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Full text of "Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into and report upon the matters referred to in a resolution of the Senate of the University of Toronto passed on the 20th day of January, 1905"

REPORT 



OF THE 



C 



ommissioners 



Appointed to inquire into and report upon the matters referred to in a 
resolution of the Senate of the University of Toronto passed 
on the 20th day of January, 1905. 



PRINTED BY ORDER OF 

THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO 



: 



R.G.18 

Commissions and COMMITTEES 



Commission appointed to inquire into and 
report upon the matters referred to in a 
resolution of the Senate of the Universit 
of Toronto passed on the 20th day of 
January, 1905. 
B-16-5-1905. 




TORONTO : 
Printed by L. K. CAMERON. Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty 

1905 



REPORT 



OF THE 



C 



ommissioners 



Appointed to inquire into and report upon the matters referred to in a 
resolution of the Senate of the University of Toronto passed 
on the 20th day of January, 1905. 



PRINTED BY ORDER OF 

THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO 




TORONTO : 
Printed by L. K. CAMERON- Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty 

1905 




WARWICK BRO'S & RUTTER,/ Limited, Printers. 
TORONTO. 



To His Honour William Moktimeh Clark, &c, &c, &c, 

Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario: 

The Commissioners appointed by your Honour by Royal Commission un- 
der the Great Seal of the Province, bearing date the 2nd day of February, 
1905, to inquire into and report to your Honour upon the matters referred 
to in a resolution of the Senate of the University of Toronto, passed on the 
20th day of January, 1905, in the following words : — 

"That the President and Professor McLennan having brought to the 
attention of the Senate certain anonymous communications which have 
appeared in the public press reflecting ofi their conduct in connection 
with the awarding of the 1851 Exhibition Scholarships in 'the years 1900 
and 1904, and in other matters, and having requested that an investiga- 
tion be made into these charges : Be it resolved that a Committee be 
appointed to inquire into the said matters and to report thereon and that 
the Committee do consist of the V ice-Chancellor and four other members 
of the Senate zo be nominated by him," 

have the honour to report as follows : — 

The inquiry was opened on the 11th day of February, 1905, after notice of 
the meeting had been given to the President and Professor McLennan, and 
to the Editor of "Saturday Night," in which newspaper the anonymous com- 
munications referred to in the resolution appeared, and after public notice in 
the newspapers of Toronto. 

Counsel appeared on behalf of certain persons who had intimated to your 
Commissioners their desire to be heard, and also for the President and for 
Professor McLennan. 

The taking of evidence and the argument of counsel were completed on 
the 15th day of April, 1905. 

At the opening of the inquiry and before its close as well as during the 
progress of it, your Commissioners publicly intimated their willingness and 
desire to hear any one who deemed himself to be in a position to throw light 
upon the subject of the inquiry and who should desire to be heard. 

I. ' 

The only specific charges pressed upon the consideration of your Com- 
missioners were those relating to the awards in the years 1900 and 1904 of 
what is known as the "1851 Exhibition Science Research Scholarship." 
These scholarships of £150 a year tenable for two years are offered every 

md ye r by His Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851, to 
students of science in the University who have indicated high promise of 
capacity for advancing science or its application by original research. Re- 
gulations governing the award of the scholarships were passed by the Com- 
missioners for the Exhibition of 1851, in England and forwarded to the 

Iversity of Toronto. Tt will be convenient to discuss separately iho two 
awards which have been questioned, and to take up first the award of 1900, 
made to Mr. John Patterson. 

[31 



REPORT OF COMMISSIONERS No; 32 



Of the regulations governing the award, the only one which it is neces- 
sary to consider in connection with the award of 1900 is the eighth, which 
is as follows : — 

"8. The candidate must indicate high promise of capacity for ad- 
vancing Science or its application by original research. Evidence of 
this capacity is strictly required, this being the main qualification for a 
scholarship. The most suitable evidence is a satisfactory account of a 
research performed, and the Commissioners will decline to confirm the 
nomination of a candidate unless such account is furnished, or there is 
other equally distinct evidence that he possesses the required qualifica- 
tion." 

Upon receipt from the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 of the 
offer of a scholarship to be competed for in the year 1892, the matter was 
considered by the University Council, on 29th September, 1890, and referred 
to a Committee who on 4th May, 1891, reported that "The scholarship shall 
be open only to Honour Candidates in Physics and Chemistry and shall be 
awarded to the candidate who sends in the best thesis on some branch of 
physical science. Such thesis must either furnish some evidence of origin- 
ality or shew an intimate acquaintance with the present state of our knowl- 
edge with regard to such branch. Full references to the original papers must 
be furnished where necessary." 

This report was adopted and was referred, to a Committee to be put in 
proper form for insertion in the University Calendar, and this regulation has 
ever since remained in force. 

In each of the calendars since that date until that for 1904-5, notice of 
of the scholarship has been inserted in the following form: "The 1851 Ex- 
hibition Science Scholarship of the value of £150 sterling given by the Com- 
missioners for the International Exhibition of 1851, is awarded once in two 
t years by the University Council for research in" (the subjects are, down to 
1902-3, including that year, stated to be "Physics" or "Chemistry" and 
afterwards "Science.") "Subject to satisfactory report as to the progress in 
study, it is ordinarily tenable for two years at home and abroad." 

In August, 1899, the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 authoriz- 
ed the award of a Probationary Bursary, of the value of £70 in any year in 
which the Universary authorities were unable to recommend a candidate as 
fully qualified for a scholarship. 

On 6th November, 1899, the University Council instructed the Registrar 
"to post a notice concerning the award of the 1851 Science Scholarshio in 
1900, and with it the regulations for fne award of the scholarship or in lieu 
thereof the bursary offered when no candidate of sufficient merit presents 
himself for the scholarship." 

There is no evidence before your Commissioners as to what the notice so 
posted contained. 

On 27th February, 1900, the ' University Council resolved: '''That all 
theses in competition for the 1851 Science Scholarship should be handed in 
not later than Tuesday, March 20th," and notice to that effect was posted on 
the bulletin board of the University. 

In pursuance of this notice theses were handed in to the Registrar within 
the prescribed time by Messrs. Davidson, Good and Hogg. 

Mr. J. W. McBean had intended to compete and to hand in a thesis, but 
had failed to complete it by the time fixed; he applied to the Universitv 
Council at its meeting on 28th March, 1900, to extend the time for putting it 
in, but the Council decided that no extension of the time should be allowed. 
Professor McLennan's connection with the competition was detailed by 
him in his evidence to the following effect, and his statement is accepted by 



1904 UNIVKRSITY OV TORONTO. 



your Commissioners as being correct : Towards the 20th March, 1900, Mr. 
Patterson spoke to him about the scholarship and expressed some regret that 
he had not a thesis on the work he had done in the autumn under Dr. Chant's 
direction, and also about the advisability of his applying for a bursary, 
which after some conversation he decided to do. At this time Professor Mc- 
Lennan had never read the Regulations of the Royal Commissioners govern- 
ing the award of the scholarship, but shortly after his conversation with Mr. 
Patterson ho read them over and came to the conclusion that according to 
them a thesis was not absolutely necessary. Upon reaching this conclusion, 
he tried to find Mr. Patterson to tell him of it, not being aware of the Re- 
gulation of the University Council which made a thesis essential. Failing 
to find him, Professor McLennan himself took a report which Mr. Patterson 
had left with him, of his laboratory work, to the Registrar and offered it with 
an application for the scholarship on Mr. Patterson's behalf. He did this 
because he thought he should have been familiar with the regulations and 
should have told Mr. Patterson when he spoke to him about the bursary that 
a thesis was not essential in an application for the scholarship. The Regis- 
trar,, however, refused to receive the application, because the time fixed by 
the University Council for handing it in had by this time expired. Profes- 
sor McLennan then informed Mr. Patterson of his view of the regulations and 
a letter from Mr. Patterson, of 27th March, 1900, was prepared b^ r him after 
consultation with Professor McLennan, and delivered to the Registrar. In 
this letter, Mr. Patterson applied for a bursary in case his work should not 
be deemed sufficient for a scholarship ; and accompanying the letter was an 
account of the experimental work upon which he had been engaged. 

Speaking generally, your Commissioners are of opinion that it is quite 
proper for a Professor or instructor to encourage any student to become a 
candidate for any prize or scholarship ; but it is inadvisable that any one 
who has actively promoted the candidature of a student should afterwards 
accept the position of a judge in the competition. 

Mr. Patterson's letter was read at a meeting of the University Council 
on 28th March, 1900, being the same meeting at which the application of 
Mr. McBean above mentioned was submitted and refused. 

At the same meeting, the President, Dr. Miller, Mr. McLennan and Dr. 
Kenrick were appointed a committee "to examine and report upon the 
theses submitted in competition for the Science Scholarship." 

The members of this committee (other than the President, who took no 
part in its deliberations) considered the qualifications not only of Messrs. 
Davidson, Good and Hogg, who had handed in theses within the time fixed 
by the Council, but also those of Mr. McBean, who had handed in no thesis 
owing to the refusal of the council to permit him to hand one in after the 
time fixed, and of Mr. Patterson, who had after the time fixed handed in an 
account of his scientific investigations ; and they unanimously recommended 
Mr. Patterson for the scholarship. Their recommendation was adopted by 
the University Council on the 19th April, 19.00. No written, report from the 
committee is in evidence, but the resolution of the Council is as follows : — 

"The Council resolved to recommend to Her Majesty's Commission- 
ers that the 1851 Science Scholarship of 1900 be awarded to Mr. John 
Patterson. This recommendation was based on the report of the mem- 
bers of the staff appointed to read the theses submitted." 
The report here referred to is that made to the Council by Dr. Miller, Dr. 
Kenrick and Professor McLennan. 

Your Commissioners are of opinion that under the circumstances the 
►mmendation that the scholarship should be awarded to Mr. Patterson 
was irregular, and should not have been made. 



REPORT OF COMMISSIONERS No. 32 



The regulations passed by the University Council, supplementing those 
attached to the offer of the scholarship by the Royal Commissioners, prescrib- 
ed a thesis as the basis of the award to be made, and the Council had fixed, 
and refused to extend, the date before which theses were to be handed in by 
students intending to compete. If no candidate had sent in a thesis in duo 
time, or if all the candidates who did so were found unlit for the scholarship, 
it would no doubt have been competent to the Council to nominate some other 
student (if in the absence of a thesis there were other equally distinct evi- 
dence that he possessed the required qualifications.) But the evidence of Dr. 
Miller, Dr. Kenrick and Professor McLennan shews that the regulations 
passed by the University Council had been entirely lost sight of and that the 
scholarship was awarded to Mr. Patterson under the impression that the regu- 
lations sent out by the Royal Commissioners, which do not make a thesis im- 
perative, were the only ones governing the Council in making the award. 
Considering, therefore, that a thesis was not essential, and that its late ar- 
rival or entire absence might be overlooked, notwithstanding the posted 
notice, and that other proofs of the qualifications of a candidate might be ac- 
cepted in its stead, they selected, in good faith, the candidate whom they 
considered from their knowledge of his work, the best of the five before them, 
and treated his failure to comply with the notice calling for theses by a par- 
ticular date as of no importance. 

Although the President was a member of the University Council on 4th 
May, 1891, when the regulations in question were adopted, they were not 
present to his mind in 1900 when the recommendation was made. Professor 
McLennan had never been a member of the Council and is not shewn to have 
ever been aware of them. The same remark applies to Dr. Miller and Dr. 
Kenrick. 

Your Commissioners are of opinion that it was competent to the Uni- 
versity to make local regulations requiring candidates for the scholarship to 
submit a thesis within a given time. Having done so, and having posted a 
notice year by year of a given date for receiving the theses, it was unfair to 
recommend the award of the scholarship to a candidate not complying with 
such regulations when a candidate who had complied was deemed qualified on 
his merits to receive the award. 

This being the case and the President and Professor McLennan being 
aware that the Council had notified intending candidates to hand in theses by 
a particular date, they must share in the responsibility of having treated the 
candidates who complied with this notice and those who did not do so as 
standing upon an equal footing. 

After the announcement of the recommendation and after it had been 
despatched to the Royal Commissioners, a protest signed by thirty-six un- 
dergraduates, including the unsuccessful candidates, Messrs. Good, Hoco*, 
Davidson and McBean, was made in writing to the council, in the following 
+ erms : — 

Toronto, 11th May, 1900. 
"To the University Council, 

' ''Gentlemen : — 

"We beg to call your attention to the following statements which we be- 
lieve to be true, in connection with the recent award of the 1851 Exhibition 
Science Scholarship to Mr. Patterson. 

"1. A notice was posted on the bulletin board announcing that all theses 
had to be handed to the Registrar by the 20th of March. 



1904 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. 



"2. A draft of a thesis was handed to the Registrar by Mr. McBean on 
the 20th of March, with an application to the council to have the time for 
handing in the theses extended, but the extension was not granted. 

"3. Mr. Patterson stated many times between Christmas and the 20th of 
March that he had no intention of competing for the scholarship. 

''4. About the 20th of March Mr. Patterson was advised to prepare a 
report of his laboratory work, and acting upon this suggestion he prepared 
such report, and handed in an application (not to the Registrar) to be per- 
mitted to compete for the bursary in case the scholarship were not awarded. 

"5. Unknown to Mr. Patterson, Mr. McLennan presented this labora- 
tory report to the Registrar in competition for the scholarship, but the Regis- 
trar refused to accept it, on the ground that the competition had been definite- 
ly closed at the time of the meeting of the Council on the 20th of March, by 
the rejection of Mr. McBean's application for the extension of the time, and 
by the appointment of examiners for the theses submitted on the 20th of 
March. 

"And whereas this has given rise to very unfavourable comment among 
the student body at large, and has already injured the departments con- 
cerned, both in the sympathy and practical support of the students : 

"And whereas there has apparently been some irregularity in the grant- 
ing of the scholarship. 

"We, the undersigned, your petitioners, humbly pray that steps may be 
taken by you to remove from the minds of the students the suspicion that 
there has been unfairness in the matter." 

A meeting of the Council was held on the 16th May, 1900, to consider the 
protest, at which Dr. Miller, Dr. Kenrick and Professor McLennan were 
present by invitation, the President being also present as a member of the 
Council. 

The committee to whom the theses of the candidates had been referred at 
the nieeing of the Council on the 28th March, 1900, that is to say, the Pre- 
sident, Dr. Miller, Dr. Kenrick and Professor McLennan, were asked for an 
explanation of the statements made in the protest, and they appear, accord- 
ing to the evidence of Dr. Kenrick (the only witness who deals with this part 
of the case) to have made a verbal report to the Council of the circumstances 
under which they had decided to recommend Mr. Patterson. From their 
verbal statements, a written report was prepared in a rougn form at iiie 
Council meeting, several members of the Council and Committee, including 
the President taking part in its preparation. The report so drawn up is as 
follows : — 

"The Committee to select a nominee for the 1851 Exhibition Science 
Research Scholarship beg to report as follows on the petition of Mr. i . 
G. Davidson and others, dated Mav 11th, 1900 : 

''The statements of the petitioners that theses had to be handed in by 
the 20th March, and that Mr. McBean's application for an extension of 
the time was refused, are true. It is also the case that Mr. Patterson 
did not present a thesis in competition for the scholarship. He applied 
for the bursary which mio-ht be awarded in case no one was deemed hi for 
the scholarship. In this connection he sent in a report of work done 
by him in the laboratory during the winter. 

"The Committee after full consideration of the theses and of the 
capacity for research exhibited by Messrs. Davidson, Good and Ho££ 
unanimouslv concluded not to recommend any of them for the scholar- 
ship. The cases of Messrs. McBean and Patterson were then brought 



REPORT OV COMMISSIONERS Xo. 32 



before the Committee, although the Registrar informed the Committee 
that Mr. McBean had withdrawn his application in consequence of not 
being allowed an extension of time. The members of the Committee, 
who were familiar with Mr. McBean's work, were of the opinion that 
he was inferior to Mr. Good, and consequently refused to recommend 
him. 

"In considering Mr. Patterson's application for a bursary, it ap- 
peared from the report of his laboratory work that he "possessed those 
qualifications which the Royal Commission deem essential for a scholar- 
ship. These qualifications are set forth in Section 8 of their "General 
Regulations'' as follows: — 

"The candidate must indicate high promise of capacity for ad- 
vancing Science or its applications by original research. Evidence 
of this capacity is strictly required, this being the main qualifica- 
tion for a scholarship. The most suitable evidence is a satisfactory 
account of a research already performed, and the Commissioners 
will decline to confirm the nomination of a candidate unless such an 
account is furnished, or there is. other equally distinct evidence that 
he possesses the required qualification." 

"It will be noted that in making nominations the Committee are not 
restricted to a consideration of the thesis presented but may nominate a 
student who has not sent in a formal thesis or made application either 
for a scholarship or bursary. The duty of the Committee is to select 
the student with the highest promise of capacity for advancing Science, 
or its applications, by original research. It was in accordance with this 
regulation that the Committee, instead of awarding the bursary for 
which he had applied, considered Mr. Patterson worthy of the scholar- 
ship, and they accordingly so reported to the Council. It will be seen 
from the above that in deciding the award of the scholarship ine case 
of no candidate was prejudiced by failure to comply with the posted 
notice in respect of the date." 

The language of this document does not convey a true impression of the 
real facts as given in evidence before your Commissioners by Dr. Miller, Dr. 
Kenrick and Professor McLennan ; on the contrary it appears to your Com- 
missioners and would naturally be understood by the students to mean that 
the qualifications of Messrs. Good, Hogg and Davidson were first considered 
and deemed insufficient before those of Messrs. McBean and Patterson were 
brought before the Committee. 

The evidence of Dr. Miller, Dr. Kenrick and Professor McLennan shews 
that the claims of all five candidates were considered together and that Mr. 
Patterson was recommended for the scholarship because they thought him the 
best of the five. 

Furthermore, the language used naturally though perhaps not neces- 
sarily leads to the conclusion that Mr. Patterson was the only candidate of 
the five who possessed the qualifications which the Royal Commissioners, 
deemed essential to the scholarship, while the evidence before your Commis- 
sioners shews that this was not the case. 

Although the President took part in the preparation of this document he 
was not personally aware of what had taken place in the Committee and his 
knowledge must necessarily have been derived from the statements of the 
other members of the Committee as he had taken no part in its deliberations. 



1904 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. 



Your Commissioners cannot find upon these facts any wilful misstate- 
ment by the President or Professor McLennan in the answer to the students' 
protest. 

It cannot be assumed that Dr. Miller, Dr. Kenrick and Professor McLen- 
nan, all being present and able to explain to the Council the view of the re- 
gulations upon which they had acted in recommending Mr. Patterson, should 
have misstated in any way the acutal order in which they had taken up the 
claims of the various candidates ; they could have had no motive for doing so, 
ffir it is carefully pointed out in the reply to the students that under the 
(iily regulations by which the Committee imagined the competition was 
governed, a candidate who had handed in a thesis in due time was in no 
better position than a candidate who had handed in no thesis at all. Your 
Commissioners therefore conclude that the incorrect or ambiguous language 
of the reply to the students should rather be attributed to the error of the 
draftsman than to intentional misstatements by any member of the Com- 
mittee. 

Many of the circumstances which have led your Commissioners to this 
conclusion were, however, not known to the students to whom the answer was 
furnished, and your Commissioners are not surprised that they should have 
considered the explanation, an unsatisfactory one. 

II. 

The award to Mr. E. P. Burton of the scholarship offered for competition 
in the year 1904, by His Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of 
1851, was attacked upon the srround thr> + Mr. Burton was not eligible under 
the regulations prescribed by the Royal Commissioners, and that the award 
to him was brought about by misrepresentation on the part of the President 
and Professor McLennan. 

The only one of the regulations necessary to be considered in connection 
with this award is the seventh, which is as follows : 

u 7. The candidate must have been for the last full year prior to the 
time of nomination a student of the institution by which he is nomin- 
ated ; or must have been a student of such institution for a full year end- 
ing within twelve months prior to the time of nomination; and since 
ceasing to be such student have been engaged solely in scientific study. 

Mr. Burton had obtained the degree of B.A. in June, 1901, and since 
that date had been at first tutorial fellow in mathematics in the University 
of Toronto, and latterly down to the time of his nomination for the Exhibi- 
tion of 1851 Scholarship, he had been assistant demonstrator in Physics, in 
the University at a salary varying from |530 to f 870 per annum. 

He was also entered upon the Register of the University from the year 
1901 to the year 1904 as a graduate-student and engaged in the work required 
for the degree of Ph.D. 

Mr. Burton handed in to the Registrar a thesis within due time, as did 
also Mr. J. W. McBain, B.A., Mr. R. E. DeLury, B.A., and Mr. E. Forster, 
B.A., and four undergraduates. The receipt of these theses was reported by 
the Registrar to the University Council at a meeting held on 4th April, 
1904. The following is a copj/ of the minutes of this meeting, shew'nar the 
action taken : — 

"Professor Lang and Dr. Miller questioned the eligibility of Mr. 
Burton for the scholarship. On motion of Dr. Miller, seconded by Pro- 
fessor Mackenzie, the Council agreed that the application from Mr. Bur- 
ton be not accepted. 



10 REPORT OF COMMISSIONERS No. 32 



"On moton of Professor Lang, seconded by Professor Miller, it was 
agreed that Dr. Ellis should be one of the committee of award and that 
he should select his colleagues. 

*'In reply to an inquiry from Principal Galbraith it was decided 
that students from the School of Practical Science were eligible for the 
scholarship. 

"On motion of Dr. Ellis, the Vice-President and Professor Baker 
were named as the additional members of the committee of award." 

On 5th April, 1904, the Registrar notified Mr. Burton that the council 
had decided that he was ineligible. 

On 6th April, 1904, Mr. Burton addressed the following letter to the 
Registrar : 

"Toronto, April 6, 1904. 
"Mr. James Brebner, B.A. 

Registrar, University of Toronto. 

"Dear Mr. Brebner, — I beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 5th instant, together with my thesis submitted to you 
for competition for the 1851 Science Scholarship. 

"You can easily understand that, after my interviews with Presi- 
dent Loudon and yourself in December, 1902, such action came as a 
great surprise to me. I wish, therefore, to state my case to the members of 
the Council in the hope that they will reconsider their former action. 

"It is as follows: In December, 1902, I asked the Registrar if I 
were eligible to try for the said scholarship. He could not tell me, so 
I laid my case before the President, who promised to look into it. After 
some days Mr. Brebner suggested to me that a test case might be sub- 
mitted to the Scholarship Commissioners. On seeing the President, after 
he looked into the papers bearing on the matter, he told me that it was 
not necessary to submit the test case as I was manifestly eligible for the 
scholarship. From that time to this, no objection has been made to my 
candidature by any one until the action of the Council. I have shaped 
my course in accordance with the above assurance from President 
Loudon, and am, therefore, greatly disappointed at the decision of the 
Council. 

"I beg leave to ask that the matter may be reopened at a subsequent 
meeting of the Council when this statement may be laid before them." 

On Tth April, 1904, a special meeting of the Council was held. The 
minutes of this meeting shew the action taken, and are as follows : 

*'The Council was called together to consider a letter from Mr. E. F. 
Burton with regard to his eligibility as a candidate for the 1851 Scholar- 
ship. The President stated that he had informed Mr. Burton in 1902 
that he would be eligible for the scholarship and stated the practice in 
McGill and Queen's Universities. It was suggested by Dr. Ellis that 
there might be two recommendations to the scholarship if Mr. Burton's 
thesis was considered worthy of the award. Professor Baker suggested 
that the matter be referred to the Commissioners by means of a cable 
message. It was moved by Dr. Peeve and seconded by the Vice-Presi- 
dent and resolved that the Council reconsider the decision as to the eligi- 
bility of Mr. Burton for the scholarship. On motion of Chancellar Bur- 
wash, seconded by Professor Walker, it was resolved to submit Mr. Bur- 



1904 UNIVERSITY OV TOROX'iO. 11 



ton's thesis to the examiners subject to the decision of the Commission- 
ers as to the eligibility of the candidate in such circumstances. On mo- 
tion of Chancellor Burwash, seconded by Professor Wrong, the Presi- 
dent, the Vice-President, and Chancellor Burwash were appointed a 
committee to submit the case to the Commissioners with a request for 
the decision by cable. On motion by Dr. A. B. Macallum, the Presi- 
dent, Principal Galbraith and the heads of all the science departments 
were appointed a committee to draw up regulations with respect to the 
award of the scholarship, hereafter. 

"Dr. Ellis desired to resign as one of the committee of award, but 
the council declined to grant his request." 

The Committee appointed by the Council at this meeting thereupon on 
the 9th April, 1904, prepared and forwarded the following letter, signed by 
the President, to the Secretary of His Majesty's Commissioners for the Ex- 
hibition of 1851: — 

"Dear Sir: 

"I write to you to obtain a decision of the Board of Commissioners 
with regard to the following case : 

"One of the competitors for the .1851 Exhibition Scholarship here, 
graduated (Bachelor of Arts) in June, 1901, with honors in Mathematics, 
having taken previously Mathematics and Physics in which he obtained 
honor standing throughout his course. Since then he has been tutorial 
fellow in Mathematics in the University and latterly assistant demon- 
strator in Physics at a small salary. I may say that in December, 1902, 
this gentleman announced his intention of becoming a candidate for the 
1851 Exhibition Scholarship to Ee awarded this year (1904) at the Uni- 
versity of Toronto. He was at that time informed by me that he would 
be eligible and accordingly proceeded to engage in research work. The 
question has now been raised as to whether under the regulations of the 
Commissioners such a candidate is eligible, and the University Council, 
before deciding between this candidate and others, desires to have the 
decision of your board upon the question of his eligibility. 

"As the time is too short to receive a written communication from 
you, I shall be obliged if you will cable me at the expense of the Uni- 
versity." 

On the 25th April, 1904, a meeting of the Council was held. The 

minutes of this meeting are as follows : — 

"The President laid on the table a copy of the letter to Major- 
General Ellis with reference to Mr. Burton's eligibility and stated that 
he had received a cable to the effect that Mr. Burton was eligible. 

"On motion of the Vice-President, seconded by Professor Baker, 
the following report from the Committee of Award was received : 

"To the University Council : 

"Report of the committee appointed to make a recommendation in 
connection with the 1851 Scholarship. 

"1. Eight theses were sumbitted to the committee for examination. 

"2. The subject matter of seven of these was chemical, of the eighth 
physical. 



12 REPORT OV COMMISSIONERS No. 32 



"3. The committee had no difficulty in arriving at the opinion that 
of the chemical theses submitted that by Mr. McBain is the best. 

"4. The committee has, however, been unable to agree on a recom- 
mendation as between Mr. McBain and Mr. Burton, the author of the 
physical essay, owing to the difficulty experienced in estimating the re- 
lative merits of researches on such different subject matters. 

"5. The decision is therefore left to the Council. 

"6. The committee is of the opinion that the Council might adopt 
some local regulations which would facilitate the award of this scholar- 
ship in the future. 

"It was suggested by Dr. Ellis that the members of the staff under 
whom Mr. Burton and Mr. McBain had worked be asked to appear be- 
fore the council. 

"The Council agreed to the suggestion and adjourned to meet on 
Thursday, April 28th, at one p.m." 

The cable message laid on the table by the President at this meeting is 
as follows : — 

"President University, Toronto. Scholar eligible Exhibition 
1851." 

A meeting of the Council was held on 28th April, 1904, the minutes of 
which are as follows : — 

"As. Dr. McLennan was present the Council asked Dr. Miller and 
Dr. McLennan to speak on behalf of Mr. McBain and Mr. Burton re- 
spectively. After both these gentlemen had been heard, on a division 
the scholarship was awarded to Mr. Burton." 

Your Commissioners do not feel it necessary to determine whether upon 
the true construction of the regulations of the Royal Commissioners Mr. 
Burton was eligible or not, but think that at all events there is room for two 
opinions upon the question. The President in advising Mr. Burton before- 
hand that he was eligible for the scholarship acted not only upon his own 
view that the regulations should be so construed but also upon his knowledge 
of the fact that they had already been so construed in the case of a candi- 
date from another University. Your Commissioners are unable to say that 
any fault can be found either with the President or Professor McLennan in 
connection with the award of this scholarship. The facts of the case were 
fairly laid before the Royal Commissioners in the letter .which had been pre- 
pared by the committee appointed by the Council for the purpose, and the 
message cabled in reply was an absolute and unconditional decision that Mr. 
Burton was eligible for the scholarship upon the facts stated. On the 
strength of that decision, the Council were fully warranted in treating Mr. 
Burton as an eligible candidate. 

A letter from the Secretary of the Royal Commissioners, dated 26th 
April, 1904, was received in due course and is as follows: — 

"With reference to your letter to this office dated 9th instant and to 
the telegram I sent to you yesterday, I am directed to inform you that 
although it has been previously decided that a student who after gradu- 
ation remains at his College as demonstrator remains eligible to a 
vScience Research Scholarship it seems doubtful whether this construc- 
tion of the rules should be applied after the lapse of twelve months from 



1904 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. 13 



the date of graduation. As, however, the candidate you refer to who 
graduated in 1901 was told that he remained eligible for the scholar- 
ship offered to the University in 1904, and proceeded to engage in re- 
search work accordingly, the Commissioners have decided to consider 
him eligible but they must not be taken to be laying down a general 
rule applicable to similar cases in the future." 

This letter was not received until after the Council had acted upon the 
cable message above mentioned by recommending Mr. Burton, and their 
recommendation had been despatched to the Royal Commissioners. 

The manner in which Professor McLennan advocated the merits of Mr. 
Burton as compared with those of Mr. McBain when he and Dr. Miller were 
requested by the Council at their meeting of 28th April, 1904, "to speak on 
behalf" of Mr. Burton and Mr. McBean respectively, has been made the sub- 
ject of attack, and he has been accused of having dishonestly disparaged 
a portion of the thesis of Mr. McBain by a remark made in the course of 
the discussion. 

The evidence satisfies your Commissioners that the matter referred to in 
the remark was of small importance and the incident does not call for fur- 
ther comment. 

The suggestion that Mr. Burton w r as practically promised the award long 
before it was actually made was unsupported by any evidence, and it is in 
the opinion of your Commissioners entirely without foundation. 

III. 

Although the only specific charges pressed upon your Commissioners 
were those relating to the awards in the years 1900 and 1904, the inquiry was 
not confined to them. The general charges made against the President and 
Professor McLennan necessarily involved an investigation into the academic 
conduct and management of the University, and particularly of the Depart- 
ment of Physics, of which department the President is Senior Professor and 
Dr. McLennan is Associate Professor. 

The general charges affecting the capacity, character and conduct of 
the President, your Commissioners find not to be supported by the evidence 
and to be unfounded. The evidence shews, however, that the Presidency is 
heavily weighted with a multiplicity of duties not necessarily attaching to 
the office and of such a nature as in the judgment of your Commissioners to 
interfere seriously with the general oversight and careful co-ordination which 
are necessary to efficient and harmonious working in any large institution. 

Of the duties at present discharged by the President, as mentioned in 
the evidence, those which seem to belong more properly, though not all of 
them necessarily, to the office are the supervision of the teaching in all de- 
partments of the University; the conduct of examinations in all Faculties; 
the Chairmanship of the Educational Council; the Chairmanship of the Uni- 
versity Council, of the Board of Arts Studies, of the Committee on Memorials 
and Petitions, of the Committee on Journals and Printing, of the Library 
Committee, and the Chairmanship or membership of many other committees 
of more or less importance; the conduct of a large correspondence; and the 
preparation of an Annual Report upon the progress and efficiency of the 
University. 

Of the other duties with which, under the present arrangements and 
constitution the President is charged, but which seem naturallv less clo^lv 
conn^cted with the Presidency, the most important are the following: A* 
Head of the Department of Phvsics, the responsibility for that Department, 
with a certain amount of lecturing, devolves upon the President. As Vice- 



1*4 REPORT OV COMMISSIONERS No. 32 



Chairman of the Board of Trustees, it becomes his duty to examine in de- 
tail all the accounts of the University before countersigning cheques for 
payment, about five thousand accounts having to be dealt with in this way 
in a year. The President also has the general superintendence of the grounds 
and buildings, including that of all workmen employed on the premises. It 
also falls within his duties as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees to pre- 
pare the Annual Estimates of Receipts and Expenditures for submission to 
the Board. The President has also charge of the University Press, and 
oversees the publication of the annual volumes of University Studies. 

To this wide range of duties, with their multiplicity of detail, which 
has characterized the Presidency, and not to any incompetency or inefficiency 
in the President himself, must be attributed whatever dissatisfaction or lack 
of harmonious co-operation may have existed in the University in regard to 
the matters of which complaint has been made. As likely to afford at least 
partial remedy for the evils complained of, your Commissioners venture to 
make the following recommendations : — 

First. — That the President be relieved of some of the duties which in 
their nature are less closely connected with his office and in particular (a) 
that he be relieved of the position of Professor of Physics and of so much 
committee work : (b) that the financial and other details of work at present 
falling within his duties as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, be trans- 
ferred to some officer to be appointed for that purpose ; and 

Second. — That in respect of duties essential to his office, the President's 
hands be strengthened by a clear definition of his responsibilities and pow- 
ers and by the increase thereof where necessary, and in particular (a) that 
provision be made for a larger measure of personal supervision of the various 
departments, with a view to promoting co-ordination and central control; 
and (b) that the President be charged with more direct responsibility, and al- 
lowed to exercise more real power, in respect of appointments, suspensions 
and dismissals, co-operating therein with the Board of Trustees and so re- 
moving this vital department of University administration as far as possible 
from political control. 

In respect of the general charges affecting Professor McLennan, your 
Commissioners find that they were not supported by the evidence, and the 
conclusion which they have reached is that Professor McLennan is an able 
member of the staff, indefatigable in the performance of his duties and in 
promoting the interests of the University, and that there does not appear 
to be any ground for the accusation that his activity in these respects was 
attributable to any undue desire on his part for professional advancement or 
personal aggrandizement. 

Your Commissioners have the honour to submit with this report a copy 
of the testimony taken before them and the exhibits therein referred to. 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

(Signed) W. R. Meredith, 

Chairman. 
" Charles Moss, 

W. P. R. Street, 
T. C. S. Macklem, 

A. B. Aylesworth. 
Toronto, 16th May, 1905. , 



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