§ Colonel Davies
availed himself of that moment, in preference to waiting till a later hour, to move a Resolution as an Amendment on the right hon. Gentleman's Motion to the following effect:—"That it is inexpedient that any charge should be made on the Consolidated Fund, in order to carry into effect any of the proposed enactments of a Bill now in progress in this House, intitled 'A Bill to abolish composition for tithes in Ireland, and to substitute in lieu thereof a land tax, and to provide for the redemption of the same." The hon. Member maintained that, whilst the Bill contained nothing calculated to tranquillise Ireland, it would have the effect of imposing a charge of from 1,200,000l. to 1,400,000l. upon this country and on Scotland. But why, he would ask, were England and Scotland to be saddled with this expense in support of a measure from which they were to derive no benefit? It was on this ground that he moved his Amendment.
§ Lord Althorp
said, it was not his intention to enter into anything like a criticism upon the motives which induced the hon. and gallant Member to propose such an Amendment on the question of going into the Committee. But he might be permitted to observe, that the principle of the Resolution had been already debated. He had no hesitation in saying that, if the Amendment were to be adopted by the House, it would be impossible to carry the present Bill, as the proposed advance was necessary, in order to put the machine in motion. He 796 would admit also, that if no other appropriation of Church property were to take place in Ireland, his hon. and gallant friend's Motion might be justified. But a Commission had been appointed to inquire into that property, and if there were some difficulty in repaying the Consolidated Fund, the sum would be well laid out in purchasing peace for Ireland. It was generally admitted, that one great cause of discontent and disturbance in Ireland was the pressure of tithes upon the occupying tenant of the soil, and the Resolution of last night went a great way to remove that evil, by taking off, if not at once, at least as speedily as possible, that pressure, and thereby to prevent those unpleasant collisions between the tithe-proctor and the peasant, which too frequently took place. But this measure it would be altogether impossible to carry into effect, if the Amendment of his hon. and gallant friend were adopted by the House. That hon. and gallant Member had asked why it was, that England and Scotland were to be saddled with an additional expense of 1,200,000l. or 1,400,000l. in support of this measure, from which, he said, they were to derive no advantage. He would ask the hon. Member why it was, that England and Scotland were now, and had been for a long time, called upon to pay five or six times as much as that sum, in order to try and preserve the peace of Ireland? He would now state, as he had stated on a former occasion, that he had for some time looked with apprehension to a further collection of tithes in Ireland under the old system, and he thought that Ministers had gone as far as they could in endeavouring to prevent the evil. He was happy to state, that the great body of Irish landlords were willing to take the burthen upon themselves; and, from all he had heard since the last discussion, he had reason to know that that feeling extended to many influential Irish Gentlemen, who had not had opportunities of expressing their opinions in that House upon the subject. The effect of this Bill would be to relieve at once the tenant from the payment of tithes, as they would be absorbed in the rent, and must fall upon the landlord, and this he was convinced would be done with little or no increase of rent exacted from the tenant. He firmly believed, that this measure would have the effect of tranquillising Ireland, and that it was, therefore, 797 well worthy of the consideration and support of every hon. Member of that House.
§ Mr. Gillon
thought, that the best mode of tranquillising Ireland would be by altering altogether the appropriation of tithes collected under the existing system. The Church property of Ireland belonged, he contended, to the State, and ought to be converted to the purposes of the State, one of which purposes, undoubtedly, would be a due support of an efficient clergy for that establishment. But here was a different measure, a measure which added to the burthens of the country. How could they hope to alleviate the distresses of the people, if, while they were taking off taxation lightly on the one hand, they were laying it on heavily with the other? He was not opposed to the interests of Ireland; on the contrary, he had voted in favour of every measure calculated to give relief to that country. But still he felt that a line must be drawn somewhere, and he would vote to draw it here. He did not see why the people of England and Scotland were to be additionally burthened to support the clergy of Ireland; and, therefore, he gave his most cordial support to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Shaw
said, that if the hon. and gallant Gentleman divided the House, he should have his vote—first, because, as the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) had said, the vote of money in question was in support of a Bill for which, although he (Mr. Shaw) had voted for it in its original shape, he was then bound in consistency to oppose it—as its whole essence and character had been changed, and its entire principle abandoned, by the alterations made in it since it had gone into Committee; and so far from being calculated, as the noble Lord anticipated, to tranquillize Ireland, it would, he conscientiously believed, have the very opposite tendency—operating as a bounty upon crime—as the highest premium on violence and outrage—encouraging the political agitators and disturbers of the public peace to hold out the example of successful resistance to one species of property, whenever they might desire to assail another—ay, and perhaps before the next Session of Parliament. The hon. and learned member for Dublin, in subserviency to whose wishes the Government had abandoned their own measure, would turn their timid and temporising conduct in that respect as an argument against the payment of taxes to them- 798 selves, if it happened to suit his purpose. He would beg to ask the right hon. Secretary for Ireland, how be reconciled the concession of the Government last night of those provisions of the Bill which were for the purpose of vindicating the law during the five years land-tax, with the opinion which the right hon. Gentleman had uniformly maintained and pressed upon the House throughout the various discussions, and up to the mock division of the night before—that unless the authority of the law was restored in the case of tithes, and that property was rescued from the confusion to which unlawful combination had reduced it—that all law and all authority in Ireland would be put in jeopardy? The answer probably would be, that convenience and expediency required it. But even if the advance of that 120,000l. was likely to tranquillize Ireland, instead of producing greater mischief, as he thought would be the case, still he would never lend himself to a fraud upon the English, by accepting that money under the false pretence, that it would be repaid —the period relied upon for the repayment, independently of the violation of principle in so applying it, being altogether insufficient for the purpose. He had cautioned the House last year, that the 1,000,000l. then advanced would not be repaid; and he would now ask the noble Lord how, after the alteration made in the Bill by the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. O'Connell), and which the noble Lord had supported ["No, no,"]—he begged pardon, which the noble Lord had voted against—that 1,000,000l. could now possibly be repaid? The noble Lord surely did not mean to put that sum, too, upon the landlords. With respect to the landlords, the noble Lord had just said, that a majority of those in that House had voted for the change made last night. True, a majority in number did; but then he did not believe there was one of that number who much regarded the security or permanency of the Church Establishment in Ireland—nor who, along with the hon. and learned Member (Mr. O'Connell) himself, were not very willing, when they found the ball rolling, to give it a kick, not much caring where it would fall next; but, at all events—sure of one thing—that the real interests of the Church Establishment must eventually suffer from the succession and variety of the expedients and experi- 799 ments to which they were exposed. Moreover he did not mean to deny, that while on the one hand it was a great injustice to the landlords of Ireland to force them to pay between 200,000l. and 300,000l. on the 1st of November next, without previous notice or consent—not knowing from whence they were to receive, or however to recover it—still, on the other hand, it was a gross injustice to the Church, for the landlords were eventually to be gainers, —no less than two-fifths of the Church property were to be put into the pockets of the landlords, to which the landlords had not the slightest claim of right. Some of the landlords might have balanced in their mind one injustice against another —although, on every principle of justice, and by the admission of the Government themselves, both were equally indefensible. The House confiscated by one vote two-fifths of the property of the Irish Church for ever—and by another, gave the clergy the fifth of this one year's income as a sort of bribe to part with their inheritance—and this petty, annual grant, he was well persuaded the House had not the least intention to repeat. On these grounds, therefore, of the entire alteration of the Bill, and the double delusion attempted to be practised, he would oppose the grant.
§ Mr. Sheil
The hon. and learned Gentleman says, that he shall support the Amendment of the gallant Colonel; but does he know what that Amendment is? It is proposed to grant the Church the compensation of twenty per cent out of the Consolidated Fund. The Motion of the gallant Colonel is to stop the advance from the Consolidated Fund, although he approves of the deduction of forty per cent from the tithes. The hon. and gallant Colonel asked, why the people of England and Scotland should make this contribution; but I will ask him, whether the nation pays nothing to ministers of the Church of Scotland?—whether 3,000,000l. have not been granted for the building of churches in England, Scotland, and Ireland? If you once admit that the Irish Church is the Church of the State, you admit that the money of the State may be expended upon it. I will not, however, waste any more time upon this point, as the House seems to have made up its mind that, even if the sum were larger, it should be granted for the tranquillization of Ireland? But I 800 have one observation to make with respect to this object. This measure will be conducive to the tranquillity of Ireland, but will not accomplish tranquillity. It is only one of the many leaves that must be turned over before that end is attained. You must make a different appropriation of the Church revenues. It would be a delusion to tell you, that by taking so much from the Consolidated Fund, and reducing tithes forty per cent, you will produce pacification. Forty per cent will not do; you must go further. It would be a foolish piece of hypocrisy to say, that you must not, for the imposture would soon discover itself. You must go further with the Church Temporalities Bill—it would be disingenuous to conceal it. You must strike off more Bishops. There is no use in disguise; twelve Bishops are too much for Ireland. The Primate of Ireland ought not to have 16,000l. a-year, which he will have, as the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners will inform you, that his income will be increased by about 6,000l. We are now arrived at a point where fair dealing is not only salutary, but, I think, indispensable. Have his Majesty's Ministers—has any one else told you, that the Church of Ireland is to remain untouched? No; and you may depend upon it that in the next Session, Ireland will appear before you, and will, in a voice as strenuous as that she has hitherto adopted, call aloud for a larger, and a fuller measure of Reform. She certainly will. No other expectation has been held out to you from our side of the House—no other expectation has been held out to you by his Majesty's Ministers.
§ Mr. Richards
said, that after the speech which had just been made by the hon. and learned member for Tipperary, it became the duty of every honest man to speak out. For now they were told that, no matter what measures they might enact in favour of Ireland, her claims would become louder and louder next year. He felt more in sorrow than in anger at hearing such a statement made by the hon. and learned member for Tipperary. He regretted to hear that hon. and learned Member declare, as he did, that they must reduce the number of Bishops in that country. If the Irish Church was looked upon by the hon. Member as a State Church, the question was different; but if it was looked upon as a religious 801 Church, as the Church of England was, and as he (Mr. Richards) felt the Irish Church was, or ought to be, then he would say, that the Legislature was bound to preserve and support it. He would say, with respect to that Church, that the time was come when every Member of that House ought to speak out. He would propose, therefore, that the whole of the Irish clergy should be properly provided for out of the Consolidated Fund, and that the whole of the Irish Church revenue should be confiscated to the uses of the State; and further, that the landlord should, under certain regulations, be compelled to pay the tithe. He would continue this system during the lives of all the existing clergy of the Church Establishment, after which he would recommend that the support of the whole of the clergy should be left to the principle of voluntary contribution. He would press this upon the House, and would call upon them to look for a moment at the means of support provided for the Roman Catholic clergy, and then to ask themselves whether the Protestants or other dissenting congregations would be less willing to provide for their clergy than the Roman Catholics were.
said, that it appeared to him, that there was no great difference between the two hon. Gentlemen, (Mr. Shell and Mr. Richards), or, if any, it amounted to this, that one wished to destroy the Church at once, and the other was satisfied to effect a like object by instalments. He could not avoid stating, how greatly he felt obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman, the member for Tipperary, for the candid statement which he had just made; and he would put it to the conscience of English Members, whether they would vote for this measure, which was introduced under the pretence of tranquillising Ireland, after hearing the declaration of the hon. and learned Member. The hon. and learned Member, however, had only told the House that which was well known out of doors, but had on other occasions been avowed by him and his colleagues within the walls of that House, that no concession, short of the total destruction of the Protestant establishment in Ireland, would satisfy them. The concession now made, would only have the effect of bringing a more clamorous call upon the House, for the purpose of extinguishing the remainder. 802 The hon. and learned Gentleman had plainly told you how the vote of last night, which extinguished two-fifths of the tithe, would be received, and that nothing had been in point of fact done unless the remaining three-fifths should be appropriated to what he called national purposes. In the course of last Session twelve Bishoprics were sacrificed, and the hon. and learned Gentleman now called for a further sacrifice. The hon. and learned Gentleman told the House, that the income of the Lord Primate was too large, and that it must be reduced. He had rated it at 16,000l. a-year, whereas the income of the primacy was only 10,000l. a-year. But when hon. Members were informed that that distinguished prelate expended in his own diocese 30,000l., he would ask, whether the House would respond to the call of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Sheil) still further to reduce the Lord Primate's income? He would take the liberty of correcting a statement made by the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with respect to the Perpetuity Fund; that fund was appropriated by the Temporalities Act of last Session. It was no more a disposable fund than any other part of the funds vested in the ecclesiastical Commissioners, The Vestry-cess was taken off last Session, and to meet the deficiency occasioned by that measure, this Perpetuity Fund was in truth the only available and present provision, with the exception of about 10,000l. per annum, arising from three suppressed bishoprics, which had fallen in, The outgoings of the Commissioners was 66,000l. per annum, for repairs of Churches, and other objects formerly provided for by Vestry-cess. To meet this, they had only those funds, which it was therefore a perfect delusion to look to for reimbursing the Consolidated Fund. Indeed the Commissioners were themselves suppliants to Parliament at that moment, for the sum of 100,000l., to enable them to discharge the duties imposed upon them. The House was told, that the Consolidated Fund would be reimbursed out of the Perpetuity Fund; but so far from any reasonable hope existing that such would be the case, he had received accounts from Ireland, stating that a great number of churches were out of repair, that the Church servants and officers were unpaid—and amongst others, he might mention the case of a parish Church in Dublin, 803 the roof of which was in a dilapidated state. Various applications had been made to the Commissioners for assistance; but the answer was, that they had no funds until they got aid from Parliament. It was, therefore, only misleading the House to tell them that these Commissioners had funds enough in hand to reimburse the Consolidated Fund. If the tithe property in Ireland (and was it not as much property there as in England?) had been levied, there would have been abundant funds for the payment of the clergy, without coming to Parliament for the vote which was the subject of the present discussion. He was sorry to say, that the principles of all property were sacrificed by this course of proceeding: agitation had had its reward; and conspiracy against the law had been successful. The Church was now in such a state, that it would be impossible to restore it to the situation in which the present Government found it. If the landlords were to be burthened, as by the vote of last night they were to be, by the payment of the rent charge; if they were to suffer the odium consequent upon being tithe collectors, without those powers which the Government could exercise (and the very name of the Government would be of itself effectual in levying the tithe); if, he repeated, the landlords were placed in this situation, they would be reduced to the alternative of either paying the money out of their own pockets, or concur with the people in resisting the payment altogether. He thought the present measure one of the most mischievous with regard to the Church—one of the most unjust towards the landlords of Ireland—that ever passed a British House of Commons. He would add, that it would not in the end be a benefit to the people—it would only give an opportunity for increasing their rents. The average of the tithe throughout Ireland did not exceed a shilling an acre; and he would ask any man acquainted with that country, if he believed the increase of rent, which would be put on in lieu of the abolished tithe, would rest at that amount? Under these circumstances, he should feel it his duty to oppose the Bill. He should not only feel justified, but bound to support the Motion of the hon. and gallant Colonel as the noble Lord opposite (Lord Althorp) had avowed that, if it were carried, the Bill must be lost.
§ Mr. Ward
observed, that the question was, whether the House was prepared to unsay all it had said, and undo what it had done, for the last six months? By the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex the principle had been decided, and the House had confirmed it by the vote of last night. He opposed the Motion of the hon. member for Worcester, because it was bad in principle and worse in practice. It was bad both as a measure of expediency and as a measure of economy, and it would protract the present unsettled state of Ireland.
§ Mr. Finch
felt strongly inclined to support the amendment moved by the gallant. Colonel for two reasons—first, he thought that it was hardly fair that the people of England should be called upon to make a payment of 130,000l. a-year for the benefit of the Irish landlords—and Secondly, he objected to the principle of the payment. The noble Lord opposite had more than once insisted upon the marked distinction between the payment of tithe and the payment of a rate or tax. The former was property; it could not honestly be withheld; it did not belong. to the landowner, who never purchased it; and the payment of it, therefore, by the Roman Catholic or Protestant landed proprietor violated no principle of conscience. But what had caused the great outcry against Church-cess and Church-rates? The principal objection raised against them was, that they were a tax, and that it was a violation of conscience to compel any man to pay taxes for the support of a religion from which he dissented. The payment proposed by the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was not to be made directly to the landlords. They, forsooth, were so magnanimous that they would not condescend to appeal to that House for remuneration; some of them, however, had no objection to putting their hands into the pockets of the clergy and taking out twenty per cent; and hence, the proposed payment was to be made to the clergy of the Irish Establishment. To this the Dissenters of England would never consent. The noble Lord, however, referred to a new appropriation of the Church revenues of Ireland as a remunerating fund to the British public. Was, then, the question prejudged and decided? A Commission of Inquiry had been appointed—were they not to wait for its Report before 805 they legislated respecting the Irish Church. The hon and learned member for the University of Dublin had said truly, that it was a delusion to expect that the existing funds, in the hands of the Commissioners, were sufficient to replace this sum of 130,000l. He contended, that it was an equal delusion to suppose that any measure of Church mutilation could be grounded next year upon the Report of the Commission of inquiry, which might furnish a revenue for this end. The inquiry thus instituted could not, by the nature of things, present Parliament with a true and accurate Report of the religious condition of the people of Ireland, or of the relative population. That the Commissioners would honestly and honourably endeavour to give a faithful Report, he had not a shadow of doubt but the state of Ireland, and the system of intimidation which prevailed in that unhappy country, forbade any hopes of success. The first step to be taken by them was to circulate certain questions to the Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy. He had seen the questions, and did not consider them as very objectionable. The answers returned by the Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy must, by the nature of the case, essentially differ. In the south of Ireland, a great part of the Protestant population, who found safety in retirement, were unknown to the priests—a vast number of the Roman Catholic children who attended scriptural schools, did so secretly, lest their parents should be deprived of the rights of the Church. Only three months ago he read a report of an Irish school chiefly composed of Roman Catholic children, which related that the priest's approach having been announced, the children jumped out of the window, and when the priest had departed, they scrambled back again. Hon. Gentlemen seemed to doubt that a system of intimidation existed. Aware that this statement would be denied by the Roman Catholic Members of this House, he had furnished himself with testimonies of the fact. He had written to several clergymen of the Establishment, and Presbyterian ministers, who had been labouring in the dissemination of scriptural truth among the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and with the permission of the House he would recite some portions of their letters. He made inquiry of them upon three points—first, whether undue means were employed by the Ro- 806 mish priesthood to oppose the diffusion of scriptural instruction? Second, whether there was liberty of conscience? Third, whether the principles of Protestantism were advancing and propagating? Their unanimous reply was, that undue means were used by the Romish priesthood to impede scriptural education and the reading of the Bible—that liberty of conscience was denied to Roman Catholics—that converts from Romanism were exposed to constant persecution—and that, notwithstanding, the diffusion of Protestant principles was daily advancing. The first extract that he should read, was from the letter of a Presbyterian clergyman, a man of the most undeniable Christian piety—a Presbyterian, and, therefore, disinterested upon the subject of tithes; a witness perfectly competent to give good testimony, as he had been for twelve years engaged in diffusing scriptural education—had been connected with 700 Roman Catholic scripture readers—and had assisted in teaching to read, in the Irish language, 40,000 adult Roman Catholics. The following was an extract from his letter:—A poor man, named Martin, had his house, through the hostility of the priest, pulled down. He and his aged mother were left without a shelter, for no other reason than because he was a Bible reader and teacher. Many in the parish would have given him a shelter—but, from the organized system of intimidation that exists in Ireland to a fearful extent, they dare not. Under these circumstances, by permission of the Protestant Bishop of Meath, having no other place whither the influence of the priest did not ex- tend, we built for poor Martin a school house in the Protestant Church-yard. There, for some time, he taught; but some months ago, when returning from Kingscourt to his solitary cabin amongst the tombs of the dead, he was waylaid, and so abused, that he died shortly after- wards. Nor is poor Martin the only victim to this murderous system, which is so familiar to us in Ireland. I was intimately acquainted with three others in my vicinity, who because they persevered in teaching in Bible schools, were murdered also. One of them named MClaher, in the open day, within a quarter of a mile of the Presbyterian Church of which I was then minister, had his brains dashed out, and his tongue cut off—the savage perpetrators exclaim- 807 ing at the time, "this fellow will no more preach the scriptures to the people!" Out of several hundred Roman Catholic schoolmasters, who are teaching Bible schools under my superintendence, there is scarcely one of them who has not been publicly denounced from the altar; many of them bear on their bodies the marks of violence and abuse. These are not more statements on paper; at any time or manner required, I can establish these facts by the testimony of these men themselves, and a hundred other witnesses.' [Laughter.] He was sorry to find such melancholy details give rise to laughter; but he was willing to believe that it arose not from insensibility of feeling, but from the notion that these extracts were inapplicable to the question. And yet it appeared to him that they bore directly upon the question; for if the British public were to be deluded by the idea that they were to be recompensed for the payment out of the Consolidated Fund by a new appropriation of the Church revenues —and the noble Lord must have meant that, for he said, "If, indeed, no new appropriation were to take place, there would be some strength in the gallant Colonel's argument"—and if the Report of the commissioners would not be entitled to full credit, and if a great part of the evidence which it contained would be hostile to a new appropriation—then it was surely important to show, that the British Legislature would not legislate without a supplemental inquiry by Committee, he felt fully confident. He trusted that early in the next Session the noble Lord would grant a Committee of Inquiry into the religious condition of the people of Ireland; at all events, in another House, such a Committee must be instituted previously to their consenting to mutilate the Irish Church Establishment. The result of that inquiry would be precisely the reverse of what was expected by the noble Lord. There never was a time when the prospect of Protestantising was so favourable. They did not hear of many avowed conversions, by reason of persecution; but the principles of Protestantism were every day disseminating themselves. As for the Roman Catholic system, it was gone; it might linger a certain period, but its vitality was gone; agitation had destroyed it. The power of the Romish system was based upon the stagnation of intellect. The moment that a man ex- 808 ercised his judgment upon matters of faith, he ceased to be a Roman Catholic. There were various kinds of agitation; there was predial agitation, and the agitation of civil war; and there was intellectual agitation. The agitation of the hon. and learned member for Dublin, and his friends, had been in great part intellectual agitation; he has appealed to the people of Ireland by the Press, by letters and by speeches. The Roman Catholics of Ireland were an educated, and, thanks to the hon. and learned member for Dublin, they were a thinking people. The mighty energies of the mind, when once let loose, could not be again unchained. In England, religious inquiry and freedom led to political inquiry and freedom; in Ireland, political inquiry and freedom would conduce to religious inquiry and freedom. [Mr. Langdale, a Roman Catholic, the member for Beverly, dissented.] He (Mr. Finch) thought, that he could prove that position, even to his satisfaction. It would be universally admitted that the same cause, exercised upon the same materials, was calculated to generate the same effects. Forty years ago no people were more truly attached to their religion than the Italians; since that period they had experienced constant political agitation—and what was the state of religion, at present, in that country, as described by the present Pope? Nothing upheld Romanism in Italy but the arm of the civil power. He objected to the grant upon another ground—the same which had been taken up by the hon. and learned member for the University of Dublin; it was not calculated to pacify Ireland. He was grateful to the hon. and learned member for Tipperary for his frank avowal that the Roman Catholic party in Ireland would next year demand the destruction of more bishoprics. He only spoke the language of the Romish priesthood. What was declared by their mouthpiece, Doctor M'Hale, in his celebrated letter to the Bishop of Exeter? The following were his words:—"After all the evils it (the Established Church) has heaped on this devoted land, it is some consolation to reflect that the legislative axe is laid to the root of the establishment. The pruners of the ecclesiastical vineyard have not read the Roman history in vain; and ten of the lofty plants, which poisoned by their narcotic influence the wholesome vegetation, are already laid low. This, 809 doubtless, is a prelude to a further and more enlarged process of expurgation. With every successive measure of reform, existing abuses will be removed, until, it is to be hoped, not a vestige of the mighty nuisance will remain." The Roman Catholic party demanded the utter destruction of the Protestant establishment; his Majesty's Ministers were only prepared for its partial demolition. How hopeless, then, the expectation of tranquillizing Ireland by their measures. The endeavour to satisfy the Roman Catholic party would cost a British Minister his head. That party sought not only the utter subversion of the Established Church, but the restoration of the forfeited estates. The hon. member for St. Alban's who laughed at his remark was well acquainted, he doubted not, with the opinions of the Roman Catholics of Mexico; but the hon. Member must pardon him if he said that he was very little acquainted with the sentiments of the Roman Catholic party of Ireland. He said, the Roman Catholic party, for with respect to the mass of Irish Roman Catholics, he felt bound to testify that they were generous, kind hearted, and would be loyal, but they were driven and persecuted by a factious minority into their opposition to the laws. The priests had identified the wrongs of the clergy with those of the laity, heretofore for their own purposes, and they dared not separate them at the present day. Did the noble Lord expect by his measures to satisfy the hon. and learned member for Dublin? He might as well expect, by casting a few morsels of meat, to satisfy the appetite of a hungry lion. There could be no present tranquillity to Ireland; that divided country could never be tranquil unless it became a Protestant country. It was said, that Ireland was not to be governed by union with a party. Could any country be governed without union with a party? Even in despotic countries, society was divided into the honest and dishonest, the peaceable and the turbulent, the well-affected and the disaffected; but in every free country, there must be adverse parties. In Ireland his Majesty's Government had two parties presented to them, the one desired to uphold the laws, the Church, the present settlement of property, and the connexion between the two countries; the other party opposed the laws, aimed at a new settlement of 810 property, desired the destruction of the Established Church, and a Repeal of the Union. Upon these facts there could be no doubt. For these reasons he should vote for the Amendment.
§ Mr. Lynch
observed, that the topics adverted to by the hon. Member were not in question before the House. That concerned Ireland, not Italy and the Pope. The only question was, whether the Consolidated Fund should be charged to make up the deficiency from deducting forty per cent from the tithes. With regard to the interest of Protestantism in this question, he (Mr. Lynch), if he had been a Protestant, should have attributed the non-expansion of the Protestant religion to the Irish Established Church. He was sorry that the appropriation principle was not adopted in the Bill; but a great point had been gained by removing the tithe oppression from the occupiers; and if the object of the Bill could not be attained, except by charging the Consolidated Fund, he was ready to go that length. He, therefore, should oppose the Amendment.
§ The House divided on the Amendment: Ayes 14; Noes 78: Majority 64.
|List of the AYES.|
|Attwood, Thomas||Lefroy, Serjeant|
|Blake, M. J.||Richards, J.|
|Brocklehurst, John||Shaw, Frederick|
|Curteis, Captain||Vigors, N. A.|
|Darlington, Earl of||Vincent, Sir F.|
|Dillwyn, L. W.||TELLERS.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Davies, Colonel|
|Irton, Samuel||Gillon, W. D.|
§ The House went into a Committee.
§ On it being proposed to strike out clauses 3 and 4,
§ Mr. Christmas
observed, that he was much in doubt, whether the tranquillity which was expected would follow on this measure. It would put the landlord in collision with his tenant on a point which ought to be the subject of amicable arrangement between them. The hon. member for Dublin, whom he did not see in his place, he supposed was satisfied with the present Bill. He did not like to speak harshly of the Government; they had been charged with thimble-rigging, and he could not but think that they had been guilty of a cross. To be sure he did not know it; but there had been so much done behind the scenes lately. The hon. and learned member for Dublin, he repeated, could, when it suited his pur- 811 pose, speak very strongly on the impolicy of putting discord between landlord and tenant. He thought that the farmers of Ireland would not understand the Bill, but Government ought to let them understand that sixty per cent should be paid on tithe. He would not divide the house, as he did not think that it would be of much service; but would be satisfied with the expression of his dissent to this proposition.
§ Clauses struck out.
§ On Clause 34 being put, Mr. Sheil moved that it be struck out.
§ The Committee divided—Ayes 15; Noes 83: Majority 68.
§ Several Clauses were postponed. The House resumed: the Committee to sit again.