HC Deb 13 April 1832 vol 12 cc465-6
Mr. Henry Grattan

presented a Petition from the inhabitants of Paisley in Scotland, against the system of Tithes. The petitioners conceived the system, although founded in law, both unchristian and unjust.

Mr. Hume

said, he had been requested to support the petition, which he did with great satisfaction. He rejoiced in having such a proof that the people of Great Britain sympathized with the Irish people on this question.

Sir Frederick Trench

said, that, while nine-tenths of the property in Ireland was in the possession of Protestants, the clergy were entitled to their tithes. On this subject he wished hon. Members would give an attentive perusal to a letter of Lord Milton's, which had appeared in the public journals a short time back.

Petition to be printed.

Mr. Henry Grattan

presented a petition from Johnstown, complaining of the exorbitant charges for tithes made in that place, the system had become so oppressive that the inhabitants had been compelled to make up a joint stock purse to resist the demands of the clergy. He fully coincided in the language of a celebrated writer, who hoped that the hatred of the people of Ireland to tithes would be as lasting as their love of justice.

Mr. Shaw

said, that he had no doubt the statements in the petition were much exaggerated. It was notorious that the clergy of Ireland did not receive one-thirtieth of the amount received by the Irish landlords.

Colonel Perceval

said, he must also oppose the sentiments contained in these petitions. He attributed much of the opposition in Ireland which had been manifested to tithes to the conduct of those in- dividuals who had given utterance to sentiments so much admired and extolled by the hon. member for Meath, but which were conducive to the cruel and unchristian consequences under which the Protestant clergy of Ireland laboured.

Mr. Shaw

observed, that in one of the petitions, the Protestant clergy were denominated "absentee harpies," and he submitted that the hon. member for Meath, under such circumstances, ought not to press the reading of the petition.

Mr. Henry Grattan

said, he did not press for the petition being printed, but he thought it but right to have it read, and laid on the Table.

Sir Edward Sugden

conceived, that, since it was discovered that this petition had been improperly worded, the hon. Member could not ask that either it or any of those which accompanied it, should be read until he could answer for their contents.

Mr. Grattan

moved, that the petitions be read, and the gallery was cleared for a division. None, however, took place, Mr. Grattan abandoning his Motion.

Lord Althorp

moved the Order of the Day for the House to go into a Committee of Supply.