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Universities feel the pinch

06 March 2015

March 5th, 1915.

WITH the number of their undergraduates reduced by some 66 per cent., the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are suffering from severe financial embarrassment. It has, in consequence, become necessary for them to invoke the aid of Parliament in relieving them of some of their statutory obligations, and enabling them to take special measures in regard to the abnormal state of things created by the war. Last week the Universities and Colleges (Emergency Powers) Bill was introduced by Mr Attorney-General, but on Tuesday the Prime Minister himself moved the Second Reading. In supporting the motion, Mr Walter Long felicitously expressed the pleasure that all University men would feel in Mr Asquith's chivalrous support of his own and the sister University.

Oxford and Cambridge between them are represented in the Army by 6,000 members or thereabouts. That is to say, most of the men who are physically fit have been accepted for service. It appears that out of eighty-nine Oxford Blues of 1913-14, eighty are with His Majesty's forces. That this patriotic spirit prevails at these ancient seats of learning, at which it is rather the fashion to sneer, is due, in no small degree, to the tradition of the public schools, at which, again, glib talkers delight to sneer.

Whatever else they may teach, or neglect to teach, at least they instil into their sons the sense of public duty, even if they convey that teaching in the form of the precept to "play the game."

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