HC Deb 26 July 1838 vol 44 cc648-97
Lord J. Russell

moved the Order of the Day for the third reading of the Tithes (Ireland) Bill.

Mr. D. Browne

rose, in pursuance of the notice which he had given, to move, that the bill be read that day six months. He threw himself upon the indulgence of the House, and he hoped that it would grant to him its attention for a very short period. In the first place, he seldom intruded upon it; and, secondly, he was forced to do so by a conscientious conviction that he had a public duty to perform, from which he could not shrink, by the wish of his constituents, and by that distinct expression of public opinion throughout Ireland, which forced upon the minds of all the representatives from that country a far different consideration of this measure than that proposed in the bill suggested by her Majesty's Government. He most unaffectedly assured the House, that he despaired of obtaining their attention when he considered how disproportionate his own abilities were to the magnitude of the question he presumed to entertain, and when this painful reflection arose in his mind; that however important any Irish question might be, as affecting in its abstract principle, the social happiness of that country, it did not on that account so much obtain the attention of the House as it did in consideration of how far it might be a matter of party trial to persons contending for place, and in consideration of the adventitious circumstance of who might be the person who called to it the attention of the House. He particularly despaired of obtaining the attention of her Majesty's Government, when he recollected, that when a Gentleman placed immeasurably beyond him, of great talents, and enjoying the general esteem of all parties in that House, called upon the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to combat the arguments which he propounded, he was treated by that noble Lord with all the dignity of official indifference, the noble Lord leaving this impression on the country, that this matter no longer being a subject of party trial, only merely affecting the happiness of Ireland, was no longer worthy of the consideration of the leader of that House; but he would not shrink from his duty, as it particularly devolved upon him, on account of the extraordinary silence of the Irish Members, a silence which, when contrasted with the loud and distinct declarations of the inhabitants of that country, was singularly unaccountable, as he was of opinion that those Gentlemen should either declare to their constituents, that they differed from them in opinion, or manfully avow an acquiescence in those opinions to that House. He, however, could not pursue that course, but he must denounce this bill as pregnant with evil, and declare that the secession of her Majesty's Government from their professions, was calculated to deprive them of the confidence of the people of Ireland. He took the speech of the noble Lord, the representative of the Irish Government in that House, as the analytical apology of the rest of his colleagues. A speech more unsatisfactory to Ireland, or to those who wished that the character of the present Administration should be maintained, he had never heard. He wondered that the noble Lord had not the prudence to remain silent. The gist of the noble Lord's speech was, that he still adhered to his opinions with respect to appropriation, but that he would carry a bill, bereft of that principle. Now, he (Mr. Browne) thought, that when the opinions of a statesman were not made the elements of his political conduct, they were of no value to any one but himself, and that it was not prudent in a Minister of the Crown to declare, that he was about to act contrary to his avowed convictions. The noble Lord had stated, that he passed this bill, because it would tranquillize Ireland. This was the question at issue, and this assertion had become the most perfect "petitio principii" he had ever heard: He would ask the noble Lord, from what demonstration of public opinion in Ireland, favourable to that bill, had he come to this conclusion? And as excitement in that, or any other country, must arise out of the popular impulse, it was only by such a demonstration, he could arrive at such a conclusion. He held in his hand a summary of the proceedings of different meetings held in Ireland, comprehending more than a million of human beings, where not a single sentiment favourable to this bill, had been recorded, and where the united voice of the country had exclaimed against this unnatural compromise. He would not trespass on the time of the House by reading the entire of these resolutions; he would slightly advert to one or two, emanating from the most important meetings. On the 1st of July, at a meeting of the counties of Kilkenny, Wexford, Kildare, and Carlow, 150,000 persons present, Mr. T. Boyse, of Bannow, a Protestant gentleman, of the highest respectability, in the chair, it was resolved, that nothing short of a total abolition of tithes, would satisfy the Irish people, and that after the proposed reduction of thirty per cent., they would seek for thirty per cent, more, and afterwards for thirty more; and even should the residue of ten per cent., being a tithe of the tithe, remain, they would still resist its payment by every legal and constitutional means. At a meeting of twenty-two parishes, South Wexford, where upwards of 50,000 persons assembled, similar resolutions were passed, and it was resolved, and he would call the serious attention of the Government to this resolution, "That should the present Session of Parliament terminate, and the petitions of the Irish people, with respect to tithes, remain unheeded, they should consider themselves justified in having recourse to the most stringent measures to relieve themselves from that unjust impost, and to abstain from the use of exciseable commodities, if the Session were allowed to pass without a final arrangement of the question." This resolution reminded him of resolutions which were passed in 1775 in Massachusetts, which were then unheeded by a Ministry, as wise in their generation and as capable of calculating the progress of coming events as the present. Yet America had separated from this country. He would not pursue the allusion. In every part of Ireland, similar meetings had been held, denouncing a compromise, and calling for the total abolition of tithes; yet the noble Lord felt justified in stating, that this bill would tranquillize the country. He widely differed from the noble Lord; he should like to know, where the noble Lord found, at the present time, or at any time antecedent to it, the slightest shade of popular thought extended to this measure. The people never expressed a single sentiment even in favour of the loudly-trumpeted appropriation clause. When that principle was made the corner stone of an Administration then dear to the people of Ireland—when it was made the sine quâ non of their political existence—when the hon. member for Dublin was prudently silent with respect to the total abolition; and, above all, when the hostility of the Tories to appropriation, was likely to endear it to the people of Ireland, the people of that country repudiated the paltry compromise, and asserted their national dignity in asserting their national consistency. The principle of total abolition wears upon it the strength of a century; it has been cemented by oppression; it received since 1829, an irresistible vitality from religious tolerance; and were we to be told by the noble Lord, that this impotent measure would eradicate that principle from the minds of the people? The noble Lord said, that thrice they scaled the perilous breach, and thrice they were defeated, and that was a reason they should desist from their undertaking. Was such a principle to guide men in any physical or mental enterprise? Was it with such a spirit, that the barons of England wrested from the tyrant John, the charter of their liberties—was it with such a spirit they obtained their Habeas Corpus, and Bill of Rights? Was it with such a spirit, that many a gallant and hon. Member of that House passed the fatal ditch at Badajos? Was it with such a spirit, the hon. Member for Dublin raised his powerful voice in defence of the liberties of his country, when, in 1799, the walls of the Royal Exchange were lined with an armed soldiery? And was it with such a spirit, the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, propounded his scheme of reform to a listless House of Commons, and did not desist until he accomplished that great measure, which will hand down to posterity the noble name of the house of Russell, associated with credit and honour with the history of the country? He would wish to be instructed by what defined opinion of statesmen was this principle of timidity to be recommended. The noble Lord was reported to have said, He could not propose to that House to agree to certain amendments, because a large majority of the other House did not agree to their propositions. He knew full well on another subject, now a matter of history, on the matter of the contest between this country and America, from its beginning those who contended for justice to America, were scarcely at any time more than a fourth part of that House. He had been told by a near relative of his own, that he divided with Lord Chatham when there were only four persons in the House, who so divided in favour of conciliatory measures. It was not, therefore, because there were large majorities in favour of a system, that the House ought to yield to such majorities. He was sure, if the House of Commons should, as it did in the American war, concur in acts of oppression and misrule in respect to Ireland, they would, in the end, be compelled to avow, that their measures had been inefficacious, and endeavour again to repair their error by a tardy, and perhaps ineffectual submission. Let the House, however, reject those measures, and it would be to the people of Ireland what this assembly ought to be. Such were the sentiments of the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in 1836, when the Lords' amendments to the Irish Corporation Bill were brought down to that House. He would ask the noble Lord, was he prepared to use similar sentiments, when certain amendments should again be brought down for the consideration of the House of Commons? If he did so, they would contradict the timid declaration of the Secretary for Ireland, and be worthy of that high character for consistency, which distinguished the noble Lord in his advocacy of reform. But he heard it said, that consistency was not, in the opinion of modern statesmen, a quality necessary to a Government; that the great principle which should guide modern Administrations, was that of expediency; and what would the country say was the meaning of the word?—that it was expedient to keep themselves in office. He thought, that men could not lose their political consistency, yielding to no impression from without, without a certain loss of political character. He did not mean to say, that they should adhere to the same opinions, when the country disagreed with them, for as all legislation should reflect the opinions of the community, and as those opinions were subject to change with time, the mind of the Legislature must keep pace with time. But when men seceded from principles, which, at one period, they considered to be the essential quality of their political existence, without any external change, they did that which was dangerous as an example, and calculated to annihilate their political reputation. He should be told, that this was a factious speech, that it was dangerous under any consideration to disturb the executive: he could not assent to that proposition, which preferred executive good to legislative good, or rather, to he should say, executive harmlessness; for the merit of the present Administration lay more in abstinence from doing evil, than in any positive good they had effected. He disagreed with that declaration, for those who controlled the powers of legislation would soon wield the sword of the executive, and this was the case at present. The Whigs administered—and the Tories dictated, the laws. It was an evident proposition that if matters were allowed to continue, an increasing Conservative constituency in England, a decreasing reform one in Ireland, that the hon. Gentlemen opposite, must come into office; and as they would come in through the weakness of the reform party, that the sooner they did so the better, for the more strength the Reformers would have left to resist them. The reason he dissented from the present measure was, that it would either fasten tithes for ever upon the Catholics of Ireland, or create a servile war betwixt landlord and tenant. The latter was the more likely consequence to ensue, and he was told, that that should be an inducement to accept the bill—that landlord and tenant, suffering a mutual inconvenience, would unite for their total abolition. Now, as this could only be procured by a resistance to rent, and the collisions consequent, he must say, that it was a most unholy means of arriving at an end. As to its fastening tithes upon the people of Ireland, if this social irruption did not take place, it was equally as true. It might be said, that after the expiration of present leases, the tenants would be relieved from the payment of tithes, but what quantity of blood might be shed in the mean time! You would not, then, have men subdued by the feelings of religion, who had other sources to look to in the religious zeal of the community, seeking the tenth of the produce of the soil, but you would have those in whom the whole right of the soil existed, with a spirit inflamed by evil passions, exasperated by a denial of the whole of those rights. And even if the leases were to expire to-morrow, this bill must necessarily fasten the tithe upon the Catholic soil of Ireland, for no Catholic hereafter who by industry might have acquired the means to purchase property, could purchase it in Ireland, without having attached to it this degrading impost. He was told that 25 per cent. was a boon and ought to be an inducement to accept this measure. That might be the case if it were a pecuniary inconvenience which the people of Ireland suffered in the payment of tithes: but it was not so; if it was, the inconvenience of paying rent would be felt greater in the same proportion as the rent exceeded tithe. This was proved by the fact of nearly all the tithe sufferers having paid their rent. It might be said, that the peculiar method of collection procured that inconvenience, but that he denied; for take an acre of land paying 20s. rent, and 2s. tithe, you would say that the inconvenience arose from the peculiar mode of collecting the 2s. tithe. It did not so arise; it was voluntarily submitted to, when we considered that the 20s. had been paid, for if the tithe defaulter had commenced with the 2s. the inconvenience could not exist. He would state one instance which could be multiplied by a thousand, and which would distinctly prove that it was not a pecuniary inconvenience the people of Ireland suffered. In Longford, there was a bill filed by the rev. Mr. Digby for tithes due of the annual amount of twopence halfpenny. The tithe defaulter resisted, and afterwards compromised his costs for 50l. Take this proposition:—Suppose two parties of equal means, one liable to a larger, the other to a smaller amount of tithes, both resisting under the old law. Suppose the new law placed the man liable to the larger amount on a level with the man liable to the smaller amount under the old law; the man liable to the smaller amount having resisted before, why not suppose the man reduced to his level to resist under the present bill, or supposing the deduction to be the relief required, why did the man liable to the smaller amount resist under the old law? As long, therefore, as a fraction of it remained, encumbering the soil of Ireland, the same resistance would exist; for it was a political repugnance, which existed in the minds of the people to contribute to a Church from which they derived no spiritual benefit, and which was hostile to their country. He wished that tithes should be subject to a revaluation, and disposed of to the first estate of inheritance; that out of the fund created existing interests should be provided for, and in future, that the voluntary system should be introduced. He advocated this conscientiously, as he could not recognize any human or divine right to tithes. The Church had no right which the history of Protestantism did not prove, that the constitution could disturb. He invited any man entertaining a contrary opinion, to tarry in any town in England, and to enter any cathedral, and he would have, wherever he fixed his eye, a grim evidence of the mutability of the possessions of the Church. Let him enter into that Gothic temple, where a late pageant reminded him so strongly of Catholicism; where ceremonies were borrowed from the Vatican, to place the crown of England on the defendress of the faith; let him enter it, and when he heard the service of a new religion chanted in a new tongue, let him reflect that there once the Te Deum rose to heaven, and that there once chanting the sacred liturgy of the dead, according to the ritual of the Church of Rome, the sacred choir followed the dust of England's proudest monarchs to their last repositories; let him reflect, and he would find in all around him an incontestable evidence of the mutability of the possessions of the Church, and the power of the constitution to devote them to what purposes they pleased. The hon. Member concluded by submitting his amendment to the House.

Mr. Hume

seconded the amendment. He maintained still, as he had always done, that no attempts to settle the tithe question in Ireland could be successful which did not include the principle of the appropriation of its surplus revenues. Divested of this principle the present bill must prove a mere delusion.

Viscount Ebrington

had ever considered that the existence of a Church Establishment in Ireland so disproportionate to the wants of the community was a stain and a disgrace on the institutions of the country; and he should have found great difficulty in bringing himself to support the measure if he thought that it would tend to prevent that reduction of the Church Establishment which at no very distant period he hoped to see accomplished. With respect to the principle of appropriation, if in the present state of things he saw any prospect of carrying that principle into operation—no consideration should induce him to acquiesce in a bill which did not include it. But if the struggle against tithes were still to go on, notwithstanding this bill, the burden would be on the shoulders of those who were much better able to bear it, and who, he hoped, would carry on the war with effect. He should support this measure, therefore, not as the best which he could wish to be carried into effect, but as the best which the present state of parties held out a hope of obtaining.

Mr. Ward

said, that parties were of no value in the State unless they persisted in carrying out the great principles by which they had been united; and he regretted to see the noble Lord, who deservedly stood so high in the country, giving his sanction to such a measure as the present, and which he, for one, could never consent to. He agreed with the noble Lord, the Secretary of War, that palliatives could never avail; and though he had supported the appropriation principle, from a belief that it was calculated to conciliate the support of all parties in this country, one advantage was to be gained from its present abandonment— that it drove them to look at the root of the evil, and convinced all candid men that they never could expect to settle the question of the Irish Church without reducing its revenues to the wants of its members. As he had so often troubled the House with his sentiments, he merely rose to enter his valedictory protest against the bill.

Sir W. Somerville

said, that the objections of the Roman Catholics to tithes did not so much rest on the amount of the sum which was levied from them in the shape of a tax, as on their conscientious abhorrence of contributing to the support of a Church from which they dissented. He asked whether this bill would not be the means of appropriating twenty-five per cent. of the Church revenue in the very worst manner in which it could be appropriated, namely, by putting it into the pockets of the landlords? Why not apply this surplus of twenty-five per cent. which the bill proved they had at their disposal to the object of satisfying the wants of the people under the Poor-law Bill? There never was a more unjust anomaly than that which the present state of the Irish Church presented. He knew an excellent man—a clergyman in his own neighbourhood—who had to serve his own tithe processes on his Catholic parishioners, who amounted to thousands, whilst the Protestants numbered only six. He firmly believes, that this measure, even as a palliative, would fail; and he frankly avowed that, believing as he did that there never would be peace, tranquillity, or happiness, in Ireland until the Church was placed on its proper footing, he should assist his fellow-countrymen by every means in his power in their efforts to get rid of this monstrous burden. Why should he struggle for the Irish Church as it at present stood, when he knew that, looking at it in a political point of view, it had endangered the union between the two countries, and in its social effects it had disorganised the whole frame of society. Then, as to its religious character, he firmly believed, as a Protestant, that if the Legislature had contrived a plan to prevent the spread of Protestantism, they could not have hit upon any instrument more effectual for their purpose than this Established Church, which had not at the present time, and never had, a parallel in the civilised world. Unless this question was settled in the manner which common sense pointed out, all efforts to direct the industry and energy of the Irish people into the channels of trade, manufactures, and commerce, would prove ineffectual. But if the Legislature were once to settle the question on rational grounds, he did not think, that five years, or half five years, would elapse before hon. Gentlemen opposite would be surprised at their blindness in so long resisting the extension of those rights and privileges which, to be useful, must tend to cement all classes, and which must always be dangerous when confined to a small class of the country. Notwithstanding his opinions of the imperfection of the bill, he would support it for the sake of peace.

Mr. Grote

did not feel justified in giving his vote without stating, in a very few words, the reasons which induced him to give his support to the amendment. He knew it was quite impossible to say anything new on the question of Irish tithes; and if there was any novelty in the present debate, it was owing to the discrepancy which was to be traced between the premises and the conclusions of the hon. Gentlemen who had spoken in support of this bill. He was quite sure it was impossible to make a more convincing or effective speech than that delivered by the hon. Baronet who had just sat down, and by what means he brought himself to support a measure from which he stated his conviction it was impossible to derive any good, was more than he could imagine. The noble Lord, the Member for North Devonshire, too, prophesied the entire failure of this measure. It would, he said, be the means of transferring the payment of tithes from the weaker class to the more powerful, and he anticipated from the change only increased odium to the existing constitution of the Irish Church. Now, he disapproved of the Irish Church as much as any man could do; he had been as unreserved as any man could be in the expression of his abhorrence of the monstrous principle, and the equally monstrous effects of that establishment, yet he must say, that if he believed, that the indirect effect of a bill, and not intended by those who proposed it, was to produce increased hostility to the Establishment, he should not, for that reason, be willing to give it his support, if to the principles contained in it he had a conscientious objection. Very possibly this bill might strengthen, in the minds of the Irish and of the English people, the objections now so strongly and so justly entertained to the Irish Church; but that would supply no reason to his mind for assenting to a bill which contained principles that he could not sanction. The hon. Member for Kilkenny, who seconded the amendment, excluded from his objections to the bill the grant of money which was proposed. On that point he could not agree with his hon. Friend; for, looking at the grant of money as an integral part of the bill, he must say, that, amongst his other objections, that occupied a most conspicuous place. He held the grant objectionable on the score of principle, both with reference to the state of the Treasury, and as to its mischievous effects on the minds of the Irish population. It was in vain, that he and other Members entered their protest the other night, in the hope of excluding from the bill this most mischievous provision. But since their efforts had been unavailing, and the grant remained in the bill, he felt compelled to say, that if he had no other reasons against it, that would form a conclusive reason against his voting for the measure in its present shape. He did not mean to say, that if a plan for the settlement of the Irish Chnrch question were proposed, founded on just principles, and which he believed would prove final and satisfactory, that he should object to a certain payment from the English Treasury, asked with such a view. And he was quite certain, that however strict the views of economy of any Gentleman on his side of the House might be, he would not object to a grant which would clearly have the effect of closing a wound which had been so long left bleeding. But it was to him a strange and painful phenomenon, that every Gentleman who spoke in favour of this bill confessed it would not effect the object for which his support was given. Even its advocates predicted no good consequences from it. It was as much as they—it was as much as any man could say, that it would be the means of postponing the litigation and disputes which now prevailed, the sources of the differences being still left open, with an acknowledged expectation of the same contests being renewed in a very short time. He could not conceive how the noble Lord, the Secretary at War, who had made a speech the other night which he recollected with the greatest satisfaction, and in which he admitted, that the difficulties of the Irish Church were only adjourned, without any one of them being settled by this bill, could give his consent to so dear a purchase by the people of England of a mere hollow truce. He refrained from making any allusion to the principle of appropriation, and although he must confess, that the altered tone perceptible on that side of the House with regard to that question did indeed afford a melancholy proof of the way in which great principles were made subservient to party purposes, and although he thought history would record this as one of the most discreditable instances of tergiversation, yet he thought it useless at the present time to attempt to impart interest to a subject which had been consigned by both sides to oblivion. But seeing, that this bill would impose a large charge on the people of England; seeing, that it did not settle any of the disputes or difficulties of the Irish tithe question; and seeing, that it left the main anomaly not only without correction, but without mitigation, he should give his decided opposition to this measure, and register his vote for the amendment.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

Although he agreed in most of the sentiments of the hon. Member for Sheffield, yet, as an Irish representative, and a well-wisher to Ireland, he felt justified in voting for the third reading of this bill; and he did so on this simple principle, that whilst he believed it would effect great temporary good, no future mischief could possibly result from it. He owned he was surprised at the charge of inconsistency launched, not only against her Majesty's Ministers, but against a large body of their supporters, on the ground of their having abandoned the appropriation principle. And he must complain, that his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, had not quoted correctly the resolution of 1835. His hon. Friend read the words as if they ran, "no settlement can take place;" whereas they really were, that "no final and satisfactory settlement could be arrived at, which did not involve the principle of appropriation. Now, did any Member of her Majesty's Government, did any Member at this side of the House, or did the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Peel) pretend that the present proposal was meant as a "final and satisfactory" adjustment of this most important question? When he heard that question answered in the affirmative, he should admit, that the charges of inconsistency so freely dealt out against those who, though they supported the appropriation clause, felt bound not to negative the present bill, were well founded. His hon. Friend the Member for Mayo (Mr. D. Browne) knowing, he supposed, that a distinguished foreigner (Marshal Soult) was that night in their gallery, seemed fired by his presence with unwonted ardour, and insisted that, whilst they had the principle of appropriation to fight for, they should never desist, however repulsed from the breach, or however diminished in numbers, until they perished in the attempt. It struck him at the time his noble Friend was delivering this strong appeal, that the quotation might not unnaturally have occurred to him, Of the three hundred grant but three To make a new Thermopylæ. He did not see, that there was anything unmanly in not struggling for a principle which was at present unattainable, nor did he consider it inconsistent with honesty and public spirit to take a measure as good as he could get, because it was not as comprehensive as he could wish. There was no use in concealing the fact, that such was the excitement generated by resisting the rational demands of the people, that the appropriation principle, which would have given satisfaction in 1835, would be treated with scorn in 1838. The sentiments expressed at those meetings to which his hon. Friend referred, were equally condemnatory of this bill and of the measure which his hon. Friend blamed the Government for having abandoned. Though he did not think the people of England were totally free from blame in the apathy, or he should, perhaps, rather say, in the religious prejudice, which their conduct exhibited on this question, the affirmation of the principle of appropriation was now rendered useless, so far as the demands of the Irish people were concerned. He knew what pains had been taken to disseminate unworthy prejudices in the minds of the English people. Like Scrub in the play, when those who pandered to narrow-minded bigotry, and uttered the cry of "murder" and "thieves," had failed, they raised that of "popery." There was no doubt, that that cry had been raised throughout every part of the country, and the opposite benches testified how well it had succeeded. But as he was convinced, that the people of England were a rational and thinking people, he had no fear, that they would remain permanently wedded to error, but common sense and justice must soon resume that sway which it seemed they now unfortunately did not hold over their minds. There were two things which tended especially to point out the enormous injustice of the Irish Established Church; one was, that its revenues were on a scale befitting the church of a nation, and the other, that it was devoted to the service of a minority. And of what minority? Of the ignorant of the destitute, and of the hard-working classes, who had not the means of supplying themselves with religious instruction? No, but of those who incessantly and almost insultingly boasted, that they were, to a great extent, the aristocracy of the country, that they constituted a majority amongst the squirearchy, that in the magistracy they greatly preponderated, that in the learned professions they had more than their share, and that amongst the merchants, traders, and more comfortable artisans, they were also to be found in considerable numbers. This, then, was the minority as described by themselves for whose exclusive benefit a church of extravagant revenues was supported. He did believe, that when the people of England came calmly to reflect on this anomaly, and to consider in what circumstances the other religions in Ireland were placed, this state of things could not long endure. He was delighted to hear the manly expression of sentiment on the religious consequences of the present state of the Irish from the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Somerville). He fully participated in the hon. Baronet's belief as a Protestant, that no system could be devised which would more effectually check the progress of the Protestant religion. It had been said by the hon. and learned Sergeant, the Member for Bandon, that the demands of the clergy fell short of their rights. About a century ago the question of tithe agistment was raised in the Irish Parliament, and he had extracted from the journals a few passages, which showed how the result, of which the hon. and learned Sergeant complained, was brought about. The first was as follows:— December 6, 1735. Petition complaining of the new demand for agistment tithes referred to a Committee, who on the 22d December reported 'that the allegations were proved. March 5, 1735 (O. S.). Petition of Samuel Low and others, also referred to a committee, and, on the 18th March, report made, 'that the petitioners have fully proved the allegations of their petition to the satisfaction of the Committee, and deserve the strongest assistance the House can give them. These and two other resolutions were agreed to, and the following resolution— That the commencing suits upon these new demands must impair the Protestant interest, by driving many useful hands out of this kingdom; must disable those that remain to support his Majesty's establishment, and occasion popery and infidelity to gain ground, by the contest that must necessarily arise between the clergy and laity"— was carried on a division, 110 voting for it, and only 50 against it. And this resolution was carried by a House of Commons, which gave decisive proof of its Protestantism by resolving, on the 16th December, 1735, nemine contradicente, That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, setting forth, that the reversal of the outlawries of persons attainted for treason in the rebellions of 1641 and 1688, or the enabling any of them, or their descendants, to sue those Protestants who have purchased estates forfeited by those rebels under several Acts of Parliament, will be dangerous to his Majesty's person and Government, and the succession in his royal house, and highly prejudicial to the Protestant interest of this kingdom. As the land, however, ceased to be used for grazing, and agriculture advanced, the resistance to tithes increased, and the incomes of the clergy became proportionably diminished. Even in the provinces in which Protestantism prevailed most, there were so many cases of pluralists, sinecurists, overpaid rectors, and underpaid curates, that he could not abstain from mentioning a few to the House. The hon. Gentleman read the following list:— The Rev. Charles Le Poer Trench, rector, Dunleer Union, diocese Armagh, 531l. 17s.d. Population of Union, Protestants of Established Church, 289; Roman Catholics, 4,925; Protestant dissenters, 1. Also rector of Athenry, diocese Tuam, 902l. 15s.d.; Established Church, 170; Roman Catholics, 7,454. Has also two prebends, Faldown, worth 92l. 3s. 4d.; Ballywoulta, 21l. 3s. 1d. Non-resident in both benefices, being vicar-general of Clonfert, where he lives; has a curate in each benefice, and pays each 69l. 4s.d. Rev. Charles Cobbe Beresford, rector of Termon M'Guiske, diocese of Armagh, 1,267l. 6s. 10½d.; Established Church, 1,722; Roman Catholics, 8,249; Presbyterians, 941; parish contains 41,000 acres. Rectory of Killesher, diocese of Kilmore, 1,211l. 3s. 10d.; Established Church, 2,457; Roman Catholics, 2,641; contains 21,000 acres. Two curates in Termon M'Guiske, 75l. each; one in Killesher (where rector does not reside) 83l. 1s.d. Rev. William Athill, rector of Findouagh, diocese of Clogher, 828l. 6s. 11d.; Established Church, 3,519; Roman Catholics, 7,084; Presbyterians, 1,400. Also rector of Magheracalmoney, same diocese, 575l. 15s.d.; Established Church, 3,586; Roman Catholics, 3,298. Resides in latter parish, and has one curate at 80l.; in Findonagh one curate at 60l. a-year, and forty acres of land rent free. Resistance to tithes, continued the hon. Gentleman, was not confined to the Roman Catholic districts of Ireland, but had extended to the Presbyterian and Protestant North, in proof of which it was only necessary for him to remind the House of the case, which had lately appeared in the newspapers. (The hon. Member quoted a case brought before the Court of Exchequer, Dublin, in which the defendants, in a tithe process, were Presbyterians.)

He felt satisfied, that these facts, when they came to be known, would produce an impression on the minds of the people of England, and enlist their feelings of fair play in favour of the claims of the Irish nation to a reform of these enormous and crying abuses. It might be asked, what remedy could be devised for these evils? The Roman Catholic Members of the House were often taunted for wishing the church to which they belonged to share in the emoluments of the Protestant Church establishment. As a member of the Roman Catholic church himself, he begged distinctly to state, that there was nothing to which he should so strongly object as to see that church placed in the invidious position of deriving its support from a State provision. He wished it to be understood, that the Roman Catholics of Ireland repudiated any connexion whatever between their church and the State. Then came the question of whether there ought to be any appropriation of the funds of the Protestant Established Church other than that which was now made. For his own part, he was decidedly in favour of what was called the voluntary principle; but, at the same time, he was strongly of opinion, that if a portion of the enormous revenues of the Established Church were applied to the purposes of general education in Ireland, agitation in that country would cease, and religious tranquillity be for the first time established. Unless something of that kind were done, he was satisfied, that the days of the Established Church in Ireland would be numbered.

Sir R. Peel

said, the question we are now called on to discuss is this—whether we ought to vote for the third reading of this bill, or whether we should consent to the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Mayo. That amendment proposes to postpone the bill for the period of six months, and this is, in my mind, tantamount to a declaration, that the attempt that has been made for the settlement of the tithe question has altogether failed, and that there is no prospect whatever of our coming to an agreement upon any satisfactory principle upon which the future settlement of the tithe question can be made. This appears to me to be the effect of the amendment proposed to the House, and the proposition which this House would affirm by adopting that amendment. Now, then, Sir, the bill before the House contains two enactments, in both of which I concur. In the first place I fully concur in the future conversion of the tithe into a rent-charge. In the next place I fully confer in the transfer of the pecuniary burthen of tithe from the occupiers, who, in general, are Roman Catholics, to the proprietors and landlords, who, in general, are of the Protestant persuasion. I concur also—and concur most fully—in that enactment of the present bill, which sets at rest—and sets at rest for ever—the whole question of arrears; and so far as the operation of the bill is concerned, I think that setting aside the question of arrears, which might remain as an element of discontent, is, in itself, a very great advantage. Entertaining, then, those opinions with respect to the present bill, I find it impossible to assent to the proposition of the hon. Member for Mayo. Now, let me ask the House, if we consented to take that course, what would be the consequence? Why, this—if we rejected this bill, we should leave the tithe question not only in the state in which it has been for the last five years, but in even a far worse state; for, after the declaration of Parliament, rejecting this bill, you would altogether exclude the prospect of any satisfactory settlement of the question whatever. From the views which have been expressed at the other side of the House in opposition to this bill, I am unable to infer anything definite. One hon. Member gets up and says, that he feels bound to oppose the present bill, because he is anxious to have this question settled upon rational grounds. Another gets up and says, that he will never consent to have this question settled upon any but a just principle. They deliver themselves thus of vague and indefinite generalities, but they will not condescend to tell us what they mean when they talk of having the question set at rest upon rational grounds and upon just principles. Indeed, Sir, I am surprised at the course that has been taken, and the ground on which the opposition to the third reading of this bill has been assumed. I had hoped, considering the length of time during which this question has been agitated, that men who felt bound to oppose it, would have done so upon broad and intelligible grounds. But, instead of this, we are met with some vague generalities—the expression of a wish that the question should be settled upon rational grounds and upon just principles. I ask hon. Gentlemen, what they mean by these assertions? I can easily understand those who express a definite opinion. One hon. Member stated, that he would be satisfied with no settlement short of the application of the voluntary system. Now, I thank that hon. Gentleman for the candid and practical declaration of his opinion. I believe, that in the candid avowal of his, no doubt, sincere opinions, that hon. Gentleman will do more to place the question on intelligible grounds than those who dissent from everything they hear proposed, and ask nothing more definite than the settlement of the question upon just and rational principles. With respect to the principle of appropriation, about which so much has been said this evening, I shall say nothing whatever. I know full well, how easy it might be to raise impediments of pride, which might prevent any settlement of the question at all. I will merely say, that I have always thought, and still think, the adoption of that principle, in any legislative measure, is, in every way, calculated to prevent a practical settlement of this question. In referring to what took place in 1835, the settlement was then re- sisted, because one of the principles on which it was founded, was the appropriation principle; and I must say, that I am more and more convinced, by every successive debate on this question, of the justice and propriety of the course which I took in resisting the appropriation principle. I ask you, who resist the present bill, and demand the settlement of this question on just principles, to say, whether you now consider the appropriation principle a just principle. The hon. Member for Sheffield had said, that principles ought not to vary with the position of parties, whatever they might do with the lapse of years? You tell me, that the appropriation principle would be rejected by the people of Ireland now as worse than useless, and I ask you to say, would that principle, which you tell me now would be rejected, have been just three years ago? In what did the justice of your principle three years ago consist? One of the grounds on which this bill is objected to is, that the settlement cannot be satisfactory, inasmuch as that the Church of the minority is greatly overpaid, as compared with the Church of the majority. Now, supposing this, how is it possible that, according to the views you express, you could have effected a settlement by deducting a limited sum from the revenues paid for the maintenance of that Church, and appropriating an indefinite surplus, at an indefinite period, on the grounds set forth at the time? Now, how can you assert, after what has since keen stated, that such an arrangement would have given satisfaction? Where was the binding nature of the compact? What would there be still, even after having adopted that principle, to prevent the hon. Members opposite, or any other hon. Member, from attempting to establish the voluntary principle? I showed you, that it was a delusive settlement. By deducting one-fifth, you acknowledged the principle, that you still retained, what were called enormous revenues, for the support of the Church of the minority. Now, was this calculated to strengthen the Church? Would the hon. Member for Kilkenny acquiesce in that course? It was on the ground that I have stated, that I felt bound to resist the appropriation principle. I cannot understand those who say, they are anxious for a settlement of this question, and yet propose to reject this bill. I think some settlement of this question necessary, and, upon that ground, I give my consent to the present bill. I cannot understand public men who say, that they will support this bill, because they hope that it will increase the evils of the Church. I think it would be better for the noble Lord to resist the measure altogether, than support it on the ground that it was calculated to accumulate the evils of the Church. I think, indeed, that it would be better for the noble Lord to resist the bill, if he had made up his mind that the present arrangement was calculated to entail upon the Church more evils than those under which it already suffers. Neither can I understand the course pursued by the hon. Member for Drogheda. That hon. Gentleman says, "You may pass this bill, and I, as a member of the Established Church, will not originate any subsequent agitation; but if my poorer neighbours shall think fit to renew agitation, they shall have my co-operation." I can understand his scruples as a member of the Established Church against the commencement of agitation, but I cannot understand his feelings when he says, that if persons, influenced by motives in which he has no participation, shall commence agitation, he will not only not lend his assistance in quelling that agitation, but that it shall have his co-operation. When the hon. Gentleman says, that his whole object in supporting this bill is to put down agitation, I confess I cannot understand the meaning of this public notice, that if the peasantry shall think fit to recommence agitation, they may know where to find a colleague. Sir, this bill, which we are now called on to read for the third time, includes three enactments—first, that Irish tithes shall be converted into a rent-charge, this enactment to be applied universally, wherever the case may require it; secondly, the arrears of the million are to be remitted; and, thirdly, it deals with the existing arrears, which are not covered by the million, and provides that a grant shall be made by Parliament of 300,000l., by which grant that class of arrears shall be altogether extinguished. Concurring, as I do, so much in some parts of this bill, and deeply anxious as I am to see this Session close with some successful attempt at the adjustment of tithes on just principles—the principles of relieving the occupying tenant, and transferring the charge to the landlords of Ireland—no opposi- tion I could give to a single clause would induce me to withhold my assent to the third reading. I think, as I said before, it would amount to a Parliamentary declaration that, after five years of anxious consideration, the adjustment of Irish tithes was found to be impracticable; and that attempts for the recovery of tithes must be immediately renewed, as all hope of assistance from Parliament was hopeless. In my opinion, also, the evil would be greatly aggravated by the late approximation of opposing parties, and the failure of their united efforts. For these reasons, nothing but the strongest objections to parts of the Bill at this late period, would induce me to abandon the hope of seeing it become law. But the bill before the House being very much in conformity with that which I supported on a former occasion, and as I feel that the settlement of the tithe question has not been at all affected by anything that has occurred, since I am naturally disposed to view with favour the adjustment of the tithe question in the present case. For these reasons, I shall support the third reading, and most earnestly resist the motion of the hon. Gentleman opposite. There is one enactment of the bill, however, to which I do not assent. The enactment to which I refer is that which provides, that on the grant of 300,000l. being made, all claims for arrears of tithes on the occupying tenants shall cease. Since this bill was first introduced important modifications have been made, the first and most important of which, in my opinion, is, that whilst all claim on the instalments have been relinquished, and the occupying tenantry relieved from all obligation to pay the arrears, I think that the provision was founded in justice, and I cordially rejoice to see it incorporated in the bill. Another modification has been introduced into the enactment, which relates to the existing arrears. At first, the compensation granted was only intended to be in lieu of the arrears which have occurred within the last two years. I decidedly objected to that proposition, as I thought it most unjust that Parliament should interfere to prevent those to whom the arrears were due for the first four years receiving any compensation; and I believe the bill has been altered so as not to exclude that class of claimants from compensation. I do not say, that they are to receive an equal compensation to those of the last two years, but a proportionate one for the arrears they are called on to abandon. By this means, the rights of no parties, whose claims are to be extinguished by the Legislature, will be called on to abandon those rights without at least some compensation. The state of the law will then be this—that all those who have commenced suits for the recovery of tithes before the 16th of July last, will have the option of continuing their law proceedings. With them, there shall be no interference; but, if they think fit to do so without payment of costs, they shall be entitled to their share of the compensation intended by the bill. I apprehend that is the right construction. The violence thus done, when it is done, is in that class of arrear not covered by previous advances out of the million, and in which the parties have not instituted suits for recovery. Now, I am bound to state and to maintain my opinion with respect to this. After my best consideration, I think that my proposal was the best in every respect. I think the proposal that gave an option to parties to accept the offer made by Government, or to enforce the law in cases where they thought fit, I think that proposal protected a great principle, and was every way better than the course which has been adopted. Sir, I admit, that there is considerable force in the argument of the noble Lord, in which he maintains that on the whole the option would not be very desirable. If the offer should be accepted by seven clergymen in each diocese, and the arrear insisted on by one, I am perfectly ready to admit, that his option would not be perfectly unrestricted, but at the same time we must recollect that in this case, although there might be moral obligation, there would be no legal compulsion. The principle would be maintained, so that in cases when the circumstances of the occupying tenant were as good as those of the landlord, in cases, for instance, when his rent amounted to 500l. or 1,000l. a-year, and where such tenant should prove contumacious the arrears might be recovered, I see no reason why Government, in such cases as these, should not reserve to itself the power of vindicating the authority of the law. By this means the other alternative, that of making past resistance effective, would be avoided. At the same time, having taken the sense of the House fairly on the subject, I have done all I could to enforce my proposal by repeated argument; but I have been overruled by hon. Gentlemen opposite; nor have I the slightest reason to believe that, if I were again to propose it, I should meet with any better success. Supposing the optional principle, then, defeated, I certainly wish that Government, in adherence to their own principle, would adopt a course like this, that if they are determined to apply compulsion, and to deprive parties of their legal remedy, at the same time granting compensation, they should ascertain the full amount of arrears really due. Even suppose it is their intention to give but seventy-five per cent. on the amount of the arrears, or any other per centage, still it is necessary to ascertain the exact amount. I am perfectly willing to admit, that at this advanced period of the session there are many obstacles in the way of ascertaining the exact amount, and I deeply regret that we did not take the matter into consideration at an earlier period, as the arrangement would have been more satisfactory to all, if we had been enabled to know the amount of property with which we had to deal. I am bound to say there is great difficulty in coming to a satisfactory conclusion, and the hon. Gentleman opposite will recollect that when I resisted the exclusion of the clause as proposed by him I did so for the express purpose of closely considering the pecuniary claims of a party, which, in my opinion, was suffering grievous wrong, and which I was anxious to protect from any further injury. I have taken the best means within my reach to come to a right decision on this subject. I have had, unfortunately, to consider the question unassisted by the natural representatives of the Irish Church, and I can only say, that I have come to the best decision within the scope of my judgment for the individual interests of the Irish clergy, and the permanent interests of the Irish Church; and I now declare, in perfect unanimity with the opinions of those most interested, that from the many conflicting judgments and the extreme difficulty of the whole question, I cannot take upon myself the responsibility of rejecting altogether the proposal of the Government. That proposal is, that all advances hitherto made from the million shall be remitted, and that a further sum of 300,000l. shall be granted for the purpose of giving some compensation in lieu of existing claims. Suppose I rejected the offer now made, I cannot foresee the course Government might take with respect to the remission of the instalments already paid. They might say, if the arrears are to be enforced, why not the instalments? I believe it might be competent to us, by uniting with such hon. Gentlemen opposite as entertain principles very different from mine, who object, on principle, to any grant on this question—I dare say that, by uniting with them, I might possibly have excluded the clause, and by deciding it should have determined that under no circumstances whatever should the assistance of the Treasury be offered for the settlement of tithe. I think that such exclusion would be tantamount to a declaration that Parliament positively refused all interposition. If, therefore, I had voted with the hon. Gentleman, as I might have done, I should formally and irrevocably have decided the question. [Mr. Hume: Not if you accede to the reform of the Church.] If the hon. Member mean by reform of the Church the abolition of sinecures where such exist; if he mean the abolition of pluralities on the system pursued in England; if by reform of the Church the hon. Member mean an equalization of incomes, all I can say is, that to all that I shall most willingly agree, in as far as it will not interfere with the integrity of what still remains of the property of the Church. More than that I will not consent to. But I will not consent to the alienation of Church property. I will not consent to any violation of the principle of an establishment—but this I will do, that if you prove to me that in Ireland there are districts where the working minister is badly paid, and that there are other districts in which he has too much, I will consent to equalization, and I shall do so with no other view than to effect what will best conduce to the spiritual and temporal interests of the Church. I will consent to what I call true reform, that is, such appropriation of the Church's revenues as shall make sure that in every district the wants of the Protestant population shall be adequately provided for. As I said before, if I excluded this clause I should for ever shut out the prospect of compensation, but by consenting to it I do not finally determine on its merits, but refer it to another branch of the Legislature, well competent to decide on questions in which the Irish Church is concerned, and where that Church is fairly represented. That branch will decide this great question, whether the emergency is so urgent, or the circumstances so special, as, on the whole, to justify the violation of the principle of property. I will not shrink from frankly declaring my own opinion. I think, from what we know of the position of the Irish clergy, that, if this clause were now excluded, their situation would be extremely painful. I cannot exclude from my consideration the whole circumstances—I cannot exclude from it the position of the clergy with respect to Government—and I must say, that the opinions we have heard expressed by Members of the Government increase the difficulty. My own opinion is, that active interference on the part of Government, backed by a determination to enforce the law, would be completely effectual. But, at the same time, I cannot omit from my consideration that if Government does not entertain this opinion, and that some members of it profess an opposite principle, it will be exceedingly difficult to enforce the rights of the Church. Independently of this, I must consider the individual wants of the Irish clergy, and the permanent interests of the Church. If I reject this offer, I leave the clergy in this position—I shall have converted composition into rent-charge, and thus have implied on the part of the Legislature, that the present system is defective, and thus be throwing another obstacle in the way of recovery of arrears. I should be telling the clergy that all hope from the public funds was futile, and that, therefore, they had no other resource for the recovery of their arrears, but an immediate enforcement of the law. In cases where arrears have lain over for four years—observe, not in the cases where suits have been instituted—if I object now to any offer for the settlement of the question, I cannot conceal from myself, that in the South of Ireland, any attempt to enforce the tithe would be attended with extreme difficulty. So much for the individual interests of the clergy. For the general interests of the Church, I should say, that the new system admits conversion into rent charge, under circumstances most likely to prejudice those interests. In the north of Ireland the landlords have already undertaken the collection of tithes, so that it is in the south the new law will principally operate. In the south the arrears are due. I should then have contemporaneously a conversion of composition into rent-charge, and a general appeal to the law. Under such circumstances I fear, that the prospect of a permanent settlement would be greatly diminished if I were to compel the clergy to resort to law. As I said before, I object to this provision. I wish it were more liberal—that it were possible for the noble Lord opposite to give a somewhat larger equivalent. I retain all my objection to the principles involved in this clause, namely the abandonment of legal right, and a refusal to enforce the law; but after conferring with those best qualified to judge, and having had no opportunity of conferring immediately with those interested, finding no one willing to take upon himself the responsibility of rejection, I am placed in the painful situation of being obliged to select amongst the numerous existing difficulties the one least pregnant with danger to the interests I am desirous to protect. I cannot, therefore, consent to the total exclusion of the clause from the bill—I cannot altogether abandon the hope of a pecuniary provision. I therefore consent to the clause, thinking that the principle is not finally determined by its adoption on the present occasion. I think I shall merely be giving time for further communication with Ireland, and enabling the other branch of the Legislature to determine what, on the whole, under existing circumstances, is best to be done with this question. Whether it would be better to leave the law as it stands, to give the parties their legal remedy but no compensation, or to accept for the Irish Church the Government proposal. I therefore will not oppose this clause. It would, perhaps, be more satisfactory for me to refrain from passing an opinion, but I never will take the plan of absenting myself from the House, and I therefore do not hesitate to say, that if the hon. Gentleman press his amendment I shall vote against it and in favour of the clause.

Mr. Harvey

said, that the right hon. Baronet had made two sweeping charges against those who opposed the bill, which it appeared to him incumbent on those who thought of it as he did to notice. It was a favourite remark, not only of the right hon. Baronet but also of the noble Lord the Member for Stroud (Lord J. Russell), that it was very easy for hon. Members to deal in general and sweeping terms with any measure, that might be propounded by Government, yet that such persons were not to be regarded, nor their opinions heeded, either because they were ignorant of what constituted official responsibility, or were entirely ignorant of the country for whose interest it was proposed to legislate. If the latter reason were a sound one, then Irish Members would take no interest in English affairs, and English Members ought to retire when they were about to discuss Irish questions. [Sir R. Peel: I said nothing to that effect.] He had heard the remark in the course of the debate, and it was made in reference to himself; and he could only say, that it was unfortunate, that this discovery had not been made earlier in the Session, as it would have spared much time and much conflicting statement. But he would now refer to the two points thrown out by the right hon. Baronet. First the right hon. Baronet said, that those who opposed this bill were against any settlement of the question whatever; that they suggested no plan by which this important, because agitated question, could be set at rest. In reply to this, he would say, that it was enough for them to deal with the subject as it was presented to them; and that they were enough occupied in exposing the fallacies by which any object or principle brought forward was attempted to be supported. But he should like to know whether the right hon. Baronet consented to this bill, at the price of a million of money, because he thought it was a settlement of the tithe question? If he did so, the country would marvel much that the right hon. Baronet, who had taken such a prominent part in the government of the country, had never, with his facility of invention, stumbled upon the mercantile and mercenary project of settling this all-important subject by the bribe of a million of money. It was a very easy mode of legislation. But, said the right hon. Baronet, "nothing will satisfy those who oppose this bill but a recurrence to the voluntary principle." Now, he (Mr. Harvey) had never heard that assertion made in any quarter. It was true some of those who opposed the bill had expressed their attachment to the voluntary principle, believing, that it was best calculated to promote the object of christian truth; but he had never heard it propounded in that House, either with reference to the Irish or English Church. The right hon. Baronet had said, "Show me any abuse in the Irish Church, and I will willingly support a measure to remedy it, and use my best endeavours to point out a means for its correction." But had the right hon. Baronet done so? [Sir R. Peel: Yes!] It was very true he had partially done so, but why did he not persevere? Why did not the right hon. Baronet now stand up and say, "I am prepared to give a million to settle this question, but I will not give any thing except in connection with that large christian scheme of amelioration which I think peculiarly called for by the present state of the Irish Church." But no—all that the right hon. Baronet was prepared to bring forward at a future period, and what he was now prepared to do was, to take the money—the only thing which distressed his mind being that the money did not go far enough. He believed, that every gentleman who with him were now opposing the third reading of this bill, would readily abandon the million of money as a moderate price to be paid for securing the great principle of appropriation. But they were not taking away merely a million, but were actually taking from the public resources three millions more. This bill proposed to forego four millions of public property. It proposed to give to the landlords of Ireland twenty-five per cent. of the tithe. That property either belonged to the Church or to the public. He contended, that it was public property. Twenty-five per cent. on 600,000l. yearly was 150,000l. yearly, which at twenty years' purchase produced three millions sterling. That money was to be put into the pockets of the Irish landlords; and yet the right hon. Baronet took credit to himself, as a champion of the Church and its interests, as being opposed to all appropriation. But this was appropriation. The noble Lord the Secretary at War, in a speech which it was impossible to praise too much, had intimated that it was not unlikely, that some endowment would hereafter be proposed for the clergy of the Catholic Church. Now, he had long thought, that the time might not be very distant when some experiment of this sort might be made; and, though some Gentlemen in that House who belonged to the Catholic Church might protest against such an experiment, yet he was not prepared to consider the Catholic priesthood so much purer than all other priesthoods as to infer, that they would resist the temptation, however coy they might be in some of their advances to it, if it should be decidedly pressed upon them. But where would the Government find the funds? Would the landlords come forward and give up the twenty-five per cent. which was now proposed to be remitted to them? Supposing they should not, where would the money come from? They could not expect it from the Protestant clergy. No! it would come from neither quarter; but, for the sake of the peace of Ireland, and for putting down agitation, it would be suggested, that, as they had provided Catholic priests for Catholic criminals in gaols, so they ought to provide Catholie priests for Catholic christians elsewhere. As he had said, the other night, the subject was so large, it so opened all Ireland for discussion, that it was impossible for any individual, however much he might concentrate his views, within a fair period of time, to state all his objections to the provisions or the principle of this bill. He, however, had no hesitation in giving his objection to it on various grounds, but chiefly because it was thought that they could purchase the peace of Ireland by any payment of money. It would be harsh to suppose, that they could deal with that country in this vulgar manner. The people there were struggling, not against tithes, because of the money payment, which was trifling to all, but on account of the injustice of the establishment of a Church in the midst of a people, millions of whose numbers adhered to the faith of their fathers, and were adverse to its discipline and principles. He did not, therefore, fancy that this bill could, or ought to be satisfactory to the people of Ireland; they could scarcely expect that the detestation of that people could be thus controlled, and, that their claims would be quenched by the grant to defray claims, in themselves trivial. He was sure that he spoke within bounds when he said, that the tithes in England were five shillings per acre, and he also spoke within bounds, when he asserted, that in Ireland the tithes were under fifteen-pence an acre; in many places they were considerably less than one shilling, whilst in England, in many places, they were more than eight shillings. He denied, however, that the Catholics had greater reason to complain of the Established Protestant Church, than had the Dissenters in England. He was not surprised that the Catholics should be opposed to the smallest payment to a Church, from the doctrine and discipline of which they dissented; but it was part of their discipline to support an establishment, and, if they could effect their wishes, an exclusive establishment. So the Scotch Presbytetians of a certain class had no right to complain, for they also advocated an establishment, and only dissented from this, because it was not their own. It was not so, however, with the Protestant Dissenters, they were against every establishment, whether of one class or the other; to a state Church of any sort they were alike opposed, and yet, it was with this class, composed of as many millions as the Catholics of Ireland, that they dealt most lightly. He thought that the nonconformists, the great depositories of steady morality in this country, and who were opposed to an establishment, ought to be considered relative to the imposition of burdens on account of the Irish Church, whilst they were denied the same advantage as they were conceding to the Catholics. These considerations all crowded upon his mind, and led him to think that they were not reflecting in their course as sound statesmen ought to do; but that to get rid of a transient difficulty, they were making a grant of English money, whilst they were laying a foundation, and establishing a principle, the extent of which they could not at present fathom. Heretofore the Conservatives had always held themselves out as the enemies of all misapplication, as they termed it, of the revenues of the Church to any but the one purpose of affording religious education to the people; they yet denounced the appropriation clause, which only gave the chance of procuring some 50,000l., some fifty years hence, and still they were eager to support a bill which appropriated money to themselves, for he did not forget that he was addressing Irish landlords, and English landlords also, who would not disapprove of the application of the same principle. They would take twenty-five per cent. for themselves, and yet they talked of a grant of one million of money to tranquillise Ireland.

Lord Stanley

said, that the charge which his right hon. Friend beside him had made against the hon. and learned Gentleman and those with whom he acted was, that it was easy for them to state their objections to what they considered not to be a satisfactory adjustment of great political differences, and to raise abstract theories to oppose a question of great moment; and his right hon. Friend had said, it was easier for the hon. Gentleman to take this part than, like those in official situations, to bear responsibility, or, as the results of their conduct, to contemplate the benefit of the public. His right hon. Friend did not charge the hon. Gentleman with having spoken on questions with which he was not locally connected, or on which he had not obtained accurate means of information; but he confessed that if his right hon. Friend had made the last charge against the hon. Gentleman, the speech of that hon. Gentleman would have given a fair vindication for the charge. For he could attribute only to ignorance the hon. Gentleman's great and impartial misrepresentations of the conduct of both parties in the House on almost every part of the great questions before them. Whether he considered the hon. Gentleman's assertion, that the amount of tithes in England was five shillings per acre, or that the arrears of tithes in Ireland for two years, amounted to 2,400,000l., he knew not which displayed the more ignorance or the more reckless assertion, without inquiry. The hon. Gentleman said, that the arrears were 2,400,000l. [No, no! from Mr. Harvey]. Why that was the whole basis of his argument, and the amount considerably exceeded the whole amount of arrears in Ireland for the four years. Part of the composition which was charged on the occupiers was unpaid, but of the whole amount of tithes considerably more than one half was paid by the landlords, and was not dealt with by that bill; and of the part charged on the occupiers more than one half had been paid by the tenants, and the amount which they had to deal with, even if they left out other deductions, the total amount of outstanding arrears could not amount to one-fourth part of the sum mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. He must, however, say, apart from the pecuniary consideration, the hon. Gentleman had equally misrepresented matter of far more consequence than pecuniary matters. The hon. Gentleman said, that if his right hon. Friend supposed that a grant of money would have the effect of making a permanent settlement of the Irish church question, how strange it was that no such proposition had struck him before. Now he thought that the hon. Gentleman was in the Parliament of 1835 and would he tell him what provision of the present bill was not introduced in the bill which his right hon. Friend had officially brought forward? Was the provision relative to the conversion of tithes into a rent-charge not introduced—was the allowance of 25 per cent. not introduced—was the remission of arrears not introduced? These were the three leading features of the bill introduced by his right hon. Friend, and but for the objections then made on the other side of the House that measure would have been the law at the commencement of the year 1835. The hon. Gentleman then said, that it was easy to propose reforms, but that there was no alacrity in completing them. Now hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House, were not to be charged with vague generalities. The hon. Gentleman, however, charged them with vague generalities, and asked had they proposed to cut off sinecures?—had they proposed to cut off superfluous salaries?—had they suggested a more equitable distribution in the Irish church? Was the hon. Gentleman aware that two years ago he had moved for leave to bring in a bill, the object of which was to regulate the very details which the hon. Gentleman mentioned? He thought it was probable that the hon. Gentleman was one of those who had refused him leave to bring in the bill: he knew, however, that he was refused; it was introduced into the other House—it was sent down to this House—it was asked for by the Lords, and yet this House had refused to take it into consideration. He knew also, that the Government had last year introduced a similar bill, that it had been read a second time, and that it was then abandoned—why, he could not tell. No objection that he knew of was made by his friends; he knew, that they were anxious that it should be introduced, but they were told by the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Home Department that it was such a complicated measure that it would prevent a satisfactory settlement. So far for the charge of vague generality. But if the hon. Gentleman was not satisfied, why did he not submit his own suggestions to the House in a bodily shape? But the hon. Gentleman added, here you are abandoning all your principles: "you object to the appropriation clause, but you consent to plunder the Church of 25 per cent; here is the appropriation principle in the most objectionable shape." Was it an appropriation—then why did they turn his right hon. Friend out of office in 1835? Was the reduction of 25 per cent. an appropriation? Why was this put forward? Because, according to hon. Gentlemen opposite, they could not embody in a bill the appropriation principle, and to cover themselves when they were forced to abandon it they now said that the principle of appropriation was contained in this bill. What, however, was proposed by it? Simply to charge on the landlords of Ireland what was now chargeable only on the tenant. What had he (Lord Stanley) proposed in 1832? Was it not a reduction of 15 per cent., and why did he cease in 1834 to form part of the Administration? Because he would not consent to the appropriation. Yet he consented to the reduction of 15 per cent. on account of the landlord's risk and the pecuniary loss which they would sustain, in consideration of the greater security which the Church would obtain. Lord Hatherton had, in 1834, proposed to make the payment compulsory on the landlords, and had given them, as he was bound to do, at least the same amount of deduction as he had consented to, 15 per cent. Was there any appropriation in that? Why the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that so far was there from being any introduction of the appropriation principle in those proposals that the principle never was introduced except by the Government which succeeded his right hon. Friend. Yet they were now told that when the landlords were rendered chargeable with a burden to which they were not up to this time liable, and when a remission was made to them, that they admitted the appropriation principle. Because they increased the liability of the landlords, it was but common sense and reasonable justice that they should be thought entitled to some remission. It was impossible to say with accuracy what that amount should be; he (Lord Stanley) thought that 30 per cent. was too much, and for himself he would say that 25 per cent. was a larger allowance than he would have wished to have been given. He knew, however, that they could not argue a question of this kind upon mathematical principles: he knew that they must deal with it according to what, in the opinion of those who were called upon to deal with the subject, was a fair compensation for the increased liability of the landlords. This was the broad distinction between this and the appropriation principle: with the one he saw good grounds for dealing, the other he had resisted, and he always would resist the alienation of Church property to secular purposes. The learned Gentleman said that, after all, the grant would not produce peace. This he admitted; but it was only a necessary subsidiary to something more important. They relied for its success upon the transfer of the payment to the affluent from the poor—from the pauper tenant to the solvent landlord—from those to whom the payment was disproportioned to their means to those to whom the payment was easy—a transfer which, while it relieved those who had scruples, would fix the payment on those who could have no such scruples, if they were Protestants. What a large proportion of these were Protestants? And even if they were not, under what liability did they purchase their estates? Now, if he purchased an estate which was liable to a mortgage, and if the mortgagee, not being a Christian, should apply the interest which he paid to the maintenance of a Jewish synagogue, did that form a fair objection to the payment of interest? Ought he to oppose the payment because his scruples of conscience led him not to approve of the application of it to a Jewish synagogue. He would have accepted the estate liable to the payment, and so had the landowners in Ireland theirs. Where, however, could they better place this payment than by transferring it from those who were poor in circumstances, and who were opposed to our religion, to those who were in easy circumstances, and were of the same religion as ourselves; from those who were easily liable, on account of their numbers, to be excited, to those who, in the association of parties, were not likely to be actuated by the same reasons? Further than this, they did not expect that this measure would lead to tranquillity, nor did they expect that it would produce peace, unless it were made subsidiary to a measure for the non-enforcing of the arrears. He did not, therefore, say that the grant would produce peace; but it was essential, as a temporary object in settling the question on a new basis, to remove the arrears. Would the hon. and learned Gentleman desire that the arrears should be enforced—would he charge the landlords with the composition without making any allowance—would he assist the clergy in enforcing their demands—or would he discharge the arrears, giving to the clergy no compensation? If the hon. Gentleman would do this, then he would leave him to point out any violation of principle, for there was only one—and that was caused by a rejection of his right hon. Friend's amendment; for he admitted, that there was a violation of principle in compelling any man to surrender his property against his will, without receiving a fair equivalent. He objected to this measure; but the question for him to decide was, whether he ought to resist this bill, and to perpetuate the existing system; and he confessed, that after consideration, he would not take upon himself the responsibility of this course. It would be easy for him to vindicate his consistency; he might say, that from first to last, he had opposed injustice, and that no question of expediency should lead him to depart from the strict line of abstract principle; it was easy for him to say this, but in what difficulties would he place the country? And if he did consent to this measure, he did so for the purpose of supporting a dereliction of principle in the Government to which he (Lord Stanley) was opposed. When called upon by his constituents to explain his course of conduct, it would have been easy for him to say to those constituents, that he had been overborne by the Government, that he had done all he could to throw an obstruction in the way of the principle proposed; but he must also in justice have added, that he had also thrown an obstruction in the way of a settlement of this question. He preferred, therefore, to subject himself to some reproach from the public, rather than to endure the reproaches of his own conscience for having contributed towards the continuation of the dissensions in Ireland. He did not share in the sentiments of the noble Lord, the Member for Devonshire. He had heard, with unfeigned regret, from a nobleman, professing attachment to the establishment, that he rejoiced to think, that they were transferring resistance to the Irish Church, from the weak to the powerful, and that he supported this measure, because he thought, that it would lead to the overthrow of the Established Church in Ireland, He, however, founded his support to the bill on an entirely opposite principle. He was compelled to declare in the face of the public, that the law could not be maintained. He was compelled to consider what was the state of the Irish Church, and especially what had been the state in which individual clergymen had been placed during the last four years, aggravated as it had been according to the authentic statement of her Majesty's Government. He supported the present bill then, because in the main, it led to good, because he hoped that it would lead to peace, because he trusted, that the House would relieve the pecuniary embarrassments of the clergy of Ireland, because it would render the Church more secure, and less obnoxious to the people, and because it would have a tendency to uphold more firmly, that establishment which some hoped to see subverted, but which it had been his object through life to maintain.

Mr. O'Connell

would only trespass a few moments upon the attention of the House. He confessed, that he had seldom experienced greater pleasure than he had done in listening to the speech of the noble Lord, not on account of the mental power which it displayed, for that to the noble Lord was easy, but because the noble Lord and he were at length perfectly agreed, that the present system of tithes in Ireland, could not be maintained; for it was a fact beyond doubt, that tithes could not remain as they now were: there was something in them so anomalous, so inconsistent with policy, and with a statesmanlike view of Government, that an experiment was at length to be made to maintain tranquillity, and to improve the system. So far they were agreed. But he did not think, that the noble Lord's Jewish simile was at all applicable. It was not to the debt, but to the purposes to which it was applied, that the Irish objected. Tithes were not like a personal debt, like that mentioned by the noble Lord: they were a debt which the Catholic ancestors of the Irish people bequeathed to the Catholic Church. The Catholics of Ireland gave the tithes for Catholic purposes, when even the name of Protestant was not known; but an Act of Parliament took them away from the Catholics, and gave them to a small minority of Protestants for Protestant purposes; and it was on account of the comparatively small portion of those to whom they were devoted, coupled with the recollection, which would never be effaced, whence the tithes had their origin, which was the foundation of the objection to the tax, and which made the noble Lord, in order to save the principle of application, consent to an experiment to maintain them. He understood from the speech of the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel), that the bill might be altered elsewhere. He might have mistaken the right hon. Baronet, but of what value would the bill be if it were altered? He trusted, that if it were changed, the Government would abandon it. That, he thought, was the best way of dealing with bills, which were so interfered with, as to take away their utility. If the optional principle were introduced, of what value would the bill be? Indeed, he thought, that the Government had left one ingredient in it, which, he feared, would take away its chance of producing tranquillity, by exempting from its operation all those cases in which suits had already been instituted. These were the very cases which at present created the greatest vexation. They might tell the clergymen of the Established Church, that they might make some arrangement, and that they might make some abatement or another, but if hon. Members opposite, expected any good results, he was afraid, that hon. Members would deceive themselves. He rose principally to recommend this point to the attention of the House. Every considerate man ought to make an arrangement at once, either to take a portion of the costs, or to settle with his attorney; this might be done out of the money already in the hands of the clergy. A fund had been largely subscribed in Ireland, and he believed, also, in England, to enable the clergy to carry on their suits; he did not think, that it was exhausted, and disturbances would continue if the Protestants of the Established Church did not procure some abatement of the costs in the suits commenced against the occupiers; this did not, however, apply to the suits against the landlords. It was most important that some arrangement in this respect should be made, and he was sorry to venture to prophesy that many of the clergy would not be found willing to make this sacrifice. He knew a case in the county of Cork where the parishioners offered to pay the tithes on an abatement of 15 per cent., but the titheowner preferred giving 20 per cent. by granting the tithes to another person, and he bound that gentleman not to remit one farthing to the occupiers. If this spirit were followed up by others, the bill would have little of healing in it. Here was an option left to the clergyman, and hon. Gentlemen would be able to see how the tithe owners would avail themselves of it; how they would be willing to mitigate the costs, to give relief; and by the results they would see how far the clergy would avail themselves of the option. One great advantage which the Protestant clergymen would derive from the bill, would be the remission, first suggested on this occasion by him (Mr. O'Connell). He said, that they would derive great advantage by the remission of the 640,000l., for although their claims against the tenants, as well as the landlords, for the arrears were clear, yet those claims were not available, and, consequently, the clergy received a bonus from the remission; and it ought, therefore, to be the desire of the friends of the clergy, both in and out of that House, to instigate and to advise the mitigation of the claims for costs. He repeated, that if this bill were altered in the House of Lords, if an option were inserted in it interfering with its present principles he for one should feel himself entirely disengaged. He might have misunderstood the right hon. Baronet, but if he were right in his opinion of what had fallen from him, he said, that, if the principle of option were introduced in the House of Lords, he, for one, would vote against the bill when it should come down again to that House. The question of the appropriation clause had been introduced into their debates, but there were two sorts of appropriation—a useful one, when it was proposed to apply the surplus to good purposes, such as education and the like; and a bad principle, when it was given to the landlords or to any other body. The truth was, that in these last discussions they had confounded both those classes, because each was an appropriation; now the former appropriation was a good principle, but what was now discussed was bad. Before, it was proposed that the tithes should be collected by the office of Woods and Forests at a cost of 2½ per cent., and all that was by this bill given above that amount was an appropriation to the landlords; it was not 25 per cent., it was true, but it was 22½ per cent; and it was not only a bad appropriation, but it was a clear sacrifice of legal property. He owned, for his part, and he was candid enough to admit that he agreed with the noble Lord the Member for Devonshire—he believed that the fact was as the noble Lord had stated it, and he announced to the great supporters of the Church of England, that they had never aimed so destructive a blow at the temporalities of that Church as they had by assenting to this bill. Why, Lord Mountcashel, who was not favourable to the Catholics, and who he believed belonged to that class in the establishment who had been called by the hon. Member for Southwark, Evangelists, with all his evangelism had presided at an anti-tithe meeting in the county of Cork, a tumultuary and determined meeting—tumultuary on account of the numbers who were assembled. Gentlemen of the western division of Cork, who, when there were orange lodges, for they were told that they had ceased, held high offices in the body, had lately assisted at a meeting called to petition agaist tithes. He knew that in many instances the landlord would pay the rent-charge and not charge the tenant, but this would not be general; and those who could not get this payment from their tenants would be in perpetual hostility with them, or if they did not wish for such hostility, nor yet to pay this charge out of their own pockets, a class of Whiteboys would be thus created such as they had never had before, and they would be aiming a blow at the Protestant establishment from their extreme zeal to keep it up. They might hope for a time for a lull, a cessation, but common sense would in the end prevail. It would be no longer in the power of persons to carry a county election by talking of the heavy blow which Lord Melbourne was going to give to the Church of Ireland. It would not be necessary, for a few years at least, to abuse Popery from the hustings, and he, therefore, hoped that a period of common sense would arrive in England, and that the English people would look distinctly to facts. He would ask whether it was not a maxim of their common Christianity, the doing as you would be done by? And as the people of England would not endure to support an Established Church for a Catholic minority—as the people of Scotland would rather die to the last man than support a Catholic establishment for a Catholic minority, so he thought that common sense in England, and the still more powerful motive in Scotland, might prevail in Ireland, and that they would in time come to the determination to leave the wealthy Protestant gentry to support their Church, as the poor Catholic population supported their own. There was nothing like the state of Ireland on the face of the globe. Even the Turks had never inflicted upon the Greeks the payment of money towards the support of their mosques. It was only in Ireland that such a thing existed, and why should it exist there? The people of Ireland supported a hierachy with four archbishops, twenty-seven bishops, deans, archdeacons, parish priests, and curates, without exacting or the power of exacting a single farthing, except from those to whom they administered. They boasted of their Protestantism. Why did they not trust to it to maintain its own clergy? They talked, the noble Lord who spoke last, at the close of his very eloquent speech, talked of his attachment to the Protestant Church. Why did they not dignify that Church by keeping its hands out of the pockets of those who did not belong to it? As long as they insisted upon this what sensation could they expect to raise but those of plunder and oppression? He was rejoiced at the sentiments that had been uttered by the noble Lord the Secretary at War. He trusted that a long career of utility would be open to him—a career of utility of which they had proof in the advocacy of principles that entitled him to the foremost station in the Government of his native country. Those sentiments would go out of that House, and be confirmed by every rational and good man, and would give a hope that the connection would become a real union between the two countries. He did not think that they were exhibiting any wisdom if they thought that the shifting the burden of tithes from one side to another would render it more easy. They were giving up their attempt to recover tithes from the poor, and he could tell them that the richer party would defeat them.

Sir R. Peel

said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to think, that he had expressed an opinion favourable to the introduction of the optional clause. He had done no such thing. There was the alternative of leaving the law as it stood, and abandoning the present grant, or of accepting the grant, and he preferred the latter course. Of course the other branch of the Legislature, in which the Irish Church was more fully represented and in which questions relating to property were looked to with greater vigilance would have to decide which of these alternatives to accept. At the same time, as he had before stated, his opinion was in favour of accepting the grant.

Lord J. Russell

should not think it necessary, seeing the great impatience of the House, to restate the opinions which he had stated on a former occasion upon this question. He must say, that the opposition made to the present bill, and the various reasons given by hon. Gentlemen for rejecting the bill, had failed to convince him, that the course taken by the Government was not the most expedient, that they could pursue. Although the hon. Member for Southwark had found fault with him for saying,—not, by the by, quoting him correctly—that it was easy for persons having no responsibility to object to any measure, that might be brought forward, yet, he must say, that the whole of his speech convinced him further, that it was very easy for a person of ingenuity to make objections to a bill, and to show, that it was contrary to the ordinary principles on which legislation was founded, and yet there might be no better course for Government or Parliament to pursue. Some hon. Gentlemen were in favour of the voluntary principle, and others called for the total extinction of tithes, but it could not be expected, that either Government or the majority of that House would pursue either course. Again, they had been reproached with not following up the appropriation clause for the benefit of all classes in Ireland who would receive religious instruction. That course might, no doubt, have been adopted by Government. But would any of those Gentlemen who reproached him for not taking this course venture to say, that he thought a bill containing that clause was likely to be passed, or was likely to attain the object of establishing that principle in the statute book? The question was between doing nothing whatever, not moving a single step towards removing the evils, that existed in Ireland, on this subject of tithes, and adopting a bill to which the Legislature might be brought to agree, a bill like that before the House. He must say, that the person who would ask them to rest without producing any measure would fail to convince him, that that was the right course, for it was one from which no possible advantage could be obtained, by which the evils existing in Ireland would be continued; and those conflicts to which the hon. Member for Drogheda (Sir Wm. Somerville) had borne testimony would be continued, if they did not propose some measure on this subject. It was easy for them to say, that their measures had been rejected by the House of Lords, that they retained the same principles, but that, seeing it was impossible to carry any measure, they abstained from bringing forward any measure on the subject. That might be considered a very easy course, and more consistent with the opinions they had formerly declared, but would that be a course from which the people of Ireland would derive equal benefit as from the present. On the contrary the hon. Member for Drogheda, although he disliked the provisions of the bill said, that he did not feel authorised in voting against it. Was not this testimony? Those persons who lived in Ireland, and who saw the evils, that were produced by tithes, and the conflicts arising out of the collection of them, thought it better, that some legislation should take place. The hon. Gentleman, the Member for London (Mr. Grote), with his usual calmness, and in his most dignified tone, had at the same time made a most severe and bitter attack on the Government, stating, that this was another melancholy instance of postponing principle to party, and he charged him (Lord J. Russell) with tergiversation The hon. Gentleman had a right to his own opinion, that it would be better to introduced a bill containing the voluntary principle, or any other; but he had no right to blame others, acting with a deep sense of responsibility, with what he called postponing principle to party on this subject. With regard to his own opinions on this subject, he must say, that his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) knew, that those opinions were not taken up lightly, or introduced for the first time with a view of depriving the right hon. Baronet of office. His opinions had been frequently stated before to those with whom he was connected in politics or by friendship. He had stated them amongst the advisers of the Sovereign; he had stated them in that House; and those opinions having been stated, the opinion of the party to which he belonged inclined in favour of his noble Friend, and not in favour of him. The hon. Member had, therefore, no right to say, that it was for the sake of party, or with a view to party, that he had originally maintained those opinions, If he thought it best for the sake of Ireland not to introduce that principle in the present bill, it was because he had been convinced, as he had already stated on repeated occasions, that he should not attain any successful result to Ireland by proposing that principle; that in proposing it he should be deferring indefinitely the mitigation of the evils of the tithe system; and he thought, therefore, that it was better for Ireland, for the sake of the Irish people, to propose a bill containing the provisions of the present bill. What were those provisions? Did they improve the condition of Ireland? And in what state did they leave the various interests embarked in it? It was universally admitted, that the condition of one great class was improved—he meant the condition of the small occupiers, of whom the hon. Member for Drogheda said, that they were by this bill entirely relieved, and of whom the hon. and learned Member for Dublin said, that in most cases they would obtain an entire remission, having to pay their rent without the deduction of the rent-charge which was the equivalent for tithes. According, therefore, to the testimony of those Gentlemen, and according to what was evident from the bill itself, there would be a great improvement in the condition of those persons from the provisions of this bill. But what was the condition of the tithe-owner relative to the tithe-payer? The condition of the land-owner would be this:—They had no right to tell him that they would force him to take upon himself the whole of the rent-charge, to which he was not liable by law. They had no right to tell him that the whole one hundred per cent. was payable by him, he not being legally liable to the charge. What, then, did they propose? That the landholder should be liable for the payment of a rent-charge to the clergy in place of the composition for tithes, but that a certain deduction—thirty per cent., as he had proposed, but twenty-five per cent., as it had been fixed, should be made as an equivalent to him for having a charge imposed upon him for which he was not liable. But the landowners would in the end obtain a very considerable compensation. In the first place their tenants would not be subject to perpetual vexation and conflicts with the titheowner, and in consequence of the tranquillity that would ensue, the value of property would be greatly increased; and, although the landowner might not immediately receive the whole of his rent-charge, he would do so after this act should have been in operation for a few years, and the distinctions between rent and tithe should cease. The question would be what was a fair rent for a good tenant to pay for land? and not how much of it was rent and how much tithe. He could not suppose that this measure would produce tranquillity in Ireland, without supposing that ultimately all differences between rent and tithe would be lost sight of altogether. He must say that one observation of his noble Friend (Lord Ebrington) had hardly been correctly represented by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir R. Peel). His noble Friend had said that there would still be a contest for some alteration in the Church; but the contest would be of a very different nature, because, instead of being a contest supported by physical resistance on the part of the poor and humble occupier, it would be the constitutional and moral resistance of the landowners, representing through Parliament their opinions with regard to the Church, and having a natural influence on the deliberations of Parliament. The right hon. Baronet understood his noble Friend very differently from him, for that was certainly the way in which he understood his noble Friend's observation; and he did think, in that sense, it was a very fair observation to make, namely, that those persons who would wish hereafter to make a change in the institution of the Church, would be persons who would not attempt to do so by resistance to the law, but persons who, from their situation in life, their property, and their station, could make their sentiments differently understood, and that the contest would be like any other constitutional contest. He did not think, therefore, that his noble Friend's observation was open to the comment which the right hon. Baronet had made upon it. The hon. Member for Kilkenny had found fault with the bill because he considered that it contained a very unjustifiable grant of the public money. He thought that the sum devoted to this purpose was far from being a useless and far from being an unreasonable sacrifice of the public money, and he indeed thought that there were few objects to which the public money could be devoted that were so easy of defence. The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) said, that the better way would have been to have ascertained the amount of the arrears. He was not of the same opinion. He had but one other observation to make. As the right hon. Baronet had said, it was perfectly competent to the House of Lords, if they thought fit, to reject this arrangement. It was not competent to them to alter the arrangement. Having said, that they would devote a portion of the public money to certain purposes for the Lords, to modify or alter the application of that money was not consistent with the privileges of that House. It was consistent with their Lordships' privileges to reject the grant; and he had no doubt but that the hon. Member for Kilkenny would be disposed to concur very much with them if they took this view of the subject. He (Lord J. Russell) certainly hoped, considering the benefits that would accrue from this bill, that it would be accepted as a whole. He considered that this bill would be a very considerable mitigation of the evils that afflicted Ireland on this subject. He did not expect, he could not expect, that the great body of the people Of Ireland would be satisfied with the state of the Protestant Church; but as far as the Church was concerned, he thought that this bill would render it more secure, and, as far as the people were concerned, he thought it would render them more tranquill and more satisfied.

Major Bryan

said, he did not think this measure would satisfy the people of Ireland, although it might for a short time procure tranquility.

The House divided on the original motion. Ayes 148; Noes 30;—Majority 118.

List of the AYES
A Court, Capt. Bramston, T. W.
Adam, Admiral Bridgeman, H.
Alsager, Captain Broadwood, H.
Archbold, R. Brodie, W. B.
Ball, rt. hon. N. Brotherton, J.
Bannerman, A. Brownrigg, S.
Barnard, E. G. Bruges, W. H. L.
Bellew, R. M. Bryan, G.
Benett, J. Campbell, Sir J.
Bernal, R. Canning, Sir S.
Blair, J. Chapman, A.
Blake, W. J. Childers, J. W.
Blennerhassett, A. Chute, W. L. W.
Brabazon, Lord Clements, Lord
Bradshaw, J. Corry, hon. H.
Crawley, S. Maher, J.
Curry, W. Martin, T. B.
Dalmeny, Lord Meynell, Capt.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Morpeth, Lord
Denison, W. J. O'Brien, W. S.
Dick, Q. O'Connell, D.
Douglas, Sir C. E. O'Connell, M. J.
East, J. B. O'Connell, M.
Ebrington, Visc. Palmer, C. F.
Egerton, W. T. Palmer, R.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Palmer, G.
Estcourt, T. Parker, J.
Estcourt, T. Parker, M.
Evans, G. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Farrand, R. Perceval, Col.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Perceval, hon. G. J.
Follett, Sir W. Phillpotts, J.
Fremantle, Sir T. Pinney, W.
French, F. Polhill, F.
Gordon, R. Ponsonby, C. F. A.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Power, J.
Goulburn, H. Praed, W. T.
Graham, Sir J. Price, Sir R.
Grant, F. W. Protheroe, E.
Greene, T. Pusey, P.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Redington, T. N.
Grey, Sir G. Reid, Sir J. R.
Hastie, A. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Hawkins, J. H. Rich, H.
Hayter, W. G. Richards, R.
Henniker, Lord Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Hobhouse, Sir J. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Hobhouse, T. B. Round, J.
Hodges, T. L. Rushbrooke, Col.
Hodgson, R. Russell, Lord J.
Hogg, J. W. Sandon, Lord
Hope, G. W. Scrope, G. P.
Hoskins, K. Sheppard, T.
Hotham, Lord Smith, J.
Howard, P. H. Smith, R. V.
Howick, Visc. Somerville. Sir W. M.
Hurst, R. H. Stanley, Lord
Hutton, R. Stewart, J.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Stock, Dr.
Irving, J. Sturt, H. C.
James, W. Teignmouth, Lord
Jones, T. Thomson, C. P.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Townley, R. G.
Knight, H. G. Trench, Sir F.
Knightley, Sir C. Troubridge, Sir E.
Labouchere, H. Vere, Sir C. B.
Lascelles, W. S. Vivian, J. E.
Lefevre, C. S. Westenra, J. C.
Lemon, Sir C. Wilshere, W.
Leveson, Lord Wood, C.
Lincoln, Earl Wood, T.
Lowther, Col. Yates, J. A.
Lowther, J. H.
Lygon, hon. General TELLERS.
Mackinnon, W. Stanley, E. J.
Macleod, R. O'Ferrall, R. M.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Duke, Sir J.
Chalmers, P. Fielden, J.
Collins, W. Finch, F.
D'Eyncourt, C. T. Grote, G.
Hall, Sir B. Salwey, Col.
Harvey, D. W. Style, Sir C.
Hawes, B. Thornely, T.
Hector, C. J. Turner, E.
Hutt, W. Vigors, N. A.
Langton, W. G. Villiers, C. P.
Leader, J. T. Warburton, H.
Lushington, Dr. Ward, H. G.
Lushington, C. Worsley, Lord
Marshall, W.
Martin, J. TELLERS,
Morris, D. Browne, D.
Muskett, G. A. Hume, J.

Bill read a third time.

Some verbal amendments having been made in clause 38 on the question that it stand part of the Bill as amended,

Mr. Hume

rose to move that the 38th clause be excluded from the Bill, on the ground of the purposes to which it appropriated various sums of money, amounting to nearly one million sterling. He was pleased at the discussion which had taken place on the bill that evening, as it would enable the people of England to see the reasons on which this money was to be voted away. The noble Lord opposite had told them that night that he had adopted the principle of expediency, because he saw no other principle on which he could support this measure. He begged to call the attention of the noble Lord to the fact that it was not to the amount of the money that the people of England would object, but to the purposes for which, according to this clause of the bill, that money was to be applied. When the noble Lord himself, on a former occasion, brought forward a measure for the reform of the Irish Church, he (Mr. Hume) and others supported it, because it provided for the abolition of the sinecures of that Church. All their hostility was directed against the system on which that Church was supported, and not against the Church itself. What they objected to was the principle that the Establishment should be maintained as a dominant Church in Ireland—and they looked upon the payment of this money as a sort of payment of black mail. Were they, as guardians of the public purse, doing their duty in consenting to it? It was pledging the Treasury to the payment of a million more in addition to the existing deficit of the revenue, which was sufficiently great without any further addition to it. The noble Lord had said that the hon. Member for Southwark was mistaken as to the amount of the arrears, and that only one quarter of them remained at present unpaid. But if all but that one quarter had been paid, then he held that the remainder ought also to be paid. It was the hon. Gentlemen opposite who had themselves, by their conduct on former bills, introduced for the purpose of settling the tithe question in Ireland, brought the Irish Church into the position in which she was at present; and they now had recourse to the noble Lord (Stanley) who came forward to assist them in propping it up. The hon. Member concluded by moving the exclusion of the clause.

Mr. Harvey

said, that he could not allow the statement which had been made by so high an authority as the noble Lord (Stanley) with reference to the observations which he had addressed to the House that evening to pass uncontradicted. The noble Lord had imputed to him an ignorance of the subject before the House, because he had said, that the arrears due to the tithe-owners in Ireland during the four years preceding the present might amount to 2,400,000l. But he had not said it was so. He had only said, that the arrears might amount to that sum—and surely if in 1832, 1833, and 1834 tithes did not exceed 1,000,000l. it was not an unfair inference that a very much larger amount of tithe would be due at the present time. But if it was only 300,000l. that remained uncollected, then he would say that that sum ought to be collected as well as the rest—and it was a farce, until it was proved that it could not be collected, to call the tithe debtors the poor people of Ireland. If the state of the law in that country was such that it could not be enforced but at a ruinous expense, was that a reason why they should forego the property in tithe? Why not bring in a bill to facilitate the collection of tithe? The noble Lord said he supported the bill because it would tend to the tranquillity of Ireland, first, by reducing the amount of tithe to be paid by twenty-five per cent.; and, secondly, by the payment of the arrears. But the arrears were due from those who borrowed the money of this country—and why, if the Irish people were so poor, were the people of England to pay the debt? The Church of Ireland ought to supply the fund out of its own overgrown resources—for it was notorious that the Irish hierarchy possessed upwards of 600,000 of the finest acres in the country, and some of their product ought to be made avail- able in cases of emergency like this. The payment of these arrears ought not to come out of the Treasury of England, which ought not to be robbed for the purpose of paying what was due from the so called poor of Ireland to the wealthy proprietors of that country. They would next be called upon, he supposed, to pay the debts of persons confined for debt in Ireland if they sanctioned such a principle as this, Peace neither could, would, nor ought to be purchased at such a price—and when the noble Lord asked him why he (Mr. Harvey) did not bring in some bill of his own on this subject, let him ask what chance any bill would have, even of an introduction into that House for the reform of the Irish Church, if moved for by a Protestant Dissenter? He would most cordially support the motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny.

The House divided on the original question:—Ayes 96; Noes 39: Majority 57. Bill passed.

List of the AYES.
Acland, T. D. Hodgson, R.
Alsager, Captain Hogg, J. W.
Alston, R. Hope, G. W.
Archbold, R. Hoskins, K.
Ball, rt. hon. N. Howard, F. J.
Benett, J. Howard, P. H.
Bentinck, Lord W. Howick, Viscount
Bernal, R. Hurst, R. H.
Blackburne, J. Hutton, R.
Blair, J. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Bramston, T. W. Knightly, Sir C.
Bridgeman, H. Labouchere, H.
Broadley, H. Lascelles, hon. W.
Broadwood, H. Lemon, Sir C.
Brownrigg, S. Lowther, J. H.
Bruges, W. H L. Macleod, R.
Bryan, G. Martin, T. B.
Chapman, A. Maule, hon. F.
Clements, Viscount Morpeth, Viscount
Curry, W. O'Brien, W. S.
Dalmeney, Lord O'Connell, D.
Douglas, Sir C. O'Connell, M. J.
East, J. B. O'Connell, M.
Egerton, W. T. Palmer, C. F.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Parker, J.
Ellis, J. Parker, M.
Evans, G. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Farnham, E. B. Perceval, Colonel
Ferguson, R. A. Perceval, G. J.
Filmer, Sir E. Phillpotts, J.
French, F. Pigot, R.
Goulburn, H. Power, J.
Graham, Sir J. Pusey, P.
Grant, F. W. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Grey, rt. hn. Sir C. Richards, R.
Grey, Sir G. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Hobhouse, Sir J. Round, J.
Hobhouse, T. B. Rushbrooke, R.
Russell, Lord J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Sandon, Viscount Vere, Sir C. B.
Sheppard, T. Verner, Colonel
Smith, J. A. Vigors, N. A.
Stanley, Lord Waddington, H.
Steuart, R. Wilde, Sergeant
Stock, Dr. Wodehouse, E.
Sturt, H. C. Wood, C.
Teignmouth, Lord Yates, J. A.
Thomson, C. P. TELLERS.
Thompson, Alderman O'Ferrall, R. M.
Townley, R. G. Stanley, E. J.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Leader, J. T.
Baines, E. Lushington, Dr.
Berkeley, hon. H. Lushington, C.
Brodie, W. B. Marshall, W.
Brotherton, J. Martin, J.
Chalmers, P. Morris, D.
Collins, W. Muskett, G. A.
Craig, W. G. Protheroe, F.
D'Eyncourt, C. T. Salwey, Colonel
Duckworth, S. Style, Sir C.
Duke, Sir J. Thornley, T.
Easthope, J. Villiers, C. P.
Fielden, J. Wallace, R.
Finch, F. Warburton, H.
Grote, G. Ward, H. G.
Hall, Sir B. Williams, W. A.
Harvey, D. W. Wood, G. W.
Hayes, Sir E. Worsley, Lord
Hector, C. J. TELLERS.
Hutt, W. Hume, J.
James, W. Hawes, B.