§ [FOURTH NIGHT.]
Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [3rd March], "That the Bill be now read a second time;" and which Amendment was,
To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House, while ready to assist Her Majesty's Government in passing a measure 'for the advancement of learning in Ireland,' regrets that Her Majesty's Government, previously to inviting the House to read this Bill a second time, have not felt it to be their duty to state to the House the names of the twenty-eight persons who it is proposed shall at first constitute the ordinary members of the Council,"—(Mr. Bourke,)
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Debate resumed.
§ COLONEL WILSON-PATTEN
said, that, believing it to be the general wish that the debate should be brought to a conclusion that night, and having ascertained that many of the Irish Members were anxious to address the House, he would only trespass upon their attention for a short time—indeed, after the searching debate that they had already had, he should have been glad to give a silent vote, and thus to allow more time to other hon. Members more 1742 immediately interested in the subject to make such remarks upon it as they might think fit:—but having heard such unusual doctrines put forward—and especially by hon. Members of the Government in the course of the debate, in respect to the rule and practice of the House in connection with the second reading of Bills, he felt himself called upon to trespass for a few moments upon the time of the House, if only in defence of the vote he was about to give. He had listened with the utmost attention to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War who preceded him in this debate, and he was happy to say that he was able to concur with him in many of his remarks. Indeed, there were some objects which his right hon. Friend had in view upon which he (Colonel Wilson-Patten) so cordially agreed with him, that it recalled to his recollection those days when his right hon. Friend and himself were in the habit of acting more in accord with each other than they were at present. As to their points of agreement—he concurred with his right hon. Friend that if they could succeed in establishing a system of University education which would be accessible to all Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland without danger to the religious professions of any of them, it would be a benefit to the country difficult to exaggerate. If, however, in attempting to deal with this subject they opened the door to increased agitation and to increased sectarian animosities or religious dissensions, then he would say that the injury which it would inflict upon the country would be also difficult to exaggerate. He concurred with his right hon. Friend in thinking that the new University should be open to all parties from whatever quarter they came; and that the object of the University should be perfect neutrality: he differed, however, from him in thinking that this Bill would establish such a desirable state of things. His right hon. Friend had also stated on behalf of the Government that this University would be one for examination as well as for teaching. He did not know that any person objected to this proposal, except some hon. Members who sat in immediate proximity to him on the Treasury bench, one, at least, of whom he believed entertained a very strong opinion against its being a teaching University. 1743 He entirely agreed with that part of the Bill which included Science in the curriculum of the University. He only regretted that when the First Minister of the Crown introduced this measure to the House he should have cast some little slur on the Chairs of Science in the Queen's University, and especially on those of Galway College. He believed that if one thing could be more beneficial than another to Ireland, it would be the institution of Chairs of Art in the various Colleges or in the University proposed to be established, and to his mind, it was impossible to exaggerate the importance of affording free access to students for the study of medicine. Having stated the points in which he agreed with his right hon. Friend, he would now proceed to state those parts of the Bill in respect to which he differed from him in toto. First, he differed from him in the opinion he had expressed, that this Bill was likely to effect all the objects which the Government had in view. He was surprised to hear his right hon. Friend resorting to certain arguments in order to conciliate in favour of the measure the hon. Members of that party who were generally supposed to act with the Government. His right hon. Friend used these words—"Will you pay so little respect to the Speech from the Throne as to stop the further progress of a measure recommended to your notice in that Speech." He (Colonel Wilson Patten) could only say that that was the very first time he had heard any hon. Gentleman, especially a Member of the Government, say that hon. Members of the House would show either respect or disrespect to the Speech from the Throne by the votes they might give on any particular question. When he gave a vote there he hoped he gave it with independence and a determination to promote the best interests of the country. The House of Commons were the great Council of the nation, and when any subject was recommended to them from the Throne, they did not consider that they were showing any disrespect to the Crown by their opposition to the particular scheme of the Government. He was the more surprised to hear his right hon. Friend lay down such a principle when he recollected that when he and his Colleagues were in office, Her Majesty's present Ministers did not seem to 1744 be at all governed by that principle in the conduct they pursued in that House, the Speech from the Throne having very little influence indeed with them. In the dilemma in which the Government found themselves, his right hon. Friend also laid down this equally extraordinary doctrine. He said—"No hon. Member is to be committed by voting for the second reading of the Bill."
§ MR. CARDWELL
What I said was I hoped I should be able to show that the parts of the Bill which have been more particularly criticised were not points to which any hon. Member would be fettered in Committee by voting for the second reading of the Bill.
§ COLONEL WILSON-PATTEN
said, he thought he had taken down his right hon. Friend's words correctly. At all events, he told the ordinary supporters of the Government that no hon. Member who gave his vote for the second reading would incur any responsibility in regard to the measure itself by that vote. He did not deny that hon. Members were not strictly bound by any particular rules in voting for the second reading of a Bill; but he held it to be the rule and common practice in the House that if any hon. Gentleman voted for the second reading of a Bill he virtually gave his approval to the essential principles of it. That was, he believed, the uniform practice. Now, what were the essential principles of this Bill? He had great difficulty, he confessed, in coming to a conclusion upon this point. He had heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman in introducing this measure; and it appeared to him that there were several principles laid down which the Government then thought were of the essence of the Bill; but in the course of the discussion which had since taken place, those particular points had been given up one by one as not deemed to be of the essence of the Bill until very little now remained. He would, however, mention what appeared to him to be the main principles of the Bill. They were very simple. He held one of the main principles of the measure to be the destruction of the old University of Dublin, of Trinity College, and of the Queen's University, and in lieu of them the establishment of one new University. The second principle was the constitution by which the new University was to be 1745 governed. There could be no reasonable doubt that those were essential parts of the Bill upon which hon. Members should be guided in their votes upon the second reading. He would take the case of the Queen's University. He could only say that he for one would never consent to the abolition of the Queen's University, at any rate until they saw a better foundation laid for the new University that was to be substituted for it than that described in the measure of the Government. Neither could he agree to the destruction of Galway College, or to the affiliation of those Colleges which they were told were to form a part of the new institution. Until he saw the new University established upon a foundation more sure, less liable to change, and less likely to be the cause of religious discord in the country, than that provided by the present Bill, he should give the measure his strongest opposition. He thought he saw the prospect—at least the possibility—of the Queen's Colleges being the only refuge for independent instruction throughout the whole of Ireland. He was unwilling to say a word against those who differed from him in religion. But looking at the anathemas put forward by some of the Irish Prelates against those persons who availed themselves of the advantages of the present mixed system of education in Ireland, he considered that all independent instruction might soon be at an end if those Prelates were to have a predominant power in the University of Dublin. That might be an unfounded impression on his part, but he had seen with deep regret those denunciations of the Roman Catholic clergy, and their effects upon the laity in Ireland; and they induced him to take much greater precautions in the establishment of a new University in that country than he otherwise would be disposed to take. He represented the county of Lancashire, in which, he believed, there were more Roman Catholics than were to be found in any other county in England—perhaps more than were to be found in all other parts of England put together. He ventured to say, too, that he lived on the best terms with them; he associated with the higher classes of Roman Catholics; some of his friends were amongst the Catholic priesthood; and, indeed, he thought he could number his friends in every class 1746 of that religious persuasion. He would further venture to say, from his close association with them, such denunciations as those which had been put forth in Ireland in regard to the education of the people would never find utterance amongst the Roman Catholic Bishops or clergy of Lancashire—or, even if they did find expression in the mouths of any of them, they would not be attended to. The Roman Catholic clergy there were just as careful of the morals and education of their youth as they were in Ireland or any other country. But, knowing several of the Roman Catholic Bishops in England, he was convinced that such denunciations as those referred to would never find an echo on their parts. It might be an idle fear on his part; but in the presence of those denunciations of some of the clergy in Ireland, he felt no hesitation whatever as to the vote he would give in respect to the establishment of a new University. He agreed in every word that had been stated by the senior Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) with respect to the Governing Council of the proposed University. He could not imagine how anyone who looked at the present state of Ireland and saw how it was divided by religious and political parties—the acrimony with which everything connected with religion and politics was carried on—that any body could, without much hesitation, agree to a Governing Board such as that contained in the Bill. It would be an impossibility for the Prime Minister to place on the Table of the House the names of 28 distinguished men, about whose decisions there would be that certainty that was absolutely necessary, before a Governing Body for the University could be constituted. He could not consent to the establishment of a Council to be founded in the manner proposed by the Bill. He gave his right hon. Friend every credit for good intentions. The judgment, however, of an individual was one thing, but it was quite different in the case of a Prime Minister surrounded by all the influence of party in a country like Ireland; and it was no libel to state that it was subjected to external influences, such as those who knew anything about the government of Ireland were conversant with. When he considered that the education of Ireland was at stake, it was not too much to say that he had no con- 1747 fidence in such a Council to be appointed on the responsibility of that House for the government of the new University, and he should give it his most strenuous opposition. There had been a great deal of misrepresentation on both sides with regard to the institution of a Chair for Modern History and Philosophy. He did not agree that it was prohibited; but he felt surprised that a Government, composed like the present, should have put into the Bill a clause that might lead, not only Ireland and England, but the whole world to form an erroneous opinion as to the real feeling of the country on the point. The clause which the Government had put into the Bill threw discredit on it by the mode in which it connected the Chair of Modern History and Philosophy with the University; and, if passed, the only construction that he could put upon it was that Parliament did not attach much importance to the study of Modern History and Philosophy, which was so highly estimated in the other Universities of the world. He quite understood and appreciated the motive for inserting the clause in the Bill; but he was surprised that the Government should have been guilty of the inconsistency, when establishing a University for Ireland, of depriving the Council of the power, if they thought fit at some future time, of establishing a Chair of Modern History and Philosophy on the same footing with other Chairs. His right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) had stated that amongst his Roman Catholic friends there were many who looked back on their education in Dublin University with the greatest pleasure, and it was to be regretted that the branch of education in which they distinguished themselves was to be dealt with in the manner proposed. The question now was what the Government considered the principle of the Bill. Almost every hon. Member of the Government who had spoken had, one by one, and night by night, explained away every provision of the Bill that was supposed to be the essence of the measure; but up to 12 o'clock last night one principle stood out like a rock at sea as the essence of the Bill—namely, the constitution of the Council; but even that was given up, and there did not now remain one point which the Government considered as of the essence of the Bill except, 1748 perhaps, the 10th clause, and the 10th clause was taken from the Bill of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett). If that clause was to be regarded as the principle of the measure under discussion, why was not the Bill of the hon. Member allowed to pass? Why was it that having opposed that Bill last Session they now intended to adopt it as part of the Bill the House had now to consider. He had given the Bill his best consideration, not as a party measure, but with the view of voting for a Bill calculated to promote the higher education of the people of Ireland irrespective of party consideration; but thinking this measure would not carry out what he believed to be the object of the Government—a good University education in Ireland—no other course was left to him but to oppose the second reading of the Bill.
§ MR. O'REILLY
said, he had learned with surprise many circumstances in connection with education in Ireland of which he was ignorant until then. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) had said that not a single county meeting had been held in Ireland to petition Parliament against the present state of education in that country. Now, he had himself attended and spoken at two, and he had read accounts of at least 20 more. The right hon. Gentleman had also said that mixed education in Ireland was supported by all the professional laity—the educated classes, merchants, and traders. Until then he had conceived that men like himself and the hon. Members for Dublin and Tipperary might consider themselves as coming under the description of the educated classes, and he was under the impression that a Petition had been laid on the Table of the House, signed by every Roman Catholic Peer, baronet, magistrate, member of the learned professions, and county gentleman against mixed education. He had also learned from the noble Lord the Member for Caine (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) that the diminution in the number of University students in Ireland was accounted for by the diminution of the population by emigration; but it was the first time that he had heard that the University students came from the poorest classes. He had also learned a stranger fact still from the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) and the hon. 1749 Member for the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Lyon Playfair), that the Roman Catholics of Ireland loved nothing so much as the Queen's Colleges; or in the words of the noble Lord the Member for Calne, that the Queen's Colleges "had won for themselves a place in the affections of the Irish people." If it were so, the Irish people had the strangest way of showing their love by deserting these Colleges and demanding their abolition. There were Roman Catholics who, like himself, had sons to be educated, and he had no doubt they would do as he himself had done, leave their country to be educated, because they could not find in Ireland the education they desired. The Queen's Colleges were empty, and English Members who had never put their foot in Ireland could not convince him that the people of Ireland had what they had not. But the want of University education and University honours was not felt chiefly by the wealthier Roman Catholics, for they were able to go elsewhere, but by the lower-middle and lower classes of Roman Catholics. He did not wish in any way to overstate the case, and would not undertake to assert that the Roman Catholics of Ireland comprised half of the more wealthy classes of the country; but they were every day rising in prosperity, and farmers, both large and small, were every day seeking for a higher and better education for their sons. Within the last 20 years the number of upper classical schools or Colleges founded and supported by the Roman Catholics and frequented largely by the sons of small farmers had been increased by more than 10; and as for the older schools, such as Carlow and Clongowes, the students in them had doubled. The hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Lyon Playfair) had stated that it was a peculiarity of the Scotch that so many of the poorer classes among them sought to rise in the world by means of higher education. He could assure the hon. Gentleman that this was the case in a very marked manner in Ireland. The number of young men who were striving to rise by means of education in Ireland was astonishing. One could not enter a National School without meeting with two or three boys who were studying advanced mathematics with that object; and on going into some of the public Departments in Dublin lately, he found 1750 that there were students of Trinity College there working their eight hours a-day as writers, in order to earn a living and enable them to keep their terms in the College. He also found boy writers there who had obtained such education as was open to them in the best Roman Catholic schools—those of the Christian Brothers—and who told him that they were now earning their living and improving themselves as well as they could, until they could scrape enough of money together and were sufficiently advanced in years to go away and complete their education in order to compete for situations in the public service. If such lads as these did not fill existing institutions it was because they did notlike them, and where there was one Roman Catholic now at the Queen's Colleges, there would be 20 if they approved them. The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) was eloquent in his denunciation of the Government for the constitution proposed to be given to the new University, and railed at them because the Council was to be appointed by the Executive Government, who were directly responsible to Parliament. But he would ask the hon. Member who was it that appointed the first Senate of his own beloved Queen's University? The Lord Lieutenant of the day. Who was it that appointed the Professors in every Queen's College? The Lord Lieutenant of the day—"the ephemeral representative of political subserviency." ["Oh, oh!" and laughter.] These words were only a quotation from the hon. Member for Brighton. The Queen's Colleges, except Belfast, he could undertake to prove had few bonâ fide students, save those they bribed with scholarships, and further that the education which they gave was miserably low and deficient. With regard to the profession of the law, did anybody believe that a law student went down to a small town in the West of Ireland to study law for his advancement at either the English or Irish Bar? What he did was this—He passed his matriculation, put down his name as a student, and competed for one of the junior legal scholarships, for which the competition was very small indeed. He then obtained a certain number of pounds every year, and was under the obligation of attending certain lectures given by a practising barrister from Dublin. In the case of the medical student, he found that he paid 1751 a sum of £13 10s., was supposed to attend four classes of lectures, and went up for examination at the Queen's University, and there got his degree as doctor—the very thing he wanted, and which he could obtain only through this almost nominal attendance at a Queen's College—whilst he received the education which enabled him to pass almost entirely elsewhere. The hon. Baronet the Member for Dublin (Sir Dominic Corrigan) had students who had acquired their education in medicine under him, and received their whole bonâ fide education in Dublin; they had put their names down as students at Cork or Galway, but barely attended the courses of lectures for which they had paid there. [Sir DOMINIC CORRIGAN begged to observe that he never said anything of the kind.] He (Mr. O'Reilly) never said that his hon. Friend had stated so. He repeated what he knew to be a fact—that students obtained their medical education in that way, and graduated at the Queen's University as from Galway. He could give the names of many medical men who had received their whole education in the Catholic University, but had graduated as from Galway, Cork, or Belfast. Some of the lectures at College were attended, others were not—whether it was a case of ægrotat or not he would not undertake to say. The boast made on the part of the Queen's Colleges when they paraded such students as their alumni, reminded him of the method of rendering a barren tree fruitful by grafting, as described by Virgil—Ant rursum enodes trunci resecantur, et alté Finditur in solidum cuneis via: deinde feracesPlantæ immittuntur; nec longum tempus, et ingensExiit ad cœlum ramis felicibus arbos,Miraturque novas frondes et non sua poma.His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Denbighshire (Mr. O. Morgan) deprecated lowering the standard of University education to the level of Stonyhurst. He (Mr. O'Reilly) had not the honour to be an alumnus of Stonyhurst; he came from a College (Ushaw) which he supposed the hon. Member would class with Stonyhurst, but which numbered amongst its members Lingard and Wiseman, names which he believed would reflect at least as much honour on Ushaw as that of his hon. and learned 1752 Friend on Baliol. But he knew that the students of Stonyhurst competed every year in the London University with men from the best Colleges in England, and invariably ranked high; they had repeatedly carried off both the classical and the mathematical scholarships, and he had that very morning been informed by the University authorities that the Stonyhurst students were amongst the very best prepared men who came up for their degree. He would quote from a Return, obtained on the Motion of the hon. Member for Roscommon (The O'Conor Don), which showed that at Galway College, from 1851 to 1866, there had been, for the first year, 50 students and 48 scholarships; next year, 40 students and 45 scholarships; third year, 41 students and 37 scholarships; fourth year, 46 students and 37 scholarships; fifth year, 42 students and 37 scholarships; and sixth year, 36 students with 37 scholarships. In Cork there was an average of three scholarships for every four students. He next proceeded to show that the education received was scandalously deficient. Taking first the matriculation examination, and quoting the evidence given before the Royal Commission, one Professor stated that the students' knowledge of German was nil. As to modern languages, and as to French, the Professor of Modern Languages said very few of them had ever seen a word of French in their lives. The Professor of English Language and Literature said—"I could hardly insist on any student being rejected, however great his deficiency in my department." Such were the students at matriculation. Then came the "first University examination," or "little go," the standard for which was not higher than the London University matriculation examination. For this a little Greek and Latin were required; but after this preliminary examination these subjects might be dropped, and a student might pass his B.A. examination by passing in English, French, and German; or in chemistry, zoology, and botany; or in English and chemistry; or in experimental physics, French, and logic. Why, he had known a boy of 14 who could pass this examination in English, French, and German. Nor was the standard of examination, as indicated by marks, at all severe, for while at London at the matriculation examination 1753 the highest number attainable was 2,800, and the number required for honours 1,800, in the Queen's University, in 1869–70, at the "first University examination," the number attainable was 124, of the 82 students, 21 passed with honours, the highest honour-man got 75 marks, and the two lowest honour-men passed with 15 marks, 24 passed with less than these 15 marks, and 20 were plucked. And this was the instruction which was spoken of as elevating the standard of education in Ireland. He hoped Stonyhurst would never be degraded to the level of the Queen's Colleges. He did not defend the Government in the exclusion of Modern History and Mental Philosophy from University studies, for Roman Catholics did not reject them. The name of Lingard vindicated them from the charge of ignoring History; and they would never disregard Mental Philosophy, but they would not have it taught by a Strauss, nor even by Bain. They did not shrink from enlightenment and science, but they wanted the teaching of it to be full and complete, and that he desired to say was one of the main reasons why Catholics objected to institutions for mixed education. He did not undervalue the force of the objection which it was the peculiar duty of the ecclesiastical authorities to enforce—namely, the danger of religious indifference. He said religious indifference, for he had never known a strong and earnest conviction of a new religion produced in such institutions. But the most sweeping objection to such institutions was that, guard it how you might, the system was fatal to all full, complete, and earnest teaching of these great subjects. How was it possible for a Professor of Mental Philosophy to teach the nature of the human soul if, out of respect to the different opinions of his hearers, he was not to touch on the controverted doctrines of Free-will? How was the Professor of Ethics to teach, if he was not to inculcate the utilitarian theory of Paley which Catholics rejected, nor to refer to the divine basis of morality which others refused to allow? This independent and free teaching must be confided to the College. Protestants would not send their children to a College in which Modern History was taught by a Lingard, and Mental Philosophy by a Dr. Newman; in which 1754 a Cardinal Wiseman lectured on the connection of science with revealed religion. Just so, Catholics would not frequent a College in which Modern History was taught by a Hume, Mental Philosophy by a Compte or a Strauss, and the relation of science and religion taught by Darwin or Huxley. Imagine a united College in which the Chair of Irish History was held conjointly by Mr. Froude and Mr. Prendergast. He now came to the question immediately before the House—namely, the second reading of the Bill. The principle of the Bill as stated by the Prime Minister was the institution of one National University, in which all others were to be merged, and in which every different system of teaching, whether in united Colleges or in Colleges mainly Protestant, or Colleges purely Catholic, was to stand on a footing of perfect equality. There was an absence of equality in the matter of endowment; and he confessed he admired the imperturbable calmness of the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who, with a gravity worthy of Lord Thurlow, said that petty questions as to money could not enter into equality. He (Mr. O'Reilly) did not underrate the importance of equality on the subject of endowment, but he was prepared, reserving the question of endowment, to support the principle of one National University for Ireland, with equality to all teaching institutions in it, by his vote on the second reading. The statement, however, of his right hon. Friend the Secretary for War last night put an entirely different aspect upon matters. His right hon. Friend still spoke of the establishment of a great National University, but he left out the words of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, to the effect that it was to contain all those varied elements which would deserve for it the title of a truly National University. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War said the whole question of the representation of Colleges was an open question; and he (Mr. O'Reilly) took it that whatever his right hon. Friend said was not essential, was to be, or might be, abandoned. The University, his right hon. Friend continued, was to be absolutely free from all denominational connection, and he stated that even the merging of the Queen's University in this new National University was not of 1755 the essence of the Bill. He (Mr. O'Reilly) had always objected to the teaching functions which it was proposed to confer on this new University, because it would be in some respects the establishment of what might be called a fourth Queen's College, and would, like all such institutions, be injurious to the fulness and completeness of education; and the feature to which he most objected was, according to his right hon. Friend the Secretary for War, to be retained in the Bill. He (Mr. O'Reilly) regretted much the decision at which he had been forced to arrive. He had hoped that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government would have fulfilled the undertaking of his opening statement—"that having determined to grant measures of equality, the Government resolved not to stint their action when they came to the execution of that which they had announced to be their intention"—that he would have risen to the height which he reached in the Church Bill; and that if there was not to be endowment, he would have adopted the principle of equal disendowment with no favour to any; and that he would have founded one National University, the prizes in which would be open to all without distinction. That controversy would never be terminated except by equal and complete justice to all. Thus, too, would academical learning be best promoted in Ireland by leaving the various systems free alike from the tutelage and the patronage of the State, to develop themselves, and in the light of open and equal competition to seek and deserve public favour and support. Nor let it be said that that would be but to perpetuate discord, and that the only way to promote harmony among Irishmen was to compel all to submit to a system of education in which differences were hidden because all distinctive opinion was ignored. Dull and enforced uniformity was not harmony. Harmony in life, as in sound, was the blending of various but not jarring tones in one whole. The meeting of the various schools of thought on a common ground would produce that mutual respect which was true harmony; and the result would be what our national poet desired for his country, when he wished that her various elements of social life should be, not lost in uniformity, but harmonized like the prismatic colours— 1756And like the rainbow's light, Her varied tints unite, To form in Heaven's sight One arch of peace.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, that, as a member of the most illustrious and liberal educational institution in this country Trinity College, Cambridge, he could not assent to a measure which would impair the usefulness or efficiency of a great sister institution. In common with many hon. Members on both sides of the House, he had awaited with no common interest the appearance of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government in the character of a constructive reformer. They had been sufficiently familiar with his propensities in an opposite direction. There were those who ascribed to the Prime Minister something of a divine mission; but he (Mr. Raikes) was bound to say that if he looked upon him as the minister of the Divine will, it was rather as the Angel of Death than as the regenerator of society. When the measure was introduced, and when they found that it only absorbed two Universities, destroyed one College, and taxed another to the amount of £12,000, there escaped from those benches a sigh of relief. Trinity College was still to survive, and Cork and Belfast Colleges were to be left, because, though comparative failures, they had not failed sufficiently to bring them under the axe. when they came, however, to the constructive part of the Bill, it was then that the feeling of dissatisfaction, which commenced on the other side of the House became contagious and spread to this. He was willing to appreciate as much as possible the Roman Catholic grievance, and to admit that the existing educational facilities did not altogether meet that grievance. A Catholic might obtain a University degree at present either at Trinity College or at the Queen's Colleges; or, if educated at a purely denominational College, at the University of London; but neither of these three means altogether met the case of a parent who desired for his son not merely a degree, but collegiate associations and training. The removal of the Roman Catholic grievance was beset by two great difficulties, which had been mainly created by the Government themselves. The first was to be found in the course which they had pursued with regard to University education in this country. If the 1757 right hon. Gentleman had been content to limit the scope of the English University Bill to the Universities, and not to extend it to Colleges, he would have been in a much better position to deal with this question. Had not the right hon. Gentleman been in such a hurry to accept the proposal of the hon. Member for Brighton with regard to the English Universities he would have approached this question with comparative ease; but what he was perfectly ready to take from the Church of England in this country he could scarcely agree to give to the Church of Rome in Ireland. The other difficulty was connected with the question of religious equality—a principle which had been discovered and patented by the right hon. Gentleman. He (Mr. Raikes) hoped that before the debate closed they would obtain some more accurate definition of the term than they had yet received. Did it mean that they were all to be equally religious, and that the right hon. Gentleman had some high standard to which he hoped, by legislation and example, to raise the people of this country; or did it mean that equal apostolic poverty was to be applied to all religious denominations? There were two sides to this religious equality. They might have equal endowment or equal disendowment, and the authors of this Bill deserved credit for the cleverness with which it had been made to appear to produce the effect of disendowment, while there was a prospective endowment for some of these denominational Colleges sufficient to satisfy those who agreed with the hon. Gentleman who had last spoken—the hon. Member for Longford. The concessions which had been made were not very satisfactory, inasmuch as they might all reappear in Committee as being essential to the Bill and vital to the honour and existence of the Government. It might scarcely be worth while to waste much time on those provisions which, if not positively abandoned, were yet universally condemned. Still, he should like to know who was the author of the "gagging" clauses, which, in a double sense, had been thrashed out in the course of this discussion. Were they to be attributed to the present Lord Chancellor, who had proposed something of the same kind as a compromise on the English University question, or were they, as recent events would lead them to believe, 1758 to be attributed to the agency of the Lord Chamberlain? The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War told them that the great object of this Bill was to separate the University of Dublin from Trinity College. If that were so, it would be better for the Government to abandon the Bill, and proceed by a series of abstract Resolutions—for many persons would support an abstract Resolution for the separation of Trinity College from the University, who would not vote for the concrete proposals in this Bill. It appeared that there was one vital principle in the Bill, and that was that Professors would still be retained in the new University. He should like to know how long they were to be retained in the new University, seeing that there would be no one to teach. Were these highly salaried officials to be kept merely to conduct examinations, which were now carried on without expense to the country by the University of London? With regard to the constitution of the Council he asked why the Government should have taken upon itself the difficult task of providing for the future government of the University a Council which was to satisfy all shades of religious opinion. Why should they not have adopted the existing machinery, provided by the University of Dublin and the Queen's University, with a third element, nominated by the Government, which might fairly claim to represent the persons to be in the future introduced within the University? Suppose it was necessary, in the view of the Government, to amalgamate the Universities of Cambridge and London, and to affiliate to them the numerous diocesan Colleges throughout the country, would it not be an intolerable grievance that Cambridge and London should be governed by Crown nominees and the delegates of St. Aidans and St. Bees? The thing would be impossible. It would be beyond the wildest dreams of the most revolutionary reformer. But why were we, because Ireland was a little further off, and Dublin had fewer Parliamentary alumni than the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, to be treated as the Bill pointed out? As to the proposed affiliation of the existing Colleges besides the Roman Catholic College in Dublin, he could see no purpose in the affiliation of them, except the crowding of the Council with a number of persons to represent educa- 1759 tion, many of whom could not be compared with the teachers of our best private schools. Then there was a question of the allocation of endowments. With regard to this, he might say that he did not grudge the £12,000 a-year. But there was an element of future injury to the University, and that was in the clause providing that no student should enjoy an emolument coming from one College or institution if he enjoyed it from another. They would find that the University scholars would be pointed at as young men who were unable to obtain prizes in their own Colleges. Surely this was a reductio ad absurdum of the theory of a University. He made no objection to to the Prime Minister so framing his handicap as to make a fair race, even by a large breeding allowance to maiden colts from Roman Catholic training establishments. But he did object to a system of "weighting out" the best competitors. He admitted that Catholics did feel a grievance, but there were grievances with which it was not well that Parliament should interfere. He believed there were some Quakers who had conscientious scruples against contributing to the support of the Army or the Navy, but he had not heard that it was the duty of any Government to bring in a Bill to relieve those persons from the duty of contributing their quota. This grievance of the Roman Catholics was smaller than the public believed. It was not so much a religious as a political grievance. The Roman Catholic hierarchy told the Roman Catholic parents that it was their duty to prevent their children being contaminated by Protestant teachers and Protestant pupils. The Vatican had declared itself hostile to the progress of modern ideas, and therefore Roman Catholic children must be restrained from getting any acquaintance with modern ideas. Would Parliament meet the objections of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to modern ideas by establishing the proposed University, and encourage the teaching of ideas which struck at the root of all liberal government? The right hon. Gentleman had created for himself a bugbear of Protestant ascendancy. This was the monster whom he had vowed to annihilate. But he seemed scarcely to have realized what Protestant ascendancy had come to signify in modern Ireland, or that the bugbear of his fancy was the only substan- 1760 tial bulwark which had been reared by patriotic statesmen and English traditions to protect the liberty of conscience and the security of property. He called it the Upas tree of Ireland. This was the third branch of that Upas tree of which the right hon. Gentleman had spoken. Two had fallen under the axe, but the last seemed likely to involve others in its ruin. Well might the right hon. Gentleman use a quotation from a Latin poet with which he was familiar, only altering one word—Te triste lignum, to caducum In domini caput occidentis.But the day of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland was past. The light which was ushered in by the Reformation had ceased to shine. It had witnessed many a strange and sad spectacle, but still it had been light. The sun had now set. The twilight was creeping on. But among the shade of the gathering gloom the ancient University of Dublin—Like the weak worm that gems the starless night, Moves in the scanty circlet of its light. And is it strange that he withdraws the ray That guides too well the night birds to their prey?
§ MR. BOUVERIE
Sir, I agreed with a great part of the very powerful and able speech of the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt). He showed that the details of this Bill were bad, and yet he came to the conclusion that he should support the second reading. I entirely agree in the view which he took of the Bill. I think it is a bad Bill. I think that for the purposes for which it was intended it is a "miserably bad" Bill. I think that it is a "scandalously bad" Bill for effecting the objects which the right hon. Gentleman said he had in view—namely, the promotion of higher education, the development of civilization, and the extension of religious peace and harmony in Ireland. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for the City of Oxford said he intended to vote for the second reading, because he had a vision of something to which this Bill might be turned. Now I intend to give my vote against the second reading of this Bill. That, I think, is the proper and legitimate conclusion at which every hon. Member who, in the exercise of his judgment, regards it as a bad Bill, is bound according to the rules of the House to arrive. When my right hon 1761 Friend (Mr. Gladstone) dealt with this difficult question as a practical one of politics he undertook the solution of a problem which it was inpossible for a statesman even with his power in this House, and with his genius and ability, successfully to solve. Is not that the conclusion at which the Government have arrived, after three nights' discussion of this Bill? Did not the Secretary for War (Mr. Cardwell) practically inform the House that the Bill which the Government had produced was one which had failed, which they could not maintain in the face of criticism in this House, and which must be altered in all its material parts? That is the admission made by my right hon. Friend, and made, no doubt, after consultation with his Colleagues—that in the measure they proposed to the House they had failed to achieve the success which they anticipated when they introduced it three weeks ago. Among many conditions of success to a measure of this kind there is one which appears to me to be essential, but which as far as I have been able to discover, whether from the ordinary organs of public opinion out of doors, or from the mouths of representatives here, is signally wanting with reference to this measure—namely, that it should be accepted by those to whom it is addressed. Now, out of doors there has been a chorus of dissent on the part of Irishmen of all classes and of all degrees—Catholics, Protestants, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Prelates, and Ministers—as well as of hon. Members from the sister country in this House, all singing one song of condemnation of this unfortunate Bill of the Government. Is it possible, then, to suppose that a measure, propounded as one of conciliation between classes and of compromise between opposite and hostile opinions, can by any conceivable contrivance be made a successful measure when everybody who is interested in it repudiates it? The hon. Member for Longford (Mr. O'Reilly), who, according to his own statement, was one of the few Roman Catholic Members who were disposed to accept the Bill, has just told us that in consequence of what has taken place within the last 24 hours in this House, he is no longer able to support the Government, and that those who think as he does will be bound to oppose the second reading. Clearly, then, those who 1762 are mainly interested in this Bill reject it. There is little chance, therefore, of its answering its intended purpose, and serving as a message of peace in Ireland. It is difficult to discuss this Bill, because in point of fact we do not know what it is. I object altogether to the process which is suggested by my right hon. Friend the Secretary for War, I suppose with the concurrence of his Colleagues. Their Bill has failed. It has gone to Hades. And now my right hon. Friend is endeavouring to cast upon the House the duty of framing the Bill which they undertook to frame. Is that a proper position in which the House of Commons should be put? And is it possible in the conflict of various opinions which are entertained upon all sides of the House on this subject that the House of Commons can construct a satisfactory measure out of a sheet of blank paper? My noble Friend the Member for Calne (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice), in the able speech he made last week, talked of "a dummy Bill," because the Council were not named in it. But what is the measure now? The whole Bill is a sheet of blank paper upon which the House of Commons is invited to inscribe what should be the proper mode of promoting University education in Ireland. I say, without reference to either side of the House, that this is a task which the right hon. Gentleman has no right to impose upon us. It is one which we cannot perform. It is a duty which he and his colleagues have undertaken to discharge, and it is one which it is their bounden duty to fulfil as best they may. As I said, it is difficult—very difficult—under present circumstances to make out what the essence of this Bill is. We have been told a great many things which are not of the essence of the Bill. The affiliation of the Colleges, the vesting of the Chancellorship in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant, the extinction of Galway College, and the "gagging clauses" are not of the essence of the measure. Why, almost every part of the Bill forms no part of its essence. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is an acute logician, and must in former times have been well acquainted with "the fallacy of division." But the Bill is, perhaps, the greatest example of "the fallacy of division" ever produced in this House. By degrees one provision after another 1763 has vanished. But if I can collect from the Secretary for War one idea of the essence of the Bill, it is the construction of a new University in Dublin. Now, as I read the Bill, the University of Dublin will really be this nominated Council of 28 people of whom we know nothing and are to be told nothing. They are to affiliate the Colleges, to select Professors, to direct studies, to make statutes, to hold the common seal; in fact, they are to be the University. My right hon. Friend indicated that they were to be chosen from those gentlemen who in Ireland are free from party prepossessions, who have no religious prejudices, who are devoid of any political opinions, who are eminent for academic distinction; in fact, they are to be a set of 28 Admirable Crichtons, who no doubt are to be found in Ireland. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Dr. Ball) last night gave, as I thought, very good reasons why the House should distrust these nominee Government Boards for educational purposes in Ireland. I will not follow him in his able description of the behaviour of the National Board of Education and their treatment of Father O'Keeffe. But I confess I was surprised that, with the recollection of that case fresh in the memory of the Government and of the country, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. C. Fortescue) could have the courage to hold up the Board of Education in Ireland as an admirably-constituted body, upon whose impartiality and justice there never could be the slightest reflection. But we are not limited to the behaviour of the Board of Education in the case of Father O'Keeffe, and perhaps the House will forgive me if I go briefly into a matter of Modern History—hereafter to be excluded from the studies of the University—and recall some of the facts connected with the Supplemental Charter in 1866. In that year my right hon. Friend was Leader of the House, the Secretary for War was his colleague, the President of the Board of Trade was Secretary for Ireland, and my noble Friend the present Secretary for Ireland was Secretary for War. The educational grievance existed in Ireland then as it exists now. The complaints made by a section of the Roman Catholics wore made then; and a Motion upon that subject having been brought forward here in 1865, the Government 1764 set to work to see whether they could not contrive some remedy for the grievance. They therefore entered into negotiations with the Roman Catholic Prelates, and the correspondence is now to be found in the library. They offered terms to those right rev. Gentlemen. But so exorbitant were the demands of the Prelates that these terms were not accepted, and the negotiations fell through. Still the grievance remained, and the Government looked about for some mode in which they could provide a remedy. The remedy suggested was this:—A new Charter had been given two years before to the Queen's University in Ireland. By that Charter degrees could only be conferred upon those who were students in the Queen's Colleges. It was suggested that by conferring a Supplemental Charter upon the Queen's University, which should enable them to confer degrees upon those who were not students in the Queen's Colleges, a portion of the Roman Catholic grievance might be removed, because the students of the Roman Catholic College in St. Stephen's Green would thus be permitted to pass for degrees in the Queen's University. Sir George Grey wrote a letter to the Lord Lieutenant explaining the circumstances, but adding that this Supplemental Charter could not be legally granted unless the Senate of the Queen's University were willing to accept it. But it appeared that the then existing Senate of the Queen's University was not willing to accept it. Now, there is something remarkable in the manner in which the difficulty was overcome. Under the Charter of 1864 the Senate consisted of 24 members, but 18 only had been appointed up to the 18th of June, 1866, when Lord Dunkellin carried his Amendment in Committee on the Government's Reform Bill. And now we come to the pinch of the case. On the 19th of June the Government resigned, and on the 20th authority to fix the Great Seal to the Supplemental Charter arrived in Dublin. [Dr. BALL: Hear.] On the 27th of June, when the Government was really no longer in existence, although the seals of office had not been transferred to their successors, a document arrived in Dublin appointing six additional members of the Senate. Who were those six nominees of the Government? They were unexceptional in character, but of 1765 one colour in politics and opinions. Among these additional members were the present Postmaster General, and his near relative the late Lord Dunraven, a Roman Catholic; there was Mr. O'Hagan, now Lord O'Hagan, the Catholic Lord Chancellor; there was Professor Sullivan, a distinguished Roman Catholic Professor and the holder of a Chair in the Roman Catholic University of Dublin; there was Lord Clermont, who, if I am not mistaken, is brother to the President of the Board of Trade; and Lord Talbot de Malahide, a respectable old Whig, like myself, and who was, probably, nominated to add grace and dignity to the Senate. All these were added to the Senate nine days after the Government had really expired, and many of those forming that Government now sit on the Treasury bench. What happened next? A few days afterwards the Senate discussed the propriety of accepting the Supplemental Charter, and the proposal was negatived by the single vote of my right hon. Friend (Sir Robert Peel), who hastened to Ireland to urge its rejection. But on the 6th of October the Supplemental Charter was again before the Senate, and was accepted by a vote of 11 to 9; but the majority of 11 included the 6 additional members. I say, then, the experience we have had of the way these things are clone in Ireland—such things would never have been done in the light of day in England—does not justify us in encouraging the hope that the proposed University Council would secure the approbation of impartial people. The Prime Minister said he could not give the names of the Council, because it was impossible to ask anyone to join it until the details of the Bill had been settled. Admitting the existence of "servile satellites" of the Government, he told us that even the most servile would be ashamed to appear on the list until the details had been settled by this House. But I wish to point out that the argument of the right hon. Gentleman applies not only to the period before the second reading, but to the whole subsequent period until the Committee is closed, so that the whole of the details will have to be settled without the House being made acquainted with the names of the Council. But what about the House of Lords? Is the other House of Parliament so utterly insigni- 1766 ficant that it is not to be taken into account? Is the Prime Minister going to those whom he purposes asking to sit on the Council as soon as the Committee on the Bill is closed, and will he say to them—"You see what the Bill is. Will you be on the Council? Never mind what the House of Lords may do." This is trifling with the House. If nominated, the Council should, at least, be small. The precedent of the Oxford and Cambridge Bills was good in this respect, though I do not think the cases parallel. The Prime Minister said they were.
The right hon. Gentleman entirely misunderstood me. I was anxious to give to the House all the cases that were in any degree analogous, and in citing these eases I pointed out the broad and vital differences between them and the case in hand.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
Then, if they were in "any" degree analogous, they were in "some" degree analogous. If they had nothing to do with the case under discussion, they need not have been quoted. I do not think them analogous cases, and am glad the Prime Minister now agrees with the House in that matter.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
I am glad my hon. Friends below the gangway join in the chorus of disapproval of this Council; but my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. Miall) should remember that this Council is the only part of the Bill remaining, and, if he is to be consistent, he should vote against the second reading. Now, let us consider the case for the Bill Having listened patiently to this discussion, I am bound to say the case for the Bill has absolutely and entirely broken down. That case was two-fold, as put by the Prime Minister. It was based first on the insufficiency or comparative failure of the Queen's Colleges; and, in the second place, on the religious grievance of the Roman Catholics. The speech of the hon. Member for Edinburgh University (Dr. Lyon Playfair) disposed of the first point so completely that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had nothing to offer in reply but some musty extracts from evidence given in 1857, and some quotations from a book; but the latter had been taken second-hand, and were 1767 so garbled, not by the right hon Gentleman, but by the periodical from which he procured them, that the learned Professor whose opinions they were supposed to express has written to the papers to say they were exactly contrary to the opinions he had published. [The CHANCELLOR Of the EXCHEQUER: I quoted his own words.] But the context, which gave the words quoted an exactly opposite meaning, was omitted. I wonder so experienced a practitioner as my right hon. Friend did not verify the extracts before quoting them. I made the same mistake myself once. I do not say that the extracts were garbled by my right hon. Friend; he found them in the book, and took them from it without verifying them. I have done the same myself—a burnt child dreads the fire, and, therefore, I do not blame him. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: They are accurate, and I have verified them.] Well that was all the answer given with regard to the inadequate provision of University education—those musty extracts from a Roman Catholic review. But, after all, the great question, the foundation of this measure, is the educational grievances of the Roman Catholics. Now there is one remark which I should like to make to the House with reference to this part of the question. This House has always understood—and the observation applies particularly to the Liberal side—that in connection with these University questions, the imposition of tests was the great grievance which ought to be removed. We have understood that test which required the declaration of religious belief, or the selection of particular persons to discharge general duties on account of their religious belief was a great public grievance. Now it is rather a strange light to view the matter in, that it should be a grievance that there should be no tests imposed upon Professors. The real grievance alleged on the part of the Catholics is not that tests are imposed, but that they are not imposed to exclude Professors of a particular belief from teaching in the University. Now, where are we to look for the statement of this grievance? Is it to the Prime Minister or to the temperate and moderate speech of such distinguished and highly educated gentlemen as the hon. Member for Longford (Mr. O'Reilly)? Are they the exponents of the Roman 1768 Catholic grievance in this matter? Not at all. It is the priests and the Prelates of the Roman Catholic Church who are the exponents of that grievance—they are the people who have made the demands upon this House, they are the people who have agitated for a change of the law, they are the people who are the mouthpiece in this matter of the Irish Roman Catholics. It does not lie in the mouth of my right hon. Friend and his colleagues to deny that. They did not communicate, as far as I am aware, with any eminent public layman of the Roman Catholic faith with respect to this Roman Catholic grievance. Sir George Grey's letter was addressed to Archbishop M'Hale, and subsequent communications were carried on with Cardinal Cullen and the Roman Catholic Prelates in Ireland, so that as far as my right hon. Friend and his colleagues are concerned they are entirely estopped from disputing that the Bishops are the mouthpiece of the Roman Catholics in this grievance. And the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) is exactly in the same boat, because in 1868, when he commenced the same inauspicious negotiations through Lord Mayo, the communications were carried on with two Roman Catholic Prelates. Therefore, it must be taken as indisputable that the exponents of this Roman Catholic grievance are the Roman Catholic Prelates of Ireland. I do not wonder at it, because they are the natural aristocracy of the Irish people; they are men who have risen from the ranks by their ability and high character, they feel the wants of their flocks, they sympathize with their necessities, they are many of them men of great ability and education, and perfectly able, as well as willing, to give expression to the wants of their people. I do not for a moment wish to disparage these rev. Prelates; they are entitled to express those sentiments as much as any one among ourselves. They have strong opinions, and they have a right to make those opinions known. But what are their demands? They are very simple, and are twofold. They demand endowment for their University and separate education for their flocks. The demands of the Bishops, as communicated to Sir George Grey on the 10th of July, 1866, are in strict conformity with the views they had theretofore given expression to. They say— 1769The result of the mixed system of education in the Queen's Colleges, excluding, as it does, the influences of religion, is, we believe, to train the youthful mind in indifferentism to every creed and in practical infidelity, which tend to subvert the Throne as well as the altar. We have, therefore, deemed it our duty, in accordance with the teaching of our Church, and the wisdom of this teaching is confirmed by experience, to declare these institutions replete with grave and intrinsic danger to the faith and morals of our flocks. Under these circumstances Catholics have no confidence in them, and can never, consistently with their religious principles, accept them. While expressing these feelings we deem it our duty again to declare emphatically our condemnation of the system of united academical education, on which the Queen's Colleges are founded, and which, in accordance with the repeated declarations of our Church, we hold to be intrinsically dangerous to the faith and morals of Catholics. In the changes referred to, as we understand them, we recognize a token of the willingness of Her Majesty's Government to grant an instalment of the justice in educational matter to which our flocks are entitled; but, if unaccompanied by an endowment of our Catholic University, and a reconstruction of the Queen's Colleges, we cannot regard them as satisfactory to the Catholics of Ireland. Without an endowment, the proposal of the Government would confer but little, if any substantial benefit upon our Catholic University; for degrees can be obtained through the London University, and property can be acquired and transmitted without a charter by availing of certain legal expedients.Now, there is most distinctly set forth the demands of the Roman Catholic Prelates, those demands have been continually repeated from that time to this; they were repeated in 1867; they were repeated to the right hon. Gentleman opposite in 1868, they were repeated in 1869—I think the passage was read to the House by the right hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman)—and they were repeated in 1871 in words which it is worth while to read to the House. This is from the general Pastoral of the Bishops in 1871—We will have no mixed education; the failure of the Model Schools and of the Queen's Colleges, where the mixed system is practically carried out, to attract Catholics in any considerable numbers ought, ere now, to have convinced our rulers of this our firm resolve. Nor can we surrender to the State the education of our children.… But we will have Catholic education in all its branches, primary, intermediate, and University—that is to say, we demand for you, and you, as Catholic parents, demand for yourselves, the legal right and, as far as it is afforded to others, aid from the State, to discharge your duty of educating your children in accordance with the dictates of your consciences, and the teaching of the Catholic Church of which you are members.… In union with the Holy See and the Bishops of the Catholic world, we again 1770 renew our often-repeated condemnation of mixed education as intrinsically and grievously dangerous to faith and morals, and tending to perpetuate disunion, insubordination, and disaffection in this country.There can be no mistake, therefore, that the Bishops have struck one uniform note, which is abhorrence of mixed education or institutions tainted with mixed education. My noble Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland (the Marquess of Hartington), with his usual candour and fairness, said that if he had his own way he would have no objection to endowment—that is to say, to endowing the Catholic University, an opinion which Was also expressed in so many words by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. But I am bound to say the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, in his opening speech, stated that he could not entertain any idea of that kind. Now I must confess, if this is a matter of importance; if the peace and welfare of the sister country depends on the mode ill which we settle this question, it does seem strange that there should sit in the same Cabinet to decide upon this important question Gentlemen whose opinions are so exactly contrary. I confess I should have thought in a matter of first-class importance such as that of University education in Ireland if a section of the Government had a distinct opinion and conviction that the proper settlement of this question, the proper mode of redressing the grievances and removing the just complaints of the Roman Catholics was to propose an endowment—I say I should have thought that they were bound to separate themselves from their Colleagues and announce that opinion to the House. It may be an old-fashioned notion, but my strong impression is that in old times, at any rate, when there was a broad division of opinion between two sections of the Government, those two sections would not have combined together to propose a measure which is distinctly contrary to the views of one section in a matter on which the interest and prosperity of a great part of the kingdom may depend. But that is an affair which those whom it concerns must settle for themselves. Now, if we grant the demands of the Roman Catholic Prelates, it will be a great national misfortune; it will be not only repugnant to the feelings and opinions 1771 of the great body of our countrymen in Scotland and England, but, I believe, will be wrong and indefensible as a matter of educational policy. But if the Government Bill does not grant those demands and does not pretend to grant them, what is the use of it? Is it not a sham and a pretence, assuming that the Bishops are the legitimate exponents of the demands of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and that their claims must be satisfied, to propose something that will never satisfy them? This is not an affair of compromise, a thing upon which there is a common middle ground upon which people can stand. There is no compounding between the two opinions—if you have mixed education, you cannot have separate education, if you have separate education, you cannot have mixed. What will really be the effect of the proposal of the Government in this matter? Before it was so altered and changed, that we cannot now tell what it is, it was a semblance of mixed education, with the ultimate certainty that it would become a denominational system before many years. This scheme of a new Dublin University is proposed, with all its limitations, as a scheme for the advancement of learning. Fancy an "intelligent foreigner"—a German Professor—going to Dublin in the course of the next year or two, if this Bill should become law, attracted by the high reputation of Dublin University, and wishing to become acquainted with the course of study there. He might, perhaps, say—"I should like to know who is your Professor of Metaphysics," and the answer would be—"Oh, we have no Professor of Metaphysics—it is for the advancement of learning.'" "Who is your Professor of Ethics and Moral Philosophy?" "Oh, we have no Professor of Ethics or Moral Philosophy—it is for the advancement of learning.'" "Who is your Professor of Political Economy?" "We have no Professor of Political Economy—it is 'for the advancement of learning.'" "Don't you teach Political Economy in the University? Have you no Lectures on Political Economy—the science of human wealth and happiness, now studied in every University in the world with the greatest success?" "No, we have nothing of the kind, and we don't have it for the advancement of-learning." Sir, it appears to me to be a bad joke to pro- 1772 pose this hampered, stunted, and maimed education for the higher class of Ireland in the name of the "advancement of learning." I say nothing of the clause about the Professors and what they are to teach; but I wish to make one observation about the Professors. I think you lose sight of the fact that a great deal of the advantage of a University education is not that which is derived by the students under the examination of the Professor, but the training and skill acquired by the Professors themselves in the subjects they teach to their students. Some of the greatest lights in the world have been Professors whose minds, from long travelling in particular grooves of thought, have become so skilled and accomplished that they have developed their systems for the benefit of the world. You cannot have a more striking instance of this than in Adam Smith. Does any man think that if he had been left simply alone to meditate in a back room at Kirkaldy over the sources of the wealth of nations, that he would have produced a book which has influenced the financial economy and taxation of all countries in the civilized world? No, it was because he was a Professor, always travelling over this ground, instilling the views he had developed in his study into the minds of his students, that he became trained in the knowledge of the "wealth of nations," and learnt to produce a book which has commercially revolutionized the world. By saying you will not have Professors in these different high branches of knowledge you are shutting yourselves out from some of the highest advantages of civilization and instruction. You will not have men of such distinction as Guizot, Cousin, Jouffroy, or Adam Smith. I will not trouble the House by attempting to answer the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject of an examining University. My right hon. Friend started by saying that he would define a University, and he appeared to give a definition which best suited himself, and then he said "nobody can contest my view of what a University is." That definition did not meet my view. Dr. Johnson had a brain equal to the right hon. Gentleman, and he defines a University to be "a school where all the Arts and Faculties are taught"—not examined. I venture to set the authority of Dr. Johnson against that of the right hon. Gentleman. An- 1773 other observation I wish to make with reference to the curious result of the proposed changes in the instruction in the University, is this—that the complaint of the Catholics being that that instruction in the Queen's Colleges is "godless," the proposal of the Government is to make it more godless than before. Theology is excluded, but there is a Professor of Ethics who teaches the whole scheme of human duties; a Professor of Metaphysics; a Professor of History, who illustrated Divine Providence in Modern History, in Queen's Colleges. So far they are not godless; but to make them more palatable to the Roman Catholics who complained of their being godless you make them more godless still. That is a strange mode of removing a complaint of the absence of religious instruction. But then there is this question, which I ask of the right hon. Gentleman; be produces this as the just demand of the Roman Catholics to be admitted to the University, and have all subjects on which there may be any difference of opinion excluded from the teaching. His contention is that it is a grievance which ought to be remedied, and to remove it you are to prohibit this course of instruction in the University. How is he to distinguish between Dublin and Oxford and Cambridge? Is is not as much a right of an English Roman Catholic gentleman to send his son to Oxford or Cambridge as of an Irish Roman Catholic to send his son to Dublin University? and is it not as much a grievance that Oxford and Cambridge should have lectures on Theology, on Ethics, and Moral Philosophy, on Political Economy and Modern History, as it would be in Dublin? I said that, on its first appearance, the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman was one for mixed education; but I must confess its ultimate result would be denominational education. In 20 years you would find that practically it would have that result. And so it was represented by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. If the scheme was taken advantage of by the Roman Catholics, as he urged, it would become a Roman Catholic University; they would have the control of the Council; they would nominate none but Roman Catholic Professors; they would have complete control over the higher education in Ireland, and then would arrive a state 1774 of things which everybody but the Irish priests and Prelates would have to deplore. That was the final result which the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade recommended them to keep in view as a reward if they assisted the Government in carrying this Bill.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
The language of the right hon. Gentleman was, that under the provisions of this Bill the Roman Catholics, if they choose to make a vigorous use of the opportunities afforded to them, will, in a few years' time, be enabled to do all they want to do.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
I cannot help thinking if this Bill pass in anything like its present shape the result will be in 20 years to establish an Oxford of the old stamp in Dublin, only it will be Roman Catholic instead of Protestant. I must apologize to the House for having occupied so much of their time. This certainly is a most serious question for us to decide. The House is in full possession of all the facts and arguments bearing upon it. To my mind this is a renewal of an old struggle, which has been going on in this country for centuries. It really is the struggle between the laity, on the one hand, and the clergy, who think they ought to have a monopoly of education, on the other. It is not merely the clergy of the Roman Catholic body who entertain that notion, it is a favourite idea of the clergy of the Established Church, who think themselves entitled to have a monopoly of education in their own hands. Any one who looks into the history of the Act of Uniformity in the time of Charles II. will see that the object was that the instruction of College, University, and School should be in the hands of the Established Church. But this is an old struggle, much older than that. It was carried on under our Plantagenet and Tudor Kings, culminating in the Reformation and the efforts of Queen Elizabeth to maintain her throne. It was carried on in 1688, when the Roman Catholic hierarchy, finding a Sovereign to their mind, endeavoured to enforce their views as to the mode of governing this country against the will of the 1775 people. With my right hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) I look upon this as a renewal of that struggle. I believe this Bill would be fatal to the cause of liberal education in Ireland, and therefore I shall not hesitate to vote against the second reading.
The MARQUESS of HARTINGTON
said, that the right hon. Gentleman had inadvertently fallen into a mistake in describing what he had said on the subject of concurrent endowment. He believed that what he said was that he had no objection to the principle of concurrent endowment, but he did not think it was a remedy applicable in the present state of things. He then tried to show that in his opinion the endowment of a Roman Catholic College would be the inauguration of a policy not of equality, but of inequality.
§ MR. RONAYNE
said, that being so new a Member of the House, he did not intend taking part in this debate; but he felt compelled in duty to his constituents to protest against the astounding statements he had heard made by hon. Members for Scotch and English constituencies as to the feeling of the Catholic laity on the subject of denominational education. It had been frequently alleged during the debate that this was a question of the Irish Bishops solely, and not of the laity. Now, he claimed to be in a position to contradict that statement most emphatically. He had the honour of being recently returned for one of the most Catholic constituencies in Ireland—a constituency long and justly distinguished for intelligence, love of learning, and independence of thought and action. He never asked a priest or a Bishop for his vote or interest, and was elected under the Ballot, and received more votes than had ever been polled for any candidate on any previous occasion. Moreover, he had never received any instructions, directions, or communications of any kind on the question before the House from either priest or Bishop. He therefore claimed to represent the laity as independently of ecclesiastical influence as any hon. Member of the House, and he could assure the House, so vital did his constituency consider the question of denominational education, that if he was not an advocate for it, he would not poll 50 votes of the Catholic laity of Cork. He objected to the Bill because it established denominational edu- 1776 cation in Ireland by endowing the Protestants and leaving the Catholics without anything, because it would perpetuate Protestant ascendancy and all kinds of struggling and bickering between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. As influence in the University was to be obtained by the representation of Colleges, Bishops and priests should necessarily use every pressure to induce Catholic students to attend exclusively Catholic Colleges; Protestants would gravitate to Trinity, the Presbyterians would have Belfast to themselves, and the Catholics would not have the means to provide Professors and teachers adequate to bringing up their young men to compete with those from the other Colleges. The people would never separate themselves from their priests and Bishops. If a man in Ireland changed his religion he was said to change his country. Secular education was contrary to the spirit of the people; Protestant, Presbyterian, and Catholic were equally eager for denominational education; Protestants and Presbyterians would not send their children to Catholic schools; and the attachment of the people to denominational education was shown by what they would subscribe to maintain it. He objected to the higher education of Ireland being handed over, as it would be by the Bill, to the Castle of Dublin, for the 28 members of the Council were to be selected by the Crown, which meant the Castle of Dublin; and then in ten years, groups of four were to be nominated—one by the Crown, which was the Castle; another by the Council, which had been appointed by the Crown; another by the Professors, who had been appointed by the Council, nominated by the Crown; so that successive appointments would be made at the Castle. He objected to the Lord-Lieutenant as Chancellor, because he must be a partizan; the exigency of party might put him in office for a week; and the highest honour of the University ought not to be given to a stranger who might be an inhabitant of Dublin for a week only. Further, he objected to the destruction of Trinity College, because, although they had much to complain of in reference to the bigotry and exclusiveness that had prevailed in that College, yet they all wished to see that University preserved, for in its distinguished alumni all Irishmen took a national pride. The great 1777 Edmund Burke said that the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland should be upheld with respect and veneration, and should be provided with the means of educating her children. The Presbyterians were themselves the advocates of denominational education, as he would show by a quotation from a letter published in The Times of that morning, and written by Mr. Shaw, of Magee College, who said—The position of the Presbyterian people is much misunderstood. Presbyterians have no objection to denominational education for themselves; they only object to give denominational education to Catholics; but I know the feeling of the Presbyterian Church, and I am convinced that the Presbyterian love of mixed education simply means hatred of Catholics, and that its true nature will appear the moment the system threatens to endanger not Catholicism, but Calvinism.From his short experience of that House he was disposed to think that the Liberals within it entertained a similar feeling in respect to denominational education—they were extremely liberal in desiring it for all religious persuasions except the Roman Catholics. In Cork, which city he had the honour to represent, the Roman Catholics lived upon terms of social equality and harmony with their Protestant and dissenting fellow citizens. They had no quarrels about religion, and it was only on political subjects that they evinced any serious antagonism. His impression of the Liberals of England was, that their liberality was somewhat like that of Cromwell, who, when asked by the people of New Ross for liberty of conscience, replied, "I never interfere with any man's conscience, but wherever the Parliament of England rules there shall be no mass."
§ MR. M'CLURE
* The hon. Member for Derry (Mr. C. E. Lewis) has called upon me, as having some claim to represent the Presbyterians of Ireland, to say how they view this question. My reply is, that the spirit of Presbyterianism is freely to grant to others all that they ask for themselves. They generally desire to see the matter settled upon a broad liberal basis, and they seek for no special privilege or advantage for themselves or their Church. I may quote in illustration of this one sentence from the speech of the Rev. Dr. Knox, the Mover of a series of Resolutions on this Bill, in the Presbytery of Belfast, on Wednesday. He said he had strong sympathy with the avowed objects of 1778 the Bill to extend University education in Ireland, without any respect to sect or party, throwing open its doors to Irishmen of every denomination, and yet guarding the religious convictions of all. Believing that this Bill has been framed with an earnest desire to remove all reasonable causes of complaint, and, if possible, to unite all in the promotion of the higher education in Ireland, I consider that I would fail in my duty to my country if I did not vote for its second reading, that its different provisions may be discussed in Committee. I might, if I had had an opportunity of speaking at an earlier stage of the debate, have spoken on the principle of the Bill, and matters which we may consider require modification; but I will not now do so. I may, however, remark that, while my friends might have confidence that the first Council named by the House would co-operate cordially in carrying out the object of the Bill, they dread the effect of introducing the representation of denominational Colleges, as such, on the Council. I listened with much pleasure to the remarks which fell from the hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Lyon Playfair), on the importance of supporting provincial Colleges. I would like to make a practical application of the principles he laid down. By this measure, between Trinity College and the proposed University, £100,000 per annum will be spent on collegiate purposes in Dublin, while Belfast College will be left with only £8,000 or £10,000 a year—a most inadequate support, not sufficient to enable it to hold its position. Several hon. Members have made reference to educational establishments in the North of Ireland. They must pardon me for saying that not one of them seemed to have correct information, with the exception of the First Lord of the Treasury. Among other errors, the hon. Member for Tralee (the O'Donoghue) spoke of Queen's College, Belfast, as Presbyterian, and the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) repeated the statement. This is a mistake. It is completely nonsectarian. There are Professors and students of all denominations. Without going minutely into statistics, I may say, in general terms, that although the majority of the students are Presbyterians, as might naturally be expected, when we remember that the counties of Antrim and Down, from which most of them come, are very 1779 largely Presbyterian, a very large proportion of the students belong to other churches. I find by the last Return that from 1850 to 1871 it has been attended by 1,465 Presbyterian students and 819 of other denominations. The Roman Catholics have certainly been in the minority. There have been only 142. The hon. Members may have confounded Queen's College with the Presbyterian Theological College, which has no connection with the State. The students of Queen's College have all been resident and attending the lectures, and their attainments have been such as to reflect credit on themselves and their Professors. I could procure for the hon. Member for Waterford a list of successful students, who, going direct from the College, without having recourse to any other means of instruction, have taken the highest places in the public examinations. Belfast has a large and increasing population, which promises ere long to exceed that of Dublin. It is the capital of Ulster, which contains one-third of the inhabitants of Ireland, very many of that class who would send their sons to a College if not far distant from their homes. This College, which might be styled the College of Ulster, should certainly have a much larger share of the educational endowments of the country, in order to extend its operations, to raise the status of its Professors, and give more encouragement to the students. I dare not now propose that the new University should be in Belfast; but this I can undertake, that, if Belfast College receives such support as its proved efficiency merits, there will be no lack of students to take advantage of the facilities offered; and if intermediate schools should be established throughout the province, which I hope will be ere long, its halls will be filled to overflowing, and Ulster, will soon rival Scotland in the number of its students. In what I now say I am only giving expression to the earnest desire of all who are interested in the cause of education in Ireland, and when we go into Committee I hope the Ulster Members will be present and give their assistance in having the claims of Ulster fully recognized. In making this special appeal I am not to be understood as depreciating in any way the claims of Cork and Galway. I must apologize to the House for speaking so much of Belfast; but I have been obliged to do so, because so far as edu- 1780 cational questions are concerned, the North of Ireland seems to be to many of the speakers a terra incognita. Trinity College, to which many are attached, and which has in its time served well the cause of learning, was originally more liberal in constitution than it afterwards became. Its first two elected fellows were Presbyterians, and its first two regular and official Provosts were Nonconformists. When Laud became Chancellor, finding its statutes, according to his ideas, too favourable to religious liberty, he obtained the Royal Assent to exclude from the benefits of academic education all who were not attested members of the Episcopal Established Church. About 160 years afterwards the authorities at the College admitted those who had been excluded, subsequently placing some scholarships within their reach, and they have lately expressed their willingness to make further concessions. Now, so far as I can make out from the speeches of hon. Members opposite, their idea is that, if this Bill can be defeated, the measure proposed by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) will be put forward. But do they for one moment believe that this would now approach to a settlement of the University question? I would wish to give all honour to Trinity College; but we cannot overlook the fact that it has been, I may say for centuries, exclusive. It is still the school of theology for the Episcopal Church, and that Church must, under the plan of the hon. Member for Brighton, long have a decided predominance in its Government. It is just possible that Presbyterians and Roman Catholics, if now admitted, might, within a century, obtain an equal position. Not until then would the University assume a national character, and cease to be more or less a denominational institution. Has it not been acknowledged by statesmen, and shown, even by debates in the Senate of the University of Dublin, that to stereotype and maintain Trinity College in its present privileges and endowments would make out an unanswerable case for the establishment of another great denominational University on an equal footing? Remembering how the future of Ireland is bound up in a fair and liberal solution of this question, I would implore all to approach it, laying aside "private interests, prejudices, and partial affections," and seek to lay the found- 1781 ation of a system which may continue for centuries to enlighten and elevate every province and district of that land.
THE O'CONOR DON
said, that at the commencement of the debate yesterday, a very able speech was delivered by the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt) in favour of the Bill, in which he described it as a Bill for the extension and perpetuation of mixed and secular education in Ireland. If that description were a correct one he (the O'Conor Don) unhesitatingly said that was the worst measure ever introduced on the question of University education for Ireland. He denied that the Roman Catholic laity of Ireland were favourable to mixed education, and if he was pained at what the hon. and learned Member for Oxford said, he was more so when he found that the Secretary of State for War, speaking later in. the debate, had not uttered a single word indicating that he differed in any way from the description given of the measure by his Colleague in the representation of the City of Oxford. If that description was correct, it was in itself the severest condemnation that could be passed upon the Bill. It was not the description given of the Bill by the Prime Minister when he introduced it. That right hon. Gentleman had very clearly stated why a Bill upon the subject was necessary. It was necessary to meet a grievance existing on the part of the Catholics of Ireland, whose condition as regards University education was described by the right hon. Gentleman as miserably and scandalously bad, and this grievance would not be removed by the extension of mixed or secular education. Nobody in Ireland, and least of all the Roman Catholics, had asked for the extension and perpetuation of the mixed system of education. Their complaint was that this system, to which they conscientiously objected, was the only one offered to them. Their grievance, as was clearly stated in a lay declaration signed by the most respectable and intelligent Roman Catholics, was that a large number of Irishmen were precluded from the enjoyment of University education, its honours, and emoluments on account of their religious convictions respecting the existing systems, those systems being the Protestant system of the University 1782 of Dublin and the secular or mixed system of the Queen's University and Colleges. But although the Prime Minister had, in introducing the Bill, really comprehended the grievance which existed, neither the House nor the country had yet been able to realize its nature. During the greater part of that debate that grievance had been rather ignored or denied than appreciated in its true character and strength. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) had attempted to show that the Roman Catholics of Ireland in regard to that subject were divided into three distinct and hostile camps—first, the Ultramontane clergy; secondly, the gentry and the intelligent laity; and, thirdly, the great mass of the community, the first class alone being in favour of religious education. He, however, denied that there was any such separation among the Catholics of Ireland. The declaration to which he had already alluded was entirely of lay origin, and yet the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman) alleged that this was a priest's question, and that the laity cared nothing about it. He maintained that the agitation against secular or mixed education in Ireland was shared by the laity, and he pointed, in proof of his assertion, to the meetings held all over Ireland in 1871 and 1872, but especially to a meeting held on the 31st of December, 1871, in Galway, at which resolutions were moved and seconded by independent Roman Catholic gentlemen, and carried, condemning any attempt to force on the Irish people a "godless system" of education, as a phase of persecution more intolerable than any to which their fathers were ever subjected for conscience' sake, and characterizing the Government model schools and the Queen's Colleges as "monuments of impiety and injustice." That the gentlemen who supported these resolutions were acting freely and independently of clerical dictation was proved by the fact that a few months afterwards, at an election in the county of Galway, they were arrayed on one side and the Catholic clergy on the other. The opposition manifested by the priests to the hon. Member for Galway, and the support, nevertheless, given him by the Catholic gentry, formed an unprecedented occurrence, yet that hon. Member in his address to the electors was obliged to advocate in the strongest possible way de- 1783 nominational education—a proof that on this point all classes of Catholics were agreed. He attributed the defects of the Bill to an impression prevalent in this country that a large section of the Catholic laity favoured mixed education; but if such a feeling existed it would be expressed, and he challenged anyone to cite a single meeting at which a Roman Catholic had given utterance to any opinion of the kind. Moreover, the apprehensions of the hon. Member for Liskeard that the miserable liberty given by the Bill to Roman Catholics of competing for University degrees and honours would result in their obtaining the entire control of the new University proved his real conviction of the strength of the principle of denominationalism. But could there be a stronger argument in favour of Home Rule than the action taken on this occasion by the right hon. Gentleman? The Irish Roman Catholics had in every constitutional manner expressed their opinion in favour of denominational education, and yet, whilst the other educational religious bodies in that country were endowed, the Prime Minister dared not pronounce that word in connection with Roman Catholics. The result of this continued refusal to attend to the wants of the Roman Catholics of Ireland coupled with the fact that the Irish people both Catholic and Protestant, would, if the matter rested with them, devote part of the Church surplus to such a purpose, must lead to very strong agitation on the subject of Home Rule. On the introduction of the Bill he thought he should be able to support it, for he had great faith in the principle of denominationalism; he remembered that the primary schools had been made, through the irresistible force of the public feeling of the country, denominational; and he believed denominational Colleges might—and, in the absence of any better prospect, would—compete successfully with their endowed rivals, giving them a strong claim whenever the question came to be reconsidered. The condemnation of the measure by the ecclesiastical authorities had altered the position, but this alone would not have affected his course, for he would not hold his seat for an hour on condition of yielding his convictions in such a case. In spite of this condemnation, he should have supported the second reading had the Government evinced a readiness to 1784 concede certain alterations, such as the excision of the teaching functions proposed to be given to the new University. For his part he would prefer, as an alternative, a mere Examining Board to a mixed secular College. He could not conceive for what reason the Government had introduced this element of discord into the Bill, an element that had given rise to all the difficulties with which they had now to contend, and especially in connection with the "gagging clauses." He entirely repudiated the statement that the Catholics were in favour of the exclusion of those branches of learning for which no Professors were provided in this measure, and also the allegation of the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt) that the "gagging clauses" sprang from the Syllabus, or some other Catholic source. These clauses had been framed, simply on account of the impossibility of establishing any mixed system of education in a country like Ireland, where religious convictions were strong. He altogether repudiated the idea that Catholics had asked for or approved of this exclusion. In Roman Catholic Schools and Colleges the subjects which those clauses would exclude from the examinations were not only not excluded, but were taught, and students from the Catholic Colleges were most successful answerers in those subjects at the London University. Great, however, as had been his objection to the Bill, it had been strengthened by what occurred within the last 24 hours. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, in winding up the debate last night, gave up everything which the Roman Catholics valued, and retained, by not leaving open to exclusion, everything to which they objected. The right hon. Gentleman, speaking on behalf of the Government, virtually abandoned the proposition to have one University for Ireland—the incorporation of Queen's University in the New University—the abolition of the Queen's College at Galway, the affiliation of Colleges, and, therefore, their representation on the Council of the new University. The only thing the right hon. Gentleman considered it necessary to retain was the proposed largely endowed teaching secular University. Under these circumstances, what was his manifest duty in reference to the Bill? It 1785 was with considerable pain that he arrived at the conclusion, but his clear duty was to vote against its second reading.
§ MR. DODSON
said, he was one of those Members who, through good and evil report, had supported his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) in his attempt to deal with the question of Irish University Education, and he thought their thanks were due to his hon. Friend for the perseverance and courage which he had displayed in reference to the subject, and for the manner in which he had forced the hand of the Government upon it. Whatever might be the fate of the present Bill, he congratulated his hon. Friend that the principles of his measure had been almost, if not entirely and unanimously, adopted, for throughout this debate not one word had been said against the abolition of tests in Trinity College. With regard to this unfortunate Bill of the Government, he was reminded of the fate of the bat in the fable, which was attacked by birds for being a beast, and by beasts for being a bird. It was denounced by secularists for being sectarian, and by denominationalists for being secular. On the one hand, they were told that it gave everything to the Roman Catholics; on the other, that it gave them nothing. They were assured by some that it took too much from Trinity College, by others that it left Trinity College too much. Again, they were informed on one side that it destroyed mixed education, on the other that it perpetuated godless education. Those charges were made, sometimes generally, sometimes particularly. The Bill did not exclude logic from the new Irish University. The Professor who filled that Chair would find ample field to illustrate by reference to this debate the doctrine of contraries, sub-contraries, contradictories, and subalterns. The discussion had mainly turned upon five points—the affiliation, or rather the mechanism for the affiliation, of Colleges, the composition of the Governing Council, the extinction of the Queen's University, the suppression of Galway College, and the limitation of education by the exclusion of certain subjects from the Chairs and curriculum of the new University. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War had rendered it unnecessary that he 1786 should refer—as he had intended to do—to each of these points. They had now been told that the extinction of the Queen's University and the subversion of Galway College were merely incidents of the Bill. The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland (the Marquess of Hartington) had previously informed them that the limitation in the subjects of teaching and of examination were only ornaments—or, at least, appendages—to the Bill. There remained the question of the affiliation of Colleges and the composition of the Governing Body. These were rather matters of detail. The provisions as to the former were inadequate—those as to the latter were elaborate, but unsatisfactory. Some Colleges were to be affiliated, perhaps against their wish, by insertion in the blank Schedule. Others might be affiliated hereafter, but under the Bill as it stood it would be open to the Council to reject Colleges which would strengthen the University, and to accept Colleges which would lower the standard of University education. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had admitted the weakness of that part of the Bill, but had offered to provide some safeguards against a wholesale introduction of Colleges of a character likely to lower the character of the University. The right hon. Gentleman had made the same offer with regard to the College representation on the Governing Body; hut as in neither instance had the safeguards to be proposed been laid before them in print, they were unable to form any adequate opinion of their value. It was, however, evident that safe means might be provided to regulate such a system. It was useless now to attempt to discuss the question, whether it would or would not have been wiser if the right hon. Gentleman had furnished them with a list of the 28 members who were to form the Council. But he entirely repudiated the theory that seemed to have been adopted by some hon. Members, that when the list of members of which the Council was to be composed was once laid before the House, it was not competent to the House to alter and amend it; and he also rejected the idea that when the 28 names were submitted there were in the House no hon. Members competent to scrutinize the list, and say whether the right men had been selected. 1787 The proposed Council was objected to on the broad ground that it would be a State-appointed Council. The present case was, however, different from the cases of Oxford and Cambridge, in each of which we only had to recast an existing academical body, whereas here we had also to provide for the introduction of new elements. Hence it was necessary to provide a nominated Council in the first instance. He hoped, nevertheless, it might be sufficient to nominate a portion, leaving the rest to be elected by the graduates. Objection had been made to the appointment of a Lord Lieutenant as Chancellor of the new University. In these objections he shared. Many of them believed that the Lord Lieutenant was a mischievous and expensive sham; but apart from that, he, for one, thought it would be more in the interest of the institution that some Royal personage should consent to accept the office of Chancellor of the new National University of Ireland. Those, however, were matters rather for Committee than for the second reading of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) had said, on the previous evening, that the Bill, which was universally condemned, might have been so framed as to have been universally approved. If that were so, why should they not, after the speech delivered on the previous evening by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War, go into Committee and put the Bill into whatever shape they pleased? The incidents of the Bill were gone, the appendages of the Bill were gone, and all the rest had been declared open to amendment. Among other things, they would have to alter the title of the Bill, because although it was called the "University Education Bill," it contained nothing directly relating to education except the exclusion of Modern History and Moral Philosophy. It would be better, therefore, to follow the example set in the case of the measures relating to Oxford and Cambridge, which were entitled "University of Oxford Bill," and "University of Cambridge Bill." His right hon. Friend the Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Wilson-Patten) had spoken of the House being called upon to discuss a blank Bill; though he afterwards declared that the Bill did contain two principles—the 1788 destruction of an old University, and the construction of a new University; but the Bill asked no one to destroy the old University without seeing what was to be instituted in its place. His right hon. Friend also had said that one by one every provision but one that had been declared to be the essence of the Bill had been given up, and that now even that one, the constitution of the Council, had been surrendered; and he asked, if all this was abandoned, what was left? Well, there was left of the Bill that which had been comparatively little discussed, and which nobody proposed to abandon, the establishment of a National University, to which Colleges, whether denominational or undenominational, might become affiliated. The hon. Member for Roscommon (The O'Conor Don) had said he would have supported the Bill if it had proposed an examining instead of a teaching body. There was nothing in the Bill to prevent its being altered in Committee in that sense, nor would it be a greater concession than others which the Government was willing to adopt. And if the object of the Government was to carry a measure which should reconcile the views of different parties, he could not see any fundamental objection to such an alteration. With regard to his Motion to refer the Bill to a Select Committee, he was anxious to explain that it was not given with any political intention. It was neither an act of friendship nor hostility to the Government, but was inspired by a sincere desire to bring about, if possible, a settlement of this question, to save the time of the House, and to extricate it from a somewhat embarrassing position. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. G. Hardy) thought it a strange proposal; but was not the position of the House and of parties equally strange? The Prime Minister, at the Croydon banquet, appeared to refer to his Motion when he said the Government would not consent to have the Bill taken out of their hands. It seemed to him that this Bill, although its interest was undeniable, had been introduced with a pomp and circumstance, with a flourish of trumpets and a beat of drums, altogether out of proportion to its intrinsic importance. Instead of a practical measure of reform, it had been brought in as the sensational measure of 1789 the Session. He would, however, ask the Government to consider the Motion, of which he had given Notice—that in the event of the Bill being read the second time it be referred to a Select Committtee—apart from all false feelings of pride. It might be said that the reference of a Bill to a Select Committee was taking it out of the hands of the Government; but had it not been the practice of the House to refer important Government Bills to a Select Committee? Had not educational Bills been so dealt with? The Public Schools Bill had been thus referred, and the present Government had referred to a Select Committee a still more important measure than that before the House—namely, the Endowed Schools Bill. During the present Session the Prime Minister had consented to refer the Civil Service Expenditure to a Select Committee, and had thus allowed a subject to be taken out of his hands which was more than anything else an attribute of the Ministers of the Crown. The objection was, in fact, a mere form of words. The Bill was no more taken out of the hands of the Government by being referred to a Select Committee than if it were referred to a Committee of the whole House. If his Motion were received with favour, he would move it, and if it received adequate support—which he was bound to say it had not hitherto done—he would push it to a division. It might be put either after the second reading, or as an Amendment to the Motion that the Speaker leave the Chair to go into Committee on the Bill. The Prime Minister had thrown out an intimation that the Bill might be committed pro formâ, in order that the necessary Amendments might be made in the clauses, and to this course, he (Mr. Dodson) should interpose no obstacle, reserving to himself, however, full liberty to propose his Motion for a Select Committee on the amended Bill. Two objections only had been urged to the second reading of the Bill. The first was that it was a measure for the destruction of mixed education. That was sufficiently answered by saying that the Bill opened Trinity College and created a secular University. The other objection went to the root of the Bill. It was said that the measure did not remove the Roman Catholic grievance. He thought, however, they were entitled to say that the scheme proposed by the Bill was sub- 1790 stantially just and right, and if this were the case, let the House pass it, and not be deterred by ecclesiastical thunder. Three successive Governments had admitted that the Roman Catholics had a grievance, and the Legislature, by this Bill, offered them the best remedy in its power. They were told that the Roman Catholics would not avail themselves of mixed education; that they rejected the remedy and preferred their grievance. Still, let us give the remedy, and if they do not avail themselves of it, the conscience of that House will be free. The House could but offer the Roman Catholics of Ireland a mixed—that was a neutral—University. What they appeared to require was a special University. They were not satisfied with equality, but required exclusiveness. This House had deliberately adopted the principle of religious equality, and it therefore could not give exclusive endowments to any religious denomination in Ireland. When this House disestablished the Church in Ireland, it declared, in fact, that there was to be absolute neutrality, so far as the State was concerned, between different religious bodies in Ireland. Although the scheme proposed by this Bill failed to satisfy any party or sect in the country, he trusted that it might prove the basis of a Bill establishing a University which would be the means of satisfying reasonable men of all sects and parties in Ireland. It did not offer the ideal of a University, but it offered them the basis upon which they might proceed to establish the best University possible, under the circumstances of Ireland. This measure avoided sectarian endowment, sectarian ascendancy, and religious disability. It was said that all these things might be developed in this University at some indefinite period; but if these difficulties should ever arise that indefinite future must deal with them in its own way. The possibility of such a development constituted no sufficient reason why the House should refuse to pass a measure which would, for our time, at all events, enable every man in Ireland, receiving an education and academical training in the College of his choice, to become a full member of a National University on terms equally favourable with all his fellow-subjects, and upon conditions that could offend the conscience of no reasonable layman.
§ MR. MITCHELL HENRY
*: Sir, it will save the time of the House if I state at once that I cannot vote for the Amendment now before us. My objections are to the whole principles and policy of this Bill, not merely to any of its details. Moreover, we know from the declarations of the hon. Baronet on the front Opposition bench, who spoke last in the debate on Monday week (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), that, even if the Government did comply with the requirements of the hon. Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bourke), that would not settle this question; and for this simple reason—suppose the Schedule of 28 names to constitute the Council of the new University was filled up entirely by Protestants and men of academic reputation, would that reconcile the Protestants of Ireland to the provisions of the Bill? Certainly not; for they believe it to aim a deadly blow at all culture. Neither, if the Schedule was filled up exclusively with the names of Catholics, would that satisfy them; because the separation of religion and education would still be maintained, and their University would still be sent empty away. I trust, therefore, that all the Amendments will be withdrawn, and the division will be taken on the simple issue of the second reading. I, Sir, am very sensible how much I need the indulgence of the House; for I am going to speak upon that side which is unpopular with the Liberal party, with whom it is my privilege, in general, to act. The Bill was introduced to us as designed for the advancement of learning, and I am going to endeavour to show that it will not advance learning, but, on the contrary, will degrade it; that it is not based on religious or on any other kind of equality, and that by no fiction of terms can it be called a just Bill. Nevertheless, I greatly fear that in some shape it may be carried, and be lauded all over the country as a fresh proof of the magnanimity of Parliament, and of the determination of the Government to put an end to Irish grievances. As for myself, my views are based on the broad and simple principles of common justice. The Roman Catholics constitute four-fifths of the Irish nation, and if emigration—not conversion—had not decreased their actual numbers out of proportion to that of the conquering race, they would still be as seven to one. 1792 I should take the same line if, instead of being my fellow-Christians, they were Mahommedans; yes, Sir, and mark this, if they were Pagans, this House would not dream of forcing on them a kind of education from which their consciences revolt. They have an indefeasible right to educate their children as they think right—not as other people think right. Secular education is now your cry—but how long has it been so? Nonconformists, at present so bitter, were lately of precisely the opposite opinion; and how long is it since the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, in what many of us think his better days, vehemently maintained the indissoluble union of religion and education? Professor Shaw, of the celebrated Magee College, has conclusively shown that in 1844 the Presbyterians of the North were as much excited against secular education as they now are in favour of it; and this is what he, their own Professor of Ethics—which means morality—is constrained to say of them, in his letter to The Times of this morning—The position of the Presbyterian people is much misunderstood. Presbyterians have no objection to denominational education for themselves; they only object to give denominational education to Catholics; but I know the feeling of the Presbyterian Church, and I am convinced that the Presbyterian love of mixed education simply means hatred of Catholics, and that its true nature will appear the moment the system threatens to endanger, not Catholicism, but Calvinism.It is the Catholics and the Episcopalian Protestants who have not, and never can, change; but whom you require to surrender the cherished convictions of their lives in favour of the mushroom principles of the hour. Sir, the Nonconformists seem to know how to make the best of both worlds; but it is not creditable to find the Liberal party, flushed with continued triumphs, ready to abandon the very foundations of equal justice, when they are led away by the Shibboleth of religious party names, and are frightened by the bugbear of Ultramontanism, which they neither study nor understand. Changing one word, I will remind them of a celebrated saying of Archbishop Whateley, "that most men like to have justice on their side; but few men care to be on the side of justice, unless it is their own side also." There was a time—but as it belongs to 1793 Modern History, I ought, perhaps, to apologize for introducing it in connection with this Bill—when the Protestant minority in France had, in their turn, to contend for their own rights in the midst of the Roman Catholic majority in France; and when the second article of the Edict of Nantes secured to the Huguenots, not only free admission to all Colleges and schools, but also a large annual subvention for the support of their ministers and education. There never was such hypocrisy as to say that we have abandoned denominationalism. The University of Glasgow lately received a large grant from Parliament, and, for the first time in its history, a stately Presbyterian place of worship now rears its head within those ancient walls. Within the last four or five years, University College of London, the most secular College in the world, drove into exile and did to death the greatest mathematician of the age; because, after his life-long services to it, he found the Council deserting their professed principles, and, under religious excitement, refusing a Professorship to a Unitarian, on the ground simply that he was a Unitarian. In Great Britain we have 38 training Colleges, containing several thousand students, costing the State upwards of £100,000 a-year, every one of which is sectarian, has a church or chapel within its grounds, and is, in general, presided over and governed by a clergyman or ecclesiastic. All our reformatory schools, to which liberal grants are made, are denominational, and, to crown the absurdity, Parliament gives a considerable annual grant to a Catholic training college at Hammersmith, near London. Yet we are told not only that Ireland shall not have any grant in support of the higher education of 4,500,000 of her people, but shall not even be allowed to devote, if she should so desire, any portion of her own public money to it, out of the surplus of the Irish Church Fund. Much has been said, in the course of this debate, on the change that has taken place in the public estimate of this Bill; but for that change, which is, perhaps, not so extensive as hon. Members suppose, it is not difficult to account. The nation was entranced by that marvellous feat of intellectual power which accompanied the statement of the right hon. Gentleman— 1794His tongue Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dash Maturest counsels… so he pleased the ear, And with persuasive accents spake.In the lobby of the House, and in places where gossips congregate, it was industriously whispered about that the Government was sure of the support of the Catholic Bishops, and this delusion or self-deception went on until last Friday week, when the bubble burst. For my own part, I was certain—and I said so—that all those statements were untrue. If the Irish Roman Catholic Bishops had accepted this Bill, no one would ever have believed them again, and what is more, they would justly have forfeited the confidence of their own flocks. All such statements could only proceed from one of two classes of persons, either from those who did not know what the Bishops had previously declared on many occasions, or from those who did not believe in their sincerity, and there is no doubt of the existence of the latter class, for in this House they were charged by the hon. Baronet opposite with practising a deep political manœuvre in now condemning the Bill; and in the Press they are called blundering politicians, blind to their own interests. Possibly, some one might think it feasible to amend this Bill in Committee; but we know well that we cannot change affirmatives into negatives, and enact a new version of the "Deformed Transformed," when once we have accepted the principle of the measure, and have sanctioned it by a second reading. Well, Sir, I was much struck by the announcement, very early and very prominently made in the speech of the Prime Minister on introducing the Bill, not merely that the Government alone were responsible for it, which is a matter of course; but that he had taken counsel with none of the bodies in Ireland, who are most concerned. Here are his exact words—Circumstances, entirely independent of our own will, have precluded us from holding communications with any of the large bodies which may be said, as bodies, to be interested in Irish University education.Surely this is a very singular announcement, and did not experience prove that in legislation, as regards Ireland, the last persons whom it is considered necessary to consult are Irishmen, it would be almost incredible. The right hon. Gentleman does, indeed, avail himself 1795 of a declaration of the Governing Body of Trinity College in favour of the Bill of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), so far as it supports his own views; but has he inquired whether there had ever been a meeting of the Senate of the University to consider this matter, or whether that declaration carried more weight than is given to it by the assent of the Provost and some of the Fellows? May we not, as far as authority is concerned, set against it the much more solemn declarations in various forms of two years before, insisting on the Protestant denominational character of Trinity College, which were signed not only by the Provost and Senior Fellows, but by scholars and graduates, and by thousands of laymen also. Well, Sir, and what reception is accorded to the Catholic Lay Declaration, signed by nearly 1,000 of the highest and best educated persons in Ireland, in favour of Catholic denominational education? Are we not perpetually told that it is deserving of no weight, because, forsooth, the priests compelled them to sign it; and are we not implored to protect the gentry of Ireland from the tyranny of their own Bishops and clergy? If the Government had condescended to make inquiries beyond the narrow limits of its customary sources of Castle information, it would have learned that it is within the last few months only that this University question has become a practical question in Ireland, and that now for the first time have Protestant and Roman Catholic University men met face to face to discuss the bearings and incidents of a matter so vital to them both. I believe there has been a complete and very striking change of opinion in Ireland, and that there is a growing persuasion that the best and only security for the existence of a real University education for Roman Catholics is in the vigour and prestige of some central place of denominational University education for them. It is not difficult to understand the consternation of those who thought themselves well-informed to find some of the most distinguished of the Fellows of Trinity unreservedly advocating Catholic claims, in the late discussion in the Senate. So long as the demon of religious ascendancy existed in Ireland, it was practically impossible to obtain an unbiassed discussion of this matter—but now, thank 1796 God, the Irish people of both religions are beginning to feel that they can place the interests and the welfare of their common country before, and beyond, the exigencies of party Government. This habitual carelessness of Irish opinion in matters of legislation is nothing new. Some time ago I was present in a large club in that town in the North of England which has founded a special school of legislation, and called it by its own name—when a discussion arose as to what was to be done with troublesome Ireland, and a tolerably unanimous opinion was expressed that the advent of a second Cromwell was the one thing needful. In the course of the conversation, I proposed to examine a statement that had recently appeared in the Irish newspapers, as to the remarkable absence of the ordinary class of crimes across the water; but on looking for an Irish newspaper, no one had ever seen such a thing, and on consulting the club list of periodicals, we found London, Provincial, Scotch, American, German, French and others, to the number of exactly 50—but no one journal of any kind or sort from Ireland. The fact is, that the English public take their opinions of Irish affairs from that column in the leading journal of the day, which is well known to be admirably prepared in the office of the most Tory newspaper in Dublin. Hon. Members will remember how that journal opened its columns during the Recess to a discussion of this University question; but it took care to exclude what did not accord with its own views, and to my certain knowledge suppressed the letters of a distinguished Fellow and Professor in Trinity College itself, signed with his own name, because he told some truths which may not be quite palatable to people who make up their minds without hearing both sides. No, Sir, if you want to know what the Irish think, you must endeavour to put yourself in their place; you must cease to make them remember that you are in the hostile occupation of their lay and ecclesiastical property, by cultivating some of that sympathy with their feelings and wishes—with their weaknesses, if you like—which is essential to all successful dealings with your fellow-men. A successful physician does not differ from an unsuccessful one so much in the actual amount of his knowledge as in the art and power by which he applies it, and 1797 suffers with or sympathizes with his patient, and the same truth applies equally to a statesman. Trinity College has been recommended to accept this Bill on the lowest and basest grounds, because, forsooth, its members would only lose £12,000 a-year of their revenues, forgetting that there was one thing dearer to them than money, and that is the purity and efficiency of University culture. Catholics had been bribed to accept this Bill by the mutilation of learning in ignorant deference to their supposed prejudices. It was reserved to a Liberal Government to study the pages of Mr. Fronde, and to take their inspiration for this measure from the hideous records which he has disinterred. The hon. and learned Member for the City of Oxford (Mr. Harcourt) dared to say, last night, that in Ireland we loved not equal justice, but strove with each other to see which could get most. Let the present feeling in Ireland be the answer to that taunt. Never since the Union have Irishmen been so united as now; and if you ask the reason why, learn this. You have touched the National honour, you have shown them that you consider Irishmen an inferior race, the mean whites of Europe, to be bribed and coerced alternately. I am reminded by this Bill, and by much of your legislation, of a benevolent man who with his penny gave a lecture to an Irish beggar-man, and met with the reply—"Bedad, Sir, you are a very good kind of a man, but you take the taste out of everything you do." So this Government has such a knack of putting the right things in the wrong places—such a facility of mixing up crotchets, lectures, and incongruities with public propositions—that if the Irish do feel a certain thankfulness for having any grievance remedied, the gentlemen who do it hold themselves too nicely above them to win their hearts. I do not understand the position at all. I can understand men who say we are a Protestant country; we will give Calvinistic Scotland all she wants; we will keep up the English Establishment, or disendow it if the laity wish; we did not object to the establishment of Catholic schools and Catholic Colleges in Canada; we are quite ready to allow our troops in Malta to salute the Sacred Host, just as we pensioned the Hindoo priests in India, and rebuilt their heathen temples; and 1798 we will concede separate denominational schools for Mohammedans and Hindoos in India; but, as regards Ireland, we will not budge an inch. Ireland is not very powerful, and our conscientious scruples can safely come out in strong relief. This I can understand; but I do not understand how persons professing to be statesmen, really desirous of fair play, or in any way pretending to justice, can imagine that the Irish people will accept a scheme which is unjust in what it proposes, and insulting in what it omits. What is the toleration and religious equality of which you speak? Toleration does not mean suffering a person with whose views you do not coincide to live, it means scorning to subject him to any social disadvantage on account of his conscientious convictions, and as for the equality of which we boast, and which is said to be the basis of this Bill, let me put a hypothetical case. Suppose a philanthropist went to India, and finding his neighbours starving, made a great feast, spread his board, with fish and meat and vegetables, and wine, and said to Mohammedans, and Hindoos, and Parsees, "Come and sit down and eat"—would you call that establishing equality? Rather should I say, prepare separate tables for each, and tempt not the Hindoo with meat, or the Mohammedan with wine, but abstaining from trampling on men's consciences, trust that in God's own time He will send real Union by way of charity, and not a sham Union by way of any kind of compulsion. By the very reason, Sir, that Catholics are upbraided with ignorance, and have been deprived of the means of education, they have an equitable right to more generous, more liberal, more ample concessions. If you cannot do them justice, do nothing. Say you will not educate if you choose; but do not pretend to make the sensitive and generous impulses of the Irish tick with the Treasury watch. Remember how much money the English Government has already wasted on Irish educational schemes. This very Bill is a record of your failures, and for the same reason that they failed this fractionary and scheduled contrivance will fail again. Ask any educated man in Europe what he thinks of a University, "without any power to examine any person in Theology, or to grant any degree in Theology, or to appoint any person as Professor or 1799 teacher in Theology, Modern History, or Moral and Mental Philosophy;" and if he does not laugh in your face, and is a humorist, he will say—"Since you exclude the science of God, and the recent history of his creatures, the science of their good behaviour to each other, and the phenomena which distinguish them from the brutes, had you not better shut up your students in a madhouse?" Why, Sir, the Christian world itself sums up only some 18 centuries, and you deliberately ostracise a sixth part of them, and what is most singular that very part which is most interesting to you, because nearest to you and most within your grasp, that oasis redeemed from mediæval deserts, which you love to say was trimmed and watered by the greatest spirits of the age. Why, in a few short years the acts of this very Parliament will belong to Modern History, and it will never do to conceal from young men who it was that, headed by an Oxford Premier, destroyed University independence, and suppressed three centuries to make an Act of Parliament. I always thought that in a University you should find comprehension of subject-matter, a manly independence of thought, consecutive training, leisurely quiet; and, for my part, I should as soon think of cutting down the academic groves of Cambridge, or of filling the quadrangles of Oxford with kettle drums, as of sending a son of mine to a place where he was not to learn one-sixth part of modern civilization. The House will remember what Dr. Johnson said when some one ridiculed the English Universities for sending forth collections of verses, not only in Latin and Greek, but in Syriac, Arabic, and other more unknown tongues. After expressing the belief, in which, perhaps, some here may feel inclined to join, that "the modern politics of this country are entirely devoid of all principles of whatever kind," the sage added—"I would have verses in every language that there are the means of acquiring; I would have the world to be told—'Here is a school where everything may be learnt."' Well, Sir, if taking further counsel of my foreign friend I were to tell him that a University forbidden to teach the tabooed subjects was to admit to voluntary examination in Modern History, and Moral and Mental Philosophy; that students of the University were not to be obliged to attend lectures, or any 1800 other course of University instruction; that they might adopt any theories they liked in Modern History, Moral and Mental Philosophy, Law, Medicine, or any other branch of learning, he would certainly think Professors a costly superfluity. If, further, I explained that a candidate for Matriculation, or for Fellowship, Exhibition, or Bursary, shall not be examined in Modern History, or in Moral or Mental Philosophy, but that the examination for degrees in the Faculty of Arts included Modern History and Moral Philosophy, he would not know whether he was among the sages of Laputa, or in the revels of Liberty Hall. If he had patience to listen further to such a tissue of contradictions, he would see that the real truth was not before him, and he would soon understand that the whole thing rests on an attempt to do two incompatible things—to pretend a show of justice to Irish Catholics, and to swamp them by a firmer, more settled, and generous plan of Irish education to satisfy Protestants. In this House, Sir, first principles are not readily listened to, and hon. Members would not thank me if I endeavoured to make them understand how it is, and why it is, that amongst Roman Catholics, all education centres round Theology; I believe they hold that God is all truth, and that the investigation of truth is nothing else but the investigation of God in His own being, and in the relations which He has established with man, whom He created to comprehend Him. But I will not dwell on such considerations, and will only say that to scatter a few public schools in distinct Irish towns, and make an Examining Committee in Dublin, is not to found a University. Call it, if you please, Mr. Gladstone's Lyceum, but do not let us make ourselves ridiculous before cultivated Europe by usurping a name and trying to gild it by the State appointment of a Chancellor, when the free election of their own Chancellor has been a leading characteristic and source of strength of our own Universities. Mr. Speaker, I appeal to both sides of the House. If the Government is neither able nor willing to grasp the problem of University education in Ireland, is there no hope that Protestant Churchmen, wherever they sit, may find some common ground on which, side by side with Catholic Prelates, to maintain a fight for common 1801 principles? Are we prepared to sit tamely by and see principle after principle frittered away, that independent action so vital to mental culture smothered by Law, great names degraded to vilest uses, and the doom of our own Church and Universities foreshadowed in this Bill? Rather cast away prejudices that are unworthy, and assist our Irish fellow-subjects to obtain a central Catholic College for their education as we have so long enjoyed a central Protestant College for our own. As an Irish Member, it is my business to study the representation of a large Catholic as well as of the Protestant population. In dealing with so vital a subject as the higher education of their children, I am bound to consider what most prevents it; and with due submission to the Leaders of this House, I say that they have not yet approached the real difficulty of the position. In trying to stifle Theology in education, you will fail, not because the Irish are Catholics merely, but because they are, both Protestants and Catholics, emotional and intensely religious in their very nature. The Scotch would not let you interfere with their Kirk, the English or Welsh Dissenters with their governing assemblies; and you have the folly to try and bribe a Catholic people by a few teaching Usherships—for Professorships they are not, and never can be—to forsake the cherished convictions of their faith. Your Mental Philosophy, if they would only learn it, may be acute, but your practical perceptions must be strangely obtuse, and there is no party and no religion in Ireland which will read through your spectacles and see the Modern History of that injured country as you do. You pluck out an eye and you cut off a hand; but it is of others, not your own. Mr. Speaker, before I sit down I am anxious to say something of the Catholic University which has now existed for a space of nearly 20 years, but of whose nature and character I believe Protestants to be entirely ignorant. Instead of being a narrow Theological Institution or a hot-bed of bigotry, it affords a not less liberal education than any College in Europe. It has but one Ecclesiastical Professor, all the rest are laymen, and I appeal to the hon. and learned Member for the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Lyon Playfair) whether some of the most distinguished men in Science 1802 and Literature are not connected with it? If the Bishops are its patrons and its censors, they are so, not only because of the fundamental constitution of the Catholic Church, but also because they have Founders' rights in the Institution, which owes its existence to their united efforts. In point of fact, they no more exercise arbitrary power than Her Gracious Majesty the Queen exercises her arbitrary power to veto the Bills that have passed through Parliament. In this age a University which did not give a first-rate education, and discuss and debate all possible subjects, would soon cease to exist. The object of the Roman Catholic Church is not to suppress discussion in its training, but to arm its pupils at all points, so that when they go out into the world, they shall not appear naked and defenceless, to fall at the first onslaught on their faith, but be familiar with all points of controversy, and prepared to defend what they believe to be true. I hold in my hand the Calendar of the Catholic University, and I confidently say that it is in no way narrower than that of any Protestant University. The Professors of Modern History, and of Logic, and Metaphysics are both distinguished laymen, the former has a pension from Her Majesty for his literary merits, and the latter informs me that, although following for the most part the course dictated to his Class by Sir William Hamilton, he includes Whateley, Dr. Thompson, Mill, Mansel, Bain, Bowen, of Cambridge, United States, and every other writer of importance who are mentioned to the Class by name, and laid under contribution. On this matter, I cannot do better than quote the very words of a distinguished man, who was formerly a pupil of the University—The Catholic University has been described as a home of narrow-minded bigotry. I was for two years a resident within its walls, and for many more years I have been intimately acquainted with its Professors and students, and never yet from one of its officials, nor from one of its students, did I hear one single ungenerous or intolerant remark in reference to persons of other creeds, because of their creed. I remember there was one Protestant student—just one—studying in the Catholic University in my time, and it afforded me, as it afforded my fellow-students, sincere pleasure when that gentleman was deemed worthy by the Examiners of receiving an Exhibition in Mathematics. Neither was I ever made aware of the existence of the intellectual Obscurantism' and 'Doctored His- 1803 tory,' about which I have read so much in some of your contemporaries. I have heard various disputed points in History, Philosophy, Politics, Literature, &c., discussed by my fellow-students at their debating society, and in their social intercourse, with as much intelligence and freedom of thought as I have ever heard similar subjects discussed by the alumni of Trinity College and of other Universities, with whom I subsequently became acquainted. Many of my old fellow-students are now rising members of both branches of the legal and of the medical professions, and of the public services, and I have never heard that their training in the Catholic University has proved any hindrance to their advancement, or to their satisfactory social and professional intercourse with people of other religious persuasions.In the Atlantis, formerly published by the University as a kind of repertorium of the researches of its Professors and other members of the University, you will find papers as far advanced in thought as similar ones published even in a German University. There are papers by Professor Hennessey which go to the furthest bounds of geological theory; there are papers touching on such subjects by Dr. Sigerson and Professor Sullivan, written before Darwin's first book on the origin of species appeared; and there is a most remarkable essay, by Professor Sullivan, showing the action of nature on the sounds of a language, then on the words, and lastly on its ideas. On the border land of Theology and Science there are papers on the date of the Nativity and Crucifixion of our Lord, by Mr. Scott, and on the date of the Book of Job, by Canon Morris. The Inaugural Lecture, by Professor Sullivan, which was delivered in November, 1866, on "The Difference between Chemical and Vital Force," could not have been delivered in a Queen's College, or in any mixed institution founded on compromise, because a Professor in such an institution is so anxious to prove that he is not a Free Thinker or devoid of religion, and to avoid treading on anybody's toes, that he is always hampered in his exposition of new theories. Lastly, in what debate of a Queen's College would the students discuss the character of William III., as the Literary and Historical Society of the Catholic University did, and resolve that he was a great Sovereign whose rule was beneficient to England? Contrast this with a well-known story of one of the Queen's Colleges, in which a young man during a debate in the Students' Society, spoke somewhat dis- 1804 respectfully of Queen Elizabeth, and was immediately called to order by the Professor in the chair—"Oh, sir," he replied, "I was going to say something as bad of Queen Mary." On this the Professor rose in hot indignation, and remembering perhaps, the Government nomination to which he owed his Chair, exclaimed—"I will not sit here to listen to disrespectful words spoken of any British Sovereign." Throughout, Sir, it is the same, and I maintain that in these colourless secular institutions, cribbed, cabined and confined for fear of offending prejudices, you cannot have as full an education as in an ordinary College, denominational or not, which is free from Government control and interference. But, Sir, what will perhaps recommend this University more favourably to the House than anything else, is the fact that it is imbued with the true academic spirit, and that it scorns the miserable make-believe of University education provided in this Bill. True to the statutes of their own University, the work in great part, be it remembered, of John Henry Newman, the students and ex-students of the Catholic University have prayed their ecclesiastical superiors to give no countenance to these proposals, which they believe would be fatal to all higher education in Ireland. In all my intercourse with Catholics on this matter, I have never once heard a wish expressed for the destruction of Trinity College. In many of its memories they felt a just pride, if also they are scandalized by much of its intolerance, and by the history of its origin. They wish only equality—they do not expect complete justice which involves restitution—but they say, give us a clear stage and no favour, either endowment for our Catholic University, the analogue of Trinity, or disendowment for all. Sir, I owe it to my Catholic constituents to represent them rightly if I can, and I owe it to my Protestant constituents not to conceal the whole truth. I say to this House, and to the whole Church of England, take heed how you treat this Bill because it does not touch yourselves. Your own doom is pronounced, but not yet unsealed. This is only one wedge. This is only one of the preliminary fingerings of that doctrinaire legislation which is to substitute what fallible man is pleased to call his absolute reason, for the divine 1805 law which teaches us to study the rights and the feelings of our fellow creatures, and to do to them as we would have them do to us. Your law, your Church, your Universities, your public schools, your bar, your juries, your press, and your letters, your whole public and private life, cannot fill up the insatiable void of doctrinaire ambition; and when the gulf is deep enough, and the Crown itself is gone with your Senate, this Irish Lyceum will stand as a ghastly wreck, the monument of a clever, a restless, and an unscrupulous age.
§ SIR PATRICK O'BRIEN
wished, as an Irish Roman Catholic, to advert to some of the observations which had been made as to the influence of the Roman Catholic priesthood in Ireland, which he thought had been very much "misunderstood." The persecutions they had endured, and the position of the poorer classes had connected the priesthood with them, not alone in a spiritual sense, but in the most intimate relations. On this subject, Edmund Burke said—They are connected with it—the Church—by many ties—ties which, wherever they exist, bind strongly the human heart. Their Church makes a part of their history. It has shared in all their vicissitudes of good and of evil fortune; it has drunk deeply of their almost exhaustless cup of bitterness; it has clothed itself with their best affections; it had nestled in their tenderest sympathies, and entrenched itself in their most generous recollections.The priests had been often the sole advisers and consolers of large masses of the Irish people, and it was not unnatural that on the important subject of education the people should turn to those who were their best counsellors in other ways. The right hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman) might have learned a lesson of moderation from the hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh (Dr. Lyon Playfair), but he thought the latter had erroneously disparaged the influence of the Catholic religion upon literature. He would remind the House that at a time when there was no Protestant in Europe, the Roman Catholic clergy were the only depositaries of truth, and the only preservers of literature. In reference to the Bill now under consideration, he could assert with perfect truth, that there was not a Roman Catholic Member, no matter what would be the system of education afforded to Ireland, who did not start by expressing his ardent desire that a University should 1806 be established where the degrees conferred should be worthy of the former fame of the country, and should be such degrees as would be acknowledged in every literary society in Europe. When the Church Bill was before the House no Roman Catholic rose to express a wish to take a farthing from the Church funds. But this Bill did not go on all fours with the former measure. Under the circumstances of Ireland, he thought Irishmen made no undue demand in asking Englishmen to waive their prejudices. The money given to one of the Colleges which the Bill proposed to abolish would almost settle the question of University education in Ireland by the endowment of a denominational College. Bishop Butler drew a wide distinction between the passions of emulation and envy. In emulation, a man wished to attain the elevation of another without lowering him by the process; in envy, the object was to lower the competitor. The Irish required justice for themselves, but they did not seek to obtain it by doing injustice to others. Believing the Bill was regarded by the people of Ireland as an insult, he was compelled in justice to his feelings, for the first time in 21 years, to vote against his party.
§ MAJOR TRENCH
said, he had experienced some difficulty in arriving at a determination as to the vote he should give; because, at first sight, there was a great apparent similarity between the scheme of the Government and that which he had himself propounded in his address to his constituents. A mature consideration of the former had, however, sufficed to dispel this apparent similarity. He had expressed himself in his address—a passage, from which he would, with the permission of the House, read—as being in favour of one University for the whole of Ireland, forConferring degrees, and that the Governing Body of this national University should be so selected as to inspire general confidence. To this University all Irish Colleges (properly so-called) should be affiliated; and as regards the claim for the endowment of a College for such Members of the Roman Catholic faith as do not like to avail themselves of Trinity College, I cannot see that complying with that request would be other than an act of justice.He had, since the issuing of his address, had considerable experience, and he was free to confess that he was not as 1807 enamoured of the idea of a single University as he was, because he saw no prospect of a Governing Body being nominated which would inspire universal confidence. Concurrent endowment was excluded from the Bill; without it, he could not hope for a lasting and satisfactory solution of the question. There were good grounds, too, for the opinion that the effect of the measure would be to lower the standard of education in Ireland. Under all these circumstances, he felt compelled to give his vote against the second reading of the Bill.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I think it convenient occasionally in a prolonged debate, and especially at the period at which this has arrived, that the House should take a general view of its position, and ascertain as accurately as it can what is the real issue before it. Now, Sir, in the course of this discussion, which has occupied much time, but the duration of which ought not to be measured by the time which has elapsed since it commenced, because during that period several evenings have been devoted to other subjects, many admissions have been made and many remarks have been offered by persons of authority which have given to this debate somewhat of that character which, to adopt a now fashionable epithet, may be described as "bewildering." We have heard on several occasions that various points which have deeply interested us in the course of this discussion have ceased to be essential; but these declarations have not been sufficiently distinct, nor made, to my mind, from persons of adequate authority. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford (Mr. Harcourt) made last night on the part of the Government a speech which would have become an Attorney General. He stated the case of his clients with considerable dexterity. He passed over some portions of the Bill, which I am apt to think are still of great importance, partly by bestowing upon them a Parliamentary nickname, and partly by confidentially informing us that they were dead already. But we have not as yet received any distinct intimation from any Member of Her Majesty's Government to that effect. The debate of last night concluded by a remarkable speech from the Secretary of State for War, which has formed the corpus upon which the comments of this evening have been 1808 made, and which appears, indeed, to have exercised a considerable influence upon the impending vote. We have been told this evening that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State surrendered every point of controversy in regard to this Bill. But nobody seems to have remarked some observations which followed those of the right hon. Gentleman, and which were made by his chief, the Prime Minister, in which he most distinctly disclaimed the inference that any point of any kind had been surrendered. ["Hear!"] I am sure I have no intention of misquoting the right hon. Gentleman. I desire accurately to reproduce his language. The words of the right hon. Gentleman were uttered as the House was breaking up, but were faithfully reported. The language of the right hon. Gentleman was that the statements which had been so frequently referred to as having been made by Ministers of the Crown respecting the portions of this Bill in which there might be some changes, amounted only to this—that if we entered into Committee on the Bill, Her Majesty's Government undertook that all those points should be fully discussed. "Not," as the right hon. Gentleman added, "that these statements meant that we admit that we were in error, or that we were not disposed to support the propositions which we had made." I believe I have accurately, if not verbally, given the remark of the right hon. Gentleman. Well, but this ought to induce us to consider our position with considerable caution. Of course, if we go into Committee all those points will be fully discussed. What on earth else do we go into Committee for, but to discuss them? Now, I have had rather a long experience of this House. I have seen many important measures brought forward by both sides of the House; I have heard many objections to those measures; I have heard Ministers promise, and very properly promise, in vindicating the second reading of their Bill, that if the House would only go into Committee all those objections should be fairly discussed. But I have generally seen that when they have gone into Committee not one of those objections has been carried. Now, I am sure that the House will act on the present occasion with the caution 1809 which is necessary. Last night, after the speech of the Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Northumberland (Mr. Liddell), with that business-like perspicacity which distinguishes him, said—"What need is there for any further discussion? We had better at once go into Committee. The Government have nothing to propose, and the House may then proceed to business." But with great deference that is not the proper course. The interpretation which my hon. Friend the Member for Northumberland places upon the speech of the Secretary of State is not the correct one, but is, as I must assume, entirely incorrect. If it had been trite indeed that Her Majesty's Government had given up every point of importance in their Bill, the proper course for Her Majesty's Government would have been to withdraw the Bill. Not, of course, after a second reading, in order to obtain a Vote of Confidence. If Her Majesty's Government want to obtain a Vote of Confidence under such circumstances, they should apply not to a "candid" but to a sincere friend. That is the Parliamentary practice. There is the hon. Member for Surrey (Mr. Locke King). The hon. Member for Surrey, after recent proceedings, could scarcely refuse to propose a Vote of Confidence. And this I can say for myself and many Gentlemen on this side, we have no wish to oppose it. If Her Majesty's Government have not the confidence of the House of Commons, I want to know what have they the confidence of? It is a House returned under their auspices. ["No, no."] Well, elected under the exciting eloquence of the right hon. Gentleman. When I remember that campaign of rhetoric, I must say I think this House was formally as well as spiritually its creation. The course to which I have referred would be the natural course of proceeding; but really to ask the House to vote for a Bill which it does not approve, in order to prove its confidence in the Government, is not one which I think would be satisfactory. That which I have indicated is the usual and the constitutional one. But, Sir, under these circumstances—there being no proof whatever at the present moment that Her Majesty's Government have relinquished a single clause of this Bill—nothing, if my version of what has occurred be correct, being more certain than that the right hon. Gen- 1810 tleman the First Minister of the Crown has stated that all that they are pledged to is that if we go into Committee every point should be fully discussed, while, at the same time, he declared that his own opinion was not changed, that he and his colleagues did not think themselves in error and were prepared to maintain the propositions which they brought forward—I want to know what can I do but consider the Bill before me? I cannot assume, because the hon. Member for the city of Oxford tells me that the clauses which I think most objectionable are already dead—I cannot assume on his assertion—at least not yet, that those clauses are withdrawn.
Well, under these circumstances, I must consider the Bill as it has been presented by the right hon. Gentleman, and as it has been explained in the speech in which he introduced it. Sir, I will consider the measure first upon its merits. I will not now inquire what are the causes of its introduction into the House, or what may be the consequences of the measure if it is passed. I think the fairest and most proper mode is to consider it first on its merits. I object to the Bill for many reasons; and I object to it first because it is a proposition to institute a University which is not universal. Now, I do not pretend for a moment to say that I expected the new University of Dublin should teach everything, nor am I sure that it would be easy to fix upon any University ancient, modern, or mediaeval which did fulfil that condition. But this I say with some confidence even to the right hon. Gentleman, whose academic knowledge is so great—that there is no instance, at least none with which I am acquainted, in mediæval or modern times of any attempt to establish a University for the study of the Faculty of Arts the most generous of all the Faculties, where there has been simultaneously a proposition to emasculate that Faculty and to mutilate that generous study. Of that, I believe, there is no instance. And in arguing this case I must virtually consider that the proposition for the new University of Dublin is a proposition for an institution founded mainly to enter into the studies comprehended in the Faculty of Arts. No doubt there are other Faculties that will be connected with the University when established; but after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and 1811 after the manner in which he dilated on that particular Faculty, I assume—indeed the right hon. Gentleman admitted it himself that it was to secure a Faculty of Arts for the people of Ireland that this great institution was to be established. Well, I say there is no instance whatever of a proposition to institute a University founded mainly for the study of the Faculty of Arts, where at the same time it was proposed to mutilate that Faculty, and interdict the study of some of its most important branches.
But before I touch on that part of the subject, in order to prevent any confusion, I would remind the House of an important provision in this Bill which has been very slightly touched upon in the course of the debate, and which cannot be considered under the head of the Faculty of Arts, and that is the proposition to transfer the Faculty of Divinity from Dublin University to another body. Now, in the first place, I doubt—I more than doubt—the power to transfer a Faculty in this country. A Faculty in foreign Universities is a corporate body, and you can transfer a corporate body. There are instances in foreign Universities in which a Faculty has been transferred from a University in one part of Germany to a University in another part, and with that Faculty would of course have been transferred its property; but a Faculty in an English University—and Dublin University follows the system of the English Universities is not incorporated. A Faculty, as I understand, is not incorporated in the University of Dublin. This is not a mere technical objection—it is not a mere affair of words. What will happen in this case? First of all, instead of transferring the Faculty to the new body called the Irish Church Body, you must legally destroy the Faculty of Divinity in Dublin University. You must then create a Faculty of Divinity in the Irish Church Body, and you must confiscate the property of the old Faculty of Divinity, and, finally, you may transfer that property to the Irish Church Body. But the House will see this is a very strange and violent proceeding. It is not at all to be effected by the Bill which is now before us. And this leads me to ask the House to consider this point—what is the necessity of depriving Dublin of its ancient and famous Faculty of Divinity? I can easily conceive that 1812 in olden days, when the University was founded on tests—and so far as Trinity College is concerned it is virtually free from tests, for it is not the fault of Trinity College that it is not emancipated from them—I can easily conceive that in the olden days of tests, and when there was a Faculty of Divinity with compulsory attendance, there might have been an overwhelming majority in the House who, if it had the opportunity, would have abolished such a Faculty. But that is no longer the case; and if the University is to be open to all without compulsory attendance, why, I ask, is this Faculty of Divinity, which has been so long a brilliant, a successful, and a famous Faculty, to be abolished? There is another point connected with this, also of much importance. The Faculty of Divinity in Dublin has the high privilege of conferring degrees; does the right hon. Gentleman propose by this Bill, if he succeeds in the previous part of his operation, to transfer the privilege of conferring degrees in divinity to the Irish Church Body? That ought to be answered. If he does not, the Protestant Episcopalian population of Ireland will be placed in this remarkable position, that there will be no power in Ireland to confer a degree in divinity. That is a matter for consideration. But perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will say it is his intention that the Irish Church Body, to whom the Faculty is to be transferred, should have the power of conferring degrees in divinity. I should like to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether that is his intention. Perhaps he will say that the 16th clause provides for this. Now, when I look at the 16th clause I find that religious bodies in Ireland shall have the power of conferring degrees. Now, is that a serious provision or is it not? Are we to understand that the Mumpers and Jumpers are all to have the power of conferring degrees? This clause is to transfer to religious bodies the power of conferring degrees. It is an extraordinary proposition. I remember a few years ago there was a sect peculiar to Ireland called the White Quakers. They had a grievance, and they communicated frequently with me upon it. I did not clearly see it, and I did not bring it before the House. I had a becoming prescience, for if I had taken up their case they might have conferred a degree upon me. I think 1813 this a monstrous proposition—to abolish the theological Faculty of a University like Dublin, to transfer the privilege of conferring degrees in divinity, I will not say to an unknown, but certainly to an untried body, however respectable, and by virtue of a clause—if the clause has that virtue, which I doubt—which permits any religious body in Ireland to confer a degree! To confer a degree is a Prerogative of the Crown, and it ought to be one of the most precious Prerogatives of the Crown. I thought we were living in times in which we were so shaping our course and taking such means that the period had arrived when a degree would be highly valued, and the delegation of such a Prerogative by the Crown would be considered by any corporate body one of the greatest honours and privileges. It does not appear so from the policy of Her Majesty's Government. Look at this clause—it is a short one; it will be found it is only a saving clause; and I doubt very much whether under that clause such a privilege can be exercised. In what a position you place the whole population of Ireland connected with the Anglican Church if, when the Bill is passed, there be no power in Ireland to confer a degree in divinity This point has not yet been brought out in discussion, and it seems to me to be one of much importance. I find there are prejudices upon the subject in many quarters, but I must express my great regret that in the new University the right hon. Gentleman has not proposed a Faculty of Theology. I do so upon this ground—whatever may be your arrangements, I do not think you will be able to prevent the study of theology to a certain degree in any University, and hence you will find yourselves in a position of embarrassment. Recently I was looking over a programme of lectures on Oriental literature about to be given next Term in the University of Cambridge. I have no doubt that many Gentlemen have perused with interest the same programme. Lectures are to be given by most eminent men in Sanskrit, in Hindustanee, in Hebrew, and in Arabic. I remember the lectures of the Professor of Arabic are to be upon the Koran; he is to give a series of lectures to undergraduates at Cambridge on the Koran. There is nothing in this Bill to prevent a Professor of Arabic in the new University giving a series of lectures on the 1814 Koran; there is nothing to prevent him giving a series of lectures on Buddhism, on the religion of the Vedas, or on that of Zoroaster. If Professors are competent to lecture with ability on such objects, we all know what a spell they can exercise over their audiences. Their enthusiasm and erudition and the mystical elements connected with such studies make a combination which has an entrancing effect on youthful students. Their lectures will be attended—but by whom? By youths that are not educated in the religion and theology of their own country. A Professor may not contrast Christianity with Buddhism, or with the Koran; and so you bring about a state of things in which the youth of that University are acquainted with the dogmas of every religion except their own. This is a preposterous proposition, and it shows you are entering upon an unnatural course when you begin in a University by destroying the sources of knowledge. A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning. It is a place for the cultivation of the intellect, for invention, for research; it is not a place where you should expect to find interdiction of studies, some of them the most interesting that can occupy the mind of man.
Now, Sir, though I will treat it very briefly, I must say something about the extraordinary clauses that attempt to interdict the public study of some of the greatest subjects which hitherto have engaged the intellect of men, and which clauses, we have been told, but not on sufficient authority, have been withdrawn from the Bill. If I had the slightest intimation that they would be withdrawn, I should only be too glad not to touch upon them. I must press upon the House that we have had no satisfactory evidence of the kind. We must remember we are embarked in the discussion of one of the most important measures that could be brought before the consideration of Parliament; important not so much for the specific object which appears to be the ultimate result of this measure if it be passed, but because of the great principles which are involved in many propositions which are contained in this Bill. I treat the proposition to omit from a new University, founded, above all things, for the study of the Faculty of Arts, the study of Philosophy, as one of the most as- 1815 tounding that could have been made, and that it should have been made by a British Minister in the House of Commons, of all places, and by the Minister who is the leader of the Liberal party, does indeed astonish me. I had always considered that some knowledge of the laws which regulate the mind, and of the principles of morality made the best foundation for general study. But if ever there were a period in which a Minister founding a new University should hesitate before he discouraged the study of Metaphysics and Ethics, it appears to me to be the age in which we now live. This is essentially a material age. The opinions which are now afloat, which have often been afloat before, and which have died away as I have no doubt these will die in due time, are opposed to all those convictions which the proper study of Moral and Mental Philosophy has long established. And that such a proposition should be made with respect to a University which has produced Berkeley and Hutchison makes it still more surprising. We live in an age when young men prattle about Protoplasm and when young ladies in gilded saloons unconsciously talk Atheism. And this is the moment when a Minister, called upon to fulfil one of the noblest duties which can fall upon the most ambitious statesman—namely the formation of a great University, formally comes forward and proposes the omission from public study of that Philosophy which vindicates the spiritual nature of man. I will say upon this subject what I have already intimated with regard to the crude and unwise attempt to abolish the Faculty of Theology. You will find it difficult—almost impossible—practically to carry your project into effect. The right hon. Gentleman will perhaps tell me has not abolished the study of Philosophy, either Mental or Moral. I know that it is quite true that all who attend his projected University may prosecute this study. Yes they may, but they won't. The fact is that all the encouragement is given to other studies. These are abstruse ones, and you will naturally find that when the honours and emoluments are given to other studies, those which are abstruse and difficult will not be pursued. But that, by the bye. What I want to impress on the House is that this monstrous proposition, while it will do a great deal of harm, 1816 will not even effect its purpose. How can you prevent lectures on Philosophy? For instance, suppose the Latin Professor wants to give a series of lectures—as the Arabic Professor may on the Koran—it is very natural that he should give lectures on Lucretius. Indeed, at this moment it is a probable circumstance. The waning reputation of English scholarship has lately been vindicated by an admirable edition of Lucretius which does honour to Cambridge, and is worthy of the days of Bentley. I refer to the edition of Lucretius by Professor Munro. Now, an accomplished Professor in the new Dublin University might take Munro's Lucretius and give lectures on that work. What becomes of his students? They will soon find themselves involved in the atomic theory, and will have Protoplasm enough if they read the work with the discrimination which under the lecturer's inspiring guidance of course they would. There is scarcely a theory of Darwin which may not find some illustration there, and the students may speculate on the origin of things and the nature of Providence, and what is the consequence? Why, in this University, once so celebrated for its Moral and Mental Philosophy, the Professor will be addressing a body of students totally unprepared by previous studies to bring into intellectual play the counter-acting influences which any youth could do who had been properly schooled in the more modern, the advanced, and improved philosophy of the times in which we live, and in the mental discoveries which have been made in England and Germany. The student may be learned in the gardens of Epicurus, but everything that has been discovered by the great thinkers of our generations is to be entirely unknown to him. I need not pursue this subject further. How can a Professor lecture on Aristotle, Plato, or Cicero without lecturing on Philosophy? And he is always to be lecturing to a class of students unarmed and undisciplined in the profound and rich learning which is the boast of modern ages.
I will say one word on the omission of the study of Modern History. The right hon. Gentleman may try to vindicate that omission because Modern History does not figure in the curriculum of the old Universities. That, however, is, in my opinion, no ade- 1817 quate excuse for a great University reformer, or for a statesman who is about to establish a new University. I thought that even in our old Universities, at least for the last 40 years, we had been endeavouring to expand the curriculum. We have introduced new Sciences; we have introduced the study of History, and though it may not be found in the old curriculum, everyone, I think, would assume that if a new University was about to be founded the study of Modern History would constitute a part of the Faculty of Arts. Just as it was extraordinary that the right hon. Gentleman should fix on an age of material scepticism to abolish the Chairs of Philosophy, so it appears to me most remarkable that he should determine not to have a Chair of Modern History at a period, and in an age when the study of History has become a science, and when indeed there are many principles of Historic criticism now accepted, which are as certain as the propositions of Euclid. This is the moment at which he chooses to subvert this study. But the right hon. Gentleman will, I think, find even in the study of History that his object is not attained, and that directly and collaterally there will be constant controversies in the University on historic matters, though there may be no Professors to guide and enlighten the students. But so far as I can read the Bill, and it is the only point with reference to this part of the subject which I will now make, it is not merely the study of Modern History which is forbidden. It seems to me that the Professor of Ancient History will also be involved in great peril. For instance, the mind of Europe, and I might say of America, has been formed by two of the smallest States that ever existed, and which resembled each other in many particulars. Both were divided into tribes; both inhabited a very limited country and not a very fertile one; both have left us a literature of startling originality; and both on an Acropolis raised a most splendid temple. I can conceive the unfortunate Professor in the new University, restricted in his choice on so many subjects, deprived of divine Philosophy, not permitted to touch on the principles of Ethics, looking around him at last with some feeling of relief and fixing for his lecture upon the still teeming and inexhaustible theme of Athenian genius. 1818 He would do justice to the Athenian tribes—their eloquence, their poetry, their arts, and their patriotic exploits. But what if the Professor, lecturing on Ancient History, were to attempt to do the same justice to the tribes of Israel? He could hardly deal thoroughly with Hebrew history without touching on the origin of the Christian Church, and then it would be in the power of a single one of his audience to threaten the Professor, to menace him for the course he was pursuing, and to denounce him to the Council, who, if they had a majority—and a majority of one would do—might despoil him of his Chair, and his Chair of a man venerable for his character and illustrious for his learning. A single vote would do, and probably it would be carried by a single vote: the vote of Carlow College!
This brings me to the consideration of the Council of the University. I am dealing with the Bill on its merits, without any allusion to the causes of its production, and without the slightest reference to the consequences to which it may lead. There is in the Council one remarkable feature, which it appears to me has not been sufficiently noticed. It is, so far as the Bill is concerned, despotic; the power of the Council is uncontrolled; it is unlimited, or limited only in this—that it must not consist of philosophers or modern historians. When we consider what the power of the Council of a great University like this must be, and when we consider that in this case they will be unlimited and uncontrolled, when we bear in mind that a majority of one can exercise a complete authority over the Professors, the lectures, the examinations, the books—a most important matter—the Schools of Medicine, the Schools of Law, and the Faculties of Arts, I am not surprised that my hon. Friend the Member for Lynn Regis (Mr. Bourke)—and, I think, with no unconstitutional curiosity—should ask that we might be enlightened upon the matter. Sir, how was he answered by the right hon. Gentleman? The right hon. Gentleman, as if he were fresh from an interview with some secret deviser of this Bill, at once meets us with a Non possumus. But although the right hon. Gentleman might demur to furnishing at once all the names of the Council of this University, still he will allow me to remind him that he gave us 1819 no information whatever, and the Bill gives us no information, of their character and quality. [Mr. GLADSTONE dissented.] Well, the right hon. Gentleman will follow me, and that is a great advantage. Do not let him grudge me the opportunity of making a simple statement. It appears to me that no information whatever is given; at all events, that there is a want of information upon some points upon which I will ask the right hon. Gentleman, and he can reply at his leisure. I want to know, if he will not give me their names, what is the quality of these anonymous persons? What is their situation? Are they laymen or are they clerics? Are they to be paid or unpaid? Are they to be resident or are they to be provincial? By what means do you propose to enforce their attendance? What is the commune vinculum among them? Sir, these are questions which the right hon. Gentleman failed to anticipate in his original statement, and some provisions, some enactments on such subjects might surely have been expected to appear in his Bill. Well, this Council is to consist of 28 persons. How are they to be obtained? They are all to be distinguished men. They are all to be—and I thought the expression was a happy one—they were all to be "eminent men and of moderate opinions." Now, no one is more prepared than I am at all times to do justice to Irish genius. I have not the slightest doubt that under any circumstances there will be no lack of distinguished men in Ireland—no lack of eminent men; but perhaps there may be some difficulty in always securing men of moderate opinions. Sir, how are these things generally managed? I could give the names of 28 men in Ireland, distinguished men—men whose names are known not merely to the United Kingdom, but, I might say without exaggeration, to Europe. That those 28 men would be of irreproachable character is not to be questioned for one moment. There would be no difficulty about obtaining men who, for their learning, their eloquence, and their political experience, could not easily be matched either in any part of Her Majesty's dominions, or the world in general. Now the House is pretty well aware how 28 gentlemen would be obtained under the circumstances. I suppose that Cardinal Cullen would be one 1820 of them, and his Eminence would be paired off-with the Primate of the Protestant Church. Then, under the circumstances in which we are placed, the Provost of Trinity College would be a most admirable councillor, and would pair off against Monsignor Woodlock. Then would come Lord Chancellor O'Hagan, who would probably pair off with the right hon. Gentleman who filled the same office for us. But what would be the result? Why, you would have in your Council very much what you have in this House—two parties organized and arrayed against each other, with two or three trimmers thrown in on each side. Now, Sir, what has interested me much in this discussion is the light that has been thrown by several hon. Gentlemen on both sides on this matter of a Council by reference to the National Board of Primary Education in Ireland. My acquaintance with that Board is not, of course, very extensive, but when I was in office circumstances happened which made me acquainted with the conduct of the Board, and I believe it was average conduct. What was their conduct in that instance, as put before me? Constant divisions, slight majorities, majorities of one. But that is not the way in which the groves of Academe are to be administered. You may tolerate that in a Board of Primary Education, for it is a Board entirely of modern institution; but let me impress upon the House that there is a total want of analogy between the anonymous Council of the right hon. Gentleman for this great University—if it is to be a University, let it be a great one—and the Board of National Education in Ireland. The power of the University Council is, as I have shown you, unlimited. They have at once to create all the rules of this great University. They have to devise everything. The Board of National Education, on the other hand, whatever may be their violent cliques, are a limited power—they have to create nothing. Parliament prepared, Parliament devised all the rules and orders under which the primary education of Ireland was to be carried on. There is no similarity between the two cases. Every year the doings of the Board of National Education are brought necessarily under the cognizance of Parliament by the vote 1821 which we are called upon to agree to; and even if that were not the case—if their course were so eccentric and unreasonable that it was no longer to be tolerated—the Minister, if supported by Parliament, has the power to put an end to their existence, and dismiss every member of the Board. What similarity is there, then, between that Board and the anonymous despotic Council who, at their own instance, are about to create a constitution for the University? Suppose this Council differ—and it is not impossible that they will differ—suppose they thwart each other; suppose some of the passions which have influenced even the humbler Board of National Education are not absent from this Olympian assembly. Suppose they compromise the first principles of education. Take, for instance—I need not confine myself to the Faculty of Arts—the School of Medicine, a celebrated School in Dublin. Suppose they do not agree as to what hospital shall be attended by the students of the University. That is not at all an improbable affair. It is a question very likely to arise. I see there are great religious cliques and coteries in Dublin about hospitals. There are Roman Catholic hospitals and there are Protestant hospitals. Very likely that will be the first thing the Council will quarrel about. And suppose they come to no agreement in this, and say—which is very likely—"We will have no Medical Faculty at all." Suppose they did the same thing with regard to Law, then there would be no Faculty of Law. You will find when the new University is established that these dissensions will necessarily arise from the party elements of which you have formed it. Now, Sir, it has been said in this debate that there is a great inconsistency in the Roman Catholics opposing a measure which the Protestants equally oppose, and some hon. Gentleman told us the only inference we could draw from that was that the measure was a just one. No doubt there is a plausibility, though of a shallow character, in that observation; but I should hardly think the right hon. Gentleman, who has plenty of resources at his command, will make use of it, though it is not impossible, if an inferior artist were in his place, that he would play upon that string for some time. Now, the fact is, that if the mat- 1822 ter is looked into, there is no inconsistency whatever in the course which the Roman Catholics have adopted in this matter. That I must do them the justice of saying. The Roman Catholics have an inexorable objection to united education. They believe that in matters of faith and morals—and those matters, in fact, with their definition, include everything—Roman Catholics ought to be educated by Roman Catholics. Their opposition, therefore, to a measure like the present may be—and I have no doubt is—most sincere, because they go upon the principle that they will oppose everything which is adverse to the principles they sincerely believe to be immutable. But the Roman Catholics, however high and firm they may be in their principle, are, like the children of this world, wise in their generation. If they find that their resistance has been ineffectual—if they find that all their attempts to defeat this measure are unavailing—I have not the slightest doubt—and who can blame them—that if this Bill were to become an Act, they would immediately set to work to obtain as much good in their view of the case as could be obtained in realizing as nearly as they possibly can the views which were submitted to their acceptance by the President of the Board of Trade, and converting your compromise as soon as they possibly could into their supremacy. Sir, I have not the slightest doubt that that would be their course, and that they would be perfectly justified in that course. I have not myself any doubt that if this Bill is passed in the shape in which it is laid upon the Table, and as we have a right, so far as Ministers are concerned, to believe it is the only shape in which it will pass, the views which were expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie) were perfectly correct, and that this Bill can be worked. and will be worked, to secure a Catholic majority upon the Council, and through that Catholic majority to obtain complete control over Irish University education. Nor do I express that as being any discredit or to give any offence to the Roman Catholics. It is exactly the course which, under similar circumstances, we ourselves would take. There is nothing inconsistent whatever in the opposition—the internecine opposition—which the Roman 1823 Catholics generally offer to the measure of the Government at this moment, with the fact before us that if you establish this University—if this Bill should pass—the University would ultimately become a Roman Catholic University. The first duty of the Roman Catholics is to maintain their inexorable principle as they regard it; the next, is to make the most of the circumstances which they have to encounter; and those who think that by saying that the Roman Catholics are opposed to this Bill and the Protestants are opposed to it, that therefore the measure must be adjudged a just one—those who think that by expressing those platitudes they are really offering unanswerable syllogisms to the House, only give another proof that the affairs of man are not regulated and ruled by logic.
Now, I would say one word upon the position of the Irish Roman Catholics, particularly in reference to this matter. Sir, they are no supporters of ours. They have never supported us, although, as far as I am concerned, I should express now what I have ever felt—my respect for an ancient race and an ancient faith. But I regret the position in which they find themselves. That position, however, is in a great degree owing to their own exertions. We have had many allusions in this debate to the conduct of the late Government with respect to this subject. These allusions have been made in Parliament before, but slightly and casually, and I have listened to them with a silent smile. I have always been of opinion, as a general rule, that there is no waste of time in life like that of making explanations. One effect of the imputations that have been made upon myself, and I think I may answer for my colleagues—not only upon this but upon other matters—has been to make us at least charitable to our immediate opponents; and they never hear from me taunts about their secret correspondence and communications with parties with whom they ought not to hold those communications, or as to the stories which are prevalent in this House, because I have not the slightest doubt that in their case they are as utterly false as they are in our own. Now, Sir, let me, as the direct subject is before us—as these were not casual observations about a policy framed to catch the Irish vote, or 1824 what was called by a high authority at the commencement of the debate piscatorial efforts to obtain Irish influence and support for the Government—let me make one or two remarks upon the conduct of Her Majesty's late Government with regard to this very question of Irish University education. Sir, the late Lord Derby was certainly not an enemy to a system of united education. He might be said to have been its creator; and among the great services to his country of that illustrious man I know none that were more glorious. He never flinched in his opinions on that subject. The matter of Irish education was brought before him shortly after the formation of the Government of 1866. But by whom was it brought? It was brought before his consideration by men who possessed, and justly possessed, the entire confidence of the Protestant Church and the Protestant University of Ireland. It was at their instance his attention was first called to the matter. Let me remind the House—for though it is Modern History I may be pardoned for referring to it—let me, I say, remind the House of the general system under which Ireland was governed a few years ago, a system, however, which had prevailed for a considerable time. It was a system which endeavoured, not equally, but at the same time gradually, to assist, so far as religion and education were concerned the various creeds and classes of that country. It had in its rude elements been introduced into Ireland a very considerable time back, but during the present century it had been gradually but completely developed, and it was called, or has been called of late years, concurrent endowment. I am not going to entrap the House into a discussion on the merits of concurrent endowment, for concurrent endowment is dead, and I will tell you in a few minutes who killed it. But this I will say of concurrent endowment, that it was at least a policy and the policy of great statesmen. It was the policy of Pitt, of Grey, of Russell, of Peel, and of Palmerston. The Protestant Church of Ireland under that system had held its property of which, in my opinion, it has been unjustly and injuriously deprived. The Roman Catholics had a magnificent and increasing collegiate establishment. The Presbyterians had a Regium Donum, 1825 which I always was of opinion ought to have been doubled. So far as Lord Palmerston was concerned—and Lord Palmerston was always called the Protestant Premier—he was prepared, and had himself recommended in this House, to secure to the Roman Catholics their glebes. That policy is dead. Sir, when Lord Derby had to consider this question, he had to consider it under the influence of that policy. Devoted as he was to the cause of united education, it was his opinion, on the representations which were made to him by those who represented the Protestant Church, the Protestant College, and the Protestant University of Ireland, that the position of Roman Catholics with respect to University education was, I will not say "scandalous," but one which demanded the consideration of statesmen. Propositions were made and placed before him. It became our duty, according to our view of our duty, to place ourselves in communication with the Roman Catholic hierarchy. We thought that was the proper course to pursue—that it was better to attempt to bring about a satisfactory settlement of which there appeared to be some probability by such straightforward means rather than by dark and sinister intrigues. Two Roman Catholic Prelates were delegated to this country to enter into communication with the Government. Unfortunately, when the time had arrived, power had left Lord Derby, and I was his unworthy representative. I did not think it my duty, or for the public service, to place myself in personal communication with those gentlemen; but two of my Colleagues did me the honour of representing me and the Government on that occasion, one of them eminent for his knowledge of Ireland and of the subject, the late Lord Mayo, and the other a man distinguished for his knowledge of human nature, the late Lord Privy Seal (Lord Malmesbury). And I am bound to say that they represented. to me—and I mention them as competent judges of the matter—that those negotiations were conducted by the Roman Catholic Prelates with dignity and moderation. Sir, I may have been too sanguine; but there was a time when I believed that some settlement of this question, honourable and satisfactory to all classes, might have been made. I 1826 am bound to say that no offer of endowment was made by the Government. I am still more bound to say that no offer of endowment was urged—although it might have been mentioned—by the Roman Catholic Prelates. I am bound to say this because the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie) referred to a document of much more ancient date—a communication from Sir George Grey which conveyed a different view. I suppose the Roman Catholic hierarchy had profited by the experience of that negotiation. It is unnecessary to dwell on these particulars. The right hon. Gentleman says I burnt my fingers on that occasion. I see no scars. The right hon. Gentleman opposite was a pupil of Sir Robert Peel. He sat in the Cabinet of Lord Palmerston, who was supposed to be a devoted votary of the policy of concurrent endowment. The right hon. Gentleman suddenly—I impute no motives, that is quite unnecessary—but the right hon. Gentleman suddenly changed his mind, and threw over the policy of concurrent endowment—mistaking the clamour of the Nonconformists for the voice of the nation. The Roman Catholics fell into the trap. They forgot the cause of University education in the prospect of destroying the Protestant Church. The right hon. Gentleman succeeded in his object. He became Prime Minister of England. If he had been a little more patient, without throwing over concurrent endowment, he would, perhaps, have been Prime Minister as soon. The Roman Catholics had the satisfaction of destroying the Protestant Church—of disestablishing the Protestant Church. They had the satisfaction before the year was over of witnessing the disestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church at Rome. As certain as we are in this House, the policy that caused the one led to the other. It was the consistent and continuous achievement of a man who is entitled above all others to the reverence of Protestants—and that is Cardinal Cullen. For if there be one man in the world more than another to whom the fall of the Papacy is attributable, it is to his Eminence. He was the author, and has been the prime promoter in this country of the alliance between Liberalism and the Papacy. And now, Sir, see what occurred. The Roman Catholics, having reduced Ireland to a spiritual desert, are discontented, and have a 1827 grievance; and they come to Parliament in order that we may create for them a blooming Garden of Eden. The Prime Minister is no ordinary man. [Ministerial cheers.] I am very glad that my sincere compliment has obtained for the right hon. Gentleman the only cheer which his party have conferred upon him during this discussion. The right hon. Gentleman had a substitute for the policy of concurrent endowment, which had been killed by the Roman Catholics themselves. The right hon. Gentleman substituted the policy of confiscation. ["Oh!"] You have had four years of it. You have despoiled Churches. You have threatened every corporation and endowment in the country. You have examined into everybody's affairs. You have criticized every profession and vexed every trade. No one is certain of his property, and nobody knows what duties he may have to perform tomorrow. This is the policy of confiscation as compared with that of concurrent endowment. The Irish Roman Catholic gentlemen were perfectly satisfied when you were despoiling the Irish Church. They looked not unwillingly upon the plunder of the Irish landlords, and they thought that the time had arrived when the great drama would be fulfilled, and the spirit of confiscation would descend upon the celebrated walls of Trinity College, would level them to the ground, and endow the University of Stephen's Green. I ventured to remark at the time when the policy of the right hon. Gentleman was introduced that confiscation was contagious. I believe that the people of this country have had enough of the policy of confiscation. From what I can see, the House of Commons elected to carry out that policy are beginning to experience some of the inconveniences of satiety, and if I am not mistaken, they will give some intimation to the Government tonight that that is their opinion also. I conclude from what has passed that we shall not be asked to divide upon the Amendment of the hon. Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bourke). Let me say on the part of the hon. Member that the object of his Motion has been much misunderstood, and misunderstood especially by the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister. The right hon. Gentleman is greatly mistaken if he supposes, in the first place, that his was 1828 a party Motion. It is nothing of the kind. It was a spontaneous Motion on the part of the hon. Member, and had been adopted by him in consultation with only a few academic sympathisers, who, I believe chiefly sit on the other side of the House, and has been brought forward simply because there seemed to him to be a strange apathy with regard to this question in this bewildered assembly, and because he thought that some discussion would make us understand the question more fully than we appeared at first to do. When the right hon Gentleman introduced this measure, after listening to his speech, I humbly requested three weeks in which to consider it—a a period of time which did not appear to me to be unreasonable. That request the right hon. Gentleman with great amiability refused. He told me that I was not to judge of the measure by his perhaps too lengthy address, because, when the Bill was placed in my hands, as it soon would be, I should find it of the simplest possible character. I think by this time the right hon. Gentleman has discovered that my request was not unreasonable, and that the House of Commons has discovered that three weeks was not too long a period in which to study a composition so peculiar and so complicated in its character. Although I was far from willing to make this question the basis of anything like a struggle of party, although, on the contrary, I have endeavoured to prevent such a struggle, I have been hindered in that endeavour by the right hon. Gentleman himself. It is the right hon. Gentleman himself who has introduced so much passion, and so much, I may almost say, personal struggle into this question. It was the right hon. Gentleman who, as the First Minister of the Crown, in introducing a question of a nature somewhat abstruse, and which to the majority of the hon. Members of this House must have been not easy at first to comprehend, commenced his harangue by saying—"I am introducing a measure upon which I intend to stake the existence of my Government." That was, in my opinion, an unwise and rather an arrogant declaration on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. I have certainly known instances where Ministers introducing into this House large measures which had been prepared with great care, and feeling for them as much solicitude as the 1829 right hon. Gentleman does for this Bill—I have certainly known instances where after protracted debates, and when opinions appeared to be perhaps equally balanced in this House, Ministers have felt themselves authorized, under such circumstances, to say that they were prepared to stake the existence of their Governments upon the question at issue. But, on the other hand, I do not recall an instance of any Minister who, on an occasion similar to the present, prefaced a laborious exposition, which by its very length and nature showed that it dealt with a subject which only the transcendent powers of the right hon. Gentleman could make clear and lucid to the House by saying—"But I tell you in the first place that I stake the existence of the Government upon it." I trust the right hon. Gentleman has profited by the remarks which have been made in the course of this debate, and that he now feels that upon the occasion of introducing this measure his vein was somewhat intemperate. No one wishes to disturb the right hon. Gentleman in his place. If the right hon. Gentleman intends to carry out a great policy—that of confiscation—I wish at least that he shall not be able to say that he has not had a fair trial for that policy. I wish the House and the country fully to comprehend all the bearings of that policy of the right hon. Gentleman. But, Sir, although I have not wished to make this a party question, although I certainly have no wish to disturb the right hon. Gentleman in his seat, although I have no communication with any section or with any party in this House, I may say, with any individual but my own immediate Colleagues, I must do my duty when I am asked—"Do you or do you not approve of this measure?" I must vote against a measure which I believe to be monstrous in its general conception, pernicious in many of its details, and utterly futile as a measure of practical legislation.
Sir, I have listened, with interest of course, but with some curiosity and some surprise, to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. How much of it there was that did not refer at all to the Bill before the House; and how much of it there was, in that portion of it which did touch the Bill, that seemed to hold in his mind a place disproportionate to its real moment, in com- 1830 parison with the other provisions of the measure! For no less than half an hour the right hon. Gentleman dwelt upon the question of the Theological Faculty in Trinity College; though I may state that I have never heard of a Theological Faculty in any College whatever. Faculties, according to my understanding of the matter, are in Universities, not in Colleges. But that is a remark in passing. For half an hour he dwelt upon the Theological Faculty in Trinity College, and for half an hour upon concurrent endowment and confiscation. Why were two-thirds of the oration of the right hon. Gentleman devoted to questions which, solve them how he would, and handle them how he would, could contribute so little to the practical solution of this difficult question? I looked a little further. I sought for a key to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. First, I notice his description of the effects of confiscation; and I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman upon this—that although he has still many hard words for the policy of confiscation, yet its features are gradually coming to be mitigated, for the last time that I heard him upon the subject I think was when he declared that the consequences of the application of that policy to Ireland would be far more formidable than the consequences of a foreign conquest. The change is encouraging. In a little more time the right hon. Gentleman will be enabled to view confiscation with considerable indulgence, if he-makes the same progress in future years that he has made since his earlier declaration. But what is more important is the observation of the right hon. Gentleman upon concurrent endowment. Concurrent endowment, he says, is dead. Twice he said it was dead. But it may revive under the potent charms and the wand of a magician. Undoubtedly the emphatic monosyllables of the right hon. Gentleman were employed in order that hereafter, in case of need, we might be reminded of his having said that concurrent endowment was dead. This was necessary to give the proper colour to the general effect of his argument. But why did he summon in stately array the great names of Mr. Pitt, of Lord Russell, of Lord Grey, and of Sir Robert Peel? Why that elaborate eulogium upon concurrent endowment? Why that exhibition of the difficulty of constituting a University without a Fa- 1831 culty of detailed Theology? Why that argument to show that a learned teacher must necessarily trench upon Theology while dealing with other subjects? Why, except to lead the minds of his hearers to the conclusion that there was one satisfactory solution—one mode and one mode only of dealing with the question before us and of escaping from its difficulties—that namely, of erecting different Universities for different persuasions in Ireland, each of them equipped with its Faculty of Theology, and thus of proceeding upon the principle of concurrent endowment.
I shall have occasion to return to the policy of concurrent endowment; but, in the meantime, it will be remembered that even at this moment and in the year in which we live the right hon. Gentleman dwells with such fervour and with such fondness upon the recollection of the past history of this scheme, that I appeal to any man whether it is not still a living idea in his mind—whether he does not still seem to cherish in his breast the hope that it may be given to him to revive it and make it a practical reality.
Sir, I beg to decline the honour the right hon. Gentleman gives me of having been a disciple of concurrent endowment. He thinks me bound to the strict inheritance of the ideas of Sir Robert Peel, with regard to whom, however, I may observe, he has not proved that Sir Robert Peel ever declared himself favourable to that principle. He states that I suddenly changed my mind about concurrent endowment in 1868. He is entirely mistaken; and has not produced the slightest proof of the allegation. He says he thinks as a general rule it is a great waste of time to offer explanations. Yes, Sir, but the right hon. Gentleman makes an exception to that general proposition; and he evidently thinks, for he just put it into practice, that it is not at all a waste of time to make explanations provided you offer them about five years after the event, when the memory of gentlemen has become dim and indistinct with regard to the particulars, and when, consequently, a reasonable liberty is assured of affixing to the circumstances such colour as may, upon the whole, be most suitable to the occasion. But I have much to do in discharging the duty incumbent upon me, and I should not have made this reference to the general 1832 scope of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman but for the lessons it has conveyed to my mind, the warnings it has given to me, and the warnings which I believe it will carry forth to-morrow to the people of this country.
A word or two now about the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Bourke). I thank the hon. and learned Gentleman who proposed it, to whom I never listen without pleasure, for the kindly tone of the remarks with which he introduced his proposal. I am afraid I cannot say much for the Amendment, and it is quite unnecessary for me to say anything against it, for I presume it will be negatived with the consent of all, including even the hon. and learned Gentleman himself. Neither is it necessary for me to dwell at any length upon the speech of my noble Friend the Member for Calne, who seconded this Vote of Censure with a modest apology for his own youth and inexperience; but I would say that perhaps that apology was scarcely necessary. We are aware that in other and darker ages it was the custom of the older members of the human family to censure and even to chastise the younger. We live in more enlightened times, and it may be quite proper that that custom should now be reversed; if a new experiment is to be made, I know of no one who, apparently, will make the trial with greater satisfaction and confidence in his own mind than my noble Friend.
The right hon. Gentleman has charged upon me the responsibility of having introduced warmth into the discussion of this question, and he grounds his charge upon an expression I used at the commencement of the speech with which I introduced the Bill. I then said that the subject I was proceeding to deal with was one vital to the honour and existence of the Government. I am truly sorry, and truly penitent, if I really used that expression without necessity; but the right hon. Gentleman should bear in mind the circumstances under which we approached this question. In 1869 we gave all our energies, and asked Parliament to apply a great part of its valuable time to the question of the Irish Church; in 1870 we took exactly the same course for the first four months of the Session with regard to the Irish Land Question. But at that very 1833 period the hon. Member for Brighton felt the spirit within him calling on him so strongly to deal with the question of the Irish Universities that he presented to us a project, despite our promise to deal with the question, which it was impossible for us to accept, because in everything except what related to tests we looked upon it as a retrograde and anti-reforming measure. We were compelled, therefore, by the engagements which we had given, and by our own sense of dignity and of duty to resist it; but the resistance offered by us to that measure for three successive years assumed the character of an appeal to a Vote of Confidence from the House, and it was these circumstances which gave to the Bill the place it now holds, and which led me to believe that in speaking of it as a subject vital to the honour and existence of the Government I was giving utterance to little more than a commonplace within the common knowledge of everyone who heard it. If I was wrong it was a grave error. I do not believe it was wrong, and I do not believe it was by my words that the question was placed in the position it had taken long before. I trust I cannot be justly accused of introducing heat and difficulty into this debate. At least I am conscious that this is a question which it is totally impossible for us or for anyone to solve, if propositions intended simply as academic proposals are to be viewed in the glare and heat of political and religious jealousies; if matters to which we attach a slight importance are to be studiously magnified and represented as the vital essence of the Bill; if the atmosphere in which we here live and move is upon this occasion to be one of fever and of passion, such as it has appeared to be from three or four of the speeches we have heard; but, I must in fairness say, not from speeches we have heard from the opposite side of the House. The effect of such methods of proceeding must simply be to render progress impossible. Remember what University legislation is. Remember that in the case of Oxford, when we first dealt with the subject for England, though there was no political heat or passion whatever, yet, from the complication of the details of the question, we had to give, I think, some four-and-twenty nights of the time of Parliament before we could dispose of the Bill. I now on the second 1834 reading of this Irish Bill, address a House crowded from floor to roof, and intensely animated with expectation, not indeed, as to the speech that I am about to make, but as to the Division which is to follow. But on the second reading of the Oxford Bill, which corresponded in many of its provisions, though it was different in many others from this measure, I well remember an observation of a right hon. Baronet opposite, that both he and I were addressing empty benches. I do not believe that there were 40 Members in this House at the time when we came to the close of the debate, so entirely was it liberated from anything like political prejudice. It afforded an indication of the intrinsic difficulties of the subject; and these difficulties if inflamed by passion, will readily mount up to impossibility. In introducing this Bill I made an appeal to the House for a repetition of that indulgence, of that candid and fair interpretation with which we were met, as I rejoice to acknowledge, in every detail of the questions of the Irish Church and of the Irish Land. It was by that candid interpretation, it was by that mutual confidence among political friends, but it was also by a great degree of candid interpretation throughout the House, and a temper which never deviated into heat or violence, that we were enabled to deal with those important measures and to carry them successfully through the House. I am afraid it is impossible to hope that such can be the case in the present instance. But this I will say, we have done what we could, we have endeavoured to arouse no passions, we have endeavoured to impute no motive, we have sought to avoid everything inflammatory, to give a fair construction to the motives and to the proceedings of every man; and so we will persevere to the end, although we have known from the first, and although we know now, that if there be in this House but a few Members who are unhappily determined to mix this question at every point with the elements of political and theological passion, success will be impossible, and failure, with all the public mischief it entails, is the only result which awaits either us or any other Government that may attempt a solution of the question. I have spoken thus far vaguely of the Members to whom I refer. But I think it better to 1835 be perfectly outspoken on this occasion. I refer to several, but most of all, perhaps, to my right hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard. Sir, I never heard a speech in this House that appeared to me more unhappily directed to frustrate every useful and beneficial purpose of legislation, to disappoint every desire that a wise and beneficent Parliament has entertained in regard to education in Ireland. [Mr. HORSMAN: No, no!] I do not expect my right hon. Friend to agree with me. How did my right hon. Friend proceed? He began with a chivalrous precipitancy by announcing in The Times that the Bill was shortly to take its place as an ornament to the Statute Book. He then became uneasy as to the intentions of the Roman Catholic Prelates. Next it appeared that the patience of his mind and the balance of his judgment had been subverted by terrific apprehensions. The first sign of that was in questions put to me in this House with a feverish anxiety—"Are the Roman Catholic Prelates prepared to accept your Bill as a settlement?" His apprehensions had by this time passed into a phase of violence; for now this measure, which was to have been an ornament of the Statute Book but a few days before, was transmuted into a monster such as was unfit to be presented even for a moment to the view of Parliament. That which before the episcopal condemnation was fair and gracious in the eyes of the right hon. Gentleman was now not to be allowed even to come within the sphere of discussion; and we were censured for not having buried it without another word in absolute and eternal silence. That I thought was pretty well; but my right hon. Friend went on to surpass himself. He censured us for not having communicated with the Roman Catholic Prelates. Having done this, he went on to censure us for having communicated with them; for he said, I think, the most important clauses of the Bill were not the work of a Protestant draftsman. I put my own construction on that expression, and I think its meaning was tolerably obvious to the House. Having thus censured us for two contradictory reasons—one of which, the negative, was true, while for the other there is not a shadow of foundation—he passed on to a declamatory invective against the Bill as a measure calculated to forward the purposes of 1836 the Roman Catholic Prelacy of Ireland. That was the description which my right hon. Friend bestowed on the Bill, which is going to be opposed almost en masse—happily not quite en masse, but almost en masse—by the Roman Catholic Members from Ireland, for the very reason that they think it hostile to those purposes. My right hon. Friend will march to-night into the same Lobby, shoulder to shoulder with the men whom he contradicts. But, though I am not satisfied with the reasons either of the one or of the others, yet as between him and them I must say they have far more just ground of opposition than my right hon. Friend, because the objects of the Roman Catholic Prelacy, so far as they are not in our view justifiable, are not promoted by this Bill; so that, at least, they are not tilting at a phantom, but at a reality. The right hon. Gentleman would have done us a favour if, when he made this charge and caused these alarms among the prejudiced portion of his audience—and there is, of course, in every assembly some prejudiced portion, however finished may be the average of its mental accomplishment—he would have consented to come down from his lofty flight to the region of fact, and if, after all this invective and declamation, he would have but spent, say, a poor five minutes in the work of argument. When he first wrote to The Times he said he had not got the Bill; but when he got it, what did he do? Did he read it? If he did, his speech bears no trace of the study; and the whole of this tempestuous condemnation is really grounded on the pure ipse dixit of my right hon. Friend. I think he will understand that in commenting thus severely upon the speech he has made, on account of what I think the public mischief such a speech is likely to entail, I have no imputation to make upon him except the misuse of his power, and my object is to enter a firm and final protest against the method he adopted in dealing with a subject which requires pains, care, patience, and dispassionate impartiality.
I must now briefly remind the House—because we have travelled so far in many respects from the original basis of discussion—of the nature of the allegation upon which the Government founded their case for the Bill. Our first and original allegation was that there is a grievance of conscience in 1837 Ireland with respect to University education; and I am glad to say, whatever else may have happened, some ground has been gained in this respect. We have heard the avowal that such a grievance does exist from the hon. Member for Brighton, and this, if I recollect right, for the first time. I may say that generally an admission of that kind has been made, and therefore I now assume its undisputed existence, without entering into particulars. I regard that as a valuable starting-point from which to proceed to our proper conclusion.
Further, we have alleged that there is need of academic reform in Ireland. I showed that sufficiently by figures on the introduction of the Bill—figures to which I will briefly revert, on account of their simple and conclusive character; and I will also refer to the only attempt that has been made to meet the effect of those figures. I have here to do with my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh, of whose speech generally I will say I have no fault to find with the spirit in which it; was delivered. With its main tendency, and with most of its arguments, I entertain a warm sympathy, but from its statistics I entirely differ; and I am sorry to say they suggest to me that, after all, perhaps, the Roman Catholic; authority, whoever he was, may not have been so very wrong who said arithmetic itself ought to have been placed in the list of disputable subjects. I showed, Sir, and this has not been questioned, that the Roman Catholic students in Arts in all Ireland—I mean University students in any sort of collegiate training—were, according to the latest Returns, 145, from a population of 4,500,000. In confining myself to students in Arts, I can assure my hon. Friend I do not mean to underrate the importance of professional studies; but I meant that which he means, and that which he has ably contended for—namely, that professional studies ought to be grounded on general culture; and on this I found my further proposition, that the training in Arts, inasmuch as all ought to pass through it, affords the proper measure of the number of true University students in a country at a given time. I showed that in all Ireland there were of these students in Arts, all persuasions included, only 784. I showed 1838 that, including 400 more of its members, with whom the University of Dublin deals now only as an Examining Board, the number comes but to 1,179; that in 1832, when the Queen's Colleges did not exist, the number had mounted up to 1,461; and that, notwithstanding the additions made by the Queen's Colleges, there was a balance of loss upon that total number of students in Arts of 282 as the aggregate result of the educational movement of the last 41 years. Now, it has been said that I ought to have noticed the decrease of the population. The cheapest degree in Arts in Dublin costs nearly £100, as I am informed. This is in hard cash, and does not include the serious expense of resorting to Dublin for a number of examinations at separate times. Now I desire to know how many emigrants would have taken such a degree? I find also that the great bulk of this decline preceded the decay of population. The entrances at Dublin in the years 1830–34 were 433 annually, and in 1835–39 they were only 353; and there was no decrease of population, but a great increase in that period, while the students of the University were rapidly declining in number. They continued to fluctuate until at the time of the opening of the Queen's Colleges they went down to 271 as their annual average.
But it is said also that there has been so much intercourse with England that large numbers of students came into England at this time. It is totally untrue. There was no increase at all in the University of Oxford during the time when the numbers in Dublin were thus grievously declining, and the increase at Cambridge—for there was a slight increase—was wholly insignificant; not to observe that it was really occasioned by an English demand. Of course, it is obvious to ask, if intercourse with England had had the effect of damaging the numbers at the Dublin University, why did it not damage the numbers at the Universities of Scotland, where the intercourse was even more easy, and where there was no such phenomenon at all? But here my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh comes in with his answer. I affirm that he shakes none of my facts, but what does he say? He says that there are but 740 degrees in Arts in England. My hon. Friend is, however, 1839 quite wrong. In 1872 there were in Oxford 396, in Cambridge 467, in London 78 of an extremely high order, making 941, without any allowance for the University of Durham, the number of whose degrees I have not obtained. My hon. Friend then says there has been a general decrease in the number of students at our Universities of late years, and that Ireland was a very poor country. Instead of a general decrease there has been a steady increase in the number of degrees in Arts in England. Oxford and Cambridge gave 405 degrees in Arts in 1820, 599 in 1830, 668 in 1840, and 863 in 1872. But, says my hon. Friend, "Ireland is a poor country." If, however, she is a poor country now, she was poorer still in 1832, and yet in 1832 she had a great many more students than at present. But we have not yet done with the argument: and I would in the next place address a plea ad misericordiam to my hon. Friend. He pointed out to us a large increase in the number of the attendances at lectures in Dublin, and I am glad he did so, for it is the result of an academic reform, real as far as it goes. I am afraid that Dublin had previously been extremely lax in those matters of academic discipline. But my hon. Friend, in spite of the decrease in the number of degrees, tells us that there is an increase in the number of the attendances at lectures of Professors, and therefore in true academic learning; and he holds that everything else is desultory cram, except the attendance in the lecture-room of the Professor! I am now going to draw largely on the indulgence of my hon. Friend. And I will even venture to call attention to his language as an indication how disposed we are each of us to advance rather excessive pretensions on behalf of our own particular calling, and how even a broad and comprehensive mind becomes for a moment narrow when dealing with its claims. For myself, I humbly pray allowance may be made. I never had the honour, except once, when at Oxford, of attending a Professor's lecture at all. My education, such as it was, and it might perhaps have been better, was not had by desultory cram, or cram of any species, but by hard work. Morning and night I worked as hard as I have ever done in the House of Commons, and I beg my hon. Friend, if possible, to allow this ray of light to 1840 enter his mind, where there already are so many, and to admit the belief that it is possible to learn something of a subject even elsewhere than in the lecture-room.
And now, Sir, I come to a more general review of what in France is termed the situation. I think that the House, or that all who have given an eye to it, will agree with me that in the situation so understood there have been features of the highest dramatic interest. What a catastrophe, Sir—I do not underrate it or disguise it—has it not undergone? This Bill was introduced not yet four weeks ago, in, I hope, a conscientious, but certainly a prosaic speech. It was received with almost universal favour. It will be recollected from what various quarters there came declarations that it was a just measure; a measure, considering all things, moderate; and a measure sure or likely to receive the approval of Parliament. The most conclusive proof of the truth of the description I am giving—a proof that I am not too highly colouring my case—is to be found in the attitude of that valuable class of the community who are called waiters on Providence. A morning or two after the introduction of the Bill, there was not a waiter on Providence in the whole of this vast metropolis who was not its decided partizan. Those waiters on Providence are like the loose rolling cargo of a ship, certain in heavy weather always to give their weight against the vessel. The consequence is, that whereas those three weeks ago we had a whole army of them, numerous as the host of Xerxes, on our side, we have not a solitary individual of that species to sustain or cheer us now. What, then, is the cause of the change which has come over the general temper and course which it becomes the House of Commons to pursue? No one will say that the House was misled as to the Bill by the speech which introduced it. My right hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard, who I think endeavoured to be ingenuous throughout his statement, though he has referred to my speech and to the Bill, did not say or insinuate that my speech was other than an attempt to give a fair description of the Bill. That change of opinion, which I do not disguise, is one that well merits, and indeed calls for, some examination; and that examination is to be made on 1841 the question of to-night. The question of to-night is this—Shall we go into Committee on this Bill? And in our answer, Sir, to that question we shall be governed by one single motive, by the desire to endeavour now to do what some years hence we shall wish that we had done. Well, what are the arguments that have been urged against going into Committee on the Bill? I will endeavour to present them in a spirit of fairness. But before I leave altogether the branch of the subject on which I have been engaged, I wish to apologize on one point to my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh. The figures which I quoted in reference to the students of the Scotch Universities were inaccurate; and I believe this was the only inaccuracy, among a multitude of details, into which I fell. I wish to say that the Scotch Universities in my opinion, if we are to deal rightly with this question, ought to be put out of our view altogether. They are Universities sui generis. They do not stand on the particular merits of their own constitution; they stand, I have had reason to know—because I have been for six years an official servant of the Scotch University which my hon. Friend adorns—they stand on the conscientious zeal and ability of their Professors as men, but also and principally upon the rooted desire of the people for learning, and their determination to learn by the best means that are within their power. We have nothing like that, unhappily, in England. In Ireland the desire exists, but the means for its gratification have not been afforded. The Scotch Universities work; and why? Not because of this or of that particular in their constitution or their regulations; they work, so to speak, of themselves, by the zeal and the energy and the desire of knowledge which happily exists among the people.
Now I come to the arguments used against our going on with this Bill in Committee. I will endeavour to make the shortest and most accurate recital of them, and I will only dwell on those which, as the House will see, require a careful examination. One argument is that we are going to lower the standard of learning. Now, Sir, I contend that when we enter into Committee we shall show that we are going not to lower but to raise the standard of learning. Either we are 1842 going to have the competition of two Universities, or we are going to have only one University. The competition of two Universities, by your own admission, keeps that standard where it is. If we are to have only one University, we do not refuse the challenge, and we ask can anything be more conclusive than the proofs which have been produced and have been sustained from every quarter, that the University of London, although it be an Examining Board, and nothing but an Examining Board, does raise and has raised the standard of learning. Perhaps I might go further and say that possibly it supplies the principal lever by which we may hope to see that standard raised in the older Universities of the country. This in my judgment is clear, that if the University of London has a fault, it is that its examinations may be too stringent and its standard of learning too high. I will now leave the charge that the Bill will lower the standard of education; with this observation, that it is a charge which seems to imply that in this country or in Dublin we have had a prodigiously high standard, whereas in truth all our standards do not give cause for exultation, but call for apology.
The second reason why we are told the Bill should be given up is on account of the opposition of Ireland. And this is plainly, in my opinion, the consideration that has principally acted upon the minds of Members of this House. Now, let us consider what this opposition of Ireland is. It has been most inaccurately stated in this House; indeed, I am not sure that in any one particular it has been correctly described. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Horsman) says the Roman Catholic Bishops have denounced the Bill. But the last clause of the document in which they have expressed their opinions is to this effect,—"That we address to the Imperial Parliament Petitions embodying these resolutions and praying for the amendment of the Bill." Now, it cannot be amended at all until we go into Committee; it is in Committee alone that we can ascertain what are the points on which we can meet the wishes of any class of critics or objectors and what are the points on which we cannot. Lord Granard, a correspondent of mine, has favoured me with a telegram of enormous length, I am afraid a very expensive telegram, which states that the 1843 Council of the Roman Catholic Union has come to resolutions in conformity with those of the Bishops. Having stated thus much I have done my duty to the Council of the Roman Catholic Union. Then comes the Petition of the Senate of Dublin University. I am not quite sure, but I rather believe that this Petition constitutes what may be called the maiden speech of the Senate of Dublin University. The Senate, as a body, has been rather content with an existence upon paper than disposed to walk out into the rough, everyday, working world, but on this occasion it has summoned up all its energies and has petitioned to the effect that the House will not pass the present Bill. What, however, was the suggestion of the Governing Body of Dublin University, a body for which, notwithstanding the closeness of its constitution, I entertain, and have professed, a sincere respect? Was that the form of Petition sent down to the Senate by the governing body? No, the Petition, as I am informed, was that the House would not pass the Bill in its present form. It was also, therefore, a Petition for the amendment, not for the rejection of the measure. I now come to the Presbyterians, and I wish the hon. Member for Derry were in the House—I am glad now to be able to perceive him—for while acknowledging the ability of his maiden speech, I am obliged to comment on some portion of it. The hon. Gentleman descended into the arena of this House armed with the triple shield of a fresh untainted modesty. But he misunderstood or mistook the effect of a document on which he relied, perhaps from some momentary hallucination, or some timidity graceful in Parliamentary as in natural youth, which he will in time get over. I am quite certain the strange error into which he fell could not have been owing to design. He has not yet had time to learn the ways of the wicked world. The hon. Gentleman did certainly experience the most remarkable fortune. He had in his hand not a declaration, as I believe he described it, of the Presbyterian body—for there is no such declaration—but a document—and one no doubt of importance—which issued from the Committee of a General Assembly of the Presbyterian Body appointed for the purpose of considering questions connected with educa- 1844 tion. They had no power to speak for the body to which they belonged, more than a Committee of this House can speak for this House; but still their opinion is of weight. And the hon Gentleman read out four resolutions which objected to various propositions in this Bill. He had before him not four resolutions, but eight, and he said he would not read the eight. He thought they were too long, and he had a delicate respect and consideration for the time of the House, which cannot be too much commended. But how extraordinary it was, Sir, that, instead of beginning by reading the first four of them, and then as he found the operation become a long one leaving off, the hon. Gentleman skipped lightly over the whole of these, and then read out at full length the other four. Sir, the first four are of a character totally at variance with—that is to say, of a totally different effect from the last four. I do not think I need read them all, but I will read the first. [Cries of "All," and "Read, read, read!"] Very well, Sir, I will "read, read, read," if only the hon. Member will "hear, hear, hear." [Laughter.] Here is the first resolution—We are of opinion that through the University of Dublin any person in Ireland, wherever educated, should be enabled to obtain a degree who can pass the necessary examination.Well, Sir, there is a proposition most distinctly in favour of the fundamental principle of the Bill, which allows access to the University and its degrees otherwise than through Trinity College. [Laughter.] I repeat—of the fundamental principle of the Bill—namely, that instead of obstructing, as we now do, and taxing and impeding the access to degrees of those who pursue a mode of education that Parliament does not altogether approve, we ought, on the contrary, to make the way as easy for them as we can, knowing that they will derive the greatest benefit from a University degree; and that is the object we have in view in this Bill. There is another Resolution which the right hon. Gentleman did not read—probably, not because it was one of disapproval. It is as follows:—The Committee disapprove the proposal in the Bill to leave Trinity College with a large proportion of its revenues, and are of opinion that provision should be made therefrom for the more liberal support and encouragement of non- 1845 sectarian education in connection with the Queen's Colleges.I proceed with the other resolutions. "They approve highly"—and this part I would particularly recommend to the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire—"of the proposal of the Bill to separate the Theological Faculty from the University of Dublin;" and, finally, they believe that "Trinity College should be opened, so far as that its secular advantages may be made available for all Her Majesty's subjects, without reference to creed or sect." I have now, Sir, supplied what was so grievously lacking in the speech of the hon. Member for Derry. Well, Sir, the hon. Gentleman is acquainted with the town of Derry; and the Presbyterians of Derry send me here a statement, the first clause of which expresses their general approval of the objects of the Bill. I only quote these things to show the spirit of exaggeration and inaccuracy—and I have never seen or known so much inaccurate statement in any previous debate—which has entered into this case, and has injuriously modified and perverted the leading effect of the evidence which has been brought before us with regard to the reception of the present Bill, which, as I have thus far shown, is rather one of qualified criticism than of unqualified resistance.
But, further, it may be said, there is the opposition of the Irish representatives. And, Sir, I fully admit that this, when authentically shown, is a very grave matter. But, at present, we know nothing except from the sanguine self-congratulations of the right hon. Gentleman opposite upon the delightful combination which he anticipates in the Lobby by-and-by, and from the unfavourable speeches—and some of them, I admit, have been very unfavourable, which we have heard from a number of them. In my opinion, the position of the Irish representatives, if their opposition were well ascertained to be incapable of being, in any degree, softened in Committee, would become a grave fact to be seriously weighed by this House. I by no means say at this moment to what conclusion it should lead. But I will venture to say that it would be in the highest degree premature, un-Parliamentary, and impolitic, with reference to a measure of this kind, on a subject where the Irish representa 1846 tives themselves, in a large majority, desire legislation, one to which successive Governments have had to address themselves for seven or eight years, and with regard to which we are all in one sense or another so deeply involved—it would, I say, even be absurd for us to treat that as a reason for rejecting the Bill at this stage. We ought rather to see in Committee what we can do towards the conciliation of apparently conflicting views when we come to the manipulation of the details. But who are all these who have, up to this moment, spoken? The Irish Roman Catholic Prelates, the Senate of the Dublin University, the Presbyterians of Derry, the Committee of Presbyterians appointed to consider education. I am scarcely bold enough to name the Petition from Magee College. For the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin, who is extremely warm on the duty of speaking with respect for Ireland and Irish feelings, calls it the "miserable Magee College"—a College which has never put its hand into the public purse, which requires six years' training for its pupils, though it unfortunately has very few of them, and which, nevertheless, according to the uncontradicted statement of one of its Professors, has educated and sent out into the world one-third of the whole number of Presbyterian ministers ordained in Ireland since the period when it was opened. But, Sir, what I affirm is, that these bodies, taken all together, even were their opinions more hostile than I have shown them really to be, are not the people of Ireland, do not bind the people of Ireland, and do not warrant our summary rejection of a measure which aims at conferring a great boon on the people of Ireland.
So far, the greatest objection taken to the second reading of the Bill has been the objection taken on what my right hon. Friend the Secretary for-War has described as matters of detail, or matters which are open to consideration. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) has paid particular attention to the speech of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell), and to some words which I spoke before the adjournment of the House, which I thought to be a confirmation, but which the right hon. Gentleman assumed to be in contradiction, of that speech. The general effect of the speech of my 1847 right hon. Friend—with which speech I entirely agree—was to show that it was a wise course in a question of this character, where it is difficult to retrieve ground once lost, to go into Committee, to compare our several notions and demands at close quarters, and to see what we can effect towards bringing them into harmony. But the right hon. Gentleman meets us with a most formidable objection, founded, as he says, on his long Parliamentary experience. He alleges that for the opponents of a Bill, it never answers to go into Committee. It is the voice of the charmer and the tempter that bids you go into Committee. Do not be beguiled. When you get into Committee, there is nothing to be gained. The Bill of a Government always comes out, he says—in its substantial features the same as it was when it went into Committee. And this opinion is founded on the deliberate recollection, at the end of our four nights' debate, of his long Parliamentary experience. I will not take the whole advantage which the right hon. Gentleman offers me. I will not go back over the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's Parliamentary experience. I will only revert to the year or two which immediately preceded the existence of the present Government, and I will from the records of that limited time supply him with an instance which at once shatters to pieces the fabric of his argument. There is no such thing, it seems, as attempting with success to alter a Bill of the Government in Committee. Well, Sir, there was a Bill—indeed, there were two or three Bills on the subject of the Parliamentary representation—in 1867; but the last of these Bills, instead of being still-born like its elder sisters, grew into vigorous life, and was read a second time. And what was the burden of the song or speech of the right hon. Gentleman on the second reading? From first to last, in almost every sentence of the speech, it was—"Go into Committee." Objection after objection had been taken, going deep down into the foundation and framework of the Bill, and every one of those objections was met by the counter-check of that reply—"Go into Committee." And the right hon. Gentleman was nearer the mark then than he is now. I am afraid that the accumulation of his experience is such that he is beginning to have too much of it, and that he has 1848 actually unlearned the lessons which some years ago he acquired. I will not go over all the points of that Bill; but I think the experience of that year satisfactorily proves that where the sense of the House is strong and an earnest intention is entertained, going into Committee may answer pretty well for transforming the framework, aye, the whole spirit and substance of a Bill.
Passing from that general argument, I am asked to say what was the meaning of the speech of my right hon. Friend. Some appear to contend that all the points which my right hon. Friend referred to as being matters of opinion open to be discussed and to be determined in Committee, are matters on which the Government should have announced at once that they had changed their intentions. How is it possible that on matters which involve such a multiplicity of details and of various considerations we could have stated at once that we had changed our intentions, and could have bound ourselves anew and rigidly in each case to the adoption of a particular course? Take the one instance of the proposal to appoint the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Chancellor of the University. In my opinion that provision is but of slight consequence; because the Chancellor of the University of Dublin would still be as he has been what I may term an ornamental officer, and not one wielding great academic powers like the Chancellors of Oxford and of Cambridge. But how is it possible for anybody to form a judgment upon the point until the House has had an opportunity of comparing all the alternatives which may fairly be suggested? What we say is—"Come with us where we may have an opportunity of comparing calmly all these alternative methods." Instead of standing upon our dignity and saying that this, and that, and every matter is vital to our existence as a Government, we say—"We will meet you upon equal terms; we will lay before you the reasons that have guided us upon the question. We are not only perfectly ready to listen to counter-arguments, and not only to accept changes which may be palpable improvements, but, where we can, to consult the general wishes of the House and to give fair weight to reasons, of which we may not see the force, provided they do not affect vitally the principles or the efficiency 1849 of the Bill." And instances similar to the one I have referred to are very numerous. I will only now mention two, which I do not think were mentioned by my right hon. Friend. In the first place, the influence of the Crown, or, as the hon. Member for Brighton terms it, political influence on the constitution of the University, has been objected to. The hon. Member for Brighton says there will be too much of this influence exercised under the provisions of the Bill. But others say, on the contrary, that there will be too little of such influence. My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh University complains that while in the Queen's Colleges a Professor can only be dismissed in certain cases by the Crown, our Bill gives this power to the Council. Now, we are desirous of bringing these two opposing objections face to face in Committee. As far as my own leaning and that of my Colleagues is concerned we are in favour of keeping down to a minimum the amount of that political influence. We regret that we cannot at once constitute an independent academic body, free from political influence; but the necessities of the case do not permit us to propose it. We hope that in time the national University will be able to acquire something more of a national character than it now possesses; but to give to the present Members of the University of Dublin the charge of moulding it into a national University would in my view be a mockery.
Then another question of great importance has been raised with regard to what has been called the non-collegiate element in the Bill. It is said that the Bill proposes to permit the University to examine all persons coming from whence they may, and wherever and in whatever manner they may have been trained. To this part of the proposal some persons vehemently object; but they appear altogether to forget that the University of Dublin does this very thing at this moment. The only check put upon the practice is a most objectionable one—namely, the very heavy cost to which non-resident students are put in passing the examination for their degrees. The University of London examines in this way, and it is impossible for us to determine in a peremptory manner what would be the exact course the House ought to take in this matter, 1850 although our own opinion on the general merits may be clear. Again, as to the retention of the separate existence of the Queen's University, I really had hoped that, in consequence of the ground on which I originally put it, that was a question which would have been discussed without the slightest reference to the bitter controversy that rages on the subject of mixed education. I said, and I am prepared to argue it without attaching to the argument unnecessary value, I am desirous that we should have an opportunity of laying before the House in Committee the reasons which led us to believe that it would be a great advantage to the Queen's University to be incorporated in a new, powerful, and extended University. We do not assume that we are demonstratively right. We have never stated this provision to be essential to the Bill, as everyone will recollect. But we thought the House should be in full possession of the arguments for the proposition as well as the arguments against it before coming to a decision. We are willing to go as far as we can in meeting the views of Members with respect to the plan of the Government. We are gaining experience, of course, as we proceed, and a more extended acquaintance with the views of the House and with the circumstances of the case gradually ripening around us. With regard to such provisions as those relating to Chairs in the several subjects of Modern History, Ethics, and Metaphysics, and to the power of preventing an abuse of liberty on the part of Professors and teachers, they have been introduced by us with a general intention that I am quite sure the House will appreciate. It is with regret that we find ourselves obliged to exclude Theology from the University. We further regret that we propose—not to exclude from the University, not to exclude from examination, not to exclude from honours, but—to exclude from the direct and authoritative teaching of the University the subjects of Modern History, and of Ethics and Metaphysics. But the intention of those proposals was simply this:—we knew that we had to deal in Ireland with a sore, and in some degree a morbid state of minds and feelings. We were desirous to make ample provision for protecting the conscience of the minority; and even to sacrifice something of the integrity of 1851 the University scheme for the purpose of obviating the rise of jealousies, which, once awakened, we feared might be fatal to the well-working of the plan. That, surely, was an innocent, perhaps even a laudable purpose for us to entertain. Who, it may be asked, are the minority? The minority, I admit, at this moment are Roman Catholics; but how is it possible for anyone to say that they will always be the minority among the University students of Ireland? I know not what the effect of a National University will be. I know this—there are Roman Catholics who are extremely confident in the energetic teaching of their Church, be they right or wrong, and who think they would become the majority of the students of this National University. And if they did become the majority of the students, they would have a perfect right so to become. But the conscience of the minority would still claim respect, and be entitled to defence.
However, Sir, I must admit that these clauses have not been valued by the Roman Catholics themselves. Protests have come, first from one and then from another quarter, against drawing a distinction between these particular Chairs and other Chairs. These objections coincide with others taken by those who are extremely anxious for more complete academic instruction, and by those who have considered that in such an arrangement as we have proposed with respect to these Chairs there is involved an undue tenderness to the consciences of the minority. If the minority themselves agree, as they appear to agree, in this view, I have no difficulty in saying that I shall not think it necessary to adhere to that proposition. Another proposition of some importance has called forth a similar cross-fire of objections—I mean that relating to collegiate members of the Council. I will not trouble the House by referring to the explanation which I gave on the introduction of the Bill, and which was fortunately a pretty full one, of the design with which the plan of collegiate members was proposed by us. If any Gentlemen wish to be informed on the subject, and will refer to the 45th page of a speech which is in the hands of many of them, they will find those motives set forth there. But here, again, what has happened? A large number of persons 1852 object very much to the attempt to introduce these collegiate members; and the Government always saw that it would be absolutely necessary that their number should in any case be small, and that the other members of the Council must form its bulk and strength. But more than this has happened. One of the Colleges which it was the main purpose of the Bill to attach to the University of Dublin was the Roman Catholic College called the Catholic University. Now, we are informed that the Roman Catholic Bishops, independently of their influence and station, are the legal owners of the College, and as such they object and distinctly refuse to have it included in the Schedule of the Bill. They make the same declaration with regard to other Roman Catholic Colleges; and that being so, it becomes utterly impossible for us to insist upon the proposal that collegiate members shall be attached to the Council. Nothing is more alien from our desire than to have any representation of collegiate members which should give to the Council a one-sided character. It is, therefore, not our intention to persevere with our proposal to introduce collegiate members into the Council. In withdrawing them we are really doing that which we very often find it possible to do when once we get to details—I mean we are meeting at once the objections of those who view the same subject from different points, and who for different reasons concur in the same conclusion. That is, perhaps, as much as it is necessary for me to say upon this class of subjects. I say of them generally, as was said by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War—we wish to have the opportunity, with the exceptions I have stated, of laying our views calmly and impartially before the House. With that opportunity we shall be content. We shall gladly welcome Amendments which are improvements in the Bill; and Amendments which we think are not improvements in the Bill, when we find the prevailing sense of the House to be in their favour, we will accept, provided they leave untouched what we conceive to be the vitality and essence of the Bill.
Now, what is the vitality of the measure, what is the essence of the Bill? This question has been put to us from many quarters, and I will endeavour to 1853 answer the question; filling up, perhaps, with a more copious supply of particulars a slighter sketch which my right hon. Friend has already submitted to the House. First of all, it is essential to the Bill that there should be a complete removal of admitted religious grievances. I say admitted religious grievances, because we cannot profess to remove the religious grievance as it has been stated by those who contend that nothing short of concurrent endowment will remove it. I will show presently that something short of concurrent endowment would amount to a removal of the religious grievance such as we view it. We conceive that the religious grievance will be removed by opening the way to University degrees and University honours and emolument within the University of Dublin, under an impartial and nonsectarian authority calculated to command the confidence of the whole of the nation, and without the slightest reference to the question whether the education of the person claiming the degree, and about to be tried as to the sufficiency of his knowledge, has been heretofore conducted under the influence of what is called a mixed or what is called a separate education. That is what we understand generally by the removal of the religious grievance. Then, with regard to the academic reform in the University of Dublin, what we conceive to be essential is that the University and its degree-giving power, instead of being, in a manner entirely without example, the property, I must call it the monopoly of a single College, Which has enabled that College to turn to its own exclusive benefit functions and prerogatives that belong to the State, shall be emancipated from its condition of subjection, and shall be placed for a time under an authority which may be thoroughly impartial, in order that during that time the composition of the University may gradually become such as to correspond with and comprise all that is best, and richest, and strongest in the character and composition of the Irish people, so that after a reasonable time has been allowed to elapse, the University may pass into a state of substantial academic independence. For that purpose the severance of the exclusive connection with Trinity College is necessary. It is necessary to open many portals, as was said by my right hon. 1854 Friend, instead of one. Colleges may be very well attached to the University without College representation, as they are now attached to the University of London. The effect of incorporation is that they are placed in relations of general respect and credit with the University, and likewise that those who manage the Colleges have facilities for communication respecting practical arrangements which, in the case of the University of London, have been attended with great and conspicuous benefit. On what terms the non-collegiate members may be admitted individually to the University is also a matter deserving attention. Then, there is the question of the constitution of the new Governing Body, and also that of a competent endowment for the University which at present has not a shilling wherewith to bless itself, and which under the Bill of the hon. Member for Brighton remained absolutely without any property whatever to enable it to fulfil its purposes as a University. It should unquestionably be rendered able to discharge its proper functions as to granting degrees, as to the examinations necessary for degrees, and as to emoluments, rewards, and encouragements for those students who distinguish themselves. Finally, as was stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, we should greatly wish that the University should be completed by the possession of a proper teaching power. The Government has a hope that no jealousy may arise, either on the side of Trinity College or on the Roman Catholic side to prevent this consummation, because we greatly desire as was stated by my right hon. Friend, to establish a teaching organ, which might, without any mercenary competition, enlarge the means of attaining the higher University education in Ireland. From this sketch, allowing for some shades of difference on one or two points, the House will readily perceive what are in our view the essential parts of the Bill, as we understand them, with reference to the University of Dublin.
With regard to the Queen's University and Colleges, what we conceive to be essential is that the House shall pay full respect to the system of education as established in them. Nothing will with our assent be done to impair or alter its principles; and I cannot refrain from 1855 adding that the more I examine the history of the Colleges, the more deeply do I lament that by a deviation from their original policy the Roman Catholic Prelates have deemed it fit to make them the subject of something like anathema, and thereby have much restricted the benefits they were capable of conferring on the country.
Lastly, Sir, as regards Trinity College, the severance of the Theological Faculty must, in our opinion, be effected together with the severance, or rather the liberation of the University; and there must be, as I think will be admitted on all hands, considering that Trinity College has profited enormously for her collegiate purposes by the charges which she was enabled to exact by means of powers belonging to the University—there must be a fair and reasonable contribution from Trinity College for the benefit of her emancipated partner. Such are our views of what the College must yield. But we think it essential that there should likewise be left an honourable position, an adequate and liberal endowment, to Trinity College. What may happen in the distant computations into which this question may be carried, I know not, but I certainly should regard it as a great calamity that anything should be done by the House, either at this time, or any other time, to impair—I will not say the means which have been hitherto possessed by Trinity College in somewhat of a rank redundance, but the means necessary for carrying forward the great purposes of education to which she is devoted. I think I have now given a very fair description of the essence of the Bill.
It will be tolerably understood from this description what are the portions of the Bill which we have filled in with a view to give it greater comprehensiveness and fulness; and it will also be understood that the liberty which we have claimed in Committee on the Bill we shall try to exercise in a reasonable spirit.
Now, with regard to endowment for a Roman Catholic College or University, there has been some variety of expression of opinion in this House from very different quarters, as I freely grant. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade stated to the House that he regrets the state of opinion and feeling which makes it, in his judgment, 1856 totally impossible to ask Parliament for anything in the nature of endowment for a Roman Catholic College or University. The senior Member for the University of Dublin has gone somewhat further than my right hon. Friend, for he states, without hesitation, if I heard him aright, that he is favourable to a plan of concurrent endowment. My hon. Friend the Member for Waterford, in like manner, in his speech yesterday, did not disguise that which has long been the well-known bent of his mind on this subject; and my noble Friend the Secretary for Ireland, while he altogether objected to endowing a Roman Catholic University or College on the ground that it would introduce inequality, stated that in which most persons, probably, would agree that he had no objection in the abstract to such endowment. My own view differs even from that of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. I do not admit that the claim of the Roman Catholics has been made good to the endowment of a College or University. I do not found that statement exclusively on the state of Protestant opinion. If that were all, I should be ready, for one, to oppose myself to the tide of that opinion, however strong it might be; but I think there are the best reasons, strong and obvious, which render it impossible to entertain with consistency or justice the question of Roman Catholic endowment. In the first place, the claim that is made is in direct opposition to the policy of 1869. If there is to be a Roman Catholic endowment, or the endowment of any other establishment, be it Magee College, or be it any other under ecclesiastical control—for Magee College is under the ecclesiastical control of the General Assembly, just as the Roman Catholic University is under the control of the Roman Catholic Prelates—then, I say, we were entirely wrong in 1869; and it is plain that the surplus of £5,000,000, which remained after satisfying vested interests, and after making some concession to the House of Lords, in order not to lose our Bill, and after winding up the affairs of Maynooth and the Regium Donum, ought to have been divided among all the religious communions of Ireland if the claim for endowment is a good one. But it is said we are about to pass a Bill which places the Roman 1857 Catholics on a footing of inequality. On the contrary, it is the claim advanced by the Roman Catholic Prelates that involves the principle of inequality. We have not endowed, nor are we now endowing, any other persuasion in Ireland. The Queen's Colleges have an endowment, but they are not given to one persuasion more than to another. It is said that Belfast is made to serve the purposes of the Presbyterians; but it offers no facilities to the Presbyterians beyond what it and Galway and Cork, all of them offer to the Roman Catholics. Trinity College has an endowment; but it keeps that endowment only on condition of opening its doors and honours and emoluments to the different religious communities of Ireland without distinction, and with this condition, as we know perfectly well, the Roman Catholic authorities are not prepared to comply. But there is another reason which applies to all religious communions in Ireland; and I am bound to say it applies to the Roman Catholic Communion at the present moment with peculiar force. The claim of the Episcopate with regard to collegiate and academic institutions, as I understand it, is this: they demand that they shall be supreme in all matters of faith and morals, and they further demand that it shall rest with them exclusively to determine what matters are matters of faith and morals. I am one of those who think that if the laity of the Roman Catholic Church choose to submit to those demands it is neither good policy nor justice on our parts to punish them and to say, as we do say now, "So long as you thus submit, you shall not have free access to University degrees and emoluments." It is the worst policy in the world; it is withholding from them the means by which, as I believe, more liberal sentiments would spread among them. But it is a serious matter to propose that where these relations exist between the Episcopacy and the laity public endowment shall be given. The sentiments of the laity may change; they may begin to withhold this free submission; they may begin to do that which many think they have done at other periods of history, and may decline to acknowledge that sort of absolute domination which now appears to be established as the ruling system within the limits of the Roman Church. 1858 But if you give an endowment to a College which is founded on the principle of episcopal absolutism, it becomes a means of fixing and perpetuating the relation of power on the side of the Bishop, and the relation of absolute submission and servitude on the side of the laity. Therefore, Sir, these appear to me to be reasons, quite irrespective of any abstract argument, of the most conclusive force against the demand that is made. If it is not, and I think it is not, our business to protect the Roman Catholic laity against a power which they acknowledge, neither is it our duty to do anything which would keep them in subjection to a power which they may desire to repudiate or restrain.
The hon. and learned Member for Oxford, in the course of his eloquent speech, said he entertained hope in the future. I have the fortune, or misfortune, to count almost 10 years for one of the political years of my hon. and learned Friend; I have little time before me, I have much behind; I have an account to render of the past and present; and though I have not, like him, the prospect of a future which I trust will be to him rich in all manner of prosperity and distinction, yet the duties of the moment are solemn duties. I desire to bequeath no embarrassments to the future. I wish to leave on record the strong conviction that I entertain, that it would be a grave and serious error on the part of this House, were they to give the slightest encouragement to the demand that is made for introducing into Ireland the system of separate endowment for separate religious institutions for academic purposes, and thereby distinctly to denounce and repudiate the policy of 1869, to which the great majority of this House were parties, and which I believe none of us regret.
I have, Sir, endeavoured to go over the principal arguments of the opponents to the Bill. Let us now consider for a moment the actual position in which we are placed. This is a very grave matter in its bearing upon the present position of affairs, and probably upon the future destinies of these United Kingdoms. There is, I may now say confessed from every part of the House, though there may be individual exceptions, a real Irish grievance, suffered by a large part, chiefly the Roman Catholic part, of the people of Ireland, in the matter of Uni- 1859 versity education. We are desirous to remove that grievance; but when we attempt to remove it those who claim to represent the sufferers make other demands upon us which we deem unreasonable. The Bill gives a remedy as far as, in our view, reason and justice will go. That is not denied; but we are threatened that if we pass a Bill reaching to that extent, and reaching no further, we shall be punished with a loud and angry agitation in Ireland. I ask myself and I ask the House what is the best way to arm ourselves against agitation. The true, the honourable way, is to take out of the hand of the agitator the weapon which he wields, and out of his mouth the grievance which he pleads. If then, as we think, extravagant claims are going to be urged, and if an endeavour is to be made to use these claims against the moral and social tranquility of Ireland, it is the more necessary that we should not allow them to retain any mixture, any element, of truth and justice, and that we should carefully extract any such element from the mass. Then we shall know both what it is we have given and what it is we have refused. In our opinion, the true way to meet agitation is to cure the grievance. "Whatever else you do, first cure the grievance. But what is the advice given on the other side? It is at least to the natural indolence of us as Members of the Government not wholly disagreeable; for it is to release us from our pledges. At present we are deeply bound, but the advice given to the House is to concur with a considerable number of Roman Catholic Members in the rejection of this Bill—to fling back in our faces the remedy we have offered, and thereby release, as it will release, us from further obligations. It may be convenient for us so to be released; but is it convenient for the welfare of the Empire to give us that release, and to hand onwards a grievance which has now been admitted in every portion of the House to exist, as an evil legacy to future Governments, future Parliaments, or future years, as the case may be? Sir, I hope that this House of Commons, which, in obedience to the conscientious convictions of its large majority, and animated, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard truly said, by the love of justice, grappled with the great difficulties of the Irish Church and solved them—that 1860 this House of Commons, which likewise grappled with the difficulties attending the tenure of land in Ireland, and carried that question also to a successful conclusion, will not allow itself to be intimidated into an abandonment of its present task. After doing so much, do not grow pale before that which still remains undone. How do we stand with regard to the fulfilment of that task? What is the mode of action which is proposed on the other side? The right hon. Gentleman opposite told us that he was not anxious to lead what the citation made by my hon. Friend the Member for Waterford would describe as his "ragamuffins" into their present position. He does not wish, he says, to make this a party question. Might I be allowed to fill up the sentence for him by saying that possibly some while ago he saw no occasion to decide it; but now the Irish Members have invited him to their embraces, and he has found himself unable to resist the temptation offered by so great an opportunity. And what, let me ask, is the character of the Division which we are about to witness?—a Division which will be watched and examined—a Division which will not only be watched and examined, but which will be remembered and be judged. The party which is called sometimes the Tory party, sometimes the Conservative party, sometimes the Church party, sometimes the Protestant party, powerful as it is in this House, is not powerful enough to give effect to its wishes by a majority. But there is a hope that by the accession of those who think we commit a gross injustice by declining to give a separate religious endowment to the Roman Catholics, their minority may be converted into a majority for the purpose of this particular vote. The Bill we are discussing may be rejected, and is that, I would ask, a safe foundation on which to build the hope of future power? Is that a mode of action which is conformable to the views and principles of the great statesmen of this country? Do not let it for a moment be supposed that I am casting a stigma on the conduct of those who, on this occasion, urge the Roman Catholic demands. It will ever be one of the agreeable recollections of my public life to have been united with them in honourable co-operation for the purposes of a great principle and a great policy on 1861 which we were both agreed. But my relations with those hon. Gentlemen were never built on the sandy foundation of accidental unions in the momentary act of crying nay with reference to a measure as to the essential merits of which we were entirely at variance. Yet that is the nature of the alliance of to-night. The one party objects to our measure, because it detaches the University of Dublin, and declines to leave it to the control of Trinity College, but claims it for the whole of the Irish nation and vindicates the enjoyment of the advantages, which it is calculated to confer, for them and for their children in all time to come. That is the ground of the Conservative opposition. But the opposition of another party arises from the well known refusal of the Government to recognize the principle of separate denominational endowment. No doubt there will be concord in the lobby for a few moments between those two parties, but that concord will end when the tellers come to the Table. On what plan of action have you decided? No doubt you will be a formidable body; for all I know you will be a majority. I see before me the party expectant of office. ["Oh!"] I mean no reproach. I mean, of course, expectant by virtue of its position. That is a fair description always to apply to Gentlemen who sit in combination on the Opposition benches. I see that party re-inforced to-night by that repentant rebel from below the gangway, the hon. Member for Norfolk (Mr. G. Bentinck)—that old, inveterate rebel, believed to be incurable, but at last reclaimed. I always listen to that hon. Gentleman with interest. I am no favourite of his. I trust, however, there is no unkind feeling between us; and, indeed, whenever I hear the hon. Gentleman begin a course of censure upon myself, I listen with great patience, because I know it will be followed by some much more severe attack upon the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli). But on this occasion the hon. Member for Norfolk—probably to be the "right" hon. Member for Norfolk in a few weeks—has made a revelation. I heard him say last night—I quote the words that are ascribed to him, and I believe they are those which he used—I heard him say that—He had listened with the greatest pleasure the other evening to the eloquent speech of the 1862 right hon. Member for Oxford University (Mr. G. Hardy), and he hoped he might draw from the speech of that right hon. Gentleman the conclusion that he and those prepared to act with him would not at any time, or under any circumstances, accept office during the continuance of the present Parliament. If he understood the right hon. Gentleman aright, he should say that that was the most fortunate and most statesmanlike announcement that had for a long time emanated from that bench, and he congratulated his right hon. Friend upon being the man who came forward boldly to make that announcement, which seemed to augur well for his future political career. If he (Mr. Bentinck) rightly construed that speech, he should not hesitate as to his vote, and should vote against the second reading of the Bill.Well, Sir, was that announcement made? I heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford. I did not hear that announcement. Many of us heard the speech—none of us heard the announcement. I go a little further. The announcement was not made in the speech. If there has been such an announcement, it has come from some other source than from the speech. But has such an announcement been made? It is impossible. It is impossible that the Gentlemen who occupy the front bench of Opposition, who form Her Majesty's Opposition, who bring up their whole forces to overthrow the measure of the Government, can decline the responsibility of taking office. I believe it to be impossible that such an announcement can have been made, and if it has been made the hon. Gentleman is the victim of his own simplicity in believing that it can be acted on. So much, Sir, for the state of the case as regards the hon. Gentleman. But for the House, for us all, for the country, I ask what is to be the policy that is to follow the rejection of the Bill? What is to be the policy adopted in Ireland? Perhaps the Bill of my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton will find favour, which leaves the University of Dublin in the hands of Trinity College, and which I presume, if passed, will only be the harbinger of an agitation fiercer still than that which we are told would follow the passing of the present Bill. It will still leave the Roman Catholic in this condition, that he will not be able to obtain a degree in Ireland without going either to the Queen's Colleges, to which he objects, or placing himself under examinations and a system of discipline managed and conducted by a Protestant Board—a Board composed of eight gentlemen of 1863 whom six are clergymen of the disestablished Church of Ireland. The other alternative will be the adopting for Ireland a set of new principles, which Parliament has repudiated in Ireland and has disclaimed for Great Britain, not only treating the Roman Catholic majority in Ireland as being the Irish nation, but likewise adopting for that Irish nation the principles which we have ourselves overthrown even within the limits of our own generation. I know not with what satisfaction we can look forward to these prospects. It is dangerous to tamper with objects of this kind. We have presented to you our plan, for which we are responsible. We are not afraid, I am not afraid, of the charge of my right hon. Friend that we have served the priests. [Mr. HORSMAN: I did not say so.] I am glad to hear it. I am ready to serve the priests or any other man as far as justice dictates. I am not ready to go an inch further for them or for any other man; and if the labours of 1869 and 1870 are to be forgotten in Ireland—if where we have earnestly sought and toiled for peace we find only contention—if our tenders of relief are thrust aside with scorn—let us still remember that there is a voice which is not heard in the crackling of the fire or in the roaring of the whirlwind or the storm, but which will and must be heard when they have passed away,—the still small voice of justice. To mete out justice to Ireland, according to the best view that with human infirmity we could form, has been the work, I will almost say the sacred work, of this Parliament. Having put our hand to the plough, let us not turn back. Let not what we think the fault or perverseness of those whom we are attempting to assist have the slightest effect in turning us even by a hair's-breadth from the path on which we have entered. As we have begun, so let us persevere even to the end, and with firm and resolute hand let us efface from the law and the practice of the country the last—for I believe it is the last—of the religious and social grievances of Ireland.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Main Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 284; Noes 287: Majority 3.1868
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Cowper-Temple, right hon. W.|
|Adair, H. E.|
|Allen, W. S.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Amcotts, Col. W. C.||Crawford, R. W.|
|Amory, J. H.||Cunliffe, Sir R. A.|
|Anderson, G.||Dalglish, R.|
|Anstruther, Sir R.||Dalrymple, D.|
|Antrobus, Sir E.||Dalway, M. R.|
|Armitstead, G.||Davie, Sir H. R. F.|
|Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S.||Davies, R.|
|Backhouse, E.||Dent, J. D.|
|Bagwell, J.||Dickinson, S. S.|
|Baines, E.||Dilke, Sir C. W.|
|Baker, R. B. W.||Dillwyn, L. L.|
|Balfour, Sir G.||Dixon, G.|
|Barclay, A. C.||Dodds, J.|
|Barclay, J. W.||Dodson, rt. hon. J. G.|
|Barry, A. H. S.||Duff, M. E. G.|
|Bass, A.||Duff, R. W.|
|Bass, M. T.||Dundas, L.|
|Bassett, F.||Edwards, H.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Egerton, Adml. hn. F.|
|Bazley, Sir T.||Elcho, Lord|
|Beaumont, Major F.||Ellice, E.|
|Beaumont, H. F.||Enfield, Viscount|
|Beaumont, S. A.||Erskine, Admiral J. E.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Ewing, H. E. Crum-|
|Biddulph, M.||Eykyn, R.|
|Blennerhassett, Sir R.||Finnie, W.|
|Bolckow, H. W. F.||FitzGerald, right hon.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Lord O.A.|
|Bowmont, Marquess of||Fitzwilliam, hon. C. H. W.|
|Bowring, E. A.|
|Brand, H. R.||Fitwilliam, hon. H. W.|
|Brassey, H. A.||Fletcher, I.|
|Brassey, T.||Foljambe, F.J.S.|
|Brewer, Dr.||Fordyce, W. D.|
|Bright, J. (Manchester)||Forster, C.|
|Bright, rt. hon. J.||Forster, rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Brinckman, Captain||Fortescue, rt. Hn. C. P.|
|Brocklehurst, W. C.||Fothergill, R.|
|Brogden, A.||Fowler, W.|
|Brown, A. H.||Gavin, Major|
|Bruce, Lord C.||Gilpin, C.|
|Bruce, rt. hon. Lord E.||Gladstone, rt. Hn. W. E.|
|Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.||Gladstone, W. H.|
|Buckley, N.||Goldsmid, Sir F.|
|Buller, Sir E. M.||Goldsmid, J.|
|Bury, Viscount||Goschen, rt. Hon. G. J.|
|Cadogan, hon. F. W.||Gourley, E. T.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, H.||Gower, hon. E. F. L.|
|Gower, Lord R.|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||Graham, W.|
|Carington, hn. Cap. W.||Greville, hon. Captain|
|Carter, R. M.||Grieve, J. J.|
|Cartwright, W. C.||Grosvenor, hon. N.|
|Cave, T.||Grosvenor, Capt. R. W.|
|Cavendish, Lord F. C.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Cavendish, Lord G.||Grove, T. F.|
|Chadwick, D.||Hadfield, G.|
|Chambers, Sir T.||Hamilton, J. G. C.|
|Childers, rt. hon. H.||Harcourt, W.G.G.V.V.|
|Cholmeley, Captain||Hardcastle, J. A.|
|Cholmeley, Sir M.||Harris, J. D.|
|Clay, J.||Hartington, Marq. of|
|Clifford, C. C.||Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Henderson, J.|
|Coleridge, Sir J. D.||Henley, Lord|
|Colman, J. J.||Hibbert, J. T.|
|Corrigan, Sir D.||Hoare, Sir H. A.|
|Cowper, hon. H. F.||Hodgkinson, G,|
|Hodgson, K. D.||Otway, A. J.|
|Holland, S.||Palmer, J. H.|
|Holms, J.||Parker, C. S.|
|Hoskyns, C. Wren-||Parry, L. Jones-|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Pease, J. W.|
|Howard, J.||Peel, A. W.|
|Hughes, T.||Pelham, Lord|
|Hurst, R. H.||Pender, J.|
|Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.||Philips, R. N.|
|Illingworth, A.||Pim, J.|
|James, H.||Playfair, L.|
|Jardine, R.||Plimsoll, S.|
|Jessel, Sir G.||Portman, hon. W. H. B.|
|Johnston, A.||Potter, E.|
|Johnstone, Sir H.||Potter, T. B.|
|Kay-Shuttleworth, U. J.||Price, W. E.|
|Price, W. P.|
|Kensington, Lord||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Rathbone, W.|
|Kingscote, Colonel||Reed, C.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Richard, H.|
|Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. H.||Richards, E. M.|
|Laing, S.||Roden, W. S.|
|Lambert, N. G.||Rothschild, Brn. L.N.de|
|Lancaster, J.||Rothschild, Bn.M.A. de|
|Lawrence, Sir J. C.||Rothschild, N. M. de|
|Lawrence, W.||Russell, Lord A.|
|Lawson, Sir W.||Russell, Sir W.|
|Lea, T.||Rylands, P.|
|Leatham, E. A.||St. Aubyn, Sir J.|
|Leeman, G.||Samuda, J. D'A.|
|Lefevre, G. J. S.||Samuelson, H. B.|
|Leith, J. F.||Sartoris, E. J.|
|Lewis, H.||Seely, C. (Lincoln)|
|Lewis, J. D.||Seymour, A.|
|Locke, J.||Shaw, R.|
|Lorne, Marquess of||Sheridan, H. B.|
|Lowe, rt. hon. R.||Sherriff, A. C.|
|Lubbock, Sir J.||Simon, Mr. Serjeant|
|Lush, Dr.||Smith, E.|
|Lusk, A.||Smith, J. B.|
|Lyttelton, hon. C. G.||Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.|
|Mackintosh, E. W.||Stapleton, J.|
|M'Arthur, W.||Stepney, Sir J.|
|M'Clean, J. R.||Stevenson, J. C.|
|M'Clure, T.||Stone, W. H.|
|M'Combie, W.||Storks, rt. hon. Sir H. K.|
|M'Lagan, P.||Strutt, hon. H.|
|M'Laren, D.||Stuart, Colonel|
|Maitland, Sir A. C. R. G.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Marling, S. S.||Tollemache, hon. F. J.|
|Martin, P. W.||Torrens, Sir R. R.|
|Massey, rt. hon. W. N.||Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-|
|Melly, G.||Trevelyan, G. O.|
|Merry, J.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Miall, E.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Milbank, F. A.||Vivian, A. P.|
|Miller, J.||Vivian, H. H.|
|Mitchell, T. A.||Walter, J.|
|Monk, C. J.||Wedderburn, Sir D.|
|Monsell, rt. hon. W.||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Morgan, G. O.||Wells, W.|
|Morley, S.||Whatman, J.|
|Morrison, W.||Whitbread, S.|
|Mundella, A. J.||White, J.|
|Muntz, P. H.||Whitworth, T.|
|Nicholson, W.||Williams, W.|
|Norwood, C. M.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Ogilvy, Sir J.||Willyams, E. W. B.|
|Onslow, G.||Wingfield, Sir C.|
|Osborne, R.||Winterbotham, H. S. P.|
|Young, A. W.||Adam, W. P.|
|Young, G.||Glyn, hon. G. G.|
|Adderley, rt. hon. Sir C.||Cubitt, G.|
|Agar-Ellis, hn. L. G. F.||Dalrymple, C.|
|Agnew, R. V.||Darner, Capt. Dawson|
|Akroyd, E.||D'Arcy, M. P.|
|Allen, Major||Davenport, W. B.|
|Amphlett, R. P.||Dawson, Col. R. P.|
|Annesley, hon. Col. H.||Dease, E.|
|Arbuthnot, Major G.||Denison, C. B.|
|Archdale, Captain M.||Dickson, Major A. G.|
|Arkwright, A. P.||Digby, K. T.|
|Arkwright, R.||Disraeli, rt. hon. B.|
|Assheton, R.||Dowdeswell, W. E.|
|Aytoun, R. S.||Drax, J. S. W. S. E.|
|Baggallay, Sir R.||Du Pre, C. G.|
|Bagge, Sir W.||Dyott, Col. R.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Eastwick, E. B.|
|Ball, rt. hon. J. T.||Eaton, H. W.|
|Barnett, H.||Egerton, hon. A. F.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Egerton, Sir P. G.|
|Barttelot, Colonel||Egerton, hon. W.|
|Bates, E.||Elphinstone, Sir J.D. H.|
|Bateson, Sir T.||Ennis, J. J.|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Esmonde, Sir J.|
|Beach, Sir M. Hicks-||Ewing, A. Orr|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Fagan, Captain|
|Bective, Earl of||Fawcett, H.|
|Bentinck, G. C.||Feilden, H. M.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Fellowes, E.|
|Benyon, R.||Fielden, J.|
|Beresford, Colonel M.||Figgins, J.|
|Bingham, Lord||Finch, G. H.|
|Birley, H.||Floyer, J.|
|Blennerhassett, R. P.||Forester, rt. hon. Gen.|
|Booth, Sir R. G.||Foster, W. H.|
|Bourke, hon. R.||Fowler, R. N.|
|Bourne, Colonel||Galway, Viscount|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Goldney, G.|
|Brady, J.||Gooch, Sir D.|
|Bright, R.||Gordon, E. S.|
|Brise, Colonel R.||Gore, J. R. O.|
|Broadley, W. H. H.||Gore, W. R. O.|
|Brooks, W. C.||Grant, Col. hon. J.|
|Browne, G. E.||Gray, Colonel|
|Bruce, Sir H. H.||Gray, Sir J.|
|Bruen, H.||Greaves, E.|
|Bryan, G. L.||Greene, E.|
|Buckley, Sir E.||Gregory, G. B.|
|Burrell, Sir P.||Guest, A. E.|
|Buxton, Sir R. J.||Guest, M. J.|
|Callan, P.||Hambro, C.|
|Cameron, D.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Cartwright, F.||Hamilton, Lord C. J.|
|Cawley, C. E.||Hamilton, Lord G.|
|Chaplin, H.||Hamilton, I. T.|
|Charley, W. T.||Hamilton, Marquess of|
|Clive, Col. hon. G. W.||Hanbury, R. W.|
|Clowes, S. W.||Hardy, rt. hon. G.|
|Cobbett, J. M.||Hardy, J.|
|Cochrane, A.D.W.R.B.||Hardy, J. S.|
|Cogan, rt. hon. W. H. F.||Hay, Sir J. C. D.|
|Cole, Col. hon. H. A.||Henley, rt. hon. J. W.|
|Conolly, T.||Henry, J. S.|
|Corbett, Colonel||Henry, M.|
|Corrance, F. S.||Herbert, hon. A. E. W.|
|Crichton, Viscount||Herbert, H. A.|
|Croft, Sir H. G. D.||Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Sir P.|
|Cross, R. A.|
|Hermon, E.||O'Reilly-Dease, M.|
|Hervey, Lord A. H. C.||Paget, R. H.|
|Heygate, W. U.||Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Hick, J.||Palk, Sir L.|
|Hill, A. S.||Parker, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Hoare, P. M.||Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.|
|Hodgson, W. N.||Peek, H. W.|
|Hogg, J. M.||Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Holmesdale, Viscount||Pell, A.|
|Holt, J. M.||Pemberton, E. L.|
|Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N.||Phipps, C. P.|
|Plunket, hon. D. R.|
|Hornby, E. K.||Powell, F. S.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||Powell, W.|
|Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.||Power, J. T.|
|Jackson, R. W.||Raikes, H. C.|
|Jenkinson, Sir G.||Read, C. S.|
|Jervis, Colonel||Redmond, W. A.|
|Johnston, W.||Ridley, M.W.|
|Jones, J.||Ronayne, J. P.|
|Kavanagh, A. MacM.||Round, J.|
|Kennaway, J. H.||Royston, Viscount|
|Keown, W.||St. Lawrence, Viscount|
|Knight, F. W.||Salt, T.|
|Knightley, Sir R.||Sclater-Booth, G.|
|Knox, hon. Col. S.||Scott, Lord H. J. M. D.|
|Lacon, Sir E. H. K.||Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.|
|Langton, W. G.||Shaw, W.|
|Laslett, W.||Sherlock, D.|
|Learmonth, A.||Shirley, S. E.|
|Legh, W. J.||Simonds, W. B.|
|Leigh, E.||Smith, A.|
|Lennox, Lord G. G.||Smith, F. C.|
|Lennox, Lord H. G.||Smith, R.|
|Leslie, J.||Smith, S. G.|
|Lewis, C. E.||Smith, W. H.|
|Lindsay, hon. Col. C.||Smyth, P. J.|
|Lindsay, Col. R. L.||Stacpoole, W.|
|Lopes, Sir M.||Stanhope, W. T. W. S.|
|Lowther, hon. W.||Stanley, hon. F.|
|MacEvoy, E.||Starkie, J. P. C.|
|M'Mahon, P.||Steere, L.|
|Mahon, Viscount||Straight, D.|
|Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Manners, Lord G. J.||Sturt, Lt.-Col. N.|
|March, Earl of||Sykes, C.|
|Matthews, H.||Synan, E. J.|
|Mellor, T. W.||Talbot, J. G.|
|Miles, hon. G. W.||Talbot, hon. Captain|
|Mills, Sir C. H.||Thynne, Lord H. F.|
|Mitford, W. T.||Tipping, W.|
|Monckton, F.||Tollemache, Maj. W. F.|
|Monckton, hon. G.||Tomlin, G.|
|Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.||Torr, J.|
|Montgomery, Sir G. G.||Torrens, W. T. M'C.|
|Morgan, C. O.||Trench, hn. Maj. W. le P.|
|Morgan, hon. Major||Turner, C.|
|Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.||Turnor, E.|
|Muncaster, Lord||Vance, J.|
|Murphy, N. D.||Vandeleur, Colonel|
|Newdegate, C. N.||Verner, E. W.|
|Newport, Viscount||Walker, Major G. G.|
|Newry, Viscount||Walpole, hon. F.|
|North, Colonel||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.||Walsh, hon. A.|
|O'Brien, Sir P.||Watney, J.|
|O'Conor, D. M.||Welby, W. E.|
|O'Conor Don, The||Wells, E.|
|O'Donoghue, The||Wethered, T. O.|
|O'Neill, hon. E.||Whalley, G. H.|
|O'Reilly, M. W.||Wharton, J. L.|
|Wheelhouse, W. S. J.||Wynn, Sir W. W.|
|Williams, C. H.||Yarmouth, Earl of|
|Williams, Sir F. M.||Yorke, J. R.|
|Wilmot, Sir H.|
|Wise, H. C.||Dyke, W. H.|
|Wyndham, hon. P.||Taylor, Colonel|
|Wynn, C. W. W.|
I think, Sir, after the Division that has just taken place, the House will expect to hear a word from me. I apprehend that the effect of the Vote is to lay aside the Bill for the moment. It is in point of form capable of revival, but it requires a Motion for the purpose of reviving the Order. That the Vote of the House has been a Vote of a grave character, I need hardly say; and as the House never wishes to enter into deliberations upon secondary matters while the question of the existence of the Government is in doubt, probably the best thing I can do is to move that we now adjourn, and that we adjourn until Thursday.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ House at rising to adjourn till Thursday.
§ Ordered, That all Committees have leave to sit To-morrow, notwithstanding the adjournment of the House.—(Mr. Gladstone.)
§ House adjourned at half after Two o'clock till Thursday.