APOTHECARIES' HALL, IRELAND, AND THE BILL

1883 The Lancet  
1065 rndered some legislation necessary. They had given, and sill continued to give, what were called half diplomas ; and ii certain cases the examination for these had not been satisfactory. Not a single reproach of any kind was made against the Scottish universities in the evidence laid before the Commission. The Scottish universities had abstained from opposing the Bill, however unwelcome it was to them ; bm if their preponderating influence on the Board was removed then, of course, their
more » ... of course, their attitude to the Bill was entirely changed. Professor RUTHERFORD said it had been argued that the extra-mural lecturers on medicine in Edinburgh and Glasgow would find their position seriously compromised if the universities had a preponderating influence on the Scottish Medical Board. It was contended that already there existed within the universities a feeling of hostility to extra-mural lecturers, and that if the universities gained the power on the Medical Board which the Bill proposed to give them, they would be unable to resist the temptation of seeking to extinguish extra-mural lecturers, and of bringing about a monopoly of medical education favourable to themselves. He could assure his lordship that the alleged hostility of the universities to extra-mural teachers did not exist. The extra-mural teachers educated practically all who were studying for corporation. diplomas only. They had, therefore, a very direct interest in any increase in the number of those who might be described as non-university students ; yet it was a remarkable fact that there had been scarcely any increase in the number of non-university students, although there had been so great an increase in the number of students qualifying for university degrees, not only in Edinburgh, but also in Glasgow and Aberdeen. The reason why the extra-mural lecturers were taking the side of the corporations in this matter was, that many of them were examiners for the corporations, and they contended that, if the professors were in a majority on the Medical Board, and had the chief voice in appointing its examiners, their tendency would be to exclude extra-mural teachers as examiners on the Board. He was convinced that the fear was groundless. Professor FRASER submitted that there was ample evidence that the proposed majority of the universities upon the Medical Board would not have a prejudicial influence upon the extra-mural lecturers, whose value in the teaching system of Scotland they thoroughly recognised. The existence on the Board of a majority of the professorial element would not seriously injure the extra-mural lecturers. The LORD ADVOCATE. -Do you anticipate that the measure, if passed, would be adverse to them, or do you merely think there wilt be the loss of prestige ? Professor FRASER.-That is all. I think nothing further could occur in the way of injury. Professor LEISHMAN drew his attention to the clause in the Bill with reference to fees paid by students, and said he would consider it unfair if, in addition to the large fees which students had already to pay to the university, they were to be further taxed for the maintenance of museums and libraries in connexion with the corporations. Professor GAIRDNER said the universities had never at any time suggested, either before or since the issue of the Bill, any definite proposal on the question of representation on the Medical Board ; but they had assumed the Government had adopted, and would adhere to, the recommendations of the Royal Commission. The University of St. Andrews was exclusively an examining, and not at all a teaching, university. Its position was in no way comparable with that of the other universities ; therefore the direct interest of St. Andrews University in the operations of the Scottish Medical Board was exceedingly small. It could not be reckoned in any proper sene as a university vote, so that the universities would practically have no preponderating influaiace on the Board. The LORD ADVOCATE informed the deputation that he should communicate with Mr. Mundella, who was in charge of the Bill, and confer with him on the important matters that had been brought under his notice that day. The deputation thanked the Lord Advocate, and withdrew. would be unfortunate if any action were taken on the part of the municipal authorities founded upon statements which they regarded as rather of an ex parte nature, without an opportunity having been given to the university to state their views on tome of the points which had been raised. It had long been felt that some legislation was required to prevent qualifications or titles from being granted on improper grounds. In all the previous Bills introduced there were provisions which were decidedly injurious to the interests of Scotland. In all previous Bills the great function of registration was thrown into the hands of a central authority in London, as well as the governing or controlling of medical education in all parts of the kingdom, and the controlling of the examinations for the conferring of titles. The Bill now before Parliament was to a very great extent free from such objections. The local authority in Scotland was the point which had given rise to the greatest dispute. The Board for Scotland was to consist of eleven members-eight representatives from the universities and three from the corporations. The University of Edinburgh had, on account of its importance in comparison with another, received the largest share of representation of the universities-three members instead of two, St. Andrews electing only one. The corporationq, as contrasted with the universities, had not by any means the same importantpositionin regard both to education and examination. In regard to education, the corporations had absolutely no interest whatever ; on the other hand, the universities had a mostimpertantinterestinmedioaleducation. If the corporations succeeded in reducing the majority which had been given in this Bill to the universities, then the great purpose which the Bill was designed to fulfil would not be fulfilled, agitation would not be checked, and the Bill would not lead them to the termination of this agitation, which was injurious altogether to Scottish education. Professor CRUM BROWN stated that the existence of the extra-academical school had turned out a great benefit to the university. It had been attempted to make it appear that the pecuniary interests of the professors were opposed to the interests of a strong and flourishing extra-academical school r but he might say that most of the professors had been teachers in the extra-mural school, and were perfectly aware of the way in which it was worked. Professor GREENFIELD spoke of the manner in which diplomas granted by the corporations in Scotland were looked down upon by English practitioners, on account of the easy manner in which they could be obtained. A man, he said, could come down to Edinburgh and, without any trouble, get a diploma, and return to London. If the Town Council of Edinburgh homologated the action of the corporations, they would, he believed, do a very serious injury to the prestige of the university ; they would practically say, " We, who are well acquainted with this matter, think that the universities have no higher footing than the corporations. "
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)38943-8 fatcat:imvoztqdfjev3dtxnbgmmxliua