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Commons Chamber

Volume 229: debated on Monday 12 June 1876

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House Of Commons

Monday, 12th June, 1876.

MINUTES.]—New Writ Issued— For Pembroke County, v. Sir John Henry Scour field, baronet, deceased.

Supply— considered in Committee—Resolutions [June 8 and 9] reported.

Public Bills— Ordered—First Reading—Suez Canal Shares* [189].

Second Reading—Appellate Jurisdiction [111]; University of Oxford [151]; Army Corps Training [182]; Jurors Qualification (Ireland) [127]; Supreme Court of Judicature (Ireland) [161]; Metropolitan Commons (Barnes)* [181]; Local Light Dues (Reduction)* [173].

Considered as amended—Wild Fowl Preservation [42].

Third Reading—Local Government Provisional Orders, Aberavon, &c. (No. 7)* [164]; Tramways Order Confirmation (Wantage)* [157]; Gas and Water Orders Confirmation* [158]; Small Testate Estates (Scotland)*[145], and passed.

Army Chaplains—Compensation


asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he is prepared to recommend that compensation should be made to Army Chaplains compelled to retire under the age clause of the Warrant 1st April 1875, similar to that made to Medical Officers retiring under similar circumstances under the Warrant of 1st May 1876?

in reply, said, he had made a recommendation upon the matter referred to to the Treasury, but he must dispute the statement in the Question that the circumstances under which the chaplains retired were the same as in the case of the medical officers. The conditions under which the chaplains held their offices were different from those under which the medical officers held theirs, and therefore he could not make a similar recommendation.

Metropolis—St James's Park


asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether he has been able to take any measures for the lighting of the enclosure in St. James's Park, to which the Secretary to the Treasury promised his attention in August last?

in reply, said, that at the request of the Secretary of the Treasury he had made a careful examination into the question whether it would be possible or advisable to light the enclosure in St. James's Park, and he did not find that he could make any satisfactory arrangement for carrying out that object.

Army—1St Somerset Militia


asked the Secretary of State for War, If it is the case that the application of the First Somerset Militia for ammunition to fire a feu de joie on the Queen's birthday was refused, and if there is any objection to state the reason for that refusal?

in reply, said, the regiment had drawn its full supply of ammunition for the year, and under the existing regulations no more could be issued.

Post Office Savings Banks


asked the Postmaster General, Whether the Post Office Savings Banks system might not be beneficially extended by giving leave to depositors to lodge larger sums than they can now do both in each year and in the aggregate; and, whether he will consider the desirability of all Telegraph Stations and Money Order Offices taking deposits?

The question whether large sums may not be lodged by depositors in one year and also in the aggregate is already under the consideration of the Government. Savings bank deposits are taken at all money order offices throughout the United Kingdom. There are only 195 post offices in the United Kingdom at which telegraph business is transacted which are not open for money order or savings bank business, and these are situated in localities where savings bank business is not likely to arise. There are about 1,800telegraph offices at railway stations, but these offices are under the control of the railway companies, and could not be made available for savings bank business.

The Channel Tunnel Scheme


asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether, in the event of the scheme known as the "Channel Tunnel" scheme being attempted to be carried into effect, the Government will provide that the consent of Parliament be first obtained?

In answer to the Question of my hon. Friend, I am able to assure him that in the event of the scheme he has referred to being attempted to be carried into effect, the Government have already provided for authority to conclude a treaty—and a treaty will be necessary—and that treaty must receive the sanction of Parliament before being carried into effect.

Parliament—Arrangement Of Public Business—Question

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, looking to the condition of the "personnel" of the Mercantile Marine, he will afford any facility for the early consideration of the Training Schools and Ships Bill and the Mercantile Marine Hospital Service Bill, now waiting the Second Reading, these Bills having been before the House all last Session as well as this?

My first duty is, of course, to carry, if possible, those Bills which have been introduced on the part of the Government, those Bills dealing with subjects which we think are of most pressing importance. When they have been carried, or are in a position which is equivalent to their ultimate success, I shall be very happy on the part of the Government to place any time which is at our disposal at the command of hon. Members, and to apportion that time among those subjects which are most interesting to the House. The measures noticed by my hon. Friend no doubt refer to subjects which no one can deny are interesting; but I am not sufficiently acquainted with the manner in which those subjects are treated in those Bills to give any definite opinion on the course which should be taken with them. But the first engagement which the Government have in regard to time, independently of that which must be devoted to the passing of their own measures, is with the hon. and learned Member who introduced a debate on Irish Land Tenure, and which I promised, on the part of the Government, an opportunity of continuing.

Malta—Civilian Government


asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If Government has considered the policy of acceding to the desire of the Maltese for the appointment of a civilian governor on the retirement of the military governor next year, and for such reform in the constitution of the Council that it may have more of a representative character than it now has?

No official communication, Sir, upon this subject has been recently made to the Government, but the questiou has been brought forward from time to time. The conclusion at which we have arrived is that, having regard to the position of Malta as an important fortress, it would not be advisable to take any step in the direction indicated by the hon. Gentleman.

Army—Localization Of The Forces—Question

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether any difficulties have been experienced in carrying into effect the scheme called the "Localization of the Forces," as regards the relief of battalions abroad by their linked battalions from home; and, if so, what steps have been taken in consequence?

in reply, said, that the Localization Scheme was not intended to be in full operation before the year 1879 or 1880. At present no difficulties had been experienced in this matter, but, if they should arise, it would, of course, be necessary to modify the scheme accordingly.

Hrh The Prince Of Wales—The Nobility Of Malta—Question

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, What information has been received by the Government regarding the complaint of the Maltese nobility on the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales to Malta?

A letter has been received from the honorary secretary of the Committee of the Nobles of Malta repeating the complaint referred to by the hon. Baronet. This letter has been forwarded to the Governor, whose explanations have not yet been received. We have, however, received a despatch written by the Governor—in consequence of his attention having been drawn to a Question put to me a short time back by the hon. Baronet—in which he explains that it had been originally intended that a number of addresses should be presented to the Prince of Wales, and that a high place had been assigned to the Nobles, which accorded with their desires as to the order of precedence. His Royal Highness, however, was unable to receive more than one address in person, and consequently the arrangements in question fell through. It was then suggested that the Nobles should take a prominent part in a procession formed in honour of the Prince, but this plan they declined to carry out, as the hon. Baronet is aware. He will, however, be glad to learn that several of the Nobility dined at the Palace to meet His Royal Highness, and others were present at an evening reception, and were presented by the Governor to the Prince. I need hardly add that Her Majesty's Government are most anxious to accord all proper respect to the Nobility of Malta so far as is consistent with their obligations to the rest of the community.

United States—Extradition Treaty—Case Of Ezra Winslow


asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether a Despatch from Mr. Fish, dated May 22nd, 1876, in relation to the extradition of Ezra Winslow, was received at the Foreign Office on June 6th; and, whether there is any objection to lay the same upon the Table of the House?

in reply, said, a despatch of the nature referred to had been received at the Foreign Office, and it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government ultimately to lay it upon the Table of the House; but it would be premature to do so before the Government had given an answer to it, which they had not yet done.

Artizans' Dwellings—Question

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Return, ordered on the 21st February, respecting steps taken under the Artizans' and Labourers' Dwellings Acts of last Session, is likely soon to be presented, and what has been the cause of the delay?

in reply, said, that Returns on this subject had been received from the metropolis; but the reason why there had been a delay in the matter was, that they had not yet arrived from the sanitary authorities in the country.

Parliament—Privilege—Political Committee Of The Reform Club—Resolution

Sir, a letter has been received by an hon. Member of this House which I hold to be a gross breach of Privilege. It is in the following terms:—

"Reform Club, Pall Mail, May 26th, 1876.
"Sir,—I am desired by the Political Committee to inform you that a statement has been laid before them (copy of which I enclose) showing the Party votes given by you during the Sessions 1874, 1875, and 1876, to which they would invite your serious consideration, as they are of opinion that it would be unfortunate if any proceedings should have to be taken under Rule 29 of the club.
"I am, Sir,
"Your obedient Servant,
"Acting Secretary pro tem. of the Political Committee of the Reform Club.
"H. W. Ripley, Esq., M.P.
"21, Queen's Gate, S.W."
Sir, I hold that to be a menace to a Member of this House, and a breach of the Privileges of this House, and as such I wish to address you on the point. No one looking at that letter can doubt that it contains a menace, although the menace may not be of great importance itself; but I think that as addressed to a Member of Parliament and a Member of this House it is of great importance to us. Had it not been for the opinion of others of greater experience than myself I should not have presumed to bring the matter forward; but it is our duty to protect Members of this House, and I think that I am justified on that ground in bringing it before the House. I can quite understand why it should not be brought forward by the hon. Member himself, who would naturally be loth to bring forward the names of the members of the Club who are his associates. I have had no communication with the hon. Member on the subject, as I have not the honour of his acquaintance; but I thought it right that the question should be brought under the notice of the House, and I accordingly intimated to him that it was my intention to do so. It has been ruled for more than two centuries that interference with a Member of this House, so far as regards not only his votes, but also his speeches, is a breach of Privilege. In the reign of William and Mary it was so ruled; and a unanimous Resolution of the House was passed in 1733 pronouncing anything in the shape of an obstruction to Members coming to the House or a menace to them in consequence of their behaviour in this House, to be a gross breach of Privilege. I hold that that letter contains a distinct threat to a Member of this House. With the rules of the Reform Club I have nothing to do. If a club chooses to make rules, and a Member joins it, and subscribes to its rules, he must abide by them; he must abide by them so far as to submit to the pains and penalties which they impose. With that I have no right to interfere; but it is a very different thing when Members of this House are written to in this manner, and the privileges of this House are invaded. If an hon. Member be expelled from his Club, which a great writer has said is "the only vengeance of modern society," if he be expelled for his votes, that is a question for him: but when it comes to a threat with respect to specific votes, then I hold that that involves a question of the Privileges of this House. In the case of Sir Robert Peel, who has been described by a great living authority as the greatest Member of Parliament that ever lived, a writer who had made offensive remarks on his speeches was brought before the Bar of that House. Now, Sir, I have merely this to say, and I will endeavour to be brief. If this letter now before us had come into my possession in any manner which was not the most formal, I should not have brought it forward; but the matter has been brought before the House, it has been brought before the public; it has been put into The Times newspaper, not at our suggestion, but by a Gentleman sitting opposite; and I think, under any circumstances, it is absolutely impossible to pass over this matter unnoticed. I have undertaken a disagreeable duty, and in doing so I may have omitted arguments; but I wish to consult the dignity of the House, I wish to follow the precedents of the House, and, if I have done what I have done from a mistaken sense of duty, I hope the House will forgive me. I believe, as an observer and humble student of the law and practice of this House, that I have only done my duty. I have avoided all approach to personality: and as I fear that in what I have done I may have caused political discomfort to some Members of this House, I hereby personally and humbly beg their pardon. I wish to know, Sir, how far I shall be in Order in concluding with a Motion, not that this House do now adjourn, but on the matter on which I have addressed you?

The hon. Baronet having brought before the House a question of breach of Privilege, he is bound to submit to the House a Resolution; and he is also bound to produce for the consideration of the House the very letter which is said to have been written.

I think, tinder the circumstances, I will give my reason for not moving the opinion of this House upon this letter now, because I think it is desirable that more extended consideration should be given to it. I will therefore move that the writer of that letter, Mr. Lewis Morris, do attend at the Bar of this House on this day week.

Does the hon. Member produce the letter himself which has been written? The letter from Mr. Morris should be produced and laid upon the Table of the House. At present there is no Question before the House; but I am prepared to submit the Question to the House if the hon. Baronet, in accordance with the ordinary practice of this House, having made a complaint, produces the document upon which he founds his complaint.

Letter given to the Clerk at the Table, and read accordingly.

Will the hon. Baronet be so good as to hand me the terms of the Resolution which he desires may be put from the Chair?

advanced to the Table, and, having written the Motion, handed it to the Speaker.

The Question is that Mr. Lewis Morris, the writer of the letter now read, do attend at the Bar of this House on Monday next.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That Hr. Lewis Morris, the writer of the said Letter, do attend at the Bar of this House on Monday next, at a quarter past Four of the clock."—(Sir William Fraser.)

Is not the letter that has been produced marked "private," as I believe it is; but, if not, will the hon. Gentleman produce the envelope to show whether that is marked "private?" ["No, no!"]

Before this matter is discussed, it is right that I should state to the House that the hon. Baronet, in the exercise of his discretion, has thought it right to bring before the House a matter which he regards as a breach of the Privileges of the House. No doubt any menace addressed to any Member of this House, in such a manner as to interfere with his freedom of action as a Member of this House, is a breach of Privilege. Whether the menace which has been stated by the hon. Baronet is of such a character, it is for the House to decide.

When I came down to the House this evening, I was not aware that this Motion was to be brought forward by the hon. Baronet. It was by mere accident that the letter happened to be in my pocket, a friend of mine having asked me to show it him this morning. I should have been glad to lay before the House the list of my votes upon which that letter has been written, because, in my opinion, most of these votes have been stated, first by one side and then by the other, not to be Party votes. A great many of these votes have been repudiated by hon. Members on both sides of the House as Party votes. I am very sorry that a matter of a personal character should have been introduced into the House, and I will endeavour in dealing with it to be as short as I can. But I did feel that when that letter was sent to me it was something more than a question of a personal character, and I did send that letter to The times newspaper, so that hon. Members of the House might be able to judge as to the character of the question at issue. I am not here to express any opinion on the subject. I can only say that whatever the intention of the writer was, and whatever the influence of the letter upon me might be supposed to be, it never would weigh one straw or atom with me in any vote I might give. With reference to the letter, I may just further say that on the day following that on which those letters were published, I saw in The Times a letter purporting to be from a member of the Political Committee, in which he stated—of course, I speak from memory, but I believe I am correct—that my proposer and seconder, when I was elected to the Reform Club, had signed some document involving me in a certain political position. I immediately wrote to the Secretary of the Club, asking for a copy of that document, and the only reply I have received is that my request shall be laid before the Committee. But I may add this, that although being a Reformer, an honest Reformer, in the event of those gentlemen who proposed and seconded me being compromised by any action of mine, of course I should feel it my duty to retire from that Club.

said, he, also, had received one of these letters, in the same terms as the letter which had been read to the House. He had also been furnished with a list of the votes he had given during the last two or three Sessions of which the Political Committee of the Reform Club disapproved, and they had called his attention to the votes, holding up the penal consequences which would follow if he persisted in his wicked and perverse course. He had given no answer whatever to that letter, not from any want of courtesy or respect to the Political Committee of the Club, or the Club itself, but because he did not see how he could answer it without compromising the Privileges of that House. The hon. Baronet opposite said that when a man became a member of a Club he was bound by the rules of that Club; but if he felt that becoming a member of that Club, he must vote according to the dictates of the Whig Whips, he should have felt it his duty to retire from the Club. But on a careful examination of the rules of the Club he found the only thing required was for a member to be a Reformer. What was a Reformer? He believed they were all Reformers. That was to say, they all desired to reform what required reform. If the Re- form Club said to a man—"You do not belong to our Party, therefore we wish you to withdraw," nobody would wish to object to that; but when a Political Committee of a Club ventured to send to a Member of Parliament a list of votes given in this House, and called his attention to those votes, making him responsible to the Club for them, it was quite a different thing. If they allowed any authority but their constituents to call Members of that House to account for their votes, they could not tell where it would stop, and it was the beginning of a system which might prove extremely dangerous. He therefore thought that a Member was bound for the safety of the Privileges of the House to deny the right of any one other than his constituents to question his votes or to interfere with his action. The Party votes in his case included a vote as to the Royal Titles Bill. Could that be said to be a Party vote? Another vote was something about the Church of Scotland, in regard to which he voted in deference to the wishes of some Scotch friends. ["Order!"] He should not enter any further into that matter; but he maintained that it behoved the House to put a stop to any interference with the free exercise of the judgment of a Member of Parliament in that House. No doubt in some cases a man's comfort might, to some extent, depend on his belonging to a particular Club, and if he were exposed to expulsion it might exercise some influence on him; but the question was really one of Privilege, and the House ought not to allow the Privileges of its Members to be interfered with.

It is very difficult to define what is a menace which may influence our votes in Parliament. Now, for example, suppose there is an article in a newspaper finding fault with your votes and saying that you have to give an account of them to your constituents, is that a menace? If so, it is a menace we receive almost every day of our lives. Therefore, the House will see that in questions of this kind they must not decide too hastily. I should have been very glad if you, Mr. Speaker, with your high authority, had at once settled the character of this question. My own opinion is, that if you take a technical view of the interpretation of our Rules, you may lay down certainly that this is an interference with our Privileges, as many things are which we pass over, and wisely pass over. But with regard to the act itself, it appears that a Club of much distinction in the political world has a Political Committee as well as a General Committee. I do not know that I belong to a Club that has a Political Committee; and if I did I should view it with some alarm. I believe that Political Clubs form the machinery by which a great deal of money is spent and great offence is given to our friends in the country, with whom they are supposed unnecessarily and improperly to interfere. I think my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster was certainly authorised in bringing this matter before the House; but I am bound to say that he did not consult me on the subject. The letter in question has been written to a Member who certainly is much respected in this House; and I have always understood that the hon. Member for Bradford—who, if he has a bias in his political opinions, is decidedly Liberal—exercises his judgment as independently as any Member of the House. I should say that in the present instance it would not be wise to press this matter. A great indiscretion has, in my opinion, been committed by the Political Committee of the Reform Club, and I think this public notice will prevent its repetition, or that, if repeated, it will probably prove harmless. I should be glad, therefore, if my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster did not proceed with his Motion. If he does, I shall, without giving any decided opinion on the issue before us, meet it by moving the Previous Question.

I have very little to add to the very sensible advice which, in my humble opinion, has been offered to the House by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. The hon. Baronet the Member for Kidderminster (Sir William Fraser) appears to be anxious to emulate the distinction gained in this House last Session by the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. C. Lewis), and to induce the House to follow him in the same not very profitable discussion on questions of Privilege. But I think the House, although it was last Session entrapped by the hon. Member for Londonderry into this rather difficult and delicate question, from which it has not emerged with very great credit, will on this occasion be wiser, and will, without much further consideration, decline to follow the hon. Member for Kidderminster into the course he proposes to lead them. There is only one observation of the right hon. Gentleman opposite the Prime Minister as to which I find it necessary to offer a word of protest. The right hon. Gentleman considers that an act of great indiscretion was committed by the Political Committee of the Reform Club. Now I certainly do not feel myself called upon to defend the conduct of that Political Committee; but I believe that political Clubs are institutions which are of very great convenience and advantage to Members sitting on both sides of this House; and I do not feel convinced, without giving this matter further reflection, that it may not be necessary, under certain circumstances, for these institutions to take steps for preserving their political character in the way that has been done in this instance. It is perfectly true, as the right hon. Gentleman has stated, that, viewed in a certain sense, this may be a breach of Privilege; but the hon. and learned Baronet the Member for Wexford has, I think, taken a very sensible view of the case when he said that he quite admitted the right of the Reform Club or any other Club to indicate to any Gentleman that, as he no longer shared in the opinions which the Club was instituted to promote, they would prefer that he should tender his resignation. I am quite sure from what I have heard of that letter that there was no intention on the part of the Political Committee of the Reform Club to do more than that. The divisions in which the hon. Member for Bradford had taken part were pointed out to him in as polite a manner as possible, in order to show him that his political opinions were no longer in unison with those of the majority of the Members of the Club. I do not know that any more agreeable way could have been taken of communicating to the hon. Member the desire of the Committee that he should no longer remain a member of the Club. Breaches of Privilege like this are committed every day. ["No, no!"] I do not know that a Member's constituents have any more right than anyone else to call him to account; but I fancy there are very few hon. Members of this House who do not receive on many occasions in the course of their Parliamentary career expressions of opinion either of approval or disapproval from the constituency they represent. I trust the hon. Baronet the Member for Kidderminster will not think it necessary to persevere and put the House to the trouble of a division on the question he has raised. If he does I shall vote for the Previous Question, which the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government has announced his intention to move.

said, he could not help thinking that the consciences of some noble Lords and right hon. Gentlemen on the front and Opposition benches were rather severely pricked by the transaction of last Session to which they were so continually referring. He might say with respect to questions of Privilege generally, if the persons who broke the Privileges of the House were a little more careful of their own conduct they would not have occasion to complain of those who took notice of those breaches of Privilege. That was not the first time the noble Lord had thought it proper to refer to the course which he (Mr. Lewis) had taken last Session. It was only right, however, that he should remind the House, in defence of himself, who had been so unnecessarily drawn into that discussion, that many hon. Gentlemen in that House, and many public authorities out of the House, forgot the ground on which he ventured to bring the matter forward. It was in defence of individual private character of an hon. Member which was dear to Members on whichever side of the House they sat. But it was thought proper by hon. Members on the other side of the House to throw a cloud over the question he raised by introducing the question of interfering with the liberty of the Press, while the motive that was actuating him was the defence of the liberty of the subject and private character. He was not going to interfere in the present debate, but he did humbly protest against being made the butt of the noble Marquess, and that upon every occasion when the House got into a difficulty as to a question of privilege he should bring him (Mr. Lewis) forward. He ventured to say further, although the noble Marquess, with reference to the particular subject under discussion, had ventured to inform the House that that sort of thing was done every day, he had had the honour and pleasure of belonging to Political Clubs for 20 years, and he had never known it done in his own case, although he was a great sinner on the point of independence. If the political independence, which the Liberal Party claimed to have initiated, was to exist, the noble Marquess would find in the time to come that it was likely to find several exponents in his own ranks, and the noble Lord, as the Leader of a great and distinguished Party—the Liberal Party forsooth—would not be promoting Liberal principles generally by enunciating such views as he had that day, especially if he maintained that that action on the part of the Committee of the Reform Club, which was only taken once in half-a-century, was taking place every day. He maintained that in that Reformed House of Commons, elected under universal household suffrage, they might look, day after day, and year after year, for more independence of action on the part of Members of that House instead of less. He should feel himself an unworthy Member, with regard to his constituency, if he were afraid of being called in question by the Committee of the Carlton Club, because he had voted against Her Majesty's Government on several occasions. He should feel sorry indeed—and he thought the House and the Government would think less of him than they did—if he were to trail his vote in the dust behind any Government, despite the suggestion of the noble Marquess who might think that such a thing was done every day. The noble Lord could hardly have meant what he said. If such things were done they must have been done in secret and not in public. He thought the hon. Baronet the Member for Kidderminster had done a great public service to both Parties in the House by exposing this action on the part of a Political Club, which, however useful it might be in filling up vacancies in the representations of constituencies, was not the proper tribunal to go through the division lists, and to call Members to account for the votes given in that House.

as a private Member of the House, wished to express his regret that the question had been brought forward, and to say that he did not think there had been any breach of Privilege at all, or even a menace, otherwise it would seem to go forth that whenever a transaction of the sort took place the time of the House might be taken up with it, and an attempt of a Political Club to enforce its regulations would be made the subject of discussion in that House. He would state why, in his opinion, the matter now complained of was no breach of Privilege. If it appeared that this letter had been written for the purpose of compelling a member of the Club, who was also a Member of that House, to vote in a particular way in future, that would be a breach of Privilege; but it must be perfectly obvious to everyone that what was intended was to call attention to the fact that this was a Political Club, and that if a member of it had ceased to belong to that political Party he should also cease to belong to that Club, as his views were no longer in accordance with the views of the members or with the fundamental purposes for which the Club was founded. The Committee, therefore, only said—"Judging from certain evidence with which we supply you"—which could have been the only purpose in sending the votes—"that you are no longer in accord with the political views of this Club, we leave it to your consideration whether you will retire or leave us to take such steps as the situation and the constitution of the Club requires us to take." If that was what was meant, and nobody could doubt that that was meant, how could it be said that this was a breach of Privilege? He must protest against the notion that calling the attention of a Member of that House, who was also a member of a Political Club, to the fact that his political views had changed, and asking him whether he could remain any longer a member of the Club, was a breach of Privilege. He trusted that would be the view taken by this House, and that they might not have such discussions in future.

said, he could not agree with the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition. He (Sir William Fraser) maintained that that was not a parallel case with that brought forward by the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. C. Lewis) last year. He thought it a special question, and one well deserving the consideration of the House. It did not refer to anything which had been written in a newspaper.

He was anxious to avoid a precipitate expression of opinion by the House on the subject, and that was the reason he had not moved that it was a breach of Privilege. He was satisfied with the discussion that had taken place, and, with the permission of the House, would withdraw his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Appellate Jurisdiction Bill

[LORDS.] [BILL 111.]

( Mr. Attorney General.)

Second Reading

Order for Second Reading read.

in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said:—It may be, Sir, for the convenience of the House that I should state briefly the circumstances which have preceded the introduction of this measure. Some four years have passed since the Government of the day, in the person of Lord Chancellor Hatherley, brought into the other House of Parliament a Bill transferring the Appellate Jurisdiction then in the House of Lords to another tribunal. Upon that occasion my noble and learned Friend (Lord Cairns) felt it to be his duty to oppose that Bill. Lord Cairns, I need not remind the House, at the time had given the best and strongest proofs to the country of his earnestness and sincerity in the cause of Judicature Reform, and he was one of the most eminent Members of the Judicature Commission. He was perfectly sensible of the anomalies and inconveniences which attended the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords as it existed four years ago; but, although he was prepared to make every sacrifice for the better administration of justice, which must ever be looked upon as one of the principal concerns in political life, he wished to secure that object without losing the traditionary influence which exercises so strong, and, I believe, so salutary, an influence on the conduct and character of the English people. He met Lord Hatherley's measure by moving, as an Amendment, that a Select Committee be appointed, and having succeeded in that Motion, he took the opportunity, before that Committee, of giving an exposition of his views and the means by which the combination which he desired to see carried out might be attained—namely, the combinations which would secure a satisfactory administration of justice so far as an Ultimate Court of Appeal was concerned, without losing the great weight and authority which the House of Lords possessed. I am bound to say that on that occasion the most candid treatment was experienced by my noble and learned Friend from the late Government. Lord Hatherley and Lord Ripon, who represented that Government on the Committee, finding there was no chance of carrying their original measure, gave to the plan proposed by Lord Cairns their earnest and, I believe, unexceptional support; yet, notwithstanding all that support, the consequence was that in a Committee formed of the most eminent men—men the most distinguished for their knowledge of the subject—there was ultimately great division of opinion. Now, the House must be perfectly aware that under such circumstances there is but little chance for legislation on any subject. It is hardly possible in this country to carry any great change, unless you have the support of powerful public opinion; and when the most eminent authorities seem to differ and be discordant, public opinionis perplexed and becomes inert. The consequence was that in the years from 1870 to 1872 nothing was done on this subject, although there were great complaints in the public mind of the anomalies and deficiencies of the system of Judicature, so far as the question of a Final Court of Appeal was concerned; while, I believe, justice was never done to the great learning, ability, and authority of the House of Lords. In the following year, Lord Selborne succeeded Lord Hatherley as Lord Chancellor, the latter noble and learned Lord retiring on account of his infirmity, the same Government still remaining in office. Lord Selborne had for a long time been one of the most distinguished Members of this House; he and Lord Cairns were both Members of the Judicature Commission, and I think we must say whether we regard their abilities, their great experience, and learning, or the profound sentiment which influences them with respect to the great question of improving our Judicature, they certainly must be regarded as not the least eminent Members of the celebrated Judicature Commission. Well, Lord Selborne introduced, in 1873, a comprehensive measure, in which he attempted to deal with all the main recommendations of that Commission. He thought it necessary—and so far as his original idea went I believe he was right—to deal at the same time with the question of Final Appeal to the House of Lords, so that his measure, if carried, would have produced a great change and have embodied altogether those views of the famous Judicature Commission on which he had laboured so long, and with whose recommendations the public mind had become, to a great extent, familiar. Lord Cairns was then placed in a very delicate and difficult position. He was as anxious as Lord Selborne that a great reform of our Judicature should be effected; but his opinion on the proposition of that noble and learned Lord for transferring final appeals from the House of Lords to some other tribunal remained the same. He was opposed to that proposal, and there were other points in the measure of Lord Selborne which he did not view with extreme favour. At the time I am speaking of—1873—the most complete apathy prevailed in the House of Lords on a question which was intimately connected with its Privileges; nor was there out-of-doors any particular feeling on the subject. Any opposition at the time to the measure of Lord Selborne, had it been successful, would naturally have inflicted a severe blow upon Judicature reform. His Bill was not a complete measure; it required supplementary legislation, and any display of hostility or Party feeling excited on a subject which of all others demanded the expression of temperate opinions and of convictions swayed by no other considerations than those arising out of the learning and policy and justice of the case, would have created such a feeling that it is very possible that any measures intended to complete the scheme of Lord Selborne would encounter considerable difficulties; and Lord Cairns, perceiving that the cause of Judicature reform generally might be imperilled, and, in fact, at the moment was imperilled, determined to sacrifice the opinions he entertained on particular points, in order to facilitate the carrying of Lord Selborne's Bill. That measure, so far as it dealt with the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords, was confined to appeals in this country. Appeals in England were transferred to another tribunal; but the Bill did not touch on that occasion on the case of appeals from Scotland or Ireland. They were left to be dealt with in a Bill which was to be introduced the next year. The Bill of Lord Selborne was passed unanimously by the House of Lords; there was certainly, I believe, no division upon it, and it became the law of the land. It dealt, as I have said, only with appeals from England; it did not include a tribunal for intermediary appeals, which was advocated by Lord Cairns, and it left some points in the recommendations of the Judicature Commission untouched from motives of convenience. It became, as I have said, the law of the land; but, although it passed in 1873, it was not to come practically into operation until November, 1874. Meantime, at the beginning of 1874, a Dissolution of Parliament occurred, which resulted in a change of Ministry, and the first consideration of the new Government was how they were to deal with this great question of Judicature reform, which was not completed by the measure of Lord Selborne, and certainly not in one of its most important parts—that of establishing a tribunal of Ultimate Appeal. The opinions of his Colleagues with respect to the authority of the House of Lords were entirely in accordance with those of Lord Cairns. They believed, as he belived, that if the due administration of justice could be combined with a traditionary influence, such as that exercised by the House of Lords, it would be desirable to secure that object. There was, however, the immense incongruity to be taken into account of having one tribunal of final appeal for England and a different one for Scotland and Ireland. After due consideration, therefore, and with a full sense of the responsibility of their position, they felt it to be their duty to introduce a measure on the same lines so far as related to the Court of Ultimate Appeal as those which had been laid down by Lord Selborne, and consequently Lord Cairns, in 1874, introduced a measure into the other House of Parliament which proposed to transfer the Irish and Scotch appeals from the House of Lords to the new tribunal which had been devised by Lord Selborne, and which was to come into existence in the No- vember of that year. Lord Cairns, at the same time, introduced provisions for the establishment of a tribunal of intermediary appeal, and dealt with points in the recommendations of the Judicature Commission, which had been purposely omitted for the sake of convenience by Lord Selborne in the previous year. Hon. Gentlemen will remember that the Session of 1874 was curtailed of its fair proportions. A Dissolution of Parliament, a General Election, and the formation of a new Ministry are circumstances which, I think, must diminish the Session by nearly one-third of its duration. In addition to that, one of those questions which are not introduced by a Government, but round which the feeling and passion of a nation occasionally and almost periodically cluster was introduced into the other House by a distinguished Prelate, the Public Worship Regulation Bill, which being sent down to this House was moved by a private Member, so engrossed the attention and time of the House that it would have been impossible to introduce the measure sent down from the House of Lords, which measure, if it had been then passed, would have concluded the question of the whole fabric of our Judicature, and entirely settled the issue of Ultimate Appeal. When Parliament met at the beginning of last year we had to consider what course we should take with regard to this question, which had not been settled owing to the circumstances to which I have referred. We could not help remembering, in coming to a decision, that the Bill introduced by Lord Cairns in 1874 had passed through the House of Lords almost unanimously, and that the Appeal was already taken from the House of Lords as regarded all English cases. We, therefore, felt it was our duty, and at the same time only respectful to the House of Lords, that the same Bill which they had unanimously passed in 1874 should, again be presented for their consideration. But it so happened that in the interval a considerable revolution had occurred in the opinion of the House of Lords itself and of powerful Parties outside that House. The subject had been deeply considered and acutely felt, and instead of that state of perfect apathy which was originally found to prevail by the present Lord Chancellor when he had to deal with the question, he found the utmost excitement. He found there was great opposition, proceeding not merely from his own Friends, and not confined to his own side of the House, but also including many of his habitual opponents. A feeling was expressed on the part of the House of Lords which made it impossible to doubt that the fate of the Bill would be different from what it was in 1874. Outside the House that sentiment was, I may say, even stronger. Influential classes, supposed to be particularly capable of offering an opinion upon this question, had made themselves heard. Ireland and Scotland had expressed their sentiments in a manner which could not be misunderstood; and in every way in which a Government can learn what opinion is, we found that we were on very dangerous ground if we contemplated settling the question of Judicature Reform, and of carrying this considerable change in a manner which would recommend itself to the unanimous feelings of the country. The result was, that Her Majesty's Government withdrew the Bill which they had brought forward in 1875, and which had passed through the House of Lords in 1874. There certainly did, from that proceeding, at one moment appear to be a disastrous and dismal chance of the great changes which had to be accomplished being postponed for a considerable time; but, as it was, we succeeded in passing a short Bill, which delayed for another year the operation of Lord Selborne's Act. Well, we felt it our duty this year to consider what we ought to recommend to Parliament on this subject, for it appeared to us that it could no longer be neglected. The delay which had occurred in the formation of the High Court of Justice, provided for by the Bill of Lord Selborne, being in itself a grievous calamity. We had to consider, in the first place, what were the principles upon which the High Court of Final Appeal should be established, and we had to reconcile, if possible, the establishment of such a Court with its remaining in the House of Lords. We laid down four considerations—I believe I may call them principles—for our regulation. First of all we were of opinion that the Final Court of Appeal should be similar for the United Kingdom—namely, that it should be the same for England, Ireland, and Scotland. Second- ly, we felt that we must provide that it should be an adequate Court—adequate in learning and trained intelligence, and in the high authority and character of its members. Thirdly, we felt that the Court ought to be a continuous Court—that its sittings ought to be continuous during the whole period of the legal year; and, fourthly, it was our opinion that we ought to regulate the expenditure of the Court and to obtain as economical an administration of justice as was possible. These were the points which we had before us, and these are the points which we have endeavoured to provide for, among other matters, in this Bill. With regard to the first point, what we propose in this Bill is that the Court of Ultimate Appeal shall remain in the House of Lords. We propose that a certain number of the Members of that House shall be Lords of Appeal. The Lord Chancellor will, of course, be one, and all Members of the House who have filled that exalted position will be Members of the Court, as will all other Peers who have filled judicial posts of a high character. Besides this, we propose that there shall be two Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, chosen from the Bench or from the learned Bar, who shall be summoned to Parliament as Barons, who shall exercise their privileges as Barons while they hold these offices, and who when they have ceased to hold them will still possess the rank. We propose that they shall receive a salary superior to that of a Puisne Judge, but inferior to that received by the Chiefs of the Benches. We believe that in this way we shall certainly secure a tribunal similar for the United Kingdom. We believe, also, that we shall secure an adequate Court—a tribunal which, by its learning, skilled intelligence, and weighty character, will command confidence and respect. We further propose that at no time—although there will doubtless be many instances when the attendance will be greater—shall any cause be heard by fewer than three Lords of Appeal. We believe that these proposals will secure a similar Court and an adequate Court: and now I have to consider the question of the continuity of the sittings. We have provided in this Bill that that continuity shall be secured by enacting that the Lords of Appeal shall sit during the Prorogation of Parlia- ment, and that they shall hear every issue which has been entered on their record previous to that Prorogation. The fourth point—namely, the attainment, if possible, of a more economical administration of justice—is a subject more difficult to deal with. In the first place, the expenditure on a cause before the House of Lords arises mainly from three causes. First of all, it arises from the fees of the Court; secondly, from the great expenditure incurred by every document being printed which is placed before the Lords of Appeal; and, thirdly, from the cost for professional remuneration. With regard to the fees of the House of Lords, as far as I am informed and can learn, they in no way differ from the fees which are levied in our other important Courts; and certainly no reduction in them would sensibly influence the cost of the suit. With regard to the second point, there is no doubt that the expenditure occasioned by printing all the documents which are placed before the Lords of Appeal is very great. But when we remember how the clearness of a man's judgment is assisted when he reads a printed instead of a manuscript document, and how much the perspicuity of his intellect and his quickness of perception are promoted and assisted by such conditions; and when we remember the great—I might almost say the awful—responsibilities that attends a Judge who is deciding in Ultimate Appeal, I think we should hesitate before we sanction, for the sake of economy, the recourse merely to manuscript documents. Hon. Members can judge from their own experience when they have to read Blue Books and Reports of Evidence before Committees how their studies are facilitated by having printed documents. Therefore, I cannot hold out any expectation that there will be a reduction of expenditure by altering the existing system. I will now say a few words about professional remuneration, although it is a subject beyond legislation. A suitor will obtain, if he can, as his advocate the man most distinguished for eloquence, learning, and acuteness. He will have the best representative and the best adviser, and in order to have them he will take care that the remuneration which he offers is at least not inferior to that which would be offered by another suitor. That will go on, notwithstanding any sumptuary laws re- specting remuneration which we might pass. We might as well attempt to pass a law that a portrait painter should not receive more than a certain sum for his portrait, and then suppose that Vandyke—I will not mention any living artist—would always receive, in consequence of that law, the same remuneration. This is a subject of expenditure which, of course, we must leave to the House of Parliament in which these proceedings take place; but it is due to the House of Lords and to the Bill which I am now asking the House to read a second time to state that no effort has been omitted to diminish the cost of these proceedings. A Committee of the House of Lords met to consider the question generally, and a permanent Appeal Committee, of which the Lords of Appeal will be Members, has been appointed to, continuously during the Session, review the expense and observe the course and progress of these proceedings. My own opinion, if I may presume to give it, is that after all the best security for cheap justice is prompt justice. It is not the amount of the fees of the Court; it is not the costliness of the proceedings, even if the documents are printed; it is not the professional remuneration that causes the extraordinary expense sometimes incurred by those who are suitors: but it is the delay—it is the fact that arrears are perpetually accumulating. I have now placed before the House the outline of the scheme which they will find in this Bill for the formation of a Court of Final Appeal. It will consist of many ex officio Members, the Lord Chancellor, those who have filled the office of Lord Chancellor, men who have filled high judicial offices, and of two Lords of Appeal in ordinary. A Tribunal adequate in learning will always be secured by making three a quorum. The sittings will be continuous during the whole of the legal year, and every effort will be made to reduce and regulate the expenditure. When we lay it down as of great importance that the Tribunal of Ultimate Appeal should be similar to the whole of the United Kingdom, the House I know will feel the incongruity that, while you are making great efforts and great sacrifices to attain this result, there are still millions, and many millions, of Her Majesty's subjects, in her Indian Empire and in her other numerous Dependencies, who when they appeal to Her Majesty do not appeal to Her Majesty in either of the Houses of Parliament, but appeal to Her Majesty in Council. And there seems at first some inconsistency in our making sacrifices to obtain a similar tribunal of appeal for the United Kingdom, and leaving the appeals from India and the colonies to be addressed to another tribunal. Therefore, Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that it is a matter of great importance that some connection should be established between the House of Lords as regards the subject of final appeal and the Committee of Privy Council. The Committee of Privy Council consists of many ex officio Members, of men of very great learning and distinction. It also consists, under a comparatively modern Act, of four salaried Members, who are, of course, Privy Councillors, and who generally decide the appeals in the Privy Council. When a vacancy occurs by death or resignation among these four salaried Privy Councillors no successor can be supplied to them by Her Majesty. It is provided by the Act that we must come again to the Legislature upon the subject; and, therefore, when we are dealing with this question, that is a consideration which the House should bear in mind. What we propose is this—that, whenever there are two vacancies among the four salaried Privy Councillors, a third Lord of Appeal in the House of Lords should be appointed, and that when, either by death or resignation, there are again two vacancies among the salaried Privy Councillors, a fourth Lord of Appeal in the House of Lords should be appointed. And when that is consummated, we propose that the appeals in the House of Lords and in the Privy Council shall be decided by the same individuals, and the duties of the four Lords of Appeal will be in both Courts, if I may use the expression. It will be a Tribunal divided into two Courts. After that statement the House will naturally like to know what chance or rather what certainty there is if such a change is agreed to, that we shall be able to provide sufficiently for the administration of justice, and yet terminate those arrears of which we have heard so much. As far as I can learn, the average of the cases in the House of Lords and in the Committee of the Privy Council together may be taken at 250. Certainly 300 would, I think, be a safe, but at the same time a somewhat exaggerated calculation. But we will take the number of 300. The legal year consists of 200 days, and the House will, therefore, see that if this arrangement is acceded to the four Lords of Appeal, assisted frequently, of course, by the ex officio Members, will easily, I might say completely, transact the business of appeal of the country in the year, so that we may look forward to a state of affairs which will not admit of arrears. It may be asked, if this will be a desirable arrangement and an effective one, as I believe it will be, why do you not propose that it should at once come into operation? Well, no doubt, logically that ought to be our course, but I believe it is a rule of Parliament never to be logical in legislation. The Committee of Council has a high reputation. It possesses, deservedly, the confidence of the Empire and of the suitors. It transacts at this moment its business with unrivalled efficiency, while in the House of Lords there is no want at the present moment of men of great learning who act as ex officio Lords of Appeal. Probably there never was a time in which the House of Lords has been so distinguished as at present for its legal accomplishments and erudition. And, therefore, we have thought it would be better to leave this great change to the course of time rather than to make a violent alteration which might perplex and alarm those who are accustomed to look with confidence to the Committee of the Privy Council. Besides, there is a great disadvantage in forcing a sudden change upon the Bench or Bar. So far I have confined myself to the main business of this Bill, and have explained to the House its purport, as far as regards the institution of a Final Court of Appeal. If the House will consent to pass this measure, we shall have secured what we always look upon as a great object—namely, similarity of appeal for the whole of the United Kingdom, and ultimately for the whole Empire. We shall have provided a Court adequate for the transaction of the business that will come before it, and inferior, probably, to none that ever existed in learning and character; we shall have terminated one of the just causes of complaint in this country—namely, the sudden termination of otherwise satisfactory labours by a prorogation of Parliament; we shall have pro- vided for the continuous sittings of the Court of Final Appeal, and shall have done what we could do to set an example of administering justice in an economical manner. There is, however, in this Bill an important provision upon another subject to which I will briefly advert, and that is the Intermediate Court of Appeal. The Intermediate Court of Appeal was carried by a Bill last year. The Intermediate Court of Appeal consists of several ex officio Members—I am not sure whether they are less than eight—and three salaried Judges. It was a proposal that was received by some with great doubts as to its probable success. It was always the opinion of Lord Cairns that a Court of Intermediate Appeal was absolutely necesssary. If the appeals had been transferred to the new tribunal which Lord Selborne devised, it might be a question whether an Intermediate Court of Appeal would be necessary. But it appears to me that if you restore to the House of Lords the functions of a Final Court of Appeal, it is absolutely necessary to allow an intermediate appeal; because it appears, from the number of appeals, that it would be absolutely impossible for the House of Lords, though it might under these regulations sit during the whole legal year, to cope with the business before it. No doubt a suitor who has a great stake of any kind, such as being interested in a large estate, will not be content until he has the decision of the Court of Final Appeal. But there are many suitors who wish for an appeal, but are satisfied with an intermediate appeal, and there is a great deal of business done by the Court of Intermediate Appeal which I will not say would be frivolous and insignificant, but which it would be out of keeping to bring before the House of Lords. It has been said that the Court of Intermediate Appeal proposed in the Act of last year was one in which we should see the weakness of the Exchequer Chamber renewed. But I apprehend that that has not been the case, and that it has transacted its business satisfactorily. I would not presume to say, after the slight experience we have had of judicial reform, that the High Court of Justice has been perfect in all its particulars. It would be rash to draw definite conclusions on the subject. We must wait to see the result of the great experiment before we can arrive at a conviction upon which we can rest. But still, I think I am not wrong in saying that the public expectation has not been disappointed, and that every one feels that the change is adapted to the spirit of the time and the circumstances of the country, that it will secure the due administration of justice, that all the questions brought forward will be treated with adequate learning and a promptitude of decision which is equally important, and so far as we can see the effect of the whole fabric, the reform of our Judicature is one upon which we can look with satisfaction. But, apart from this, it is of great importance that we should strengthen the Intermediate Court of Appeal, looking to the fact that the business of the Court is constantly increasing, and that business is at present virtually transacted by the three salaried Judges. No doubt, there are occasions when the ex-officio Judges assist, and there are occasions when it is advisable that there should be a stronger Bench numerically than three Members. The House will recollect that I called their attention to the circumstance of vacancies occurring in the salaried Members of the Privy Council. I reminded them that this Bill proposes, in the case of two vacancies, that there should be a third Lord of Appeal, and, in the case of two more vacancies, that there should be a fourth Lord of Appeal appointed. With regard to the other two vacancies, we propose when they occur that there should be two Judges added to the Court of Intermediate Appeal. Then there will be for the Court of Appeal the Lord Chancellor and four salaried Judges in the House of Lords, who will transact the judicial business of the House of Lords and of the Committee of the Privy Council, and five Judges who will transact the business of the Intermediate Court of Appeal. When the measure was brought into the House—I think last year—there was a proposition to reduce the number of existing Judges by two. That proposition was refused, and I am not sure that the decision was not a prudent one, because we have to deal with a great mass of arrears, and we think it highly desirable that this greatest of all grievances should be kept down. But I cannot help believing that when the whole of this machinery—should the House sanction it—is brought into play, it will be in our power, with due regard to the adminis- tration and the satisfactory discharge of Public Business, to effect that reduction. In that case, with the four Lords of Appeal and five Judges of the Intermediate Court, making nine in all, you will have, though the duties are distributed in a different manner, exactly the same number of Judges as was proposed by Lord Selborne's celebrated Act. I mention that lest you may suppose that in the scheme I have laid before you there is an unnecessary piece of public expenditure. I have now endeavoured to put before the House, without wearying it, the leading features of this scheme. It has been a difficult and anxious duty to bring even to this point the proposition which I have now to make to the House. I have no doubt there has been much sacrifice of feeling on the part of many persons and parties in agreeing to this arrangement. But it is not looked upon by us as a compromise, but as the result of the convictions of men and of Parties that the time had come when our system of Judicature ought to be completed, and that the best and the only mode has been proposed—a mode which would combine a better administration of justice with regard to final appeals with all the traditional influence which has so great an effect upon the character and conduct of the people of this country, and without which it is doubtful whether a High Court of Ultimate Appeal ever would command the unanimous confidence and reverence so desirable. I beg, Sir, to move the second reading of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Mr. Disraeli.)

said, the House would feel indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for the clear indication he had given of the provisions of the Bill. They must all agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the time had come when the settlement of this question of an Appellate Court became an absolute necessity. There would be a probable agreement of opinion in much that had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman in relation to this matter; but there were, however, some statements in reference to the history of the subject which could not pass without some comment. The right hon. Gentleman had given somewhat of a résumé of the his- tory of the attempts at legislation with respect to appeals, and had made references to the conduct of persons which were certainly new, and had taken some who heard him by surprise. He appeared to feel it was almost necessary, if not to defend, at least to make an apology for, the course Her Majesty's Government had pursued, and he founded that apology on matters over which the Government had no control, and which arose out of a change in public feeling. The right hon. Gentleman had suggested that when in 1873 Lord Selborne introduced the original Judicature Act in the House of Lords, Lord Cairns entertained the opinion on this subject which he now entertained, and that he was always inclined to support the policy to which effect was given in this Bill. But when the Bill of 1873 was introduced there were two prominent principles contained in it, so far as this Appellate Court was concerned; the first was the removal of the jurisdiction of the Appellate Court from the House of Lords, the second the abolition of an Intermediate Court of Appeal. He understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that at that time Lord Cairns expressed in Committee an opinion in opposition to the principles of that Bill, and that he yielded his opinion either to the necessity of the time, or in deference to the opinion of others. He (Sir Henry James), however, had always understood that at that time Lord Cairns was entirely in accord with the views of Her Majesty's Government; and he expressed himself as agreeing with the leading principles of the Bill—that the House of Lords was no longer to constitute the Court of Appeal, and that there was to be no Intermediate Court of Appeal. It would be found on reference to his speeches, that he had spoken to the effect that he had indicated his views on the subject to his noble and learned Friend Lord Selborne, that he refrained from putting Amendments on the Paper, lest it might be supposed that he desired to delay, much less endanger, the measure; and that he was glad to have an opportunity of stating that in all that concerned its outlines and main provisions, that Bill had his entire approval, and he would be sorry to do anything to endanger its passing that Session. The House now, however, learnt for the first time that the noble and learned Lord had always entertained the view that the House of Lords should retain its power as an Appellate Court, and that there should be a Court of Intermediate as well as of Final Appeal. When the Measure of 1873 came before the House, the right hon. Gentleman himself had most clearly expressed opinions with reference to it which coincided with those held by Lord Cairns. In fact, the whole responsibility of the measure of 1873 must be shared by Lord Cairns as well as the Government of that day, and by the right hon. Gentleman. If Lord Cairns's views were such as were then described, he had a majority in the House of Lords which could have given effect to them, and there was no reason why he should have yielded his opinion. It was strange, therefore, that the House should be now told that Lord Cairns and the right hon. Gentleman himself had always been opposed to depriving the House of Lords of its Appellate Jurisdiction, and in favour of the establishlishment of an Intermediate Court of Appeal. But not only were the views to which he had referred entertained by the Lord Chancellor and by the right hon. Gentleman in 1873, but they were embodied in the Bills introduced, upon the responsibility of the present Government, with the same majority as they now have, in 1874 and 1875, which provided for the transfer of the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords to a new Court of Final Appeal, and made no provision for the establishment of an Intermediate Court of Appeal. Now came the influences to which reference had been made. His hon. Friend the Member for Salford (Mr. Charley), having nothing else to do in the Long Vacation, concluded an alliance with the hon. Baronet the Member for Wexford (Sir George Bowyer), and forming a Committee in St. James's Place, they brought into play that amount of public opinion which influenced Her Majesty's Government in coming to a decision. [Sir George Bowyeron: Hear, hear!] Of course, it was satisfactory to the hon. Baronet to find he was able to change the opinions of Lord Cairns and of the Prime Minister, and so to effect a change in the character of their Bill. He (Sir Henry James) was not prepared to criticize what had in this case been called public opinion. It was not the first time the influence of St. James's Place had been felt in this House. There appeared to be about St. James's Place a sort of stagnant atmosphere, producing on the minds of those who gathered there a feeling unfavourable, at all events, to reforms of a revolutionary character, or to such as were proposed without full consideration. He therefore contended that it was St. James's Place influence, and not that of public opinion, that had brought about this change in the minds of the noble and learned Lord and of the right hon. Gentleman. They had now, however, to deal with that as a practical question, and knowing the power which Her Majesty's Government possessed in that House, of carrying out their views when they had once determined upon them, it would, in his judgment, be well for the House to accept this Bill, and to permit it to be read a second time, subjecting it, of course, to a fair amount of criticism. Assuming, however, that the measure was a good one, he thought that the credit for suggesting it should be given, not to Her Majesty's Government, but to the hon. and learned Member for the Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Watkin Williams), who, names being changed, had suggested its main provisions in a letter which he had written to The Times on the 25th of March, 1875. That letter was as follows:—

  • "1. That, in place of Lord Selborne's High Court of Appeal the existing Court of Lords Justices of Appeal, with an increased number of Lords Justices, should be retained, and form a Division of the High Court of Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature.
  • "2. That there should be an appeal from all Divisions of the High Court of Justice to the Lords Justices of Appeal, and from the latter Court to the Imperial Court of Appeal of the House of Lords.
  • "3. That the Crown should have power to confer a limited number of judicial Peerages upon Judges during their holding office, either as Chief Justices or Lords Justices of Appeal, or paid Members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and that these Judicial Peers, together with all other Peers who hold, or have held judicial office, should hear and dispose of all appeals in the Imperial Court of Appeal of the House of Lords, and that Lords Justices thus appointed Judicial Peers should be relieved from attendance in the Intermediate Court of Appeal.
  • "4. That, by Order in Council, all appeals to Her Majesty in Council might be referred to the Imperial Court of Appeal of the House of Lords.
  • "5. That the appellate business of the House of Lords should be disposed of at such times, and in such places, and in such manner generally as to the number of Judges and other mat- ters as may from time to time be directed by Standing Orders of the House."
  • That letter was, in fact, the Bill before the House. He now came to consider the question whether, in fact, the great principle of the retention of the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords, for which the St. James's Place Committee had struggled so manfully, had in reality been maintained. The great evils which Lord Selborne and the Government of 1873 were anxious to remove were these—that, in the first place, the House of Lords was a political, and not a judicial body; that it sat for judicial purposes only at those periods of the year when it sat for legislative purposes; that the time it devoted to judicial purposes was inadequate to enable it to discharge its duties properly; and that its judicial strength was insufficient. He maintained that in what was proposed to be done by this Bill, the whole of the substance of what had been contended for by the Committee of St. James's Place had been given up, and that the name, and nothing but the name, of the House of Lords, had been retained—a rather barren victory on their part. Those who had suggested the measure of 1873 ought to be well satisfied with the present measure. True it was that in future the causes would be determined in the chamber in which the House of Lords sat, but the Judges who would determine them would be altogether distinct as a body from that House. Experience taught that where there were paid Judges and Judges who existed only in an ex officio capacity, the whole of the duties would eventually come to be performed by the former alone. In this case as soon as the four paid Judges of Appeal existed in the House of Lords, they would be really the persons performing the duties. They would be Peers—and again they had the name—but they would be Peers because they were Judges, and not Judges because they were Peers. Another object they sought—namely, that there should be a judicial tribunal sitting not only when Parliament was sitting, was given under this Bill. The House of Lords, when Parliament was not sitting, would be sitting as a Court of Appeal by the provisions of this Act. If all that was satisfactory to the Gentlemen who fought for what they called a great principle, they who had obtained the substance of what they fought for, would not be behaving properly if they offered any unfair opposition to the Bill. On the whole, therefore, those who had struggled for the substantial reform ought to be fully satisfied with the success they had gained, and might leave those who were opposed to the change to console themselves with the triumph they had obtained in retaining the empty name of the House of Lords as the title of the new Final Court of Appeal. With regard to the second portion of the Bill which dealt with the continued existence of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, it involved a practical question, and one of serious importance when considered in reference to the subject of the Intermediate Court of Appeal. As regarded the Intermediate Court of Appeal, it was true there was no direct legislation, but indirectly there was much, and if the right hon. Gentleman who had moved the second reading of the Bill assumed that the existing Intermediate Court was to continue because up to the present it had been found satisfactory, he set out with a very erroneous impression. The general public could not know very much on a subject of this kind; but if the right hon. Gentleman would seek the opinions of those connected with the practice of the law, he would, with few exceptions, hear the existing Intermediate Court described in terms of disapproval. The opinion of the Lord Chancellor might be opposed to this view, but the noble and learned Lord was scarcely in a position to take a perfectly accurate view of the subject. He could only speak of the Court as it was when he was sitting as a Member, and on those occasions it was vastly different from others when he was not present. The Court would be satisfactory, no doubt, when made up of the Lord Chancellor, Judges borrowed from the Primary Courts, and further strengthened by the Master of the Rolls, who, when hearing appeals was, from no fault of his own, neglecting the business of his own Court in Lincoln's Inn. But when constituted under other conditions it was not possible to regard the Court as satisfactory, and it should not be formed in such a manner. It was clear from the proposals of the Bill that in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government reforms were necessary, but no prompt remedy was proposed. Surely, in a case of this kind, if it was considered important to alter the constitution of a Court, that alteration should not be dependent upon the length of time to which the life of a member or members of the present Court might extend, but should be made at once. If satisfactory, the existing Court should remain as at present; if unsatisfactory, it should be remedied without delay. Another objectionable feature of the Bill to which he wished to refer was that, for the first time, it gave to the Minister in power patronage of a combined nature, for it would enable him to appoint as Judges lawyers whose presence would not strengthen the Court, but might either increase the influence of the Government in the House of Lords, or enable it to reward services other than legal which had in times past been rendered to the political Parties with which they were connected. He, however, thought the public would desire to see every safeguard imposed, so that the appointment of these Judges should be for their merits, and not for their Parliamentary support. The only suggestion which he could make would be that the provision of the Bill that allowed the appointment of barristers of 15 years' standing should be struck out, and that the appointment should be confined to those who had for a certain number of years sat in the Primary or Intermediate Court. They would thus be Gentlemen who had been removed from the action of political favour, and would have given some proof of their ability.

    said, he was clearly of opinion last year that the course then taken by the Government tended strongly in the direction of a satisfactory solution of the great judicial problem before them. In the fusion of procedure in the administration of the two great principles of Law and Equity they had a basis of operation which, in judicious hands, could not fail to result in the satisfactory determination of many questions of judicial re-construction which had long occupied them. Whatever the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) might choose to say to the contrary, so far from the Lord Chancellor having changed his mind in reference to the Court of Appeal, as had been supposed, his course had been entirely consistent throughout, and in accordance with the opinions of those with whom he generally acted—that was, a most evident and most earnest desire to produce a system of Judicature which should have the advantage of the most perfect economy of judicial power. What was mainly desired was that satisfactory Courts of Intermediate and Final Appeal should be constituted, and, as far as he could judge, the measure under consideration would achieve these objects. The House of Lords had always discharged the judicial functions in trusted to it in a manner which commended itself to the approval not only of England, but of Scotland and Ireland also, and he thought it would be unwise rashly to interfere under the circumstances. He, however, believed that our most distinguished Law Reformers, headed by the Lord Chancellor, were desirous of creating and maintaining a Court of Ultimate Appeal, in which the Profession and the public would have the utmost confidence. With reference to what had been said by the hon. and learned Member for Taunton on the subject of the Intermediate Court of Appeal, he must say that, so far as he could learn, the decisions of that Court had given unqualified satisfaction. He was altogether unaware of the existence of any feeling of dissatisfaction as to the constitution of that Court, except as to its fluctuating and casual character, as to which he concurred with the hon. and learned Member that it was desirable the Court should be a permanent one, and that its Members should not be casually selected. Then, as to the appointment of additional Judges, the proposal of the Government that two additional Judges should be appointed for the express purpose of strengthening the Court of Appeal was at first virtually agreed to and adopted by the House, during the discussion on the Judicature Bill last Session, but the proposal was abandoned—as he understood—in consideration of the opposition it met with from a high quarter at the other side of the House. The question was not a new one, and if the hon. and learned Member for Taunton would propose that there should be two additional Judges in the Court of Appeal, it would no doubt receive favourable consideration. The House should remember this fact in reference to the Court of Appeal—that unquestionably its work was accumulating very rapidly, notwithstanding the circumstance that two Courts of Appeal had usually sat. In January last there were 69 appeal cases; in March, 86; in April, 107; and on the 12th June, 120 cases waiting for hearing. There were 43 Chancery appeals now waiting for hearing, whilst in Easter Term, 1875, there were only 11, and in Trinity Term 13. As to the business of First Instance, his own opinion was that it was impossible that in the Chancery Division the number of Judges could be reduced; for the increase of the arrears of business had been rapid, and he might say alarming; the number of causes awaiting hearing in Easter sittings last year being 288, while in Easter sittings of the present year the number amounted to 412. In the Court of the Master of the Rolls and the three Vice Chancellors' Courts the increase was also great and progressive, there being in Trinity Term, 1875, 328 causes waiting for hearing, whilst now the number was 502; and there was no hope that these four learned Judges could keep down the arrears, more especially as the necessary absence of the Master of the Rolls from his own Court in order that he might sit in the Court of Appeal involved a great diminution of judicial strength, as well as the closing of that noble and learned Lord's Court. In the Easter Sittings, 1876, which comprised 34 working days the Master of the Rolls sat only 14 days in the Rolls Court, and was absent from it and sitting on appeal for 20 days. So far, then, from there being a likelihood of the House being able to reduce the number of the Judges, it appeared to be obvious that the appointment of another Vice Chancellor would be absolutely requisite for the discharge of the business with anything like necessary speed. The examination of witnesses vivâ voce in Chancery under the new practice tended much to prolong the tearing of new causes. With respect to the limitation of the Lords of Appeal to those who for a certain time had discharged judicial functions, he could only say that no doubt it was most important to get men of high eminence for Judges of Appeal, but that was no reason for restricting these appointments to those who were already Judges; for men appeared from time to time who might well be appointed to the Court of Appeal in the first instance; and it would be somewhat strange that a barrister might be called to the highest legal office—that of Lord Chancellor—and yet not be eligible for the office of Lord of Appeal. Then, with respect to the right of appeal, he would, so far as England was concerned, suggest that that right might be extended by allowing an appeal not only from the Intermediate Court, but from the Divisional Courts direct, without the necessity of appealing to the Intermediate Court. An Intermediate Court of Appeal was often useless, because when it had once decided a point, it was much better to take a similar case straight to the House of Lords to be reviewed, without the expense and delay of an argument before the Intermediate Court. There was nothing novel in the principle of the propositions contained in the Bill, and he hoped the House would give it a second reading.

    said, he did not rise for the purpose of prolonging the debate; but he felt bound to say, that if the Government had pursued a consistent course from first to last upon the subject, it was one of a most remarkable character. Let the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Marten) recur to the authentic records of Parliament, and he would find that the real state of the case was very different. It was certain that in 1873 the Members of the present Government supported the proposal to do away with the House of Lords as the final Appellate Tribunal, and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the present Government entered into an able argument to induce the House to support that proposal. The right hon. Gentleman then stated that the subject had been long considered by the Profession, the suitors, and the Government; that the principle had been perfectly settled, and that there was to be only one Court of Appeal. In 1874 the present Government came into power, and they made the same proposal. They were then masters of the situation. That House was not permitted to refer to the debates of the House of Lords, but they might refer to the Journals, and he found that Lord Redesdale, being extremely anxious to prolong the judicial existence of the House of Lords, moved a Resolution to the effect that it was admitted that the House of Lords was preferred by Scotland and Ireland as a Final Court of Appeal to any other, and that as a satisfactory Court of Final Appeal had not yet been established for England, it was expedient that time should be allowed for making such improvements as might perfect the constitution of the House as a Final Court of Appeal. That Resolution said, in effect, that the legislation of 1873 was not satisfactory, and that it was not desirable to abolish the judicial authority of the House of Lords. The first name in the division which negatived that Resolution was that of the Lord Chancellor. Lord Derby also voted against it, and how, then, could it be said that the conduct of the Government had been entirely consistent? In 1875 an Intermediate Court of Appeal was certainly constituted, but it was a merely provisional measure in order that the proposal to prolong the judicial existence of the House of Lords might be re-considered, and now in 1876 it was proposed to retain the House of Lords. But apart from the controversy as to consistency there was the graver one as to whether they were to have an adequate tribunal. Of course there was no use arguing against the many legions who supported the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. All he said was that it was deeply to be regretted that the policy those legions now enabled the right hon. Gentleman to maintain was not the policy they enabled him to maintain in 1874, but an exactly opposite policy. He deeply regretted that Her Majesty's Government should have changed their opinions on this matter. He would not attempt to discover the motives which had induced them to support Lord Selborne's Bill in 1873, a similar Bill in 1874, and the same principle, in 1875, and afterwards to change their views. They all remembered the memorable scene in the House of Lords, when the Lord Chancellor of a Government commanding a large majority, to his own great regret, withdrew a Bill approved by the Cabinet, supported by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, and sanctioned by both sides of that House. It was, however, necessary, as his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) had said, to make the best of a bad bargain. For himself, he admitted, he had always desired that there should be only one Court of Appeal, instead of an Intermediate Court of Appeal, because these perpetual appeals were a great grievance to the poorer subjects of Her Majesty, and ended in favour of the suitor who had the longest purse. These principles, however, after having been thus accepted for three years, and after being supported, as he had said, by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, was now thrown over, and an Intermediate Court of Appeal was to be retained. He thought every member of the Profession would agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Taunton in his criticism upon the existing Intermediate Court of Appeal. He (Sir William Harcourt) thought what his hon. and learned Friend said was very true, that the last person to form a correct estimate of the Court was the Lord Chancellor, for it was quite a different Court when that noble and learned Lord was present. The Bar were then treated with courtesy, and his presence gave a weight and a dignity to the Court which he was afraid it did not always possess in his absence. He must confess that if anything would reconcile him to the continuance of the House of Lords as a Court of Appeal, it was that that judicial dignity which was so important a partin the administration of justice was always found there, although it was sometimes missed elsewhere. He still, however, regretted that the highest Court of Judicature in the country was to be left a political body, and that had always seemed to him to be the greatest objection to continuing the jurisdiction of the House of Lords. It was all very well to say that that objection had no practical operation, because the Court would not have to deal with Constitutional questions, for it was at the moment it should not operate that the political character of the House of Lords became dangerous. Cases might recur like that of Mr. O'Connell, involving grave political questions which would have to be determined by persons who were actually engaged in the struggles of politics, and the public would think that in the main they were decided upon political considerations, as that of Mr. O'Connell was. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: No, no!] The hon. and learned Member for Wexford was perhaps the only man who doubted what others believed from the first, that all the Liberals voted on one side and all the Conservatives on the other. Besides political questions, others that were more or less class questions might arise, as in the Bridgewater case, the decision of which, it had always been considered, was influenced by other considerations than those relating to principles of conveyancing and real property which ought to have guided the decision. These were the main reasons why it must always be objectionable to leave the final Court of Judicature in the hands of a political body, and these objections the Bill would not remove, but, on the contrary, it took Judges and made politicians of them, as it made them Peers because they were Judges. He had always deemed it desirable that in founding a new system it should be kept free from politics; but they had practically no alternative but to accept the Bill as it stood. No doubt it removed many practical objections to the jurisdiction of the House of Lords by constituting a Court to sit when the House itself was not sitting, thus severing the tribunal as a judicial body from the House as a legislative body. The jurisdiction of the House was practically terminated and transferred to a body of gentlemen with judicial authority; but he was anxious to know what would be their social status when they ceased to be Judges?

    said, then what a farce it was, for it seemed that when one of them ceased to be a Judge he would cease to be a Peer in the ordinary sense of the word; and that suggested that in order to improve our Judicature we should be compelled to separate it from the hereditary Peerage. It was understood that this final Court would satisfy Scotland and Ireland because it was to be the House of Lords, which implied a supposition that the law was to be administered by an hereditary Peerage; but that was not so, and therefore there was a severance of the Judicature from the House of Lords in the proper sense of the word. That seemed to be an indirect way of doing that which he desired to do; and he preferred the plan of 1873, because it involved total separation. It was not worth while for the sake of preserving the name of the House of Lords to create a Court of this hybrid character.

    congratulated Her Majesty's Government on their having introduced a statesmanlike measure acceptable to both Houses, and, if proof were wanted of the unanimous opinion of the legal Profession and of the country generally, it was to be found in the fact that no Notice had been given of opposition to this Bill. Last year hon. Members who were favourable to preserving the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords were denounced as a clique and a coterie meeting in an obscure place, but that could not be said now, in the absence of opposition to the Bill. Neither could it be said that the Government were afraid to depart from the policy of their predecessors; they had done so, and the country had supported them. With regard to the division referred to by the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge (Mr. Marten), he (Mr. Charley) was one of the Tellers, and, as 14 Members of the present Government voted in the minority, it was certainly an emphatic protest against the policy which was then being pursued. The present Government had been quite consistent, because what was said in 1873 by Lord Cairns and the Prime Minister was, that if an Intermediate Court of Appeal were dispensed with it would be necessary to abolish the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords, as the number of appeals would be too large for it to deal with them. As Lord Selborne's Act had destroyed the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords for England, the question was whether the same should be done for Scotland and Ireland, the primary object of Lord Cairns being to establish one Court for the Three Kingdoms. A great change of opinion occurred in 1874,and the Government were quite consistent in recurring, not, as had been stated, to the suggestions of the hon. and learned Member for the Denbigh Boroughs (Mr. Watkin Williams), but to the recommendations of the Select Committee of the House of Lords of 1856. The Bill was, in fact, founded on their unanimous recommendation. In their Report they said—

    "Although during certain periods the number of Law Lords in regular attendance on the Appellate Business has been inadequate to meet the requirements of the public and the Profes- sion, experience has proved that such attendance cannot always be relied upon. Hitherto those by whom this duty has been discharged have been for the most part ex-Chancellors. The Committee are of opinion that the attendance of others equally qualified to sit with those Peers in judgment on the decisions of the inferior Courts would be best secured by the creation of other high legal officers, in connection with the House of Lords, with such salaries as would secure their acceptance by the most eminent Judges. The Committee are therefore of opinion that it is desirable that two offices should be created, to be held by two Law Lords, whose duty it should be to assist the House in the performance of its judicial duties."
    The Committee further recommended that the office of a paid Deputy Speaker of the House should be held by the same tenure as the office of a Judge, at a salary or income of £6,000, which was the salary now proposed for the Judges who were to belong to the Court. The Committee further said—
    "The attention of the Committee has been drawn to the difficulty which may, in some cases, be felt hereafter, of appointing the most fit persons to judicial offices connected with the House of Lords, if it cannot be done without conferring on them hereditary Peerages; and it appears to the Committee advisable that any person appointed to such an office should be enabled, by authority of Parliament, to sit and vote in the House, and enjoy all the rights and privileges of a Peer of Parliament under a patent conferring a Peerage for life only, if the Crown may have granted, or shall grant, the same to such person in preference to a hereditary Peerage, provided always that not more than four persons shall have seats in the House at one time as Peers for life."
    This Bill, as he had said, then was founded on the recommendations of that Committee. He altogether denied the statement of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) and the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt), that the Bill did not preserve the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords. As to the substitution of the form of petitioning, instead of bringing a Writ of Error, it was a recurrence to the old method. The Lords of Appeal were only supplementary, not substitutional, and there were precedents for their appointment. They were to aid the Law Lords in the consideration of matters of appeal. He hoped, however, they would only be brought into existence when necessary. At present there was ample judicial strength in the House of Lords for the discharge of their appellate duties. He also hoped that measures would be taken for calling in the assistance of the Equity Judges as well as the Common Law Judges to assist their Lordships in particular cases. If that were done, he should think it desirable to adopt the recommendation of Lord St. Leonards that a sort of retiring fee should be given to the Law Lords, in recompense for their services, in addition to their retiring salary. If that course were taken it would hardly be requisite to create the Lords of Appeal. As to the Lords of Appeal sitting during a Dissolution, that could occur only at very rare intervals. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford was certainly not justified in his argument that this involved a substitution of Lords of Appeal for the House of Lords. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford had cited the O'Connell case as a proof that political considerations might influence their judicial functions; but he maintained that case rather proved the reverse. Lord Selborne had himself declared that the decisions of the Lords gave dignity to the law, and also to the House of Lords itself.

    said, that the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt), in order to justify the measure of the late Government which abolished the jurisdiction of the House of Lords, had thought fit to attack that House, and described it as a "political body." He most emphatically denied that assertion. It was contrary to history, and he could not have chosen a more unfortunate case to prove his allegation than the O'Connell decision. If it had been a political tribunal, the Tory Lords would have overwhelmed the Judges altogether, but the Lay Lords retired and the question was decided by the Law Lords. It was decided on principle, and no one had impugned the judgment. The decision in the Bridgewater case was also held to be good law. It proceeded on grounds of policy and sound principles of conveyancing. It was perfectly unnecessary to inquire whether the Lord Chancellor and other Members of the Government had been consistent in the course they had taken on this subject since 1873. In that year a Bill had been passed—he (Sir George Bowyer) thought without sufficient consideration—which made a great alteration in the Constitution of the country, taking from the other House a most important part of its authority and dignity. But a change of opinion had taken place out-of-doors and in both Houses of Parliament. Many Members of the Government he knew had reluctantly given way to the proposal of Lord Selborne, and afterwards were extremely glad to find that public opinion warranted them in recurring to their original views. He would not dwell on any of the historical or Party questions which had been mooted by the hon. and learned Members for Taunton and Oxford; but he did contend that the Appellate Jurisdiction of the House of Lords was maintained by the Bill, and he hoped it would be upheld in its dignity and constitutional right, a right which had come down from antiquity, as the highest Court of Appeal. The objection that because certain Lords of Appeal were to assist the House of Lords in the performance of their judicial duties, the House of Lords was superseded, had no foundation whatever. That was no innovation or derogation from the constitutional character of the House of Lords. It was rather a recurrence to the ancient Constitution, described by Lord Hale in his famous treatise on the Jurisdiction of the House of Lords. When the Bill got into Committee it would require mature and profound consideration. The 6th clause gave the key-note to the whole Bill. The first words were these—"For the purpose of aiding the House of Lords in the hearing and determination of appeals, "&c. He thought care ought to be taken that they did not go beyond "aiding the House of Lords, "&c. It might happen that there would not be with the Lord Chancellor a sufficient number of ex-Chancellors or ex-Judges in the House of Lords to discharge the judicial functions of that House, and therefore the addition of two learned persons to aid the House of Lords in the hearing and determining of appeals would be of advantage. But care ought to be taken not to go beyond an addition of two such persons, for that number, he was convinced, would be amply sufficient. As he understood the Bill, whenever two vacancies occurred in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council two Lords Ordinary of Appeal might be appointed. That would make four Lords Ordinary in Appeal, and with regard to the point there was a proposal in Clause 6 which he thought would deserve consideration in Committee. He wanted the clause to make it quite clear that Her Majesty might appoint as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary any Peer who had held a judicial office, and who had a seat in the House of Lords as a Peer. Why should they consent to vote £6,000 a-year to a person to be appointed as a Lord of Appeal in the House of Lords, if there were Peers who had held high office and who enjoyed pensions who would be quite competent to perform that duty? The two persons who might be appointed as Lords Justices to assist the House of Lords would not be Peers, although they might be Lords of Parliament. They would be in a position analogous to that of the Bishops, who were not hereditary Peers. Again, he objected to mixing up the House of Lords with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Judicial Committee was a most satisfactory tribunal, having the confidence both of India and the Colonies. It had very seldom to administer the English law, but it administered the Mahomedan and the Hindoo law, together with the peculiar statutes which prevailed in India; it also administered the French and Dutch Civil Law, which prevailed in the Colonies. It was peculiarly fitted for those functions, as it had among its Members Indian and Colonial ex-Judges who were versed in those peculiar branches of law. Those learned persons were required for the Judicial Committee to perform their duties to the Colonies and to India, which had not been consulted in that matter; while, on the other hand, the men who were experienced in Mahomedan and Hindoo law and in French and Dutch Civil Law would be perfectly useless in the House of Lords, which had never to decide any of those questions that belonged peculiarly to the Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee of Privy Council was now admirably adapted for its work, and if they touched it they would injure it. It was, moreover, a matter of high policy to maintain that Court, which had the confidence of the people of our Dependencies. He therefore hoped the part of the Bill which appertained to the Privy Council would be struck out, which might be done without seriously impairing the measure. As the Bill now stood, as he had said, he could not deny that he saw a certain danger of their, perhaps, hereafter having, in- stead of the House of Lords, a Court of four salaried Judges as Lords of Appeal in Parliament, sitting alternately in the House of Lords and in the Privy Council. In conclusion, he regretted the necessity of making these criticisms on the Bill, for it was a measure which, taken on the whole, showed the constitutional wisdom of the Government; and he, for one, wished to bear testimony to the admirable manner in which they had stemmed the torrent of prejudice which had been awakened by a certain portion of the Press against the House of Lords, and to congratulate them on having preserved an important part of the Constitution. The opinion of the Bar was strongly in favour of maintaining the jurisdiction of the House of Lords, and the Bill carried out that principle.

    said, had the Court proposed to be established been purely English, he should not have troubled the House. The Committee of Privy Council, however, was becoming more and more an Indian Court, and as he had some knowledge of Indian affairs, and this was a subject on which he had great experience, he ventured an opinion. In the main, both from a Scotch and an Indian point of view he was favourable to the Bill of the Government. His only complaint was, that the Government had not followed out what the head of the Government described as a logical sequence of his statement, that the Bill would not take immediate effect, would not come into operation during the lives of the four Judges recently appointed. He reminded the House that last year he had suggested that they should not borrow Judges only from the regular Courts as proposed by the temporary Bill, but from the Privy Council also. The suggestion, however, was not listened to, and the result was that the regular Courts were still accumulating arrears, while the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was quite under-worked. In his opinion, the public interests were being sacrificed to an excessive punctilio for personal consideration. Good as the present Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was, it did not command the respect that had been commanded by the old Committee of Privy Council which was constituted somewhat as the present Bill proposed. If some of the Judges of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council could be transferred to other Courts, immediate effect might be given to the Bill, and they might have that form of Judicial Committee which would be preferable to the present, while the other Courts would be rendered efficient. But, as the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) had shown, the Bill could not take effect until four of the present Judges who were not all old men, and who they hoped might live many years, should have disappeared in the course of nature. The present Judicial Committee of Privy Council comprised two paid Judges on full salaries, and two Indian Judges not receiving full salaries, but only the difference between liberal pensions and the salaries of Judges of Appeal. He suggested that the fully paid should be transferred to one of the other Courts, but he was told that this was impossible, from personal considerations. He thought these ought not to prevail as against public interests. He was afraid the result of maintaining the present system in the Judicial Committee would be that, having the present large Court, they would think it necessary to find work for it. In his opinion, appeals from India were already too numerous. These appeals came from 10 or 12 different tribunals, and though, no doubt, that was favourable to English lawyers, the expense and loss of time were very prejudicial to the interests of the Native as well as to public justice. Appeals from India to the Privy Council should be confined to cases of importance involving important points of law, and should not be permitted in petty cases or those involving mere facts. Therefore, he appealed to the Government to say whether they would not enable their Bill to be immediately carried out by the transferring of two of the Judges of the Privy Council.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.

    University Of Oxford Bill Lords

    ( Mr. Gathorne Hardy.)

    Bill 146 Second Reading

    Order for Second Reading read.

    in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, when he looked back upon the time when he was an undergraduate at Oxford, and compared Oxford of the present day with that time, he saw how great had been the changes which resulted from the Act of 1854, and the Commission by which that Act had been preceded. He did not intend, however, to go into what had happened in former days. He only wished to call attention to the fact that the Oxford of the present day had a much larger number of undergraduates than it had at that time, and that there was every prospect of the number increasing. Not only were the Colleges filled, but there were a large number of unattached students; and he thought he might say that both Oxford and Cambridge were taking a place in the consideration of the country which was not only felt within the Universities themselves, but by those who were acquainted with their worth in all parts of the United Kingdom. As to the measures which it was proposed to take to enable them to extend their usefulness still further, the Commission of 1854 practically settled the question of the government of Oxford University; and there was no intention in the Bill to alter the conditions or circumstances of the University authorities or Colleges so far as that Government was concerned. There had been two Commissions since then; one on scientific research, and the other, which had recently sat, on the revenues of the Universities and Colleges. With respect to that which sat on scientific research, it went into questions which had excited a good deal of attention. He spoke more from his knowledge of Oxford than of Cambridge; and he would pass by the Commission, with the remark that what it recommended was that the Universities should address themselves more to research than they had hitherto done, and one of the proposals of this Bill was to enable the Commission to deal with scientific research. He came next to the Commission upon the revenues of the Universities and Colleges, and everybody would concur that that Commission clearly made out that while the Colleges were comparatively rich, the Universities were poor; the Universities not having sufficient means for the extension which was required of them, whilst the Colleges were in a position to enable them, without any inter- ference with their working, to contribute still more liberally to their assistance than they had done hitherto. No doubt, it was true that there had been a great many disputes as to the results of this Commission and the conclusions arrived at. Anybody, however, who would take the trouble to look into the Blue Book would find that there was a vast increase, present and perspective, in the College revenues, and that the Universities had gradually become deficient in the means of carrying out those things which were, in his opinion, as essential for the Colleges as for the Universities themselves. He had observed some time since a statement in an able letter, which appeared in one of the public journals, that the Universities had urgent claims upon them for libraries, museums, schools, Professors' rooms, more Professors, and increased remuneration for their teaching, and that they had not money to meet those demands. In that letter it was pointed out that the difficulty might be met by levying additional taxation on the members of the Universities; but that, he thought, would bear very hardly on the poorer class of students, and was entirely out of the question if they wished to encourage people to resort to the Universities. If, then, the members were not to be taxed sufficiently to meet the objects in view, were they prepared to ask for a grant of public money, and was the House prepared to tax the country for that object? For his own part, he did not hesitate to say that that might legitimately be done to aid a national University under certain circumstances, but not while there were other resources at command which could be taken without injury to others and devoted to the same kind of objects for which, if applied to Colleges, it would be devoted. The present Bill, therefore, was a Bill for enacting that there was an interdependency between the Universities and Colleges from which the latter derived stability, which rendered it just and fair that the Colleges should contribute towards the funds of the University from which they derived their character, with the view of increasing its usefulness and making it re-act on the Colleges to their advantage. The matter would not, he might add, inasmuch as several of the Colleges had already been shown to have contributed largely to University purposes, be left to the voluntary action of the Colleges, because there might be an indisposition on the part of some and an over willingness on the part of others to contribute; but the Commissioners under the Bill would, he hoped, look upon the needs of the Universities and the means of the Colleges as a whole, and endeavour to deal out justice to each, not attempting to deprive the Colleges of the funds of which they stood in need, but, when their wants were supplied, taking care that the funds at their disposal should be made available for improving the condition of the Universities. The Bill had been characterized by some as a revolutionary measure; but there was nothing, he contended, to be found within the four corners of a revolutionary character. If, as was said, it would tend to destroy the College system, he for one should not have brought it forward. All that had grown up at both Oxford and Cambridge had been dependent on the Colleges in connection with the Universities, and it was that system which was peculiar to those two Universities, which had done so much to establish them in the affection of the country, and which, he, for one, would do nothing to endanger. It was far from his intention to destroy the independence and self-government of the Colleges, or affect them injuriously in any way; but, on the contrary, he should wish them to be so thoroughly connected with the University that they would assist it as if it were a part of themselves. There was no disposition, so far as the Bill was concerned, to alter the system of study in the University, and he trusted that whatever might be done for science or research nothing would be done to sacrifice that literary teaching which had always been connected with the Universities. Classical, historical, philosophic, and, in fact, all kinds of learning would, he hoped, still be maintained to the same extent as at present, and, if it were found necessary to introduce new studies or give increased facilities to students, it would be done without the destruction of existing systems, and he trusted the foundation would always remain of a good, sound, classical education. There was, at all events, no intention, so far as the Bill went, to destroy any of those studies. What was wanted was that the Bill should be what he might call an acade- mical Bill, and he hoped it would not be considered either in a theological or a political point of view. It took the University and Colleges as it found them, and its object was to give them increased life and energy, and tend to the improvement of both. In order to do that a Commission such as that appointed under the Bill should not, in his opinion, take isolated cases. A great many people said—"When you have seen so much done, why not leave the matter to the continuance of voluntary action?" At present there were great differences of opinion as to the mode in which the funds should be applied with the view of increasing the usefulness of the Universities, and that House, would, he thought, be singularly ill-qualified to discuss the details of the subject. It was only by means of a Commission which could examine and test all the operations of the Universities and Colleges that any satisfactory conclusion could be arrived at as to the manner in which the relations between them should be varied. If the whole thing were left to voluntary effort, the burden could never be equalized, and therefore it was desirable to have persons who would inquire into matters on the spot. There were, he might add, many who were anxious for a greatly enlarged Professorial system. Whenever he went to Oxford now he found some 600 or 700 men at the schools being examined. All those intermediate examinations were wholly unknown in his time; but there was now a perpetual state of examination. When, however, the present Bill was being brought forward with the means of increasing the Professorial system, he hoped no extravagant or exaggerated extension would be made in that respect without full consideration, for in his opinion nothing should be done in the way of Professorial extension which would extinguish the tutorial system. Professorial teaching would never meet the examination requirements of the present day. The tutorial system, by the mere action of the Colleges themselves, was at present taking a very different form from that which it did formerly. It was used economically and advantageously, and he held a statement in his hand which pointed out that the teaching of the tutors was by no means confined to their own Colleges. At present different Colleges associated themselves together for the purpose of general mathematical or classical teaching, and the existing system should not be interfered with rashly, neither should we deprive the Colleges of the funds they required for those purposes in order to institute what was called Professorial teaching in the University. He did not wish to disparage that kind of teaching which, no doubt, had an advantage in giving a large and general view of great subjects; but it could not impress special parts of subjects on the minds of pupils as well as individual teaching did. He now came to a question which had raised some feeling—that of residence. Far be it from him to say that a non-resident Fellow was an idle man, for he knew much of the reverse. At the same time, he might remark that, as far as his immediate bearing on his College and University was concerned, there could be no doubt that he did not render any special services for the income which he enjoyed either to the College or the University. He might take a considerable part in the improvement of the Colleges and the University, but being non-resident, he did not give any assistance to education going on therein. Besides, it seemed to him remarkable that life prizes should be given for a single examination, whether he rendered services or not. At present a man went in for an examination, and if he obtained it and continued celibate he was entitled to hold the Fellowship for the rest of his life. That was a position which, in his opinion, justified the declaration in the Preamble that provision should be made for limiting the tenure of Fellowships. He could not help feeling that on this point the House would have an almost unanimous opinion. He had, however, seen many poor men who would hardly have been able to go to the Bar at all if they had not had at the beginning a small Fellowship to begin with. With regard to the condition of celibacy, it was worthy of consideration whether it might not be relaxed in the case of Fellows who devoted their time and talents to educational work in the University. Now what was the University to get from those who were able to assist it? Everybody was most anxious that the grandeur and magnificence of the Bodleian Library should be extended. For that purpose additional buildings would be required, and no one could doubt that a great central library like the Bodleian, which admitted the whole world, might fairly expect not only to be supported by the University, but to receive assistance from the Colleges also. He next came to the question of what was called research. Sometimes he did not quite know what was meant by those who made use of the word. If it were meant that we should give an income to a gentleman for pursuing his classical, historical, or scientific investigation, there was not a sufficient guarantee to justify the employment of a fund in that way. Nothing, indeed, would require more attention on the part of the Commission than the endowment of research properly so-called. With regard to research on physical subjects, in which investigation was most required, how were we to treat a man? Was he to be treated like Tycho Brahe, who was placed in a large mansion and left to study the stars. That great astronomer did so, but it was doubtful whether everybody who was placed in an equally comfortable position would follow the example. Therefore, provision ought to be made that the research should be for definite objects and for a definite period, and that the results should be ascertained before the salary originally given was continued. He also trusted it would be of that kind which was essential to teaching, and which would be for the advantage of the Colleges and the University that supplied funds for it. He thought, however, that was a matter that might be fairly left to the Commissioners. In some of the Petitions it was suggested that there should be a preliminary inquiry, but he supposed that meant a preliminary inquiry on the part of the Commissioners before they laid down any definite rules. They would no doubt look at the question as a whole before coming to any definite conclusion. He took it for granted that no information would be withheld by the University or any of the different Colleges; and he had not the least doubt that the Commissioners would obtain all the information which they might require. The question had been so thoroughly investigated that there was enough of information at present available to enable them to come to such a conclusion as to render them immediately able to enter upon action. With respect to the Amendment on the Paper of his hon. and learned Friend opposite (Mr. Osborne Morgan), he believed it was not hostile to the Bill, but it pointed out the necessity of obtaining some definition of what was intended to be done. In regard to the point, he might observe that the Preamble of the Bill laid down certain principles in general terms, while the 15th clause gave to the Commissioners as much guidance as could be given, considering that they would have to inquire before they formed their conclusions. Beyond that the Bill itself was framed on the principle that a University should contain within itself every art and science necessary for use that men should know—that there should be some one or other able to teach any one of those great subjects which influence the destinies of the world. It provided that the Commissioners, in statutes made by them for the University, might make provision for affording further or better instruction in any art or science, for consolidating any two or more Professorships or Lectureships, for erecting and endowing Professorships of, or Lectureships in, any art or science, and for increasing the endowment of any Professorship of, or Lectureship in, any art or science. Another object for which the Commissioners might make provision was "for altering the conditions of elligibility and mode of election to any Professorship and public Readership." Some amendments of this nature might certainly be made with advantage. Another object was "for providing retiring pensions for Professors and public Readers." This would be a beneficial provision, for what could be more undesirable than that men in such a position should cling to it to the last, wishing to teach, but without the ability to teach, because no retiring allowance could be given to them? The next object was to provide new or improve existing buildings, libraries, collections, or apparatus. He was told that in the Museum at present there were 60 or 70 students where there was only room for 20. Even upon the ordinary principles of demand and supply such an object as this must be provided for. The next purpose mentioned was "for diminishing the expense of University education by founding scholarships tenable by unattached students not members of any College, or by paying salaries to the teachers of such students, or otherwise." This provision was introduced at the instance of the most rev. Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. He (Mr. Hardy) was certainly of opinion that ability combined with poverty should receive assistance, but it might be worth considering in Committee whether the limitation here expressed was not too narrow. In the Halls there were some men quite as poor as the unattached students, without many of the advantages which the unattached students enjoyed; and therefore the limitation in the clause might probably be extended with advantage. Then came the Colleges, and the general principle laid down was that the University and the Colleges were a whole; that the University ought to be in a position to meet the wants and wishes of the Colleges, and must be put in a state to meet all demands for instruction in science and art which properly formed part of University education; that there should be a central power in the University; and that the Colleges should feel themselves so bound up with the University that they should not hesitate to give of their abundance towards it. If this feeling were elicited, he was sure that there would be a reaction of benefit to the Colleges themselves. Oxford and Cambridge had had an existence prolonged beyond that of most such institutions. There were older ones elsewhere, but there were none more famous or to which the heart of England was more thoroughly attached. For years the two Universities had been endeavouring to meet the educational wants of the country. They came now to Parliament, and he might say that they came almost unanimously, for, whatever might be the differences of opinion upon certain details of the Bill, there was an almost unanimous opinion in the University that the time had come when the relations of the Colleges with the University and of the University with the Colleges should be re-considered; that the time had come when the great and growing funds of the Colleges should be made applicable to the purposes stated in the Bill. He trusted, therefore, that the House would concur with the University in obtaining some of the great results which were foreshadowed in the Bill, and which he had ventured, though so feebly, to describe. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving the second reading of the Bill.

    Motion made, and Question proposed,

    "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Gathorne Hardy.)

    in moving as an Amendment—

    "That in view of the large legislative powers entrusted to the University of Oxford Commissioners by this Bill, this House is of opinion that the Bill does not sufficiently declare or define the principles and scope of the changes which such Commissioners are empowered to make in that University and the Colleges therein,"
    said, he hoped it would be unnecessary to disclaim any intention on his part to obstruct the Bill or embarrass the Government. On the contrary, he desired to thank the Ministry for the promptitude with which they had grappled with this difficult question, and particularly to thank the righthon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Hardy), for the conciliatory and reassuring speech in which he had introduced his measure. Approaching, as he wished to do, the subject from an academical rather than from a political point of view, he would endeavour to avoid any topics which might divert the attention of the House from the objects they all had in view—the real improvement of the University. Before discussing the Bill, let him say one word as to that which was the most important part of the Bill—he might almost say it was the Bill—the Commission itself. It might seem presumptuous for a private Member like himself to criticize even from a favourable point of view so distinguished a body of men. At the same time their names were now public property, and one necessary consequence of entrusting such exceptional powers to any body of men was to make the Bill a question of men rather than of measures, and to make any discussion which made no reference to the personnel of the Commission necessarily incomplete. Fortunately, of the majority of that body nobody could speak except in terms of unqualified commendation. Everyone who had known Lord Selborne in that House or at the Bar, who remembered his brilliant University career, and who had witnessed his recent indefatigable efforts in the cause of legal education, would feel that no better person could be found to preside over such a Commission. The names of Mr. Justice Grove, of Mr. Montague Bernard and Sir Henry Maine, were names of wide and deserved reputation, and as to his hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Ridley) he hoped he might be allowed to say to his face what he had often said behind his back, that no more worthy representative of young Oxford could be found on those benches. Of Lord Redesdalehe wished to speak with the respect due to the bearer of a great name and a most useful and able public functionary. But it had occurred to others besides himself that Lord Redesdale's large experience and great talents had been acquired and displayed rather in discovering objections than in surmounting them—rather in picking holes in the schemes of others than in framing such schemes as those to which the Commission would have to address itself, and he might be pardoned for expressing a doubt whether an intimate acquaintance with the Standing Orders of Parliament was the very best education for a University Reformer. Of the Dean of Chichester, he could speak with less reserve, for so strong was the objection entertained to him in "another place" that his name was actually challenged, not only by a debate, but by a division. Surely, if it was necessary to place on the Commission some representative of Dr. Burgon's school of theology, some less ostentatiously aggressive—he might almost say pugnacious—champion of that school might have been selected. Oxford men had not forgotten—they could not forget—how only a few years ago Dr. Burgon had endeavoured to exclude from the University Pulpit one of the best and ablest men who had ever adorned the English Church or any other Church—the Dean of Westminster. He thought the noble Lord the Marquess of Salisbury must have forgotten this episode in Dr. Burgon's career, when he placed him upon a Commission which ought to command, and which he believed was intended to command, the general confidence of the University. But whatever might be thought of the personal qualifications of each Commissioner they were, as regards the University itself, an outside body. Only one of them, he believed, had ever been connected by residence with the University since he had taken his degree. Two of the Commissioners, and those certainly not the least distinguished, had been for the greater part of their lives among the busiest members of the busiest Profession in England. Sir Henry Maine was a Cambridge man, and. though lately appointed to a Professorship at the Sister University, he lived in London, and only went down to Oxford to deliver his admirable lectures. Lord Redesdale and the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Ridley) were no doubt eminent Members of this and the other House of Parliament, but he was not aware that they had ever been connected with the teaching staff of the University. Dr. Burgon had resided at Oxford, but he had done so as a parish priest, and not as a tutor or Professor, and even Mr. Bernard, who had for some time held the post of Professor of International Law, had spent at least as much of his time in Lincoln's Inn as at Oxford. In this respect there was a marked contrast between the Oxford and Cambridge Commissioners—the latter containing two distinguished men who at that moment occupied Professorial Chairs And yet Oxford had changed far more than Cambridge, and the very magnitude of that change seemed to point to a greater necessity for placing upon the Oxford Commission some men who would serve as a connecting link between the Oxford of the last generation and the Oxford of to-day. The Oxford of the present day differed as much from the Oxford of Lord Redesdale's day as the House of Commons of to-day differed from the House of Commons of Pitt and Fox. He never visited his old College without being amazed at the metamorphosis which had come over it. Rip Van Winkle revisiting the scenes of his youth could scarcely feel more at sea than he was on those occasions. New studies had come into existence which required to be taken into consideration, new interests had sprung up which required to be guaged. Where there were formerly two University Examinations there were now ten. Well, now to these Commissioners who were, as far as regarded the University itself, an outside body, who were, for the most part connected by no link with modern Oxford, they were going to hand over almost unlimited powers. They were going to give them a blank cheque with instructions to fill it up as they pleased. Two arguments had been urged in favour of that course. It was said that University opinion was in favour of it. Now, admitting even that that was so, he was not sure that the opinion of the body to be reformed was always to be taken as conclusive upon the best mode of carrying out a reform. His hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead (Mr. W. James) would hardly have accepted as final the opinion of the Lord Mayor and Common Council upon the best mode of reforming the Corporation of London. The prevailing opinion at Oxford, whether rightly or wrongly, was that the Bill would benefit the residents at the expense of the non-residents, and it was, therefore, hardly to be expected that the residents would scan its provisions too closely. But then, it was said that no other course could be pursued, that Parliament could not itself enter into the minute details of schemes for College reform and that the scheme adopted by the Bill was strictly in accordance with precedent. Now, was this so? Let him take a case which was in eâdem materiâ. No doubt, by the Act of 1854, large powers were given to the Commissioners thereby nominated, but it was not until after a Commission of Inquiry had instituted the fullest investigations (very different from the limited inquiry which preceded this measure) and made a most exhaustive Report upon the condition of things which called for reform. The Report of that Commission, occupying some 500 or 600 pages, had been circulated, so that they knew not only the direction which the reforms were to take, but the lines upon which they were to proceed. Then they inquired first and legislated afterwards—now it looked as if they were going to reverse the process and legislate first and inquire afterwards. And yet a preliminary inquiry was almost more necessary now, for the main object of the Act of 1854 was to destroy, while the object of the present measure was to construct. But, as a matter of fact, the Commission of 1854 possessed powers far more limited than were given to the present Commission. That Act, besides abolishing subscriptions in many cases, created a constitution for the University. It called into existence a new legislative body, and gave to that body power to make statutes for the University. It gave to the Colleges power to amend their own statutes, and, it was only if they failed to do so, that the power of the Commissioners to pass ordinances relating to those Colleges arose. But over the University itself they acquired no power at all. Now, let him turn to the present Bill. Postponing the Preamble and coming at once to the body of the Bill, he could discover no guiding principle within the four corners of the Bill. It gave the Commissioners a carte blanche to make a clean sweep of the whole University; to suppress Headships; to suppress Fellowships; to suppress Tutorships; nay, in certain events to suppress whole Colleges; to apply the revenues thus confiscated to 20 different purposes—such language would perhaps come with more grace from hon. Gentlemen opposite, but they had changed sides and he was now doing their work. He would refer only to one, that contemplated by the 7th sub-section of the 15th clause, which enabled the Commissioners to make provisions out of the funds thus acquired—
    "For providing new or improving existing buildings, libraries, collections, or apparatus for any purpose connected with the instruction of any members of the University or with research in any art or science and for maintaining the same."
    Why, his hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope), with the aid of some fashionable architect, might, under this clause, eat up the revenues of half the Colleges in Oxford. [Mr. Beresford Hope: I would not undertake the charge.] Those being the enabling provisions, what clauses were there to limit the power or direct the action of the Commissioners? Somebody had remarked that the word "shall" only occurred five times in connection with the Commissioners throughout the Bill. There was the 12th clause which excluded endowments 50 years old, of which he would say nothing at present. Then there was the 13th which directed the Commissioners in making their statutes to "have regard to the main design of the founder." Now, those were most alarming words. No doubt they were followed by others, but he thought he could show that either the provision he had quoted, or the words which qualified them, must be meaningless. Surely by this time they had got beyond "the pious founder." At any rate, he suspected that John of Balliol and William of Wykeham would scarcely be edified to hear that even so orthodox a Churchman as the hon. Member for North Northumberland, had been commisissioned by Act of Parliament to inquire into their designs. An ingenious writer had lately laboured to show that the object of those old worthies was the "endowment of research;" but he thought nine-tenths of them would have been much more ready to have sent Professors Huxley and Tyndall to the stake than to have given them £1,000 a-year. Why, the main design of these founders was to benefit their own souls by the celebration of masses, and if they sought to benefit learning, it was generally in connection with the localities in which they had lived. Until a comparatively recent period, the latter design had been strictly adhered to. When he was at Oxford, scarcely one Fellowship in 20 was given away by merit only. They were restricted to dioceses, to counties, and even to parishes, so that a young man born on one side of a hedge might be liberally provided for, when a far more deserving man born upon the other might be left out in the cold. There was a story current in his time at Oxford, which illustrated the advantages to be derived from such accidents of birth. A distinguished Professor, who had married young on a small income and with the prospect of a large family, was not unnaturally desirous of providing for his sons at the expense of the University. He took care when acertain domestic event was expected to remove his household goods to the city of Lincoln, to which at that time a large number of Fellowships of his College were confined. He did this seven times, but, unfortunately, his prudence and energy were not rewarded, for as in the auto-da-fe in the Ingoldsby Legends, his progeny—
    "Though the finest of babies
    Were all little ladies."
    Then at last he gave it up in despair, remained at Oxford and became the father of an unendowed son. Then there was the 14th clause, which required the Commissioners "to regard the interests of religion, learning, education, and research"(whatever that might be); but considering they were told every Sunday from the University pulpit that Oxford was a place of "sound learning and religious education," that clause might be regarded as superfluous. Then he came to the 17th clause, and here at last they got to something like terra firma. It required the Commissioners to make Provision for religious instruction and worship, and at the same time disabled them from imposing fresh clerical restrictions, but as they had already power to suppress any Fellowships they pleased, the restriction became of less value, for they might, if so minded, suppress all the lay Fellowships in a College and leave all the clerical ones. It might be said that the question of clerical Fellowships might safely be left to the discretion of the Commissioners. But this was a question of all others upon which Parliament ought to speak out, and ought not to shift the responsibility of legislation to other shoulders. The condition of taking Holy Orders, which applied either as a condition precedent, or a condition subsequent to the great majority of Headships and to more than one-third of the Fellowships, was, to his mind, the greatest blot on the University system, and it was one, unfortunately, which the Tests Abolition Act had left untouched. It was, in fact, the test system revived in its most mischievous form. Could there be a doubt, from an academical point of view, that all restrictions which tended to fetter the discretion of the electing body and to narrow the area of selection were radically vicious? What would be said if it was proposed to confine Fellowships to laymen? The memorial recently presented to the Marquess of Salisbury showed how strong was the feeling of the residents on the subject. Of course, he knew the argument by which the maintenance of these restrictions was supported. It was said that there was a great deal of floating infidelity at Oxford, and that a certain amount of orthodox leaven was necessary to leaven the heterodox lump. But they forgot that the kind of leaven which was procured by bribing men to adopt a sacred profession, was but a bad kind of leaven after all. Surely it was but a poor compliment to Christianity to suppose that it required to be kept alive by such expedients as these. Surely Christianity was strong enough to take care of itself, without these paltry subsidies. The effect of these restrictions was to keep away good men, and to saddle the Colleges with an inferior class of tutors, who were, in many cases, neither a credit to the Church nor an advantage to the University. Then, as to these so-called checks. The 28th section, which allowed three Commis- sioners to be selected from the Colleges to be reformed, would produce an ill-assorted union, and necessitate the submission of schemes of College reform to a non-descript and ever-changing body. When the majority in the College went with the Commission all would go smoothly; but a recalcitrant College would appoint recalcitrant Commissioners, who might paralyze the efforts of the Commission. It was like giving a great momentum to a body and then applying a powerful break. If the break acted it brought the engine to a standstill; if it did not, it took you heaven only knew where. Thus even in the case of the limitations on the powers of the Commissioners, it was a matter of haphazard when and to what extent they might be brought to bear. The 26th and following sections, which gave a right of appeal to the University Committee of the Privy Council and to either House of Parliament, really meant nothing. Such a body might feel itself called upon to interfere, if the legal powers of the Commissioners were exceeded, or in cases of individual injustice—contingencies, he need hardly say, most unlikely to occur. But he was much mistaken if the Privy Council or either House of Parliament would feel called upon to step in and lay down a principle where Parliament laid down none. He came lastly to the Preamble, where for the first and last time they discovered something like the glimmer of a principle. The Preamble pointed to two defininite objects—the taxation of the College for the benefit of the University, an issue which was directly challenged by the Motion of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Francis Harvey), and the extinction or limitation of non-resident or, as they had been called, "idle Fellowships." Without saying that something might not be done in both these directions, he maintained that the utmost caution was necessary. By absorbing the Colleges in the University they might create bad imitations of a Leipsic or a Göttingen, but they would certainly destroy Oxford and Cambridge. He quoted a letter of Mr. George Brodrick to The Times to show that the regeneration of the Universities at the beginning of the present century was due to the activity of some of the Colleges, and that, at a time when Oxford and Cambridge were asleep, Balliol and Trinity were awake. It was the energy of the College heads and tutors, and the stimulus which they had given to University education, which had roused the Universities from that fatal period of lethargy—
    "When Isis elders reeled their pupils sport
    And Alma Mater lay dissolved in port."
    Besides, it should not be forgotten that it was easier to appoint Professors than to fill their class-rooms, and that richly-endowed Chairs would be of little service if confronted by empty benches. Then, as to these so-called "idle Fellowships." That, he thought, was a very unfortunate epithet, for it created a prejudice among non-University men against a system which had borne good fruits. If "idle" meant "non-resident" an "idle Fellow" might be a man who was collating manuscripts in Italy or carrying on astronomical surveys at Greenwich. Few persons knew how many men who had risen to the highest offices in the State would never have emerged from obscurity but for these "idle" Fellowships. Why, the noble Lord the Marquess of Salisbury himself was an "idle Fellow." Nearly every Member of the Commission, beginning with Lord Selborne, and ending with the hon. Gentleman opposite, had been "idle Fellows." Both the Archbishops, both the Chief Justices, and a large proportion of the occupants of the Episcopal and Judicial Bench had been "idle Fellows," and so had a host of men famous both in literature and science. He might be asked what benefit did their success in life confer on the Universities, but it must not be forgotten that the Universities existed for the benefit of the nation, and not the nation for the benefit of the Universities. These non-resident Fellowships were most valuable links between the Universities and the outside world, and such prizes were really the strongest incentives to exertion. It was not merely the pecuniary value of the Fellowships, though a desire for an honourable independence was a perfectly legitimate object of ambition. It was the position and connection with the Collegiate Body which they brought with them. Few persons who had held a Fellowship would exchange it for double the amount of money which it brought in. It was easy to say that men ought to study for an abstract idea, and the absence of any such inducement in German Universities had been referred to. But the German Universities had practically a monopoly of the civil offices of the State, and the learned Professions in that country could only be entered by an academic gate. No doubt, there were some glaring abuses of the present system; but if the Acts were to limit the duration of these non-resident Fellowships, and abolish the condition of celibacy—that monstrous relic of monkish times—these abuses might be got rid of by a stroke of the pen. The right hon. Gentleman had said that such matters of detail might safely be left to the discretion of the Commissioners, guided as they would be by public opinion. But what public opinion? As to public opinion at Oxford, though it was generally favourable to the Bill, it was, as to changes which were expected to follow from the Bill, hopelessly divided. Take the endowment of research, about which it was supposed that there was so strong a feeling among the residents. Only yesterday at Cambridge he asked the opinion of one of the most distinguished men at the University on the subject, and the only answer he got was that the "endowment of research meant the endowment of half the humbugs in England." The fact that on its way through the House of Lords almost every clause of the Bill had been entirely remodelled was a proof that they had started on their voyage without a chart or a compass. If all such matters were left to the discretion of the Commissioners one of two results would follow. Either, as not unfrequently happened when men were entrusted with irresponsible powers, they would shrink altogether from exercising them, or having, so to speak, had to drive separate bargains with separate Colleges, they would produce a heterogeneous scheme without a principle or a plan. This danger had been pointed out by Professor Bryce in a recent article in The Fortnightly Review, in which, after showing the absurdity of dealing with each College separately, he wound up by saying—
    "Into whatever department of the projected reforms we look narrowly, it will be found that the same necessity exists for obtaining facts and opinions, and for basing upon these some large and connected plan, whose principles may be applied in the case of each and every College.
    A piecemeal reform which attempts to deal with each College by itself will be no reform of the University at all, and will only pave the way for renewed discontent and a renewed cry for legislative interference."
    He hoped that this danger might be averted if the Commissioners were required by the Act to do what they had found it necessary to do in 1854—to hold a preliminary inquiry, to publish the results of that inquiry, and, after laying down some definite and comprehensive scheme of reform, to invite the University and the Colleges to fall in with it. If they did so, no difficulty would arise; or if it did, Parliament might find out some mode of solving that difficulty. Other objections might be suggested, but they were matters of detail. The objections to the Bill which he had pointed out were objections not of detail, but of principle, and as such he had thought it right to raise them on the second reading, and he would rejoice to see them removed. Upon this question they had all the same goal in view, though they might strive to arrive at it by different roads. They on that side of the House were as little inclined to revolutionize these ancient seats of learning as their opponents. On the other hand, they were willing to credit hon. Gentlemen opposite with a desire, as honest and genuine as their own, to deal with them in a spirit of sound but temperate reform. And certainly no one on these benches would grudge to the Conservative Party the praise which would be justly theirs if they could succeed in bringing these old Universities, round which the hopes and memories of 30 generations of Englishmen had entwined themselves, into harmony with the requirements of modern society, without destroying their strongly-marked individuality or impairing their time-honoured préstige. He would conclude by moving the Resolution of which he had given Notice.

    Amendment proposed,

    To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in view of the large legislative powers entrusted to the University of Oxford Commissioners by this Bill, this House is of opinion that the Bill does not sufficiently declare or define the principles and scope of the changes which such Commissioners are empowered to make in that University and the colleges therein,"—(Mr. Osborne Morgan,)

    —instead thereof.

    Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

    thought his hon. and learned Friend opposite (Mr. Osborne Morgan) had done well in calling attention to the very extensive powers proposed under the Bill to be given to the Commissioners. Those powers struck him as being very vague, very vast, very unusual, and greatly in excess of those conferred upon the Commissioners appointed under the Act of 1854. But as he was not prepared to say that the powers now proposed to be conferred were, having regard to the circumstances of the case, actually excessive, and as this branch of the subject involved a vast amount of detail he would not on the present occasion enter upon its consideration; nor would he follow his hon. and learned Friend into the question of Clerical Fellowships, further than to suggest the importance of the House being put in possession of accurate information as to the number of Fellowships which were hampered with the qualification referred to. Some of the Fellowships now held by clergymen might be Fellowships, which when they were next vacated, would, cease to be held under clerical restrictions. Passing from the speech and the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend he wished to call attention briefly to a proposal which he had himself put upon the Paper, to the effect that the revenues of the University had not been shown to be inadequate to the discharge of the duties incumbent on it. It was a remarkable fact that the University should come before the House and before the country and parade itself as a pauper. It came to Parliament in formâ pauperis and said "We have no revenues adequate to discharge the duties of the University, and the Colleges must give up a portion of their revenues." This proposal was one involving what must be regarded as a confiscation of property, and he thought the University ought very clearly to make out its case as against the Colleges before Parliament could be expected to accede to its demands. In addition to the income of the University arising from its property an important source of revenue was to be found in the taxation of its members. The University took fees from them on going in for examina- tions and on taking degrees, besides receiving for each of them a sum of £1per year. He had never heard that that was an excessive charge or one that the members of so ancient, honourable, and illustrious a corporation could complain of, and he was not aware that the University had ever taken into consideration the propriety of augmenting its revenue by increasing the taxation of its members. But it had another and important source of revenue in the funds of the University Press. The University possessed one-third of the monopoly of printing and publishing Bibles and Prayer Books in this country, and a more valuable or important endowment it was impossible to conceive. Besides having that monopoly the University Press was endowed with the handsome capital sum of £70,000, and until a few years ago there was annually tranferred from the profits of the Press Fund to the University Chest a considerable sum of money. Fourteen years ago that sum amounted to £13,000. In 1866 it had dwindled to£4,500; in 1870 to £1,037, while in the following year he found in the Commissioners' Report a blank under the head, "Profits transferred to the University Chest from the Press Fund." How had the University contrived to deal with this important revenue of £13,000 a-year? The subject was involved in mystery. He had obtained an Address for a Return on the subject, and had learned only that evening from the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary that the University of Oxford had not vouchsafed any Return whatever to the Address. In fact, he found on looking at the Commissioners' Report that every means had been taken to suppress the account of the Press fund, and no information of any practical value was given. They knew, however, that a net revenue which in 1862 amounted to £13,000 had dwindled to nothing in 1872. Yet the University came to Parliament and said that they were paupers, and that the Colleges must be fleeced to enable the University to carry on its business. But, although the House had had no explanation of the circumstances, he thought he had discovered the manner in which the money had been spent. For some time the directors of the University Press had been so facile in their management of the concern that there was no scribbler in Oxford who could not come to them with his note-book and say—"Publish the contents of my book, pay me a handsome sum of money, and take the risk on yourselves." And that was what they had, he believed, done in scores of cases. If they had done so in meritorious instances, the expenditure would not be grudged, but what was the character of the books the University had been printing all this time? It was not very long since the whole Liberal Party went mad over the thought of an elementary lesson book which had been referred to. What must have been their feelings when they learned the purposes to which University endowments had been applied and squandered of late years? He held in his hand a list of the works which the University had published, and among them was "A Series of English Classics," with the note "It is especially hoped that this series may prove useful to ladies' schools." That was where the money went to; and then there came all sorts of nice little books which cost the editors no trouble, while they gave them the inestimable pleasure of picking other men's brains. There was "Spenser's Faery Queene; Books 1 and 2, Designed chiefly for the use of Schools." "Specimens of Lowland Scotch." "A First Reading Book;" "Oxford Reading Book for Little Children;" "Oxford Reading Books for Junior Classes." Then he came to the head of "Mathematics," where they would expect to find some abstruse works. But no; they were merely such as "Figures made Easy, a First Arithmetic Book." Lessons in "Bookkeeping," by an Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trade, and so on. It was in the publication of these series that he suspected much of the money went, and yet in the face of it all, the University came and said to Parliament and the country "We have no money, we must have money, and the Colleges must give it." So much for the alleged deficiencies of income. Now, he would look to the side of expenditure which was said to require so great an increase that the funds of the Colleges must be confiscated so as to enable the University to get along. In order to do so he had examined the Report of the Committee of the Hebdominal Council on University requirements, and he found that the requirements were very numerous indeed. There were estimates for buildings and institutions which came to something like £100,000, which at 5 per cent—including a sinking fund as the University could probably borrow at 4 per cent—would entail a temporary charge of £5,000 a-year. He gave them in the £2,000 for the benefit of the Bodleian Library, of which his right hon. Friend had spoken, and that would make £7,000. But that was barely half of what the University made out of the Press fund when the Press was conducted in a proper way. Why, then, did not the University avail itself of the resources it possessed, instead of trying to lay its hands upon the money of other people? Then there was £2,300 for the roof of the Museum, which was "in urgent need of repairs"—a Museum which had only recently been built and which was one of the greatest disfigurements to Oxford which the present Gothic age had set up. Then it should be borne in mind that included in the £100,000 above-mentioned was a very considerable sum, to the amount of £30,000, demanded as the "roughly estimated" requirement of three heads of departments, those of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. But the University did not say that the expenditure was necessary. Heads of departments wanted it and asked for it, and that was a very different thing from its being really wanted. Further on in the Report they heard of an increase in the Professoriate. They, however, had in full operation the inter-Collegiate system, which had worked admirably, and what did they want with an indefinite extension of the Professoriate? In 1854 an extension was contemplated, but in that year Parliament expressed itself pretty plainly on the conditions of such extension. Provision was first to be made for the wants and improvement of the Colleges or Halls; and, secondly, but only secondly, for the establishment of the Professoriate on an enlarged basis "in the several main branches of science and letters"—not in Sclavonic and Chinese as now was suggested, and "with adequate duties and emoluments." Now, nothing was heard of duties in the present Bill, and it only made provision for emoluments and pensions. In his opinion an indefinite extension of the Professoriate meant a number of luxurious residences, children in perambulators wheeled about the Parks, picnics in Bagley Wood, carriages, champagne, and the abandonment celibacy and of culture. There was a good deal of that already, and complaints were rife of the luxury of Oxford, and of the great expenditure incurred at Commemoration time. Did they think when they had a number of married men living in luxurious leisure that their wives would not be wanting to enjoy the pleasures of society? Of course they would, and he feared they would find education at Oxford a different thing in the future from what it was in the past. Instead of having it conducted by celibate teachers, they would have an increased staff of married Professors, who, of course, would be paid out of the suppressed Idle Fellowships. Then, as to the "idle Fellows," an expression which was repudiated by the author of the epigram on Idle Fellowships, he supposed Lord Salisbury had been reading a book that he (Lord Francis Hervey) had been looking over the other day, written by a distinguished French architect, M. Viollet-le-Duc, who said that the Fellows of Colleges were men who preserved for the whole of their lives the privilege of lodging in the College, keeping a horse, and drinking beer. He supposed that this was the idea which Lord Salisbury had formed of the non-resident Fellows. He (Lord Francis Hervey), however, should regard it as a great calamity if the Commissioners exercised the power of extinguishing and exterminating all the Fellowships to which no particular duties were attached. If this were done, and if no concern in the management of academical affairs were to be allowed except to resident Fellows, such a fit of stagnation would come over the University that it would be necessary before long to have another extensive Reform Bill. He wished in the next place to warn the House against any proposals for turning adrift the revenues of Oxford, and applying them to the purposes of Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham, Bradford, and other large towns, which ought to be able to pay their own way. He should regard with great jealousy any appropriation of academical funds to provide large towns with lectures, classes, and examinations. There was another point to which he wished to refer—the extreme brevity of the time during which the magnificent buildings at Oxford were open for the purpose of study. How long did education go on? Not for six months. Indeed, he doubted whether the work of study and research went on at Oxford for more than five months in the year. He should like to see some powers given to the Commissioners whereby the leisurely gentlemen who managed the academical affairs of Oxford should be forced to do more for the money they received and make better use of their magnificent foundations. There was not an elementary school receiving a Government grant that was not open for 40 weeks in the year, while the University of Oxford was open at the outside for three terms of eight weeks each in the year. The right hon. Gentleman had made only a passing allusion to a provision not contained in the original Bill, but inserted at the suggestion of the most rev. Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. The learned Professors and magnates of Oxford in their paper of suggestions never thought of the poor unattached students. It seemed to him that they were only thinking of their own salaries. These students were coming to Oxford with a desire for instruction worthy of the 13th century, but the University of Oxford never dreamt of assisting them. It was reserved for the mellow wisdom, the consideration, and thoughtfulness of the most rev. Primate to plead their cause; and it was much more worthy of the Legislature, instead of multiplying the number of useless Professors, to assist the unattached students. In conclusion, he must thank the House for the kind attention with which they had listened to the remarks he had made on the subject.

    wished to say a few words, as he was the only actual College Fellow in the House; indeed, he had the misfortune to be the "idle Fellow" par excellence. He believed the College to which he belonged (All Souls) was considered by some as the greatest abuse in Oxford, and he was the greatest abuse of that College. It would be only proper, therefore, that he should break a lance in favour of the idle Fellow, and, in doing so, in favour of those Fellows who were elected for their attainments and their learning he must observe that the term "idle Fellow" had only been used in a Parliamentary or Pickwickian sense. He was not going to speak against the Bill; indeed, he thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the very moderate speech in which he had moved the second reading, but he wished to point out some of the difficulties which might impede its progress. Last year and the year before the Address on the opening of the Session had been moved by two hon. Members with an ability which had won the highest praise from the Prime Minister, and both those Members had been in the category of idle Fellows. In the College to which he belonged they were happily exempted from those clerical restrictions that the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan) had referred to with regard to birthplace and profession, and now the last restriction as to headship had gone, and the Fellows of the College were elected solely on their literary merits. It used to be the poorest College in Oxford, and was now nearly the richest. The Fellows passed a sort of self-denying ordinance and allowed their leases to run out, so that their estates were now let at rack rents, and their revenue was, perhaps, greater than ought to belong to any College. For the last 10 years proposals for reform had been brought forward in the College itself. There seemed to be nothing so fascinating to the human intellect as attempting to draw up new constitutions, and every one of them connected with the College had been attempting to draw up a constitution. He therefore trusted that the Government would strengthen the hands of the Commissioners, and give them stronger powers than they now possessed of coming to a practical conclusion. A plan had been proposed of founding a second Law Professorship at Oxford, but an idea prevailed in some quarters that the University was already too much saturated with Professorships. Other objects in connection with which the surplus funds of the College were expended were the Bodleian Library, middle-class education, the Civil Service in India, and scholarships for the study of the Telegu language. The whole of the members of his College were agreed that some portions of its revenue might be diverted to aid the University, but, unless the Commission to be appointed had more definite instructions than were laid down in the Bill, he was afraid the College would go on floundering in the vague and uncertain way it had done hitherto. He could not understand the morbid hatred which seemed to inspire the clause directed against the junior Fellows, and, as it involved an unjust slur upon them, he hoped it would be withdrawn. So far from there being any factious opposition to the Bill from the body to which he belonged, he believed that they would do all they could to enhance the position of their famous University, and for himself, his only desire was to increase the usefulness of the College and the University to which he was attached.

    said, he did not desire to speak with any hostility to the Bill. He did not entertain any objection to the University asking for assistance from the funds of the Colleges, but he did look with a certain amount of dread upon the power to be given to the University over teaching Fellowships and other emoluments of Colleges. That would be a most serious power to vest in the Commissioners, though so far as Cambridge was concerned he believed that a better Commission could hardly be devised. He could not, however, reconcile to himself the Commissioners having the power to impose upon a College a Fellow who was not of their own election. It was impossible to say that under the Bill a theological Professor might not be imposed as a Fellow upon an essentially lay foundation, such as Trinity Hall, for instance, which would thereby lose a great deal of its lay element. He objected to the great powers that were proposed to be given to the Commissioners by the 13th clause to deal with the designs and original intentions of the founders, thinking that the practices of the several Colleges, many of which had endured for generations, ought to have some weight. He did not think it desirable to abolish all "idle" Fellows, if by that term it was meant to include all Fellows who were not engaged in the work of University education, because these Fellowships had always been highly prized as stimulants and encouragements to industry and ambition, and had been of the greatest benefit to the Colleges and the Universities.

    said, that when the House approached the subject some 22 years ago, it did so with great advantages, because one of the ablest Commissions ever appointed had conducted a thorough investigation into the posi- tion of the University of Oxford, which, besides, had changed very little for 200 years. The system was settled and well understood. Everybody who had been there knew what it was; and, assisted by the labours of the Commission, which poured a flood of light upon every matter with which they had to do, the House came to the consideration of the subject with a knowledge of the minutest details. He was sorry to say that on the present occasion these advantages were wholly wanting. At that time we made up our minds by the assistance of the Commissioners and our own knowledge of the circumstances as to what was good for the University, we embodied the views we entertained with great particularity in a Bill, laying down distinctly the objects we sought to accomplish, and we appointed a Commission which faithfully carried out those views. The work was done in a manner which reflected the greatest credit on the House. It was done with the greatest care and circumspection, and every security was taken that the object in view should be attained. That was the history of the measure of 1854; and now contrast that with the measure now before us. We were now asked to pass a second measure on the subject, but what was the knowledge we possessed of the present state of Oxford? We were told that an enormous change had been wrought by the Bill of 1854. Everybody said Oxford was now a very different place from what it was, but what evidence, what knowledge had we as to the nature of the change? We had none whatever. We knew nothing about it. We knew that great changes must have occurred, for it was impossible to introduce into the University such a change as that made by the measure of 1854—that of throwing open the Fellowships to literary competition without making a great change; but as to the nature of the change and whether it had worked for good or evil we had no information whatever. Now that was a state of things extremely to be regretted. He should like extremely to know—but he had no means of knowing—how this great change had been effected and in what direction it had worked, because that information would guide them most materially on the question of dealing with the matter they were asked to deal with that evening. His in- formation on this point had been derived from a letter printed in The Times some few days ago from the Dean of Wells, a very high authority, that the change which had been made was most beneficial. The Dean said the result of what had been done was to breathe a new life into many Colleges, and make them superior to what they were before. When he had sent up pupils he considered himself fortunate when out of six first classes four fell to his pupils; but not only did the Dean of Wells get a double first-class himself, he got double first-classes for others. He sent three into the school at the same time, and all three obtained a double first-class. No man, then, was better entitled to give his advice on this matter than the Dean of Wells, and he (Mr. Lowe) attached great weight to what he said on the subject. He stated that what had been done had answered wonderfully well, and a melancholy day it would be for Oxford when it was sought to alter it. That was all the information they had—information supplied by a most competent witness—thatwhat was proposed to be done was in a wrong direction. That was how the matter now stood. If the question was to be decided on ordinary principles of common sense—he might say on Conservative or on traditionary principles—he should have thought that on a matter of this kind Government would say to them one of two things, either it was desirable to allow the experiment of 1854 to be worked out—for from the nature of things it had not yet been worked out—or if for some reason or another they were of opinion that it was necessary to break up, shatter, and destroy the experiment the House of Commons then made, at any rate, they should say—"We will enter into an inquiry and let you know how matters stand, in order that you may see whether any remedy is needed, and what the nature of that remedy should be," so that it might be dealt with as the House did in 1854. He should have thought either one or the other of these courses was inevitable in the state of things in which they found themselves. But such was not the course they were now asked to take. The experiment had not been worked out; no charge was laid before them that the experiment had failed, and yet the course they were asked to take was to appoint a Commission, without any groundwork of information being laid for that Commission, without proving the least grievance or any reason for appointing it—they were to appoint this Commission and entrust to it the power of entirely revolutionizing, destroying, and re-constructing the University of Oxford. Why were they to do so? He had not heard the slightest suggestion of a reason why the policy which the House solemnly adopted in 1854 should not fairly be worked out—why it should be interrupted in its course and why they should undo all the benefit which had been done. He hoped before the debate closed some grounds would be given why they should act without inquiring, without investigating the subject—why, above all things, they should take the particular line of reversing the very policy adopted in 1854. That was what he had to say to the Bill as it was proposed—in fact, to any Bill on this subject proposed under present circumstances. He thought they had a right to demand that something should be laid before them in the shape of a ground for the action which they were asked to take. It was not because the noble Lord (the Marquess of Salisbury) told them that there were some "idle Fellowships" that such an experiment was to be arrested in midcourse, and that they should be asked to adopt proposals which in 1854 the House entirely rejected. What were the Commissioners to do? They had given to them a power such as had been given to no Commissioners before, for they were to take an ancient and venerable institution into their hands—to make statutes for. it such as they pleased, to do what they liked with it, to re-mould and re-cast it, without advice or direction in what way they should act, except simply this—that they were to go against the whole principle of the Act of 1854, and whereas it was thought necessary then to create idle Fellowships the Commissioners might cut them down, destroy them, and apply the proceeds to other purposes. Only a few nights ago the right hon. Gentleman the Lord Mayor of London, argued, not without applause from certain Gentlemen, that Parliament had no right to ask for an account of the manner in which the London Livery Companies spent their money. He could not agree with that doctrine, but now the doctrine was pushed much further. Because these Colleges possessed a large sum of money, it was to be seized to any extent without any ground of offence being laid, and devoted to other Corporations and to purposes totally alien. He wanted to know, not merely for the sake of the University of Oxford, but for the security of the institutions of the country—of everything founded and held sacred—upon what grounds this property was to be attacked. He was not at all one of those who laid too much stress on the sanctity of corporate property, if they showed a good ground for interference and applied it to better purposes. But to take it from one corporation, as they were asked to do by the Bill, without any ground at all; merely because they chose to do it and had the power to do it, and bestow it on other corporations—to give such an arbitrary power to Commissioners—was so wild, so utterly unusual and unknown in this country and Parliament, that he had a right, not as regards the Universities merely, but as a matter of precedent, to ask the Government to give them some reasonable grounds for such a proposal. The Commissioners had powers almost without limit, powers which he would not give to any one under heaven; and the question was, what confidence could they repose in them? It was a disagreeable and invidious thing to analyze the intentions of a body of Gentlemen, every one of whom was highly respectable; but where the powers given were so large he would not shrink from that duty. He would state his opinion with regard to each and every one of them, for, as he had said, he would object to any men under heaven having such powers delegated to them. Who was the first Commissioner? Lord Selborne. He had had the happiness of knowing him for more than 50 years. He esteemed him highly—no man more so. But what was his characteristic? He was extremely devoted to High Church views. That was his peculiarity. He was also the first Lord Chancellor, he believed, who ever published a book of hymns. Take the next name, Lord Redesdale. As Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords, he had done admirably good service to the country. He was a very able man in all respects, but he had a sort of superhuman power of obstruction. The measure they had been discussing that night —namely, the melancholy mutilation of the plan for abolishing the jurisdiction of the House of Lords—was entirely owing to Lord Redesdale, and yet he was put forward as one of the Commissioners to re-organize so complicated an institution as the University of Oxford. Let them take another name—the Dean of Chichester, whose pretensions were of such a nature that even the House of Lords could not stand them. He spoke with great respect of the Dean of Chichester, but he believed he had been properly described as a "jocose fanatic"—a character he had built up for himself and maintained with such consistency during life, that if a case were put before him with the Church interest on one side and every interest on the other, it would be impossible for him, with every effort, to give an impartial judgment. The next Commissioner was Mr. Mountague Bernard. He might speak of him freely, because he was a relative of his own. He was a most excellent man, of great ability, and, he thought, he was Liberal in views, but he was the editor of a High Church newspaper. Then came Sir Henry Maine. No one could admire him more than he (Mr. Lowe) did. He was an ornament to the century. His investigation into the ancient laws, customs, and manners of mankind raised him to the highest renown as a literary scientific investigator, but everybody knew that he was a sort of Ministerial agent, an alter ego, of Lord Salisbury in the Council of India, and nobody could suppose that in this matter of the University of Oxford he would not act in accordance with the views of Lord Salisbury. Another objection to him was that he was a Cambridge man, and not conversant with the affairs of Oxford. The next was a gentleman whose discoveries had done the country the highest honour, and mankind the greatest benefit. He referred to Mr. Justice Grove. No one respected him more than he (Mr. Lowe) did, but we could not expect that, with his judicial duties, he could give time to the working out of the details of the Commission, or be anything more than an ornamental Member. The last name was that of the hon. Member for North Northumberland (Mr. M. W. Ridley), of whom he had nothing to say except that he believed him to be a perfectly good Commissioner, and he had no doubt he would give valuable assistance. But he asked the House, if the Commission was such as he had described it to be, was it the sort of Commission to which they would entrust almost absolute power over the re-modelling of that great institution? Was it fair, because they had a majority in that House, that they should impose on them that arbitrary and unconstitutional Bill, and then place the working of it in the hands of such a Commission as he had described? He hoped in that respect it might not be too late to have some amendment. If the House would follow his counsel it would not be to attempt to strike out any names—for that would be invidious—but he hoped the Government would allow him to add some Members to the Commission who would temper the extreme views of the present Members. Why should three or four very High Churchmen be put on the Commission without any counterbalancing element? If they would have the poison, they ought to furnish the antidote by adding two or three raging Low Churchmen. Those things appeared to him to be very well worth consideration. There was not a single Member of that Commission who at present resided in Oxford. He did not know that there was any Member of the Commission unless it was Mr. Bernard, who, he thought, was Professor of International Law, that had ever taught in Oxford or had anything to do with it. It would be wise to put into the Commission some persons who had a knowledge of what was now actually going on in Oxford, who were familiar with the business of the place, and could give advice and assistance. The Government were taking a most unusual course from first to last on this subject. They knew that the feeling at Oxford with regard to this Bill was entirely different from the feeling at Cambridge with regard to the University of Cambridge Bill, although both were identical, and the reason was that Cambridge had confidence in the persons who were to be appointed Commissioners, but Oxford had not. With regard to the proposal to do away with what was called "idle Fellowships," and to spend money in learning, in research, or in religion, he ventured to say this—that the point of view in which Oxford was regarded by the people of this country was as an educational institution. They thought it was a place to which young men were to go to be educated, and their view, if consulted, would be to make it a place best fitted for the education of young men. The word "University" was used in a double sense—sometimes merely as a general noun of multitude, instead of enumerating all the Colleges of Oxford, and sometimes, and more properly, it was used to denote the corporate body which conferred degrees. In the sense of corporate body, he ventured boldly to make this assertion, that it was hundreds of years since the University of Oxford educated anybody, and that there was not the slightest chance that any number of hundreds of years hence it would educate anybody again. Since the time of the Reformation and the dawning of learning its office had been limited very much to examining, and very badly it examined, because it selected as its examiners persons who were also tutors, and who were interested, therefore, in the passing of their pupils. The result was that the standard of the examinations was disgracefully low, and, instead of it being an honour to pass, it conferred no honour on any one. The education was carried on not in the University, but in the Colleges, and it was carried on in the Colleges by the tutors and others who were not necessarily connected with the University. Now, so far from their endowments going to improve education, they would tend distinctly to injure and destroy it. The money paid to people to teach other people was money thrown away, unless they introduced in some way or other the principle of competition, so that they should be paid in proportion to their success. But the money spent in prizes to induce young men to qualify themselves to obtain such rewards and a start in life, which might be the making of them, was the very sinew and life of education. The more money they expended in that way the more their Colleges would flourish, and the less they so expended the more their Colleges would decline. But what were they asked to do? To abolish all "idle Fellowships"! They annexed a duty to a Fellowship, and it was no longer a prize. It was no prize to be paid for doing a work; the prize was to be paid for doing no work at all, so that one might have time and means to qualify himself for a rise in life. Although there was no doubt they would still obtain the services of able men, they should not destroy the great stimulus to industry that existed in those prizes. They were asked to take away from the Colleges those sums that really were the things which filled their Colleges at Oxford and gave them the able and eminent men who went there. They were asked to starve those men, and to bestow those sums on the University, which never had done and never would do anything for education. When a man was incompetent he was to be salaried or pensioned off as a retired or an emeritus Professor. He said that their principle was radically wrong and bad; and as one who had had experience of Oxford for 11 years, he did not hesitate to say that every penny they took from these Fellowships in order to endow the University was so much taken from the encouragement of learning in order to propagate laziness and ignorance. Those were his views. He thought they merited more consideration than they had received. He thought they ought to be told what was the necessity to make the great change now proposed, and why they were not to have a Commission constituted with fairness towards all parties; and why, when there were two bodies at Oxford—the University, that did nothing, and the Colleges, that did all the work—the Government proposed to take money away from the Colleges and spend it on the University.

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—( Mr. Grant Duff.)

    thought it was scarcely reasonable to adjourn the debate at so early an hour.

    presumed that his hon. Friend the Member for Elgin (Mr. Grant Duff) had moved the Adjournment because no one had risen to reply to the speech of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Lowe), and also because some hon. Members opposite had probably been taken by surprise, and were not then prepared to bring the discussion of so important a matter to a conclusion.

    said, he had listened with great attention to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London, who undoubtedly was in that House one of the highest authorities with respect to the University of Oxford. But if Her Majesty's Ministers did not intend to reply to that speech, the remedy must be in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman himself, who could propose such Amendments as he thought requisite when the Bill went into Committee. He (Mr. Newdegate) had always thought it was a mistake to entrust the control of education in the University to Convocation, and this Bill appeared to him to be a sequel to that great mistake.

    said, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Goschen) complained that nobody had answered the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London, but there was, to a certain extent, an explanation of that—namely, that the speech of that right hon. Member answered itself. In the first place, with regard to the reasons why the Bill had been brought forward, it had not appeared to the present occupants of the Treasury Bench that it was at all necessary for them to give an explanation of the reason why something further should be done in respect to University Reform after the measure of 1854. The proposal to re-open the settlement of 1854 originated not with the present, but with the late Government, of which the right hon. Gentleman himself was a distinguished Member. Surely the right hon. Gentleman could not have forgotten that the Commission of Inquiry was appointed by the late Prime Minister, who was himself the author, or, at all events, had charge of the original Bill of 1854. When, therefore, the Government were asked why they did not give the original measure a longer trial, their answer was that its responsible parents were themselves dissatisfied with it. ["No!"] Well, what was the Commission of Inquiry appointed for? [Mr. Lowe: The Commission was appointed to inquire into the pecuniary resources of the Colleges.] But was the Commission appointed for the purpose of gratifying idle curiosity, or in order to lay a foundation for some proposals, of a practical character? If his memory served him right, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich, when he made his appeal to the country two years ago, expressed his intention, if he had a majority, of dealing with the question of those endowments; and every one who had the most superficial acquaintance with public affairs knew that that question was being constantly agitated. Was it, then, unnatural that the Government should come forward with proposals on the subject? If the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Lowe) wished to give the present state of things a longer trial, he ought logically to have moved the rejection of the Bill. Then the Government would have felt themselves bound to meet him. But the right hon. Gentleman pointed out a great many things to which he thought objection might be taken, and he certainly seemed to indicate the necessity, at all events, of ascertaining what improvement could be made. Now, one of the principles of the Bill was that the endowments of Colleges should be made as useful as possible for the purposes of the University, which, surely, was a very reasonable and legitimate proposal. If hon. Gentlemen opposite said they were prepared to consider the question, but that they objected to the Government scheme, then the matter might very fairly be discussed in Committee; but he did not see why the Government should be called upon either to defend the bringing forward of measures which were initiated by their Predecessors, including the right hon. Gentleman himself, or that they were bound to meet objections which the right hon. Gentleman himself had already answered. The right hon. Gentleman, in his trenchant and graphic style, gave a description of the Commissioners, whom he highly praised, but every one of whom, with a single exception, he found unsuitable for the position he was to occupy. Well, it might have been supposed that some of them were to be objected to and struck out. But no! the right hon. Gentleman did not ask for that, he wanted some others. Well, as he could make his proposals on that point in Committee, it was surely unreasonable at the present time to ask for an Adjournment of the Debate. The object of the Government was to proceed with the measure in a serious and business-like manner. If there were objections to it they could certainly be discussed on the second reading; but seeing there was no serious indisposition on the part of the House to read the Bill a second time, it certainly seemed to him ad- visable under the circumstances to let it proceed without delay to its next stage.

    said, he thought his hon. Friend the Member for Elgin (Mr. Grant Duff) was perfectly justified, although at an early hour, in moving the Adjourment of the Debate. The debate was about to close in a somewhat unexpected and unsatisfactory manner. No Member of the Government had spoken except the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Hardy), and neither of the hon. Members representing the Universities, except the right hon. Gentleman, had expressed his views. If it were understood that the discussion on the Oxford Bill could be resumed on the Cambridge Bill, he did not know that there could be any objection to the second reading of the Oxford Bill being now assented to; but he should like to have a clear understanding that a further stage of the Oxford Bill would not be taken until the Cambridge Bill was read a second time.

    thought this proposal was most fair and reasonable, and would accept it at once.

    observed that really no answer had been given to the objections that had been taken to the Bill. The whole debate, since the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire had sat down, had been one way. Member after Member had attacked the Bill in a most dangerous way, and no reply whatever had been made to those speeches.

    wished it to be clearly understood that on the second reading of the Cambridge Bill any hon. Gentleman interested in the Oxford Bill should be entitled to express his opinions about the Oxford Bill. At the same time, he wished to point out that the operation of the two Bills would be very dissimilar, as the Commissioners were so very different. When would the second reading of the Cambridge Bill be taken?

    said, that if nothing unforeseen happened, the second reading of the Cambridge Bill would be taken as the First Order next Monday.

    Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    Main Question put, and agreed to.

    Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.

    Army Corps Training Bill

    ( Mr. Secretary Hardy, Mr. Stanley, Mr. William Henry Smith.)

    Bill 182 Second Reading

    Order for Second Reading read.

    , in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, its object was simply to enable the necessary arrangements to be carried out for the manœuvring of troops in the several localities where it was intended they should take place during the ensuing autumn. In conclusion, he would say he trusted that any discussion that might be considered necessary would take place on a future occasion.

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."'—( Mr. Secretary Hardy.)

    who had a Notice of Motion on the Paper that the Bill be read a second time that day three months, said, his object was not to prevent the assembling of the forces, but he thought the House was entitled to more substantial explanations than it had yet been put in possession of. The real fact was that the object of the Bill was to provide further training of two Army corps, which was part of a scheme for the mobilization of troops which had not yet been submitted to the House.

    ruled that the hon. Member was out of Order in referring to the subject he proposed to discuss, which did not come within the scope of the Bill. He would have an opportunity of doing so on the Report of Supply, but in the present debate his doing so would be out of Order.

    thought the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman required careful consideration. The term "Army corps," was a term not known to Parliament, and this was practically the first formal introduction into Parliament of the Localization Scheme, upon which he should have thought, subject to correction, that his hon. Friend the Member for Hackney might have discussed the question.

    said, that this year the troops were allowed to encamp within the area of all lands specified in the Schedule, while last year they were only allowed to occupy uninclosed lands, and such as were pointed out by a Commission. This year there were nine areas, instead of one area, and the consequences would be very serious to many occupying private property. He asked that a copy of the Army Corps Training Bill, showing the alterations, might be laid on the Table before the second reading of the Bill was moved. There were not 10 Members in the House who knew what they were asked to assent to.

    said, that, upon the point of Order, it was well to bear in mind that the Preamble of the Bill referred to "Army corps," a term quite new in legislation. He would like to know what it meant.

    said, although it ought to be pretty well known by this time what an Army corps was, he was willing to gratify the thirst of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite for all kinds of military information. It consisted of the three arms of the Service—namely, the Infantry, the Cavalry, and the Artillery combined. It was divided into divisions and brigades, the latter consisting of two or more regiments. He trusted that this information, and the assistance derivable from The Army Lists published since last December, would enable his hon. and learned Friend to approach the subject with more information than he had hitherto displayed to the House. This year private arrangements had been made with the owners of property where the troops were to be encamped; but it might happen that short distances of occupation, roads, and of ground otherwise in closed might require to be marked out. Unless such cases were provided for, a great portion of the Act of last year would be practically nugatory, and therefore it was necessary to modify its provisions. He thought the question might be more opportunely raised on the discussion of the Motion of which the hon. and gallant Member for Galway (Captain Nolan) had given Notice.

    hoped that the important change which had been made in the organization of the Army would be fully discussed, and expressed his belief that the manœuvres did not injure private property anything like so much as fox-hunting.

    asked whether the Government would give the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. J. Holms) the opportunity of raising the question on the Report of Supply?

    thought it would he better to defer a discussion until the experiment had been tried. He congratulated the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War on the attempt which the Bill would make of placing the Army on a more satisfactory footing.

    said, the point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) had been imperfectly understood. What he desired to do was to call attention to the fact that the term "Army corps" was for the first time used in the proposed legislation, and he desired to ascertain whether the passing of the Bill would be construed into a Parliamentary recognition and sanction of the new mobilization scheme while there were Notices of Motion in the Order Book which impugned the whole scheme.

    said, he would admit that the expression "Army corps" was for the first time used in a Parliamentary measure, and it had been used in The Army List only since December last. The Bill would not commit the House to an approval of that particular mode of dealing with troops which was known as mobilization; all that it would do was to authorize what was necessary to be done in calling out a body of troops whom it was proposed to form into two Army corps. With regard to another point, this mobilization scheme appeared in The Army List of December; it was commented upon in a pamphlet and in speeches by the hon. Member for Hackney; it was mentioned in the speech when the Army Estimates were brought in; there were four discussions upon them, and it remained to be discussed in connection with the Motion of the hon. and gallant Member for Galway. He did not think therefore he need enter into further explanations on the subject now.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow, at Two of the clock.

    Jurors' Qualification (Ireland) Bill—Bill 127

    ( Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)

    Second Reading

    Order for Second Reading read.

    in moving that the Bill be now read a se- cond time, said, the Act of 1871 instituted a certain rating qualification, which after a short time, it was found necessary to raise by the Act of 1873. A Select Committee sat on the Irish Jury system for two sessions, and they reported unanimously that the rating qualification fixed by the old Act was too low, and that it should be raised somewhat higher than it was by the temporary Act of 1873. When he came to look into the question it occurred to him that it might be settled by adopting a household qualification as better than one derived from holding a certain number of acres of land. He had, therefore, adopted the principle based on the rateable value of houses, and had supplemented it by a qualification arising from occupation of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, but upon a higher basis than under the existing law. He also proposed to add freeholders to the value of £10, and leaseholders to the value of £20 per annum. The right hon. Baronet concluded by moving the second reading of the Bill.

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Sir Michael Hides-Beach.)

    said, that as there were several alterations which ought to be made, he trusted that an opportunity would be given for discussion at the next stage of the Bill.

    said, having sat on the Committee, he wished to state that the right hon. Gentlemen the Chief Secretary for Ireland had fairly embodied in the measure the unanimous recommendations of the Committee, and he would be sorry to see any difficulties thrown in the way of the passing of the Bill. In his opinion it was a just and fair measure.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.

    Supreme Court Of Judicature (Ireland) Bill—(Lords)—Bill 161

    ( Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)

    Second Reading

    Order for Second Reading read.

    , in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that a full opportunity would be given at a Morning Sitting for discussing the measure on the Motion that the Speaker leave the Chair. The main object of the Bill was to extend to Ireland the great and beneficial change already effected for England—namely, that Equity and Common Law should be concurrently administered. There were peculiar facilities for carrying out this reform in Ireland, as all the Judges who adorned the Bench in that country had, when at the Bar, practised both in the Common Law and Equity Courts; and all those Courts were already gathered under one roof in the same building. As to the main objects of the Bill there could, he believed, be no controversy; that could only arise as to the machinery intended for carrying them out, and such questions could best be discussed in Committee. He would, therefore, at present simply move the second reading.

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)

    :said, he did not intend to oppose the Motion, for in his opinion it was desirable that the changes made in the system of Judicature in England should be introduced without further delay in the Irish Judicature also. There were, however, some points to which he wished to call attention. It was in Ireland of even more importance than it was in England that there should be a strong Court of Intermediate Appeal, and he therefore objected to the exclusion from it of the Master of the Rolls. He objected also to the proposal of making the Probate Judge a merely nominal Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. They should, he thought, transfer not only the Judge, but also the Probate jurisdiction to that Court, and leave it to the Judges to arrange among themselves for the transaction of that as well as other business. A similar objection lay to making the surviving Bankruptcy Judge a merely nominal Judge of the Court of Exchequer; to which he might add the observation that the jurisdiction was one which belonged more naturally to the Court of Chancery. The Treasury, too, he found, was not only to fix the salaries of officers, but was also to inter- fere in the internal arrangement of their duties, as if the Irish Judges could not be entrusted to perform that business for themselves. This had not been attempted in England, and he objected to its being done in Ireland.

    objected to certain details of the Bill, more especially to the provision relating to the proposed re-construction of the Common Pleas Division of the High Court of Justice. More Judges ought to be secured for it, especially seeing it had to do Election Petitions.

    thought the Judges of the Landed Estates Court would be placed in an unfair position by the Bill. All the Judges ought to be in the same position with regard to all matters, as they were all members of the Supreme Court.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.

    Supply Report

    Resolutions [8th June] reported.

    called attention to the transfer of Votes involving increase of expenditure from Class 5 to Class 1. The complaint was that this year, for the first time, the house-rents for some of our Ministers abroad had been transferred from the Vote for the Diplomatic Service to the Vote for the Office of Works, and that some of these votes had been "surreptitiously" increased without any sufficient reason and without explanation, and this change, he contended, was contrary to the practice of the House and to a formal Resolution, if not, indeed, in contravention of an Act of Parliament. He would conclude by moving, on account of the lateness of the hour, that the House do adjourn.

    Motion made, and Question proposed,

    "That this House do now adjourn."—( Sir Henry Drummond Wolff.)

    denied that there had been any attempt on the part of the Government to take the House by surprise and smuggle the Estimates through. The Vote he referred to, that for the Legation House at Brussels, was No. 25, and the particulars of it were fully set forth in the Estimates. The facts were these—The lease, which had been held by the Government and not by the Minister, had expired. It was proposed that the Government should purchase the house: but on the report of an officer of the Board of Works, who was sent over to make inquiry, it was determined to take another lease for a period of years at a rent of £720. They might have been wrong, but they acted on the best authority, and the course taken with regard to the Votes was taken on the advice and at the request of the Controller and Auditor General. He would not notice the tone of his hon. Friend, but so long as he held his present position he would always endeavour to give to the House, and to every hon. Member the fullest information on every Vote in his power. He hoped the House would acquit him of the charge of evasion which the hon. Member had brought againt him.

    explained that he made no charge of evasion against the Secretary of the Treasury; but he did against the Foreign Office, and that charge he repeated.

    thought the hon. Member for Christchurch had done good service by calling attention to a total increase of £2,000 in the Vote for the Brussels Embassy, of which there was no trace in the Votes.

    defended the course which had been taken, and which, he said, had been taken at the instance of the Auditor and Controller General. As regarded the Legation House at Brussels, he would remind the House that rents had gone up all over the Continent. It was now for the House to decide upon whether they were to follow the course recommended by the Auditor General or revert to the old one.

    denied that there had been any attempt at evasion. It would be easy to show by a note in Class 5 what changes were going on. If, however, the House desired it, the whole of these expenses should be set forth under Class 5 in the Estimates.

    In reply to Mr. C. B. DENISON,

    stated the Supplemental Estimate for the new road at Hyde Park Corner could not be brought forward until about the 9th of July; but the model and plans of the road would be deposited in the Library of the House; and though he could not order a census of the traffic at that point to be taken, the Commissioners of Police would no doubt be ready to undertake it.

    Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

    Resolution agreed to.

    Suez Canal (Shares) Bill

    On Motion of Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Bill for making provision respecting Shares in the Capital of the Universal Company of the Maritime Canal of Suez, acquired on behalf of the Crown, ordered to be brought in by Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. William Henry Smith.

    Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 189.]

    House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.