§ Sir J. Graham
moved that the Charitable Donations and Bequests (Ireland) Bill be read a third time.
Mr. Dillon Browne
thought that Government should postpone the Bill to the next Session of Parliament. He had presented a petition from six Roman Catholic Prelates against it, which showed the feelings with which they viewed the measure, and he was fortified by the authority of the man who enjoyed the confidence of the people of Ireland in thinking that the measure would not be beneficial to the Roman Catholics of that country. Though they were glad to be relieved from the surveillance of the Court of Chancery in regard to charitable trusts, they objected to the appointment of an irresponsible and non-judicial Commission to manage them, involving, as they did, considerations connected with the doctrine and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church. The people of Ireland were afraid that no Roman Catholics would be appointed Commissioners, excepting such as would be subservient to the Ministry of the day. The Irish Members had neither given this Bill a manly support nor a manly opposition, and would have to account to their constituents for not having opposed it in a more determined manner. It was the first step towards making the Roman Catholic Church an appendage to the State. He must, therefore, move that the Bill be read a third time on that day three months.
§ No one seconded the Amendment. Bill read a third time.
§ On the question that it do pass,
Mr. M. J. O'Connell
said, he had hesitated to join in the opposition to this Bill, because he felt that if imperfect, it would be amended hereafter. He was bound to express his conviction that when the present heats had subsided, the Bill would be 1781 found a substantial benefit to the people of Ireland, raising the condition of their clergymen, without shackling the influence exercised by them over their flocks. He did not think the apprehensions expressed on the subject were at all borne out by the shape in which the Bill now stood.
§ Bill passed.