HC Deb 20 June 1839 vol 48 cc578-689

On the Order of the Day for the resumption of the adjourned debate on National Education,

Mr. D'Israeli

said, that he was afraid, that after the speeches which had already been made in the course of this debate, he should have great difficulty in drawing the attention of the House to the consideration of this important question. He felt that the disadvantages under which he must always labour when addressing the House were increased in the present instance by his following in the train of those who had on both sides of the House treated this subject with singular temper and ability; but the great interest which he had always felt in this question, and the sincere conviction which he entertained that it must have a vast and incalculable influence on the character of the people, and indeed upon the prospects of the country, had induced, nay, had almost compelled, him to trespass upon the patience of the House. The hon. Member for Waterford, who he feared was not present, in the able and temperate speech in which he had discussed the subject, had laid it down as an indisputable proposition, that the only efficient settlement of this great question would be by placing the education of the people in the hands of the State by the means of what he termed central organization. The simple meaning of his speech, indeed, was, that education should be carried on under the superintendence, the interference, and the control, of the slate. He admitted that the theory was specious, but he doubted whether it were authorised and supported by facts, and he doubted whether it were consonant with the experience of this country. He had found the assertion in the writings of the hon. Gentleman, and it had been disseminated in the papers of the society of which he was president, but when he came to examine into facts, he found that education did not owe much to the interference of the state. It appeared to him that the state had done little or nothing, and that nearly all that had been done had been effected by individual enterprise. It had been remarked, by a foreign writer, that the state in England had not formed a single road, made a single bridge, or dug a single canal. The statesmen who had preceded the present generation had always acted on a system diametrically opposed to that of the hon. Gentlemen opposite. They had always held that the individual should be strong, and the Government weak, and that to diminish the duties of the citizen was to peril the rights of the subject. To that system he ascribed the united enjoyment of those two great blessings of social life, liberty and order. He took it for granted that the hon. Member for Waterford was willing to do justice to the character of the people of this country. He was sure that he would candidly acknowledge their ability, their enterprise, and their calm steadiness of purpose. To what, then, he would ask, was this to be attributed, but to that happy system of self-government which had always characterized England? It became the House well to consider what might be the effect of interfering with the habit of self-government by the people of England. It appeared to him that the Society of Education, that school of philosophers, were, with all their vaunted intellect and learning, fast returning to the system of a barbarous age, the system of a paternal government. Wherever was found what was called a paternal government was found a state education. It had been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience was to commence tyranny in the nursery. There was a country in which education formed the only qualification for office. That was, therefore, a country which might be considered as a normal school and pattern society for the intended scheme of education. That country was China. These paternal governments were rather to be found in the east than in the west, and if the hon. Member for Waterford asked him for the most perfect programme of public education, if he asked him to point out a system at once the most profound and the most comprehensive, he must give him the system of education which obtained in Persia. Leaving China and Persia and coming to Europe, he found a perfect system of national education in Austria, the China of Europe, and under the paternal government of Prussia. The truth was, that wherever everything was left to the government the subject became a machine. He knew that the president of the Society of Education believed, that the highest central organization might yet be combined with the freeest political institutions; but it was an error to suppose that all virtue was owing to political institutions, and none to national character. He held it to be an indisputable truth that the freeest political institutions might exist in a country in which the people were enslaved. They might have a Parliament freely chosen, but if the electors were corrupt, that Parliament might exercise, as such a Parliament had exercised, a most grinding tyranny. He would take the instance of trial by jury, the great bulwark of our liberties, the great guarantee of our rights. Of what use would that great and glorious institution be if the twelve jurymen were base men? There had been times when the trial by jury was an infinitely worse tribunal than in the darkest times of the Inquisition. We had trial by jury in the same age with Titus Oates. He would take a period, distant, yet not very remote—not the age of bigoted barbarians, by which name the hon. Member for Liskeard designated the councillors of the conqueror of Agincourt, but a period which produced men who were enlightened in every sense, men who might well be called English worthies; he would take the age which produced Pym and Hampden, Seldon and Went-worth; these were truly English spirits. Yet who could suppose, that the Parliament which had been adorned by such men could, in less than a quarter of a century, have sunk into the most degraded and most ignoble tyranny which ever sported with the destinies of a great country? But what had taken place in the mean time? The national spirit had been destroyed; a great system of central organization was established in the realm; the people had free institutions, but their rights as subjects were destroyed. He knew he should be told, that these observations were too general. He knew the reluctance with which Members went back to first principles. It was a wholesome prejudice; they were practical men, but practical men, looking to the experience of the last ten or twelve years. With respect to the state of education among the people of this country, there were many circumstances of a complicated character which must be taken into consideration before a decided opinion could be pronounced upon the subject; and they should recollect, that although the general state of education might not at present be all that they could desire, still that it might be as much advanced and improved in a quarter of a century as could possibly be effected by human means. But the question was not whether the state of education was good or bad, but to what power education should be intrusted. They were not called upon to decide whether education should be orthodox or latitudinarian, highly spiritual or purely moral, but to what hands it should be confided? He was an advocate for national education, but it did not follow that he should also be an advocate for stale education. There was a great distinction between them. The object of the speech of the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, seemed to him to be to point out the necessity for national education, and to show that it ought not to be intrusted to the state. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, whom he regretted not to see in his place, had detected a very covert meaning in the speech of the noble Lord, but he was sure that it must have required the exercise of all that diplomatic experience which the hon. and learned Gentleman had so recently acquired, to discover any sinister and subterraneous meaning in that speech. He could not discover that the speech of the hon. and learned Member himself had any thing to do with the question. He had listened to the hon. and learned Gentleman in the hope, if not of being instructed, of being at least amused, and he had often been both instructed and amused by him; but he could not discover what connexion the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman had with the question before the House. He confessed he had been at a loss for some time to discover the object which the hon. and learned Gentleman had in view, until at last it had appeared that the hon. and learned Gentleman was desirous of combatting a "No Popery" cry. He trusted, however, that that cry would not be responded to, and he had such confidence in the tolerant spirit of the House, that he was sure the attempt of the hon. and learned Gentleman would not be allowed to disturb the calmness and moderation which had hitherto signalised the discussion of this most important subject. There was one point of great importance, but surrounded with the greatest difficulty, on which he wished to make a few observations. He alluded to the religious relations connected with this scheme for the establishment of a system of national education. The noble Lord, the Member for Dorsetshire, had laid it down, that the system of education which had been brought forward by the Government must, if it were adopted, terminate in a state of national infidelity. He did not share in the apprehensions of the noble Lord. He believed, that the minds of the people of this country were not prepared for the seeds of infidelity, and that all the feelings of the human heart were opposed to such scepticism. He believed it probable, that by the united efforts of sectarians, the national Church might be endangered; but he was sure, that in England, infidelity would not be the result, and that they would rather see re-produced a state of things similar to that which had arisen in the seventeenth century. In England he believed they were more likely to see the wildness of fanaticism than the rise of infidelity. He believed they were more likely to see in this country the violence for a moment of contending sects; that they were much more likely to behold the rise of a new race of fifth monarchy men; and that there was much more chance of having for the nonce the fury and violence of contending sects, as in the time of the Commonwealth, than the general spread of miserable, cold, and restless infidelity. The feelings of the people of this country were repugnant to infidelity, and although they might be led away for a moment from the faith of their fathers and from the church where they had been wont to congregate—although they might for a time yield to the influence of fanaticism and absent themselves from devotion, such a state of things would remain but for a moment, and they would soon again feel the necessity and long for the consolation of worship. That which was more likely to occur than general infidelity was, that when the moment of fanaticism and anarchy had passed away, the people of England would feel the want of that solace which religion alone afforded, and that they would require again some standard of faith and the establishment of some church distinguished by the learning and piety of its clergy and consecrated by charity. The question then was, to what church would they, in that moment, refer, with what church would they seek to connect themselves? The Church of England had been placed in the seventeenth century in a situation of much peril and difficulty by the Church of Rome. But the Church of Rome, that church which appealed so strongly to the imagination and to the reason of mankind, whose priests were so distinguished by their learning and eloquence, was no longer kept down by those restraints by which she was fettered in former days, and there was much more chance that that church would again rise predominant and supreme under the scheme of education advocated by the Central Board, and adopted by the Government, than that the inference which the noble Lord, the Member for Dorsetshire, had drawn should be realized. The church of Rome had the advantage of being able to appeal to unrivalled antiquity, and appealing also strongly to the feelings and imaginations of men, there was a much greater chance that an ignorant and distracted people would seek to escape from anarchy by uniting themselves to a church practising charity, and whose preachers were more able and eloquent than they had been in the troubled days which England had before witnessed. If unfortunately such a moment of confusion should arise, and should the people again seek a return to peace, they would in that hour revert to the church of their fathers, or to the Church of Rome. The choice of the people would, in such a period, be the Church of England, or the Roman Church, but they would not plunge into infidelity, which was abhorrent to their nature, and at variance with all the better feelings of the human heart. It might be asked, however, whether they ought, from fear of realizing such a state of things, to prevent the spread of education, and neglect the moral and religious instruction of the people? But the real question was, had education been so neglected as hon. Gentlemen opposite had wished them to suppose? The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Waterford had last night furnished them with a picture of cellar life in the great manufacturing towns, and had described the people inhabiting those cellars as being in a state of semi-barbarity, and as being ignorant almost to the verge of brutality. The hon. Gentleman had inferred the neglect of education from the condition of those unfortunate persons; but was that inference correct? No: their condition in those cellars was not the consequence of neglect of education, but it resulted from the peculiar circumstances which, in every manufacturing country, arose out of the vicissitudes to which trade was subject. But when the hon. Gentleman portrayed the condition of those people, he had forgotten to make any allusion to the cellar schools; he had not thought proper to call the attention of the House to the fact, that in those cellars schools had been established, although for their own purposes, the society over which the hon. Gentleman presided had, on more than one occasion, brought those schools before the notice of the public. They had seen described one of those cellar schools in Manchester, and the picture which had been presented to them had been held out as an instance of the miserable want of instruction which prevailed in the manufacturing towns, and as a proof of the necessity for a system of state education. But from those schools he drew a very different inference. He looked on the existence of those cellar schools as an evidence that the seeds of education had been widely sown, and that they would speedily fructify and become general. It was a fact, which none could have anticipated fifty or even twenty-five years ago, that in the cellars of Manchester schools should have been established, and that fact, so far from showing that education had been neglected by the Church, indicated in the clearest and most satisfactory manner, that a strong and unconquerable desire for education had been infused into the minds of the people, while it proved almost to demonstration, that the seed which had been so widely sown, would soon spring-up to maturity. The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Waterford, had said that the Church had been tried and found wanting, but why had not the hon. Gentleman taken any notice of the arguments which had been adduced, to prove the failings of the state? The arguments brought forward against the Church told as strongly against the State. If the Church had done nothing, what, he would ask, had the State done for the education of the people? The hon. Gentleman, when he left the manufacturing towns, had taken them next into the rural districts, and had detailed to them, as an instance of the neglect of education by the clergy, the outbreak which had occurred in the county of Kent fifteen months ago. Now, if he had been called upon to adduce an instance in favour of parochial supervision, and of the excellence of the Church as a vehicle of instruction, he would have gone to the very place which had been mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, in order to prove the value of the efforts of the clergy for the improvement of the moral and spiritual condition of the people. It was a remarkable fact, that the spot where the outbreak had taken place was extraparochial; and from his own knowledge he could state—for the scene of the unfortunate occurrence was in the vicinity of the town which he had the honour to represent—that the people were in a condition little removed from barbarism. It was a wild woodland district, peopled by inhabitants in the rudest state of society, wild in their manners, unsocial in their bearing, setting the law at defiance, and so deeply ignorant, as to be only entitled to be considered as a species of squatters. Such places were not common in Kent, but they might, notwithstanding, find districts of a similar character, in almost every county of England. Now, such was the place which had so often been described as the garden of England—as a rich luxuriant rectory, whose incumbents slumbered at their ease, regardless of those intrusted to their care. He did not say, that the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Waterford, was cognizant of the real facts of the case, and he had only alluded to the subject, to show how carelessly, and with how little knowledge of the truth, statements might be and often were made, and how what was advanced as facts in illustration of any position, might be made the basis of a contrary argument. He believed the great object which every English statesman ought to have in view was, to encourage the habit of self-government amongst the people; and it was because he considered the proposition which had been submitted to their consideration as hostile to the acquisition of those habits that he opposed the scheme of the noble Lord, He believed that it was an axiom in civil policy, that in exact proportion as they curtailed the duties of citizens, they perilled the rights of subjects, and he believed that they had done that already to some extent. They already had had recourse to a system of central organization, and what had that system not produced, and what might it not yet produce? Let them remember, that the same system which tyrannized in the nursery, under the pretence of education, would again make its appearance, and immure old age within hated walls, under the specious plea of affording relief. It was always the State, and never society—it was always machinery, never sympathy. By their system of State education, all would be thrown into the same mint, and all would come out with the same impress and superscription. They might make money, they might make railroads; but when the age of passion came, when those interests were in motion, and those feelings stirring, which would shake society to its centre, then they would see what would become of the votaries of State education. They would then see whether the people had received the same sort of education which had been advocated and supported so nobly by William of Wykeham—by him who had built schools and founded and endowed colleges. Who, he would ask, had built their universities? Had they sprung from a system of central organization? Who had built their colleges, churches, and cathedrals? Did they owe them to a scheme of centralization propounded and supported by the State? No; other principles had actuated the men of former days, and let them look abroad on England and witness the result. Where would they find a country more elevated in the social scale? Where a people more distinguished for all that was excellent in the human character? The time would come, if they persisted in their present course, when they would find that they had revolutionized the English character, and when that was effected, then they could no longer expect English achievements. For these reasons, and because he believed that the system of education which the proposition of the noble Lord went to establish, was alien to the habits and contrary to the genius of the people of this country, he should oppose, to the utmost of his power, this rash attempt to centralize instruction. But, independent of these reasons, he objected to the form in which the proposition made by the noble Lord had been brought before them. The subject was one of the gravest interest, leading, if adopted, to a great and important change; and he would ask, was it decorous on a matter of such moment not to consult both branches of the Legislature? Was that House so superior in wisdom and knowledge—so intimately acquainted with the state of the country—with the feelings, the wants, and the wishes of the people, as to enable them to scorn the learning, the experience, the information, and the patriotism of the House of Lords!He would make no invidious comparisons, but the Constitution had told him that the Lords and Commons were alike to be consulted in every change affecting the welfare and happiness of the people and the peace and prosperity of the country. On matters of minor importance he did not contend for an appeal to both branches of the Legislature, but when the subject was one which had shaken and agitated society to its centre, and which had roused the passions of the people throughout the country, he must confess he was surprised that a proposition of such magnitude and im- portance should have been brought forward almost at the close of the Session, and in the languid months of summer. And how, too, had it been brought forward? Not directly, as it ought to have been, but indirectly, between a vote for the building of palace stables and a proposition for establishing a system of penny postage. Such was not the way in which a great national experiment ought to have been introduced to the consideration of the Legislature. Then, again, it was said that this had been made a party question. He allowed that it was extremely desirable that a subject of this character, and of such great importance, should not be dealt with as a party question, but the fault of its having been so considered rested with those who had made it a stalking-horse for party purposes, and who had brought it forward in a party spirit. If the discussion had assumed a party aspect, the fault was to be ascribed to the Government, who had solicited support for their proposition from party considerations. This question had not been brought forward in a manner worthy of the Government of a great country. They ought to have come to the discussion of this proposition in a spirit of calmness and moderation, but that had been rendered impossible by the conduct of the Government and those who supported it. They had placed the country in a state of provisional insurrection, and was it possible that their minds could be calm in the midst of the agitation which surrounded them? They had seen the other day a document brought to the House unparalleled in the history of Parliament, and that document had so frightened them, that they had broken through the rules of the House, and allowed the hon. Gentleman who presented it to expatiate on the prayer of the petitioners. If they had not been frightened, would hon. Gentlemen opposite tell him why they had not done their duty, and enforced the rules of the House? The petition of upwards of a million of the people was not to be despised; and although hon. Gentlemen opposite might disapprove the prayer of the petitioners, yet let them remember that they were that night to decide upon the education of those by whom it had been signed. When, then, such was the grave and important issue which they had to decide, it certainly did not become them to act in the spirit of the Government, who had brought forward this proposition, and to allow the discussion to degenerate into a mere party squabble. [Cries of "No," from the Ministerial benches.] Well, then, let Gentlemen opposite who dissented from him in opinion vindicate the conduct of the Government, and prove that the manner in which this proposition had been submitted to their consideration had not been influenced by party considerations.

Mr. Ewart

said, that the arguments of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, if they were good for anything, went to restore society to a state of savage barbarity. The hon. Gentleman had gone so far as to express a qualified opinion in favour of the condition of the unfortunate persons inhabiting the cellars of Manchester. These people were in a state of almost barbarian ignorance; and yet the hon. Gentleman had said that they were actuated by the sincerest desire for that education, which he, notwithstanding, refused to extend to them. The hon. Gentleman had certainly thrown out some very ingenious arguments in praise of ignorance, and had contended, that every person ought to be left to himself to procure education. That was a new doctrine. Would the hon. Gentleman deny that a system of centralization had before existed in England? What did the hon. Gentleman say of their universities? Did they not afford an instance of the system of centralization? Let him look at the inscriptions on their ancient walls, and then say what inference he could draw from those inscriptions, if it was not that their founders intended to establish a central system of education? The hon. Gentleman had spoken of railways, but did it follow that though the formation of railways should be left to speculators, education should also be left without the aid or interference of the State? Did not the hon. Gentleman admit that it was necessary to centralize justice, and by a parity of reasoning was it not as necessary to centralize education? The hon. Gentleman had alluded to China, and had said that in that country a centralized system of education had for long existed, and that the officers of the Government were promoted for their educational attainments. But was that an evil? On the contrary, he believed that by such a system democracy had found a vent, and the country been saved from those convulsions which had distracted the kingdoms of Europe. The same system had been adopted in Prussia, and he believed that it would one day be adopted also in England, and that day come when it might, would be a happy day for the people. All the objections which had been urged against the proposition of the Government resolved themselves into two classes. The first class of objections was directed against the Board of Education which it was proposed to establish. The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, had asserted that this board would be an irresponsible and despotic body. But how could it be despotic, when it was subject to the supervision of Parliament? and how could it be called irresponsible, when its proceedings were annually to be brought under the consideration of that House? The system of inspection was already applied to prisons, and why not to schools? Surely no objection could be seriously urged against placing the schools under a vigilant system of inspection. The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire had quoted many obsolete authorities in support of his particular views, and he had said, that education was chose espirituelle, meaning thereby that it was chose ecclesiastique. The object of the noble Lord had been to show, not that education was a thing connected with religion, so much as it was that it was a thing connected with the sectarianism of his own church, and therefore it was that the noble Lord had brought forward the dogmas of the church f such as the baptism of infants and the doctrine of the holy eucharist, and other matters which were peculiar to that church. The system of combined education without religious distinctions had been tried in Liverpool and had succeeded. He would not trouble the House with complicated statistics on this point, but he would refer to the statements of a converted opponent to this scheme, who had watched its progress in Liverpool amongst a population of 200,000 persons. There were two great schools established in Liverpool under this system. The first was at the north end of the town, which was visited by the gentleman in question, and he put various questions to the master, who informed him that he was an Independent, and that he had two assistants, one of whom was a member of the Church of England, and the other a Roman Catholic. The number of children was nearly 500, and consisted of different religious denominations, including the children of members of the Church of England, Methodists, Baptists, Independents, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. The result of the observations of this gentleman was so satisfactory to his own mind, that from being an opponent he became a friend to the system; and although the orthodox party at first raised an outcry against it, subsequently the people were convinced that it was a most advantageous plan, and a general conviction prevailed that schools opened for all sects were public benefits. In the south end of the town the school was conducted by a master who was a member of the church of Scotland, with two assistants, one of whom was an Independent, and the other a member of the Church of England. The gentleman from whose statements he quoted found the schools going on well. The number of children under instruction in it, and the denominations, were as follow:—Of the Church of England 294; Roman Catholics, 325; church of Scotland, twelve; Independents, fifteen, Baptists, twenty; and Methodists, forty-eight. Facts, then, proved the administration of education under a combined system to be quite practicable. He believed that the object of the noble Lord was to maintain the ascendancy of the State Church. But he would tell the noble Lord, and he did not care who knew it, that he was determined in matters of education to maintain the ascendancy of the State over the church. He thought the time would come when that would be found to be the most constitutional doctrine, and one which it would be impossible to gainsay without taking away the very bulwarks and foundation of our freedom. It was only by giving the State the opportunity of educating the people, and of throwing open the public institutions of the country for their benefit, that they could become universally instructed. The public libraries, the public galleries of art and science, and other public institutions for promoting knowledge, should be thrown open for the purpose of inducing men merely by the use of their outward senses to refine their habits, and to elevate their minds. Although something of this kind had been accomplished, much remained to be done. There remained to be achieved the complete education of the outward man, and he did not despair of its accomplishment any more than he did of the education of the inward man, notwithstanding the futile opposition of the present day. He hoped to see the time when there should be a system established for combining physical, intellectual, and religious education; and he thought the day was not distant when hon. Members opposite would regret the part they had taken on the present occasion. Of this he was sure, that whether or not the friends of popular education succeeded in reclaiming or converting hon. Gentlemen opposite, the adoption of such a system would be the glory of the age, and whatever might be the futurity of the present reign, the origin of this scheme of national education would be one of the brightest objects that distinguished and adorned its dawn.

Mr. Plumptre

objected to a subject of this importance being decided without the concurrence of both Houses of Parliament, for if ever there was a question which required the grave consideration of both branches of the Legislature it was that of national education. He was convinced that a Board of Education such as that proposed could never give satisfaction to the people of this country; in fact, neither the members of the Established Church nor orthodox Dissenters could see in that Board any security that the education of the people would be carried out upon those principles which they deemed to be of paramount importance. He conceived that the Members of the Privy Council would be unfit persons to discharge duties of so grave a nature, more especially when one of their number had declared in another place that he saw no great difference between the tenets of the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Churches. He denied that because Roman Catholics and Socinians were called on to contribute to the revenues of the State, the Government was bound to encourage them in their varieties of opinions, religious and political. The proposition, if yielded, would open the door to the wildest anarchy on political, and to the wildest errors in religious matters. Much had been said by hon. Members opposite of Gentlemen on his side of the House presuming to judge others, and he must say, that those remarks came with but an ill grace from hon. Members who could impute motives such as had been charged in the course of last night's debate to the opponents of the Government scheme of national education. Every man had a right to form his own judgment upon the question, but no man had a right to impute motives. He, for one, never could think of placing the blaspheming Jew, the idolatrous Romanist, the Unitarian denying his Christ, or the sensual Turk, on the same level as the humble and adoring believer of the Son of God, and, therefore, he must give his sincere and cordial opposition to the scheme proposed to Parliament by her Majesty's present advisers.

Sir G. Staunton

was anxious to explain in a few words the vote which it was his intention to give on the present occasion. He could bear with perfect resignation any taunt or obloquy which might attach to the course of conduct he purposed to pursue. He might truly say, that he had always been a warm friend to religious education, and had ever been desirous that it should be extended to every class and denomination in the country; nor had he ever felt it to be inconsistent with his religious duty to contribute as a private individual what assistance he could to the Roman Catholics and Dissenters for the promotion of those objects, for he had felt, that he ought not to suffer his attachment to his own peculiar religious faith to make him forget that those classes were linked and joined together by their common Christianity. With these views he had cordially supported the foundation of the London University, because it afforded to Dissenters the highest education, and enabled the Legislature to leave Oxford and Cambridge intact and unaltered. He gave her Majesty's Government every credit for coming forward with a plan of national education, but still the plan proposed differed to a great extent from the mode of education now pursued by the Established Church—it placed the direction and superintendence in a lay and political Board, upon which no member of the Church was to sit, and he could not think that conformists and non-conformists could be safely educated together. He regretted that the matter had been taken up as a party question, but for himself he would say, that though approving generally of the policy of her Majesty's Government, and being ready on political questions to surrender his private feelings, still on a question of religion he could not consent to any compromise, and, therefore, with pain he should be obliged to vote in favour of the amendment.

Mr. Gibson

said, that the hon. Baronet opposite, when he observed that on the Committee of the Privy Council there was no member of the Church seemed to draw a very singular distinction between the Church and the clergy. The articles told him (Mr. Gibson) that the Church consisted of the congregation of the faithful, and he could not bring himself to suppose that four members of the Church, for such he believed were the four Members of the Privy Council Committee would be hostile to the Church because they were not clergymen. He must also protest against one doctrine laid clown by the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire—that the schoolmaster of the Churchman's children, ought, in regard to their religious education, to be under the regulation of the ordinary. From this principle he wholly differed. He thought the present duties of the ordinary were quite enough; and, in the present state of religious feeling throughout the country, he would as soon think of putting the ordinary under the schoolmaster as the schoolmaster under the ordinary. He was of opinion that the schoolmaster should, in all matters relating to the secular education of the children, be quite independent of all Church influence, even though the children should be Churchmen's children. In these days, when so many sects were springing up, even in the Church itself—when they heard daily of Evangelists, of Puseyites, and of those whom the former chose to designate as world-seeking Churchmen—the office of the schoolmaster would be liable to be interfered with in the most unpleasant manner by the clergyman of the parish. The doctrine which the noble Lord attempted to set up sounded very like infallibility; and he could tell the noble Lord that if once infallibility were set up as the guide for the people of England, it was very doubtful whether they would not take the infallibility of Rome in preference to the infallibility of Oxford. For, be it remembered, the infallibility of Oxford was of comparatively recent date, while that of Rome had at least prescription in its favour. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Somersetshire had also propounded what he was compelled to differ from. The hon. Member had stated, that the working classes of this country were dissatisfied, because there was not enough of religious education for their children in the various schools established by the Societies. His own experience did not by any means confirm that statement. On the contrary, to his knowledge, the working men complained that in these national schools nothing but religion was taught. They said, "Why cannot we teach our children religion ourselves, or send them to Church on Sundays, and send them to these schools to learn something that will be useful in this world, such as reading, writing, and arithmetic?" So far from useful practical knowledge being conveyed, nothing was taught at those schools but strange outlandish texts from the Old Testament, nothing that could be of use either in this world or the next. They were not taught their duties to God and man—to be honest and lowly and forbearing; they were not taught their duty to their neighbour; but they were taught a good deal about Moab, and the names of mountains in the Old and New Testament, and about the offices of angels. In fact, a variety of knowledge was conveyed to those children on subjects upon which, if similar questions were put to the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford himself, he very believed that the hon. Baronet would be unable to reply to them. But he really must say that he thought all such questions as these quite foreign to the functions of that House. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Somersetshire had very judiciously observed, that he thought that House a very unfit place for theological controversy. In this sentiment he entirely concurred, He wished the House could see that they had to look to the maintenance of man's civil rights without reference to his religious opinions; that they ought to look at the subjects of this country as men, and not as separated into different sects. But at the same time he did not see how the hon. Gentleman could reconcile his declared opinion with the course he had taken on this question; because if that House assumed the right to interfere with the religious opinions of men, how could they avoid theological discussions? Such discussions might be all very well in proper places; but when he was called upon in the House of Commons to give his assent to a system of national education, to be paid for out of the public purse, he felt himself bound to see that neither the Established Church, nor any other religious society whatever, were enabled to put upon the grant of the House any restrictions which might have the effect of excluding any person from the civil advantages of secular knowledge. He understood liberty of education to mean that it should be open to all sects—to the Roman Catholic, to the Unitarian, to the Jew, or to any other class of British subjects. He held the meaning of liberty of education to be, that any man should have the right to send his child to the National School, to avail himself of those civil advantages which were placed within his reach by the civil Government of his country, and to have his child taught such peculiar religious tenets as he might think right, of course provided the exercise of such a privilege involved no interference with the rights of others. Unless religion were separated from secular instruction it would not be possible to make education general. Each man might wish to have both combined for the instruction of children; but it was clear to him that they must be separated in the national schools, if it were intended that they should be general. If each class were anxious to give religious instruction let them do so; but do not let them interfere with the secular teaching that was to be conferred in these schools. This, in his mind, was liberty of education. The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, however, said virtually by the course that he proposed to pursue—" Let us set up a monopoly for the Church, and the Dissenters if they pleased might set up another." He, therefore, said that the education which the noble Lord proposed was not liberty of education, but liberty to set up two monopolies of education. But this was not the system from which British subjects could derive corresponding advantages as from a general plan, under which there would be liberty of education. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last alluded to the general instruction that was prepared to be given in the normal school, spoken of in the first Minute of the Privy Council on this subject. He was aware that there were many objections to this general religious instruction that was referred to in this document; but the objec- tions to it were not, that it did not teach religion, but that it did not involve instruction in sectarianism. Most impartial men believed that there was a very wide neutral ground in the Christian religion, involving all the main principles of Christianity, and instruction in them might be considered as general religious instruction. Every man, however, must be aware that all sects seemed to be anxious for the promulgation of their differences in their peculiar religious doctrines. Instead, therefore, of Christian ministers drawing attention to the important points on which they agreed, they always directed it to the differences that existed. That distinguished philosopher, Mr. Locke, said, that sectarian teachers always endeavoured to persuade their followers that the maintenance of every doctrine of the sect was of essential importance, and by this means they lost sight of the great and numerous points of agreement. He admitted, that it was a dangerous experiment to propose to maintain religious instruction in the national schools, for by this means they had raised a religious outcry throughout the country against their plan!There was a very appropriate expression on this point, which had been used by a certain reverend pamphleteer, who applied the term, "foolometer" in reference to the proposal to teach the general doctrines of the Church in their schools. He had been much surprised to find that a man of such high character and attainments as Lord Abinger should have used language which went to the extent of declaring that they should not give instruction to persons who were not members of the establishment. He repeated, this had much surprised him, as coming from one who was a judge of the land, and who went to the extent of asserting, that if they could not give them instruction in the doctrines of the church, they should not communicate to them any knowledge at all. He recollected when Lord Abinger was engaged in a controversy with Mr. Cunningham, of Harrow, and from what then took place he had thought that such an impression had been made on the noble Lord as to make him aware of the difficulties naturally attendant on getting into a controversy on general points. He should have thought that the noble and learned Lord would have stated that it would be unwise to take up matters of difference on general grounds. He did not think that any case had been made out to justify them in calling upon the Government completely to rescind the order in council. It was probable that the chief objection was directed against those who were nominated on the committee to superintend the carrying out the plan; but it appeared to him to be composed of four gentlemen, as competent as any others to carry into effect a general system of education. He might be told that they were four Whigs, and no doubt this was a strong objection in the minds of many; but believing as he did that they were as competent as any others that could be nominated, and finding them also all members of the Church, he did not object to their appointment; and he confessed that he did not understand the grounds of the outcry that had been raised against them. He thought, therefore, that no case had been made out to justify such a very hostile proposition as that of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire. Although he had been supported and elected as a Conservative, he had always declared to his constituents that he should always support any plan of education on the principles of religious liberty. He could agree to a general system of education on no other principle that he had heard propounded, unless indeed that in the schools they established they consented to sever religious from secular instruction, and allowed all those who desired it to absent themselves during the periods of religious instruction. By this means they would allow Jews and Roman Catholics, and other sects, the full benefit of secular instruction, without forcing upon them instruction in any peculiar religious doctrines or points. He protested against the doctrines laid down, by the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, and for the illustration of which he went back to the dark ages, and quoted a writer of the reign of Henry 4th, and endeavoured to support his opinions by the authority of Chief Justice Holt. He referred to the Church, as if the church had the sole and exclusive right to take possession of the minds of the children in this realm, and as if it was entitled to the monopoly of education. He could not agree to such a doctrine, nor could he conceive on what grounds they talked of the children of the church. Did he recollect the opinion of Mr. Locke on this subject, who said children could not properly be called members of the Church if they had not formed opinions on its doctrines; unless, indeed, they belonged to the Church by descent, as lands might belong to them by descent. Such a principle as this had not been broached since the period of the Reformation; and he could not help observing that it appeared to him that in the anxiety to put forward objections to the Catholics, they completely forgot and lost sight of the principles of the Reformation. It seemed as if they set up and manifested more strongly their hatred to Popery in proportion as they approached to it. It was the feeling and opinion of some philosophers that religious sects hated each other the more in proportion as they approached to each other. He repeated that he did not like the proposal to mix up secular instruction, with religious instruction, and he confessed that he did not see how religion could be mixed up with it. When religion was taught, it should be by those who devoted themselves to it, and not merely by mixing it up with secular instruction. What necessity was there for them to mix up religious instruction with the teaching of arithmetic or other similar matters? He had little doubt but that in some of the schools that had been so much alluded to as imparting religious instruction, that in the minds of the children they would find the teaching of multiplication mixed up with the doctrine of justification by faith. He contended that this was not an extravagant opinion. He had seen some of the effects of mixing up religious instruction in many schools, and he was satisfied that no attempt of the kind could answer the expectations that were entertained on the subject. He had seen, for instance, an attempt made to impart religious instruction with imparting a knowledge of the alphabet, and it began as follows:— A stands for Angel, who praises the Lord; B stands for Bible, that teaches God's word; C stands for Church, to which righteous men go; D stands for Devil, the cause of all woe. This was an admirable specimen of an attempt to promote this kind of combined education. He would not trespass further on the attention of the House, but would merely add that he should vote against the motion of the noble Lord.

Sir Harry Verney

thought that the proposition of the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, was a most unfair mode of attacking the Government plan of education. Nothing in his mind was so unfair as this proceeding in the proposing the general plan of education, and endeavouring to excite an outcry that the object in view was to make an attack on the Church. If the object of this plan was to make any attack on the Church, it would have met with his most strenuous resistance; but he denied that this was the case, or that there was anything in it that could justify such an imputation. For his own part, he thought that the plan of education now proposed was not sufficiently extensive; but he trusted that some further measure would be brought forward with as little delay as possible, for the general extension of education. He believed that it would be found to be a matter of the utmost difficulty to induce the population of this country to attend their schools, if they believed that they were to be exclusive schools. If a school was founded in every parish in the country, and placed under the direction of the clergyman, he did not believe that the children of Dissenters would be sent to these schools; on the contrary, they would be regarded with the greatest jealousy. He spoke from experience on this point, and regretted that this was the case; but it would be most objectionable to conceal or disguise the truth on the subject. He trusted that the Government would not be induced by any consideration to give up that part of the plan which related to the superintendence of the schools, which in his mind was one of the best features of the system. There was at present very large masses of the population in the lowest state of ignorance, and in a condition most dangerous to society; and, therefore, he thought that the Government deserved the sincere thanks of all friends to improvement for the attempts they were making to remedy the evils which existed, and which, if not timely prevented from increasing, might be attended with fatal consequences to the welfare of this country. He had watched the proceedings that had taken place on this subject with some degree of jealousy, and he saw nothing which could justify any alarm in the minds of the most zealous friends of the Church, and, under these circumstances, he felt it to be his duty to give the proposal of the Government his cordial support.

Mr. Gally Knight

addressed the House in the following terms:—Sir, I certainly do not rise to reply to the hon. Baronet who has just sat down, because I am happy to find that, on the present occasion, we entirely coincide, and he must permit me to say, that it does him great Credit to have shewn himself superior to party considerations on a question like the present.—I must begin with complaining of the disingenuous manner in which the country has been treated by the announcement of the abandonment of the ministerial plan—for, in consequence, the belief obtained, that the plan was really and altogether abandoned. A petition which I presented to-day had been kept back, under the idea that there was no longer any necessity for petitioning, and only just arrived in time. I am far from meaning to say, that it was the intention of the Government to take the country by surprise; but their mode of proceeding has had that effect; and I am convinced that the more generally the scheme is known, the more strongly will it be opposed. I must say that the argument has not been hitherto very fairly conducted. Gentlemen opposite argue the question as if we, on this side, were opposed to national education—but I do think that the great exertions which, during the last year, have been made all over the kingdom, to promote education, might have exempted us from this charge, and saved us from half the speech and all the taunts of the right hon. and learned civilian who addressed the House last night. We are not opposed to national education, but to the manner in which the Government propose to impart it; we are not opposed to education, but to the ministerial plan. Sir, I think the hon. Member for Lambeth put the question on much fairer grounds, and I admired the manliness and candour with which he avowed the truth. He said, frankly and openly, that the present is a struggle between the Church and the Dissenters; and he added, that as long as the Government brought forward such measures as the ministerial plan, they would be justly entitled to the support of the Radicals. It must be evident to all mankind that the ministerial plan is a sop to the Dissenters. But are the Dissenters in a situation to justify their undertaking a struggle with the Church? What proportion do the Dissenters bear to the Church of Englanders? In England and Wales, in- cluding the Wesleyans and Catholics, the Dissenters do not much exceed two millions; whilst the population of England and Wales is computed now to amount to nearly sixteen millions. The Dissenters are, therefore, in a minority of nearly 8 to 1. With what justice, then, can they demand that the Church should be despoiled of her pre-eminence in their favour? Why is the importance of Dissent to be exaggerated, and the extent of its claims to be unduly magnified? With what justice can the Dissenters claim the equality to which they pretend—equality, whether as relates to their share of the grant, or to their position? Sir, if the normal school had been persevered in, there would have been equality with a vengeance—for it would have had the effect of placing the Church of England on a level with the Church of Johanna Southcote—and it would, at the same time, have combined, in the same place, a mixture and jumble of doctrines that would have led to no satisfactory result; for we must recollect that the case of England is not the case of Ireland, where, practically, you have to deal, in the schools, with only two denominations of belief. In England, unfortunately, there is a vast variety of Dissenters, any and all of whom might have claimed special religious instruction—and whether the children upon whom the training masters were to practise might have been, at the hour of specific instruction, placed in pens or closets, the effect would still have been that of a spiritual Dutch concert. Sir, only figure to yourself the ministers of the different denominations walking into the school at the time for specific instruction!Catholics and Presbyterians—Socinians and ministers of the Church of England—side by side—and, if the recommendation of the hon. Member for Lambeth had been attended to, the bearded Rabbi would have been seen amongst the number. Then, to make the thing complete, there must have been a little holy water for the Catholics, in one place, and a bath for plenary immersion, for the Anabaptists, in another. It would have been, to be sure, the very perfection of modern liberality. It would have been, in the words of the poet, "Reason, philosophy; peace, and fraternity; higgledy, piggledy." But, from it must have resulted, that the children would have acquired the impression that it was a matter of great indifference to which denomination a human creature belonged—Protestant or Catholic—Christian or Jew—no matter, and when adult, they would have too frequently ended by belonging to no religion at all. Well!the present plan is a Board!A Board of four Members of the Government, with carte blanche plenary power, both as regards the money and the regulations—a Board composed exclusively of laymen—and party men. Is not this telling the people of England that the Clergy are wholly unfit to take any share in their education? Is not this running the risk of the partial distribution of the means by which education is to be encouraged—as well as of the introduction of rules and regulations which might be objectionable. Is not every Government disposed, and compelled to consider its supporters? Would not such a Board be likely to give the larger share to its own followers?—and, as the present Government depend so much on the support of the Dissenters, could we expect that the Church of England schools would be allowed a fair chance? Such a Board would be dependent and fluctuating, whereas it should be independent and permanent. If there is to be any Board at all, it should be a mixed Board of laymen and ecclesiastics, and so constituted as not to be liable to frequent change; and it would be sufficiently checked by the superintendence of Parliament, and the annual nature of the grant. But, under all the difficulties of the case, I am disposed to think that the best way would be to distribute the grant through the channel of the two Societies, of whom the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, spoke in terms of such high respect, that he could not, I am sure, feel any reluctance in reposing the trust in their hands. This plan has now been acted upon for some time, and has given satisfaction. Why, therefore, insist upon changing it? Why will you leave nothing alone? Let us educate the people, but not pull down the Church—not disregard the expressed voice of public opinion, not outrage the feelings of the great majority.

Sir R. Inglis

would begin by saying a few words with regard to what fell from the hon. Member for Ipswich, whom he did not see in his place, but in another place from which the speech of that hon. Member would have come with more propriety. [Mr. Gibson had crossed over, and was sitting on the Ministerial side of the House.] It was from that quarter that had proceeded those loud and long cheers with which the hon. Member had been greeted, and which must have been very gratifying to him, especially when he saw how vehement a part was taken in them by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. The hon. Member for Ipswich had alluded so pointedly to him, that he regretted a moment's interval should have elapsed before he rose to reply to that hon. Member, and to the charges of ignorance which the hon. Member had permitted himself to bring against him, and the Church to which the hon. Member himself belonged. The rhymes quoted by the hon. Member were lines commonly used in infant schools, and perhaps were as well adapted as any others that could be chosen to the capacities of children of the age at which they were usually sent to those schools. With respect to certain doctrines which the hon. Member had charged the University of Oxford with holding, he would not enter into the question whether such doctrines were well-founded or not, nor into the question whether the House of Commons be the proper arena for discussing such a subject; he would content himself with saying, that whatever might be the nature of those doctrines, the University of Oxford as a body was not responsible for them. They had never been adopted by hat University, and it could not be responsible for the opinions of its individual Members. If the hon. Member wished to find opinions for which the University of Oxford was responsible, let him look at the petition which that University had presented to the House upon the subject of the present motion. That was a regular and formal expression of the sentiments of the body, and feeling, as he did, a just sense of the high honour which his position conferred upon him, he was quite ready to take his share of the responsibility arising from that petition, for in that responsibility he gloried. He regarded the Ministerial measure as one upon which the University of Oxford looked with just apprehensions. Although the plan had been technically changed, let no man deceive himself by thinking, that the evil of the former plan to which the objections applied had been removed. The hon. Member for Ipswich said, that there was no reason for withholding our confidence from the individual members of the Privy Council, of whom the board at present consisted. The objection was not to individuals, but to placing in the hands of laymen those powers which ought to be confided only to the Church through its ministers. He (Sir R. Inglis) had never confounded the Church with its ministers, but had only said, that from time immemorial, both in Roman Catholic times and since the Reformation, education had been connected with religion; and he firmly believed, that if the Roman Catholic religion were ever again in the ascendant, the clergy of that Church would be the last in the world to leave the education of the people in the hands of others. It was said, that those members of the Privy Council belonged to the Established Church, but was it certain, that such would always be the case? Might not a Privy Councillor be a member of the Church of Rome? He did not wonder at the hon. and learned Member for Dublin's concurrence in the Ministerial plan, but that hon. and learned Member's approbation ought not to be a reason why the hon. Member for Ipswich, whose aspirations were in favour of the Church of England, should agree to the proposition, that the interests of that Church might be safely intrusted to a committee, the members of which might not, even nominally, profess the Protestant religion. It was said, that the Church of England had been remiss in the performance of its duties, and he admitted, that in the eighteenth century there had been a lamentable apathy in the Church; but it was not to the state of the Church in 1750, or at any other former period, that we were to look: we ought to consider the energies of the Church of England such as we saw them now, and then say whether we could find elsewhere such an instrument of good as was to be found in that Church. It was not the question, whether in former periods the Church of England had adequately discharged its duty, but whether it was not fully occupied in doing so at present. Nothing could now be said of that Church which did not redound to its honour. He held in his hand a return of fifty-two boys who were committed to Newgate for various offences between October, 1821, and March, 1822, from which it appeared, that eighteen of them had been taught in schools not in connexion with the Established Church, while only six of them had been taught in schools belonging to the Established Church. It could not be contended that these numbers represented the respective populations, and that Dissenters were three times as numerous as Church- men. Was he not, then, entitled to infer from that return, that the mode of instruction in schools connected with the Established Church was greatly superior to that of other schools? and that a deeper moral impression was made by the more specific religious teaching and training in such schools than in others? For his own part, he was prepared to contend, that even the elementary part of the general education of children might be, and ought to be, connected with Christian instruction, and he was fully convinced, that, as there was no species of knowledge (even the arithmetic to which the hon. Member referred,) which might not be perverted by the arts of a teacher, so there was none which might not be profitably connected with high principles by a really Christian teacher. This was self-evident, in respect to sacred subjects. Any opportunity which was lost of leading the way to eternal life was, in his opinion, dearly purchased by what the hon. Member for Ipswich called universal charity. That was an opinion which he believed no man who was fully persuaded of the truth of the doctrines of the Established Church would venture to controvert. There was no alternative. They must believe, that those doctrines were true or were false. If they believed them to be true, they were bound to support and advance them. Then came the question of what was the nation to do? His answer was, without reference to the question of a national conscience, that each individual was bound to use his influence as far as it went for the promotion of the doctrines which he believed. Every one was responsible to God and man for the use of the power committed to him. Those holding office, and in possession of political power, were bound to exercise that power for the promotion of their belief, and not for the encouragement or advancement of anything which they disbelieved, or conceived to be erroneous. Would they venture to tell him, then, that this board of education might not—nay, must not, tend to the promotion of that which, as individuals, they believed to be erroneous? It was distinctly stated, that the design of the Government was, to extend the benefits of a national education to all those who now require it, whether they belonged to the Church of England or not. That being the case, the members of the proposed board must necessarily throw a portion of their patronage and influence into the scale which was to weigh against what they believed to be the truth. It had been said, that as Dissenters paid a portion of the national taxes, they had a right to receive in return a share of the national income. But he would ask, did any man refuse to contribute to the support of gaols upon such a ground as that? Did any man refuse to contribute towards the building of a bridge on the ground that he never intended or never should have occasion to cross it? He understood nothing of a national religious establishment unless it were one to which members of all other persuasions were bound to contribute without any obligation on its part to contribute in return. If that view of a national establishment be just it was clear that those who held the power of the State were bound to exercise that power for the support of that Establishment, a duty which they certainly could not be said to be doing in proposing a mixed scheme of education, and which he believed would not satisfy the more conscientious members of any party. With that view of the duty of the Government to promote the religion of the State, not on the ground of a national conscience but on the ground of individual obligation, pressing on the personal conscience of the individual Members of that Government, he could not understand how his noble and right hon. Friends opposite could justify themselves in giving aid to those whom in their conscience they believed to be in error, as of course they believed the Socinian and Roman Catholic to be. He would not enter into any theological discussion whatever. The members of those sects might be right, or they might be wrong, but he would venture to say, that if the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, for instance, were to change positions with them, and that he were asked to allocate a portion of the national funds, supposing his Church to be the national Church, for such a measure as this, he believed that the hon. and learned Gentleman would not approve of such a course, and would not sanction it under the authority of the heads of his Church. Over and over again he (Sir R. Inglis) had said, that the State ought not to establish a system of secular as distinguished from spiritual instruction. They might call it by a less term than a system of education; they might say that a lesson in arithmetic was a lesson in arithmetic, but he could not call any system one of education which did not include the preparation of the whole soul and mind for their duties here and hopes hereafter. His right hon. Friend, the Member for the Tower Hamlets, who had just entered the House was one of those who had endeavoured to make a distinction between secular and religious education, but what his right hon. Friend urged upon that subject was, he was convinced, quite impossible. They never could bring together under one head for the purposes of education those who differed entirely on spiritual subjects, and if they attempted to divide instruction into secular and spiritual, they could not bring either to its legitimate result. Numerous petitions had been presented upon this subject from the Dissenters themselves, some of them exclusively signed by Dissenters. Never in so short a period of time had there been presented from all parts of the country so large a mass of petitions, showing such a combined opposition from persons of so many different persuasions, as there had been presented against the proposed plan of education. It had been said, that they were not against the present plan. Many of them were certainly presented before the second plan was known; but those presented within the last week were directly and specifically against the plan now proposed. Never before in so short a time was there such opposition shown to any measure in the shape of petition. He believed their number on this one subject approached very nearly to the total number of petitions presented on all subjects in former Sessions. What must be the evil of a plan which could arouse against it the indignation of so many otherwise discordant bodies, and which had produced in its favour some fifty or sixty petitions from the zealous supporters of her Majesty's Ministers, but who, neither in that House nor in the country, represented the real wishes and feelings of the people of England?

Mr. O'Connell

, had only intended to speak upon the general merits of the question, but he felt called upon to notice the opinions which had fallen from the hon. Baronet, and some mistakes which he had made with respect to matters of fact, and which, he must say, had not a little surprised him. He would begin with the least material, and in reference to the petitions which had been presented, he would tell the hon. Baronet precisely what the public cry which had been, raised upon the subject was. True, there had been a greater number of petitions presented against the present than any former plan; but there was a miserable deficiency with regard to signatures, The number of persons which had been presented was 1,615. ["Three thousand."] He spoke from the last return, made two or three days ago, and the reason why only a few of them had been printed was, because they were all similar in their contents. Hon. Gentlemen opposite cheered; but they seemed not to know, that to these 1,615 petitions, there were only 165,729 signatures. Now, upon the subject of the extension of the franchise in Ireland, they had 192 petitions, with 179,420 signatures; and on the question of the extension of church accommodation in Scotland, the number of petitions was 611, and the signatures 141,307. There were, then, more signatures to the 611 petitions from Scotland than to the 1,615 petitions which had been presented on this subject; and he might say, that the 192 petitions from Ireland had nearly 15,000 more signatures than the petitions against this plan. The petitions against Orange dominion, or in approval of the Irish Government, were 710 in number, with 55,356 signatures, and this enumeration proved that, however dexterous the hon. Gentlemen opposite might be in getting up petitions, they failed signally in procuring signatures. They had brought the mighty mass of Conservative power, aided by the Universities, the Established Church, and the Wesleyan Methodists, to bear upon the subject; but still their efforts had not succeeded, inasmuch as although they had a whole fortnight to exert themselves, they had been unable to obtain to their 1,615 petitions more than 165,729 signatures. Could it be doubted that they had attempted again to raise the cry of "No Popery?" He asserted that this had been their design, although it had signally failed. It was a great mistake for them to suppose that in their bigoted opposition, the sense of the English people was with them. Their attempt to raise the "No Popery" cry had most signally failed; it was growing weaker and weaker every day. He was sorry the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire was not in his place, that he might tell the noble Lord that it ill became him to have joined in this unhallowed cry; which was nothing less than a "No Popery" cry. That for which he chiefly found fault with the course recommended by the hon. Baronet opposite was, that he did not go far enough. They stated on the opposite side, that they did not think they could aid one party without subjecting another to loss and deprivation. That was their principle; he called on them to work it out. He contended that they could not work it out; without meaning anything disrespectful, he would say, that they dare not work it out—he doubted not that they would work it out if they could, but they could not; they would willingly proceed with the principle of exclusion, but he was in that House in spite of them, and in spite of all who were influenced by their principles; they had tried the efficacy of exclusion, and they had found that it would not do. They had tried the efficacy of the exclusive principle, in order to prevent the advance of catholicity, but nevertheless, the Catholics multiplied in Ireland; they even increased in England. But the advocates of exclusion did still not carry their own principle far enough, or at least not far enough to effect their purposes; they did not burn, they did not introduce Spanish law into this country, though they endeavoured, to the utmost of their power, to proceed upon principles which were at once fatal in politics, and unsound in religion. Properly speaking, such principles did not belong to religion, they were anti-religious: for though hypocrites might be made by force, converts could not be made otherwise than by persuasion. The hon. Baronet opposite had endeavoured to show, though, as he thought, most unsuccessfully, that he was now either guilty of inconsistency, or at variance in his sentiments with the opinions held by his Catholic brethren, and inculcated by the Catholic Church. He must beg to state distinctly, that he had never said, and that he had never done, any thing to justify such an inference. He believed all that his church believed, and he disbelieved all that the church declared to be untrue. He did not willingly enter into these explanations, but, on the contrary, had been driven into them by the taunt which the hon. Baronet had thrown out. That hon. Member had spoken as if he regarded the hon. Member as a heretic: he begged to say that he entertained no opinion upon the subject. He knew not whether the hon. Baronet was a heretic or not. It was to be hoped, that if his opinions were erroneous, he had taken all possible pains to acquire sound and correct information on the all-important subjects of religious faith and doctrine. If he had proceeded with caution and with sincerity, he could not be called a heretic; but whether the hon. Member were so or not, he (Mr. O'Connell) was forbidden to judge him—that was a matter between the hon. Member, and his God, on which no human being was entitled to pronounce judgment. The hon. Baronet was not responsible to him, or to any created man, for the opinions he might hold. He warred not with abstract opinions, he merely objected to the practical application of persecuting principles. Whether there were a bribe in the form of assistance for a school—whether it were the appointment of an excise officer—whether it were advancement to the bench, or precedence at the bar, became a matter of insignificance, the principle against which he raised his voice was the principle of persecution, the principle of exclusion, and he would take upon himself to say, that the hon. Baronet had no more right to persecute or oppress him than he had a right to persecute the hon. Baronet. Now, as to the state of feeling out of doors, in reference to this great question, he must be permitted to say, that with all the excitement which the persecuting cry had occasioned—that, notwithstanding all the efforts of the Wesleyan Methodists, aided by the zeal and discipline which characterised that body, the efforts made upon the present occasion were paltry. He meant, that in point of numbers signing the petitions, the whole affair was paltry, the numbers were really insignificant. To proceed, however, to examine the question with which the House had to deal: what was that question? By the minute of the 1st of April, it appeared to have been the determination of the Government to establish normal schools, and to pay chaplains for instructing children born in the Established Church in the principles of their religion, and that those chaplains were to be paid at the expense of the nation at large. By all means, let the children who belonged to the Established Church have religious instruction, but let it be paid for out of the funds of the Established Church, and not out of the funds of the nation at large. The arrangement proposed under the minute was, that those chaplains should be paid, not out of the ample possession of the Established Church, but out of the funds of the nation at large. Surely that was an arrangement far more favourable to the Established Church than it had any right to expect. It was too much to expect for the Established Church, that the Roman Catholic and the Dissenters should pay for the religious instruction of the members of a Church so richly endowed as was the Established Church of this country; that would indeed be to give the Established Church a decided advantage, and one wholly inconsistent with fair play. But yet he had acceded even to that, for he considered it to be of the highest importance, that the people should be educated. It was hoped, that at the normal schools the education of the pupils might be carried on in common. It was considered, and as he thought most justly, that youth should not be separated in the business of education—that they might be reconciled to each other's presence in their early days—that they might be accustomed to meet upon other points than those of repulsion. Sacred Heaven!why might they not meet upon other points than those of difference and hostility? He was aware, that they had often been told that an experiment of that nature had never been tried. He frankly admitted, that it had not been tried in Prussia: he admitted, that there Catholic education was carried on under the inspection of the Catholic clergy; and he admitted, that the petition which had been presented from the Archbishop of Tuam claimed for the Catholic clergy the spiritual care of those who had been born and brought up in their communion. He thought they had a right to that, but the hon. Baronet thought otherwise; he, as well as the hon. Member for Somerset, thought that every child in the community should go under the yoke of the Established Church. Now, he thought himself warranted in asking the House to contrast that with the claim set up by the Archbishop of Tuam—let them contrast the sentiments of the most rev. Prelate, with the doctrines insisted on by the hon. Member for Somerset, who began the speech which the House had heard by saying, that he deprecated all polemics; and certainly so he ought after the sweeping concessions which he had thought proper to demand. The extent of those concessions had proved too much even for the purposes which the hon. Member himself had in view; they spoilt his own position. It had been affirmed by that hon. Member, that the Church of England educated all the children belonging to its own body, was that a reason why they should claim the whole of the grant? It had been alleged, that the Established Church was doing much in the work of education with its own funds, could they not then let the miserable grant which the Government proposed go to other classes of the community who had no funds of their own, without urging such violent and unqualified opposition? They who had such enormous revenues of their own might well permit a small advantage to be enjoyed by others of their fellow-countrymen—but they who had so much cried out "Give us more." It reminded him of the man whose covetousness was recorded in the Old Testament, who, though he had a large flock of his own, demanded the solitary ewe which belonged to another. He should now come to the Government plan of the 3rd of June. Government then gave up the normal schools. He confessed, that he regretted that they should so have abandoned the high ground which they had previously occupied; he regretted, that they should have given way to public clamour; and he still more regretted, that the people of England should have made such a demand of them. He had thought, that the people of England would not have taken amiss a plan for educating the tutors of their children in one common seminary, without distinction of creed or party; that those tutors might be permitted to receive their religious knowledge in this way—that those principles which they held in common might be inculcated in common, and that their special religious instruction might be given to them by the clergy of the persuasion to which they belonged. But that was not to be, and the House had seen the noble Lord, the Member for Dorsetshire, stand forth amongst the most forward of the opponents of that which appeared to him the fair, the just, the only equitable mode of dealing with the difficulties of this great and important question—that noble Lord, who told the House that there were no intrinsic merits in the Sermon on the Mount. It was with extreme reluctance that he adverted to topics of that sacred nature, but he had been driven into it by the noble Lord, who told them, that the Sermon on the Mount derived its value from the divine sanction of Him by whom it was pronounced, but that it had no intrinsic merits of its own. ["No, no."] He would repeat, that the noble Lord had said so; he himself heard the noble Lord utter the words, and he heard them with deep regret; who could fail to experience a feeling of deep regret to hear a British Nobleman, in the nineteenth century, holding so cheap the sublime morality, the peace, the mercy, the forbearance, the benevolence, which breathed through every sentence of that divine composition, without admitting at once its intrinsic merits, and regret that any one should deny them? They could not fail to be still more sensible of its un approached excellence, when they compared it with the contemporary philosophy and morals of surrounding nations, which preached, as the perfection of wisdom and virtue, triumph over enemies, self-gratification, revenge, indomitable pride; let these be contrasted with the Sermon on the Mount when any man said, as the noble Lord had said, that it had no intrinsic merits—had no sublime and pure morality. He would repeat that the noble Lord had used that language—he heard him use it—it had been published as his, and he had not contradicted it, and were the noble Lord then in his place he would avow it. The noble Lord also referred to a chapter in Isaiah respecting the prophecy of the Messiah, and placed a different construction upon it. But was not the noble Lord mistaken? Would not some of them admit, that the Sermon on the Mount was an admirable piece of general instruction, and might be read in harmony by Christians of every denomination at the same time? Would it not be the working of a mighty good to convince all children of the wisdom and Christian obligation of practising the precepts of that Sermon? He was sorry, that the normal plan had been given up—he hoped it would be revived in a better time. The hon. Member for Somersetshire said, that in Prussia the religious persuasions were educated apart. Now he implored the right hon. Baronet, who was so convinced of the superior merit of Protestant over Catholic education, to refer to the account of the morals of Prussia, as illustrated in the 4th chapter of the work recently published from the pen of the well known Chaplain of Chelsea Hospital, the Rev. Mr. Gleig, the author of the "Subaltern," and other talented works. The rev. Gentleman stated, that the observance of the Sabbath in Prussia was most exemplary, though it was relaxed in the evening, and that the general tenor of the lives of the Prussian Catholics was most pure. Look, then, to Mr. Laing's book on Sweden, where the reformation was successful, where the clergy were respected, where education was widely spread, but where the prevalence of crime was dreadful. His only object in referring to this contrast, was, not to give pain, but to induce moderate reflections on both sides. He would not have education without religion. Let children be educated together as far as they could, and then separately, when important religious distinctions arose. He would caution systematisers against the inherent vices of the system they supported. But if their plan had in some degree failed in Prussia, it had been completely successful in Holland. He knew that some mistaken fanatics amongst the Calvinists in that country were declaring off from this general acquiescence. The hon. Member for Somersetshire knew the reason, but he would not tell it. The excuse they alleged, however, was the advance of Catholicity; and no doubt the Catholic religion was advancing in that country as well as in this; but was that a reason why the experiment should not be continued; if it contained nothing unfair and unjust, and if it developed pure Christian knowledge, and gave the adherents of every persuasion an opportunity of arriving at sound convictions. But the normal plan had been given up; the present plan merely asked for a sum of public money, not belonging to the Established Church, which they had not. The Member for Kent told them that the whole of the grant was to be absorbed by a wealthy establishment, because the Catholics believed in transubstantiation. He acknowledged, that he entertained no doubt of transubstantiation. They were charged with the invocation of saints—he did not deny it; with praying for the dead—an English judge declared from the bench that praying for the dead was a salutary act; with the sacrifice of the mass—he admitted that likewise. But then he was charged with coming for money. He did not deny that he came for money; but he, and those in whose name he spoke, demanded to have a little of their own. The hon. Member for Kent in effect said, that by reason of their religious opinions that which belonged to the Roman Catholics ought not to be given to them, but rather handed over to the Established Church, by reason of the doctrines which it held. He respected the credulity of that hon. Member, but he objected to his being allowed to put his hands in other people's pockets. It was robbery to make one man pay for advantages conferred upon another. It was not wise in Members on the other side to discuss a question of that nature in such a manner; to contend for the affirmation of such a proposition as that for which he contended, was just and honest; to contend for the contrary, was swindling and robbery. Now, what did this Government plan propose? It proposed to take the grant, and to distribute a great portion of it to the National School Society, with which they seemed to be satisfied; more than half of the money, in fact, was to be given to this Society. No doubt they would make no objection to that application, and he would not quarrel with the right hon. Baronet or the hon. Member for Ipswich upon that ground. Next came the British and Foreign School Society. He did not know what they thought of that. Oh, now he saw a beam on the countenance of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Oxford, significant of his favour of the Foreign and British School Society; but universally the Dissenters were to receive another large portion of the money. So it had taken place last year, and the year before; but then the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, was silent. What raised his noble wrath now? It was the "No Popery" cry. He made no complaint while the money was distributed between the National School—the British and Foreign School, and the Dissenters, but the moment a miserable crumb—the moment a paltry remnant was proposed for the instruction of the Catholics, the noble Lord rose in his place and cried out against it. The hon. Member for Maidstone complained of the manner in which the Government brought forward the question, but the question was not brought forward by the Government; but by the noble Lord opposite, in moving the resolution to get rid of the order for going into the Committee of Supply. The noble Lord wished to get rid of the four noblemen who would superintend the distribution. The hon. Member for Lambeth had justly said, that he had never heard a speech of such bitterness or malignity as that which the noble Lord had made against any grant to the Catholics. How much it was to be lamented, that the present period should be disgraced by a spirit unknown to the early ages of the church in this country. From the days in which Austin, the monk, had been sent to convert our ancestors to Christianity down to the reign of Henry the 4th, a period for which Englishmen should blush, when the writ de hœretico comburendo originated, there bad been no persecuting enactments; and William of Wykeham, whose principles as respected toleration were abominable, would have been canonised as a saint, had he not sent the Lollards to be consumed by slow fires. He did not slop half way in his measures like the hon. Baronet. They were told, that the Established Church was so predominant in point of numbers, that it must absorb all grants for education. How stood the fact? It was known, that before the Reformation there were in this country about 97,000 places of worship for one-third of the present population; at the present moment the number of churches returned in a Parliamentary document as connected with the Establishment was only 11,825. There was no Parliamentary document to show the number of Dissenting meetinghouses, but the Morning Chronicle represented them, including Roman Catholic chapels, at 8,716, bearing, therefore, a proportion of nine to twelve, or three to four. Taking the population of England at 14,000,000, according to the last statistical account, there would be 8,000,000 belonging to the Church of England, and 6,000,000 of Dissenters and Catholics. But was there a man among them who supposed that this relative number of the two persuasions was calculated on the relative numbers of the churches? They should remember, that the churches were built without expense to the present occupants; many churches remained unoccupied in London and Norwich, for instance; the existence of a church did not always imply the presence of a congregation; but whenever they found a Catholic church, or a Dissenting meeting house, there were proofs not only of the existence of congregations, but that they consisted of people of wealth and influence. Why did he enter into these details? For this purpose—to teach hon. Gentlemen opposite some moderation in their tone. What did he want from them? Nothing but fair play. He did not want to rob them; nor would he suffer himself to be robbed. He wanted them to use some moderation in their language, not to resort to the "No Popery" yell, but to do justice both to Dissenters and Catholics. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had fallen greatly in love with the Wesleyan Methodists, forsooth. They might be very well-conducted excellent persons in private life; with their religious opinions he had nothing to do, but he utterly denied their claims to any respect as having distinguished themselves in any career of political utility. The first great political movement of their founder, John Wesley, was writing the address of the Protestant Association in 1780, which ended in what was called an emeute,—in-the burning of prisons, the destruction of property and life. He did not accuse him of having written it, but rumour certainly ascribed it to him. And this he certainly did accuse him of—writing two most inflammatory letters in support of that Protestant Association before it committed those atrocities. He did not again accuse him of having instigated them; post hoc was not always propter hoc, but certainly the insurrection, the slaughter, the burnings, the atrocities, were committed subsequently to the authority encouraging them. That was the first fact in the history of Methodism. He challenged any Gentleman of that persuasion to come forward and point out to him—he would be delighted to hear any one single circumstance in their political history since, which showed them to be the friends of civil and religious liberty. He never knew that they united with the great body of Dissenters in calling for the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; he never knew that they joined in petitioning for Catholic Emancipation, or for any measure of freedom of conscience; on the contrary, he never knew them but as the most persevering, he would not say the most malignant opponents of the Catholics. If he were mistaken, no one would more readily retract the imputation, but this he would say, their history was that of opposition to religious liberty, and he never knew them to take part in any measure for diminishing the burdens or increasing the franchises of the people. Why, then, exclaim so loudly in their favour? He would tell them—because they had joined in the "No Popery" cry. But he warned them of the treacherous grounds on which they stood. What was the very first sentence in their petition? "We most decidedly object to the intended scheme on the strong grounds of conscience, and of our right to full religious liberty." A most excellent principle, no doubt; there could not be better. But what they would have others do, they should themselves exemplify. If they claimed full religious liberty for themselves, they should concede it to others. The petition went on to say—" We protest against being taxed for the teaching of a system of religion which we, in common with the mass of our fellow-countrymen, believe to be false and injurious." He did not wish to use harsh terms, but he was bound to believe their doctrines to be both false and injurious, and therefore he claimed from them the same liberty of conscience which they demanded, and that he should not be taxed for the promulgation of doctrines which he likewise considered false and injurious. But were hon. Gentlemen opposite really safe in their Wesleyan connexion? Their church was rich; their stalls, their episcopal bench, their rectories, the power of their ordinaries would suit the Wesleyans equally well with the Established Church. They had themselves promulgated it. He warned them to beware of what they were doing. They had taken the armed man on their back to hunt down the stag; but let them not imagine he would get off their back, or take his bridle from their mouth; they had placed the sword of the Lord and of Gideon in his hand, let them take heed how he used it. In the next sentence of their petition they objected to the educational scheme, because versions of the Scriptures would be used which they characterised as "notoriously corrupt." They were bad biblical scholars, as he would show from a very high authority. On the 21st of May, 1838, a gentleman was examined before a Committee of that House—a reverend divine of the Established Church of Scotland—a Church infinitely more opposed to the Roman Catholic Church than the Established Church of England, the latter being, in the language of his Church, "deformed the least, because the least reformed." What said Dr. Chalmers, a man, he need not say, of the first-rate talents and information, burning with as ardent a dislike of Popery as any of the Wesleyan Methodists? That rev. gentleman said, in answer to question 3,717— I beg leave to say, that the difference between the authorized version and the Douay version is not so great as to make it a thing of practical importance which of them should be used. He would not enter into theological controversy, although the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had referred to the sacrament of baptism, the doctrine of justification, and what he called the blessed benefits of the holy eucharist. It was the first time he had heard those things mentioned in such terms in that House, but this he had a right to say, that never was ignorance more completely displayed than in this assertion with respect to the authorized version of the Roman Catholic church. If that were the proper place, he should be able to show, that in the version used in the Established Church, there were faults, errors admitted, recognized, and not corrected, on subjects too of the utmost importance, embracing even the "blessed benefits of the holy eucharist." Why did he say this? To produce peace and forbearance—to shew these Wesleyan Methodists that they ought not to put into petitions charges which the Catholics cannot refute in Parliament, because it was not the proper arena for discussing them. Another passage of their petition described the Douay version as "accompanied with notes which contained most absurd and pernicious doctrines." Within the last six years 309,000 of one edition of the Scriptures had been circulated by the most rev. Dr. Crolly, the right rev. Dr. Denver, and his most beloved friend, the right rev. Dr. Blake. He knew that Dr. Crolly had paid a bookseller 1,400l. out of his own pocket for copies of the Scriptures to be distributed. He recollected the time when the cry was, "Take the Scriptures, take your own version, your own copy, read it." He offered to prove the facts he had stated to any Gentleman who would honour him with a call out of that place by referring him to seven booksellers, six of whom were Protestants. What was the history of the so called "absurd and pernicious doctrines" contained in the notes? The copy of the authorized version published in Rome by Pope Clement in 1593 was most sedulously watched over in its publication when it was translated at Rheims, whither the Douay college had been transferred. There were in that edition notes urging on the principle of the right hon. Baron opposite, that it was right for the civil power to persecute those who taught erroneous doctrines of reli- gion. A Protestant bookseller in Liverpool set about printing an edition of it in 1808; and he (Mr. O'Connell) was the first to denounce it. The right rev. Dr. Doyle, on the 4th of July, 1830, stated in his evidence before a Committee of that House, that "all the notes to which objection was taken had been expunged, not only from the last edition, but from several editions of the Douay Bible." He knew as well as any human being could, his own accountability, he was arrived at that time of life when the reckoning could not be far distant; but he did implore the House to look at this question in its real aspect. Was a small sum of money to be spent on Catholic schools? Did they not want it in England? In Liverpool there were 92,386 Catholics, about one-third, and by much the poorest, of the entire population. Were they to get no part of this grant? The experiment of common education had succeeded in Liverpool. In Manchester, including Salford, there were 75,000 Catholics. From the best investigation he could make, there were in Great Britain 1,500,000. He would not enter further into the statistics of the question. Their number was great; their destitution was great; their want of education was great. Why should their rich church, with 8,000,000l.a-year, shut out the Catholic population from any share of this grant? Let them quarrel about something else. Let them take some other ground of attack. Or if the battle must be fought, let them fight it manfully. Let them say at once, Lord Lansdowne is unfit to distribute this money; and not bring forward this paltry assertion, that he is irresponsible; for who could be so responsible as a Minister of the Crown? Don't let them say, "Give us clergymen of the Established Church on the board?" Would they allow a shilling to go towards the education of Roman Catholics? They would not. Gentlemen opposite would disown such clergymen; Oxford would shudder at them; even the Puseyists would join in the cry against them. Why then did not the noble Lord come forward boldly with a resolution in this shape, "Take your grant; we are satisfied with the British and Foreign Society and the National Society, but let no part of the money be given to the Roman Catholics?" He told the noble Lord that it was the same thing in other words. He was surprised, that the noble Lord had not had the straightforwardness—for the noble Lord generally went straightforward enough to his mark—to proclaim that such was his object. He had heard the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Dorsetshire, with great regret. Let the House mark the difference between him and the hon. Member. We propose, that persons of all religious persuasions should be equally provided with the means of education from the money raised from all. We claim no preference, we ask for no priority. Equality—that is all we demand. We do not require your money; we only say, "Do not you take ours." But if you are determined to grant this vote, do not give it that portion of the community which is rich, and take it away from that portion which is poor. Much had been said in the course of the debate about our common Christianity. He did not like the sneers which had been directed against that topic by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford; they were unbecoming on his part, they were unworthy of his character. There were points on which we all differed, and those too, important points of faith. Faith was great, hope was cheering; but charity included them all, was greater than them all, and formed the only proper basis of them all.

Mr. Gladstone

said, that it was with the deepest and most unfeigned reluctance, that he took part in the present debate, for he knew, that the vital and cardinal principles on which it turned were deep and abstruse principles of religion, which never could be discussed in that House with advantage. To the doctrine that subjects of theology were unfit for discussion in that House general assent was given; and the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, who had just vanished from his place, had laid down in his speech most forcibly and most clearly the view which he took as to the introduction of questions of theology into that arena, and had stated with great precision the reasons why they ought not to be made subjects of discussion in that place. But how did the hon. and learned Member apply his theory? By putting questions to him. It seemed, that he as an individual Member was to be examined in that House, as to his religious opinions when it suited the purposes of the hon. and learned Member; but, that when his answer to that examination was to be given, a protest against his being heard, was to be made on the ground, that questions of theology were unfit for discussion in that House. This was not the first time, that this kind of allusion had been made to him in that House. The noble Lord opposite had alluded to a book of his, which he was almost sure, that the noble Lord, in the midst of his numerous and onerous avocations, had never been able to spare time to read. The noble Lord had also taunted him (Mr. Gladstone) with what he was pleased to denominate the result of his principles. He was not afraid of entering into a discussion with the noble Lord upon those principles, if the present was either a time or a place for such a discussion. He would not flinch from a word which he had uttered, or from a single syllable which he had written, upon religious topics, and he claimed the privilege of contrasting his principles with those of the noble Lord, of trying the results of them in comparison with the results of those professed by the noble Lord, and of ascertaining the effects of both on the institutions of the country, so far as they operated upon the Established Church in England, in Scotland, and in Ireland. Last night, too, the hon. Member for Liskeard had spoken of him as if he had interpreted the right of private judgment to mean nothing else than conformity to the doctrines of the Church of England, and had broadly stated, that his doctrines, if pushed a step further, led of necessity to persecution. He was well aware, that he could not defend himself against such imputations without transgressing the ordinary rules of debate. All that he should say in reply to them—for he would not be diverted from the main subject of the debate—was this:—That if the hon. Member for Liskeard was justified in asserting, that his doctrines on the right of private judgment resolved themselves into the necessity of conforming to the doctrines of the Church of England, and led, if pushed a step further, to persecution, he was also justified in asserting, that the doctrines of the hon. Member for Liskeard destroyed the means of discerning between truth and falsehood, and led, if carried out to their next stage, to nothing less than national infidelity. With respect to the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, who had spoken so much of his fondness for statistics, the use which he had made of them reminded him of an observation made by the late Mr. Canning, to this effect. That he had great aversion to hear of a fact in debate, but that which he distrusted most was a figure. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had stated, that there were 97,000 churches in England before the Reformation; a statement depending upon historical research, which, if known to the hon. Member for Dublin, was unknown, he believed to every other antiquary in the kingdom. It was not easy to test the accuracy of events so remote; but what ought they to think, if the hon. and learned Member was found so grossly inaccurate in his representation of events nearer our own times? The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had also spoken of the existence of 9,000,000 of Dissenters in the United Kingdom. But the present question had relation to England alone? And what was the amount of Dissenters in England alone? He would refer on that subject to a letter which had been published in the Morning Chronicle in November, 1837, by Mr. Dunn, the Secretary to the British and Foreign Society. In that letter, Mr. Dunn made the entire number of Protestant Dissenters in England amount to no more than 2,500,000 or it might be to 3,000,000 in our whole population of 15,000,000. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had also travelled into statistics upon another point. He had said, that it was ungracious in the Church of England to demand money of the public for purposes of education, when it was itself in possession of 8,000,000l.of revenue. Now, the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had not even taken the pains to refer to the documents laid upon the Table of the House; for those documents proved that all the revenues of the Church of England did not amount to more than 3,000,000l. And if another 500,000l.were allowed for the revenues of the endowed schools and of the universities, it would appear, that the hon. and learned Member in his attempt to lead the House to useful knowledge by the means of statistics, had assumed to himself the privilege of more than doubling the amount of property in the possession of the church. He would now take the liberty of saying a word or two in reply to the attack which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had made upon the Wesleyan Methodists. He was at a loss to divine the purpose for which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had employed so much ingenuity to demonstrate that the Wesleyan Methodists, as they were not at variance with the doctrines of the Church of England were inconsistent with themselves in becoming separatists from it. The hon. and learned Member had said, that the Wesleyan Methodists ought to return into the fold of the Church, and he, who had always lamented their secession from it, and had always been of opinion, that the fault was more on the side of those who had caused that secession than on the side of those who made it, joined cordially in the hope, that the union so unfortunately broken, would, ere long, be resumed, and should be glad to find the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, his involuntary ally in producing that blessed consummation. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had also done injustice to the Wesleyan Methodists in another point; and though he was not commissioned, and had no intention to stand forward as their apologist, still he thought it hard, that they should be taunted as the most persevering enemies of civil and religious liberty. It was, indeed, hard, that such a taunt should be cast upon them, after all their long years of exertion to bring about the abolition of negro slavery. No sect had been more prominent than they had been in pursuing to its consummation that great object, nor had more assiduously kept the interests of humanity in view, while they were acting as vigilant guardians of all the best laws and interests of society. It was unjust in the extreme to designate men who had been most prominent in vindicating the liberty of the negroes as parties perseveringly, if not malignantly, hostile to freedom. He would next advert to the two plans proposed by the Government for the education of the people. The House had been told, that the first plan, which contained a proposition for the establishment of a normal school, had been, for the moment, abandoned, or in other words, postponed. Let the House then look at the position in which it would be placed with respect to the normal schools, if it adopted the present proposition of the Government, which was, to make the grant impartial as to the schools to which it was to be applied. If the minute be impartially acted upon, the amount of the grant must be distributed rateably among the different religious bodies of the country. Now, many of them were small communities which had not funds to support schools of their own. What, then, would be the result in the course of a few, a very few years? Why, that Government would say to them, "without good masters, you cannot have good schools, now you cannot introduce good masters without a normal school of your own; you are too poor to support such a school; there must, therefore, be one general normal school to supply all the different schools in the country with the masters they require." This plan, therefore, insidious as it appeared on its first blush, was likely to prove still more insidious if ever it came into operation, for it would betray the Dissenters into this position—either, that they must consent to have that normal school, to which Government dared not proceed at present, or they must have bad schools with deficient masters, and without the only measure by which they could be rendered good. For his own part, he thought, that many of the difficulties which beset this subject depended on the erroneous significations which were attached to the term "education." By "education" was sometimes meant the machinery which was employed to give that knowledge to the lower classes which was necessary to procure them employment as a means of procuring daily subsistence. By "education" was often meant the communication of that higher species of knowledge which was religious as well as secular. It was only due to the hon. Member for Waterford to say, that no one had spoken more forcibly than he had done against that species of education which was merely technical and external, and that no one had argued more successfully, that to produce a beneficial result you must make education reach a man's heart, and must keep it distinct from that which he would call mere utilitarian knowledge. Let us (said the hon. Member), take this always along with us, that the education is to be "an education in which religion is combined with the whole manner of instruction, and is to regulate the whole system of discipline." These words are satisfactory. Both the documents which he had quoted, and the letter of her Majesty, and the speech of the noble Secretary for Ireland, justified him in saying, that the question which they were then discussing was not whether it was lawful for the Government to give to the people an education which would better their temporal condition, but whether they should consent to let it administer a general moral system, which would reform the character of the people and make them more fit for the discharge of all the ordinary duties of life. Such being the meaning of the word "education," the next question was, whether the religion to be combined with it was to be the religion of all forms indifferently. If it were to be so, then he had no hesitation in asserting that the principle was new and unconstitutional. He repeated the assertion, The constitution had never recognized such a principle, and as it was opposed to the practice of a thousand years, he could not admit it, except after a full discussion of the grounds on which it was brought forward. Those grounds should be avowed by the Government and rendered intelligible, in order that the friends of the church might have an opportunity of joining issue upon them, and of grappling with a substance instead of righting with a phantom or a shadow. He again asserted that this principle was contrary to the constitution. It was needless for him to refer on this point to our ancient history, for every instance that had been quoted against him had been taken from the history of the last few years. He had no need to refer to the clause introduced into the Prison Bill of last year; for, though it had again passed the House this year, it had not yet become law. There was another case on which their opponents relied—namely, the grant to the British and Foreign Society, and which he considered to deserve discussion. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had said, that in making that grant we had recognized the principle of teaching all forms of Protestantism, and that we now only opposed it because a miserable portion of it was to be devoted to the education of the Roman Catholics. Now, with all deference to the hon. and learned Member, he must observe, that he had strangely misrepresented the object of the British and Foreign Society. The practice of the British and Foreign Society was based on this supposition—he would not stop at present to inquire whether it was or was not erroneous—that you can extract from the Bible, for the purposes of general education, doctrines in which the great bulk of Christians agree, and their objection to the National Society, and to the church was, that they taught peculiarities of doctrine instead of teaching nothing but those great but simple truths in which the bulk of religionists agreed. Look at the list of subscribers to the British and Foreign Society. Among their names he found those of the noble Lord opposite, of Lord Carrington, of Lord Chichester, of Lord Bexley, of his hon. Friend the Member for Bandon. All these distinguished persons were prominent members of the British and Foreign Society. [An Hon. Member: George 3rd was a member.] Yes; George 3rd, and George 4th, and William 4th, and our present most gracious sovereign Queen Victoria, were all subscribers to it. The supporters of that society would doubtless tell them that many children belonging to the Established Church were educated in their schools. He did not mean to dispute the fact; for that society occupied in England the same position that was formerly occupied by the Kildare-street Society in Ireland. The proposition which he intended to maintain was, that what the State had been doing in giving grants to the British and Foreign Society was a mere limitation of the principle for which the hon. Gentlemen opposite contended, and that the State had never yet recognised the principle of teaching all forms of religion indifferently, and of placing truth and falsehood on a footing of equality. Before the House was called upon to act on this principle, and advance in a direction so different from that in which the whole previous legislation of the country had run, he again begged that the grounds of the proceeding should be clearly avowed, and that some intimation should be given of the results at which it was intended they should finally arrive, in order that they might not be required to embark on an ocean of political change without knowing the haven for which they were bound. But he had protested against the principle, and had said that he did not think it necessary in support of his views to enter into any theological discussion. It was quite enough for him to know that the practice of the constitution had been, and that the law of the coun- try at this moment was, to support that one Church which the Legislature had adjudged to be the Church of the country. Let the House look at the avowals which had proceeded from members of the Government and from persons connected with the Government, less vague and insidious than the language of the document upon the Table. What were the words of the noble Lord the Member for Yorkshire, every thing proceeding from whom was entitled to the utmost respect on account both of his character and abilities? On Friday last the noble Lord had explicitly declared, "as long as the State continued to employ Roman Catholic sinews and to finger Unitarian gold, it cannot refuse to extend to those by whom it so profits the blessings of education, and assist those sects which must otherwise remain in intellectual blindness." Such was the principle asserted by the noble Lord: he wished to treat this bold statement of it with the utmost respect. He was not proud and dogmatical enough to suppose that this question was not attended with considerable difficulties. Now, if the State was to be regarded as having no other function than that of representing the mere will of the people as to religious tenets, he admitted the truth of this principle; but if they were to hold, as he felt himself obliged to hold, that the State was capable of duties, that the State could have a conscience—[laughter]—would the hon. Member for Kendal (Mr. G. Wood), who had himself been so successful during the present session in advancing the cause put into his hands, have the goodness to tell him how the principle of duty could be applicable where that of conscience was not? It was constantly urged that it was the duty of the State to give the people education; but look at the consequences of this principle. If it were the duty of the State to give education to the people, did not all the arguments that went to show this tend equally to show that it was the duty of the State to provide them with religion? If it was the duty of the State to endow all the schools, was it not the duty of the State to endow all the chapels? What difference of principle was there between the two cases? In both cases they endowed religion: the only, difference was, that in the one case they endowed it in a school, in the other case they endowed it in a chapel, or a synagogue, perhaps in a temple or mosque. The hon. Member for Dublin had quoted the case of 95,000 Roman Catholics, and asked the House to provide schools for those poor and destitute men who were unable to provide schools for themselves. Why, chapels were more expensive than schools; if it was right that they should provide schools, it was also right that they should provide chapels. If religion taught in schools was beneficial, religion administered in chapels was much more beneficial; if it was the duty of the State to provide religious instruction in schools, hon. Gentlemen opposite should show him, not by their taunts and jeers, but by calm reasoning, why it was not the duty of the State to establish a system under which all religions should be equally entitled to support. He had quoted a passage from the speech of the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland, whom he respected for the plain avowal of his principles which he had made. The noble Lord had cited the cases of Roman Catholics and Unitarians; he (Mr. Gladstone) did not wish to say anything offensive of either denomination, for it was not his habit to revile religion under whatever form it was presented to him. But what reason was there for confining the noble Lord's arguments to Christianity? He would read to the House a very curious passage from a petition lately presented from the Protestant Dissenters. It was to this effect:— That your petitioners feel the deepest gratitude for the expression of her Majesty's most gracious wish that the youth of this country should be religiously brought up, and the rights of conscience respected, while they earnestly hope that the education of the people, Jewish and Christian, will be sedulously connected with a due regard to the holy Scriptures. How was the education of the Jewish people, who considered the New Testament to be an imposture, to be sedulously connected with a due regard to the holy Scriptures, which consisted of two Testaments—the old and the new? Were the Jewish children to be forced to read the New Testament? That would be directly contrary to the principle of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He wished to see no child forced to read, but he protested against paying from the money of the State a set of men whose business would be to teach erroneous doctrines to the children. The argument of hon. Gentlemen opposite, on the contrary was, that wherever there was a community of Jews too poor to provide a teacher of their own persuasion, the State should be ready, when called upon, to provide a teacher to inculcate the doctrines of that religion. He was sorry to allude to such topics, and he would not pronounce the word which occurred to him with reference to that religion; he would only say that it was a religion which denounced the most sacred truths of our religion not only as forgeries but as blasphemies. He would carry the argument of the noble Lord a little further. In India we had many good subjects; India, moreover, was a country from which we drew vast supplies of wealth. The staple of our relations with that country consisted in the receipt of money. There, millions of our subjects professed the Mahometan, and millions the Brahminical religion; on the principle of the noble Lord it would be impossible to deny the justice of their claim to have their religion upheld, and education provided for them under the Minute of Council. But the right hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets had settled this question for them without the smallest ambiguity or circumlocution, in such a manner as to place his candour in as distinguished a light as his personal character or his great Parliamentary abilities—in such a manner as to leave no possibility of retreat or subterfuge. The right hon. Gentleman had laid down, in language stronger than he (Mr. Gladstone) could use, that if the principle was good for one case, it must be good for all, and that there could be no exception. The right hon. Gentleman had announced that he was prepared to admit the principle that the State should establish no difference between conflicting religions, that the religion which God had revealed and that which he had not revealed were to be regarded as equally efficacious moral instruments for the reformation and improvement of the people. There might indeed be one answer to the objections he had urged against the endowment of Dissenters and all manner of religionists in this country; and that was, that the Dissenters demanded no endowment from the State at this moment; that in the first place, he was bound to say, that in the colonies of the empire where endowments were accessible, the same objections to receive them were not entertained; and, in the second place, the House ought to consider not what was the will of the moment among the Dissenters as to their demands from the State, but what was the value and scope of the arguments upon which the demands were founded. What was the predicament of Government!To what were they bringing the country? [Lord John Russell—At least not to bigotry and intolerance.]

The noble Lord would have been accurate if he had said, to Latitudinarianism and Atheism. The predicament of Ministers appeared to him to be that of men who lived from day to day by shifts and expedients, men who used arguments the real tendency of which they were unable to perceive. Well did he recollect when, during the brilliant period of the short Administration of his right hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth, his right hon. Friend was taunted with being behind the spirit of the age, with what force his right hon. Friend had retorted that those who so taunted him were behind the spirit of their own arguments. And now right hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords opposite came forward with plausible allegations respecting the general benefits of education, with allusions to cases of destitution, with exaggerated statements of deficiencies, and depreciating statements of the exertions of the Church, in support of a measure which had for its first consequence, indeed, to supply the people with education, but for its ultimate consequence, as he firmly believed, to destroy the principles on which the religion of the State was founded, and with them that national character which had hitherto been the boast of England. Let Ministers bring forward their proposition in a distinct shape, let the House see in what the support of religion in the schools differed from the support of religion in the chapels, with which he contended that it was essentially the same. The noble Lord opposite would consent to learn nothing from his attacks on the religion of the country. It might have been sufficient for the noble Lord to look back to the experience of the last three years. The noble Lord had produced on the minds of the people the impression that his measures were hostile to the religion of the country; but year after year he persisted in bringing forward fresh plans, from every one of which he was obliged to desist, baffled, defeated, and trampled upon. He cordially concurred in a re- mark that had been made, that they ought to quarrel on any subject rather than that of religion, but with Ministers must rest the responsibility of making it a subject of hostile discussion. They were not satisfied with bringing forward a plan of appropriation of Irish church property, which they could not carry, a plan for loading the church lands with the church-rates in England, which they were forced to abandon—they must choose another point of attack, and by means equally insidious and fatal, seek to undermine what they could not storm. To merit the assent of Parliament, a plan of education should have two recommendations—it should be both good in itself, and generally acceptable to the country. He had shown that the plan was bad in principle, and reversed the ancient practice of the Constitution on a vitally important subject—that the plan, instead of leaving the British commonwealth, as described by Burke, consecrated with all who officiate in it, left it desecrated and polluted. The plan did not even possess the temporary and partial recommendation of popularity. What had become of the Protestant Dissenters on this occasion? None had been more active in petitioning for the abolition of slavery or of church-rates. But now, although political principle had been at work, and here and there stirred up some faint symptoms of movement, the Dissenting body in general had remained perfectly still, and that because all the right feeling, sound sense, and religious principle of the country was opposed to Ministers on this question. He could not help calling the attention of the House to a passage cited already in the very able speech of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, but in a very thin House. A meeting of the Protestant Dissenters' Society for the Protection of Religious Liberty had been held a few days back to consider the Ministerial scheme of education. In the report of the Society was found the following passage:— The committee approves the discretion which induced the Government not to urge forward speedily a plan which a multitude of persons under much misapprehension had resolved to oppose, and would now advise them, as a general rule, to distribute any further Parliamentary grant in the same manner as those which have on former occasions been implied, conferring assistance on poor and populous districts, while local contributions cannot be collected under the inspection and guardianship of the National School Society, or of the British and Foreign School Society. This document, it could not be denied, was a good index to the sentiments of the body represented by the committee; and it appeared that the plan of the Government was considered so objectionable and so unpopular, that the committee recommended them to revert to the system formerly pursued. The very body on which Ministers leaned for support having declared its disapprobation of their plan, how could they expect to pass a measure revolting to the general sense of the country, enlisting among their opponents so numerous and influential a body as that of the Wesleyan Methodists, and for which they could anticipate little support anywhere but in that House, where party feeling predominated? He trusted that the House would agree to the amendment of his noble Friend, and he was convinced that whether or not Ministers succeeded in obtaining a majority on this occasion—one of those glorious majorities they had of late commanded—they could not carry the vote through Parliament. Even if they did, they would excite greater indignation throughout the country than had been known to prevail for many years of British history.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

Differing, as I do, from the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone), I differ from him with the most entire respect, because I am perfectly sure that, whether as an author or as a Member of Parliament, no individual comes forward with more frank avowals of what he believes to be the truth; no one places his belief on a higher or a firmer basis, and I believe no one is more ready to expose himself to obloquy, if it were necessary, in maintaining his own honest opinions. But the hon. Gentleman must permit me to say, with equal frankness and freedom, that the principles he has laid down, however consolatory to his own conscience, and however consistent with his theory of the Constitution, are, in my judgment, not only inconsistent with the true Constitution of England—not only unsatisfactory to the conscience of others, but are inconsistent with all notions of civil and religious freedom. Undoubtedly, I shall not pursue the hon. Gentleman through all the topics on which he has touched—I shall refer merely to the principles involved in the hon. Gentleman's speech, and will fight the battle on the field which he has himself selected. The hon. Gentleman has assumed, and I will rise the term employed by the hon. Gentleman himself in his argument, that the State has a conscience, and that the conscience of the State is to be applied and directed towards a particular purpose. The hon. Gentleman has asserted that the State, like an individual, is capable of discovering and is bound to propagate the truth; and that the State, like an individual, is not justified in propagating error. The State, therefore, is bound to apply this principle to religious instruction. I must be allowed, in passing, to say, in order to prevent any misconception, that no individual lays down more absolutely than I do the necessity of connecting secular instruction with religious education, for I believe that a merely secular education would be inoperative for good purposes. In this I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman. But, said the hon. Gentleman, if you make schools for education, as they must also be schools for religion, you are bound to teach the true religion. What is the conclusion that must be drawn? If we proposed to connect with education those principles of religion which are common to the faith of all Christians, and which in this discussion have been much undervalued by Gentlemen opposite, as if wholly unimportant—if we were to endeavour to connect secular instruction with such religious instruction, we should be met with taunts that we were generalising religion—that we were latitudinarians in our opinions, and that our doctrines led to infidelity, if not to Atheism. To general religious instruction, the Gentlemen opposite entertain an insuperable objection. Would they, then, allow of instruction in common schools in the faith of the Church of England, in connection with instruction in any other faith? No, because the instruction in that other faith must be, by their hypothesis an instruction, founded in error. Would they allow the introduction of separate schools for separate religions? Would they allow the establishment of a Catholic by the side of a Protestant school? They cannot consistently assent to a Catholic school without making themselves auxiliary to the propagation of error. They, therefore, find themselves compelled to exclude both common and separate instruction, and they reserve one single alternative—namely, the education of children in the principles of the Established Church. The principle laid down by them amounts to nothing more nor less than this, that they would educate alone the children of the Established Church, that there should be no education for children belonging to any other church or communion. ["No, no!"] I say, that this is the distinct and logical conclusion from the principles they have laid down. I defy them to escape from it. ["Oh, oh!"] I say, "Yes, yes." For what did the noble Member for North Lancashire, (Lord Stanley), and the hon. Gentleman, (Mr. Gladstone), affirm? Their argument was, "No, we do not object to educating the children of Dissenters, for we approve of the British and Foreign Society's schools." But mark the fallacy of this pretext; for the hon. Gentlemen have admitted that they adhere to the British and Foreign Society, not because it educates children of Dissenters, but because it goes on a principle common to it and to the Church. The hon. Member for Oxford has continually said that the State is only justified in disseminating truth, and that the Church of England exclusively possesses the truth. Are hon. Members prepared to be consistent, and to propose the abolition of the annual vote to Maynooth? The principles brought forward by the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, and now brought forward by him for the first time, if they lead to any thing, lead to the abolition of the grant to Maynooth. Is the noble Lord prepared for this? Is the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge, who has so often whilst Secretary for Ireland proposed that vote, now prepared to abandon it? Is the right hon. Member for Tamworth, who has so often supported it, or the right hon. Member for Pembroke, who has done so likewise, now prepared to give it up? These Gentlemen will do no such thing, yet they are surrounded by cheerers and supporters who go fully to that extent. If their argument be good for any thing, it is good to this extent, that they take upon themselves to decide absolutely in respect to education, as they would in a matter relating to the Church Establishment. The hon. Gentleman has endeavoured to confound two things essentially distinct, education and Church establishment. The present question is not one of an ecclesiastical endowment for which property was in ancient times invested and devoted by law, but with respect to a Parliamentary tax taken from the pockets of the people. Upon the prin- ciple laid down by the hon. Gentlemen opposite, Parliament would not be justified in making a vote of this kind for the propogation of what they believed to be religious error; and, therefore, upon their own arguments, to be consistent, they must vote against the grant to the College of Maynooth. This is not only a logical, but an inevitable consequence. If they are not disposed so to act, what, then, becomes of their argument? Neither is the conclusion limited, and it cannot be limited to the case of Maynooth. It cannot be limited even to the great island in which we live; it must be universal, and its application must be fully carried out. The hon. Member for Newark was for a short time Colonial under-Secretary of State. The principle, if good in England, is equally good with respect to the colonies. Does not the hon. Gentleman know, that a report now on the Table of the House shows the colonial ecclesiastical establishments. ["Question!"]—I feel a deep and earnest anxiety on this subject, which I consider preeminent above all, and I hope the House will indulge me a little longer. Does not the hon. Gentleman know, by a paper now on the Table of the House, that this country possessing a conscience, according to his theory, and bound to apply that conscience to the propagation of religious truth, bound to teach the truth and nothing but the truth, affirming that the Church teaches the truth, and that the truth is not taught in any other Church—does the hon. Gentleman know how this rule of the State conscience is applied in practice? The paper to which I refer shows an account of the Church Establishment in the colonies. The return is made under four heads, and it shows that whilst Parliament supports most largely the Church of England—that it supports largely the Church of Scotland—that in four colonies it supports the Dutch Church—and that, in many of the colonies, (I am sorry to hurt the State consciences of many individuals present,) it supports the Church of Rome. It is suggested to me by my hon. and learned Friend near me (Mr. Sheil) that I may go farther, for, he reminds me that, in Jamaica, provision is even made for the Jews. The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Newark, ought to have noticed this; but, perhaps, he. felt that it would have taken off the edge of some portion of his argument. What, then, becomes of the State conscience? The hon. Gentlman said, and he was cheered when he said it, that truth was single; that all that was not truth was error. Which of these many colonial religions is the true one? They cannot all be true according to the hon. Gentleman, and yet the State supports them all. I appeal from the factitious conscience of the State to the real conscience and the real hearts of men, and I would ask whether we should be justified, on any hypothesis however ingenious, in leaving the Queen's subjects in distant lands unaided and unassisted by religious instruction according to their respective faith. When our colonial fellow countrymen ask assistance, is Parliament to turn round and say, "Our best feelings are with you, but the conscience of the State prevents us from assisting you?" It may be said, that the cases of some of the colonies are cases of capitulation and agreement, where certain boons have been guaranteed by treaty to the religious establishments of the conquered people. But this is not universally the case. Moreover, though some of these different churches are supported by annual votes of the House of Commons in committee of supply, others stand upon the firmer basis of laws which have received the assent of both Houses of Parliament. I believe there is a clause in the East India Company's Charter Act, granting a provision in aid of the Roman Catholic religion. I do not say that it was uncandid in the hon. Gentleman not to have noticed these facts; I shall say no such thing; but I complain that the hon. Gentleman ought to have shown that he knew them. But if the hon. Gentleman insists that the present question turns on an abstract proposition, I affirm that it turns on no abstraction whatever; it turns on common justice, on Christian charity, on constitutional law. Let it be remembered, that the vote for Maynooth passes year after year. The vote for India has not been objected to by the heads of the Church. Does the hon. Member, then, think, that those reverend Prelates have neglected this fundamental principle, which, in his judgment, lenders it indispensable for the State to propagate only the true religion? If the Prelates of the Church have not done so, the hon. Member must either reject their authority or his own principle. Let it not be said, that the grant to Maynooth was a measure of the Irish Parliament which must be adhered to. On this sub- ject I have another authority to offer, one open, I think, to no cavil or objection from hon. Gentlemen opposite. I will not appeal, as I might, to the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone); neither will I refer to the period when I was myself Secretary of State. I will on the contrary refer to the period at which I was succeeded in office by a very highly distinguished Statesman (Lord Aberdeen), in order to show how far this matter was dealt with by the Government of which that noble Lord was a pre-eminent ornament. The question then raised was in reference to the duty of providing for the Roman Catholic religion in New South Wales. Well, I find in a despatch of February 20, 1835, a sanction given to arrangements to the following effect—that Dr. Polding, a Roman Catholic priest, should be sent out to the colony, accompanied by three young gentlemen, his pupils in theology; that 150l. should be allowed for his expenses out, and that 150l. yearly would be paid by her Majesty's Government from the date of his arrival, and that measures ought to be taken to establish his authority over his flock. This despatch is signed "Aberdeen." It is true, that the arrangements were commenced under my direction, and were not complete when I delivered over the seals to Lord Aberdeen, but the noble Lord gave his entire and unqualified assent to the plan. Yet this decision completely violated the principle of the hon. Gentleman, and must, no doubt, have done much injury to his State conscience. Here he made himself auxiliary in sending persons to propagate error, to plant pestilential Popery, in those distant lands. He (Mr. Gladstone) had thus assented to that proposition in respect to colonial establishments which he and those who acted with him rejected as sinful if adopted at home. The hon. Gentleman was under-Secretary for the colonies when this despatch was written. But if the Members opposite adopt the hon. Gentleman's principles, they are as much bound to retrace their steps with respect to the colonies, as they are to push forward their present principles in new directions at home. They ought to vote as the hon. Member for Oxford does, every year steadily and consistently against the grant to Maynooth.

We are called upon to object against disseminating instruction in error. Then we are bound to go back and repeal the East India Company's Charter Act, as far as concerns the Roman Catholic priest- hood. Beyond all this, we are bound to declare, that the liberal and charitable provisions which have been made for religion and education in the colonies, are founded in error, and ought to be immediately revoked. That course if not consistent with individual consciences, would be at least consistent with the State consciences of hon. Members opposite. But this is not all. Their doctrine goes further. The principle that education should be put exclusively into the hands of the Established Church I deny altogether. Let us see what some of the petitions on the subject pray for. I am one who think that petitions should be weighed as well as numbered. There are, on the Table of the House, 242 petitions with 26,063 signatures affixed to them, against any scheme of education which shall not be placed exclusively in the hands of the Established Church. Is this the principle for which hon. Gentlemen contend? I regret much to have listened to language in which the Government has been accused of insincerity, and of propagating a delusion, coming, as that language did, from an hon. Gentleman whom I respect. In reply to the assertion that the Government are in this measure bringing forward something differing from what they really mean, I charge the party opposite with asserting one thing as their reason for opposing the plan, while they mean to carry out another principle which they hesitate to avow. Let it be known to the public, that the only religious truth which the Tory party profess their desire to teach is exclusively that truth which is to be derived from education under the Church of England; their conclusion is, that we are bound to put all education into the hands of the Church. Will my noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire agree to proclaim this If he disavows it, what did he mean by his reference to "ancient laws," and his quotation from Chief Justice Twining and from Chief Justice Holt, and his statement of the legal subordination of the schoolmaster to the ordinary? The noble Lord is not likely to speak inadvertently or inconsiderately. Does he go this length or does he not? For my part I wish to preserve, uncontrolled, to the clergy of the Establishment whatever spiritual authority they now legally possess over the religious instruction of the people. In the performance of their spiritual functions the clergy have a right to receive from the State its entire aid and support. But this is not a time in which I wish to see the Church usurping new and important functions which do not of right belong to it. I do not think, that the clergyman ought to control the schools of the people; however justified in exercising such a superintendence as would guard against the propagation of error. But the clergy have no right to tale the education of the people under their exclusive control.

As so much reference has been made to the petitions which have been laid on the Table on this subject, I wish to call attention to a few facts illustrative of the mode of getting up petitions of this character. Nothing can exceed the variety of base and disgraceful delusions which have been practised for the purpose of procuring these petitions. The dangers of popery, of dissent, of latitudinarianism, of disbelief, have all been held up to the public in false or exaggerated colours as inducements to sign these petitions; when Members come to this House, however, it will not do to venture on these assertions. But whencesoever have originated these delusions, I would say, let hon. Gentlemen go into the country and tell the people fairly, that they are desirous of handing over the control of all schools to the Clergy of the Established Church, and then let them get up petitions in favour of such a principle if they can. With reference to this part of the subject, I will not trust to my own words only, but I will refer to an opinion recently expressed by a very high authority, which affirmed that the Bishop of Exeter could command as many petitions on a given subject as he pleased from amongst his clergy. The same high authority said, that the petition from certain clergymen at Oxford, on the subject of the Church Discipline Bill, displayed great ignorance upon that subject, and that other petitions of the same character, and taking up the same grounds, were entitled to very little weight, concluding his remarks in the following words:— I entertain the strongest conviction, that the petitions which come before you on this subject are full of mis-statements, though certainly I am quite willing to admit, that such mis-statements are made without disposition to deceive. I give the petitioners credit for every disposition to support the Church; but it will be for the House to judge of the weight due to their allegations, and to judge also of the wisdom, justice, or expediency of comply- ing with the prayers of individuals, however respectable, who betray so much ignorance of the real facts of the question on which they petition. These observations are attributed, in a printed book which I hold in my hand, to a no less eminent authority than that of his grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I wish now to apply myself to four principal objections taken by my noble Friend against this plan, and I flatter myself that I shall be able to give a satisfactory answer upon every one of them. The noble Lord (Stanley) objected first to the mode of proceeding; he said he objected to our committing Parliament to the plan of education by the act of one branch of the Legislature, in a money vote. The noble Lord said it was nearly approaching the nature of an unconstitutional vote. Why, if we had wanted an authority for such a proceeding, the noble Lord himself had afforded it. What course did he pursue when he proposed a system of education with respect to Ireland? He carried it by a single vote in the House of Commons. He, therefore, superseded, as far as that vote went, the deliberations of the other branch of the Legislature, and yet he now comes down and raises a cry against the Government, to prop up this absurd argument, and to condemn them as acting unconstitutionally for taking the very same course he himself pursued. The next objection was still more extraordinary, still more fanciful, and still more extravagant. The noble Lord has said that the plan of the Government was calculated to transfer the duty of education to an irresponsible tribunal. If there be responsibility on earth, the responsibility in this case is most distinct. The Committee named is a Committee of the Privy Council. The House may address her Majesty to remove the gentlemen to whom this task is confided if they do not satisfactorily fulfil the duties imposed upon them; but this is not all. My noble Friend might have raised his argument if it had been proposed to charge the sum asked for on the consolidated fund. The Member for Kilkenny would have seized on that argument also, but not only is there the responsibility to Parliament on the part of the Committee, but there is a special responsibility to the House of Commons, by reason of the provision for education being made by an annual vote. In grammatical construction it is said that two negatives make an affirmative, and on the same principle, most likely, the noble Lord has found out that two responsibilities make no responsibility. My noble Friend went on to illustrate the insidious nature of this "Whig Government," by referring in the Order in Council to a clause in which authority is given to vary the powers of the committee. Has not my noble Friend, in the many bills which he has introduced into Parliament, found it prudent to introduce a final clause, which allowed each bill to be varied and amended during the Session in which it was passed? And would there have been anything more absurd or presumptuous than not to have reserved that power of amending? Oh, but you suspected, perhaps, the Council were going to make material corrections when Parliament was not sitting. Now, if they were so knavish—[Cheers from the Opposition.]—if hon. Members mean by that cheer to apply that term to persons who sit at the Ministerial side of the House, I must take the liberty of saying to them, that those most in the habit of suspecting others are most likely to be guilty themselves. If that treachery had been intended, could the Government have acted with so little of wisdom or of prudence? If the Gentlemen opposite do not trust our principles, they may trust our discretion. The plan of the Government can only be varied by a new Order in Council, a public document which must be produced to Parliament.

The principle which has been openly avowed by some, and avowed as an inference by all, a principle for which I undoubtedly find no authority, is, "that the religious education of the people is a duty solely and exclusively belonging to the spiritual authorities of the Church, and which the pastors of the Church cannot resign into other hands without a breach of duty to the Divine Founder of our faith." Such is the principle for which hon. Gentlemen contend, and such are also the principles of Dr. M'Hale, under whose banners they are now fighting, and whose authority they adopt. That prelate's words are as follows— That the religious education of their respective flocks is a duty solely and exclusively be longing to the spiritual authority of the pastors of the Church, and which they cannot resign into other hands without a renunciation of the obligations they owe to its Divine Founder. Every effort of the State hitherto bore evidence of a determination to interfere with the purity of religion and authority of pastors. Catholic Bishops of Ireland never consulted in formation of this anomalous plan. Such a power as claimed by practice of the present Board, would be a subversion of all that is sacred in spiritual authority."* It has been said that the principle of united instruction is but a dream, and the Wesleyan Methodists and other denominations of Christians have objected to these Minutes of Council because they tended to promote a united education. I believe, there is, at least, one hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir T. Acland) who was present with me many years ago at a meeting on the subject of education, in which the late Mr. Wilberforce took part, and I shall trouble the House with a short passage from what Mr. Wilberforce said on that occasion. Mr. Wilber-force said— It has been truly said by those who went before me, that we might triumph in getting the better of those little distinctions which keep us asunder—not each sacrificing his own principles, but exercising the Protestant right of judgment, and leaving all to form their own conclusions. It is delightful to see that in this way men of different sects can unite together for the prosecution of their projects for the amelioration of society. In this way, when I unite with persons of a very different kind of persuasion from myself, it affords an augmented degree of pleasure. I feel to rise into a higher nature—into a purer air—I feel dissolved from all fetters that before bound me, and delight in that blessed liberty of love which carries all other blessings with it. Such was Mr. Wilberforce's opinion. He did not object to joining in the good work with the Dissenters.

There is one other observation upon which great stress has been laid. It has been objected, that under the proposed system there would be an inequality in the system of distribution. I wish here that the House would bear in mind that the first deviation made in this respect from the original Treasury Minute was made under the government of the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), when a grant was given to a school at Liverpool, at the suggestion of Lord Sandon, who, nevertheless, I take for granted will vote against the present motion. This deviation I do not object to; it was subsequently sanctioned by the recom- * Petition of the R. C. Archbishop of Tuam and his clergy to the House of Commons. mendation of a committee; but if justifiable, then it utterly refutes the objection to the present plan, which is founded on the power to vary the proportion of grants in aid of schools. The discretion hitherto confided to the Board of Treasury it is now proposed to transfer to the Council. This, says the hon. Gentleman opposite, is all wrong. But suppose the proposed change had been the other way, and that the power was proposed to be vested in the Treasury and taken from the Council. Now, of that Board, whose administration of the education vote the hon. Gentleman entirely approves, a distinguished and most useful member is a Roman Catholic. But then it will be said, "the regulations of the National Society, and of the British and Foreign Society make it safe to trust a Roman Catholic; but we can no longer place faith in a body freed from that responsibility." Now, my answer to that assertion is—and I call the attention of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock particularly to the point—that the Board have administered for nearly three years a grant of 10,000l. a-year to Scotland, without limit, control, rule, or regulation to fetter their discretion and without the intervention of either Society; and I ask whether there has been a single petition against that distribution—whether there has been one word of complaint uttered as to the mode in which that privilege has been exercised by the Treasury Board, a prominent member of which is a Roman Catholic?

I have thus endeavoured to show, that there is no force, no real force, in the objections to this plan. But I will tell you what effect they are meant to have. Members opposite think they have the power of raising a Church cry in the country. Let the right hon. Gentlemen whom I see ranged on the front benches opposite beware lest they are calling into activity a power which they will hereafter wish to restrain. There is no subject which can now be introduced into the House with regard to which a Church cry is not raised. We cannot insert a clause in a Prison Bill without exciting the suspicion of the champions of the Church. We cannot insert a clause, though supported by the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) without exciting the pious horror of his supporters. Why do you not (the Opposition) cheer now? If hon. Gentlemen opposite are prepared to say, that every one of our debates should partake of a religious character, let us at once desist from applying ourselves to the performance of our highest and best functions, for by their conduct such an outcry is raised on every occasion throughout the country as totally to incapacitate this House for temperate deliberation, or for sound decisions. I have thought it necessary to state my views on this question, because I am persuaded, that if at the present moment, and under existing circumstances, the State does not perform the duty of supplying education to the people, the danger to the State itself is infinite—is incalculable. You know it, you feel it, that on matters apparently the least germane to the subject the question of education is inevitably forced upon us. You cannot touch on the factory question—you cannot touch on the Poor-laws—you cannot touch on the state of the criminal law, illustrating, as it does, the deplorable ignorance of the people without meeting this question at every step—you cannot bring into activity the clergy (those active and valuable religious instructors of the nation, as they are disposed and as they ought to be), without sending before them, as pioneers, the agents of education. And yet the course you (the Opposition) now take is marked by the gall, the bitterness, the misrepresentation, and exaggeration of party politics and party excitement. I do not think you will succeed on a division; but if you do, you will be enabled to boast that you have retarded the progress of education for a longer period than it is possible now to anticipate, and you will have inflicted an evil on society which you can never repair.

Sir J. Graham

He should not venture to rise to address the House but that he thought the present occasion so important that he should not like to give a silent vote; and inasmuch as his side of the House had been challenged to state frankly their opinions, he, not presuming to speak for any other individual than himself, should state exactly those feelings which impelled him to support the motion of his noble Friend. As this protracted debate had proceeded, the magnitude of its subject increased palpably to his view. He was disposed to consider it one of the most important subjects that had ever been debated. He should not at that hour trouble the House with any details of the plan introduced by her Majesty's Government. That part of the subject had been already treated with great ability and perspicuity, and he should only weaken the observations of those who had preceded him by dwelling on that part of the subject. But he was greatly struck by the able, explicit, frank, and manly speeches made by the hon. Member for Lambeth and the right hon. Judge of the Court of Admiralty in the course of the two preceding evenings. They did not rest this matter on details, but opened distinctly the principles of vast importance and general application on which they rested their support of one or other of the Ministerial measures. Whilst they addressed the House, it appeared to him that Ministers acquiesced in their views; and this evening the speech of the right hon. Gentleman had convinced him that he was not mistaken. Before he addressed himself to the question, be wished to address an observation to the hon. Member for Lambeth, with regard to his noble Friend who had introduced the motion. The hon. Member had rested on two different reports of two different speeches spoken by his (Sir James Graham's) noble Friend in 1834, and, by combining the two, had endeavoured to charge his noble Friend with some inconsistency and slipping away from his principles. He thought, if there were any charge to which his noble Friend might plead not guilty, it was that of "slipping away from his principles;" and when the heat of the present moment should have subsided, and impartial history should give the character of his noble Friend, he thought it would be recorded of him, that power, place, and position—all those ties which generally bound men, he had broken as withen bands when he found they fettered those religious principles which his heart and conscience approved. He would beg the House to listen to one passage in a speech of his noble Friend, in June, 1834, which had been omitted by the hon. Gentleman. His noble Friend had stated his principles in these terms:— My object in supporting the principle of the bill is to remove the test which now impedes the course of the Dissenting student; but I do not wish to interfere with the future statutes of the universities, provided they do riot impose this test. I cannot admit, and I hope my hon. Friend does not contend, that h should be in the power of Dissenters to claim that the statutes should be void because they may in some manner appear to obstruct the privileges given them by this bill. But I should not be content unless a provision is in- serted in the bill, that no degree should enable any person to enjoy any privileges or right to make him a member of the governing body, or give him privileges in the universities, without the subscription of such test as may be required, which test the Universities should be entitled to frame. I know not whether the House will agree with me, but I think the principle which I wish to establish is plain and obvious. I would give to the Dissenters the benefit of instruction, but take away the possibility of evil consequences resulting to the universities, by depriving the Dissenters of all management and control in them. And to show with what caution his noble Friend expressed himself, he continued, Since I have advocated the admission of Dissenters to the university, I will not deny or conceal from the House that circumstances have since occurred which, in some degree, altered the opinion which I entertained at first. I am bound to say, that, from the tone they have held, from the pretensions they have put forward, both in and out of the House, and of the ultimate intentions of many, avowed by members of their own body, I am justified in looking with jealousy at the measures brought forward for the purpose of promoting the views of the Dissenters. That had been the opinion of his noble Friend in 1834; and he should like to know what might be the opinion of his noble Friend in 1839, since the views of the Dissenters had been more fully developed. What was the object of the Government? Since the year 1834, there had been three several attacks on the Established Church. First, with respect to the universities; secondly, to Church-rates; and now to the whole scheme of education itself. And what had been the course pursued? There had been a struggle for a long time to reduce the Church to a level with Dissent, and now it seemed that an attempt was making by school endowments and other means to raise Dissent to the level of the Church. That was the ground of the jealousy of his noble Friend, and that jealousy had not been removed by the objects which had been frankly avowed by two hon. Gentlemen. The hon. Member for Lambeth had said, that education, if national, ought to extend the education of each sect in its particular creed; and the right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for the Tower Hamlets, though he stated the proposition differently, its effect was the same—namely, that all sects had a right to be educated out of the public purse to which they contributed.

Mr. Hawes

had intended to say, and he believed he did say, that the State was bound to educate all the Queen's subjects; but he did not say each in their particular creeds. In general education they had a right to aid from the State, but their particular religious doctrines would be taught by pastors of their own religion.

Sir J. Graham

—Then he understood the hon. Gentleman to say, that the State was bound to give, at the public expense, general education, but to leave each sect to receive religious instruction from their own sect. But that was not the plan of Government; by the plan of Government normal schools were to be established where religious instruction was to be provided. But the doctrine of the right hon. and learned Gentleman he could not mistake; that all sects had a right to be instructed at the public charge by their own instructors. The right hon. Gentleman had said, that that could not be a national system of education which did not provide for the instruction of persons of all creeds at the public expense, or with the aid of the public purse, and that that aid will be given without distinction of religious creed; and the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had assented to the proposition. If this principle were adopted by Government, how could there be a creed favoured by the State as a national church? The hon. Member for Newark had proposed a question which the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had completely eluded, and it remained to be answered: if they applied aid from the public purse to the education of the youth of the country in Dissenting principles, how could they refuse similar aid to the instruction of the adult population? If aid was to be granted to Dissenting teachers, how could it be denied to Dissenting chapels, and how could endowments be refused to Socinian chapels? The hon. Member for Kilkenny shook his head; he was afraid the hon. Member had spoken, and that the House could not have the benefit of his answer. He should like, however, to have some answer to this question from the other side. It had been said, that the poverty of particular districts constituted a claim. But a large parish with a large population, at a distance from the parish church, had a stronger right to aid from the public parse than a Dissenting chapel. Now, if this principle were avowed and acted upon by the Government, and pursued to its legitimate consequence, there would cease to exist in this country the great safeguard of the state—a national religion. On these premises, and on that conclusion, every thing we have been most accustomed to value must be upset and overborne. The exclusive right of the spiritual peers to sit in the House of Lords could no longer be defended: the exclusive right of the Protestant clergy to the endowment and provision of the State could no longer be defended; the exclusive right of churchmen to collegiate and university endowments could no longer be defended; the coronation oath itself, nor the exclusion of Catholics from the Great Seal, which the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had already introduced a motion to get rid of, could no longer be defended. And as he contended, the faith of this island would cease to be Protestant, and for ought he knew its legislation would also cease to be so. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had asked how he justified the vote to Maynooth? Why, on the ground which he had often heard the right hon. Gentleman clearly lay down, that of a contract at the time of the union between the two countries. As to the larger number of the colonies to which the right hon. Gentleman had alluded, the sums for the support of religion were defrayed out of the Colonial Fund. But he admitted that the cases which the right hon. Gentleman had cited did trench upon the principle which he maintained. Reference had also been made, and great reliance placed upon the system of mixed education now in operation under the direction of the national board in Ireland. He must say, in his opinion, that that plan had not been very successful. He thought it had proved a failure. But at all events he was still prepared to contend, that there was bad faith displayed on the other, side of the House by the analogy sought to be drawn as regarded this country and this question founded on the National Education Board in Ireland. It was argued on the one hand, that there were special circumstances which justified the establishment of that board in Ireland—circumstances that justified the Government in breaking through the rule in that country. And then, on the other hand, it was now argued by analogy that they ought to support the present grant in England, because under special circumstances they had agreed to such a system in Ireland. His right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had talked about retracing their steps. That was precisely the thing he knew to be impossible. But as it was impossible for them to retrace their steps, let them at least, be cautious how they took a single step in advance of the position in which they at present stood. His right hon. Friend had also said, that on that side of the House they had got up excitement on this question by concealment. He had argued, that they had avoided placing the matter before the public on its real bearings, and called upon them to avow the truth, to let it be fairly known to the country, that the ground on which they opposed the plan of her Majesty's Government was, that they contended that the Clergy of the Established Church had the exclusive right to conduct the education of all the people. His noble Friend, who had moved the Address to her Majesty to rescind the Order in Council, had never maintained such an argument. It was quite impossible for any one, who in his legislative capacity had agreed to the plan of Lord Althorp, could argue for such a principle. The plan of that noble Lord had authorised the appropriation of the funds of the State towards the support of the British and Foreign School and the National School Societies. By the principles contained in the plan of Lord Althorp he was prepared to abide. That plan was not generally understood. But a reference to the minutes would prove that the money to be given to the schools conducted on the principles of these two Societies, was not granted directly for the purposes of education. The plan of Lord Althorp did not sanction the appropriation of the public money for the purposes of education directly to those schools. It merely authorised them to receive grants of the public money for the purpose of building schools, under particular rules and conditions. The grant under that plan was therefore neither more nor less than a mere outlay of money to those societies. The matter was a mere vouching of accounts, and the State, under that plan, took no interference whatever with the matter of the system of education taught in those schools, that might be so built by the aid of Government money. And so long as the Government of this country had adhered to the principles there laid down, and confined themselves strictly to the observance of its purpose and limitations, he had been content; but he was not prepared to advance one step beyond the line of demarcation therein contained. A good deal had been said on the subject of public opinion in the course of this discussion. The hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Dublin, bad evinced something like a disposition to depreciate the expression of public opinion expressed in opposition to the plan of her Majesty's Government. He had said the petitions so presented were paltry in the number of signatures attached; and his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated they contained vague and absurd conclusions; that they had been got up under false impressions and misrepresentations, and not to be regarded. If such were the case—if popular opinion had not been strongly, fairly, and irresistibly expressed—what, he would ask, was the reason which had induced her Majesty's Government to withdraw their original plan? Had they done it voluntarily? or was it really given up? Was it, in fact, abandoned, or merely postponed for further consideration, to be renewed the moment the present excitement and pressure should subside, and a fitting opportunity should occur for its revival? He did not hesitate to say, that if this vote were carried, in three months her Majesty's Ministers might carry out the abandoned plan. His right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had found fault with his noble Friend, the Member for North Lancashire, because he had objected to the proposal of placing the proposed grant under the discretionary power of an irresponsible tribunal. His right hon. Friend had argued that the Committee of the Privy Council were not irresponsible. He (Sir James Graham), on the other hand, maintained, that if they consented to give the Committee of the Privy Council the control of the public money, they would with their eyes open vest it in the hands of persons possessed of a perfectly despotic and arbitrary power. What could be more thoroughly irresponsible than the plan proposed? They were no longer to be tied down by the rules which were prescribed in relation to the grants to the British and Foreign and National School Societies; but there was now to be an express irresponsible discretionary power reserved, to give a portion of the public money, to any amount within the limit of the whole, to such schools as they might see fit, without distinction or preference of religious creed. It was not his intention at that hour to detain the House at any length; but there were one or two points to which he was desirous still more particularly to refer. He was, however, he begged to say, always averse to enter much upon such topics: he always felt strong aversion to discuss theological questions in that House. He was aware of the great diversity of opinion on such subjects, not only in that House but throughout the country; and he was always sorry to give offence to any one. But it had been asked what is meant by the "truth"? It was declared to be the duty of the State to uphold true religion, and then the question was put what did that imply? What, in fact, was true religion or the "truth?" No one could admit more distinctly than he was prepared to do, that no one sect had a right to assume the knowledge of the truth in a manner offensive to the other portions of the community. He was ready to contend, that man was not reponsible to his fellow-man for the nature of his religious opinions. For those opinions and those sentiments, he was answerable to his Creator alone. He gloried in the name of Protestant, and it was a ground of proud pre-eminence in the Protestant creed, that it repudiated all interference with the peculiar belief of any man, and left every one perfectly free to his own private interpretation and judgment of the sacred truth. That was the true ground of toleration, that man was not responsible to man, and that it was presumptuous for any man to say that the creed of his fellow-man was false. He would not detain the House by a detail of what were the principles of an established religion. It was enough to remark, that those principles were adverse to the admission of the plan of her Majesty's Government. That plan viewed no religious creed with favour; it went to admit an equality of right for State endowment to all. The moment that doctrine was admitted a paramount State religion was at an end. Now, in this country, the State had chosen the religion of the Established Church to represent the Government in religion, but in selecting that particular creed, the State still permitted each individual to be guided in matters of belief entirely by the dictates of his own conscience. The moment, then, they went beyond that, and admitted the right of the civil magistrate to apply the public money, not in accordance with that view, but as circumstances and his discretion might seem to warrant, then they would put an end to the Established Church—the existence of which he believed to be essential to the peace, the happiness, and prosperity of the entire community. Such opinions were not inconsistent with perfect toleration, for perfect toleration was satisfied by an admission of all classes to a full participation in the civil rights of citizenship, without reference to religious creed. But go one step beyond that—apply it to religious matters—and they would admit a principle inconsistent with the maintenance of an Established Church, the essential principle of which was preference by the State to one religious creed, without any interference with the rights of conscience in others. He would state his opinions without concealment, whether acceptable to the House or not. He was prepared to go the extent of complete toleration. To that extent he thought they had already gone in this country, and somewhat beyond it. To recede was impossible. That was undeniable. But to advance a step more would be most imprudent, especially when they considered the avowed latitude of sentiment of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and which, on this question at least, seemed to be adopted by her Majesty's Government. He knew there were many persons who thought they could accommodate the difficulty attending the application of those doctrines, as regarded a State religion, by the adoption of a middle course, and that they would be able to introduce a kind of arbitration between God and man; but such opinions he deemed visionary and impracticable. The great characteristic of the present day, the prevailing national evil, was a constant thirst for change and love of innovation—which stamped the features of the present superficial age in which we live. He (Sir J. Graham) earnestly desired to see education generally diffused, and he was for encouraging it among all classes by private means; but he very much feared that any combined plan for a system of national education, such as that in ques- tion, would inevitably fail. It was distinctly admitted, that the plan of joint education had failed in Prussia—that was admitted by the hon. Member for Waterford, and by other hon. Members who had previously spoken on the question at issue; yet what was the House now called on to do by the Government? To adopt a similar plan in this country. It was his conscientious belief, that if it were to be adopted it would have that inevitable result here as well as there. In his mind, there could be no sound education without religion; and there should be no education in any religion at the expense of the public but that of the Established Church. He believed that religion was one of the pillars of civil Government—one of the firmest props of the State. If it were shaken, the Government of the country would be shaken along with it; and if it were overthrown, then would the State be overthrown also. It was not his intention at that late hour of the night to detain the House any longer, but he felt called on to express it as his most earnest desire that the proposal of the Government respecting education should be intercepted in its further progress by the vote of the House that night. The root of the evil in his mind consisted in the appointment of the Committee in Council for the superintendence of education. While any such body existed, the House should address the Crown against it for the purpose of obtaining its removal; for it was his decided opinion that it would, if allowed to be followed up, lead to results disastrous to the State, and adverse to the temporal and eternal interests of the British people.

Lord J. Russell

at an earlier period of the debate, should certainly have thought it his duty to endeavour to vindicate the plan of education proposed by the Government from the various and numerous mis-statements and misrepresentations which had been adduced on the subject in the course of the present discussion; but their great variety and number deterred him from entering on the task, and he felt, at that time, that it would be fitter to request the attention of the House to the principles called in question by one side and the other, and endeavour to show how far they were contained in the plan under the consideration of the House. Now, he must say, that he thought the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down had but incompletely answered the arguments of his right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His right hon. Friend had said truly, that excitement had been produced against the plan by not stating its principles fairly; and he asked hon. Gentlemen opposite to state the truth openly to the country, that the Government plan was opposed on the distinct ground, that no system of education was to be hereafter supported and encouraged by the State, unless it was conducted under the exclusive control and direction of the clergy. The right hon. Baronet had not directly maintained that doctrine himself—and the right hon. Baronet had denied, that the noble Lord who commenced this debate had ever supported that doctrine. Supposing, then, hon. Members opposite had not done so directly and openly, they had at least advocated that policy by implication; and although the right hon. Baronet was quite willing to allow complete toleration, he still considered, that to aid the education of Dissenters with the money of the State was inconsistent with the principles of the Established Church. From the principle of the right hon. Baronet he entirely dissented. They might as well adopt the principle which the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire had adopted from the enlightened times of Henry 4th. They might say, that to the Church, and to the Church only, should be left the education of the people; but by that must be meant such education as the Church were prepared to give with their own funds, their own colleges, and without asking in a committee of supply for a vote which in the times of Henry 4th the Parliament would not have been asked for. When they said, as he thought they had done by their former votes on this subject, that the public ought to promote education by grants—when they said, that out of the taxes should come those grants, and that schools should be supported by those grants, he could not support the principle, that any person should be debarred from the benefits of those grants, and by giving to certain classes, names which might be unpopular, that they should be debarred from the fruits and advantages of the public money, which was taken indiscriminately from their means and resources, as well as from those who belonged to the Established Church. In asserting that to be the principle which he maintained he denied, that he was departing from the real principles of the Established Church. He held, that throughout this country, teachers of the Established Church should be maintained, but he did not consider, that those teachers should have the entire control of the money to be appropriated by the state for education. While he admired the exertions of the Church, he utterly denied, that in proposing this vote for public education, that he was bound by any such rule. It was a different matter how the principle which he maintained should be carried into effect. The first plan proposed by the Government had been objected to on a misapprehension. It had been supposed, that the principles of the model school were to be adopted as the guide and rule of all schools throughout the country. On that subject he would venture to read an extract from what he had said on this subject in introducing the subject of education to the House on February last. He had then alluded to the difficulties which attended the establishment of any combined system of national instruction in these terms:— It was obvious, that a Government attempting any system of education in our own country would find the ground in a very different state, because it had been occupied in great part by those societies and institutions which had voluntarily undertaken the task of educating the people. They would find it occupied to a certain extent by the Established Church, and in other parts by the Wesleyans and other Dissenting societies, who gave education according to their own religious principles. For these reasons it would not be possible to establish any system of education which should at once supersede those recognised and established modes; and even were the new system allowed by Parliament generally to be a much better system of education than those at present existing, it could not be expected immediately to supplant and come in the place of those various schools at present in operation; in short, no general system could be introduced without doing violence to the habits and feelings of the people of this country. Such a plan was unsuited to these kingdoms, and was likely to be unsuccessful if attempted. On the subject of normal schools he had also said that— He was ready to state to the House what were the measures which the Government thought were in the first place most desirable. He would say, then, that the measure which was most desirable was the establishment of a good normal school. He said a good normal school, for whatever might be the religious differences of the Church and the British and Foreign School Society, yet there must be questions which were not at all touched by their differences, in relation to which he thought, that persons must find the systems of both of them defective, and he thought it would also be found, that there were modes of education, some of which were in operation in foreign establishments, and others in this kingdom, by which the general system of education in this country would be much improved. It would, therefore, be the endeavour of this body to apply the money granted by Parliament in the first place to the foundation of a normal school, and to make it as perfect as possible."* And yet in the face of that express and distinct statement it had been argued, that the principles of that model school were to be enforced in all schools throughout the kingdom. Hon. Gentlemen had talked of the difficulty of carrying out a combined system suitable to each religious sect; and the noble Lord, the Member for Dorsetshire, had argued for half an hour against what he termed a principle of general religion. The only misfortune was, that the terms general religion were not to be found in the Government plan. But the difficulty of providing a system agreeable to different religious sects had been overcome, not only in the schools of the British and Foreign School Society, to which he had for many years belonged, and whose principles he adopted, but by many of the Established Church. He had been told, that in these schools the rule was, that the Scriptures should be read in the week days, and the catechism be reserved for Sundays, so that Dissenters might send their children to their own places of instruction on the Sabbath. So far, therefore, from this being an insurmountable difficulty, it was one that was overcome every week in the year, not only by those whose plans the Government were said to adopt because it was not religious, but by clergymen of the Established Church, who wished to instruct the people of their parish, and yet made allowance for Dissenters, without uncharitably excluding them from their schools. He did not wish to go into the phrases that had been used with regard to the first plan, but he was ready to declare that the principles of that plan were sound, and to defend the mode in which it was proposed to carry that scheme into effect. But hon. Gentlemen had, in that * Hansard, vol. xlv. p.p. 275 and 281. House gone far beyond what was said by the ministers of the Established Church. He had heard it stated as a proof of the Government scheme being irreligious, that anything might be taught in the schools which was not the doctrine of the Church of England or of some particular sect. Did they mean to say there could be no religious instruction except that which was confined to the distinctions between different bodies and sects of Christians? Was there to be no religious instruction except that which discriminates between Protestants and Papists, and between Presbyterians, Anabaptists, and other sects of Christians? Now, there was one book which he thought no person would object to his quoting; it was "Dr. Paley's Evidences of Christianity," and in that work Dr. Paley said, at the conclusion of his Preface, that he had framed his arguments in such a manner as not to offend any particular class of Christians who held certain tenets, but agreed on the general points. Now, if that book, which any person might be glad to read and draw instruction from, and which we were told was written to prevent infidelity, was not to be objected to from being general with regard to adults, to whom it was directed, why might not some general system apply to children under fourteen years of age? He could mention the works of many persons who were greatly admired, although they were not of our own Church, to the same effect. There were the works of Fenelon; that excellent man had written an admirable treatise on female education; he had spoken of the manner in which religious education should be given—not in a formal manner, as a Catechism learned by heart, but that the thought of the child should be directed to what he learned. It was certainly said of that work, that it was a proof Fenelon was not a good Roman Catholic with respect to the education of children, because he did not keep to the particular doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and point out the differences between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. The doctrines that were now put forth by hon. Gentlemen opposite might be true; but he would rather imbibe the errors of Paley and of Fenelon than bend to the authority of the new doctrines which were now proposed. The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Newark, with other Members, maintained the exclusive doctrine. That hon. Member had said at the time, though somewhat irregularly, that such doctrines would lead to persecution and intolerance, and it was clear from what the hon. Gentleman had said, and from what he (Lord John Russell) had read of the hon. Gentleman's writings, that his objection did not apply only to this new grant for education, but to the religious liberties which were already established. The general system adopted in this country was attacked, it was considered as a matter of capitulation and of treaty which could not now be violated; but hon. Gentlemen refused to be bound by, they refused to admit the principle and there was no part of the religious liberty of this country, from the passing of the Toleration Act to the present time, to which they were not opposed, and against the principles of which they did not protest. He must state further, with regard to the principle which was now proposed, and to the way in which it was intended to carry it into effect, that hon. Gentlemen opposite did not entirely object to the principle—they seemed almost to admit it. The grants were to be made to the National and to the British and Foreign School Societies, in some cases not through the medium of those societies, on the ground of the poverty and the population of particular districts, or through the medium of schools not connected with those societies. The exception taken by the hon. Gentlemen was to a small part of the plan. Some parts of the plan they did not deny to be good—they denied the second principle in the plan, and on that the present motion was founded. "It is very well to adopt the plan of instruction," said they, "when the fund is administered through the medium of the Board of Treasury!The Chancellor of the Exchequer sitting at the Board of Treasury is a very harmless person, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer sitting at the Board of Privy Council is a most dangerous enemy." He did not mean to contend that the plans were identical, that there was no change between the one and the other. There was this difference, that there was to be a future inspection of the schools, and that there were to be reports as to the manner in which the schools were conducted. He thought that it was a great misfortune that a great deal of the education which was given in this country—and here he was not speaking with reference to the Church, for he did not wish to blame, on the one part, the Church for what had been done for education, nor to blame the two great societies on the other—was not what was properly called education;—it was a certain degree of instruction which enabled the pupils to read and to write and to cipher; but it did not affect the hearts and the minds of the people instructed. It was not sufficient to tell him that 590,000 persons were educated in the National Schools, and that nearly a million attended the Sunday Schools, for he was obliged to say from all he had heard, and from various reports which had been made to the Government and to Parliament that the quality of the education was exceedingly defective. He might read numerous passages from reports on this subject, but he would confine himself to one or two from the reports of the chaplains of gaols, who were members of the Church of England, pursuing their most useful and meritorious duties. The chaplain of the gaol at Lancaster said in his report of 1838, that 516 prisoners were quite ignorant of the simplest truths, 995 prisoners were capable of repeating the Lord's Prayer, 37 prisoners were occasional readers of the Bible, 7 were familiar with the Holy Scriptures and conversant with the principles of religion. Among the 516 entirely ignorant, 124 were capable of repeating the Lord's prayer. This last table corresponds in its general features with that of last year; and I can add little to the observations which I then made upon the subject of ignorance in religion, unless it be to state that very few of the whole 1,129 persons, probably not more than 20 or 30, had habitually attended any place of divine worship. This estimate will be almost undisputed by all those who have observed the almost general desertion of the house of God by that portion of the working population which consists of males in the prime of life; and I think, that if the subject were investigated, it would appear, that this desertion is in the ratio of the density of the population. Village congregations would be found least obnoxious to this remark, and those of large towns most so.' He would ask whether this were not a dreadful peculiarity in the state of society? Was it not dreadful to think, that where there were the most criminals, and where the population was the densest, and where there ought to be as complete education as possible, the house of God (by which no doubt the reverend Gentleman meantall places of religious worship) was deserted by that portion of the population which consists of males? He would ask, whether, it were not desirable that the serious attention of the House should be directed towards doing something by which the instruction of the people would be further promoted? He could not say, that he thought much of the objection, that in one place they would be instilling some portion of the doctrines of the Roman Catholics, and that in another, the rules of Socinianism might be taught, for there was the great and countervailing advantage of imparting knowledge, and of giving instruction in the simplest elements of religious truth. And even if he agreed with the hon. Gentlemen opposite in their opinion of the character of the doctrines of Roman Catholics and of Unitarians, yet he was not prepared to say, that there was not more danger of promoting practical infidelity by total ignorance, than of infidelity gaining ground among a dense population of artizans and labourers, who were forced to earn their daily bread by the specious and theoretical influence of refined arguments, which rarely reached the heart and soul of more than a small portion of the community. He had given one extract from the opinion of the chaplain of the county gaol of Lancaster, and he must give another from a report which he had received only two days ago, from a clergyman, for whose report he had not asked, whom he had never seen, but whom he had, from his merits and for his high character, appointed to the situation of chaplain to the prison for juvenile offenders at Parkhurst. In that report, he said:— In reviewing and digesting the details exhibiting the religious and moral condition of the prisoners on entering Parkhurst prison, one point has (even with their present limited number) forcibly struck my attention, and that is, the comparatively large amount of acquirement in the mechanical elements of instruction, by means of which that condition is improved (the art of reading and repetition from memory), contrasted with the lamentably small degree of actual knowledge possessed, either of moral duty or religious principle. This appears mainly to have arisen from the meaning of the word read, or sounds repeated, having rarely been made the subjects of enquiry or reflection. The following digest will in some degree illustrate this position. Your Lordship will perceive, that although 58 prisoners can in some degree read, 83 repeat some or all of the Church Catechism, and 43 possess some knowledge of Holy Scripture, only 29 (exactly half the number of readers) can give even a little account of the meaning of words read or sounds in use. And of these it often appears to be the strength of the intellect exercised at the moment, and not the result of memory, that leads them to the meaning of a word. A few of this class are included in the number not able to read. Another feature of the moral condition of the Parkhurst prisoners cannot but arrest the attention strongly, and that in the very large proportion that have received instruction for a considerable period of time in the various schools with which our country abounds. A digest of this portion of the general table will show, that out of 103 lads, 95 have attended schools, 70 of whom have been day scholars, for terms longer than a year, eight only having never been at school; and of the 51 prisoners with whom the prison opened, and who formed the subject of my February report, only two are in that condition. Two of those mentioned to your Lordship, as being such, I have since ascertained, have been at school. Now, he said, that what really deserved the attention of the House was, that though under the present system, many were able to read, and had received the elements of education, yet that what was wanted, and what they ought to attempt, was to give such instruction as would excite the intelligence of the children, raise their curiosity, teach them the meaning of words, and implant in their hearts those doctrines which were to be their guides through life. If that were the case, was he to blame because he said that in continuing the grants for public education, the committee of the Privy Council should not only give the money in proportion to some financial statement of the amount of subscription raised, or of the quantity of brick and mortar that might happen to be put upon the ground, but should ask for an inspection, and for a report of what is actually learned. He thought that there was a great improvement in the modern art of teaching—for though teaching was followed by great men in other periods, yet the improvement in the art was not brought down to the poorer classes till late years—that improvement, instead of burdening the memory, and rendering learning irksome and disagreeable, taught the child to instruct himself, and to follow with curiosity the lesson which he learnt, so that, if he were afterwards asked by his master as to what he had learnt, he would be able to describe it. This system not only prevented the irksomeness which was formerly felt in common school exercise, but would apply to the instruction of the child in morals and in religion, and in useful arts. This was the system which was misrepresented. Advantage was taken of it, and they were told, "The meaning of your inspection is to make rules and regulations with respect to religious instruction." They might ask, however, whether, if the method of teaching general lessons were good, there would be a strong presumption that the religious education would be good; but if a low and an ignorant and coercive mode of instruction in secular matters were used, the religious instruction would not be likely to be of such a character as to improve the conduct of the child in future life; the seed would have fallen on barren ground, and the instruction would be of no use. On these grounds he advocated the present plan of the Privy Council. It contained two great features, and it would improve the education of the people. He would not say that it was confined exclusively to the children of churchmen: the education, so far as it could, would be extended to all classes of the people, to whatever sect or religion they might happen to belong. Of course the greater portion of the fund would go to the members of the Established Church, which had the greater number of schools. The second point in the plan would give a good and efficient system of inspection. The plan which he proposed was not a new scheme of national education in the country; and so far from the scheme being out of the control of Parliament, it would be annually brought under its view; and, in future, the great subject of education will receive that care, that interest, and that concern on the part of the State, which it never hitherto has received. I feel, continued the noble Lord, the great difficulty of bringing forward a plan of education which may excite misrepresentation, be made the object of a party struggle, and may raise the conscientious scruples and fears of persons of excellent intentions. I allow, I say, that this has pressed upon my mind, not only now, but in former times; and that I am aware of the obloquy to which such a plan may subject me. At the same time, Sir, I am of opinion that something must be done, and before I set down, the House will allow me, I hope, to say a few words on the condition of the people, which seems to me closely con- nected with education, and with our conduct on this subject. Sir, when I recollect the conduct of former Governments, of Governments which existed twenty or thirty years ago, I cannot help thinking, that at the commencement of this Session, they would have endeavoured to excite alarm at the views of the Chartists, they would have excited the fears of the public, they would have proposed to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, and that new laws of coercion should be passed: it would have been found easy to excite alarm, and, if the Government had proposed, in consequence of the alarm, to obtain laws to put down the Chartists, such laws would have been easily obtained. My anxious wish, nay, my anxious labour has been—without any alteration of the law, and without attempting any thing of that sort—nay more, being determined not to ask, till the last moment, for any suspension of any of the constitutional rights of the people—to meet, to encounter, and to subdue the apprehensions which for a time menaced the peace of society; but, in doing so, I have been convinced that every opportunity should be embraced, and every means taken, to secure the public peace, by improving the state of instruction—by advancing the religious feeling, and the moral condition of the people of this country. I am satisfied that we should have had power to carry laws which would have subdued discontent for the moment; but I am equally convinced, that the only permanent security for the country is to be found in the general knowledge of the people, as well of their religious duties as of their moral obligations, and of their fortunate slate as subjects in this free country. I feel, Sir, that in taking this course, and in making this attempt, I have had more opposition to encounter than I should have had, if I had taken the other course, and had proposed measures of severity and of coercion. But, Sir, I do not mind the opposition I have encountered. I am not to be deterred by the taunt of the hon. Member for Newark, who said that he wondered why, when we were defeated in our former scheme, we should attempt another, which is equally objectionable to Dissenters and to Churchmen. Although, Sir, my first plans were thwarted and defeated, at which the hon. Gentleman, no doubt, rejoices, I recollect that it has happened to me, in former years, to succeed in striking off from the Dissenters the de- grading fetters of the Test and Corporation Acts. I am quite prepared for opposition to plans of this kind—I am quite prepared to find, that when they are first proposed, they should be misunderstood and misrepresented, and that even the "no popery" cry should be revived and burnished up afresh—not, Sir, I fear, for the last time. Let the hon. Member for Newark take pride in such victories, but I do not believe that he will succeed in reimposing the fetters which have been struck off; and, Sir, I am fully convinced that, on further examination, the great cause of education, not only of the members of the Church of England, but of the whole community, will prosper and flourish, that the happiness of the people will be secured, that the degrading pictures which have been drawn of the population in 1839 will soon be regarded as pictures of a past time, and that the only wonder will be, that they could ever have been true representations of the condition of the people of England.

Sir R. Peel said

, I shall not be sorry to escape from the discussion of some topics which have been adverted to in the course of the present debate, not because I undervalue their importance, but because I consider them much too important for discussion in a popular assembly. Neither will I undertake to defend every opinion which has been advanced in the course of the debate. I mean, said the right hon. Baronet, that I shall confine myself to the consideration of the practical merits of the proposal on which we have to decide, rather than to the consideration of the speculative opinions which may have been advanced by the hon. Member for Newark, or others. If I did enter, at this time of night, into the discussion of such speculative opinions, involving so many various considerations, do I not know I should be imitating the example of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and diverting the House from that which is the practical question now under debate; namely, whether or not, it would not, on the whole, be best, that the noble Lords motion be acceded to, and the Crown addressed to rescind the Order in Council, by which the committee of education had been appointed? That is the practical question to be decided this night, and I give my hearty concurrence to the motion of my noble Friend, and will not follow her Majesty's Government and other Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House, who has been anxious to shrink from the consideration of the merits of the proposed plan. I object to the scheme of the Government on three or four distinct grounds. In the first place, I object to the course adopted of calling on the House to decide so important a question as this, laying the foundation of a system of national education by a single vote. The right hon. Gentleman opposite has quoted some former votes, by which sums of money were placed under the control of the Government, without asking for the opinion of the House of Commons. Does it follow, then, that because the House, upon uncontested points, has adopted such a course, that it must now decide the whole question of national education for England by a single resolution? If this does follow, then I advise the House to beware of the next concession it makes—for, if slight analogies are to be hunted out for the purpose of calling on the House, in consistency, to adopt a principle supposed to be similar to that which the House had before adopted, the concession it might now make, will, at a future time, be appealed to for the purpose of justifying still greater concessions; and the House, if it makes any objection, will then be told, that it came too late, for, on this very night, it ought to have been urged. The noble Lord says, that the scheme for the inspection of schools was only under consideration, and asked whether we object to the distribution of the money by what was called the Committee of Privy Council? What was the original proposition of the noble Lord? That five of her Majesty's servants should form a committee for the consideration of all matters affecting the education of the people. What if I had proposed such a scheme in 1835, what would the Dissenting bodies of this country have said to it? Do you not think it would have provoked their apprehension and alarm? Would you not have called upon me to respect the feelings of the Dissenters? Would you not have said, that their alarm was justifiable? Well, then, if the Members of the Establishment feel similar alarm at the proposal now made; if they think that it was not fitting that a committee of the Privy Council, excluding every Member connected with the Church, should be formed, and that it is in principle open to objection, then, I say, that the question assumed a new character, and that it was not proper to decide upon it absolutely by a single vote taken in one night with a narrow majority. According to the reference to former concessions, her Majesty's Government are, by this measure, laying the foundation of an extensive scheme of national education. The next step they take may be at a great interval from the present. But if her Majesty's Ministers can now appeal to the vote for Irish education, or to the speech of my noble Friend (Lord Stanley), with respect to the admission of Dissenters to this Universities, in justification of their present proceedings, and if they feel warranted in calling upon the House to assent to this scheme in consequence of the concessions already made, I can well foresee that three years hence they may be able to say, that the scheme now proposed and assented to, was only laying a foundation for a general scheme of education, and that those who permitted that foundation to be laid, had no right to object to any extention of it. I object to this Committee of Privy Council, which is to superintend all matters affecting the education of the people, being exclusively composed of Members of the Executive Government. It is not a Committee of the Privy Council, as my noble Friend has called it; it is a Committee of the Executive Government of the country, and that Executive Government had other duties to perform, and other interests to consult. That Executive Government may feel it to be its bounden duty to make great concessions for the purpose of retaining their offices. I will give them the benefit of supposing that they may think it necessary to continue in office, not from any unworthy or interested motives. They may feel it a paramount duty to remain in office, in order to support the prerogatives of the Crown. Their motives may be pure and honourable. But it is not proposed to constitute a board independent of party or of political considerations. The Board is constituted exclusively of members of the Government, and how do I know that, in order to rescue themselves from the danger of dismissal by this House, they may not, for the sake of so important a public object, make great concessions on the subject of education? They may consider education a subordinate object to that of keeping themselves in office, and keeping out opponents, whose accession to power they may consider dangerous. [Hear, hear.] What guarantee have we that this would not be the case? The very essence of our duties was jealousy of the executive, and we have a full right to consider to what abuses the present proposition may lead? What have we seen happen within the last fortnight? Allowing the motives of ministers to be perfectly pure, have we not seen them resume office after declaring they had lost the confidence of the House? They justified themselves by pleading the necessity of the case; and may not the same necessity call on them to make concessions on the subject of education. Take the case of the ballot. Last year it was not an open question. This year it was an open question. Now, why? Not from your abstract conviction as to the merits of the question, but because the concession is essential to your views with respect to those large and comprehensive interests of the country, which are involved in your maintenance of power. Is, then, the Government a body which ought to furnish grants relating to all matters which affect education? An hon. Member opposite has bid the Government be of good cheer; he has encouragingly told them not to be alarmed, "for," said he, "you have done more to recommend yourselves to the liberal representatives and the liberal constituencies of this country by this plan than by any other measure which you have brought forward." Is it so? But may not the execution of the measure be as necessary as its proposal? I do not know whether the very same members of the Executive Government who form the Education Board may not also form a committee to whose efforts may be intrusted the securing of a liberal majority in case of a dissolution of Parliament. Supposing, then, it should be suggested by one of the members of this committee, that a concession made by the Government on the subject of education to a particular part of the country would be attended with an advantageous result, in case of an election, is it wise to expose yourselves to that temptation? and would it not be wise to have some persons intrusted with the superintendence of education whose continuance in office would not depend upon a narrow majority in the House of Commons? Remember, however—and let the Dissenters remember—that if the principle be good for this Government, it is good for their successors. If a change of Government should unfortunately take place, you have established the principle that the next Government, whatever it may be, will be the body deputed by yourselves to manage the general education of the country. They will introduce their views also with respect to the superintendence of education. Suppose, then, that their views should be, that it is not wise that a system of education, so far as the Establishment is concerned, should be carried on without the supervision of the chief ecclesiastical authorities belonging to the Establishment. Suppose that they should make the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, both, be it recollected, members of the Privy Council, members of the committee of Privy Council, what objection could you urge against it? I do not know what objections the Dissenting body might entertain to such appointments; I am not prepared to say how far the force of newly-formed habits may influence their conduct, but this I will venture to say, that if Lord Liverpool, fifteen years ago, or if I myself, five years since, had proposed that the Government should be the body to whom such a power should be granted, and that, by three words, three important words, thirty thousand pounds, which were to be placed without condition or restriction at the control of the executive Government—if this had been attempted, then, I say, that whatever may be the number of petitions, which have been presented against the plan of the Government, the petitions of the Dissenters against such a scheme would have been at least equal to them. You say that you are responsible to Parliament. Responsible to Parliament!—Why, how is responsibility to Parliament insured if the measures by which education is to be carried on are to be prepared and executed without the consent of Parliament? You constitute yourselves a committee to superintend the education of the people of this country, in consequence of a solitay vote of the House of Commons. This board is constituted of persons upheld by a Parliamentary majority of ten votes. Another may succeed it, supported by a majority of twenty-one votes, a majority, too, which this year granting 30,000l., may next year grant 80,000l. for the education of the people. I say, then, that this is an objection which I feel to the Government plan, and that it is an objection which ought to be felt, not only by the Dissenters, but by the Church of England. The right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is fond of quoting opinions backed always by high authority, but he does not tell us the names of the individuals from whom they proceed, till he imagines we are all ready to assent to the propositions laid down. Now I will imitate him. I will read opinions given by two grave authorities; I will conceal their names; I will not tell you whether they come from high ecclesiastical authority, or whether they were pronounced by persons holding strong Conservative opinions. You shall have the opinions themselves. The noble Lord took a different course from the right hon. Gentleman; he quoted Paley and Fenelon, and told us so, but I shall follow the example set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. These opinions were not delivered at a very remote period. I am constantly told that I am behind the spirit of the age, and I suppose that the charge is true, for I find that if I take up the position which her Majesty's Government took up last year, and hope for some expression of gratitude from them for adopting their sentiments, I find myself, I say, exposed to a raking fire from them, and attacked on all sides for my illiberality. The first I will read is this:— With this difference of opinion on the subject, he confessed he did not see, until there was more likelihood of agreement among the leading persons who were in favour of the general education in this country, that it would be a good plan to establish a general commission or board by the Government, because, whatever board might be constituted, would create a jealousy on the part of all those who were opposed to them. The other opinion I shall read is this: That the interference of Government, by appointing a commission or board of education in the present state of the question, would create great jealousy among all parties, and would be injurious to the purpose of education itself. He therefore hoped the motion of his hon. Friend would not be persisted in. These opinions were expressed by the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department, and by the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They were delivered last year upon the subject of appointing a board or commission of education. Is not this a board of education which you are about to appoint, and can you resist voting for the motion? I see the noble Lord opposite making great protestations against this proposition, but what it is founded on I cannot guess. You objected to the appointment of an education board, on account of the then excited state of the public mind. Oh! I see the difference. The public mind is now so calm. No jealousy is now felt on the subject of education, and the suspicions and apprehensions which were formerly excited have since been entirely soothed by the particular plan which her Majesty's Government have proposed. I object to the plan on another and a distinct ground. Now, observe, I do not maintain this position, that the Church has any right to interfere with the religious instruction of all the children educated in these schools, and I never understood my noble Friend to say so. I understood my noble Friend to say, that in the case of the established religion, education was intimately connected with it, and he referred to the authorities, that of Lord Holt having been quoted among the feudal authorities, not to show what it was contended he wanted to show, that the Church had a right to exercise control over Dissenters, but that it was entitled to have some share in the national plan, in so far as the education of members of the national church was concerned; and this suggestion on the part of my noble Friend hon. Gentlemen opposite have found it more convenient to misrepresent than to answer. I disclaim, therefore, any intention to demand for the Church Establishment the right to interfere with the religion or the other institutions of those who are Dissenters from its doctrines; This, however, I claim for the establishment, that no system of national education shall be founded which studiously excludes from the superintendence and control of education given to the children of the establishment the dignitaries of the Established Church, and if such a proposition be disagreeable to the feelings of the members of the establishment, I say that it is a violation of those feelings to ask them to contribute to a scheme of education conducted under the superintendence of a board from which those dignitaries are to be excluded. Will the noble Lord tell me what is his definition of an establishment? The noble Lord had quoted Paley. Did the noble Lord mean to say that he agreed with Paley? For my own part, with respect to mem- bers of the Established Church, I beg to say that in any system of education to be adopted, if you mean to uphold the principles of the establishment, you ought not to exclude from the control of the system of education those who were of the greatest importance. If the object of a Church Establishment be the instillation and communication of religious knowledge, do you think it wise to establish this principle, that the education of children of tender years should be separated altogether from doctrinal instruction in religion? On what ground will you exclude members of the establishment from constituting a part of the board, so far as the instruction of children is concerned? Do you think that it was proper to hold out to the rising generation that in their education all religious instruction should be excluded? and do you hope to fit them to become good members of the establishment, if in the system of education for them the doctrinal part of religion shall form no part? This is a most grave question, whether it be considered as producing harmony or not, in relation to giving the people a system of joint education upon the principle of the noble Lord. Some time ago I certainly did foresee that great advantages might arise in Ireland, under the peculiar circumstances of the people there; that there was some chance of soothing the excitement which prevailed, by making some concession on this point. But when the system of education was adopted for Ireland, every effort was made to avoid that circumstance being made a precedent; it was particularly explained that the proposition which was made was only acceded to under the peculiar circumstances of the case, and the concession was only made because it was considered that it would contribute to the welfare of the people in their after life. I confess, however, that subsequent reflection has led me to entertain at least great doubts on this point. So far as the institutions of the establishment are concerned, I have come to this opinion, that it is infinitely better that they should be doctrinal institutions; and, I think, that the House should not shrink from its duty in educating the people in the principles which they themselves support, whereby they are much more likely to make them good members of the Church and of society, than if they brought them up shrinking from the maintenance of those doctrines which they would be afterwards told they must support, I very much doubt whether we shall promote future harmony by giving them together secular instruction, and then handing them over to their separate religious teachers, who will convey information to them upon the particular creeds which they support on. particular days. If I were a member of a different establishment, I should prefer giving a child of mine general instruction only, telling him, at the same time, that religion should form the basis of his education, and should be closely interwoven with it, to consenting to exclude the principles of religious instruction from the daily course of his education in the school in which he should be brought up. But with respect to the Established Church, I hope, that rather than consent to any plan from which ecclesiastical authority is excluded, it would separate itself altogether from the State on this point; that it would take the education of the people into its own hands—that it would not shrink from insisting on the publication of its own peculiar doctrines, but that it would demand that the highest respect should be entertained for its power by its being inculcated in the minds of children that religion formed the basis of all education. I very much doubt whether the principles of the Christian faith being thus inculcated among children, as good a chance of harmony would not be secured as by telling them religion was an open question, and that each of them was to be instructed by a minister of his own creed on a certain day set apart for that purpose. Ample reference has been made to the state of religious instruction in the United States. Hon. Gentlemen who had very extensive information in reference to Prussia and the United States had spoken upon the subject, and had more particularly quoted the cases of New York and Massachusetts. As to Prussia, the principle had been abandoned, for the hon. and learned Gentleman has distinctly declared, that the Prussian Government had abandoned the attempt of uniting children in a system of secular instruction only, and of giving them separate religious instruction, upon such creeds as they might be disposed to follow. I have attempted from that interest which is necessarily taken upon this subject, to gain some information with respect to the success of the plan adopted in America, and it appears to me that this was very like the plan suggested by the noble Lord. A general religious instruction, that was to say, that the children should be instructed in the general interests of Christianity, and that on certain days, they should be instructed in their particular creeds. I hold in my hand the Second Annual Report of the Massachusett's Board of Education, published at Boston, and bearing date the 14th January 1839. It sets forth the principle which is embodied in the legislation of the Commonwealth on the subject of school books, and which provides, that "school committees shall never direct to be purchased or used in any of the town schools, any books which are calculated to favour the tenets of any particular sect of Christians;" and in another place, "the principles of Christian ethics and piety, common to the different sects of Christians will be carefully inculcated, and a portion of Scripture will be daily read in all the normal schools established by the board." Now, this is your plan. How does it work there? What says the secretary in his very able report? It is impossible that any man can be more desirous of its success. Yet here is his testimony of the result. He says— In my report of last year I exposed the alarming deficiency of moral and religious instruction then found to exist in our schools. That deficiency, in regard to religious instruction, could only be explained by supposing that school committees, whose duty it is to prescribe school books, had not found any books at once expository of the doctrines of revealed religion, and also free from such advocacy of the ' tenets' of particular sects of Christians, as brought them, in their opinion, within the scope of the legal prohibition. And hence they felt obliged to exclude books, which, but for their denominational views, they would have been glad to introduce. I beg to know how the noble Lord could evade this in his plan? It would not ex-elude the existence of scruples among any denomination of religious Dissenters. It would not heal the differences of opinion entertained by the ministers of religion according to their several and peculiar professions. The report further says:— Of course I shall not be here understood as referring to the Scriptures, as it is well known that they are used in almost all the schools, either as a devotional, or as a reading book. Now, I beg the noble Lord to consider whether this system, which has so operated in America, is not founded upon precisely the same principle as that upon which the plan of her Majesty's government was framed. It is a sytem, not excluding the Scriptures—allowing the Scriptures to be read, but not allowing them to be taught upon the principles of any church—permitting them to be used for the purposes of instruction, but leaving it to the ministers of the various religious denominations, to teach the children in accordance with their particular religious views. What says the Secretary, to whose report I have already referred, as to the working of that system? Why, he said, that there is "an alarming deficiency of moral and religious instruction." That is just the result which I anticipate from the system suggested by her Majesty's Government, as applied to the habits and modes of thought of the English people. "If you were to adopt such a system, not making education in the principles of faith the basis of instruction in this country, you wilt find it extremely difficult to establish that sound, moral, and religious knowledge which can only be founded upon our conviction in early years, that religion is the first object of instruction." That is the second ground upon which I object to the plan proposed by her Majesty's Government, namely, that as far as the children of the Establishment are concerned, I think it wholly unwise to exclude the direct superintendence and authority of Ecclesiastical authorities. I think that those authorities ought to be brought forward distinctly for the purpose of superintending a plan of education in the principles of the Establishment. I object also to the plan of her Majesty's Ministers upon the very grounds upon which it has been supported by some of its advocates, which, as my right hon. Friend has justly observed in the course of the debate, are grounds directly inconsistent with the maintenance of a religious establishment. No answer has been given to that argument. If you are under an obligation, as you say you are, to teach the children of those who dissent upon the grounds which you allege, namely, that you fight with Roman Catholic sinews, and support your system with Unitarian gold—if that be the ground upon which you are bound to educate the children of Dissenters, in the first place let me ask, why you shrink from educating them in the tenets of their par- ticular faith? If that be your ground—that you take their gold and make use of their strength—how do you answer this question? Why, are you not bound to provide them the means of religious worship in accordance with their several creeds? Where do you propose to draw the line? You profess to draw a line, but do not tell us where it is to commence. All your supporters indeed do not draw a line. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, and I must say I think he is the only one who foresees or avows the consequences to which the Government plan may lead, is prepared manfully to contend for them, as consequences which it is desirable to obtain. The hon. and learned Gentleman, if I understood him, maintains this proposition, that if you call upon the Jew to contribute to the exigences of the State, the Jew has a right to call upon you for the maintenance of his religion. [An hon. Member: But not to education in his religion.] Not to education in his religion!How do you draw the distinction? If you call upon the Jew to contribute to the education of the children of the Establishment, why may you not call upon the members of the Church to contribute to the education of the Jew. You say, that you do not decide against him—that you do not object to his religion; and I understood the hon. and learned Gentleman distinctly to say, that he foresaw the consequences to which the Ministerial plan would lead—namely, that as all would contribute to the support of it, so all would have a right to call upon the State not only for the tolerance of their religion but for contributions to maintain it. The third question I have to put to the Government is this—Do you believe, that any good will arise from the establishment of such a system as you propose? If you tell us that it is necessary, that a board should be formed which should have the public confidence, why did you not describe it in such intelligent and distinct terms, as to prevent the misunderstanding and the alarm, I think the perfectly justifiable alarm, which has sprung up in every part of the country in reference to your proposition? If you have so imperfectly described your views with respect to the construction of the Board of Education, that throughout the country you have awakened an almost universal apprehension in the minds of the religious public, do you believe, that any system of instruction, superintended by such a board would be likely to have the confidence of the great body of the people? Was there ever a scheme of education propounded in this country which met with such universal opposition? What answer do you give to the quotations which in the course of this debate have been made from the views of the Dissenters with respect to your plan? [Mr. Hawes: I have presented a petition in favour of the plan, from the Protestant Dissenters.] The hon. Gentleman says he has presented a petition from the particular body to which I refer; and, if so, I have no doubt that it was in accordance with the opinions expressed in their resolutions, advertised, I believe, on the 15th June; and, in referring to them in his speech, that evening, the hon. Member for Lambeth had described them as the greatest friends of civil and religious liberty, although not of the three exclusive denominations; he spoke of them as a most influential body of Protestant Dissenters; and what do they recommend to the Government? Why, Sir, they advise the Government as a general rule to apply any further parliamentary grant in the same manner as those that have been previously made. That is in the support of the National School Society, and the British and Foreign School Society? They do not wish you to relax from the rule you have yourselves abused, but to extend it still further. But, Sir, there is another means of testing the opinions of the country on this question, and particularly so those of the various denominations of Protestant Dissenters—by the expression of their disapprobation or favourable consideration of the plan by petitions. What number has been received against the scheme? The hon. Gentleman opposite stated, that 1,650 petitions had been presented in opposition to the Government plan; but this included them only up to a certain period. And, here, Sir, I may say, that from those who are usually foremost in this House to claim attention to the expression of popular opinion, there has been a great inclination to treat the petitions against the scheme with disrespect. But, if any petitions have been alluded to on the other side which were of a favourable nature, the same influence has been exercised to enhance their importance, and claim for them the especial respect of the House. But, Sir, the number mentioned by the hon. Member presented against the Government scheme, the number of 1,650, form but little better than one-half of the total received up to the present moment. Sir, I assume the real number at not less than 3,050. Do you think it likely, that 3,050 petitions would be produced, by the mere exaggeration of religious feeling? It would be most absurd to suppose it even. But as the hon. Gentleman opposite has referred to other petitions, let me now ask what is the number of the counter-petitions received—of those favourable to the Government scheme? Sir, against the scheme there hare been 3,050 petitions presented; in favour of it we must deduct 3,000, rather than pretend to the semblance of equality, and declare the net number at 50. You told us last year [addressing Lord J. Russell] that you could not see how such a plan could be a good one, or how the constitution of such a board of education could do otherwise than lead to great jealousy and dissatisfaction. I have respect for your character as prophets—but, having had your worst apprehensions confirmed, I should have been glad to have seen that you had the manliness to admit it. I beg to ask what possible inducement other than religious motives and conscientious objections to the plan, could lead the Wesleyans to resist it. The Wesleyans say, that if their conscientious objections could be removed, they have a greater chance of benefiting by your plan, than if a return were made to the principle of last year, under which they were excluded altogether. The Wesleyans could receive nothing from the British and Foreign Society, they could receive nothing from the National Society. A plan for a grant has been proposed, in which the Wesleyan Methodists may participate; yet they choose this very time to come forward and renew their opposition to it. The Wesleyan Methodists have been treated like children. When they came forward in support of the anti-slavery question, and so strongly advocated the abolition of the Slave-trade, then credit was given them for the highest discretion and for the purest motives; but now that they come forward to oppose the Government scheme of education, although it is impossible that they can be influenced by any but the purest motives, they are designated as the victims of credulity and misapprehension, and their zeal is attributed to any motives rather than those by which I conscientiously believe they are actuated. It is clear you cannot pretend that your plan is approved of; and, I ask you, why you do not withdraw it and return to the system you adopted last year—the system first recommended by Lord Althorp? Why, I ask, should you discourage local contributions? Why should you, in this case, forsake the application of your own voluntary principle? Why should you deny the prayer of the 3,050 petitions? In short, what better can you do than rescind the Order in Council, and return to the rule you have already acted upon? Don't believe, however, that your measure will give universal satisfaction. I will again refer to the report of the United States of America, which is an excellent authority, to show how such a system will be likely to work in England. The right hon. Baronet read the following passage:— It seems that one William G. Griffin, with others, felt aggrieved at the practice which obtains, in some common schools, of 'praying, singing, reading the Bible, and other religious exercises;' and, therefore, 'prayed the Legislature to enact a law prohibiting the practice, in such schools, academies, and seminaries of education, as receive aid from the public treasury.' In recommending that the prayer of the memorialists be not granted, the committee go into a discussion of the subject which is remarkable for its clearness, candour, and cogency of reasoning, and such as must more than satisfy, we should suppose, every reasonable mind. The public schools established by law are supported by a state fund, and by taxation upon the property of the people. These schools are open to all, although none are obliged to send their children to them. But, says the report— 'It is to these schools, as we are to suppose, that the children of the petitioners are accustomed to resort, and in some cases it is fair to presume that it is found exceedingly inconvenient, perhaps impossible, for these parents to furnish their children with the means of instruction anywhere else. They are, therefore, obliged to resort to these schools, or take the alternative of keeping their children in utter ignorance; and it is under these circumstances that they come before the Legislature with the complaint that, on resorting to these schools, they find there a practice introduced—that of indulging in devotional exercises—which they deem highly offensive and objectionable. The grounds of objection to this practice, as far as we can gather them from the memorial, are two:— '1. That the Christian religion is thus supported or aided at the public expense. '2. That the rights of equality and rights of conscience are thereby invaded, inasmuch as the unguarded minds of their children are thus exposed to be contaminated.' Such being the operation of the system in America, let not her Majesty's Ministers flatter themselves that they can give universal satisfaction. Unless in your scheme you limit religious education to the mere reading of the Bible, and exclude everything bearing upon the doctrinal altogether, you cannot otherwise respect the religious scruples of others; and I can see no means of escape from the dangers and difficulties by which the question is in every position beset, but by her Majesty's Government consenting to rescind the Order in Council. Sir, I object to the plan of the noble Lord on these distinct grounds. First, that if it were the feeling that such a Board of Education should be appointed—and the reverse is the case—it should not be appointed in the manner proposed by a single vote of this House. My next objection is, that any such Board of Education should be so constituted as to be exclusively formed of her Majesty's Ministers. Thirdly, I object, in reference especially to the children of members of the Established Church, that there should be an entire exclusion of the ecclesiastical authorities, who are properly placed in charge of the religious education of the community; and lastly, because there has been presented against the scheme petitions unequal in number, in purity, and for the disinterestedness of the views of those who present them; and because a temporary success, if the scheme were carried by a small and scanty majority, so far from advancing the cause of sound religious instruction, soothing animosities, and allaying discord, would be but the commencement of a new religious struggle of the very worst nature and in the very worst arena in which, in this country, such a struggle can be carried on.

The House divided on the original question, that the order of the day for a committee of supply be read:—Ayes 280; Noes 275: Majority 5.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G.R. Alston, R.
Adam, Admiral Anson, hon. Colonel
Aglionby, H. A. Archbold, R.
Aglionby, Major Attwood, T.
Alcock, T. Bainbridge, E. T.
Baines, E. Easthope, J.
Bannerman, A. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Baring, F. T. Ellice, Capt. A.
Barnard, E. G. Ellice, right hon. E.
Barron, H. W. Ellice, E.
Barry, G. S. Ellis, W.
Beamish, F. B. Erie, W.
Bellew, R. M. Euston, Earl of
Berkeley, hon. H. Evans, Sir De L.
Berkeley, hon. G. Evans, G.
Berkeley, hon. C. Evans, W.
Bernal, R. Ewart, W.
Bewes, T. Fazakerly, J. N.
Blackett, C. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Blake, M. J. Ferguson, R.
Blake, W. J. Finch, F.
Blewitt, R. J. Fitzpatrick, J. W.
Blunt, Sir C. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Bowes, J. Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Brabazon, Sir W. French, F.
Bridgeman, H. Gibson, T. M.
Briscoe, J. I. Gillon, W. D.
Brodie, W. B. Goddard, A.
Brotherton, J. Gordon, R.
Bryan, G. Grattan, J.
Buller, C. Grattan, H.
Buller, E. Greenaway, C.
Bulwer, Sir L. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Byng, G. Grote, G.
Byng, right hon. G. S. Guest, Sir J.
Callaghan, D. Hall, Sir B.
Campbell, Sir J. Hallyburton, Lord
Cave, R. O. Handley, H.
Cavendish, hon. C. Harland, W. C.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Harvey, D. W.
Cayley, E. S. Hastie, A.
Chalmers, P. Hawes, B.
Chapman, Sir M. L. C. Hawkins, J. H.
Chester, H. Hayter, W. G.
Chichester, J. P. B. Heathcoat, J.
Childers, J. W. Hector, C. J.
Clay, W. Heneage, E.
Clayton, Sir W. Heron, Sir R.
Clements, Lord Hill, Lord A. M. C.
Clive, E. B. Hindley, C.
Codrington, Admiral Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Collier, J. Hobhouse, T. B.
Collins, W. Hodges, T. L.
Conyngham, Lord A. Hollond, R.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Horsman, E.
Craig, W. G. Hoskins, K.
Crawford, W. Howard, F. J.
Currie R. Howard P. H.
Curry, Sergeant Howick, Visct.
Dalmeny, Lord Hume, J.
Dashwood, G, H. Humphery, J.
Denison, W. J. Hurst, R. H.
Denistoun, J. Hutt, W.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. Hutton, R.
Divett, E. James, W.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Jervis, J.
Duff, J. Johnson, General
Duke, Sir J. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Duncombe, T. Lambton, H.
Dundas, F. Langdale, hon. C
Dundas, hon. J. C. Leader, J. T.
Dundas, Sir R. Lemon, Sir C.
Leveson, Lord Russell, Lord C.
Lister, E. C. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.
Loch, J. Salwey, Colonel
Lushington, C. Sanford, E. A.
Lushington, it. hn. S. Scholefield, J.
Macauley, T. B. Scrope, G. P.
M'Leod, R. Seale, Sir J. H.
Macnamara, Major Seymour, Lord
M'Taggart, J. Sharpe, General
Marshall, W. Sheil, R. L.
Marsland, H. Shelbourne, Earl
Martin, T. B. Slaney, R. A.
Maule, hon. F. Smith, J. A.
Melgund, Viscount Smith, B.
Mildmay, P. St. John Smith, G. R.
Milton, Lord Smith, R. V.
Molesworth, Sir W. Somers, J. P.
Morpeth, Viscount Somerville, Sir W.
Morris, D. Speirs, A.
Murray, A. Spencer, hon. F.
Muskett, G. A. Standish, C.
Nagle, Sir R. Stanley, M.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Stanley, W. O.
O'Brien, W. S. Stansfield, W. R. C.
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Stuart, Lord J.
O'Connell, D. Stuart, W. V.
O'Connell, J. Stock, Dr.
O'Connell, M. J. Strangways, hon. J.
O'Connell, Morgan Strickland, Sir G.
O'Connell, Maurice Strutt, E.
O'Connor, Don Style, Sir C.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Surrey, Earl of
Ord, W. H. Talbot, C. R. M.
Paget, F. Talfourd, Sergeant
Palmer, C. F. Tancred, H. W.
Palmerston, Visct. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Parker, J. Thornely, T.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Townley, R. G.
Parrott, J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Pattison, J. Turner, E.
Pechell, Captain R. Turner, W.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Verney, Sir H.
Phillips, Sir R. Vigors, N. A.
Philips, M. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Philips, G. R. Vivian, Major C.
Phillpots, J. Vivian, J. H.
Pigot, D. R. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R.
Pinney, W. Wakley, T.
Ponsonby, hon. J. Walker, R.
Power, J. Wallace, R.
Price, Sir R. Warburton, H.
Pryme, G. Ward, H. G.
Pryse, P. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Ramsbottom, J. White, A.
Redington, T. N. White, H.
Rice, E. R. White, S.
Rice, rt. hon. T. S. Wilbraham, G.
Rich, H. Williams, W.
Rippon, C. Williams, W. A.
Roche, E. B. Wilshere, W.
Roche, W. Winnington, T. E.
Roche, Sir D. Winnington, H. J.
Rolfe, Sir R. M. Wood, C.
Rumbold, C. E. Wood, Sir M.
Rundle, J. Wood, G. W.
Russell, Lord J. Worsley, Lord
Russell, Lord Wrightson, W.
Wyse, T. Steuart, R.
Yates, J. A. Stanley, E. J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Darby, G.
Acland, T. D. Darlington, Earl of
A'Court, Captain De Horsey, S. H.
Adare, Viscount Dick, Q.
Alford, Viscount D'Israeli, B.
Alsager, Captain Douglas, Sir C. E.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Dowdeswell, W.
Archdall, M. Duffield, T.
Ashley, Lord Dugdale, W. S.
Ashley, hon. H. Dunbar, G.
Attwood, M. Duncombe, hon. W.
Bagge, W. Duncombe, hon. A.
Bailey, J. Dungannon, Viscount
Bailey, J., jun. Du Pre, G.
Baillie, Colonel East, J. B.
Baker, E. Eastnor, Viscount
Baring, hon. F. Eaton, R. J.
Baring, hon. W. B. Egerton, W. T.
Barrington, Viscount Egerton, Sir P.
Bateson, Sir R. Eliot, Lord
Bell, M. Ellis, J.
Bentinck, Lord G. Estcourt, T.
Bethell, R. Estcourt, T.
Blackstone, W. S. Farnham, E. B.
Blair, J. Farrand, R.
Blakemore, R. Feilden, W.
Blennerhasset, A. Fector, J. M.
Boldero, H. G. Fellowes, E.
Boiling, W. Filmer, Sir E.
Bradshaw, J. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bramston, T. W. Fleming, J.
Broadley, H. Foley, E. T.
Brownrigg, S. Forester, hon. G.
Bruce, Lord E. Freshfield, J. W.
Bruges, W. H. L. Gaskell, J.M.
Buck, L. W. Gladstone, W. E.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Glynn, Sir S. R.
Burr, H. Godson, R.
Burrell, Sir C. Gordon, hon. Captain
Burroughes, H. N. Gore, O. J. R.
Calcraft, J. H. Gore, O. W.
Canning, rt. hn. Sir S. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Cartwright, W. R. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Castlereagh, Viscount Grant, F. W.
Chapman, A. Greene, T.
Christopher, R. A. Grimsditch, T.
Chute, W. L. W. Grimston, Viscount
Clerk, Sir G. Grimston, hon. E. H.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hale, R. B.
Codrington, C. W. Halford, H.
Cole, hon. A. H. Harcourt, G. G.
Cole, Viscount Harcourt, G. S.
Colquhoun, J. C. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Compton, H. C. Hawkes, T.
Conolly, E. Hayes, Sir E.
Cooper, E. J. Heathcote, Sir W.
Coote, Sir C. H. Heathcote, G. J.
Corry, hon. H. Heneage, G. W.
Courtenay, P. Henniker, Lord
Cresswell, C. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Herbert, hon. S.
Damer, hon. D. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Hill, Sir R. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Hillsborough, Earl of Morgan, C. M. R.
Hinde, J. H. Neeld, J.
Hodgson, F. Neeld, J.
Hodgson, R. Nicholl, J.
Hogg, J. W. Noel, hon. W. M.
Holmes, hn. W. A'C. Norreys, Lord
Holmes, W. Ossulston, Lord
Hope, hon. C. Owen, Sir J.
Hope, H. T. Pack, C. W.
Hope, G. W. Pakington, J. S.
Hotham, Lord Palmer, R.
Houldsworth, T. Parker, M.
Houstoun, G. Parker, R. T.
Hughes, W. B. Parker, T. A. W.
Hurt, F. Patten, J. W.
Ingestrie, Lord Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Ingham, R. Peel, J.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Pemberton, T.
Irton, S. Perceval, hon. G. J.
Irving, J. Pigot, R.
Jackson, Sergeant Planta, right hon. J.
James, Sir W. C. Plumptre, J. P.
Jenkins, Sir R. Polhill, F.
Jermyn, Earl of Pollen, Sir J. W.
Johnstone, H. Powell, Colonel
Jones, J. Powerscourt, Visct.
Jones, Captain Praed, W. T.
Kelly, F. Pringle, A.
Kemble, H. Pusey, P.
Kelburne, Viscount Rae, rt. hon. Sir W.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Reid, Sir J. R.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Richards, R.
Knight, H. G. Rickford, W.
Knightley, Sir C. Rolleston, L.
Knox, hon. T. Round, C. G.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Round, J.
Law, hon. C. E. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Lefroy, right hon. T. Rushout, G.
Lennox, Lord A. Sanderson, R.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Sandon, Viscount
Lincoln, Earl of Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Litton, E. Shaw, right hon. F.
Lockhart, A. M. Sheppard, T.
Long, W. Shirley, E. J.
Lowther, hon. Colonel Sibthorp, Colonel
Lowther, Viscount Sinclair, Sir G.
Lowther, J.H. Smith, A.
Lucas, E. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Lygon, hon. General Somerset, Lord G.
Mackenzie, T. Spry, Sir S. T.
Mackenzie, W. F. Stanley, E.
Mackinnon, W. A. Stanley, Lord
Maclean, D. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Mahon, Viscount Stewart, J.
Maidstone, Lord Stormont, Lord
Manners, Lord S. C. Sturt, H. C.
Marsland, T. Teignmouth, Lord
Marton, G. Tennant, J. E.
Master, T. W. C. Thomas, Col. H.
Mathew, G. B. Thompson, Alderman
Maunsell, T. P. Thornhill, G.
Meynell, Captain Trench, Sir F.
Miles, W. Tyrrell, Sir J. T.
Miles, P. W. S. Vere, Sir C. B.
Miller, W. H. Verner, Col.
Milnes, R. M. Vernon, G. H.
Villiers, Viscount Wood, Col. T.
Vivian, J. E. Wood T.
Waddington, H. S. Wyndham, W.
Walsh, Sir J. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Welby, G. E. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Whitmore, T. C. Young, J.
Williams, R. Young, Sir W.
Williams, T. P. TELLERS.
Wilmot, Sir J. E. Baring, H.
Wodehouse, E. Fremantle, Sir T.
Paired off.
Paget, Lord A. Bagot, hon. W.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Barneby, J.
Grey, Sir C. Broadwood, H.
Crompton, Sir J. Blandford, Marq. of
Davies, Colonel Burdett, Sir F.
Campbell, W. F. Campbell, Sir H.
Andover, Viscount Cantilupe, Viscount
Walker, C. A. Crewe, Sir G.
Etwall, R. Cripps, J.
Anson, Sir G. Copeland, Alderman
Fort, J. Davenport, J.
Ponsonby, hon. J. Dottin, A. R.
Duncan, Lord Douro, Marquess
Acheson, Lord Egerton, Lord F.
Lynch, A. H. Follett, Sir W.
Ferguson, Sir R. Fox, G.
Maher, J. Granby, Lord
Wemyss, Captain Grant, hon. Colonel
White, L. Jones, W.
O'Brien, C. Kerrison, Sir E.
Power, J. Kirk, P.
Talbot, J. N. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Fenton, J. R. Moneypenny, T. G.
Fitzsimon, N. O'Neil, hon. General
Bodkin, J. J. Percival, Colonel
Langton, W. G. Price, R.
Fitzalan, Lord Praed, W. M.
Westenra, hon. Col. Pollock, Sir F.
Wilde, Sergeant Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Butler, hon. P. Sugden, Sir E.
Colquhoun, Sir J. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Martin, J. Tollemache, F.
Brabazon, Lord Wilbraham, hon. R.
Busfield, W. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Ainsworlh, P. Goring, H. D.
Benett, J. Heathcote, Sir G.
Browne, R. D. Howard, Sir R.
Brocklehurst, J. Jervis, S.
Chetwynd, Major Lennox, Lord G.
Crawley, S. Moreton, hon. A. H.
Dundas, C. W. D. Pease, J.
Edwards, Sir J. Protheroe, E.
Fielden, J. Stewart, J.
Fitzgibbon, hon. Col Wilkins, W.
Attwood, W. Ker, D.
Blackburn, J. I. Palmer, G.
Hamilton, Lord C. St. Paul, H.
Howard, hon. W. Wall, C. B.
Carlow and Glasgow vasant.
Lord J. Russell

wished to take the vote at that time.

Sir R. Peel

objected. The proceeding was not by bill, but by resolution in committee of supply. He, therefore, objected on principle to the course that was proposed.

Lord John Russell

felt bound to recall to the attention of the House, that the original motion was, that the House resolve itself into a committee of supply, to which the noble Lord had interposed a three nights' debate by proposing his resolution, and he trusted, that further opposition would not be interposed to their going into a committee of supply, and above all as the proposal that was intended to be made had been exposed to every sort of false construction. He was perfectly aware, that he had a perfect right to make the proposition, and he protested against the opposition that had been given to it. He was aware, that in so numerous a House it would be mere loss of time to press the House to resolve itself into a committee, but he must at the same time say, that he did not think that the course pursued by the Opposition was either reasonable or just.

Sir R. Peel

objected in principle to their being compelled to take the sense of the House at a single stage. He objected to their legislating, for they were legislating—on an important matter of this kind by merely taking a vote in a committee of supply. He did so on principle, and nothing should have induced him to sanction their going into committee of supply and voting this estimate at the present sitting. He had never done so before, but he should have felt it to have been his duty to offer every opposition in his power to such a proceeding. He should certainly have put his opinion on record, but he objected on principle to such a proceeding. They were asked to legislate by a single vote of the House of Commons, and without any discussion, at half-past two in the morning. He, therefore, did not concur with the noble Lord as to the view which he had taken of the subject.

Lord John Russell

supposed there would be no objection to the motion, that the Speaker leave the chair, without taking any further step.

Colonel Sibthorp

, who was received with loud shouts of laughter, said that it had been objected to the right hon. Ba- ronet, that he had spoken on this question; but this objection could not be urged against himself. In the face of the House and of the noble Lord he objected to these forms. He objected to these proceedings, by those whom he might almost call serfs and slaves. The minority of ten, which they were in last night, was now in the ascending scale, as they were in a minority of five. He could not see where the hon. Member for Sal-ford was, or he would call on him to move the adjournment; but as he was not in his place, he should do so for him, and therefore he moved the adjournment.

Lord Stanley

trusted the hon. and gallant Member would not persist in that motion at present.

Colonel Sibthorp

Certainly not if you wish it.

Lord Stanley

was very glad that the gallant Officer had not persisted in his motion, as he was anxious that they should not offer anything like a factious opposition upon this vote. Did Gentlemen really think, that there was an intention to offer a factious opposition? how did the matter stand? The matter was simply to be decided by one vote in that House. The other House was to have no part in the proceedings, and they were not to have the advantage of various stages of bills in that House. If, therefore, the charge of being influenced by factious motives was to be brought against any one, it should be charged against the Government for having introduced the subject in this way. That side of the House objected to the Order in Council. They objected to the going into a committee of supply at that late hour, in order that they might have the opportunity of considering, whether they would oppose the vote in further stages or not. If they had chosen they might have opposed the vote for reading the order of the day. They might have raised an opposition on a question, that the House resolve itself into a committee of supply, and when in committee they might have opposed the vote. And again, on bringing up the report another opportunity of opposing the subject was afforded. If they had chosen they might have opposed the subject in either or all of these five stages. They had a perfect Parliamentary right to try the question upon each stage. But we said that we would in the first instance take the question on rescinding the Order in Council, and the whole of the plan was not yet near set forth. Was it not reasonable, after the decision of that night, that they should have time to consider, whether they should take another division on the question or not? He would appeal to his noble Friend, whether he could expect on the first blush of the question, to carry the vote at once, after such a division as they had just had.

Committee of supply postponed till Monday.

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