HC Deb 23 July 1838 vol 44 cc495-546

House in Committee on the Tithes (Ireland) Bill.

On the first Clause,

Lord John Russell

proposed to omit it, and substitute for it a clause declaring, that the right of all persons to tithes, or to composition of tithes which had already accrued, or which might hereafter accrue, should cease and determine, &c.

On the amendment being put,

Sir R. Peel

rose and said, Sir, I have an amendment to propose to the clause which the noble Lord has moved should be substituted in lieu of the first clause of the bill, and which has been just read from the Chair. The noble Lord's substitute clause proposes, that the rights of all persons to tithes and compositions for tithes which have already accrued, or which may hereafter accrue, shall altogether cease and determine. The effect of this proposition would be to give a legislative extinction to all tithes, or arrears of tithes, that have already accrued. With respect to the extinction of all right to tithes which may hereafter accrue, I do not so much object to that part of the proposition, for Parliament proposes to give as a substitute in lieu thereof, a permanent and secure rent-charge. But, Sir, I very much doubt the policy of extinguishing all right to tithes which may have heretofore accrued. At the same time, when I say this, I fully feel the difficulties by which the subject is environed, and I agree in the desire, so far as not to violate any principles, to make a final and satisfactory settlement of this question by the legislative extinction of tithes. I agree in the noble Lord's proposition that a sum should be applied to the extinction of all arrears of tithe, and, that it should be a definite sum. I am satisfied with the proposal of the noble Lord, that a sum of 300,000l. should be applied to the liquidation of those arrears. That sum is to be composed of the remainder of the million, namely, 268,000l., and over which the noble Lord has absolute control, and of 40,000l., which the noble Lord expects to be able to make up from the recovery of the amount of claims still due by solvent parties. The noble Lord then proposes, that that sum, which for the sake of clearness, I shall assume to be 300,000l., shall be together applied to the liquidation, exclusively of the arrears of 1836 and of 1837. On these parties to whom the arrears for these two years are due, receiving their portion of the amount to be applied to this purpose, the provision of the noble Lord's clause is, that then and thereafter, the claims to arrears of all persons being tithe-owners should be extinguished by law. Now I very much doubt the justice, as well as the policy, of that proposition. In the first place let us take the case of an incumbent who vacated his living at the commencement of 1836, and who had claims for arrears for 1834 and 1835. Now, would not the peculiar force of this case be considerably augmented if it should appear, that such an incumbent had forborne to enforce these claims from a desire to wait until he should be enabled to understand what opinion Parliament would express with respect to the final settlement of this question. Well, then, let us take another case. Let us take the case of a widow whose husband died at the commencement of 1836, and who had unsatisfied claims for arrears of tithes that accrued in the years, 1834 and 1835. Now, would it not be unjust that this party, without having received any kind of compensation whatever, should be deprived of her undoubted legal right to recover the amount of these unsatisfied claims? Indeed, Sir, I must repeat, that I very much doubt the policy as well as the justice that persons who at present are in the possession of legal rights to enforce the recovery of debts due to them, shall by your enactment, be deprived of those rights, and lose the power of recovering the debts due to them, for no other reason than that other persons, who had no better claims, should be enabled to receive a proportion of what was due to them for two years. Why, what was it more than this, that one party whose claims related to two antecedent years should, without any compensation or consideration whatever, lose all claims, and be deprived of their legal rights on the payment to other parties of arrears or compensation in lieu of arrears which related to the two subsequent years of 1836 and 1837.? I doubt the policy of your declaring as you do by this clause, that under no circumstances in future shall tithes be enforced. That no matter how solvent a debtor may be—that no matter how contumacious, vexatious, or obstinate the resistance to the payment of these claims may have been, you are by your legislative act to declare this resistance successful, and that neither the titheowner nor the Executive Government shall hereafter be enabled to enforce the payment of these arrears. I fully agree that Parliament must interfere for the settlement, of these arrears by a specific grant of a sum of money, which sum, I agree, should be that which the noble Lord proposes to apply to this object. I also agree in the propriety that Parliament should clearly understand what amount of pecuniary burthen should be placed on the United Kingdom for the settlement of this question. I do not call upon the Government to make any proposal that the amount of arrears, which amount is indefinite, should be paid in the proportion of 75 per cent. or of 60 per cent. This would not be a reasonable expectation to entertain, that the Government should make an indefinite proposition of this kind. The amount of arrears being unascertained and indefinite, were such a proposition made, the sum applied for their liquidation would be indefinite also. It seems to me reasonable that Parliament should only be called upon to grant a definite sum; but that Parliament should ascertain what proportion this sum would bear to the arrears, and that an option should be given to the party to whom the arrears are due to accept or reject the terms offered by the Government. I would also propose that in every case where the offer was accepted, the Government should inherit the right of the tithe-owner, and should be left the power to determine whether they would enforce the payment of the amount due by the debtor or not. By the adoption of my proposition you will save two principles. You will avoid violation of the rights of property, which will not be the case if the proposal of the noble Lord, in its present state, be carried into effect. I do not think it is fair, that you should force parties to accept certain sums in lieu of existing rights. I can understand that you may fairly say to a party, "We offer you a certain sum in lieu of your existing rights—we make that compensation as liberal as we can—you may refuse it if you like; but we warn you, if you do that, you must expect great difficulty in the recovery of those arrears. You may seek to recover them if you choose; and if you take that option, we will do our duty towards you. We will assist you with the aid of the civil power, whenever it be necessary; but you may find it wiser to accept the compensation which we now offer you in lieu of those claims." I can very well understand the fairness of pursuing such a course as this. You would do injustice to no one, because you would leave to every party the power of rejecting or accepting the offer you made them. If they did accept your offer, the object you have in view would be carried into effect without any violation of the rights of property; and if they did not accept your offer, you would leave every party in the situation in which you found them. My own opinion, undoubtedly is, that your offer will be accepted; and that the tithe-owner will consent to accept his proportion of 300,000l. I think, that the opportunity of accepting or refusing that offer should be given. To those who declaim so eloquently, and object so strongly to the application of the public money to any such purposes as this, I very much fear that neither the noble Lord's proposition, nor mine, will be likely to give much satisfaction. It is very easy to talk in this way. It is very easy for hon. Members, who have no connection with Ireland, and who are not acquainted with the condition of things in that country, to get up and say, "Oh, why should not these claims be enforced? Why should not these arrears be recovered, by pressing for the payments on those by whom they are due?" I object to the burthen of such an amount for the settlement of tithes being placed upon this country." It is quite easy to talk in this way. I agree upon this point, that it is easy for hon. Members who have no responsibility, to get up in their places, and declaim in this way; and, after having become warm and eloquent upon the topic, then sit down to enjoy the cheers with which their speeches are applauded. But, Sir, no one can deeply and fully consider this question, without becoming fully sensible of the difficulty of bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion; or without, on the other hand, being convinced of the beneficial consequences that would result from the final settlement of the question on a permanent and satisfactory basis. However, if the advance of 300,000l. would secure the permanent and satisfactory settlement of the Irish tithe question, I firmly believe, in even the narrowest view of the question, that with respect to the pecuniary burthen to be placed on England and Scotland, I say, that I firmly believe, if such a result could be secured, that the peace of Ireland would be cheaply purchased by the payment of 300,000l. Nay, more; if it depended solely on my own wish, I do not hesitate to say, that I would not shrink from even a farther advance if I felt that we could thereby place ourselves upon the threshold of a satisfactory settlement. Because it appears to me, that we are going to place the question on an entirely new footing, and to place the payment of the clergy on a totally different system. Whatever may be the effect, or whatever difference of opinion may be entertained with respect to the Established Church, we are going to place the tithes upon an entirely new footing, and a system altogether new. We are about to place the Irish landlords under an obligation of taking on themselves the support of the clergy of the Established Church. We are going to give to the clergy of the Established Church the most enlarged powers for the protection of their future income, which we have thought fit should be reduced in amount, in consideration of the increased security to be derived from the altered system under which they are placed. We are going to remove the clergy from all contact with the occupier in the relation of tithe-owner and tithe-payer. We all agree, that this is desirable. But then we cannot do this, without first making some just and reasonable provision for the set- tlement of the arrears. Now, in concurring in the necessity of doing this, I can by no means concur in the opinion expressed, a few days ago, by the hon. Member for Southwark, that this is only the first of a series of demands which this country will have to answer on the part of the Irish Church. I by no means think, that any such thing is likely to be the case. Nay, more; I can hardly see the circumstances under which, after what we are doing now, it is possible that there can be a fresh demand on the part of the Irish Church. I will, then, assume, that the sum of 300;000l. is to be applied to the settlement of this question. Our single wish is, to effect that settlement in a satisfactory manner. As I am anxious to do justice to the clergy of the Established Church in Ireland, I would even consent that, within certain limits, the sum of 300,000l. should be still further increased; but under existing circumstances, that is, perhaps, impossible. Whatever is to be the amount, it seems to me that it would be desirable, that the Government should take the additional sum out of the Consolidated Fund. Whatever the sum is to be, let it be at least a definite sum. I believe the noble Lord calculates with certainty, on being able to recover 40,000l., to make up the remainder of the 300,000l. I therefore, think, it would be much better, and give an increased feeling of security, if the Government would advance the whole sum of 300,000l., and hold themselves responsible, or at least should themselves undertake the collection of the 40,000l. which the noble Lord expects to be able to recover. Let them repay the advance of the 40,000l. by applying to that purpose the sums that they expect to recover from the landlords. Let us, then, agree, that the sum of 300,000l. should be the amount advanced by Parliament. My proposal is, that nothing should be done until we first ascertain the amount of the arrears due. I sincerely desire, that we should approach the settlement of this question altogether unprejudiced, and only governed by the consideration of how we may best come to the most satisfactory and beneficial result. I hope hon. Members will be convinced, that by adopting my proposition they will commit no violation of any principle—that they will not interfere with any rights of property; and that my plan, whilst it possesses those advantages, has an equal tendency to the settlement of the question. I propose no appropriation whatever of the money advanced without full preliminary inquiry. As I said before, I would appoint a commission to inquire. Should the expense of a commission form any ground of objection, I do not think there would be the least difficulty in finding persons, sufficiently alive to the interests of the Church, to be willing to undertake those duties if it should so be wished, without compensation. I propose, that three commissioners be appointed; let two of them be appointed by the Government, and let the third be appointed by the Primate of Ireland. Or if this be objected to, let the Government have the appointment of the three commissioners but let it be understood that one is to b' appointed specially to watch over the ineterests of the Established Church. I would then propose that these commissioners should proceed to inquire into, and to review the whole subject of arrears of tithes; that they should collect information with respect to the amount of arrears now due, not alone the arrears due on account of 1836 and 1837, but likewise of the arrears due on account of 1834 and 1835. I would propose, that the amount due for all the years should be stated, and that the commissioners should class those arrears under different heads—that those of 1834 should be classed by themselves, and so on for each year, down to the arrears of 1837, thus including in this way each of the four years, for which the arrears are due. I would also propose, that the commissioners should mention in their report any special circumstances connected with any particular portion of those arrears, that those matters of a special nature might afterwards be taken into consideration. After the commissioners had ascertained the amount of the arrears, and what proportion was due for each year, I would then propose, that the money advanced should be applied, not for the liquidation of the arrears of any one or two years, but that it should embrace within its scope the whole of the four years. I would not apply the same principle to the whole of the arrears, but I would not exclude the whole or any part thereof from the benefit of the compensation, not of course giving the same amount of compensation with respect to 1834 and 1835, as with respect to those of 1836 and 1837. There may be cases in which many of the clergy suffered those arrears to accrue from a forbearance on their parts, and from a wish to avoid the introduction of causes of disturbance or agitation into their parishes. With respect to these cases I will now say nothing, but propose that the commissioners should ascertain the facts, and should in their report suggest for future consideration the principles on which repayment should be made. I would, moreover, propose, that the plans suggested by the commissioners should not be binding until they should have received the sanction of Parliament. Nothing would then remain to be done in this respect, but that the 300,000l. should be divided on such principles as would appear to be most consistent with justice for the settlement of those arrears. Now, as to the offer of compensation, it is my firm belief, that in nine cases out of ten, the offers would be accepted, and that without any violation of the principles of property, we should be enabled to arrive at a satisfactory settlement of the tithe question. To come now to another point of the noble Lord's proposal. The noble Lord proposes, that in paying the arrears for the two last years, the right to the recovery of all arrears which had previously accrued should altogether cease, and be entirely forfeited. Now, surely, there would be no justice whatever in that proceeding. We could introduce or promulgate no more dangerous principle than that of acknowledging a claim and denying a remedy. The claim becomes at once extinguished if the remedy be taken away. You make an advance of money, the distribution of which is to be confined to particular parties, and though you declare your intention to extinguish the rights of other clergymen, you say that they are to receive no compensation whatever. Now, surely, no one can attempt to say that this is justice. Take the case of a clergyman, who, at great expense, and by great trouble and exertions, brought his claims for the arrears due to him in the two antecedent years to a successful issue, but though he had succeeded in placing them on this footing, had himself received no benefit. Well, he dies, or is transferred to another parish. A new incumbent comes in in 1837, and reaps the whole benefit of the exertions of his predecessors. You then give this new incumbent all the benefit of your compensation, whilst his predecessor, the benefit of whose exertions he has reaped, gets nothing in respect of the arrears relating to the two antecedent years. You say to the representatives of this man—"We will give nothing whatever to you—this Parliament has determined to take away your legal rights—we will give you nothing to compensate you, but we will take care to deprive you of the power to enforce your undoubted and acknowledged claims." This, let me warn you, is a dangerous principle to introduce into legislation, and is as applicable to every other claim, no matter what its nature, as it is to the payment of these arrears. It is saying to any man whose rights you take away—"You must make a sacrifice for the benefit of the public, but we will take care that the whole burthen of that sacrifice shall fall exclusively upon yourself." There are many instances in which you may apply the same principle on the same grounds. It would be easy to show, if that principle were recognised in our legislation, that no property would be safe. As to what should be really done, my proposal comprises the whole case and meets every difficulty. I would include the tithes of 1834, as well as those of 1837. I certainly might feel it right to allot a smaller sum to him to whom arrears were due from 1834, than to the individual whose arrears had accrued in 1836 or 1837. As I said before, I believe, if, as I think you ought, you were to give the option, that in most cases your offer would be accepted. You might, if you thought it necessary, contract the time during which the option should be given. I was represented to have said on a former occasion that fifty per cent would be an adequate compensation. I have since got several letters from Ireland stating that fifty per cent. was too little. But I have this difficulty to deal with—the sum to be appropriated to this purpose is definite, whilst the amount of the arrears is indefinite; so that I only know one part of the question. It strikes me, however, that the proportion between the arrears and the sum advanced for compensation, may enable you to offer fifty per cent. for the arrears of the two first years, and sixty-five per cent. for the arrears of the two last years. I have this to observe, that in case your offer is refused by some of the parties the more will remain to be divided amongst those who accept your proposal. Parties will consider whether it is not better to ac- cept the offer of the Government than to bear the burthen of enforcing their own rights. I am firmly convinced that before three months, most of the parties to whom these arrears are due, would be anxious to get instead of them a net advance from the public funds. But even if they did not accept your offer, I believe that such a plan would be equally successful if you carry into effect the amendment which I now have the honour to submit to the consideration of the House. My amendment is this. In the fifth line of the clause which the noble Lord proposes to substitute for the first clause of the Bill, I propose after the word "accrue" to insert words to the effect, that the rights of all persons to compositions for tithes, or arrears of tithes, shall, in the cases hereafter mentioned, vest in her Majesty, and that the rights of all persons to tithes to be hereafter due, shall altogether cease and determine. If the words I propose, be adopted, it will imply that in certain cases, to be hereafter more fully and specially mentioned, if the offer made to the tithe-owners shall be accepted, the existing right of tithes should be transferred from the clergy to her Majesty's Government. It would rest in their hands then to determine whether or not these claims should be extinguished; but in any case, unless compensation was given, I contend that the rights of parties ought not to be interfered with. My proposal does not involve a greater advance of the public money than that of the noble Lord. The sum proposed to be granted, will be sufficient, as far as I can at present see. The sum to be devoted to this purpose is subordinate to the greater and more important consideration of what is the best mode to settle this question with a view to securing the peace of Ireland, and also without violating any great public principle, or the rights of property. Keeping before our minds the great principles which should ever guide our legislation, our duty is to consider what is the best mode in which we can come to a final and permanent settlement of this question. It is of the deepest importance that whatever settlement we make should be satisfactory, and that, whilst we secure the peace of Ireland, we should endeavour to place on a proper basis the interests of the Church. I sincerely hope that neither my proposition, nor that of the noble Lord, will be rejected on the ground which was put forward the other night, namely, that the Protestant Church in Ireland is on a rotten foundation. I cannot help saying, that I heard with deep regret that speech of the noble Lord (Viscount Howick) having a tendency to produce excitement and alarm amongst the friends of the Established Church in Ireland. I can very well understand the grounds on which the noble Lord felt it consistent to abandon the appropriation principle, but having abandoned that principle of appropriation, why did the noble Lord think it becoming in him to make a declaration which would excite alarm and agitation in Ireland, and which was calculated to prevent, so far as the declaration of a Minister could prevent, the success of the measure which the noble Lord himself had brought forward. For my part, Sir, it is my sincere belief, and my strong conviction, that the Established Church will be maintained in Ireland. I believe it absolutely essential to its maintenance that the limited provision now about to be made for the support of its clergy, should continue to be made. I consider, indeed, that after the deductions from the income of that Church which Parliament has decided on making, that there will not remain more than is barely sufficient to maintain the clergy in that decent comfort which is necessary to the performance of their ecclesiastical duties. I am at the same time certain, that you will never reconcile the people of Ireland to the continuance of that Church by merely providing that ten per cent. shall be deducted from the amount of the revenues of the Church, and still less will you succeed in that end by declaring that an indefinite and unascertained surplus which may probably accrue at a period some forty years hence shall hereafter be applied to the purposes of education. I think it much better that that sum which is the property of the Church should be appropriated to the support of the ministers of that Church. Depend upon it, the noble Lord will be no more able to maintain the principle which he propounded the other night, than he was able to maintain the appropriation principle. The noble Lord says, that if he pushed his principle to its legitimate extent, that he ought to go further. Why, possibly in the declaration he made, we may find some clue to the interpretation of that principle. It would be better that the noble Lord should at once, and above board, tell us what is the conclusion of his principle, and what is the ultimate limit of its application. I tell the noble Lord, that I consider that his principle, if brought to its legitimate conclusion would be nothing more nor less than establishing the religion of the majority, and of transferring the wealth and influence of the minority to the support of the Church of the majority. If this be the legitimate conclusion of the noble Lord's principle, let me tell him, that no intermediate arrangement will give him any chance of such a settlement. What is the security that we hold for the maintenance of the Established Church. It is a fundamental principle of our constitution that the Protestant religion should be established as the religion of the State. In addition to this we had a guarantee at the time of the Union of Ireland with Great Britain that the Protestant Church should be maintained in its integrity as the Established Church of that country. And mark you, this guarantee was given at a time when, whatever anomalies existed in that country were as well known as they are now, and when the disproportion between the Catholics and Protestant inhabitants of Ireland was as well known as it is at present. Well, then, at the time of the Union we were given an additional guarantee, that the Protestant Church should be maintained as the Church of the State. We had besides this the moral guarantee that ought to be held binding by the parties who gave it, and who assumed at the time, that the removal of the civil disabilities of the Roman Catholics was perfectly consistent with the maintenance of the Protestant faith as the established faith, and with the maintenance of the Protestant Church as the Established Church of the country. In every thing that we did we always took care to maintain that principle. If you ask me to depart from that principle, I say I will not consent to do so, because you now assume a new position. I will not consent, no matter what may be the disparity of numbers, that the Protestant religion shall be maintained as the established religion of that country. I will insist that there shall be a sufficient provision to support the episcopal dignity of that Church, and to maintain its Clergy in decent comfort. This is a position which I can understand, and this is a position which I think I can maintain. You say let four- fifths of the property of the Church be applied to the use of the Church, but let one-fifth be appropriated somewhere else and applied to some other purpose. I said when you made such proposal, that I never would give my consent to any such proceeding—that if I consented I should only weaken my title without acquiring any additional security. I believe, that the maintenance of this great principle is of the deepest importance—I mean the principle of maintaining the Established Church. I don't think that you will ever approach a satisfactory settlement of this question if you go the length of pushing the noble Lord's principle to its legitimate conclusion, and establishing the Roman Catholic religion as the religion of the State. I don't believe, that by pursuing such a course as this you will stand much chance of making a satisfactory settlement of Irish questions. I think, on the contrary, that you will only open fresh causes for discontent and excitement, and, instead of a satisfactory settlement of Irish questions, you will lose all chance of securing satisfaction, and establishing the settlement of these questions on a satisfactory basis. If you take such a course as that to which I have adverted, you will run the imminent risk of renewing in fresh activity those dreadful contests of religious opinions which have heretofore existed, and which it has been the object of Parliament to extinguish. In expressing my determination to maintain the Established Church, I adopt the principles that were settled at the Revolution—those principles which were further recognised and confirmed by the Act of Union, and additionally guaranteed and strengthened at successive times by every promise and pledge that Parliament could give. I repeat, that whilst I admit the perfect equality of civil rights in all classes in the State, and whilst I would remove any disability and extinguish every distinction, I consider it to be a fundamental part of the constitution of this country, and a principle intimately identified with its welfare, that the Protestant Church shall always continue to be maintained as the established religion of the State. In conclusion I will say that, after we have made every reasonable concession with respect to the amount of tithes in Ireland, the remaining amount of tithe, or of the revenue substituted in lieu thereof, should be solely and exclusively applied to the sup- port of the ministers of that religion, which I trust we shall ever feel it one of the highest duties to maintain as the established religion of the State. The right hon. Baronet concluded by proposing an amendment, to insert after the word "accrued" words "due in Ireland shall, in the case hereinafter mentioned, be vested in her Majesty, her heirs, and successors, and that the rights of all persons in and to all tithes or compositions for tithes:" that the rights of all parties to recover arrears of tithes should be maintained, and that where parties consented to accept the terms proposed by the Government, the right of all such parties should be transferred to, and vest in, the Government.

Lord John Russell

commenced by observing that the right hon. Baronet, in pursuance of the plan stated by him to the House a few evenings ago, had now brought forward a proposition, differing in some respects from that suggested by the Government, but still proposing by not very dissimilar means to put an end to those contests which yet continued to arise in Ireland with respect to arrears of tithes. In the observations which he should make he would confine himself exclusively to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet; without going again into the plan proposed by the Government he would state what he felt with regard to the amendment, and then leave it entirely to the Committee to decide which course of proceeding they thought would be most conformable as well with the justice of the case as with the final and satisfactory settlement of the question. The right hon. Baronet had stated two points which he (Lord J. Russell) considered of minor importance, and one which he thought of very great importance with respect to the sum of money now to be advanced. The right hon. Baronet said, that the Government proposal only went the length of paying the arrears of tithes for the last two years, and that it did not include the arrears of the years 1834 and 1835. The reason of that distinction was, that when the proposal was originally submitted to the House it was stated, that only the arrears of the last two years were to be taken, and that former years were to be considered as years during which it was not likely that arrears could be collected. At the same time there were, no doubt, cases—special cases, particular and indi- vidual cases—to which it might be desirable that a part of this sum should be applied. He should not propose, however, to alter his general proposition, although, if he understood the right hon. Baronet's suggestion correctly, the only difference would he, whether the 300,000l., supposing it to be 300,000l., should be partaken in by persons who had a claim for arrears in the years 1834 and 1835. The next point was, with regard to the making up the sum of 300,000l., and not leaving it, as the Government proposed, at 260,000l. He had an objection to the right hon. Baronet's proposition upon that point, although it was not upon the ground, that the state would be any loser by adopting the alteration; on the contrary, he thought the sum collected would exceed 300,000l. Therefore, if the question were merely one of money, he thought, that by fixing the sum at 300,000l. the state would be rather a gainer than a loser by the change. But the sum of 260,000l. was originally taken upon this ground, and it was a ground that had considerable effect upon the House, namely, that the original grant was 1,000,000l., and that 260,000l. was the balance or remainder of that 1,000,000l., which as yet remained unappropriated. As the intention of Parliament was to grant 1,000,000l., and as a part only of that sum had been actually expended, it was assumed that the Legislature might very fairly make up the remainder for the sake of carrying out the original design. But the House and the country he apprehended would be impatient of any proposition for a fresh grant of money for that purpose. It was upon that ground, therefore, more than upon any ground of anticipated loss to the public, that he should oppose the proposition for fixing the sum at 300,000l. instead of 260,000l. But the main alteration proposed by the right hon. Baronet was, that instead of at once extinguishing all arrears up to the time when that act should come into operation, it should be left optional to the clergymen to accept the sum offered in payment of arrears or not; and the ground upon which the right hon. Baronet suggested the alteration was, that it would be saving a great principle, and paying due regard to the rights of the Church. He thought that that was a delusion. He thought that in making this grant and giving this compen- sation to the owners of tithes—it being understood that in such cases the arrears of tithes were not to be collected—he thought that by taking that course, they did in fact indemnify those who owed arrears of tithes against any further demand for the payment of them. It might be very true that that intention was not expressed in words, but it was certainly very strongly implied. It must be supposed either that the majority of the clergy would accept this money as a compensation for their arrears, or that they would not accept it. If the majority did not accept it, then the whole benefit and value of the grant would be lost, and all the irritation, discontent, and discord, which existed in Ireland upon the subject of these arrears would continue. If, on the contrary, the majority of the clergy should accept the proffered compensation, then in the majority of cases throughout the whole of the country the payment of arrears of tithes would be forgiven. Consider, then, the situation of the clergyman who had refused the compensation, and who endeavoured, under such a clause as that proposed by the right hon. Baronet, to enforce his right, and collect the arrears due to him. What would the condition of such a clergyman be, and how would he be regarded by the people? Suppose a case. Here was a man to whom there were due 200l. for arrears of tithe in 1836 and 1837. The compensation proposed to be given to him would probably amount only to about 50 per cent., that would be 100l. It might so happen, that during these two years the maintenance of his family, and other necessary expenses, would have led him to incur debts to the amount of 150l. A man in that position might, and perhaps with no great unfairness, and with no great intended harshness on his part, say, "What I owe is 150l., the compensation proposed to be given to me is only 100l. I think perhaps, if I were to collect the arrears due to me, I might succeed in obtaining seventy-five per cent., which would just set me clear." That would be a very natural course for a man so situated to adopt; but what would be said of him? Would it not be as natural for his parishioners to say, "Do not expect to obtain your arrears from us. We find that the arrears of all our neighbours have been forgiven, because the clergymen of these parishes have accepted the gratuity of Parliament. Why do not you do the same? At all events, do not expect from us the payment of a tax from which our neighbours have been exempted." Did not every one feel that that was the language which would be held? Therefore, although by the right hon. Baronet's amendment the clergyman might be said to have a choice, yet, in point of fact, he would have no choice at all; because, if the great mass of the clergy should accept the grant, it would hardly be in the power—certainly it would be very invidious, if not dangerous—of any clergyman to reject it, and endeavour to enforce his right by the collection of the arrears due to him. Would it not be better to say, "We will in fact, as well as in words, put an end to these claims," than to leave the matter open to future dispute? Would it not be better to adopt a principle which should be uniform and conclusive in its operation than one which, whilst it gave content and harmony to villages A and B, should plunge C into all the horrors of riot and bloodshed? As he thought that the latter would be the effect of the right hon. Baronet's proposition as compared with that of the Government, he wished the House to consider between the two, and determine which it would adopt. The House would, of course, resolve in favour of that which it deemed best, but for his own part he (Lord John Russell) was very clearly of opinion that, if they were to undertake the matter at all, they ought to do it in such a way as to leave no doubt of the effect of it in settling this question of tithes. The right hon. Baronet, towards the close of his speech, had alluded to this plan as affecting the future welfare of Ireland; and also to some observations which, upon a former occasion, had fallen from his noble Friend (Viscount Howick), and which the right hon. Baronet seemed to consider as indicative of what the future conduct of the Government might be with respect to questions relating to the Established Church in Ireland. He had upon so many occasions stated his opinions with respect to the Church in Ireland, that had it not been for the allusion made by the right hon. Baronet, he should not have thought it necessary to have said anything more upon that subject. But as the right hon. Baronet had so explicitly alluded to the subject, and although he thought it would have been more in accordance with the strongly expressed desire to come to an amicable adjustment of this question, not to have entered upon the topic at all, he would not abstain from stating his general opinions with respect to it. He thought that the proposition made by the Government in 1834 and 1835, that a part of the revenues of the Church in Ireland should be appropriated to the general education of the people, without distinction of religious persuasions, was a very fair, and he thought likely to be a very successful, compromise between the pretensions of different parties in Ireland. That proposition, however, after much discussion, and after being repeatedly rejected, was described by the one party as not giving what they wished with respect to the claims of the Roman Catholics, and by the other party was denounced as tending slowly to the destruction of the Protestant establishment in Ireland. That being the case, and looking at the future condition of the Church in Ireland, while they saw on the one hand, that that Church would be rendered more secure by having its income immediately derived from the owners of the soil, of whom the great majority were Protestants, it was impossible not to see on the other, that there would still remain this great distinction between the established Church in Ireland, and the church establishment of any other country, namely, that the Church establishment of Ireland did not provide for the religious and moral instruction of the great body of the people. It was impossible to hear any bishop or clergyman of the Church of England, either in the pulpit or in political assemblies, defend the established Church of England without at the same time hearing him dilate, and most properly, upon the important advantages derived by the great body of the poorer classes in this country from the Church establishment. It was that of which they of the ecclesiastical body were justly proud; it was that to which they who belonged to the lay body were firmly attached; it was that which gave to the Church established in England the support of the people of England. That consequence did not take place in Ireland; and it was impossible not to see, with the increasing strength and number of the Roman Catholic body, that some reason or other would always be given for the introduction of a change into the ecclesiastical condition of that country. What those changes might be, must depend upon the various views which were entertained by different persons of different political and religious feelings. Those who were in favour of the voluntary principle said, and said naturally, "Let there be no Church establishment in Ireland, Church establishments are indefensible every where, but in Ireland they are peculiarly indefensible. From that principle he need not say he entirely dissented, being strongly in favour of a Church establishment; and being in favour, notwithstanding its anomaly, of a Church establishment in Ireland, seeing not only that it had been founded and protected by the most solemn laws, but seeing, also, that it had established a bond of connection between the two countries. But while he was for maintaining the Church in Ireland, and while he was in favour of the principle of Church establishments generally, he could not but think that, one day or other, before many years had passed, Parliament, unless it were to fall into what he should consider the lamentable error of adopting the voluntary principle, either in Ireland or in any part of the United Kingdom, would come at last to adopt, in some shape or other, the resolution once carried in that House, that the Roman Catholic people of Ireland should have their religious instruction provided by the State. That resolution, if he remembered right, was brought forward by Lord Francis Egerton, and it proposed that a provision should be made by law for the support of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland. He believed, however, that if such a proposition were made now, the whole of the Roman Catholic clergy, and a great body of the Roman Catholic laity, would at once reject it. He believed, also, that the members of the Scotch Church would oppose it, that every Protestant dissenter in the Kingdom would be violently against it, and very probably, that a considerable portion of the members of the Church of England would resist it. Therefore, when he gave it as his opinion, that the time would come when the Roman Catholic clergy would be supported by the State, he was giving utterance to an opinion which he confessed he did not think it very prudent for a person, standing in the situation of a Minister of the Crown, to express. But the question having been so mooted and so commented upon, he felt bound to declare, that if he were to speak of what he thought would be the ultimate state of things in Ireland, if Parliament should at length consent to consider this question of tithes with a view to its final settlement—his opinion was, that while the established Church, with a Moderated revenue, would not be endangered, still the time would come when the Legislature would think, that the teachers and instructors of several millions of people, forming the great majority of the population of Ireland, ought likewise to be paid and supported by the State. He expressed this opinion not because it was in any way necessary to the present question, but simply because his remaining silent after what had been stated by the right hon. Baronet, might give rise to the supposition that he had changed his sentiments, which was far from being the case. His opinions on this point were not now for the first time made known to the House. But he had felt it necessary to re-state them, lest his silence should be construed into a concurrence in some of the principles advocated on a former evening by his noble Friend near him, with whom he did not concur in those principles. When he spoke of the education of the great body of the people in Ireland, he, of course, included the Presbyterians, whose moral and religious instructors were already paid in part by the State. As to the amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, he must oppose it, from a conviction, that the resolution which he proposed would be productive of much more benefit, looking at the present circumstances of Ireland, than the proposition of the right hon. Baronet.

Viscount Howick

observed, that the direct allusions contained in the latter part of the right hon. Baronet's speech, rendered it necessary that he should trouble the House with a few words in explanation of the course which he thought it his duty to take on a former evening, and which, upon further consideration, he still felt he could not justly have refrained from pursuing. The right hon. Baronet had expressed his great regret, that in the position which he had the honour to hold, he should have given utterance to opinions which the right hon. Baronet thought would have a tendency to perpetuate and increase the attacks, that might be made upon the established Church in Ireland. He knew well, from long experience, that when any Member of that House expressed his views as being in support of the feelings of a considerable portion of the community who complained of a grievance, he was invariably charged with exciting and fomenting the dissatisfaction and discontent which he proposed to appease. That was the case at the commencement of the American war; that was the case with respect to the Test and Corporation Act; that was the case with respect to Roman Catholic Emancipation; that was the case with respect to Parliamentary reform: in all these cases the parties who advocated the great principles of justice and conciliation had ever been charged by their opponents in that House with creating and exciting the dissatisfaction which, in his belief, they only gave expression to, and which they laboured to remove iu the only way in which it could be removed. His firm conviction was, that if a grievance really existed, if it were really felt by a considerable portion of the community, there was no necessity for any person in that House to express an opinion in favour of those who felt the grievance, in order to create dissatisfaction. But, on the other hand, if there were not a substantial grievance, he believed, that the most inflammatory harangue, whether from a minister of the Crown or a member of the House, would pass by like the idle wind. With that firm conviction upon his mind, he did not believe, that any injurious result could arise from what he stated the other day. He was convinced that in the nature of things the question to which he referred was one which must at sometime or other come under the consideration of the House. But if he had wanted any proof of the necessity of his stating in the present position of affairs the opinions which he had long entertained—entertained from the first moment that he ever seriously considered public affairs—if he wanted any proof of the necessity of his pursuing that course, the right hon. Baronet had himself that evening afforded it, because the right hon. Baronet had brought it forward as a charge and as a matter of imputation against those who argued in support of Roman Catholic emancipation, that they never stated when that question was under consideration that these further questions with respect to the Protestant Church establishment must also at no distant day arise and force themselves upon the consideration of the Legislature. He had the honour of having a seat in that House three years before the measure of Catholic emancipation, and as he remained silent upon that occasion he might consider himself included in the general charge of concealing and disguising his views and opinions. He could only state that, being then a very young Member of the House, so strong was his impression that these questions affecting the Protestant Church must subsequently arise, that he was most anxious before the Emancipation Bill was carried, to express his opinion to that effect; but he bowed at that time to the opinion of elder Members, and he now regretted that he did so. He believed, that it was always the best, the most honest, and the safest course in that House, upon all questions of such momentary interest, to state clearly and frankly what one's real opinions were. Having that impression strongly imprinted upon his mind, he believed, that if he allowed the bill now under consideration to go out of the House without stating explicitly what were his opinions with respect to its temporary character, he might hereafter be placed in a position that would expose him to the reproach which the right hon. Baronet had that evening applied to those who formerly advocated Roman Catholic emancipation, of disguising ulterior objects, or else of being obliged to take a course contrary to his views of what justice to the Irish people demanded. That was his explanation of the grounds which induced him to come forward the other evening and express the opinions which he entertained upon the subject. He had little more to add, except that when the right hon. Baronet stated his presumption that the legitimate conclusion of the principles he advocated would necessarily be a transfer of the property of the established Church to the Roman Catholic, the right hon. Baronet entirely mistook what, in his opinion, was the legitimate conclusion from those principles. It was impossible, in his opinion, that the existing state of things could continue. It was impossible that the small minority of Episcopal Protestants should retain long an immense Church establishment for their exclusive benefit. The Presbyterians, comprising, as they did, a large proportion of the wealthier classes in Ireland, had also a right to assistance from the State with respect to religious instruction: and, above all, the great bulk of the people, the poorest and most destitute, those who could hardly procure the necessaries of life, should not be left without assistance in acquiring moral and religious instruction. The present was, in fact, a state of things in his opinion so opposed to the obvious dictates of natural justice that it could not permanently continue. He did not hesitate to say, that he for one regretted that at an earlier period of our history the great mistake was made of altering the character of the Church establishment, before the religion of the people was altered. That was a fatal mistake; but he did not think, that that mistake would now be remedied by a transfer of the property of the Protestant Church to the Roman Catholics. With the opinions just uttered by his noble Friend respecting the payment of the Catholic clergy he perfectly concurred; but he did believe, that hereafter it would be found necessary to pay, if not the Catholic clergy, at all events those lay teachers who should be appointed to communicate moral and religious instruction. He believed that ultimately that course would be absolutely necessary. As he said before, he was perfectly convinced that things could not continue in their present position; but how the change was to be brought about was a question on which he thought it would be highly dangerous at that moment to express an opinion. The right hon. Baronet had asked, "Why not now propose your legitimate conclusion?" He would tell the right hon. Baronet fairly his reason: it was, that no proposal of that kind could now be made with the slightest chance of success; and because he thought that the peace of Ireland and of the empire would be best consulted by having the question postponed as long as the people of Ireland would consent. As he stated on a former evening, the longer the inevitable struggle was deferred the better, in his opinion, for both countries. He believed, that by such postponement the cause of justice would have time to gain ground in both countries, and that many who now took views differing from his, would hereafter be brought to another opinion. He should not now be led any further into the subject; he felt that in stating generally what were the grounds on which he had adopted the conclusions to which he had come he had done all that was necessary to protect him hereafter from any charge of double dealing.

Sir R. Peel

said, that the noble Lord had mistaken him in supposing that he had alluded to the noble Lord in his ob- servations on the opinion of those who had promoted emancipation. At the time of the Emancipation Act, the noble Lord was, he himself admitted, too young a Member to have his opinion taken into account, and what he (Sir R. Peel) alluded to, was, not the opinions of individual Members, but the public declarations of the chosen champions of the Roman Catholics—of the chief promoters of their cause. He was speaking of Mr. Grattan, who, in the bill he brought in for the arrangement of the Roman Catholic question, included in the preamble the following expression: "Whereas the Protestant religion is the established religion of the State, and is solemnly guaranteed as such by the Act of Settlement, and the Act of Union, and whereas it would tend to the stability of the state if the disabilities under which the Roman Catholics labour were now removed." Here was no disguising of opinion. No one could be justified in accusing Mr. Grattan of an intention to diminish the securities of the Protestant Church, or of interfering with its property. No; on the contrary, his declaration was, that at the time of the passing of the bill they had the most distinct and positive assurances, from the most eminent authorities, that in their opinion the restoration of civil equality was perfectly compatible with the maintenance of the Established Church. He was alluding to Mr. Canning, to Lord Plunket, who told them the Established Church was the essential bond between the countries, and that he would throw Catholic emancipation to the winds if he thought that one of its indirect results would be, to injure the establishment. He was speaking of Lord Castlereagh—of all who had not disguised their opinions, but had given the most solemn assurances that, by the removal of the disabilities, they were only taking fresh security for the Church. So much for that part of the question. With respect to any opinion which the noble Lord might choose to express or maintain, as an individual Member, he (Sir R. Peel) was not disposed to quarrel; but he had objected to the noble Lord's speech, as being the speech of a Minister of the Crown. That was what made it absolutely necessary for him to be equally explicit as to his views of the arrangements now making, and the light in which they ought to be taken. The noble Lord must admit that the declaration of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department, namely, that while he did not concur in his views, yet that the noble Lord equally dissented from those of the noble Lord (Viscount Howick), was in itself sufficient demonstration how absolutely necessary it was, to make those remarks, and to draw from the noble Lord such a declaration. The noble Lord (Viscount Howick) contended that it was perfectly right and absolutely necessary for all persons, at all times, to express their opinions, and yet he proved, in the course of his speech, that his rule might sometimes be infringed on, and that in all cases it was not appropriate for a Minister of the Crown to be so frank. The noble Lord said, that he had made up his mind as to the future fate of the Irish Church, and yet they had it, on the noble Lord's authority, that it would at present be highly dangerous to express any opinion on the subject. It appeared then that there might be occasions on which the expression of opinion ought to be dispensed with. The noble Lord had also said, that the longer the people of Ireland could be persuaded to acquiesce in the present establishment, the greater would be the harmony of the empire. His fear was, that the speech they had heard from the noble Lord the other night, would disturb that harmony. He did feel, that when a Minister of the Crown gave his opinion that the establishment was overpaid, that any settlement they could now make, would not be permanent, and that it ought not to be permanent—he did feel, that such a declaration, coming from a Minister of the Crown, would materially interfere with the object the House had in view, namely, that the people of Ireland should acquiesce in the present settlement, and in the attempt now making to give to that country some prospect of order and tranquillity.

Viscount Howick

put it to the right hon. Baronet and to the House whether the right hon. Baronet had alluded fairly to what he said the other evening. In the first place in saying that there was a wide difference between his opinion, and that of his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) the right hon. Baronet was greatly mistaken. He (Viscount Howick) thought that when the two opinions came to be closely crutinized, there would not appear any such very wide difference between them. He was certain that in all the main principles which affected this great question there was the most perfect agreement between his noble Friend and himself. The House had heard his noble Friend state his opinions, and he (Viscount Howick), without going into any lengthened explanation, must say, that to no part of that statement he entertained the slightest objection? The right hon. Baronet had also accused him (Viscount Howick) of saying, that men should at all times state their opinions, and of afterwards departing from that rule. In so stating, the right hon. Baronet had not repeated correctly what fell from him on those points. He said, in the first place, with regard to opinions, that it was the safest and best policy on questions of great importance not to conceal or keep back views on which it afterwards might prove necessary to act. This was the substance of what he said; and he never meant to put forth so absurd an opinion as that it was necessary for every individual Member to trouble the House with a statement of all his views and opinions. Then the right hon. Baronet had accused him of saying, that it was sometimes dangerous to express an opinion; what he said was, that now it would be dangerous to enter into any explanation of political opinions, as it would be impossible to carry any measure founded on them through the House. With regard to what the right hon. Baronet had said of the reasons which he gave for expressing his opinion, that right hon. Gentleman must be aware that Members who did not express their dissent, were often considered as subscribing to the whole of the opinions of those with whom they voted. This had occurred in the passing of emancipation. He trusted he had now explained all these points to the satisfaction of the right hon. Baronet and the House.

Sir R. Peel

said, that there was only one point on which he would trouble the House. He had no wish to magnify the differences between the two noble Lords, nor was his inference drawn from their conflicting arguments, but never was he more mistaken if he did not hear the noble Secretary for the Horne Department say, that "he could not concur in his (Sir R. Peel's) opinions, but that neither could he subscribe to those of his noble Friend." This was no inference drawn from conflicting sentiments, but from words actually heard.

Mr. Clay

said, that if he were to choose between the plan of the noble Lord and that of the right hon. Baronet he should certainly prefer the former, because, while he thought, that whatever was objectionable in principle was equally applicable to both, inasmuch as both involved a grant of public money, still, as the plan of the noble Lord compelled the tithe-owner to take the money, and that of the right hon. Baronet left a door open for resistance, the former should have his support. The plan of the noble Lord went to the purchase of peace, while that of the right hon. Baronet involved a sacrifice of public money, without appeasing the dissentions by which Ireland was now troubled. He wished the public clearly to understand the monstrous nature of the proposition which this grant implied. It was no less than this—that we gave indemnity, by a grant of public money, to certain subjects of the Crown of England, against whom there were legal claims to a large amount. This indemnity was against debts fairly due, but which they could not recover, from fraudulent debtors, and which the Ministers of the Crown also declared their inability to recover. The main difficulty in collecting tithes in Ireland arose from a want of firmness in collecting them, and not from the expense of collection. The expense of the collection would not be twenty-five per cent., or fifteen per cent., or even ten per cent. The right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Peel) had taunted the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and those who acted with him, with not having followed up the law. He would charge the right hon. Baronet with acting in a spirit that was much more to be condemned; for, in spite of all that the right hon. Baronet and his friends might assert, he (Mr. Clay) firmly believed, that there was in the mind of the right hon. Baronet and of his friends a deep-seated consciousness of wrong in keeping up the present Church establishment in Ireland. In his opinion there never was a wrong offered to any people so great as that of maintaining, by the superior force of England, the Irish Church as at present constituted. It was so great a wrong that, in his opinion, it justified resistance on the part of the Irish people. If, indeed, he could perceive any attempt made, in respect to this question, to conciliate the people of Ireland, by rendering the Irish Church a national Church, there was no sum, how- ever large, that might be asked for to obtain that object which he should not be willing to grant. But no attempt of that kind was made. What was it that rendered it necessary for the Government now to call upon the House to indemnify the clergy of that Church for the loss of their revenue? It was the smarting sense of injustice that the people of Ireland felt with regard to that establishment. The effect of the policy now proposed to be pursued would be to teach the people of Ireland resistance to the law, and not to respect the rights of property. He wished the noble Lord to withdraw his proposition, which would not be satisfactory to the people of England, who were becoming more and more alive to the subject, and who viewed with more and more disgust the subsidising of the Irish Church.

Lord Stanley

had not any intention of entering upon the wide field of discussion to which he had been invited by the noble Lord (Viscount Howick), or by the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets; he would not discuss the future prospects, or the views, or policy, affecting the maintenance or extinction of the Protestant Church in Ireland. His noble Friend who had caused such a discussion was the last person whom he (Lord Stanley) could accuse of wilfully concealing his opinions. He did not think, that this charge could be advanced against the noble Lord; but it was not necessary, after what had passed in that House to discuss, not the frankness, but the prudence of the declaration of his noble Friend if, however, he did pass by the prudence or the imprudence of that declaration, he rejoiced that the experience of the last four years had taught his noble Friend, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the imprudence of manifesting any difference of opinion which might exist in the Cabinet; but it was surprising, with the views which the noble Lord, the Secretary at War, now entertained, that he could have supported the Appropriation Clause. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) did consider the appropriation principle as a fair and honourable compromise: but if his noble Friend, the Secretary of State, thought, that this was a fair and reasonable compromise, he knew that there was even at that time in the Cabinet itself one who thought that it neither could nor would be satisfactory to the country. [Viscount Howick did think that it would have been satisfactory.] He was not surprised at the noble Lord's change; he was surprised at what he had communicated to the House, that he did not entertain any sanguine hopes of the success of that principle. But he would pass by this. It was satisfactory to him to see the doctrine universally recognised, and to see it admitted by the noble Lord at the head of the Home Department, that the Appropriation Clause was abandoned; that whilst it violated the principles contended for by one party it was not accepted by the others. The Appropriation Clause, and he thanked God for it, was now given up by the Secretary of State, and was condemned both on the one side and on the other. What a justification to those who had all along opposed it was the admission of his noble Friend. He would not, however, enter upon this part of the case; he would only discuss calmly and dispassionately the proposition of the noble Lord opposite, and the proposition of his right hon. Friend near him. A satisfactory settlement was the only question on which they were at issue; they had not to discuss what tithes ought to be levied, or how they were to be apportioned, or whether they were to have an established Church; whether the tithes were to be commuted to a rent-charge, or or what that rent-charge should be; whether the tithes were or were not to be appropriated in one way or another; or whether, in consideration of the increased burden placed on the landlords, with which they were not now saddled, an allowance should be made to them. That was not now the question; but what they were to do to perfect the measure now before him—how they were to get rid of the difficulty occasioned by the arrears of tithes now due to the clergy. He (Lord Stanley) had listened with surprise to the speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down, and to the manner in which that speech had brought him to vote. The hon. Gentleman had thought it convenient to taunt them with the gross injustice of giving up anything to the land-owners, lay or clerical; he had charged those who differed from him with want of firmness and pusillanimity, with not enforcing the legal claims, and with not pressing their demands for the debts which were due. "Would they," said the hon. Member, "in any English case have permitted such an injustice? No, not if there had been ten Rathcorinacs instead of one, would they have prevented the enforcing of a legal claim of this kind in England." But did the hon. Member think the course which he had recommended could be justified? Would he stand up and say, that no alteration in the system of Irish tithes should be made, that the landlord should not be charged, that the tenant should still be bound to pay; that no military expense at whatever loss or suffering, and that no increase of ill will should prevent the enforcement of a non-disputed claim—of what was not disputed to be due on the one hand, and which would not be paid on the other? The hon. Member had argued for the enforcement of the legal debt; but to what conclusion had he come? To give no grant of the public money, and yet to vote for the proposition of the noble Lord and against the proposition of his right hon. Friend, and thus, without endeavouring to collect any which remained due, he would extinguish all arrears of tithes. The hon. Gentleman was for a bold assertion of the law; he would not shrink from his opinion though ten Rathcormacs should stare him in the face; he would wade through streams of blood; and yet to what a conclusion had he come after upholding the weighty claims of justice, and wishing to vote against any grant? Why, to abandon altogether, and unconditionally, all claims, to forget all that had been done, and thus to signalize his zeal for impartial justice. That was the conclusion of the man who, in his speech, was for enforcing the law, and upholding the rigid demands of justice; and till he had heard it, he did not believe, that any man would have proposed to take away the legal claim of the clergy to the debt, without giving any compensation whatever. He was happy, however, that this was not a question which Parliament was called upon to consider. He hoped, that the hon. Member represented the sentiments of only a small portion of the Members either on the one side or the other; and he trusted, that they were prepared to consider what was the best mode by which they could honourably, justly, and equitably, settle the arrears which were now due. The difference between the noble Lord opposite and his right hon. Friend near him was this, that the noble Lord would extinguish all claim to the arrears of tithes, although he would at the same time grant 260,000l. or 300,000l., an indefinite sum; whilst his right hon. Friend said, that whilst he would grant 300,000l., which was not an equivalent for the amount due, it was but just to keep alive the demand for the arrears of tithes; he would not extinguish them, he would not enact, that they should not be collected, but he would offer that amount as a fair, and liberal, and equitable compromise, to induce the tithe-owners to forego their demands. This was the only question between his right hon. Friend near him and the Government. Moreover, he would not abandon the claim, but if the hon. Gentleman wished to place the question on the low principles of money, his right hon. Friend proposed to grant the 300,000l. not to extinguish the tithes, but that such persons as chose to accept the compromise might transfer their claims to the Government, leaving the executive Government to press for the repayment, when and in what cases it might think tit, and to recover the amount for the people of England and the people of Scotland. Now, which plan was nearest to the views of the hon. Gentleman, which would best keep alive the debt, which was nearest the non-extinguishment of a just debt? Which would abandon the entire liability, which would give every encouragement to the resistance of the law? the proposition of his right hon. Friend or that of the noble Lord, for which the hon. Gentleman was about to vote that night. Which would give the fairest equivalent to the tithe-owner? The noble Lord proposed to give an indefinite sum, he did not know the amount, and in return, he proposed, that the tithe-owner should abandon the whole amount of his claim, the aggregate of which the noble Lord was not aware of. He would give the amount absolutely; he neither knew the amount that would be demanded, nor that which could be afforded; it all depended on the amount which the Government should recover of the original debt. That was the proposal of the Government. But whilst his right hon. Friend said, that he would grant the same amount, he held the sum was not a full equivalent; he acknowledged, that a larger debt was due; but if the tithe-owners would hand over their claims, they would enable him to grant an amount in return, which ought to be, and which he thought, would be, satisfactory, considering the trouble and difficulty which the tithe owners would have in collecting the arrears. The amount would be paid by the State, and if they handed over their claims, well and good; if not, the law was open to them, and they would have every assistance on the part of the Government to enforce it. That was the proposition of his right hon. Friend; and would the hon. Gentleman say, that there was most justice in that of the noble Lord, or of his right hon. Friend? The noble Lord had abandoned, forced by the arguments of his right hon. Friend—the noble Lord had told them, that he abandoned the limitation to the last two years' loan, [Lord J. Russell remarked, that he said that he was indifferent about it.] But it was not a matter of indifference. It was not the same thing, as if the amount were in all cases alike; it was not that what was 50 per cent. for three years would be 75 per cent. for two years—it was not the case of persons who had received the tithes in the years 1835 and 1836, and had not received any in 1837, whilst others had not received them in 1834 and 1835, though they had got them in 1836 and 1837, but it was calling upon some to forego the arrears due to them in 1834 and 1835, because some others had received them in those years. A matter of indifference! Why, the largest views of general justice which he had ever heard put forward by the Government, or by any Member of Parliament, had been advanced by the right hon. Gentleman—the strangest notions of justice had been advanced by the hon. Gentleman, the Member for the Tower Hamlets; but the strangest indifference had also been shown by the Government as to what they (the Opposition) considered to be the principles of justice. Differing, however, from the arguments of the noble Lord, he was willing to come to the same conclusion, and he was ready to take the arrears of tithes of 1834, 1835, 1836, and 1837. He would not enter upon the question as to the deficiency of the sum of 300,000l., or of the definite sum of 260,000l., added to an indefinite amount which the noble Lord thought he could recover. That was not the condition on which his right hon. Friend had proposed his amendment. He would, however, deal with the 260,000l. and the amount to be recovered. The noble Lord said, that they would be giving no option to the clergyman. The noble Lord did not object to give the option, forced by the arguments of his right hon. Friend. The noble Lord thought, that it would be most just; he was compelled to admit, that they ought to give the option where they took the property; but then the noble Lord said, that the option could not really be exercised, because it would be invidious on the part of a clergyman, when his parishioners saw others take the grant, not to accept the amount, but to proceed for his arrear of tithes. Now, he did not deny the injustice of the option—he did not deny the extent of the inconvenience. It would, and it ought, to weigh deeply in the minds of the proprietors, both lay and clerical, and it would induce them to accept the instalment. But, at the same time, the moral force of these considerations was a very different thing from giving the tithe-owner no option, from forcing him to accept the instalment; if they gave the tithe-owner a fair option, he would know well the inconvenience of his position, and he would know that though he would have a right to adhere to his claims, and to insist upon the full amount due to him, yet that he would better consult the peace of the country, and at the same time advance his own interest, by accepting the smaller amount. There was the widest possible difference therefore between the two modes of proceeding, not, perhaps, in the effect produced, or in the amount of composition which they would ultimately be called upon to pay, but as to the principles on which they ought to legislate. The noble Lord would say, when the law was the same, what did it matter about the means? but he (Lord Stanley) would say, that there was the greatest difference whether they legislated as the noble Lord proposed, or on the immutable laws of justice. In spite of all that had been said, and all that might be said, about the expenditure of 27,000l. to recover 12,000l., which he had heard twenty times repeated in that House, he did not regret, that he had incurred that expense; and when he recollected the considerations which, though he could not state their purport, then marked the deliberations of the Government, he would say, that if it had not been for unfortunate circumstances, over which he had no control, that expense would have had the effect of securing not only the 12,000l.., but also a large proportion of the amount which was due. He did not, therefore, repent the course which he had adopted; but he would regret, if he had indiscriminately abstained from the enforcement of the law, when it could be enforced without leading to pecuniary hardship, and without difficulty. He had stated the grounds on which he preferred the plan proposed by his right hon. Friend, because of the justice of the principle, and as equally tending with the plan of the noble Lord to an effectual and decisive settlement. The noble Lord had, indeed, said, that his own scheme was effectual and decisive; and so it would have been if he put an end to arrears without compensation; but the question was, whether it was equally just. If the plan of the hon. Gentleman who would that night vote against his speech were adopted, it would be effectual and decisive; but it contained that superlative degree of injustice to which the Government had not yet worked up their minds: Government took the intermediate course, they would not abolish the legal claims without compensation; whilst they (the Opposition) proposed that which would perpetrate no injustice, they made a sound proposition, founded on strict justice, they kept alive the arrears, they transferred them to the executive Government, from all parties, high and low, rich and poor, solvent and insolvent, that wherever it was able the law might be rendered effectual, as it had already been in several distinguished instances. They proposed to keep alive the tithes, and, at the same time, to offer a fair and liberal and equitable compromise to the titheowners, a compromise, which, for their own interest as well as by their regard for the peace of Ireland, they would accept; a compromise which would be satisfactory to the parties who were entitled to the arrears of tithes, without violating the principles of law, without infringing the rights of property, and without receding from what the titheowners felt to be their undisputed claims.

Mr. W. S. O'Brien

said, that he would discuss on their own merits the two propositions before the House, one of which declared the total abandonment of the whole arrear of the tithes, and the other, that the present arrears should be vested in the Government, to be collected, if thought necessary, but that in the meantime there should be an inquiry as to their amount. He owned that his own impres sion was, that there was a large amount of tithe arrears in Ireland. He conceived, that a small portion only of the tithes of 1837, especially in the south of Ireland, had been paid; in fact, on the part of the occupiers in vast tracts none at all had been paid, and it was not too much, therefore, to estimate that one-half of the last year's tithes due from the occupiers remained unpaid. This would amount to 300,000l., and with the arrears of former years he thought that between 700,000l. and 800,000l. were, probably, now due from the titheowners, and without proving the amount, the noble Lord called upon them to abandon their claims for a consideration of 260,000l. Now, be (Mr. O'Brien) for one, would prefer to know the amount before he voted for giving up the claim; and he thought, also, that they ought to determine what classes should come within the principle of remission. He was of opinion, therefore, that the principle of part of the right hon. Baronet's amendment ought to be adopted by the House. As to the million loan, however, it should be absolutely remitted: that was the rule adopted in the Act of 1835, and also in the Act of 1836; and now they seemed to wish to recognise arrears which were not thought of before. He would limit any remission to the Catholic tithe-payers, and he thought, that the House would but be doing justice by applying half a million to their relief, but he would not extend the vote further; and for these reasons he had some difficulty in supporting the abandonment of the whole arrears now due.

Mr. Redington

objected as well to the plan proposed by the right hon. Baronet opposite, as to that which the Government desired should be adopted. With regard to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, he was convinced that it would not secure that peace for which the people of England had paid; and although he looked at both propositions as being of a nature not at all calculated to secure the desired object, yet he would choose the lesser evil, and give his support to that made by the Government. He took this opportunity of guarding himself against using any expression which might indicate that he would be satisfied by either of the plans suggested; and should this measure become the law of the land, be did not at all consider that his position as to hostility to tithes in Ireland would be altered, but, as a landlord, he should still oppose their continuance.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was glad to have this opportunity of saying a few words on the subject of the suggestion which he had himself formerly made, and on which a discussion had arisen, but which many who had taken a part in the debate this evening and on former occasions appeared to have forgotten. Undoubtedly, the first proposition of the Government was not that which was now before the House. The plan which was first thrown out for consideration was, on the one hand, the extinction of the debt of 640,000l., the collection of such part of the instalments due as could be levied, the application of those sums for the benefit of the Church, but no further sacrifice on the part of the people of this country; and, as an equivalent, it was proposed the occupiers of the Church should give up, not the amount of arrears due, but that proportion of them which was due from the occupying tenant; and whatever arrangement was made, it would be incomplete if if it did not go to the extinction of arrears due from the occupying tenant. It had been said, by the noble Lord opposite that there were cases in which the occupying tenant was a person from whom the arrears might be recovered, but he would venture to assert, that such cases were only as one in ten thousand. The House must decide on the balance of evidence on the general question, and it could be shown, that the great proportion of the amount due from the occupiers of the soil was not due from the rich or the solvent, but on the contrary, from the poor and needy. An observation had been made by the noble Lord on what had fallen from the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Home Department as to its being a question of indifference whether the prior arrears were comprehended or not in the provisions of this bill, and he did not think that the noble Lord had acted quite fairly in his mode of considering that observation. Did any one believe, that this amount of arrears was likely to be recovered at all? Was it thought probable? And did the right hon. Gentleman opposite in the fifty letters which he stated he had received upon the subject hear that there was any remote possibility of recovering the arrears due from the occupying tenants? The evidence which might be adduced he was sure would convince the House to the contrary. If they were capable of being recovered, how was it that they were allowed to remain out-standing? Why were they not recovered? They would have been sued for if there was a probability of their being paid, but it was known that the probability was so remote that it was thought useless to proceed for them. Were these cases in which it was likely that the arrears could be recovered more easily, because they were a long time due? Did arrears in Ireland improve by keeping? He could not appeal to the noble Lord himself for his testimony upon the subject as an Irish landlord, because he believed that his property was managed in such a manner as to do him the highest honour; but he asked any landlord in the House whether, if any arrears were due to him which had been outstanding five or six years, he would entertain the most remote hope that he would be able to recover them, and whether, if he wished his estate to be well managed, it was not the first thing he would do to forgive them? He was confident that such would be the case, and therefore the true principle was, to abandon that which they had no chance of procuring. In respect of the arrears subsequently due, he again said, with or without an equivalent, they were asked to abandon the arrears due from the occupying tenant; but what would become of the whole bill, if they were compelled to adhere to the optional principle—if the doctrine were laid down, that the whole bill, from first to last, was a violation of the laws of property? What right had they to force any landlord to take on himself the payment of tithes; and what right had they to force a rent-charge on the clergy, without making it optional with them too? The whole bill, however, was on a principle of compromise, and the Legislature stepped in between the contesting parties, and acted as an umpire between them, and decided what one party should yield, and what the other should accede; and on that principle, and that only, should they act with respect to these arrears. If they were justified in adopting the compromise, it was the more essential that they should decide in respect of these arrears, on the same principle, because they ran the risk of endangering the whole bill if they allowed this question to remain unsettled. On what principle was the bill founded? It was, that they could not, with safety to the public, collect the tithes from the occupiers of the soil in Ireland. If they could justly and legitimately collect the tithes from the landlord, then let them apply what they could collect in payment of the arrears due; let them not sacrifice any part of them which was due from the landlord, but he asked them in common sense to relieve the occupiers from them. The right hon. Gentleman had said, that lie had received letters from Ireland, in which a great number of the clergy had expressed their disinclination to accede to the proposition which had been made in their behalf. He certainly was not surprised at this. When, although the Government were compelled to defend the principles of economy, and to guard the public purse with the greatest care, the hon. Gentleman who represented Cambridge jointly with himself, came forward and said, that they should not only give up the 260,000l., but that they should give more; he repeated, that he was not at all surprised that the clergy should demand a much larger sacrifice than that which was proposed. These arrears were utterly and completely irrecoverable; but let them attempt to procure their payment, and they would incur such immense expense in point of litigation as would induce them not to repeat such a course, and as would convince them of the absurdity of such a proceeding; and if they should proceed ever so far, he was convinced that they were likely to recover only so much as would amount to the maximum sum which he had himself proposed, and he was sure that that would prove no more than an equivalent. Then it was proposed, that the arrears should vest in the Government, and that they should exercise a power—an arbitrary power—as to whether they should enforce them or whether they should remit in certain instances. But in the final settlement of the question, this was not a power which should be placed in the hands of the Government; and it was likely to produce most uncertain results when the question was to be finally determined. He protested against any such authority being imposed upon the Government; let the House vote the whole money if they would, but he would not undertake the task or responsibility of recovering back one single farthing of the arrears due from the occupying tenant, whatever course this bill might take. With respect to the recovering against the landlords, it was a totally distinct question, and they ought to be made to pay; and he would, therefore, proceed against them for the whole amount due under the Million Act. He was pleading for the relief of the occupying tenant, and when he made his proposition, he asked only for the peace of the country; and because, if peace were given, he should be able to go to his constituents, and to the people of England, and say, "If you have made a sacrifice, you have obtained what is an equivalent, relief to the occupying tenant as regards the entire amount of tithes to which he was liable." If, however, the proposition of the right hon. Baronet were adopted, these considerations would be abandoned, and all the benefits which would otherwise be conferred, would be left in doubt, and not only would all the mischiefs which he had already stated, be increased, but they would produce a permanent cause of hostility between the Government and the occupying tenants, which might produce the greatest danger to the peace and repose of Ireland.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that before the House went to a division on this subject he wished to say a few words on the present position of the question. While on the other side of the House it was talked of applying the whole of the money, he would ask whether it was just that it should be applied at all? They voted that the money which had been illegally withheld should be paid; but the people of Ireland determined not to pay it, and then they voted this money in order to exonerate them. Therefore, when the noble Lord opposite came forward and talked of the comparison of justice, he totally forgot the previous question. The money was not voted on the ground of justice, but on the ground of state policy, which was superior to the ordinary rules of justice between man and man, and for the purpose of obtaining peace and quiet. It was in fact a sort of proposition for peace and quiet. Now, what was proposed on the other side? Why, not to extinguish these arrears. They could get quiet, but for the arrears, and they would not extinguish them. He could not suppose that they would permit such a law to come into operation, for he could not imagine that any person could go bidding from one clergyman to another to ask if he would take ten shillings or fifteen shillings in composition. If they did not provide for the extinction of the demand for arrears let them not give it at all. But what was the policy of the noble Lord? Did he expect the clergy would accept the money? If they accepted it there was no harm in extinguishing the arrears altogether, but if they did not, was it supposed that the people would have any greater respect for them in consequence? The clergymen would be placed in a most invidious position. Some would accept it and some would not, and contentions would in consequence spring up, and would be carried on between them. It was an idle scheme, and the Government ought not to accede to it; and if the House were disposed to adopt the plan of the right hon. Baronet, he would rather advise, that they should not release one farthing of the 640,000l., but go on with their rent-charges of seventy-five per cent., and take their chance of doing some good by these means; but he said, "Do not sacrifice the money of the people of England in a scheme which cannot succeed." The only chance they had of succeeding was to adopt the plan proposed by the Government. He did not think that went far enough, but still it was better than the other; for if the proposition of the noble Lord were to be adopted, the humane and generous clergymen would be compelled to pay back that property which they had received from this country, but which they had expended on their own poor. If, however, they still refused to accept the proposition of the Government, they would not only inflict this injustice, but they would remove all hope of peace and quiet by leaving the matter open. These were the wounds on which he proposed to oppose the amendment of the right hon. Baronet, and to support the proposition of the Government. The noble Lord had said much of the injury done by extinguishing claims of any sort; but the noble Lord was himself the first person who had extinguished a claim of this sort. He had himself sacrificed 27,000l. for the sake of endeavouring to recover 12,000l., but he had had some secret reason for doing this which he would never disclose. Any plan, however, such as either of those now proposed could not have the des red effect. They could not succeed in the nature of things. The great evil was, that the eight millions had to sustain the expense of the 800,000, and they never could hope to succeed until they had altered that system. The occupiers of lands were now no longer to be looked for to pay tithes or to have tithes recovered from them. He told them, that they need never expect it even if they should continue tithes. They never could pay them, for even the Protestant landlords had joined with the Catholics to oppose them. Not all the Protestants certainly, for he did not mean to include the hon. and gallant Member opposite, nor the right hon. Gentleman who was sitting by his side (Mr. Lefroy), but nearly all of them, and the number of Protestant landlords who joined them increased daily. Among all the towns there was not one meeting which was not presided over by a Protestant gentleman of the county, and in which resolutions were not moved by Protestant gentlemen. If they continued the system of the clergyman coming down for his tithes, and another individual claiming his arrears, there was not the least chance of making a settlement of this question, or even an adjournment of it, and he was one of those who thought that an adjournment would be useful, and he agreed much in the very statesmanlike view the noble Lord the Secretary at War, had taken upon the subject. Things could not last. It was not in their nature. Let them do what they could, and all they could purchase would be a tranquillity which would enable them to secure for the clergy who had devoted their youth to their education, and had abandoned all other professions, the full enjoyment of the incomes arising from their living, while any other sums which might be derived would be applicable to the purposes of national education. It was to that they must come at last. He thought it to be his duty to vote against the amendment which had been introduced, and to vote for the original proposition, which, although it did not go so far as it ought, in his opinion, yet held out a better and more favourable prospect.

Mr. Shiel

did not mean to enter on the whole merits of the case, but to address himself to one point in the plan of the right hon. Baronet. With the greatest respect he begged to suggest a difficulty in that plan which he did not see how the right hon. Baronet could get over. What did the right hon. Baronet intend to do in regard to executors? Would executors have the power to accept the 50 per cent, proposed if left without the protection of an Act of Parliament? He (Mr. Shiel) thought they would not. [Sir R. Peel, they would have the power to consent to the proposition.] The right hon Baronet had said that executors would have the power to consent to the proposition. But he thought they would not, unless, indeed they had the sanction of the Court of Chancery or the Court of Exchequer for every case of acceptance. In every instance in which a clergyman died leaving property of the nature of tithes in trust, the executors would have no power to accept less than the sum so demised, and no discretion left them in the matter, but would be compelled to enforce it. A clergyman might personally indulge his own feelings, and remit whatever he thought proper, but an executor could not—he was bound by the law to collect the tithes. He should therefore submit to the right hon. Baronet, that this circumstance presented an insurmountable obstacle to the adoption of his plan. But was the previous conduct of the right hon. Baronet consistent with the course he now pursued? The House would be enabled to judge from the facts. When in 1835 the right hon. Baronet brought forward his plan for the settlement of tithes proposed by the right hon. and gallant Member for Launceston, did he make the collection of the arrears an element in it? He did not. Yet what did he do now? Now that he was out of office he suggested to those that were in, a different course from that which he had himself pursued when in possession of power. Now that he had power no longer he urged upon the Whig Government the adoption of a plan which he withheld himself when he had the means of carrying it, and which he well knew would at once bring them into direct collision with the people of Ireland. He would submit it to the right hon. Baronet's own candour and good sense, and to the candour and discretion or those hon. Gentlemen who surrounded him, whether it was not a most extraordinary circumstance—and the more extraordinary still for being as yet unexplained—that the right hon. Baronet should bring forward a plan in respect to the tithe question in 1838 which he altogether disregarded in 1835. The plan of the Government did not essentially differ from the plan of the right hon. Baronet in 1835. It was founded on the pre-supposition that Ireland was injured by the collection of tithe from the occupying tenant of the land. That was quite in conformity with the principles of the right hon. Baronet's plan. Why did he, then, propose another, the effect of which could only be to mar the good that might be derivable from it? Why it was, that the right, hon. Baronet did so he could best tell. But then there was the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, also to support the right hon. Baronet. The noble Lord had stated that he was not sorry for the course he had adopted respecting the recovery of arrears of tithe in Ireland, when in power: he said that he had strained all the machinery of the law—and he made it a matter of self-gratulation to raise the money advanced by the State. But he would take leave to ask the noble Lord, were the consequence of his efforts not greatly injurious to Ireland, without producing at the same time the effects he intended? Although the noble Lord had not the merit of repentance, Ireland was still doing penance for his sins. That part of the noble Lord's plan most signally failed, for there were 27,000l., expended in raising 12,000l. from the occupying tenants. And though the noble Lord admitted, that he had used all the machinery of the law, and strained every point "which was permitted—that he had used artillery and baggage-waggons" for removing the cattle distrained for tithes, and employed the military all over the country, he was also obliged to confess that the power of the people was too, strong for him, and that all the means at his disposal were as nought before it. Was it fair, then, for the noble Lord, with his own failure admitted by himself, to call on the Government to play the same part in the same drama now? He did not mean to say that the present tithe measure would succeed in Ireland—he had never offered even a prediction to that effect; the hon. Gentlemen opposite did; they asserted that the country would be tranquillized if the payment of that impost were placed on the landlords. What did they do to advance it? If the plan proposed by the right hon. Baronet were adopted, they were not to look for peace in Ireland; if the arrears of tithe were to be collected at the option of individuals, there was no possible ground to hope for tranquillity in that country. The Government proposed to discharge the occupying tenants—that, according to the expressed assertion of hon. Gentlemen opposite, was the main promovent of peace for Ireland; yet what course did they suggest? To give the clergy a power of negativing that project, and to leave to individual caprice, and individual passion, the peace of the country. That was one of his strong objections to the plan of the right hon. Baronet. On another part of the case he did not think the objections taken by the right hon. Baronet to the speech—the remarkable speech—of the noble Lord the Secretary at War—for which he sincerely thanked the noble Lord—he did not think they were quite appropriate. The right hon. Baronet had said in the early part of the debate that he heard the speech of the noble Lord with regret. Why did not the right hon. Baronet reply to it? If the right hon. Baronet were not present, the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, who reflected his opinions—his fidus Achates—was. At least the Pylades and Orestes of the party, the noble Lord and the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Pembrokshire, were there to reply to it. [Lord Stanley: To a speech made three days ago.] That fact was important, inasmuch as it showed the necessity of replying at once. However, what struck him in that speech was, the circumstance that the noble Lord approved of the appropriation principle in 1835, though he did not believe in its efficacy as a remedy now. If the proposal of that principle was accepted on its first introduction, a great good might have been done in Ireland, and much of the evil which fell on the heads of those who opposed it, if not all, might have been averted. He did not perceive any difference whatever between the speech of the noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department and the noble Lord the Secretary at War. He had read them both: he knew their political history well—and he was quite at a loss to discover any essential difference—any difference in point of principle—between them. As an observer in that House, he could not detect a single syllable uttered by either which gave countenance to the belief, that the great principle of appropriation was abandoned. It was the interest of hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House to sow dissension in the Cabinet—but in that he trusted they would fail. He was sure they would fail. When he found the House affirming the resolution of the right hon. Baronet in 1835 he cared little for any attempt on the other side to sow dissensions; but if the Government gave up the appropriation principle he would unhesitatingly say, that they abandoned altogether their claims to public respect. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had declared, that he wanted reform in the Church in Ireland, the abolition of sinecures, and the allocation of every clergyman to a proper place. If the right hon. Baronet's wishes were to be granted, if these questions were to be entertained, how could the adoption of the appropriation principle be avoided. Was the Government bound for the next Session by what took place in the present Session? Were they precluded by the omission of that principle now, from bringing it forward again? He believed not; he hoped they felt so, he trusted they would, and he should give them his support accordingly.

Sir R. Peel

rose merely to address himself to the only two points urged by the bon, and learned Member against his proposition. Nothing gratified him more than the fact that after all the cogitation of the hon. and learned Gentleman, he could adduce no greater difficulty to urge against it than that relating to the duties of executors. The plain answer he should give to this objection was, to state that by the ordinary operation of the law as it stands executors had the power to accept the best terms offered them. But even if it were not so, and that the difficulty urged by the hon. Gentleman really existed, what could be easier than to introduce a clause in the bill by which it would be surmounted? How the hon. Gentleman could, therefore, strain at a gnat and swallow a camel—stick at that difficulty and find no difficulty at all in obliging the executors to abandon all claim for their trusts—he might fancy but could not say. So much for the hon. Gentleman's first objection. He would now come to the second. The hon. Gentleman had said that in 1835 he proposed a certain sum in lieu of the arrears of tithes, and so far the hon. Gentleman was right. He (Sir R. Peel) had at that time a balance of 360,000l. at his disposal, and he had proposed it as a compensation for one year's arrears of tithes. Four years arrears were, however, now due, and yet the hon. Gentleman proposed to give less for those four years than he (Sir R. Peel) did for one year. So much for the hon. Gentleman's second objection. With respect to the particular observations of the hon. Member, in regard to his conduct towards the Government on this question, he might be permitted to say, that he should always feel inclined to correct the Greenwich observations by reference to those of another observatory.

Viscount Morpeth

should simply set the Committee right on one observation of the right hon. Baronet's, that no wrong deduction might be made from it. In the bill of the right hon. Baronet, alluded to in that debate, he had abandoned all claims for arrears of tithe in Ireland; and yet the right hon. Baronet would put it on the Government to enforce them now, Was that just or fair?

The Committee divided on Sir Robert Peel's Amendment. Ayes 101; Noes 122;—Majority 21.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Hayes, Sir E.
Acland, T. D. Henniker, Lord
A'Court, Capt. Herbert, hon. S.
Alsager, Capt. Herries, J. C.
Attwood, M. Hillsborough, Earl of
Bagge, W. Hodgson, F.
Bentinck, Lord G. Hodgson, R.
Blackburne, J. Hogg, J. W.
Blair, J. Holmes, W.
Blennerhassett, A. Hope, hon. C.
Bradshaw, J. Hotham, Lord
Broadley, H. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Brownrigg, S. Jones, T.
Bruges, W. H. L. Knightly, Sir C.
Burrell, Sir C. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Chute, W. L. W. Lincoln, Earl of
Clive, Lord Lockhart, A. M.
Corry, hon. H. Lowther, J. H.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Lucas, E.
Darby, George Lygon, General
De Horsey, S. H. Mackenzie, T.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Mahon, Lord
Dunbar, G. Meynell, Captain
East, J B. Neeld, J.
Eastnor, Lord Nicholl, J.
Ellis, J. Norreys, Lord
Estcourt, T. O'Brien, W. S.
Estcourt, T. Ossulston, Lord
Farnham, E. B. Pakington, J. S.
Farrand, R. Palmer, R.
Filmer, Sir E. Palmer, G.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Parker, M.
Follett, Sir W. Parker, R. T.
Gibson, T. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Gladstone, W. Pemberton, T.
Goulburn, H. Praed, W. M.
Graham, Sir J. Praed, W. T.
Grant, F. W. Pusey, P.
Greene, T. Reid, Sir J. R.
Hardinge, Sir R. Richards, R.
Rickford, W. Tollemache, F. J.
Rose, Sir G. Vere, Sir C. B.
Round, J. Verner, Col.
Rushbrooke, R. Vivian, J. E.
Rushout, G. Wall, C. B.
Sanderson, R. Walsh, Sir J.
Sandon, Lord Welby, G. E.
Sibthorp, Col. Wodehouse, E.
Somerset, Lord G. Wood, T.
Stanley, Lord TELLERS.
Sugden, Sir E. Lefroy, rt. hon. T.
Tennent, J. E. Perceval, Col.
List of the NOES.
Adam, Admiral Howard, F. J.
Aglionby, H. A. Howard, P. H.
Archbold, R. Howard, Sir R.
Baines, E. Howick, Lord
Bannerman, A. Hume, J.
Barnard, E. G. Hutt, W.
Bellew, R. M. Hutton, R.
Blake, W. J. James, W.
Boldero, H. G. Kinnaird, A. F.
Bowes, J. Labouchere, H.
Bridgemen, H. Lemon, Sir C.
Briscoe, J. I. Lushington, Dr.
Brodie, W. B. Lushington, C.
Brotherton, J. Lynch, A. H.
Bryan, G. Macleod, R.
Byng, G. M'Taggart, J.
Byng, rt. hon. G. Maher, J.
Campbell, Sir J. Marshall, W.
Carnac, Sir J. Maule, hon. F.
Chalmers, P. Melgund, Lord
Childers, J. W. Mildway, P. St. J.
Coote, Sir C. Morpeth, Lord
Cowper, hon. W. Morris, D.
Crawley, S. Murray, J. A.
Crompton, Sir S. O'Connell, D.
Curry, W. O'Connell, J.
Dalmeny, Lord O'Connell, M. J.
Denison, W. J. O'Connell, M.
D'Eyncourt, C. T. O'Ferrall R. M.
Duckworth, S. Palmerston, Lord
Duncan, Lord Parker, J.
Dundas, F. Parnell, Sir H.
Dundas, hon. J. Pechell, Capt.
Elliot, hon. J. Pendarves, E. W.
Ellice, Capt. A. Philips, M.
Evans, G. Pinney, W.
Finch, F. Power, J.
Fleetwood, Sir P. Protheroe, E.
French, F. Redington, T. N.
Gordon, R. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Grey, Sir C. Roche, E. B.
Grey, Sir G. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Hall, Sir B. Rumbold, C. E.
Hawes, B. Russell, Lord J.
Hawkins, J. H. Russell, Lord
Hayter, W. G. Sanford, E. A.
Hector, C. J. Scrope, G. P.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Seymour, Lord
Hobhouse, Sir J. Sheil, R. L.
Hobhouse, T. B. Smith, B.
Hodges, T. L. Smith, R. V.
Horsman, E. Stewart, James
Hoskins, K. Steuart, Lord J.
Strutt, E. Warburton, H.
Teignmouth, Lord Westenra, J. C.
Thomson, C. P. Wood, C.
Thornely, T. Wood, G. W.
Troubridge, Sir E. T. Wyse, T.
Turner, E. Yates, J. A.
Vigors, N. A. TELLERS.
Villiers, C. P. Steuart, R.
Wallace, R. Stanley, E. J.

On the question that the clause as amended by Lord John Russell stand part of the Bill,

Mr. Hume

moved, that it be omitted altogether, as being framed for the benefit of the Church of Ireland at the expense of the people of England.

Sir R. Peel

declared that he could not at that moment support the proposition of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, whose constant opposition to the interests of the Irish Church rendered it prudent to consider seriously before acquiescing in any motion of his on that subject. At the present moment, when the House had just decided against him, he would not decidedly say what course he would take with respect to those arrears, and would reserve to himself the power of considering hereafter whether it would not be better for the clergy of the Church of Ireland that the clause should, or should not, be excluded from the bill. He felt that it would only be fitting and just with respect to the rights of vested interests of the heads of the Irish Church, and those chiefly concerned in its welfare to consult them ere he entered into the argument on the subject. He should, therefore, as the most respectful course to them and to the House, reserve his opinion on the preservation or rejection of the whole clause till the third reading, when he should have the power of moving its omission as a matter of course. Until he had consulted the natural heads of the Church and those most deeply interested, he was not sure that they would not prefer the law remaining as it was, rather than that they should be precluded from all redress by a hasty assent to the present proposition.

Mr. Hume

pressed his motion, and the House divided on the original Question:—Ayes 171; Noes 43: Majority 128.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Archbold, R.
Acland, T. D. Attwood, M.
A'Court, Captain Bainbridge, E. T.
Adam, Admiral Bannerman, A.
Alsager, Captain Barnard, E. G.
Barrington, Lord Howard, F. J.
Bellew, R. M. Howard, P. H.
Bentinck, Lord G. Howard, R.
Blackburne, J. Howick, Lord
Blair, J. Hutton, R.
Blennerhassett, A. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Bridgeman, H. Jones, T.
Broadley, H. Kinnaird, A. F.
Broadwood, H. Knightley, Sir C.
Brownrigg, S. Labouchere, H.
Bruges, W, H. L. Lascelles, W. S.
Bryan, G. Law, hon. C. E.
Burrell, Sir C. Lefroy, rt. hon. T.
Byng, G. Lemon, Sir C.
Byng, G. S. Lincoln, Earl of
Campbell, Sir J. Lowther, J. H.
Cave, R. O. Lygon, General
Childers, J. W. Lynch, A. H.
Chute, W. L. W. Mackenzie, T.
Clements, Lord Macleod, R.
Clive, Lord Maher, J.
Coote, Sir C. H. Mahon, Lord
Corry, hon. H. Maule, hon. F.
Cowper, W. F. Meynell, Captain
Crawley, S. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Crompton, Sir S. Morpeth, Lord
Curry, W. Murray, J. A.
Dalmeny, Lord Neeld, J.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Norreys, Lord
Denison, W. J. O'Connell, D.
Douglas, Sir C. O'Connell, J.
Dunbar, G. O'Connell, M. J.
East, J. B. O'Connell, M.
Eastnor, Lord O'Ferrall, R. M.
Ellice, Capt. A. Ossulston, Lord
Estcourt, T. Palmer, R.
Estcourt, T. Palmer, G.
Evans, G. Palmerston, Viscount
Farnham, E. B. Parker, J.
Farrand, R. Parker, M.
Filmer, Sir E. Parker, R. T.
Fleetwood, Sir P. Parnell, Sir H.
Follett, Sir W. Peel, Sir R.
French, F. Pendarves, E. W.
Gibson, T. Perceval, Colonel
Gladstone, W. E. Pigot, R.
Gordon, R. Pinney, W.
Goulburn, H. Praed, W. T.
Graham, Sir J. Pusey, P.
Grant, F. W. Reid, Sir J.
Greene, T. Rice, T. S.
Grey, Sir C. Richards, R.
Grey, Sir G. Rickford, W.
Hardinge, Sir H. Roche, E. B.
Hayter, W. G. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Henniker, Lord Rose, Sir G.
Herbert, hon. S. Round, J.
Herries, J. C. Rumbold, C. E.
Hobhouse, Sir J. Rushbrooke, Col.
Hobhouse, T. B. Rushout, G.
Hodges, T. L. Russell, Lord J.
Hodgson, F. Russell, Lord
Hodgson, R. Sanderson, R.
Hogg, J. W. Sandon, Lord
Holmes, W. Seymour, Lord
Hope, hon. Sheil, R. L.
Hoskins, K. Sibthorp, Col.
Hotham, Lord Smith, B.
Smith, R. V. Vivian, J. E.
Somerset, Lord G. Wall, C. B.
Spry, Sir S. T. Walsh, Sir J.
Stanley, E. J. Welby, G. E.
Stewart, J. Westenra, hon. J.
Sturt, H. C. Wilshere, W.
Sugden, Sir E. Wodehouse, E.
Teignmouth, Lord Wood, C.
Tennent, J. E. Wood, T.
Thomson, C. P. Yates, J. A.
Troubridge, Sir E. T. TELLERS.
Vere, Sir C. B. Steuart, R.
Verner, Col. Stanley, E. J.
Vigors, N. A.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Hutt, W.
Baines, E. James, W.
Blake, W. J. Lushington, C.
Boldero, H. G. Marshall, W.
Bowes, J. Melgund, Lord
Bradshaw, J. Morris, D.
Brodie, W. B. Pechell, Capt.
Brotherton, J. Philips, M.
Chalmers, P. Protheroe, E.
D'Eyncourt, C. T. Sinclair, Sir G.
Duckworth, S. Stuart, Lord J.
Duncan, Lord Strutt, E.
Dundas, F. Style, Sir C.
Dundas, J. C. Thorneley, T.
Finch, F. Tollemache, F.
Gillon, W. D. Turner, E.
Hall, Sir B. Villiers, C. P.
Hawes, B. Wallace, R.
Hawkins, J. H. Warburton. H.
Hayes, Sir E. Wood, G. W.
Hector, C. J. TELLERS.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Sandford, E. A.
Horsman, E. Hume, J.

On the 5th clause—

Lord Stanley

said, that the loss of the 640,000l. which had been paid, was caused to the public because of the appropriation principle which the Government had introduced, and which they had since given up.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that the appropriation of the 640,000l. was proposed long before the appropriation clause was even introduced.

Lord Stanley

repeated, that it was the appropriation principle of 1834, which led to the 640,000l. being paid to the Protestant Clergy of Ireland.

Sir R. Peel

proposed, that the words at the end of the clause should be left out as follows,—"by persons having such like estates or interests in the lands charged therewith, as would make the owners thereof liable to the payment of rent-charge under the provisions of this act."

The Committee divided on the original question:—Ayes 64; Noes 98 Majority 34.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Mildmay, P. St.
Aglionby, H. A. Morpeth, Lord
Baines, E. Morris, D.
Blake, W. J. Murray, hon. J. A.
Brotherton, J. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Byng, rt. hn. G. S. Palmerston, Viscount
Chalmers, P. Parker, J.
Craig, W. G. Pechell, Captain
Crompton, Sir S. Pendarves, E. W.
Curry, W. Pinney, W.
Dalmeny, Lord Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Russell, Lord J.
Finch, F. Seymour, Lord
Gillon, W. D. Smith, R. V.
Gordon, R. Stanley, E. J.
Grey, Sir G. Steuart, R.
Hall, Sir B. Stuart, Lord J.
Hawes, B. Strutt, E.
Hector, C. J. Surrey, Earl of
Hobhouse, Sir J. Thomson, C. P.
Hobhouse, T. B. Thornely, T.
Hodges, T. L. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Horsman, E. Vigors, N. A.
Howard, P. H. Warburton, H.
Howard, R. Wilde, Mr. Sergeant
Howick, Lord Viset. Wilshere, W.
Hutt, W. Wood, C.
James, W. Wood, G. W.
Lushington, C. Yates, J. A.
Lynch, A. H. TELLERS.
Macleod, R. Labouchere, H.
Martin, J. Maule, F.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Ellis, J.
Acland, T. D Eastcourt, T.
Alsager, Captain Evans, G.
Archbold, R. Farnham, E. B.
Attwood, M. Ferguson, Sir R.
Bagge, W. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Barrington, Lord Follett, Sir W.
Bellew, R. M. Goulburn, H.
Blackburne, I. Graham, Sir J.
Blair, J. Grant, F. W.
Boldero, H. G. Herbert, hon. S.
Broadley, H. Hillsborough, Lord
Broadwood, H. Hodgson, R.
Brownrigg, S. Hogg, J. W.
Bruges, W. H. L. Holmes, W.
Bryan, G. Hope, hon. C.
Burrell, Sir C. Hotham, Lord
Chute, W. L. W. Hutton, R.
Clements, Lord Inglis, Sir R. H.
Clive, Lord Knight, H. G.
Corry, hon. H. Knightley, Sir C.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Lascelles, W. S.
Darby, G. Lefroy, T.
De Horsey, S. Lockhart, A. M.
Douglas, Sir G. Lowther, Col.
Dunbar, G. Lowther, J. H.
East, J. B. Mackenzie, T.
Eastnor, Lord Maher, J.
Mahon, Lord Roche, E. B.
Martin, T. B. Round, J.
Meynell, Captain Rushbroke, R.
Neeld, J. Sandon, Lord
Nicholl, J. Sheil, R. L.
Norreys, Lord Sibthorp, Col.
O'Brien, W. S. Sinclair, Sir G.
O'Connell, D. Somerset, Lord
O'Connell, J. Stanley, Lord
O'Connell, M. J. Sturt, H. C.
O'Connell, M. Teignmouth, Lord
Pakington, J. S. Tennent, J. E.
Palmer, G. Thompson, Ald.
Parker, R. T. Vere, Sir C. B.
Peel, Sir R. Verner, Col.
Perceval, Col. Walsh, Sir J.
Pigot, R. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Power, J. Wood, T.
Praed, W. T. Wyse, T.
Pusey, P.
Redington, T. TELLERS.
Reid, Sir J. R. Lucas, E.
Rickford, W. Jones, T.

Viscount Morpeth proposed to add a clause to the following effect, "That the expenses of the revision of memorials and schedules be first defrayed out of the fund in the Exchequer, and the residue distributed rateably among the memorialists."

Sir R. Peel

thought, that the Treasury, and not the Clergy, ought to bear all these expenses.

The House divided on the question, that the clause be added:—Ayes 62; Noes 51: Majority 11.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Macleod, R.
Aglionby, H. A. Maher, J.
Archbold, R. Maule, hon. F.
Brotherton, J. Morpeth, Viscount
Bryan, G. Morris, G.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Murray, J. A.
Chalmers, P. O'Connell, M. J.
Clements, Viscount, O'Connell, M.
Craig, W. G. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Crompton, Sir S. Palmerston, Viscount
Curry, W. Parker, J.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Pinney, W.
Ferguson, R. A. Ponsonby, hon. J.
Fleetwood, P. H. Power, J.
Gillon, W. D. Redington, T. N.
Gordon, R. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Grey, Sir G. Roche, E. B.
Hastie, A. Russell, Lord J.
Hawes, B. Sheil, R. L.
Hobhouse, Sir J. Smith, R. V.
Hobhouse, T. B. Stanley, E. J.
Horsman, E. Style, Sir C.
Howard, P. H. Thomson, C. P.
Howick, Viscount Thornely, T.
Hutt, W. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Hutton, R. Vigors, N. A.
Labouchere, H. Wallace, R.
Lynch, A. H. Warburton, H.
Westenra, J. C. Yates, J. A.
Wilde, Sergeant TELLERS.
Wilshire, W. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Wood, G. W. Steuart, R.
Wyse, T.
List of the NOES.
Alsager, Captain Lowther, Colonel
Attwood, M. Lowther, J. H.
Bagge, W. Mackenzie, T.
Barrington, Lord Meynell, Captain
Blackburne, J. Neeld, J.
Blackstone, W. S. Nichol, J.
Blair, J. O'Brien, W. S.
Bruges, W. H L. Parker, R. T.
Clive, Lord Peel, Sir R.
Corry, hon. H. Perceval, Colonel
Dalrymple, Sir A. Pigot, R.
De Horsey, S. H. Praed, W. T.
Douglas, Sir C. Pusey, P.
Dunbar, G. Round, J.
Ellis, J. Rushbroke, R.
Estcourt, T. Sibthorpe, Colonel
Farnham, E. B. Stanley, Lord
Goulburn, H. Teignmouth, Lord
Graham, Sir J. Tennent, J. E.
Grant, F. W. Thompson, Ald.
Hogdson, R. Trench, Sir F.
Holmes, W. Verner, Colonel
Hope, hon. C. Walsh, Sir J.
Jones, T. Wood, T.
Knight, H. G. TELLERS.
Knightley, Sir C. Inglis, Sir R.
Lockart, A. M. Lefroy, T.

The clause agreed to, as were the remaining clauses.

The House resumed and the report was received.

Back to