UNIVERSITY OF LONDON BILL [Lords].

THURSDAY, 2nd DECEMBER, 1926.

1767

The Committee consisted of the following members:

Nicholson, Mr. William (Chairman)

Alexander, Sir William (Glasgow, Central)

*Atholl, Duchess of (Kinross and W. Perth)

Atkinson, Mr. (Altrincham)

Briant, Mr. (Lambeth, N.)

Burman, Mr. (Duddeston)

Butler, Sir Geoffrey (Cambridge University)

Cadogan, Mr. (Finchley)

*Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)

Clarry, Mr. (Newport)

Cove, Mr. (Wellingborough)

Cowan, Sir Henry (Islington)

*Dalton, Mr. (Peckham)

Davies, Mr. Evan (Ebbw Vale)

Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)

Dennison, Mr. (King's Norton)

*Evans, Captain Ernest (University of Wales)

*Fairfax, Captain (Norwich)

Fenby, Mr. (Bradford, E)

Gault, Lieut.-Colonel (Taunton)

Glyn, Major (Abingdon)

Grant, Sir James (Derby, S.)

Grenfell, Mr. David (Gower)

Hall, Mr. George (Aberdare)

Hartington, Marquess of (Derbyshire, W.)

Haslam, Mr. (Horncastle)

Holt, Captain (Upton)

*Hopkinson, Sir Alfred (English Universities)

Hopkinson, Mr. (Mossley)

Hudson, Mr. James (Hudders field)

Hudson, Mr. Robert (Whitehaven)

Jones, Mr. Mardy (Pontypridd)

*Little, Dr. (London University)

Looker, Mr. (Essex, S.E.)

Maclntyre, Mr. (Edinburgh, W.)

Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn (Kettering)

*Marriott, Sir John (York)

Morrison, Mr. Robert (Tottenham, N.)

Newton, Sir Douglas (Cambridge)

Oman, Sir Charles (Oxford University)

*Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)

Price, Major (Pembroke)

Rawson, Sir Cooper (Brighton)

*Smith, Mr. Lees (Keighley)

*Somerville, Mr. (Windsor)

Titchfield, Major the Marquess of (Newark)

Townend, Mr. (Stockport)

*Trevelyan, Mr. (Newcastle, Central)

Wallhead, Mr. (Merthyr)

Warner, Brigadier-General (Bedford, Mid.)

Waterhouse, Captain (Leicester, S.)

*Webb, Mr. (Seaham)

Williams, Mr. C. P. (Wrexham)

Williams, Mr. Thomas (Don Valley)

*Withers, Mr. (Cambridge University)

*Young, Mr. Hilton (Norwich)

* Added in respect of the University of London Bill [Lords].—December 2, 1926.

Mr. COLOMB Committee Clerks.

Mr. ABRAHAM Committee Clerks.

1768
1769 STANDING COMMITTEE C Thursday, 2nd December, 1926.

[Mr. WILLIAM NICHOLSON in the Chair.]

[OFFICIAL REPORT.]

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON BILL [Lords]. CLAUSE 1
—(Appointment of. Commissioners)

  • There shall be a body of Commissioners to be styled "The University of London Commissioners," consisting, in the first instance, of the following persons, namely:—
  • The Hon. Mr. Justice Tomlin, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Civil Law;
  • Sir Lewis Amherst Selby-Bigge, Bart., K.C.B., Master of Arts;
  • Sir Cyril Stephen Cobb, K.B.E., M.V.O., Master of Arts, Bachelor of Civil Law, Member of Parliament;
  • Sir Josiah Charles Stamp, G.B.E., Doctor of Science, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society;
  • Sir Edwin Cooper Perry, Doctor of Medicine, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians;
  • Alexander Dunlop Lindsay, Esquire, C.B.E., Master of Arts, Honorary Doctor of Laws, Master of Balliol College Oxford;
  • Bertha Surtees Phillpotts, O.B.E., Doctor of Letters; and
  • Thomas Percy Nunn, Esquire, Doctor of Science, Professor of Education in the University of London.
  • If and whenever a vacancy occurs among the Commissioners, His Majesty may by Order in Council appoint a person to fill the vacancy, but every such order shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament, within ten days after it is made if Parliament be then sitting, or, if not, then within ten days after the next sitting of Parliament.
  • The Commissioners may, with the consent of the Treasury as to number, employ such persons as they may think necessary for the execution of their duties under this Act.
  • Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

    1770

    Dr. LITTLE: May I deal with the Preamble before we deal with the Clauses?

    The CHAIRMAN: That will come after we have taken all the Clauses.

    Dr. LITTLE: I want to point out a difference between the wording of the Preamble and that of Clause 4, and to ask which should be dealt with first.

    The CHAIRMAN: The question of the Preamble standing part of the Bill will come after we have done with the Schedule.

    Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

    CLAUSE 3 (Duration and proceedings of Commissioners) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 4
    —(Powers and duties of Commissioners.)

  • Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commissioners shall make statutes for the University of London (in this Act referred to as "the University"), in general accordance with the recommendations contained in the Report of the Committee, subject to any modifications which may appear to them to be expedient, and, so far as may be necessary for giving effect to any of the said recommendations, the Commissioners may, subject as hereinafter provided, make statutes for any school of the University, or for any other college, school, or institution for the purpose of enabling it to become a school of the University:
  • Provided that no statute, not being a statute for the University, shall be made under this Act for any school of the University, or for any other college, school, or institution, except with the consent of the governing body thereof, and, in the case of a statute altering any trust, with the consent of the trustees or governing body of the trust.
  • The Commissioners shall, before adopting any final resolution for the making of a statute under this Act, take such steps as are in their opinion best adapted for facilitating the making of representations with respect to the proposed statute, and shall consider any representations made to them by or on behalf of the Senate or Convocation or any fifty graduates of the University, or by or on behalf of any other bodies or persons appearing to the Commissioners to be directly affected by the proposed statute.
  • The Commissioners shall have power to take such evidence as they may think necessary for the exercise of their powers and for the performance of their duties under this Act.
  • The CHAIRMAN: I think that, on the first three Amendments on the Paper— 1771 namely, the two standing in the name of the hon. Member for London University (Dr. Little), in Sub-section (1), after the word "Committee," to insert the words "the modification set out in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act, and subject also to," and, after the word "University" ["a school of the University"], to insert the words "Provided that in any statute framed to give effect to the recommendation of the Report of the Committee with respect to the constitution of the Council the number of members appointed by the Crown shall be two and not four, and the number of members appointed by the London County Council shall be one and not two, and provided also that three members of the Council shall be appointed by Convocation"; and the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Central Newcastle (Mr. Trevelyan), after the word "trust" ["governing body of the trust"] to insert the words "Provided further that the Commissioners shall have power to effect any such adjustments as they consider desirable in the relations between the Council and the Senate"— we might have a general discussion, and afterwards put the Question relating to each Amendment.

    Dr. LITTLE: I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "Committee" ["contained in the Report of the Committee"], to insert the words "subject to the modification set out in Part II of the Schedule to this Act, and subject also to." I wish to point out that the wording of the Preamble is "in accordance with the recommendations" of the Departmental Committee, whereas in Clause 4 the wording is "in general accordance." That seems to allow of a certain degree of latitude which the phrasing of the Preamble, apparently, does not. That is a very important point in the consideration of the Bill, because, if the statutory Commissioners are instructed to carry out strictly the intentions of the Committee, it makes a very great difference in our feeling towards it. The modification referred to in my Amendment is designed to meet the very general objection in the University to the supremacy of the Finance Council proposed by the Departmental Committee. It is believed in the University that that supremacy will be injurious to the cause of education, and 1772 that it will really break down in practice. I should like just to read a small criticism of this particular recommendation, to show the reasons why we are putting down this mendment. It is set out in the following short paragraph— "The proposal with regard to one Finance Council is objected to by nearly everybody in the University, on the ground that to call in eminent people from outside, who do not become members of the Senate, to deal with the financial policy of the University, is unsound. All those who control the finances should, in Our opinion, take part in the administration and have full knowledge of the needs of the University." The proposals which the Amendment makes are very slight in degree, and practically come to nothing much more than the adoption of the principle that the Finance Council should form a committee of the Senate. It is to be a statutory Finance Council, and the composition of the Council is to be the same as the composition proposed by the Departmental Committee; but its resolutions, we think, ought to be governed by the general educational members of the Senate, and that is not possible if the supremacy of the Council is maintained as suggested in the Departmental Committee's Report. By becoming a committee of the Senate, it would, in effect, govern finance very materially, as the present Finance Council of the Senate does, but it would not have the supreme voice in the Government of University affairs, which is what we wish to obviate. There are many other objections to the composition of the Finance Council if it remains the supreme body in the University, but, if this modification could be accepted, I believe that it would meet with very general acceptance in the University, and would go a very long way towards obtaining agreement by consent with what those who are in charge of this Bill would like to see effected. The University is a very inarticulate body, and has not many opportunities' of expressing its opinions, but, where it has had such opportunities, it has expressed its opinion with marked emphasis against the appointment and consequent duties of the Finance Council; and I beg this Committee to understand that it is imposing, upon a very unwilling University, measures which have not been, I submit, very carefully apprehended, and whose effect upon the University has not, I 1773 think, been entirely seen. It is from that point of view that I would ask the Committee to consider these Amendments, preserving, as I hope I may, the right to propose further Amendments if this one be not carried.

    Mr. TREVELYAN: I understand that on this Amendment the Committee will find it convenient to discuss the whole question, involving the third Amendment on the Paper, standing in the name of myself and other members. That Amendment proposes to deal with the situation in a different way from that proposed in the Amendment which has just been moved. The object of our Amendment is to make it clear that the Commissioners have freedom to arrange the relation between the Council and the Senate as they please. It is not a mandatory Amendment at all; it gives them freedom to take what line they like. We still hold the view that it is natural and proper that the final authority in the University in all matters, including finance, should be the Senate, if it is a self-governing University, and we would prefer to leave the question to the Commissioners. That would, of course, give them a variety of courses which they could pursue in dealing with the relations of the new Council and the University. They would be free to give the official power to the Senate, so that what we may call the Parliament of the University would be supreme over the Council, which may be regarded as the Cabinet of the University. That would be one course under our proposal. Another course which could be taken would be to make the Council more strongly representative of the Senate, and so to make it very much less likely that there would be differences between the Council and the-Senate. As another means, some machinery could be introduced for the settlement of differences, if they should arise, between the Senate and the Council; or measures could be taken to make it clear that all the details of finance were left to the Senate, and that the Senate was secure in its control over the educational functions of the University. My friends and I are particularly anxious, if possible, to get this Bill, and to get it as an agreed Bill. I do not know how far the Minister can go in meeting us. I should prefer, as I say, to leave the Commission to take its own line and to decide for 1774 itself exactly what the relations of the Council and the- Senate should be; but I should like to hear what the Minister has to say, and I should like to see if he can meet us on these points, and at any rate go some considerable distance towards allaying the anxieties which do exist lest the freedom of the University should be overridden by the Council, which is not, as it stands, fully representative of the University. I should like to hear what the Minister has to say, because I feel that the differences are not very deep between us, and I think we ought to be able to find some kind of adjustment.

    The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Lord Eustace Percy): May I express my appreciation of the very businesslike and moderate speeches, both of my hon. Friend the Member for the University (Dr. Little) and of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Central Newcastle (Mr. Trevelyan)? I am sure that, if we discuss this matter in that spirit, we shall be able to get through our work very rapidly. I will try to make clear to the Committee the attitude of the Government on these Amendments. In the first place, I cannot agree on two points. I cannot agree on one point with my hon. Friend the Member for the University, and on another point with my right hon. Friend the Member for Central Newcastle. My hon. Friend the Member for the University said that his Amendment represented the opinion of the University. It is with great diffidence, of course, that I put myself in contradiction to him on that, but, as far as I have observed, and as far as representations have been made to me, the proposal of the Amendment would really be extremely unsatisfactory to practically everyone in the University. Let us be quite clear about it. This Amendment proposes that the whole funds of the University, including all Government grants, should be handed over for distribution to the Senate, with complete power, and the Senate's Finance Council would be a mere Committee of that body. In other words, all University funds are to be allocated among the schools of the University, which at present get them direct from the University Grants Committee, by a large body of nearly 50 people, mainly composed of the beneficiaries of those grants themselves, and anyone can conceive the 1775 sort of confusion which would arise if that happened. The view put forward by my hon. Friend is certainly not the view put forward in the majority of the reports which were before the Senate in the Spring, but which were not considered by the Senate or the majority of the representations both from teachers and graduates which I have received. In the same way, I cannot quite agree that the Amendment put down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Central Newcastle is not mandatory. It really is mandatory in this sense; it would be very difficult to say, in view of the wording of Clause 4, that the Statutory Commissioners are precluded from considering anything, but an Amendment of this kind would entail the further consequence that they would not be justified in saying that they regarded a certain question as decided, and did not think it necessary to take evidence on the subject. It is clear that if the Statutory Commission is to do its work, it will find it cannot and ought not to reopen the whole field of the discussions and representations and arguments which were gone through by the Departmental Committee already, and they would be fully justified in saying now, "We regard certain things as so clearly laid down in the Departmental Committee's Report, and, as far as we can see they are practical things, that as business men doing a job, we must say we do not think we can reopen those particular questions." I want to leave the Statutory Commissioners freedom to do that, just as I want to leave them freedom to consider any relevant modification they may actually consider necessary. Let me explain the attitude of the Government on this. The majority of the Departmental Committee laid down one scheme, and the minority, represented by the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith) laid down another. Those two schemes were distinct in this respect, that the conception of the Majority Report, by which the Government stands, was that the Council should have its own independent powers, that it should have, in the words of the summary of the recommendations of the Departmental Committee, final authority in the allocation of University funds, but that the 1776 predominance of the Senate in all matters of University policy should be secured in two ways, one that the Senate should have the sole voice in Academic policy, and, secondly, that the Senate should have an effective majority on the Council. The Minority Report proceeded on the opposite line, that it should be the Senate which should have all authority, and that the Council should be a mere Committee of the Senate. In the Government view, that latter proposition would be impossible. It would not be fair or acceptable to the schools of the University, and the Government would not be justified, in the proper discharge of its responsibilities, in handing over the full control—because, remember, we are handing over the full control—of public grants to the Senate absolutely, and the result of the adoption of any proposal of that kind would be to cut at the root of the whole purpose of the reform of the University of London, namely, that these large public funds should be handed over absolutely to the University to control. That would not happen under such a constitution, and the whole reform would become useless and pointless. Therefore, I conclude at this stage with regard to what the right hon. Gentleman has said, that the Statutory Commissioners would be perfectly justified, and, in my judgment, and that of the Government, they would be wise, in saying that, as far as that was concerned, they would not feel obliged to hear evidence in favour of the Minority Report, because the adoption of a scheme on the lines of that Report, as I read it, would render the whole of the projected reform pointless, because it would not lead to the handing over of public funds to the full control of the University. But when we come to the other questions put by the right hon. Gentleman, the position is very different. First, as regards the composition of the Senate, if and in so far as the Statutory Commissioners adopt the proposals of the Majority Report, they will be bound, in my judgment, to consider whether the Majority Report in its detailed recommendations carries out the general principles on which that Report was based, namely, that the Senate should be assured of an effective majority on the Council, and the Statutory Commissioners will have full power to consider the com- 1777 position of the Council, and, if they consider it necessary, to vary it. The Government will not be disposed to offer Any insuperable objection to, for instance, the sacrifice of one Crown representative and its transfer to the Senate, or whatever it might be. So I think, obviously, the Statutory Commissioners have full power, and, indeed, a duty to ensure that the Senate majority shall be effective in accordance with the view of the Majority Report. Secondly, in regard to the relative powers and functions of the Council and the Senate, here a great deal of misapprehension seems to exist. It seems to be assumed that what the Departmental Committee meant in their recommendation about the final authority in the allocation of university funds, was that the Council should have the power of sanctioning or refusing any particular proposal, however detailed, of the university for the spending of any money on any matter of academic policy. That was not, I think, the intention of the recommendation of the Departmental Committee. If we look at the body of their Report we find that they anticipated that the Council would allocate the university funds in block grants, unearmarked, to the schools of the university, and so far as they were allocated to general university purposes, allocate them to the Senate under broad heads; and I imagine there would be no question of the Senate having to go to the Council about some proposal like the appointment, for instance, of a Director of Examinations. The funds necessary for such broad headings as examinations would, presumably, be allocated by the Council to the Senate, and the Senate would have very large freedom to administer the funds within that broad sub-head. Again, the Departmental Committee deliberately refrained from distributing all the university functions as between the Council and the Senate. They, in terms, left it to the Statutory Commissioners to make any detailed distribution of functions which would be necessary. Finally, I come to the right hon. Gentleman's point about the question of a difference of opinion. That, I know, is a thing which has exercised the mind of a good many people in the University, and a strong memorial sent to me by many teachers of the University which presses 1778 for the passage of the Bill in the present session, makes one proviso, that they hope the Government will make it clear that the Statutory Commission will have power to consider how the relations of the Council to the Senate should be defined in ease of difference of opinion between the two bodies. I have no objection to that proviso, because that presupposes that the two bodies have independent powers, and can have a difference of opinion, and, as long as that is admitted, I have no objection to discussing that question. The Statutory Commissioners certainly have power to consider any question of the machinery necessary to solve a deadlock if a deadlock arises. I have never been able to see how, if the account I have given of the relations between the Council and the Senate as anticipated in the Majority Report, is carried out, a deadlock could arise. It was clearly the intention of the Departmental Committee that in any matter of important policy the Senate should be able to control the Council by its majority, always, of course, supposing it was a matter of broad policy on which the Senate was substantially unanimous, and was not bitterly divided. Everyone will agree that any incentive to the Senate to be unanimous will be of very great advantage to the University. Therefore, I do not see on any matter where the Senate is substantially unanimous, where academic opinion is substantially agreed on any important matter, any deadlock can arise, and, as to details, I do not see how any deadlock can arise, because the whole conception of the Report is that questions of pure detail within particular University Departments will not be dealt with by the Council, but rather by the Senate; but if the Statutory Commissioners, having laid down the composition of the Council, having defined that the Council is to have final authority in the allocation of University funds, consider that still there may be danger of a deadlock, they will certainly have power to consider any machinery which may solve that deadlock. I have stated the position as clearly as I can, and I hope, in view of what I have said, my right hon. Friend will not feel it necessary to press the Amendment, but will be content to leave the matter to the Statutory Commissioners on the lines and within the limits which I have suggested.

    1779

    Mr. LEES-SMITH: I have listened very carefully to the statement of the President of the Board of Education. The object of the Minority Report was to make clear a number of things which were not clear in the Majority Report, but on which a great deal of light has been shed by the statement of the Minister. I say frankly that I should have preferred that the Senate should have been plainly and ostensibly the supreme body in the University, that there should have been no demarcation of functions, and that in disputes it should have been clearly laid down that the Senate's opinion would prevail. But, on the other hand, speaking for what, though a rather incoherent, is a large body of University opinion, we are primarily anxious that this Bill should pass. We are anxious that it should pass immediately, and that the Statutory Commissioners should be able to get to their work. The statement of the Minister has indicated that the Government has paid very great attention to the representations made to it, and, I hope I may say, paid great attention, if not to the absolute conclusions, at any rate to the arguments contained in the Minority Report. If, as I presume, I may take it for granted now that the Statutory Commissioners, in considering what their powers are, will read not only the Majority Report but will read it as it has been interpreted by the Minister, that certainly will give the Statutory Commissioners power to do practically nine-tenths of the effective things which they would do by the Amendment which is on the Paper in the names of myself and three of my hon. Friends. In these circumstances, I am most anxious that there should be an agreed Bill, and I am very pleased to accept the Minister's statement.

    Mr HILTON YOUNG: I feel that aft is well that ends well. Perhaps I may register a lively appreciation, at the end of this very interesting and most important inquiry and discussion, that the Majority and the Minority, sitting together with so much mutual self-improvement upon the Committee, should find themselves once more so closely together. Of course, quite candidly, I do not quite like, as taking such an interest in the Committee, all that the President of the Board of 1780 Education has said upon this occasion. Naturally, with those parental feelings which are always so strong in the human bosom, I think that the constitution of the Finance Council, as it left the hands of the Committee, was the best that could be devised. I very much hope that the Royal Commission, when it comes to reconsider this matter according to a line of conduct suggested by the Minister—which I completely accept—will come to the conclusion that some such constitution for the Finance Council as that proposed by the Report of the Majority of the Committee is the best. But, nevertheless, all substantial matters are now actually agreed, and in view of what the President of the Board of Education has said about the fixation by this Bill of substantial principles, as laid down by the Majority in the Report of the Committee, I think there may be no difference of opinion at all. One must observe, of course, that in this procedure, by appointing a Royal Commission to carry out the Report of the Committee, it is impossible to leave questions of central principle still at large for the consideration of the Royal Commission. That is impossible for this reason: You are letting a power go out of the hands of the House of Commons as representing the people's interests. Before you let the power go out of the hands of the House of Commons into those of the Royal Commission, you must determine for their guidance all essential matters of principle, such as the relative functions and authority of the Senate and the Council.

    Dr. LITTLE: I am very sorry indeed to have to take up the time of the Committee, but I feel it is my office and duty to emphasise what I consider to be the feeling of the University. That is what I am here for. With all deference to the President of the Board of Education, I would point out to him that he had really a very influential and official indication of the feeling of the University as a whole, because the Senate appointed a deputation from its own body to visit the Minister, and the solution which was pressed upon the Minister was exactly the solution which I venture to submit here, which is that the Finance Council should not be the supreme governing body, as it must be by this 1781 constitution. The effect of the constitution is very ably, and, I think, incon-trovertibly stated by the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith) in his Minority Report, where he expressly says that finance must rule policy. The deputation which visited the Minister desired that that might be the modification; they suggested the modification that it should be, not a Supreme Council, but subject to the final ruling of the Senate. It was even suggested that it should have supreme power in allocating the grants given by the Government and the County Council. It must be pointed out again that the revenues of the University are not confined to the grants given by these two bodies, the Treasury and the County Council. Those grants are £370,000 a year. The full revenue of the University is very considerably over £1,000,000. That includes, of course, the revenues of the schools. But they are to be governed by the Finance Council; the Finance Council, with six members appointed from outside, will really govern the allocation of the whole, whereas the Treasury and County Council contribute only £370,000. That is what made the deputation insist so strongly on the point. I beg the Minister not to be, I will not say misled, but influenced by the appeal of certain bodies of whose authority he is not entirely aware, how much influence they have and how much they represent. The University is a corporate body, consisting of a Senate and Convocation. That is the governing body. The Senate and Convocation have both, as far as corporate bodies can do so, recorded their objections to that particular recommendation of the Finance Council. The Senate on the 10th May called a special meeting for the purpose, and passed a nearly unanimous vote on the subject. That was the reason why the deputation was appointed to see the Minister of Education. Convocation also recorded its opinion at a meeting held in May. Now it is objected that that Meeting of Convocation was held during the General Strike.

    Mr. DALTON: How many were present?

    Dr. LITTLE: A quorum.

    Mr. DALTON: How many attended?

    1782

    Dr. LITTLE: Thirty. A quorum is thirty.

    Mr. DALTON: What is the total membership?

    Dr. LITTLE: Something like 12,000. The difficulty of getting a meeting of Convocation in London is extreme.

    Mr. COVE: Was the meeting held during the General Strike?

    Dr. LITTLE: Yes, but it had been fixed six months previously. It was not held by any malice prepense in the strike period.

    Lord E. PERCY: There were only twenty-eight members at the meeting of the Senate?

    Dr. LITTLE: That is a very good attendance of the Senate. The Senate consists of a large number of persons who very seldom attend, and the worst attendance is that of the Crown members. One must take the corporate records and do what one can with them. The attempts to belittle the statement of Convocation do not amout to much, because Convocation does not express its opinion nearly so forcibly or in such large numbers at these meetings. It is impossible to do so. Our graduates are scattered all over the country, and some of them are at such great distances from London that it is not possible for them to attend. Where they get an opportunity of recording their opinions in elections they record them on a very much larger scale. It happens that there was an election in the Faculty of Science held only six week ago, in which this subject of the reconstitution of the University on the lines of the Departmental Committee Report formed the "plank" of the candidates. The candidate who supported opposition to the Departmental Committee received a majority of two to one over every other competitor. There was only one candidate who supported the Committee Report, and he received nearly the lowest number of votes recorded. The other three candidates were more or less in favour of opposition to the Report. The one candidate who offered a very spirited opposition received by far the largest number of votes—two to one against the others. I submit that, where-ever it has been possible for the University to record its opinion, it has 1783 recorded it in opposition to this Finance Council. I beg the Minister not to be persuaded that the opinions expressed to him by unofficial bodies, the composition of which is not disclosed, really represent a large section of feeling in the University. There is another very important consideration. That is that the whole raison, d'etre of this Committee report is said to be a difficulty of giving grants to the Senate because that Senate contains direct representatives. Mr. Lees-Smith, in his Minority Report, in speaking about the Council used these words: "The latter body, unlike the Senate proposed by the Haldane Commission, is to have a bare majority of University members, but, like the Haldane Senate, is to be supreme in finance and so, as my colleagues recognise 'and desire, of University policy. Their view is summed up in the sentence, It is not in our view a desirable or practicable proposition to charge with the ultimate control of University finance a large body consisting of directly appointed representatives of particular interests.'" Is it at all certain or likely that the Finance Council is going to be free of a very large proportion of direct representatives of particular interests? Let us see how the Finance Council is to be chosen. Six members of the Senate are to be chosen, but in the new constitution of the Senate, a large addition is to be made of Heads of Colleges; it is between 11 and 13, and more probably 13 than 11. The voting power upon the Senate, by that distribution, is entirely altered, because you have a proportion now of 11 or 13 Heads of Colleges, 16 representatives of Faculties, and 16 representatives of Convocation. Those who are familiar with the work of the University from inside know exactly what that is likely to mean. Heads of Colleges in London are very autocratic persons. To give you an instance, a head of a College, during the election of 1924, summoned the Faculties of his College and instructed the Professors assembled how they should vote. Heads of Colleges can, and do, influence the votes of teachers who belong to their body. At the present moment, there are five Professors in a certain College, who are members for the different Faculties and representatives of the teachers. The Principal of the College sits on the Senate by right of his being head of this 1784 College. If any votes are taken, it is common to see a tail of Professors belonging to that College following the lead of the President of that College. That is an extremely common phenomenon. The likelihood is that, with that large addition of Heads of Colleges, the collegiate section and the representatives of Faculties will be practically one body. The final position, therefore, will be that you will get a Finance Council, which is to allocate all the revenues of the University and not only the revenue coming from grants, and the Council will contain a more or less large section of Heads of Colleges or persons under the control of Heads of Colleges. The position of that Council will be very much less disinterested than the present Council. The Finance Council, on all these grounds, is bound to defeat the hopes which have been formed for it. It will not, probably, be more impartial, and it is probable that it will be very much less impartial than the present Council. I regret I cannot support the Amendment proposed by the Member for Central Newcastle. I think too much power is left to the Commission, as it is to be practically supreme. This is a very great University, and it is not safe to leave this power to a very small body. Those who think with me would prefer to have instructions from an impartial Committee like this, rather than be left in the position that is now suggested. I say that with special emphasis, because the Senate and the University generally was not consulted as to the personnel of the Commission. It had no voice in its selection, and the selection has not met with the widest possible assent. Upon those grounds, and especially with the prevalent feeling in the University, I beg the Committee not to take the view that the University should be put in this position.

    Mr. SOMERVILLE: I have been asked, on behalf of the Standing Joint Committee of the Corporation of London and the Metropolitan Borough Councils to raise a point which may be raised now. That is the representation of the Corporation of the City of London upon the proposed Senate and Council of the University. On the old Senate the Corporation of London had a seat, but the name of the Corporation does not appear either on the new Coun- 1785 cil or the new Senate. It seems to me that, on grounds of historic sentiment, that is to be regretted. In addition, there is a very material consideration. The City of London is proverbially generous, and if there was a representative of the Corporation on the new Council, it is quite conceivable that contributions from City Companies and other bodies might flow into the coffers of the University, through that representation. It is possible that this matter has been provided for through the co-opted members. We find in Section 40 of the Report that the Senate is to have five co-opted members, and possibly one of these might represent the Corporation of the City of London, and in Section 42 it is stated: "We recommend the power to co-opt one member because we think it would be an advantage for the Council to be able to secure the services of an .additional member well versed in financial administration or identified with interests or! areas with which the University is or may be financially concerned." That seems directly to point to co-opting a representative of the Corporation, but if the Minister will say a word on that point, and if the name of the Corporation can be introduced into the new constitution, I think it will be a very great advantage to the new constitution and the University.

    Lord E. PERCY: If I may reply to that point, it is, I think, quite true that the Departmental Committee had the Corporation of London in mind in providing for a co-opted member. I propose to ask the Committee to insert an Amendment in Clause 4, of a drafting character which will make it clear that the Statutory Commissioners have power to receive evidence on a subject of that kind, and I think my hon. Friend will agree that it is better to leave the matter to the Statutory Committee at this stage, because the Corporation of the City of London is not the only likely party which has suggested that it might be represented. We must avoid getting into a confused discussion on the subject or landing the University of London with a variety of representatives of public bodies which, I think, would be clearly undesirable.

    Mr. SOMERVILLE: I thank my right hon. Friend for his assurance, and may 1786 I express the hope that the name of the Corporation of London will appear somewhere in the constitution?

    Amendment negatived.

    Dr. LITTLE: I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "University" ["enabling it to become a school of the University"], to insert the words "Provided that in any statute framed to give effect to the recommendation of the Report of the Committee with respect to the constitution of the Council the number of members appointed by the Crown shall be two and not four, and the number of members appointed by the London County Council shall be one and not two, and provided also that three members of the Council shall be appointed by Convocation." This Amendment is to secure something like adequate protection of one section of the University which, under the re-constitution, is likely to be very defenceless. Under the present constitution, there are, roughly, three sections of the Senate, the Convocation members, who are about one-third, the teachers one-third, and about one-third of nominated members. The external part of the University, which is the special interest of the members selected by Convocation, which is now about one-third of the governing body, will be almost certainly about one-fourth upon the new body. Therefore, one particular interest—and, I admit, a very important interest—is reduced in statutory representation. That is the position which has been met with such apprehension from those who are maintaining what is known as the external side of the University. The-external side is always upon its defence and always has been, and it has been able to maintain its present position because it had adequate representation on the governing body. We say that it will not have an adequate representation on the future governing body, and we are, therefore, pleading for a representation which will guard its interests upon the new governing body. Whereas the present representation is one-third, the representation proposed will be one-third to one-fourth, according as the Chairman of Convocation is reckoned in or out. We ask that the representation on the new governing body of these interests shall be adequate to secure the maintenance of that side of the University. In view of the incontestable fact that that side is, and must be, on its defence, 1787 the statement is often made that the external side does not mean so much as it did, that it is a constantly receding problem, and that, as Universities multiply in the country, the need for external examinations will diminish, and finally disappear. That, however, is contradicted by incontestable facts. The number of external students in the last 10 years has doubled. The number of external students at present studying in the University is about 6,000, compared with about 9,000 internal students. The contention, therefore, if it be made, that the need is not great, can be disputed at once and disproved by the facts of the case. It is that which prompts those of us who take an interest in the maintenance of the external side to wish to see it restored in some measure on the new governing body. Coupled with that proposal is the further proposal that the numbers of representatives of the Crown and of the municipal bodies should be lessened. I have stated already that the sums contributed by the bodies which those representatives are there to represent do not form the larger part of the revenues of the University. Another and very much more serious objection to their retention in such a large proportion is that it does seem to introduce the principle of interference, approximating to control, by grant-giving bodies. The position is much more serious than it looks upon paper. It is said very frankly by the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith), in his report that the constitution affords a "bare majority of University members. In practice a bare majority is seldom a practical majority, and the influence which can be exercised by these members is unquestionably a very strong one. The fact may be stated quite baldly that the representation is at least four times as compared with the representation of the same bodies on the present governing body. What is the reason for that very large increase of control? I think it is useless to say that the Crown members will not interfere, that they will be onlookers and nothing more. That, obviously, is not the desire of those who put them on. The Finance Council would be the most important body in the University. It must sit quite frequently. The present Finance Council sits 1788 twice a month. It must have members who can and will attend. It is quite absurd to pretend that there will be the same kind of members on the new governing body representing the Crown as there have been in the past. The Crown Members in the past have been, as I have said before, very indifferent in their attendance; they have been figureheads and little else. But the new Crown Members must be, and ought to be, much more actively interested in the control, and will and ought to exercise their representation of the interest for which they are put upon that body. It is very difficult, at least to myself, to understand what is the reason for putting on these Members, and how the selection is to be made. I have a letter here from a barrister who practises before the Privy Council, and he gives it as his personal impression that the Members representing the Crown are in effect appointed by the department, the Crown simply giving assent to the nomination; so that the nomination of the Crown Members, when one examines it, works out as the nomination, not of indifferent Members, but of someone who is very much interested in the matter and will be taking an active part. We are going to exchange for King Log King Stork, and we would rather, in the circumstances, keep King Log. No other University in this country has had such a constitution proposed for it. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have recently had their commissions, but there is no attempt by those commissions to add to the governing bodies of those Universities any representation approaching in magnitude the representation of the grant-giving bodies in this instance. It is, I submit, perfectly right that the grant-giving bodies should have a representation, but it should be a representation which can be described rather as a right of inspection, a right of watchfulness upon expenditure, but not, surely, increased to such a degree that the representation becomes a controlling factor, as it must with this immensely increased representation of these two features. The Amendment is designed, therefore, to restore to the new governing body something like the same influence which exists at present in favour of the external side of the University, and to reduce to something like reasonable dimensions the 1789 representation of the grant-giving bodies. Even with this proposed reduction, the representation would be very much greater than it is at present. There is no suggestion that the grants given by these bodies would increase in proportion to their representation. Even if that were so, I submit that that is not a right principle, and the President of the Board of Education is very insistent—and I am very glad to welcome his statement—that he also objects to the principle that grant-giving bodies shall control the University to which they make grants. I submit, however, that this is a possible and probable effect that will follow from this constitution, and it is because of these considerations that I am moving this Amendment.

    Lord E. PERCY: The position of the Council was dealt with in our previous discussion, and I think the only point on which I ought in courtesy to say a word in reply to the speech to which we have just listened is the point as to the separate representation of the Convocation. I do not want to make any quibbling point, but I may point out to my hon. Friend that his first Amendment was based on the principle that the Senate was to have complete control over the allocation of funds, while his present Amendment is that the Senate cannot even be trusted to allocate representatives to the Council. I would only say, on this question of the separate representation of Convocation, that I do hope that the external side is not going to try to constitute itself, or to entrench itself, as an imperium in imperio in the University of London. It is an important and essential part of the University of London, but I am sure that it will grow much stronger if it throws in its lot whole-h artedly with the University as a whole, than if it claims special rights and privileges within the University.

    Amendment negatived.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), after the word "shall" '["shall consider any representations"], to insert the words "in particular." I have already explained this Amendment.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to insert a new Sub-section: 1790 "(4) If representations with respect to any proposed statutes are made to the Commissioners by the governing body of any college, school, or institution which is at the commencement of this Act a school of the University in the Faculty of Theology, objecting to any alteration which would be necessitated by the making of the statute in the constitution of the college, school, or institution, or in respect of the appointment of teachers therein or the financial administration thereof, the proposed statute shall, unless the objection be withdrawn, be modified so as not to necessitate the alteration objected to." This is an Amendment on the lines I promised, dealing with the theological colleges. I think it meets their views. I cannot pretend that I think it is necessary to insert it in the Bill, but I think they would feel reassured if it were, and I think it is wholly unobjectionable.

    Dr. LITTLE: I would again deprecate the restriction to schools' of theology. Schools of theology are not by any means the only schools concerned. Other schools are vitally interested in this matter of the regulations which govern schools, and which will do so in future. The medical schools, for example, are some of the most important schools in the University, contributing more than one-third of the total studentship of the University, and the prospect of medical staffs being chosen by a body which would consist very largely of persons outside the University is, I am perfectly certain, one which the medical schools would not accept, but would certainly object to in the future. If the Faculty of Theology be excluded, might I ask that the medical schools also should be excluded, or that the words "in the Faculty of Theology" should be omitted?

    Lord E. PERCY: The explanation of the special treatment of theological colleges is, of course, clear. These are denominational colleges in an undenominational University. The whole question of the appointment of the University professors and readers, for instance, although it may be a controversial subject as regards the medical schools, is not a controversial subject as regards the theological colleges. It is not controversial because of the restrictions in the University of London in the matter of making appointments. Under a denominational grant, they would be absolutely unable to make, and no one would desire that they should make, appointments to professorships in the colleges of theology. That is 1791 an example of the necessarily special position of the theological colleges. I think the other reason I might give for its being confined to theological schools is that no one else has asked for it, or even indicated that they wanted it. As regards the medical schools, this memorial that I have in my hand, for instance, is signed by representatives—and important representatives—of both St. Bartholomew's and Guy's medical colleges, and I do not think that any medical school would desire any such safeguard as this to be extended to it

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Dr. LITTLE: May I ask where I may raise the point about "general accordance" and "accordance," in the Preamble and in Clause 4?

    The CHAIRMAN: That will come when we reach the question of the Preamble standing part.

    Clause 5 (Approval and effect of statutes) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 6
    —(Power to amend and supplement statutes.)

  • Statutes made by the Commissioners shall make provision enabling the University to alter or supplement after the cesser of the powers of the Commissioners any statutes made by them or by any other authority, except statutes made under this section and such other statutes, if any, as the Commissioners may consider ought not to be altered by the University.
  • The provisions contained in this Act with respect to the making of statutes by the Commissioners and to the proceedings to be taken after the making thereof in connection with statutes made by the Commissioners, and, subject as may be provided by any statutes made by the Commissioners, to the effect thereof after approval shall, with the necessary substitutions, apply to the making of statutes by the University and to the proceedings to be taken in connection with statutes made by the University, and, subject as aforesaid, to the effect of, such statutes.
  • Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "and such other statutes, if any, as the Commissioners may consider ought not to be altered by the University." These are words which simply empower the Statutory Commissioners to declare 1792 a particular statute unalterable by the University. I propose to leave them out because they were not in the Oxford and Cambridge Bill, and I see no reason why the University of London should have less power over its own future and its new constitution than the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 7 (Provisions as to incorporation of colleges and- schools in the University) and 8 (Short title and interpretation) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Mr. COLOMB (clerk) read the Financial Resolution of the House of 23rd November, 1926, as followeth: "That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session making further provision with respect to the University of London, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of all expenses incurred in the execution of the said Act by the Commissioners appointed thereunder up to an amount approved by the Treasury, including such remuneration as the Treasury may determine to be payable to persons employed by the said Commissioners."

    NEW CLAUSE.
    —(Expenses of Commission.)

    There shall be paid to any person employed by the Commissioners such remuneration as the Treasury may determine, and all expenses incurred by the Commissioners in the execution of this Act (including the remuneration aforesaid) shall, up to an amount approved by the Treasury, be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament.—[Lord E. Percy.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

    NEW CLAUSE
    —(Provisions as to appointment by the Grown as members of a council of the University.)

    Whenever there occurs among the members of a council of the University a vacancy which is in accordance with statutes made under this Act to be filled by a person appointed by the Crown the vacancy shall be filled by a person appointed by His Majesty in Council, and before any draft Order in Council is submitted to His Majesty for that purpose sufficient opportunity to submit recommendations in regard to the appointment shall be given to such persons or bodies representative of the University as may be designated in that behalf by statutes made under this Act.—[Lord E. Percy.

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    1793

    Lord E, PERCY: I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time." This proposed new Clause is designed, so far as I can, to meet the fears of representatives of Universities that this precedent of the introduction of Crown members might be an undesirable one in Universities in the future. The Clause is drafted so as to make it clear that we wish to appoint persons agreeable to the University, and that the University shall have full opportunity of consulting with the Crown and making recommendations with the Crown on the subject. I hope that will meet the views sufficiently of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Withers), who raised this point on the Second Reading.

    Sir ALFRED HOPKINSON: I take it that as drafted this would only apply to what we may call casual vacancies arising from time to time hereafter. Would it not be possible to draft it a little wider, so as to make it apply to the original appointments on the Council? I am sure nothing could possibly be done which would be more likely to cause peaceful working in the Universities than the Clause which has been thus proposed. We know how well this kind of practice has worked in other Universities. I am certain the proposal of the Clause makes some of us who hesitated before very hearty supporters of the policy that has been adopted. Would it not be possible to make it apply to the original appointments? You would have good will and hearty working between the representatives of the old University body and the Council.

    Mr. WITHERS: As the Minister has referred to the objection I raised on the Second Reading, I should like to say we have met him and received the greatest courtesy in settling the matter we had under discussion with him. Of course, this new Clause is not exactly what we wanted, but with his kind alteration of Clause 6, in which the University has power in the future to alter its own statutes, on the whole this meets my objection in a reasonable way. It provides that any vacancies which occur afterwards are to be filled after consultation with the University itself, and as time goes on, if that is not found to be satisfactory, the University will have 1794 power to come to the Privy Council and ask for a variation of the Statutes. With regard to what the last speaker has said, I am sure, after the spirit in which we were met by the Minister, he will, in appointing the four original Crown representatives, consider informally, if not formally, the wishes of the University.

    Lord E. PERCY: I am very much obliged to my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Withers). In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for the English Universities (Sir A. Hopkinson), the difficulty is an obvious one. Supposing the bodies who are to be consulted before a recommendation is submitted to the Crown are bodies which are not in existence at the time the Council is appointed, it is difficult to apply it to the original members; but I can give an assurance that before any recommendation is submitted to His Majesty, the Government will consult with the University, and try to make appointments which are agreeable and satisfactory.

    Sir CHARLES OMAN: May I ask the Minister whether the public opinion of general education authorities in Oxford or Cambridge University was supposed to be represented in the nomination of these members dealing with London University?

    Lord E. PERCY: I do not know that it would be agreeable, for instance, to the University of Manchester, if Oxford and Cambridge were consulted before the Crown representative was nominated on the Council of that University. I think what my hon. Friend means is whether general University opinion in the country will be borne in mind in making University appointments. There is the Universities' Committee of the Privy Council, and it guides in general in matters of this kind; but, after all, the important thing in dealing with the University of London is to be agreeable to the University of London rather than to the other Universities.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

    Schedule agreed to.

    1795
    PREAMBLE.

    "Whereas a Departmental Committee appointed by a Minute of the Board of Education dated the eighth day of October, nineteen hundred and twenty-four, to consider the Final Report of the Royal Commission on University Education in London dated the twenty-seventh day of March, nineteen hundred and thirteen, and, having regard to the present circumstances and after consultation with the persons and bodies concerned, to indicate what are the principal changes now most needed in the existing constitution of the University of London and on what basis a Statutory Commission should be set up to frame new statutes for the University, has in its Report (in this Act referred to as 'the Report of the Committee') made recommendations with respect to the matters aforesaid and in particular has recommended that Statutory Commissioners should be appointed to make new statutes for the University in accordance with the recommendations in the said Report:

    Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the 1796 advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—"

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this be the Preamble of the Bill."

    Dr. LITTLE: May I ask if there is any significance in the omission of the word "general," and its inclusion in Clause 4?

    Lord E. PERCY: None whatever. The Preamble is a statement of fact that this is what the Departmental Committee did. Clause 4 is really copied from the Oxford and Cambridge Bill.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Title agreed to.

    Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported to the House.

    The Committee rose at Twenty-two Minutes after Twelve o'Clock.

    THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

    Nicholson, Mr. William (Chairman)

    Atholl, Duchess of

    Burman, Mr.

    Butler, Sir Geoffrey

    Cadogan, Mr.

    Cecil, Lord Hugh

    Clarry, Mr.

    Cove, Mr.

    Dalton, Mr.

    Davies, Sir Thomas

    Fairfax, Captain

    Gault, Lieut.-Colonel

    Grenfell, Mr. David

    Hopkinson, Sir Alfred

    Hudson, Mr. James

    Hudson, Mr. Robert

    Little, Dr.

    Looker, Mr.

    Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn

    Marriott, Sir John

    Oman, Sir Charles

    Percy, Lord Eustace

    Smith, Mr. Lees-

    Somerville, Mr.

    Titchfield, Major the Marquess of

    Townend, Mr.

    Trevelyan, Mr.

    Waterhouse, Captain

    Webb, Mr.

    Williams, Mr. Thomas

    Withers, Mr.

    Young, Mr. Hilton