HC Deb 22 June 1831 vol 4 cc239-40

Mr. Hume, on presenting Petitions from the inhabitants of Maghera and Killelagh in Ireland, for the abolition of the Church Establishment, and for vesting the Church property in public Commissioners, to be applied to the improvement of Ireland, said the petitioners were of opinion that the Church of England, as well as every other Church, ought to be supported by its own followers. Persons might endeavour to conceal the fact, but, when their attention was called to the subject, they could not deny that the Church of Ireland was in danger.

Mr. Trant

thought, it would have been well if the petitioners had waited for a reformed Parliament before they presented petitions like the present. He was not sorry, however, that they had come forward, as it would afford the English Protestants an opportunity of knowing the nature of the acts likely to be called for, should the Reform Bill pass. He must allow, the hon. Member acted in an open and manly manner, by stating his opinions, but if the House entertained the sentiments of the petition, the people must make up their mind to the destruction of the Established Church.

Mr. Hume

was anxious to say, that if the petitioners had asked and taken his advice, they would not have presented their petition now, but when a petition was transmitted to him to be presented, and there was nothing objectionable in its language, he presented it as a matter of course. He did not think his hon. friend had drawn a fair inference from the prayer of the petition. When the time came he should not be backward in stating his opinions, whatever they might be, respecting the Irish Church, but he did not consider that a fit occasion for entering into the question, for the wisest of men had said, there was a proper time for every thing.