HL Deb 20 September 1939 vol 114 cc1099-100

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

5.2 p.m.


My Lords, I have to ask your Lordships to give a Second Reading to this Bill. It is a Bill which is in two main Parts. The first Part applies to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and Durham and the colleges of those universities. The Bill amends the first part of the Universities and College Estates Act, 1925, and the purpose is to enable the colleges to raise and to apply capital for the purposes of making good revenue deficiencies in the present emergency. It is obvious that these institutions may be faced with some financial embarrassment having regard to the probable or almost certain fall in revenue. The second Part deals only with Oxford and Cambridge and the colleges in those universities. In normal times any change in the Statutes of the universities and colleges requires to be made by a somewhat lengthy procedure before the Privy Council involving a large expenditure of time and of money. The clauses contained in Part II of the Bill will enable those necessary changes to be made without any undue expenditure of either of those two valuable matters. The Bill provides for no charge on public funds.

It in substance re-enacts the Act of 1915 which was passed in similar circumstances and the only alterations in this Bill are drafting differences. Your Lordships may possibly ask whether similar provision will be made for other colleges and universities. I perhaps may be allowed to say that attention is being called to the desirability of the other universities having similar legislation to deal with their cases, and I have no doubt it will be found necessary to ask your Lordships in due course to pass appropriate measures to give other universities and colleges like powers to those which I am asking your Lordships to give by passing this Bill. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill he now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.