§ MR. MONCKTON MILNES
said, that the noble Lord the Member for the City of 923 London had, in his speech on the general subject of education, stated the desire of the Government to give every encouragement to the Universities to institute measures of self-reform. The noble Lord in that speech used the word "Universities," and it was desirable to know whether, in using that term, the noble Lord intended to use it in the more restricted sense of the corporate body of each University, or in a more comprehensive sense, extending to the separate colleges. This subject excited considerable interest, as a large body of persons, however anxious they might be to make alterations, felt themselves bound by certain obligations, from which nothing but superior powers could relieve them. He therefore asked the noble Lord whether, in his declaration of the intentions of the Government on the subject of the reform of the Universities, he intended to imply that the support and assistance of the Government would be given to such colleges as might be desirous to obtain the aid of Parliament to enable them to dispense with their obligations to their present statutes, and to substitute such other statutes as might seem to them advisable for the advantage of their separate societies and for the public good?
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, that in the general way in which the question was put, he was unable to give an affirmative answer to it, for the question seemed to be this—Would the Government lend aid to the colleges to dispense with their statutes, whatever those statutes might be, and to substitute others for them? It was impossible that he could bind the Government to such an extent; but he would say with respect to the colleges, as with respect to the Universities, that the Government would take into consideration any proposition from the colleges, as well as from the Universities, supposing the public good to be attained by the proposed alteration.