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_.--_.--..---. LLANBADARN.



ABERYSTWYTH COLLEGE. DEPUTATION TO LORD CARLINGFORD AND MR MUNDELLA. IMPORTANT SPEECHES. K5n Monday afternoon a numerous and influential deputation on the subject of higher education in Wales had an interview with the Lord President of the Council, Lord Carlingford, and Mr Mundella, Vice-President, at the Privy Council Office, White. hall. The deputation especially represented the claims of the University College at Aberystwyth, and was introduced by Lord Aberdare. Its purpose was to urge the permanent continuanoe of the Government grant, and that the College might, on Is similar footing to the one at Cardiff, be recognised "3& one of the Government Colleges for Wales. Amongst the gentlemen present were Viscount JEmlyn, M.P., Messrs L. P. Pugh, M.P., H. Richard, M.P., S. C. Evans Williams, M.P., David Davies, M.P., W. R. H. Powell, M.P., Samuel Holland, M.P., T. L.Jones-Parry, M.P., W. Fuller Maitland. M.P., Steart Rendel, M.P., Mr Lewis Morris Mr Urinley Richards Mr George Thomas, mayor ot JLIaaidIoes Colonel Pryse,.Lord Lieutenant of Car-, diganshire Mr John Jenkins, Llanidloes Mr A. M. Dunlop, Ffestiniog; Mr J. Jones, mayor of Aberystwyth Alderman Williams, Messrs J. Pell, Peter Jones, John James, and Vaughan Davies, Aberystwyth Mr J. F. Roberts, Manchester Mr (Stephen Evans, London; Mr John Thomas {Pencerdd Gwalia); Rev J. G. Davies, Bala, Rev H. Hnghes, Oxford Mr Pugh Jones, London Mr A. Sumner, London, &c. A memorial was presented, a copy of which has already been published in our columns. Lord Aberdare, in introducing the deputation, first called attention to the importance and repre- sentative character of the deputation, which in- cluded many cumbers of Parliament for districts Interested in the question, and stated that this was the first opportunity they had of presenting the claims of Aberystwyth to the Government. An attempt hfJd been made at Chester to have the claims of Aberystwyth considered along with the rest of North Wales. Nothing could be more moderate than the suggestion then made. It was proposed that a committee should be appointed with power to decide this question, that this com- mittee should consist entirely of gentlemen connec- ted with Not th Wales, and that the question of whether the claims of Aberystwyth were sufficient to induce them to adopt it as a College for North Wales should be submitted to that body. He was eorry to say that that very moderate offer was not accepted. That might be due in part to what one might think the rather narrow patriotism of those who considered North Wales only as interested in this matter, and it was also due to some misrtpre- mutation on the part of a person who bad consider- able weight and authority in North Wales-misre- presentation as to the sectarian character of the col- lege, which he (Lord Aberdart). as knowing how the College was conducted, was prepared to say bad 110 foundation in fact (hear, beat). In stating the ealle of the prt sent deputation, be feared that he rofcr to one fact which was as well known to Lord Carlingford and Mr Mundella as to himself, tia., that this University College at Aberystwyth was the outcome of an earnest effort on the part of Welshmen to repair a defect in their national scheme of education, and to found a system of giv- leg higher education in Wales upon moderate and economical terms. Subsequently, when the drain on the capital funds of the College was found to be considerable, an appeal was made on its -bebalf to all Wales and he (Lord Aberdare) at. tached the utmost importance to that appeal. The sum obtained in response was not in itself consider- able but it was the first time that this question, and the needs of Wales, were brought before the people indeed, there wis hardly a parish in Wales in which the subject was not discussed. A sum of about -66,000 was thus raised, Iron. an im- mense number of persons, with a view of providing the means of carrying on the College without breaking into the capital ot endowments. But the main result of that endeavour was to enlist public interest, and it was important to notice, not so much the sum raised, as the amount of public interest which the movement evoked. He thought he might attribute to that, as well as to the existence of this College, the fact that very soon afterwards Welsh- men united in an effort to get the whole subject of the insufficiency of higher education in Wales dealt with. It was well known that a Departmental Com- mittee was appointed during the time that Earl Spencer occupied the office of Lord President, and that Committee inquired fully inte the subject. The inquiry, conducted by that Committee in every county ot South and North Walrs, excepting Rad- norshire and Flintshire, had the effect of attracting public attention to the subject, and making the Welsh people more aware than ever they were before of the extent of the deficiency. The Departmental Committee thought it right to soggest that, not one, but two Colleges would be required for Wales. It was further suggested that the one for South Wales should be either at Cardiff or Swansea, and that the other should be at a town in North Wales. He need not say any more there about South Walts, but the subject of a College for North Wales was taken up with most laudable in- terest b) the inhabitants, and a very large sum had been collected but there was a large number of persons who desired that the question of the desir- ablenessofbaving the College at Aberystwyth should be thoroughly sifted and examined before any final decision was come to. If the one argument to be brought forward was the fact that already there was a College there actually in existence he would «ot bring this question forward, but be thought there would be a great public advantage to North Wales if Aberystwyth were selected; at,allevents it should not be exeluded from fair and full con- sideration. The Aberystwyth College bad already had an existence of some twelve years, during which it had to struggle with great difficulties, and frQQa these difficulties it appeared at the present moment to be merging. At the time when the Committee's enquiry was being conducted, and before the State had shown any interest in the fortunes of Abeiyst wyth, the number of students there was only 56 or 57, but at this moment tbe number was 83, and the College had just made arrangements by which it was expected there would be an accession ot thirteen atudents, making 96. This showed the increasing interest taken in the College, and also the increasing confidence in its value. It was housed in a building admirably suited for the purposes of instruction, with BMny large airy rooms, and there was a museum adapted for teaching those natural sciences in which the Welsh people were beginning to take so warm an interest. Over and above that, there was an endowment as to which he believed that if it were settled thac the North Wales College was to be at Aberystwyth there would be no difficulty in persuading those who had given funds to hand them over to the benefit of that College. Wherever a College was placed in Nerth Wales it must be, from .geographical CtroomstaBoes, inconvenient to a very large number. The main population of North Wales was situated around the outer circumference of a large mass of mountains. Whether Bangor or Carnarvon on the one side, or Denbigh or Wrexham on the other, was chosen, the site must be incon- venient to a considerable number. There was no large town in North Wales which could of itself secure the attendance of a large Bumber of local students. The greater proportion of those who at. tended would come from a distance but supposing the College to be fixed at Aberystwyth about JE25,000 would at once be relieved- for the impor- tant purpose of founding scholarships and bursaries. If there was absolute unanimity of feeling on the matter in North Wales against Aberystwyth, it might, perhaps, be presumptuous 18 them to attend as a deputation; but this was far free being the casp, as shown by the influential and widely representative character of the present deputation It was furthermore said j 'b respect to this College, inasmuch as a very large portion of South Wales lay a great distanee College at Cardiff, it was not at all impro- bable that many would prefer to go to Aberystwyth rather man to Cardiff, which might be more expen- sive. There waa a very large portion of South Wales and a considerable portion of North Wales in favour of this view, but what they appeared there to-day for was not so much to ask the Government to insist opon. Aberystwyth being the site for the College, but to secure a fair and full consideration of the subject (hear, hear). They understood that Lord Carlingford, Mr Mundella, and Lord Bram- "Well were going to arbitrate between the claims of the different places in North Wales. He did not know how far they were boand to consider only -worth Wales, bat, eonsidtrisg the part Aberystwyth I had already played, considering the claims it had already on the national pride, and considering the other reasons he had mentioned and adduce us 10 the advantages of accepting it as the site for the College, he ventured to say that the claims of Aberystwyth ought not to be set aside without full and ample inquiry (hear, hear). How that inquiry was to be conducted and how settled it was not for him to say. That was for the Government to con- sider and determine, and he was sure tke Govera- ment in a matter of this sort would arrive at an equitable conclusion—(hear)—and that their action would not be finally determined upon until the claims of Aberystwyth had been thoroughly well considered (hear). They were not representing se- parate interests, but were working in a cause which concerned the good of every Welshman and what- ever might be the decision and the ultimate result of their efforts they could safely say that no angry feelings or reflections would be left behind, and they would all strive to do the best they could for the ultimate good of everyone (hear, hear). Mr Jones-Parry, M.P., most earnestly and respectfully urged the claims of Aberystwyth to consideration upon many grounds,, and he con sidered that it had a fair claim for an additiona- grant. 1 Lord Aberdare interposed, and said that it had been generally agreed that the deputation was not to enter into that question. Mr Jones-Parry said, that being so, be would not further refer to the matter, but he hoped that, with- out any prejudice to other localities the claims of Aberystwyth would receive proper attention (hear, bear). His countrymen, whom he need not say represented the original inhabitants of this island, had rendered themselves illustrious in early history, and Lord Bramwell would tell them that they had been orderly and well behaved. They had had to shut up their gaols because there were no criminals to go into them. Scotland had large grants—(a voice: £ 40,000)—and they in the Principality con- sidered that they had not as yet a proportionate sbare in those benefits, and they respectfully asked for them. Lord Aberdare said he must beg the bon. member to keep to the practical question before them— namely, the claims of Aberystwyth to be con- sidered. sidered. Mr Pujth, M.P., said that the case, as represented by Lord Aberdare, was self-evident, and spoke for itself. He thought, upon common grounds of fair- ness, they were entitled to be heard where their in- terests were so largely affected by the removal of the College to another site. But there was still another question with reference to the arbitration, and that was a question which had not as yet been submitted, aBd upon which he was not very clear. Were it simply the question as to which would be the best site in North Wales for a College if one did not exist, ,he might fairly be induced to believe it would be, perhaps better than Aberystwytb, but then they had the report of the Depart- mental Committee before them, and that in some particulars they were bound to follow. There could be no doubt that the report pointed to taking the grant from Aberystwyth and giving it to some other College in North Wales, and surely, in common fairness and justice, those who were in- terested the most in the matter should be heard before any such step was taken. Mr Mundella said that was only a temporary matter pending the settlement of the question, and he hoped that would be clearly understood. Mr Pugh said he did not venture to suggest that the Government intended to do anything in opposi- tion to the report of the Committee. The report was very precise upon one point, that the College at Aberystwyth was to be the College for North Wales until removed to another site. Mr Mundella said that was the ease. Lord Carlingford thought they need not dwell upon tbal. Mr Pugh then pointed out the existing advan- tages of Aberystwyth, and said that when the col- lege for South Wales was fixed at Cardiff the site was taken in preference to that of Swansea, because there was a larger surrounding population and it was thought to be a better place for a college for Glamorgan and Monmouth. Lord Carlingford said be certainly could not follow that argument. Lord Aberdare thought the hon. member ought not to attempt to interpret the objects of the De- partmental Committee. Lord Carlingford said Cardiff was selected as the site for the South Wales College, and North and South Wales had their distinct and defined geo- graphical positions, and they must be so accepted. He thought at the present moment they had no- thing to do with South Wales in considering this question. Mr Pugh said the words were, "Whether main- tained on its present site, er removed to Carnarvon or Bangor, it must be accepted as the College for North Wales." He should be exceedingly sorry to misinterpret the views of the Committee in any way, but it did seem to him a'strange view to take, that if a College was established at Aberystwyth and one at Cardiff the one at Cardiff was to be the Col- lege for the whole of South Wales, and that students in the neighbourhood of Aberystwyth would have to go to Cardiff. They had the six counties adjoining Cardiganshire all unanimous in favour ef the olaims of Aberystwyth being fairly and fully tested before the removal of the College. They had Pem- brokeshire, Merionethshire, Breoonshire, Carmar- thenshire, Radnorshire, and Montgomeryshire, all for Aberystwyth. Mr Mundella Pembrokeshire, Breconshire, and Carmarthenshire are all in South Wales. Mr Pugh I found my argument on this, that the inhabitants of these seven counties—two in North Wales and five in South Wales-are unanimous in the expression of their view. Mr Stuart Rendel: I am here to speak for Mont. gomeryshire, and I should not venture to claim unanimity. I cannot allow it to be said that Mont- gomeryshire is unanimous on the side of Aberyst- wyth. Yiscount Emlyn: I am the representative of Car- marthenshire, but I. only speak for myself. Lord Carlingford These South Wales counties cannot claim to be entitled to two Colleges. Mr Pagh All I say is, that the inhabitants of these counties—I do not answer for their being unanimous—are in favour of the objeet of this de- putation tojrour lordship (hear, hear). If I said more I did not properly convey my meaning. The counties, as counties, support the object of this de. putation. I have myself taken the trouble of ascer- taining the views of every single member of Parlia- ment representing these seven counties, and I think every one «f these is in favour of tile views of this deputation being urged upon Lord Carlingford and Mr ifundella. The only one I ought to make any exception of is Lord Kensington, who said he aid not Wish to intertere in the matter, as he was a member of the Government. Lord Carlingford Seven counties are in your favour, of which two are in North Wales. Mr Mandella: And of which four touch North Wales. Several Members: They are in Mid Wales. Mr Pugh remarked that they might call it Mid- Wales or Central Wales but there was this to be remembered, that, although the divisions between North and South Wales might be fairly well-known, still it was an artificial boundary, and by no means an ancient boundary (hear, hear). It was not a Welsh boundary. The division of Wales was always different from this, and tbey, as Welshmen, knew nothing of this distinction. In whatover way they put the matter it remained the fact that the inhabi- tants of this aTea were, he ventured to say, in favour of Aberystwyth being retained. That, however, was not the view that the deputation were there to press. He might have been going too far in men- tioning it, but they were undoubtedly in farour of this—that the claims of Aberystwyth should be fairly considered before any adverse decision was come to (cheers). He aftked the attention of Lord Carlingford and Mr Mundella to this also That, while the population of Glamorganshire and Mon- mouthshire, amounted to 723,046, all compact and close together, the population of the whole of the rest of Wales was just 848,222, and that was well scattered over its area, and thus represented a smaller feeding ground far the College. The whole population of North Wales was 480,053, and if they took from it 120,590 (the population of Mont- gomeryshire and Merionethshire), that would re- duce the number to 359,463. But was it to be said that North Wales, with such a population, was to have the same amount of educational facilities as the whole of South Wales? It did not appear to bim to be reasonable. Taking it tbat four counties of North Wales were in favour of excluding Aber- ystwyth altogether from consideration, they had still Cardiganshire and the adjoining counties, which gave a population of 488,000 supporting this deputation, as a^aiuat 359,463 who would have it ignored. There would be presented memorials from Breconshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire, and Radnorshire on this point. He would not read these petitions, but he relied upon them as showing the feeling in those counties. He believed there were over 80 of these memorials, He was not clear as to what the terms of the reference to the arbitra- tors were, but he was quite certain of this, that Lord Carlingford and Mr Mundella, as representing the Government, would not undertake a reference which was to decide the giving of the grant to Aberystwyth or to some other place without allow- ing Aberystwyth to be heard in the matter (cheers). He believed that when the view of the Departmen- tal Committee was expressed upon that point their contemplation was that the College was to be the College for North Wales, whether it was removed to somewhere else or not. Surely it was idle to say that any Government in the world would become parties to the removal of an institution like this without allowing the people interested in it to be heard in their behalf. Mr Mundella: You are heard now. Lord Carlingford That does not require to be insisted upon after what is going on at the present moment, Mr Pugh I should have a number of details and arguments which I should venture to urge at any future opportunity in support of the claim of Aber- ystwyth, but I do not take up time with this. I venture to say, with great respect, that a deputation of this kind received at three o'clock in the after- noon, and Parliament sitting at four, can hardly be reasonably told that unless they make good their claim in the course of an hour this is all the con- sideration they will receive. Lord Carlingford There is no reason to dwell upon that at all. Mr Pugh: I put tbe request before you that the arbitrators should consider the claims of Aber- ystwyth. Lord Carlingford We are not here as arbitrators in any way we are here as President and Vice- President of the Council, and it is only in that capa- city that we receive the deputation. Mr Pugh: That is so I know perfectly well that, Lord Bramwell not being here, I could not address any remarks to you as arbitrators. Lord Carlingford: The arbitrators do not decide the question that will be submitted to them, but those who submit it. We are not here as arbitrators. We have nothing to do with the arbitrators. Mr Pugh I am speaking to Lord Carlingford and Mr Mundella as representing the Government here, but I cannot thut my eyes to the fact that Lord Carlioglord and Mr Mundella have taken a certain reference as two out of three arbitrators to decide a certain question. Mr Mundella I beg pardon. The Government have to decide where the College shall be. We have only agreed to decide as between these various claimants is to whether any of their sites should be accepted or not. Mr Pugh You are to decide whether one of these sites is acceptable. Mr Mundella When we have all the sites before us, we shall decide which to represent to the Government as the most suitable. Mr Pugh No doubt the decision of the arbitra. tors and the decision of the Government will be one and the same. Therefore I press upon the Govern- ment that some steps should be taken by the Govern- ment in order to enable us to be heard before the arbitrators, otherwise we shall have oar case judged against us in our absence. Lord Carlingford: My time is limited, and I must ask for brevi y. I Mr Pugh I shall say nothing more after that; but I ask the Government to take steps to have another question referred to the same or another tribunal, namely, whether this College should be removed from Aberystwyth or not. Mr Samuel Holland, M.P., said the people of Merionethshire, whom he represented, were strongly in favour of Aberystwyth. They had already con- tributed towards it, and were ready to continue to do so. There was a great desire' amongst the people to improve themselves by education, and he knew of instances of poor quarrymen who had managed to send their sons to Oxford and Cambridge. Mr Mundella remarked that he knew of such instances. Mr Dunlop, Featiniog, said the people in his locality were all in favour of retaining the College at Aberystwyth, aed he thought they ought to be heard before tbe arbitrators. Viscount Emlyn, M.P., said it seemed to him that the object of the deputation was to press upon Lord Carlingford and Mr Mundella, not the strong points in the case for Aberystwyth, but that, before any decision was come to by them and the Government with reference to a site for the College for North Wales, the case for Aberystwyth should be gone into aa fully aud clearly as the case of any of the North Wales towns would be gone into (hear, hear). It was not their intention to go into that case now. But their contention was that their case was a very strong one indeed, and they pressed upon the arbitrators and the Government that Aberystwyth should be given exactly the same opportunities of being heard as would be given to those who repre- sented the towns of North Wales (cheers.) That was a very fair and moderate request. Mr Richard, M.P., said that those who had been concerned in the establishment of the College at Aberystwyth would look with extreme repugnance at its being altogether given up after the remark- able display of zeal, liberality, and labour in this question atter having collected some .£50.900 to -660,000 after having acquired a building that was exceedingly well adapted for the purpose of such a college; after having brought together an excellent library and museum after having secured the ser- vices of a staff ef professors that were very com- petent and very efficient, and after having done educational work of a very honourable kind, as the report of the principal recently published showed. It was very natural that they should shrink from the idea that all they had done should be scattered and dispersed (cheers.) What they were anxious to urge upon his lordship and Mr Mundella was this, that they should if possible in their double capacity as representing a department and also having to decide this question, by arbitration open tho door for Aberystwyth to some in and fairly state its own claims (cheers.) It might be said that the North Wales people had already foreclosed this question by the course they took at Cheater, but the North Wales people came to that foregone con- elusion under the influence of an entire misappre- hension—namely, that there was an attempt being made to force them to accept Aberystwyth. Many who attended the conference had admitted that they decided the matter somewhat haitily and rashly, and did not adequately take into account the claims of Aberystwyth. If Lord Carlingford and Mr Mundella would render the deputation that service, that when the claims of the various plates were argued before them Aberystwyth should be allowed to state its own case, that was all they. asked (hear, hear.) Mr David Davies, M.P., said he had very little education himself, and be, therefore, sympathised very much with this movement. He had given some thousands to this College, and he was very anxious that its claims should be beard. They knew that.it had a good case. He would not press its merits now. He put them before the conference at Chester, but they would not hear them. The deputation would be perfectly satisfied to leave the matter with the Government. Mr Samuel Morley, M.P., said he was there as representing some rather large English contributors to Aberystwyth College. He had visited it twice. Its situation was magnificent, and the buildings admirable. Looking at the substantial character of the institution as a great educational undertaking, the question which the deputation had been raising was one which deserved consideration from the Government. If there had been any mistake in the terms of the reference to the arbitrators they ought to endeavour in the proper quarter to have the powers of the arbitrators enlarged, so that they might be able to say whether this great expenditure, not only of money, but of personal endeavour on the part of a great number, was to be thrown away without having its claims heard. Mr Stuart Rendel, M.P., testified to the great interest which Montgomeryshire takes in the Aber. ystwyth College, in which its sympathies and in. terest, were, he said, cpntred. He had attended the Chester Conference, and had made every effort to procure a hearing for Aberystwyth, and he knew, from personal knowledge, that Aberystwyth had failed to obtained a hearing hitherto. The majority of the representatives of North Wales had not afforded aa opportunity for the reasonable claims of Aberystwyth to be represented at all, and they were, therefore,bound to have recourse toLordCarlingford, Mr Mundella, and the Government to obtain for Aberystwyth what it had a right to (cheers). Lord Carlingford, in reply, said The facts of the ease make my answer for my own part and on the part of my right hon. friend a very simple one, be- cause they limit it-limit it very closely indeed. In the first place I must repeat again that we are here representing the Government, absolutely indepen- dent of any question of arbitration (hear, hear). There is no question of three Goveinment-aided colleges in Wales. I do not think that has been suggested to-day, end if it had been it would have been necessary to say that that could not be enter- tained that the decision of the Government is final -that they are prepared to give a certain amount to support two Colleges, one in North and one in South Wales. The site for the College in South Wales has been decided upon, and a body, that I must assume to be a fair and largely representative body of North Wales, meeting in conference has decided to refer to certain arbitrators, of whom it happens that my friend and myself are two, the pe- titions in reference to the site which will be the best for JJorth Wales, and they have formed that refer- ence deliberately after discussion within their own body in a way so as to exclude Aberystwyth, and also Chester. The reference to the three arbitra- tors is as between certain places in North Wales, North Wales having stated a defined meaning which we all understand. I certainly cannot say that we shall attempt to dictate to that conference and com- mittee as to the terms of their reference in fact we have accepted them already. That is done. We have accepted that reference, and have undertaken that very onerous and delicate duty, and it would be impossible to say now that we shall only undertake the reference on the condition that, contrary to their own decision, Aberystwyth was to be included in the inference. But there remains another ques- tion I fully admit. I do not deny it for a moment -there remains the duty of the Government (cheers). The advice that we upon this point may determine, after we have heard all parties, to give to the Prime Minister and the Treasury, no doubt that remains (renewed cheers). We have shown our willingness not to exclude the claims of Aber- ystwyth by the fact that we have received you to- day, and I am perfectly willing to say that we shall consider it our, duty in future to listen to any views or statements on behalf of Aberystwyth that you may choose to put before them, either by personal interviews or in the way of documents (cheers). I must, of course, add, though it is scarcely necessary for me to do so to gentlemen like yourselves, that you have to encounter what I do not conceal from you is an enormous difficulty, of apparently being opposed to the vast majority of opinion of North Wales. That, at all events, in the face of facts, appears to be the case, and that will be a great difficulty in your way. Indeed, it would be very uncandid if I concealed it from you. That, however, will not prevent the Government consider- ing all the representations made on behalf of Aber- ystwyth, just as we should consider all that are made on behalf of any of the town* included in the reference to the arbitrators. More than that I can- not be expected to say, and I must leave it in that way. I sincerely sympathise with Aberystwyth. I know the great and admirable efforts made in the cause of education there, and the good work done, and I ardently hope that, whatever be the result of this matter, these fine buildings, which I personally know, will be put to some good educational use. We shall see if that can be done, but, as I men- tioned before, there is a vast amount of North Wales opinion represented by the committee and the conference which you, as Welshmen, appreciate better than I do. The deputation then withdrew.