HL Deb 23 July 1896 vol 43 cc429-51

rose to move the Second Reading of this Bill. He said: As I made a short statement of the circumstances that have led to the introduction of this Bill when I moved for leave to introduce it, it will not be necessary for me to detain your Lordships for any long time on this occasion. The opposition to the Bill, of which I indicated the possibility, has manifested itself in the form of a statement called "The Case against the London University Bill," and purporting to proceed from two bodies entitled respectively the University Defence Committee and the Gresham Commissioners' Scheme Amendment Committee. It is not stated how these Committees are composed, and whilst I have no doubt that they fairly represent those parties who are known to be opposed to legislation on those lines, and who have already upon more than one occasion ineffectually opposed the principle of the Bill, both in the Senate of the London University and in Convocation, and whilst I have no doubt that they represent the opinion, the importance of which I do not wish to underrate, of a very considerable number of graduates of the University, mostly residing in the provinces—whilst I admit all this, I do not think it will be contended that the body of opinion which is represented by those Committees can be compared for a moment, either in weight or as regards scientific or educational experience, with that body of opinion which in various ways has given expression to its adoption of the principles upon which the Bill in founded. I do not know whether the views which are expressed in the case against the Bill will find any expression in this House. If they do, and if it should appear to be necessary, I should be prepared to deal more in detail with the objections which are urged to it. But I think that in moving the Second Reading it may be sufficient if I say that, in my opinion, the arguments which are brought forward in this case do not establish any reason why the Bill should not be read a second time. There may be some points which are referred to in that case which may be worthy the attention of your Lordships in Committee, and I think that some of the statements may be eminently deserving of the attention of the Statutory Commission if it should be appointed under this Bill. Possibly some noble Lords whom I see present, who have either taken some part in the preparation of this scheme or who have been responsible for the administration of the University, may desire to take this opportunity of saying something in answer to the criticisms of the scheme which are contained in the paper to which I have referred, and I think that possibly some of them may desire to take this opportunity of repudiating the charge, which appears to me to be implied, if it is not openly stated, of indifference on the part of the existing Senate, which is responsible for the efficiency and government of the University, to the paramount importance of maintaining permanently the efficiency and fairness of the examinations of the University and the high character which its degrees at present command. There is only one point in this statement on which I will ask your Lordships' permission to say a few words, because it is partly of a personal character. Some time ago I received a deputation in support of the scheme of Lord Cowper's Commission, a deputation which was composed very largely of the heads of the colleges and institutions affected by it, and also consisted of a very large number of persons eminent in education and in science. I have been in the habit—a habit which, perhaps, I may acknowledge may have its disadvantages as well as its advantages—on the reception of such deputations to endeavour to put such objections as may occur to me to the case which is presented by the deputation, with the object of eliciting further information and explanations, rather than to express unqualified approval of the views brought forward by the deputation, until I am thoroughly acquainted with what may be urged upon the other side. That is the course I took, and the reply which I gave to the representations which were made to me by this deputation. I was aware that a certain amount of opposition existed to the scheme which they had come to advocate, and I was not fully aware of the importance or weight which ought to be attached to that opposition, but I pointed out to the deputation that, influential as it was, and representative as it was of the opinion of those bodies principally concerned, and of the opinions of the scientific world in general, it did not profess to represent the opinion of those external students and graduates of the London University, many of whom were known to be hostile to the scheme. I addressed certain questions to them as to whether any amendments to the scheme of the Cowper Commission could be suggested, or, if proposed, would be worthy of consideration, which would tend to remove reasonable objections or apprehensions on the part of those who were opposed to the plan. It is quite possible that, in putting these points to the deputation, I may have given—I think I probably did give—an impression that I was less favourably disposed to the scheme as a whole, and less sensible of the authority by which it was supported, than was really the case. Some criticisms which were made upon my reply have led me to think that this probably was the case. In consequence, however, of the suggestions I then made, the opponents of the scheme took certain steps to obtain, as they stated, the opinion of Convocation generally upon it, and perhaps I had better read the statement which they make upon this subject. They state in the case which they have circulated:— The supporters of the scheme in Convocation having a majority at London meetings refused to institute an official canvass of the views of Convocation generally. An unofficial canvass was therefore necessary in order to supply the Lord President with the information for which he asked. It was undertaken by the present objectors with the most scrupulous desire to render it fair and thorough, and the papers issued for the purposes were first submitted through the Member for the University to the Lord President, and were not disapproved by either. Now, upon that statement I have to say that I have been in very frequent communication with Sir John Lubbock, the Member for the University, upon this subject, and it is quite possible that in the course of those communications I may have seen the papers and the questions that were proposed to be circulated to members of the Convocation, but I have no recollection of having seen them, and certainly if I had seen them I should not have thought it my duty to make any observations upon them or any criticisms upon the steps which the opponents of the scheme might have thought it their duty to take. Under these circumstances I desire entirely to repudiate and disown any responsibility such as that which the opponents of the scheme appear in this statement to place upon me. ["Hear, hear!"] Having made this explanation, partly of a personal character, I do not think it is necessary for me to enter into any other details. I had hoped that on moving the Second Reading of the Bill I should have been able to lay before your Lordships the complete list of the proposed names which are to be inserted in the Bill as forming the Statutory Commission, but I regret that some unexpected delay has occurred in deciding upon the selection of those names, and especially of the Chairman. I am happy, however, to be able to secure the consent of a noble Lord, a Member of this House, who, I think, from his judicial position and from his known impartiality will be acknowledged to be a Chairman of the Commission in whom entire confidence will be placed by all parties concerned. My noble Friend Lord Davey—[cheers]—has expressed his willingness to accept the position of Chairman of this Commission if it should be appointed, and I trust that before the Bill leaves your Lordships' House, or at all events as soon as there appears to be any possibility or probability of its being passed through the other House, I shall be in a position, in conjunction with him, to state the names of those gentlemen who it is proposed shall form the entire Commission. With this explanation, I beg to move that this Bill he read a second time. ["Hear, hear!"]


As I have the honour to be Chancellor of the University of London, it is only natural that I should desire to say a few words on the present occasion. I do not intend to go at any length into the controversial matters which surround this Bill, but it is impossible for me to be silent, because the statement of facts which has been circulated amongst your Lordships by those who were opposed to the Bill seems to me to contain implications which I feel it my duty to utter some protest against. The objections to the Measure, may, I think, be put under two heads. It is alleged that the scheme of the Commission of which Lord Cowper was Chairman, even when subjected to the scrutiny and modification of the proposed Statutory Commission would involve two consequences—that it would lower or tend to lower the standard of the degrees, and that it would be unfair or tend to unfairness towards those students who sought to obtain a degree without having been connected with any college or collegiate instruction. The opponents to the scheme, both in the statement they have recently made and in previous statements, always seem to me to assume that those will be the consequences. Their statement is founded upon assumption rather than any proof or evidence. Indeed, I think anyone reading the statement would come to the conclusion that it was an admitted fact that those consequences would necessarily follow. The Senate of the University, by an enormous majority, have expressed approbation of the scheme, and I cannot but regard it as a serious reflection upon the Senate—upon those who were in the majority on the occasion of the discussion of this question—to treat them as indifferent either to the standard of the degrees or to the interests of what I will call the external students. If the members of the Senate shared the view of the opponents of the scheme that the consequences which they assumed would, in fact, necessarily result, I venture to say that the Senate of the University would have been found in the front rank of opposition to the scheme, and if they support the scheme it is not because they are indifferent either to the standard of education or to the interests of the external students, but because they believe that the present work of the University may be made even more valuable than it has been, without such risks as the opponents of the scheme consider must necessarily attach to it. It is difficult to deal in the way of argument with a statement such as that to which I have alluded, because it proceeds rather upon assumption than upon proof, but I would invite your Lordships' attention to this consideration. Who would be most likely to be the best judges of the desirability of these changes? Surely those who have had for many years the charge of the working of the University under its present system. Its degrees are of high value, and if a high standard has been maintained it has been due to the Senate, in whom the entire management of the University has been vested; because, although the graduates in Convocation may pass resolutions, they have no executive power at all, and if the Senate had been indifferent to the maintenance of a high standard the present high standard could not have been maintained. The fear seems to be that the scheme which has been proposed would give the teachers in London schools and colleges more power in the direction of examinations and course of study than they possess at present, and that a likely consequence of their obtaining that greater power would be a lowering of the standard of education at the University. But here again we are not without experience. First, let me say that the high standard that has been maintained has been largely due to the examiners. One would suppose from some observations that have been made that the Senate has always been struggling to keep up the high standard of the examinations against the examiners, who, if left to themselves, would have lowered that standard. But nothing of the kind has occurred. I do not in the whole of my experience recollect a single appeal to the Senate as against the examiners on the ground that the standard of the examinations was too low. On the contrary, the only appeals that have been made to the Senate against the examiners have been in favour of diminishing the rigour of the examinations, which it was thought that the examiners had raised somewhat too high. Who have the examiners been who have thus maintained the standard of the examinations? They have very largely consisted of the teachers of the London schools. ["Hear, hear!"] There is no class of degree of the University of London of which the standard is so high, or which is more respected, than those which are given in the faculty of medicine; and I believe that it is beyond controversy when I say that a large proportion of the examiners in the medical faculty have been teachers in the London medical schools. ["Hear, hear!"] That is a matter of experience which is of much more value than any mere assumption. There is a very large consensus of opinion amongst these teachers, who have had much greater experience than can be claimed by any body of graduates, in favour of the proposed changes. Who can best say whether such changes will be detrimental or beneficial to education? How is such a matter to be determined? The question has been considered by impartial men, who are at the same time great educational authorities and men of experience. What is the use of referring to a Royal Commission so composed, questions of this description, if the opinions of any class of graduates in the University, however much they may be entitled to respect, are to be treated as an absolute barrier to any such scheme as this ever taking effect? The Royal Commission have impartially considered the views of those who are in favour of the scheme and of those who are opposed to it, and they have arrived at the conclusion that the scheme is one which is likely to be of public advantage and will be detrimental to no one. If the view of the Royal Commission is not to be taken as conclusive on the one side or the other, who is to determine the question except Parliament? ["Hear, hear!"] It has been said that a Measure such as this ought not to be passed without its being first submitted to the vote of the body of graduates, because under the existing charter no new charter can be accepted without their consent. That statement, which has been so simply put forward in the statement of facts to which I have alluded, appears to me to press too far the condition in the existing charter, and to overlook the purpose for which that condition was inserted. A controversy having arisen between the graduates and the Senate as to the right of the former to have some voice in the management of the University, it was determined by the Royal Commission that, whilst the Senate was still to remain the executive power of the University, Convocation was to have the power to elect a certain number of graduates upon the Senate, and if the condition in question had not been inserted all the advantages which the graduates possessed might have been speedily lost by the Senate, without agreement with Convocation, accepting a new charter depriving the graduates of all that they had gained. That was the purpose of the veto clause; but surely it is pressing it far beyond its just weight and authority to assert that, because a clause of that sort was inserted in the charter, it is not open to Parliament, acting upon the recommendations of the Royal Commission, to reorganise the University so as to make it more efficient as a University for London, because to do so would be a violation of the existing rights of the graduates. What Parliament has to determine is what is best from an educational point of view for the best interests of the country, and therefore it is not possible to admit the argument that Parliament cannot take that course because a body of graduates has vetoed a scheme which Parliament believes to be in the public interest. ["Hear, hear!"] The graduates have taken their degrees, it is true, but how can that fact give them any right to prevent the reconstruction of the University in a way that is considered to be for the public advantage? ["Hear, hear!"] It seems to me that those who put forward that argument overlook this further point—that the Charter which gave Convocation this veto required that it should be expressed by those present in Convocation who had heard the arguments on either side. It was said that the decision of Convocation in this matter should go for nothing, because it did not represent the view of those graduates who are scattered throughout the country. But I would ask your Lordships this question—whether, if the reforms of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge had depended upon the veto of the graduates of those Universities scattered throughout the country, how many of those reforms would have been accomplished? ["Hear, hear!"]That seems to me to be a sufficient answer to the argument to which I have just referred. ["Hear, hear!"] I only desire further to remark that I think that the scheme of the Cowper Commission, although on the whole an admirable one, is susceptible of improvement in its details, leaving its general principles untouched. The very object of appointing the statutory Commission is to carry out those recommendations, and that the details should be looked at by a body of able men, and that the weight and force of the objections raised to those details should be fully considered and, where necessary, modified. I cannot conceive that a body of such men so working will find it impossible to devise a plan which shall maintain the high standard and character of the University degrees, and yet be perfectly fair to the claims of all students who may be outside of the University. No one is more conscious than myself of the great work that the University has done in the past—although I am the last person who should dwell upon that point in your Lordships' House—and I venture to hope that it may do even greater work in the future if it is reconstituted in the manner now proposed, and I believe that its educational influence for good will be even higher than it is at present. ["Hear, hear!"] I know that some of the opponents of the present scheme desire to create another University in London alongside of the University of London. That is a question which has been considered by men of great weight and authority, who have very largely pronounced against the proposal. The House of Commons has emphatically pronounced against it, and I believe that the country has also pronounced against it in an equally emphatic manner. ["Hear, hear!"] Under these circumstances, I believe the best hope for the solution of this question, and for the increase, even, of the valuable work which the University of London has done, lies in the direction proposed by the noble Duke. ["Hear, hear!"]


, speaking as Chairman of the Commission which considered this question, said that when the work of that body first began he was prepossessed in favour of the Gresham scheme, because he thought everybody would admit that, if there was to be a second University, that scheme would have been at least as good as any other which could have been devised. But he found that the large majority of his fellow Commissioners were of a contrary opinion, and as the evidence proceeded he became more and more convinced that the great bulk of opinion throughout the country, and more particularly in the Metropolis, was not in favour of a second University, but in favour of one. The objections to having two Universities side by side in one town appeared greater the more they were looked into. It transpired that the University of London were not only willing but anxious to undertake teaching work themselves, and they rightly felt that if another University was once started to do this they would themselves be for ever precluded from doing anything of the sort. The great difficulty to the Commission in dealing with the matter always seemed to be that of the University of London performing a double function—namely, the function it exercised now of offering degrees to everybody who came and at the same time carrying on a system of teaching which would eventually lead up to an exmination as the crowning point of it all. The Report set out how it was thought these difficulties could be met. They had left questions of detail—as to the exact amount of similarity of the two degrees and whether or not the final degree might in both cases be made the same, or only of the same value—to a certain extent to the discretion of the Senate, as they considered that some degree of elasticity and discretion should be left, in smaller particulars, to the governing body of the University. He could not help feeling pretty sure that everybody who went through the voluminous mass of evidence would gradually come to the same conclusion as that at which he had arrived. It was quite true there were two very eminent Members of the Commission who still expressed a wish for two Universities, but he thought as the investigation proceeded they became convinced it was perfectly hopeless that they could ever carry out what they desired, and sooner than leave this great question any longer unsettled, probably for an indefinte number of years, they joined the other Commissioners in signing the Report. That Report, therefore, was unanimously signed by the whole of the 13 Commissioners. He was very glad to feel that everybody would now be able to say that every objection, even the most frivolous, had been carefully and properly considered by one like the noble Duke who possessed a most mpartial and most judicial intellect. He could not help hoping that, though the Bill had been introduced at so late a date, there might be some chance of its becoming law before the end of the Session. ["Hear, hear!"] The sooner this matter, which had been so long before the country, was settled the better it would be. At one moment there appeared to be an entire unanimity of opinion on the subject, but dissensions had already begun to crop up; they would probably go on increasing if there were further delay, and it was not yet quite beyond the reach of possibility that this great question might be again indefinitely shelved if allowed to go unsettled much longer. ["Hear, hear!"]


said that he introduced a Bill last year for the purpose of converting the present London University into a teaching University, and as the noble Duke had accepted that as the basis of his Bill he would strongly urge that the Government should take the matter up in earnest, considering the large amount of support which they now had in regard to the scheme. This scheme had been under the consideration of educationists for a whole generation. It had been the subject of exhaustive inquiries in the past years by two Royal Commissions and one Committee of the Privy Council. The noble Duke informed their Lordships, on the First Reading, that this Bill was supported in its principles by the Senate of the Uni- versity of London, and by the Convocation of its graduates, as well as by every constituent college which, in the new organisation, was to form part of the teaching University. Their Lordships had no doubt received, within the last few days, a statement of objections to the Bill. There were a considerable number of graduates of the existing London University who did not wish it to be disturbed. There never had been an attempt to obtain University reform in any part of the United Kingdom without a like opposition of graduates. Parliament had to invent an outside authority, in the shape of a statutory Commission, to overcome such internal obstacles to reform, and this Bill followed the course which was pursued in "Oxford and Cambridge, in the four Scotch Universities, and in the Queen's University of Ireland. Three times the Convocation of the existing London University had met and discussed the principles of this Bill, and, by an increasing and finally by an overwhelming majority, had pronounced in their favour. The minority of the Convocation, and individual graduates in the country, refused to accept their defeat, and were still alarmed at the proposed changes in the constitution of the present University. At the basis of their opposition was the fear that the new University might lower the value of degrees, and thus lessen the honour in which existing graduates were now held. This fear did not seem to be shared to a large extent by graduates who had the highest degrees. At the meeting of Convocation on January 21 of this year the principles of this Bill were approved by 463 ayes, against 242 noes. Were the dissentients found chiefly among the higher graduates, who would have chief cause to fear that their degrees might sink in value? There were 199 doctors of different faculties at the meeting of Convocation, and of these 74 per cent. were in favour of the Bill, and only 26 per cent. against it. In the next higher degree 83 masters voted, 76 per cent. being in favour of the Bill, and 24 per cent. against it. It was only when they came to the lowest degree that the opposition, became considerable. Of the 423 bachelors, 60 per cent. were still in favour of the Bill, but 40 per cent. were against it. Therefore the doctors and masters, whose high degree gave them great honour throughout the country, when they voted were not afraid of reforms, and did not think that an organised University would make the degree of a lower value than would a mere examining University; and it was only when they came to the bachelors that they found there was some substantial fear in regard to the matter. They had never had it explained why an organised teaching University should think it to their interest to lower the value of the degrees. One would say that their interest was to keep up the degrees to the highest value, and he thought the graduates, when they considered the question, would gradually come to this view. He would like just to say a word as to why it was they were obliged to ask for a complete reorganisation of the London University. It had been an admirable and faithful University as far as its powers went. Its examinations had been thorough and honest and high, but it had failed because it had no powers to regulate or co-ordinate higher education either in London or in the provinces. The proof of that was that although their whole functions extended throughout the provinces, the provinces could not find the intellectual resources which they wished in the London University, so there had been a continuous creation of new University centres. London was the only large town—he would not say the only capital—which did not possess an organised teaching University, for though every large town had not a University centre, yet it was joined to one by federation. It was a most melancholy fact—a fact that was a disgrace to the Metropolis, that, although the towns of great population possessed organised teaching Universities, the London University did not yet do so. It was impossible that the London University, with its present powers and its present charters, could constitute a teaching University in accord with the science of the time. Teaching by verbalism was more and more going out in science. Lectures were of far less importance than experimental work in laboratories. For this purpose well equipped colleges were absolutely necessary, and the object of the University would be to raise itself continually up to the level of science. The object of this scheme for which educationists had been agitating for so many years, was to produce this result. There had been a fear, more among the public than the graduates, that if they had an organised teaching University it might not be efficiently open to all who came, whether they had gone through collegiate life or not. There were two parts to that question. One was that there would be less and less demand upon the London University as the University centres increased. On the other hand, there was a great popular education growing amongst the people. That was evidenced, not only by the University extension, which was spreading so widely over all parts of the Kingdom, but also by the technical institutions and the means of obtaining a knowledge of science which the people now had. It would be hard if, in these institutions they could obtain a knowledge equal in amount to the education which was given at any other University, the doors should not be wide open to them, and this scheme provided that the Commissioners should take care that this part of the University scheme for London, was preserved in the new teaching University. The object of the Bill was to provide a system of education capable of raising itself continually to the heightening and advancing state of knowledge. It did not provide the means, however; but if they erected an organised University of which Londoners and the people of this country would be proud, he was perfectly sure that the funds would not be lacking. He would give one instance of why they should have that confidence. The late Royal Commission appointed a small Committee, consisting of Professor Burdon Sanderson and himself, to consider the scientific part of the Report; and they recommended the foundation of research laboratories for chemistry and physics, independent of the existing colleges, but open to any of the graduates who showed the power of advancing the boundaries of science by original researches. The recommendation was adopted after some hesitation on the part of their colleagues, because they thought they were asking too much, for no funds were in view for building and equipping such laboratories or for maintaining them when equipped. The generosity of one scientific manufacturer—Mr. Mond—had already founded these laboratories, which two years ago looked so hopeless of accomplishment. Like results would follow in regard to other recommendations of the Commission. He would like to point out how important it was that a large community like London should put itself into the position of having organised University teaching as other places had. They were doing nothing in this country at the present moment compared with what was being done in other countries for the promotion of higher University education. After the Franco-German war the French Institute had a most interesting discussion upon the question, "Why did our late crisis produce no great people in this country?" and the universal feeling in the Institute was that France had not sufficiently attended to her higher University education. Renan, in summing up the whole Debate said:— It is German science that won the day at Sadowa and Sedan. The German national spirit is a product of the German Universities, and the German Fatherland is a product of that spirit. Inspired by these views France since the war had spent nearly 100 millions of francs in equipping her higher colleges, so that they might suffice for modern scientific requirements; and it now spent annually about as much as Germany in higher education. Germany had not stood still. When she acquired Strasburg as a result of the war, she spent upon that small town no less than £711,000 sterling in the building of a new University and its scientific laboratories, and annually voted above £50,000 sterling for their maintenance. The future competitions of the world would not be determined by armies and navies alone, but would be mainly governed by the intellectual development of the people. In the presence of these facts, surely England could not allow its great capital to remain the only large town, either in the United Kingdom or abroad, which had no means by which organised University teaching could be given to her people. He heartily supported the Second Reading of this Bill.


As I have been connected with this movement for a teaching University since its commencement in 1884, and as I am closely connected with University College, your Lordships will, I trust, allow me to say a few words in favour of the Second Reading of this Bill. The main object of the Bill is to put an end to an anomaly. London has a variety of institutions in which University education is given, but which have not the power of conferring degrees, and on the other hand London has an Examining Board unconnected with the teaching institutions. The institutions have no crown to their edifice, and the University has no foundations. The object of the scheme of the last Royal Commission was to constitute a corporate body out of these scattered fragments. Recognition is given on broad and well-defined lines to University teaching wherever it exists. The scheme aims at raising the standard of University teaching in the Metropolis. Great encouragement is given to new developments. At the same time care was taken not to fall into the evil of undue decentralisation. The tendency towards specialisation in all branches is inevitable. But in special schools this tendency is accentuated. In a University influences are at work which counteract it. The specialist does obtain at a University a certain amount of general culture. Hence the co-ordination of faculties in a University which gives to a University its encylopædic character. Hitherto the University of London has had a centrifugal activity; henceforth it will be a centrifugal force. The institutions which hitherto have had no bond of union will henceforth live a common life and be united by a common aim—research in all directions. The University, through the methods of research which it will inculcate, will develop independent thought and individuality. If it succeeds, the narrowness of too detailed specialisation will disappear. Courses of studies will have to be so organised that on the one hand they secure thoroughness, and on the other hand exclude onesidedness. The student will he guided, stimulated, not driven. Examinations will be real teats of education, but they will not interfere with the pursuit of knowledge, which is the main object of higher education. The examinations will have the closest connection with the teaching, leaving it a maximum of freedom. Examinations will no longer be the master, but the servant. The standard of teaching will not be high because the standard of examinations is high, but you will be able to raise the standard of your examinations because you have raised the standard of your teaching. The only way of raising the standard of teaching at a University is by obtaining the best teachers. If you want to prevent the best London Professor from seeking employment at other Universities, you must give them in the London University the same advantages in order to retain them. A London University once constituted will attract the best teaching power in the Empire, in the same way as it is attracted to Berlin, Paris, and Vienna. It is an absurdity to maintain that University teaching must be kept up to the mark by examinations unconnected with the teaching. If the teachers in the various institutions in London are doing their duty, they have assuredly the right to be placed on the same footing as their colleagues in other Universities, both here and abroad. It would be easy to mention names of London Professors who enjoy a European reputation, of whom any University would be proud, and who are not occupying the position to which they are in every respect entitled. London, with its population larger than Scotland, has a right to one University if Scotland has four Universities, and it is nothing less than an injustice if London is debarred from a privilege which every other capital of Europe enjoys. The students of the new University will probably be drawn mainly from the middle classes and from the most promising youth of the working classes. No favour need be shown to the latter; all they ask for is that the opportunity should be given them, by scholarships and other openings, to distinguish themselves. Students from all parts of the Empire are enrolled at the existing institutions, and I have no doubt that the new University will tend to cement closer relations with India and the colonies. I do not share the apprehensions of those who fear that such a University will be unable to perform the duties which have hitherto been discharged by the London University. Examinations for internal students must be subordinate to the teaching. But if, as I have shown, the teaching will have to be of a very high character, degrees will necessarily be correspondingly valuable. The Royal Commission certainly did not contemplate any lowering of the standard of education; neither had it any wish to deprive external students of any guarantees of impartiality which they might require. The statutory Commission will no doubt give effect to the injunction of the Bill that the interests of all classes of students should be adequately secured. In France a similar problem has been satisfactorily solved. Besides the State Universities, there are "facultés libres." The students at these faculties have to be examined by the Professors of the State Universities in order to obtain degrees. No complaints, I have been informed, have been made with regard to the fairness of these examinations. I think that the same result would attend the experiment here, and that the examiners would endeavour to show the utmost impartiality. But if the external students prefer special examiners, by all means supply them. But, my Lords, there is another aspect of the question to which I must call your special attention. We have in London the resources which are required to constitute a splendid University. We have the personnel, we have the hospitals, the scientific laboratories, the unrivalled collections of natural history, archæology, ethnology, libraries, archives, etc. What we need is the organisation which will turn these resources to the best account. Meanwhile, abroad higher education is constantly improved, and the field of operations expanded. The history of recent expansions is most interesting. I shall only mention some of the most striking facts. At the University of Vienna, with more than 8,000 students, 530 courses of lectures are given: 219 in the philosophical faculty, of these for history and geography 27; for mathematics and science 96, and in the medical faculty—230 courses of lectures for 3,000 students. In Prussia, since 1875, the annual expenditure on Universities, high schools, and technical schools has nearly doubled. It amounted in 1875 to more than 10 millions of marks; for the current financial year the figure is: more than 18½ millions. For technical education the rise is from 543,192 marks to 1,792,298 marks. For the nine Universities and two other institutions, from 5,177,392 marks to 8,389,270 marks. The German Empire has spent since 1873, on the University of Strassburg, 12 million marks. The contribution of the Empire is less than half the total expenditure; the larger half is paid by Alsace-Lorraine. But the progress in France is even more startling. The Second Empire found a Budget for higher education of 3,938,656 francs. In 1870 it left as a legacy to the Republic a Budget of 5,852,471 francs, which has been increased to 15,356,615 francs. The Republic has nearly trebled the expenditure of the Empire on higher education. Bordeaux, Lyons, and Montpeleier each received a law faculty; Nancy a faculty of medicine and a higher school of pharmacy; Bordeaux, Lyons, Toulouse, faculties of medicine, including pharmacy; Besançon, Bordeaux, Lyons, Pic-du-Midi and Puy-de-Dôme observatories; Meudon a central meteorological Institute and an Observatory of Physical Astronomy; Rome a school of archeology, to do for Italy what the French school at Athens does for Hellenism. In 1870 the faculties had 650 different courses; this has been increased to 1,000. "Whereas in 1870 the arts faculty of Lyons taught these five subjects—philosophy, history, ancient literature, French literature, foreign literature; in 1893 it teaches these 25 subjects—philosophy, history of philosophy, the science of education, Egyptology, Greek and Latin antiquities, history and antiquities of the middle ages, modern history, contemporary history, history of art, general geography, physical geography, paleography, epigraphy, Greek literature, Latin literature, French literature, literature of the middle ages, foreign literature, German literature, English literature, Sanskrit and comparative grammar, classical philology. In other faculties the same extension obtains. The number of students has increased from 9,500 under the Empire to 24,397, of whom 1,432 are foreigners. The ordinary expenditure for the various faculties this year is 12,954,181 francs, and since 1885 the total extraordinary expenditure on the faculties has amounted to 10,271,734 francs. To this must be added the expenditure on such establishments as the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Ecole des Langues Orientales vivantes, the Collége do France, and similar institutions, which amounts this year to 3,487,000 francs. In 1875 the figures were for the faculties, 5,154,581 francs, and for the other establishments 2,480,278 francs. The Ecole des Sciences Politiques, under the able management of M. Boutmy, is a most remarkable institution, which is entirely independent of the State, and not included in the expenditure I have mentioned. But this year will be memorable in the annals of higher education in France, because Parliament has created provincial Universities. Formerly there was one University. By this measure the University is decentralised, and the faculties in the provinces are to lead an independent corporate life. In France this year Paris ceases to exercise the paramount authority in Franco over the various faculties. Let us hope this year may be equally memorable in our annals, and that London will be endowed with a University in every respect the equal of the new University of Paris. France since 1870 has had a great number of Ministers of Education, but if there has been steady progress on well-defined lines, the credit of this progress is mainly due to three permanent officials—M. du Mesnil, who was director of higher education from 1868 to 1879; M. Dumont, from 1879 to 1884; and M. Liard, the present eminent director from 1884. It is impossible to exaggerate the influence on the younger generations of Frenchmen of these vigorous efforts of the Republic to create an intellectual aristocracy. Those who have seen the new Sorbonne, the new University buildings at Lyons, will not hesitate to vote for this Bill, which does not involve any State expenditure. The object of this Bill is not merely educational. It has a much wider bearing. What is the cause of all this expenditure on the Continent of Europe, and I might have given you equally remarkable facts about the United States? It is the consciousness that wealth and military power are insufficient, that higher education must provide the intellectual capital which agriculture, industry, trade require. If we are to hold our own in this race, we have to use the same means I consider that this Bill will materially increase what I venture to call one of the chief conditions of our national greatness In Scotland we have always endeavoured to make the most of our educational capabilities. If London had been the capital of Scotland, I think it would have started this University, not at the end, but at the beginning of this century. A London University will not be a mere local institution; it will be eventually an Imperial institution, benefiting all classes throughout the Empire. The progress of this Bill is watched, anxiously watched, by scientific men here as well as abroad. Abroad they envy the future which is in store for a University which will have unrivalled treasures at its disposal. My late right hon. Friend, Mr. Huxley, was almost driven to despair by the failure of previous attempts. We cannot honour his memory more effectually than by securing the rapid passage of this Bill through its various stages. There is such practical unanimity among all those who have the higher interests of the country at heart, that failure to give London a teaching University would be nothing less than a national disgrace. [Cheers.]


felt that the reasons already put before their Lordships for accepting the Bill were overwhelmingly strong, and he only wished to intervene because he had been mentioned as one apparently' partially opposed to the provisions of the Bill. As a Member of Lord Cowper's Commission he joined with Sir George Stokes and Mr. Weldon in a note expressing a preference for a separate teaching University. They had some doubt as to whether or not the functions of a teaching University could practically be added to the duties so well performed by the University of London of examining for degrees and conferring degrees upon students who had not had the benefit of instruction in colleges or Universities in any part of the world. They felt the gravity of the objection that might be held to establishing another University—a rival University—beside the University in London; but when it seemed, as it did then seem to them, hopeless that the University of London could be got to undertake the duty of organising and carrying on a teaching University, they felt that the paramount object of having a teaching University in London should not on that account be given it. On his own behalf, and, he believed, on behalf of his colleagues in the note, he could say they would only have been too glad to have accepted what was now proposed by this Bill. Their doubts and hesitation had been completely set aside by what had passed. Personally he thoroughly approved of the Bill. He believed that an immense addition to the usefulness of the existing colleges in London would result from the passing of the Measure. It was an anomalous state of things that there was no teaching University in London. It was not only London, but the United Kingdom, and, indeed the whole world, that would benefit by the passing of the Bill, and therefore his desire was strong and evident, not only that the Bill might pass speedily through their Lordships' House, but that it would be taken up by the House of Commons and made an Act of Parliament before the close of the present Session.


said that some years ago he had the honour to be President of University College, and at that time there was put forward a scheme for a separate University such as Lord Kelvin thought might be the only alternative. So strong was his feeling against the scheme that he resigned his office when he found there was a majority against him. He was accompanied in taking that course by the late Sir Julian Goldsmid, Mr. Cozens-Hardy, and others he could name. He then felt it would be a great misfortune if there were set up two rival Universities in London, and, therefore, he need hardly say how greatly he rejoiced that they had arrived at last at a point where they seemed to have in view a conjunction of teaching and examining in the University of London. But he did not undervalue the opposition raised to the Bill, because he had, in some degree, sympathised with the view that the success of the London University in conducting a system of examinations might, be impaired by the changes which were contemplated. There was a fear amongst many Members of the University that that success might be impaired, because the teachers would have great influence, and they might, without intending it, so use their influence upon the conduct of the examinations as to place the external students at a disadvantage, He was free to say he himself had not been without that fear. He was the last person to undervalue the function of a teaching University. He believed it to be absolutely indispensable for the due conduct of education in London that there should be a teaching University with all the powers which had been described by previous speakers, but at the same time he deprecated the injuring in any way of the functions of examination which had been performed by the London University. It was perfectly posssible to join the two functions, and when they were joined the University would have far more power and far more usefulness than it had ever had before. He was glad to see the noble Duke had inserted in the Bill the provision that the Commissioners were to see that provision was made for securing adequately the interests of collegiate and non-collegiate students respectively. That ought to reassure those who had placed themselves in opposition to the Bill, because an impartial Statutes Commission, such as the noble Duke intended to appoint, would be perfectly able to see that the statutes of the University were so framed that there would be no chance of any portion of the University work being impaired by a wrong administration of its powers. He cordially welcomed the Bill, and could only express his regret that there was no chance at present of the Measure being passed this Session.

Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.

House adjourned at Seven o'clock, till Tomorrow a Quarter past Four o'clock.