said, that at this late period of the Session, on the eve of a dissolution of Parliament, and after so long and laborious an attendance on the part of hon. Members, he would willingly have refrained from bringing forward a subject so complicated in its details as that of Tithes in Ireland, and the discussion of which, however he might wish to avoid it, must almost necessarily lead to warmth, if not to asperity; but, looking at the state of Ireland—at the condition of the clergy of the Church of England residing there—at the entire disorganization of society—and at the absence of power in the law to insure its own execution—he should be wanting in his duty, and the other members of the Government would be wanting in theirs, if the present Parliament were suffered to separate without having the existing state of the sister kingdom, and the mode in which it was proposed to treat the evils of the present system, laid before it. One of those evils was, unquestionably, the mode in which tithes were collected; and he might here take occasion to advert to an expression he had used on a former occasion, and which had afterwards been made the subject of remark, that the present Government looked to the extinction of tithes. Hon. Members would do him the justice to recollect, that he had, on the same occasion, coupled that remark with the statement, that although Government might look to the extinction of tithes, no man could contemplate the absence of some payment, arising out of the land, for the maintenance of the Protestant clergy. No man who dispassionately and fairly weighed the words he had used, would be of opinion that they conveyed more than an acknowledgment of the now m-gent necessity to commute tithes for some other species of 96 payment. He did say then, and he repeated now, that the present Government was anxious for the total and entire extinction of tithes, in the manner in which they now pressed upon the industry and resources of Ireland. He begged the House to consider what, in this country, as well as in Ireland, but especially in the latter, rendered tithes a mode of payment peculiarly obnoxious and objectionable to the labouring and agricultural portion of the community. First, it was clear that the tithe system was no fixed and definite payment, but a progressively increasing claim, pressing most heavily upon the person who applied the largest amount of capital and industry upon his land. This was the point of view in which tithe was considered to be a most objectionable and grievous burthen, both in England and in Ireland, because the system was not only unjust, but it also tended to check national prosperity, to paralyse the efforts of industry, and to throw on the labouring and industrious tenant a greater burthen than was borne by the comparatively idle tenant. Another reason for considering the tithe system objectionable—and this cause existed to a greater extent in Ireland than England—consisted in the exceedingly minute sums and portions in which the tithe was paid, and the exceedingly minute articles of produce on which it was charged. Great as this evil was in England, it was much more severely felt in Ireland, because, in the latter country, the subdivisions of land were carried to a greater extent, and, consequently, the two characters of farmer and labourer were more commonly combined together. The holding of land being thus extremely small, every additional charge was felt as an additional encumbrance. But the system was objectionable in Ireland in a still more important view than this, and it was a point of view which did not appertain to England. In England he had always thought it objectionable that the Protestant clergyman should be supported by his Protestant parishioners, by means of his applying to them for a separate payment for his use and benefit, for he had always thought, that it was placing the clergyman in an extremely invidious position. But it must be taken into consideration that, besides the extreme minuteness of the holdings in the vast number of parishes in Ireland, the payment was made by a Catholic parishioner to a Protestant clergyman, with whom he might feel, in too many instances, that he had no tie 97 except that of demand on the one hand, and of payment on the other. He entreated the Protestant Members of the House to put themselves in the place of the Catholic peasant, and arguing, not from reason or from justice, but from what would be their feelings, say, whether this was a position in which they thought it desirable that a Protestant clergyman should be placed with reference to his Catholic parishioners. The point upon which the Church, so far as he knew, had always laid the greatest stress, and for which there was, undoubtedly, reason and justice, was, the right to a progressive increase of the clergyman's emoluments in proportion to the progressive increase in the value of the land. The reason was obvious, for an increase in the value of the land implied an increased population, which, if it were in accordance with the religious opinions of the clergyman, implied an increased portion of labour thrown upon the Protestant clergyman, which, perhaps, would be no more than adequately remunerated by the increased payment arising out of the increased value of the land. But, if this were a good point for the Church in England, it certainly could not be urged in Ireland, for there the increased value of the land, arising from an increased population, had, in many districts, thrown neither more labour nor responsibility upon the Protestant clergyman, so that his income was considered a mere tax upon the industry of the Catholic population, with whom he was placed in hostile collision, whilst, to use their own expressive phrase, they received no return for the payments they made to him. He was not there to argue that the view of the Catholic peasant was the real, substantial, or just view; on the contrary, he had always contended on a different side, that the payment was not a payment from the Catholic peasant to the Protestant clergyman, and that, if the tithes were removed from Ireland to-morrow, the burthen, except during the continuance of existing leases, would be neither more nor less felt by the population of the country than at present. If it were possible to remove the tithe, as well as if it were possible to remove any other tax, or—as he feared the word "tax" would be objected to, that was not, perhaps, quite the correct expression—if it were possible to remove, all over the country, any other charge which bore upon agricultural produce, and increased its price, the consequence probably would be, that the price of produce would fall in the mar- 98 ket; but, if the charge were removed from Ireland alone, whilst it was left upon Eng land, as the English market regulated the price of Irish produce, if the cost of production remained the same in England, it was clear that an additional profit would be derived from land in Ireland. But, looking to the competition for land in Ireland—looking to the enormous rents persons promised to pay, knowing they had not the means to pay, and which they were not afterwards called upon to pay, because their landlord also knew they had not the means of paying it, he did not think it too much to assume, that the additional profit to be derived from the land, would find its way, not into the pocket of the tenant, but, necessarily and naturally, into the pocket of the landlord, either in the shape of increased rent, or in the shape of increased facility to the tenant to pay the rent he agreed to pay, and which was only not exacted on account of the impossibility of his complying with the demand. He considered, then, that if tithes were altogether removed, no pecuniary benefit would result to the occupying tenant of the soil. But this he said, that if the occupying tenant of the soil be exempted from the payment of tithe to the Protestant clergy, even though he should be called upon to pay precisely the same sum to his landlord, there would be a real and substantial benefit afforded to him, not only in relieving his mind from the feeling of being constantly urged to make a payment out of his pocket to a clergyman of a different religion, which he felt to be galling, if not insulting, but a pecuniary benefit, and a real remedy for a crying grievance. As he wished, as much as possible, to avoid all topics calculated to excite asperity of language, he would pass over the multifarious abuses which, by the consent of all men, had prevailed under the system of valuation and Tithe Proctors; that system had not only led to the grossest frauds, but it had been a fruitful source of animosity, bloodshed, and crime. More injury had been done to the Protestant cause and religion in Ireland by Tithe Proctors than by any other circumstance that could be named. Some years ago, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Goulburn) had removed part of the practical evil, by the passing of the Tithe Composition Act; which put an end, wherever it came into effect, to the system of taxation varying with every season. He would, in justice, exempt the clergy from the charge of being exorbitant in their demands on the parish- 99 ioners; but, as composition was made only for a period, at the end of that time the evils were renewed. The Act, where carried into execution, put an end to many evils, at least for a time; but, as the arrangement was only to continue for twenty-one years, at the end of that time an increased demand on the part of the clergyman arose, his income was revised, and revised under circumstances not tending to lessen the annoyance, and suppress the heart-burnings. It was, unquestionably, a great benefit in the Tithe Composition Bill, that it equalized the burthen upon arable and pasture lands—a permanent, as well as a moderate assessment, was fixed upon both. It had often been suggested, that it would be better to commute tithes for land-tax, inasmuch as it would spread equally and justly over various descriptions of soil; and, where the Tithe Composition Bill was in operation, it amounted, in fact, to an equitable land-tax. The measure, however, failed to produce all the good effects expected to flow from it, from defects in its construction; he did not mean to impute the slightest blame to the framers of the bill, but one part of his plan would be to remedy those defects. He well knew the difficulties with which Ministers had, in former times, bad to contend on this subject, and he was well aware also of the increased difficulties under which he himself must inevitably labour. The measures met, at that time, the approbation of all sides of the House; especially of those Gentlemen who sup-ported the Catholic interest, though no Catholics had then seats in the House. But the bill was rendered in a great degree nugatory by the enactment, that the adoption of the composition should be entirely optional with both parties. There was, in many counties, a large proportion of grazing land, which, according to the tithe laws of Ireland, was exempted from the payment of tithes, and in those counties it was, consequently, the interest of a large number of the landed proprietors and occupiers to resist the composition. He did not mean to deny, nor could it be denied, that there were a great many instances in which the clergy refused to compound. In many cases the fault lay with the clergy themselves; but, in the greater number of cases, he thought it might be found that—a thing which, considering the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, was not at all surprising—the occupier endeavour to take advantage of the composition, so as to defraud the clergyman of his 100 just income. It would be found, he repeated, that in many instances this was the real cause of the clergyman's refusal of the composition offered by his parishioners. On this ground, therefore, he regretted that the Act had not been, in the first instance, made compulsory. But there was another reason, also, for which he thought it desirable, that in every parish the composition should be enforced, unless it was intended to continue the old system in all. For, when the tithes had been compounded for in one parish, whilst the old mode of collection was continued in the parish adjoining, it followed, as a necessary consequence, that the comparison rendered the burthen of the old tithe system more intolerable to that parish in which the composition had not been accepted; and the discontent was not diminished by the certainty, that they had no means of removing, under the Act, the inconvenience which they felt from its non-adoption. His second objection to the Act was, that the composition was entirely temporary, and that, at the same time that it made no provision for an additional charge, proportioned to the increasing value of the land, yet if, at the end of twenty-one years, the occupier should refuse to pay an increased tithe rate, proportioned to the improved value of his lands, the clergyman might renew the old tithe system with all its errors, and with all the odium in which that system was held in Ireland; and it was not to be supposed that the odium would not be increased by a comparison with the relief which had previously been experienced. At the same time, it was to be borne in mind, that the shifting of a part of the burthen from tillage land, which hitherto had borne the whole, to pasture, which had been wholly exempt, tended to increase the average productiveness of the whole parish, and, with the increased productiveness, the claim of the clergyman would of necessity increase. Having now stated his objections to the existing law, he would proceed to explain the nature of the alterations which it was his intention to propose, and to what extent he hoped to remove existing grievances. In the first place—and to this he apprehended there would be no objection—he wohld recommend that the composition should be compulsory; in other words, that the amended Composition Act should be made compulsory in its operation, and permanent in its effect. He would not deprive the clergy of that increase of in- 101 come which they might justly derive from the improved value of the land. But, at the same time, he would provide that the occupier should not have his burthens increased by the decrease of the price of agricultural produce. He proposed to give the cultivator the benefit of all the industry and capital he might apply to the land, but he would have the income of the clergyman increased in proportion to the advance of price, not to the increase of produce, the composition being varied according to a valuation taken every seven years. Now the compositions were renewable every twenty-one years; he would have them renewable every seven years, modifying them by the average price of agricultural produce. He proposed to give to every parish a certain period, within which it should have an opportunity, by agreement with the clergyman, of entering into a composition according to the terms of existing compacts. But all parishes that should not avail themselves of this power before a certain day named and specified in that Act, should have the arrangement made for them in the following manner, which, after every consideration that he had been able to give to the subject, appeared to him to be the most effectual, and less liable to objections than any other. His proposition was, that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland should be empowered to name a Commissioner, who should examine into what the parish already paid to the clergyman for its tithes, and, having ascertained this point, the Commissioner should fix the amount as the future payment to be made to the clergyman by way of compensation. The Commissioner should be guided by the average price of agricultural produce for the last seven years. One of the greatest difficulties of the former Act was felt in fixing the amount of the composition. According to former arrangements, a gross sum was to be taken, say 500l., which it was proposed to charge the parish with for the tithe to be paid the clergyman, estimating that amount from the average produce of the land from the year 1814. to 1821. If the composition were to be entered into now, when agricultural produce had fallen in price, it would be necessary that the sum should be taken at 500l., as that was the amount according to the standard under the law. Any composition, therefore, entered into now would give the clergyman an income of one-fifth for the next seven years, more than he would be equitably entitled to. At the 102 same time, it must be obvious, that in regulating the composition from 1832 to 1839, the Commissioner ought to be guided be the average value of tithes for the last seven years preceding 1830; because, as every Gentleman must be aware, occurrences had taken place, which would justly exclude the last two years from the calculation. He should, therefore, propose, that the valuation for the next seven years be regulated by the average yearly income of the incumbent from 1822 to 1830; but, that the valuation for the seven years now next ensuing, that is, from 1839 to 1846, should be made according to the average value of the tithes, or to the average price of agricultural produce, for the seven years immediately preceding—that is, from 1832 to 1839. whatever was the amount fixed, he should propose that it should be liable to variation every seven years, according to the averages of the market prices. He conceived that nothing could be more fair than a revision every seven years by the average of the market price, and that, by such revision, it should be fixed and determined what the parishioners should have to pay to the clergyman, by way of composition for the succeeding seven years. He trusted that he had sufficiently explained himself upon that part of the subject, and that he had made himself intelligible to the House. He would now come to another part of the subject. There could be no doubt that it was the intention of the right hon. Gentleman who framed the Tithe Composition Bill, to make the landowner practically responsible for the tithe, as he was, according to the intention of the law, ultimately the payer of it. In order to leave no doubt that the landlord was the real payer of the tithe, that Act declared, that in all cases in which the landlord should have let land tithe-free, the occupier should pay the proportion applotted to his holding, and should charge it upon the rent; and the Act gave the incumbent his remedy against the occupier, by every means which the law previously allowed to the landlord for the recovey of his rent, even to distress and ejectment. The immense subdivision of land in Ireland, for the tithes of which the clergyman had to prosecute the parishioners, caused a practical defeat of the right honorable Gentleman's whole scheme. The clergyman, in fact, had to levy the fractions of a penny, or twopence, or threepence, upon his parishioners; and in these proceedings the poor were subject to the payment of four or live shillings, or even 103 of pounds, which was exacted of them as legal expenses, and this was independent of the bribes which the agent of the clergyman exacted of them without the knowledge of the clergyman himself. There was, also, this grievance and peculiar hardship in the plan. There being two sums to be paid, one to the landlord, and the other to the clergyman, say of 1l, the entire rent, 19s.6d. to the landlord, and 6d. to the church, if the landlord's share should have been paid, still the tenant would be liable to be put to as much expense for the recovery of the 6d. due to the clergyman, as he would before have been subjected to, had he neglected to pay the whole sum of 1l. tithe and rent. In many instances where land was sub-divided into numerous holdings, the poor cottiers had been put to an expense of several shillings, in default of payment of one penny tithe. Now, the object which he (Mr. Stanley) had in view was, to impose the burthen really, and in the first instance, not upon the miserable and insolvent cottier, who happened to occupy the soil, but upon the solvent and legally responsible landlord. In legislating for that object, it was necessary to take into consideration, not only what was desirable, but what might be found really practicable. If he had to deal with England, or with any other country in which the relation between landlord and tenant was thoroughly understood and acted upon, and in which there was but a small separation between the landlord in fee and the occupying tenant, he should be disposed to recommend, in the first instance, that the incumbent should go at once to demand his tithe of the owner of the fee, from whom it was really due, and who was always supposed to be ultimately the payer. But in Ireland difficulties were to be encountered which did not exist in this country. In most cases, the occupying tenant was many degrees removed from the actual landlord, and, in many cases, the owner of the fee had parted with every advantage of proprietorship, except the claim of a fee farm rent, which could never be increased. Thus a great part of the land was let to the immediate tenants upon leases for lives, renewable for ever, and by those tenants again underlet to others, perhaps also upon leases of the same kind, and by these again to others; so that there intervened several middlemen between the owner of the fee and the actual occupier. He (Mr. Stanley), therefore, proposed—though he was ready to admit, that on principle the ar- 104 rangement might be liable to many objections, and was not itself so beneficial as he could wish, but which, under all the circumstances of the case appeared free from very many objections to which all other systems and schemes appeared to him to be liable—he proposed that the last lessor having an interest whether by lease or in fee—beyond that of a tenant-at-will, should be responsible for the payment of the tithe composition; and, when the lease of the person so held responsible for the tithe should have expired, the whole charge should fall upon the holder immediately above him, and so on until the owner in fee simple was reached; thus making each responsible until the period in which he had an interest in the property expired. By this plan, in every case,. the person having to make a new arrangement with those who should in future hold land under him would become responsible. By that arrangement, too, it was obvious, that, at the expiration of existing leases, the actual landlord—that is, the person ultimately receiving the profit rent—would be the actual payer of the tithe. The next consideration was, how the amount of the composition was to be received, after it had been determined upon whom the burthen was to fall. It would be a serious evil if, after all, the incumbent should be compelled to resort to the old mode of distress—to come down upon the land, and rack the tenant—for dues really owing by the landlord. He would, therefore, propose to abolish distress for tithe. He would recommend, instead of that mode of recovery, that the person owing the tithe should be liable to an action for damages, or that he should be liable to the proceedings in the Civil Bill Court: and, if he should remain for one year in arrear, he should then be liable to have a receiver appointed to his estate, who should pay over the balance, having deducted the tithe due. [Hear] If Gentlemen who cried "hear" would only consider calmly the subject, in all its bearings and effects, if their object was to relieve the occupying tenant, they must see that in what he proposed the landlord was not, by any means, too hardly dealt with. The proceedings which he had the honour to propose for the adoption of the House, were no more than the ordinary proceedings for the recovery of a mortgage under the present law of Ireland. The landlord had the selection of his tenants, and the option whom to accept and whom to reject; and, 105 if the tenant could not pay his landlord, surely it was not reasonable that the clergyman should suffer. He meant further to propose, that if the occupying tenant should choose to anticipate the demand of the incumbent, by tendering eighty-five per cent of the tithe composition next he-coming due, he should be allowed to make the full charge of 100 per cent against the landlord, as so much rent paid; and, on the other hand, if, in cases in which the tenant was bound to pay the composition, the landlord chose to anticipate the demand by paying eighty-five percent, he should be allowed to charge the full amount of 100 per cent against the tenant, as rent due. He had now gone over the principal provisions of the first Bill which he proposed to introduce. But, in doing so, he had omitted to state, that, although it was his intention to make the present compositions compulsory, yet, as they had been originally entered into voluntarily, it should be provided, that wherever either party, the incumbent or the parish, should make out reasonable grounds for supposing that the composition had not been fairly made, a Commission should be sent by the Lord Lieutenant to adjust the future composition; and as, in the last year, it might have happened, from the unsettled state of the tithe question, and from the expectation that some alterations were about to be introduced, many parties had omitted to appeal in the last year, who would, therefore, by the existing laws, lose the right of appeal, he should provide, that all compositions terminating previous to November, 1831, should be still open for renewal or readjustment to November, 1832. He had stated, he believed, all the provisions which he intended to propose in the first Bill he should have the honour of submitting to the consideration of the House. By it the Tithe Composition Act would be made permanent and compulsory; by it the composition would be a fixed payment, not liable to any fluctuations, except those arising from the price of corn, and that assessed and applotted as the most equitable land-tax possibly could be. That would be substituted for the present odious system of tithe-law, with all its pressure, with all its increase of charge on honest and industrious individuals, and would produce nominally, as well as really, that benefit to the occupying tenant, which would, he trusted, relieve his misery, and which would, certainly, relieve him from distress for tithe and would charge the 106 tithe upon the person having a permanent interest in the land. That charge, however, would not be thrown upon the landlord till the term for which he had let the land expired, when he would have to enter into a fresh covenant with his tenant for the rent. The second Bill which he should propose was one which would, undoubtedly, make a considerable innovation, and which would be objected to—on the one hand as confirming the unalienable property of the Church in tithes; and, on the other hand, as tending to weaken the hold which, by the present law, the clergy had upon the land, for the security of their income. He was most desirous to avoid everything which could give rise to acrimony of discussion, and he should, therefore, only state that, whatever difference of opinion he might have with those with whom he acted upon other questions, it was not his intention to do away with the control which the Legislature might assume over the property of the Church. Whatever opinions he might have expressed at any time upon that subject, to such opinions he alone was pledged. But there was nothing in the arrangement which he was about to propose, that could in any way affect the power which the House could have over the property of the Church. His proposition would only go to substitute one kind of property for another. But that would be no less under the control of the Legislature than the property which the Church held at present, and it would be leas subject to the influence of any outbreak of popular violence. Be tithes objectionable or not, no man could wish to see them, or any other kind of property, got rid of by a popular combination. It would be dangerous to the peace of the country, and to the security of all its institutions, if the property of the Church were allowed to be done away with by a combination, which might easily be rendered applicable to the county-rates, or to the rent of land, or to any impost sanctioned by the Legislature. Whether or not the property of the Church was to be wholly at the disposal of the Legislature, it was, at least, under the protection of the Legislature, and it was not to be left to the undisputed control of popular violence and combination. Much had been said, sneeringly, of the sufferings of the "pampered clergy;" but was it the rich clergy who alone were suffering? Gentlemen might make light of the sufferings of the wealthy and pampered Church of Ireland, 107 but ought they to make light not of the sufferings of those to whom the loss of tithes was a comparative trifle, but of the hard-working and poorly-paid clergy of Ireland, of whom he was sorry to say, there were many? Look, again, at the situation of the lessees of tithes. They were bound by contract to pay a certain amount of tithe, and yet might be unable to obtain a single farthing from the occupying tenant. What, too, must be the situation of persons who, upon what they had fancied secure grounds, had insured their lives, made settlements and family arrangements, and done everything relying on the power of the law to maintain its own work? Was all that to be overborne, not by the decree of the Legislature, but by a system of intimidation and combination, which, however, objectionable the tithe-system might be, could not, and ought not to be suffered in any civilized nation? Look, again, at the lay impropriators of tithes; were they treated with more tenderness than the clergy? And would any man tellhim whatever might have been the original meaning of that property, that their possession of that property was not the possession of proprietors in the strictest sense of the word? Would any man tell him that it was possible for any human being, under the sanction of the laws, to advance a stronger claim to property? Yet, the whole of this was to be swept away and got rid of, by a mere declaration on the part of the people that they would not pay; and that, although the law might take their goods, they would, by their combined exertions, render it impossible to sell them. If that were the case, it was the bounden duty of the Legislature to substitute for that species of property, which was so liable to attack, another species of property, which should not be open to the like objection. His object, therefore, was not to determine in any way the question as to the extent to which Church property was at the disposal of the Legislature, but to prevent that property from being under any other control than that of the Legislature, and of the Church itself. Thus he would have the whole body collecting for the whole body, and dividing the proceeds amongst them in due and equitable proportions; of course treating the whole, not as private or personal property, but as Church property—to be applied for the service of the Church and of religion. The second Bill which he should move for leave to introduce, had 108 for its object to constitute the Bishop and beneficed clergy of each diocese into a corporation for the purpose of receiving the tithes for the whole body, and dividing them, for their common benefit in the proportions to which the respective parties would be now entitled to them. This mode would, he conceived, be of the greatest possible benefit to all concerned, and it would be consistent with strict justice if they considered the property of the Church, not that of the individual, but of a whole body in trust for a common purpose. By constituting the Bishop and beneficed clergy of each diocess a joint body, for the purpose of collecting the tithe, all grounds of angry collision between any individual clergyman and his parishioners would be removed, for the inhabitants liable to tithe in each parish would not then have to arrange with the individual clergyman, but with the whole body. It would also be for the advantage of each clergyman to be joined in a mutual risk and mutual gain with the whole body. It was also of great importance, that individuals liable to the payment of tithe should have the advantage of dealing with this body, either for the composition of tithe, or its commutation for land. It was also his intention to propose such provisions as would enable the corporation so formed in each diocess to make purchases of lands out of such sums as might be paid for the redemption of tithes, facilities being created for such redemption in the manner in which there demption of the land-tax went forward in England. It might not always be easy to find a portion of land to meet the value of a particular amount of one tithe, where the tithe payer was disposed to redeem it by an exchange of land, but, in that case the joint body, as having the command of the joint-stock purse, might treat with four or five parishes disposed to redeem their tithes, and enter into an arrangement with the whole at once, and thus, what would be difficult in the case of one parish, might be easily and satisfactorily settled when the body had to include four or five or more parishes in the arrangement. The Bill for the commutation of tithes, which would throw the burthen of them on the land, was on the same principle as that of the land tax redemption in England, or the redemption of quit-rent in Ireland—that was, that the party liable to the charge in each case might redeem it, and the money thus paid for the redemption of tithe would go to a 109 fund, as a provision for the clergy, in the proportions to which they were at present entitled. In order to facilitate this redemption by the owner of the land, it was proposed that persons whose estates were already encumbered might still mortgage them for the further sum necessary to redeem the tithe, this latter mortgage to have precedence of all others at present on the laud. It might appear, at first, that this would not be fair towards the other creditors, but it was the opinion of the Committee, from the evidence which they had before them, that, so far from this plan being objectionable to the other creditors, they would willingly consent that the new mortgages should have the priority, inasmuch as it would give a greater security for the payment of the other claims on the land. He proposed also to introduce a measure to enable landlords to sell or exchange a portion of their entailed estates for that purpose, as well as to create new encumbrances, for the purpose of freeing the whole from the burthen of tithes now affecting them. In making an arrangement of that nature, it was thought expedient that the incomes of the clergy should be calculated at fifteen per cent below their actual value; and it was also intended, that the landlords should be enabled to purchase up the tithes of their respective estates, at the price of sixteen years' purchase, which would, in effect, operate as a deduction of fifteen per cent upon the income of the clergy. He would take the income of the clergy of the Established Church, derived from tithes at about 600,000l. per annum, for the purposes of his argument—it was not important that be was minutely correct; whether accurately stated or otherwise, the numbers he should use would equally well explain his argument. This 600,000l. a year, taken at sixteen years' purchase, gave a total of 9,600,000l. with that sum, land could be purchased, at eighteen years' purchase, for the use of the clergy, and which would give them a safe and complete rental of 510,000l.; and thus in lieu of the fifteen per cent, they would have increased security and diminished trouble. Supposing the landlord to get the money by which he was to redeem the tithe, at five per cent interest, and purchasing the whole tithes for 9,600,000l., that would leave him only 480,000l. a-year to pay, and would thus have the effect of making the whole land of Ireland chargeable with 120,000l. a year less than 110 what it had now to pay. He did not, however, say that the money might not be bad at a, less rate than 5l. per cent, and that led him to a point which he deemed well worthy of the attention of the House. In a matter of such great importance, and where so great an object was to be attained, it might be expedient to advance money to landlords, for the purposes of redeeming their tithes at a less rate of interest than five per cent. It might be that some landlords would abstain from availing themselves of those advantages which the Bill offered—it might be that some landlords, blind to the pecuniary advantage to themselves, insensible to the benefits accruing from the removal of a fertile source of discord, indifferent to the sources of increased income which the agricultural improvements consequent upon a restoration of tranquillity, must produce, might still be slow to assume, not a pecuniary burthen, but a pecuniary advantage. To such landlords he proposed to holdout the additional inducement to rid themselves of the burthen of tithes, by supplying them with funds for that purpose at a lower rate of interest than five per cent. Not only was it intended, then, to leave it open to landlords to purchase up the tithes affecting their property, and to give every practicable facility and convenience for doing so, but it was likewise intended, to put it in the power of the State to purchase any amount of tithes, in any Part of the country where it might be found expedient, of course leaving the Ecclesiastical Corporation formed in the diocess to dispose of the sums, so invested, as in every other case, for the benefit of the parochial clergy. Having now stated the several propositions which he intended to submit to the House, he had only to add, that he was sure the House would agree with him in thinking, that the several conveyances to be made under these Bills ought to be freed from stamp duties, auction duties, and fees for searches in the Registry Office. Such immunity was, no doubt, a great indulgence, but the object was so important, that he was sure hon. Members would agree with him, that such a sacrifice was well worth while making. These were the whole of the measures which he intended to submit to Parliament, for the purpose of making a final adjustment of the Irish tithe system; and the House would perceive, that the Bills, when intro duced, would bear upon each other at the same time; that the House could not fail to Sec that the first and second might be 111 adopted, and carried into beneficial effect, without any aid whatever from the third Bill. But, though they might all be considered as parts of one great measure, it must be obvious that the first and second could be carried into beneficial operation without the third; it was not, therefore, his intention to introduce the third Bill in the present Session. As to any further measures with respect to the Church—as to any other appropriation of its funds, he certainly did entertain opinions, individually, which he should be very slow to abandon. There was no man more anxious to be instrumental in bringing about reforms of the acknowledged abuses existing in the Church. He should be most anxious to see a greater equality established than at present was to be found amongst the members of that body; he desired to see a closer approximation between the incomes of the laborious and the dignified clergy. He wished for an arrangement which would confer a reasonable competence upon the humble curate, which would increase the number of benefices, and diminish the number of unions, which would spread throughout Ireland a resident Protestant gentry, useful not only as clergy, but as gentry spending their incomes—engaged in works, in which they were never backward, of kindness and of Christian charity. They would, in such circumstances, not only be a useful body of Christian clergy, but of individuals supplying the place of the absentee proprietors. He was aware, that in effiecting the changes which, under these Bills it was intended to bring about, the promoters of such measures should proceed with boldness, though, at the same time, not without caution; but respecting this there could not be a second opinion namely; that whatever changes might be required in Church government, must be brought about by the instrumentality of the Church itself; but he should, nevertheless, be the foremost to affirm, that it was the right and duty of the Legislature, and in the highest degree incumbent upon it, to take the lead, if the Church itself did not, in rectifying abuses—in correcting the distribution of property—in confining it to ecclesiastical purposes—in removing a well known cause of discontent, arising out of the payment of Church cess and rates by Catholics. He was sure that the clergy of the Established Church would rejoice in being relieved from that responsibility to their Successors which arose from their possessing 112 their present powers, and hence, he had no doubt they would gratefully hail a measure which would strip them of those powers. The charges to which he alluded were certainly of trifling amount, but they were a source of continual irritation—of endless opposition—of petty jobbing, disgraceful alike to all the parties concerned, and, he was sure, universally offensive to the clergy themselves. As a means of removing this grievance, he looked to a fund arising from the First Fruits. In England that revenue was applied to the improvement of the livings of the poorer clergy, but in Ireland it went to repairs of churches. The sum derived from it in Ireland was very small, but, by a better administration of it, it might be applied to relieve the Catholics from the payment of the Church cess and Church rates. He did not intend to introduce any measure on the subject in the present Session; but, if a general composition of tithe should take place in Ireland, it would not be difficult to make the First Fruits available for the purpose of shifting the present obnoxious rate from the Catholics in Ireland. Steps, he thought, might be adopted for rendering the First Fruits' Fund more productive than heretofore, and better fitted to supply the place of the Church cess, so fertile a source of heartburning and discontent. He hoped that in laying these plans before the House, he had succeeded in abstaining from any violent or angry expression, in thus treading upon ground most delicate, and he might add, most dangerous. Viewing it in that light, he entreated the House, in the discussion that might ensue, to proceed with all calmness and temperance, for the measure with which they were engaged was one which deeply affected the peace and tranquillity of Ireland—a measure by which it was hoped that a good understanding might be established between the Protestant clergyman and his Roman Catholic parishioners, from whom it would be reflected to all classes, Protestants and Catholics, and thus might they look forward to a time when religious dissensions would be at an end. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the provision of the Tithe Composition Act—to extend those provisions—and to render them permanent and compulsory; and also, a Bill to establish Ecclesiastical Corporations in the several Dioceses in Ireland.
§ Mr. James Grattan
could assure the light hon. Gentleman, that he was disposed 113 to give him the fullest credit for abstaining from all topics which could be considered likely to produce angry feelings, or irritation of any kind, and he could assure the House, that in rising to move an Amendment to the Motion, he was in no way actuated by any feelings of hostility towards his Majesty's Government. He was induced to adopt this course, from a feeling he entertained, that a subject of such great importance as this, coming home to every individual in Ireland, and of equal importance to Protestant and Catholic, could not be properly disposed of at that period of the Session, and in the present state of their information. He was satisfied, and every day's experience convinced him more and more of the fact, that the more his Majesty's Ministers considered this matter, the more they examined into the subject, the more impressed would they be with the difficulty of carrying into operation a general plan of composition of tithe throughout Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman said, that the system of combination which existed in Ireland was injurious to the welfare and prosperity of that part of the kingdom. In that opinion he cordially concurred, and therefore it was, that he could wish that his Majesty's Ministers would make such a declaration, and that the House would agree to it, as might confidently assure the people of Ireland that this subject would be duly weighed and considered. If such a course were adopted, they might possibly put a stop to those extensive and dangerous meetings throughout Ireland, which, though not illegal, were the means of deterring many respectable gentlemen from living in that part of the kingdom. He admitted, fully and fairly, that the state of society in Ireland was such, that the evil arising from it must be remedied in some way or other; but it could not remedy it to adopt the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman had entered into the details of the Composition Act, which was brought into this House about five years since, by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman eulogized the justice and equity of that Act, which he compared to a land-tax. In that praise he could not join, for it was not by any means a fair composition; nor was it on the principle of a fair land-tax. The House would be induced to suppose, from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, that that measure had succeeded. The fact was, however, that it had 114 completely failed; for it was well-known, that the first opposition to the payment of tithes displayed in Ireland, broke out in a compounding parish. When the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, proposed to proceed upon that Act, he proposed to proceed upon a measure that was the original cause of all the hostility which had been displayed, too often with most disastrous results to the payment of tithes in Ireland. In speaking on this subject they were discussing nothing new, but, in fact, treating of an old and hackneyed point. Forty or fifty years ago, his father brought the question before the Irish House of Commons; he brought in a bill similar to the Tithe Composition Act; and, had it been adopted at that time, the measure might have proved effectual. That bill was rejected, however, and now the time had gone by when a Tithe Composition Act would have satisfied the people of Ireland. It was in evidence before the Committee, that it was now impossible to introduce, with any hopes of success, measures which would then, probably, have succeeded. He would venture to say that there was not one witness who advocated such a measure as this: and he might almost venture to say, that there was not one person intimately acquainted with Ireland, who would rise in his place and say, that a scheme of this kind could be carried into beneficial operation. He would state to the House why this Composition Act was not a fair or a satisfactory measure. It was an Act which merely shifted the burthen of tithe from one individual for the purpose of imposing it upon the shoulders of another. The right hon. Gentleman talked about shifting the burden; why, the fact was, that, by so doing, all parties would be hostile to the measure. The small farmer would be opposed to it, because it acted upon his small portion of land, and the large farmer would be opposed to it, because it would affect his large quantity of land. The tithe composition, for this reason, was obnoxious to the people of Ireland before. It was well known to every Gentleman in that House, that the burthen of tithe was shifted by the landed proprietor upon the land occupier. The tax thus became oppressive and intolerable to the poor, and hence arose those scenes of disturbance, and murder, and outrage, which had been of too frequent occurrence in Ireland. What did this Bill do? It placed the yeomanry of the country in arms against the peasantry. Did the right hon. Secretary for Ireland hope to succeed in 115 extending and making permanent and compulsory, a measure which had been the chief cause of the disturbances in Ireland? Could he hope, by applying such a measure to that country, to alter the present state of things for the better? He must do the right hon. Gentleman the justice to say, that he had given every facility for procuring the most impartial and valuable evidence upon this subject. It might be objected, that there were not Catholic Gentlemen on the Committee, but he was bound to say that, in every respect, fair play had been given. Catholics had been examined before the Committee, such as Dr. Doyle, and fifty individuals well acquainted with the subject; and, whether they looked to the evidence of the Police Magistrates, of the Dissenting Clergymen, of the Roman Catholic Bishop, or of the Protestant Dean, they should find that they all agreed, that there must be an entire change in the system of tithes. They told the Committee that the collection of tithes, under the present system, was impracticable, and that an army could not effect it in some parts of the country. With this evidence, it would have been much more satisfactory to the people of Ireland, if, instead of this Bill, a plain declaration had been made by his Majesty's Ministers upon this subject. A general Commutation Act could not be carried into beneficial operation, because the tithe system was anomalous; because the amount of tithes was different in different parishes, and because so much depended upon the character of the clergyman, and the severity or kind treatment of the tithe proctor. When the former Composition Act came to be carried into effect, some of the people were tolerably well satisfied; others, who were severely mulcted by the tithe proctor, on the other hand, were dissatisfied; and, when the parishioners of the different parishes met at fairs or markets, and compared notes, they found that one neighbour paid more or less than another, although the quality of the land, in both cases, was exactly the same. They found that the taxation was not levied in proportion to the value of the land, but that its amount depended, in a great measure, on the different characters of the respective proctors: thus they were dissatisfied, and the system became more and more unequal every day: some of the peasantry paid, and some did not: some of the clergymen received the whole of their dues, and others received scarcely anything. That there must 116 be a complete and entire revision of the present Composition Act, he was quite certain; and he had no objection to its being revised by Commissioners appointed for that purpose. Let the right hon. Secretary beware how he irritated the people still further, by enforcing this unsuccessful Act. But that, however, was not all; the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman went further. It not only went to extend this Composition Act, but actually to charge the owner of the soil, and it carried with it this additional aggravation—that a receiver might be appointed for the owner's rents, in addition to his being rendered liable. It went, therefore, to commit an act of injustice. The Tithe Composition Act went very far, but the right hon. Gentleman proposed to go further. He must most strongly and decidedly protest against an Act of Parliament which would lead to such unjust results. The right hon. Gentleman knew, for it appeared in evidence before the Committee, that, under the operation of the former Tithe Composition Act, many individuals paid large sums for tithe, of which they never received one farthing from the occupying tenant. Mr. Bermingham, an extensive land-agent, who was examined before the Committee, produced his books, and showed, that in one instance, 50l. had been advanced to a clergyman on account of his tithes, of which not one shilling was afterwards recovered. When such difficulties as these interposed in the way of a composition of tithe, he must conjure the right hon. Gentleman to be cautious how he proceeded. The right hon. Gentleman proposed that a certain class of individuals should collect the tithe. As a landed proprietor, he declared that he would much rather suffer a pecuniary loss than undertake this collection. Another objection he had to make was, that it was not known what the tithes were really worth. The right hon. Gentleman said, that he had taken the average from 1823 to 1830. He had been chairman of a vestry, and, when the clergyman's books were examined, they had been kept in so slovenly a manner, as was the case with many other things in Ireland, that nobody could make anything of them. The tithe was put down certainly, but in such a way that it was utterly impossible to make out what its amount was. He would not trouble the House at any greater length. He was sorry that he had felt it his duty to detain the House for so long a time, and he should not have done so had 117 he not certain resolutions to propose for its adoption. He would not allude to the other Bills to which the right hon. Secretary referred; they were certainly measures of great importance, but there was no doubt that the main subject for consideration was, the first very important measure which he had to-night submitted to the House and it appeared to him, that the other Bills might, very judiciously, be laid by for the present. As to the Bill for the commutation of tithes with the landlord, all he would say was, that it was not a very proper measure, nor was it brought forward at a proper time. He would only further add, that he had no wish or intention to despoil the Church. Having made these observations, he should now propose certain Resolutions, as an Amendment to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman. They were as follows:—
"Resolved,—That it is essential to the peace of Ireland, that the system of tithes in that country should be extinguished, not in name only, but in substance, and unequivocally.
"That in coming to this Resolution, we recognise the rights of persons having vested interests, and declare that it is the duty of Parliament to provide for those persons, by making them a just compensation.
"That we also recognise the liability of property in Ireland to contribute to a fund for supporting and promoting religion and charity; but that such may, and ought to be quite different in the mode of collection, and much lighter in effect, than that raised by the system of tithes.
"That we are also of opinion that the mode of levying and the application of such fund, and its distribution, ought to be left to the decision of a reformed Parliament."
, in seconding the Resolutions, wished it to be understood that he was not acting in hostility to men with whom he had for twenty years co-operated. On the contrary, he gave them the fullest confidence, and was satisfied of their anxious devotion to the interests and prosperity of Ireland and the empire. There was very much in the speech of the right hon. Secretary of which he highly approved, and, at an earlier period of the Session, he should have been prepared to have voted for the Bill, with the expectation of correcting the details in the Committee; but at this late period of the Session, he could not consent, without deliberation, to enact what might be a permanent 118 injury. He had not attended the meeting of Irish Members, because he was uuwilling, either by his silence or otherwise, to be implicated in measures of which he might disapprove; but when the Resolutions were put into his hand since his entry into the House, he could not, as a conscientious man, dissent from them. He had always recognized the liability of the land to a certain assessment, and he fully agreed in the justice of the present incumbents receiving a fair equivalent; all he asked was, that at an early period of the ensuing Session, either by Parliamentary Commissioners or otherwise, an investigation should be had into the circumstances and prop of the Established Church, so that while on the one side the working clergy should be more adequately remunerated, on the other the sinecures and redundance of the Church should be reduced, and the Church property be made more commensurate with the wants of the Protestant population. In so speaking, he wished to guard himself from misinterpretation—he spoke as a sincere Protestant. He had through life opposed what was called Protestant ascendancy. He should, with equal vigour, oppose any attempt at Catholic ascendancy He gave his unqualified approbation to his Majesty's Ministers, and while they continued to hold the scale with justice and impartiality, they should have his support. He was himself a lay imparopriator of tithes to a considerable amount, but he was willing to make any sacrifice for the public good, and he was satisfied that, by a Reform in the Church Establishment, and better management of the Church property, not only would the Protestant clergy be paid in such a manner is they ought to be paid, but a large surplus would remain, to be appropriated to the purposes of charity, payment of the clergy of all persuasions, to the extinction of Church-rates, or any other purpose that the State might think fit.
said, that the right hon. the Secretary for Ireland had recently objected to a motion relative to Poor laws, because Parliament was on the eve of dissolution; he then felt that a reforming Parliament was in a great measure divested of its legislative functions, and that when it had only a few weeks to live, it should not, in articulo mortis, engage in any great enactment. Wherefore did he not apply that sentiment to his present proceedings? Wherefore, at the close of this self-con- 119 demned House of Commons, did he bring forward a measure by which the permanent interests of Ireland might be effected, and which, according to the evidence of the Archbishop of Dublin, was to be ultimately extended to this country? Nothing but absolute necessity could justify this course. But would this measure give food to the clergy, or arrest that spirit of insubordination which was traversing Ireland with such gigantic strides? When the clergyman stretched out his hands for bread, would they gvie him this hard, this barren, this petrified piece of legislation? According to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, it would take a year to bring the Bill into operation. In the interval, the clergy were to perish, and the hundreds of thousands were to continue to assemble. Did the right hon. Gentleman think that gathering the people in Churches to appoint Commissioners, would tend to produce a very conciliatory disposition? Would the sight of the altar at which they do not worship—of the pulpit from which they hear no consolatory intimation—of the rich pews on whose crimson cushions they do not bend their knees—would all the pride, and pomp, and glorious circumstance of legal religion, tend to inspire them with affection for its ministry? On the contrary, by collecting the people in enormous masses, liable to inflammable emotion, the right hon. Gentleman would but exasperate them, and increase the dangers of the country. But who were the witnesses that recommended the extension of the tithe composition? The right hon. the Secretary for Ireland had not appealed to the evidence of one. He begged the House to examine the testimony given before the Committee. The first person that objected to this measure, was the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin. He says, in his evidence before the Lords The account that is generally given is, in the first place, as I have already said, that universally the opposition is quite as strong to composition rent as to tithe, and, generally, the clergy have given it as their opinion, that if it had been introduced perhaps earlier, and had been made compulsory and universal, it might have produced good effects; but I have met with very few, if any, who think that it can be of any benefit, now the system of opposition to it is as fully organized as against tithes.'
'Then your Grace is not of opinion that the rendering it compulsory now would 120 be a sufficient remedy for the present evil?—I am inclined to think that it is too late.
Does not your Grace believe, that the mere circumstance of a composition would be so great a relief to the majority of small farmers, that it would tend consisiderably to allay the present excitement?—I rather doubt that; because I have found the opposition now prevailing to be as strong against composition, as against tithe. I formerly stated that I had inquired particularly upon that point.'
The next witness he would refer to, was Mr. Dunn.—Are you also acquainted with the Tithe Composition Act?—Very well.
How do you consider it to have worked?—The Tithe Composition Act has everywhere disappointed the expectations which were raised when it was first introduced. There can be no question but that it has afforded great relief to the small farmers, while it has thrown increased burthens upon those farmers holding large tracts; and it had the complete effect of bringing under payment for tithes a great portion of the country that heretofore was exempt, under the custom and the law of agistment in Ireland.
Mr. James says, I consider that the Composition Act is another cause of the opposition to tithes, for that has raised a cry against tithes from parties who did not object before.
'Do you object to the principle, or to the details of that Act?—To both, particularly to the principle.'
How did the right hon. Gentleman get over the difficulties of the tithe composition? He said that he would require the landlord on all new leases to pay the tithe. How was he to manage in the interval? A generation must be in the grave before his Act would come into operation. If so, why precipitate the measure, when its application must be so slow? And what would he do if the landlord did not pay? The right hon. Gentleman said, he would put a receiver on his estate. What, if the landlord did not himself get his rents? No matter, a receiver still; a receiver with all the costs and ruin that accompany that incubus on property. The right hon. Gentleman said, too, he would allow tenants for life to mortgage, to cut off remainder men, and to give security to the mortgagee who advanced his money to buy up the tithes, over all creditors. Thus be 121 would shake and disturb the whole frame of property in Ireland, and overthrow all the fixed rules and canons of the law, to consummate his favourite project. The right hon. Gentleman said, that professional men had given their opinions in favour of this scheme. Who were they? He had not mentioned one. What Barrister of eminence was examined.? What man of great talent at the bar, and enjoying the confidence of the country, had approved of this strange speculation? Was the right hon. Gentleman aware, that by taking this course, he was likely to put all the gentry of Ireland at the head of the population, and to array and marshal them against tithes? Did he not know that the Irish Protestant House of Commons, in 1735, passed a Resolution against the tithe of agistment, and confirmed it by an Act of the 40th George 3rd, c. 23? Or did he imagine, that the progeny of such progenitors would acquiesce in a tax at which their fathers spurned? Would they not consider it an invasion of property to make their lands liable to that tithe of agistment from which it was exempt by Act of Parliament? And would they not be tempted to join the cry for the Repeal of the Union, when this was the fashion of English legislation? In truth, the Government was doing the Church the greatest detriment by taking this course. Look to the evidence of the Archbishop of Dublin. He said, in answer to this question:—
'Have you ever considered any advantage that might arise from substituting a corn rent, charged upon the proprietor, instead of the investment in laud?—I have considered that plan, and I think it would be an improvement upon the present system.
'Do not you think it would be an improvement even upon the plan of investment of land?—I think it would be acceptable for a few years, and then I have not the least doubt that the next generation, at the latest, will raise a complaint: saying It is very hard that the landlords are alone to pay the clergy; they ought if they are to bear this burthen, to be allowed such and such privileges and advantages, in the shape of Corn laws or bounties, or the burthen ought to be in part taken from them and laid upon other classes of society."' It would be quite forgotten in the course of one or two generations, that they had in fact received an equivalent; that their lands had been 122 disburthened of the onus of tithes; and it would be represented, perhaps before the middle of this century, but certainly before the end of it, that the landlords were unjustly burthened by alone paying the clergy, who were of equal benefit to all classes; and I think the Church revenues would, in consequence, be in great danger.'
So much for the tithe composition. He would next come to the diocesan corporations. This was a proposition of the Archbishop of Dublin, who said, that he devised the plan with a view to England, not having Ireland in contemplation, and drew it from the model afforded him by the management of the funds of the University. It was easier to transfer a professor to an Irish Archbishopric than to apply the fiscal system of a college to a turbulent and distracted country. Good God! had not the Government enough to do—had it not sufficient difficulties to contend with without creating those sacerdotal Corporations in every district of the country. English metaphysicians and political economists might indulge in these reveries, but who was there that had seen Ireland, not with a hasty and rapid glance of mere migratory curiosity, but with the eyes of close and intimate observation—who was there that had read those events which supply the best commentary on the moral condition of the people—who was there that was acquainted with the feelings of Ireland, and in unison with them, who would not concur in denouncing this wild and monstrous scheme? What, at a time like this, with all the abuses of Corporations staring them in the face, not only to increase the number of these institutions, but to superadd the evils which were inseparable from every sacerdotal affiliation. Erect them, and you will soon abate them. Instead of framing props and buttresses for the Church, the right hon. Gentleman would but accumulate a new heap upon the tottering pile, and throw it at once into ruin. It was next proposed to expend 9,500,000l, the produce of the sale of tithes, for the benefit of the Church. This was the recommendation of the Committee adopted by the Secretary for Ireland. 9,500,000l. The Church had now a million of statute acres. Was not this sufficient? Would Parliament throw an additional mass of property into mortmain, make it inalienable, and thus swell the epispocal principalities with this portentous augmenta- 123 tion? Look to its effect on elections? What a preponderance it would give to churchmen at the hustings! Was this the object of the Ministry who had given Reform to Ireland? But what say the witnessess to this plan? Listen to Mr. Delacour;, the Treasurer of the county of Cork, he said—I conceive it would be a very impracticable measure. I should think, in the first place, it would be a very difficult thing to procure land; I think it must be a necessary consequence of that arrangement, that land would be procured in very distant and remote places, and I think it would interfere with the duties of a Christian clergyman to be at a remote distance from his parish.
'Has it ever occurred to you, that by allowing the principal tithe-payers to appropriate small portions of land, and then bringing those portions together, that difficulty might be surmounted?—I have bestowed some attention to it, and I cannot view it but as a very confused plan.'
'Have you considered it at all to come to any final conclusion?—No, not at all; nor do I think myself competent to give an answer that should be thought satisfactory.'
'Would not the objection of making the clergyman a farmer be obviated by having an ecclesiastical commission, which should collect the funds and pay them over to the clergyman?—It might be so, but it strikes me as a system of complication which would not be productive of good. I am afraid that that same feeling which now prevails with respect to tithes would gradually become operative, even upon tenants to such properties.
Such was the evidence of a person of great influence and station, and to which he should again have occasion to revert. He might cite a variety of other witnesses, but he would not molest the House by accumulating evidence. He would only advert to two more topics introduced by the Irish Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman at the conclusion of his speech had said, that hereafter Catholics might be relieved from Church cess. Hereafter! Was it not a melancholy policy to delay what was just, and to press and precipitate what was most inexpedient, and at the same time most wrongful? Was not this a most strange mode of proceeding? It was admitted that the Church rate levied on Catholics for the purchase of the sacramental bread and wine, was most obnoxious and grievous 124 —the abolition of this tax was left to some vague futurity, and at this moment the Government strained every nerve to carry a series of measures which would be repudiated and spurned by the Irish people. One of the last observations of the Secretary for Ireland was, that his opinions on Church property were unchanged—it never could be diverted from its present channel of appropriation. This announcement was made to Ireland by the Minister to whom her fortunes and rule were confided. As the hon. Gentleman had introduced the subject, it became imperative on the Irish Members to tell him, that Ireland would sue him and the Government to abandon this position. Here was the gist, and essence, and hinge of the entire case. They must strip the Established Church of its superfluities. He should not expatiate on this subject, but again appeal to evidence. His first witness should be Mr. Delacour, a Protestant (for he should only appeal to Protestant evidence on Catholic feeling), a man closely linked with the Church, the tenant of a Bishop, the son of a clergyman, and married to a clergyman's daughter. What did he say? Here was the evidence—
'Are the Committee to understand you to state, that it is the general opinion of Protestants, as well as Catholics, in Ireland, that, after paying the incomes of the present incumbents, the amount of tithes should be under a different appropriation?—I have scarcely heard any difference of opinion upon that subject, even among the Protestant clergy.'
'Do you mean that there should be an appropriation to any other purpose?—That is a question upon which I have conversed very little with any body; my private opinion is, that there may be such a revenue as would amply provide for the Protestant establishment, and also a residue that would be fairly and justly applicable to other purposes. Upon the whole area of Ireland, a revenue of 3s. an acre would produce 2,000,000l. of money; I think that would be more than would be necessary to cover the ecclesiastical revenues and the local taxation of the country.'
'Would you appropriate the tax which you propose to levy in lieu of tithe to those other purposes?—I do not go so far as to say, that I would do that, but I think there may be some arrangement that would enable the country to contribute a moderate proportion in the 125 the pound, which might be applied to other purposes besides the payment of the clergy.'
The next witness he would quote was Mr. Wright, a Protestant, and employed as a Commissioner under the Tithe Composition Act—
'You mentioned that you thought it impossible to collect the tithes, or tithe composition, under the present system, and, that you would recommend sonic other way; will you be so good as to state what that is?—I certainly would abolish the tithes, I think, altogether, both those, that are under the Composition Act, and those that have been under the clergyman's valuation, that have not been compounded; I would sweep them all away, and I would then legislate in the matter of tithes, and I would give the clergymen what I thought was a wholesome provision; and I would make them come into the terms. What occurred to me is this—there are a great many Church lands and See lands, that I think might be appropriated to the use of the payment of tithes; I would, from this form a fund; I would lessen the number of Bishops; I would then, when this was done, levy a tax—suppose a property tax, and let every man on the estate bear his portion of it: for I think any thing else coming forward will be still considered and deemed as a tithe, and will be viewed in that way; and I would hold that out to the people, and say, Here is a law for your benefit; and if they do not accede to it, let them abide the consequence.'
The next witness was Sir William Carrol, a gentleman of large fortune; and high consideration. His evidence was this:—
'If the landlords, in fact, were to take the tax upon themselves and share the burthen with the people, is it your opioion that that would be a substantial redress of the evil?—It is not my opinion now; I think the time has gone by, and I think we have lost the tide in the affairs of tithes. There has been a tide in the affairs of tithes, which if it had been taken in time would have led to tranquillity; but, like all other legislation in Ireland, we have procrastinated.'
'What remedy would you suggest for the evil now?—I would give the people an education founded especially on general religious and moral principles,; and would assimilate the proportion of la- 126 bourers in the vineyard of the Irish Protestant Church to that in England, considering their relative Protestant population. The labourer, is, however, worthy of his hire; and I would have those who are now employed receive their present income during their lives; but as I think the vineyard is overstocked in proportion to England, as the incumbents shall die off, they should not be replaced until the establishment is sufficiently reduced to afford a surplus fund, by which Church lands in general might be purchased up, and consequently the renewal of fines be done away with. Thus a fund would be left in the hands of Government, sufficient to pay a competent establishment of Protestant clergy, to increase the salaries of the juniors, who I consider are greatly underpaid at present, and also to effect (a consummation devoutly to be wished) the affording a certain annual income, or a comfortable habitation, with land, to the clergy of the other persuasion; thus giving them a stake in the country; and doing away with a total dependence for support on the contributions from their flocks. In fact, the shade of religious difference between the hitter and the Protestant Church is not cry great, and would be still less if exempted from the feelings and prejudices of party, which fan and keep alive antipathies as unnatural between Christians as detrimental to the prosperity of Ireland.'
Now, he begged the Mouse to hear a Protestant dean, Dean Blakeley:—
'Your idea is, that the Church is to give up all security whatever, and to depend upon the Government for the payment of its income, and that that security is not to be based upon land, but upon the security of the Government?—What I mean to say is simply this, that the present incumbents of benefices, and the present owners of Bishopricks, are not in any way to be interfered with, save and except with their own voluntary submission; but I do conceive, that the Legislature have a right to devise a prospective plan whereby all men in the country shall be amenable to it. If my deanery became vacant to-morrow, the thrown has the disposal of it; who can say he is injured by it if the Legislature were to impose a new mode of maintaining them and a new division of their labours "
This was the language of a Protestant 127 Dean. Now, he requested the House to listen to the head of the Presbyterians of Ireland. It was common for men to talk of the "Protestants of Ireland" as all united in defending the revenues of the establishment, and the House was often told that the million of Irish Presbyterians were devoted to it. The Committee have examined but one Presbyterian, a person of the highest intelligence and worth, who was once moderator of the body of which he was the ornament. Let the House hear him.
'Are you a Presbyterian in the Church of Ireland?—I am.'
'You were moderater of the General Synod of Ulster. "—I was, in the year 1818–19.'
'How is the moderator chosen?—By the votes of the constituent members of the Synod, the ministers, and elders.'
'Can you state to the Committee what are the feelings of the Presbyterians in general with respect to the payment of tithe, considered first, as a tax affecting land, and next in the light of a religious payment to a Church from which they dissent?—So far as I know the views of the Presbyterians upon that subject, and I think I know them pretty extensively, they are all, or almost all, opposed to the payment of tithes.'
'Do they object to it as a tax affecting the advance of agriculture, or as dissenters from the established Church?—They object to it on a great many grounds.'
'Will you have the goodness to state them?—they object to the tax, because they conceive, in the first instance, that its amount is greatly disproportioned, even where there are episcopal Protestants, to the service rendered by the clergy of the established church. In many cases they object to the positive amount, considering that it is a heavy tax upon their capital and upon their industry.
'What are the views they entertain of tithe as a contribution to a church from which they dissent?—They consider it, as in itself, an unjust imposition; I speak as to my conception of their general feelings and views. I think that the great body odissenters of all denominations, Catholics and others, equally look upon it as unjust in its own nature. They consider, that the very idea of payment is connected with service performed, and they therefore think, that where there 128 is no service rendered they have no right to pay. Where the great majority of the people are opposed to the Establishment of the country, it is impossible that a majority should be satisfied to support, out of the fruits of their industry and capital, the clergy of a comparatively small minority.'
Such was the language of a man holding a most eminent place in his body, and commanding the respect of Ireland; and, with this evidence before him, the Irish Secretary told the House, that the Church property was to remain untouched. Vain and preposterous hope! The Irish millions—Catholic, Presbyterian, and Protestant—would disabuse him of his error, when that error was lamented, but could not be repaired. And what did the right hon. Gentleman, a few days ago, utter in that House? In speaking of the evils of delaying reform, he asked whether, if the Tories, when in power, had adopted measures to correct the abuses of the Church, Ireland would be in such a condition. Surprise was produced by this observation. The right hon. member for Tamworth, in a parliamentary whisper, said, across the Table, "Do you remember your speech in 1823." Who was there that did not remember it? But with what consistency did the right hon. Gentleman talk of reform in the Church one day, and produce such a mockery of reform as this on the other? These measures were mere impostures. They would but aggravate the evil. A new word might be fabricated for such original proceedings—they would but "East Retfordize" the Church.
Mr. Gaily Knight
observed, the hon. and learned member for Louth has not brought forward a single argument which should induce this House to postpone the consideration of the first Bill proposed by the right hon. Secretary for Ireland (all that he wishes to be considered now) till another Session. If the hon. and learned Gentleman desires a proof of the necessity of proceeding without delay, he will find it in the state of Ireland; and, Sir, if he sees danger in collecting together inflammable crowds, as he says must be the consequence of carrying the provisions of the Bill into effect, I will suggest to him, that, if those inflammable crowds are told that they are never to pay tithes again, the effect will be the very reverse to what he apprehends. Sir, I think it most desirable that the first Bill should be considered without delay; the 129 first Bill is a substantive measure by itself; a measure of unquestionable benefit; a measure which would be the first step in any case; a measure which does not of necessity involve ulterior considerations. It must be obvious that the substitution of a rent-charge for tithes, with the opportunity of redemption upon advantageous terms, can only be a great benefit. The collision of the tithe proctor with the peasant, the mutual inconvenience of the collection of very small sums from a great number of individuals, and the religious feeling connected with this subject in Ireland, would all be got rid of by the virtual substitution of a redeemable land-tax for the present system. Were you to abolish tithes at once, and substitute a redeemable land-tax to the same amount, it would come to the same thing; and, therefore, it would scarcely be reasonable to object to a measure, of which the object is to accomplish the same thing in another way. But we are told by some, that the abhorrence of tithes is become so strong in Ireland, that it is in vain to think of attempting anything; yet, in fact, an objection to this payment, when divested of its religious character, would be nothing short of a longing for that which is not our own. Our own! We know that tithes are not. To whomsoever they ought to belong, it cannot be to us. Take them, and we are robbers. This must be clear, whatever else maybe doubtful. And is there an Irish peasant who would not tremble with scorn at the imputation of such an intention? Is there a gentleman who would not resent—and be perfectly justified in resenting—the insult of so foul a calumny. I am so well aware of this, that I am persuaded that we have only to divest tithes of their religious character to divest them of their unpopularity. But, if it were indeed possible that, by any casuistical sophistry, men could so far deceive themselves as to believe, that taking possession of that which never belonged to them, could, in any case, be justifiable, is Government to acquiesce in the crime, and become an accomplice, instead of a ruler? If so, all government is at an end; we had better declare, that anarchy is begun—that the empire of law is passed away, and that henceforth every man has only to consult his own inclinations, I am glad that the right hon. Secretary for Ireland has only recommended the consideration of his first Bill on this subject at present. I am persuaded that 130 it is only necessary to divest the payment in question of its religious character, to divest it of its unpopularity. The cumbrous and invidious machinery of diocesan corporations, and the proposition of increasing the quantity of ecclesiastical land in Ireland, are measures of a much more questionable nature. If any corporation should be necessary to manage the ecclesiastical lands, it should be a Board of laymen in Dublin. For my own part, I frankly acknowledge, that I think so partial a distribution of the Church property in Ireland as the present, cannot endure. Justice demands, that out of the Church property in Ireland, the ministers of the national religion should receive a provision as well as the Protestant clergymen. There is not in Europe such a monster as the Protestant Establishment in Ireland; and I cannot believe that any strength which Government may derive from the assistance of such an instrument, can be compared to the facilities which would result from a more suitable arrangement. If I am told that this would be robbing the Church, I reply, that I think it no robbery, so long as the whole of the church property be secured to the servants of the altars. If I am reminded of the Articles of the Union, I recollect the omnipotence of Parliament; if I am told of the King's oath, I answer, that by no other means could be so effectually consult the permanence of the Protestant Church; and, if the Church of England is put forward as likely to be endangered, I assert that, in the present instance, common cause would only be common ruin. In expressing these sentiments, I know that I must have said what many will dislike to hear; but I entreat any such hon. Gentlemen to believe, that to give any men pain is, and ever would be, to me a subject of deep regret. The opinions I entertain, result from no indifference to the feelings of others, from no indifference to the Protestant religion—but I remember that there are six millions of Catholics in Ireland—I see that unhappy country lacerated by the fierce conflict of two angry parties—and I am convinced that no end can be put to these worse than Theban hostilities, so long as either party has a real grievance to prolong the irritation. Other countries, Sir, have gone through the same process. In Germany, the animosities between the Protestant and Catholic parties were, heretofore, to the full as violent as they are at present in Ireland. But in Germany the 131 conflict is passed. In Ireland, the moment of transition is the present. Transition is never repose. Struggles will probably take place. Disaffection, resistance, disorder, may have their course. But, in the end, if strict justice he administered to all, and all be treated with the most inflexible impartiality, I am persuaded that common sense and true patriotism will prevail over craft and passion, and that, as in Germany, the two parties, wearied of strife, will ultimately lay down their animosities, and think it better to be friends. Entertaining these sentiments, Sir, I shall give the first Bill my best support, without committing myself in any way to any subsequent part of the measure.
§ Mr. Ruthven
admitted, that the right hon. Gentleman had given a correct description of the horrors of the tithe system, as it had been carried on under the tithe proctors. He should not say anything in opposition to the first Bill, but he had strong objections to the other propositions. His hope was, that the right hon. Secretary would consider it expedient at least to postpone his propositions submitted that night. Looking at the intentions of the right hon. Secretary, he could only see a disposition to throw the collection of tithe out of the hands of the proctor, and place it in other hands. The plan would have the effect of destroying all confidence between landlords and tenants. Without a good understanding between the tenant and landlord there could be no happiness, no peace or quietude, in Ireland. It would be wise not to press a measure at this particular moment, when the public mind was exasperated, and when, instead of law operating with the weight of taxation, the people expected relief from a grievance which pressed upon them with increased severity. Under these circumstances, he should support the Amendment.
would support the proposition of the right hon. Secretary, without pledging himself to the details of the measure. His principal objection to the Amendment was, that, notwithstanding what had fallen from the hon. and learned member for Louth, the extinction of tithes was proposed by it, not only unequivocally, but without any equivalent to the clergy, and to such a proposition he would never assent. It was true, that the Resolution proposed by the hon. member for Wicklow acknowledged the claims of religion and charity in general terms, but, when they 132 came to the question of tithes, there was not even the suggestion of an equivalent. Gentlemen who spoke in favour of these Resolutions said, that existing interests were to be protected. But he was not speaking of an equivalent to those only who had an immediate and personal interest in the property of the Church in Ireland; but of an equivalent to the Establishment itself, not for the maintenance of those only who happened now to be its ministers, but for those also whose duty it might be, at all times hereafter, in succession, to administer the consolations and perform the rites of the established religion in Ireland. The hon. and learned member for Louth was prepared to support these Resolutions, although they would distinctly abolish the tithes of the Church in Ireland, and give no hope of an equivalent. He said, then, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had no right to complain of the measure of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, as not calculated to relieve the distresses of the clergy, while he voted for a measure calculated to continue the existing state of excitement, and which did not even profess to afford a remedy for the present sufferings, or for the future maintenance of that clergy. With respect to the greater and important question brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman, he had already stated, that it was his intention to give it his support. He did so, not because there were no difficulties with which the right hon. Gentleman would have to contend, in carrying into effect his views on this question—he was sensible of those difficulties and embarrassments, and saw clearly the obstacles connected with this measure, which, perhaps, were not so forcibly presented to the mind of the right hon. Gentleman—but he could not put out of his view the present destitute state of the clergy in Ireland; and he felt precluded, after what had already taken place, from scrutinizing too nicely, in the first instance, at least, the measure which Government might propose for their relief. The events which had already occurred, had so far deprived the clergy of even the means of subsistence, that he was bound to avail himself of the best practical opportunity, to procure for them some means of maintaining with credit their station in society; and though he certainly thought, that if they looked at the measure proposed by the right hon. Gentleman with a rigid eye, there was much in it that would press with extreme hardship upon the clergy, and would be very difficult in the execu 133 tion, so as to secure the receipt of that income, which it was proposed to confer upon them. In the progress of that measure, however, means might be provided for securing the clergy the full extent of their legal demands, or, at least, sufficient for a comfortable subsistence. He begged, however, to reserve his right to object hereafter to any of the details of the measure, which might appear to him to be fraught either with injustice or partiality, and to examine closely those calculations upon which the commutations were to be founded. He begged to protest against making those general reductions of clerical incomes, which appeared to be contemplated, substituting for them a provision, which, however it might suit the views and wishes of those who thought only of relief from immediate pressure, and who complained unnecessarily of the present extent of the incomes of the clergy, was not founded upon such a principle as be could consent to adopt. It was suggested by an hon. Gentleman opposite, that the requiring the landlord to pay the tithe, and enabling him to recover it from the tenant, in the shape of rent, was throwing upon the landlord all the odium of collecting tithes. From that opinion he differed. Could any man contend, that the circumstance of the tenants having tithe-free estates, and being required to pay an additional rent, would occasion a universal resistance to the payment of rents? He would not believe that the landlords were so insensible to their own interests, as to object to the payment of tithe upon the ground of its casting any odium on them; neither would he believe that the tenantry were so insensible to their interests as not to acquiesce in the payment of a small additional rent in lieu of tithe. If the measure should pass, the name of tithes would be speedily forgotten, and rent alone would be received by the landlord, and no pretence would remain for that resistance which had founded itself hitherto upon the name of tithe. Nor did he concur with the hon. and learned member for Louth, as to those enormous evils which were to result from enabling the landlord to mortgage his property, for the purpose of buying up the commutation which might ultimately be made, and giving the mortgagee, who had advanced the money for that especial purpose, a priority of claim to all other creditors. Did not the hon. and learned Member know that the tithe owner had already a prior claim? The 134 evil would arise, if at all, not from this measure, but from the existing state of the law. When, however, the hon. and learned Gentleman was stating the inconveniences to which the landlords would be subjected, by this part of the measure, he ought to have described the difficulties to which landlord and tenant were now subjected, by the tithe-owner having the power of distress fur tithe. Surely the exercise of this power occasioned more inconvenience to the tenant, and to the landlord also, than the appointment of a receiver of the rent, for the purpose of paying over the composition to the clergyman, could do. The objections, then, which had been urged by the hon. and learned member for Louth, formed no ground with him for changing his opinion upon this subject. He supported the measure of the right hon. Gentleman, because, in the present state of Ireland, it was expedient to make a commutation of land for tithe. He supported it, because it was in conformity with the opinion be had long entertained on the subject, and had before expressed to the House; but, above all, he supported it because he conceived that Government, by bringing forward a measure of this nature, with a view permanently to settle this question of tithe, by establishing a just equivalent for the rights and claims of the Church, was thereby pledged to give its entire support to all the means necessary to enable the clergy to obtain their incomes by the proposed measure of commutation. He conceived such a course to be essential, not only to the maintenance of the clergy, but to the very preservation of property in Ireland, whether ecclesiastical or lay. He could not suppose that the clergy would be left helpless in the midst of their enemies; or be allowed to remain in that state of agonizing suffering in which many were at the present moment placed.
Mr. Dominick Browne
was by no means averse to the Bill proposed by his right hon. friend, though to the arguments, both of his right hon. friend and, of the right hon. Gentleman, the member for the University of Cambridge, he was entirely opposed. He had been for many years convinced that it was impossible for any Government to maintain the Established Church of Ireland to its present extent. He was quite satisfied that the people of England would not submit to support an Established Church for one-eighth only of the population, and he was satisfied that the people of Ireland would never remain 135 quiet under it. He was as friendly as any man to the support of the Established Church in Ireland, as far as it was consistent with the number of its members; but beyond that he never would support it. He supported the Catholic Question, but not with the idea of supporting the Established Church in Ireland. He always disclaimed that ground, and he declared that he would oppose Catholic Emancipation, if he thought it would be the means of keeping up that monstrous nuisance. He would not, however, say one word against the clergy of the Established Church, many of whom were excellent men; nor was it necessary for him to traduce the clergy in order to make out his case against the Church itself. It was not necessary to traduce the character of the Marquess Camden, in order to show that there should be no Tellers of the Exchequer with a salary of 25,000l. a year. It was the system which sanctioned the payment of large sums of the public money, when no adequate services were performed, which he opposed and reprobated. He had seen, from his childhood, on one side of a stream a Church, with a steeple, built and repaired at the expense of the Roman Catholics: he had seen the clergyman get out of his carriage, and enter the Church, and there perform the service to a congregation of some seven, eight, nine, or, at most, ten persons; and that clergyman received 200l. a year, while the Roman Catholics paid him tithes. On the other side of the stream, he had seen a small thatched chapel, inadequate to hold the persons who crowded there to attend divine service; and he had seen persons on Christmas-day and Easter-day, kneeling in the mud around that chapel, while they had been looking across the stream at the Church, with its steeple, vacant and desolate. This picture he had beheld, and beholding it, had thought how applicable were the words of the poet—Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves." The people of Ireland were a shrewd and intelligent people, and they felt this; they felt that they pay money to the Protestant clergymen, and receive no adequate service in return; therefore he was satisfied, that the Established Church in Ireland could not stand. He was as much opposed to the opinions of his right hon. friend, the member for Windsor, as he was to the opinions of Gentlemen opposite. The question before the House did not relate to the money paid by the Catholics to the Established 136 Church. With regard to the property of that Church, he considered it to be public property. It was the property of the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland before the Reformation. Whether Henry 8th had a right to take it away he would not argue; he did, however, take it away. Parliament had dealt with it before, and must deal with it again. When the right hon. Gentleman, the member for the University of Cambridge, brought forward his Tithe Composition Bill, some years ago, he stated, in reply to some objections to the measure, that it was highly disadvantageous to deal with public property. But, as far as the Composition Act in Ireland was concerned, the people paid much less than what was due to the clergy. He thought the public property of the people of Ireland had been diminished by being put into improper hands. Everything that had been lost to the Church, had been gained by the landlord. It was but just that the landlords should pay the tithes out of their property. They had no right to the tithes; and he disclaimed, for his part, any desire, to possess property which was not legally his own. He wished this property to be restored to the public; and went, to a certain extent, with his right hon. friend in his proposal that the landlord should have the power to redeem the composition for tithes; but he did not wish the money to be laid out in land. He would have it vested in the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain, as long as it was to be paid. But he further wished that, as fast as theprersent Bishops, and other dignitaries and clergy of the Church of Ireland, die off, their vacancies should not be filled up, but that the number should be diminished to what was sufficient to perform the duties of the Church of Ireland. On that principle he should vote for bringing in this Bill; but he protested against what had been said by his right hon. friend in its support.
§ Sir Josiah Hort
expressed his cordial concurrence in every word of the Resolutions moved by the hon. member for Meath.
§ Lord Althorp
did not think there was any reason for adjourning the debate. The hon. and learned Member was the last man who should have moved it, as he had not been present at the commencement.
§ Lord Althorp
said, he did not mean any sneer. He had not thought that any great number of Gentlemen were desirous of speaking; and if so, it was too early to adjourn ["go on"] If the Motion for adjournment was put, it should be for Monday.
§ Mr. O'Connell assented.
§ The House divided on the question of Adjournment:—Ayes 25; Noes 143—Majority 118.
§ The Speaker put the question on the Original Amendment.
§ Mr. O'Connell moved, that the debate be now adjourned.
begged leave to move that "this House do now adjourn." He was strongly of opinion, that no important debate like the present, should be continued after twelve o'clock, and he still hoped to live to see the day when, in a rational Parliament, no important debate would be continued after nine o'clock.
§ Lord Althorp
certainly did not expect to live to see that which the hon. and learned member for Kerry appeared to anticipate. He would not further oppose the adjournment of the debate, if the hon. Member would move it after this question was disposed of; but the present Motion must be resisted, as it would put a stop to all the public business fixed for this night. He hoped, therefore, that the hon. Member would not press it to a division.
§ Sir Charles Wetherell
said, that he had often heard the hon. and learned member for Kerry speak for hours after twelve o'clock. The hon. Member might, therefore, proceed with his speech now. The House would be most happy to hear him, and he trusted, therefore, that the hon. Member would not persist in his proposition for the adjournment of the House. If the hon. and learned Member should persist, then he would move upon his amendment an amendment, "That the member for Kerry be heard." He hoped that the noble Lord opposite would not give way on a Motion of this kind, for with regard to motions of a similar description, the noble Lord had dealt out to him and his friends on that side of the House, a very different measure of justice. The learned Gentleman moved "that the member for Kerry be heard,"
§ The Motion for the adjournment of the House was negatived.
§ Lord Althorp
would not now object to the Motion, as it was plain that this debate at present could not go on.
§ The debate adjourned to Monday next.