated, and if the incorporation of a small College of half-a-dozen professors was completed, its teachers would be as much a part of the University and of the Senatus as any of its present professors. The noble Marquess said it would be impossible—at all events inexpedient—to lay down any lines for the guidance of the Commission upon this point of affiliation—to make, in other words, the Bill more explicit. That was not the opinion of the Universities as expressed in their General Councils, nor, he thought, was it the opinion of many who had studied this Bill. It did lay down hard-and-fast lines enough in some cases, but not in a very good direction. It did lay down a hard and fast line, because it made it a statutory necessity that in future every University Court should contain as one of its members the head of each College presently existing in or hereafter to be affiliated or incorporated with the University. The effect would be that, whether the Commissioners desired it or not, whether they thought it proper or not, whenever an institution was affiliated for the purpose of graduation, the Principal of that institution would sit in the University Court, direct the teaching of the University, administer the funds of the University, and appoint the Professors to the University, while the University Court, representing the University itself, would not have the slightest control over the teaching or the appointments of that institution, or over the mode in which they administered their funds. It humbly appeared to him that if it was possible to lay down hard and fast lines like that, it would be possible to lay down a great many better lines than these. He had objections to many matters of detail, but would not speak to them now. He had simply indicated the objections he had to this new part of the scheme; but there was one thing of which he felt perfectly satisfied, that, without taking evidence and a very extensive inquiry, it was impossible to say what were the lines under which affilia- tion or union ought to be carried out. He thought it a great misfortune that powers of this kind should be placed in the hands of Commissioners without guidance, to allow them first to make the law and then to administer it, instead of laying down some broad and distinct lines within which action might be taken. He trusted that the noble Marquess would consider the suggestions he had thrown out, because he would find on inquiry that the feeling as to the necessity for making the measure much more definite, and limiting it to affiliation pure and simple for graduating purposes, was much more widely entertained in the Universities themselves and elsewhere in Scotland than he seemed to suppose.


said, he did not rise to make any detailed comments on the Bill which the noble Marquess had introduced; but he must be allowed, on the part of those who sat near him, to express his cordial satisfaction with the Bill in its main provisions and principle. He was a little surprised that his noble Friend, in his description of the course of University legislation previous to this year, broke off with some suddenness, as he thought, without explaining the Bill which was laid before Parliament in August last year, because this Bill differed so materially in its main principles and policy from that Bill that it would have been a matter of some interest to their Lordships on the Opposition side of the House to know what had been the grounds for the change of policy disclosed. There were one or two points which appeared to him to be new, and which he thought were questionable to some extent, and, at any rate, which were worthy of some explanation at the noble Marquess's hands. In the first place, the Bill was going to transfer the administration of the property of the Universities from the Senatus of those Universities to the University Courts. Against that proposition ho had nothing whatever to say, but he thought that that change and other provisions of the Bill made the constitution of those University Courts a matter of even greater importance than it was supposed to be. He thought, besides, that it had swollen those University Courts to an undue size. He would take the first University Court mentioned in the Bill, the University Court of St. Andrew's. This Court at the lowest computation would be larger than the Senatus of St. Andrew's, and that, he ventured to say, was a position never before occupied by a University Court of any University in Scotland. He would further submit to the noble Marquess in charge of the Bill that it was not wise to hand over the administration of property, and, at the same time, to increase very largely the numbers of the body by which that property was to be administered. He did not think there was any necessity for this increase in numbers. He saw that two assessors nominated by the Crown were to make their appearance in this body. He should greatly like to know what was the presumed utility of those assessors to be nominated by the Crown, and why it was thought necessary to increase by their presence a body which would be already sufficiently large. There was another point in connection with the constitution of the Court with regard to the University of Edinburgh. At present the University of Edinburgh had, he thought, a quarter of the whole representation of the University Court. The position of the City of Edinburgh with reference to the University was one of a very exceptional nature. It was a position cherished not only in the University itself but in Scotland at large, and he should witness with great distress anything which appeared to him to influence that connection, but under this Bill that connection would be very greatly reduced. The very utmost that the Lord Provost and the magistrates of Edinburgh would have on the revised University Court was a representation of one-eighth, and when affiliation had run its full course it was possible that the Provost and magistrates, where previously they were the governing body of the University, might sink and become a very insignificant fraction of that body. He should like to say a word on a clause which was new to him. It was the clause where the Rector in making a choice of assessor had to take the assistance of the Students' Representative Council. But that Council was not, he thought, an expression which was defined in the Act. The clause itself was of an absolutely novel character, and he thought his noble Friend in making further observations with reference to the would do well to give some explanation of that clause. He must honestly say that he thought in so large a proposition as this no clause so vague and so absolutely destitute of guidance had ever been submitted to Parliament, His noble Friend said that it would not be possible to give guidance to the Commissioners, that it would not be possible to lay down in a Bill what the conditions of affiliation should he; that was to say it would be perfectly impossible for the Government to lay down these, but that nothing was so easy as for the Commissioners to do so. They did not know the names of the Commissioners, and therefore they could not say in what consisted that superiority to the Government which was implied by the defence of his noble Friend. But he ventured to say that, whether the Government were unequal to defining all the conditions under which affiliation should take place or not, they at least ought to make some endeavour in this direction. After all, in the majority of cases the Universities and the Colleges of Scotland were synonymous. But the Government were going to add to those ancient corporations a vague and indeterminate and undescribed condition of educational establishment at the whim of unknown Commissioners on conditions which were absolutely kept in the dark. It was the sort of thing that was done by revolutionary Governments—the sort of Administration to which he belonged. But he confessed that it was not the sort of proposition which he expected from Her Majesty's Government. He was very far from denouncing in the slightest degree the general principles of affiliation. He thought the arguments of the noble Marquess were, so far as they went, conclusive. There were cases of affiliation which, to use a French expression, "jumped to one's eyes," such as the cases of Dundee and St. Andrew's—but he could not understand why, when they had laid hold of a broad principle they should find it absolutely impossible to give any example or definition in practice. He would give one instance in which guidance was afforded by the University of Oxford. This University had not found itself in the impotence of Her Majesty's Government with regard to defining those conditions. As far as they knew the Bill, it provided for a representation on the University Court of these new bodies; but the University of Oxford, with which the noble Marquess I opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) was not altogether unconnected took exactly the opposite view. Oxford said that the University should be represented on the governing body with the affiliated bodies. It gave some control, where it was possible, to the University over the affiliated bodies placed without its sanction under its direction; but the noble Marquess did not go that length. He left the whole relative position of the Universities as regarded Colleges with which they might be affiliated absolutely in the hands of certain gentlemen of great weight, esteemable, he had no doubt, but who were absolutely unknown to their Lordships, and could not be the meet subjects of a blind confidence on the part of their Lordships. With reference to the question of the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, the noble Marquess said that the condition imposing those gardens on the University was in the Bill for which he (the Earl of Rosebery) had the main responsibility in 1883. His noble Friend would know no doubt from experience that Bills which had a financial tendency were not entirely in the control of the Minister who introduced them, and he was afraid that his noble Friend had shared his experience on that question and found that the Treasury, while melting its heart to the extent of a handsome sum, imposed extensive and onerous conditions with regard to that gift. One of those conditions in 1883 was the Botanic Gardens, and he was sorry to see that five years of persuasion had failed to alter that condition. The noble Marquess had some hopes that he might accomplish that which he had hitherto failed to manage. He (the Earl of Rosebery) was very glad to hear it, but he was not sure that he shared his expectation. There was no doubt whatever that the Botanic Gardens ought to be connected with the City and not with the University of Edinburgh. The Botanic Gardens were one of the air spaces of Edinburgh, one of the recreation grounds, and while they were kept and maintained by the University for the purposes of study and analysis, they would not be open to the public in a degree to which they thought they were entitled. That was a double disadvan- tage. In the first place it debarred the public from that to which they thought they were entitled; and, what was really more important, it kept up a permanent cause of dissension and grievance between those two great constituent bodies—the Town Council and the University. He had only one word more to say. The Bill, whether it had the Botanic Gardens taken away from it, or clauses added to it defining certain matters in which they were interested—whether they added to it or took away from it—consisted mainly in one point, and that was the character of the Commissioners whom they were going to appoint. He ventured to tell the noble Marquess that, great as was the interest both of the House of Commons and of the people of Scotland in the fate and fortunes of this Bill, that interest was largely mixed up with the question of who the Commission was to consist of. It depended largely on those Commissioners whether the Bill was to be a great blessing to the Universities and to the nation of Scotland, or whether it should be as abortive as some measures which had preceded it. He hoped the noble Marquess would at the earliest opportunity let them know the names of the Commissioners.


said, that after the very clear statements of the noble Lord on his right and of the noble Lord opposite, he did not intend to detain their Lordships at any great length on this subject. Representing as he did the feeling of the University of Aberdeen, he was desirous, however, of expressing his views with regard to this measure. He had no objection to a great portion of the Bill, which he believed would be hailed with satisfaction by the authorities of the Universities of Scotland, but ho had the greatest objection to that portion of the measure which dealt with the subject of affiliation. He ventured to say that this was a matter connected with Scotch education which was entirely new, and he thought on a matter of such extreme importance they ought to have had the whole subject of affiliation inquired into. He was not objecting to it if after inquiry it was thought to be right and proper, but he objected to the question relating to affiliation being inserted in the Bill without having the subject thoroughly and clearly investigated before it was made part of the Bill. He could see no reason why this matter concerning affiliation should not be inquired into by the Commissioners who were to be appointed under the Bill, and then, having made their investigation, they could recommend to Her Majesty in Council the views they entertained on the matter. The question of affiliation had evidently been rather a difficult one to those who had drawn the Bill, because by the very means by which affiliation was to be accomplished they upset the whole equilibrium of the University Courts. The Bill proposed to enact that, in the first place, those University Courts should consist of a certain number of members; but if the Colleges were to be affiliated, the persons connected with those Colleges to be affiliated would be added to the Courts in large numbers, and thus the balance of power sought to be secured would be destroyed. A second objection he had to the proposed system of affiliation was that it had never really been asked for. He did not know that there had been any authority in Scotland that had applied for such a provision as that contained in the Bill. The noble Marquess had referred to the large number of rising Scotch educational institutions which had applied for the powers which it was proposed to give them under the provisions of this Bill, but he should like to have a list of the names of all such institutions in Scotland that were now crying out for affiliation with the Universities. For his own part, he confessed that he was at a loss to know where such institutions were to be found. They knew what extra-mural teaching meant. There were a certain number of gentlemen who set up as Professors outside the University, and who became qualified as Professors. These gentlemen would expect to be added to the governing bodies of the Universities of Scotland. He looked with considerable dismay to the union of those gentlemen with the governing bodies of the Universities. It was a remarkable fact that the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen were all opposed to the principle of the Bill which dealt with affiliation, and these were authorities whose opinions on such a subject as this ought not to be lightly passed over. No doubt the Bill might be amended in Committee, but he could assure the noble Marquess that if the proposals relating to affiliation were allowed to remain in the measure the Bill would meet with determined and earnest opposition both in that and the other House of Parliament, if he had any influence there, in the hope that those who were opposed to affiliation might succeed in getting these dangerous and improper provisions struck out of the measure.


said, that his excuse for taking part in this debate upon a question connected with Scotch Education was that it was one in which the whole republic of letters was concerned. All the Universities of the United Kingdom were interested in the manner in which this question was dealt with in Scotland. He had been entrusted by the Senatus Academicus of the University of Edinburgh with the presentation of a Petition with regard to this Bill; and he believed be represented on this particular subject of affiliation the opinions of the Scottish Universities in general, not excepting the University of St. Andrew's, because, although it was true that the University of St. Andrew's did desire affiliation or incorporation of some kind with the College of Dundee, yet that matter was in the Bill as it stood expressly and specially dealt with, so that it was taken out of the consideration of the general question altogether. If there was any subject which they were all agreed should be looked at dispassionately, and without any other view than that of doing the best they could for the interests concerned, it surely was the question of University Education. Their Lordships must appreciate, not only the ability with which the Bill had been brought forward, but the excellence of the greater part of its provisions, and they hoped and believed that it would be passed in as perfect a form as possible. The point which had been raised involved the question whether it was wise to adopt the proposals as to affiliation which were contained in the Bill. The word affiliation was known in England and in Scotland, and it represented a subordinate relation of bodies who gave instructions elsewhere, and whose students, on certain terms, might be admitted to graduate at the Universities. He did not know whether the noble Marquess expected or intended that all Colleges which had in that sense been affiliated, or which were to be affiliated, were to be brought within the Affiliation Clauses of the Bill. If not, the objection occurred to him that they would be putting in an inferior position to that in which they stood at present all Bodies who were not of the class on whom it would be fit to confer the definite privileges conferred by the Bill. By the provisions of the Bill they might altogether alter the proportions of the Governing Bodies. Under the Bill as it stood, the Court of the University of Edinburgh was to consist of 16 persons, representing what might be termed the domestic elements. But into these Courts an external element was to be introduced to an absolutely unlimited extent. It was provided that there should be upon the University Courts— The head of each College presently existing in, or which may hereafter be affiliated to or incorporated with, the University; and also— such number of the Governing Body of any College affiliated to, or incorporated with, the University as the Commissioners, and after the expiration of their powers the Universities' Committee, may determine. By that means the domestic element on the University Courts might be altogether swamped by the external. The representatives of external Bodies might have influence to get other external Bodies brought in, until at length the University would be to an indefinite extent controlled by the external element. This was a point which he hoped the noble Marquess would consider. He did not believe, if this matter had been made the subject of previous inquiry, that the provision would now have appeared in the Bill, and he hoped, before the Committee stage, it would be seriously considered.


said, he trusted that the Bill would become law this Session. A part of it was very good, and as the subject had been examined and well considered in Scotland, he did not see how any delay would bring advantage either to the Universities or to any other set of persons in Scotland. He hoped, however, that when the Bill was in "another place" the Members representing Scotland would endeavour to get a little more money from the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Scotch Universities. The truth was they were too moderate in Scotland. They did things so cheaply, so well, and so quietly, that, so far as they were concerned, the heart of the Chancellor was always hardened, and he would not give them anything. As to the constitution of the University Court, he could not quite agree with the noble Earl (the Earl of Rosebery) that its membership was too numerous. After all, it was only to consist of 16 members, and the quorum was to be seven; and to that Court were entrusted very large functions as to the discipline, teaching, and revenue of the University. It was perfectly reasonable and right that the Court should manage the revenues of the University; but the noble Marquess stated that the Court would manage the revenues not only of the University, but of the College or Colleges thereof. He wondered whether that view of the case had ever been put before the rising Colleges of which he had spoken. He knew that the College of Dundee would be very much disinclined to surrender its revenues entirely to the management of the University of St. Andrew's, which would follow if it were actually incorporated, and incorporation was the process which the noble Marquess seemed to contemplate. A very material point on which he should like to be informed was whether the University Court had power to review ex propria motu or otherwise any decision at which the Senatus Academicus might arrive. Was this University Court, which would be composed to a considerable extent of persons who had nothing to do with the teaching of the University, the right body to which everything relating to the teaching and discipline of the University should be entrusted? The Commission of 1878 said it would not be right to give to the University Court any power of that kind. He hoped the noble Marquess would tell their Lordships which was the Body to whom he intended to give, under the Bill, the right of regulating the discipline and the teaching of the University, for there obviously could not be two Bodies exercising that power, and, as the Bill stood, it seemed to him to be impossible to gather whether the University Court or the Senate was to manage the discipline. There was another remark which he wished to make with regard to the Commissioners. Under this Bill ample powers would be conferred upon them, and he thought that that course was a perfectly right one. They must necessarily entrust the Commissioners with very large powers in matters of this sort; and, as the noble Lord had observed just now, much would depend upon how the Commissioners were chosen. His Only advice to the noble Marquess on this point was to take as long a time as he could and to make every possible inquiry with regard to the Commissioners, for, no doubt, very much would depend upon the choice which he ultimately made. There was no power given to appeal against them to Parliament similar to the power which was given in the Acts relating to the English Universities. In the latter Universities there was really a double appeal; first, to the Universities' Committee, and, afterwards, if the appellant could persuade either House of Parliament that the Statute was wrong, it would be disproved. He thought he understood why this power was not in the Bill—it was not in the Act of 1858; but apparently the noble Marquess had had the matter in contemplation, for Clause 18 of this Bill said that these Ordinances, after they had been laid before Parliament, were to be submitted to the approval of Her Majesty in Council. But what was the use of laying Ordinances on the Table of Parliament if Parliament did not possess the power of presenting an Address to Her Majesty on the subject? He hoped the noble Marquess would see his way to insert a clause similar to that contained in the English Act. As to affiliation, he would make a suggestion to the noble Marquess. After all, affiliation must be voluntary, either by the University which affiliated or by the College which was affiliated. As the Bill stood, however, the Commissioners would have unlimited power to join any College to any University against the will either of the College or of the University. He did not say that that would happen, but he could conceive cases arising in which a proposal might be made by the Commissioners to affiliate to a University Colleges which the University did not wish to receive. it was true that under the Bill there were two safeguards. In the first place, the College must be duly endowed, and, secondly, the Ordinance of the Commissioners might be appealed against, and must be approved by Her Majesty in Council. But he did not think that those safeguards were sufficient, or that either the Colleges on the Universities would be making an unreasonable demand if they asked that in the one case the consent of the Governing Body of the College and in the other case the consent of the University Court should be given before the Commissioners were empowered to affiliate. They must remember that the new University Court would be a very different Court from the present one. The new Court would represent what was called the extra-mural popular element. The General Council would be much more largely represented than hitherto, and, therefore, if the consent of the University Court were given, he thought it might be assumed that the University generally was in favour of the affiliation taken place. He might make some further remarks, but as they had reference to details he would reserve them for the Committee stage. All the suggestions which had been made were made in the most friendly spirit towards the Bill, although some of them might seem to be of a strong character. In fact, their Lordships would all be glad to amend the Bill, which was perhaps the best yet presented on the subject, so as to make it as suitable as possible to the Universities in Scotland.


said, he had the honour to be the President of the Association of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh. In that capacity it had recently been his duty to introduce to his noble Friend a deputation from the General Councils of Edinburgh and Glasgow a short time before his noble Friend introduced his Bill. On that occasion his noble Friend gave them his assurance that the Bill would probably meet in a great measure the views of those associations. Well, he was bound to say that the Bill had done so, and that they looked upon the Bill as a very honest and bold attempt on the part of his noble Friend to deal with the difficult question which was vital to the interests of Scotland and of learning in that country. The main objects which those associations had in view were three in number. They wanted greater representation on the University Court than the General Council had. The General Council had only one assessor on the University Court. They wanted more, and he was glad to say that the Bill would meet the views of the associations in that respect, as it gave them four members instead of one member. They desired, further, that the Court should have some control over the funds of the University, which under the Act of 1858 and subsequent statutes were entirely confined to the control of the Senatus. That very important question had been dealt with fully by his noble Friend. The only question, as it struck him, was whether he had not dealt too fully with it. It was said that the transfer of authority over the Funds was done so completely that the Senatus would be left without any fund allocated to them for the ordinary wear and tear of the University. This was manifestly an oversight which in Committee might be remedied by his noble Friend. Lastly, the third point which these associations were anxious to see in any measure of University reform was a greater recognition than existed of what was called extra-mural teaching. Well, the University Courts, under the provisions of this Bill, were empowered to give greater recognition to such teaching. Here, again, he thought the Bill was somewhat vague, like the affiliation proposals; and that it was desirable that some principles or some lines should be laid down for this recognized extramural teaching. On all these most important and vital points the Bill went fully as far as, and even further, than the greatest friends of University reform could have expected. Then there was the question of the Botanical Gardens, which was somewhat of a white elephant to the University. But there was one point which had not been touched upon at all, and that was the question of how the Bill would affect certain Professors in the Universities. It was well known that some of the most distinguished scholars from Universities in the South had crossed the Tweed to engage in teaching in the Scottish Universities; and they had done so in the belief that they had a statutory right to a pension. Well, in some cases, he was informed, the Bill would take away the right; and he believed there would be a strong feeling on the part of the few who were affected by that part of the Bill. He did not like to say that gross injustice had been done, but that reasonable expectation was disappointed. The only two real blots of the Bill had been touched upon. One was the transfer of all the teaching from the Senatus, which had hitherto so admirably conducted the instruction of the University, and all the rules for graduation, to the University Court. He strongly objected to this transfer. Under the Act of 1858, the Senatus had control of teaching and discipline; under the present Bill, the former was transferred and the discipline left to the Senatus. He understood, however, from his noble Friend that he would amend the Bill so as to make no change in this respect. In any case, that was a point that ought to be considered, because it was better that those who were thoroughly conversant with the teaching, subject always to the review of the University Court, should have the control of the arrangements rather than that control should be handed over to this large and vague Body—the new University Court—many of whose members might not be conversant with educational matters. The other blot in the Bill was the proposal regarding affiliation; and he thought it impossible that the Bill could pass with that proposal in it as it now stood. It was surely out of the question that the heads of various Colleges which might not now be in existence, but might afterwards be created, should have the control of the Universities themselves, while, on the other hand, the Universities had no share of the control of these Colleges. Such a proposition would not hold water for a single moment, and he was certain that the noble Marquess would have to alter that provision in his Bill. The principles which regulated affiliation with Oxford were widely different. The College seeking to be affiliated was required to have a Royal Charter, to have a member of the University on its Governing Body, and to allow the University to take part in its examinations. The connection was also made terminable at the will of either party. On the whole subject he would strongly impress their Lordships with the necessity of proceeding with extreme caution. It was not as if they were dealing with defective or failing institutions. The success of the Scotch Universities was proverbial. They were prosperous and progressive. Three years ago Edinburgh celebrated its tercentenary, and wise men came from the East and all parts of the world to take part in the celebration. In 1858, the funds belonging to the University amounted to £51,000 a-year. In 1886, it was £300,000. The general fund was then £40,000, but now it was £60,000. It was obvious that great care and caution were required in dealing with such institutions as the Scotch University; and he hoped that the Bill would contribute to their growth and efficiency to the advancement of learning and the good of Scotland.


, in reply, said he was gratified with the manner in which the Bill had been received. He was not sorry to hear criticisms on the question of affiliation. In fact, the main difficulty seemed to have been in regard to the affiliation clause, and on that point he still held by the definition he had given of the term affiliation—namely, that it meant, generally speaking, a union in a subordinate degree, with power of disunion, or disjunction, or separation, or whatever it might be, if that union was found not to be advantageous to both. Noble Lords seemed to suppose that that affiliation would take place under the orders of the Commissioners; but he could not believe that the Commissioners under this Bill would do anything so extraordinary as unite two bodies that did not want to be united. The union would have to be with the consent of both parties—of both the University Court and the College. As to the constitution of the Commission, ho agreed that the whole question of whether the Bill in the end would prove satisfactory or not depended upon the constitution of that Commission, and on that point he would simply say that the reason why he had been unable to put the names of the Commissioners into the Bill had been the great difficulty he had had in finding those who would accept a post which would require from them a great amount of labour and time and of knowledge of the subject. His great desire and his only object was to appoint such a Com- mission as would, by its constitution, give full confidence to all those who were interested; that the questions submitted to them would be justly, fairly, and intelligently dealt with; and in appointing that Commission he would allow no question either of personal feeling or of Party politics to interfere with the selection of gentlemen who would be best qualified to discharge the duties and would be most likely to give satisfaction. He hoped before the Committee stage to be in a position to give the names of the Commissioners to the House. Going back to the provisions with regard to the affiliation of Colleges, he pointed out that there was no compulsion in the matter—that was to say, the Universities were not forced to accept any such Colleges; nevertheless, he would be prepared in Committee to propose such Amendments in this and other matters as would, he hoped, meet the reasonable objections which had been urged from various quarters. The question of the representation of the affiliated Colleges by their principals on the University Court was one which was dependant on the general question of affiliation. He would not now enter upon its discussion. Endowment would undoubtedly be necessary before affiliation, and it was their hope, looking to the experience of the past, that those who were possessed of means would devote them to the cause of education and the endowment of Colleges. The other details which had been referred to in the course of the debate would all come up for consideration in Committee. He was greatly gratified to find that there was so much approval of the general principles of the Bill, and he hoped nothing would happen in Committee to prevent its passing into law, or to make it likely to be less effective in its operation.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday the 14th instant.

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