§ Sir Henry Hardinge moved, that the following passage from the speech delivered to Parliament by his Majesty, at the opening of the Session, be read:—"There are many important subjects, some of which have already undergone partial discussion in Parliament, the adjustment of which at as early a period as is consistent with the mature consideration of them would be of great advantage to the public interests. Among the first, in point of urgency, is the state of the Tithe Question in Ireland, and the means of effecting an equitable and final adjustment of it."
§ The passage having been read, on the Motion of Sir Henry Hardinge, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House upon the subject of Tithes in Ireland.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
said, that he had reason to feel more than usual embarrassment in rising to address the House upon this important question. The subject was in itself of so very complicated and difficult a nature, embracing so many complicated details, and affecting such a variety of interests, that for these reasons alone he required the indulgence of the House in applying himself to it; but when, in addition to the embarrassing nature of the subject, he found that it was one which, ever since the year 1831, had been canvassed with much warmth in that House, and that out of Parliament religious differences had been mixed up with it, he felt all the difficulty of his task, and that 14 it would be almost idle and preposterous to hope that the measure, which he was about to propose, would pass through Parliament without meeting much opposition. Then on what did he rest his hope that the measure would be adopted by Parliament? His answer was, that the urgency and magnitude of evil, which had arrived at the maturity of misfortune, rendered it absolutely necessary that Parliament, should attempt to rescue society in Ireland from the disorganized slate into which it was at present thrown by the Tithe Question. That disorganization had proceeded to such a pitch, intimidation had been carried to such an extent in that country, as to render it utterly impossible to proceed with the collection of tithes. It was well known, that in Ireland, the turbulent man, who disobeyed the law, was rewarded, whilst the peaceable subject was liable to suffer ill-treatment in his person, and to have his property destroyed, if he attempted to obey the law by paying tithe. This state of things was happily unknown in this country, but in Ireland, where the population was scattered, and property might be easily destroyed, intimidation prevailed to a great extent, and threats of violence exercised a more powerful influence over the minds of the Irish peasantry than the fear of the law. What was the case, as regarded the tithe-owners, men in a higher situation of life? During the last four years, there had been almost an actual suspension of the collection of tithes in Ireland. When the tithe-owner called upon the Government to vindicate the law, and afford him the protection to which he was entitled, and the troops were in consequence marched to the assistance of the civil power, the military and the peasantry came into collision, and those scenes ensued which every Christian and friend of humanity must deeply deplore. In this state was Ireland at the present moment, and it was useless to expect any change to occur with respect to it unless the cause of the evil was removed. That such lamentable scenes as those to which he had just adverted, had not occurred more frequently in Ireland was to be attributed in a great degree to the singular forbearance and moderation with which the clergy of Ireland had conducted themselves in their state of extreme poverty and distress, He could inform the House, that out of 1,300 benefices in Ireland, there 15 were not, when he was in Dublin, more than 30 or 40 applications for the assistance of the military to collect tithes, notwithstanding the extreme poverty and distress of the incumbents. He asked the House, however, whether it were fit and becoming that, because these individuals felt, as men and Christians, conscientious scruples with respect to the enforcement of their just claims, lest it might lead to bloodshed, they were not to be relieved or protected in their rights? He was convinced that the House of Commons would not sanction such injustice,—he was confident that Parliament would co-operate with the Government in framing a measure by which a just and satisfactory arrangement of the question might be effected, and the present state of things put an end to. The defects of the existing system were not attributable to exorbitant exactions on the part of the clergy. It was proved by the evidence given before every Committee which had been appointed within the few last years, that the average amount of tithes thoughout Ireland did not exceed 1s. per acre, and by returns on the Table, relating to 900 benefices, it appeared that in 800 benefices the average amount of tithe was 6d. per acre. He, therefore, was justified in assuming that the amount of tithe was not the cause of the present unhappy state of things. Religious differences were mixed up with it, though he believed, in many instances, the religious part of the question was rather a pretext than a real grievance. There was one acknowledged evil connected with the question—namely, the mode of sub-letting land in Ireland. In some small farms, the holders were so subdivided into minute portions that it was utterly impossible for the tithe-owner to collect his property, except from a pauper population, taking from some individuals a half-a-crown, from others a shilling, and from others a penny, or even a farthing. Under these circumstances, it must be evident, that if the clergyman should forego his claim on account of the small amount due by the tithe-payers individually, he would be deprived of the greater part of his income. The Act introduced by the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire (Lord Stanley), and passed in 1832, had for its object the mitigation of this evil, by fixing the responsibility of the payment of tithe, not upon the occupying tenant, but on the next landlord immediately 16 above him. The effect of that Act was immediately to diminish the number of tithe-payers. By a return which he had received, it appeared that, in 903 benefices, containing 346,000 tithe-payers, 132,000 had been struck off by the operation of the Act; thus, reducing the amount of discontent by at least one-third. This Act of the noble Lord was a measure of unqualified good, by rendering the tithe composition in Ireland universal and perpetual, and by substituting a fixed rent-charge for tithe. Mr. Goulburn's Act of 1823 was the first measure by which it was proposed that a composition should be substituted for the payment of tithe upon land. Mr. Goulburn's plan was a gross valuation of the amount of tithes for twenty-one years, liable to a valuation for the seven years immediately preceding the composition, according to the price of corn. The Act of the noble Lord altered Mr. Goulburn's Act, by making the gross amount of composition, when once fixed, perpetual, liable only to the variation in the price of corn in the seven preceding years. This advantage resulted from making the composition perpetual, that the farmer, who should expend capital and industry in improving his land, would not be liable at the end of twenty-one years to pay an increased amount of composition to the clergyman, which would have been the case under Mr. Goulburn's Act. The noble Lord's Act also effected another improvement in the law, by preventing the tithe-owner from distraining upon the poor tenants. By that Act, the power of going upon the land to seize for tithe was taken away from the tithe-owner, and he had his remedy against the landlord next above the occupying tenant. On the other hand, the Statute in question placed the tithe-owner in a situation of great difficulty, by imposing upon him the necessity of discovering who was the landlord immediately above the occuping tenant. In England, this would not be a matter of any difficulty, but in Ireland, where there were many intermediate landlords between the head landlord and the occupying tenant, it was quite the reverse. The difficulties arising out of this enactment were, indeed, so great, that it was impossible to carry the Act into effect. The noble Member for North Lancashire had never intended his Act to be permanent, because in every one of his speeches, and in every resolution which he had sub- 17 mitted to the House since 1831, he had stated, that his object was first, by establishing a composition to get rid of the class of poor tithe-payers, and then to fix a land-tax or rent-charge on the superior landlord, and to invest the produce in land for the support of the clergy. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Littleton) adopted the same principle when he brought forward his measure respecting tithes last year. The right hon. Gentleman then said, that the only way in which the property of the Church could be secured, was by the imposition of a redeemable rent-charge, and laying out the redemption fund in the purchase of land for the support of the clergy. On this principle, the Bill of last year was founded, and the machinery by which it was to be carried into effect, was a land-tax for five years, and afterwards a rent-charge, both redeemable. In the Bill of August, last year, also, the principle of a rent charge was recognized. He thought that the immediate imposition of a rent charge upon the person most interested in the land, thus avoiding all interference with the poor tenant, would be the best. The imposition of a rent-charge on the land was not only good in principle, but proper as regarded the situation of the Protestant landlord in Ireland. He held in his hand a return of the quantity of land owned by the Protestants and Catholics respectively, in 903 benefices in Ireland, from which it appeared that the Protestants owned 10,500,000 acres, and the Catholics only 645,000. So that the number of acres belonging to the Protestant proprietors was in round numbers fifteen for every one belonging to Catholics; and the amount of composition paid by Protestants was 19l. for every 1l. paid by Catholics. He mentioned this circumstance merely for the purpose of showing that a rent-charge upon the land, which many persons considered a harsh proceeding, would fall chiefly upon the persons who, in fact, ought to bear it—namely, the Protestant owners of the land, and not on the Catholic population. He was, of course, well aware that in a legal point of view it mattered not whether the land liable to tithes belonged to Catholics or Protestants, because the burden was attached to the land without reference to the religion of the persons to whom it belonged. His decided opinion then was, that the imposition of a rent-charge was 18 the best mode of proceeding to meet the justice of the case, and to avoid collision with the poorer class of tithe-payers Upon this subject he had received a letter from a deputation of land agents in Dublin, dated the 12th instant, from which he would read an extract to the House. The writer stated—"That instead of a voluntary undertaking on the part of landlords, which is open to many objections, the law should be altered so as to render the chief landlord, or person having the first estate of inheritance in the land, liable for the tithe of his estate, and to compel him in every case to pay it underhand subject to, such reduction or abatement as Parliament may consider just and equitable." In another part of their communication those gentlemen said—"That, although not strictly within the objects of the present communication, the deputation cannot avoid expressing their opinion, that it would be most advisable to give landlords the power of redeeming the charge, either by an equivalent in land or by purchase, and that a provision to this effect should be introduced in any future enactment on the subject, and facilities afforded by Government for carrying it into effect." The bill of last year imposed a rent charge of 80l. for every 100l. of composition; in the bill which he proposed to introduce the rent-charge would be 75l. for every 100l. of composition, being five per cent, more in favour of the landlord than in the scheme of last year. By the scale of redemption, also, which would be established by his bill, the landlord would obtain a great advantage as compared with the scale proposed last year. To purchase 100l. of composition under the bill which he proposed to introduce, assuming it to be taken at twenty years purchase, it would require the sum of 1,500l., whilst, by the bill of last year, it would have required 1,600l. Under the bill of last year, the highest price for the purchase for the redemption of 100l. of composition was 1,850l., and the lowest 1,750l.; so that by the bill he intended to introduce, the landlord would, on the average, gain 250l. on the redemption of every 100l. of composition, or an advantage of about two years and a half purchase, in addition to the premium of twenty-five per cent, established by the difference between the 100l. composition, and the 75l. rent-charge. It was proposed that the landlord should give the advantage of the 25l. 19 per cent, difference between rent-charge and composition to the intermediate tenants, down to the occupier of the land. Having stated the advantage which would accrue to the landlord, he would now show in what manner the bill would affect the clergyman. The bill of last year proposed to give the tithe owner 77l. 10s. for every 100l; but by the measure which he proposed to introduce, he would only receive 75l., being 2l. 10s. less. It was, however, intended to indemnify the clergy to the extent of 75l., that was to say, that if during the process of the investment of the redemption money any loss of interest should be sustained, the present incumbents would, during their lives, be guaranteed 75l. This indulgence would not extend to their successors; they must take the redemption money for what it might be worth in the securities in which it would be invested. In order that there might be no mistake upon this point, which he saw had attracted the attention of his right hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Littleton), he would read from a paper what it was he proposed to do with respect to it.—"Present incumbents to be indemnified against any loss accruing in the amount of their incomes below 75l. per cent., during the interval between the cessation of rent-charges and the investment of the redemption money received for it, and likewise against diminution of income below 75l. per cent., by the investment of the redemption-money in other securities by the Commissioners. The successors of the present incumbents will receive the income, whatever it may be, which the redemption of the rent-charge may produce. This indemnification is to be charged on the perpetuity purchase fund, leaving the Ecclesiastical fund untouched. "The incumbent would receive the rent-charge from the head landlord at stated periods; and if it should not be paid when due, he would apply to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who would immediately have recourse to a crown process to obtain it, so that under no circumstances would the incumbent be engaged in litigation with any of his parishioners. With respect to lay impropriations, they would be treated in the same manner as by the bill of last Session. They would receive their redemption money, and apply it as they thought proper; or if they were minors, it would be placed under the care of the Court of Chancery. He now came to the 20 most painful part of his task—namely, the consideration of the distressed state of the clergy. The clergy, as he had before observed, were placed in a situation of great difficulty. The Government had felt that no measure which they could bring forward would give perfect satisfaction, unless it should at once and for ever abolish tithe composition, and at no distant period put an extinction to tithes altogether. It would be proposed by the bill that the rent-charge should be imposed immediately for the present year, and should continue for three years, at the expiration of which time, it should be saleable in the market by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, unless redeemed before that period. The consequence of that arrangement would be, that from the present year tithe and tithe-composition would be actually abolished. It was evident that for past years there could be but few arrears of tithe, because considerable advances had been made to the tithe-owners in 1831, 1832, and 1833, under the Million Act, which was passed in 1833. As the rent-charge would commence in the present year, there could be no arrears for the future, and therefore, the only arrears to be provided for would be those for 1834. The question then was, how were the clergy to obtain the arrears due in the year 1834? What course ought the Government to pursue with regard to this question? Would the House recommend the Government to employ the military in vindication of the law as it was called, by assisting at the collection of tithes? ["No.'"] Certainly not; he was sure the House would deprecate the continuance of such a system. Would the House recommend Government to abandon the clergy, who were in a state of great distress, and whose only fault—if fault it were—was, that they had not enforced their claims to what was justly their due? Certainly not. That would be cruel injustice. Thirdly, would the House consent to apply the residue of the Million fund, amounting to about 360,000l. as far as it would go, to pay the arrears due to the clergy in 1834? This sum he feared would be very inadequate. He was aware, that there were great objections in principle to giving money to the tithe-owners, because to pay the debts of those persons who resisted the law was holding out a temptation to persevere in the same illegal course; but when the House recollected that the precedent had already 21 been established, and that by the grant of the 1,000,000l. an impression had been made upon the minds of the peasantry that they would no longer be called upon to pay tithes, it would probably be of opinion that it would be advisable, in order to prevent any further collision with the people, to act upon that precedent now. The same reasons which applied to the grant of the residue of the Million Fund would equally apply to the remission of the payment of the instalments due by the clergy. About 637,000l. had been advanced to the clergy, and by the law it was imperative upon them to repay it; but he asked the House, how it was possible that they could do so when they had not been receiving their tithes? It was a perfect delusion to suppose that the clergy, impoverished as they were, could repay the money which had been advanced to them. The enactment respecting the repayment of the loan would operate unjustly in many instances, for clergymen appointed in the course of last year to livings would be obliged to repay the money paid to their predecessors. By those who entertained an opinion that the Church of Ireland was a rich Church, and that seemed to be the opinion of many hon. Members opposite, it might be supposed that the money might be advanced out of the Ecclesiastical Fund; but if the House would examine, they would find that if this were done, the ecclesiastical fund would be greatly in debt, and there would be no prospect for several years of getting out of it. When the vestry cess was abolished, there was in that year a deficiency of 30,000l., and in the present year there would be a deficiency of 40,000l. Altogether there was no more than 307,000l. and, if afterwards, the calls on the Ecclesiastical fund went on augmenting in that proportion, it would take thirty-three years to liquidate that debt. It could not come out of the perpetuity purchase fund, for, as we understood the right hon. Baronet, 50,000l. had been lately advanced for it by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who, in turn, were obliged to borrow 100,000l. from the Treasury. It therefore appeared to the Government that there was no alternative but to pay the arrears of 1834 out of the residue of the million advanced by Parliament. He would abstain at present from any notice of what had been urged upon the House respecting the appropriation of Church property in Ireland, be- 22 cause that consideration did not belong to the tithe question, and because the Government intended to give that question full and impartial consideration as soon as the Report of the Commission should be received. On the part of the clergy of Ireland there existed a sincere desire for the removal of those obstacles by which their usefulness was greatly impaired. Whatever their rights might be, there was no doubt that the collection of tithe was the fruitful source of agitation and violence; and rather than make the exaction of tithes any longer the bone of contention between the tithe-payer and the clergyman, they were quite prepared to give them up altogether, trusting to the House to make a proper provision in lieu of tithes. This was attempted to be done by the Measure he had the honour to propose; but whilst he felt that there might be many defects in the plan, he trusted the Committee would agree to the Resolution he meant to propose for their adoption substituting a rent-charge for tithes, and leading in a few years to the total extinction of tithes in every shape. The right hon. Baronet concluded by moving "That composition for tithes in Ireland should be abolished in consideration of an annual rent-charge, to issue out of the lands heretofore subject to the payment of such composition, and to be payable to the owners of the first estate of inheritance, or other estate in the nature of a perpetual interest; that such rent-charge shall be in the proportion of 75l. for every 100l. of composition; that such rent-charge shall be redeemable, and that the redemption money shall be invested in land, or otherwise, for the benefit of the persons entitled to such composition. And that the arrears of tithe due in the year 1834, shall be made up from the 307,000l. remaining out of 1,000,000l. advanced by Parliament to the clergy of Ireland in the year 1833."
Lord John Russell
should say but a few words on the present occasion, not being inclined to offer any opposition to the measure of the right hon. Gentleman. At the same time he must remind the House, that a Bill not very dissimilar was brought into the House of Commons in the last year, and the House of Commons recommended the settlement of that great question in such a manner that he believed nearly all the principal opponents of that measure, sitting on the other side of the 23 House, were not in their hearts dissatisfied with it. That Bill, however, was on the second reading rejected by the House of Lords. Now, he would ask, what had been gained by that rejection? And what greater benefit would accrue to the people of Ireland by the passing of the right hon. Gentleman's measure than would have been secured to them by the Bill of last year? The right hon. Gentleman stated, and stated truly, that it was of the highest and most pressing importance to pass some measure which would avert the dreadful calamities that fell upon the people owing to the collection of tithe; but all this would have been effected by last year's Bill, under which the clergymen would have received 77l. 10s. for every 100l. of tithe. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the clergy of Ireland were in a most distressed state, and he (Lord John Russell) was extremely sorry that it was so; but what did he do? He stated that he was going to give them an income of 75l. for every 100l. of tithe. What, then, was the gain to the clergyman, what to the public, by the loss of that Bill? What points of difference were there between that Bill and the present, and what became of the assertion that by that Bill the property of the Church was to be entirely secularized? If the right hon. Baronet was disposed to affirm that principle, what induced Gentlemen who were sitting on the Ministerial side of the House to stigmatize the measure of last Session as an act of spoliation? The late Government reduced the nominal income of the clergy of 100l. to a bonâ fide revenue of 60l., and made up the difference to 80l. out of the Consolidated Fund; and if in effect the same principle was to be acted on by the present Administration, what right had their present supporters on that occasion to say to those who introduced the Bill of last year, "You have no right to secularize the property of the Church?" The difference was now to be made up out of the Perpetuity Purchase Fund. This was not a question of amount, but of principle, and it appeared to him that there was no point of principle that applied to the secularization of Church property in the Bill of last year which was not equally applicable to the present measure. Having stated, then, that it was not his intention to offer any opposition to the measure, and that be could, discover no difference in principle 24 between that measure and last year's Bill, he should not enter into any discussion upon its details. He should merely say that he much doubted whether any advantage whatsoever would result from any measure for the abolition of tithes till the House had come to some firm decision with respect to the great question of appropriation. Till that was done, it was idle to hope that any Tithe Bill that could be passed for the relief of Ireland would effect its object; and till that was done there could be no hope of peace for Ireland, of effectual security for the Church, or stability to the institutions of the country. He would only add, that he was sure, that the right hon. Gentleman would not hurry his Bill, but, if the House agreed to his Resolutions, that he would lay his Bill on the Table, and allow ample time for the examination of its details.
§ Mr. Shaw
was of opinion, that the noble Lord, who had just sat down, had fallen into an error in supposing, that there was no essential difference between the measure of last year and the present plan. He contended, that there was no difference between the two. He would endeavour to point out to the noble Lord a very material distinction between the two plans. In the first place, the Bill of last year proposed the reduction of forty per cent in the amount of tithes, whereas the present Bill only proposed a reduction of twenty-five per cent. He had always thought, that the transference of the liability of the payment of tithes from the occupiers to the owners of the land, would be a great advantage to the clergy; and that, therefore, they should give up some portion of their claims as compensation to the owners. The amount proposed last year—forty per cent—was a monstrous sacrifice for such an advantage. The noble Lord (Lord Althorp) who introduced the plan last year, in the first instance proposed, that they should give up only twenty per cent, and, with the exception of the charge of two and-a-half per cent, then proposed to be made, no objection was urged against that part of the arrangement by those who were supposed to represent the clergy of Ireland in the House. This part of the plan was subsequently altered in the manner he had stated. There were, however, some still more material objections to it—namely, the sum to be paid to the clergy, and the manner in which the sum should be made up. The noble Lord said, 25 that the clergy would have been better off by the Bill of last year, than by the present measure. No doubt they would, in a pecuniary sense, to the extent of two and-a-half per cent. As regarded the clergy, however, this was not a mere question of pounds, shillings, and pence, but it was a question of principle. In that respect, there was an incalculable difference between the two Bills. By the former Bill, forty per cent was to be deducted from tithes, but twenty per cent (deducting two and-a-half per cent) was to be paid to the clergyman from another source. This difference was to be made up out of the Consolidated Fund. For the purpose of inducing the landlord to coincide in the measure, a deduction of forty per cent was to be made, which he considered an unreasonable deduction; and also, that it was most objectionable in principle to make up the difference out of the Consolidated Fund. The present plan was not liable to the objections that were urged against the former, as it gave little or nothing of the property of the clergy to the landlords. The present measure settled the income of the clergy at seventy-five per cent of the present amount; and although the right hon. Gentleman took a distinction between their existing and future condition, yet seventy-five per cent might reasonably be taken as the general amount—minus the loss that might attend the change of property—in realizing the value of the tithes in land, or the public funds. Of course, there was always some loss on a private person selling an estate in one county, and investing the produce in property in an adjoining county, or in the public funds; and so, then, necessarily this would be the case in investing the redemption money for tithes in land or any other security. If he understood the right hon. Gentleman correctly, the sum was to be made up to the incumbent if a reduction took place, to the amount of seventy-five per cent, by payment out of the Perpetuity Purchase Fund. The great object of the Bill was the redemption of tithes, and investment of the produce in other property, for the maintenance of the clergy; but he repeated, that some loss must accrue during the period of re-investment; but the loss for the existing interest must be made up out of the fund he had just alluded to. By the Bill of last year, the clergy were tempted by the offer of a larger income; 26 and he did not complain on the part of the clergy of this offer; but they could not accept it without a sacrifice of principle, and a sacrifice of the future support of the clergy. They were then to receive a certain amount first out of the Consolidated Fund, and this was to be repaid out of the Perpetuity Purchase Fund. He had made a calculation on the subject, and he had no hesitation in saying, that if the measure of last year had been passed, they would have found it necessary to take three millions from the Consolidated Fund before there was a chance of repayment. The hon. Member for Middlesex might feel alarmed at seeing two millions beyond the arrears now due advanced beyond what could be realized out of the Perpetuity Fund to be formed under the Temporalities' Act. The fund would be found wholly inadequate to reimburse any such expenditure. His right hon. Friend had stated, that there would be a deficiency in this fund to the amount of 50,000l. for some years, out of which the Church-rates were to be paid, and small livings augmented. Therefore, if the clergy had accepted the Bill which was to give a great advantage to the landlord, and to take money from the Consolidated Fund, which afterwards was to be made up out of the Perpetuity Fund, they would be parties to absorbing Church property. His right hon. Friend proposed to have Church property permanently fixed after this deduction of twenty-five per cent. He thought he had shown clearly, that the former Bill would have secularized a considerable portion of Church property; but he did not see how the present Bill could secularize one shilling of that property. If he did, he would oppose it to the utmost; for he never would consent to apply to temporal purposes any property belonging to the Establishment. He was satisfied, that the present Government never would consent to such a principle. Hs was anxious for the settlement of the tithe question, and fully aware of its importance. He admitted, that in consequence of the notion that prevailed, this description of property was insecure; but he was also convinced, that unless this subject was settled, there would be no security for any property—no law would be obeyed, and no authority would be acknowledged. He trusted, that his Majesty's Government would never consent, that any portion of Church pro- 27 petty should be devoted to other than Ecclesiastical purposes; and he was sure, that they never would have permitted the continuation of those combinations against the law which had been carried to such an extent in Ireland. He was anxious to see the change which had now become necessary, effected by those who were friendly to our institutions. Hon. Gentlemen appeared astonished at his observation; but he was not anxious that changes in our institutions should be made by Reformers, who wished to destroy, but only by those who wished for improvement, and were, therefore, content to make a change. He wished to have every alteration connected with the Church, or its revenues, proposed, and carried by those who were known to be friends of the present system. He wished the changes in our Church Establishment to be effected only by those who were friendly to it. He had supported all the tithe measures of Lord Grey's Government, and he had offered to withdraw his opposition to the Church Temporalities' Act if Lord Althorp would give up the clause for the diminution of the number of Bishops. The hon. Member for Dublin said, that that was a perfectly valueless part of that Bill, but in his opinion, there was no other part of that Bill so objectionable as to render it necessary to divide the House on it if the clause were withdrawn. He never opposed change merely as an enemy to change, but only when he thought it would lead to injury. He had always supported it when he thought that it would lead to improvement. He differed in some minor details from his right hon. Friend (Sir H. Hardinge), but altogether he approved of the plan now proposed. He had ever objected to the notion of making the clergy repay the million that was advanced to them in consequence of the nonpayment of tithes. He said, at the time that if it were advanced, it never would be repaid, and it was impossible to expect, that this would be done unless the Government had taken steps to enforce the payment of tithes by the defaulters. The million was not advanced for the clergy, but for the tithe-payers. His right hon. Friend now asked for the overplus of the money actually paid to the clergy—namely, 332,000l., which, in point of fact, was payment for the present arrears of tithes. The Bill to be brought in by his right hon. and gallant friend, that the affirmed Church 28 should keep its property, but it did not ask for anything. By former measures, money was advanced to the clergymen, but in reality for the land or tithe-payers, and for every 50l. given to the clergy, 100l. was given to the land. The Church now said,—"We will reduce our permanent income 25l. per cent, and accept 75l. for every 100l. of tithe." Every friend to the Church was anxious, that the rent-charges to be substituted for tithes, should be redeemed, and he trusted, that the Government would exert itself for the attainment of this result. The general feeling in Ireland was, that there would be no security to property if this question was not properly settled, and that, in point of fact, all other property would be brought to the same state as tithe property. He trusted the time had come in Ireland, when all moderate men would unite in defence of property and good order, and that an attempt would be made to put down the disturbers of the peace, and the makers of factious speeches. He could assure hon. Gentlemen opposite, that he was perfectly sincere. He had never supported political associations, or had belonged to such societies as had lately been alluded to. In conclusion, he begged to observe, that he got up merely to explain to the noble Lord the difference between the present measure, and that of last year, and shortly to state the reason why on the whole he approved of the Resolutions of his right hon. Friend. He trusted, that the clergy would meet his right hon. Friend in a spirit of concession, with a view to the final adjudication of this difficult question.
§ Viscount. Howick
did not rise to follow the right hon. and learned Gentleman through the various statements he had made; indeed, if he had felt inclined to do so, it would have been beyond his powers, such was the discursive nature of the right hon. Gentleman's observations. He rose merely to express a hope, that the right hon. Baronet would not call on them this night to assent to the whole of these Resolutions, but that he would consent to print them, and allow the House to postpone its determination except on those points on which he believed no material difficulty would arise. He agreed with his noble Friend, the Member for Devonshire, as to the principle of establishing a rent-charge, instead of tithes, and on that principle he should not have 29 the slightest objection to the introduction of the Bill, reserving to himself the right of canvassing its details at a future period. But if the subsequent part of these Resolutions were adopted, the House would pledge itself to two things, both of which were in his opinion, extremely objectionable. In the first place, there was the redemption of tithes on land. He was one of those who rejoiced most sincerely, when he heard that that part of the plan of last Session was abandoned. It always struck him as most inconsistent, that at the moment when they were doing away with Bishops' lands on the ground—and as he thought, the most unanswerable ground—that land held by persons not actuated by individual interest as private persons were, who were stimulated by the desire of gain to improve their own property—believing that land so held, never could be applied to the greatest advantage of the holders and the nation, and having come to a decision only two years ago, that Bishops' lands should be allowed to be purchased in fee by the present holders—it always appeared to him as the height of inconsistency with respect to that decision—a sort of countermarch, indeed—that they should invest again property from the commutation of tithe in land. He rejoiced, when he heard that that proposition was to be abandoned. But the objection he felt to that part of the Resolution, was of a milder character, and secondary to an objection he entertained to another portion of it. He did most strenuously object, and thought it his duty to his constituents, never to allow to be permanently saddled upon the people of this country, the payment of the million which had been advanced to the Irish clergy. If he thought that a grant of that sum, or even of a larger sum, would restore peace to Ireland—would put an end to those unhappy differences which all lamented—he would be the first person to come forward in support of such a grant. But he believed the grant, so far from contributing to that end, would effect precisely the reverse. He was most happy to hear his noble Friend (Lord John Russell) state, that it was not the duty of this House to pass any Bill of this nature, till the great question of appropriation was settled. When he looked back, he was afraid that it was owing to their having flinched from that question, that many of the difficulties 30 with which they had to contend, might be referred. He knew that the circumstances which occurred in passing the Reform Bill in 1832, and others which had transpired since, rendered it impossible, in his opinion, to deal with that question in the manner it required; but he thought that the events which had since taken place, and above all, the declaration of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, imposed it on them as a duty from which they could no longer shrink to decide that question before they agreed to any Tithe Bill whatever. He confessed he was one of those who were most anxious that the whole of the property belonging to the Church should be saved. He saw it at this moment in the most imminent danger of being lost altogether. Even the hon. and gallant Baronet (Sir Henry Hardinge) declared, that he was powerless in attempting to recover the million that had been advanced. It was plain, that unless they went to the root of the grievance, not only that million, but any further sum which they consented to advance, would be for ever lost. They must not conceal from themselves that the real grievance which the Irish people suffered under, was that of paying for the maintenance of a large Church Establishment which did not contribute to their welfare. For the Church of England, when it answered the ends for which it was intended, no man had a higher respect than he had: but he looked to a Church Establishment in the light in which it was described by one of the greatest ornaments of our present Episcopal Bench—he alluded to the Bishop of London, who had stated, that "the question, whether a Church Establishment was to be maintained or not, was plainly to be answered by another, namely;—Did it impede, or did it promote the moral and spiritual improvement of the people." Judging of a Church Establishment in that manner, and looking to the state of Ireland, he felt that the Establishment of the Irish Church was one that ought not to be allowed to continue in its present state. He judged of the Irish people by himself. What would be the feelings, he would ask, of Englishmen, if Ireland were a large country like this, and they were debating in a Parliament, sitting in Dublin, four-fifths of the Members of which were Roman Catholics, the propriety of maintaining an immensely wealthy Roman Catholic Establishment in England. He knew what his feelings 31 would be if he were in that situation, and judging of the Roman Catholics by himself, he guessed what their feelings must be. He never would ask them to consent to do that, which, if he were in their place, he would never do. Feeling thus, it was impossible he could pledge himself to vote a grant of one million to be paid out of the pockets of the English people, for the purpose of maintaining a system so objectionable as that which now prevailed. He merely meant, in rising to-night, to state his hope, that the question involved in this part of the Resolution at least might be deferred to a future occasion. In doing so, he had been led further than he originally intended, but he must own, that he could not altogether regret it. Though, perhaps, this would not be the last opportunity he should have of taking part in the question, and though he was aware that hereafter it would be more fully and more completely entered into, still he was not sorry thus early to have stated his own opinion on this subject.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
trusted he could make an arrangement, that would preclude any difference of opinion. He confessed that the course which the noble Lord, the Member for Devonshire (Lord John Russell) had suggested, was the correct one, viz., to withhold all opposition to the present Resolution—the right being reserved of discussing the whole question hereafter. He thought the House might consent to pass this Resolution—the discussion being reserved till the Bill was brought forward, which would render it intelligible. The House would probably agree with him in thinking the Bill a necessary preliminary to the discussion. It was impossible to understand this measure from abstract Resolutions; the whole ought to be before them in a comprehensive form. He thought this course would not be objected to—it being admitted, that no man would be pledged by the preliminary proceeding to assent to any part of the measure to be hereafter introduced. That was the view, and he considered it a natural and just view, which was taken by the right hon. Baronet. In order to prove to the House, that by assenting to these Resolutions, it would not in the slightest degree lend itself to the measure that was to follow, he need only refer to the Resolution which was moved in the early part of last year. That Resolution was the foundation of a Bill, 32 and many assented to the Resolution who intended to object to the Bill. In the division, the numbers were 219 to 42, the Resolution being carried. It was considered by the House, not that agreeing to the Resolution was a prejudging of the question, but that in assenting to the Resolution, the means were afforded of obtaining the Bill. The Resolution was as follows:—"That it is the opinion of this Committee, that Composition for tithes in Ireland should be abolished, in consideration of an annual rent-charge, to issue out of the lands heretofore subject to the payment of such composition, and to be payable to the owner of the first estate of inheritance, or other estate in the nature of a perpetual interest; that such rent-charge shall be in the proportion of 75l. for every 100l. of composition; that such rent-charge shall be redeemable, and that the redemption money shall be invested in land, or otherwise, for the benefit of the persons entitled to such composition." That Resolution was affirmed without opposition.
§ Viscount Howick
said, there was a material difference between the Resolution just read, and the one now before the Committee.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
did not ask any man to preclude himself from making objections to the measure to be brought in on another occasion. Surely it was the usual course for the House to agree to such Resolutions.
§ Viscount Howick
If the right hon. Baronet would leave out that part of the Resolution about the repayment of the million, the difficulty might be got over. As regarded the redemption of tithes in land, he was aware that was a matter of detail, and might be objected to in the course of the discussions on the Bill; but that part of the Resolution which called on the House to consent to a grant of money he thought ought to be objected to in the Committee in which it was proposed. He used the term grant, considering that where the Resolution said the repayment of the million should not be insisted on, the effect of it was a virtual grant.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
had always most anxiously endeavoured to avoid calling on the House to pledge itself irrevocably to any measure, without hav 33 ng given it the fullest consideration—more particularly if the motion related to the disposal of the public money; and if the House should be of opinion that in assenting to the proposition which had been made, it in the slightest degree fettered itself, he certainly would not ask it to do so. He did not apprehend, however, that by assenting to the Resolutions the House would at all preclude itself from objecting to the measure.
§ Mr. Warburton
said, that at any stage of the bill they might go into Committee, for the purpose of making this grant of money, if it were considered expedient.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, there would be no difficulty, at all events. He must admit, that he did not think it would be fair, without having given notice, to call on the House to affirm to-night that portion of the Resolutions excepted to, if doing so would have the effect apprehended; but having made this remark, he should like to have the opportunity of considering the point with reference to the precedents that existed. Perhaps he might find, that a separate Bill might be brought in after the Resolution was agreed to. He begged to ask, however, whether it would not be for the convenience of the House, that the whole measure, in as perfect a form as possible, should be before it prior to entering on the discussion. He wished now to address a few words to the House on the present condition of Ireland. Though many Gentlemen, who were in the last Parliament were conversant with the details; yet he thought it was an error which they often fell into to assume, that the information of hon. Gentlemen was perfect on the subject. But there were many who were now listening to this dry discussion for the first time, and probably they were not very well aware of the present state of the question. If ever there was a question that was difficult of adjustment in a manner consistent with equitable principles, it was this question. In a great part of the south of Ireland, there was a practical suspension of the collection of tithes. Attempts had been made, in some instances, to collect them, but those attempts met with resistance; and such were the patient endurance and forbearance of the clergy, that they rather submitted to see their families subjected to the utmost privations, than avail themselves of their legal rights, and enforce 34 their legal demands. About three years since, the sum of 60,000l. was advanced to the Protestant clergy in Ireland; and it was provided, that those who chose to avail themselves of an advance out of that sum of 60.000l. should be entitled to it, and the Government should have a claim to the recovery of the tithe. Subsequently an attempt was made on the part of the Government to levy that tithe; indeed repeated efforts were made, both by legal process, and by employing the military, to recover it; but it was found, that the expense of the recovery was almost as great—he believed it was even greater—than the sum actually recovered from the occupying tenants. The consequence was, that the noble Lord, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer issued a notice, stating that no further attempts to recover the tithe would be made. That might be a wise measure, or it might be unwise; but he begged the House to consider what was likely to be the effect produced on the occupying tenantry when the Government, having the right and the power—having the whole force of the country at its disposal—intimated, that though the law had been violated, and was still set at defiance, no further attempts were to be made to vindicate it. The sum of one million was then granted for the purpose of providing for the arrears of tithes. The clergy were enabled to prefer their claim and receive a proportionate advance out of the million. Several did avail themselves of that grant, and received large sums, amounting on the whole to nearly 630.000l. This amount was distributed amongst both the ecclesiastic and lay-holders of tithes, and the provision made thereupon was this:—As they received advances of their tithes, they were to be liable to quinquennial repayments. The time had now arrived for the repayment of the instalment. In this slate of affairs, what should the Legislature do. The sum was had according to the letter of the law, but by the same law, an equivalent at least was due from the occupying tenant to the clergy. Time pressed. If they required repayment, they must give the aid of a millitary force, if necessary, in aid of the civil power. ["No, no!"] What, then, would they give the civil power without the military? ["No, no!"] No—they would not give either the military or the civil power to enforce a legal claim, and how 35 then could they be guilty of the gross injustice of saying to the clergy—"We, who were entitled to this sum of 60,000l., and having attempted to recover it, failed in so doing—we, who know that you have not the power to recover what is due to you—we tell you that we will not give you the aid of a military force, nor even that of the civil power, but nevertheless demand of you, powerless and reduced to beggary as you are—we demand of you, without giving you any assistance in enforcing your legal claim, the repayment of the sum we have advanced." Why was the whole evil of pursuing such a course limited to the injustice to the individuals? Was the Executive Government to stand by and see laws in the one case violated, and in the other strictly enforced, and this as regarded parties between whom no difference ought to be recognised? Was the Government to stand by and see the laws trampled on, and then say it would not alter those laws? Was it to see the daily violation of them without even an attempt at improvement? They might postpone the Resolution for a few days, but the question to which they must arrive was this—Would they relieve the clergy from the demand upon them, or enable them to recover an equivalent sum from the occupying tenant? Could they, with justice, impose the arrears as a rent-charge on the landlord? They could not charge on him not only an equivalent for the future payment of tithes, but for the arrears also. He doubted, that they could pass any law that could, in justice, impose such a burden on the landed proprietor. Independent of the equity view, there would be such legal difficulties in the way of the application of the principle, that he doubted if they could enforce it. Then, would they remit the sum in question altogether, as a peace-offering to Ireland, as a boon, not to the clergy, but entirely to the occupying tenantry? Would they remit that instalment altogether, or take one of these courses—impose the obligation on the landlord, or on the tenant? The hon. Gentleman was probably about to suggest, that there was another fund out of which it might be paid—namely, that fund in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Corporation, and generally called the Perpetuity Purchase Fund. The revenues of the Ecclesiastical Corporation were derived from two sources; 36 the first the holders of Bishops' leases, and the other was derived from the revenues of suppressed Bishoprics, and the taxation of existing Bishoprics. Before the House came to a decision on the subject, it would be necessary that it should call for an exact amount of the proceeds in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Corporation from the two sources he had mentioned. He believed it would be found, that more fallacious estimates than those they had heard of as to the amount of this property had never been framed. At present, all he knew was this, that sums had been borrowed from the Treasury, and hat the fund was at present greatly in debt. The annual charges on that fund it was here necessary to explain. Two years since the land of Ireland was relieved from the Church-rates. The charges of providing for the support of the fabric of the Church, and for making a provision for the decent performance of divine worship, then were transferred to the fund of which he was speaking. At the present moment the income was as follows:—Revenues of sees of Bishoprics suppressed, 41,000l.; tax on future Prelates, 3,266l. But it was not necessary, perhaps, for him to go into the detail. The result would be, that with a present income amounting to about 40,000l. per annum, there would be charges to the amount of 70;000l. Surely the first charge on that fund ought to be the provision for the performance of divine worship. The first Motion, then, which ought to be made, was for an exact account of that fund; and the House would then find how impossible it was to charge that fund with any repayment on account of advances made to the Irish Protestant clergy. The result to which he came was, that it was wise, and that it was just also, to remit on the part of the public the claim on the clergy or repayment of their advances. The next question which would arise would be what course they were to pursue with respect to the arrears of the last year. As the right hon. Gentleman had said, if they remitted their claim for the past arrears, that settled the question; if they established a rent-charge on the land, that settled the question as to the future; but what were they to do with the arrears of the intermediate time—of the year 1834? If they adopted the course proposed by his right hon. Friend, there would be an end to tithe composition altogether; that was to 37 say, the occupying tenant would be relieved. To that course they must, in his opinion, come; they must, for the sake of peace, relieve him; and the question was, would they leave him subject to a demand for arrears?—would they vitiate the whole proceeding, and render it incomplete, by imposing on the Government the necessity of relying for the arrears on the civil power, or on military aid? He believed the House would not do that; it would not impose on the Government the painful alternative of seeeing the law violated, or having it enforced by the military. If they took that alternative, some provision must be made for the arrears of 1834. Could any better course be pursued, having under the Million Act a surplus of 360,000l., than that of applying the surplus exactly on the principle on which it was applied in 1831,1832,and 1833—that of making advances out of it to the clergy, not for their benefit, but for the benefit of the occupying tenant? If they took that course, it would be intelligible, and the consequence would be the exemption of the occupying tenant from everything in the form of a direct payment to the Protestant clergy. He believed, that whatever differences existed between hon. Gentlemen on other matters, there were principles with respect to which there was no difference. One was, that the existing interests of the clergy ought to be protected, or at least some mode of equitable adjustment adopted, so that they did not suffer by the very forbearance they had exhibited, which ought only to give them an additional claim on the liberality of the House—that was one principle; and the other was, that the land of Ireland was subject by law to payments on account of tithe. No matter what diversity of opinion existed as to its ultimate appropriation, no reason whatever had been urged against an equitable adjustment of the claims of the clergy, and the leaving of the land of Ireland subject to tithe. Even those who contended in favour of the powers of Parliament to appropriate to secular, purposes the property of the Church—even they claimed not for the landed proprietor the right of exemption from tithe. What his right hon. Friend proposed was this, that whereas the whole land of Ireland was at present subject to tithe composition, by a law to be passed the right to demand tithe, should be at an end; and over the whole of Ireland, partly 38 by arrangement, and partly by compulsion, composition should be established in lieu. He proposed further, that for every 100l. of that tithe composition (excepting in cases of tenants at will, and in cases of leases fallen in since 1832) now payable by the occupying tenant, seventy-five per cent should be paid by the head landlord of Ireland, leaving him to recover from those who held under him. This was the proposition made by his right hon. Friend. He proposed a compulsory composition on the part of the landed proprietor, on the principle that was recommended by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. O'Connell) last year. The hon. and learned Gentleman then gave it as his opinion, that they had no choice; that compulsory composition was their only alternative. This took place in the month of July; and it would probably be in the recollection of the House, that the ground on which he opposed the Bill then introduced was, that at so advanced a period of the Session, there was not a possibility of making the landed Gentlemen of Ireland acquainted with its details. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to doubt his statement. [Mr. O'Connell; The Bill was not mine.] Although it might not be the hon. and learned Gentleman's Bill, yet it was a suggestion, which fell from him when the subject was under debate. He recollected saying at that time, that if the Irish Members present could undertake for the landlords to say, that it would be considered equitable by them, he should be greatly disposed to listen to it. It was impossible to make a settlement of this sort without meeting with a thousand difficulties. He knew it was a very difficult subject, but when he saw the manner in which it was treated in Ireland, particularly in the south of Ireland—when he recollected, that the population were Roman Catholics, he could not find any alternative. He hoped hon. Members from Ireland would agree to it, because without their consent he was quite sure there would be great difficulty in carrying the measure. A remission of twenty-five per cent, and relieving the tenantry from the obligation of paying tithes, ought in the present state of things to be favourably received; and he did hope, that the hon. Irish Members of that House would lend their aid, not only as Members of Parliament, but as friends of the landlord, and as friends of Ireland, to this measure, 39 which appeared to afford the only hope of a fair and equitable adjustment. Those, then, were the principles of his right hon. friend's proposal—to remit the sum due on account of past advances, to apply the balance of about 360,000l. in part to meet the claims of the clergy, for it would only be in part, to put an end altogether to the demand of tithe composition, or any immediate demand on the part of Government or the clergy, on account of arrears of tithes, and for the future to impose an equivalent for tithes in the shape of a rent-charge on the land, to be paid by the landed proprietor, and to be recovered by him in the shape of rent. That was the principle, and after the most mature consideration, his opinion was, that no more preferable course could possibly be adopted. He admitted to the noble Lord (Lord Howick) that no progress ought to be made with the measure until the question with respect to the appropriation of Church property was brought before the House. That he believed, was to come on for discussion on Monday, the 30th; and, however pressing the necessity for some prompt stept with respect to tithes, yet it could not be so pressing as to render it necessary to decide the question even upon the principle of the measure, until the other most important subject to which he had adverted, had been brought forward, and he was quite confident, that his right hon. friend would not press it before. He did also hope, that before the House involved itself in any precipitate Resolution with respect to the appropriation of Church property in Ireland, it would ascertain whether or not there was any surplus after providing for the wants of the Protestant Church, and before it came to any speculative conclusion upon the subject; and that only an absolute necessity would prevent hon. Members from coming to a conclusion favourable to the proposition now before them.
was overpowered by the magnitude of this Question, and the deep interest the people of Ireland had in every discussion that took place in that House upon this subject. There was no use in trying to appease the people of Ireland, unless something was given to them; and he had never heard two speeches with more regret than the speech of the right hon. and gallant Officer, and that of the right hon. Baronet, (the Chancellor of the Exchequer.) The right hon. Baronet's speech 40 was, indeed, a little more subdued, than his usual manner of treating Ministerial questions. There had been nothing said by either of them from which the people of Ireland could entertain the slightest expectation of relief. In fact, this measure would shut out all prospect of real and substantial relief to the people of Ireland. It reminded him of a ludicrous military case in which the celebrated Dr. Slop, who was a great metaphysician, gave Corporal Trim a most exquisite disquisition on metaphysics. The Corporal heard the whole in silence, and when asked what he thought of it, his answer was, "It might be all very well, but one thrust of the bayonet would be worth the whole of it." So he would say on the present occasion, one word would be worth the whole of this measure and all the speeches by which it was introduced—that one word was "appropriation"—a word which would exert a magical influence in Ireland. They had just heard it thrown out by the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) that there would in all probability be no surplus to appropriate. Why, then, not treat them to the word? What possible harm could that do? Talk not to them of Church revenues, and the surplus of Church revenues, after providing for the spiritual wants of the Protestant population, for, insisted the right hon. Baronet, there might be no surplus. Then, why not indulge the unfortunate people of Ireland by giving them, in case there should be a surplus, the word "appropriation" if nothing else? What would go forth to Ireland to-morrow from the course of the debate that night? Compare the situation and expectations of the people of Ireland at the close of last Session with the prospects they would have after this discussion. Contrast what it was they had then a right to expect—a pledge from the Ministry, sanctioned by the House of Commons; and what they were told was now to be dealt out to them by the present Administration? Why, in the first place, it was this—tithe composition, which was demonstrated last Session to have been enormously overrated in an immense number of parishes, which Irish Members, one after another, rose and proved in multitudes of instances, amounting probably to one-third, if not to one-half, of the parishes in Ireland, had been grossly and terrifically overrated: they had a distinct promise and pledge that 41 that overrating should be looked into and examined by a dispassionate tribunal, and reduced to what it ought to be. What a difference was there in this respect between the right hon. Baronet's statement and the tithe bill of last year! But that was not the only difference. There was another. The tithe composition was to be reduced, not only to 75 per cent., as at present, but to 60 per cent. Two-fifths of a reasonable composition was to be struck off. That pledge was given by the Ministry, sanctioned by the House of Commons, to the people of Ireland; but now, what did they do? They actually proclaimed directly 15l. per cent, additional on an unfair and greatly overcharged composition. He meant not the slightest personal disrespect, but would not the people of Ireland consider it pure cant and hypocrisy, to talk after that of wishing thus to make peace in that country? The exorbitant composition was to remain; for in neither of the speeches of the right hon. Baronet's was there one word of the prospect of mitigating the composition; and instead of allowing it to remain at 60l. they made it up to 75l. per cent.; with the benevolent intention, forsooth, of begetting peace for Ireland ! But that was not all. The Ministry avowed their determination at the close of last Session to give the appropriation, and actually issued a Commission for the purpose of ascertaining what was the surplus to be appropriated. The Tithe Bill, under those circumstances, passed that House—it passed by an overwhelming majority, the minority being as nothing compared to the majority; and the people of Ireland were cheered by the hope and prospect that a new system was about to be commenced. The Ministry that passed that Bill were pledged to the appropriation, and put the machinery for ascertaining what that appropriation should be into actual and immediate progress. To be sure, the House of Lords were pleased to throw out that Bill; and he should like to know whether there was a man on those (the Treasury) Benches, with the exception, perhaps, of the right hon. Recorder of Dublin, who did not now deplore most deeply, that act of the House of Lords to which he had referred? In what situation did they place themselves with respect to the people of Ireland? Why this—they were told here is a measure for peace—what was it to do? Were the parsons to have more than last 42 year? No, they were to have less. They were to have 77l. 10s. per cent, last year; now they were only to have 75l. He re-repeated, then, he was a better friend to the parsons than the right hon. Baronet, or even than the right hon. Recorder of Dublin himself. They were now to have 2½ per cent, less than by the Bill of last year. Well, but if the parsons were to have less the people would have to pay less of course; no such thing, they were actually to pay more, and that upon an admitted overcharged composition. Such was that mighty magical measure, introduced by that galaxy of glory, the present Ministry, which was to heal the wounds of Ireland, and proclaim peace and tranquillity in all her borders. The right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had given them a history of the tithe system in Ireland. But where did he begin? Only two or three years back. Did he not know, was there any one in that House who had condescended to think of Ireland at all, who did not know, that resistance to tithe payments was in Ireland commenced before the recollection of the oldest individual then hearing him—that its first out-breaking was, in fact, in 1759, and that it was marked in the statute-book by Acts of Parliament of the most violent and sanguinary description? The first direct statute was in 1772, and consisted of a summary process which empowered the magistrates to shoot any one who opposed the payment of tithes; that, however, was repealed in 1775, and an act was passed creating upwards of ninety capital felonies for resistance to the payment of tithes; and those acts were followed by a complication of statutes exceeding each other in barbarity and cruelty. The Tithe Bills were continued, laws passed, with some cessation from time to time, but the innate sense of injustice, the conviction of wrong-arising from the payment of a sinecure Protestant clergy by a Catholic population, overturned the boundaries of law, broke asunder the parchment chains of the Acts of Parliament, the dungeons were filled, the convict-ship was crowded, even the scaffold was reared, and blood was shed in oceans, but shed in vain. Was it not time to put an end to such scenes of atrocity? Blood was flowing still; even now was not Rathcormac red with human gore? He did not mean to canvass the merits of that melancholy event, which was under process of legal inquiry; 43 but two magistrates who were implicated in the matter had presided over the investigation. A poor woman was examined. Had hon. Members read her statement? The mother was with her son in the morning. After the affray she went out to look for her son. The first body she turned over she shouted for joy. Why? Because human blood had been spilled? Because the life of a human creature had been sacrificed? Ah! no; but because it happened not to have been her son. She had a similar shout of joy, looking in the countenance of the second murdered man; but the third was her son; from that moment her eye-balls became as coals of fire, and she had not shed a single tear. That woman's tears had not yet began to flow. When was she to have redress? She was to have no redress; and the cause of her woe, the grand evil, was still to remain in Ireland. They were still to follow up the old course, giving new acts of Parliament, but no new principle, no new spirit unknown to their predecessors, and leaving all the evils of the tithe system substantially untouched, and in full operation. What did it signify whether the designation was tithe, or tithe-composition, or land-tax, or rent-charge, magical as names were supposed to be? Would that verbal magic do away with the intolerable, interminable injustice, of the impost so obnoxious in itself? What, then, he again demanded, was the benefit derived from the present plan, superior to that presented at the close of last Session, when the Minister and the House of Commons pledged themselves to a new principle? He would next advert to the composition. The landlords were to pay 75l. per cent; but they were to recover it from their tenants; and would the people of Ireland be quieted merely because the tithe had changed its name to that of a land-tax? They knew how it was to be applied; and would that satisfy them? Would the evil not still remain in all its force—the stinging curse with all its poison and all its power? The right hon. and gallant Gentleman had treated them to a calculation with respect to the proportionate number of acres held respectively by the Protestants and Catholics of Ireland; but was it to be found in any Parliamentary Return? No; it was merely a calculation made by some of the Boytons and O'Sullivans, in their peregrinations in England, and yet that was 44 gravely quoted as a document on which they were called on solemnly to legislate. But how were the calculations made? Why, on the fee simple, to be sure. Why, he could mention a noble Lord whose large estates were let in perpetuit to nine-tenths Catholics; and in that case, even they were set down as Protestant acres in the calculation, although practically, and to all intents and purposes, they were Catholic acres. He stated this merely for the purpose of demonstrating on what slender and untenable grounds the Government were now proceeding. A long discussion had taken place relative to the grant of the million. When that had been proposed, he called on the House of Commons not to vote it, if they ever expected to be re-paid. The right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked, whether he was prepared to call for its re-payment? He was not. He thought, as they were so fond of misgoverning Ireland, they ought to pay for it, but only in order to procure peace for Ireland. It would not be too dear a purchase, if they could even take thereby one step, howsoever trifling or tardy, towards the good of Ireland, as the House was disposed to do when it voted it; but there was no reason why it should be thrown away for nothing. The people of England should not pay so large an amount, while the people of Ireland got no real compensation or advantage from it. There had been a great deal of rallying on some Irish Members, by those who, on the other side of the House, professed to have great esteem for property, and respect for personal rights, who had no political feelings whatever—no, not they; who had all the meek forbearance of the Quaker, who, when attacked by the mad dog, protested that he would only pat it on the head, and cry, "Mad dog, mad dog." It was said that many clergymen had not accepted the million; but who advised them not to accept it? and what had been the consequence? Would the murder at Rathcormac have happened, if the million had been accepted? Perhaps it might; but would that of Tahana have occurred, had the Rev. Mr. Locke taken his share of it? Was it not time, then, that a Bill should be brought into that House promising to Ireland a termination of that system which hitherto had been its baneful curse—which it had hitherto resisted, and which unfortunately it was still determined, in. all 45 probability, judging from the past seventy-six years, to resist (every experiment having been tried, except that of altering the principle—everything that force, everything that legislation, everything that the hocus-pocus of changing names could do, having been done)—were they not yet prepared to alleviate the real substantial grievance of that unhappy country, by declaring that a Catholic people should not be called on to support a sinecure Church, from which they derived no spiritual instruction? The right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would do him the justice to remember that he (Mr. O'Connell) had never in that House advocated the opinion that existing interests should be disregarded. He was sorry to say, that the disposition manifested by the most violent opponents of the tithe system in that House, to recognize the granting full compensation to present incumbents, during their lives, had not been met by a proper and graceful spirit of reciprocity on the part of the clergy. But no matter how they might have misconducted themselves, the principle still remained the same, and he was still for giving them full compensation for their life interests, looking only to the appropriation of the surplus as sinecures fell in, and as present lives dropped off. The right hon. Recorder had indulged a good deal in a most amusing and ingenious disquisition on the principle of secularizing Ecclesiastical property in Ireland, and he gravely argued, that because the Consolidated Fund interfered in the former Bill to make up deficiencies, which it did not in the present, the deficiencies now being to be made up out of the Perpetuity Fund, in the former case there was an end of spirituality, and, therefore, secularization, which was all very well in the way of scholastic amusement, but would never do for the people of Ireland. They would come round to the principle; would Government recognize that principle? No, they could not afford to dispense with a party which in Ireland was now rampantly triumphant. He supposed the newspapers told them falsely of human blood having been shed in Enniskillen, and the slaughter within a few days of sixty-seven individuals; but they did not tell them erroneously of party processions in that part of the country. It was to sustain that party, that Ministers were still to persevere in their present course. Seventy-five 46 pounds per cent was to be levied by the owners of the fee on those next to them, and by them in turn on those beneath them, without the possibility, perhaps, of finding anything but that unfortunate passive resistance to prevent them from levying the entire 100l., as many landlords would be glad to do, if not sufficiently controlled. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, (Lord Stanley), proposed what struck him (Mr. O'Connell) as an exceedingly humane measure, exempting, as it did, the lower order of cottagers from the payment of tithe composition altogether, and that Bill had actually struck off, in numerical amount, 250,000 from direct liability. But although such had been its operation, had it given peace?—was Ireland more tranquil now, than before that period? No. The noble Lord's attempt to shelter those people, had been vain; injustice was still committed upon them, and that principle of injustice was still to remain. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman (Sir Henry Hardinge), admitted that the collection of tithes was still enveloped in the same difficulties; in fact, they were going on increasing, and became every year infinitely more alarming, and if the present Ministry should gain a majority in that House, there was no prospect of any relief whatever. He implored them to take the question of appropriation into their most serious consideration. Every other principle had been tried and failed. If they gave not Ireland the principle of appropriation, they would give them nothing. He respectfully and humbly protested against the measure. The present measure proposed nothing to mitigate, nothing to soften, nothing to conciliate, nothing that could by possibility hold out a hope of better days for his unfortunate country; and if the House did not stand together, and enforce the new principle of appropriation, it would be in vain to look for the pacification and welfare of Ireland.
§ Colonel Conolly
stated, that his reasons for supporting the measure of the Government was, that it carried in view all those considerations mentioned by the hon. Member for Dublin, but without doing injustice to any one. The Member for Dublin had never once mentioned the clergy, who had been suffering from a series of misfortunes only surpassed by their forbearance. He entirely approved of that determination of the Government 47 not to divert Ecclesiastical revenues from Ecclesiastical purposes. The reiterated assertions of the right hon. Baronet, as well as the details of the measure now before the House, equally assured him that the right hon. Baronet would never suffer under the imputation of assisting in such an injustice. The right hon. Baronet would never look on, and allow Bills to pass that House designed for the robbery of one party without any satisfaction being given to the other. The present Bill did ample justice to the clergy, secured a present income to the present incumbents, and did as much as could be done without producing irritation. He believed it would also have the effect of promoting the general tranquillity. He was happy and proud to bear testimony to the admirable conduct of the great body of the landed proprietors of Ireland with respect to their efforts to give effect to the Bill of the noble Lord the member for Lancashire, by taking the payment of the tithes on themselves. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had said that the landlords would avail themselves of the reduction which the present measure offered, and would not extend it to their tenantry; but there never was a greater calumny uttered. It was of a piece with all others uttered by the hon. and learned Member when he had a purpose, party or personal, to serve. The hon. and learned Member thought he could do with the present measure as he bad done with the last—thrust it down the throat of the Government; but he would find himself greatly mistaken, because the measure of the Government was a sound measure in principle, while that which the hon. Member passed through the House last Session was no better than a protested Bill. If the former had passed through the other branches of the Legislature he was of opinion that the Minister would have to come down to the House and congratulate the country on the retrogression of Christianity, for the very name of religion would, by its operation, be erased from the land. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin took credit to himself for supporting the advance to the clergy in the last Session, and defending their interests in the present debate; but what the hon. and learned Member did was for the purposes of delusion, and to create fresh cause of excitement. He first kindled a flame, and then increased 48 it by his pretended efforts to stifle it. He would delude the clergy and deceive the people; but the present measure prevented his doing either. Therefore, no greater advantage could have been conferred on the country than the rejection of the Bill of the last Session, which the hon. and learned Gentleman had assisted in licking into the shape it bore at the time of its passing that House. There never was a more judicious exercise of power than that by which the House of Lords threw out the Tithe Bill of last Session. With respect to the remission of the 670,000l. due to the country by the clergy, and the appropriation of the remaining 330,000l. to the uses of that body, he (Colonel Conolly) felt bound to say that he fully concurred in the principle which dictated it. He thought it was imperative on the House to do so, as by granting it originally a lawless spirit had been fostered and encouraged in Ireland. Having by this indirect means deprived the clergy of their incomes, in common justice the House was bound not to enforce the payment of the relief it had tendered to them. The resolution before the House had, he believed, the suppression of agitation in Ireland for its object; it should therefore have his best support. If it should receive the sanction of the clergy and be embraced by the landlords, as he had no doubt it would, the virus would be taken from agitation, and the power of doing mischief from the demagogue. By its means the Protestant clergyman would be relieved from the painful task of looking for his income to the pauper Roman Catholic, because it would be secured to him without trouble, and without unseemly collision with his flock. He was quite sure that had the Bill of the hon. and learned Member become the law, property in the first instance, and life afterwards, would have been deprived of all security in Ireland.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
wished to know whether he understood the right hon. Baronet rightly, that the second Resolution would not be pressed, and that the first only would be put pro formâ, in order to enable the Government to bring in the Bill?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, he did not mean to call on the House without notice to affirm to-night the resolution, to the effect that the sum of 630,000l. should be remitted, and the 49 340,000l. remaining of the 1,000,000l. should go to make up the arrears due to the clergy last year. Certainly he did not mean to abandon it, considering it, in fact, essential to the success of the whole measure, and therefore, although he should not press it now, he should take some other opportunity of calling on the House to affirm that proposition.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
said that originally the Resolutions did not contain that provision with respect to the remission of the quinquennial instalments, and the grant of the remaining part of the million towards the arrears of last year, but it had been considered better to introduce it in order to give the House a more complete idea of the plan which Ministers had in contemplation. In fact the second Resolution was only added that afternoon, after entering the House.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
was satisfied with the explanation; and on the understanding that passing the first Resolution did not pledge them to redemption, but merely to furnish the groundwork for the introduction of the Bill, he must say the House would not be discharging its duty if it did not permit the introduction of the measure, in order that they might have an opportunity of forming a correct judgment on its principle and details. But with respect to the second Resolution, he must hear a great deal more of the impossibility of the clergy repaying the million, before he consented to charge his constituents and the people of England with the payment of so large a sum. When it had been voted, they were given to understand that it should certainly be repaid. In his apprehension, nothing could be more evident than that from some fund or other they were entitled to look for the repayment of that money. There never had occurred the slightest circumstance which could at all warrant an assumption to the contrary. He would not then enter into the general question of the Irish Church, or the propositions which had in the last or the present Session of Parliament been made with a view to a Tithe Bill. To enter upon the wide field of such a discussion was not then his intention, but he could not refrain altogether from saying that it afforded him much pleasure to learn that it was the intention of his noble Friend (Lord John Russell), very speedily to make a proposition to Parliament with the design 50 of settling the appropriation question; for, looking, as he must, at the two questions as inseparably connected, the one with the other, he despaired of seeing any satisfactory adjustment of either, unless both were finally disposed of. In his opinion, it would be perfectly impossible to do otherwise than settle both questions at one and the same time. According to the Resolutions then before the Committee, the proceeds derivable from tithe compositions were to be invested in lands. Now, he was sure the Committee would agree with him, that that mode of investment, and the subsequent appropriation of these proceeds, involved vital questions, which no consideration—at least, none that he had heard urged—ought to induce the House to entertain without ample notice and detailed explanation. The state of the Tithe Question and the condition of Ireland were already before the House. Every effort to collect tithes had been tried, and tried in vain. Every device, civil and military, had been resorted to,—but force and persuasion were alike unsuccessful? Need he add the expression of his full conviction, that unless the intentions of his Majesty's Government respecting appropriation were fully developed, it would be utterly useless to proceed further? From the pauper tenantry of Ireland they could obtain no payments; for the suffering Church of Ireland they could procure no benefits. It would be as mischievous as it would be vain to trifle any longer with the condition of Ireland, or to postpone the final settlement of a question so urgent as that of tithes. Into a discussion of the merits of that question it was, as he already said, not then his intention to enter. He merely wished to express thus emphatically to the House the opinion which he could not help entertaining, but beyond that he did not, under existing circumstances, think it expedient to go, and therefore, for the present, he should offer no further opposition to the proceeding before the House.
§ Mr. Littleton
was unwilling that such a Resolution as that then in the hands of the Chairman should be disposed of without his availing himself of the opportunity then presented of expressing his opinion as to the present situation of the Tithe Question. One opinion he certainly did entertain, that for a time at least, the judgment of the House ought to be sus- 51 pended, in order to allow hon. Members time to have the measure of the present Session, and of the present Ministry, placed in juxta position, or at least fairly compared, with that of the last year and the former Government. Under protest then, and reserving to himself the privilege individually of uttering the monosyllable "no," he should not feel called upon to offer any opposition beyond that to the passing of the first resolution; and he had the less hesitation in determining to adopt such a course, when he perceived, as he did with some satisfaction, that the right hon. Baronet opposite was not indisposed to give up for the present the rest of the proposed resolutions. He had now a few words to say on the subject of the loan to the clergy of the Established Church in Ireland—a subject respecting which he must be allowed to observe there had been opinions expressed which were not at all warranted by the facts connected with the grant of 1,000,000l. In the first place, he did not for a single moment hesitate to affirm that if the late Government had remained in office, a considerable portion of that loan would have been repaid. The clergy had not only from the outset formed the intention, but had since continued to entertain the intention, of repaying that loan, and several of them had given full proof of the sincerity and good faith with which they were disposed to discharge the obligations they had contracted with the Government. But apart from any expectations which might be formed on the subject—and to his knowledge such expectations were well founded—this fact was to be borne in mind, that several of the clergy who had obtained the advance from Government, had, in right thereof, recovered a considerable number of the instalments from the occupying tenant. Thus they were put in possession, not only of the loan, but of the sums designed for its repayment. If his information were correct, as he felt perfectly assured it was, he called upon hon. Members to say how they could reconcile it to their views of public duty, or even of common justice, to assent to a set of propositions intended not only to relieve all partakers of this loan from any obligation of repayment, but to enable those who had possessed themselves of the funds which were to supply the means of payment to retain possession of those funds in addition to the shares they had 52 obtained of the loan itself, thus as it were giving them the advantage of a double loan, or rather gift. There was a point remaining upon which he thought it necessary to make a single remark. Some hon. Members had thought it right to institute a comparison between the measures of the late and the present Governments on the subject of tithes. Of such comparison he should be the last in the world to complain; on the contrary, he desired a comparison, but his wish was, that it should be fairly instituted. Now, nothing could be more unjust towards the late Ministers than to compare their Bill of February with the measure then before the House. Justice required that they should be judged by the proposition which they submitted to the House in the month of August following. The matured and amended measure was that by which they desired to stand or fall in the estimation of the House. Of the measure of August he might, at least, be allowed to say, that it consulted the wishes, the interests, and the feelings of the landlords, and it completely in his opinion, closed the Tithe Question. He had previously stated that he should not oppose the first Resolution, and under protest, as he before said, he should not divide the House.
§ Mr. Hume
began by saying, that he was most anxious to call the attention of the House to the course which, at the recommendation of his Majesty's Ministers, they were then pursuing, or rather, he should say, endeavouring to pursue, for, in his judgment, it was utterly and totally impossible that they could continue to proceed in that manner. He would earnestly request of hon. Members to look at the question before them, which in truth resolved itself into two questions—that of Irish tithes, and of the sum of 1,000,000l. granted to the clergy of the Established Church in Ireland. The most material point to be looked to in the first instance was the grant of 1,000,000l. That sum was voted in the last Session of Parliament, and the Act under which it was given to the clergy enacted that the million should be repaid into the treasury. He presumed, then, that it must be perfectly clear to every Member in that House, that to vote away the right to repayment would be in total contradiction of the Act of last Session, and he must take leave to say, that that was the first occasion upon which a sum 53 of a million was voted away in that House without notice—without the least intimation of any such design being in the contemplation of his Majesty's Government. It was bad enough at any time to vote away a million of the public money, but to do so without notice, was a thing unprecedented, and in every point of view in which it could be considered, calling for determined resistance on the part of every independent Member of that House. He would beg of those Members who had a sincere and earnest desire to protect the public purse just to direct their attention fairly and impartially to the proposal made from the other side of the House. It was, that one of the Resolutions was to be agreed to pro forma, and the other allowed to stand over for some time. If it were really the fact, that the proceeding amounted to nothing more than a mere pro forma proceeding, why might they not as well agree to all the Resolutions pro forma, and let not the House be concluded as respected any of them. Many were of opinion that the one could not be taken without the other, and many, he hoped and believed, thought with him, that neither should be affirmed by the Representatives of the people; but one truth was so plain that he could not for a moment suppose it necessary to endeavour to render it more evident—namely, that the public money, to the amount of a million, should not be voted away without notice at least. Let the House only fix its attention upon the conduct of Ministers. They come down to that House with two Resolutions; they find Members not quite so accommodating as they expected, and though at first, according to their representation, the two Resolutions were perfectly inseparable,—the one, as they said, could on no account and by no manner of means be given up—the connexion subsisting, or supposed to subsist, between those Resolutions being indispensable. He said, supposed to exist, for as the matter turned out, it proved to be mere supposition; hence, as soon as the right hon. Baronet found the House at all indisposed to entertain the Motion in its fullest extent, he turned round and professed himself perfectly willing to put off to another opportunity the latter portion of his Resolutions, hoping, perhaps, that with a fuller House—one containing a greater number of his supporters—he might be able to 54 carry his Motion in all its fulness. What was the object of the present Bill? It was said, "to give peace to Ireland." Peace to Ireland! Did any man in his senses expect, that peace could be given to Ireland, so long as the question of appropriation remained unsettled? He believed, there was not an impartial and intelligent man in the community who thought otherwise than that appropriation constituted almost the whole question—then why have two separate proceedings? The reason was but too plain—the right hon. Baronet felt that he could not carry the whole proposition, and accordingly resolved upon any terms to carry as much of his Motion as he possibly could, and leave to the future chances of fortune, the hope of getting through with the remainder of it. Was that the way in which the business of the House ought to be carried on? He felt almost assured, that the majority of the Members present would agree with him, that they ought to adjourn the further consideration of the question to a future day. He persuaded himself that when the right hon. Baronet reflected upon the situation in which he and the Government stood, as well as that in which the House was placed, he would feel that he ought not to press the Motion further. He called upon the Government to be consistent, to let the whole question stand over, and upon proper notice, bring in a Bill embracing the whole, but not in that way to introduce a Bill, now for one half, and now for another. Let the House only look at the inconsistency of all this. He should not attempt to follow the right hon. and learned Member for Dublin University through all his details, though some of them displayed in a very unexpected light the melancholy changes of opinion which had taken place amongst the Members of that House. He could scarcely conceive, how it was possible that in one short year so mighty an alteration should have taken place. The House had been favoured with a lengthened harangue, the object, and the sole object, of which was to account for that most remarkable change of opinion—a change for which no man could account who recollected that principles remained the same, and that no new occurrences had given a different aspect to affairs. In order to induce hon. Members to agree to the proposition of 55 the Government, it was said will you not make a temporary sacrifice for the sake of the peace of Ireland? Certainly, he should be perfectly ready to make almost any sacrifice that would tend to the peace of that unhappy and divided country; but what assurance could he receive that a concession of all that Ministers asked would have the effect of giving peace to Ireland? But it was said, or it might be said, that, if the Ministers of the Crown were satisfied with it, it ought not to be refused. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government might be satisfied with half, but would the House be Satisfied? Would the country be satisfied? For consistency sake he entreated them not to entertain such a proposition. It was to him a matter of the utmost wonder, that the men now invested with the confidence of the Crown could forget the principles for which they so strenuously contended in the last Session of Parliament. The inconsistency generally of those hon. Members who supported the Resolutions, did appear to him most unaccountable. He could not conceive how men of honour could contend in one year for principles the most plain and intelligible, and in the next, without any change of circumstances, maintain the direct contrary. In justice to the character of their proceedings, and in common fairness to such Members of the present Parliament as had not seats in the last, he entreated the House not to yield itself to the advice and recommendations of the right hon. Baronet, who, in nominally obtaining half, would virtually accomplish the whole of that at which he aimed. On the 30th of March the question—he might add the whole question—of the Church would come under the consideration of the House; the present Resolutions might, he thought, be advantageously postponed till the 2nd of April; a ballot, as he understood, was fixed for the 3rd: The question with the House now was, whether they would proceed to a division on the question before them, or would they agree to an adjournment. He understood, that according to the forms of Parliament he could not propose an adjournment, but the proper mode of proceeding was to move that the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again, and a Motion to that effect he then begged leave to submit,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, he should certainly take the sense of the House upon the first of the Resolutions for the purpose of obtaining in that form permission to bring in the Bill which his right hon. and gallant Friend sought to introduce. By the affirmation of that Resolution, the House would have an opportunity afforded it of comparing the measures of the last year and of the present, and of judging between them. By voting for that Resolution, no hon. Member would be in the least degree committed to the principle of the Bill; and as to the second point to which attention had been so emphatically called, it was only necessary for him to observe, that if any Gentleman complained of being taken by surprise, he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) should feel no shame in giving way, in order to accommodate himself in that respect to the feelings of Members, and to remove the slightest shadow of ground for disapprobation. Before he sat down, it was necessary that he should ask one question of the hon. Member for Middlesex. "Does the hon. Member, (said the Chancellor of the Exchequer) mean to say, that my conduct in reference to this question was not that of a man of honour?"
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
Does the hon. Member mean to say, that I have acted in a manner inconsistent with the character of a man of honour? He knows the nature of the question—he knows the course I took on the former occasion—that which I have pursued on the present, is of course before him. Does he mean to say, that I have acted in a manner inconsistent with the character of a man of honour? Does he mean to apply the language he has used to me?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
I do not want a hypothetical answer, I put a plain question to the hon. Member for Middlesex,
§ Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
rose to order. He was sure that no reflection was intended to be cast upon the character of the right hon. Baronet. He could say that for nine years that he had sat in that House, he had seen nothing dishonourable in the conduct of the right hon. Baronet. With regard to the subject before the House, best owing upon the question under consideration the best attention which, in so short a space of time, it was in his power to bestow, he felt that he should best discharge his duty to his constituents by voting for the Motion of the hon. Member for Middlesex. He professed himself utterly and totally at a loss to comprehend how the House could think of affirming one resolution, and imagining itself free from the binding effect of the other. The first Resolution was completely conclusive of the principle. It would tend to create not merely a rent-charge upon the land, but an appropriation of the issues and profits to the uses of the clergy. For these reasons, then, he felt bound to enter his most solemn protest against any proposition which went to conclude, as he conceived this did, the question of appropriation. He hoped, then, that the right hon. Baronet would not urge them to come to any decision upon the question that night, but that at a future time, and after due notice, the question might be again brought under their consideration.
observed, that it had been argued on the other side, that the mere affirming of the Resolution would be nothing more than a pro formâ proceeding, but he contended, that the Resolution had a binding or stringent effect, or none at all. The hon. Member, therefore, who said, that the House was taken by surprise, did not certainly go beyond the truth. The effect of the Resolution, if agreed to, would pledge the House to fixing on the tenant in fee a rent-charge equivalent to the Tithe. Secondly, its effect would be to create a distinct abatement from the gross tithes of twenty-five per cent. If their object was to obtain assent to a resolution merely with a view of rendering it the basis of a bill, what would be easier than to propose one general motion, declaring, that it is expedient that in future there should be a rent-charge in lieu of of tithes? Would not that form a sufficient basis for any bill which it would be necessary to introduce? The Resolution also went to declare that the proceeds of those Tithes, or composition for tithes, 58 should be invested in land or otherwise. Would not that be a resolution binding the House to a particular course of action; and ought they not to pause before they committed themselves to anything so specific. Besides, they ought to oppose the principle of proceeding with questions so important otherwise than upon due notice, and of the present measure, it must be admitted, that there was no other notice than that which appeared in The Times newspaper of this morning. He wished, before he proceeded further, to inquire of the right hon. and gallant General opposite, whether or not it was intended under the proposed measure, that the clergy, in default of payment of the composition, should sue the owner of the land, or that suits so occasioned should be carried on through the medium of the Commissioners.
§ Sir Henry Hardinge
said, that the clergy would apply for the amount of the composition in the first instance, and in default of payment, they would call upon the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to interfere—thus the clergy would no longer be the litigating parties.
§ Mr. Sheil
inquired if the clergy were not, in the first instance, to collect the Tithes? He concluded, that it would be so, and upon that ground alone he should oppose the Motion; for he entertained not a shadow of doubt that the proper course would be to settle the question of appropriation, and not present the second Resolution to the House till afterwards. As to affecting that the adoption of the Resolution would be merely pro formâ, it was quite idle—the Resolutions, if once agreed to, would afterwards greatly embarrass the House, and he, therefore, entreated them to pause before they came to a vote.
Mr. Secretary Goulburn
said, he wished to make a few observations, but assured the House, at the same time, that he would not enter upon the general question. Loud and emphatic objections had been urged against his right hon. Friend for bringing forward the present Motion without due notice. Surely, it must be in the recollection of hon. Members, that it was the every day practice of the House to adopt resolutions in Committee as preliminary to the introduction of bills; in fact, it was required by the orders of the House that a proceeding in that form should be adopted. Some hon. Member alleged that they were incompetent to discuss such a 59 question by reason of want of notice—was it in the nature of things that there could be notice of a resolution preliminary to the introduction of a Bill? The hon. and learned Member for Tipperary had contended that they ought to have confined themselves to a more simple, formal, general resolution—for example, that it was expedient to regulate tithes. Why, what would that hon. and learned Member have said if such a course, as he himself recommended, had been pursued by the Government? He, or some other Member on his side of the House, would immediately have exclaimed, what is the meaning of all this? Why all this mystery and secrecy? Do you ask us to vote in the dark? We will not lend ourselves to this blind legislation. That very mode of proceeding, now so unsparingly condemned, would then be held up as the model according to which Government should have shaped its conduct; but now, when hon. Members had the Resolution before them in due form, and in strict accordance with the practice of the House, they turned round and brought the accusation of there being no sufficient notice, and thereupon founded an unfair charge, which rested on the plea of their having deviated from the practice pursued with respect to other Bills, when, in point of fact, the whole of their conduct was in close accordance with that practice. He could not help observing, that some hon. Members who, generally agreed in opinion with the last speaker, had lauded the Bill brought in during the last Session by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Staffordshire, and held up to imitation the manner in which that Bill had been introduced. It happened to be the case with respect to that measure, that the mode of its introduction was precisely the same as that of the present. The right hon. Member for Staffordshire, before the introduction of his Bill, brought down a resolution not, perhaps, extending to the same length as the present, but, practically speaking, the forms observed upon both occasions were alike. That Resolution went to create a rent-charge redeemable, and declared that the produce of the tithe compositions should be invested in land or other securities, and the income thence arising to be applied to the indemnification of the owners of tithes. When that Resolution was brought forward there was nothing in it, according to the hon. Members opposite, 60 that was not full of virtue and propriety; but to call for anything of the same sort in the present year was, in their opinion, quite monstrous. As to the second Resolution, he might be allowed to say, in reply to the observations of the hon. Member for Middlesex, that the reason it was so readily given up, arose from no other consideration than that some doubts were entertained as to its being necessary at all in point of form. There certainly was an intention to introduce some provision of that sort in the Bill, and though that portion of it was, in some degree, in the shape of a money grant, the consideration of it might, without impropriety, be postponed. He had only to add, that the mode in which the proceeding had been brought forward was a mode adopted in conformity to the ordinary forms of the House; and in calling upon hon. Members to support that Resolution, nothing could be further from his mind, and from the minds of his right hon. Friends, than to induce Members to do anything which could have the effect of pledging them to the principles or the details of any Bill. The promoters of the intended measure had taken the only course they were at liberty to take, and he trusted that, upon examination, every fair and impartial man would say it was a course consistent with their former professions, and with their public characters and duties.
§ Mr. Harvey
said, it was most important that hon. Members should understand, that in affirming the present motion,—one or either of the Resolutions,—they committed themselves, beyond all possibility of question, to that which constituted the essential principle of the measure. The right hon. Baronet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had assured them that he did not mean to entrap Members into recognizing by the proceedings of that House, or embodying in any resolution whatever objects which, when they came down to that House, had never entered into their contemplation. He believed the right hon. Baronet to be perfectly sincere then, but it was not the interpretation which the King's Minister might then put upon their vote that Members had to consider in disposing of the present question, it was the nature and extent of the construction which, at any time, might be put upon that resolution. To affirm the first Resolution was consenting to the introduction of the Bill, and to some extent that was a 61 recognition of its principle. If, however, there was a distinct understanding that the Bill might be brought in, without the act of its introduction, in any respect committing the Members who even might tacitly assent to it, he did not apprehend there would be many present who would withhold their votes. But let it not be forgotten that the extinction of tithes, not only in Ireland, but their extinction in England too, was an object most earnestly sought after by many Members of that House; and if they agreed to entertain the present proposition, they could not, perhaps, free their minds from the apprehension, that they were prematurely giving their consent to a principle, the nature and extent of which had not been fairly brought before them. If no more than mere introduction of a Bill were really intended, it might be all very well; but in that incipient state of the measure, they should be on their guard against pledging themselves to any greater extent. In his apprehension, the Resolution would pledge them, if they adopted it, to three several principles,—in the first place, that tithes ought to be compounded for at a rate of twenty-five per cent, below their actual value. It certainly was insomuch better than the former Bill, that whereas that took off forty per cent., the present abated only twenty-five, but he was averse from both, and had not given, nor should he give, his consent to either. He opposed the former Bill, as he did the present Resolution, since, as he considered tithes public property, he would not bribe the landlords to aid in carrying the arrangement into effect. The second principle, if adopted, would have the effect of placing 500,000l. at the disposal of the clergy over and above the thousands of acres of land, of which they were already possessed. Was the House ignorant of the danger of the accumulation of such an amount of property in such hands? Did they forget the wisdom, since sanctioned by the result, which dictated the Mortmain Act? Would they despite the warning and example of their ancestors, thoughtlessly increase the pecuniary resources and territorial possessions of the Church? Thirdly, unless the construction of the Resolution were exceedingly overstrained, the rent-charge intended to be created upon the land would be rendered applicable at all times to the same purposes as those to which it was at present applied. He hoped, then, 62 that the House would not allow itself to be inveigled into the adoption of such a resolution; and he called upon the Committee to ponder well before they determined on recognizing the principle of the Resolution. If they did so, they might have occasion to regret it hereafter when it would be too late.
§ Mr. Ward
As the sense of the majority of the House seems to be decidedly against the principle involved in the Resolutions before the House with respect to the future appropriation of Church-property in Ireland. I feel strongly inclined to vote for the Motion for adjournment proposed by the hon. Member for Middlesex; but if the right hon. Gentleman will give the House a distinct declaration that all he asks for is permission to submit the details of the Bill to the House without pledging hon. Members to the principle contained in the Resolutions, I do not hesitate to say that I wish to see the measure of his Majesty's Government submitted to the consideration of Parliament.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
replied: I have already distinctly stated that I cannot expect that any hon. Gentleman should, by permitting the Resolutions to pass, be deprived of the power of amending in any part, or altering altogether, the Bill which my right hon. and gallant Friend will introduce to the notice of the House. The Resolutions merely embody the views of his Majesty's Government with respect to the measure which it is our intention to submit to the consideration of Parliament. I would beg to remind the House, that a Resolution of an exactly similar nature to that now proposed was submitted to the House at the commencement of the last Session, upon the division on which occasion the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Littleton) was teller. Surely, then, it is equally unfair to debar us from submitting these Resolutions as the ground-work of the measure which it is our intention to bring forward, as it would be to deprive any hon. Member of the power of considering and determining upon the Bill when introduced, simply because he now assented to the passing of those Resolutions.
§ Mr. Ward
considered himself justified, from the explanation of the right bon. Gentleman, in concluding that, by giving his vote for those Resolutions, he should not be precluded from giving the fullest 63 consideration to the principle involved in the Bill, and he would not, upon the simple statement of the right hon. Gentleman, offer any opposition to the bringing in the Bill. He did not intend on that occasion to go into any details of the question which had been so frequently alluded to in the course of the discussion; but he could not help noticing one or two points to which he thought he was warranted in calling the attention of the House. In the first place, he thought it a subject for congratulation that the Members of a Government which had come into power upon the principle of making no concessions to popular opinion, and upon an expressed determination to maintain inviolate the rights of the Church in both England and Ireland, had that night declared, in their places in that House, that for the purpose of collecting tithes in Ireland the law was powerless, and they were unable by any possible means to maintain the tithe system as it at present existed in Ireland. He might also be permitted to congratulate the House upon the speeches which had been delivered upon his side of the House, and more particularly upon the speech of the noble Lord, the Member for Northumberland (Lord Howick), in which he had expressed his concurrence in the principle that a new appropriation of Church property should take place in Ireland—an avowal which, coming from such a quarter, he considered to be of the highest importance. He would only express his regret that he had been so permature in introducing the subject last year as not then to receive the noble Lord's co-operation in deciding upon that principle which the noble Lord now hesitated not to affirm.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
protested against the analogy which had been attempted to be drawn between the proceedings of the last and the present Session, because, in his opinion, the position of affairs at these two periods was essentially different. He would only ask hon. Gentlemen opposite and his own hon. Friends, whether, after the issue of the Commission of last Session, of which so much had been said in that House, and after the announcement of the intention of the late Government not merely to do everything to facilitate the inquiries of that Commission, but also to act on its recommendations. The question of appropriation, to which the resolutions then before the House distinctly referred, did not 64 rest upon very different grounds from those upon which it was brought forward in the last Session of Parliament. If the right hon. Gentleman and his gallant Friend should now modify the resolutions, he had no objection to their being couched in terms sufficiently distinct to enable them to introduce the Bill, but in language not so denned as to pledge the House to any ulterior measure, and he would not hesitate to answer for his hon. Friends, that the proposition of the right hon. Baronet should not be met by a dissentient voice. They had no wish to throw difficulties in the way of the Government. Hon. Members might express their dissent from his sincere declaration of the wishes of those with whom he had been in the habit of acting; but he could only say, that if the right hon. Gentleman would draw up his resolutions in words sufficiently general to answer his purpose of introducing this Bill, without binding the House to the main question at issue—that of appropriation—he was sure that he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would not receive the slightest opposition from those who sat upon that side of the House. The right hon. Baronet had announced that it was his object to have the resolutions assented to, with a view of introducing the proposed Bill to the consideration of the House. That object might be accomplished by adopting the course which he (Mr. Rice) had pointed out, and would leave to those who acted with him, the free and unfettered privilege of dealing afterwards with the whole subject as they might think fit. He was aware that nothing was more usual than proposing resolutions, pro formâ, upon the introduction of measures to that House; but he denied the expediency of passing the present resolutions, which, if agreed to, would bar the consideration of the question which of all others, most occupied the public mind. If a question of peace or war were submitted to the Legislature, he should not advise that a Bill for the advance of the money necessary to be expended, in case they came to the resolution of declaring war, should be accompanied by a declaration of the policy upon which this country was determined to act. He thought that the better course, upon such an occasion, would be to vote fifteen millions in a Committee of Supply, and not embarrass that vote by any declaration of political views or opinions. Now, what would be the consequence of assenting to the reso- 65 lutions then before the House? Would not such a vote—whatever might be the object of the right hon. Baronet in making the proposition—be tantamount to a declaration of opinion on a subject hereafter to be discussed? He would, therefore, take the liberty of suggesting to those hon. Members who had taken a part in the discussion, whether it would not be fair and perfectly consistent, on the part of the right hon. Gentleman—seeing that he had abandoned one of the resolutions, and insisted upon coming to a vote upon the other, only as the means of introducing a Bill at a future time—to move a single resolution "for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the laws with respect to Tithes in Ireland?" He would ask, if the views which the right hon. Baronet had expressed were expressed with an intention merely to induce the House to allow him to submit his proposed measure, and not for the purpose of hooking a majority of hon. Members into an ill-advised declaration of opinion upon a question which they would soon be called upon to decide, upon what earthly grounds they were required to commit themselves to a concurrence in the principles of the resolutions which had been submitted? This was a question to be decided in Committee; and he would for himself say, that if those resolutions were affirmed that night, he should feel it to be his duty to move an amendment, and take the sense of the House upon it, when it resumed on Monday. He repeated, why were they called upon to adhere to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman? If nobody was considered to be bound by the words of the resolutions, why was the right hon. Gentleman so jealous of having the slightest alteration made in them? Why, if the right hon. Gentleman could obtain all the benefit from having such a resolution as that to which he (Mr. Rice) had alluded, and which might be drawn up in the usual form, so as to enable him to bring in his Bill, was the House to be pledged to what the hon. Baronet seemed to consider the useless surplusage, but what he (Mr. Rice) could not help calling the mischievous surplusage o the present resolutions? Whatever might be the result, upon the discussion of these Resolutions, he would, if nobody else came forward to do so, bring the question again under the consideration of the House when it resumed. Those resolutions would by 66 that time be printed; hon. Members would have an opportunity of discussing and deliberating upon them; and with reference to the principle involved in them, he would hen take upon himself to say, that any measure which was not based upon the principle of appropriation of the surplus revenues of the Church to such purposes as Parliament might determine, would not meet with the approval of the majority of that House; or, if it were carried through that House, it would have no chance of giving satisfaction to the country—of succeeding with the people at this, or of being accepted by the people at the other side of the channel. Much had been said of the analogy between the Bill of this and the measure of last Session; but he could not help observing that there was a very considerable dissimilarity between the opinions and sentiments of some hon. and learned Gentlemen, who took part in the discussions at those two periods. He recollected, for instance, that the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Shaw) had, upon the occasion of the proposal of the grant of a million to the Irish clergy, said it would be an insult to offer it to them. It appeared that it was now an insult to them to be called upon for repayment. Indeed he (Mr. Rice) remembered a joke which he had played off against the hon. and learned Gentleman. When the proposition for the advance of a million to the Irish clergy was under the consideration of the House, the hon. and learned Gentleman appeared with so large a bundle of letters from the Irish clergy, repudiating the idea of accepting the money which was proffered, that he (Mr. Rice) was induced to remark to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he might calculate upon an increase in the revenue, from the number of letters which passed through the post-office, stating to the hon. and learned Member, the unconquerable reluctance of the clergy to receive a farthing under the Million Act. And when speaking with respect to the grievances under which the Irish clergy then and now laboured, he would not hesitate to assert, however he might be taunted with an indifference to their condition, that no man felt more deeply and sensitively than he did, for the privations which they were compelled to endure, and the sufferings which they had been forced to undergo; but, he must be allowed to express it 67 as his opinion that he considered those sufferings as trivial, compared with the wretchedness which the tithe system, in its present shape, had inflicted upon the peasantry of Ireland; and that the grant of a million of money was, in his opinion, as dust in the scale, when justice was to be done to the people of that country. The settlement of the Irish Tithe question was not based upon a calculation of pounds, shillings, and pence; it was the adjustment of a question of principle, the satisfactory final decision upon which even his hon. Friend, the Member for Middlesex, who displayed, on all occasions, so laudable a zeal for economy, did not hesitate to promote, by giving his assent to the proposition for the relief of the Irish clergy and people out of the resources of England. He begged pardon for alluding to his hon. Friend; he knew that, on a former occasion, no man was more generous in voting public money when he considered it would promote the pacification of Ireland. His hon. Friend had shewn this disposition unequivocally. For his own part, he would say, that there was no man more ready than he was to consent to sacrifices for the relief of the Irish clergy; but it was one thing to make sacrifices at a previous time, and for the accomplishment of a great good; it was another, to make sacrifices, without a security that the good would be obtained. Last year they held the power in their own hands, which if not counteracted, he would not say by that which, in the modem fashionable phrase, would be termed a faction—but by those in opposition; they could have used it for the successful settlement of this difficult question. He must add, however, that he believed the opposition to which he had alluded, was displayed at the expense of the Church of Ireland. The efforts, however, of the late Government in endeavouring to bring about, at any sacrifice, the satisfactory settlement of the question, were counteracted by a party spirit; it might be a generous party spirit, but it was exercised at the expense of the clergy of the Church of Ireland. If the clergy of Ireland were now suffering—if difficulties were encountered in the settlement of this question, be the responsibility of such a state of things on those who opposed and rejected a measure, uncompleted in its concessions and profuse in its generosity. He took the hon. Gentlemen opposite upon their own showing, 68 for they admitted that the amount to be taken from the Consolidated Fund, by the Bill of last Session, was 3,000,000l. The first reformed Parliament, however, was willing to make any sacrifice to secure the peace and tranquillity of Ireland; but the cup was dashed from their lips, and the blame of not restoring harmony and quiet to the Irish people rested not upon them, but upon the shoulders of others. The question, however, now stood upon different grounds, and he, for one, would not consent to give up any part of the advantage which had been gained by its changed aspect since the last Session of Parliament. He maintained, that whatever might have been their former prodigality, there was now a question altogether different to be considered. He would not now part with one fraction, without being sure and satisfied as to the course of policy to be pursued by the Government. Parliament would now be satisfied with nothing short of an affirmation of a great principle, into the discussion of which they had that night not only been invited, but compelled to enter, by the terms of the resolution before the House, which went to establish the justice and expediency of appropriating all the revenues of the Irish Church to the purposes to which they were now devoted, and to no others. Against such a doctrine, he, for one, protested. And he warned the House against suffering itself to be unwarily committed to its approval. Was he asked, what he would have? He replied, a just settlement of the question. Let him see the principles of Ministers openly avowed and distinctly brought forward—let there be no pattering with principle—let him have one satisfactory and general measure for collecting and appropriating tithes—let them not be called on to pledge themselves in the words of these Resolutions. It was no fault of his that he must use such language; if the Church question were prematurely forced on, it was the fault of the Ministry. They were responsible for the discussions on it, and the effects of these discussions. They invited the House to the contest—they compelled the Members to enter the lists on the general question. The opposition was willing to give the Government an opportunity of introducing their Bill—but let the question of appropriation be reserved; and let the House not be called on indirectly and by a side wind to affirm, 69 without due notice, a proposition which negatived the views entertained by him and his Friends.
§ Mr. Shaw,
in explanation, said that it was very true he had opposed the grant of a million to the Irish clergy, because he considered that such a grant would be a bar to all regular payments; but though he did not approve of the principle, he felt obliged to follow a bad precedent, and give his consent to the appropriation of the present residue of the grant to the relief of the clergy. With respect to what the hon. Gentleman had said in reference to some letters which he read to the House from the clergy of Ireland, he begged to inform him that he laboured under a mistake; for those letters he had received during the discussion on the Bill of last Session.
§ Mr. Henry Grattan
said, the rejection of the proposal made by the right hon. Member for Cambridge, is a proof of the insincerity of Government. The Resolutions are a fraud upon the nation—they propose to abolish composition for tithes, but under another name, and for the same purposes, they continue the tithes ad infinitum. Such a plan will not succeed. The fraud is not upon Ireland alone, it is a fraud upon England also, for it taxes this nation to the amount of a million, which the former Parliament had promised should be repaid. Ireland will not be satisfied—the Catholic will not be satisfied—the landlord cannot be satisfied; he is called on to pay the debts of another person; and if not repaid by his tenant, it is to him a clear loss. Why should he be called on thus to pay; and why should he be called to pay the money without a new appropriation? You offer him a bribe of twenty-five per cent.—he does not want any bribe—he wants a fair distribution and a just appropriation, and he is willing, on these conditions, to pay, and would pay, the whole without deduction: he does not wish to rob the present incumbent, and he does not want a bribe to make him rob the people. Bribery has been your system too long in Ireland—for ages you governed by bribery; and how do you stand now? You formerly bribed the Protestants of Ireland, by allowing them to tread upon the Catholics, and now you seek to bribe the landlords, by the offer of twenty-five per cent, to enable you to continue the very grievance 70 of which the people complain. Your duty and your course is to alter the system altogether, and introduce a new and vivifying principle. Let all the present incumbents be paid the full amount, and on their demise reduce the establishment, and pay then only those who perform public duties; in fact this is the entire question, whether 5,000,000l. or 6,000,000l. shall pay for the support of the clergy of about 800,000, and pay a sum so enormous as to amount in value to near one-seventh of the landed property of the whole island; for, if all the property of the Church, as stated in the Returns on the Table, in the various Reports, and according to the evidence of the witnesses before the Committees, and among others, the evidence of an individual long conversant with Ireland, it would amount in value to near one million and a-half per annum. Such a system ought not to last—such a system cannot last—such a system you would not dare to impose on England. The right hon. Baronet opposite, the Member for East Kent, knows that his countrymen would not submit to such a monstrous injustice; but you do to Ireland what you dare not do to England, and I but tell the truth when I look fearlessly in your face and tell you so. I further add that my countrymen have too much spirit to submit to such mis-government. Ireland will not be satisfied—she ought not to be satisfied—and I hope she will not remain quiet until those just grievances are redressed. Let her remember the words of that late ornament of her Church—let her not forget the words of Dr. Doyle—"their hatred of tithes should be as lasting as their love of justice." There is another point which cannot be passed over. If we agree to these Resolutions, we admit so far their principle—if not, it is idle to submit them to the House. What, then, is one of the propositions? That the rent-charge may be redeemed, and the purchase-money invested in land—that is, that we are to give more land to the clergy, and make them farmers as well as parsons. This proposition we objected to in the last Parliament; and in proof of this, here is the Report of the noble Lord (the Member for North Lancashire), in which one of the propositions, three years ago was, to give the clergy land, which proposition the late Government would not take up, and 71 no Bill was brought in to carry it into effect. I object to this proposition in the outset. But another great evil is, that these propositions settle the point as to the valuation. Now, it cannot be denied that the compositions raised the incomes of the clergy. I know that the tithe was greatly raised—that tithe was paid for land that never paid it before, and that 5s. an acre was laid on, and proceedings taken to recover that amount. By these Resolutions we are precluded from opening these excessive and unjust compositions. Another objection is, that the rights of the poor are extinguished. I always have, and ever shall, contend for the irresistible, the indefeasible, and the ancient claim of the poor to a portion of the tithes. In the earliest times it was distributed amongst them, and it was cut off at the Reformation. Now is the period to restore it. Therefore, I beg to put in their just and paramount right to a portion of this public property. I am aware that the advice that is given will be disregarded; but I would implore of the gallant Secretary for Ireland, who has given a lamentable picture of that country, to consider the matter well. The Resolutions submitted will not satisfy the country. I have prepared some, which it was my intention to have moved, by way of Amendment to the present. I am sure they will be approved of in Ireland. I shall read them to the House; and I contend that, without some similar propositions the great body of the people of Ireland will not be satisfied:—Resolved!—That the peace of Ireland and the cause of humanity require that the system of tithes in that country should be abolished.That the rights of persons having vested interest should be provided for.That a tax founded on a fair composition should be imposed upon Ireland for the said purpose, and the amount thereof paid into the Exchequer, to be disposed of for such religious and charitable purposes, and in such proportions as Parliament may think proper.Last Session I made a proposition somewhat similar, but I. made it in vain:—the advice of those who may be supposed to know the feelings of the people of Ireland, and to know at least their interests will be, as it has been, steadily disregarded—it was so, whether the late Mr. Ponsonby or the late Mr. Grattan advised—they were not listened to—so it is now, whether the hon. Member for Dublin, or any other Irish Member submits what he knows is 72 suited for the Irish people, all are alike disregarded—the result has been, that Ministers in the end are forced to yield to violence, that which they denied to justice. They have by this course, embarrassed themselves and endangered the country; however, they will persevere, and they will continue to govern Ireland against the wishes of the great majority of her inhabitants; but such a system is replete with danger as well as difficulty; and though Gentlemen opposite so implicitly follow, and so loudly cheer the right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, let them remember, that it is owing to his misgovernment of that country, that most of this difficulty and danger has arisen—their present measures will neither give content to Ireland nor security to Great Britain. Ministers think they will secure both—in my opinion they are mistaken:—they think they will obtain public confidence—they will find themselves deceived. They hope to regain their character and to restore tranquillity—I think they may not recover the one, and I fear they will greatly endanger the other.
said, that knowing, as he had ample opportunities of knowing, the extreme difficulties of this case, and knowing the necessity of meeting it with great calmness, he was delighted to find as he was about leaving the House not long ago that the House was about to affirm so much of the Resolution, and so much only, as, without pledging the House one way or the other, would enable the Government to bring forward the Measure which his right hon. and gallant Friend (Sir H. Hardinge) had opened and explained. It was, therefore, with satisfaction that he had heard the right hon. Baronet (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), consent to withdraw so much of the Resolution as had been introduced late in that day, and which, though it was a matter of form, might appear to take the House by surprise in requiring their assent to a proposition for which they were not prepared. After that concession had been made to reason and to justice in consequence of the arguments that had been used—after the declaration by the right hon. Baronet that no man would be bound by an assent to the Resolution to more than an assent to bringing in a Bill for certain purposes, he had hoped that the matter would end. The provisions of that Bill would, no 73 doubt, be matter of serious importance, and, he would admit, that if the House were to be considered bound to carry into effect the whole of the Resolutions, in all of which, for his own part (for he would candidly avow his opinions), he agreed, by assenting to the introduction of the Bill, they would be justified in pausing before they supported the Motion; but nothing of the kind was required here. The Bill, or the Resolution on which it was to be founded, was for a commutation of the tithe composition to a rent-charge reduced by twenty-five per cent. This was an important difference; though he did not mean at present to go into the difference between the intended Bill and that of last year, but, he might observe, in passing, that there was this difference, that the composition was now to be commuted for a rent-charge immediately redeemable, and he was glad also that it was redeemable by land or such securities of land as would enable the landowner to redeem it without any great sacrifice to either party. He was further glad to find that the sum so redeemed was to be applied to the use of those who were entitled to the tithe. To that, in the abstract, he was prepared to accede, but he felt, and forcibly felt, that the present was not the proper and convenient time for the discussion of that subject. It was not a question to be met by a side wind. It was one which ought to be brought forward and discussed as a substantive motion. He thought they should hear what was the mode proposed by those who wished for a different appropriation of Church property; they should state, first, what they would appropriate, why they would appropriate, and how they would appropriate, this property; and then, when they had done so, and after they came to a division and decision on that question, they would—the House at least would, if the matter were now to be brought to an issue—be left as much in the dark as before. Why, he would ask, did some hon. Members object to the words of the Motion as tending to prejudge the question involved in it? The Chancellor of the Exchequer had told them that this would not tie them down to anything beyond the introduction of the bill. Let them understand what it was for which they were about to fight, for when they did fight they ought to fight in earnest. But suppose hon. Members should vote 74 against the words objected to in the Resolution, would the question be then decided? No, and for what reason? Because the subject would afterwards be brought forward in another shape. On the one hand Ministers affirmed the words; but suppose they were to carry it by a majority, what then? Would the Minister carry the principle which some Members thought involved in those words? No; for those who might vote for him would at once say, "We voted only to enable you to introduce your measures, but we do not feel ourselves bound to support any of the provisions of the Bill which you may introduce." This was the common sense way of putting the question. If a division should be called on this question, and if the Ministers of the Crown should continue to say, that they considered the adoption of the words of the latter part of the Resolution necessary for the developement of their measure in the Bill, he would vote with them; but in that vote he would rest on their declaration that they considered those words necessary for the introduction of the Bill; and he would also rest on his own declared intention before the commencement of the Session, not to throw any obstacle in the way of Government in laying their measures before the House. He would own—and here, perhaps, he might be said to be speaking at one side as well as the other—that he was sorry the words objected to had been introduced, because they would lead lo a doubt as to a question of principle which ought not, and was not, intended to be raised at all. Therefore, if His Majesty's Ministers decided on retaining those words, he would say, that while he assented to the four propositions contained in the Resolutions, he assented also to the declaration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that those words would not bind the House to more than an assent to the introduction of the Bill. On these grounds he would vote with the right hon. Gentleman, for he (Lord Stanley) was sure that the Government meant to take no unfair advantage of the vote. Such a course would be bad taste, bad judgment, and bad feeling, of which he could not suspect any Member of the Government would be guilty.—Therefore, while on the one hand he contended that no man who voted for those Resolutions was thereby bound to support more than the introduction of the Bill, he 75 would, on the Other, say that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer considered them necessary, he would vote for them, and against the Motion for reporting progress, which would prevent any decision whatever upon the question. Wishing, therefore, to bring the question said to be involved in those words, to a final and fair discussion at the proper time, he would vote against the mock division, which would not go to the question at all, and would prefer the introduction of the Bill, which would be canvassed in all its details, and in all its stages.
§ Mr. Poulett Thomson
agreed with his noble Friend who last addressed the House in much of what he had said, but he differed from him in the principle which he considered involved in those Resolutions. He did think that there was something in the present Resolution, the assent to which would compromise a principle. He did not see why a simple Motion for leave to bring in a Bill founded on a part of the Resolution in the hands of the Chair should not be sufficient. This would have been a sufficient ground on which to found the whole question, without having recourse to a measure which would have the appearance to the country of having been founded on the adoption of the latter part of the Motion in the hands of the Chair. He thought that the object of the right hon. and gallant Member would be equally well answered if he were to withdraw his Motion and substitute one to bring in a Bill for the purpose of settling tithes in Ireland. Such a Motion might be disposed of without going into other matters. He would call on the right hon. Baronet to say why he would not adopt this course, and whether any valid objection existed to confining himself to a Resolution on which a Bill might be founded. This would relieve hon. Members at the Opposition side of the House from the difficulty under which they now laboured. He hoped, if this course were not adopted, that the House would not allow itself to be entrapped into a declaration on a subject to which the majority of its members might be opposed. The principle of the Resolution before the House involves the state of Ireland, and its peace and tranquillity, and whether a sinecure church should be imposed on the people who did pot use it, or whether they should consult 76 the peace and happiness of Ireland by removing a grievance of which they all complained. He would again say, that unless the right hon. Gentleman relieved them (the Opposition) from the difficulty of seeming to adopt a proposition to which they did not assent, they must, oppose the Resolution, although they felt that Resolution did not bind them. That Resolution, he would add, did not bind them until it became the Resolution of the House by its adoption on the report, and on this ground he should hope that his hon. Friend would not press it till then, when he would have an opportunity of taking the sense of the House upon it.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that if he felt that the course which he had proposed to pursue was inconsistent with the practice of the House, or with common sense, not all the taunts with which he had been met on former occasions, would prevent him from altering it; but, feeling, as he did, that the course which he had adopted was consistent with justice and with the usage of Parliament, he cared not for the consequences, and would persevere in that course. All he would ask was, the indulgence of the House in that stage of the debate, while he stated the grounds on which he determined to pursue that course. He had always understood, that, in matters relating to religion, it was necessary that any measure should be first introduced in a Committee of the whole House, and not in the shape of a Bill. In the Journals, amongst the rules by which the House was bound, he found this:—"That no Bill relating to religion, or to the altering of any matter relating to religion, shall be introduced into the House until it shall, in the first instance, have been introduced in the shape of a Resolution to a Committee of the whole House." Now, his right hon. Friend (Sir H. Hardinge) had acted in strict conformity with that rule, and well he knew that if they (the Government) had deviated from that rule—if they had avoided the details of their plan, and come forward in the more short way of a Bill, well did he know that they would have been told of their deviation from the usual practice of the House, and told by none more loudly than by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. S. Rice) opposite. They would have been asked, "Why don't you go, in the first instance, to a Com- 77 mittee of the whole House? Why don't you adhere to the usual form of giving the details of your intended measure in a Committee of the whole House, and of embodying your principle in a Resolution on which you may afterwards found your Bill?" And if (continued the right hon. Baronet) we should say we were afraid of introducing a Resolution, the adoption of which might seem to pledge the House to some subsequent measure, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. S. Rice) would at once hold up this volume (one of the Journals) and say, "See how different the case was under the Administration of Lord Grey. The Government, then, did not content themselves with introducing a Bill for an important measure in the first instance. They went to a Committee of the whole House, and having detailed the nature of the measure which was ultimately intended to be brought before the House, they moved a Resolution on which to found that Bill, and that Resolution was to this effect:—"Resolved, that it is the opinion of this House, that composition for tithes in Ireland be abolished on or after the 1st day of November, in the present year, in consideration of an annual Land-tax to be granted to his Majesty, payable by the persons who would have been liable to such composition for tithes, and of equal amount. That such Land-tax shall be redeemable, and that out of the produce provision be made, in land or money, for the indemnification of the persons entitled to such composition.'" The right hon. Gentleman would have gone on, and told us how such a proposition was received in the House—that it was carried by an overwhelming majority, and that Mr. Spring Rice was one of the Tellers for the "ayes" in that majority. But what said the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. P. Thomson) as to a Resolution of this kind? "Why," said he, "with my opinions of the Church in Ireland, with my convictions as to the appropriation of Church property, I cannot consent to such a preliminary Resolution as you have proposed, because I cannot consent to have my hands tied up." Might he (Sir R. Peel) ask the right hon. Gentleman when his views as to the Church were taken up? Surely it could not have been since the last Session. His opinion must have been of some years' standing, when he must have anticipated that the time 78 would come when appropriation would be considered in some shape. It must have been some time before last year. How, then, did the right hon. Gentleman assent to the Resolution brought by his friends in the last Session? But if the right hon. Gentleman did not then think that things would be so altered, and could, with a safe conscience, have given assent to such a proposition as he had read, to deal with the Church property, how did it happen that any conscientious scruple prevented him from giving a vote much more limited in its extent on the present occasion? If he felt no scruples on that occasion, why should he feel any on the present? "Oh, but," said the right hon. Gentleman, "you had a money vote on this occasion, but you withdrew it." Well, his answer was, "You had no money vote last year, and, according to your own showing, no necessity for a Committee of the whole House, and yet you voted and adopted the proposed Resolution. The objection applies with equal force to the Committee of last year and to that of the present." It had been suggested from a quarter for which he had the highest respect, that one part of the Resolution which spoke of the investment of the rent-charge, or the produce of the rent-charge in land, or otherwise, might have well been omitted. He was sorry that his sense of duty did not admit of his adopting that suggestion; but the use of those words was meant only to detail to the House what were the views and intentions of Government. If they (the Government) had withdrawn that part, that the produce of the rent-charge was to be so invested, then they would have been open to the charge of having acted unfairly. He could have withdrawn it only as implying a pledge on that point; but would not the implication be fair that those parts which remained of the Resolution were meant to be binding? Supposing the part objected to were withdrawn, they would have still left those words, "that composition of tithe be abolished, and that a rent-charge be substituted;" well, then, the Committee, by affirming those words, would affirm—first, that the composition of tithes should be abolished—next, that in lieu of it there should be a rent-charge—next, that this rent-charge should be paid by the landowner—then, that it should be paid at the rate of 75l. for every 79 100l. of composition—and next, that it should be redeemable. Now, did any man believe, that he was bound to all these propositions by his assent to the Resolutions of his right hon. and gallant Friend? The House, however, by adopting these Resolutions, would not want the future opportunity of altering the scale of redemption from seventy to eighty per cent, or to any immediate scale which, in its judgment, the House might think fit to adopt. These words had been inserted in order that the whole proposition of his Majesty's Government might be fully before the House; if any of these terms had been omitted, it might have been said, that the Resolutions were contrary to the manifest intentions of the House in respect to the remainder, and, therefore, would imply some pledge on the part of the House. On the whole, he must adhere to the Resolutions, as they now stood indicative of the intentions and views of his Majesty's Government. So far from binding the House to the measure to be introduced, he must state this fact: that a Bill, referring to this same subject of tithes in Ireland, was introduced by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Staffordshire (Mr. Littleton)—a Bill subsequently altered by himself—a Bill which differed from that submitted to the House by the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire—a Bill which had been subsequently altered by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin—altered from the principle of the Resolutions on which they were founded; and yet, so little did the then House of Commons feel itself bound by its acquiescence in those Resolutions, that the very same House, which agreed to them in their original form, completely altered their tenor and effect, and assented, by a majority, to the change. Now, he would ask, with these facts before the House, whether or not, if he pursued a different course on the present occasion, he should stand in a very different position from that which he now held, supported, as he was, by precedents—precedents, as he would show, of no slight authority. If he had no other appeal to make, he would appeal to the authority evinced by the fact, that, as soon as his right hon. Friend had sat down, the noble Lord opposite, who acted as the leader of the party opposed to his Majesty's Government, expressed an opinion entirely in 80 concurrence with the view of the subject held by his (Sir R. Peel's) right hon. Friend, the Secretary for Ireland; and, so far was he from feeling himself bound by the Resolutions now proposed, so little did he consider the obligation that they were binding, that the noble Lord, the leader of the party to which he had alluded, did not hesitate to say, that he would not for a moment present the smallest obstacle to the introduction of the Bill which was intended as the result of the present Resolutions. Moreover, his right hon. Friend, the late Secretary for Ireland, so entirely concurred in the terms of the Resolution, as to declare, that he should vote for the Resolutions, under the protest that he was not to be bound by them. In this protestation he believed that many other hon. Members would concur with the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman, and would feel that they were not bound by the Resolutions, but would give their assent to them, combining, as they did, all the good sense, the precedents, and the practice, of former Governments. With these authorities in his favour, he felt he should take a course inconsistent with the practice and precedents to which he had alluded, inconsistent with his duty as a Member of the House and as a Minister of the Crown, if he consented to any modification of the proposed Resolutions.
§ Mr. Poulett Thomson
begged to say that he was justified in rising, in consequence of the attack which the right hon. Baronet had made on his consistency. The right hon. Baronet had asked how any hon. Member could find any objection to the present Resolutions, if he had voted in favour of that upon which the measures of the late Government had been founded, and which was the same in substance with the present. He had voted for the former Resolution, which he was happy to hear now was the same in substance and spirit with the present, though the first had been by the right hon. Baronet's party opposed before in the Commons House of Parliament. He could not be justly charged upon the present occasion, because in the last Resolution, upon which alone he had voted, the question of appropriation was not raised by the Government. Where, he would ask, did the inconsistency rest, when there was now in power an Administration which a few nights ago by their head had declared itself to be averse to 81 the appropriation of the revenues of the church to anything but Ecclesiastical purposes?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that in answer to the observations of the right hon. Gentleman, he could only say that unfortunately an amendment was proposed to the Resolution, to which he by his vote had assented, the concluding expression of which was—[Mr. P. Thomson: the question of appropriation was not raised.] Was it not? The counter-resolution which was then moved and carried, was to the effect, that after affording protection to existing interests, a competent provision should be made for the support of the Protestant clergy, proportionate to the amount of the Protestant population of Ireland, and that the surplus revenue should be applied to such purposes as Parliament should direct.
§ Mr. Spring Rice
said, that practically speaking, there was no difference of opinion between the two sides of the House. The right hon. Secretary for Ireland wished to introduce his Bill. He (Mr. Rice) and the Gentlemen about him wished that he should have leave to introduce it, and did not desire to fetter his discretion at all in doing so. He (Mr. Rice) was taunted by the right hon. Gentleman for the circumstance of his having been Teller on a division upon a question, as he said, analogous to the present; but as he (Mr. Rice) said, different from it in many respects. But if the right hon. Gentleman gave him a precedent, he would allow him (Mr. Rice) to give him one in return. The right hon. Gentleman had appealed to the authority of the late Government in supporting the Bill which had been introduced. Into the history of that Bill it was not his object to enter. But he would observe that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department was the originator of a great improvement in the tithe law system in Ireland, and which, if it had been carried into effect at the time he proposed it, might have been the means of preventing much of the evils which had since occurred. His right hon. Friend had introduced two Bills, one for the composition of tithes, and the other for the commutation of tithes, which went the full length in principle of the propositions now before the House. But what was the Parliamentary doctrine of his right hon. colleague who sat beside him? He said that this was a question 82 of religion, and he produced the standing orders of the House to prove that it was necessary to take the course he did. Now he (Mr. Rice) might controvert the proposition on another ground, and deny that tithes in Ireland and religion had so close an affinity. But as this was a question of precedent and Parliamentary doctrine, to them he would appeal. What course had the right hon. Gentleman then pursued? He certainly was not indifferent to the great interests which were involved in the question; but did the right hon. Gentleman come forward in the Grand Committee of Religion, and move a series of resolutions?—No; he simply moved for leave to bring in a Bill for the composition of tithes, and a Bill for the commutation of tithes in Ireland. Whence did the present scruples arise? Was it that the Gentlemen opposite were so much attached to Whig authority? He saw them adopt Whig measures, and he rejoiced at the measures, whether they were brought forward by those who differed from him or those who agreed with him. He said, "Prosper the good cause of liberal and religious feeling." He did not ask Gentlemen to abandon any one opinion which they might entertain, or which they might be supposed to entertain. All he said was, as his noble Friend the Member for Lancashire said, let the question be reserved for a fitting discussion on a fitting occasion, and let not the House be committed upon things while Gentlemen told them they were only discussing forms. Could it be believed that there was not some object or other contemplated? If it were a practical object—if it were to tranquillize Ireland—let it be conceded, and let his right hon. and gallant Friend bring in his Bill. He saw great difficulties in throwing obstacles in the way of the measure. He wished sincerely to have the Bill in his hand. The motion of his hon. Friend would not raise the question which ought to be raised. He, therefore, entreated his hon. Friend to have the kindness to withdraw his Amendment and allow him to substitute an Amendment containing these words—"that it is expedient to alter and amend the laws respecting tithes in Ireland." If the right hon. Gentleman would show him that under this Amendment he could not introduce his Bill, he had not a word to say, but if under it he had full power to do what he asked, he said that, for the sake 83 of the spirit in which it might hereafter be discussed, and with a view to the final success of the measure, it would be better simply to move for leave at once to bring in a Bill.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
observed, that he believed no hon. Member could, by the rules of the House, withdraw an Amendment without its permission. He, however, should not, by raising a mere matter of form, stand in the way of any expression of feeling upon the subject which the House might think advisable or convenient to itself.
§ The Committee divided on Mr. Rice's Amendment:—Ayes 198; Noes 213—Majority 15.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adam, Admiral||Crawford, J.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Crawford, W. S.|
|Ainsworth, P.||Cave, O.|
|Alston, R.||Clive, E. B.|
|Angerstein, J.||Chichester, J. B.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Copeland, Ald.|
|Berkeley, Captain||Crawley, S.|
|Belfast, Lord||Clay, W.|
|Brotherton, J.||Chalmers, P.|
|Bellew, Sir P.||Campbell, Sir J.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Collier, John|
|Bagshaw, John||Clements, Lord|
|Baines, E.||Cavendish, Hon. G. H.|
|Brady, D. C.||Codrington, Sir E.|
|Bodkin, John James||Dalmeny, Lord|
|Bowring, Dr.||Dundas, Hon. T.|
|Blake, M. J.||Dykes, F. L. B.|
|Buller, C.||Dundas, Hon. J. C.|
|Benett, J.||Dennistoun, Alex.|
|Barron, H. W.||Dillwyn, L. W.|
|Bainbridge, E.||Dobbin, L.|
|Butler, Hon. Colonel||Dunlop, C.|
|Bridgeman, H.||Ellice, E.|
|Biddulph, R.||Elphinstone, Howard|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Evans, Colonel|
|Bowes, J.||Ewart, W.|
|Brodie, W. B.||Ebrington, Lord|
|Blamire, W.||Evans, G.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Fazakerley, J. N.|
|Bannerman, A.||Fergus, John|
|Baring, F.||Finn, W. F.|
|Barham, J.||Fergusson, C.|
|Berkeley, Hn. G. C.||Ferguson, Sir R.|
|Burdon, W. W.||Fielden, J.|
|Barry, G. S.||Fitzgibon, Hon. R. H.|
|Brabazon, Sir W.||Fitzsimon, N.|
|Beauvoir, Sir J. D.||Fitzsimon, C.|
|Beauclerk, Major||Fort, J.|
|Buckingham, J. S.||Grant, Rt. Hon. C.|
|Chapman, M. L.||Grey, Sir G. Bt.|
|Gisborne, T.||O'Dwyer, A. C.|
|Gully, J.||O'Ferrall, M.|
|Grattan, H.||O'Loghlen, Serjeant|
|Grattan, J.||Ord, W. H.|
|Gaskell, D.||Oswald, J.|
|Gillon, W. D.||Oswald, R. A.|
|Grote, G.||Parrott, J.|
|Heron, Sir R.||Pattison, J.|
|Hawes, B.||Power, P.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Palmer, C.|
|Handley, Henry||Power, J.|
|Hume, Joseph||Perrin, L.|
|Hindley, C.||Pendarves, W. W.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Parker, J.|
|Harvey, D. W.||Phillips, M.|
|Hay, Colonel L.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Hector, C. J.||Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S.|
|Howard, Hn. E. G. G.||Russell, Lord|
|Howard, R.||Rundle, John|
|Heathcote, R. G.||Ruthven, E.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Rolfe, R. M.|
|Hutt, W.||Roche, W.|
|Howard, P. H.||Seymour, Lord|
|Hoskins, K.||Seale, J. H.|
|Holland, Edward||Stewart, Lord Dudley|
|Hall, B.||Stanley, E, J.|
|Humphery, J.||Sharpe, General|
|Kerry, Earl of||Speirs, A. G.|
|Labouchere, H.||Stewart, R.|
|Leader, M. J. Temple||Scrope, P.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Stanley, Hon. H. T.|
|Lushington, C.||Scholefield, J.|
|Lennard, T. B.||Sullivan, R.|
|Lushington, Dr.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Tulk, C. A.|
|Lambton, H.||Thomson, Rt. Hn. C. P.|
|Littleton, Rt. Hn. E. J.||Troubridge, Sir T.|
|Lynch, A.||Trelawney, Sir W.|
|Murray, J.||Talbot, J. H.|
|Martin, T. B.||Thornley, T.|
|Maule, C. Fox||Tancred, H. W.|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Tooke, W.|
|M'Cance, J.||Villiers, C. P.|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Wilbraham, Geo.|
|Mullins, F. W.||Wakley, T.|
|Maher, J.||Wrottesley, Sir J.|
|Musgrave, Sir R. T.||Williams, Sir J.|
|Mackenzie, A. J. S.||Wyse, T.|
|M'Cleod, R.||Ward, H. G.|
|M'Taggart, J.||Wallace, R.|
|Molesworth, Sir W.||White, G.|
|Nagle, Sir R.||Walker, R.|
|O'Brian, C.||Williams, W.|
|O'Brien, W.||Warburton, H.|
|O'Connor, F.||Walker, C. A.|
|O'Connell, D.||Westenra, Hon. H. R.|
|O'Connell, M.||Westenra, Hon. J. C|
|O'Connell, M. J.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|O'Connell, M.||Williams, W.A.|
|O'Connell, J.||Wemyss, Captain|
|O'Connor, Don.||Wrightson, W. B.|
§ The original Resolution agreed to.
§ House resumed.—Resolution to be reported.