HC Deb 23 May 1837 vol 38 cc980-1073
Mr. Brotherton

having the honour to represent a large constituency, hoped he should be allowed to say a few words as to the reason which influenced him in giving his vote in favour of the measure which had been brought forward by his Majesty's Ministers. In the first place he must tender his sincere thanks to them for introducing such a plan. He considered the measure a good one, both for the Church and for the Dissenters—a measure which would not only relieve the. Dissenters from a practical grievance, but promote harmony and peace, and enable the Church to support its own fabric out of its own funds without the necessity of either compulsory or voluntary contributions. He supported it because he felt confident that a surplus would be obtained out of the Church lands sufficient for all Church purposes, without injury or injustice to any individual whatever. Another reason why he supported it was because it had been intimated that it was intended to provide for the maintenance of the fabric of the Church out of the Consolidated Fund. Such a measure would be a great injustice to his constituents, and he Would feel it his duty to oppose it. He would state; With a view of illustrating his views as to the probable surplus to be obtained out Of the Church lands, the case of the resources of the Established Church in the place with which he was more immediately connected. He referred to the Collegiate Church at Manchester. That Church was endowed by the Crown; the King was the Patron of it; and his Majesty had the appointment of the wardens and fellows. According to a return recently made by the wardens and fellows of that Church it appeared that the whole income was 4,025l. a-year. He, however, begged leave to state to the House that this corporation had the rectorial tithes of thirty townships, comprising 3,000 statute acres of land. In addition to this they had 1,200 acres of land, and about sixty houses. These were particularly valuable, because they were within and in the neighbourhood of the town of Manchester, and the land was well adapted for building. They likewise possessed valuable mines, which also produced a considerable income. Now, the whole of this property was confined to the maintenance of a single church, and in a parish, too, that of Manchester, in which there were thirty churches supported by voluntary contributions. He found from a Return respecting the existing value of Church lands connected with the parish of Manchester, that in the year 1649, it was recommended that the parish should be divided into ten parishes; and with such a fact before him he could not but consider it unjust that any one Church should engross to itself the Whole of the advantage that arose from the tithes and from the lands. The present measure, he thought would not only be a relief to the Dissenters but to Churchmen, and he believed the reason why Church-rates were opposed in that parish was because the whole of the income was applied to the maintenance of a single Church. In looking into the charter he found that these lands were given for the purpose of affording to all the inhabitants the means of religious instruction, and all the parishes were equally entitled. He must refer to what had been said by the hon. Member for Cambridge, whom he did not see in his place, with a view to correct a statement which that hon. Member had made. He stated that there Was a great want of religious instruction in Manchester, that the income of that parish was not more than 2,700l. a-year, and that the number of churches Was only twelve. Now the fact was, that in Manchester there were thirty-two churches, and the income of those churches amounted not to 2,700l. but to 15,000l. a-year. Besides these thirty-two churches there were 100 Dissenting places of Worship in Manchester, and therefore there could not be that Want of religious instruction which the hon. Member had stated. But the hon. Gentleman Complained that there was not sufficient church accommodation in Man Chester. He believed there Was church accommodation for about 34;000, but on a careful examination of the subject he had ascertained that the number of persons who attended the churches did not exceed 12,000. Thus, there was church accommodation for more than double the number of persons who were in the habit of attending the churches. He would next state the reason why he objected to taking the Church-rate out of the Consolidated Fund. In Lancashire the people paid only one-fortieth part of the total amount of the Church-rate collected throughout the whole kingdom; but if the money necessary For the maintenance of the fabric of the church the object to which Church-rates were applied, were to be taken out of the Consolidated Fund, they would have to pay, hot, as at present, a fortieth, but a twelfth part. That was a sufficient reason for him to oppose any such proposition as that of taking the Church-rates out of the Consolidated Fund. Those who sat on the other side of the House professed great sympathy for the poor, and they said they supported the national Establishment because they regarded it as the poor man's Church. He knew that there was a strong feeling in the country in favour of the Church, and he was also persuaded that if the people were allowed to participate in the choice of their own ministers, there would be no want of funds for the erection of churches In his own borough, for instance, a sum of 10,000l. could easily be raised for the purpose of building churches if the inhabitants were only allowed to appoint their own clergymen, and he might make the same observation with regard to other parts of the country with which he was acquainted. He was convinced, however, that this measure would operate most beneficially so far as the Church itself was concerned, while at the same time it relieved the Dissenters. They were all aware that a church never- died of poverty, but of repletion. The Dissenters had no wish to take away from the Church any of its funds, but they did wish to remove from themselves a burthen, which was also an injustice. He repeated that he should support this measure because he was persuaded it would establish peace and harmony, and he could not sit down without again thanking his Majesty's Ministers for having brought it forward.

Mr. H. Fitzroy

was extremely unwilling to trespass upon the indulgence of the House, but in justice to the constituency which had recently done him the honour to send him there to represent their sentiments, he could not remain silent upon the present occasion. It had been asserted that the Protestant Dissenters of this kingdom were decidedly opposed to the continuance of Church-rates, but he was bound to dispute the accuracy of that statement, and that he had good ground for so doing might be collected from the fact that he was himself lately returned by a constituency comprising a very large body of Dissenters of every persuasion. When, therefore, he stated, as he was authorised to do, that there was no tax, no burthen imposed upon his constituents for the support of the Established Church which they would not willingly pay, as they looked upon an establishment as the surest safeguard for religious liberty, he had a warrant for doubting the hostility of the Dissenters to Church-rates. He felt that he should be taking too much upon himself were he to assert that this feeling prevailed among any other constituency than that which he had the high honour to represent, but he must say that it did not appear to him that there was any great zeal manifested in favour of the measure. If the Dissenters looked to the plan about to be introduced as a healing measure—if they regarded it as a boon, and looked forward to it as a cure for all the evils to which they considered themselves subjected, how was it that the table of the House was not groaning under the weight of petitions? He asked this question with more earnestness because of the cheers with which a petition numerously signed in favour of the abolition of Church-rates had been received by the hon. Members opposite. If, as he had often heard it contended, the petitions which came to that House spoke the sense of the people, and showed how they were inclined with respect to the re- jection or adoption of measures—if that were the case, and the opinions of the people were entitled to any respect, then he must say that that fact presented a most powerful argument against the measure, for upon an inspection of the last return he found that there was a most overwhelming majority in favour of Church-rates, both in the number of petitions presented and of the signatures which were attached to them. He must say, then, he did not think that the people of England felt with his Majesty's Ministers on this subject, and he did not consider himself bound to give his assent to a measure which would certainly be injurious to the Established Church, and had been so coldly received even by those for whose peculiar benefit it had been professedly introduced.

Mr. Arthur Trevor

concurred in what his hon. Friend had stated with respect to the petitions presented to that House; and he also believed that the voice of the country generally was hostile to this measure. He should now call the attention of the House to another point. The hon. Member for North Durham had, in his speech of last night, alluded to the subject of Church leases. Now, the consternation and alarm which existed in the county of Durham on this subject it would be impossible to describe. He held in his hand a communication which he had received from a highly respectable gentleman residing at South Shields on this part of the case. It stated that the proposed interference with this species of property in the diocese of Durham was likely to involve the most serious consequences to all those who held Church leases, and that already the mortgagees of such property had given notice to the mortgagors for payment of the principal and interest due on their securities. It was utterly impossible that these payments could be made, because no person would now lend money on such property, and the consequence would be ruinous to the owners of Church leases. Such was the condition to which the county of Durham was reduced by the introduction of this measure. It was a well known fact that property of this description, that Church leases, had long been regarded as a species of perpetuity. They had been made the subject of settlements, and money to a considerable amount had been raised upon them. That money was now called in, but the parties were unable to meet the demands upon them, simply because the tendency of this measure was to depreciate this species of property to such a degree that no one would advance their money on such security. The hon. Member for North Durham had also stated that there were in the county of Durham only 110 places of worship connected with the Established Church, while the Dissenting places of worship amounted to 246. He did not know whether in this calculation the hon. Member had included chapels of ease, a number of which, to his knowledge, had recently been erected in different parts of that county. In the diocese of Durham which comprehend the counties of Durham and Northumberland, there were 152 benefices, and, consequently, if there were 110 churches in the county of Durham the number left for the county of Northumberland would only be forty-two. This certainly could not be right. The hon. Member for North Durham had likewise made a comparison between the schools connected with the Established Church and those belonging to the Dissenters in the county of Durham. On referring to a return on this subject he found that in the schools, Sunday and daily, in that county, connected with the Established Church, the number of children instructed was 55,000, while in the whole of the schools of the Dissenters, according to the same document, only 10,012 children attended for the purposes of education. If, then, any reliance was to be placed on this return, the number of children in the schools of the Established Church greatly exceeded that in the schools of the Dissenters. He was of course not aware of the data on which the hon. Member's statement was founded, but the authority on which he went was a report which had been printed and laid before that House. Now, from his own practical knowledge of the county of Durham, and the ecclesiastical body in that county, he was able to state that that body had expended large sums not only in the augmentation of small livings but in the establishment of schools. The Dean and Chapter of Durham had done all in their power to promote objects of this description, and therefore he was astonished at hearing such a statement as the hon. Member for North Durham had made. The hon. Gentleman said he supported this measure because he considered it would be beneficial to the Church; but how the hon. Gentleman made good such an assertion he (Mr. A. Trevor) could not conceive. It was, he must say, not only absurd, but an insult to common understanding to put forward such an argument, because the only effect which the Ministerial measure could have was to lower the character and destroy the functions of the Established Church. This was his opinion. He would take the Marriage Bill, the Irish Tithe Bill, and the measure now under discussion, and he would ask any hon. Gentleman—of course he did not appeal to the hon. Members opposite—but he would ask any man of common sense in the country—whether in or out of that House, who had of motives for holding a contrary opinion, it was possible that such a measure as the would be beneficial to the Church? The hon. Member for Salford told them that the feeling of the people of Lancashire was against the continuation of Church-rates. He did not believe this, because he had been informed by a party in whose veracity he placed the highest confidence, that both at Warrington and at Liverpool petitions against the Ministerial plan for abolishing Church-rates had been carried by a large majority. At Manchester also it had been found, upon a scrutiny, that there was a majority in favour of Church-rates; and, with such facts before them, he would put it to the House to say whether they could give credence to the hon. Gentleman when he said that the people of Lancashire were inveterately opposed to Church-rates. He would tell the hon. Gentlemen opposite that, if they were prepared to believe that the feelings which they entertained towards the Established Church were responded to throughout the country they acted under a very gross delusion. The petitions which had been laid on the table showed what was the state of the feeling of the country with respect to this subject. The hon. Member for Lewes had stated, most correctly, that the preponderance n number of signatures as well as respectability belonged to the petitions presented in favour of Church-rates. Let a return of the number of signatures be moved for, and he would be prepared to prove that the signatures to the petitions in favour of Church-rates, and against the plan proposed by his Majesty's Ministers, far out numbered those which had been presented on the other side. He did not know to what extent the petitions at the other side had been signed by ratepayers, but he was prepared to say, that the greater number, if not all, of the petitions presented at his side were signed by rate-payers alone. He had had the honour to present a petition from Sunderland, signed by 1,350 rate-payers. Was that no proof of the feeling that prevailed in favour of the Church Establishment as it now existed? Let hon. Members at the other side who supported this measure openly avow that they did so because they thought it had a tendency to lower the Established Church from its present position. In taking any step to lower the Established Church they were laying the foundation of the worst evil that could by possibility afflict the country. If the clergy of the Established Church were reduced to a position in which they could no longer maintain their present weight and station in society a great evil would befal the country. He was surprised to hear those who supported this measure call themselves members of the Established Church, and proclaim their wishes for its prosperity and welfare. He did not like this dangerous friendship; he would much rather hear them express an open and an undisguised hostility—he would much rather hear them say openly that they supported the present measure because they were convinced that its tendency was to raise one class in the country at the expense of another—that they swished to raise up the Catholics and the Dissenters at the expense of Protestantism. Such an avowal as that he would consider a much more honest and strait forward course than to boast friendship for the Church, whilst they supported measures that had a tendency to destroy it. They might suppose that the public looked with indifference to the proceedings that were going on; but the voice of the country, from one end to the other, would shortly proclaim what the feelings were. They were told, on the other side, that it was unjust to call on the Dissenters to contribute to the support of a Church from which they conscientiously dissented. On the same ground the hon. Member opposite (Mr. O'Connell) might say that he had no right to pay tithes. On the same ground a man might refuse to pay taxes, because he differed from the principle in support of which the tax was applied. There were many instances where property was transferred which was saddled with the payment of tithes or Church-rates. Now, supposing a Dissenter purchased property from a Churchman which was saddled with burthens of this nature, what excuse would it be for him to urge, or what ground for exemption from the payment of these burthens to say, that he conscientiously dissented from the objects to which this money was to be applied? If they established such a principle they would open the door to fraud, and on that principle if it were admitted, the payment of any demand might be refused. He contended that the hardship which was so loudly spoken of, existed neither in fact nor in justice. The time at which these hostile measures towards the Church were introduced was most ill-chosen, for there never was a period in the history of the Church when greater exertions were made by the clergy of the Church for the benefit of their flock's and of their fellow-men than the present period. At no period had a greater number of schools been erected, or more benefit conferred by the Church upon the public. By whom was the attempt to injure the Established Church made? By Ministers at the head of affairs, who only looked to the means by which they could retain their places and who were sustained by a party, the object of which was to annihilate the Established Church—that Church whose virtues that party were unable to value, but which they wished to destroy because it existed as a check upon them. Without the support of that party his Majesty's Government well knew that they could not retain office for a single day. By that party each succeeding day his Majesty's Government were compelled to go lower and lower, and it was well known to every man who reasoned upon the subject that they were enabled to hold the Government of the country merely by the will and grace of that body. He did not so much blame those individuals for the object they had in view as for hesitating openly to avow that object. Let them come down honestly, and avow that they supported the present measure because they felt it would raise the Catholic and the Dissenter at the expense of a Church which was the object of their detestation, and which they were anxious to destroy. [Cheers from Mr. O'Connell.] The hon. and learned Member for Kilkenny cheered, but that was his opinion, and his opinions on any subject he bad never shrunk from avowing. He denied that the Church property was public property, for if they were once to establish so baneful a principle it might be extended to private property. He was desirous to uphold the Established Church because he was convinced that a purer or a better Church could nowhere be found. He opposed the present measure because he believed it injurious to a body of men whom in the performance of their sacred duties, he looked upon as the best friends of their fellow-men. He believed, if the clergy of the Church were deprived of the means of maintaining a station in conformity with the importance of the sacred duties they had to perform, the effect would he most injurious, and would most probably throw the discharge of the sacred office into the hands of men wholly unworthy of it. The effect would be, to drive men of talent and education from that station where they could be most useful, and which, above all others, it was desirable that such men should occupy. If the House agreed to pass this measure he would tell it before it was too late that it would establish a precedent most baneful in principle and most prejudicial in practice. He did not consider himself presumptuous when he stated that in opposing this measure he was influenced by still higher motives, for he considered that if he voted for the support of this measure he would be sanctioning the desecration of property devoted to the service of Almighty God.

Mr. C. Buller

said, the hon. Member who had last addressed the House but one had advanced two novel arguments against the measure of his Majesty's Ministers. The first was his own appearance in this House, the Other was the preponderance of petitions and signatures against the measure over those in its favour. I would advise the hon. Member, however, not to rely upon the latter argument until he had made some further inquiries, for the fact is, that from a careful examination he was prepared to say that the preponderance of petitions and signatures is in favour of the abolition of Church-rates. The hon. Gentleman had better rely upon the other extraordinary fact—namely, his own presence in the House. But to the subject before the House it seems to me to become a peculiarly hard fate that whatever pains may be taken to narrow any question before the House, so as to enable us to discuss particular issues on different occasions, it always turns out to be practically impossible to limit the debate to its proposed subject. It happens that the objections to the proposed plan for the regulation of Church-rates resolve themselves very obviously into two very distinct classes—consisting of objections to the mode in which an income is proposed to be raised by an improved management of the Church lands; the other, of objections to the application which it is proposed to make of that income when so obtained. Now, it is clear that no attempt of the kind will ever prevent the mighty minds of Members from expatiating over every kindred topic. The greater part of the debate turned precisely on the mode in which the funds are proposed to be raised, and all the details of the bearing of the measure on the lessees of the see of Durham. A still greater part was devoted to the discussion of the present law of Church-rates; and we were fortunate enough to get upon that point a quantity of information which had evidently been bottled up ever since their brewing in the month of March. We were entertained with various refutations of the voluntary principle, a point which it appeared necessary to some hon. Members to discuss, because they bad read something in its favour in the resolutions of a meeting in some part of the country, in petitions presented four years ago in a Birmingham magazine, which is said to be the organ of somebody or another. The only points, which no one, except the hon. mover of the amendment condescended to reason upon, were the correctness of that account of the present state of spiritual destitution, on which he grounded his amendment, and the propriety of that mode of relieving it, which is the substance of the amendment. No one on this side of the House refuted the hon. Member, or even as much as alluded to, either of these points. I won't say that on the other side, they were wholly forgotten, for every Gentleman on that side seemed to think that the completest proofs had been given both of the facts, and the plan of relief involved in the amendment. But of one on that side wasted a moment's proof upon either. The points actually in discussion were the only points never touched on, except as matters to be taken for granted. I cannot say, Sir, that it appeared to me that much was gained by turning yesterday's debate into a mere renewal of the first general discussion of the plan-Much as I admired the ingenuity with which the hon. Member for Bridport marshalled up all the arguments which had been previously urged against every part of the plan, and managed, by mere novelty and neatness of arrangement, to give very old arguments an air of freshness; great as was the eloquence with which he poured forth all the hard words which were prepared by his party to launch against the Bill before its provisions were or could be known, I must confess I did not receive from any those explanations, which have all along appeared to me wanting to the value of the complaints urged against this plan. He and others treated us with a good deal about sacrilege, and spoliation, and danger to property; but they did not give us the explanation which I have all along wanted—how or on whom these atrocious crimes had been committed, or how this peril was incurred. I know for instance, the meaning which Gentlemen on the other side will attach to the word "sacrilege;" but even according to their superstitious notion that it is sacrilege to apply to secular purposes any property that has once been devoted to ecclesiastical uses. I cannot make out how it can be pretended that the crime has been committed in this case. For here no ecclesiastical property is to be diverted to less holy objects. A new value is to be given by the act of the Legislature to certain ecclesiastical property; and we have great high church authority, no less than that of the noble Member for North Lancashire, to satisfy us that all that is thus added to Church property might, under these circumstances, "be applied to secular purposes, or to any purpose that the State might direct, without any violation of the property of the Church." But the present Ministers don't go so far as the noble Lord. The increased value, which they purpose to give to Church property, they propose to apply to the uses of the Church. Surely if there be one purpose more strictly ecclesiastical than another, it is the support of the fabric of the Church. Again, the charge of spoliation has been reiterated with great perseverance; but spoliation implies some one that is despoiled. This, however, appears to be a robbery without any one being robbed; a case of injury like that of the Cyclops in the Odyssey, with the difference of Ontis in this case being the injured party. At one time it is the Church which is represented as the victim of the alleged spoliation. But the Church does not lose any thing; it is not a bit poorer than it was at the outset. It is deprived of a precarious power of supplying a certain portion of its wants by means of a particular tax; but it gets in compensation an assumed income, which it never had before, of exactly the same amount, and applicable to the same purposes. The Church will be no loser, if any thing, and without doubt, as far as respects the certainty of its income, it will be a gainer. How then can you say that the Church has been exposed to spoliation, when it is just as rich as it was? At another time the Church lessees are put in to the part of victims, and become objects of Conservative commiseration. But here there is another difficulty, for unfortunately the supposed victims, instead of joining in the complaint, have generally declared that they shall be gainers by the plan by which they are said to be pillaged. I know that there are exceptions to this general satisfaction on the part of these parties. But the exceptions appear to be local, and to spring from certain local peculiarities not sufficiently considered in the general plan; and though I am inclined to think that these peculiar interests run a risk of being unnecessarily sacrificed in deference to some imaginary estimate of a general balance of good to the community—though I admit that the plan in its present shape appears, as far as I can recollect, not to be susceptible of just application to the lessees of the see of Durham, and perhaps other lessees, and must be modified so as to do them justice; still I think that I am justified in asserting that the great body of the Church lessees regard the plan as a boon, not as a robbery; that they consider themselves as eminently sharers in a national benefit, instead of being victims of a national act of spoliation. I think that Gentlemen opposite, in their distress for victims, will have to go back to the ingenious but somewhat bold conception hazarded by the right hon. Member for Tamworth in the first debate on this question, and rely on the case of the unhappy rustics, whom he represented as suffering under a usage, of the like of which, I believe, no Briton ever was known to complain before—that of being deprived of the right of being compelled to pay for the repair of their Churches. But, Sir, I must beg pardon of the hon. Member for Bridport, and the other Gentlemen who have taken part in this debate, for not grappling with the arguments used by them in support of their general view of this question, because it is my determination to confine myself entirely to what I cannot but consider the sufficiently large and important questions involved in the amendment now before us. I will assume that the new property is to be created in the manner proposed, and applied to ecclesiastical purposes. The question arises, what such application of it will at once be most for the benefit of the Church and of the country? I agree with Ministers in thinking that the best purpose to which such a fund can be applied, and the first to which it should be applied, is that of restoring peace and insuring stability to the Church by providing a substitute for Church-rates. The hon. Gentleman thinks that prior to this should be a provision for the spiritual wants of a number of souls, whose deplorable destitution of all religious care, of all the common physical appliances of piety in the shape of Church-room, he has very pathetically described. I am very glad that the hon. Gentleman has put these questions, of the fact of the extent of spiritual destitution of various kinds, as stated in the Reports of the Church Commission, and of the necessity of relieving it by the application of a large sum of public money, so distinctly at issue. It is impossible not to perceive that the statements emanating from high authority, confidently repeated, assiduously circulated, and never contradicted, have made a considerable impression on the public mind. Every Gentleman who has opposed this plan from its first proposal down to the present hour, has piteously alluded to a state of spiritual destitution, which it has been considered fair to take for granted; and it is impossible not to perceive that many, who are not at all inclined to oppose the plan on mere party grounds, have been influenced by these statements, and taken up a notion that urgent necessities of the Church are being postponed to a desire to conciliate the Dissenters. I think that this, like the other fallacies of our opponents, will lose its influence from the hour in which it is periled in debate. I rather think that it is to a perception of the superior convenience of assuming the facts as proved, and the remedy as practicable, to attempting to prove either that we must attribute the singular fact that this proposition does not emanate from any of those Members of our own Church, who owe their seats to our clergy, and always exhibit so lively a zeal for its interests, and that the duty of making it should have devolved upon a Gentleman who always proclaims himself a zealous son of another church, and who I should think is hardly the best judge of the spiritual wants of people of a different communion; but I can account for the officious zeal of the hon. Gentleman. I recollect that the church to which he belongs, has of late exhibited a great anxiety to put its hands into the public pocket, for the purpose of rearing more churches, and endowing more clergymen. I suppose that he wishes to show us Englishmen that he will do as he would be done by; that he is endeavouring to establish a kind of what, I think might in the phrase of his countrymen, be styled a "Ca me, ca thee" reciprocity to the mutual profit of the high Church on both sides of the Tweed. And I do not wonder at a Scotch Member being left to move this amendment. For after all that they have ventured to throw out in favour of such a course during the emergencies of debate, English Members do not appear to be so ignorant, or so regardless of the feelings of their countrymen, as to desire to encounter the odium of meeting the cry for the removal by a resolution for the aggravation of a grievance—to turn round on the masses that petition for the removal of Church-rates, not merely with a refusal, but actually with a declaration that Church-rates shall be increased. This, Sir, would be the effect of this amendment, if its consequence is to be the building of new churches. If they are built, the effect must be either that you will have a fresh set of churches, which can only be maintained by the levy of additional Church-rates, or, if you make at the period of building a further provision for the repair of these new churches out of the original endowment, you will have your new churches, for which no rate is raised, standing by the side of the old churches, which are to be supported by continual levies of Church-rate; an anomaly and a contrast, I should think, by no means favorable to the continuance of these rates. The effect of building fresh churches must be to augment instead of abolishing or reducing Church-rates. The House ought to look at this proposal in this light: it ought to mark well the startling defiance of public feeling which it involves; because then I think it will scrutinize closely the proofs of the alleged necessity for additional churches, and not lightly come to a determination to do that which will augment to an almost inconceivable extent the existing causes of irritation against the establishment. I will venture to say, that no such necessity exists; that the demand for new churches is one of the most preposterous ever made; that whatever want of church-room may exist may be supplied by very simple and inexpensive means, which would provide at the same time for more urgent spiritual necessities of the people. I grant, Sir, that in a Christian country, it is matter of very fair complaint, that the attendance on divine service, in particular districts, should be so scanty as it is universally allowed to be at present; that such very inadequate facilities should be afforded for attendance thereon, and what is worse, that the existing facilities should be turned to so small account. It appears that in many populous districts there is no church-room for more than a small part of the population. But it also appears that not one-half of the church-room which does exist is used. Desirable as it is that more people should be induced to go to church, I see no reason for believing that that end would be attained by giving more church accommodation, or that that accommodation, can only be given by building more churches. A large proportion of the population of this city never set foot within a church. But why is it that they do not? Is it because the churches are so full every Sunday, and all Sunday, that these people cannot squeeze into them? Everybody knows that this is not the cause: that of the churches of this metropolis, not one quarter are commonly filled or nearly filled; not one half are usually half filled. It is not want of room, but want of inclination that prevents the people from going to church. Some few churches are generally filled; but these are the churches of a few able and popular preachers. And these, let it be remembered, are filled not by the parishioners, the peculiar flock of the particular clergyman, but by persons who are attracted from all parts of the town by the eloquence of the preacher. Do the excluded parishioners do as pious people would do under such circumstances? Do they resort to the neighbouring churches? I won't ask whether they do what we know that a religious people has done when it could not get churches to pray in. I will not ask whether, like the Covenanters, or the first Methodists, they repair to field and the moor, and gratify their thirst for prayer under the open sky. No: hut I will ask whether they evince their love of religious rites, in a manner more consonant with the tranquil religious zeal of our own day? Do they do what people do every day in the country? Do they walk as much as a couple of miles, or as much, sometimes, as a couple of hundred yards into the city, where a vast host of untenanted churches continually invites a churchless people? You know they don't. You know that while Mr. Dale and Mr. Mortimer fill their churches to overflowing, the great majority of the churches in the city have, some a dozen, some a score or two of attendants, and the unheeded word echoes through empty aisles. The reason is, that in the first place the great majority of even church-going people care not for the prayer but the sermon, not for the doctrine but the teacher; that as many go to hear Mr. Mortimer or Mr. Dale as their two churches happen to be able to hold, but that the surplus congregation do not, when disappointed of hearing them, fill the deserted churches close at hand, simply because there are no Dales or Mortimers to be heard in them. But the chief reason is, that the great mass of our population cares not either for good or for bad preachers of the Established Church. A great portion of the more serious of them belong to the various dissenting denominations, and attend their chapels. But by far the larger proportion belong to no religious denomination, and attend no place of worship. Ignorant or heedless of religion, they stay away from church, not because there is no room there, but because they prefer the gin-shop. Do you think that the mere aspect of a roomy church will suddenly tempt such persons to enter it? Some simple man made the notable discovery that the people of London were addicted to ardent spirits, solely because they had not a sufficient supply of good fresh water: and he proposed to annihilate the gin-shops by setting up in front of each the dangerous rivalry of a pump and ladle. This is just the kind of competition by which it is now proposed to empty the ginshops, trying only churches instead of pumps. Why, the one plan was not a whit more chimerical than the other. The mass of people who stay away from church relish religion as little as they do cold water. You must convert these people: and you don't convert people in church. The first thing you must do is to get them to desire to go there. This is the most important, this is the most difficult labour to be performed. For in truth regular attendance on divine service is not the foundation and cause of religious feeling, but rather the crowning effect and sign of its influence. Provide church room when it is wanted; but first induce the people to make full use of that which exists. For this you must use other means. You must multiply the influence of an active clergy. You must send missionaries into the haunts of vice or misery, or the abodes of hostile opinions. You must convert the unbeliever, and reclaim the profligate; you must provide education for youth, and a sedulous ministry for age. When you have done this—when you have prepared the minds of the people for the holy ordinances of public worship, and made them anxious to partake of them, then come and state your grievance of universally crowded and insufficient churches, and ask for more church accommodation, in order that you may maintain the wholesome state of feeling, which you will then have almost completely created. But it is a long time to that yet, I do not deny that there are cases in which, independent of the audiences attracted by some popular preacher, there really does exist a want of church accommodation for the regular attendants on divine service. Means should be adopted for supplying that accommodation; but I venture to say, that the running up new churches is the very last expedient to which you ought to resort. The spiritual wants of localities are constantly changing with every vicissitude of population; and the evil of expending your money on huge immovable piles of bricks and mortar is, that when you have reared them, an unforeseen change in the habits of the people, caused by any of the many accidents of trade or internal arrangements, may render them wholly and permanently useless. Now, there can be no better exemplification of the impolicy of multiplying churches, when you can possibly avoid it, than the state of things at present existing in this metropolis. Every body has heard of the state of the churches in the city of London within the walls. There are in that district, or at least there were in 1821, no less than sixty-seven parish churches to a population of 56,000 souls. I am not exaggerating when I say, that in four-fifths of these churches the usual attendance does not amount to as many as 100 persons. All those who do attend them might be well accommodated in the remaining fifth, which are somewhat better attended. Here are more than fifty parish-churches, which are almost wholly unused,—in fact, almost wholly useless. For these you have to keep clergymen, and these you have to repair by the levy of Church-rates. To say no worse of this, it is at any rate a monstrous waste of the ecclesiastical resources of the country. And what is most remarkable in this is, that this evil does not arise from charges which it has taken a long time to bring into play. These are not such very ancient churches, founded in those old times in which no dissent was allowed, and hardly any indifference operated to keep a Catholic population from the only existing place of worship. The churches of the city of London were built in conformity with an Act of Parliament passed in Protestant, and very dissenting Protestant times, no longer ago than the reign of Charles 2nd, and in pursuance of a plan of consolidation. After the great fire, in which almost all the churches had been burnt down, the Fire Act as it is commonly called, remodelled the ecclesiastical organization of the city consolidated some parishes, and provided for the erection of churches, so as to make the whole number in that district amount to sixty-seven. These churches we may presume, were then well filled, and were probably, at any rate, built on the supposition that they would in course of time be well filled. How is it that the result is perfectly different. I am not inclined to attribute this to the increase of dissent, or to any increased indifference to religion. The most efficient cause is glaringly obvious. It is the amazing decrease of the population of the city of London. In 1800 the population of the city of London, within the walls amounted to about 140,000 souls; in 1821 to about 56,000. It had been reduced to little more than one-third. In fact, as we all know, that city has become a vast collection of shops, containing houses and warehouses, occupied during the larger portion of the day by probably half a million of persons, hut tenanted during the rest of the twenty-four hours by little more than a tithe of that number. But the change of manners has produced a still greater diminution of the Sunday population of the city. The very tradesman who is compelled to sleep during the week in his shop in some smoky alley or lane, rushes into the country on Saturday. His Sunday is spent in some parish out of the city, of which he is numbered as an inhabitant; the church which he uses is at a distance from the city. The churches in the city are empty, really not in any great degree from the parishioners not choosing to go to them, but from there being no parishioners to go. Now with such an example of the waste of churches before our eyes, are we going to erect new churches without care- fully examining whether or not there exist causes, which may in the same way render them useless? In Charles the Second's time men might well be excused for not anticipating changes, which it took indeed a very long time to bring about, and for which the slow progress of preceding ages had ill prepared the mind. But we who live in a period in which all the elements of our social system are heaving to and fro in perpetual motion; we, of whom the oldest have seen ancient cities decline, and vast cities spring into sudden existence, as trade and manufactures have deserted their ancient seats, and rolled the floods of our population into previously uninhabited regions; we, of whom the youngest may anticipate changes yet more rapid and extensive, from the agency of these great and constant discoveries, which really seem to be annihilating time and space; are we to build churches on the speculation that our people will remain stationary within parochial boundaries, whereas the spires of many will hardly be completed, before the population will have declined, and left the deserted edifices to stand as mere monuments of our thoughtless prodigality? Look at the great manufacturing districts. Can any one tell me where the silk manufacture is finally to sit itself down with its dependent tens of thousands? Can any one tell me in what parochial divisions—for recollect we are here providing for exceedingly minute local divisions—the vast and probably increasing population of Manchester will be contained this time ten years? I am told by persons conversant with that town that precisely the same change is taking place in the inhabitants of it as I have mentioned with regard to the city of London: that it is becoming more and more the custom for the trading population of that town to transact their business there in the day, and to pass their nights and their day of rest at some distance from the scene of their weekly occupations, and that the probability is, that before many years, whole streets in the centre of the town will consist of shops and warehouses, which will imply no demand for church-room. But I need not multiply these suggestions of the probable shifting of our population. Take the instance most commonly presented to us on this question; that of the metropolis. Who can say in what part of the metropolis we can build churches, in perfect reliance on their being wanted twenty, or even ten years hence? How long will the population of Spital fields be what it is? The population of London has been gradually deserting the centre, and extending over the extremities. Every increase of the facilities of locomotion increases this centrifugal tendency. What effects will the railroads have? It is really with reluctance that I advert to the opposite effects of these great works, because, in the kind of uncertainty in which we are as to the precise nature of their influence, I observe that one who wants to assign inscrutable arguments in behalf of any project, which he wants to establish, without being obliged to give a satisfactory reason for it, has recourse to the argumentum ad railroad, and it is thus made a pretext for a rural police, and such like abominations. But I think that it is obvious, that the Sunday population of London is a matter on which the railroads must operate somehow or another. My own belief is, that they will operate most extensively, and operate to its diminution. As the population of the city of London has been transferred to the suburbs, and the villages within the bills of mortality, and as the city churches are left empty, while those of Lambeth and Islington are insufficient for their growing population,—so I believe that the tendency of circumstances will be, to draw off the permanent population, and particularly the Sunday and church-going population, to places at three times their actual distance from the centre, but which will, in fact, be brought within the same number of hours' journey. Now, Sir, I do think, that considerations like these ought to weigh with us to prevent our expending any portion of the revenues of the church in supplying what are certainly partial, and may be merely temporary spiritual wants, by an outlay of money in the most irretrievable manner, before, at any rate, we have tried every conceivable experiment for increasing our church accommodation, by means which will entail no waste, even if we fail in attracting greater numbers to our churches. I will only advert to the possibility of making some of the surplus churches in this city supply the wants of the surplus church-goers of different, but not very distant parishes—to the possibility of economising the room now wasted in fitting up spacious pews for the luxurious and exclusively rich, so as to leave the poor man neither sitting nor standing room in the church, which the audacious mockery of party misrepresentation does not blush to style, the poor man's church—to the propriety of turning your spacious and useless cathedrals to some account for purposes of public worship, ere you call for fresh funds to augment the extent of your consecrated buildings. But why not try the most obvious and most effectual expedient? Why not try, by a wise economy of time, to supply the deficiencies of space? Your churches stand all the day long Why do they stand so great a portion of the day doing nothing? Why may they not be called into use throughout the day? I am broaching no heresy here. God forbid I should countenance the heterodox notions some of my friends appear to have as to the Lord's Day. I don't mean that different people should observe the Sabbath on different days, or on any other day than Sunday; but I know well, that neither our church, nor any other Christian Church has ever pretended that public worship is efficacious only at particular hours. Why not have service going on all day long? They do this in the Catholic churches abroad. In them there is a constant succession of congregations. You can sometimes hardly get out of church after one service, before you are caught in another. Suppose you followed this plan here; suppose you began your first morning service at six, and ended your last evening service at ten, you might have four times the number of services in the interval that you have now. You would thus provide service for the poor at the hours at which they can attend conveniently, because the time most particularly convenient for them is late in the evening; and the Dissenters, who are obliged to look more particularly to the convenience of their congregations, have their services at these hours. Thus you would, in effect, quadruple your church-room, without any expense at all in building. Your only additional expense would be some additional curates to perform the additional services. And the great advantage of this would be, that your money, instead of being laid out in erecting churches, which would be of use only one day in the seven, and only to those who might choose to attend them, would provide a religious ministration, who would be occupied all the week long, would really bring the people to a sense of religion, which they would never get from the sight of a church into which they have no inclination to go, and who would, in the course of time, induce them to go to church. Sir, I believe that this would be by far the most effectual, as well as the cheapest method that could be devised for supplying the spiritual destitution of the metropolis. But I doubt whether its efficiency would be half so great a recommendation in the eyes of the great advocates of church building, as its cheapness would be a drawback. There would be no patronage on my plan, save the rector's nomination to a few hard-working curacies. Now I see that that moderate prelate, the Bishop of London, has modestly proposed, in a letter which he published this time last year, with a view of extorting a tax on the necessaries of life, to build and endow fresh churches, and at the same time proposed that the nomination to the new livings should be vested in the bishop of the diocese. Now, Sir, I have not been able to make all the inquiries and calculations necessary to show the sufficiency of my plan for the relief of the spiritual destitution which the Bishop of London describes as existing in different parts of the metropolis; and I have found the Returns to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners so inaccurate, as far as regards the population of the one parish, as to which I have tested them, that I really cannot make any satisfactory deductions from them. But the one parish respecting which I have obtained minute, and I think accurate information—the parish of St. Margaret—the one in which we now are, and in which I happen to live, happens to be one of those constantly cited as one of the very most destitute of church-room. It appears, indeed, that the proportional want of church-room is much greater in this parish, according to the returns, than that which is stated in the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to exist in the whole destitute districts of London. The population of the parish of St. Margaret is 25,000. The number of sittings in the church, in the parish, is said to be 1,500. Here is a scene of destitution. Nearly 24,000 souls without a bench to rest on in church. Build new churches is the cry of the Bishop; lay a tax on coals to supply the cravings of these hungering souls, whose cry for church-room ascends to heaven! Now it struck me, on looking down the different columns of the Ecclesiastical Revenues Report, that the return with respect to this parish, was grossly inaccurate, in a matter of which the evidence came under my own senses. In the column of chapels in the parish I find a blank. Now I know of two, and I find, on inquiry, there was a third. I began from this to doubt the accuracy of the report. I made inquiries, and arrived at results which made me feel rather less unhappy about the spiritual destitution of St. Margaret's. In the first place a slight oversight struck me. Westminster Abbey had been overlooked; and yet I cannot make out why either the actual attendance there is to be overlooked, or why that most glorious of temples is to have the greater part of its space left useless in a parish, where there were so many souls crying out for church-room. I thought at first, that it might be too cold to sit in, or too large to hear in. But then I thought of the musical festival; and how well people could hear the fiddlers, and how comfortable people could sit and listen to them. Why might not the destitute souls make use of it? I am sure I know the musical world too well to think that they grudge the use of the Abbey to the religious world, more especially as they themselves only use it at intervals of fifty years. Leaving the Abbey, however, out of the question, and turning my attention to the church which stands by its side, and the three chapels of ease, which had also been appropriately overlooked by the great dignitaries of the Commission, I found from an old inhabitant of the parish, that the state of church and chapel-room in the parish is 3,027. Now, Sir, in order to estimate the sufficiency of this number of sittings, I first thought of inquiring how many people actually attend. Now, of course, the information I got on this point is not such as, from the nature of things, there can be any positive certainty about. But I was informed by the person from whom I got the same estimate, that the usual attendance is about 1,410. I made inquiries about the attendance from other persons; but the result was, that in this account they were rather over than under stated. Hence, in this parish of destitute souls, I find that there are 1,617 more sittings in places of worship belonging to the Established Church than are commonly used; that is, more than as many as are used. It seems, however, to be always assumed by the high churchman, that the actual attendance is no matter: that the real reason why one man does not come to the seat which is at his service, is, that there are not enough for everybody else in the parish; and that you must have sittings for all, or you can't expect those you have to be filled. Taking this ground even, I proceeded to examine whether the number of sittings in places of worship in this parish was or was not sufficient. Then, Sir, it must always be recollected, that about half of the inhabitants of every parish are always, from causes wholly unconnected with their religious opinions or feelings, unable to attend divine service. There are the sick, the infirm, aged, children of tender years—those who look after all these—those who are forced to stay at home and keep house. Now, in this parish, there are sittings for 1,850 persons in the dissenting chapels, which are always filled. As you must suppose, that for each of these, there is one kept away for the reasons I have just been mentioning, you may fix the number of Dissenters provided for on the voluntary principle at 3,700. Deduct these from 25,800, and there remains 22,100 members of the church, or persons of no religion at all, who are always counted among them. Halve them, and you have 11,050 persons, for whom sittings must be provided. Now for these 3,027 sittings are provided. Now I say nothing of taking the Abbey to account. By the plan that I have been mentioning; by trebling the number of services, you may, with the present number of churches and chapels, very nearly supply church accommodation for every soul in the parish who can by any possibility be supposed to want it. Sir, I must beg pardon of the House for troubling it with all these parochial details: but really I think it much more profitable to investigate the truth in one of the corners of the question, than to wander about on a wild plain of vague and unsupported speculations. Here I think the facts are pretty certain; and I think that if you are satisfied that the demand for more churches is unreasonable in St. Margaret's, you overthrow about the strongest case which our opponents have to rely on. I have done with my parish matters. Though I should like to add, that I am told the parish is in great straits about an arrear of Church-rate, which it cannot now collect; that applications for aid have been made to the great Tories and good Churchmen, who dwell in Privy-gardens and Richmond-terrace, in the parish; and that these friends of the church hate the voluntary principle so much that they won't even pay for their churches without being compelled by law to do so. Now, Sir, it may perhaps be said, that even if I have succeeded in establishing my point, against the building of churches, I have rather made out the case of the other kind of destitution, for which the hon. Member for Cupar contends, that according to my own showing there is a want of religious Ministers, and that I am bound to apply this new fund to in-creasing their number. I admit the want of clergymen in many districts and of funds in those districts to pay them. But I do not admit that this new fund is required for them. Not a farthing of it shall they ever have with my consent. The Church of England is rich enough to provide for itself. The enormous wealth of that establishment is quite sufficient to provide with care for all its wants, were it only honestly applied to purposes of religion, instead of being jobbed. It is shameful, not to the country, which has been most generous, but to the clergy, who have been unfaithful stewards, that there should be any deficiency of Clergymen in any part of the country, or any deficiency in the provision for any of its hard-working members, which we ought to provide. The provision which the State originally made they have misapplied, and are determined to misapply: and then, in consideration of the importance of religious objects, they ask the State to come forward and remedy the misapplication out of its own funds, not out of those which are misapplied, and make a fresh grant in order to effect the purpose of which it originally endowed the church. Now, Sir, we are told that there is a great deficiency of ministers of religion in this metropolis, and other populous districts: that there is a grievous number of souls with hardly any parson to take care of them. And pray, Sir, is there not a grievous number of parsons with hardly any souls to take care of? Is it not rather hard that the church should stretch out its hands to clutch hold of additional funds, in order to pay an additional number of really hard working clergymen, while a vast portion of its funds goes to pay clergymen who hardly do any work at all? Is the number of clergy in the Church of England altogether insufficient? That is the question: because if the church can remedy the existing evil from its own body, why should we give it more money in order to increase the body of its clergy? Now, Dr. Chalmers, in the discussions which he has had with the Scotch Commissioners, and which are given in the Report lately distributed, states that a clergyman may very probably have the care of from 2,000 to 3,000 souls? Mr. Baptist Noel, in his pamphlet, I think says about 2,000. Now, as both of these are clergymen who have rather extraordinary high notions of pastoral duty, I think I may safely take the mean of Dr. Chalmers's two numbers, and assume that a clergyman can very properly attend to 2,500 persons. Now, the population of England and Wales is 13,897,187. The number of benefices is 10,718. Every parochial minister has therefore on an average 1,289 souls, including Dissenters, under his pastoral care: excluding Dissenters, who according to a statement on which Mr. Noel relies—I do not know where he got it, but I am sure that all recent information, got with increased accuracy from particular localities would lead us to think that the number of Dissenters is much larger than has been supposed—amount to 2,897,187, the average for each Clergyman is 1,026. So that even including Dissenters, the average number of souls under the care of each parochial clergyman in England and Wales, amounts to just one-half of the number, which he might superintend—deducting Dissenters, to just two-fifths of that number. And can we find no way of remedying a few local inequalities, except by adding to the numbers of a clergy already twice too numerous for its flock? It may be said, I know, that the proper number of a clergy cannot be settled by a mere reference to population, that the extent of the country must also be taken into consideration; and that we must not expect a clergyman to exercise a proper superintendence over even a moderate number of souls scattered over an inconveniently large extent of territory. This is right, and therefore, in order to see what proportion the number of our clergy bears to its work, I have made a territorial calculation corresponding to that made with reference to population. The number of square miles in England and Wales is 57,812. Divide this by 10,718, the number of benefices and the average contents of each benefice appear to be 5.4 square miles. Now, even on this territorial view, it will not appear that I have been incorrect in stating that there are twice as many benefices as there ought to be. For if you united every two parishes, it would appear that the average contents of each of these increased parishes, would be 10.8 square miles. It is easy by calculation to see that each of these would be a square of 3.3 miles. This would be a district, of which the central point would be distant two miles and not quite a-half from the furthest, and a little more than a mile and a half from the nearest point of its extremities. I don't mean, of course, to propose cutting up the country into these squares. I would not alter a single parochial boundary, or remove a single church. But if such be the average, we might, I think, safely come to the conclusion, that the Church of England might very efficiently be served by half its present number of ministers. The fact is, that the superfluity of clergymen in particular districts is quite amazing. The diocese of Norwich contains as many benefices as all Scotland. I have taken the trouble of going over the list of incumbents in this diocese, and noting the number of souls really under the care of the richest clergy. And I find that 185 beneficed clergymen in that diocese, being one-fourth of the whole number divide an income of no less than 164,0367., and have charge of flocks amounting in the whole to 131,107 souls; being an average income of nearly 900l. a-year, and an average flock of little more than 700; being almost at the rate of 1l. 5s. a soul; the rate in some of the most populous parishes in London being from 4d. to 8d. a soul. In the diocese of Ely there are thirty-six clergymen, being also about a fourth part of the whole number, whose whole annual income is 44,558l., and whose united flocks amount to 39,989 souls, giving an average income of 1,238l. a-year, and an average flock of 1,100 souls, being just about 1l. 2s. 3d. a soul. But the most curious result is that obtained from investigating the very diocese about which the chief complaint is made, and from which the chief complaint comes—I mean the diocese of London. Now, the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners states that there are in this unhappy region more than 1,000,000 of souls, with only 139 clergymen to look after them. If this be correct, and apply only to the diocese of London, there must be a wonderful compensation in some other part of the diocese; for I find, from the returns, that the population of the diocese is altogether 1,791,394; and that the number of resident parochial clergy, including resident incumbents, substitute-curates, and assistant curates, amounts to 76l; so that here there is a clergyman to every 2,354 souls, giving each a flock a good deal less than the manageable size, according to Dr. Chalmers. Nor are these, on the whole insufficiently paid, for the average income of incumbents, deducting curate's salaries, is 344l., and that of the curates 100l. The fact is, Sir, that nothing would be so easy as for the church to provide for these destitute districts out of the ample resources of its over-paid dignitaries. I proposed a plan last year which would have completely relieved the destitute districts of the metropolis; and I beg leave to observe here that to my hon. Friend the Member for Weymouth and myself is due the credit of first calling the attention of the House to this evil, and others mentioned in the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. I ventured last year, on the bill fixing the incomes of the bishops, to propose a diminution of the incomes which the noble Lord had generously assigned to the bishops. I did not go to the terrible length proposed by that shining light of the church, Mr. Noel, who would cut down the bishops to 2,500l. a-year each. I propose the Archbishops should have 8,000l. and 7,000l a year, the Bishop of London 4,500l.. and the rest of the bishops 4,000l. a-year each. I grounded this upon the paramount necessity of providing for these cases of spiritual destitution. My plan would, in fact, have completely provided for the metropolitan destitution described by the Commissioners. They say that there are only 139 clergymen among 1,137,000 souls, leaving at the rate of 2,500 for each clergyman, a deficiency of 315 clergymen. Now, my proposal would have taken off 48,792l. a year from the present incomes of the bishops. This would have given 150l. a year, nearly double the average pay of a curate, and more even than the usual pay of a London curate, to 325 additional curates. It might be supposed that such a proposal would have been eagerly caught at by those Gentlemen who are now so horrified at the state of destitution of these souls, who say that it is guilt and sin in us to leave them in that state; one of whom says, that the thought of them would prevent his laying his head on his pillow in peace had he not done all he could to relieve them. Sir, I was defeated, and in the list of the majority against me I have the mortification of seeing the names of Sir Robert Peel, Sir James Graham, Sir Edward Knatchbull, and (will you believe it?) even that of the Gentleman of uneasy slumbers—the right hon. Henry Goulburn—who I dare say has nevertheless since that sad and sinful vote slept just as soundly as he has done during the many long years through which he had been in Parliament and in office, and never been disturbed by the howling of these famished souls. Again an appeal is made to us in behalf of some poor hardworking clergymen, who are to have incomes on which it is impossible for gentlemen to subsist in comfort; nothing, according to the usual practice, being said of those clergymen, who have very gentlemanly incomes, and little or nothing to do. Now, in the mere circumstance of some clergymen having only 150l., 100l., 80l., or even 50l. a-year, I see no great harm. If there were a proper system of promotion in the church—if clergymen advanced from the lowest to the highest emoluments of their profession according to merit, or length of service, I don't see what harm there would he in their starting on an income of even 50l. a year. It is more than an ensign, much more than a midshipman begins upon, more than a lawyer or physician, is likely to get after five years of getting nothing at all. The real hardship is, that while the favoured relative of some great Church patron steps at once into one or two good rich livings, the unfortunate man who begins on a 50l. living, grows grey on the same scanty pittance, and works out a long life in hopeless penury. But this is one of the evils of the system of lottery so much vaunted by Paley, by so many bishops and dignitaries. No one wishes more heartily to see altered a system which appears to me ill-suited to the Church Establishment. Alter it as soon as you like, and substitute a more equal system. But while you keep the lottery system, and vaunt it, don't come to ask us for fresh funds to enable you to make it a lottery without blanks. The Church of England, is, indeed, quite wealthy enough to enable it to put an end to this cruel and immoral system of inequality. It has of late been said, that the accurate account recently obtained of its income, prove that the notion of the great wealth of the Church is erroneous: that the average income of every working clergyman in England, from the archbishops down to the curates, amounts only to somewhere about 300l. a year. Well, Sir, even this would be an enormous average. No other profession in this country has anything like such an average. It is generally supposed that the average gain of lawyers and medical men is nothing; that is, that as much is annually lost by the members of these professions as is gained. I don't quite believe this; but I don't suppose the average is half of 300l. a-year. With respect to the army and navy, I have gone through the accounts given in the estimates, and the average appears, in both, to be about 150l.; that is, just one-half of that of the church. This, recollect, is according to information furnished by the clergy themselves, in which, we may depend upon it, the highest estimate is not always given; from which all the incomes from fees, and all that from various endowments, has been omitted. Recollect, too, that the Church is the profession of all in which living is cheap- est, the profession with most leisure, or at least with the leisure generally most lucratively employed. Recollect the various subsidiary sources of income, from colleges, chaplainries, charities, and from education, the whole business of which is in the hands of the clergy; and I think it must be admitted, that even with its present numbers, the clergy is beyond all measure the best paid profession in England. But if we want to know how far the church revenues could, by good management, be made to supply all its wants, we must examine also among how many its revenues ought to be shared. I believe that the numbers of the clergy are, at the least, twice too great; and that if their revenues were shared among the number necessary for the work to be done, the average of each would be 600l. instead of 300l. I have given my reasons for believing that half the present number of benefices would be quite sufficient. If my reasoning be correct, the average income of each incumbent of a living would be 570l., instead of 285l., as it now is. This is what the church might make the income of each of its working members. Putting out of view all that is wasted on bishops and cathedral sinecurists, this is the income which, from parochial revenues, might be allotted to each of the parochial clergy. If you give, as has often been proposed, about 500l. a-year to every clergyman, you would have a surplus of nearly 400,000l. a year. I do not propose to take this from the church. Let it keep all it has. But I say that it is shameful in a body so enormously wealthy to come before us as a mendicant. It is most unwise in a body so enormously wealthy to provoke a scrutiny into its revenues. I hope, Sir, that I have not unpardonably trespassed on the time of the House, or greatly wearied it. I know not whether the details I have given have been calculated to interest the House, but I have taken much pains to get them prepared, because it appeared to me that, by means of them alone, I could properly grapple with the delusive notions so long and so assiduously propagated, respecting the extent or the urgency of these spiritual wants, which are represented to be paramount to the necessity for putting an end to the present mischief of Church-rates. I have laboured to show that this destitution, of which so much has been said, is one which we ought not, under any circumstances, to apply any additional funds to relieve. We ought not to spend money in building new churches, because they ate not needed; we ought not to spend it in augmenting small livings, or founding new ones in particular localities, because the revenues of the Church, if properly used, would suffice, and much more than suffice for both those purposes. But we ought to apply the funds now placed at our disposal, first and foremost, to the abolition of Church-rates. There is nothing which the public, nothing which the Church needs so much, as the removal of this most vexatious impost, and the establishment of an assured provision for the maintenance of our churches. The first thing needful for the church is to take its hands out of other people's pockets. All the reasons which made the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, agree to the abolition of the Irish Church-cess, appear to me, in spite of his salvo for the "very peculiar circumstances of Ireland," to apply with pretty nearly the same force to the English Church-rate. The grant of it depends on the will of a body independent of the church, namely, the vestry. "It is for the interest of the church itself to abandon it." By making some other provision for the repair of churches, we shall remove a cause of disunion and hostility to the establishment, which it is not worth the while of the church to incur for such a trifling amount. I know, Sir, that some Gentlemen, for whose opinions I have a great respect, think that there is no occasion to decide between the relative importance of the two purposes to which the ministry on one hand, and the hon. Member for Cupar on the other, proposes to apply the newly-created fund, that be the application of the latter what it may, rates may still continue to be levied, and the fabric of the churches maintained out of it; and that Dissenters ought not to be relieved from paying rates, inasmuch as their scruples would equally extend to not paying tithes. Now, I cannot admit that tithes stand at all on the same footing as rates; and it appears to me to be a violence to all common sense and feeling to consider the latter a property as the former. There is all the distinction between the two that there is between a national property and a tax. Tithes are a national property of definite amount. The tithes of my estate are no more my property than my neighbour's estate is mine. Whatever be their amount, however much or however little may be required of them, I have no right to any portion of them. The other is a mere liability to pay whatever may happen to be judged requisite to be raised in each year for a particular class of purposes. The claim is not fixed; it may be at any time increased or diminished to almost any extent by accident or by design. Though in buying an estate I make a deduction of course on an estimated average of past Church-rates, as I should on a similar average of past injury by floods, there is nothing to prevent my reducing the future outgoing on the one score just as I should on the other. By vigilance, by economy, by avarice, by my influence with my fellow-parishioners, I may get rid of the charge altogether, or in great part. It is a mere liability to pay what I choose to pay. Such a charge is no property; it is a tax, of which I may as fairly demand the repeal as I may that of the window-tax or the malt-tax. I grant that the Dissenters in urging the repeal of this tax have sometimes used language which might equally extend to the non-payment of tithes, but we are not to be influenced by the imprudent language of people in a state of excitement. I think we must admit that a Dissenter, who does not at all desire to disturb the present distribution of the national revenues, and will be quite content to acquiesce in the maintenance of the Church Establishment out of its present fixed revenues, may still fairly object to imposing a specific tax on himself for the purposes of a church from which he dissents. This is no longer mere quiescence. It is a kind of active step in favour of the Established Church: and at which I think that his conscience and his pride may fairly take offence; and one on which it would be prudent to give him no opportunity of entertaining or showing anger. And now, Sir, allow me to conclude with one parting piece of advice to the Gentlemen opposite who affect the character of exclusive guardians of the church. These are not times in which it is the policy of the church to resist concession as long and grant it as grudgingly as possible. You go on the false principle that the church must not show weakness, and therefore that it must not acknowledge abuses. Its true policy would be to probe the seat of its weakness, and remove the abuses which are its causes. Here is a miserable claim of a nature wholly inconsistent with the policy of church establishments, which irritates the public against the church, while it affords the church an uncertain and insufficient provision for its wants. And this you obstinately prefer to the secure and sufficient provision which is offered you, and invent fictitious claims to dribble away the funds proposed as a substitute, merely that you may display a petty mark of superiority, which must weaken, instead of, as you vainly imagine, strengthen the church. How far wiser were those ancestors, whose wisdom you vaunt, but cannot decorate by a just emulation. They knew the principles on which a church should be established, and when they endowed a perpetual succession of teachers of the people with fair lands and ample manors, it was their wise design to elevate their clergy above an ignoble strife for the means of subsistence—to free the church from the necessity of having to struggle, day after day, to extort from the caprices or poverty of the people the provision for its daily wants. This Church-rate is an inconsistency—an anomaly. Had you comprehended a true Conservative policy—had you really at heart the interest of institutions, not of a party—were you battling for religion and not for Toryism, you would be eager to remove this source of weakness from the church.

Mr. Stuart Wortley

representing, as he did, a constituency in which there were a great number of Dissenters, felt it his imperative duty to state the grounds of his objection to the present measure. He was glad that he followed the hon. Member for Liskeard, because he had divested the question of the mystery in which it appeared to be enveloped; and if he had understood the horn Gentleman's speech rightly, he had avowed himself a plain, and undisguised enemy of the Church Establishment. Was he not an undisguised enemy when he said of the Church it should take its hands out of other people's pockets? This was the language of the hon. Gentleman, and no one could infer from it that he at least was friendly to the Church. He could not support the amendment of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's although on one point he fully agreed with him, namely, that the means of religious instruction should be increased. He, however, doubted many of the facts stated by the hon. Member for Liskeard, and more particularly his statement with regard to the condition of the Churches in the City of London. His hon. Friend well knew that during a season of the year, when every one whose business did not compel them to remain in town, the Churches at the west-end might be thinly attended; but on the other hand, if he had ever visited the Churches in the City he would have found these places of worship, even at that season very fully attended. He had often been been astonished at witnessing the crowds which filled the Churches in Fleet-street and other parts of the City; and it did not follow that, because some small Churches might at certain times happen to be deserted therefore they were of no value, and ought to be closed up. The hon. Member had stated that pews were given to the rich, while the poor were excluded. He agreed with him in stating that the regulations respecting pews ought to undergo revision, and that, under the present system, there was not sufficient accommodation reserved for the poor. But when his Learned Friend stated that there were too many Clergymen in proportion to the population he was at a loss to conceive on what data he had formed that opinion. There was only one return from which information on that subject could be derived, and he (Mr. Wortley) was sure his calculations would not be borne out by reference to that document. He had stated the number of benefices and the Clergymen belonging to them, but in that statement he must have included those who were superannuated, or the number never could have amounted to anything like what he had described. He admitted that Curates were wanting, but he said they should be paid out of the incomes of the Bishops. Was not this, however, an argument against episcopacy, and would the noble Lord and those who sat on the same benches with him sanction this doctrine of his hon. and Learned Friend? His firm belief was, that there were many amongst the dissenters who entertained the most liberal and enlightened views with regard to the Church of England, and, in support of that opinion, he would quote a passage from the work of a distinguished author belonging to that body—the Reverend Robert Hall. In a sermon published by him he thus alludes to the subject. The title of the sermon he could not help thinking was extremely apposite:— Notes of Sermons.—XXXII.—On Candoun and Liberality, as evidence in promoting the Erection of Places of worship. (The last Sermon but one, preached at Bristol, 27th of February, 1831.) * * * * "The increase of places dedicated to public worship ought surely to be no matter of lamentation or offence. They are rendered necessary by the increase of population. It is this which renders that accommodation quite inadequate at present which was sufficient in former times. The edifices devoted to the established religion in our country are plainly too few, and the accommodation afforded, to the poor especially, too scanty, were the people ever so well disposed to accommodate all who might wish to resort to them. He fully admitted, that the present law of church rates was extremely unsatisfactory and he had often deeply to deplore the dissensions and bickerings to which it had given rise. Feeling, as he did, that some change was necessary, and that it was of the most paramount importance that the question should he speedily and satisfactorily adjusted, it was with the utmost reluctance he felt himself obliged to resist the present measure. He also deeply regretted that the noble Lord opposite had abandoned his own declaration on this subject, because he felt convinced if he had not done so the amount required would have been supplied from the funds of the State. And, although Lord Althorp's plan was in many respects defective, still, from his anxiety to bring the question to a settlement, it should have had his support. The Ministers were themselves the authors of all the mischief that had been done since that plan was first introduced, because, instead of following the recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who said that it was a subject that demanded immediate attention they had gone on from that day to the present without taking a single step to remedy the evil. He would show to the House that some Bills were prepared in 1835 by Members of the present Government by which it was proposed to remedy all the grievances of which the Dissenters complained. He would show it by the speech, of the right hon. Baronet opposite. on his return for Nottingham, as reported in the Morning Chronicle of January 7 1835. The right hon. Gentleman was reported to have said that the Government of which he had formed a part was prepared before the late dissolution with "a measure of full relief for all practical grievances under which Dissenters laboured." This, of course, must have included the Church rates, and the right hon. Baronet added, according to the report in the Chronicle, that "he was one of a section in the Cabinet to whom the preparations of those Bills had been intrusted and he had them now at home." Why had not those bills which were to prove so satisfactory been brought in? Had they been delayed for the purpose of ascertaining the wishes and humouring the followers of Ministers? If that were so it was one of the chief causes which raised the present ill-feeling towards the Church, for Ministers by not bringing forward those decisive measures—by allowing the adjust ment of the question to be so long in abeyance—had raised a spirit which would not be satisfied with anything short of the total subversion of the Church. Ministers knew that the revenues of the Church were barely sufficient to minister to its uses. This was admitted, and therefore it was their duty to settle as early as possible every question connected with those revenues. The truth was, that the Opposition side of the House was misled by the statement made in 1835, with respect to the intention which was then said to exist of remedying fully all the grievances complained of by the Dissenters. Whilst he accused Ministers of increasing the difficulties with which this question was surrounded he did not mean to deny that there were many and great difficulties inherent in it, and that its adjustment would be a matter of the greatesst utility. He, however, did not think that the mode proposed by Ministers was the one which would insure its proper adjustment. He had carefully read the pamphlet written by the hon. and learned Attorney-General upon this subject, but could not concur with him in opinion that the Church-rate was one the collection of which could not be enforced. He would wish to avoid the apparent pedantry of alluding to ancient laws and usages, but he believed he could show that these rates were subject to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and that their payment could be enforced by the common and by the statute law. He fully concurred in this respect in what had been urged last night by the hon. Member for Bridport. A distinction had now been made with regard to the law as respected Church-rates between England and Scotland, but he found between the two a curious coincidence. The latte, by the law of Scotland was appropriated to the maintenance of the poor, of the clergy, and of the fabric of the Church. The rule, however, was one arising out of the Roman Canons, which were not adopted by the Church of England unless they were engrafted on the common law, and that these had been so engrafted was a matter of extreme doubt. The law of Scotland, by a statute of Mary, required one-third of the rate to be paid by the clergy and two-thirds by the parishioners; but in Scotland the word parishioners meant the landlords. The parishioners in England meant all the inhabitants. If the opinion of the Attorney-General were right why was he not supported by the other law authoritites? It was true he had the support of one of his colleagues in office, but it was given in a strange manner—for he admitted that parishioners might he sued individually for the amount of the rate when it was made by the church-wardens, but he, at the same time, argued that this mode was so cumbrous and inconvenient as to do away altogether with the right. Now, this was the state of the law as respected the enforcement of building bridges before the time of Henry 8th, and yet the right of enforcement was not done away with. The Highway Act had the same difficulties to contend with, and yet the enforcement of its provisions was not found inconvenient or cumbrous. But, allowing the machinery to be cumbrous or inconvenient, did that do away with the right? The hon. Gentleman here referred to Lord Coke, to show that the right of enforcing the rate was founded on one of the highest and most ancient authorities recognised by the law, and cited an instance in illustration. He also referred to the bill brought in in 1836, as recognising the right of making and enforcing Church-rates, by means of the ecclesiastical law, and the power of confirming the rate so made in the Quarter Sessions. How, could the hon. and learned Attorney-General overlook this admission in a Bill drawn up by one of the highest law authorities? In answer to the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, who had asked, who was to be plundered by this measure, he would say it was not the Church, but the people. If the Church were to be maintained for a sect, he would be on the side of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, but as it was not the Church of a sect, but the Church of the people, he would endeavour to support its efficiency. By the common law of England every destitute man was entitled to relief; by the same common law every man in England, be he rich or poor, had a right to spiritual instruction; and if the means of affording his instruction were alienated the right would be alienated also. If the Church-rates now paid were to be remitted, and to go into the pockets of those who paid them, a transfer would be made from the people of funds peculiarly and immemoriably appropriated for their use. He would not then enter into the question as to how private rights would be affected by the proposed measure, but he knew of one instance in which it would operate with great severity. Another objection to the proposed measure, was, that if the principle upon which it was founded were to be carried thoroughly out it would prevent the making of public grants to all other Churches. The amount thus granted at present, as appeared from the miscellaneous estimates, was 37,966l. For his own part he was always glad to see religious instruction disseminated. He was rejoiced to see the Dissenters engaged in such a work, and he would be happy to afford them every assistance in his power. He held in his hand a recommendation from Australia, to give to the Catholic clergyman there 500l. In Australia, the Roman Catholics did not recognise the scruples which were expressed at the other side, for they hailed the coming amongst them of a Protestant bishop to assist in the dissemination of Christianity. In Van Dieman's Land a grant of 200l. was given by Government to the Roman Catholic clergyman. This was in the true spirit of Christianity. Before he sat down he would re-far again to the Divine whom he had already quoted, and who was an ornament to any sect or to any country. The beauty of the passage was such an inducement that he could not refrain from quoting it, as forming a strong contrast with the conduct of those ministers who bore so great an acerbity towards other sects. The passage was as follows:— Till the Legislature will exert itself, by adopting some effective measures for the more extensive accommodation of the people in parochial churches, no enlightened friend of religion will complain of the supply of this deficiency by the exertion of persons out of the pale of the Establishment. It is above all things, necessary to the welfare of the State, to the salvation of souls, and the glory of God, that public worship should be supported and upheld, in what edifices, or with what forms—providing heresy and idolatry are excluded—is a consideration of inferior moment, We do not differ from our brethren in the Establishment in essentials; we are not of two distinct religions; while we have conscientious objections to some things enjoined in their public service we profess the same doctrines which they profess; we worship the same God; we look for salvation through the blood of the same Mediator; we implore the agency of the same blessed Spirit, by whom we all have access to the Father; we have the same rule of life; and maintain, equally with them, the necessity of that 'holiness, without which none shall see the Lord.' These were the true principles of religion, and by these principles he would desire to see all men actuated.

Mr. Fowel Buxton

agreed with one of the doctrines of the hon. Member who had just sat down, that every one had a right to religious instruction who required it; and he also fully subscribed to the eloquent quotation which the hon. Member had read from Robert Hall. His only wonder was, that the hon. Gentleman did not vote for the motion. He (Mr. F. Buxton) was most anxious to relieve himself from a charge—an undeserved charge—made against him by his hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Tipperary last night. That hon. and learned Member said, that in the former debate on the subject under discussion he (Mr. F. Buxton) had not spoken or voted; now the contrary was the fact; for he had not alone spoken, but spoken strongly, and he had also voted. In the most perfect good humour he would beg to remind his hon. Friend, that it was a rule of the learned profession to which he belonged, that the prosecutor should come into court with clean hands. Did his hon. Friend do so? He (Mr. F. Buxton) had looked in vain for his speech on the motion, and for his vote on the occasion; but though he found his own speech and vote he did not find even the name of the hon. and learned Member. He would now come to the more immediate matter of debate. There were two clauses in the motion of his hon. Friend, the Member for St. Andrew's, which he (Mr. F. Buxton) should support; the one for raising certain moneys, and the other for their application to the religious destitution of the people. In one of these the hon. Member would have the co-operation of the Ministerial side of the House; in the other he would have the support of the opposite side. He besought the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer not to suppose for a moment that he bad changed a single portion of his opinions on the subject of church-rates. The country was under a great obligation to the right hon. Gentleman for having discovered the fund in question. [Laughter.] Hon. Members on the other side of the House might laugh at it, but he, though a long time in Parliament, had never known cause to return them thanks for a similar discovery during their protracted tenure of place and power. His right hon. Friend would double the obligation by finding another fund in the same quarter for the extension of church accommodation and the increase of the salaries of curates. He (Mr. F. Buxton) was of opinion, that church-rates ought to be unconditionally abolished, both for the sake of the Church itself, and the sake of religion; for he had seen much of the disastrous effects which had sprung from that prolific source of evil. Putting church-rates into one scale of the balance and the religious destitution of two millions of people in the other, there could be little doubt which would preponderate. He would now turn to the most difficult part of the subject. He was not of opinion that he could convince the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but he would confess he should be rather surprised, after hearing the sentiments of the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, if the motion of his hon. Friend did not receive their support. What was the never-failing topic of their speeches, particularly of the speech of the right hon. Baronet opposite on a former occasion? The religious destitution of the people. Nay, there was a positive pledge given on that occasion by the right hon. Member for Cambridge, who said that funds might be raised from the Church for the purposes of the religious instruction of the poor without injuring in the slightest degree its property. [Mr. Goulburn had never made such an assertion.] His argument then fell to the ground, as be thought the right hon. Member had made such observations. At all events he was quite sure, that all hon. Gentlemen who spoke on that side of the House had agreed, that if there was any surplus of Church property, it should be applied to the relief of the religious institutions of the people. That was the object of the present motion of his hon. Friend. Would they agree to it? He should not again go over the arguments used on the subject; but he felt bound to say, that he believed the dignity of the Church would be best upheld by extending the instruction of the people. He, however, doubted whether the motion would have the support of the other side of the House; for Gentlemen there dealt so much in vague generalities that he was sure, if it was dependent on them, there never would be a sixpence advanced for the purpose. That had been proved by their conduct in respect of his own motion last year, for the reduction of the income of the dignitaries of the Church to increase those of the curates. On that occasion the right hon. Gentlemen opposite were ready to tear him to pieces, though he had used the same arguments as themselves in a recent debate.

Sir James Graham

Not having presumed on the former occasion, when this subject was introduced to the attention of the House, to deliver his sentiments on it, thought he might perhaps be excused if he then ventured to trespass on the indulgence of the House for a short time, not being willing that a matter of such paramount importance should go to a division, without endeavouring, however imperfectly, to express his opinion upon the motion, as originally introduced by the Government. And here again he must express a feeling which, coming from him, was received with something like a sneer from the other side of the House on a former occasion; yet still pressed upon him so strongly that he must repeat it, that he could not help deeply regretting that all political subjects of paramount importance on which the opinion of the House was required to be taken, were now, unfortunately, mingled with the higher subject of religion, which unhappy intermixture had the effect, in his opinion, of desecrating one, and adding to the acerbity of the other. He might sometimes, in the Warmth of debate, be betrayed into expressions which, being unguarded, he should regret; but the sentiment he had just expressed, conveyed nothing more than his sincere and deliberate opinion. He particularly objected, also, to the practice of pointing out or particularising the religious opinions of any particular Member, and considering them in reference to the course he pursued in that House. He regretted the extent to which this practice now prevailed in the House—a practice too commonly resorted to by the hon. Gentlemen who sat opposite. What, last night, was the designation applied by the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary (Mr. Sheil) to the hon. Member for St. Andrew's, who moved the amendment? If he mistook not, the hon. and learned Member called that hon. Gentleman the Scoto-Calvinistic Member. That was an example which he should be sorry to follow; but, at the same time, he thought it his duty to call the attention of the House, and more particularly of the public, to one remarkable fact. When his hon. Friend, the Member for Westminster, last night distinctly charged his Majesty's Ministers whenever Church questions were concerned, with a leaning to the Dissenters, and with bitterness and hatred to the Established Church—who was the hon. Member who rose to advocate the conduct of the Government? Was it one of his Majesty's Cabinet Ministers? Was it one of the advisers of the Crown? No; it was a Roman Catholic Member—no other than the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary—no other than the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, who, fighting in the first rank, and actuated, he imagined, by the zeal which he was bound by the most solemn obligations to observe, in maintaining the Protestant interest in this country, boldly came forward to throw a shield over the Ministry, declared the statement of the hon. Baronet, the Member for Westminster, not to be well-founded, and attempted to show, that the policy deprecated by his hon. Friend (Sir Francis Burdett) was not that which had been pursued by his Majesty's Ministers. Something very important, also, transpired in the course of the speech of the hon. and learned Member. The hon. and learned Gentleman gave the House very distinctly to understand—he did not know whether he might be allowed to use the word "compact,"—but the hon. and learned Gentleman certainly gave the House to understand that there existed something like a strong and well-organised union between the Roman Catholics of Ireland and the Protestant Dissenters of England. Stripping the observations of the hon. and learned Member, of the splendid and glittering phraseology in which they were delivered to this House, and yet not descending to the homely, he had almost said the gross terms, employed by the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard (Mr. C. Buller), who said, that the understanding between the two parties was happily expressed in the vulgar phrase, "Scratch me, and I'll scratch you"—avoiding the glitter of the one hon. Gentleman, which he could not hope to imitate, and the homeliness of the other, to which he would not descend, what was the substance of the observations last night made by the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, in reference to the relative position of the Roman Catholics of Ireland and the Protestant Dissenters of England? "We are grateful," said the hon. and learned Gentleman, "to you, the Protestant Dissenters of England, for your endeavours to assist us in putting down the Protestant Established Church in Ireland. We owe you a debt of gratitude, and no effort shall be wanting on our part to assist you in your endeavours to do the same in England." Now, the charge brought forward by the hon. Baronet, the Member for Westminster, was this—that in all their transactions where the interest of the Established Church was concerned, the leaning of the Ministry was to the Dissenters; and that, in many of their recent proceedings, their hostility, not avowed but covert, might be distinctly traced towards that Establishment which the King their master, at the commencement of his reign, bound himself, by a solemn compact with his subjects, to protect, defend, and uphold. What had been the conduct of the King's Ministers, with regard to the Established Church in Ireland? He admitted, that this subject had been debated ad nauseam; but it was right to trace the proceedings of the Government in Ireland, for the purpose of sustaining the truth of the proposition laid down by the hon. Baronet, the Member for Westminster—that this had been the conduct of his Majesty's Ministers with respect to the Church in Ireland. He did not know that he could describe that conduct more shortly, or more tersely, than the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary himself had done. The hon. and learned Member for Tipperary last night distinctly announced, not only that the Ministry, but that the Whigs, as a party, were irrevocably bound to the grand principle of the alienation of the property of the Church to secular purposes in Ireland. The hon. and learned Member for Tipperary himself declared, that that was the effect of the appropriation clause, and, if the Government which he saw opposite, could be said to rest upon any principle whatever, he imagined that that must be regarded as the foundation of the administration. He would pass, for a moment, from Ireland to Scotland. What had been the policy of the King's Ministers with respect to the Established Church in Scotland? Here they were talking of a Church property, different in its character from that of England. Speaking of the Scotch Established Church, they could not talk of a pampered prelacy, sinecure dignitaries, or idle pluralists—they could talk only of a church established upon principles almost of republican simplicity—a church having a deep place in the hearts of the people—a church in defence of the purity and integrity of which their forefathers had fought and bled, and which still maintained its treasured place in the feelings and affections of a great majority of the inhabitants of the country. What had been the conduct of the Ministry with respect to that Church? Since the Union, the population of Scotland had, he believed, doubled in number; yet the Church accommodations had increased only about one-tenth. These facts were notorious. There might be differences of opinion as to the want of Church accommodation in England, but in Scotland the fact was admitted, and admitted in the most striking and convincing manner. Scotland was a poor country, yet, within the last few years, no less a sum than 165,000l. had been raised by private subscription for the purpose of building new churches. And what was the nature of the application made by the subscribers to the Government upon the subject? They said, "With the sums we have raised, we can build many churches, but we are not able to endow them; we are anxious, therefore, that you, the Government, should apply to Parliament to grant a sufficient sum of money for that purpose." What was the answer of his Majesty's Ministers? Not choosing to rely upon facts which were sufficiently notorious to all but themselves, they said, as usual, "We will issue a Commission to inquire into the subject." At first, the Commission was to be general; so general, that it was foreseen that the inquiry would be interminable. The noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department (Lord J. Russell), after much difficulty, at last consented that the inquiry should be local; and after two years had been consumed in the investigation, a report was at length furnished with respect to the city of Edinburgh, by which the fact was clearly established, that in that city and its neighbourhood, there were not less than 64,000 people wholly unprovided with Church accommodation. At Glasgow, the Commissioners commenced their inquiries in the spring of 1836, and very nearly concluded them in the course of the summer of that year; yet up to the present month of May, 1837, only one report, that of the city of Edinburgh, had been laid before Parliament. No report of any kind had been furnished from Glasgow, nor from any other part of the country, except Edinburgh; and yet the cost of this commission to the country had not been far short of 20,000l. If the Government had only consented to give a moiety of that sum to the parties by whom 165,000l. were raised, the wishes of the people would have been met and the expense of the Commission avoided. So much, then, for the policy of the Government with respect to the Church in Scotland. He came next to consider their policy upon the same subject in England. The present motion he regarded as one intended to open the trenches and to throw out the first parallel previous to opening the grand battery by which the Ministry hoped to effect a permanent breach in the fortress of Church and State. He agreed with the hon. Baronet, the Member for Westminster. [Cheers. In which Sir John Hobhouse joined.] The hon. Baronet, the President of the Board of Control, cheered. There was a time, indeed, when he did not agree with the hon. Baronet, and when the right hon. Baronet, the President of the Board of Control, did agree with him; and, since the right hon. Baronet cheered, he would remind the right hon. Baronet when that time was. It was when he assisted in canvassing Westminster for the brother of the Prime Minister, under whom the right hon. Baronet was now serving, against the present Member for Westminster (Sir F. Burdett), and the right hon. Baronet himself. And since they were come to particulars, he might state that he had had the satisfaction, in the present Session of Parliament, of voting, consistently voting, in support of doctrines which he had always held. He repeated, of voting in support of doctrines which he had always held, but which the right hon. Baronet in former times opposed. In the present Session of Parliament, he had had the satisfaction of voting with the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Hobhouse), and with a majority of the Melbourne administration, in support of those principles which he advocated when, in the year 1820 he voted at the Westminster election in favour of Mr. Lamb; namely, against the repeal of the Septennial Act, against vote by ballot, against household suffrage, and he might also add, against the abolition of corporal punishment in the army. So much for the matter of consistency. It was positively denied by the hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the measure was intended as an attempt to sever Church and State. Now, upon that point he must observe, that, notwithstanding the extreme fidgetiness of the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Baines) last evening—notwithstanding the many attempts made by that hon. Member, first to interrupt and afterwards to explain, he thought that the fact remained exactly as it had been stated by his hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Bradford (Mr. Hardy), namely, that in 1834, at the great meeting of the Dissenters from which this proposition for the abolition of Church-rates first emanated, a resolution was unanimously passed, a resolution, having attached to it the signature of the hon. Member for Leeds himself, in which it was declared, that the severance of Church and State was a primary object of the Dissenters. He could not, for the life of him, comprehend a national Church the fabric of which was not maintained out of the national funds. The hon. and learned Member who had that night spoken with so much ability, to whom he (Sir J. Graham) had listened with so much pleasure, the hon. and learned Member for Halifax (Mr. S. Wortley), had alluded to a speech made by the right hon. Baronet, the President of the Board of Control (Sir J. C. Hobhouse) at Nottingham, in the year 1835. He did not know whether the right hon. Baronet was present at the time the allusion was made, but in that speech he announced to his constituents, that Ministers had prepared a measure of an extensive character, which measure, he had no doubt, would prove quite satisfactory to the Dissenters. This was in 1835; and it fortunately happened that they had on record the opinion expressed by the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department (Lord John Russell), upon the principle and almost upon the details of that contemplated measure, as late as the month of June 1836, when the noble Lord also described it as a measure which must certainly be satisfactory to the Dissenters. Now, let the House observe, that in 1835 the right hon. Baronet, the President of the Board of Control, declared to his constituents at Nottingham, that this measure was prepared; in the month of June, 1836, the noble Lord, the Home Secretary, speaking not merely of the principle, but of the details of the measure, made use of these remarkable words—he believed they had been quoted in a former debate, but they were so remarkable, and so well deserved to be impressed on the memory of the noble Lord and the House, that he hoped he should be pardoned if he read them again. On the 20th of last June, the noble Lord, in answer to a question put to him by his noble Friend, the Member for Lancashire (Lord Stanley), said "His opinion upon the subject of Church-rates remained unchanged. It was the duty of the State (not of the Church, the House would perceive)—the duty of the State, by means of Church-rates (did the noble Lord say one word of Church-property), or in some other way to provide for the maintenance and repair of Churches?" And then the noble Lord went on to say, that "whatever might be the anxiety of the Dissenters, they could not have been in doubt as to the opinions of the Government. Two years ago, Lord Althorp brought in a Bill on the subject, in which the principle was declared, that Church-rates should not be abolished unless the State provided a substitute." This, then, was the principle to which the noble Lord continued to adhere up to the 20th of June, 1836. But the noble Lord continued in these terms: "He had never said anything inconsistent with the principle, or at least anything to lead the Dissenters to suppose, that Ministers meant to abolish Church-rates, without an equivalent; or that such an equivalent was to be found in the revenues of the Church. To that principle he adhered, and to it he intended to adhere."* He thought he had read enough to satisfy the House that, up to the 20th of June, 1836, the noble Lord was as much resolved as Lord Althorp or Earl Grey, not to find a substitute for Church rates in Church property; and that it was the noble Lord's opinion, that if Church-rates were abolished, the State should provide the means of supplying the deficiency. Now, however, the hon. Member for Weymouth, congratulated his Majesty's Ministers on the important discovery they had made, that the Church possessed certain property on which the Slate could conveniently lay its hands. Frequent reference had been made, and no doubt would continue to be made, to the abolition of the Vestry-cess in Ireland, as if it were analogous to the abolition of Church-rates in England. His noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire (Lord Stanley), had dwelt upon that point in an irresistible manner on a former occasion, and, therefore, it was hardly necessary for him to touch upon it then; but he could not abstain from making one or two remarks. When Earl Grey's administration brought forward this very proposition, that there was a latent value in * Hansard (Third Series) vol. xxxiv, p, 611–612. Church property which the State could call forth and apply to such purposes as it thought fit, that proposition was seized upon by the two opposite parties in the House, the one maintaining it to be just and proper, the other contending that it was wholly indefensible. What was the conduct of Earl Grey's administration upon that occasion? The proposition was at once withdrawn as involving a doctrine that could not be defended. As to the charge of inconsistency against any hon. Member of the House for refusing to support that with respect to the English Church which he had previously supported in reference to the Irish Church, he would dispose of it, as far as regarded himself, in a single sentence. When he and others had argued questions relating to the Church of Ireland, they had always been told by those who contended for principles which he sometimes thought dangerous to the establishment, "Do not be alarmed—there is a necessity in Ireland for the adoption of a measure of this kind—a necessity which does not and cannot exist in England—a necessity which destroys all analogy between the condition of the Church in the two countries." He contended, therefore, that it was not good faith on the part of the Gentlemen opposite, that they should come forward when the House was dealing with a question relating to the Church of England, and taunt, almost insult those who differed from them in opinion on account of what they had said and done, with respect to the: Church in Ireland. They were told, in the first place, that there was no analogy between the condition of the Church in the two countries, and yet when they came to deal with the Church of England, they were charged with gross and glaring inconsistency for not adopting the same course that they had pursued with respect to the Church of Ireland. He would only observe for himself, that he had derived a lesson from the conduct of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, which would materially influence his mind for the future, and make him most careful how he agreed to any concession of principle demanded on any pretended ground of local necessity. In the course of the debate, he had heard a great deal about the conscientious scruples of the Dissenters. When he heard scruples of conscience urged against the payment of an impost sanctioned by law, and when he reflected on the hypocrisy and selfishness of mankind, he was con- vinced, that if once the plea of conscience were admitted in justification of a refusal to pay a legal tribute, all the bonds of civil society would be loosened, all safety of property destroyed, and all power of civil government at an end. That was his opinion upon the subject of conscientious scruples as regarded the payment of a legal tribute; and that opinion was strengthened a thousand fold when he heard the doctrines put forward and supported by his Majesty's Ministers. The noble Lord, the Home Secretary, had quoted the words of Mr. Fox, and said, that concession after concession must be made, until at length the people should be fully satisfied. That was the general doctrine of the Government as propounded by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell); but what was the special doctrine that governed the conduct of Ministers as propounded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer? The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "I have my doubts whether this is not a legal tribute—it may be legal or it may not, but show me the party, show me the Minister who will dare to attempt to enforce it." What did this amount to? If these doctrines were to be admitted—if on the one hand concession was to follow concession till the people were fully satisfied, and on the other, a Member of the Cabinet was to say, that whatever the legality of a tribute, no party, no Minister could dare to enforce it—he protested, that, in his opinion, they had arrived at the very verge of anarchy. He would ask, where was the hon. and learned Member for Kirkcudbright (Mr. C. Fergusson)? Where was the learned civilian (Dr. Lushington), who was his colleague in the Ecclesiastical Commission? In the report of that Commission, he had what he conceived to be, the highest authority laying down the law upon the subject of Church-rates; and after perusing all the pamphlets which had been written upon the matter, he confessed that his conviction of the soundness of the law, as laid down by the Commissioners, had not, in any respect, been shaken. The report to which he referred, was signed by Lord Tenterden, Sir Nicholas Tindal, Sir John Nichol, Doctor Lushington, and his Majesty's Judge Advocate (Mr. C. Fergus-son). How was the law laid down' by those high authorities? Did they regard Church-rates as a legal impost or not? These were the words of the Report: "It is the duty of the church-wardens to take care that the body of the Church be duly repaired, and that all things necessary for the decent performance of divine service be provided, and the law imposes on the parishioners the burthen of raising, by a Church-rate, the funds required to defray the expense. To this extent all the authorities concur: that it is a legal burthen affecting the parishioners." The Report then went on to state, that if the parishioners wholly declined to impose a rate upon themselves, the church-wardens had the power by law to make such an assessment as should be required to sustain the fabric of the Church. The Commissioners admitted, that in the present state of the law, many difficulties arose which it was difficult to avoid; but at the same time, they suggested measures by which they thought those difficulties might be overcome. At all events, they distinctly stated that, by the law, as it now stood, all property, with the exception of rectory or vicarage houses, was liable to Church-rates. The recommendation, therefore, of the Commissioners was, that with respect to Church-rates, the same mode of assessment should be observed as in the case of Poor-rates. What was the present measure?—The very converse of that proposition. By this measure, the Government sought to relieve property which had been purchased by individuals dissenting from the established religion of the country—which had been inherited by them—which had been possessed by them liable to a particular burthen, from the future payment of that burthen. Ministers, in fact, proposed to relieve the property of individuals, nine-tenths of whom did not ask to be relieved, and to cast the whole burthen upon a species of property in which the great body of the people, and especially the poor, had a great and permanent interest. He wished shortly to glance at two classes of objections, each of which he thought fatal and conclusive against the measure proposed by his Majesty's Ministers. They were not there at that time to argue the question of episcopacy. He presumed, that the Government did not intend to open that question. He took it for granted, that there was no intention to disturb the hierarchy of England. The hon. Member for Weymouth, indeed, whilst he spoke well of the prelacy, expressed a desire that they should be stripped of all human appliances to keep up their dignity and station; he would have the Church and its dignitaries stand alone upon the rock of truth. But high station could not be maintained, without those human appliances which the hon. Member thought so unworthy of the Church; and if once the hierarchy of this country were stripped of their wealth, and removed from their high station, not five years would elapse before they would be expelled from their place in the House of Lords, and five years more would not elapse before episcopacy would be wholly abolished in England. Under the measure proposed by his Majesty's Ministers, those Church dignitaries who now exercised upon their extensive property all the rights of tenants for life, would become mere mortgagees and annuitants; and it was impossible to deprive the lessors of their rights, without affecting also the rights and interests of the lessees. Once convert the Church dignitaries into mere annuitants, and all that belonged to the Church in its highest ranks would, by one blow, be for ever destroyed. There was another argument which naturally suggested itself when the proposition of the Government came under consideration—much had been said on both sides of the House, of a sincere desire of effecting an augmentation of small livings. At the commencement of the present reign, an Act was passed, appropriating 350,000l. a-year, out of the very fund which it was now proposed to take from the Church, to the augmentation of small livings. If the measure now proposed were carried, that Act must of course be repealed. How, then, could any man who supported the proposition of the Government, pretend that he had a sincere desire for the augmentation of small benefices? But, passing from that point, he came to the case of the lessees. He thought the present measure would affect them most seriously, and in a manner which he could not reconcile with his sense of justice. The House had not yet had the advantage of hearing the opinions of any Member of the Government in the course of the present debate; and he confessed, he was curious to know how they would defend the operation of the Bill upon the lessees. Supposing large numbers of leaseholders should be unable to comply with the conditions imposed by Ministers, which he considered very hard", what would be the consequence? Inevitable ruin. He owned, that he looked upon that part of the proposition which had reference to the leaseholders, as involving the greatest breach of an equitable title ever propounded by any Government, or listened to by any Legislature. From time immemorial, this leasehold property had been considered quite as valuable, quite as secure, as freehold. In many instances, freehold property had been purchased by the lessee, with the view of a joint occupation of freehold with leasehold, under the bishops' lease. Thus, in many parts of the kingdom, were to be found lands, arable and pasture, common field and inclosure, upland and meadow, all interspersed, part leasehold and part freehold, the value of the whole absolutely depending on the joint occupation of both descriptions of property. If, therefore, the Legislature should impose conditions which should leave it doubtful, or, indeed, should not make it certain, that these different descriptions of property could be continued to be held together, the greatest injustice would be perpetrated upon those who had made purchases of freehold land under the impression that the original tenure of the leasehold would not be interfered with. He had been told, that in the north of England such was the alarm which this measure had excited, that the mortgagees of Church leasehold property were calling in their money. Was it possible, in the present state of uncertainty, either for the lessors to know what amount to ask for a renewal, or for the lessees to know what amount to give? He could not conceive any state of affairs less satisfactory, even supposing his Majesty's Ministers were to abandon their measure, both to the lessors and lessees of Church property, because it would still be doubtful what course would be adopted in a succeeding Session. Credit would, in the mean time, be shaken; but if the mortgagees were to call in their money, who would advance the means to the mortgagors to meet the call pending the agitation of this question? All these points, however, with reference to the lessors and lessees, were of minor importance compared with the consequences that must result to the Established Church itself. The hon. Member for Weymouth intended, it seemed, to vote for the amendment as moved by the hon. Member for St. Andrew's. But the question before the House was not that amendment—the question was the original proposition of his Majesty's Government. The question that would be put to the House was this—that the words proposed by his Majesty's Government should stand part of the question. Now, he did not wish to seek any subterfuge or evasion upon this point; but, speaking for himself and himself only, would avow his opinion frankly. The hon. Member for Weymouth had said, that the amendment embraced two propositions—the first was, that money should be raised from Church property; and the next, that that property should be applied to the purpose of removing what was denominated Church destitution. Now, he was not prepared to adopt the proposition of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's, because he could not see how the money consistently with the rights of the lessees, could be raised upon this property. He was, however, anxious that the Legislature should direct its attention to that question; and whenever it could be shown to his satisfaction, that with safety to the rights of the lessors, and equitably to the lessees, a new value could be given to this property, no man would be more anxious that this case of destitution, both in the metropolis and in the country, should be met by this particular fund. The hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Liskeard, had said, that he believed the amount of Church-rates would be sufficient to meet this case of destitution; but it was notorious, that the Church-rates would by no means be adequate to that purpose. Of this they had had practical experience. It was foretold, when the Church Bill passed, and it had proved a true prophecy, that the building of additional churches, unless endowments were provided for them, would be an insufficient means to supply the destitution that existed. With regard to the Churches that were already built, it was indispensably necessary that means should be found, either from the property of the Church or from the public funds, to provide for their endowment. With respect to the subject of pew-rents, the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, relied very much upon the authority of Dr. Paley. He (Sir James Graham) would read a short passage from that author upon the subject of imposing a tax upon persons for the support of the Church. He said— It is at all times a bad constitution which presents temptations of interest in opposition to the duties of religion, or which makes the offices of religion expensive to those who attend upon them, or which allows pretences of conscience to be an excuse for not sharing in a public burthen. If, by declining to frequent religious assemblies, men could save their money at the same time that they indulged their indolence and their disinclination to exercises of seriousness and reflection, it is to be feared that many would take advantage of the option thus imprudently left open to them, and that this liberty might operate to the decay of virtue, and an irrecoverable forgetfulness of all religion in the country. * * * It is lawful for the magistrate to interfere in the affairs of religion whenever his interference appears to him to conduce, by its general tendency, to the public happiness. * * * When the laws interfere in religion, they interfere in the temporals; their effects terminate, their power operates only upon those rights and interests which confessedly belong to their disposal. He would repeat, that if means could be provided out of the property of the Church, for meeting this case of destitution, no man would be more anxious that those means should be so applied; but he would appeal to the hon. Member for Weymouth, whether this was not a matter which cried aloud for the intervention of the Legislature. It was in evidence, that there were no less than 650,000 persons in London, without the means of religious instruction. That such a mass of human beings, in the very heart of the metropolis, should be uninstructed in their moral and religious duties, was dangerous to the very State itself; and the most prompt and efficacious means should be taken to remedy so great an evil. Reference had been made to some very eloquent expressions of the Rev. Robert Hall, upon the subject of Church-rates; and he thought he could convey to the House the purport of the language used by another eminent Dissenting minister, upon this very subject. He said, Infidelity is active. It spreads its snares on every side, stealing the heart and preoccupying the judgment against the reception of divine truth. Vice is active, and rallies around her on every side millions as her votaries. Death is active, hurrying away by tens of thousands its victims into eternity; and I ask you, shall we alone remain inactive. Yet, what was it that was asked? Not that you should provide means to supply the destitution that was admitted to exist. All that was asked was, that you would refrain from laying a rapacious hand upon funds which were set apart for the maintenance of the Church, so that they might be made available for the extension of its boundaries, and might bring within its pale all those members of the general fold that were now destitute and perishing.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

cordially concurred in the wish expressed by the right hon. Baronet in the commencement of his speech; for no man regretted more than he did the unfortunate con- nexion, at all times and under all circumstances, of the subjects of religion and of politics. But if such a connexion were unfortunate, it was too much to bring it as a charge against his Majesty's Ministers; for if ever there was a speech which afforded in itself an illustration of the inconvenience which it began with deprecating, it was the speech which had just been made by the right hon. Baronet himself. In the few observations which he should have occasion to make he would not go back to the legislation, or make inquiries into the proceedings, of past ages. It would be enough for him to take one single illustration as a proof of the statement which he was about to make. From the time of the formation of the present Government what had been the course taken by hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House? Why, that every question, however purely civil in its nature, that had been introduced, they had contrived and endeavoured, in some shape or manner, either for the purpose of displaying their own ingenuity, or for some other but unacknowledged purpose, to convert into a question of religion. Every measure, however unconnected with the Church in its nature and its enactments, they had strived to make appear a Church question, because they well knew that by the adoption of that course their own peculiar objects were mere likely to be effected. As an instance, he would mention the Municipal Bill, which, in itself, had nothing whatever to do with the Church; but which was nevertheless seized upon, pressed and urged with the utmost earnestness and vigour, as a matter seriously affecting the Church, until the hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House were fairly foiled in the course of the discussion. It was argued that inasmuch as that Bill would enable the inhabitants of a municipal borough to elect members for the town-council with out respect to their religious creeds and inasmuch as that the town-council would have the patronage of certain Church property, the result would be that the new Municipal Corporations would be subversive of the Established Church. Yes, that argument was urged; but it was foiled. It was met by the provisions of the Bill itself, and the hon. Gentlemen opposite therefore derived no advantage from the argument on that occasion. And what had been the greater portion of the eloquent speech which the right hon. Baronet had addressed to the House this night? What the argument with which he had occupied their attention? It was not by a discussion of the proposition before the House; still less was it by a discussion of the proposition contained in the amendment, but it was an argument in which the right hon. Baronet contended, that whether acting with reference to England, to Scotland, or to Ireland, the whole course, tenour, and policy of his Majesty's Government was to overthrow the Established Church. The right hon. Baronet (said the Chancellor of the Exchequer) may make that assertion; he is at liberty to do so. I am willing to admit him to do so, because I will not become one to embitter the feelings, or throw back defiance upon those with whom I was once intimate in friendship and in office. But, Sir, on my own part, and on the part of those with whom I have the honour to act, with as proud a defiance as the right hon. Gentleman can assume, do I take upon myself to deny that it is the scope, tenour, or intention of any one measure which we have introduced, or of any one measure which we mean to introduce, to injure either the interest of religion in general or of the Established Church in particular? Assertions on one side or on the other might go for little or nothing; and he knew that this kind of party fighting was not the most likely mode in which a cool and dispassionate decision on a great and important question could be arrived at. The hon. Baronet the Member for Westminster had spoken of another place where the errors of the House of Commons might be corrected; but he could only say if there were an excitement to be raised against the House of Commons in this case—if there were a delusion to be raised within the land—if a cry were again to be made—a cry which some gentlemen opposite had already suffered by, and by which other Gentlemen opposite had triumphed—the cry of "No Popery!"—the cry of "The Church in danger"—if those cries were again to be set up, he would not appeal to another place, which he was not at liberty to allude to without irregularity, but he would appeal to time itself, which was the best test of truth, of justice, and of policy, and which had convicted all those means in succession, come from what party they might, and supported by what influences they might be, which degraded a holy and just cause by prostituting it to the vilest of party and political purposes. He would appeal with confidence to that test—the test of time, because it always did justice. It did justice to Lord Grenville when in 1806 he first made the declaration of an adherence to the principle of a liberal policy—it did justice to the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, when prosecuting the same good principle, although for a time he was made a victim, and was subject to the reproach of being held up as an enemy to the Church. He at least now stood free from that reproach, and was at the same time entitled to the gratitude of those whose principles he then carried into effect. The right hon. Baronet had reproached his Majesty's Government with having left the task of making their defence to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Tipperary. The right hon. Baronet might have conceived a better motive to have dissuaded them from replying to the speech of the right hon. Member for Westminster, If that right hon. Baronet knew what it was to be severed from those with whom he ever acted—if he knew that in the conflict of political life a generous and just spirit would wish to carry disseverance in the walks of politics alone, and not to prevent the better feelings of the heart and the more gracious recollections of early friendship still from prevailing he would not have felt any surprise that no member of his Majesty's Government rose to reply to the observations of the hon. Member for Westminster. No doubt there were observations which fell from that hon. Baronet to which, if he had risen at the moment he should have been glad to reply. In the absence of that hon. Gentleman unquestionably he should not do so. Suffice it for him to say, that he was satisfied on the part of his Majesty's Government to take that amount of censure which those observations might have inflicted on them, knowing well that there was a certain amount of censure which it inflicted also upon others. The right hon. Baronet had on the present occasion adverted, to show his own consistency, to the time when he differed from those hon. Gentlemen with whom he was now associated on this question. If this had been an Irish discussion, undoubtedly he should have congratulated the right hon. Baronet upon the peculiar Hibernicism of such an argument. It was neither very logical nor very liberal, but bad as the logic was, it was infinitely better than the generosity of the arguments. The right hon. Baronet in point of logic, defended himself thus: "I will show you," said he, "that I am now right, because at a former period I was entirely opposed to the Gentlemen with whom I now entirely agree." But what was the position in which he left his former friends? He would use no strong language to express that position in which Gentlemen found themselves who adopted new opinions. There were hard and ugly words used on such occasions, but he would take the word used by the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, who said that such persons might be called converts. Now, converts were generally welcomed with open arms; but what had been the return of the right hon. Baronet for this cordial greeting on the part of the hon. Gentlemen opposite? Such an attack as had come from a newly allied friend—anything more bitter than the defence which the right hon. Baronet had made for them on the present occasion he in his life had never before heard. There was a time when all the Whigs were competitors at an election for Westminster; and he remembered well an attack which was made by the late Mr. Canning on that occasion. He spoke of the Whigs returning back from the hustings with ribbons at their heads and mud at their heels. Now, for a convert, he must confess that the right hon. Baronet had assailed his new friends with more mud than ever they were bespattered with before. There was more point, bitterness, and sarcasm, in the political contrast which he drew between himself and them, than there could have been displayed in all the Westminster elections. If the right hon. Baronet had always till now differed from the hon. Member for Westminster, fortunately there were points upon which he agreed with himself. He should not allude to the time when they were in office together, but to an anterior period. In 1823 the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for the University of Cambridge, in the discharge of his duty brought forward a Bill for building additional Churches, and to give greater facilities for religious instruction. It bore the title of" the additional Church Bill." That Bill was opposed by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Cumberland. And how did he deal with it? It appeared by the reports of the debate, that "Sir James Graham objected to the Bill entirely." "In his zeal (said the right hon. Baronet) towards Church, and in a determination to support it in all its rights, he would not yield to any one. No doubt that was quite true; the right hon. Baronet would not yield to any man, neither would he yield to the right hon. Baronet in his feelings of attachment to the Church. The report of the right hon. Baronet's speech continued thus—"But it was with that feeling that he could not uphold any measure that the unwise friends of the Church might bring forward to enable it to grasp more power and greater revenues than it already enjoyed. The question at that time was not, to put one splendour more upon the head of an Archbishop,—the question was not to confer additional wealth upon the hierarchy,—the question was, to assist in the great measure of building additional Churches; and yet, in reference to that subject, the right hon. Baronet stated that "he could not uphold any measure that the unwise friends of the Church might bring forward to enable it to grasp more power and greater revenues than it already enjoyed." [Opposition Cheers.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite appeared by their cheers to adopt that language; but it was the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge. It was not the Bill of the Whigs, they were not the unwise friends of the Church on that occasion hon. Gentlemen opposite were the unwise friends; and with all respect be it spoken, he would say, that they were also on the present occasion the unwise friends of that Church. The hon. Baronet the Member for Westminster also opposed that Bill. It was reported that Sir Francis Burdett said "there was not a clause in the Bill, except that which related to interments, which he did not object to." These two hon. Baronets combined thus to oppose the Bill. Two such armed knights having come down to war, no doubt the Treasury Bench was forced to quail before them, but their efforts had failed, and he hoped that a like result would attend their present opposition. The right hon. Baronet had complained that there was a close union existing between the Roman Catholics, the Dissenters and his Majesty's Government on this occasion, and had repealed that vulgar reference to a supposed compact of some kind or other which had been so often reiterated, but which had as often been met by the most direct and personal contradiction by gentlemen who had the means of knowing, and who could not be suspected of wish- ing to deny the truth. He was surprised that the right hon. Baronet should have made a reference to that often refuted imputation, but he had now also stated that there was a compact alliance between the Roman Catholics and the Dissenters. He was not surprised that there should be such an alliance. Of all ties upon earth the having suffered together, and the having associated together in adversity, was the strongest bond of union. If the Protestant Dissenters forgot that the Irish Roman Catholics very generally assisted them in obtaining the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, then he would say that the Protestant Dissenters were not the men he had ever thought them to be; and if the Roman Catholics in like manner forgot that the general principles of toleration asserted by the Protestant Dissenters were asserted not only on their own behalf, but on behalf of all who sought to be emancipated from the thraldom of penal enactments, and that to the assertion of those principles by the Dissenters they owed much of their own success, then he would say, that the Catholics of Ireland were unworthy of the freedom they had obtained. Therefore he was not surprised that there should be a compact alliance of this description. But a compact alliance of what? It was said to be an alliance in hostility to the Established Church; and this measure now under discussion was also said to be hostile to the Established Church. He would not repeat the denials, either personal or public, which he had already made of the truth of those statements. He could not add to their force by any repetition, but this he would say, and by this he was ready to abide, that if there were not one Dissenter in the land, if there were no separation of sects within this community, still the measure now on the table was a measure good in itself, good for the interests of the Church, good for the interests of the State, and good for the interests of true religion. Why would hon. Gentlemen take upon themselves to say, that hostility to Church-rates was confined to Dissenters? It was only within the last twenty-four hours that he was informed by an hon. Friend, in reference to the borough which he represented, in which the Dissenters were by no means a predominant party, that hostility against Church-rates was just as rife as if the Dissenters were in a majority. He had got some evidence on this subject, [Question.] He could assure the House he would limit his observations as much as possible, but in justice to the Government, in justice to the subject itself, and in justice even to the opponents of the measure, he could not abate one single iota, one fact or argument which he thought tended to establish his own views on this question. He was told that the opposition to Church-rates entirely proceeded from Dissenters. It might sound at first like a paradox, but he literally believed that in many cases the existence of Dissenters rather tended to strengthen the Church party than otherwise, because it introduced an antagonist principle. Many persons belonging to the Church supported Church-rates, not because they wished to support the rates; but because they conceived it was necessary to do so in order to support the Church in opposition to the Dissenters. It was stated, that the Dissenters were extremely weak in point of numbers, and that the whole opposition to Church-rates proceeded from that party. By reference to the petitions on the table, they might be able to estimate the truth of these facts. An hon. and learned Friend had stated that the number of petitions for the abolition of Church-rates and in favour of the ministerial measure was 1,629, while the petitions against the abolition and the proposed measure were 2,740. But why did not his hon. and learned Friend state the number of signatures of those petitions? It appeared that the number of signatures to the petitions for the abolition of Church-rates, and in favour of the Ministerial measure, was 477,000, while the number of signatures against the abolition of Church-rates was 265,000—thus showing an an excess of 212,000 signatures hostile to the present system. The argument, then, with respect to the small number of signatures must fall to the ground. But if there were not any Dissenters in the land, still the disturbances and disagreements that took place within the walls of the Church respecting these rates were of so unseemly, unbecoming, and indecent a character, that in his mind these rates should at once be abolished. Who were those who were the most anxious to get rid of Church-rates in Ireland, in consequence of the scenes that took place in the Churches where they were to be made? Why the Tory Gentlemen opposite. But were they raised in Ireland in the same way as in England, where there was a perfect equality as to the right of the rate-payers to interfere? No such thing; for in Ireland they were imposed by vestries composed exclusively of Protestants. Notwithstanding this, the right hon. Gentleman felt it to be his duty to get rid of them. He could not let the question go to a division without alluding to the argument of the hon. Member for Bradford as to the abolition of Church-rates being conjoined with the severance of the Church from the State. The hon. Member seemed to infer that because this ground had been put forward in certain petitions that therefore it could be stated that it was a general object of those who wished to abolish Church-rates. Look to the petitions presented on the subject of Church-rates last year, when a great deal of excitement prevailed on the subject, and then observe in how many petitions this proposition had been put forward. The petitions presented praying for the abolition of Church-rates were very numerous, and were signed by 21,465 persons. Only one of these petitions prayed for the separation of Church and State, and that was from Chatham, and was signed by only 332 persons. He should take the acts of the Dissenters and the declarations of those more immediately connected with them in contradiction to the statement made by the hon. Member, and repeated by the right hon. Baronet that night. He would ask whether at any period of history where there were two antagonist parties you would allow one party to be the expounder of the religious opinions of the other? He was not about to argue that because a particular measure was good for Ireland it therefore must be good for England. He had never used such an argument; on the contrary, he had always asserted that it was not valid. But he did not hesitate to say, that when a principle of political action was good in one country it was undoubtedly good in the other. The right hon. Gentleman said, abolish Church-rates, and you instantly create a separation between Church and State. He also said, that the Church of England in Ireland and the Church in this country were indissolubly united. Now, in Ireland, Church-rates had been abolished, and this had been done with the consent of the bishops of the establishment in Ireland, and it had not been asserted that this would be followed by a severance between Church and State; no one had thought of asserting that such a result would follow from the abolition of Church-rates in Ireland. If the argument was urged that the abolition of Church-rates in this country would be followed by a severance of Church and State, it must also be so in Ireland; and the right hon. Gentleman opposite had been a party to it, by consenting to the abolition of Church-rates in that country. But he denied the assertion in toto, and contended that there was not the slightest ground for the assumption. If the proposition on the table would leave the Church without the means of maintaining and supporting these buildings, which were marks of the piety of 'our ancestors, and many of them, be it recollected, the work of Catholic ancestors—if the measure was to leave these edifices without the means of being maintained, hon. Gentlemen opposite might raise the argument that the connexion between Church and State would be severed. But the measure before the House adopted, in the place of an uncertain, insecure, and ill-defined means for the maintenance of these sacred edifices, a plan which was certain, permanent, and clear in its operation, and secure in its results. Such was the nature of the measure proposed by the Government, notwithstanding the manner in which it had been misrepresented by Gentlemen opposite. There had been a greater perversion of argument in the discussion on that measure than, he believed, had ever upon any subject been before presented to any deliberative assembly. It would be improper for him at that late hour to dwell upon the law of the case: it was sufficient for his purpose to say, that the whole of the arguments on this part of the subject was contained in a speech of the right hon. Member for Tamworth on a former occasion, in which the right hon. Gentleman drew a distinction between Church-rates and tithes. He truly described the former as a tax depending on the volition of those who had to pay it, and of course if there was a volition they had the power of refusing the payment of it. This view of the case had been taken by high and unimpeachable authorities on the subject. This had been argued by a great ecclesiastical authority—namely, in the work of Mr. Perceval—who stated that when a Church-rate was refused by a vestry there was no means of enforcing the payment of it. An hon. Gentleman who spoke early in the debate stated, that if the Government and the House knew the nature of the arguments resorted to to procure signatures to the petitions in favour of the measure they would not attach much authority to them. A more dangerous argument to their own proceedings could not come from the other side of the House. Did the hon. Gentleman know the nature of the assertions and arguments that had been suggested and put forward out of doors with respect to this measure before even it was fairly brought forward? The people were distinctly told, that the object of the measure was to leave the Church without the means of support. If the hon. Gentleman did not know this, it was at any rate well known by one-half of the people of England. It was notorious that a great number of persons were induced to sign petitions against this measure by means of the gross delusions that had been practised on them, and the misrepresentations that had been put forward with respect to it. He would refer on this point—namely, as to the mode of getting up petitions against this measure—to no mean authority. He alluded to Dr. Boyle, who put forward the opinion he was about to state in a production of great merit. [The right hon. Gentleman read an extract to the effect that this measure had for its object the overturning the Church; and let the parties promoting this measure only succeed in abolishing church-rates, they would devote tithes to the purposes of the state, and this would of course occasion the downfal of the Church, which would be followed by the downfal of the monarchy, and all the existing institutions. It was impossible to touch Church-rates without the greatest detriment to the security of all our institutions; and it should be recollected that this measure could not pass without robbing God of his honour and the Church of her property.] The people had been also told that the effect of getting rid of Church-rates would be to oppress the poor. How the abolition of Church-rates would oppress the poor he could not tell, and certainly it was the first time that he had ever heard it put forth as an argument that the abolition of a tax was an oppression to those who had to pay it. He should like some hon. Gentleman opposite to explain how the getting rid of this tax would oppress the poor, and certainly a demonstration of this would be one of the greatest political discoveries which had ever been made. But did not many of the petitions against the Bill proceed in such assumptions as he had just referred to? If there was any foundation for them, and if the truth of them could be shown, he was satisfied that the great mass of the people would at once declare against this measure; and most assuredly few would have signed petitions in favour of it if they believed that it would be attended with such results as had been described. He could not too strongly condemn the putting forward such a view of this subject; but the object evidently was an attempt to excite the people to take a prejudiced view of the subject. He, however, would proceed with the extracts which he had just read to the House, which were followed by some verses on the same subject. When, then, the people were called upon rather to suffer themselves to perish as martyrs than permit this measure to pass, was it the way to come to a clear and calm discussion of the subject? The right hon. Gentleman put forward a statement on a former occasion respecting some words which he alleged had been used by him. On that occasion he denied the correctness of the right hon. Gentleman; but it had again been repeated by him that night, and the right hon. Baronet said, that he had asked who would enforce the law respecting Church-rates. He said nothing of the kind; but he stated that the present state of the law was such that there was no effective means of enforcing the law in case the vestry refused to make a Church-rate. It had been suggested in the petition of the archdeacons that the Legislature should increase the power of other parties in case a vestry declined to make a Church-rate, and they proposed that in case of such refusal the churchwardens should have the power to make the rate and enforce it. He was sure that no Government would dare to propose and no House of Commons would consent to pass such a law, for the proposal was nothing more nor less than to give the power to a single parochial officer, to make and enforce the payment of a tax without the will and consent of those who had to pay it, and without whose assent it could not be levied at present. Would the right hon. Gentleman himself make such a proposition? He certainly did not think it likely that any such proposition would emanate from the friends of the Church. The right hon. Gentleman had made an appeal to what he was pleased to call the generosity of the House, He said this burthen was attached to the land at the time it was purchased, and it was bought at a lower price in consequence of the burthen; why, therefore, should you strive to throw it off yourselves, and impose this charge on the Church, and thus infringe on the rights of property? The right hon. Gentleman was a party to Lord Althorp's scheme for getting rid of Church-rates. What, then, became of the rights of property as regarded getting rid of a tax to the payment of which an estate was liable at the time of its purchase, for the right hon. Gentleman was a party to a measure by which persons owning land subject to Church-rates would be relieved from the payment of them. The right hon. Gentleman could not suppose that the argument he then urged would have any weight, when it was remembered that he had supported a plan liable to the same objection. He had no doubt but that the right hon. Gentleman was as inconsistent in his present argument as he was in his support of the former measure. The argument as to the existence of the impost, and its influence on the purchaser of a landed estate, was a most gross delusion; and it was only put forward in debate on that occasion with the view of creating a popular feeling on the subject out of doors. The same argument was also put forward by the right hon. Member for Tamworth, who said, do not get rid of this tax—it ought not and must not be abolished, for it is a permanent burthen on the land, to which it was liable at the period of purchase, and in consequence of which a less sum was given for it. He should only meet such arguments and suggestions by the acts and declarations of those who put them forward. He must say, however, that when a case was supported by such arguments it could not have much foundation in reason. He did not attach much importance to the strong language that had been used—that this measure was only intended to injure the Church, for the right hon. Gentlemen opposite knew that many parts of the present measure, with respect to which such strong declarations had been made, were framed on the opinions of high ecclesiastical authorities. Dr. Burton, the head of one of the colleges at Oxford, and a man of the highest character and attainments, proposed the total abolition of Church-rates: no one, however, cried out against him as proposing a plan fraught with ruin to the Church. Again, the rev. Mr. Milman proposed something similar to the plan urged by the hon. Member for Leeds, namely, that there should be a fresh valuation of the first fruits, and also proposed that the annual tax should be increased from ten to twenty-five percent. Lord Henley went further, and proposed, in addition, that a minister for religion should be appointed; and, regardless of what might be said by the hon. Member for Lincoln, proposed that there should be ten paid Commissioners to superintend the administration of Church-property. The rev. Mr. Townsend proposed that there should be a deduction from the revenues of the Church, and that a tax should be imposed on tithes when devoted to ecclesiastical purposes. When either of these plans was proposed, they heard not one word respecting the debts that had been contracted, or the mortgages that had been raised on the security of the Church-rates—not one word respecting the sacrilegious nature of the proposal was put forward when either of these plans was proposed. If he had spoken at an earlier period of the evening he should have been prepared to show, from a great variety of ecclesiastical authorities, that no parties were for the present system of Church-rates: he would not however detain the House with this part of the subject. With respect to the motion of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's, he did not think, after the strong declaration made on the former occasion, that the hon. Member could expect any very great support from the other side for his proposition, and he was surprised that the hon. Gentleman should persist in it. Before sitting down he felt called upon to make one or two observations respecting the present state and management of Church-lands. He was convinced that those who knew anything of the duties of the heads of an episcopal church, would be satisfied that no one thing interfered more with the duties of bishops than the management of the Church lands. He would merely state to the House one single case as a specimen of the mode in which bishops manage the landed estates which belonged to the church. In 1817 a Bill was introduced into that House, on the part of his grace the then Archbishop of Canterbury, for the purpose of vesting certain church estates in trustees to grant leases. Would the House believe that the mode he was about to describe was the most secure mode of managing Church property, and for securing the interests of the lessees of the church? This Act was to make a great alteration in the mode of levying fines and granting leases, and the Bill, which contained a great number of clauses, passed in a manner and state in which he was sure would surprise the House Several of the clauses referred to the covenants entered into by the lessees, and were to the effect following, that if any tenant should suffer any tenement leased out to him to become dilapidated, and should not have it repaired within months, or years, he should forfeit, &c. These blanks were to be met with in a great variety of Clauses. Here, then, was an actual Act of Parliament, which passed in 1817 under this most happy and convenient system of management of Church lands. The blanks were left unfilled when the Act received the royal assent, and in this shape it was printed in the statutes. This he thought was sufficient to show the prudent mode by which Church lands were managed. He might be told that this was the duty of Parliament. No doubt Parliament ought not to have passed a Bill in this state; but who was the suitor for the Bill—who were the parties for whose benefit it was passed. If such a mistake occurred in a private Bill, and it was suffered to pass without the blanks being filled up, it would be a matter of just censure. It was the duty of the agent for the Bill, as well as the proper office of that House, to see that a measure did not pass in that state. But how was the fact detected which he had just described. It was amended in 1834; previous to which some parties had availed themselves of certain advantages which accrued to them in consequence of this defect in the Bill. He now came to another authority. The recital in the preamble of the Church Temporalities Act also acknowledged the power of Parliament to deal with the management of church lands. It began, "Whereas it is expedient to alter the tenure of Church lands in such manner as will tend to the security of the church, or to increase the value of such lands." If this Act were effective, would the right hon. Baronet say that it was impossible to give an additional value to Church pro- perty, without enforcing great hardships on the lessees? He did not believe that any injury would be imposed on the lessees under this Bill. His hon. Friend the Member for Durham, who spoke from authority on this subject, knew that he had been in communication with many of the lessees of Church lands in the great county which his hon. Friend represented; they believed that the alterations would in some respects press heavily, but they believed that a surplus might be made to accrue without doing any injustice to them, but solely from the improved management of Church lands. He was willing, however, to consider any suggestions that might be thrown out on this point with the view of removing anything which might press on the lessees; but the proper time for the consideration of this part of the subject was when they got into Committee. This was not the time for the consideration of the details of the Bill, but merely to declare whether the House was prepared to assent to the principle of it? the House was called upon to vote whether or not it would permit the introduction of the Bill, and see what were its provisions. They then had merely to state whether they would allow the country to see what the measure really was, and were not called upon to give any opinion as to the details or the mode in which its provisions were to be carried into effect. He trusted that the House would not consent to stop the measure in its present stage; he trusted that the House would not only permit the introduction of the Bill, but would carry it to a successful termination. He trusted that the hon. Member for St. Andrew's would not think that he for one, was indifferent to the extension of religious education. On the contrary, he was most anxious to promote it as much as possible. It had been well and powerfully said with respect to the power of religion on the minds of the people—and he made the quotation more freely, because he took it from one of the greatest ornaments of the Dissenters of this country. The quotation was—" He who would diminish the force of religion on the minds of the people must be a fool; he who would destroy it must be a madman." In this expression of opinion he entirely concurred, and he was anxious to extend the blessings of religious education as far and as widely as possible. But the object of the present measure had no immediate connexion with religious education. It was intended to put a stop to dissentions which were most injurious to the cause of religion not to provide for an increase of religious instruction. He did not think that the influence of the clergy on the Sabbath was increased by the dissensions which occurred on other days in the church. The selfish broils and quarrels which occurred gave rise to the most bitter animosities and hatred, which were most injurious to the church, and which almost necessarily diminished the authority of the clergyman, and thus prevented the extension of religion amongst the people. With respect to the amendment of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's he was satisfied that it could not be carried, and be would not, therefore, enter with him upon the question of the extension of religious instruction, by the means proposed by the hon. Gentleman. All other efforts would be unavilling as long as the Church was suffered to be made an arena in which contending parties struggled for victory.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that one of the inconveniences which attended protracted debates was, that so many topics were touched upon in the course of every speech addressed to the House, which had no immediate reference to the subject-matter of debate, that the attention of the House was diverted from those main considerations by which its decisions should be influenced. It was five-and-thirty minutes from the time the right hon. Gentleman opposite commenced his speech, before he applied himself in any respect whatever to the subject before the House. Five-and-thirty minutes were expended in graceful preludings, before they heard the burthen of the right hon. Gentleman's song. He promised the House that he would not occupy so much time in the main discussion of his argument against the measure; and he said this, because he had a different object in view from the right hon. Gentleman, who was too skilful not to know, that it was better to allude to anything than the matter before the House. The true policy of the case was, that the attention of the House should not be directed to extraneous topics, which could not influence any rational men in forming an opinion on this subject. The question they were called upon to decide on that occasion was, whether, in that, the richest and most prosperous country visited by the light of heaven—and finding that there existed for ages a direct, contribution for the maintenance of the fabrics of the Church Establishment—they would abolish such payment of Church-rates? For time out of mind, all property in the country had been liable to a contribution for this purpose; but for the last 300 or 400 years, the landed proprietors had been more particularly called upon to keep up the fabrics of the national Church. Most of this property was in the possession of those in connexion with the Church, and the proprietors of those estates who had the greater portion of the amount to pay, did not wish to be relieved from this burthen. They were now told, that an equivalent could be found for this impost in the property of the church itself, and this on the single pretext, that it would relieve the conscientious scruples of certain persons who dissented from the church. This was the subject-matter of the proposition before the House. The right hon. Gentleman, and the rest of his Majesty's Ministers said they had found an equivalent for Church-rates. True it was that the fabrics of the Church must be maintained, and all the members of the Government, until within the last six months, said, that if these rates were abolished, an equivalent must be provided by the State. The new proposition was, that the landed proprietors, nine-tenths of whom had no conscientious scruples as to the payment of Church-rates, should have their estates, which had ever been liable to the charge of these rates, and in consequence of the existence of which every owner, be he Dissenter or Churchman, made a proportionate reduction in the price when he purchased it, relieved from the burthen, and that an equivalent should be taken from the funds of the Church, to provide for these matters, now charged on the Church-rates. Would any one deny, that this was the principle of the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman? The right hon. Gentleman must know what were the opinions of impartial men on his proposition. He knew the censure that was passed on the Irish Parliament for abolishing the tithe of agistment. He must have heard the condemnation of the lay legislators, who robbed the Church to increase the value of their own property. What did they propose to do in this instance? Did any one deny that the land was subject to this charge, and was it not proposed to relieve the landowners from the payment, and throw it on the Church? And was the Church rich enough to afford it? He would answer that question by referring to an authority which they could not deny. The whole of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, delivered this night, tended to show that the Church was overburthened with wealth—that it had ample funds for the extension of religious instruction, and the abolition of Church-rates too; but the Report of the Church Commissioners, which five of the Members of his Majesty's Government had signed, stated, that such was the destitution of the means of religious worship, that the Church possessed no funds which would afford an adequate supply. They described, in that Report, the case of the metropolis, and of the great manufacturing towns; they admitted that the population had outgrown the means of religious worship; they admitted the inadequacy of the present funds to make the necessary provision: they contemplated a fund which might supply the deficiency, and the Ministers now proposed to divert that from its legitimate course, and apply it to defray those expenses which the property of the wealthy landed proprietors had hitherto defrayed. They urged, in speeches and in pamphlets, that though it was true the liability existed, yet there were no means of enforcing it. Would that excuse avail them? His right hon. Friend had referred to the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which slated the law on that subject in these words:—"It is the duty of churchwardens to take care that the body of the church is duly repaired, and that all things necessary for the decent performance of divine service are provided. And the law imposes on all parishioners the burthen of raising, by Church-rates, the funds required to pay the expenses. To this extent the authorities concur." That Report was signed by Lord Tenterden, Dr. Lushington, the Judge-Advocate, by, in short, all the most eminent legal authorities of the day, and it established this principle, that there was a legal obligation on landed property, to contribute to the maintenance of the fabric of the Church. Did that obligation exist on their estates, when they purchased them? Or did the vender say it was true the legal obligation existed, and the right could be enforced only by a difficult process in the Ecclesiastical Court? If he had so stated, would not their answer have been—"Dr. Lushington told them, that the legal obligation existed, and they would not be so shabby as to look out for a mode of evading it, because the process of the Ecclesiastical Court was dilatory and embarrassing?" They would have insisted on the full pay- ment of what was due to the Church; and if the Church-rates amounted to the sum of 25l., the value of twenty-five years' purchase would have been deducted from the amount of the purchase-money. Then, said the right hon. Gentleman, there was the case of Ireland as a precedent. He maintained that that offered no inducement. So far from the case of Ireland being an inducement, he would say it afforded one of the most powerful grounds for exhorting them to avoid it. What was the consequence of acceding to their proposition? When it was made, they were told, that the case constituted an exception to the general rule. They admitted, as the right hon. Gentleman now admitted, that the Church of England and the Church of Ireland were united by law, and constituted one Church; but he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) and his hon. Colleagues were parties to a declaration made by the King, that the circumstances of Ireland were peculiar, and that they called for separate legislation. They said, that the Church of Ireland had greater resources than it required for the spiritual instruction of the people, and that there existed in that case that peculiarity which they now relied on, as a reason for asking for the acquiescence of the House in the present proposition. They urged, that in Ireland the vestry was an exclusive one, consisting solely of Protestants, and that was relied on as a reason for making Ireland an exception. They were told then, that the vestries in Ireland were differently constituted from the vestries in England—that the grievance was felt to be greater, because they were composed exclusively of members of the Established Church—because the Roman Catholics were altogether excluded. They were told, that here the Dissenters were not excluded; here they had a voice in the granting of Church-rates; but in Ireland, the peculiarity of the grievance was, that the vestries were composed exclusively of Churchmen. The very same party by whom that argument was used now turned round, and relied on that which was granted us, because of the peculiarity, as a reason why the principle should a fortiori be extended to this country. If they granted this measure, what security had they that five years hence they would not be told, that they had recognised a principle fatal to the existence of the establishment, when they gave up the Church to be maintained out of its own revenues—that tithes were public property, and though, unlike Church- rates, they were a burthen borne by the occupier of the soil, the payment of them was disagreeable to him who dissented from the establishment? What security had they that his Majesty's Ministers would not hereafter use that very argument which was now used by only a portion of the Dissenters themselves—that they would not urge the objection which had been made to Church-rates, and contend, that with the Church-rates had been abandoned the principle of a Church Establishment? A word now with respect to the conscientious scruples of the Dissenters. He was called on to make this change, on the ground of giving relief to those conscientious scruples. A broad and intelligible ground was the ground on which they ought to argue this proposition, but such was not the ground on which they did argue it. First they proposed to retain the existing debts. They drew a distinction between the collection of Church-rates for the maintenance of the Church, and the collection of Church-rates for the payment of a debt to be hereafter granted by an assessment in vestry. There might be good reasons for keeping to that arrangement, but, so far as the relief of conscientious scruples was concerned, there was just as great a violation of conscientious scruples in calling on the Dissenters to pay Church-rates for the liquidation of a debt, as for the future consecration of the Church. The right hon. Gentleman, however, attempted to draw a distinction, and said he felt assured that no Dissenter would ask to be relieved from the payment of a debt. Why, if a Dissenter had a right to object to contribute to a rate for the support of a form of worship from which he dissented, he had just as much right to refuse the payment of a rate for the liquidation of a debt incurred for the support of that form of worship. He might say, that it was contracted by a majority, he having been a reluctant part of a reluctant minority. He might have resisted the imposition of the rate, and the incurring of the debt, and yet the right hon. Gentleman admitted, that where the debt existed, the Dissenter should be called on to pay it Surely the calling on the Dissenters to pa for the liquidation of the debt, showed that they did not proceed on the broad ground of granting relief to conscientious scruples. Again, if they did maintain that principle, what would they do with the Dissenters in Scotland? They had never answered that question. In Scotland, they imposed on him who dissented from the Established Church the duty of maintaining the establishment. The landowners had inherited or had bought their property subject to that charge. And if some great landed proprietor, having so inherited his property, and being a member of the Established Church in England, were now to declare that he felt a conscientious scruple against contributing to the relief of the Establishment in Scotland, he would venture to say that if they did not fear the retaliation of the argument, they would denounce it as a most dishonest proposition. But if they admitted the conscientious scruple—if they admitted the principle that those who dissented from the Established Church ought not to be called on to contribute towards its support, he asked again, what did they intend to do with regard to Scotland? They had no scruples there; but, if they had, he apprehended that they would find no bishops' lands to lay hold of there—there was no Commission they could establish there for the purpose of administering ecclesiastical property. In that country there was no superabundant resources, possessed by the Church out of which they would be enabled to provide for the repair of its fabrics. Either, therefore, they must make the Dissenters from the Established Church still liable to contribute to the repair of the Church, or they must provide from the public funds an equivalent. He had another reason for concluding that they did not mean to maintain the principle of observing conscientious scruples. When the case of destitution, as regarded the means of religious worship, was stated in a former debate the noble Lord the Secretary of War admitted the strength of the case made out of the want of religious education, and said that it might be the duty of his Majesty's Government to come forward with a proposition to provide out of the public funds additional Church accommodation. If they took that course they would thereby negative the claim of the Dissenters to relief on the ground of conscientious scruples, for a conscientious scruple would be more violated by a new proposal to give increased accommodation than by continuing an impost which had been levied on property for centuries. Government might have a right to say to the Dissenters, "Your property is subject to this burthen, and we will continue it; but it would be much more unsatisfactory to that body of the population, when an ancient fund existed, to propose any new grant for the same purpose." It would be infinitely better, then, on their own showing, to apply the fund already existing to the object contemplated, than to reverse the order of proceeding, to set about finding an equivalent for the Church revenues, and to provide increased accommodation to its members out of the public taxes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said, that he argued that landed property was subject to this charge, whether acquired by inheritance or purchase, and yet that he had professed his readiness to relieve it by acquiescing in the proposal of Lord Althorp. Now, he contended, that the advantage of making landed property contribute to the maintenance of the fabrics of the Establishment was the formation of a connexion between the holders of that property and the national Church. The support of an Established Church, it must be admitted, was implied when the State, either by a contribution levied from the landholders, or by a vote from the public funds, provided for the maintenance of its fabrics. Certainly, he should to some extent relieve the land, by acquiescing in the proposition of Lord Althorp, but in a very different degree to that in which he should relieve it by taking the equivalent sum from the property of the Church, because the landed property would contribute a very material part of the amount which might be granted from the public taxes. The landed property of England would contribute no small share of the 250,000l. or 300,000l. which Lord Althorp proposed to grant instead of the produce of the present Church-rates; but to deprive the Church of that produce would be a simple and unrequited removal of the burthen without providing any substitute. His chief objection, however, to that course was, that it dissolved the existing connexion between the Church and the State. He would throw aside all consideration of the mere sum of which it was proposed to despoil the Church, and look only to the principles which such a proceeding would establish. Government proposed to make the bishops annuitants on a Commission appointed by the State, the majority of which were to be laymen, removable at the pleasure of the Crown, and the heads of the Church, instead of being proprietors, were to receive a fixed stipend, payable every quarter. How, then, could they tell him that they did not alter the condition of the episcopal order, when, instead of possessing a settled property, that property was to be removed from them? They might point to Ireland, and tell him that he had already consented to the enactment of a similar measure in that country. He would quote in return their repeated assurances, when they invited him to agree to the passing of that measure in Ireland, that it was a peculiar case, which did not necessarily establish such a rule in this country. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been satiating his curiosity by a perusal of Hansard's Debates, following the example of the hon. Member for Tipperary, who had come down to the House the night before loaded with the fruits of a ten years' search through its pages. Never had he been more alarmed than by the preliminary movements of the hon. and learned Gentleman the moment the hon. Baronet near him (Sir F. Burdett) had risen on that side of the House. The learned Gentleman came down absolutely tottering under the weight of Hansard, armed with a formidable collection of instruments from that arsenal, having picked out his vulnerable points from the debates of the last ten years' ascending from 1824 to 1835, and attacked the hon. Baronet with the seeming determination of making him a victim to his prowess. He was reminded of the revolutionists, according to Burke, sharpening their deadly weapons on the carcass of the Duke of Bedford, and coolly examining "how he bellows on the caul and on the kidneys." He thought the hon. Baronet was to have been made the victim of the most scorching display of sarcastic eloquence ever made since that devoted Peer had fallen prostrate, as the bos humi, before the withering scorn of the great orator. But he rejoiced to be able to congratulate the hon. Baronet on his escape. He rejoiced to say that the pillars of that noble edifice to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had offered his tribute of reverential homage, while he asserted that in its cornices birds of evil omen had made their lurking-place, remained unshaken after all the puny efforts of the hon. Gentleman's pickaxe and shovel. But the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not satisfied with Hansard, he had resorted to the still more lugubrious reading of Acts of Parliament, and of private acts too; for it appeared that he had exhausted all the public acts in search of a precedent for the violation of Church property. The right hon. Gentleman, it appeared, had succeeded in finding a private act which answered his purpose, that private act having in it numerous blanks which were left in it by the intelligence of the clerk, the right hon. Gentleman admitting that it might have been intended that it should be amended when occasion required. Yet this was the only ground on which the right hon. Gentleman vindicated the dispossessing the bishops of their property. He knew of similar omissions which had occasioned fatal defects in titles to railway property. He knew a case in which, because the Chairman of the Committee had made a perpendicular mark through the figure 3 instead of a horizontal one, the Act of Parliament had limited the right of the company to their approaches to two years instead of three. He had also heard of an Act in which the penalty appointed was imprisonment, one half to be given to the informer, the other to the King. Unless the House wanted to establish the precedent of interference with landed estates, they must reject the argument of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, who urged, that because the clerks had made a verbal error or omission, Parliament should dispossess the bishops of their landed property. Another reason which might induce him to assent to the proposal of Lord Althorp was, that the substitution of a direct impost for the present Church-rates would so far operate as an equivalent, that it would establish the principle of a connexion between the Church and the State. It would accomplish that which Lord Althorp had declared in that House that it was the duty of the State to do, when on the 21st of April, 1834, he said, "The principal argument used this evening is, that no contribution ought to be made by the State out of the public funds for the purpose of maintaining the fabrics of the Church. I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. C. Wynn) that it is the absolute duty of the State to provide the means of public religious instruction for the poorer classes of the community." The noble Lord (said Sir R. Peel), who is just now taking a note, can tell the House if the present measure is calculated to retard or to advance that most sacred and important of all the objects of Government. Why, when Ministers made their proposition of 1834, they had this Irish precedent then before them. If they thought this Irish precedent of 1833 so indispensable, why in 1834 had they proposed that the equivalent for the abolition of Church-rates should be derived from the public funds? The right hon. Gentleman complained that an outcry should be raised against Ministers, as being enemies of the Church, because they were enemies of Church-rates. With the motives and intentions of Ministers he had nothing to do; if they professed friendship, he was hound to believe they felt what they professed; but their acts he had a right to consider. And this he would venture to say, that if on any question affecting the interests of Dissenters, Ministers had had a majority of 116, they would have considered that majority to be decisive in their favour. Ministers had a majority of 116 in favour of Lord Althorp's proposition, which they introduced with the Irish precedent before them. Perhaps Ministers might say, "We never anticipated this extraordinary discovery of a new fund, for which the hon. Member for Weymouth has given us such great credit." The hon. Member for Weymouth declared that his obligations to the right hon. Gentleman on this account were extreme, though he was going to vote against him, and that he never could have thought it possible that this divine man could have discovered the fund. Did it never occur to the hon. Gentleman that they had dealt with the bishop's lands in somewhat the same way in Ireland? Did the hon. Gentleman suppose Lord Althorp did not know that the bishops had lands in England, and that if he chose to dispossess them of their property and to run the term of tenure against the life of the lessee, something might be made of it? Lord Althorp, he believed, knew that; yet he never thought of applying such a plan as the present to Ireland. Ministers dealt with the estates of the Irish bishops in a manner not quite so harsh and hostile as that in which they now proposed to deal with those of the English bishops, because they had left them in the possession and management of the episcopal order; but they now distinctly proposed to abolish Church-rates, and to provide an equivalent for them from the Church lands. Formerly Ministers maintained that it was an essential element in the constitution of the Established Church that the State should contribute to the repair of its fabric; and though they announced their intention to abolish Church-rates, they never led the House to believe that they would lay the burthen of the equivalent on the revenues of the Church. Up to a late period, therefore, their opinion must have been clearly in favour of Lord Althorp's proposition. They had but the other day asserted the principle that the Church must have a contribution from the State to preserve its edifices, and that the fund should not be taken from its own property; and now they turned round and charged those who sat on the Opposition side of the House with delusive apprehensions for the safety of the Church, when they adhered to the principles on which Ministers had all along acted, and quoted the doctrines which they propounded. The hon. and learned Member for Tipperary had asked what had passed since 1834 to excite such unfounded fears in the mind of the hon. Baronet near him (Sir F. Burdett). What better answer could he give to the hon. and learned Gentleman's question than that the Administration was now proposing measures directly contrary to those which they had lately brought forward, abjuring the principles they held in 1834, and which they then told the House were essential to the existence of the Establishment? In 1834, the case of religious destitution was not fully made out; Ministers had not yet affixed their signatures to a report declaring that there were no funds at the disposal of the Church for providing increased accommodation, and that the necessity for it was so crying as to demand an immediate remedy; yet they now proposed to take from the Church, property which they then consented to allow her to retain—property which formed the only means she possessed of supplying existing deficiencies, and to apply it to the relief of the land. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, might disclaim it as loudly as he pleased; but Ministers were allied for the passing of this measure with those whose designs were hostile to the principle of an Establishment. The hon. Member for Middlesex manfully stated his opinion on the subject in 1830. That hon. Member then combated the principle of supplying an equivalent for Church-rates from the public funds; he left Ministers no means of blinking or evading the question, for he rested his objections to the measure on the ground that he was not then satisfied that an equivalent could not he provided from the ecclesiastical property. What was the answer of the noble Lord opposite? The noble Lord declared that he adhered to the principles laid down by Lord Althorp, and repudiated the doctrine of the hon. Member for Middlesex. The noble Lord said this: "He and his colleagues had, of course, little reason to expect the support, on this occasion, of the hon. Member for Middlesex, and others whose object was to destroy; but they did hope to have the support of those who, with themselves, wished to see the Church maintained, at the same time that they entertained a desire to see its abuses reformed and all the practical grievances of the Dissenters redressed." The proposition now made by the noble Lord was directly at variance with that which the noble Lord then invited the friends of the Church to entertain. It was identical in principle with that which the hon. Member for Middlesex proposed, and for which the noble Lord denounced him as a destroyer of the Church. Now, without inquiring as to the extent of the conformity or inconsistency of the present Ministerial policy with the past, or as to the adoption by them of other people's opinions, the noble Lord would allow him to observe, that if in 1834, the noble Lord, with the precedent of the bishop's lands in Ireland before him, denounced a proposition similar to that which he now brought forward as having a tendency to destroy the Church, the noble Lord could not be surprised if the Opposition occupied the ground which he held in 1834, but which he now abandoned, to ally himself with a destroyer. One word, and he came to the concluding observation which he should make. The hon. Member for Weymouth had asked what vote he meant to give on the proposition brought forward by the hon. Member for St. Andrew's? The hon. Gentleman had no doubt been forced to put the question by his strong apprehension that the Government would sustain a defeat, and the circumstance of their agreement in the vote which they should give, might render it advisable to put the hon. Gentleman in possession of the views with which he should record it. It was also right, as there were so many new Members in the House, all fortunately sitting on his side, that he should take the liberty of setting before them, in a form divested of technicality, the mode of acting which he should adopt. Unfortunately, they should not be enabled to give at first a direct vote upon this question; he deeply regretted it, for he wished to negative the proposition of Government on its own grounds. He did. not, therefore, mean to imply any predilection for the present system of Church-rates, or the least reluctance to support a proposition similar to that made by Lord Althorp, or to consider any mode by which the admitted objections to the present system could be obviated, but he felt an objection to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman, who would divest the bishops of all concern in their own lands, and find an equivalent for Church-rates in the ecclesiastical revenues. The hon. Member for St. Andrew's, in a speech which exhibited equal good temper and ability, and which did him great credit, proposed, as an amendment, that they should leave out all the words after "that" for the purpose of inserting these words: "It is the opinion of this House that funds may be derived from an improved mode of management of Church-lands, and that these funds should be applied to religious instruction within the Established Church, when the same may be found deficient, in proportion to the existing population." The hon. Member for Weymouth told him that he was bound, to vote for that amendment. The right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said, it was impossible he could vote for it. It was not necessary, in point of form, that he should explain what course he meant to take when the question was put from the chair; but he should be sorry on any occasion to leave his intentions equivocal, or subject to doubt, when he had the opportunity of fairly stating them. He, then, would fairly say what course he intended to pursue. He could not vote for the hon. Gentleman's amended resolution; and on this ground the hon. Gentleman expressed it as the opinion of the House, that funds might be derived from an improved management of the Church-lands, and that those funds should be applied to the religious instruction of Members of the Established Church. In the first place, he had a great objection to vote for abstract propositions on any subject, unless they were to be the foundation of a measure. The resolution of the Government was to be followed up by a practical measure; but the hon. Gentleman had proposed an abstract proposition, without stating what his intentions were, if it were adopted. He, for one, then, would not consent to affirm an abstract proposition, unless it were to be followed up by a practical measure. But he thought that great doubt might arise, if the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman were permitted to pass unexplained, and, besides, it might be inferred that funds might be derived from this source by the appointment of Commissioners. He objected to the appointment of Commissioners—he objected to the doing of that which might divest the bishops of all interest in the lands. He was opposed then to that proposition; and, again, as to the interests of the lessees, he was not prepared to establish a proposition which might affect the interests of those persons without being in full possession of the subject, and exactly understanding how far the proposition was to go. He knew that the lessees were not in possession of a legal right; but then they had a very long tenure of the property; besides, too, it was to be considered that the Commonwealth had failed in attacking this property—that it was regarded and treated as property which could not be disturbed nor tampered with. Knowing this, he would not consent from that property to give an increase to the funds of the Church without very mature consideration, and the closest regard to the circumstances in individual cases, in order that he might, in attempting to improve those funds in the manner that was proposed, do so consistently with perfect equity. That it was possible to introduce such an improvement as that which had been suggested, he did not deny. He believed that it was possible, consistently with the independent character of the bishops, which ought to be maintained, and of the interest of the lessee, which ought not to be injured. And he at once admitted, that if, consistently with principle, consistently with a liberal construction and an equitable consideration of the rights and interests of the lessees, he could improve the Church-property, then he was ready to maintain that the surplus ought to be applied to the purposes to which the hon. Gentleman intended to appropriate them. He was content with the arrangement of last year as to the emoluments of the bishops, and if he thought that an improvement in the tenure of the property under them could be increased, consistently with their station and their character, and with justice to the lessees, then he should give to the hon. Gentleman his most cordial support in devoting the surplus to the great object to which he sought to apply it. And he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would understand the grounds upon which he at that moment hesitated to vote in support of his proposition: first, because he regarded it as the proposition of an abstract measure; and, secondly, that he feared that the hon. Gentleman assumed a mode for raising an extra revenue which was identified with that of the Government. But, if they could realise a surplus, then he should say, that with his consent the funds ought to be applied to giving church accommodation; and if they could do so, then, he said, let them be appropriated exclusively for the benefit of the poorer classes. He was pleased with the origin of the proposition which they had been discussing. So far from joining in the sarcasm directed against the hon. Gentleman, that this resolution relating to the Church of England was made by a Scoto-Calvinistic Member, he cordially rejoiced that the community of interests between the Established Churches of the empire was demonstrated by the proposal. The time had passed when narrow jealousies between the two Establishments could be permitted to exist; their cause was the same, and for the protection of that cause, they ought cordially to unite. The question at issue between many was this—whether establishments were to be abolished, or whether they were to trust to the voluntary principle for the due and proper maintenance of religion. That was the question directly involved in the proposition before the House; it was so considered by the hon. Gentleman opposite—it was so considered by many Dissenters; and the main ground of discussion was, not the sum that was to be dealt with, but the principle that was involved. It was against that principle that he and his |Friends declared themselves—it was in favour of the Establishment, not for the miserable purpose of maintaining its emoluments for individual interests, that it was intended by them to give the plan their strenuous opposition. It was because they believed that the maintenance of the Established Church was so interwoven with the civil institutions of this country, that to preserve it was necessary for the purposes of social concord and internal peace; and also because they believed it to be necessary for the infinitely higher purpose of protecting religion from the assaults of infidelity or of lukewarm indifference, and providing, as the hon. Gentleman had said, for that which was the inalienable right of every member of the community—the means of deriving spiritual instruction and religious consolation from an Established Church, founded in our civil policy, preserved by the State, and deserving of respect from the people.

Lord John Russell

hoped, that after the explanation that had been given by the right hon. Gentleman of the manner in which he meant to vote with respect to the amendment of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's, that that hon. Gentleman would not think it necessary to press his amendment to a division. The right hon. Gentleman had clearly shown, that to that proposition he would not give his consent; he had stated that the independent character of the bishops and the interests of the lessees would interpose an insuperable obstacle to the proposition of the hon. Member. It was thought by the Ministers, that it was necessary to abolish Church-rates; and that consideration upon their part presented an insuperable obstacle to the adoption of the amendment of the hon. Gentleman; and, therefore, as far as that proposition was concerned, it appeared that neither side of the House was prepared to vote for it, and the only effect of pressing it would be, that they would not be able to come to a decision upon the main question. The House then would not be able to adopt any opinion whatever upon the subject, except to give a direct and unanimous negative to the proposition of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's. He hoped, however, by the withdrawal of the proposition of the hon. Gentleman, that they might be permitted to come to a decision upon the main question which had been proposed by his right hon. Friend on behalf of the Government. At the same time, while he was disposed, with the right hon. Baronet, to commend the spirit with which the hon. Member for St. Andrew's was actuated in proposing his resolution—while he agreed with the right hon. Baronet in expressing his approbation of such a proposition—yet be could not but observe that the right hon. Baronet showed how very little he was disposed to support what was the main object of the hon. Gentleman's resolution. Let it not be forgotten by the House that at the time the proposition was made by his right hon. Friend, they had cited against them not only the authority of a great lawyer in that House, but a still more reverend authority, in another place, to show that the reason why the proposition could not be adopted, was the destitution of religious instruction for the people the object to be first sought for, and till that object was obtained, no such measure as this could be looked to. And now what was said by the right hon. Gentleman as to the surplus? Why there was scarcely a glimpse, hardly a prospect, of any part of such surplus funds being ever applied to meet that religious destitution said to prevail in the country. He would not enter into the question of the lessees. He would first allude to the keeping up, as the right hon. Gentleman called it, the independent character of the bishops. Let the hon. Member for St. Andrews consider what was the nature of the character which was to be preserved to the bishops. He could well understand the principle on which it was proposed that the bishops' incomes should be settled, and whatever might be the income of the bishops, he should believe and hope that they would have the full use and enjoyment of it, as much so and as unquestionably as any private individual. He could well under and the present objection to their case, which was attended with great inconvenience. It was, he considered, a very great inconvenience that bishops, who had only a life-interest in the lands, should, for their own private advantage, have taken larger fines, and then given the lands at low rents and upon long leases. Such things a bishop did for his own great advantage, and to the great injury of the see. There had been examples of such an improvident conduct carried so far as to cause the incomes of bishops to vary in the same see from 500l. and 1,000l. a-year to 3,000l. and 4,000l. at other times. It was only a few days ago he had seen a return of a bishop's income, which from 800l. a-year had risen to between 3,000l. and 4,000l. What was the reason of this? The tenants had procured long leases. The bishops had let the lands at low rents some years ago, and it was not until lately that these leases expired. The persons who made such leases enjoyed great advantages from them, but they left their successors impoverished, unable, he would not say, to maintain the splendour of their station, but even that decent hospitality which was necessary to ensure them common respect. There was another disadvantage, too, which followed from the independent control of the bishops over the lands now contended for—it was this: that from time to time (and he begged to make the remark as the right hon. Baronet taunted his right hon. Friend with referring to an Act of Parliament) that the possessors of tithe property had obtained private Acts of Parliament—Acts that had passed through both Houses—and by means of which the immediate income of the bishops was improved, but the sees themselves injured. By such Acts of Parliament, too, the in- comes of chapters were improved; but the future incomes of the chapters were much diminished. Those who opposed the present proposition stood upon the principle with Mr. Burke, that Church property ought to be inviolate. That the dignitaries of the Church, being in full possession of the income derivable from their lands, should enjoy it as if it were their private property, was a proposition in which he fully agreed; but it was not the case at present, that the bishops had such a control over their incomes. There were, according to the recent measure, to which Parliament had agreed, Orders in Council, one of which, he believed, issued that very day, stating that this proposition was made to a bishop, if the income of a certain see was more than Parliament had declared it ought to be, to pay a certain sum, and if it were not so large, then the Commissioners were to pay the bishop a certain sum. So that the income, whether it was 5,000l. or 8,000l., would be as Parliament had declared it to be, or as the Church Commissioners determined it should be paid. When once this had been done, the whole of that independent control heretofore possessed by the bishops, of which they had heard so much, and of their being proprietors of the land, was at an end. He begged to say to the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, that he had made a mistake. He did not know that a petition had been presented from that body stating their views on that matter, and declaring themselves opposed to such an arrangement. The hon. Baronet was quite right in his assertion. That body had acted consistently on this point; but still, did not the hon. Baronet see that the argument proved that the independent position contended for, on behalf of the dignitaries of the Established Church, was done away with while their incomes were secured. How then were they to act—were they to have the benefit of the arrangement on the one hand, and to get no advantage from it on the other? He wished to say thus much as to the proposed amendment which emanated from the hon. Member for St. Andrew's, and respecting which the right hon. Gentleman had spoken with so much frankness and candour, but at the same time he declared his complete and positive determination to oppose it that night. But there were some other points upon which the right hon. Gentleman had touched, which at that late hour, concerned as he was with the measure, it was necessary for him to say a few words, and he promised the House that they would be as few as possible, as it was not his desire to keep them from an immediate decision on the measure. He must first say that he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had unfairly attacked his right hon. Friend for occupying their time with a topic which was not immediately connected with the question before the House. It ought to be recollected by the House, when this attack was made, that there had been two nights' debate on the subject, and a portion of one of them was-occupied by one of the new Members that they had been told about. That new Member had made a speech on the last night, which, as far as regarded argument upon the particular question of Church-rates, was one of the weakest and the lowest he had ever heard. But that speech did also contain an attack upon the Administration with respect to the affairs of Ireland, and with respect to political affairs generally, which, after being addressed to "dear Mr. Pouncey," and published in the newspapers, was brought forward again in the House, and the Members were given the benefit of the correspondence. As that speech, then, contained an attack upon the Administration, and as it was not answered from any one upon the Ministerial benches, at least so they were told by the right hon. Member for Cumberland, who begun another speech by attacking them—following in this the example of the young and ardent recruit in the service, The right hon. Baronet had followed that example, too, by going into the affairs of Scotland and of Ireland, in order to draw from them this inference—that they demonstrated that the present Administration was unfavourable to the Established Church. He might be permitted to say that it was the fault of the hon. Baronet as it was that of the right hon. Member for Cumberland, that such a line of argument had been adopted; and when it had, it was rather hard of the right hon. Baronet to complain that so much time was taken up by a short defence of the Ministers whom the main body of his own forces had assailed. The right hon. Gentleman had stated various arguments with respect to this measure; and hearing in the course laid down some propositions which he was astonished to hear from him—but then the right hon. Gentleman having exclaimed, against all references to former speeches, he might be tempted (only that he was precluded by what the hon. Gentleman now said) from following that right hon. Gentleman's own example. He believed the right hon. Gentleman to be the author of the practice of references to Hansard. He, certainly, so far as he was acquainted with the House, thought that it was the right hon. Gentleman who first began the practice; and what a good deal fixed this in his mind was, that when the right hon. Baronet the Member for Cumberland sat on the same side of the House with, him, and saw the right hon. Gentleman with a piece of paper or a book before him, he instantly called out, "Now for Hansard!" The right hon. Gentleman had, however, given such promises of amendment, he seemed so determined against the following of a practice which he had himself introduced, that he would give up his intention, although he had ready some extracts on the subject of Church-rates, and refrain from referring to Hansard. The first argument adopted on this occasion by the right hon. Gentleman was, that it was unjust to relieve the land of Church-rates. He confessed that the argument in itself did not appear to him to be a sound one; and if they were always to act upon the principle that they were to leave upon the land all the burthens that they found upon it, then the wardships and other burthens were never to be removed from it. It would have been a good argument in the reign of Charles 2nd against the removal of the feudal burthens, and no doubt it would have had its effect with the laudatores temporis acti, and some lover of the "olden time" in the Parliament of Charles 2nd might have declared that the burthens should be maintained, and that old usages ought not be dispensed with. Such, it appeared, was to be an argument in the present day against the putting an end to that which had been declared to be a vexatious payment. Now, if we were to go to Hansard, or to The Mirror of Parliament, he could give a quotation, but he was precluded from doing that by the right hon. Gentleman; and he thought therefore he should be able to give the substance. The passage he referred to occurred in consequence of a question put by, the, noble Lord the Member for Liverpool on the subject of Church-rates. The right hon. Gentleman in the Session of 1835, as they all knew, was in the position of Prime Minister, and it was expedient at that time that the landed interest, instead of being threatened with any burthen to be imposed or continued on it, was, on the contrary, to be relieved from those found to press upon it; and then the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool, who had probably heard the King's speech, or had some private explanation respecting it, on some occasion took occasion to say that "a burthen which rested extremely heavy upon the land, was the burthen of the Church-rates. Knowing it to bear' upon the agriculturists greatly, and that they complained of it, he could not help regarding it as one that must come under the consideration of the Government." The noble Lord then moved the Address, and the right hon. Gentleman spoke at the time; but he did not say that Church-rates had been from time immemorial, that they were imposed upon the land, and that they could not be taken off. No; the noble Lord was not told so by the right hon. Gentleman in an indignant tone of voice, but he was told this—he assured the right hon. Gentleman that he was not going to take the passage from the forbidden book—the substance of what the right hon. Baronet said was, that the noble Lord was quite right, he thought the Church-rates pressed most unequally on the land. And what then was said in the debate that night by the right hon. Baronet? Why, that the Church-rates were a burthen which the landed interest must and ought to bear. With respect to the hon. Baronet the Member for Westminster, he was most offensive and unjust to the Dissenters of this country when he stated that they only sought to relieve themselves because their pockets were affected. Now, the hon. Baronet ought to consider that they maintained their own churches and supported their own ministers; and seeing the manner in which the Protestant Dissenters acted, he said that there could not be a more unjust imputation than to say that they cared for their pockets and that they had no other care for the subject. But then this view of the subject was called the "cant of patriotism." He must say this, that the cant of patriotism might be disgusting; but, in his opinion, the recant of patriotism was infinitely more so. It was with the view of establishing religious peace and concord that this measure was supported. It was not because the Dissenters were favourable to the voluntary principle, but because on an entire view of the subject it was regarded as expedient to the general interests of the country. The right hon. Gentleman, he thought, quoted from him words said to have been applied to the hon. Member for Middlesex. Now this, he had no doubt, was to be found in Hansard; and although it was very accurate, yet he recollected that what he said then was called forth in consequence of an observation made by the then hon. Member for Colchester, the present Member for Southwark, who declared that it was impossible that the Church of England and religious liberty could co-exist. It was in reply to that observation that he said, the hon. Member wished to destroy, and that they were opposed to him. This was a mistake which had occurred in the report of the debate, and although the error might be trifling, yet it could be easily seen that it altered the whole sense of the passage. He was aware that the House had heard so much on that debate, that he did not wish to quote a private Act which he had in his hand, and which bore upon this subject. It showed, that in the year 1096 two prebends were given for the purpose of keeping the cathedral of Lichfield in repair. [Lord Stanley: But cathedrals and parish churches are different things.] The whole point of difference, in the opinion of the noble Lord, seemed to be to have the proceeds applied to a cathedral, and not to a parochial church. This might be a good reason to object against the measure, but he did not see if Church property were taken to repair a cathedral, why it should not be applied to a parish church. As to the manner in which the Irish question was to be used on this debate, he did not say, that they ought to accede to this measure because they had agreed to the abolition of Church-rates in Ireland, but he said, that the abolition of Church-rates showed that there could be a Church Establishment without a Church cess. They were not to be bound by the precedent, but he maintained that the abolition of Church-rates could not be the destruction of an Established Church. He should not further enter into that argument, but he must refer to what he would not call an argument, but a reference, in which the hon. Baronet told them that there was another place in which the decisions of that House would be reversed. He must say, that this reference did recal to his mind some former recollections. He did recollect when the hon. Baronet was the advocate of a reform in the House of Commons, when the hon. Baronet went a great deal too far in the measures which he proposed, and in the inflammatory topics with which he urged them. At that time the hon. Baronet said, that "the Gentlemen assembled in that room, "and when called to order, the hon. Baronet said, that "that House, falsely calling itself the Commons' House of Parliament"—the hon. Baronet at that time used terms inconsistent with the forms and orders of that House. The hon. Baronet used to indulge himself in saying, that the Gentlemen in that House did not fairly represent the people. Was it to be borne that the hon. Baronet, having in such a manner stated that that House did not fairly represent the people—was it to be borne that now, when that House did fairly represent the people, the hon. Baronet should insult them, by telling them that he did not care for their decisions, that he despised their resolutions, and that he looked to another House of Parliament for the reversal of their resolutions? He would conclude by saving, that this measure had been brought forward in the view, that while it conceded what might reasonably be demanded on the part of the Dissenters, it tended likewise to produce harmony in the country, and place the Church Establishment in greater security. Why should they go on, year after year, having these squabbles in vestries about the levying of Church-rates? The Church might in one place gain a victory, and lose in another. Where it might get a majority of 250 to 240, in another place they might get 1,020 to 960, or some such number. They might be at the moment proud of these victories, but they might depend upon it, that if the Church chose to foment these dissensions, if they were proud of these victories, these very victories, instead of giving security to the Church, were undermining its foundations, they were compelling many Churchmen to coincide and combine with the Dissenters, and those who now professed to support the Church might, at another time, regret that they had not adopted the scheme proposed by his Majesty's Ministers, He had stated the object for which this measure was proposed, and he would only add, for himself and his colleagues, that having done their duty, they would rest satisfied with the part they had performed.

Mr. A. Johnstone

, after the explanation of the right hon. Baronet opposite, would not interfere with the House coming at once to a direct vote on this question. He begged, therefore, with the permission of the House, to withdraw his amendment.

The House divided on the original resolution:—Ayes 287; Noes 282: Majority 5.

List of the AYES.
Acheson, Viscount Butler, hon. P.
Adam, Sir C. Buxton, F.
Aglionby, H. A. Byng, George
Ainsworth, P. Byng, G.
Alston, Rowland Callaghan, G.
Andover, Viscount Campbell, Sir J.
Angerstein, John Campbell, W. F.
Anson, Colonel Carter, B.
Anson, Sir George Cave, R. O.
Astley, Sir Jacob, bt. Cavendish, hon. C.
Attwood, T. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Bagshaw, John Cayley, E. S.
Bainbridge, E. T. Chalmers, P.
Baines, E. Chapman, M. L.
Baldwin, Dr. Chetwynd, Captain
Ball, N. Chichester, J. P. B.
Bannerman, Alex. Churchill, Lord C.
Barclay, D. Clay, W.
Baring, F. T. Clayton, Sir W.
Barnard, E. G. Clements, Viscount
Barron, H. W. Clive, Edward Bolton
Barry, G. S. Codrington, Sir E.
Belfast, Earl of Collier, John
Bentinck, Lord W Collins, W.
Berkeley, hon. F. Conyngham, Lord A.
Berkeley, hon. G. C. Cookes, T. H.
Berkeley, hon. C. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Bernal, Ralph Crawford, W. S.
Bewes, T. Crawford, W.
Biddulph, Robert Crawley, S
Blake, M. J. Crompton, Samuel
Blunt, Sir C. Curteis, H. B.
Bodkin, J. Curteis, Edward B.
Bowes, John Dalmeny, Lord
Bowring, Dr. Denison, W. J.
Brady, D. C. Denison, John E.
Bridgman, H. Denistoun, A.
Brocklehurst, J. D'Eyncourt, C. T.
Brodie, W. B. Dillwyn, L. W.
Brotherton, J. Divett, E.
Browne, R. D. Donkin, Sir R.
Buckingham, J. S. Duncombe, T.
Buller, C. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Buller, E. Dundas, hon. T.
Bulwer, H. L. Dundas, J. D.
Bulwer, Edw. L. Dunlop, J:
Burdon, W. Ebrington, Viscount
Burton, Henry Edwards, Colonel
Ellice, right hon. Maher, J.
Ellice, E. Mangles, J.
Elphinstone, H. Marshall, William
Etwall, R. Marsland, Henry
Evans, G. Martin, T.
Ewart, W. Maule, hon. F.
Fellowes, N. Melgund, Viscount
Fenton, John Methuen, Paul
Fergus, J. Molesworth, Sir W.
Ferguson, Sir R. Moreton, A.
Ferguson, Robert Morpeth, Viscount
Fergusson, R. C. Morrison, J.
Finn, W. F. Mostyn, hon. E. L.
Fitzgibbon, hon. R. Mullins, hon. F. W.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Murray, J. A.
Fitzsimon, Chris. Musgrave, Sir R., bt.
Fleetwood, Peter H. Nagle, Sir R.
Folkes, Sir W. O'Brien, W. S.
Fort, John O'Connell, D.
French, F. O'Connell, J.
Gaskell, Daniel O'Connell, M. J.
Gillon, W. D. O'Connell, Morgan
Gisborne, T. O'Conor Don
Gordon, Robert O'Ferrall, R. M.
Grattan, J. Oliphant, L.
Grattan, Henry Old, W. H.
Grey, Sir Geo., bart. Paget, Frederick
Grote, G. Palmer, General
Guest, J. J. Palmerston, Viscount
Gully, J. Parker, J.
Hall, B. Parnell, Sir H.
Handley, Henry Parrott, J.
Harland, Wm. Chas. Pattison, J.
Harvey, D. W. Pease, J.
Hastie, A. Pechell, Captain R.
Hawes, B. Pendarves, E. W.
Hawkins, J. H. Philips, Mark
Hay, Sir A. L. Philips, G. R.
Heathcoat, J. Phillips, C. M.
Hector, C. J. Pinney, W.
Hindley, C. Ponsonby, J.
Hobhouse, Sir J. C. Potter, R.
Hodges, T. L. Poulter, John Sayer
Hodges, T. T. Power, James
Holland, E. Power, John
Howard, R. Poyntz, Wm. Stephen
Howard, Philip Hen. Price, Sir Robert
Howick, Viscount Pryme, George
Hume, J. Pryse, Pryse
Humphery, John Ramsbottom, John
Hurst, R. H. Rice, right hon. T. S.
Hutt, W. Rippon, Cuthbert
James, William Robarts, A. W.
Jephson, C. D. O. Robinson, G. R.
Jervis, John Roche, W.
Labouchere, H. Roebuck, John A.
Lambton, Hedworth Rolfe, Sir R.
Lee, John Lee Rooper, J. Bonfoy
Lefevre, C. S. Rundle, John
Lennard, T. B. Russell, Lord John
Leveson, Lord Russell, Lord
Lister, E. C. Russell, Lord Charles
Lushington, Dr. S. Ruthven, E.
Lynch, A. H. Scholefield, J.
Macleod, R. Scott, James W.
Macnamara, Major Scrope, G. P.
Mactaggart, J. Seale, Colonel
Seymour, Lord Villiers, Charles P.
Sharpe, General Vivian, J. H.
Sheil, Richard L. Wakley, T.
Simeon, Sir R. G. Walker, C. A.
Smith, J. A. Warburton, H.
Smith, hon. R. Ward, H. G.
Smith, R. V. Wason, R.
Smith, B. Wemyss, Captain
Speirs, Alexander Westenra, hon. H. R.
Stanley, W. O. Westenra, J. C.
Stewart, P. M. Whalley, Sir S.
Stuart, Lord J. White, Samuel
Stuart, V. Wigney, Isaac N.
Strangways, hon. J. Wilbraham, G.
Strutt, E. Wilde, Serjeant
Talbot, C. R. M. Wilks, John
Talbot J. Hyacinth Williams, W.
Talfourd, Sergeant Williams, W. A.
Tancred, H. W. Williams, Sir J.
Thomson, C. P. Winnington, H. J.
Thompson, Paul B. Wood, C.
Thornley, Thomas Wood, Alderman
Tooke, W. Worsley, Lord
Trelawney, Sir W. Woulfe, Sergeant
Troubridge, Sir T. Wrightson, W.
Tulk, C. A. Wyse, Thomas
Turner, W.
Tynte, C. J. K. TELLERS.
Verney, Sir H., bart. Stanley, Edward J.
Vigors, N. A. Steuart, R.
List of the NOES.
Agnew, Sir A. Bruce, C. L. C.
Alford, Viscount Bruen, Colonel
Alsager, Captain Bruen, F.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Buller, Sir J. B. Yarde
Archdall, M. Burdett, Sir Francis
Ashley, Viscount Burrell, Sir C. M.
Ashley, hon. H. Campbell, Sir H.
Attwood, M. Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.
Bagot, hon. W. Cartwright, W. R.
Bailey, J. Castlereagh, Viscount
Baillie, H. D. Chandos, Marquess
Balfour, T. Chaplin, Colonel
Barclay, C. Chapman, Aaron
Baring, F. Chichester, A.
Baring, H. Bingham Chisholm, A.
Baring, W. B. Clive, hon. R. H.
Baring, T. Codrington, C. W.
Bateson, Sir R. Cole, A. H.
Beckett, Sir J. Cole, Viscount
Bell, M. Compton, H. C.
Bentinck, Lord G. Conolly, E. M.
Beresford, Sir J. P. Cooper, E.
Bethell, Richard Coote, Sir C.
Blackburne, John L. Copeland, W. T.
Blackstone, W. S. Corry, hon. H. T. L.
Boldero, Henry G. Crewe, Sir G., bart.
Bolling, William Cripps, Joseph
Bonham, R. Francis Dalbiac, Sir C.
Borthwick, Peter Damer, D.
Bradshaw, James Darlington, Earl of
Bramston, T. W. Dick, Q.
Broadwood, H. Dottin, Abel Rous
Brownrigg, S. Duffield, Thomas
Bruce, Lord E. Dugdale, W. S.
Dunbar, George Ingham, R.
Duncombe, hon. A. Inglis, Sir R. H.
East, J. B. Irton, Samuel
Eastnor, Viscount Jackson, Sergeant
Eaton, Richard J. Jermyn, Earl of
Egerton, Sir P. Johnstone, Sir J.
Elley, Sir J. Johnstone, J. J. H.
Elwes, J. Jones, Wilson
Estcourt, T. G. Jones, T.
Estcourt, T. Kearsley, J. H.
Farrand, R. Kerrison, Sir Edw.
Feilden. W. Kirk, P.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Ferguson, G. Knightley, Sir C.
Finch, George Law, hon. C. E.
Fitzroy, H. Lawson, Andrew
Fleming, John Lees, J. F.
Foley, Edw. Thomas Lefroy, Anthony
Follett, Sir W. Lefroy, Thomas
Forbes, William Lemon, Sir C.
Forester, hon. G. Lennox, Lord G.
Forster, C. S. Lennox, Lord A.
Fox, Charles Lewis, David
Freshfield, James W. Lincoln, Earl of
Gaskell, Jas. Milnes Long, Walter
Geary, Sir W. R. P. Longfield, R.
Gladstone, T. Lopez, Sir R.
Gladstone, Wm. E. Lowther, Col. H. C.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Lowther, Viscount
Goodricke, Sir F. Lowther, J. H.
Gordon, hon. W. Lucas, Edward
Gore, W. Ormsby Lushington, S. R.
Goring, H. D. Lygon, hon. General
Goulburn, H. Mackenzie, T.
Goulburn, Sergeant Mackinnon, W. A.
Graham, Sir J. Maclean, Donald
Grant, hon. Colonel Mahon, Viscount
Greene, Thomas Manners, Lord C.
Greisley, Sir R. Martin, J.
Grimston, Viscount Mathew, Captain
Grimston, hon. E. H. Maunsel, T. P.
Hale, R. B. Meynell, Captain
Halford, H. Miles, W.
Halse, James Miles, P. J.
Hamilton, Geo. Alex. Miller, Wm. Henry
Hamilton, Lord C. Mordaunt, Sir J., bt.
Hanmer, Henry Morgan, Chas., M. R.
Hanmer, Sir J. Mosley, Sir O., bart.
Harcourt, G. G. Neeld, Joseph
Harcourt, G. S. Neeld, John
Hardinge, Sir H. Nicholl, Dr.
Hardy, J. Noel, Sir G.
Hawkes, T. Norreys, Lord
Hayes, Sir E. S., bart. O'Neill, General
Henniker, Lord Ossulston, Lord
Herbert, hon. Sidney Owen, Sir John, bart.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Owen, Hugh
Hillsborough, Earl of Packe, C. W.
Hinde, J. H. Palmer, Robert
Hogg, James Weir Palmer, George
Hope, hon. James. Parker, M.
Hope, Henry T. Patten, John Wilson
Hotham, Lord Peel, Sir R., bart.
Houldsworth, T. Peel, Colonel J.
Houston, G. Peel, Edmund
Hoy, James Barlow Pelham, hon. C.
Hughes, Hughes Pemberton, Thomas
Penruddocke, J. H. Stuart, Lord D.
Perceval, Col. Stormont, Viscount
Pigot, Robert Sturt, Henry Chas.
Plumptre, J. P. Tennent, J. E.
Polhill, Captain F. Thomas, Colonel
Pollen, Sir J., bart. Tollemache, hon. A.
Pollington, Viscount Townley, R. G.
Pollock, Sir F. Townsend, Lord J.
Powell, Colonel Trench, Sir F.
Praed, Winthrop M. Trevor, hon. A.
Price, S. G. Trevor, Hon. G.
Price, Richard Twiss, H.
Pringle, A. Tyrrell, Sir J.
Pusey, P. Vere, Sir C. B.
Rae, Sir Wm., bart. Verner, Colonel
Reid, Sir J. R. Vesey, hon. T.
Richards, John Vyvyan, Sir R.
Richards, Richard Wall, C. B.
Rickford, William Walpole, Lord
Ross, Charles Walter, John
Rushbrooke, Colonel Welby, G. E.
Rushout, B. Weyland, Major
Russell, C. Whitmore, Thomas C.
Sanderson, R. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Sandon, Viscount Williams, Robert
Scarlett, hon. R. Williams, T. P.
Scourfield, W. H. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Shaw, right hon. F. Wilson, H.
Sheppard, T. Wodehouse, E.
Shirley, E. J. Wood, Colonel
Sibthorp, Col. Wortley, hon. J.
Sinclair, Sir George Wyndham, Wadham
Smith, A. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Smith, T. A. Yorke, E. T.
Smyth, Sir H., bart Young, G. F.
Somerset, Lord E. Young, J.
Somerset, Lord G. Young, Sir W.
Spry, Sir S. TELLERS.
Stanley, E. Freemantle, Sir T.
Stanley, Lord Clerk, Sir G.
Stewart, John
Paired off.
Barneby, John Beauclerk, Major
Calcraft, J. H. Bellew, Sir P.
Charlton, E. L. Brabazon, Sir W.
Clive, Viscount Childers, J. W.
Corbett, T. G. Dobbin, L.
Dowdeswell, W. Fazakerly, N.
Duncombe, hon. W. Fielden, John
Egerton, W. T. Fitzsimon, N.
Egerton, Lord F. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Fancourt, Major Hallyburton, Lord D.
Hay, Sir J. Heneage, E.
Hill, Sir R. Horsman, E.
Ker, D. Loch, J.
Knight, Henry Galley O'Brien, Cornelius
Mandeville, Viscount Ponsonby, hon. W.
Marsland, T. Roche, D.
Maxwell, H. Sanford, E.
Plunket, H. R. Tracy, C. H.
Ryle, J. Tynte, Colonel
Scott, Lord J. Vivian, Major
Wynn, Sir W. W. Walker, R.
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