HC Deb 06 May 1833 vol 17 cc966-1010
Lord Althorp

having moved the Order of the Day for the second reading of the Irish Church Temporalities Bill.

Mr. Goulburn

stated, that he observed in the 16th section of the Bill a declaration that his Majesty had placed that part of the hereditary revenues of the Crown derived from the Archbishoprics and Bishoprics to be abolished, at the disposal of Parliament. He (Mr. Goulburn) had looked over the records of the House in order to discover any message from the Crown to that effect, but had been unable to find any. Perhaps, however, such a message had been delivered, and he begged to ask the noble Lord for information on the subject?

Lord Althorp

said, it was true that there was no specific message such as that alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman; but that he did not conceive any such specific message to be necessary. The subject had been referred to by his Majesty in his Speech on the opening of Parliament, and his assent had been officially signified in the Committee.

Mr. Wynn

said, that a distinct message from the Crown was indispensable before the House could proceed to legislate with reference to any of the hereditary revenues of the Crown.

Lord Althorp

regretted, that this objection had not been raised at the time the former objection was raised to the mode of proceeding. He thought, however, that the passage in the Speech from the Throne at the commencement of the pressent Session, in which his Majesty observed, "your attention will also be directed to the state of the Church, more particularly as regards the temporalities and the maintenance of the clergy," was quite sufficient. His Majesty, in that passage, called upon the House to enter into the consideration of the subject.

Mr. Wynn

said, that the Bill was printed on Tuesday morning, and proposed to be read a second time on Thursday, and in the cursory glance which he gave to it under those circumstances, it could not be expected that he could discover all the blunders in it. He discovered one error which was fatal. The error now brought to light certainly had not struck him, but it was not the less important.

Mr. Goulburn

remarked, that this was no trifling question. It was, whether that House should enter into the consideration of the disposal of the hereditary revenues of the Crown without a previous message from the King, intimating that he placed those revenues at their disposal. The revenue derived in the case in question, was as much the hereditary revenue of the Crown as the revenue from the woods and forests. That the noble Lord was aware, that the House would not presume to interfere with the latter unless upon an express message, was evident from the fact that the noble Lord had himself, that very evening, delivered a message upon the subject. And be it recollected, that the message which the noble Lord had brought down respecting the woods and forests went only to inquire into their state and condition; how much more necessary was a message when the proposition was to destroy a part of the hereditary revenue of the Crown for ever? What part of the revenue of the Crown would be safe if such a course were permitted? Why should not any of the hon. Gentlemen behind him get up and propose a measure to dispose of some other part of the revenue of the Crown? The noble Lord, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and as sworn to protect the revenues of the Crown, ought not to press forward a Bill of this description without a preliminary message from the Crown. For the House of Commons to invade the revenues of the Crown without such a message was a violation of the principles of the Constitution.

Sir Robert Inglis

expressed his concurrence in the sentiments of his right hon. friend. It was distinctly stated in the Bill, that his Majesty had placed the revenues in question at the disposal of the House; and bow could they proceed to read the Bill a second time, and sanction that assertion, unless they had that assent formally signified?

Mr. Hume

suggested, that some plan should be adopted of embodying the Rules and Orders of the House in a distinct and intelligible shape, so that every Member might be able, without difficulty, to make himself acquainted with them, instead of trusting to the research and experience of one or two particular Members. Certainly the rules of that House were not mere matters of form, and, by not following them, public business was continually delayed or risk was run of delaying it. Such a digest as he proposed had been made of the rules and orders of the Congress of the United States; and he must repeat, that it would be very convenient to have such a digest of the rules of that House.

Mr. Matthias Attwood

said, that the Bill was based upon an assertion which was to-ally unfounded. The 32nd clause of the Bill stated, that his Majesty had been pleased to signify his intention to place at the disposal of Parliament his interest in the temporalities and custody of certain Archbishoprics and Bishoprics, whereas his Majesty had been graciously pleased to do no such thing. They ought not to proceed on an allegation void of truth.

Mr. Secretary Stanley

said, it was true that there had been no specific message from his Majesty on this particular provision of the Bill which was now referred to; but it was equally manifest that in the Speech from the Throne, and in the subsequent recommendation to that House, a general sanction was given by his Majesty to the principle of the Bill. In the Speech from the Throne the attention of the House was called to the state of the Church, more particularly as regarded its temporalities and the maintenance of the clergy, and to the question whether the revenues of the Church might not admit of a more equitable and judicious distribution. And it was upon his Majesty's recommendation that those Resolutions were introduced upon which the Bill was subsequently formed. It, therefore, appeared to him quite clear, that his Majesty had sanctioned the principle of the Bill. It might, perhaps, be expedient that, before the House came to the consideration of the specific clause, a more distinct message should come down in reference to it. Upon this he offered no opinion; but, however that might be, he did not think there was any thing in the ease to vitiate what had already been done, or to preclude the House from proceeding with the second reading. He could not help remarking, that this second objection, after such a lapse of time, upon a mere point of form, conveyed the idea that there might be considerable reluctance on the part of the opponents of the Bill to deal with its substance.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that the occurrence was clearly an oversight. The noble Lord must know as well as he did, that there ought to have been the same message with regard to this Bill as there had been this evening relative to the Woods and Forests. As to the recommendation from his Majesty, that did not affect the question, for the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that that recommendation would have been equally necessary if there were no revenues of the Crown to be resigned.

Lord John Russell

observed, that there was no more necessity for a specific message before the second than before the first reading.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that the King had signified in three different ways his sanction of the Bill—first, in the Speech from the Throne—next, in his recommendation to that House—and, thirdly, by the circumstance of the measure being brought forward by his Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

said, that if this objection were valid, a great deal of time must be lost, because it would be necessary to begin again. It would be time enough to reject the clause in the Committee, if it appeared that it was not properly authorised.

Mr. Shaw

said, it was wrong that the Bill should have been read a first time without the necessary Message; but that was the fault of those who brought the measure forward, and not of the House, who, at that time, knew nothing of the contents of the Bill. The House, however, would now be adopting that error, if, being aware of the circumstances, it suffered the Bill to be read a second time.

The Order of the Day read.

Lord Althorp moved the second reading of the Bill.

Mr. Gourlburn

reiterated his objection to the proceeding, and said, that the precedent might be used hereafter to deprive the King of his remaining rights. He would ask the Speaker whether it was consistent with the orders of the House to read a Bill a second time containing an allegation relative to the conduct of the Crown which was not correct.

The Speaker

said, the question appeared to him to be whether the message would be in time, between the second reading and the Committee, or whether it ought to be before the second reading. If it ought to precede the second reading, it appeared to him that it ought equally to have preceded the first. If the House were authorized to deal with the principle of the Bill at the first reading, whatever may be its contents, they could not be altered, before the details came to be considered in Committee. If the House should go into Committee without the message, that part of the Bill to which the message should refer would not be within its jurisdiction. If the House considered that there had been a sufficient sanction for the first reading, in his opinion there was also a sufficient sanction for the second; but if there were sufficient for both, still it did not follow that there was sufficient for the House to deal with the Bill in Committee.

Question put, that the Bill be read a second time.

Mr. Shaw,

having to oppose the Motion of the noble Lord, "that the Irish Church Temporalities Bill be now read a second time," was anxious to guard himself from the imputation of being opposed to all Reform—of being hostile to such alterations as time and circumstances might have rendered wise or necessary, as well as from the imputation of feeling any indisposition to correct abuses or adopt improvements which might, according to the language and professed objects of the Bill, "conduce to the advancement of religion, and to the efficiency, preeminence, and stability of the united Church of England and Ireland." In order to come more directly to the points upon which he was at issue with the Bill, he would clear the way of some which he would not then dispute. The first was the abolition of Vestry cess. He should be quite prepared to maintain upon principle the justice of making all the subjects of a state chargeable for the support of the national religion, but under the present peculiar circumstances of Ireland, his only complaint on the subject was, that his Majesty's Government had not given to the clergy in Ireland the opportunity of voluntarily taking upon themselves this charge, which he believed they were in general willing to do for the sake of removing a specious pretext for discontent, and even the appearance of any impediment to their spiritual usefulness. Then as to the augmentation of small livings—the dissolution as far as it was practicable of unions, and the enforcement of residence—these were objects which, so far as they could be promoted by the Bill, all had his cordial support. But there were two leading principles of the measure to which he never could assent, and these would oblige him to conclude by moving as an. Amendment that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. He meant, first, the diversion of Church property to uses merely secular; and secondly, the tendency, in various respects, of the Bill, to lower the authority and diminish the influence of the Protestant established religion in Ireland. That which related to the invasion of the property of the Church, was an objection general in its nature; for if the principle were once admitted, it must shake the foundation and render insecure the possession of all property, lay as well as ecclesiastical. His Majesty's Ministers, indeed, contended that applying to the general purposes of the State, the profits arising from the proposed change in Bishops' leases was no infringement of the rights of property; but this was a sophistry unworthy of them. The question should at once be decided whether or not Church property was to be held sacred; and if they were to spoliate it, then let them openly profess that intention, and not attempt to cover it under the special plea of a pretended act of justice. He would ask the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) had not the proposition received the same construction by both sides of the House, one supporting, and the other opposing it, because it did involve the principle that the revenues of the Church were applicable to other than ecclesiastical purposes? But the Act of 10th and 11th Charles 1st was conclusive on the subject; its title was, "an Act for the Preservation of the Inheritance and Rights belonging to the Church and Persons Ecclesiastical"—stating as well the fact that the inheritance did belong to the Church, as that the object of the Legislature was to preserve, and, as it further stated in the preamble, to continue that inheritance in the Church. And the 4th section gives as the reason for non-alienation, that the successors of the Bishops may not be prejudiced—precisely a similar case to an individual settling his property in strict entail—giving certain power to the tenant in life, but limiting them for the benefit of his successors, just as in this case. The fee, as it were, remained in the Church, and each Bishop was to be regarded as the tenant for life; but could any one who read the Statute, who regarded the principle or considered the practice of our laws, suppose it was intended to keep in abeyance an advantage which at any time the state might reserve to itself. The supposition was so monstrous, that it was almost impossible to argue coolly against it. His next objection was, that the spirit which pervaded the Bill was inimical to ecclesiastical authority and influence. The formation of the Board gave the great preponderance to the lay commissioners, being in respect of the permanent commissioners in the proportion of two to one, and so virtually at least in those that were to be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, three of whom were to be laymen with salaries, having no other duties to perform, opposed to three Bishops, who must have various avocations at a distance from the Board. He objected most strongly to this Board having the power to suspend the appointment of an incumbent to parishes in which service had not been performed for three years. He objected also to the provision that no grant of money should be made for the building of a Church without the subscription of a certain number of Protestants, a condition which in the poorer parishes must operate as an impediment to the spread of the established religion. But upon this point the strongest objection to his mind was the reduction of the number of bishoprics. If a substitute must be found through means of the bishoprics for the Vestry cess, rather let the incomes than the number of the future bishops be reduced—4,000l. a year for each of the Bishops, and 6,000l. for the Archbishops, would leave a sum of about 40,000l. a year applicable to that purpose, He saw no benefit that could arise, and many evils which must, both in an ecclesiastical and political point of view, ensue from the diminution of the number of bishoprics. First, considering the matter in an ecclesiastical point of view, the reduction was in direct opposition to the spirit of the Bill, for the preamble declared that it was to compel residence, to prevent unions, to suppress pluralities; and yet the proposition was, to unite bishoprics, and that in a most unsatisfactory and inconvenient manner. Instead of adhering to the declared principles of the Bill, and ensuring the efficient residence of every Bishop upon his diocese, duties were to be imposed upon them which it would be impossible for them to discharge. It should be remembered that there was a material difference between the duties of the Bishops in Ireland and of the Bishops of England. In England the Archdeacons naturally relieved the Bishops, by performing the annual visitation and other duties, but in Ireland the whole of them were performed by the Bishops. He had always understood that one of the strongest disadvantages Ireland laboured under was having a large number of non-resident proprietors; and yet by this Bill it was proposed to take away no less than ten resident proprietors who had the rank of Peers. And that objection applied to the reduction of the property of the Church generally. There were about two thousand clergymen in Ireland, who received on the average an income of 250l. a year; and surely any reduction either in the number or in the income of such a resident gentry must be an injury. He was willing to provide for all Church purposes out of Church property, and to remedy all abuses and to effect all desirable alterations; but he was not willing to consign the reformation of the Church to its known enemies, when it ought to be intrusted only to its friends. Viewing the matter in that way, he objected to the proposition with respect to the fund looked for from the sale of leases. In principle that project was unjustifiable—in practice it would prove a deception. He was con- vinced that the calculations of the noble Lord would be found most fallacious. Instead of there being a large surplus fund for the use of the Government there would not be more than sufficient to provide for the Vestry-cess. He put it therefore to the noble Lord to say whether he would persevere in a project which could only have the effect of giving a triumph to the enemies of the Church, or whether he would adopt a plan which was equally advantageous with reference to the pecuniary produce, and in accordance with the feelings of the friends of the Church. Surely the object of the noble Lord could not be to throw a sop to senseless clamour—to gratify the hon. member for Middlesex by destroying ten Bishops? Such a number would hardly satisfy the hon. Member; he would be far better pleased to have twenty; and, together with the hon. member for Oldham, would have no manner of objection to have fifty coronets thrown into the bargain. Doubtless the hon. member for Middlesex, if he had them in the mortar of blind superstition and popular folly, would apply the pestle to their destruction secundum artem. But if it were possible for the noble Lord to have any such view, let him not imagine that this measure would effect his purpose. If the principles set forth in it were adopted, then the hon. member for Middlesex, and those who thought with him, would never be content till it was fully followed out, and the whole of the property of the Church spoliated. He, therefore, called upon the Government to seek to reform the Church in concert with its friends, and not in compact with its enemies. He firmly believed that if the reformation of the Church of Ireland was left to the hon. member for Middlesex, he would leave it possessed of just as much as was worth nothing, and no more. In fact, the conduct of the hon. member reminded him very much of a case which had come before him a short time since. Two men were charged with a highway robbery, and it appeared that they had plundered the prosecutor of everything, but the prosecutor requested the robbers would return an old umbrella and a bottle of wash which was useful only in a particular-trade. The highwaymen having no use for the articles, complied with the request, with perhaps full as much civility as the hon. Member would be disposed to show the Church—but they carried off all that was valuable or profitable to themselves. They had, however, for that offence been transported for their lives, but he feared the dread of no such salutary punishment would stand between the hon. Member and the spoliation of the Church Establishment. He would earnestly entreat his Majesty's Ministers to beware of the course they were pursuing. Let them not think, according to the cant of the present times, that a coercive measure having passed, was a reason for what is termed a remedial one, or that the prospect of a remedial one (even if it were remedial) could be any justification for coercion, if in itself unnecessary. This up-and-down system of the Government had been the bane of Ireland, and he believed that a firm and vigorous administration of the existing laws since the present Ministers had been in office (however ill it might have served other purposes), would have saved the necessity of the Coercive Act, which had occupied in its discussion the greater part of the Session that had passed, and this so called remedial one, which was likely to consume a great part of the remainder. The Ministry were treading very dangerous ground. He would not now detain the House by dwelling on the 5th article of the Act of Union, already so frequently referred to in these debates, but upon this subject he might quote the words of the present Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who, in discussing this question in 1824, observed that the Protestant 'establishment of the country he considered necessary for the security of all 'sects; and he thought that there should 'not only be an Established Church but 'that it should be richly endowed and its 'dignitaries be enabled to take their stations with the nobles of the land. But 'speaking in a political point of view, 'he had no hesitation to state, that the 'existence of the Protestant Establishment 'was the great bond of union between the two countries, and if ever that unfortunate moment should arrive when they 'would rashly lay their hands on the 'property of the Church, to rob it of its 'rights that moment they would seal the 'doom and terminate the connexion between the two countries'.* It behoved the Ministers then well to consider their position—supported in their measure by those who did not even profess to have the * Hansard, (new series) xi. p. 574. same end as they had professed to have in view, and opposed by those who really had that object at heart—that of supporting the Church and that many people the Legislative Union. If they did not learn from this a useful lesson, and proceeded with the same want of caution that had hitherto marked their steps, he warned them of the imminent danger in which they placed, not the Irish branch of the Established Church, but as Lord Plunkett said, the connexion between the two countries; and all that even in a mere secular point of view was valuable to both. As regarded religion in its most exalted sense, it was above their reach—its immutable truth human legislation could not assail. They might break the mere earthen vessels which the wisdom of ages had formed and much human blood cemented—but legislation could not extinguish the sacred light that burned in them. They might subvert the altar, but they could not strike off one spark from the holy fire which had ever warmed and illuminated, and would eternally preserve the true spiritual Church. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by moving as an amendment, that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.

Mr. Estcourt

begged leave to second this Amendment, and must say, that he did so most cordially. He was aware of the outcry that was raised against the Church cess, and the great anxiety that many people manifested to get rid of it; but he wished them to recollect, that this was an impost for the support of the Church, not only small in itself, but placed upon the land on which it had been charged for a long time, so that the present possessors of the land had taken the land subject to this charge. It was, in fact, a charge upon the landlord, and he was therefore surprised that Irish Members should be found to declare, that it was a payment made by the occupier of the soil. If the Church cess were taken off, it would be imposed upon the tenant for the benefit of the landlord, who now received less rent than he otherwise would do, on account of the cess. If that fund were now to be taken from the Church, and to go, as it would, into the pockets of the owners of the soil, he should much object to the change, for he should consider it as an application of Church funds to secular purposes. This Bill, and the former Bill which had been introduced on this subject, had been some time before the House, but he had not yet heard Ministers state one reason why there should be a reduction of the number of Irish Bishops, such as was now projected. It was true, that the noble Lord had said, there were too many Bishops in Ireland; but neither the dictum of the noble Lord, nor the opinion of any Member of that House, was in itself sufficient to justify the House in reducing the number of the Bishops. They ought to see some clear ground for the reduction fairly made out, before they consented to it. He opposed the reduction of the number of Irish Bishops, because he was certain that it could not take place without serious injury to the Church. There were some Gentlemen who supported the plan for the reduction in the number of Irish Bishops, on the ground that in a considerable portion of the country the number of Protestants was small. But that, did not seem to him the true reason that should govern their decision on this subject. They ought to consider the distance over which the Bishop's diocese would extend, and then they would find that from that circumstance, and from the difficulty of communicating with all the clergy in each diocese, the duty of a Bishop would be so great, that no one man would be able to perform it. He believed, indeed, that the number of Bishops required in Ireland was greater than that required in England, because of the greater necessity of the clergy having frequent recourse to the spiritual direction of their superiors. These were two observations with regard to this part of the Bill; as to the other part of it—that of the proposed taxation of benefices—he must say, that he thought that taxation began too low, for it began upon an income of 200l. a-year; and every one must be aware that no man upon such an income as that could do more than barely maintain a respectable station in society; indeed, he could hardly maintain such a station as the nature of his office required. Besides this, when the tax was once imposed it was always to be levied, and it was to be levied regularly every half year, without considering that, in some cases, the clergy would not be paid their tithes, and that the amount of their receipts, even when they were paid, would be subject to considerable variation. To enforce the regular payment of the tax under such circumstances, would be most injurious. It would be most injurious, not only to the individual, but to the Church. He considered the two Churches of England and Ireland as identified, and that one could not suffer, without involving the other in the consequences of the injury. He looked upon this Bill as calculated to inflict a direct injury upon the Church of Ireland, and therefore as likewise calculated, through the same means, to injure the interests of the English Church. Under these circumstances, he most cordially seconded the Amendment. The Bill was so objectionable, that it was impossible for any man who valued the Church to vote for sending it to the Committee, where it could never be sufficiently amended.

Mr. Plumptre

was of opinion, that although in some respects the Bill did not go far enough, there were some provisions contained in it which no man who did not study the total subversion of the Church Establishment, could for a moment sanction. In the first place, to the proposed diminution of the number of bishoprics he could not, as a friend to the religion in which he had been educated, and as one desirous of maintaining inviolate the leading principles of the Irish Union, give his assent. The Bishops of Ireland ought, he maintained, to be subject to but one species of translation—namely, a translation from this to the next world. He was also strongly opposed to the contemplated appropriation of Church property to secular purposes. In his opinion it would be far more desirable to diminish the revenues than the number of the existing Bishops. If it were intended by Parliament to render the Bishops what they ought to be—namely, the guardians of those over whom they were placed, the faithful superintendents of those committed to their charge—surely the means to attain that end was not so to diminish their numbers that one-half of their duty should of necessity be neglected in order to enable them to attend properly to the other. He was by no means an advocate for continuing to the Bishops the large salaries they at present enjoyed, and would willingly consent to any measure with a view to the curtailment of their revenues. The plan he would recommend to his Majesty's Ministers was, not to diminish the number of Bishops, but to divide equally among them the amount of the revenues of those sees proposed to be retained. In conclusion, the hon. Member observed, that not seeing any prospect of so amending the Bill in Committee as to obviate the repugnance he entertained to some of its principles, he felt called upon to give his vote in support of the Amendment.

Mr. Secretary Stanley

said, that if it had not been for the direct appeal which had been made to him individually by every Gentleman who had yet spoken, he should have waited till a later period in the debate to give his answer to the objections of hon. Gentlemen, both to the principle and to the details of this measure. But the speech of the hon. member for Kent called upon him to endeavour to correct a misunderstanding which weighed upon that hon. Member's mind, and endangered the loss of his vote to a measure which he seemed to a certain extent inclined to support. He was glad to learn from the speeches of the hon. member for the University of Dublin, and the hon. member for the University of Oxford, who might be considered fair representatives of the Church, that the opposition to this Bill on the part of the Church was confined to two or three points, which were susceptible of amendment in the progress of the Bill. At the same time, he should be deceiving the House and the hon. member for Dublin if he were to hold out any expectation that Government would accede to any of the Amendments which had been suggested upon those points. In the details of the greater portion of the Bill, all the speakers who had preceded him had expressed their concurrence. The hon. member for the University of Dublin had even gone much further than the two other hon. Gentlemen who espoused the same side of the question, and had stated, with a degree of candour which did him infinite honour, that he should not have objected to the details of this Bill, had it been brought forward by the friends, instead of the opponents of the Church. Now, to such a mode of arguing, it was very difficult for him (Mr. Stanley) to give any answer. "It is an excellent measure," said the hon. Member, "but because you, who are generally in the wrong, have chanced to blunder upon it, it is bad as coming from you; and therefore, though I believe it unimpeachable, I will now move that it be read a second time this day six months." The hon. Member had likewise said, that if the measure had been devised by a friend of the Church, he should have given it his support. The hon. Member had done him the favour of saying, that the hon. Member believed he was a friend to the Established Church, who was not likely to endanger it wilfully; and he hoped that he should not be considered as indulging his own personal vanity, when he told the hon. member for the University of Dublin, that if there was one individual more than another upon whose responsibility the framing of this Bill rested, it was the individual who was then addressing the House, and whom he had acknowledged to be a friend to the Established Church. Let the House, therefore, see the points on which the hon. Member and he differed, and then decide whether they were not such as would justify the hon. Member in supporting the second reading of this Bill, notwithstanding his opposition to those points of detail. He asked the most devoted stickler for the property, the immunities, the privileges, and he would even say the prejudices, of the Church of Ireland, whether it was either safe or friendly to that Church to say, "This Bill may be right—there may be abuses which this Bill will remedy; but in the present state of public feeling, because I object to part of the Bill, I will not meddle with the abuses at all. I will leave the Church to stand by those abuses, unrepaired and unmitigated; and yet I will call myself a friend to the Church." He was ready to admit the friendship of the hon. Member to the Church, but he doubted the wisdom and sagacity with which the hon. Member displayed his friendship. In his opinion, the real friends of the Church of Ireland were those who looked at acknowledged abuses; and, in the face of those who might perhaps seek to reform the Church, in order the more certainly to destroy it, he would say that, rather than rest satisfied with the continuance of those abuses, he preferred retreating from a point that was untenable to a point where you could stand manfully against your enemies on account of your having purged yourself from the impurities by which you were previously surrounded. The fact was, that at present they could not stand still. The hon. Member had said, "I agree with you in the propriety of abolishing the Vestry-cess." Now, if there was any point of the Bill which removed from the Church its property, it was that part of the Bill which related to the Vestry-cess; there it touched most nearly on the property of the Church, if any man looked on property in its strictest sense. But the hon. Member gave up his objection to the abolition of the Churchcess. He said, "I do not object to the augmentation of small livings; I do not object to enforcing the residence of the clergy; I do not object to the dissolution of unions; I do not object to your plan for raising funds for the repair or the erection of places of worship in Ireland; in all these points I acquiesce with you;" and then, after approximating to us most closely, he made a most curious conclusion, for he said, "Though I agree with you in all these particulars, there are some parts of your Bill of which I disapprove, and therefore, instead of seeking to amend them in Committee, and to avail myself of such parts of the Bill as I approve, I will get rid of the whole affair at once, by throwing the Bill out altogether. "But he had said enough of the inconsistency of such conduct, and would proceed to call the attention of the House to the three points of objection which had been raised against the Bill. The first point of objection respected the question of perpetuities; and here he joined issue at once with the hon. Member who had raised that question. He would abide by what he had formerly asserted, that it was not desirable that the property of the Church of Ireland should be diverted to other than ecclesiastical purposes. The question which he wished the House to consider was, whether the property which this Bill was going to divert was the property of the Church or not. To understand that question, it was necessary to understand what they were going to divert. What, then, were the Bishop' leases—what were the rights of the Church tenants—and what was the power of the Legislature over them? The Bishop was entitled to let his land by Act of Parliament. He was sure that the hon. Member would not deny that it was from an Act of Parliament that the Church derived its power over these leases, and that Act of Parliament enacted, that it should not be lawful for any Bishop to grant a lease for more than twenty-one years. It had been said, that this provision was intended to prevent the alienation of the property of the Church, but what had been the practical effect of it? The practical effect had been, that from a remote period the Bishops had always been in the habit of anticipating the revenues which, in point of right, belonged to their successors. He did not mention this in terms of complaint, but the Bishops being debarred by Act of Parliament from granting any but leases for twenty-one years, which were generally granted at a low rent, remunerated themselves by granting repeated renewals of these leases, and by taking payment of a fine on each of these renewals. The fine was generally calculated upon the actual value of the anticipation of a money-payment spread over twenty-one years, at the rate of interest usually taken into calculation in Bishops' leases. Now, the legal rate of interest in Ireland is six per cent, but in the Bishops' leases, as an advantage to the tenant, the interest is calculated at eight per cent. For instance, suppose that the Bishops' rents in twenty-one years would amount to 5l., then 1l., which at compound interest at eight percent. would amount in twenty-one years to 5l., would be paid as the fine for the renewal of the lease. Thus the Bishop receiving in anticipation a fifth of the beneficial rent, receives by the perpetual renewal of his leases, a full rack rent every year, each payment being calculated upon a compound interest of eight per cent. to the tenant. It had been said, that if the Bishops would only permit their leases to run out, they would receive a greater annual sum than that which they received at present. This was an entire fallacy, as he had already shown that, in anticipation, the Bishops received already the full rack rent. Now, this Bill proposed to add to the Church the power of granting leases in perpetuity, instead of confining them to grant leases for twenty-one years only, renewable at any period of that term. This would be a great advantage to the tenant, as it would enable him to sell his lease in perpetuity; and it was this very property, which was neither the property of the Church nor of the tenant in fee, which the Government were now preparing to sell under this Act of Parliament. The Church and the tenant would pay the same as they did now; and yet, though the advantage to the tenant was so notorious, they were told that the tenant ought not to make any pecuniary remuneration for the pecuniary advantage which he would receive from this change in the existing law. It might just as well be argued, that when a copyhold tenant enfranchised himself from the Lord of the Manor, he ought to pay no fine for his enfranchisement. In the case of the Church of Ireland the Bishops were the lords of the manor, and the Church tenants were the copyholders; but, as the Bishops had no power beyond twenty-one years, it was only the State that could enfranchise the tenantry, and for that enfranchisement the State was entitled to demand a remuneration. On this ground he contended, that inasmuch as this was not either the property of the Church or the property of the tenant, and inasmuch as the State had the right to confer upon the tenant the perpetuity of his lease, there was nothing unjust in calling upon the tenant to pay for the advantage which he thus derived from the State. He would also observe, that in this arrangement the State was dealing with the Bishops as it had dealt with the clergy in the case of the composition for tithes. "But," said the hon. Member, "this Bill will lower the authority of the Church." He could not conceive in what mode it lowered the authority of the Church, until he heard the hon. Member speaking of the constitution of the Board, and saying that the Church had little or no weight in it. How the hon. Member made that point out was equally surprising; for it appeared from the details of the Bill that four out of the nine members of the Board were to be Bishops of the Established Church. Perhaps the hon. Member was of opinion, that Bishops alone should have control over the affairs of the Church. But on this point he must refer to another assertion in the speech of the hon. member for the University of Dublin, and that was, that the Bishops had already ecclesiastical concerns enough to attend to. That was the very ground on which Government had deemed it expedient to appoint other commissioners, who could give their undivided attention to the duties which they had to perform. This was the only mode in which the authority of the Church was lowered by this Bill, except, indeed, it were in the diminution of the number of the Bishops. That was a point on which objection was taken to the principle of the Bill; for the question here was, not whether ten, or eight, or four Bishops, should be taken from the present number, but whether the principle of diminishing the number at all should be admitted. He must again remind the House, that the hon. member for the University of Dublin had said that this Bill would be well enough if it had been introduced under the sanction of the friends of the Church. Before he introduced this Bill into Parliament, he (Mr. Stanley) had felt it to be his duty to consult the Primate of Ireland upon its provisions—a Prelate distinguished for his attention to the interests of the Church, and determined, if ever Prelate was, that under his guidance the Church should suffer no detriment which he could prevent. The question was raised as to the best means of meeting the deficiency which would be occasioned by the abolition of the Vestrycess—and it was the suggestion of the Primate of Ireland that the least objectionable mode of meeting it would be by reducing the number of Bishops in Ireland, and by diverting their revenues to that purpose. He did not mean to say, that the Primate supported the reduction of ten Bishops. Hon. Gentlemen cheered, but he was not now discussing the number of Bishops to be reduced, but only the principle whether any Bishops ought to be reduced. It was said, that any reduction of their number was a weakening of the Church, and depriving it of the props and pillars on which it rested for support; and yet he had shown that the principle on which it was founded had been affirmed and supported by a Prelate who was one of the mostzealous defenders of the Church, and one of its ablest props and pillars. The question then arose whether the Government had gone too far in diminishing the number of the Bishops; and the hon. member for the University of Oxford had said, "You ought not to consider so much the number of souls which the Bishops have to take care of, as the extent of the diocese over which they will now have to preside." In consequence of that observation, he would read to the House a list of the number of benefices which were under the care of the different Bishops who were to be reduced; for there was no better method of obtaining a knowledge of the duty which each Bishop had to perform, than by knowing what and how many benefices he had to superintend. Now, in the diocese of Raphoe there were thirty-four benefices; in that of Dromore, twenty-seven; in that of Clogher, forty-five; in that of Kildare, fifty-three; in that of Ossory, sixty-two; in that of Waterford, sixty-six; in that of Cork, ninety-three; in that of Clonfert, thirty-one; in that of Elfin, thirty-seven; and in that of Killala, thirty. Would any man pretend to tell him that the superin- tendence of this number of benefices was so equal to the full capacity of any Bishop, that it would be dangerous to the interests of the Church to add to them the superintendence of the same number of benefices in another diocese? Why, in the extensive diocese of Chester there were as many benefices as there were in the whole of Ireland. He believed that there were 1,200 benefices in that Bishopric. In the scheme which Ministers had proposed for the union of the Irish bishoprics, it was so arranged that no Bishop would have 200 benefices under his care. The Bishop of Chester had, he believed, 1,200 benefices in his diocese, and the highest number which any Irish bishopric would have was 179, and that bishopric was the bishopric of Ossory. But an hon. Gentleman had said, "There is no reason to diminish the number of the Irish Bishops. "Now, if it were only for the clamour that the staff of the Church in Ireland was too numerous for the amount of its parochial clergy, that would, in his opinion, be a sufficient reason for the alteration now proposed. In England there were twenty-six bishoprics, and between 11,000 and 12,000 parishes; in Ireland there were twenty-two bishoprics, and between 1,100 and 1,200 separate benefices. Now, when the parishes in England were to those of Ireland as ten to one, did it seem very unreasonable that the number of Bishops in Ireland should be reduced to the proportion of two to five, as compared with England? The Government would be open to censure if they left too few Bishops for the performance of the episcopal duties; but, compared with the duties they had to perform, he thought they would be quite sufficient; but it was said that they ought to diminish the revenue, and allow the number of Bishops to remain unaltered; but as a mere question of the advantage to be derived to the country from so many resident noblemen, he thought it could make no difference whether twenty were to remain with a revenue reduced to half, or ten with a whole revenue. There were three points of objection—first, as to interference with the property of the Church, which he had shown was not the property of the Church; next, as to the diminution of the number of Bishops, which he had shown would be no weakening of the authority of the Church. As to the equalization of the property of the Bishops, he objected to it as one which would be attended with great inconvenience, and he thought it better to leave a trifling inequality in the sees than to put them all on an equality. The objections to the details of the Bill were but trifling, and he would not go into them. The two great objections were—one, that it would weaken the Church; and the other, that it would unsettle property. These contrary objections showed that no solid or substantial objection could be made to the measure, which, he thought, would be a safe and beneficial change. He would admit, that in any great change there would be some risk, but he thought that any risk of that kind, from this measure, would not be half so great a risk as there would be in leaving the Church in Ireland in its present state, and without any improvement.

Sir Robert Inglis

said, that, from the first moment the present measure had been introduced he entertained, and had constantly expressed, the strongest aversion to it, and, so far from reflection tending to remove that impression, or render him lukewarm in his opposition to it, every hour's consideration increased the aversion with which he viewed most of its leading principles. In two respects, indeed, it was improved; and he thanked his Majesty's Ministers for the improvement, since the present Bill respected the vested rights of existing incumbents; and above all, since it did not provide, as before, for the permanent depression of Protestantism by closing for ever any church in which, for any three years, the service had not been celebrated. That power was now limited to three years before the passing of this Act. [Mr. Stanley: The former provision was merely a clerical error in printing of the Bill.] Notwithstanding these partial improvements, he looked with unqualified hostility upon the whole Bill. The Bill was entitled to the support of no man who in the least valued the Christian character of the Church or of the country. From the crown of the head to the sole of the feet of this Bill—from its very title to its schedule and last clause—he objected to every part of it. In the very title of the Bill there was a direct fallacy. The Bill purported to touch only the temporalities of the Church of Ireland; but would any man tell him that a reduction in the number of Bishops related only to temporalities? Diminish the income of the Church, and you touched its temporalities; but disturb the sacred order of spiritual succession, and you touched, not the temporalities, but the spirituality of the order. He denied the competence but not the power of Parliament to carry such a Bill into effect. The will of Parliament was its power, but he denied its right. The doctrine never had been held, that Parliament had a right to interfere in the manner in which this Bill proposed, without at least obtaining the assent of the Church itself. At the Reformation nothing had been done by Parliament which had not previously been done by the Church, and to which it had not previously given its approbation. He would refer for an elucidation of this subject to the speech which had been delivered by Lord Temple on the occasion of Home Tooke's introduction into that House; a speech rich with references, and powerful in arguments upon this subject. He would also remind the right hon. Secretary of what occurred in 1698. When, at that time, in the Parliament of Ireland, a project of a nature similar to the present had been introduced, the Bishops of Ireland had entered a protest on the Journals of the Lords, in which they protested against being assessed without their own assent delivered in convocation. He did not claim any exemption for the Church from the burthens common to all the King's subjects, but the present measure was in the nature of a partial tax on the principal part of the Christian Church. In the year 1695 another attack was made against the Church of Ireland, and again on that occasion did two of the Bishops enter their protests, although by faction they were obliged to withdraw that protest. He would maintain, that no precedent had established any right in Parliament over the Church to touch that which the Church had not given its permission to be touched. He would ask any man to show when the State had ever given any thing to the Church. He would assert, that the State had never given any thing except the sums voted in the reign of Queen Anne to build chapels and churches, and the grants that had been made by Act of Parliament about three years ago. Were Gentlemen aware that the property of some of the sees of Ireland was the oldest of any established property in that country And even in England the properties of many of the sees were of more ancient date than any oilier in the re- spective counties. Never had the State established one single parish church, except, at least, by the increase of the first fruits; and he again denied that the Church owed any part of its existing property to any Act of the Legislature. Nothing had been done by the Parliament in the reign of Henry 8th, except that of transferring the property of one Church into the hands of another, unless the Church itself had expressed its approval in convocation. At that period the Church had gone pari passu with the Parliament. The present case ought at least to be made parallel to precedents already established, and the Parliament ought to originate no proceedings without the sanction of the Convocation of the Church. But if, for the sake of argument, he admitted that the property of the Church had been disturbed at that or at any other period—if acts of spoliation had been committed against Church property 300 years ago—was that any reason for disturbing the rights of property at the present day? Was this doctrine to be applied to private life? If Parliament had a right to interfere with the property of the Church, he would ask what right could any layman holding Church property maintain to continue in the possession of it? This doctrine did not apply only to broad lands, but to tithes and every other species of claim. There were Members sitting opposite to him, who ought to be very cautious how they urged Parliament to touch Church property in clerical hands, since the same argument and the same right applied to Church property, to abbey lands, in the hands of laymen; It was a fact of some consequence that, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, not more than 178 persons had been deprived of ecclesiastical property on the ground of non-conformity. He begged the House to reflect upon the fact that the Roman Catholic Church would not allow Parliament to interfere in the number of its Bishops; that the Church of Scotland would not permit Parliament to touch the number of its ruling elders; and that the Dissenters would not let Parliament dictate to them whether the number of their ministers were too great or too small. He would ask, then, what right had Parliament to interfere with the Established Church, and to deprive it at one blow of half of those who represented its interests and upheld its doctrines? What right, he asked, had Parliament to interfere between one see and another, and what right had they to determine whether any see should exist or not? He was aware that many Gentlemen had said, that the present Bill was only a consolidation of the bishoprics, and that it had the authority and sanction of the highest prelate in the Irish Church. Without departing from the great respect he entertained for that reverend Prelate, he must say that he grieved that he should have given an assent, however qualified, to such a measure. The question was not as to three or four more or three or four less in the number of the Irish Bishops, but it was a specific question; and if Parliament had any right to get rid of a single Bishop, if it had any right to annihilate a single see, it had an equal right to destroy them all. The right once established, all succeeding measures were merely questions of discretion. He would maintain, that the Bill was directly opposed to the Coronation Oath, to the Act of Union, and thirdly, to the Roman Catholic Relief Bill. He could not understand how a prince who had sworn to preserve to the Bishops and clergy all the rights that belonged to them, could give his assent to a measure which at one blow annihilated one half of the spiritual existence of the clerical body. The House had, on a former occasion, listened to him with so much indulgence, when he spoke upon the subject of the Coronation Oath, that he would not now enlarge upon it; but he must be permitted to say, that even if the doctrine were true, which some hon. Members, republicans in theory at least, urged, namely, that the King was only the chief magistrate of the people, though his right as a distinct independent part of the Legislature were denied, still, in a case connected with his own oath, he must personally have a distinct and personal judgment. In all cases, indeed, the proceedings of the two Houses were resolutions only, until the four words which they had heard this afternoon in the other House are pronounced, and their proceedings became law; but, in this case, the King could never beheld bound by any unanimity of the two Houses. With respect to the Act of Union, that Act directly provided for the maintenance of the Bishops and Archbishops; and he must confess himself at a loss to understand on what principle their number could he decreased even by one. Where was the House to stop? If ten might be suppressed, why not twelve, why not eighteen? It was like the horse's tail in Horace—"Demo unum, demo etiam unum," until the whole was left bare. In respect to interference with Church property, he was aware of the precedent drawn from Lord Harrowby's Bill. Though he deprecated the use to which the principle of that Bill might be applied, he denied that it furnished any analogy to the present Bill. In the first place it distributed income among the clergy inter se, whereas the present Bill contemplated the appropriation of Church property to state purposes; but, above all, Lord Harrowby's Bill was in its operation discretionary, since every rector right have resided, in other words, every stipendiary curate might have become an incumbent. It did not levy a compulsory tax upon property as such. The Act at first went to destroy the first fruits and the vestry cess. In one of the sorts of Parliament which had been held in Ireland two months ago, the Church Bill had been contrasted with the Irish Coercion Bill, and the speakers had declared that the Church Bill gave to the people an advantage of not more than 2d. an are. He believed that it was a fraction almost incalculable. In no case did it amount to more than 1s. 6d. an acre; but it was not the amount but the authority of the Church which was to be regarded. He could only compare the case to one in which the expenses of trials at Assize, instead of being assessed on the county, were to be paid by the barristers who might be engaged in the trials. Were the expenses of the Church to be defrayed by its ministers, as if they only had an interest in its worship? And was a tax now levied on property as such to be imposed on the persons of the incumbents? In the present instance what would be the effect of this part of the Bill but to take from the clergy their property, in order to put it into the hands of the landlords? He must beg leave to remind the noble Lord on the Treasury Bench that a very large number of the parishes of Ireland had never paid first fruits at all. One entire diocese in Ireland never had paid first fruits, and the tax now proposed would not, in this case, act, as the Bill professed, as a substitution of one tax for another, but it would be in all respects a decidedly new and original imposition. It was possible, that there was a clerical error in a Return upon the Table; but he held in his hand a document, which stated that there were a thousand rectories and vicarages of Ireland under similar circumstances. On all of these the Bill would impose an entirely new tax, instead of substituting, as in other eases, one burthen for another. There were two more dioceses in which, with few exceptions, the livings never had paid any first fruits. There were similar cases throughout Ireland where the rectories were rated under 6l. 13s. 4d., and the vicarages under 5l. in the time of Queen Elizabeth. If the principle of the Bill with respect to first fruits were to be adopted, it ought to be equally applied to lay impropriations both in England and in Ireland, especially as so many of the lay impropriators in both countries had neglected to provide for the parishioners those services for which the grants of tithes had been made. It had been proposed by the learned and hon. Member (the Recorder for Dublin) to appropriate a certain given sum from the income of each Bishop, without diminishing the number of the sees; and this would, in some respects, remove the objections which he (Sir Robert Inglis) entertained against the Bill, for his strongest antipathy was to the annihilation of the bishoprics. The Bill itself was a triumph to the Roman Catholics, and as such it had been considered by them; and yet the noble Lord had gained nothing for his Government by the concession. He had conciliated no man by it. The hon. and learned member for Dublin, though he had hailed the principle of the Bill, had, in the course of the same week, asked what good it would do to the people; would it relieve the starving peasant? And the hon. and learned member for Tipperary had said that the Bill was valuable, because it established a principle, which Parliament might at any time extend. His right hon. friend had given as a reason for the adoption of this measure the clamour of those who demanded some change in the Church Establishment. He understood him to say, that the clamour which had been raised was a good and substantial reason for the diminution of the number of the bishoprics in Ireland. Now he (Sir R. Inglis) never could consider that the existence of any clamour either in England or Ireland, could justify that House, as a branch of the Legislature, in conceding any one proposition which hon. Gentlemen could not declare to be consistent with their opinions out of doors. He would say that no clamour could justify a Minister in hurrying forward a measure which his own understanding did not recommend for adoption. The whole of this measure must be looked upon with suspicion; and he trusted, concurring as he did with the hon. and learned member for the University of Dublin, that the decision of the House would be to postpone the second reading of this Bill till that day six months.

Mr. Robert Grant

felt it to be his duty to state the grounds on which he meant to support this Bill. It was impossible that the feelings of his hon. friend who had just spoken could be more strongly opposed to the measure than his were in favour of it. To use the expression of his hon. friend, "from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot—from the preamble, to the concluding schedule, "the provisions of the Bill should receive his cordial approbation. The first point in the speech of his hon. friend, to which he found it necessary to advert, was the demurrer, if he might use the phrase, which his hon. friend had put forward against the jurisdiction of the House to legislate on this subject, without having first consulted the Church—without having, in fact, the opinion of the convocation regularly convened on this subject. Now, he joined issue with his hon. friend on this point. He had not heard that any of those Gentlemen, who, though they might be hostile to this measure, yet wished for a Reform, and a considerable Reform, in the Church—he did not hear that any of them were anxious that a convocation should be specially summoned, in order that they might be consulted as to the alterations which it would be proper to make in the system. If they thought that such a course was the proper one, why then, let a motion for that purpose be made, in order that the House might discuss it regularly. He, however, would say, not only that Parliament was competent to proceed in this course, without any such consultation, but that it was its duty to undertake, without delay, the Reform of the Church. They were bound to consider this measure, and if it appeared to be a good one, they were equally bound to agree to it. What was the object of the measure? Why, the consolidation, and not, as his hon. friend had stated, the suppression of bishoprics. He would say, "that a Bill for suppression "was a fallacious and improper designation of this measure. What was the nature of the measure? It was not to suppress bishoprics, but to increase the extent over which the duties of a certain number of Bishops would hereafter be applicable. It was an extension of different dioceses; and in all times, churches in every country, had effected the consolidation of dioceses. They would find this to be the fact, if they looked to the best and purest times of the Church. In Italy, there were examples where two, three, or four dioceses were consolidated into one. In Spain and Germany, the same thing had been done; and it had also been the case in Ireland. This was not the first attempt to effect such an object in Ireland. Considerable stress had been laid upon the identity of the Church of Ireland and England; but putting out of view the Catholics, in the ratio of the population, twelve Bishops was an ample proportion for Ireland. This would be enough, treating the question only as a question of suppressing bishoprics. The canon, crescenti numero populorum augetur numerus episcoporum, adapted the number of Bishops to the population. But it was said, the Bill would afford a triumph to the Catholics, who would continue to have the same number of Bishops. He hoped he was not indifferent to the interests of the English Protestant Church, or that he did not think lightly of the duty of meeting the Catholics in Ireland; but his notion was, that they were to be met non numero, sedpondere; not by numbers, but by the zeal, devotion, and assiduity with which the clerical functions were discharged. With regard to Church cess, he was a little surprised that those who took up the principle that Church property was not to be secularized, should contend that this was the property of the Church. It was a clear principle, that if there was any case in which the exercise of the proprietary right of the Church was injurious to the great trust for which that right was given, it was the duty of the Legislature to prefer the great object, and to consult the benefit of the community. If the great object was injured rather than promoted, the question ought to be so disposed of, that the result might be beneficial to the trust. Thus, in the case of tithes, as the collection of them in Ireland marred the great object of benefiting the community, the Legislature had interfered for the sake of promoting the interest of the Church itself. The amount of the Church cess, 60,000l., was so small a sum, the uncertainty of it, and the invidious circumstance that it was disposed of by Protestants, and that the Catholics had no voice in its disposal, altogether rendered the impost so odious, that it would be for the advantage of the Church to get rid of it. He did not call this an alienation; it was no alienation. The relinquishment of it was a sort of capital invested in the good opinion of the people, which made a return in goodwill. Another question related to Bishops' leases. It was argued, that inasmuch as certain acts of Parliament gave them the whole rights of property over unimproved, though improvable land, the Legislature could not interfere with those rights. This was founded upon mere special pleading, and would not bear the test of argument. It could not be said, that the Legislature took from the Church what the Church never had. If it was the property of any one, it was the property of the tenantry, not of the Church, though the right had been in abeyance. This had been always admitted in all discussions which involved the question of leases. If there was an injury done to any party, it was to the tenant or lay proprietor, as the renewal of those leases had now become so much a matter of course, that they were considered property. It was a strong argument with him in favour of the Reform in the Church of Ireland, that, by the change proposed, it would become a working Church, not a Church kept up on account of the patronage connected with it, as had hitherto been the case. He thought it a monstrous thing to keep up an immense establishment, not for the sake of religion, or of the Church, but for the sake of its temporalities. In conclusion, he regretted that the hon. Baronet should say, that his right, hon. friend had yielded to clamour, for his right hon. friend was the last person who could be accused of yielding too readily to the clamour of his opponents.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that there were some of the objects contemplated in this Bill of which he approved; there were details in it which he admitted were capable of improvement in the Committee, and objections had been urged against the principle and details of the measure in the whole extent of which he did not concur. The right hon. Gentleman had stated, with the dexterity of a skilful disputant, that the real question now to be decided was, whether there should be a reform in the Church or not. He denied that this was the case, and he begged that the House would not put that construction on the matter, or interpret a vote hostile to some parts of this Bill, into an opinion opposed to all Church Reform. He approved of the Bill, as far as it proceeded on the principle of removing every abuse in the Church Establishment, and of requiring from those who were intrusted with the spiritual care of parishes a constant and scrupulous discharge of their duties. He also concurred in the propriety of abolishing Church cess; he considered that the right of the Church to this cess was different in its nature from its right to tithes. It was conferred by statute, and not only that, but the grant of it depended on the will of a body, independent of the Church; namely, the vestry. He was, therefore, ready to forego a claim, which, under the very peculiar circumstances of Ireland, it was for the interest of the Church itself to abandon. He thought that, by making some other provision for the repair of churches, they would remove a cause of disunion, and hostility to the Establishment, which it was not worth the while of the Church to incur for such a trifling amount. He also believed, that the Tithe Commutation measure would produce little good, if in each parish they left the Church cess to be levied from the occupying tenantry of another religion. At the same time, he must maintain, that the removal of the cess would be a direct benefit to the proprietors of land, and though, on principle, he was ready to defend the propriety of throwing the expense of the repair of churches on those proprietors, still he thought it was better on the whole for the Church itself that it should undertake the charge, and he was willing that it should be borne by the revenues of the Church. He hoped, however, that he should experience, in this instance, the same readiness which Government had already shown to depart from its plans when convinced of their injustice; and that, in the details of this measure, the noble Lord would continue to act on the principle on which he acted on a former occasion, when he consented to the exemption of all existing interests from the taxation imposed by the Bill. It was proposed, that no part of this new burthen to be thrown upon the Church should be borne by those whose livings were of the annual value of less than 200l.; but he was confident the landholders of Ireland would not consent that this charge of repairing churches should be thrown from their shoulders upon the holders of benefices of so small an amount as 300Z. per annum. If the House should consent to the principle, which he thought was scarcely probable, of exclusively taxing the clergy for this object, he should still contend that it was not right to abstract anything from small livings, and that a clergyman should have a clear stipend, at the least, of 300l. per annum. Again, he had great doubts as to the policy or justice of a graduated Income-tax upon the clergy, and this proposition, though included in the Bill, formed no part of its principle. The noble Lord stated, on a former occasion, with great force, the objection to a graduated Property-tax. Those objections, in part at least, applied to the present proposition. The principle of graduation appeared in a qualified degree, to be recognized by it. While he admitted that the revenues of the Church ought in future to provide, a substitute for the Church cess, he still doubted, whether it would not be better to defray the charge by some other means, out of the savings on Bishops' lands for instance—than by a tax exclusively imposed on the clergy, and which tax seemed to imply, that the clergy had some special interest, apart from the general interests of the community in maintaining the fabric of the Church. With respect to the reduction of the number of Bishops, he could not concur in what had fallen from the hon. member for Oxford, who thought the reduction so objectionable in principle, that it was beyond the competence of Parliament to ordain it. His hon. friend had contended, that no unions of bishoprics had taken place since the Reformation, without the consent of the Convocation. Now, if his memory did not deceive him, unions had taken place since the Reformation, without the consent of the Convocation, upon the authority of the King in Council, and of Acts of Parliament. It was justly said by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Grant), who spoke last, that such an instance took place in the 2nd of Elizabeth, when Cashel and Emly were united. He believed also that Ardagh had been united with Tuam since the Reformation, without the instrumentality of a Convocation; and Kilfenora was united to Killaloe so lately as 1752. He could not concur in the position, that an Act for the union of one bishopric with another constituted a violation of the Coronation Oath. He did not think it possible to maintain the doctrine, that the King of England was bound by that Oath, in his legislative as well as his executive capacity, to maintain every privilege of the Bishops, and of the clergy in the exact state in which those privileges stood in the year 1688. If that, were the true interpretation of the Coronation Oath, it followed as a natural consequence, that the kings who had given their assent to any Act subsequently passed—varying the strict legal privileges of the Church—by uniting bishoprics or parishes, or commuting tithes, which had already taken place, had violated the Coronation Oath, a conclusion at which he (Sir Robert Peel) should be extremely sorry to arrive. In his opinion, the Coronation Oath of the Monarch imposed a duty to maintain to the utmost of his power the interests of the Established Church. There was left to the King the exercise of a discretion, to be regulated by his own conscience, by his own sincere, honest decision of the question, whether any particular measure was or was not for the interests of the Church. If, on a review of comparative advantages to the Church, or of dangers menacing the Church from different directions, the King conscientiously took that course which secured to the Church in his deliberate judgment, the greatest prospect of advantage, or warded off the greatest amount of danger, he for one never could believe, that a King acting on that principle, violated his oath, although he might consent to the modification or abandonment of some privilege heretofore possessed by the Bishops and clergy. He never could consent to the doctrine, that the King must rigidly maintain every ancient privilege of the Church, even to the certain injury of the best interests of the Church. This the King must do if he had no discretion. If he had a discretion, who could presume to charge the King with a violation of his oath, because the King, who took the oath, differed in his conclusions as to the bearing of a particular measure, from others who had no oath imposed upon them. With respect to the diminution of bishoprics, at present there were twenty-two bishops in Ireland, and he should be sorry to be convinced of the policy of diminishing that number, because upon that question must depend an alteration in the Act of Union with Ireland—that Act having provided for the maintenance of a certain number of bishoprics in Ireland, and for a certain rotation regulating the order in which they were to have seats in Parliament. He must confess that he saw great objection to altering the Act of Union, and making a new arrangement. He would, therefore, infinitely rather find it consistent with the true interests of the Church to maintain the existing number of the bishoprics. The Bill before the House struck off ten out of the twenty-two, and until the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Stanley) spoke that night, no reason whatever had been assigned for making a reduction of that particular number, and surely the House would not decide that question without having returns laid before them of the extent of the different dioceses and the number of benefices in each. The House should take into its consideration what were the duties the Bishops had to perform. Supposing the proposed reduction to be made, there would be left a total number of twelve Bishops, four of whom would have to attend in Parliament. Would the remaining eight be sufficient for the discharge of the increased duties of their extended dioceses? Or if they performed the duties of superintending the incumbents in the different benefices, must they not neglect the duty imposed on them as Ecclesiastical Commissioners? The whole charge of the commission would devolve on the lay Commissioners—persons salaried by the Crown, and removable at the pleasure of the Crown. That must be inevitable—for those who gave their constant attention to the Commission, who were conversant with its daily details, would naturally have the control, so that the influence of the Church over it would soon be at an end. All these were questions of great importance, and worthy of the deepest consideration. But to go no further at the present than the plan immediately before the House, he would say that the arrangements it proposed were exceedingly defective, Upon looking to the Bill it would be seen that three of the largest cities of the South of Ireland were to be left without resident Bishops.

Mr. Stanley

begged the right hon. Baronet's pardon, but there was a provision in the Bill which left the Bishop a choice, with the consent of the Commission, as to their place of residence.

Sir Robert Peel

had not adverted to that particular provision of the Bill, but as it stood at present it abolished three bishoprics, and thus, unless the Bishops changed their residence, it would leave Cork, Waterford, and Kilkenny, three of the largest cities in the South of Ireland, without a resident Bishop, and of course the Protestant populations of those cities without that episcopal superintendence they had hitherto enjoyed. And here he would take the opportunity of observing that he objected to no provisions of the Bill which would render the Protestant religion more stable by requiring a strict discharge of these duties from its Ministers. He wanted to see the spreading of the Reformation in Ireland, which he feared had as yet scarcely commenced. God grant that its progress had only been delayed by the unhappy discords which prevailed there since the Reformation—that the existence of the political disabilities of the Roman Catholics, and the jealousies and suspicions inseparable from them had been the main causes of impeding the progress of the Reformation. God grant that the period might soon arrive when a real reformation would take place, not through the operation of constraints upon conscience, but through the removal of every impediment to the natural progress of divine truth. That such would be the case was a conviction deeply impressed upon his mind. The House ought, therefore, to be cautious (to use a phrase already so justly employed) before they controlled the expansive force of the Protestant faith by diverting the provision made for the support of its ministers to secular purposes, and depriving it of the power of filling a more extended sphere of duty. There was one principle involved in the Bill, to which he would never consent—that by which the property of the Church being improved by an act of the Legislature was diverted from ecclesiastical, and applied to secular purposes. Entertaining the opinions he did of the ability of the right hon. Secretary (Mr. Stanley), he never was so disappointed as at hearing his attempt to show that there was nothing in the principle of the Bill inconsistent with equity, justice, and true policy. The right hon. Gentleman narrowed the question between them on a former night to this simple issue. He contended that if the property of the Church was improved by an Act of Parliament, the amount of the improvement belonged to the State. Now he (Sir R. Peel) must repeat, that according to all the principles which had hitherto governed the disposition of property, and according to the dictates of common sense, the property so improved belonged to the Church, and to the Church alone. It was because the Bill recognised that most objectionable principle, and because the right hon. Gentleman declared, that his Majesty's Government would not abandon that principle, that he (Sir R. Peel) would take the earliest opportunity of entering his protest against the measure. He considered that principle to be dangerous to the security of all property. It was a principle be it observed, maintained by men of high character and station, who admitted that there was no distinction in respect to inviolability between Church property and private property. It was true they contended that Church property was so far under the control of the Legislature that it might admit of different distribution and appropriation for the bona fide purpose of promoting spiritual objects; but he had frequently heard the right hon. Gentleman argue with great force, that in no other respect did Church property differ from private property or the property of Corporations. He was the last man who would wish to be down another to opinions once expressed on questions of general policy; but right and justice were immutable. If the right hon. Secretary had said, that, upon consideration, he had changed his opinion, he should have made no further remark, for nothing could be more childish than the unbounded confidence which some men had in their own infallibility, and in the outcry which they raised against any change by others of an opinion once professed. But in this case no change of opinion was avowed. He did not contend for greater sacredness of Church property than was contended for by the present Lord Chancellor of Ireland. That noble Lord said, on a former occasion, in this House, that although, both the property of the Church, and of individuals must yield to the exigences of circumstances, he would maintain that the property of the Church was as sacred as any other. Similar sentiments had been expressed by the right hon. Gentleman himself, by Mr. Canning, and, he believed, by the present Lord Chancellor of England. How then could those who admitted that ecclesiastical property was in its character the same as other property, maintain the proposition, that if Parliament gave an improved value to Church property it might apply that improved value to state purposes? The right hon. Gentleman had argued that the Bishop had no right to this improved property; that the tenant had no right to it; and that therefore it followed, as a necessary consequence, the State had a right to it. Now, he would admit, that if Parliament, by an unexpected act of interference, improved this property, the existing Bishop and the existing tenant might have no claim in point of right to the value of the improvement; but had that great corporate body, the Church, no right to it? On what pretence did the right hon. Gentleman rest his claim to apply the value of the improvement to secular purposes? If the right hon. Gentleman were to say, that Church property was different in its nature from other property, and that the House might therefore apply it to State purposes, he should know what to say in reply; but he was at present contending with those who admitted that there was no difference between Church property and private property, and who yet asserted that, if an Act of Parliament conferred additional value upon Church property, the Legislature had a right to seize for State purposes that additional value. It was utterly impossible to maintain that proposition, and confine it to the Church. It was equally applicable to the improved value of all property, arising under similar circumstances. The right hon. Gentleman said, that the Bishops acquired this property under an Act of Parliament, and the inference was, that an Act of Parliament might take it away. That was a most important question; and he met the right hon. Gentleman with a distinct denial of the proposition. The rights exercised by the Bishops over their property were not acquired under any Act of Parliament. Those rights existed before the passing of the Act to which the right hon. Gentleman alluded. That Act merely restrained the original, inherent, and much more extensive rights possessed by the Bishops. It limited their power over their property to the granting of leases for twenty-one years; but before the Legislature stepped in and limited their rights, the Bishops possessed the power of granting leases for indefinite periods. Why did the Legislature restrain the power of the Bishops For the benefit of the Church, and with no other view. The very title of the Act expressed its purpose. It was called, "An Act for the preservation of the inheritance, rights, and profits of lands belonging to the Church and persons ecclesiastical. "He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that there was a tract in Dean Swift's Works, discussing the question of the policy of repealing that Act. In this tract, he gave the reasons which induced the Legislature to pass the Statute of Charles 2nd. He said, that the Roman Catholic Bishops, foreseeing that the Reformation was at hand, prejudiced the rights of the Church by making improvident leases in perpetuity; and he added, that many of the Protestant Bishops followed their example, conferring the property of the Church upon their near relations. For these reasons it was that the Legislature interfered for the express purpose of preserving the property of the Church, without, as was expressed in the preamble, "detriment, spoil, or prejudice." Accordingly Archbishops and Bishops were restrained from making leases of longer duration than twenty-one years—all of longer duration being declared void, expressly for the purpose of perpetuating the rights of the Church. Alter the lapse of 200 years it was now proposed to repeal that Act, that is, to remove the restraints which it imposed. By their removal, the property of the Church might be improved, and could it, with any semblance of justice be argued, that the improvement belonged to the State, and not to the Church? There was no new value given to this property; there was merely the removal of a legislative restraint on an original right, by which restraint the property was injured. If they sanctioned this principle of the Bill, they were immediately weakening the foundations of all collegiate, hospital, and corporate property, and ultimately the foundations of all pri- vate property. He therefore must protest altogether against the principle, that if by an Act of Parliament the House conferred a value upon properly, for which new value the owner gave no consideration, and which he did not even contemplate—he denied, he said, the principle, that Parliament had a right to appropriate to the State this improved value of the property. But under what circumstances was it that the House was discussing the question? If they really had a sum of 3,000,000l. to deal with, there might be something so tempting in the amount of the spoliation that some men might be induced to overlook its iniquity—but the fact was, that the Mouse was legislating about moonshine—and were engaged in a most unprofitable discussion upon a most dangerous principle. The danger was only increased by the miserable amount of their dishonest gains. The case was not one of splendid robbery, that might be thought, from its singularity, to constitute no rule for the future. Our wrong was without the palliation of being a profitable one. The precedent would be of daily application. After providing for all the wants of the clergy the House would not, have a shilling left with respect to which it could apply the principle which it was asked to affirm, and which it would affirm, therefore, if it agreed to the measure as it stood, in pure wantonness. There were two descriptions of property belonging to the Church—tithes and land. Tithes were insecure, from what causes he would not now stop to inquire, but the land was secure. Well, say the House of Commons and the Government, "the tithes we will leave to the Church, for we have made them a worthless possession, but the lands we will improve and take to ourselves. "What justice, he would ask, was there in this? He did not object to the improvement of the property; he wanted no personal interests of either Bishop or. tenant to be promoted by it, but let the Church—let that religion for which the Church exists—benefit by the improvement. Surely the first charge on this improved revenue was to replace the sums taken from the Church by the abolition of Church cess. He did not object to an equalization of livings, and to providing for the worship of the Protestant population in the large towns; but he did object to any plan which did not consider these objects as the first to be attended to. Were these sentiments, he would ask, entertained only by persons of extreme opinions in favour of the Church? Did the right hon. Gentleman know the opinions of Sir John Newport upon these very questions of the diminution of the number of the Bishops and the appropriation of the Church revenues to secular purposes? No man had laboured longer or more earnestly in the cause of Church Reform, or had taken views more adverse to any unjust claims of the Church than Sir John Newport; and yet that right hon. Baronet had presided at a public meeting at Waterford, which came to unanimous Resolutions, approving certainly of parts of the Bill, but entirely dissenting from the proposed reduction in the number of the Bishops and the appropriation to other than ecclesiastical purposes of the improved value of Church lands. He was not singular therefore in declining at once to admit the propriety of striking off ten Irish Bishops, or of agreeing to the proposed application of the property of their sees. He recollected, that when he proposed to postpone the second reading of the Bill from Tuesday to the following Monday, it was said by his Majesty's Ministers to be quite impossible, for that Members would pass sleepless nights in the interval; that, having voted for the Coercive Bill, their conscience was not at ease until they had given their votes for the Church Reform Bill; and yet six weeks had now elapsed, and the Bill was not yet read a second time ["hear, hear."] He presumed that that cheer proceeded from some Gentleman whose conscience had been upbraiding him for this long delay, and that for the last six weeks his days had been comfortless, his nights without repose. For his own part, he thought the questions involved in this Bill much too important to be decided on such grounds, or with such precipitation. On the decision of the question before the House would probably depend the future welfare of the established religion; and, therefore, however the House might agree, and he believed the great majority did agree, in the desire of removing every just cause of complaint, and in providing for the strict performance of their duties by the ministers of religion, the House must approach this subject with great caution, and enter upon its consideration, not with the view of gaining mere temporary applause, but of laying a foundation of increased stability for the Church of Ireland. He was prepared to consider a measure of Church Reform, which had that object in view; but as this Bill contained the principle, that Church property improved in its value by an Act of the Legislature, might, to the extent of that improvement, be applied to the purposes of the State, and as no hope was held out of the abandonment of that principle, he could not assent to a measure which was in his opinion, unjust towards the Church, and which sanctioned a principle dangerous to the security of all property, whether lay or ecclesiastical, corporate or individual.

Lord Althorp

admitted, that it was very dangerous to assert any principle which interfered with any established right of property. He could not, however, admit, that there was any analogy between Church property, and that of Corporations—and still less was there any between it, and the property of individuals, which came to them by inheritance. In the case of the holders of Church property, they obtained their rights neither by inheritance nor purchase, but by the arbitrary choice of the Crown, or of certain individuals who held the right of appointing them. The right hon. Gentleman, he understood, did not object to converting Bishops' leases into perpetuities, but he objected to appropriating the increased value thereby given to the property to the State. But the right hon. Gentleman objected principally on account of the smallness of the amount, and seemed to admit, that he would have no objection to it, provided the amount were considerable. After that admission, he did not understand how the right hon. Gentleman could object to the principle, or say it was inequitable or unjust; all that he was entitled to say was, that it was impolitic. The right hon. Gentleman agreed, too, in the principle, that the Church cess ought to be abolished, but objected to the mode of providing for that expense. For his part he did not see, if it were to come out of the property of the Church, as the right hon. Gentleman admitted, why it should not come out of the revenues of the clergy. He believed that, in principle, he and the right hon. Gentleman agreed; and he should be happy to take into consideration, in the Committee, any objections the right hon. Gentleman might make to the details. The right hon. Gentleman had objected to the graduated tax on the in- comes of the clergy, and had quoted the observations which he (Lord Althorp) had made against a graduated Property-tax. But between a graduated Property-tax, and a graduated tax upon the incomes of the clergy there was a great difference. The right hon. Gentleman objected to the reduction of the Bishops—that it would not leave enough, when the Bishops were attending their duties in Parliament, to attend to their episcopal duties in Ireland. But if that argument were applied to English Bishops, all of whom were in attendance in Parliament during its sittings, while only a part of the Irish Bishops had seats in the other House, the argument would have much more force. The right hon. Gentleman had proved too much. After the Bill had passed, the number of Bishops in Ireland, in proportion to the revenues of the Clergy, and to the number of benefices, would be much greater in proportion than the number of Bishops in England. In his opinion, the number would be large enough. As to the expansive power of Protestantism to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded, that expansive power would, he believed, be increased as they removed the abuses which he had always understood, prevented it from rising and spreading over the land. The large number of Bishoprics was one of the burthens that confined it, and kept it from spreading. After the number of Bishops was reduced, it would be found, on comparing the number left in Ireland, with the number in England, that the former would be in proportion much larger. Of course he did not admit, with the hon. member for Oxford, that they were not to touch the Bishops at all. Looking at their duties, he thought that the number left would be sufficient. Looking, too, at the benefices, he was of the same opinion. The revenue of the Irish Bishops was 130,000l., and the revenue of the parochial clergy was 600,000l.; the revenue of the English Bishops was 160,000l., and the revenue of the English parochial clergy was 3,000,000l.; which showed, that the Bishops of Ireland would be quite enough. The great number of Bishops was one of the causes of discontent and dissatisfaction. He could not concur, therefore, with the right hon. Gentleman in his objection to reducing the number of Bishops, He felt bound to state, in conclusion, that to the alterations which had been suggested by the right hon. Baronet, his Majesty's Government would object, and he therefore could not complain, that those Gentlemen who desired those alterations, should divide against the second reading of the Bill.

Colonel Conolly

said, he was induced to oppose the measure then before the House on two grounds—he viewed it as a spoliative, as well as a most arbitrary measure. The grounds upon which the spoliation of the property of the Church was sought to be justified were of so wretched and miserable a description, that he was astonished how the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for the Colonies, with his splendid talents, could condescend to resort to arguments that were not sustained by anything like legitimacy of purpose. He was most happy to join his humble tribute of admiration to the eloquent declaration of the right hon. Baronet, the member for Tamworth, as to the respectability of the Protestant Church of Ireland. No feeling was nearer his heart, than the wish to see the immunities and privileges of that Church handed down to posterity pure and unfettered. The Bill now before the House he considered particularly objectionable, as he thought the principle involved in it must finally prove destructive to all property. And let not hon. Members suppose, that the property of the Established Church in Ireland could be endangered, without the Established Church in England participating in her ruin. He considered the present measure as a sacrifice at the shrine of agitation. He would maintain, that it was an off-set to the measure which had been passed for the purpose of supporting the King's Government in Ireland. It had been called by his Majesty's Ministers a remedial measure, and even considering it in that point of view, he was satisfied it would not have the effect of tranquillizing the country. Permitting the property of the Church to be spoliated in the present instance would only tend to aggravate the ills of Ireland, and increase the desire for further spoliation; and he considered, that his Majesty's Ministers were, by their conduct, pandering to the revolutionary and destructive appetites which they could never satisfy. Independently of the demerits of the Bill—and upon those grounds alone he was strongly bound to oppose it—independently of its demerits—he considered it unworthy of support, on the ground, that no necessity existed for its enactment. His Majesty 's Ministers had greatly exaggerated the amount of the Vestry-cess. In the remission of that impost he cordially concurred, and a fund could be raised to meet the amount without diminishing the number of the bishoprics; he thought it right that such a plan should be adopted, but his Majesty's Ministers, by confounding the Vestry-cess with other parochial charges with which it had nothing whatever to do, had made it appear to be a much heavier burthen than it really was, and they had estimated it at a sum nearly double its amount. Should it be necessary to reduce the number of bishoprics at all, it appeared to him, that one-half the number of sees proposed to be despoiled would answer. He was of opinion, that some of the smaller sees in the agricultural districts could be better dispensed with than those of the larger districts, such as Cork, Kilkenny, and Waterford. In these cities were the seats, dioceses, and county parochial charities, and in Waterford alone there were charitable institutions which required the superintendence of the highest functionaries. They were, in fact, all left by the pious and charitable individuals by whom they were founded under the charge of the Bishop, and here he could not avoid paying the tribute of his admiration to the memory of those individuals whose splendid bequests had effected so much for the relief of the poor of that town. There was another part of the Bill to which he entertained an insuperable objection. He referred to that part of it which levied a tax upon livings of 200l. a-year. When he called to mind the summary manner in which that tax was to be levied, he could not but view the measure as one not merely arbitrary in its nature, but as one of extortion. It was his business to show the House the cruelty and injustice of the measure which he would characterise as politically unwise and ecclesiastically injurious. Great complaints had been made, and with justice, of the evils arising out of absenteeism, and yet his Majesty's Ministers, by the course they were pursuing, were doing all in their power to increase those evils. His Majesty's Ministers, in joining in the cry against the Church, were sacrificing the best interests of the country [No, no]. He would repeat distinctly, that they were facilitating the views of those whose avowed object it was to dismember the empire. Another objection which he had to the proposed measure was, that the vacuum created by the suppression of the bishoprics would be filled up by Roman Catholics. As fast as Protestantism receded, the Roman Catholic religion advanced. He was made acquainted with an instance of this which recently occurred. In the city of Limerick, owing to the infirmities of the respected Prelate, his absence had been attended by the effect described, and the Roman Catholic Bishop now occupied the place which should have been filled by the other. It had been already shown what would take place in Kilkenny and Waterford, should the proposed measure pass into a law. On the whole he must oppose the Bill, as he viewed it as a sacrifice of truth to error—and of Protestantism to Popery.

Lord Sandon

being met by loud cries of "Question," and "Divide," said, he should stand there till he was heard. He wished to state the reasons for his vote. He agreed in nearly all which had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, the member for Tamworth, and yet he meant to vote against him; and he wished to explain why. There was no one part of the preamble of the Bill in which he did not agree; and the only part of the measure, which could scarcely be called a principle of it, in which he did not agree was, that for the appropriation of an imaginary surplus to arise at some future time, as Parliament might think fit. The noble Lord (Lord Althorp) admitted, as he interpreted the noble Lord's speech, that this part would be a blow to the security of property; and, in his opinion, it was not worth while, for the sake of appropriating an imaginary surplus, to establish a principle which would weaken the security of property. If he could not alter that provision of the Bill in the Committee, he should probably hereafter think it his duty to vote against it. He agreed with a large part of it, and he was anxious to see a reform in the Church—anxious to see the clergy bound to perform their duties; but he wished, by giving this explanation of his vote, to prevent its being supposed by the public, that those who voted for Church reform were pledged to a principle which violated a principle of property for the sake of an imaginary surplus.

Lord Althorp

begged to explain, that the noble Lord had certainly misunderstood him. He had never said, or thought, that the Bill would in any way endanger property. He had admitted, that an attack upon Church property would endanger other property, but he denied that this Bill was an attack upon Church property.

Mr. Lefroy

rose, and was met with loud laughter, and calls of "Question." After a short time comparative order was restored, and the learned Gentleman moved, that, the debate be adjourned.

Lord Althorp

hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would not persist. They should never be able to decide any question if they went on in that way.

Mr. Wynn

concurred with the noble Lord in deprecating the adjournment; but he must also deprecate the proceeding of not hearing an hon. Member who wished to address the House, and who was especially called upon to speak on this question. If there were any hon. Member who had a greater interest in this subject than another, it was the hon. and learned member for the University of Dublin.

Lord Castlereagh

blamed the Ministers for not procuring a hearing for the Members of that (the Opposition) side of the House. The consequence of that would be, that they would all be made Repealers [cries of "Question"]. He would not be put down [louder cries of "Question"]. He represented a large constituency, and had as good a right to be heard as any hon. Gentleman. The hon. and learned member for Dublin was not to be put down by a sneer or a cough. He had a peculiar right to deliver his sentiments. He would only repeat, that the attempt to put down the Opposition Members would make every one of them a Repealer.

The Speaker put the Question, on the Amendment to adjourn the Debate.

Mr. Lefroy,

however, withdrew his Amendment, and the House divided on the Question, that the Bill be then read a second time: Ayes 317; Noes 78—Majority 239.

Bill read a second time.

List of the NOES.
ENGLAND. Bell, Matthew
Ashley, Lord Bethell, Rich.
Ashley, Hon. H. Blackstone W. S.
Bankes, W, J. Bruce, Lord E.
Chaplin, Colonel T. Somerset, Lord G.
Dare, R. W. H. Stewart, John
Darlington, Earl of Stanley, E.
Duncombe, Hon. W. Stormont, Viscount
Dugdale, E. S. Villiers, Viscount
Egerton, T. Welby, Glynne E.
Fancourt, Major Williams, Robert
Finch, G. Williams, T. P.
Fox, S. L. Wood, Colonel
Gladstone, W. E. Wynn, Rt. Hn. C. W.
Halford, H. SCOTLAND.
Hanmer, Sir John Arbuthnot, Maj.-Gen.
Hardinge, Sir H. Gordon, Hon. Capt. W.
Henniker, Lord Hay, Sir J.
Harries, Rt. Hn. J. C. Johnston, A.
Hope, H. T. IRELAND.
Houldsworth, T. Archdall, General
Jermyn, Earl Bernard, Hon. W. S.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Bateson, Sir R.
Irton, S. Castlereagh, Viscount
Kerrison, Sir E. Cole, Viscount
Knatchbull, Sir E. Cole Hon. A.
Lincoln, Earl of Conolly, Col. E. M.
Lowther, Viscount Corry, Hon. H. L.
Lowther, Hon. Col. H. B. Hayes, Sir E.
Mandeville, Viscount Lefroy, A.
Manners, Lord R. Lefron, T.
Nicholl, J. Maxwell, Sir Jn.
Norreys, Lord Maxwell, H.
Ossulston, Lord Meynell, Captain H.
Peel, Rt. Hon. Sir R. O'Neill, Major-Gen.
Pigot, R. Perceval, Colonel
Pollock, F. Verner, Colonel
Plumptre, R. Young, J.
Price, Richard TELLERS.
Ross, Charles Estcourt, T. B.
Sanderson, R, Shaw, F.