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the duties on them to 8s. or 10s. a-gallon. A measure of this sort, coupled, as it ought to be, with a reduction of the duties on tobacco, would do what neither coast-guards, preventive service, revenue cruisers, or Customs acts will ever do it would go far to annihilate smuggling, and would allow the services of a large number of revenue officers to be dispensed with.
But it is said that it would be wrong to reduce the duty on brandy, a French article, without previously being sure that France was to make an equivalent concession in favour of some British article. This, however, is really no business of ours. It is clearly for our advantage to reduce the duty on brandy, and therefore we ought to reduce it without enquiring whether the French mean to follow our example: if they do not, they will be the only losers. The more we import from, the more must we export to them. A reduction of the brandy duty would check smuggling here, and it would give it new vigour all along the French frontier. Whether the equivalents for what we import from France find their way to the consumers in that country through legitimate or illegitimate channels, is their affair. We may be sure that they will reach them one way or another. If the French consult their own interest and advantage, they will, by modifying their prohibitions and restrictions, allow them to be imported openly and fairly; but it is not in their power, do what they will, to keep them out.
The equalization of the duty on French wines, and the repeal of the prohibition against importing silks, gloves, &c., have all been in the highest degree advantageous to our interests. Instead of being injured, our silk manufacture is, at this moment, more than twice as extensive as it was before the change; and in 1832, we exported no less than L.75,000 worth of silk goods to France herself! The modification of the brandy duties will show France that we are determined to follow up this course; and will add materially to the numbers, and give additional power to the efforts, of those who are exerting themselves to effect a change in the commercial policy of France. The benefits conferred by commerce cannot be enjoyed by one party to the exclusion of others; and we ought to prize it the more, because, in enriching ourselves, it also enriches those with whom we deal.
We hardly suppose the French will agree to any commercial treaty with us on the principle of the treaty of 1786; that is, of making mutual reductions of duties; and we do not think that it is at all desirable they should. No nation ought to regulate either its financial or commercial policy by treaties with others, but exclusively according to its own sense of its real interests. If the French believe that their welfare is best promoted by sacri
ficing the great staple interests of the country, the wine growers and silk manufacturers, to a handful of iron masters; that it is better to raise beet-root sugar, and manufacture cottons, at home, than to import sugar and cottons for half the price from abroad; and that it is good policy to encourage smuggling in preference to legitimate traffic, they can do nothing better than abide resolutely by their present system. But it would be a libel on a great and enlightened nation, to suppose that such should be the case; and it is better that they should be at liberty to modify their policy precisely according to their own notions of what is required for its reform, than be hampered with conventions or treaties with others.
ART. XI.-Report made to His Majesty, by a Royal Commission of Enquiry into the State of the Universities of Scotland. (Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 7th October, 1831.)
WE E have long had it in view to consider this Report, both with respect to what it contains, and what it omits. At present we must limit ourselves to the latter head; and in particular shall endeavour to make up for its remarkable silence as to the systems of academical Patronage in this country, their palpable defects, and the means of improvement. This, and the revision and formation of constitutions, were the only objects upon which its framers could have employed themselves beneficially; for it is of far more importance to secure good Teachers, than to make rules about Teaching; and it shall be our present endeavour to show in what way this primary end must be attained in principle, how it has been attained in other countries, and might be rendered attainable in our own. On a future occasion, we may perhaps make some observations on the more censurable parts of the Report with respect to Teaching and Academical Policyits arbitrary prescripts touching the length of Courses, and the number of Examinations-its imperative regulations as to Class Exercises its disregard of the circumstances and views of large classes of Students-its Boards of extra-academical Examinators-and its new Tribunal for the University of Edinburgh, constructed upon principles, and vested with powers strongly calculated to alarm those on whose zeal and exertions the character and prosperity of that great seminary are entirely dependent. Meanwhile, we shall proceed to the capital omission just mentioned.
This omission, however singular it may appear, is not without excuse. During the ascendency of those principles of government under which the Commission was constituted, to have deprived public trustees of their officer only for incompetence and self-seeking, would have been felt a far-reaching and a very dangerous precedent; and so long as The Great Corporation remained the pattern and the patron of corruption, to have attempted a reform of minor corporations would have been at once preposterous and unavailing. At the same time, the theory of educational establishments is so little understood in this country, and so total an ignorance prevails in regard to what has been practically accomplished in foreign Universities, past and present, that the Commissioners are hardly to be blamed for any limited and erroneous views of the imperfections of our academical system, or of the measures to be adopted for its improvement. To the same cause is it to be attributed, that while all admit, in proportion to their intelligence, the defective patronage of our Universities, there are few who do not resign themselves to a comfortless despair of the possibility of any important melioration. Yet, this despair is itself the principal-indeed, the only obstacle to such a result. And to show that it is totally unfounded—that, in theory, the principles which regulate the right organization of academical patronage are few, simple, and self-evident, and that in practice, these have always proved successful, even when very rudely applied, is the purpose of the following observations. They pretend only to attract public attention to the subject; and fully convinced of the truth and expediency of our views, we regret that the exposition we can now afford them, is so inadequate to their paramount importance.
Universities are establishments founded and privileged by the State for public purposes: they accomplish these purposes through their professors;* and the right of choosing professors is a public trust confided to an individual or body of men, solely to the end, that the persons best qualified for its duties, may be most certainly procured for the vacant chair. Let us take this definition of academical patronage in detail.
I. In the first place, in regard to the nature of academical patronage; † that it is a trust conferred by, and to be administered
* Oxford and Cambridge are no exceptions. Inasmuch as they now accomplish nothing through their professors, they are no longer Universities; and this even by their own statutes.
+ The term Patron, as applied to those to whom the election of public functionaries is confided, is not unobjectionable; inasmuch as it compre
solely for, the benefit of the public, no one, we are confident, will be intrepid enough to deny. On the part of a University patron, such denial would be virtually an act of official suicide. Assuming, therefore, this as incontrovertible, it necessarily follows:
1. That the reason of lodging this patronage in certain hands, was the belief held at the time by the public or its administrators, that these were, under circumstances, the best qualified to work out the intention of the trust; consequently, if this belief be subsequently found erroneous, or, if circumstances change, so as to render either these hands less competent to discharge the duty, or others more; then is the only reason gone for the longer continuance of the patronage in the original trustees, and it forthwith becomes the duty of the State to consign it anew to worthier depositaries.
2. That the patronage is wisely deposited in proportion as the depositary is so circumstanced as to be kept ever conscious of his character of trustee, and made to appreciate highly the importance of his trust. Consequently that organization is radically vicious, which conjoins in the same persons the trustee and the proprietor; in other words, where the academical patron and professor are identical.
3. That the patron has no claim to a continuance of his office, from the moment that the interest of the public demands its resumption, and transference to better hands.
II. In the second place, in regard to the end which academical patronage proposes the surest appointment of the highest qualifications it is evident that this implies two conditions in the patron: 1. The capacity of discovering such qualifications; and, 2. The inclination to render such discovery effectual.
In regard to the former, the capacity of discovering the highest qualifications is manifestly in proportion to the higher intelligence of the patron, and to the wider comprehension of his sphere of choice. The intelligence of the patron requires no comment. As to his sphere of choice, this may either be limited by circumstances over which he has no control, or it may be contracted, without external necessity, by his own incapacity or want of will. Religion, country, language, &c., may, on the one hand, by law, exclude from his consideration the worthiest objects of preference; and on the other, the advantages attached to the office in his gift,
hends both those who have at least a qualified right of property in the situations to which they nominate, and those who are purely trustees for the community. In the poverty of language, precision must, however, often bend to convenience.
may not afford an adequate inducement to those whom he finds most deserving of his choice. For these a patron has not to answer. But if he allow himself to be restricted in his outlook by sectarian and party prejudices-above all, if he confine his choice to those only who will condescend to sue him as candidates for the office; he certainly excludes from his consideration the greater proportion of those best qualified for the appointment, possibly even the whole; and the end of the trust confided to him remains most imperfectly accomplished.
In regard to the second condition—the disposition to render the discovery of the best qualified persons available-it is evident that his power to do this must depend on the temptation which he can hold out to their ambition. A system of patronage is therefore good or bad in proportion as it tends to elevate or to degrade the value of its appointments; that is, as it tends to render them objects of competition or contempt. The value of an academical office, estimated by the inducements which it holds out to men of eminence, is a sum formed by an addition of sundry items. There are,-1. The greater emolument attached to it; 2. The less irksome and more intellectual character of its duty; 3. The amenity of situation, the agreeable society, and other advantages of the town and country in which the University is situated. These are more or less beyond the power of the patron. But, in another way, it is in the power of patrons, and of patrons only, greatly to raise or sink the value of academical appointments. As the patronage is administered, the professorial body is illustrious or obscure, and the place of colleague either an honour or a discredit. In one University, an appointment is offered by a spontaneous call, and prized as a criterion of celebrity. In another, even the chance of success must be purchased by humiliation; success is but the triumph of favour, and an appointment the badge of servility and intrigue. Thus, under one set of patrons, a professorship will be accepted as a distinction by the person who would scorn to solicit, or even accept, a chair of thrice its emolument, under another. In one country the professorial status is high, and the academy robs the professions of the best abilities; in another, it is low, and the professions leave the academy, however amply endowed, only their refuse. Of this, the comparative history of the European Universities, and our own in particular, affords numerous and striking proofs.
III. In the third place, such being the nature, and such the end, of academical patronage, we must finally consider what is the proper organization of its instruments; in other words, what person or persons are most likely to feel intensely the obligations