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further; and he was therefore surprised to find several members of the Government, including a Cabinet Minister, objecting to the measure, and expressing a wish to divide against it. Some of the objections which had been taken to the Bill arose palpably from its provisions not having been read. The right hon. gentleman then proceeded to examine and reply to the objections, and argued that the encouragement he had received in regard to the Bill was amply sufficient to weigh against the dissatisfaction of some of those who must have been expected to be its opponents, and who seemed to think that, because they disapproved of it, it ought to be withdrawn. He, however, had found so much sympathy with his measure that he was emboldened to bring the Bill to the issue of the opinion of the House.
The second reading was then agreed to.
Mr. Hardcastle thereupon withdrew his Abolition Bill, the Solicitor-General also discharged his measure, and Mr. Newdegate, who had a third Bill, for the commutation of the rate, before the House, followed the same course; and thus terminated the various attempts which had been made in the present Session to bring this perplexing and difficult question to a decision.
The same principles which were at issue in the churchrate controversy were in some degree involved in a measure brought in by Mr. J. T. Coleridge, an eminent member of the Bar, lately returned for Exeter, the object of which was to relieve Dissenters from the impediments which now exist to their taking degrees at Oxford, by dispensing with certain religious tests. In moving the second reading of his Bill, Mr. Coleridge reviewed the early history and constitution of the University, and said it was essentially a lay corporation, and its connexion with the Church of England was not established until the existing colleges monopolized the University. As a large portion of Her Majesty's subjects were deprived of education in that great national seminary, Government was bound to interfere. In refuting the arguments used against the Bill, he insisted that the Universities were not exclusively Church institutions. His object was to restore the University of Oxford to its ancient position as a great national institution, free to all the subjects of the Queen who sought to enter it—to attract Nonconformists in large numbers, and subject them to the refining, ennobling, and sanctifying influences of the venerable place, while it would prove a great benefit to the Established Church by rendering it more self-reliant upon the purity of its doctrines, and, by a healthy rivalry, infuse greater life and vigour into its teaching. As a member of the Church of England himself, he would be ashamed if he did not hope that the influence of the University would be sensibly felt, not only in elevating the education of Nonconformists, but in reconciling them and bringing them within the pale of the Church.
Sir S. Northcote said this Bill would re-open the settlement of 1854. He felt bound to make a stand against giving Dissenters a share in the government of the University, and to this he could not give his assent. He was not afraid of allowing a few Dissenters into Convocation, but he was afraid that if all tests were abolished the whole tone of the distinctive character of the educational influences of the Church of England would be lost. He did not desire to oppose the second reading of the Bill if he saw a reasonable prospect of a compromise being effected when the measure was in committee, but as a matter of form he would move the usual amendment that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.
Mr. Buxton supported the Bill, which would relieve not only Dissenters but Churchmen who conscientiously objected to these tests.
Mr. B. Hope, Sir W. Heathcote, Mr. G. Hardy, and Mr. Henley opposed the Bill.
Mr. Lowe saw no danger whatever in the Bill, as its object was merely to allow Dissenters to take their degree of M.A., and thus acquire a voice in the governing of the University; The Dissenters did not ask, nor desire to have, any share in the direction of the religious education of those who proposed to enter the ministry of the Church of England.
Mr. Göschen expressed his satisfaction at the desire which appeared to animate the Opposition to settle the matter. The Church gained no strength by retaining such artificial tests.
Lord Cranbourne said the object of the Bill was the abolition of religious education in the University of Oxford.
Mr. Morley said it was a national and not a sectarian question.
Mr. Coleridge having replied, the second reading of the Bill was carried by 217 to 103. It subsequently passed through committee, certain amendments, moved by Sir W. Heathcote in order to restrict its operation, being negatived by a large majority; but owing to the lapse of time and pressure of other business its further progress was arrested. Another Bill, for a cognate object to that of Mr. Coleridge, being designed to enable Dissenters to hold fellowships at the Universities without making the declaration of conformity to the Liturgy of the Church of England, which is now required by law, was brought in by Mr. Bouverie, who had in former sessions, and especially in 1864, made attempts to relieve Nonconformists from academical tests. He urged the House to sanction the relaxation now proposed, which, he observed, left untouched the oath of abjuration, and thus continued an insuperable barrier to Roman Catholics acquiring any share in the government of the colleges.
Mr. Walpole, in moving that the House should go into committee on that day six months, objected to Dissenters being invested with any power in the government of either Oxford or Cambridge, because those institutions were founded for members of the Church of England. Moreover, the education at the Universities had always been connected with religion, and in strict conformity to the will and expressed intentions of those who founded the colleges. If this measure were passed, the result must be religious confusion or religious indifference. The establishment of the London University had taken away from Dissenters all real practical grievances in connexion with this question. Oxford and Cambridge were not national institutions in the common acceptation of the term, and never were so, if by that it was meant that those who went there had a right to share in the endowments and the government, which it was always intended should be conducted by members of the Established Church. He further objected to the Bill, that it disturbed the arrangement made by the Universities Act, which gave to Dissenters the privilege of a University education, whilst excluding them from participating in the management; that, although professing to be permissive, it would in the end become compulsory; and that it introduced the novel principle that those who would not be bound by the conditions on which the colleges were founded might claim a share in their endowments and their government.
Mr. Fawcett said the existing restrictions at the Universities injured their best interests. The University men were largely in favour of the Bill, and the movement in its behalf had sprung not so much from Dissenters as from the Universities themselves, and he argued that the benefits of these institutions were intended for the whole community, and not for a sect. One great advantage which he anticipated from the passing of the present measure was, that it would bring young men of different religious opinions together, thus producing unanimity of sentiment, and teaching them to respect each other, and that there were great works to be done for the public good, in which men of all creeds might unite.
Mr. B. Hope, Mr. Schreiber, and Mr. Selwyn opposed the Bill, and Mr. J. Goldsmid, Mr. Neate, and Mr. T. Chambers supported it.
Sir W. Heathcote said the Bill was a covert attack upon the Established Church, which was the inheritor of a large part of the property of the Universities, and that the remainder came into her possession since the Reformation. With regard to the argument that the Universities were national institutions, derived from the fact that many of the foundations were established previous to the Reformation, if any persons were entitled to use it as against the Church of England, it was the Roman Catholics. But who were excluded by this Bill? Who but the Roman Catholics? whilst every other class of Dissenter might come in.
Mr. Bouverie, in reply, said, if the House now decided against the demand, it would be renewed again and again until it was conceded.
Upon a division, the principle of the Bill was affirmed by 208 votes against 186; but the events of the Session, which caused so many other measures to be suspended, prevented its further progress.
A Bill for making the alteration so many times attempted in the Marriage Law, by enabling marriage with a deceased wife's sister, was this year brought in by Mr. Thomas Chambers, but rejected by the House of Commons by a majority of 174 to 155.
FOREIGN AND COLONIAL AFFAIRS.—Paucity of discussions in Parliament on these sub
jects during the present session. THE INSURRECTION IN JAMAICA.—Bill brought in by the Government to alter the constitution of that colony-Abstinence from discus. sion on the outbreak and conduct of the Governor pending the inquiry of the Commis. sioners-Debate on these subjects after the publication of the Report-Resolutions proposed by Mr. Buxton- The first is adopted and the rest withdrawn-Declaration of opinion by Lord Carnarvon, the new Colonial Secretary, in the House of Lords. INTERNATIONAL LAW.-Motion of Mr. Gregory for an address to the Crown in favour of exempting private property from capture in time of war-Debate on this question- Able argument of Sir R. Palmer, Attorney-General, against the motion, which is withdrawn-Mr. Watkin brings before the House of Commons the subject of the impending termination of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States — Statement of the Colonial Secretary in answer. THE WAR BETWEEN PRUSSIA AND AUSTRIA.—Comments and discussions in both Houses of Parliament before and after the outbreak of hostilities-Observations of the Earls of Clarendon, Russell, and Grey, and Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, in the House of Lords – Debate on the position of affairs on the Continent and the attitude assumed by this country originated by Mr. Kinglake in the House of Commons-Speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer - Appeal made to the Administration of Lord Derby for a declaration of opinion previous to the conclusion of the War-Speech of the Prime Minister in the House of Lords - Important and interesting debate in the House of Commons on the effect of the new distribution of power in Europe -Mr. Gladstone expresses a favourable opinion of the results of the war upon liberty and civilization on the Continent - Statement of Lord Stanley, the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, respecting the
future policy of our Government-Favourable reception of his speech. The discussions in Parliament during the present Session upon foreign policy or colonial affairs were both less frequent and less interesting than of late years. The attention of politicians was so much absorbed by questions of domestic concern, and especially by the engrossing subject of Parliamentary Reform and the party movements and changes which grew out of it, that international relations and Continental politics were comparatively disregarded. It is true that the great contest between Austria on the one side, and Prussia and Italy on the other, which wrought such speedy and decisive changes in the distribution of power in Europe, could not but excite a considerable amount of attention in England, and it naturally became the subject of remark in both Houses of Parliament; but the strict neutrality maintained by this country in the struggle confined the discussion of these affairs within the strict limits of comment and criticism. The debates on Colonial Affairs were likewise very limited. It was to be expected that some legislative action would arise out of the recent insurrection in Jamaica, which had excited so profound a sensation in this country; but when Parliament met, the circumstances of that outbreak, as well as the means adopted for suppressing it, had been recently referred to the investigation of a Commission which left England early in January for Jamaica, and there were obvious reasons for abstaining from any Parliamentary discussion of the subject until the Commissioners had completed their inquiry. One step, indeed, which was urgently required by the existing state of the Colony, the home Government felt bound to take without delay, and that was to provide for a new Constitution for the island, ratifying in so doing the act of the Jamaica Legislature itself, which had resolved to place the Government in the hands of the Crown. Mr. Cardwell, on an early day of the Session, moved accordingly for leave to bring in a Bill, the object of which was to substitute a Government similar to that of Trinidad, consisting of a Governor and nominative Council, for that which existed in Jamaica. He proposed that the Bill should continue in force for three years only, an arrangement which would leave it open to Parliament, after receiving and considering the Report of the Commissioners, to decide finally upon what footing the island should be permanently placed. This proposal of the Colonial Secretary met with a favourable reception on both sides of the House; and the Bill for giving effect to it passed through Parliament speedily without opposition, a general consent being manifested to abstain from all discussion of recent events in Jamaica until the results of the pending investigation should be made known.
The Commissioners, after spending some months in the execution of the task assigned to them, returned to this country and made their report, the publication of which removed the restraint upon a free discussion of the affairs of Jamaica. Mr. Buxton, who had taken a prominent interest in the question, now brought it formally before the House of Commons, and a debate took place in which the controversy which had so much divided the opinions of the public, was carried on with considerable warmth of feeling on both sides. Calling the attention of the House of Commons to the evidence furnished by the Report of the very severe measures pursued by Governor Eyre and those who acted under his authority, the excessive and unnecessary punishments of death, the reckless flogging, and the burning of houses of persons neither directly nor indirectly concerned in the disturbances, Mr. Buxton moved the following Resolutions :-" That the House deplores the excessive punishments which followed the suppression of the disturbances of October last in the parish of St. Thomas, and especially the unnecessary frequency with which the punishment of death was inflicted ; that, while approving the course taken by Her Majesty's Government