Appendix

Appendix 1 lists the subjects of the best-attended debates between 1863 and 1914. (By the 1860s, political topics predominated within a two-party system.) The information may be of interest to historians seeking to weight the relative impact of various issues.

APPENDIX

NUMBERS VOTING AT CAMBRIDGE UNION DEBATES

1863-1914

Column A gives the month and year of the debate. The information is grouped into academic years, running from October to the following June. Attendances varied from year to year.

Column B briefly indicates the topic. Frequently discussed topics are grouped under the headings "Church", "Drink", "Party politics", "Votes for women" and "Women at Cambridge". Church debates usually focused on disestablishment. The most common "Party politics" debates were those on motions of "no confidence" in the government of the day, but these were occasionally varied with attacks on the official opposition. Motions relating to Ireland are italicised.

Column C gives the numbers voting. Votes were taken at the close of debates, making it likely that only the most committed members remained to register their opinions. On some occasions, procedural motions were taken earlier in the evening, and where votes are recorded, they often indicate that the attendance was larger than the final division. The best-attended debate for each year is asterisked. Note: only well-attended debates on non-Irish issues are included.

A
B
C
Oct 63 American Civil War 84
Nov 63 Laird rams (American Civil War) 97
Nov 63 Poland 71
Dec 63 Women at Cambridge 78
Feb 64 *Palmerston's foreign policy (Denmark) 102
Mar 64 Irish Church 74



Nov 64 Nonconformists at Cambridge 159
Nov 64 "Brother Ignatius" (Church) 134
Nov 64 Character of Oliver Cromwell 139
Dec 64 *Compulsory chapel at Cambridge 191
Feb 65 American Civil War 105
Feb 65 Capital punishment 94
Mar 65 Irish Church 107



Oct 65 Party politics 131
Oct 65 Fenians 100
Nov 65 Franchise reform 124
Nov 65 Gladstone's defeat at Oxford 135
Dec 65 *Church 163
Feb 66 Cambridge American Lectureship 160



Oct 66 *Party politics 3121
Nov 66 Act of Uniformity of 1662 128
Nov 66 Votes for women 178
Jan 67 Irish Church 106
Feb 67 Parliamentary Reform 140
Feb 67 Governor Eyre 156
Mar 66 Fenian rising 66
Mar 67 Toleration of Mormons 100
May 67 Women at Cambridge 88



Oct 67 Parliamentary Reform/Disraeli 162
Nov 67 Sunday opening of museums 160
Nov 67 Religious tests at Cambridge 148
Nov 67 Legislation against Ritualists 138
Jan 68 Manchester executions 128
Feb 68 *Votes for women 184
Feb 68 Capital punishment 117
Mar 68 Disraeli 120
Mar 68 Compulsory chapel at Cambridge 134
Mar 68 Conciliation in Ireland 172
May 68 Party politics 108



Oct 68 Anonymous journalism 144
Nov 68 *College kitchen system at Cambridge 240
Nov 68 Admission of non-collegiate students 131
Dec 68 Party politics 124
Feb 69 Abandonment of Gibraltar 144
Feb 69 Party politics 124
Mar 69 Sunday opening of museums 103
May 69 Irish Land and Church 75



Nov 69 National education 95
Nov 69 Religious tests at Cambridge 132
Nov 69 Church 136
Dec 69 Women at Cambridge 104
Feb 70 Irish Land Bill 68
Feb 70 National education 117
Feb 70 Votes for women 115
Mar 70 *Compulsory chapel at Cambridge 143



Oct 70 *Franco-Prussian War 146
Nov 70 Boating regulations on the Cam 116
Nov 70 French republic 127
Nov 70 Relations with Russia 151
Mar 71 House of Lords/Church 138
May 71 Paris Commune 116



Oct 71 *Party politics 193
Oct 71 Church 107
Nov 71 Republican principle 165
Feb 72 Sunday opening of museums 96
Mar 72 India 100
May 72 Votes for women 130



Oct 72 Alsace-Lorraine 122
Nov 72 Corporal punishment 107
Nov 72 Drink 117
Dec 72 Contagious Diseases Act 145
Feb 73 Education of women 108
Mar 73 *Church 185



Oct 73 Party politics 176
Oct 73 Breach of promise law 147
Oct 73 *Rights of women 184
Nov 73 Home Rule/Irish local government 53
Feb 74 Party politics 149
Feb 74 Inspection of convents 126
May 74 Cremation 143



Oct 74 Reform of Cambridge 171
Nov 74 Party politics 248
Nov 74 Sunday opening of museums 207
Nov 74 French republic 128
Nov 74 Public Worship Bill 218
Feb 75 Gladstone 193
Feb 75 Votes for women 172
Feb 75 Deceased Wife's Sister 218
Apr 75 *Church 314
May 75 Dr Kenealy 190
May 75 Conscription 122



Oct 75 Party politics 252
Nov 75 Sunday observance 176
Nov 75 House of Lords/life peerages 159
Nov 75 Osborne Morgan's Burials Bill 190
Feb 76 *Church 316
Feb 76 Sunday opening of museums 177
Feb 77 Capital punishment 151
Mar 76 Reform of Cambridge 125
Mar 76 Breach of promise law 142
May 76 Party politics 162
May 76 Votes for women 170



Nov 76 Eastern Question 205
Feb 77 *Church 316
Feb 77 Home Rule 106
Apr 77 Party politics 263
May 77 Eastern Question 279



Oct 77 Party politics 256
Dec 77 Home Rule 77
Feb 78 Eastern Question 187
Feb 78 *Party politics 284
Feb 78 Osborne Morgan's Burials Bill 199



Oct 78 *Foreign affairs 222



Oct 79 *Party politics 328
Jan 80 Afghanistan 175
Feb 80 Home Rule 167
Feb 80 Cremation 166
Mar 80 Monument to the Prince Imperial 211
Apr 80 Church 236
May 80 Women at Cambridge 201



Oct 80 *Party politics 341
Nov 80 British policy to Ireland 111
Nov 80 Reform of land laws 310
Dec 80 Votes for women 156
Feb 81 Coercion 318
Mar 81 Candahar 215
Mar 81 Home Rule 335
Mar 81 Women at Cambridge 268
May 81 Irish Land Bill 158



Oct 81 Irish Land Bill 274
Nov 81 *Party politics 277
Nov 81 Belief in ghosts 264
Feb 82 Irish Land/Home Rule 135
Feb 82 Drink 146
Feb 82 House of Lords/Irish Land Act 252
Mar 82 Reform of parliamentary procedure 198
Apr 82 Bradlaugh case 166
Jun 82 Selwyn College 160



Oct 82 Party politics 219
Oct 82 Home Rule 145
Nov 82 Women's rights 161
Nov 82 Cambridge University by-election 358
Jan 83 Coercion 161
Feb 83 Opium trade 148
Feb 83 Party politics 250
Apr 83 Cambridge proctorial system 229
May 83 Affirmation Bill 342
May 83 House of Lords 300
May 83 Home Rule 113
Jun 83 *Party politics 366



Oct 83 Party politics 277
Oct 83 India: Ilbert Bill 224
Nov 83 Drink 179
Nov 83 Church 244
Jan 84 Egypt 163
Feb 84 *Socialism 457
Feb 84 Irish policy 207
Mar 84 Profit sharing 183
Mar 84 Party politics 225
May 84 Land nationalisation 187
Jun 84 Ireland and Franchise Bill 173



Oct 84 *Party politics 309
Oct 84 Horse racing 194
Nov 84 Church 218
Nov 84 University MPs 159
Nov 84 House of Lords 152
Feb 85 Party politics 239
Feb 85 Votes for women 181
May 85 Student voting rights 181
May 85 Coercion 63
Jun 85 Party politics 242



Oct 85 *Party politics 318
Nov 85 Church 267
Jan 86 Home Rule 108
Feb 86 Belief in ghosts 141
Mar 86 Votes for women 141
May 86 Home Rule 145
Jun 86 Home Rule 2682



Oct 86 Party politics 160
Oct 86 Home Rule 180
Jan 87 Home Rule 152
Feb 87 Church 135
May 87 Coercion 174
Jun 87 *Home Rule 271



Oct 87 Home Rule 179
Nov 87 State of the Cam 171
Feb 88 Women at Cambridge 190
Feb 88 Belief in ghosts 128
May 88 Party politics 120
Jun 88 *Bacon and Shakespeare 232



Oct 88 Irish policy 65
Oct 88 Church 222
Feb 89 Women's rights 126
Feb 89 Cambridge journalism 229
Mar 89 *Irish policy 425
May 89 Sunday opening of public houses 128



Oct 89 Sectarian education in Ireland 92
Oct 89 London County Council 141
Oct 89 Dock strike 190
Nov 89 Fashion 153
Nov 89 Women at Cambridge 192
Nov 89 Hunting 144
Nov 89 *Socialism 254
Feb 90 House of Lords 159
Feb 90 Home Rule 180
Mar 90 Democracy 206
Apr 90 Special Commission 94



Oct 90 New Trade Unionism 142
Oct 90 Horse racing 147
Nov 90 Irish policy 217
Feb 91 Church 164
Feb 91 Women's rights 142
Mar 91 *Party politics 242
May 91 Salvation Army 134
May 91 Opium trade 196
Jun 91 Drink 186



Oct 91 Party politics 230
Jan 92 *University jurisdiction over town 233
Feb 92 Socialism 141
Feb 92 Party politics 147
Mar 92 Church 227
Jun 92 Ulster resistance to Home Rule



Oct 92 Party politics 187
Oct 92 Drink 190
Nov 92 Modern philanthropy 135
Jan 93 Women at Cambridge 234
Feb 93 *Home Rule 389
Mar 93 Welsh Church 176
May 93 Ulster 78



Oct 93 Party politics 181
Oct 93 State ownership of coal mines 164
Oct 93 Church 214
Mar 94 *Home Rule 294
May 94 Welsh Church 146
Jun 94 House of Lords 241



Oct 94 Party politics 183
Oct 94 Church 136
Nov 94 Empire Music Hall 331
Nov 94 House of Lords 179
Feb 95 Church 203
Feb 95 *Home Rule 4173
Mar 95 Republican principle 183
Jun 95 Tolerance 144



Oct 95 American democracy 197
Oct 97 Constantinople 145
Nov 95 Democracy 175
Jan 96 Jameson Raid 171
Feb 96 Women at Cambridge 246
Mar 96 *Party politics 397
Jun 96 Party politics 193



Oct 96 Eastern Question 174
Oct 96 Drink 165
Dec 96 Navy 139
Feb 97 Financial Commission 94
Mar 97 Party politics 210
Mar 97 Opium trade 136
May 97 Eastern Question 188
May 97 *Women at Cambridge 12214



Nov 97 India 142
Nov 97 *Party politics 344
Nov 97 Existence of Irish nation 1465
Dec 97 North-west frontier 135
Feb 98 Dreyfus case 211
Feb 98 Irish local government 91
Mar 98 Imperialism and nationality 174
May 98 Spanish-American War 201
May 98 Catholic hostel at Cambridge 186
May 98 Party politics 163



Oct 98 Disarmament 181
Oct 98 Dreyfus case 182
Nov 98 Fashoda crisis 147
Nov 98 Drink 136
Dec 98 Kitchener celebrations at Cambridge 157
Mar 99 *International morality 234
May 99 Catholic university in Ireland 72
May 99 Party politics 140



Oct 99 *South Africa 239
Nov 99 Closure of Cambridge theatres 212
Nov 99 Trinity College 142
Nov 99 Church 144
Feb 00 South Africa 158
Feb 00 South Africa 185
Mar 00 Diplomacy 162
Mar 00 Cambridge magistrates 166
May 00 British empire and "alien races" 138
Jun 00 Votes for women 124



Oct 00 Party politics 196
Oct 00 *South Africa 212
Nov 00 Imperialism 124



Oct 01 South Africa 112
Nov 01 Censorship of anarchists 116
Nov 01 *Press freedom 155
Jan 02 Catholic university in Ireland 114
Feb 02 Drink 117
Mar 02 South Africa 117
May 02 Coercion 117



Oct 02 Education Bill 188
Oct 02 Business training 133
Nov 02 Government by party 153
Nov 02 Landlordism 149
Nov 02 Party politics 193
Feb 03 Church 176
Feb 03 Arthur Lynch case 148
Feb 03 Jury system 129
Feb 03 Votes for women 169
Mar 03 *Party politics 206
May 03 Home Rule 108
Jun 03 Party politics 124



Oct 03 Tariff Reform 234
Nov 03 *Tariff Reform 450
Nov 03 Imperialism 154
Dec 03 Catholic university in Ireland 151
Feb 04 Compulsory Greek at Cambridge 157
Mar 04 Church 130
May 04 Home Rule 117
Jun 04 Tariff Reform 142



Oct 04 Welsh revolt 152
Nov 04 Public schools 188
Nov 04 *Party politics 4436
Jan 05 Women at Cambridge 252
Feb 05 Compulsory Greek at Cambridge 267
Mar 05 Party politics 218
May 05 MacDonnell affair 88



Oct 05 India 223
Nov 05 Votes for women 155
Nov 05 Party politics 258
Jan 06 Liberal colonial policy 187
Feb 06 Labour Party 229
Mar 06 Party politics 279
May 06 Education Bill 225



Oct 06 Home Rule 187
Oct 06 Public schools 157
Oct 06 Socialism 170
Nov 06 Egypt 160
Nov 06 Defence policy 164
Dec 06 Party politics 237
Jan 07 Channel Tunnel 188
Feb 07 Church 216
Feb 07 *House of Lords 307
Feb 07 Votes for women 240
Mar 07 Party politics 194
Mar 07 Home Rule 280
Jun 07 Party politics 304



Oct 07 House of Lords 214
Oct 07 State ownership of railways 181
Oct 07 Deceased Wife's Sister 211
Nov 07 India 161
Nov 07 Education Bill 170
Nov 07 Censorship of plays 241
Nov 07 Role of Oxford and Cambridge 175
Dec 07 Party politics 228
Jan 08 Conscription 170
Jan 08 Irish administration 135
Feb 08 Church 235
Feb 08 Socialism 304
Mar 08 Imperialism and nationalism 265
May 08 Drink 216
May 08 Tariff Reform 246
May 08 Votes for women 153
Jun 08 *Socialism 310



Oct 08 House of Lords 162
Oct 08 Home Rule 142
Nov 08 Land nationalisation 142
Nov 08 Church 207
Dec 08 Votes for women 225
Dec 08 Conscription 239
Jan 09 House of Lords/Drink 155
Jan 09 British Empire 248
Feb 09 Kaiser Wilhelm 160
Feb 09 Women at Cambridge 202
Feb 09 Socialism 248
Mar 09 Dreadnoughts 179
Mar 09 Welsh Church 159
May 09 Conscription 232
May 09 Puritan spirit 152
Jun 09 *Home Rule 3687



Oct 09 House of Lords/Budget 320
Oct 09 Grey's foreign policy 169
Nov 09 Votes for women 344
Nov 09 Censorship of plays 224
Nov 09 Tariff Reform 289
Nov 09 Church 210
Dec 09 *Party politics 340
Jan 10 Party politics 338
Feb 10 Socialism 204
Feb 10 Tariff Reform 335
Mar 10 Poor Law Report 187
May 10 Home Rule 112



Oct 10 Land taxation 202
Oct 10 Disarmament 193
Nov 10 Tariff Reform 301
Nov 10 Tariff Reform 301
Nov 10 House of Lords 205
Nov 10 Party politics 343
Dec 10 *Party politics 431
Jan 11 Home Rule 234
Feb 11 Socialism 405
Feb 11 Votes for women 138
Feb 11 Government by party 145
Mar 11 Parliament Bill 340
Jun 11 Party politics 203



Oct 11 Labour unrest 249
Oct 11 Canadian general election 189
Oct 11 Churchill at Admiralty 163
Nov 11 Rights of women 294
Dec 11 Party politics 303
Feb 12 Navy 390
Feb 12 Welsh Church 157
Mar 12 *Home Rule 427
May 12 Women at Cambridge 190
May 12 Home Rule 73
Jun 12 Party politics 259



Oct 12 Bonar Law and Ulster 247
Nov 12 Votes for women 270
Dec 12 *Party politics 326
Feb 13 Germany 151
Mar 13 Home Rule 235
Jun 13 Party politics 214



Oct 13 Labour unrest 153
Oct 13 Lloyd George's land campaign 228
Oct 13 The Stage 189
Nov 13 *Home Rule 3898
Nov 13 Party politics 176
Nov 13 Women's movement 253
Dec 13 Role of Oxford and Cambridge 244
Feb 14 Strikes in South Africa 156
Feb 14 Divorce laws 314
Mar 14 House of Lords/Marconi affair 204
Mar 14 Party politics 280
Apr 14 Curragh episode 112
May 14 Socialism 279
Jun 14 Votes for women 145

Notes:

1. Inaugural debate of the new Union building.
2. Visit of John Dillon.
3. Visit of John Redmond.
4. Debate open to all undergraduates.
5. Vote on amendment. Main debate collapsed.
6. Visit of Lloyd George.
7. Visit of John Dillon.
8. Fortieth anniversary of first Home Rule debate.

 

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