HC Deb 08 March 1839 vol 46 cc169-99
Lord Stanley,

in rising to address the House on the question that this Bill be read a second time, expressed his regret, that not having anticipated during this Session any more opposition to the second reading of this measure than was offered last Session in the same stage, he was not present on a former occasion when some debate arose on the question of the second reading. The opposition then offered to the second reading was, he believed, mainly founded on the lateness of the hour at which it was brought forward; but, on the present occasion, he apprehended there was reason to fear, from the intimation conveyed by his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford, that an opposition would be offered to the second reading. He could readily conceive that the friends of the Protestant Establishment of that country, might look with considerable suspicion on this Bill, both on account of the power which they might imagine it would give, and the spirit in which they might conceive from the actions of the Government that the powers so conferred would be exercised, and he could easily conceive that the suspicions so excited in their minds, and still more strongly impressed on them by their constituents, might have derived increased force and power from some recent appointments that had taken place, which they might not think generally conducive to the interests of that Protestant Establishment. But while he repeated the motives and made allowance for the conduct of those Gentlemen, he could not imitate their conduct in opposing the second reading of the Bill, and he would shortly state to the House on what ground he conceived himself pledged and obliged in honour not to oppose it. He entertained considerable doubts whether the Bill would effect the purpose at which it professed to aim—namely, that of providing for the good, the quiet, and the efficient local Government of the cities and boroughs of Ireland. He entertained, as he had formerly entertained, a very strong opinion that for the peace and good Government of Ireland it would be infinitely better that these corporations should be altogether extinguished, than that there should be left a certain number of local parliaments in the towns of Ireland, tending, he feared, to the promotion rather of religious and political animosity than of concord and harmony. But it was too late to raise that question now. The House of Commons had decided, and that by a large majority, against the proposal made to carry this view into effect. He and his Friends had in a former Session of Parliament assented to and acquiesced in that decision, and pledged themselves, both in that and the other House, that when two measures should be completed which they deemed essential to the safe working of the proposed corporation system, and the security of the Protestant Church, they would then address themselves to provide a plan of Municipal Reform for Ireland on the principal of popular election. These measures had been now passed into law; a Poor-law Bill had been passed which would be, or might be, made an effectual check on the bonâ fide character of the franchise, under which the municipal elections would be carried on. A Bill had been also passed for the settlement of the Irish tithe question, which he trusted would give additional stability to the Pro- testant Church, and which was stripped of that noxious provision declared by Government to be essential and indispensable, but to which they (the Opposition) had declared, that no consideration would ever induce them to consent. Having, then, obtained two measures, one of which would be a material assistance in fixing the franchise, and the other would, he trusted and believed, disappoint the hopes expressed by the noble Lord who was now Viceroy of Ireland, he asked whether in honour and consistency they were not pledged to fulfil their part of the contract, and enter frankly and fairly on the business of granting corporations to Ireland. He knew not how this might strike other Gentlemen, but as a gentleman, and a man of honour, he held himself bound by the pledge formerly given, and from that pledge nothing should induce him to swerve. He knew it might he said that the recent appointment had caused great alarm and consternation among the Members of the Protestant Church of Ireland. He did not deny that there were reasonable grounds of apprehension from this cause, but he would rather hope that the noble Lord sent to that country would adhere to his late declaration, that, whatever might be his private opinion, he would go thither not to change the law, but to administer the law as it stood, and to administer it fearlessly and impartially for the protection of those whom he was to govern. But, whatever might be the course which the noble Lord was about to pursue, when they agreed to the passage of those two measures, the Irish Tithe Commutation Act, and the Irish Poor Relief Act, they consented to a Municipal Bill for Ireland, and what they had now to do with the noble Lord or his measures he did not understand. Did they stipulate with hon. Gentlemen opposite what should be the future tone of the Irish Government? Did they name who should be Viceroy of Ireland? It was true they did not expect Lord Ebrington to be sent thither, but were they perfectly satisfied with Lord Normanby? With Lord Normanby and his noble Friend opposite, as Chief Secretary, who conducted the Government with great ability certainly, but on principles not, by any means, the same as those which were the principles of the civil government under the administration of Earl Grey—with Lord Normanby and his noble Friend in office, he said, they gave a pledge that when the two measures to which he referred were passed, they would entertain the measure for Municipal Corporation Reform in Ireland, with the intent of giving it a full and fair deliberation, and, if possible, carrying it into effect. That pledge, as he had said, he could not break. On the contrary, he was bound to say he should vote in support of the second reading of the Bill, and while he pledged himself to give Municipal Corporations to Ireland on the principle of popular election, he adhered, as firmly as he said he should last year, to the conditions of the pledge he had mentioned. But in saying this be begged to declare that he would not be turned or drawn to agree to a lower franchise or to a different one from that to which he had assented last year: and in assenting to the second reading of the Bill, he also wished to guard against the possibility of being supposed to assent to the new principle which had been introduced by the noble Lord, whereby a different constituency was prospectively established: that was, it was to come into operation at the end of two years. With reference to his own share in the steps taken last Session on this Bill, he stated the ground of his objection to the measure to be that its operation was impossible. This was the ground of objection he alleged. But when a man states at one time that he objects to a measure because he knows and has found it to be physically impossible, it did not follow that he was bound, when that measure was found to be possible, to give his assent to it in the gross. Queen Elizabeth was perfectly satisfied with the apology of the mayor who explained that he could not fire the guns of his town in honour of her arrival for twelve reasons; she was quite satisfied with the first of them, in which the mayor told her he had no gunpowder; she was perfectly satisfied, because the thing was impossible; but if next year, when that impossibility was removed, the Queen had refused to listen to any of the remaining eleven reasons, she would have acted unjustly. As he no longer felt the measure to be impossible, he was now prepared to vote for the second reading; but he was not prepared to intrust with political power a constituency that was untried and inexperienced, of which he knew neither the number nor the aptitude for political business. Still, he had no hesitation in saying, that if, after experience, it was found that the proposed constituency were more independent in the exercise of the franchise than the 10l. householders—if they were found to be less under the influence of the Roman Catholic clergy—if it were shown that they were as likely to choose a man well, considering only his political fitness, and without reference to his religious creed—then, and then only, would his noble Friend opposite be entitled to call upon him to substitute that constituency which he now proposed for that of the 10l. householder. But when he heard of the way in which these constituencies had exercised the first functions which they had been called upon to exercise, he felt very great doubts as to the propriety of intrusting them with this additional power. It was with very great regret that he had heard accounts from various places throughout almost, he might say, the whole of the south of Ireland, of the way in which the late measure of poor relief had been carried into effect. The result of the measures adopted in the places to which he referred, was not what it ought to have been; for the measure was one which required the utmost caution and care in carrying it into execution. He had heard of no place almost in the south of Ireland, but the influence of the Roman Catholic priest was predominant in those constituencies, who appointed officers whose qualification was not aptitude for business, but the profession of the Roman Catholic faith. At the same time, he begged to state, that he was fully prepared to enter into the discussion of the bill with the settled purpose, that it should pass into a law, that so the only yet remaining of the three texts of Irish agitation might be got rid of. But he hoped, that he might not be misunderstood with respect to the 10l. franchise: when he spoke of a constituency of 10l. householders he meant, that it should be tested, not by the payment of rent to that nominal amount, but by liability to assessment which shall prove, that the amount is really 10l. He had thought it necessary to state, at that early stage of the bill, the course which he, as an individual, meant to pursue. It was not his intention to question the motives of the conduct of any hon. Member whatever; he knew little or nothing of the nature of the opposition which it was intended to offer to the bill; and if the House, following the bad example of last Session, went to a division, as he hoped they would not, he should feel it his duty to give his vote for the second reading.

Sir R. H. Inglis

said, his noble Friend, in saying, that as a man of fairness and honour, he felt bound to support the second reading of this bill, had said what, in his opinion, almost amounted to an imputation that those were not men of fairness and honour, who voted against it. But he would tell his noble Friend, that he, for one, was no party to any such compact as his noble Friend had referred to; his noble Friend could not quote one vote of his on the Irish Tithe Bill, or on the Poor-Relief Bill, which bore that interpretation. He had never assented to those measures as grounds in any degree justifying the passing of the Irish Municipal Corporation Reform Bill. The value and importance of those institutions to Ireland, to the Union, and to Great Britain, were deeply impressed on his mind. Municipal corporations were originally established in many parts of Ireland for loftier, and holier, objects than mere municipal business; they were, then, as they yet remained, to a great degree, the connecting links between the Protestantism of England and Ireland. This at least, was the definite and distinct object of the foundation of those of the north of Ireland; he was aware there were other corporations, of a prior date, which were not so specifically designed for the purpose which he had mentioned. But the one class was swept away by the bill with as little remorse as the other; and what was it meant to raise up in their stead? He never had consented to the bill of last Session; be had offered it every opposition up to the second reading; but when that stage was passed, then be had endeavoured to render it as little objectionable as possible. However, be would have been better content to have left the corporations of Ireland as they were, subject to the law of the land. He was aware of the difference between the present bill and that of last Session; but no one could deny, that up to the second reading of a bill, he was entitled to consider all differences as merged, and to look upon the measure, in general, as a bill for the annihilation of the present municipal corporations in Ireland, and the erection of Roman Catholic corporations in their stead. Still, if he were defeated on the motion which he was about to propose, he should possibly find himself enabled to follow his noble Friend in all the amendments which he might suggest; but till then he would not quit the vantage ground of principle which he possessed in the course he was pursuing. In his apprehensions of the evil to be anticipated from the measure, he could not be deceived; he took its character from its friends, nor from its enemies. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin, and the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had both sufficiently declared what was its real scope and tendency when last the bill was before the House. Both those hon. Members had said enough to show, that the true character of the bill was hostility to the Established Church; and several other hon. Members might be quoted all concurring in giving the same view of it. This was held to be its tendency by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, of whom, whatever else might be said of him, it would not be denied, that he was a man who showed extraordinary sagacity in discovering the best means of accomplishing his ends. Even last night he had heard the hon. and learned Member, when speaking on the subject of ejectment of tenants, in one of those audible whispers which he (Sir R. Inglis) believed it was the hon. and learned Member's intention, should be heard throughout the House, speaking of the conduct of certain Irish landlords, in the ejectment of tenants, introduce one word, "Saxons"; and this, he might remark, was a term which he had often heard the hon. and learned Member apply in his speeches, or, perhaps, he should rather say, had often read in his speeches, as applicable to the English. [Mr. O'Connell: I did not say any such thing.] In that case he had been deceived, and he withdrew the statement on the denial of the hon. and learned Member; but the hon. and learned Member would not deny that be often used the term "Saxons" so applied. The hon. and learned Member would not deny, that an hon. Member not then present was sitting near him on the occasion he referred to last night, whom, when in the chair, of a meeting in the south of Ireland, the hon. and learned Member had lately addressed with peculiar unction in the words—"You, at least, are no intruder, you are no Saxon, you are of the ancient race." That the hon. and learned Member was in the habit of holding such language was notorious to the country; and the hon. and learned Member would not deny, that the tendency of this measure was to transfer property and its accompanying influence in the corporate towns into the hands of others than those who now possessed that influence. As he had said, not being a party to any compact whereby the other two other measures were given for this, he was not prepared to assent to the second reading of the bill, The present proposal was one for destroying the supports of Protestantism in Ireland. He talked not of the date of the corporation of Dublin or of the decided stand which that corporation made; but when he recollected what the corporation of Dublin and other corporations had done, he for one would not lend his hand to the destruction of any one of them. Not believing this measure to be necessary, and seeing the evils in itself and in its consequences, no consideration of personal respect and regard towards those with whom he usually acted should induce him to desert what he felt to be his duty. It was that feeling, and on that feeling of a deep sense of duty, that he hoped at least the second reading of this bill would be deferred to that day six months.

Mr. Blackstone

begged to assure the noble Lord and the hon. Gentleman, that the course he had pursued on that day se'nnight, in reference to this bill, introduced at a very late hour, twelve o'clock, had not been done with any factious motives. But he had never had an opportunity of giving a vote against this bill, and therefore wished that the bill should be discussed at an early stage, that he might have an opportunity of giving his vote distinctly against it. He denied that he was a party to any compromise on this question. He must confess, that if the noble Lord had introduced the bill sent down from the House of Lords last year, it might have been an object to him to have given his assent to the bill; but not only had a bill been introduced with a lower franchise, but it was stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the franchise sent down from the Lords would be an insult to the people of Ireland. He was one who looked on the measure of sending the noble Viceroy recently appointed to that country with dismay; and before he voted for this measure, he should wish to know what his intentions and motives were. He mentioned this solely with the impression that the church was exposed to considerable danger. He would not vote for a measure which he was of opinion was fraught with danger to the Protestant interests. But the noble Member for North Lancashire had stated, that he considered he was bound in honour to enter into this measure, He could assure the House, that he, for one, never entered into any such contract. He confessed, that he did not see that they had any valuable return for what had been given. What had they got for the appropriation clause? Had that clause ever passed by a majority of more than thirty, very often down nearly to twenty? And since the election had the noble Lord ever ventured to introduce the appropriation clause into the House? Because he knew that there had been a great change in the feeling of the public. The appropriation clause could never have been passed by that House. Was he to be told that they were to sacrifice the Protestant institutions, because they gave the Poor-law Bill? He could assure the House, that the Protestant landlords did not take the Poor-law Bill as any boon. It might be a very good criterion to fix the qualifications by, but he held it perfectly valueless as a boon to the Protestant institutions. He was one of those who saw very little analogy between corporations in England and Ireland. He held that the corporations in England were elected for a very different purpose. The English corporations had been given rather with a view of supporting the party in power. The corporations had been tyrannically wrested from the people in the time of Charles II., and he called it a restoration to give them back to the people. But there was no analogy to this with the Irish corporations; they had never been given but for Protestant purposes and for Protestant support. If this bill were granted, it would transfer the power of these corporations from the Protestants to the Roman Catholics. He would ask hon. Members whether they conceived, if a 10l. franchise were granted, it would prevent the transfer of the power of the corporations to the Roman Catholics? If that very transfer would be made of the power in corporations from the Protestant to the Roman Catholic, he asked them why they should not oppose the second reading, and give their decided objection to this measure? Let them fight the battle nobly, even if they must be beaten—but let them not give up the Protestant institutions they were bound to respect for the sake of political expediency. He did oppose any further grant to Ireland against the Church, for no sooner would this question be settled, than a question for the subversion of the Church Establishment would be propounded to them. He was one for making a stand against any further encroachments on the Protestant religion; he felt that he was doing his duty towards his country in so acting, and therefore he cordially seconded the motion of the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Shaw

hoped the House would allow him to state, in a few words, his feelings with regard to the measure then before them, and the course which he meant to take respecting it. His individual opinion on the general question of Irish corporations had been from the first, and remained unaltered, that it would be, under the existing circumstances of Ireland, more conducive to the general advantage of the community, and the good management of the cities and towns in that country, that the existing corporations should be simply abolished. With respect to the present bill, he had many objections to its details; he would, in Committee, endeavour to amend it—and if it appeared in its present form, or not very materially altered on the third reading, he should vote against it. But he felt bound, by personal honour and good faith, to give an opportunity to the Government of submitting a bill based on the principle of popular election, for the consideration and amendment of a committee. For two years he and the party with whom he had the honour to act had used their utmost efforts to carry a measure for the abolition of corporations; but from the construction of the great political parties into which the House was divided, and the dissent of many of their own party from that proposition, it became impossible to maintain it. In the end, then, of the Session of 1837, the Duke of Wellington announced, that if the appropriation clause was abandoned, and a standard of value for the franchise provided by the Poor-law Bill—that he would consent to the passing of a corporation bill, on the principle of the present. Considering the source from whence that declaration proceeded—the known influence the illustrious Duke possessed, and the entire confidence reposed in him by the great party of which he was the head, seeing moreover that the conditions he had required had been granted, he thought, that the party were under an undoubted obligation to perform their portion of the contract. It was a subject on which he (Mr. Shaw) could not take a neutral part. He had, therefore, during the last Session been a party, a reluctant one it was true—but, nevertheless a party to the proceedings taken on that ground; and be could not with consistency or honour now recede from them. He had already incurred some odium on that account, and his vote that night would pro- bably draw down more upon him. The corporation of Dublin, by the hands of their Lord Mayor, had, in the course of the evening, presented a petition against the bill. He was officially connected with, he was bound by various ties to, that ancient body, and very sorry to differ from them; but all these considerations could not weigh with him when put in comparison with personal honour and good faith; to these all other motives must give place. He meant to cast no imputation upon others; his hon. Friends who might oppose the second reading of the bill, were, he was persuaded, as sensitively alive to their honour and character as it was possible for him to be to his; they were in general also differently circumstanced from him. He regretted, that a division should for the first time since the commencement of their discussions be taken on the stage of the second reading of the bill; but as it was—under the circumstances, and constrained by the obligations of personal honour and good faith to which he had adverted—he had no option left but to vote against the amendment.

Mr. H. Grattan

rose to set himself right with respect to the bill before the House. They would allow him to observe, that this opposition was all idle on the part of the hon. Member; the question had been decided over and over again; it had been decided in that House and in another place. Now, he would suggest to the kind and ardent disposition of the hon. Baronet opposite, whether it were wise or politic to exasperate the public mind by entering on this fruitless course. The hon. Baronet considered this as a battle against the Church, and had introduced the word "Saxon." The people of Ireland had no battle against the Church, but if the Church or the Saxons battled against them, they must battle against the Saxons and the Church. ["Hear, hear!"] He would answer the "Hear, hear." The battle had been commenced in a place near that House. They had heard the most virulent abuse of his own country, of his own countrymen, and of the religion of the majority. He might say "terrorum et fraudis abunde est." He admitted, that there might be questions on both sides; but if the people of this country and those who opposed the measure embittered their opposition with religious animosity, there would be war interminable. He might say, that Ireland was becoming Catholic. They were making it so. It would not satisfy them (the people of England) to make it Protestant, but they must make it Orange, and drive out the Catholics. The people of Ireland had answered them in plain intelligible language—"You are settlers, and if you make war with us, we will drive you out and your race." That was plain speaking, and they might depend upon it, as sure as he was of his own existence, if they persevered in the course they were adopting, they would not only make Ireland Catholic, but they would make her, what he hoped she would never be, anti-English. If the hon. Member read Irish history, he would find, that many of the towns had Corporations, not bestowed, as had been stated, for Protestant purposes. Such were Galway, Waterford, and Wexford. The charter of the corporation of the city of Dublin was given to it by Henry 2nd, not by English Protestants, but by English Catholics. They talked of this act as if it were an anti-Christian act, and not a Protestant one. That was an error. When Lord Donoughmore wanted to permit a certain number of the most respectable Roman Catholics to be admitted into the corporation of Dublin in the time of Lord Wellesley, the most violent opposition was made to it by the Protestant corporation; and the Roman Catholics would certainly oppose the admission of Protestants into the corporations, unless on both sides they downed their arms and put aside opposition. Such would be the state of the case. He might make an angry speech at what had been said, and if hon. Members chose, he should do it. He was sure, that any individual who had heard what had passed in another place would be so disposed. He thought, that the measure which had been passed in another place was unjust to the people of Ireland. He thought it was wrong to give to the minority that which ought to belong to the majority, whose right it was by nature and by providence. In conclusion, the hon. Member said, that on a former occasion a statement of his had been denied in the most unqualified manner by the hon. Member for Coleraine. His statement was, that the corporation of Dublin had been decreed to repay the citizens of Dublin 75,000l., of which they had robbed them—and to this hour they continued to evade the decree of the House of Lords. Since the last debate he had written to Dublin to ascertain how the facts really stood, and he now held in his hand a letter from Mr. Peter Brophy, sustaining in every particular his statements. He thought it, therefore, unwise in the hon. Member for Coleraine to contradict that which now turned out to be perfectly true.

Mr. D'Israeli

said, that he would trespass on the attention of the House for only a very short time. In the outset of his remarks, he begged to disclaim those feelings of religious bigotry and factious spirit which had been imputed to hon. Members at his side of the House for the part they had taken on this subject on a former evening. He was not influenced by any such feeling. Whether the people of Ireland were idolaters or iconoclasts, were circumstances on which he should not dwell in considering any measure relating to the welfare of that country. He had always thought that the question with respect to Ireland was, what was the character of its Government, whether it should be local or central. In England, where society was strong, they tolerated a weak Government; but in Ireland, where society was weak, the policy should be to have the Government strong. Had that policy been acted upon? It was a much-mooted dogma of the present day—for which he believed they had to thank the hon. and learned Member for Dublin—that the people of the two countries should have equal rights. The object which that hon. and learned Gentleman sought was, that the people of Ireland should enjoy the fullest share of civil and religious rights and privileges. ["Hear, hear, from Mr. O'Connell.] He hailed that cheer, for on it he would build his argument. The constitution of the country embraced Church and State. Would the hon. and learned Gentleman accept the whole, or would he reject one moiety—the Church? No doubt the hon. and learned Gentleman would not accept that moiety. He would call it a foreign innovation which he would oppose. If the hon. and learned Member sought for identity of institutions, he must accept the constitution in Church as well as in State. If he did not, what then became of his call for identity of institutions? The learned Gentleman was a great political casuist; he was eminently skilled in construing the meaning of an Act of Parliament and interpreting the obligation of an oath. He would, therefore, wish him to accept of the dilemma which he now offered to him. The Government of Ireland—he spoke not of that of the resent day in particular—had always acted on the central principle, on the principle opposed to that of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. It acted on the principle that there should be different institutions for the two countries. How else could the noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department defend the system of an armed police through Ireland—how else could he justify the extensive employment of stipendiary magistrates through that country—so different from the system in this kingdom? The only system on which any reliance seemed to be placed with respect to Ireland was that of centralized Government? What had been the result of any attempt to act on any other principle? What had been the principle of the Irish Government for the last forty years; he cared not whether the Government was Whig or Tory, Conservative or Destructive, Orange or Green? What was that system? It was one which was not known to classic history, not to be found in the annals of feudal christendom. In looking to those periods they might find secret treason, or bold and blustering sedition, but they could not find agitation. They could not discover that refined product of modern invention, by which a man might violate the law by means of the law. That discovery was reserved for modern times, and was now carried out to its full extent; and while it existed he did not think that such a measure as this should be passed for Ireland. For this reason he would oppose the second reading of this Bill. He would not do anything to check the ambition of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. They had the Cabinet of the Sovereign, and the two Houses of the Legislature open to them, and under these circumstances he thought they should let their country be still for a time. The more they sought power the more they should try to secure order and peace as the basis of national greatness. With these feelings he should feel it his duty to oppose the second reading of this Bill.

Mr. Litton

said, that on the night alluded to by the hon. Member for Meath, (Mr. Grattan), that hon. Member had made a statement highly injurious to the Corporation of Dublin. It was to the effect that while they were indebted upwards of 70,000l. to the citizens of Dublin, they were, in place of paying their just debts, distributing the revenues of the Corporation amongst themselves. He warned the hon. Member for Meath not to make such an averment against the body, or against any of the individuals composing it; and he would now re-assert, that the hon. Member made the statement without one tittle of foundation for it. When he arrived in Dublin, shortly after the discussion alluded to, he sent for the solicitors of the Corporation, and they convinced him that his (Mr. Litton's) statement was fully borne out by the facts. There was five years ago a decree of the Court of Chancery obtained against the Corporation for 75,000l., which it may be said, in one sense, was money they had misapplied. The Corporation defended the suit on the ground that they had a perfect right to act as they had done. The House of Lords, however, held a contrary opinion. Now, 69,000l. of the sum decreed against the Corporation had been paid in cash, and six thousand had been raised on the property of the Corporation. In order to raise that 69,000l. the corporation issued debentures, and a second information was filed against them by Mr. Brophy. The decree was to the effect that the Corporation must redeem the debentures and cancel them, but at the same time it was declared they had a right to raise the money on their surplus funds, just as much right in fact as he (Mr. Litton) had to mortgage his estates. He had in his possession the certificate of the Master in Chancery, which stated that the debentures had been brought into his office and cancelled. Now with respect to the question more immediately before the House, he regretted that he felt obliged to vote on this occasion in a different manner from those under whose political banners he had been proud to enlist himself, and with whom he generally agreed, but upon this subject he had not considered himself bound by any compact. He was not in Parliament when any such compact had been entered into. Although he was present when the Bill was last before the House he did not call for a division on the second reading—but he contended that the idea of being bound by any contract because he did not divide, never for a moment entered his mind. But suppose he had entered into such a contract, he would ask, as a man of honour, whether such a contract could be binding, when the Government had failed to perform their part of it? It had been said that the Tithe Bill was understood to have been a condition on which this measure should be conceded; but even that Bill the Ministers had done all they could to render as bad as possible; for although the appropriation clause had been abandoned, yet that had not been done in aid of the Church, but because the government could not carry it, and it was by a small majority only that that protection for the Church had been obtained. Ministers, he asserted, had not kept faith with respect to that Bill. On the contrary, they did all in their power to diminish the revenues of the clergy. Now, as to the Corporation Bill, the Ministers brought in a Bill with a most objectionable qualification. This was opposed by the conservatives, who proposed one of a higher standard, and thought Ministers should have met them halfway; but Ministers did not think fit to do so. On the contrary, the franchise they proposed would have the effect of swamping the respectable inhabitants, and must necessarily transfer all corporate power to men who, from education and character, were unfitted for such purposes. When that Bill was carried, with certain modifications, in the House of Lords, and sent back here, was it the conservatives who rejected it? No; it was rejected by Ministers. It had been said that the conservatives had broken their compact, because they opposed the second reading of the Bill, which contained altogether a different qualification from that introduced last Session. He agreed that there ought to be a reform in the Irish corporations. The present measure, however, was not a Bill containing the proper principles of reform, and therefore, he felt himself at liberty to oppose the second reading.

Sir R. Peel

said, that the prominent part, that he had taken in the preceding discussion on the question of the municipal corporations, made him very unwilling to give a silent vote upon the subject now. The question he had to decide to night was, whether by his vote he should imply, that he was ready to reconstruct the Irish municipal corporations upon the principle of popular election, or whether he should propose to depart from the course which was pursued in the last and preceding Sessions, and withhold his assent from the re-constitution of the Irish corporations on the elective principle. He would shortly refer to the history of the discussions on this question. In 1834 they had reformed the corporations of England, They destroyed the self-elective principle, and introduced in lieu of it the principle of popular election. In 1836, having a report on the Irish corporations, they had to determine whether they would apply the same principles to the Irish corporations; and if so, what course they should pursue. Was it possible to maintain in Ireland the self-elective principle after they had destroyed it in England? was it possible, after having removed the civil disabilities under which the Roman Catholics laboured, and after finding, that those Roman Catholics were not practically admitted into the municipal corporations of Ireland, to maintain this principle, that all corporations should remain precisely on the basis on which they were before, namely, that the existing corporators should be allowed to fill up vacancies by election, when these vacancies continued, generally speaking, to be filled by the persons of Protestants? They found, that course to be impossible. They did propose, after consideration, a plan which would have introduced a diversity of institution between England and Ireland, but which would have maintained civil equality in Ireland. That course, in his opinion under the circumstances of Ireland, would have been the wisest course. That was his opinion. When it was proposed to consider what provision could be made for local government in Ireland, it was found, in fact, that the chief corporation—the corporation of Dublin—had, in consequence of the establishment of other constitutions of local government, really few functions to perform connected with such government. Considering, then, that these were the circumstances of Ireland, a bill might have been introduced which entitled every town to provide for the purposes of local government, without municipal corporations. The wisest course to pursue in the convulsed state of the country by political and religious parties, would have been, in his opinion, to abolish corporations altogether, and to provide otherwise for the management of local affairs. He felt, therefore, when the Government proposed their Corporation Bill in 1836, that it was the wisest course to assent to the second reading of that bill. He must remark, they never yet had offered any opposition to the second reading of a municipal bill for Ireland—they had never maintained the principle, that the Irish corporations should remain intact on their own basis. When they refused their assent to the principle of remodelling the Irish corporations, they admitted, he might say generally, if not universally, the necessity of reform, and they did not contest the principle involved in the bill. They took no division upon it. In 1836 and 1837 they maintained the principle that the Irish corporations should be abolished. But it was impossible to disguise from themselves now this fact—that their minorities on this, comparatively with other questions, were small. On the first occasion the majority against them was not less than eighty. On the second occasion it was about the same. It was necessary, then, to determine what practical course to pursue. He wished it was in his power to take the course which some of his hon. Friends might take, namely, to act with what was called exactly consistent principles, and give their individual votes against any change whatever. That certainly was a course exceedingly convenient, and exceedingly acceptable to those who could follow it. But those who were honoured—and he felt it the greatest honour, that could be conferred upon him in public life, infinitely greater than the most distinguished rank or office—those who were honoured with the confidence of the leading gentlemen of England, in the most powerful party, that ever yet acted in opposition to a government, could not take that convenient course. In proportion to the importance of that powerful party, and to the greatness of the influence which the confidence of that party gave, was the obligation to consider comprehensively the whole state of the country, and the difficulties which environed the settlement of a question that called for their decision. However desirable it might be to adhere systematically to an opinion, to express no sentiments at variance with those formerly entertained, and however convenient it might be for individuals to think, that they had always pursued the same course, it was impossible for a great party to risk the loss of public confidence by refusing any modification of their opinion which difficulties in public affairs might render advisable. Upon this subject they found a difference between the two Houses of Parliament, a difference which promised to be eternal if neither receded in the slightest degree from its opinions. He and those who acted with him, therefore, determined to consider, under the existing difficulties, and upon the whole, what was the wisest course for the great interest which they wished to protect—he meant the interest of the Protestant Establishment in Ireland; whether it were better, that the two Houses should remain in eternal conflict on the subject, or whether they should apply their minds to an amicable arrangement. But he must be allowed to say, for his own justification, if any justification were necessary, and without calling in question the motives by which his hon. Friends were determined in their differences on this question that these differences should not, in the slightest degree, affect their cordial and united advocacy and support of the great principles in which they concurred. Differences there were; but if, from these differences, the Gentlemen opposite hoped to see any permanent dissension in the party, they would be miserably disappointed. He gave his unhesitating and most cordial support to the second reading of the present bill. He would try to effect a settlement on safe principles, but those would be disappointed who expected that differences on this subject among his hon. Friends behind him would sow the seeds of permanent dissension for the advantage of their enemies. Sensible as he was of the caution which ought to be used by one in his situation, and knowing the difficulties which presented themselves in 1837, he had given no new pledge, entered into no new engagements; this his hon. Friends must do him the justice to admit—without consulting every man willing to express a difference of opinion, and without feeling himself fortified, he would not say by the universal assent of the party, but by such a general assent as he could hardly have calculated upon, and which was a perfect warrant for the declarations of 1837. What was the declaration by which, without calling in question the motives of other men, he, as the representative of a great party, felt himself bound in full faith to abide? It was this: They thought the Irish Poor-law Bill and the Irish Tithe Bill were inseparably connected with the question of municipal reform. Their opponents denied it. They said there was no such connection. He and those who acted with him, said this—"Give us an Irish Poor-law Bill, with the test of value which that Bill will furnish—give us an Irish Tithe Bill to our satisfaction, and then we will frankly consider the policy of remoddelling the Irish corporations." As his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) had said, they had got both. Now, upon this subject, he must deny any idea of a contract. There was no secret understanding. He was as free as air as to any private understanding in which the ministry was concerned. It had been, and should be, his uniform care in public life to avoid all private understandings and agreements with those to whom in public he was decidedly opposed. Nothing involving an obligation in any way to her Majesty's Ministers had ever passed his lips on the subject. His course had been taken in the face of Parliament and the people, and that course was not to refuse his assent to remodelling corporations on the principle of popular election. What did they require? They required the passing of an Irish Tithe Bill on their own principles; in other words, with the exclusion of the appropriation clause. They gained it. Circumstances must be strong, indeed, which, after they had got the Irish Tithe Bill, and declared they were free to consider a Corporation Bill, should induce them to withhold, not from the Ministry, but from the people interested in this question, the equivalent which they had been ready to pay on the equivalent being granted. His noble Friend (Lord Stanley), in his short, but very able speech, which had, indeed, exhausted the subject, stated, that they had professed no confidence in the Government at the time that declaration was made. At the time that declaration was made, they found the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Pigot) belonging to an association which was admitted to be injurious, selected for an important office. They found Lord Normanby at the head of affairs, and they made no reservation that when his functions should cease, that the Government should appoint a Lord-lieutenant acceptable to their opponents. They made no such reservation. Lord Ebrington was appointed to the office. He could not say, that that appointment entitled him to depart from an engagement made, or having got an Irish Poor-law Bill, and an Irish Tithe Bill, to refuse his assent to the principle of Irish corporations. He did not think the appointment, however strongly he might disapprove of it, a justification of a refusal of corpora- tions. It would be hypocrisy to say, that he thought that a fit appointment. He had heard the speech delivered by the noble Lord (Ebrington) in that House, and he had heard his subsequent explanations. He admitted all the private virtues that were claimed for him. He had no doubt, from his declaration, that he had the intention to administer the law impartially. But he still must regret that any man should be selected for the administration of the law who had told them, that it was his hope that the war against the Irish Church Establishment should be transferred from the poor to the rich. Giving him all credit for private virtues—giving him all credit for good intentions in his administration—he firmly believed that his hands would be paralyzed by the proclamation he had made of his hope that the war against the Established Church should become more formidable. It was not uttered as a prediction; it was not a warning. It was not as if the noble Lord had said, "If you pass this bill, I warn you, it will not insure a settlement of the Church in Ireland. I predict that the hostility will still continue, but that it will be transferred from the poor to the rich." The words were—they were not denied—nothing like a prediction of consequence, but these—"My hope is, that the war will become more formidable." How could he hope, that the power of the law against tithe agitation, against the refusal of the rights of the clergy, would be rigorously enforced, whatever the intention of the noble administrator might be, when that individual had declared his hope to see this formidable hostility continued. He called on them to recollect with what scrutinizing acuteness they watched the appointments he made. From every act of his they had inferred hostility to a certain party in Ireland. When his right hon. Friend, the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Lefroy), and his right hon. Friend, the Recorder, were made privy councillors, did they not fasten on the circumstance? Did they not infer hostility from the Roman Catholics, because the nominal office of privy councillor was given to men not holding violent, but strong opinions. Did they not look at the toasts given at a public meeting as a qualification for dismissing men from places of authority? Did they not vindicate such an act on the ground that men could not act impartially after the expression of strong opinions? Did they not attach weight to sentiments so delivered at such public meetings, on the principle that even conviviality was no excuse? After he had selected for the chief administration of affairs in Ireland, his noble Friend, Lord Haddington, and his right hon. Friend who sat near him (Sir H. Hardinge), for the purpose of having individuals who had voted for the emancipation of the Roman Catholics, did they not do all in their power to prejudice the appointments; and because an Orange flag was exhibited over the head of the Lord-lieutenant without his knowledge, and against his desire, accuse him of the most violent partizanship? Was it not inferred, that he was unfit for the office, because this exhibition was calculated to offend the feelings of one class of the people, though he disapproved of the exhibition, and of the presence of party insignia, but was, in that instance, unable to prevent it? Was it not inferred, that he acted with an intention to insult and offend, and therefore was unfit to remain in the administration? Was that impartial justice? After all the Church had gone through, after all the trials to which she had been exposed, after having submitted last Session in a final settlement to the deduction of nearly one-third from her income, was it quite fair—using the test which had been applied to his own administration—was it fair to the minority, or the Protestant population, interested in maintaining the Church with the reduced establishment to which all parties admitted she had a right—was it impartial justice to select for the chief administration of affairs him who declared—not that he prophesied the continuance of agitation—not that the contest of which he, with a prudent sagacity foresaw the consequences would go on, but who publicly declared his hope that the war would continue, and grow more formidable, by being transferred from the poor to the rich; and who founded his support of the bill less on the necessity for a compromise than on the expectation and hope that it would defeat the purposes for which it was enacted. It was their own principle, that the declaration of strong opinions in a country where heated feelings prevailed, was a disqualification for high office; and let them not suppose, that he (Sir R. Peel) could look upon the appointment of Lord Fortescue with satisfaction, or contemplate it without apprehension. He did not. But he had no confidence in the Government before. He had made no reservation on former occasions as to the appointment of a Lord-lieutenant free from objection, and he did not think that, on the ground of Lord Fortescue's appointment, he was entitled to object to or throw any impediment in the way of the attempt to reconstitute the Irish corporations. His engagement had been made, an engagement, he must repeat, he did not make individually, but in every step of the proceeding he conferred with every man who would do him the honour of conferring with him. Nor did he find, at any of those meetings, any one refusing to assent to, or declining to adopt the course that was taken. If there were any who said, that the altered circumstances of the times afforded a sufficient justification, he quarrelled not with their motives, but not considering himself that there was such a justification, he would not in the slightest degree depart this Session from the course pursued in the last. At the same time, he did not deny that it would be most painful to him, if he had given any pledge in the last Session which, although obligatory on him to perform, he now felt to be inconsistent with public policy. This would be painful, but he should still have no doubt that it was the best policy scrupulously to adhere to the obligations of good faith. But he had no doubt upon the matter. It would greatly diminish his satisfaction in maintaining his faith inviolate, if he thought the course he was pursuing contrary to sound policy. But he did not think so. In the present position of the Irish municipal corporations, and after the course which he and others he acted with pursued, he could see no course preferable to forming corporations on principles which they thought safe—principles which they thought calculated to ensure a due influence in these corporations for the Protestant inhabitants. He saw no course but that, and he thought that those who now disapproved of it were bound to tell what they would propose. What would they do in the present state of Irish politics? How would they meet the practical difficulties? Would they propose the extinction of corporations? That course had been condemned repeatedly by large majorities. Would they retain the corporations on their present footing? He thought the question ought to be met and answered. An individual might shrink from it, but a great party, exercising great influence in the country, could not shrink from giving an answer. For his own part, he thought, that no position could be worse than passing it by and shrinking away from that House. What, then, would they do, with Irish corporations? The revenues of those bodies had been taken away. Parliament had done that. Could they repeal the bill, and prevent the alienation of corporate revenues? Were they strong enough to repeal it, and restore the corporations their property? If they could not, how impaired in power would the corporations be without their property? Were they sure that the most respectable inhabitants of cities and towns would take office under such arrangements? Would it not appear, that they had destroyed the efficiency and vitality of the corporations by this course? Should they, then, attempt to annihilate them again, what was the prospect of success? He saw no solution of the difficulty, but in reverting to the first course, and attempting in another form to maintain the principles for which they had contended. It might be said, that agitation would continue. But upon this subject he had been struck by something that had fallen in the course of last night's debate. An hon. Friend, in the course of his speech observed, that the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was completely mistaken if he fancied, that he included the whole Catholic population of Ireland. His hon. and learned Friend observed, that so far from having a million of Precursors the hon. and learned Member admitted, that he had not one-twentieth part of the number. His hon. and learned Friend had also observed, that the whole province of Connaught had subscribed only 55l. to the Precursor's Society. Now might not this unwillingness to join the agitating society, in a great measure, arise from the hope, that they would redeem their pledge and give the establishment of corporations in Ireland? Might not the hon. and learned Member for Dublin have failed on account of the expectation that the declaration which had been made would be fulfilled. But supposing that they should refuse the measure to which they formerly assented, and be guilty of a violation of good faith in refusing the price which they had been willing to pay for those that were passed, was it not possible that the agitation which his hon. and learned Friend admitted to be unsuccessful might revive with redoubled force, so that the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite should find no difficulty in raising larger funds for the Precursors than 55l. from the whole province of Connaught? On these considerations and mainly on account of the engagement entered into, as also from a belief, that there was less difficulty attending the attempt at a settlement, than the endeavour to continue them on their present basis, and present alienation, his vote should be given decidedly in favour of the second reading of the bill.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

would detain the House for a very short time. An hon. Friend near him had expressed a hope, that the hon. Baronet opposite would not press his motion. Now, he confessed, he should rather be glad if the motion were pressed to a division; for the result would show, the correctness of the statements in which the organs of the party opposite indulged, and the admirable union and harmony which prevailed in their ranks. He should like them to show not only how well they agreed among themselves, but, to use an Irish expression, how well they agreed with themselves. The hon. Member for Maid stone had favoured them with a disquisition on centralized government, which he thought the great remedy for the evils of Ireland. Now it was somewhat strange, that one of the measures, which was peculiarly honoured with the approbation of the hon. Gentleman opposite, was one formed on the very opposite principle to that of centralisation—he meant the Irish Poor Law Bill. Instead of abolishing corporations upon the hon. Member's system, they ought in consistency to apply the principle of local management adopted in the poor-law to the municipal government of the cities and towns. He might remark, that amongst the hon. Gentlemen who were opposite there could not be found one, whatever might be his opinions, or however strong the feelings he entertained, who could declare his disposition to speak in terms of praise of the existing corporations. Sentence had been passed upon them by the right hon. and learned Recorder of Dublin, and no one pleaded for a mitigation of punishment. All appeared to have abandoned them, and not one, save the hon. and learned Member for Coleraine, could put in a plea in justification of them. How, then, he asked, could these Gentlemen who declared their willingness to give up the corporations, and who had agreed to abandon them—with what consistency, he asked, and with what view to a practical result, could they now oppose the second reading of this bill. Was there, he asked those Gentlemen, a chance of their succeeding in their opposition, or did they suppose, that everything they could do, could aid in having the corporations left in their present state. Then, as to the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down, and who had given his reasons for the vote he intended to record that night—that right hon. Gentleman had boasted of his having the honour to be the head of a party—to be in fact the head of the gentry of England. Did the right hon. Gentleman recollect, that there happened to be gentry in Ireland also. And of those gentlemen there was not one, with the exception of the hon. and learned Member for Coleraine, who had declared his opposition to the measure now proposed to the House. With that exception had there been any one other Member from Ireland who expressed his concurrence in the views of the hon. and learned Member for Coleraine. Oh the hon. Member also concurred in these views—he forgot—the hon. Member was indeed an exception. The hon. Member for Maid stone said, that he was not disposed to take this discussion contemporaneously with the debate of last night; and yet even that hon. Member's own observations manifested his willingness to do that to which he himself had declared himself disinclined, for a great deal of his speech turned upon the unfortunate state of society in Ireland. The hon. Baronet, too, was disposed to adhere to the same course, for he also touched upon the subject of appointments made in Ireland, which had been made the great subject for debate on the preceding night. One hon. Gentleman had dwelt upon the mischiefs of agitation, and the formidable appearance which it had assumed. Now, he asked the hon. Gentleman—who had they to thank for agitation? Those hon. Gentlemen had to thank themselves for agitation, for they had resisted constantly and pertinaciously resisted, the just claims of the Irish people to religious equality; they had done so as long as the people confined themselves to appeal to that House, and confided their cause to the advocacy of eloquent men in that House— as long as that, and that alone, was done, these claims were resisted by hon. Gentlemen opposite; and religious liberty was granted, not because it was aided by eloquence; but because it was upheld by agitation, and that it was known, that agitation was organized and prevailed throughout Ireland. They had, then, to thank themselves, for that strong agitation, without which a just measure never would have been conceded.

Mr. Maxwell

said, considering how lately he had come into that House, nothing but a paramount sense of duty could induce him to intrude himself upon it; and he must be a much older Member, and have much more experience, before he could feel justified, under any circumstances, in trespassing at any length on the attention of hon. Members. He would not have risen on the present occasion had not the taunt of the hon. Member for Kerry made it necessary that he should offer a few remarks. It was quite true, as the hon. Member had stated, that no Irish Member on his (Mr. Maxwell's) side of the House, except his hon. Friend, the Member for Coleraine, had as yet expressed his dissent from the course which the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, intended to pursue with reference to the bill before the House. The hon. Member for Kerry had alluded to disunion in the Conservative party. In the few words he had spoken on that day week, he had placed himself before the House the free and unfettered representative of a large independent constituency, unattached to any party, unpledged to any leader. He, therefore, for one, had no party to abandon—no leader to desert. [Cheers.] He knew the import of those cheers—he knew the pleasure with which hon. Gentlemen opposite would hail any dissention among hon. Gentlemen on the bench on which he stood—among those with whom he felt it an honour and a privilege to act. He was the last man needlessly to differ from those around him; he respected the talents of the right hon. Baronet who was acknowledged to be the worthy leader of the Conservative party in that House; and he confidently expected with him, that hon. Gentlemen opposite would be disappointed in their wishes—that the vote which he and others gave that night would lead to permanent disunion among hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House. It was with grief and sorrow he had observed, that many of those who sat with him had bound their consciences by a pledge, it seemed, given to the opposite side of the House. He, too, had given a pledge freely and voluntarily on the hustings of Cavan, that he never would consent to the principle of the bill. He confessed he was bigot enough, in the vocabulary of hon. Gentlemen opposite, not his own,—he was bigot enough never to acquiesce in the transfer of political power from Protestant to Roman Catholic hands. He would oppose the bill, as calculated to effect three evils—giving an impulse to the democratic principle, increasing the malign and pernicious influence of the Roman Catholic priesthood, and depressing the hopes of the persecuted and oppressed Protestants of Ireland

Mr. Sergeant Jackson

thought the House would agree with him, that he was entitled to assign a reason for the vote he was about to give. He had heard the sentiments expressed by the noble Lord and the able and eloquent speech of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, and he did not hesitate to say, that his mind was in the same position as theirs. But, while he felt bound to vote for the second reading of this bill, he should feel it to be his duty to see details introduced into the bill to prevent the evil (which was probably in the mind of the facetious Member who did him the honour to laugh at him) of transferring all power from the hands of Protestants, exclusively to the hands of Catholics. The House would permit him to make one observation on a remark which had fallen from the hon. Gentleman opposite. The hon. Gentleman was mistaken if he supposed, that the course which some hon. Gentlemen felt it their duty to pursue on this question indicated anything like division in the ranks of the numerous and respectable party to which he had the honour to belong. The hon. Gentleman would find, if he indulged is such a hope, that he was utterly mistaken. In the great party to which he belonged there was no division, and it would be found, that they were united as one man in their determination to uphold the Protestant institutions of the country. On the measure before the House there might be some difference of opinion as regarded its details, but they were firmly resolved to resist every inroad upon the constitution, and to prevent the Protestants of Ireland from being oppressed by their determined opponents. He would vote for the second reading of the bill, but although he sanctioned that stage of the measure, he should feel himself bound to insist on a bonâ fide 10l. qualification, tested by rating. He still adhered to the opinion he had formerly expressed, that it would be better to put an end to corporations in Ireland altogether, as there could now be no legitimate occupation for such bodies, and he much feared, that they could be productive of nothing but mischief.

Mr. Ellis

said, that as it was his intention, if a division took place, to vote for the amendment of the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, he wished to claim the indulgence of the House whilst he as briefly as possible explained the grounds upon which he meant to found his vote. But he first of all desired to inform the hon. and learned Member for the city of Dublin who last addressed them from the opposite benches, that if he supposed, that because a difference of opinion existed on the Conservative side of the House, as to whether or not the second reading of the bill ought to be allowed to pass, that therefore there would hereafter be produced a variance of opinion amongst the powerful and united body of the Opposition relative to any of the essential points of Conservatism, he (Mr. M. O'Connell) would, indeed, as the learned Sergeant (Mr. Jackson) had just stated, find his disappointment to be as great and bitter as his expectation was unreasonable. He (Mr. Ellis) had not the good fortune to hear the opening portion of the speech of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, who though he felt himself bound, from the previous declarations he had made, as a public and eminent leader, upon the subject under consideration, to sanction the second reading, would nevertheless be the first, as he felt sure, to respect the independent exercise of individual judgment upon that or any other question. The noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, who spoke early in the debate, said, that he considered himself bound through his pledge as a man of honour and a gentleman to vote for allowing the bill to go into committee, but at the same time the noble Lord distinctly expressed his doubts that the bill, if passed into law, would tend to the peace, order, and good government of the municipal towns of Ireland. He, however, was wholly un- pledged upon the subject, for he had carefully abstained from supporting the third reading of either the Irish Tithe or Poor-Law Bill, believing most firmly, that the first would turn out to be a fruitless concession of a large portion of the revenues of the Irish Church, and that the latter would not work satisfactorily, by reason of its details, for the counties of Ireland. But if there had been any pledge by hon. Members surrounding him, it implied a contract whereby the Government were in the first instance, and previous to the remodelling of corporations in Ireland, to pass a tithe bill to render the Church safe as well as a good Poor law bill. Had the Government kept their part of the contract? True it was, they had expunged the appropriation clause, but he very much questioned whether that would ever have been done if they had not found that after the general election their majority in that House was so small, that it was hopeless for them to expect to carry the principle of appropriation in that Parliament. The Tithe Bill had been no sooner passed than the learned Member for Dublin organized the Precursor Association, its principal object being to abolish tithes in substance, as well as in name. The chief Secretary for Ireland, now a Cabinet Minister of a Government who over and over again asserted during the passing of the Irish Tithe Bill, that it was to be considered as a final compromise of long conflicting opinions, and a measure of peace and conciliation—the chief Secretary immediately afterwards entertained at dinner within the castle of Dublin, the leaders of the Precursor Society. Another noble Lord (the Secretary at War), having declared, that the Irish Church could not long stand, the Secretary for the Home Department, too, having reiterated his former opinion, that the revenues of that Church were more than commensurate with its wants, and, above all, the recent appointment of a Lord-lieutenant whose public speeches against the Established Church in Ireland, were far more hostile than those of any one else—all these things reasonably contributed, in his opinion, to fill with alarm the breasts of the Protestants. The Government themselves, therefore, had not acted with good faith. The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) had put a fair practical question, which he thought was justly entitled to be answered. It was this; what did those who inclined to oppose the second reading propose to do with the existing corporations? He was favourable in the abstract to the principle of creating municipal bodies; but he freely submitted, that that was not the time to undertake the consideration of establishing them, because the Executive had failed in their public capacity, to discountenance the renewed agitation against the most sacred of all the fundamental institutions of the land, which they ought to have done after Parliament had settled the tithe question; but when he saw, that there was a strong Government instead of a weak one, disposed to keep good faith towards them, then he would readily entertain the proposition for constructing anew Irish corporations. But until he witnessed the existence of both an honest and a strong administration, he could not conscientiously consent to take any step calculated to endanger the dearest rights and interests of the Protestant subjects of these kingdoms. The House divided.—Ayes 300; Noes 39: Majority 261.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R. Blunt, Sir C.
Acheson, Visct. Bodkin, J. J.
Acland, Sir T. D. Boldero, H. G.
A'Court, Captain Bolling, W.
Adam, Admiral Bowes, J.
Aglionby, H. A. Bramston, T. W.
Aglionby, Major Bridgeman, H.
Ainsworth, P. Briscoe, J. I.
Alsager, Captain Broadley, H.
Archbold, R. Brocklehurst, J.
Ashley, Lord Brodie, W. B.
Attwood, T. Brotherton, J.
Bailey, J. jun. Browne, R. D.
Baillie, Colonel Brownrigg, S.
Bainbridge, E. T. Bruges, W. H. L.
Baker, E. Bulwer, Sir L.
Bannerman, A. Busfield, W.
Baring, F. T. Butler, hon. Colonel
Baring, H. B. Byng, G.
Baring, hon. W. B. Byng, rt. hon. G. S.
Barnard, E. G. Calcraft, J. H.
Barry, G. S. Callaghan, D.
Beamish, F. B. Campbell, Sir J.
Bellew, R. M. Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.
Bentinck, Lord G. Cavendish, hon. C.
Berkeley, hon. H. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Berkeley, hon. C. Chalmers, P.
Bernal, Ralph Clerk, Sir G.
Bewes, T. Clive, E. B.
Blackett, C. Codrington, Admiral
Blair, J. Collier, J.
Blake, M. J. Colquhoun, J. C.
Blake, W. J. Compton, H. C.
Blennerhassett, A. Conolly, E.
Blewitt, R. J. Corry, hon. H.
Craig, W. G. Hope, G. W.
Crawley, S. Horsman, E.
Crompton, Sir S. Houstoun, G.
Currie, R. Howard, P. H.
Currie, W. Howard, Sir R.
Dalmeny, Lord Howick, Viscount
Davies, Colonel Hughes, W.B.
Dennistoun, J. Hume, J.
De Horsey, S. H. Humphery, J.
Donkin, Sir R. S. Hurt, F.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Hutt, W.
Duckworth, S. Hutton, R.
Duff, J. Jackson, Mr. Serjt.
Duke, Sir J. James, Sir W. C.
Dundas, C. W. D. Jervis, S.
Du Pre, G. Johnstone, H.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Jones, Captain
Ellice, Capt. A. Kemble, H.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Ellice, E. Knox, hon. T.
Estcourt, T. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Evans, G. Langdale, hon. C.
Evans, W. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Feilden, W. Law, hon. C. E.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Lefevre, C. S.
Finch, Francis Lefroy, rt. hon. T.
Fitzalan, Lord Lennox, Lord A.
Fitzgibbon, hon. Col. Leveson, Lord
Fitzsimon, N. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Fleetwood, Sir P. H. Lister, E. C.
Fort, J. Lushington, C.
Fremantle, Sir T. Lushington, right hon. S.
French, F.
Gibson, T. M. Lygon, hon. General
Gladstone, W. E. Lynch, A. H.
Gordon, R. Mackenzie, T.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Mackinnon, W. A.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Macleod, R.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Macnamara, Major
Grant, F. W. M'Taggart, J.
Grattan, H. Maher, J.
Grey, Sir G. Maidstone, Viscount
Grimsditch, T. Marshall, W.
Grimston, Viscount Marsland, H.
Grimston, hon. E. H. Marsland, T.
Hall, Sir B. Martin, J.
Harcourt, G. S. Marton, G.
Hardinge, right hon. Sir H. Master, T. W. C.
Maule, hon. Fox
Hawkins, J. H. Melgund, Viscount
Hayter, W. G. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Heathcoate, J. Miles, W.
Hector, C. J. Miles, P. W. S.
Henniker, Lord Moreton, hon. A. H.
Herbert, hon. S. Morpeth, Viscount
Heron, Sir R. Morris, D.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Murray, rt. hon. J. A.
Hindley, C. Muskett, G. A.
Hobhouse, right hon. Sir J. Nagle, Sir R.
Noel, W. M.
Hobhouse, T. B. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Hodges, T. L. O'Brien, C.
Hodgson, R. O'Brien, W. S.
Hogg, J. W. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Holmes, hn. W. A. C. O'Connell, M. J.
Holmes, W. O'Connell, M.
Hope, hon. C. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Ord, W. Stanley, Lord
Paget, F. Stanley, M.
Pakington, J. S. Stansfield, W. R.
Palmer, C. F. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Palmerston, Lord Stuart, Lord J.
Parker, J. Stuart, V.
Parker, R. T. Stock, Dr.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Strickland, Sir G.
Patten, J. W. Strutt, E.
Pattison, J. Sturt, H. C.
Pechell, Captain Style, Sir C.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Surrey, Earl of
Pendarves, E. W. W. Tancred, H. W.
Perceval, Colonel Teignmouth, Lord
Philips, G. R. Tennent, J. E.
Phillpotts, J. Thomson, rt. hn. C.P.
Pigot, D. R. Thornely, T.
Power, J. Townley, R. G.
Price, Sir R. Trench, Sir F.
Price, R. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Protheroe, E. Turner, E.
Pusey, P. Vere, Sir C. B.
Redington, T. N. Vigors, N. A.
Rice, rt. hon. T. S. Vivian, J. H.
Rich, H. Waddington, H. S.
Richards, R. Wakley, T.
Roche, E. B. Walker, R.
Roche, W. Wall, C. B.
Roche, Sir D. Wallace, R.
Rolfe, Sir R. M. Warburton, H.
Rolleston, L. Westenra, hon. H. R
Round, J. White, A.
Rundle, J. White, H.
Rushbrooke, Colonel Whitmore, T.
Russell, Lord J. Wilbraham, G.
Russell, Lord Wilde, Mr. Sergeant
Salwey, Colonel Williams, W.
Sanford, E. A. Williams, W. A.
Scarlett, hon. J. Y. Wilshere, W.
Scholefield, J. Winnington, T. E.
Scrope, G. P. Winnington, H. J.
Seymour, Lord Wodehouse, E.
Sharpe, General Wood, C.
Shaw, right hon. F. Wood, Sir M.
Sheil, R. L. Wood, G. W.
Shirley, E. J. Worsley, Lord
Smith, J. A. Wyse, T.
Smith, R. V. Yates, J. A.
Smyth, Sir G. H. TELLERS.
Standish, C. Stanley, E. J.
Stanley, E. Steuart, R.
List of the NOES.
Adare, Viscount Fector, J. M.
Archdall, M. Gore, O. J. R.
Bagge, W. Heathcote, Sir W.
Bateson, Sir R. Hillsborough, Earl of
Broadwood, H. Hodgson, F.
Bruce, Lord E. Jones, J.
Cole, hon. A. H. Kelly, F.
Cole, Viscount Kirk, P.
Dick, Q. Litton, E.
D'Israeli, B. Mackenzie, W. F.
Duncombe, hon. W. Maxwell, hon. S. R.
Duncombe, hon. A. O'Neill, hon. J. B. R.
Ellis, J. Parker, T. A. W.
Farnham, E. B. Pigot, R.
Plumptre, J. P. Tyrrell, Sir J. T.
Polhill, F. Verner, Colonel
Pringle, A. Williams, R.
Rushout, G. Wood, T.
Sibthorpe, Colonel
Sinclair, Sir G. TELLERS.
Thomas, Colonel H. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Tollemache, F. J. Blackstone, Mr.
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