Page images
PDF
EPUB

though, as we have seen, they had been revised in 1871, it was necessary to harmonize them with the new legislation. This was a heavy burden on Jowett's time and strength. Many and long were the College meetings in which the Statutes were again put into the melting-pot, and reconsidered clause by clause and phrase by phrase ; and besides these meetings there were consultations and correspondence with the Commission on points where views differed. It was a relief to the College, Master and Fellows alike, when the work of the Commission was done, and the new Statutes had been approved by the Queen in Council.

In connexion with the Commission another subject must be mentioned the annexation of New Inn Hall to Balliol College. Among the changes introduced at Oxford by the Commissioners was the partial suppression of the Halls, some of which were now to be merged in the Colleges to which they had hitherto been appendages. But one of them-New Inn Hall—was not closely connected with any College, either by position or foundation, and as Balliol was the nearest in site, the Hall was annexed to Balliol under certain conditions, with Lord Salisbury's consent. Jowett was much pleased with the acquisition ; he had great hopes of converting the Hall into a place where students could reside at a smaller cost than in College, and of providing room for a larger number of Indian Civil Service probationers. Lord Salisbury,' he says, “has given his consent to our uniting Balliol College and New Inn Hall, for which I am grateful to him. It will give us an opportunity of training the Indian students and doing some other things.'

But afterwards, when on the death of Dr. Cornish, the last Principal, the Hall was examined with the view of

[ocr errors]

6

restoring the rooms and making them habitable, the new acquisition was found to be a very doubtful gain. The expense of the proposed alterations was so large that it was dangerous to embark upon them, especially at a time when 'agricultural depression’ was beginning to be felt. And it was not easy to make satisfactory arrangements by which the poorer men could be gathered together, without separating them from the other members of the College, with whom it was most desirable that they should be brought into contact. In the end the College fell back upon the other alternative left open by the Commission, and leaving the Hall unaltered, they established a fund of £150 a year for the assistance of those who found themselves unable to meet the expenses of living at College. For many years this sum was paid out of the funds of the society, no income whatever being received from New Inn Hall.

Another matter which occupied much of Jowett's attention in these years was the admission into College of the selected candidates for the Indian Civil Service, and the means of providing for their tuition. From the time that he had formed one of Macaulay's Committee (in 1854) for throwing open the appointments in the Service', he had watched the success of the experiment with anxious eyes, and he seized the opportunity of impending changes to express his thoughts on the subject.

When the Conservatives came into office in 1874, Lord Salisbury, who was Secretary of State for India, addressed a letter to the Civil Service Commissioners calling their attention to the selection of the candidates for the Indian Civil Service. For some time past there had been doubts whether the existing mode was satisfactory. The entrance

i Vol. i. p. 186.

6

examination was said to be so arranged as to assure success to 'cramming - that is, to obtaining marks by a superficial knowledge of many subjects rather than by a sound knowledge of a few. The age at which candidates were allowed to compete (seventeen to twenty-one) practically prevented the selected candidates from going to a University; and the arrangements for the candidates

a during the interval between their selection and final departure for India were in some respects unsatisfactory. They were indeed carefully examined at their various 'periodicals,' to test their progress, but in other respects they were left to take care of themselves. In the same letter various suggestions were made for the improvement of the examinations by limiting the number of subjects which could be taken in, for attracting University men to the Service, and for bringing the selected candidates to a University either by establishing a special College or by converting the allowance given to them into a sort of Scholarship tenable by residence during two years at some College at Oxford or Cambridge or elsewhere.'

In order further to facilitate this change of arrangement, it has been proposed to require candidates to pass the competitive examination at or about the age of eighteen, and this proposal is also defended on the ground that competitive tests of general education are better adapted to an earlier period of life than to a later, and that the age at which the young civilians now proceed to India is too advanced !!'

The secretary to the Civil Service Commissioners at this time was Theodore Walrond, an old Fellow of Balliol College, who lost no time in discussing the matter with Jowett. Jowett at once began to sketch plans for

1

Report on Selection and Training of Candidates for the Indian Civil Service, 1876.

[ocr errors]

bringing the selected candidates to Oxford, and arranging for their tuition there. At the end of the year (December 27) he wrote fully to Lord Salisbury on the subject.

With regard to the examination, though he would not say a word against the 'crammers,' 'who are admirable teachers,' Jowett thought it desirable that schoolboys should be able to compete for the Indian Civil Service as they competed for College Scholarships, and with the same chance of success. And with this object he proposed to limit the number of subjects which a candidate might offer to four, and to diminish the marks assigned to English literature and history.

Speaking of the age of the candidates, he says: 'If it were reduced from twenty-one to eighteen or nineteen, I should expect the number of well-qualified candidates would be diminished by one-half. Fathers and mothers do not make up their minds to part with their children at that age. The selected candidates would all be schoolboys, and it is much more difficult to form an estimate of their real capacity at seventeen or eighteen than at nineteen or twenty. Jowett proposed that the limit of age should remain as it was (seventeen to twenty-one), but he would allow candidates to compete up to twentytwo, who had previously passed a preliminary examination in law, political economy, and some Indian language. Such candidates were only to undergo one year of special study after selection.

He strongly urged that the selected candidates should go to a University, and as a condition of receiving an allowance, every candidate should be required to reside at some College or University to be appointed by the Secretary of State for India or the Civil Service Commissioners; that only such Colleges or Universities should be approved as offered the advantages of special instruction and superintendence, and perhaps of a degree.

Meanwhile the subject had been under discussion at Oxford, and in October, 1874, a committee was formed, with Dean Liddell as chairman, to report upon the subject. This committee took a view somewhat different from Jowett's. In November the Dean wrote to Lord Salisbury suggesting that eighteen or nineteen at latest should be fixed as the age at which candidates might offer themselves for selection; if that change were made, selected candidates would be able to go to a University and obtain a degree, either in the ordinary Schools or in some School established for the purpose. The University of Oxford had already founded Readerships in Urdû and in Indian Law and History, and were only prevented from doing more by the belief that further exertions in that direction would be useless.

In the following summer proposals were brought forward for enabling selected candidates to reside at Oxford and obtain degrees; and, after a good deal of discussion, three resolutions were carried :

(1) That it is desirable to make arrangements enabling selected candidates for the Indian Service to reside in the University; (2) that it is desirable to provide University teaching in certain branches of study especially required by the selected candidates ; (3) that it is desirable to make arrangements which will bring the degree of B.A. within the reach of such candidates before they proceed to India.

After careful consideration, Lord Salisbury finally decided in favour of the Dean's plan, which carried with it the opinion of the University of Oxford, in preference to Jowett's. The maximum age was fixed at nineteen, the minimum of seventeen being retained. The first

« PreviousContinue »