§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (THE MARQUESS OF CREWE)
My Lords, the House will remember that in the month of March emergency Bills similar to this one were passed in respect of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was found necessary, owing to the great number of students serving his Majesty in the present war and the large number of others whose ordinary academic studies were interfered with, to facilitate changes in the University status. This is a similar measure with a similar object applying to the four Scottish Universities. The Ordinances Which are applicable to the Scottish Universities and to the Joint Board of Examiners which deals with the preliminary examinations are made under certain Acts of Parliament—the Scottish Universities Acts; and the Ordinances are subject to the approval of His Majesty in Council. They describe in detail the various courses of study, the examinations, and so on, and in order to simplify the procedure required by the times it is suggested that joint action, as your Lordships will see from this Bill, may be undertaken; because in ordinary circumstances the provisions of existing 484 Ordinances can only be superseded by the enactment of a new Ordinance. I hope, therefore, that the House will see no difficulty in treating the Scottish Universities on the same lines as those on which the old Universities have been treated, and also to some extent the new Universities where they have applied for alterations in their powers.
I think it might interest the House to have one or two figures about the Scottish Universities of a very creditable character, as are those, as we all know, of the English Universities. There are 853 students of the University of Edinburgh on one kind of war service or another, and there are 457 who are cadets of the Officers Training Corps. Of the University of Glasgow there are 600 students described as being on service, and 250 who are engaged on munition work. In the case of Aberdeen there are 277 students serving in the Forces, and 112 in the Officers Training Corps. And at St. Andrews, which we know is a smaller University, there are 140 students and no fewer than 20 members of the teaching stall serving. Those figures reflect great credit on the Northern Universities, and I hope, therefore, that your Lordships will agree to the Second Reading of this Bill.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Marquess of Crewe.)
LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
My Lords, I shall not detain the House for noire than a moment, but I think it would be ungracious, as Chancellor of one of the Scottish Universities, were I not to welcome not only the Bill which the noble Marquess has introduced but the tone of the kindly remarks which he used regarding the great exertions of the Scottish Universities in the national crisis. I was prepared to say on behalf of some of the Scottish Universities, at any rate, that both teaching staff and undergraduates have made great sacrifices in this war. I do not think it necessary to add anything to what the noble Marquess has said, but I was not aware that he had been supplied with the figures he has given. So far as the University with which I am concerned goes, we give a very cordial welcome to this Bill.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.