HC Deb 20 September 1841 vol 59 cc668-71

On the motion that a sum not exceeding 4,464l. be granted to her Majesty to defray the charges incidental to the support of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth.

Mr. Plumptre

said, that he rose as an individual Member of Parliament to oppose the grant. It was only that day that he had presented thirty-five petitions against any further grant to the College of Maynooth, and he had presented at an earlier period of the year not less than 100 petitions to the same effect. He hoped that the right hon. Baronet below him would not think that in opposing this vote he meant to offer the slightest opposition to his general policy. He had uniformly opposed it on all occasions, and though he, felt it to be his duly to differ with the right hon. Baronet on this matter, he was most anxious to give him in all other things every support in his power. He felt delighted to see the right hon. Baronet Occupying the place he did, and to know that he was, as he had himself expressed it, free as the wind to do as an independent Minister, determined to do his duty to the country. He would prove a blessing to the country, and he invoked the blessing of ALMIGHTY GOD upon his head. He had ever opposed this vote, and he did so still, on the principle that he could not consent to grant the public money in support of what he believed to be the propagation of error. He should say "Nay," to the present vote, and unless some very strong reasons were adduced to dissuade him from it, he should divide the Committee on it.

Major Bryan

suggested, that many hon. Members could hardly be expected to vote money for the Church of England, who were opposed to that Church, but who never asserted, that in so voting, they voted for the propagation of error.

Sir R. H. Inglis

concurred with his hon. Friend in the opinion that the grant to Maynooth was most objectionable; but hoped that he would not divide the Committee on the present vote. There had been a previous vote this year taken, and the parties had doubtless calculated upon the remainder being also granted by Parliament, and had incurred certain expenses which otherwise they would not, and, therefore, he was indisposed to disappoint them in the second half of the grant for this year. But let the hon. Gentleman oppose the grant in the first instance next year, and let the parties have due notice of that opposition, so that they may make their calculations accordingly, and he should certainly support him. In reply to the hon. and gallant Member opposite, he would say, that voluntarily he would not give money for the propagation of what he conceived to be an error; but when a positive law ordained that it should be paid, then he should pay it. Individuals were not taxed in relation to their creeds, but in relation to their property.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

said, he should like to know whether the argument of the hon. Baronet, the Member for Oxford University (Sir Robert Inglis), did not apply to his favourite motion for Church of England extension? He only wished that there should be a fair division on this question of Maynooth College.

Mr. Pakington

expressed his earnest hope that his hon. Friend would not divide the Committee, though he was inclined to doubt whether the money voted to Maynooth College was a grant which was beneficially applied.

Mr. Darby

also opposed the grant, but hoped his hon. Friend would not divide.

Mr. Smythe

supported the vote, because he conceived it to be only an act of justice to the great majority of our Roman Catholic brethren in Ireland, who had strong claims upon us. He did not support the vote on the ground taken by the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Inglis), namely, that of prescription; because it should be recollected, that had it not been for the statute of mortmain, introduced by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, a statute palpably levelled at Roman Catholics, a rev. prelate would have bequeathed a large quantity of property to Maynooth College which would have been thus rendered independent of all Parliamentary aid.

Sir R. Peel

Sir, I merely rise to say, that I perfectly remember having expressed my opinion upon this vote in the last, or probably the preceding Session of Parliament, and, to prevent any mistake arising as to my motives for proposing and sup- porting it now, I must say, that I do not rest my vote in favour of it on the ground that one-half of the required estimate has been already voted by the House. I have voted for the grant to Maynooth College for the last thirty years, whether in or out of office, without feeling any violation of religious scruples. In order to enter into a full defence of this vote upon the present occasion, it would be necessary to state all the circumstances under which, at the period of the Union, the vote for Maynooth was originally given, and I must, therefore, confine myself to my former reasons for having considered it my duty to make the proposal of the present grant in the estimates before the House.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

said, it must have been three Sessions since the right hon. Baronet had expressed the opinions to which he had referred, for he did not think he had spoken upon the subject when it had been discussed in either of the last Sessions.

Sir R. Peel

I really cannot say positively whether it is two or three Sessions from this time that I spoke upon a similar vote to this, but I remember a distinct proposal being made by some hon. Gentleman respecting the grant being withheld, and that I then made a speech upon it, in which I gave my reasons for supporting its continuance. It would have been very easy for me to have avoided giving a vote on the occasion to which I refer, by leaving the House, as other hon. Members sometimes do. I certainly spoke my sentiments upon the grant, however; but if I have accidentally been absent when some similar vote has been discussed in subsequent Sessions, no inference ought to be drawn from such a circumstance than ought, at the present moment, to be drawn from the fact, that the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), the late Secretary of State, is not in the House.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

said, he did not want to draw any inference from his absence, but he had heard the matter remarked by some hon. Members in that House.

Mr. Plumptre

said, however he might feel disposed to acquiesce in the recommendation of some hon. Friends about him, he felt conscientiously disposed to press his motion to a division.

Mr. Cochrane

said, that, although he was disposed to allow every man the free exercise of his religious principles, yet as he was conscientiously opposed to the present grant he would vote against it.

Mr. Hope (as we could learn)

begged to remind the hon. Member for Bridport that: he bad already voted for a grant that was at variance with their feelings at his side of the House, as Members of the church of England. They were all of that description at that side, but the gentlemen on the other side were of various persuasions.

Mr. Forbes

They differed from the Maynooth principles, not in form, but in doctrine; and he hoped the division would be persevered in. He did think if he voted for the Maynooth grant, he would do what would be an injury to the people of Ireland in a religious point of view; and so far as it might be considered in a political point, be did not think that, from the experience of the last thirty years, they could say that it had tended very much to the peace of Ireland.

Mr. Cochrane

said with regard to the church of Scotland grant, to which allusion had been made, if there had been a division upon it, he would have voted against it.

The committee divided — Ayes 99; Noes 23: Majority 76.

List of the AYES.
Acton, Colonel Granger, T. C. Plumridge, Capt.
Aldam, W. Greenall, P. Pollock, Sir F.
Baring, hon. W. B. Hamilton, W. J. Protheroe, E.
Baring, H. B. Harcourt, G. G. Reade, W. M.
Baskerville, T.B.M. Hardinge, rt. hon. Sir H. Rice, E. R.
Beckett, W. Rolleston, Colonel
Boldero, H. G. Harford, S. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
Borthwick, P. Heathcoat, J. Smith, right hon. R.V.
Botfield, B. Henley, J. W.
Bowring, Doctor Herbert, hon. S. Smythe, hon. G.
Bramston, T. W. Hogg, J. W. Stewart, P. M.
Brotherton, J. Hollond, R. Stuart, H.
Browne, hon. W. Hope, hon. C. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Bryan, G. Hope, A. Taylor, J. A.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Irton, S. Teiraent, J. E.
Chelsea, Viscount Jermyn, Earl Thomly, T.
Clements, Viscount Ker, D. S. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Clerk, Sir G. Law, hon. C. E.
Cowper, hn. W. F. Leicester, Earl of Towneley, J.
Crawford, W. S. Lennox, Lord A. Tufnell, H.
Cripps, W. Lindsay, H. H. Vane. Lord H.
Dalrymple, Capt. MacGeachy, F. A. Vere, Sir C. B.
Douglas, Sir C. E. March, Earl of Waddington, H. S.
Egerton, W. T. Martyn, C. C. Wakley, T.
Escott, B. Mitchell, T. A. Watson, W. H.
Ewart, W. Morgan, O. Wigram, J.
Fielden, J. Mundy, E. M. Williams, W.
Fitzroy, Captain Murphy, F. S. Wood, C.
Forman, T. S. Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Wood, Colonel
Fox, C. R. Ogle, S. C. H. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Paget, Lord W. Wyndham, Col.
Gill, T. Palmerston, Visct. Yorke, H. R.
Gore, M. Pechell, Captain
Goulburn, rt. hn. H. Peel, right hon. Sir R. TELLERS.
Graham, right hon. Sir J. Fremantle, Sir T.
@@@ Peel, J. O'Connell, J. M.
List of the NOES.
Allix, J. P. Boscawen, Lord Dawnay, hn. W. H.
Antrobus, E. Cochrane, A. Dickinson, F. H.
Forbes, W. Inglis, Sir R. H. Murray, C. R. S.
Fuller, A. E. Johnson, W. G. Rushbrooke, Col.
Goring, C. Lawson, A. Sibthorp, Col.
Grimston, Visct Lockhart, W.
Grogan, E. Mackenzie, W. F. TELLERS.
Hamilton, Lord C. Marsham, Visct. Plumptre, J. P.
Hayes, Sir E. Masterman, J. Campbell, A.

Vote agreed to.