HC Deb 30 August 1841 vol 59 cc475-6
Sir Valentine Blake

rose to present a petition upon the subject of the bill to abolish the oath of supremacy, for the. introduction of which he intended to ask leave of the House that evening. The petition was from a Member of that House, and it prayed that all Members of Parliament be relieved from the ' necessity of taking the oath of supremacy, in the same way that Roman Catholics were relieved. The petition denied the correctness of that part of the oath which stated, that no foreign prince, potentate, or prelate, had any spiritual or religious jurisdiction, or authority, within these realms, when it was notorious that the Pope had jurisdiction over the whole of the Roman Catholic clergy and bishops, independent of which he possessed an authority to interfere with the constitution of this House, because he possessed the power of ordination; and by the 9th section of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, any hon. Member of this House, accepting that ordination, his seat became thereby vacant, precisely in the same way as if he had accepted office under the Crown; and then again, his Holiness possesses a power of ordination with the Protestant Church. It is a matter of public notoriety that persons ordained by him, and becoming conformists, are ipso facto ministers of the Established Church, without any ordination therein—a power greater than can be exercised by the head of the Established Church; so that any hon. Member, taking this oath, after his attention has been thus drawn to the real facts of the case, must be guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury.

The Speaker

. The hon. Member cannot move the petition without notice; but the clerk, informs me it is signed by the hon. Member himself, and by no other person.

Sir V. Blake

. I stated that the petition was from a Member of this House, and it is not necessary to give the names of petitioners.

Mr. Goulburn

. The petition being signed by the hon. Member himself gave the proceeding so unusual and anomalous a character, that perhaps the hon. Member would not object to withdraw it.

Sir V. Blake

. If it be the sense of the House that the petition should be withdrawn, I shall willingly withdraw it; but. I really cannot see anything irregular in it, as it is perfectly consistent with former precedents.

The Speaker

. It is quite competent to any hon. Member to petition the House; but then his petition ought to be presented by another Member.

Petition withdrawn.

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