18 SEPTEMBER 1880, Page 18



Sia,—The Irish Bishops have recently issued a declaration upon the new phase which the University question has assumed in this country. While accepting the Royal University as harm- less, they insist upon the absurdity of pretending that educa- tional equality has been established by the Act of 1879. £30,000 a year, they complain, is voted by Parliament to the Queen's Colleges, while Trinity remains, in the words of the Premier, "sustained by her enormous property and powerful traditions." "So far as yet appears," continue their Lord- ships, "no recognition of our right to aid for teaching our Catholic youth enters into the scheme. It found Catholics in a position of inequality, and it leaves them so." The justice of this conclusion it is idle to dispute. Trinity' College is a great and successful denominational establish- ment for Episcopalian Protestants. Queen's College, Belfast, is a great and successful denominational establishment for Pres- byterians. Both receive large endowments from the State, and both are in return bound to open their doors to such Catholics as may choose to enter them. To tax Catholics for the support of such institutions, while refusing them any endowment for their own Colleges, is, in their opinion, a grave injustice. In the palmy days of the famous upas-tree, it used to be argued, that it was not unfair to tax Catholics for the support of the Established Church, inasmuch as they were free to partake of the benefits of that institution, whenever they chose. And this, I grieve to say, is precisely the argument which some Liberals are not ashamed to employ on the University question. But assuredly such a wretched sophism is unworthy of the great party, the true secret of whose power has ever lain in a deeply- rooted abhorrence of "shams." Let, then, the English Liberals be honest with themselves and with us, and either belie the glorious traditions of their long history, and openly refuse us the religions equality we ask for, or let them enable us to com- pete on something like equal terms with Trinity and the Queen's Colleges, by amply endowing for us a College of our own.—I