HC Deb 08 August 1836 vol 35 cc1021-3

On the proposition that a sum of 8,928l. be granted for the Roman Catholic College at Maynooth,

Colonel Perceval

observed, that he had repeatedly recorded by his vote his objection to the proposed grant; and he entertained as strong an objection to it at present as at any former period. His hon. Friend the Member for Durham, had given notice of a motion for next Session, when he intended to move for a Committee to inquire into the system of education pursued at Maynooth College. He hoped, therefore, his hon. Friends would not then insist upon a division; if they did, he should certainly feel it his duty to record his vote against the motion, but he trusted that under the circumstances they would not take the sense of the House.

Mr. Arthur Trevor

said, he for one certainly should take the sense of the House on the question. It was true, that he had given notice of the motion which his hon. and gallant Friend had just mentioned, but that should not restrain him from taking any opportunity of supporting the rights of the Protestants of Ireland—rights which he thought were much neglected.

Mr. Shaw

hoped his hon. Friend would not divide the House upon that grant. It was, at all events, in one respect unlike the grant proposed for National Education in Ireland—there was no disguise about it. He deprecated the system of Maynooth as conferring neither benefit on the country nor credit on the Roman Catholics themselves. He thought it demanded a searching inquiry, and he hoped such an inquiry would be granted; but he owned that, considering the circumstances under which this vote was brought forward, that it had been sanctioned by various governments, and that many persons were dependent upon it for support, he did not think it would be reasonable to put a sudden stop to it.

Mr. A. Trevor

begged his right hon. Friend, the Member for the University of Dublin, to believe, that he entertained the highest respect for any recommendation coming from him, but he had presumed his right hon. Friend knew him well enough to expect, that when once he took a thing into his head he was not to be moved from his purpose.

Mr. Hamilton

said, that an inquiry into the whole system of Maynooth College, and especially of the system of education pursued there, was, in his opinion, loudly and imperatively called for, and he regretted very much, that the hon. Baronet, who had given notice of a motion for such an inquiry, had not been able to follow it up. As an individual Member of this House, he felt bound to raise his voice against a grant of public money for the advancement of a religion, and for the promulgation of doctrines which, as a Protestant, he conscientiously believed to be erroneous. He fully concurred in the observations which fell from the hon. Member for Southwark on a recent occasion, that where one set of men differed from another in essential matters of religion, and were sincere and honest in that difference, and believed that it involved principles of great importance, whatever they might profess, it was impossible but that, believing those others to be wrong, they must be anxious not only to convince them of their error, but to prevent the promulgation of that error; and they ought not, therefore, in his opinion, to be parties to its advancement or extension. It surprised him that hon. Members on the other side of the House, especially those of the Roman Catholic persuasion, who were so ready to condemn the connexion of Church and State—to declare that they should consider their religion contaminated by such a connexion, and who, not satisfied with dealing with their own religion as they pleased, should be so forward in endeavouring to free the religion of others from that supposed contamination, by effecting its separation from the State. He confessed he was surprised that persons holding these opinions should consent to owe the educa- tion of their clergy to a public grant from the State.

Captain Boldero

said, that this was the best of the whole eight and twenty grants. When the Roman Catholics were in the habit of taking money for education, they might the more readily take stipends for their clergy, and thus there would be an end to the influence of the crafty priest and the cunning agitator.

Mr. Sergeant O'Loghlen

begged to ask the hon. Member, as he had placed his opposition on such grounds, whether he could consent to make a grant of money for Roman Catholic or for Protestant Dissenting places of worship?

Mr. Hamilton

said, if he understood the question rightly, he had no hesitation in answering it. He might vote for those Protestant Dissenters whose opinions did not appear to him wrong in essentials; for the others he could not, because he did think them wrong in essentials.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 51; Noes 10: Majority 41.

List of the NOES, (Not Official.)
Alsager, Captain Perceval, Colonel
Archdall, M. Sibthorp, Colonel
Borthwick, P. Stormont, Lord
Gordon, Captain
Hamilton, W. TELLER.
Hamilton, Lord C. Trevor, hon. A.
Hodgson, J.