HC Deb 15 July 1842 vol 65 cc202-6

On the question that a sum of 13,215l. be granted for defraying the expenses of the Ecclesiastical Establishments of the British North American provinces, and of New Zealand,

Mr. V. Smith

said, since the proposal of this vote last year, an addition had been made to it for the salary of the bishop of New Zealand. It was proposed by this vote that a sum should be granted by Parliament for the erection of a colonial bishopric in New Zealand. He was aware that the noble Lord opposite in making this proposal, was only following the example of his noble Friend near him, who had in 1840 made a similar suggestion. On that occasion he (Mr. Smith) urged his noble Friend to reconsider the proposal, and he was successful in inducing the noble Lord to relinquish his intention. He would not now enter into the question as to the policy of supporting the Church of England in our colonies. He was only anxious to ask the noble Lord opposite to withdraw from this vote the sum required for the Bishop of New Zealand, in order that the principle might be brought before the House for discussion in a more substantial form. Many colonies, some of them entirely Protestant, had no Episcopal establishment, and they at any rate had equal need of one with New Zealand. He was not arguing that no bisphoprics should be established, but what he contended for was, that they should not be paid for by the mother country, but by the colonies themselves. He had also another objection to the manner of supporting this bishopric. He had often heard the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Colonies object to placing the payment of the church on estimates, and he was surprised at his proposing this vote. He had great objections on religious grounds to such a mode of payment. The vote might be agreed to one year and refused the next.

Lord Stanley

could assure the right hon. Gentleman that he was not laying down any general principle in this instance, or assenting to the principle, which he condemned as much as any man, of making the clergy of the Established Church dependent on the votes of this House for their stipends. He begged to call attention to the grounds on which he proposed the vote. On the 31st of December, 1840, an official letter was written by the direction of Lord John Russell, then Secretary for the Home Department, to the Lords of the Treasury, in which it was stated that the subject of constituting bishoprics in the Colonies had engaged much of his attention, and after mature inquiry he intended to advise her Majesty to found bishoprics in the Colonies of New Brunswick, Van Diemen's Land, and New Zealand; and that his opinion was that the Imperial Parliament should make provision for each of them to the extent of 600l. per annum, "which charge shall appear in the estimates." To that letter an official answer was written from the Treasury, which stated that their Lordships did not object to the proposed application to Parliament for provision of stipends to the bishoprics in question to the extent of 600l. each. As to the noble Lord having reconsidered the question, it was certainly true that no vote was taken on the estimates; but it was equally true that, so far from the noble Lord having given up his intention, he (Lord Stanley) found, when he came into office, not only that a decision was taken to appoint a Bishop for New Zealand, but that the rev. Mr. Selwyn had been appointed—that he was prepared to set out, and that the patent was in course of preparation, on the promise of Lord John Russell that he should go out on that provision in the Parliamentary estimates which was intended to be proposed in the former year, and which the right hon. Gentleman supposed he had persuaded the noble Lord to abandon. On the 10th of November last, he stated to the Treasury that, under the circumstance of Lord J. Russell's promise, and of the bishop's patent being in preparation, he conceived they were bound, in good faith and honour, to make good the promise of their predecessor, and, however objectionable he thought, the placing of bishops' salaries on the annual estimates of Parliament, he was of opinion that, in this case, they had no alternative but to fulfil an engagement which was formally and officially entered into by the noble Lord, But he went further than this, for on an application to him by the committee for establishing bishoprics in the colonies, including New Brunswick and Van Diemen's Land, he stated that, with every desire to forward their views of appointing bishops, and placing the clergy of the Church of England in the different colonies under the superintendence of constituted authorities, yet where there was no colonial fund and no contributions from the society for that purpose, he could not take upon himself to propose to Parliament to place an annual vote for colonial bishops on the estimates, and, therefore, he declined to submit to Parliament a vote of 600l. for the Bishop of New Brunswick, or for the Bishop of Van Diemen's Land. The Bishop of Van Diemen's Land had been appointed by joint contributions from the colonial fund and the voluntary society. Another had been recently appointed for the Mediterranean; and by the assistance of the public and of the society, with aid from the colonial fund, he hoped to be able to appoint bishops in several other of our possessions; but be still retained his objection to placing a vote for colonial bishops upon the estimates. Therefore he had not taken a vote for any other colonial bishop than New Zealand, which he felt bound in honour to propose.

Mr. Hume

said, it appeared to him to be an insult to the people of England to call on them in their present state of dis- tress to pay money in this sort of way, and for such a purpose. If Lord John Russell had made this promise to Dr. Selwyn, Lord John Russell ought to pay the money himself. He should propose as an amendment," that the amount of the vote should be reduced by 874l. 13s. Id., the expense of this bishopric." If his amendment were rejected, he should propose, that Lord John Russell be called on to pay the amount. He believed the noble Lord's salary was all paid up, so that they could not seize upon that. The hon. Member concluded by moving, that the vote be 12,340l.

Mr. V. Smith

thought it better on such a subject to abstain from party allusions. He had made no attack on the noble Lord. On this point he did not agree with his noble Friend (Lord John Russell.) He was extremely sorry that the noble Lord had taken this occasion to make a mere miserable personal attack upon him.

Lord stanley

said, he had made no personal attack on the right hon. Gentleman. In consequence of the observations of the right hon. Gentleman, it was necessary for him to explain the precise circumstances under which he was called on to bring forward this vote.

Mr. Hume

wished it to be understood, that if the House rejected his amendment, he should propose, that Lord John Russell do pay the amount which lie had promised to Dr. Selwyn.

Mr. W. Williams

was sorry his hon. Friend had not objected to the whole vote. It was an insult on the oppressed peopled of this country to call upon them to contribute to the ecclesiastical establishments of the colonies.

Mr. Pakington

objected to the inconsistency which appeared on these estimates, that while this country was paying to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Quebec, there was no vote whatever for a Protestant Bishop of Quebec. No duty was more incumbent on the mother country, in his opinion, than to support the Established Church in Canada.

Viscount Palmerston

said, he should certainly vote for granting this salary of the Bishop of New Zealand, as it was the proposal of his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell); but he did not vote for it on the ground that this country ought to pay and maintain ministers of religion in all her colonies. That practice ought to be the exception, not the rule. But in the case of New Zealand, where, as the colony was recently founded, there existed no means of making provision for a bishop, he thought it was right that the purpose should be accomplished by a vote of the Imperial Parliament. He therefore voted for the estimate, riot wishing that this should be a permanent arrangement.

The committee divided on the question, that the grant be 12,340l.:—Ayes 25; Noes 131 -. Majority 106.

List of the AYES.
Aldam, w. Philips, M.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. plumridge, Capt.
Bernal, Capt. Redington, T. N.
Brotherton, J. Bundle, J.
Browne, hon. W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Colborne. hn. W.N.R. Tancred, H. W.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Thornely, T.
Duncombe.T. Ward, H. G.
Gibson, T. M Wawn, J. T.
Greenaway, C, Williams, W,
Hawes, B. Wood, B.
Hindley, C TELLERS
Martin, J Hume, J.
Morris, D. Smith, V
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Egerton, W. T
A'Court, Capt. Eliot, Lord
Aglionby, H. A Escott, B
Ainsworth, I Fellowes, E.
Antrobus, E, Flower, Sir J.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Follett, Sir W. W.
Arkwright, G Ffolliott, J.
Bagge, W. Forbes, W.
Baird, W. French, F.
Baring, hon. W. B. Fuller, A. E.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Boldero, H. G. Gill, T.
Bradshaw, J. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bramston, T.W Gore, M.
Broadley, 11. Goring, C.
Broad wood, H. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Bruce, Lord E, Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Buckley, E. Grimsditch, T.
Burroughes, H. N. Grogan, E.
Campbell, A. Hamilton, W. J.
Chapman, A. Hanmer, Sir J.
Chelsea, Visct. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Childers, J. W Hardy, J.
Clerk, Sir G. Hayes, Sir E.
Clive. hon. R. H. Henley, J. W
Cochrane, A. Herbert, hon. S.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G Hodgson, F.
Courtenay, Lord Hodgson, R.
Cripps, W. Hope, hon C.
Darby, G. Hornby, J.
Dick, Q Howard, P. H.
Douglas, Sir H. Hussey, T.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Hutt, W.
Douglas, J. D. S. Inglis, Sir R. H.
East, J. B. Jackson, J. D.
Eaton, R. J. Jermyn, Earl
Kemble, H. Praed, W. T.
Knatchbull. rt. hn.Sir E Pringle, A.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Repton, G. W. J.
Lefroy, A. Richards, R.
Legh, G. C. Rolleston, Col.
Leicester, Earl of Russell, J. D. W.
Lincoln, Earl of Sandon, Visct.
Lockhart, W. Scott, hon. F.
Lowther, hon. Col. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Lowther, J. H. Sheppard, T.
Lyall, G. Sibthorp, Col.
Mackenzie, T. Smyth, Sir H.
Mackenzie, W. F. Somerset, Lord G.
Mackinnon, W. A. Stanley, Lord
Maclean, D. Stewart, J.
Mainwaring, T. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Meynell, Capt. Taylor, J. A.
Milnes, R. M. Tollemache, J.
Morgan, O. Trench, Sir F. W.
Neville, R. Trollope, Sir J.
Newry, Visct. Trotter, J.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Tumor, C.
Northland, Visct. Tyrell, S. J. T.
Packe, C. W. Verner, Col.
Pakington, J. S. Vivian, J. E.
Palmer, G. Wood, Col.
Palmerston, Visct. Wood, Col. T.
Patten, J. W. Young, J.
Pigot, Sir R. Fremantle, Sir T.
Plumptre, J. P. Corry, rt. hn. H. T. L.

Original question agreed to.