ing, and arithmetic, but the regulations did not escape censure, and a compromise, not unfavourable to the interests of the advocates of church schools, was ultimately adopted. The reports of the school inspectors had long troubled him, and he laid down the principle that they should not be altered or mutilated by the department, to suit the department's views, but that they should be returned, if they contained objectionable matter, to the offending officers with an intimation to that effect. Mr. W. E. Forster, on 11 June 1863, brought before the house the question whether all such documents should not be printed as sent in, but Lowe successfully resisted the proposition. A more determined effort was made by Lord Robert Cecil, the present Marquis of Salisbury, on 12 April 1864, when he proposed a resolution that the ‘mutilation’ of the reports and the ‘exclusion from them of statements and opinions adverse to the educational views of the committee of the council,’ while matter favourable to them is admitted, are violations of the understanding under which the appointment of inspectors was sanctioned. This adverse motion was feebly resisted by the government, and Lowe's speech in defence of his actions set out very imperfectly the principles on which he had acted. It was carried against the government, through the defection of a few liberals and some Irish members, by 101 votes to 93, and, although Lord Palmerston endeavoured to dissuade him, Lowe tendered his resignation. On 18 April 1864 he announced this decision to the house, and after he had vindicated his good faith and explained his conduct in greater fulness, the members of his party who had voted against him on the previous occasion expressed their regret that they had not then been aware of the facts which he had now supplied, and acknowledged the conscientious motives which had regulated his acts. In the ministry formed by Lord Russell in October 1865, on Palmerston's death (February 1866) Lowe had no place, and he lost ground in the house during the debates over the Cattle Plague Bill, when he argued that the losses of farmers through the enforced destruction of their cattle for preventive purposes should be fully compensated out of the general public funds, and found himself opposed by Mill and Bright.
When Lord Russell's ministry introduced in 1866 their Reform Bill, the ground which Lowe had lost was far more than recovered. He was hostile to the bill, although he had been a party to the Marquis of Hartington's motion in favour of reform in 1859, which upset the Derby-Disraeli cabinet, and he was a member of the ministry in 1860, when Lord John Russell introduced a Reform Bill. But the charge of inconsistency did not daunt him from leading the opposition to this new bill. Its propositions, when considered in the light of present history, erred on the side of tameness, and they were far more moderate than those which ultimately passed into law. But Lowe's triumph at the moment was complete. No longer a subordinate, he used his freedom to express his innermost faith, and he had the success which attends those who believe all they are saying. At no other time did he attain to such a high level of perfection in speaking. He was in sympathy with the majority of his audience, an unwonted circumstance, which inspired his speeches with a wealth of thought and of felicitous illustration. Mr. Gladstone and he vied with each other in aptness of classical quotation, and the keenest partisan on the ministerial side could not fail to admire Lowe's courage and sincerity of purpose. Mr. Bright indeed might jeer at the liberal malcontents as dwelling in the ‘political cave of Adullam,’ and might liken the party of two, Horsman and Lowe, to the ‘Scotch terrier that was so covered with hair that they could not tell the head from the tail,’ but to unprejudiced minds there could be no doubt that to Lowe's eloquence the defeat of the bill should be attributed. The amendment which led to the downfall of the liberal government was the motion of Lord Dunkellin, that a rating franchise should be substituted for that of net rental as proposed in the bill (19 June 1866). In the tory ministry which was thereupon formed, Lowe declined a place. He had united with them in opposition to the Liberal Reform Bill, but on all other matters his views were those held by the large majority of the liberal party. The new government found itself unable to resist the influence of public opinion in favour of electoral reform, and among its measures was a new Reform Bill. Its original suggestions were of no immoderate character, and differed but little, if at all, from the propositions of the previous government, but under the pressure of political controversy, and through the ‘education’ by Mr. Disraeli of his party, the bill, when passed into law, was a sweeping one. It lowered the franchise in boroughs to a household franchise, and reduced the qualification in counties to a 12l. limit. Mr. Lowe was forced into the confession that he had been ‘deceived and betrayed.’
The constituency of Calne was swept away by this bill, and Lowe entered the new House of Commons of 1868 as the first member for the University of London. The seat, said Mr. Disraeli at a later period, had been