The British and Foreign School Society held its meeting at Exeter Hall on Monday; Lord Morpeth presiding. In the course of his opening speech, Lord Morpeth gave some explanation of Ministerial views.
Mach as he admired the principles of the Society, he thought every day's ex- perience taught that no general scheme of education could, with perfect justice to all parties, be universally enforced by legislative enactment. He corrected a mis- taken impression which had been created in the mind of the people, that Govern- ment intended to mould the education of the country and give it a special bent— to forges groove, as it were, in which it should run—and bring the whole rising youth under one course of instruction, or into one cast of thought and feeling. On behalf of Government he stated, in the first place, that assistance would be given only to those who sought it; in the next place, that assistance would be given subordinately to the purposes of those asking for it, and with a recognition of their entire indepenslence. No sort of control, but only a coOperation, would be exercised. The endeavour would be only to secure common sense, the ap- -pliances of competent instruction and a teaching in conformity with the princi- ples and teaching Of the Holy instruction, On this last point the most jealous suseeptibiles would be res. pected: the character of the religious instruction would nbt, if objection were made, be inquired into by the State Inspector; though care would be taken not to aid men or systems which set the Bible at nought.
The report touched upon some statistics of the Society. It alluded to the secession from the Society of some members in consequence of its having resolved by a large majority, on the let of June last, to accept the aid of the Government under the terms of the minutes of Council. These seces- sions were deeply regretted, but it was consoling that they were but few. The financial condition of the Society was satisfactory. The income during the year amounted to 11,8964 and had been very slightly affected by the prevailing com- mercial distress. Of the above sum 7501. had been contributed by Government. After defraying the expenditure, there remained a balance in hand of 1851. The Society had built and opened 95 new schools in 90 different localities.
The annual distribution of prizes to the medical students of University College was made on Saturday; Lord Brougham presiding. Among the many points embraced in his rather discursive speech, was an allusion to the French Revolution, introduced by a compliment to the English students for their conduct on the 10th of April— He could not look acrolis the Channel without feeling how very proud the Eng- lish people ought to be that their young men should have adopted the course they. did, rather than the course taken by the scholars of some of the schools of Pans. If in the late deplorable events which overthrew a peaceable and free Go- vernment in France—(Cries of 'Hear, hear!" mingled with laughter and de- cided marks of disapproval)—and Fint in jeopardy the peace of Europe and the world, there was any one feature which he viewed with more sorrow and disgust than another, it was that grown-up men with arms in their hands, instead of risking their own worthless lives, should have set on the scholars—young men, stripling boys, and children of fourteen—of the schools of Paris to destroy the Government and upset the public peace. (Cheers, mingled with hisses.) He made no secret of his feelings on this matter. His fellow citizens in France— (Loud laughter)—were perfectly well aware of his feelings. He had declared them as plainly as words could speak, and whether they were palatable or not was a matter of supreme indifference to him. He was not however, without hope that when his fellow citizens—(Laughter)-.-came to reflect a little, their good sense would induce them to believe that his opinions ought to be palatable; and that if they were not so it was because they resembled medicine, which, though not pleasant to the taste, was nevertheless very good for the patient. Lord Brougham contemned the idea that there had ever been any danger to the institutions of this country, or any probability of a revolt or a republic. He cri- ticized the objects of a revolt, and the fitness of a republic; and sent a random shaft at the distant person of Pope Pins IX. A revolt might be very good for those who lived under oppression—for those who enjoyed no liberty, whatever, and had nothing to lose by changing their situation. Republics might be all very well for those who liked them; but the people of England were not Republicans. St. Peter was all very well at Rome, as Sancho Panza said in Don Quixote; and, by the Way, he might here take occasion to observe, that if some people, who professed to 'tan:fent St. Peter, did not look sharp, they would not be long m Rome; but that Was their own look-out. (Laughter.) Lord Brougham concluded with an opposing allusion to the project of building a hospital as a memorial of the events of the 10th of April—
Hospital establishments were already numerous enough in London; they were more numerous than the public bounty could well support. Ten thousand Pounds a year would be required to support the new establishment; and that sum would limply be withdrawn from the funds now given to the existing hospitals. Take their own hospital as an instance: in it there were 200 beds, 180 of which only could be kept, for want of funds; the walls were up, the rooms bare, 70 beds unoccupied, and funds were wanted from year to year to support it. Every hospital in London could tell them the same story. The distributions of prizes to the medical department of King's College were also made on Saturday. The Archbishop of Canterbury presided- The Committee appointed to act in the matter of the Public Order me- morial, held a private meeting under Lord Lansdowne at the British Hotel on Saturday last, and came to this resolution- " That after mature consideration of the circumstances which have occurred since the objects of the Committee were first promulgated, it is expedient that no further efforts be made in furtherance of the objects proposed; and that the con- tributions already received, of which her Majesty and the members of the Royal Family have subscribed 1,0001, be returned to the subscribers, the expenses in- curr.d having been discharged by the Committee." The Chartist Convention continues to sit. It has resolved that the new Reform movement is not to be interfered with by the Chartist body. It has also resolved that Mr. O'Connor be instructed to bring a bill into Par- liament, embodying the principles of the Charter. A "liberty fund" of 10,0001. is to be raised.