HC Deb 05 March 1832 vol 10 cc1111-2
Sir John Brydges

presented a Petition from the Presbyterian Congregation of Magilligan, in the county of Londonderry against the proposed new plan for Education in Ireland.

Sir Robert Bateson

said, that the plan of education proposed had caused the greatest dissatisfaction, in the north of Ireland. The Presbyterians, as well as the Members of the Established Church, were equally and most decidedly opposed to it, and he entreated his Majesty's Government to reflect well before they proceeded in a cause which would injure and irritate the whole of the Protestants in Ireland. The Protestants had a right to be considered, and they opposed the plan of education proposed, because it would deprive their children of the Bible without note or comment. The Presbyterian Synod of Ulster felt most strongly upon the subject, and, indeed, he was authorized to say, that the great body of Protestants of the north of Ireland would rather have no system of public education at all than one which so completely violated all their religious feelings as did the new scheme. Let the Government and the House compare the condition of that part of Ireland in which the light of the Gospel shone out purely with that in which that light was obscured by error and superstition, and then the blessings and advantages of truly scriptural education would be palpable To one petition, similar to that now before the House 230,000 Protestants had affixed their signatures; and, in the name of all the Protestants of Ireland—of two millions of his fellow-subjects—he again entreated the Government to pause before they proceeded further with the attempt to thrust the new system of education upon Ireland.

Petition to be printed.

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