HC Deb 03 April 1845 vol 79 cc16-109

On the Motion of Sir R. Peel, the Acts of the Parliament of Ireland 35 Geo. III, c. 23, and 40 Geo. III, c. 85, and also Act 48 Geo. III, c. 145, were read.

House went into Committee on the Act.

Sir R. Peel

, addressing the Chairman, said:—Mr. Greene, in the course of the last Session of Parliament, I took the opportunity of publicly declaring, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, that it was our intention during the recess to apply ourselves to the consideration of the state of academical education in Ireland. I accompanied that declaration with a distinct intimation that the circumstances and position of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth should be included in that consideration. I added, that in undertaking the consideration of the state of Maynooth, it was our intention to undertake it in a spirit friendly and not adverse to the institution; and I made that public declaration at that time in order that due notice should be given of the intentions of Her Majesty's Government. I was not unprepared for the demonstration of opinion which has been made this day by the presentation of petitions. I could not look back to the discussions which have taken place in this House with respect to Maynooth, without foreseeing that a proposition for the extension of Maynooth was likely to encounter the risk of great opposition. I could not disguise from myself that many persons entertaining strong religious feelings and conscientious scruples, the sincerity of which cannot be questioned, and which on that account are entitled to respectful consideration,—I could not but foresee that any proposal for an increased grant to Maynooth was likely to encounter such an opposition as I have witnessed this day; and it was because we foresaw this, having to encounter difficulties of which we were fully sensible, but by which we were not deterred, we thought it our duty to take care that these difficulties should not be aggravated by a just allegation that we had concealed our intentions, and had taken the country by surprise. It was upon that account that, expressly and deliberately, I made the intimation to which I have referred in the course of the last Session, not in vague and equivocal terms, but in terms distinctly indicating that the probable result of the consideration which we were pledged to give to the position of the College of Maynooth, would be an improvement in the system, accompanied with an increase of the public grant. In fulfilment of the pledge thus publicly given, we have, during the recess, taken this great subject of academical instruction in Ireland into our consideration. I will say nothing now with respect to one portion of this question, which will be brought under the notice of the House at another period — I mean the extension of the means of academical education in Ireland apart from Maynooth. The observations I have to make on this day will be limited entirely to the question of Maynooth. The state of that College has undergone our deliberate consideration. We have reviewed the extent of any obligations, in point of honour and good faith, which past transactions and past acts of the Legislature might, in our opinion, impose upon the Executive Government and Parliament of the country in reference to this subject; we have considered the practical effect of the present system pursued at Maynooth, and the probable effect of any alteration in that system; and, having given to the whole subject the best consideration in our power, I now, on the part of the Executive Government, submit to the deliberate judgment of the House of Commons the proposal which we are prepared to make. Sir, it has appeared to us that we are at liberty to pursue one or other of three courses with respect to the institution of Maynooth. It is competent for us to continue without alteration the present system, and the present amount of the Parliamentary grant. It is competent to us to discontinue the grant altogether,—to repudiate all connexion with Maynooth, and, after providing perhaps for the protection of existing interests, publicly to notify that there shall hereafter be no connexion between Government and the College of Maynooth. That is the second course which it is possible to pursue. The third course is to adopt in a friendly and generous spirit the institution provided for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood—to extend the Parliamentary provision for that purpose, and to attempt, not by interference with the doctrine or discipline of the Roman Catholic Church, but by a more liberal provision, to improve the system of education, and to elevate the tone and character of that institution. Any one of these three courses is open to us. With respect to the first—the continuance, without alteration or modification of any kind, of the present grant and the present system, it is our deliberate conviction, that of all courses that can be pursued, that would be the most pregnant with mischief. We profess to endow a national institution—we profess to make provision for the education of those who are to give spiritual instruction and religious consolation to many millions of the people of Ireland. We just give enough, by voting annually 9,000l. a year, to discourage and paralyse voluntary contributions for that purpose. Remove the grant altogether, and you will find on the part of the people of Ireland, I have no doubt, a disposition to make the pecuniary sacrifice, and to provide some, perhaps an imperfect endowment, by voluntary contributions, for the education of their priesthood. But the grant of 9,000l. a year, the undertaking on the part of the Government to endow an institution and to provide instruction, has the effect of discouraging the contributions of others, while the allotted amount is wholly insufficient for its professed object. What then is our position? If it be a violation of principle to provide instruction for the Roman Catholic priesthood, we are guilty of that violation of principle now. A grant of 9,000l. a year, professedly for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood, is a violation of principle at least as great as any which I shall propose to the House. It is not merely that you make an annual grant to Maynooth: that is not the limit of your connexion with the institution. There are upon the Statute Book three Acts of Parliament, two passed by the Irish Legislature before the Union, and one passed in the year 1808, adopting and sanctioning this institution, for the support of which the annual grant is made. By the combined effect of these Acts of Parliament, you provide for the establishment of a College for the education of Roman Catholics only. You expressly use the phrase the "establishment" of a College. Whom have you appointed as the visitors of that College? Have you disclaimed connexion with that College? have you repudiated it as a guilty thing with which you will hold no communion? So far from it, you have appointed the Lord Chancellor and the highest judicial authorities as the visitors of this institution which you have so established. The Lord Chancellor and the Judges are the visitors of that College. You provide only, it is true, by an annual vote, for the president, certain officers, and professors of that College; but the Acts which have received your sanction expressly speak of "Fellows" of that College to be endowed. The Acts originally contemplated a perfect system of collegiate education, consisting of scholars, of masters, of professors, and of fellows. The president of the College must have the sanction of the Crown to his nomination. You have appointed a numerous body of Trustees for the charge and superintendence of this College. You commit to their hands an annual Parliamentary grant. The intention must have been to repeal the Statute of Mortmain in favour of the College. You have permitted the Trustees to purchase or acquire real property to the amount of 1,000l. per annum, for the purpose of providing for that College. By the Irish Act you permitted them in the whole to hold real property to the extent of 1,000l. a year. That was the result of the Act of the Irish Parliament; but in the year 1808 this Imperial Parliament recognised the institution so far as to make a further provision for it, enabling the Trustees to make compromises of certain suits at law then depending, and to hold a still larger amount of real property than had been contemplated by the Irish Parliament. You have enabled the Trustees, by express enactment, to provide and assign a chapel in which the rites of the Roman Catholic Church shall be celebrated by a chaplain to be appointed by the Trustees. These are the enactments which have received the sanction of the Legislature; and I ask whether I have not completely established that, if it be a violation of principle to recognise—to sanction—to provide for—the instruction of the Roman Catholic priesthood, that violation of principle has been deliberately committed by the Government and Parliament of this country? And what is the corresponding benefit which you gain? What is the practical compensation with which you counterbalance the moral evil? You cannot deny the fact, that you now endow professors teaching the doctrines of the Roman Catholic religion—training up candidates for the priesthood, for the inculcation of those doctrines. At Maynooth, supported by your grant, are ten professors—three of whom are professors of theology. Does it mitigate in any degree the violation of principle, that these professors are miserably endowed? that the maximum which they receive is 120l. per annum? Surely, if you consent to endow theological professors at all, it is good policy to make such a provision as shall insure the services of men of high character and attainments? I speak not with the slightest disrespect of any who are professors in that institution now—I am only arguing with respect to the general tendency of incompetent allowances. If men of high character and great attainments can be occasionally found ready, through zeal for their religion and for the interests of education, to devote their time to the cause of public instruction with incompetent salaries, that is no reason why we should not secure permanently the services of men of learning and ability by assigning that which is at least a decent provision for their maintenance. All I contend for now is, that we gain no compensation for our violation of principle by assigning so limited a pecuniary grant; that we provoke feelings of disgust and discontent at our parsimony in the minds of those to whom we commit the instruction of the Roman Catholic priesthood. In this institution there are now about 440 students, 250 of them we profess to maintain; the remainder are called pensioners, providing for their own maintenance. For the free students, namely, those on the foundation, an allowance is made from the Parliamentary grant of about 23l. per head. From this sum is to be provided the dress of the student, the scanty furniture of his apartment, and his commons; and from the aggregate balance that is left, the general expenses of the institution, the expenses of coals, candles, repairs, and such like charges, have to be defrayed. What is the state of the building of the College? and what are the feelings to which it is calculated to give rise in the minds of those young men who are educated there—feelings likely to survive in their after intercourse with the world? Nothing can be more desolate than the appearance of the building: it partakes more of the character of a deserted barrack than of a literary institution. With respect to the provision for the students, of whom there are 440 in some way or other receiving their education there, and professing to receive it through your liberality, I take it from the words of one who knows the fact from actual inspection, that it is impossible to assign to each of those students a separate room for his occupation — that in many cases several of them are placed in one room, and even in some instances in one garret. Sir, a representation upon this subject was made to the Executive by many, indeed I might with truth say, by almost the whole of the Roman Catholic prelacy; and I shall need no apology to the House if I read that statement. It was addressed to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland:— With sentiments of the most profound respect, we beg leave to state to your Excellency, that the Trustees of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth have long been struggling under great embarrassments in directing the affairs of that establishment, on account of the inadequacy of its funds to the objects for which it was instituted. We beg to state that, for the purpose of carrying into effect, as far as they could, the benevolent object of the Government in the establishment of Maynooth College, the said Trustees ordered a rigidly parsimonious economy to be observed in the internal administration of the College, which not only reduced the salaries of the Professors and Administrators of it below the usual allowances for respectable clerks, but actually interfered with their comforts and conveniences to a degree unbecoming a public institution for the education of the ministers of religion. So urgent was the necessity of all possible retrenchment in order to compass the essential objects of the establishment, that the president has been frequently obliged to send home the students during the vacation, for the paltry but indispensable saving of two months' provision; which is attended with the great inconvenience of removing the students from the restraints of College discipline and superintendence, so necessary to be kept up during the short period of their ecclesiastical course, in order to render them proper and useful members of the priesthood; and, notwithstanding all this parsimonious management, a debt of 4,600l. has been contracted. We beg leave further to state, that the increasing distresses in the country during the latter years have so affected the condition of the middle classes of society, from which candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood are usually presented, that there has been a very considerable reduction in the number of those who pay for their support in the College, and a far greater reduction is to be apprehended—they have found it so difficult of late to pay the usual pensions after having incurred the heavy expense of preparatory education and outfit for the College. This decrease in the number of pensioners has not only created the necessity of a proportionable increase of free places on the establishment, but has deprived the economy of the College of the profits arising from pensions. To instance the total insufficiency of the present establishment for the wants it was intended to supply, the prelates are in many instances obliged to withdraw their respective students from the College, who had entered on their enlarged course of studies two years before the completion of that course; frustrating thereby, very reluctantly, the wise and benevolent views of Government in establishing that foundation for the purpose of raising up a superior class of Roman Catholic priests, who would be qualified, by their talents and acquirements, to fill the vacant Professorships in the College and the higher offices in the Church. To such embarrassments are the Roman Catholic Bishops reduced by the inadequate supply of priests from the establishment, that they are frequently necessitated to call home students for the performance of clerical duties before they complete their ordinary theological course, which is already so short as to afford barely the knowledge essential for the performance of the clerical functions." (Signed by twenty-two Roman Catholic Prelates.) Now, I ask whether I am not right in contending that you can take no course which is not preferable to a continuance of this state of things; that is, to a continued violation of principle—if it be a violation of principle—in undertaking to instruct a priesthood from whose doctrines you dissent, and yet, at the same time, making only this niggardly and inadequate provision for the maintenance of those for whose education you have made yourselves responsible? This subject is now brought under our consideration, and decide upon it we must. Will it be wise—will it be just, to say to the Roman Catholics of Ireland, "We are bound, it is true, by an inconvenient obligation, contracted by our predecessors, and that obligation we will respect; in a surly spirit, we will continue to give you the usual grant of 9,000l. a year; but there shall be no improvement in your buildings—there shall be no advance in the salaries of your professors—the Acts of Parliament shall continue unrepealed and unaltered—our implied sanction and encouragement, so far as Statute Law is concerned, shall remain; and though we do not withhold the annual grant, we continue it with the feeling that our conscience is violated, and we give it you only because we have to fulfil an odious contract into which others entered, and from which we cannot escape?" Any course is preferable to this. I come, then, to the consideration of another alternative. Shall we avow that our conscientious scruples are so violated in the maintenance of this system, that we will discontinue altogether the connexion with Maynooth; that the Vote shall, after some temporary arrangements, be withdrawn, and the burden of educating the priesthood shall be thrown upon the people of Ireland? ["Hear hear."] I infer that there are some who think that a desirable course. Before you adopt this course, I ask the House to listen to the statement I am about to make, and maturely to weigh the reasons which prevent me from counselling it. If this were a mere pecuniary engagement, from which you could not, without absolute injustice, stand released, you might possibly avoid the annual performance of it, by calculating the value of the annuity, converting it into capital, paying the amount to the Trustees of the College, and notifying to them that on religious grounds you absolved yourselves from all further connexion with this institution. Apart from the obligation of good faith—apart from all consideration of the mortified and irritated feelings which might arise from an avowal on your part that conscientious scruples prevented you from continuing this Vote; I do not hesitate to say, that I believe the absolute discontinuance of the Vote would be better for all purposes than the continuance of the niggardly allowance you at present grant; but I think I can assign reasons which, if as legislators and statesmen, you take into account, public feelings and considerations of public policy will dissuade you from taking that course, and from repudiating all connexion with this institution. When did your connexion with it arise? Under whose authority? How long has it been continued? For fifty years you have consented to continue the Parliamentary Vote for Maynooth. You commenced your connexion with it in the year 1795. The reigning Sovereign was George III.; the Minister of England was Mr. Pitt; the Secretary of State for the Home Department was the Duke of Portland, who afterwards filled the office of Chancellor of the University of Oxford. In the year 1795 the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Fitzwilliam, called the attention of the Irish Parliament to the state of education in that country. That was a critical period, the year 1795. In a speech made to the Irish Parliament, at the opening of the Session of that year, the Lord Lieutenant addressed them thus:— We are engaged in an arduous contest; the time calls not only for great fortitude, and an unusual share of public spirit, but for much constancy and perseverance. You are engaged with a Power which, under the ancient forms of its internal arrangement, was always highly formidable to the neighbouring nations. Lately this Power has assumed a new shape, but with the same ambition, with much more extensive and systematic designs, far more effective, and without comparison more dreadful in the certain consequences of its eventual success; it threatens nothing less than the entire subversion of the liberty and independence of every State in Europe; an enemy to them all, it is actuated with a peculiar animosity against these kingdoms, not only as the natural protector of the balance of power in Europe, but also because, by the possession of a legal, humane, and rational freedom, we seem to reproach that false and spurious liberty which, in reality, is an ignominious servitude, tending to extinguish all good arts, to generate nothing but impiety, crime, disorder, and ferocious manners, and to end in wretchedness and general desolation. To guard his people from the enterprises of this dangerous and malignant Power, and for the protection of all civilized society against the inroads of anarchy, His Majesty has availed himself of every rational aid, foreign and domestic; he has called upon the skill, courage, and experience of all his subjects, wheresoever dispersed. In that same speech, made at that eventful epoch, the Lord Lieutenant said to the Irish Parliament:— Attached as you are to the general cause of religion, learning, and civilization, I have to recommend to your consideration the state of education in this kingdom, which in some parts will admit of improvement, in others may require some new arrangements. Considerable advantages have been already derived under the wise regulations of Parliament from the Protestant charter schools, and these will, as usual, claim your attention; but, as these advantages have been but partial, and as circumstances have made other considerations connected with this important subject highly necessary, it is hoped that your wisdom will order every thing relating to it in the manner most beneficial, and the best adapted to the occasions of the several descriptions of men which compose His Majesty's faithful subjects in Ireland. These expressions were meant to have reference to the institution of the College of Maynooth. Like all speeches on such occasions, they are necessarily general; but before the address in answer to that speech was voted—an address moved by Mr. Grattan — Mr. Grattan, on the part of the Government, expressly said, referring to the paragraph in the speech relating to education:— On this subject it is intended that a plan should be submitted for colleges for the education of the Catholic clergy, who are now excluded from the Continent. He supplied, therefore, whatever might be doughtful and vague in the speech of the Lord Lieutenant; he told the House of Commons that it was intended to establish Maynooth; and with that distinct intimation of the intentions of the Government, the Irish House of Commons and the House of Lords responded to the speech of the Lord Lieutenant, and told him, in the spirit in which he recommended it, that they would consider the extension of education. Lord Fitzwilliam was succeeded by Lord Camden; and Lord Camden, as Lord Lieutenant, laid the first stone of the College of Maynooth. At the close of the Session, the College having been founded, the Marquess Camden, addressing the Parliament, and thanking them for their liberality, stated to them,— My Lords and Gentlemen—His Majesty observes with the highest satisfaction that during the present crisis you have not failed to cherish and maintain the various sources of your internal prosperity. A wise foundation has been laid for educating at home the Roman Catholic clergy. At the close of the Session of the year 1795, the Lord Lieutenant, who had presided at the inauguration of Maynooth, who had laid the first stone of the building, thus congratulated the Parliament on its wisdom in founding a plan of domestic education for the Roman Catholic clergy. In the course of that year, 1795, the Irish Parliament passed the first Act relating to Maynooth; and that Act was passed by the Irish Lords and Commons without a division, and without one dissentient voice. The prelates of the Protestant church were present in the House of Lords; the Parliament was exclusively of a Protestant character; and yet, at that period, at the instance of the Executive Government, that Parliament — without a division, without a dissentient voice—consented to this supposed violation of principle, voted the sum that was then thought requisite for the maintenance of the institution, and clothed the institution with a Parliamentary sanction. I need not repeat, that at this period George III. was the Sovereign, and Mr. Pitt was the First Minister of the Crown. In 1800, before the Union, another Act of the Irish Parliament was passed upon the same subject; and on the completion of the Union, the Imperial Parliament found this College established and supported by Parliamentary grants. Those grants were continued by the Imperial Parliament, and in the year 1808 an Act was passed, not interfering with the institution, but adopting and sanctioning it, and giving facilities for its further extension. The present year, 1845, completes the series of fifty years during which this Vote has been annually continued by the House—a Vote for the support of Maynooth. I know that there is a generally prevailing impression that the Imperial Parliament has hitherto done nothing more than adopt the Acts of the Irish Parliament—that they found the Vote established, and they have continued it without alteration, feeling themselves bound by the contract into which the Irish Parliament had entered. Now, I am about to prove to you that that impression is completely erroneous; that you have at two distinct periods granted additional sums in aid of the Vote; that you have not merely contented yourselves with adopting the Vote of the Irish Parliament, but that you have increased it on two specific occasions, and you are now annually passing the Vote increased by additions made by the British Parliament. In the year 1807, I think, the Vote was increased to 13,000l., the increase being applied for additional buildings. In 1808 Mr. Percival declined to continue the additional sum to its full extent, but at the same time Mr. Percival lent his direct sanction to a permanent increase of the Vote. In the year 1808 Mr. Foster was Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer; and I find the following account of what passed in that year on the subject of the grant to Maynooth:— Mr. Foster rose to move the Resolution for a grant to Maynooth College. The grant in former years, he said, had been 8,000l. Last year it had been increased to 13,000l., for the purpose of enabling that institution to erect buildings capable of containing fifty additional students. It was his intention to move, in addition to the 8,000l. of former years, by which 200 students had been maintained, an additional sum for the maintenance of the fifty new students: he, therefore, moved, that a sum not exceeding 9,250l. Irish currency, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the expenses of the Roman Catholic Seminary in Ireland for the current year. I turn then to the speech of Mr. Percival: The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Percival) said, it was particularly desirable, after the establishment of the connexion of this country with the Irish Catholics since the Union, that the grant of the Irish Parliament should not be diminished. The fact was, that by the Vote then under consideration, that grant was to be extended to a provision for one-fourth more than were educated heretofore. It appeared, besides, that 111 others were educated for the Catholic priesthood in different parts of Ireland." … "On the whole, he thought, that the supply of 361 would be sufficient to meet the demand of the Catholic clergy, and therefore should vote for the proposition of his right hon. Friend. Here is a proof that, in 1808, Mr. Percival being the Minister, the British Government consented to an extension of the Vote beyond that which had been made by the Irish Parliament, for the express purpose of providing education for fifty additional students; and Mr. Percival, in acceding to the grant, implied that if he had thought a greater number of students than 361 was required for the service of the Roman Catholic church, he would not have been unwilling still further to augment the sum for that purpose. Again, in 1813 there was an addition to the Vote; I can speak to it with certainty, because at the time I filled the office of Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant. This addition was of 700l. a year, to be applied to the better maintenance of the senior students, called the Dunboyne students. I have stated now to the House the circumstances under which this connexion has grown up. I have shown how it originated in 1795, and has been continued ever since, the Vote being increased and the connexion strengthened by the Acts of the Imperial Parliament. I ask you whether you are now prepared to declare to the Roman Catholic body—"During this half century we have been in error, we have been violating a conscientious scruple which we must now observe, and we give notice to the Roman Catholics of Ireland that this connexion, after continuing for half a century, must now be abolished." Recollect that when it was formed the Roman Catholics were labouring under disabilities that excluded them from office and from Parliament; and that those disabilities did not constitute, in the view of the Irish Parliament, an objection to originating this grant. Those disabilities have been now entirely removed; the Irish Roman Catholics stand upon the same footing with ourselves in respect to civil privileges: shall we now turn to them and tell them in a harsh and unfriendly tone,—"We cannot act towards you in the spirit in which the Parliament of your own country acted? True, you were then labouring under exclusion which has now been removed,—true, you did not then stand on the footing of equal privilege,—true, the Parliament which favoured you was an Irish Parliament—was a Parliament exclusively Protestant; the scruples of conscience that Parliament did not feel, we feel; and the connexion with your religious education which, in the hour of peril, they established, we must repudiate and dissolve." Sir, I should deprecate such a step. It is not the amount of the pecuniary grant; what I deprecate is the animus it would indicate. We should never be able to convince those from whom the grant was withheld, that those scruples which were not felt by George III., by Mr. Pitt, by the exclusively Protestant Legislature of their own country, are now felt to such a degree by us, that we must abandon the connexion which was thus formed. Sir, I should deeply regret, not merely on account of the Roman Catholics, but on account of the general interests of the community, if we did feel ourselves under the obligation of making the declaration that we, who dissent from the doctrines of the Romish church—that we, who hold a faith which we consider more pure, and to which we are devoted—that we, on account of our devotion to that faith, are prevented from advancing any assistance for the propagation of doctrines from which we dissent. If we make that declaration, what a lesson shall we inculcate upon the landlords of Ireland! Take the case of a Protestant landlord, perhaps an absentee, who has an estate, from which he derives a large income; that estate is cultivated by Roman Catholic labourers, and occupied by Roman Catholic tenants. Must I tell him, on the authority of Parliament, that he will violate his duty towards his God, if, seeing dependants professing a faith from which he dissents, in need of religious instruction—in need of religious consolation—in want of the means of joining in the public worship of their Creator—he should assign some portion of the wealth derived from this estate to provide that instruction and that consolation in the only mode in which they can be available? Surely it would be forgiven to that landlord; surely he would not be acting in a spirit opposed to the precepts of his own faith, if he were to say to these humble dependants,—"I differ from you in religious doctrines, but still my wish is that in the hour of need you should receive spiritual instruction and consolation from the hands of those from whom alone you can derive them. I will give you a piece of ground for a chapel; I will contribute towards its construction; nay, more, I will contribute something towards the maintenance of that minister who is to inculcate doctrines which you believe, but which I cannot agree to." Take the example of the City Companies; they act in the most liberal manner towards the communities who live on their estates. They have done everything they could to promote the religious instruction of their Protestant tenantry — but they have not felt themselves precluded by conscientious scruples from allowing a small sum as a stipend for the Roman Catholic priest, and have contributed towards the expenses of repairing the chapel. Am I to advise Parliament to tell those Companies,—"You cannot continue that aid to a religious profession from which you dissent, without violating your own religious principles." So far for the case of the individual proprietors, and of the great City Companies. But what will be our own situation? The consequences of that declaration are far more extensive than at first they may appear. How shall we act when we come to the Vote for the Presbyterian Ministers in Ireland? Shall we continue that Vote? A portion of it is distinctly allotted to the support of men of religious principles which we totally repudiate. Again, what position shall we stand in with regard to our Colonies if we avow that an act of this kind is improper and irreligious? In what relation do we stand to the Roman Catholics of Malta, Gibraltar, Canada, the Mauritius, and various other of the possessions of the Crown? In all these cases we have found it impossible to act on that principle of disclaiming altogether connexion with and support of those from whose religious opinions we dissent. Nay, more, how shall we stand with regard to the Roman Catholics in Ireland? Shall we repeal the Act which provides Roman Catholic chaplains for prisons? By a recent enactment you have enabled the grand jury to appoint a Roman Catholic chaplain. You have compelled the grand jury to make the appointment upon requisition from the judge. You have required the grand jury to make provision for the services of that chaplain from the public purse; and you have prevented the assignment of unequal salaries to ministers of different religious, making them equal to the ministers of the Church of England, the Presbyterian, and the Roman Catholic. Again, will you repeal the Act which provides chaplains for workhouses? There again you have imposed the obligation of appointing Roman Catholic chaplains. You waved in this case of a prison and a convict the strict maintenance of the principle which is contended for. A noble and better feeling interposed, and relaxed the rigour of principle. You felt that there ought to be provided for dying men in their last moments, guilty beings about to suffer for their crimes, about to be ushered into the presence of their Creator, religious consolation from the only spiritual guide from whom they could receive it. You have taken the same course with respect to the wretched inmates of a workhouse, and you have distinctly provided that that faith which is not your faith, and those doctrines which are not your doctrines, shall be inculcated by Roman Catholic chaplains, for whom you have provided a salary. Can I then, after reviewing our course as to the Colonies, and as to the Roman Catholics of Ireland, seeing what has passed for the last fifty years, can I come to the conclusion to which some are prepared to come, that we are to refuse this grant upon the ground that it would be a violation of principle to agree to it? If that conclusion be not justifiable, I have disposed of two of the courses which it is competent for us to pursue — the entire repudiation of any grant to Maynooth, or the continuance of the present grant, and the present law, unaltered. There remains but one other course, and that is the course which we are prepared to take. We are prepared, in a liberal and a confiding spirit, to improve the institution, and to elevate the character of the education which it supplies. By improvement I do not mean such an interference with the course of education as would poison all the good that you might derive from liberality. I mean that we should treat that institution in a generous spirit; in the hope that we shall be met in a corresponding spirit, and that we shall be repaid for our liberality by infusing a better feeling into the institution, and by ensuring a more liberal system of instruction. We shall propose such an increase to the grant as shall provide a sufficient supply of well-educated ministers of the Roman Catholic Church. A mere addition of some 3,000l. or 4,000l. would really be worse than nothing. I exclude the idea of a small increase like that from my consideration altogether. If the religious objection to a grant is overcome, I cannot think that an objection on mere pecuniary grounds will be allowed to prevail. I will now, with the permission of the House, proceed to state the nature of the proposal which, on the part of the Government, I am instructed to make. I have said, that by the existing law the Trustees of Maynooth are expressly empowered to purchase and acquire land. The original Act gave them power to purchase to the extent of 1,000l. per annum. That power was increased by the 48th of George III., which Act enabled then to hold lands to the extent of 1,000l, in addition to the land already possessed. That was the enactment; but the intended effect of it has never been realized, because the Trustees not being incorporated—although authorized to acquire land—can take no effectual grant of any to them and their successors. They cannot receive land on any other terms than for the lives of individual trustees. We propose to remedy that defect. We propose to incorporate the Trustees, and to make them a body politic, by the name of the "Trustees of Maynooth College." Thus we shall give them that power to hold land which it must have been intended to give them from the first; and we shall permit them to hold real properly to the extent of 3,000l. per annum. If the members of the Roman Catholic faith are desirous—as I think they will be after you have improved the constitution of this College—to make provision for particular localities, or to contribute to the general expenses of the institution, I can see no objection to such voluntary contributions. We propose, therefore, to permit the Trustees so incorporated, to hold real property to the extent of 3,000l. per annum; and, of course, to legalize the conveyance of real property to the trustees by individuals to that extent. I next address myself to the provision to be made for the chief officers of the College. We propose that there should be a more liberal salary as compared with the present stipend of the president and professors. As I before said, the stipend of each individual professor does not now exceed 122l. per annum. Instead of defining exactly what shall be the amount paid to each professor, we propose to allot to the Trustees of Maynooth a certain sum, which shall be placed at their discretion, for the payment of the charges of the establishment in respect to officers and professors. That sum will admit of a payment of 600l. or 700l. per annum to the president of the College; of 260l. or 270l. to the professors of theology; and of 220l. or 230l. to the other professors. We propose, therefore, that a sum not exceeding 6,000l. shall be allotted to the Trustees for making provision for the officers of the institution. With regard to the students, I would remind the House that the College, generally speaking, is divided into two departments. The senior department consists of three senior classes of divinity students; and includes the persons from whom a selection is made for the Roman Catholic priesthood. In the subordinate division of the College there are four classes. In addition to those two departments are twenty senior students, who have passed through the College course with peculiar credit, called the Dunboyne students—a Lord Dunboyne having bequeathed 500l. a year towards their support. They are selected by the president on the score of merit and good conduct; and allowed to remain three years after the completion of the ordinary College course. To each one is at present allowed 55l. a year; of which sum 25l. goes to the College for the student's support. There are at present about 440 students in the College—divided into these three classes—the Dunboyne students, the three senior classes, and the four junior classes. We propose to allot to each of the Dunboyne students, in number twenty, the sum of 40l. per annum. We propose to make provision on the whole for 500 free students—250 students in the four junior classes, and 250 in the three senior or divinity classes. We propose that for the maintenance of each student, to cover the expense of his commons, attendance, and other charges consequent upon academical education, a sum shall be placed at the disposal of the Trustees, calculated on an average of 28l. per annum for each student. We propose that to each of the students in the three senior classes the sum of 20l. per annum for their own personal expenses shall be allowed in addition. This will require a very considerable sum. For the salaries of the professors, for the provision of a library, and for other expenses of that nature, a sum not exceeding 6,000l. will be requisite. For the twenty Dunboyne students the sum of 800l. The allowance for the maintenance of 500 students in the two departments, and of the twenty Dunboyne students, at 28l. each, will amount to 14,560l. The allowance of 20l. each to the divinity students in the three senior classes will make 5,000l. Thus we have a total for the annual charge on account of the establishment of 26,360l. That will not be in addition to the present Vote, but including it. In proposing that such additional grant shall be made, it will be observed that the number of the students in the College is actually increased from 440 to 500; and it is intended that the building shall be so altered and improved as that one decent room shall be assigned to each student. We propose that the College shall be made in appearance, and in reality, more worthy, at least, than it is at present, of the purpose to which it is applied. We propose that proper provision shall be made for the accommodation of the president and professors, the repair of the hall and chapel, and of the building generally. To effect this object, a grant, not, of course, an annual one, to the extent of 30,000l. will be requisite. We intend that a sum of money, so sanctioned by Parliament, shall be applied for the purposes I have described. We propose, at the same time, that the number of students supported by the public grant, shall not exceed 500; that there shall be no power of increasing the number to 600 or 700, by reducing the individual allowances. We wish to put the establishment on a liberal footing; so that the reminiscences of Maynooth may no longer be revolting. It is therefore that we propose to limit the number of students to 500. We propose also that the Board of Works shall undertake the repairs of the College, as they do of the other public buildings; in order that the charge for them may be conducted with the greatest economy. We do not propose to make provision in the Act for the annual expenses of the repairs; but that they shall be the subject of an annual vote, and be included in the annual estimates for the Board of Works, as in other cases. With respect to the visitorial power of the College, it is exercised, at present, for the ordinary purposes of education, by certain persons holding judicial offices, and by parties who either were originally appointed by the Act of 1795, or have been since elected to fill up vacancies as they have occured since that time. Now, our opinion is, that ex officio visitors are of little value. We propose that the Lord Chancellor and the Judges should be relieved from this duty; and that Her Majesty shall have the power to appoint five visitors, in addition to the elected visitors. But we do not propose that those visitors so appointed shall exercise any powers of visitation other than the present visitors do. We propose, however, that there shall be bonâ fide visitations; and that they shall take place, as a matter of course, annually, instead of triennially, as is now the case. We propose, also, that the Lord Lieutenant should have the power of directing a visitation whenever he may think proper. These visitorial powers are not to extend to any matter relating to the doctrine or discipline of the Church of Rome. We will not spoil this Act by any attempt at novel and ungracious interference with such matters. It would be utterly ineffective for any good purpose. The visitorial power in all matters connected with the doctrine or discipline of the Roman Catholic Church is now exercised, and can only be exercised, by three visitors specially selected for this purpose by the Trustees; which visitors must be members of the Roman Catholic Church. These special visitors are, I believe, at present, Archbishop Crolly, Archbishop Murray, and the Earl of Fingall. We leave the law as we find it in respect to the authority and functions of these special visitors. I believe that I have now stated the general outline of the measure which Her Majesty's Government have felt it their duty to bring under the consideration of the House. It is, I trust, conceived in the spirit to which I have referred — a liberal and confiding spirit. We have not introduced it without communication with the leading ecclesiastical authorities in the Roman Catholic Church. It has not been a subject of stipulation or contract with them. We have intimated to them our intention; and we have every reason to believe that they are satisfied with and grateful for the measure; that they will strongly recommend its acceptance; and that the great body of the intelligence and respectability of the Roman Catholic community will accept the measure as a liberal and efficient maintenance for the establishment at Maynooth. I commit this proposal of the Government to the deliberate consideration of this House; we are not insensible of the difficulties which we shall have to encounter; but, at the same time, after mature consideration, we are firmly convinced that this measure which I now propose, is nothing more than a liberal construction of those obligations which, in point of honour and good faith, are imposed on the Legislature of this kingdom. We introduce no new principle. That which we propose is the widening of the foundation of Maynooth in proportion to the increased demands for the services of the Roman Catholic priesthood; the providing of ministers for the performance of those services better instructed, and inspired with more kindly and friendly feelings towards the State. We feel that we can propose this, and can ask your assent to this without any violation of conscientious scruples. We believe that it is perfectly compatible to hold steadfast the profession of our own faith without wavering, and, at the same time, to improve the education and to elevate the character of those who—do what you will—pass this measure or refuse it—will continue to be the spiritual guides and religious instructors of millions of your fellow-countrymen. The right hon. Baronet concluded by moving,— That the Chairman be directed to move the House, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Acts relating to the College of Maynooth.

Sir R. H. Inglis

said, he felt more than ever the difficulty of rising to follow his right hon. Friend, because in the present instance not merely was the subject one of pre-eminent importance, but individually he was, as would be perceived by his voice, more unable than usual to address the House. But he trusted to that indulgence which he thankfully acknowledged had never yet failed him, while he endeavoured to meet the proposition of his right hon. Friend who had stated the views of Government on this occasion. His right hon. Friend stated at the close of his speech, as indeed he had stated at its commencement, that considerations of honour and good faith, however much the House might qualify them by the phrase of inconvenient obligations, still compelled them, in subsstance, to take the course which he recommended. On the question, then, of honour and good faith, constituting a contract or compact, must rest the decision of the Committee on the present question. Because, if that construction which his right hon. Friend had placed on the Statutes passed in Ireland, and on the custom which had followed them, were correct, he held that it would be impossible for any one—certainly it would be impossible for himself—to oppose the proposition of his right hon. Friend. It was because he felt a deep and solemn persuasion that there was no obligation in point of honour and good faith—as well as no obligation in the Statute Law of the Realm—that he felt himself not only called upon, but bound, to take the earliest opportunity of resisting the proposition of his right hon. Friend. In the first instance, he wished to notice that his right hon. Friend must have drawn a conclusion little favourable to the ultimate success of his scheme from the number of petitions which were presented, not only from this but from the opposite side of the House, against the measure, even when its provisions were imperfectly known to the House and the country. Another consideration which could not have escaped his practised ear was this, that almost all the cheers—with, he thought, two exceptions—almost all the cheers with which his right hon. Friend's speech was greeted proceeded from the Opposition Members. But if the feeling of the country, as manifested by the petitions now on the Table of the House, were to be regarded as eminently unfavourable to the future success of the measure, he could promise his right hon. Friend—though individually he had had no communication on the subject, yet he knew enough of the feeling of his fellow countrymen to promise his right hon. Friend—that his statement would excite a still deeper and more general feeling of opposition. His right hon. Friend had stated that he had not taken the House by surprise, and had reminded the House that, at the close of last Session, he promised to take into consideration the general question of academical education in Ireland. But did any person who listened to that speech for a moment anticipate the present measure? Did any one, on this side of the House imagine—he would not answer for those on whose support Her Majesty's Government would, on this occasion, mainly rely, for it was possible that it might have entered into the imagination or the judgment of some of those hon. Gentlemen — that Her Majesty's Government meant to introduce a measure like the present? Certainly it was not shadowed forth in the speech of his right hon. Friend when the question was raised last Session by the hon. Member for Waterford. In opening this measure to the House, his right hon. Friend stated that he desired to submit it to the deliberate consideration of Parliament; and in opposing the Motion, he must first take the opportunity of setting himself right with a few of his Friends. He desired to test the opinion of the House by a discussion and division at the present stage of the proceeding. He did so because his right hon. Friend said that he wished the decision of the House might be taken on the principle. The principle was raised in the present stage; and he had, therefore, no alternative but to divide the House. It was not whether he might or might not, as a question of tactics, think that expedient; but if he did not, the consequence would be that the House would be committed to the question; and therefore he held that, even though he had been requested by more than five Members not to divide, yet as every other person had urged him to divide—he felt that he was bound at once to take the sense of the House. His right hon. Friend had said that there were three courses open to Her Majesty's Government—either to discontinue, or to continue, or to increase the endowment of Maynooth; and he said, with regard to discontinuing, that, at any rate he was not prepared to submit that course to the House; as he had stated five years ago, in June, 1840, that he was not prepared to pledge himself to the withdrawal of the grant. This was all that passed at that time from his right hon. Friend with regard to the discontinuance of the grant. But did any hon. Member who heard that phrase which his right hon. Friend used when appealed to on the subject by the hon. Member for Kent, who pressed him to give a pledge that he would discontinue the grant—that being the year before his accession to office — could any person collect from that declaration that his right hon. Friend would propose not only not to discontinue the grant, but to increase it; and above all, to make such an increase as would practically amount to an endowment of the Church of Rome in Ireland. As the case stood hitherto, it was an annual grant, which Parliament reviewed in the ordinary course of discussions on the Estimates. Parliament was never pledged, he would not say from one Parliament to another—it was never pledged for more than one Session of Parliament. The Vote was open to renewal or rejection; and, as had been stated already, the amount had not been equal throughout. But his right hon. Friend was incorrect; he would pardon him for saying so, when he referred to the invariable practice of fifty years as warranting any thing like the present measure; because, in one instance, there had been an increase, and in another, which was a more important point, there had one year been no grant at all, which he begged his right hon. Friend specially to remember. It was a fact that the Parliament of Ireland in one year—and he spoke with a distinct reference to the Journals of the Irish House of Commons — consented to the grant in April, 1799; but the House of Lords in Ireland negatived the grant by a Resolution which was equivalent to the English form of moving that a Bill be read that day six months—by fixing some impossible time for reading the Bill; and practically, therefore, depriving the case of that formally strong ground which it might have had if it had rested upon an altogether unbroken custom. They were told that they ought to recollect the circumstances under which this grant was first bestowed, or rather to the circumstances under which the College was first established. He was very willing to refer to that period; he would not merely refer to it, but, with the permission of the Committee, would state, with somewhat more minuteness of detail than his right hon. Friend had done, the circumstances under which the establishment was first formed. The justification of any grant, in the present instance, on this 3rd of April 1845, must rest either upon compact, made by express statute or upon a compact implied; or if they failed to prove either of these, it must rest upon grounds of expediency. Before entering upon the question of compact, he would call to the recollection of the Committee generally—and, if his right hon. Friend would permit him to address himself particularly to him, he would call to the recollection of his right hon. Friend what was stated by Sir Arthur Wellesley, when Chief Secretary for Ireland, on the 29th of April, 1808, and when that Bill was under discussion to which his right hon. Friend referred, as one of three Acts on this subject. Sir Arthur Wellesley then stated, "The fact was that when Maynooth was first established, it was not intended that it should be maintained from the public purse. A memorial was presented previous to the foundation of the establishment, which prayed that a charter might be granted to them, so that the funds for the purpose might be better collected and secured." They did not refer at that moment to a grant made from the funds of the nation, but they asked for a charter in order that their own funds might be secured to them. Let the Committee recollect the different state in which the Roman Catholics were placed in 1795, with that which existed at the present time. With regard to matters of policy and civil right, the Roman Catholics could now establish whatever they pleased at their own expense. But was that the case then? Not only was it a fact that the Roman Catholics did not establish institutions for the education of their children, but it was against the law that they should establish them; and the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Dr. Troy, in the memorial which he presented on the 14th of January, 1794, the very year before that mentioned in the Motion now before the House, showed that the object contemplated by the Roman Catholics was to be permitted to establish an institution from their own funds. Was that denied? Was it denied that, in point of fact, before Parliament resolved to interfere, the persons interested in the establishment presented a memorial to the Irish Government, praying that they might be enabled to establish the institution at their own expense? In the speech of the illustrious statesman whose name had been quoted by his right hon. Friend to-night—and which he could not refer to without bearing his humble testimony to the Christian simplicity and integrity of Mr. Perceval's character—he stated that the Catholics had prayed to be allowed to defray the whole expense; and though the Government and Parliament gave 8,928l. annually, that was no reason for giving any countenance to increased demands. But the point was not the mere amount of money. He repudiated any such consideration as actuating his own mind; and he was sure he was justified in stating that those who, with him, objected to the measure, would object with not less intensity of feeling whether the grant were to be doubled, or whether it were to be lessened by one half. Their objection was to the endowment of the Church of Rome. Their objection was to the adoption of the College—that was the phrase used by his right hon. Friend — and they considered that they violated no principle of toleration when they refused to become parties to a system of instruction which they distrusted, and which distrust he believed was shared by the great majority of his countrymen. He did not despair even that a majority of that House would be found to concur with the majority in the country. [Mr. Ward: Hear, hear.] Notwithstanding the ominous cheer of the hon. Member for Sheffield, he repeated that he did not despair of their being in the House a majority to represent the feelings of the great majority of the people of England. At any rate, he did trust if the measure should unhappily pass this House, that there would be found elsewhere sufficient principle and sufficient virtue to prevent its ultimate success. Even in that House they all knew the effect produced a short time ago when it was proposed to interfere, as he thought it was unreasonably considered by others—to interfere with the question of education. The success which attended that demonstration of public opinion, he trusted, would encourage its repetition, and that even in that House they would succeed in stopping the progress of the present measure. But he was about to state what induced the Government in 1794–5 to listen to the memorial of the Roman Catholic Prelates, and to establish the institution which they were now considering. It was stated that Mr. Grattan, whose authority had been already quoted, in advocating the borne education of the priests, alleged that by such a system the priests would be taught at home to love their country and to revere its Government. But if the authority of Mr. Grattan were to be quoted with reference to the establishment of Maynooth, he would ask that it might not be forgotten what Mr. Grattan expected from such an institution, and whether any of his expectations had been realized?—Whether the priests in Ireland had been induced to revere the Government of their country, or to exhibit such an example of good order and obedience as would justify the House in desiring the extension of their influence, or, at any rate, justify the House in making itself the party responsible for their education? After all, that was the point to be decided by the country, not whether more Roman Catholics were to be instructed, but whether we were to be parties to their increase and instruction? The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon, who was possibly at that moment in the House, had come down on the last discussion of this subject, five years ago, and spoken to the House, after the hon. Member for Kent and himself (Sir R. Inglis) had spoken, and after the then Chief Secretary for Ireland (Lord Morpeth) had also spoken. The learned Gentleman brought down a volume of Irish Statutes in his hand, and he created a great sensation, from which some of his friends had not recovered so speedily as they ought, by a passage something to this effect; indeed, he believed he quoted the learned Gentleman's very words:—"The case of Maynooth rests on a clear Statute, passed before the Union, and ratified by an Act of the Imperial Parliament." He was a good deal surprised that this Act was never quoted. What was the language of that Act? The right hon. and learned Gentleman had omitted to quote it for the House. No man, however, who read it would for a moment think of building on it such a superstructure as that proposed by his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government. It was the 35th Geo. III., the Irish Statutes, cap. 21, and it opened with this preamble:— Whereas, by the laws now in force in this kingdom, it is not lawful to endow any college or seminary for the education of persons professing the Roman Catholic religion, and it is now become expedient to endow a seminary for that purpose, be it therefore enacted, &c. The Act then names the Lord Chancellor and other functionaries as trustees for the purpose 'of endowing and maintaining one academy for the education only of persons professing the Roman Catholic religion;' the trustees and their successors being authorized to receive subscriptions and donations from Roman Catholics for the purposes of the establishment. Did this recognise any right on the part of the Roman Catholic population of Ireland to have their college maintained at the expense of the nation? He should be surprised if any Member of that House, reading the words of the Act, should contend that such a claim was maintained by it. The Second Clause adverted to the state of the law, by which a Romish priest was not permitted to officiate in any chapel, and gave them leave to officiate in the chapel of the proposed seminary. In the present day they could hardly conceive how a permission to officiate could be considered as a boon, but it was so then. He was not defending the old penal laws; he was only stating a fact. They could at the present time scarcely throw themselves back into the state of things existing fifty or sixty years ago, or to the earlier period, when it was declared, on the authority of the Irish Lord Chanchellor Bowes, that the law did not recognise the existence of an Irish Roman Catholic. Again, he said, he was not defending that state of the law; he was merely citing the fact to show that these points, which were now regarded with much indifference and contempt, had a real value to the Roman Catholics of 1794. In then asking the Government to grant them a charter for the establishment of an academy for the education of priests, they asked as much as the Government of 1794 could grant, and a great deal more than the Parliament and Government of Ireland would have admitted two short years before, for only two years before this period the petition of the Roman Catholics of Ireland praying for emancipation was actually kicked out of the Irish House of Commons by one of the most influential Members of that body. He certainly was surprised that the annual grant to the establishment then founded was now to be considered a national compact and made the basis—if not actually of an endowment of the Church of Rome, yet—of an ascendancy which could not have entered into the wildest dreams of Roman Catholics at the period of which he was speaking. In construing this Act of Parliament, they must look at the intentions of the parties who framed it; he held the passages which he had quoted to be conclusive that it was never intended by that Act to establish as an endowment to be maintained exclusively by the State a seminary for the education of Roman Catholic priests. He now came to the money part of the question. The sum granted by the Act of the Irish Parliament was 8,000l. per annum, to be paid "towards the establishment" of this academy: throughout the Act there was an impression that the subscriptions and donations of the Roman Catholic body, which up to that period could not be appropriated to such a purpose, should under the provisions of this Act be received by the trustees on behalf of the establishment. In the course of his inquiries on this subject he had been greatly aided in his researches by an excellent Friend, who inherited the honoured name of Percival, whom he had already quoted. Mr. Dudley Percival had investigated this subject with great labour and accuracy. In his judgment that gentleman had proved that the only pledge given on the subject was the one given at the Union. They would find in their own Journals for May, 1800, a Resolution to that effect,— That a sum not less than the sum granted by the Parliament of Ireland on an average of the six years preceding the 1st of January 1800, for the internal encouragement of agriculture, and for the maintenance of institutions for pious and charitable purposes, shall be applied for a period of twenty years after the Union to such local purposes in Ireland in such a manner as the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall direct. He admitted this pledge; but it was a pledge to the Protestant Charter School quite as much as to the Roman Catholic establishment; it was to be continued for twenty years after the Union; it had now been continued to that establishment for forty-four years (more than double the original period), and as far as that College was concerned the pledge had been amply redeemed. He was aware that the grant to Maynooth had been defended on the ground that it was a legacy from the Irish Parliament. He was also aware that the non-payment of the part of the same legacy to the Protestant Charter Schools of Ireland did not justify him, as an executor, in refusing the payment of the other part; but he contended that that legacy was only one of an annuity for twenty years, and it was now proposed to make a great increase in its amount, and give it a security second only to the income of the Crown itself, and equal at least to that of the Civil List—equal to that of the civil and judicial establishments of the country. They might be told that an Act of Parliament could be repealed to-morrow, just as any of the Estimates could be refused; but they knew too well, by the experience of the last twenty years, that when they once made concessions by establishing anything by Act of Parliament, their power was virtually lost. [Sir R. Peel: Hear.] His right hon. Friend cheered, as if he had listened to that observation; but he seemed to have forgotten, or not heard that it had been proved that Maynooth was not endowed by Act of Parliament, but only empowered to receive and subsist upon donations and contributions. He could assure his right hon. Friend, he did not want to suppress the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. He had never at any period expressed anything so contrary to his convictions. Let the Roman Catholics educate their own priests, as the Dissenters did theirs. He did not propose to bring in any Bill to repeal the 35th, or the 40th, or the 48th of George III.; and he would in passing notice that the name of that Monarch had been used two or three times by his right hon. Friend, implying that even so good a Protestant as George III. did not resist this grant. It was a kind of argument ad verecundiam, as if he were asking them, were they better Protestants than George III.? They might perhaps be better Protestants than Mr. Pitt; but it was wrong to suppose that the Protestantism of George III. was at all consulted in this matter. The original Act enabled the Roman Catholics to do what they desired, and he, for one, would not for an instant desire to prevent them from receiving the subscriptions and donations of their coreligionists. He would beg the House to recollect that the pledge of the 5th of May, 1800, extended as much to the Charter Schools and the other Protestant institutions which had been supported by grants from the Irish Parliament, as it did to Maynooth; and his complaint was, that they were now endowing the Roman Catholic Church, and withdrawing support from Protestant institutions. There was a society supported by some Roman Catholic, and by many Protestant Members of this House, but which he had never supported, as he thought it too liberal—he meant the Kildare Place Society; but from that society Her Majesty's late Government had felt it their duty to withdraw any public grant of money because it was of a proselytising character; and this, though the Secretary of the Admiralty under that Administration had been in early times the decided supporter of that institution. His right hon. Friend had also referred to the Colonies, and had asked him if he were disinclined to continue this grant, why should he support the Roman Catholic Church in the Colonies? He would tell him. In Malta, we maintained the Roman Catholic Church on the ground of a specific Treaty; on the same ground we maintained it in the Mauritius, and on the same ground we maintained it in Canada, after having withdrawn all support which the Protestant Church had there received from us. His complaint was, that the reciprocity was all on one side: the endowments were all for the Church of Rome, and the withdrawals were all from Protestant institutions. When he asked his right hon. Friend ten days ago what his intentions were, with respect to Protestant objects supported by Parliamentary grant, such as the Universities of Scotland, the Dissenters of Ireland, and the Regium Donum, and whether he intended to leave These to the tender mercies of an annual Vote of the House of Commons, his right hon. Friend did not notice the others, but fixed on the Regium Donum, and said a great part of the recipients of it were Arians and Socinians, and asked him whether he (Sir R. Inglis) would give them a permanent grant. He then replied, that if such a measure were proposed, he would not oppose it. He had stated his doctrine over and over again in this House, that he would not voluntarily pay any man for teaching what he believed to be—he would not use a harsh phrase—erroneous doctrines. If he were to be asked how could he, with this principle, justify the Church of England in demanding tithes, church rates, and endowments, he would reply now, as he always did, whenever he heard this objection, that tithes were the first charge on every man's property, and, whether in Tipperary or in Leicestershire, were equally due from the owner of the property to the holders; and whether he was an ecclesiastic or a layman, the principle was the same, and he had as much right to the tithes as the owner of the land had to it. And so with regard to church rates or any other receipt which a man of one religion had from a man of another religion; it was a payment, not in respect to creed or person, but in respect to property. He was, therefore, consistent in saying that he would pay no man for teaching what he believed to be wrong. The right hon. Baronet had made a passing observation, that from the poverty of some of the professors, and the indigence of the students, it would seem that they were not such persons as constituted the body of the priesthood in more favoured countries. He would say that, looking to the class of persons from whom the Irish priests were generally chosen, there was a strong probability that they were not such by birth and education as were likely to be most influential for good. But nothing could be wilder or more visionary than the idea that by means of this grant they would bring the great body of the people of Ireland into communion with the Church of England — actually convert the Roman Catholic people of Ireland over to the Protestant faith. [An Opposition Member: Who argues so?] That whisper was so audible that he could not avoid noticing it. He would then tell the hon. Member that that argument was lately put forward by one of the ablest writers whom he knew. He must say, that if he wanted to convert the body of the Irish people to his faith, he thought he should have a much better chance of succeeding in that object by leaving the priests in their present position, than by making them all Wisemans, Bossuets, and Bellarmines. What was the fact? In the last newspaper which he had read, it would be found that Mr. O'Connell had stated that the grant ought to have been 70,000l. when he supposed it was to be 20,000l.; and he apprehended, therefore, that if Her Majesty's Government thought to propitiate Mr. O'Connell by bringing in their present measure, they would be disappointed, and fail in the object as decidedly as in every other attempt that had been made to conciliate that learned Gentleman. Again, Mr. O'Connell alluded to the subject in that House on the 31st of September, 1831, when he said,— He owned he did not feel flattered—Ireland did not feel flattered—by the importance attached by the right hon. Secretary (now Lord Stanley) to this grant. The amount of it was nothing; and if it were withheld altogether, and he should not mind if it were, the Roman Catholic priesthood could still be as well provided for. Why that was the very doctrine of the Prime Minister of this country at the present day. The right hon. Gentleman, when he urged upon the House not to decrease the grant on account of the inconvenience and evils such a step would produce, said, "Don't suppose you would get rid of the institution. It would be supported as well by the people of Ireland then as it is now. If your object is to do away with Maynooth, do not consider that that object will be effected by the discontinuance of your Parliamentary grant." He hoped that he had not altogether failed in proving that if the proposed measure were to be defended, it was not to be defended on the ground of any compact expressed or implied by Act of Parliament, or by unbroken custom. Its defence, if it could be defended, must rest, as he apprehended, on the ground of expediency. And although he was not fond of that word, yet tried, as he thought it should always be, by considerations of principles as distinct from secular advantage, he could not but think that even on the ground of expediency the measure of Her Majesty's Ministers would fail as signally as it deserved. He did not object to the Roman Catholics having as full an opportunity of educating their own ministers as any other body of Dissenters; and he asked the right hon. Gentleman upon what ground he exempted the Roman Catholics of Ireland from the obligation to maintain their own ministers in the same manner as our Dissenting brethren did in this country? He believed there was no institution now in existence for the education of the ministers of any denomination of Christians, which was maintained by the State, except the Roman Catholics. And what, he desired to know, was the special ground for making that exception? In point of fact, by any support which incidentally and indirectly the State gave to the Roman Catholic Church, they were creating an antagonist principle to the Established Church; exactly in proportion as they multiplied the priests of the Church of Rome, educated at the public expense, they were providing foes for the nearer and he hoped dearer intitutions of our own land. These Roman Catholic priests could not be consistent and conscientious if they did not regard the Protestant Establishment, not merely as a nuisance in the sight of man, but as a great evil in the sight of God; and therefore not merely sordid considerations should induce them to endeavour to root it out of the land, but their duty to their Creator ought to compel them to combine to take the same course. Was it, then, consistent with the principles of the British Government to create a body of men, animated as they were known to be by feelings so natural as he had attributed to them? But it was also said, that the Roman Catholics ought to have a share in the fund granted by Parliament for the education of the people. Who prevented that? They came in under the Parliamentary grant, precisely as any other persons, either of the Church or of any Dissenting body. It was not, therefore, with repect to the education of the people that the Roman Catholic was entitled to have any pre-eminence; he had already a fair share of public money; and he (Sir R. Inglis) held that there was nothing in the character of the Romish Church or its people to entitle them to any pre-eminence or distinction. The folly of educating, by means of a State provision, a class of men whose views and whose Church were decidedly hostile to the State Church, was paralleled, so far as he could see, by nothing but the folly of the Dutch, who sold gunpowder to their enemies and besiegers. In proportion as we contributed to the multiplication of Roman Catholic ministers in any part of the kingdom, we were providing for the destruction of our own Church. He could not consent, then, in the name of God, to teach, or pay any other man for teaching, that which he believed to be contrary to the word and truth of God. No consideration would induce him to give his consent to any enlargement, he would not say of this system of error in particular, but of any known system of error. Had he been called on to agree to this grant at any time between the years 1800 and 1820, he might, perhaps, have been required to recognise the implied obligation; but that obligation no longer existed, and he felt entitled to oppose it. In regard to the conscientious objection to the grant, he was inclined to dispute one proposition which had been laid down, not in that House, but elsewhere, by one who, on the score of his public and private character, was entitled to the highest respect. He could not agree with that right hon. Gentleman, that any State could have what he called a State conscience. He believed in a certain individual conscience, and he thought that was sufficient for all purposes. On this ground, therefore, he most fully recognised the right of her Majesty's Government to propose the measure. He believed that they had no motive for doing so but the belief that they were doing their duty; but at the same time he also, in the exercise of the same right, felt most impressively called on to repudiate their course, and to resist their further progress in the measure. He was most anxious not to say anything that would be disrespectful to his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government; but he could not but feel that the greater part of the speech he had made on that occasion might, after all, have been made at a much earlier period of his political life. He hoped his right hon. Friend would excuse the observation; but it appeared to him that there was nothing in the facts brought forward by his right hon. Friend on that occasion that was not equally as patent to observation, and as stringent in its conclusions on any man's conscience, in the year 1813, when the right hon. Baronet was Chief Secretary for Ireland, as it was at the present moment. He was desirous of making these observations in a manner as little offensive as possible; but he could not also help wishing that the passage which he had already quoted from the speech of the right hon. Baronet on the 23rd of June, 1840, had been more distinct as to the measures which should proceed from him. And with regard to all the conclusions which his right hon. Friend had so inevitably drawn from the state of the legislation, the wants of the people, and the duties of their governors, he could not but wish that the country had been enlightened upon them by his right hon. Friend at an earlier period. He cordially agreed in the maxim, that to do right was better late than never; but in this case the question was, whether what they were about to do was right; and he had troubled the House to but little purpose if he had not shown them that that course was not only not right, but that it was specifically wrong. Therefore he was entitled to say, that he wished they had known the intentions of the right hon. Baronet at an earlier period. He could not help feeling that the House and the country had been taken by surprise by the right hon. Baronet. All our legislation was founded—he was not ashamed to avow it—on the Protestant Christianity of the country. For the last three centuries that had been the distinguishing character and essence of the Constitution. Little by little, we had seen the distinguishing marks of the Protestant Constitution shattered in the warfare of the last few years. The meteor flag, to which we had so long looked with admiration, had been shattered and torn, but the Protestant colours were still at the mast-head; and, so long as a single shred of the old flag lasted, he for one would endeavour to nail it to that mast, and he would fight as unflinchingly for it and under it as when, in brighter days, it waved entire and untorn over our Empire. With these feelings, and thanking the House for its patient and kind attention, he begged to conclude by giving a distinct negative to the proposal of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Bernal Osborne

said, amidst the long series of struggles of which Ireland had been the subject, the only thing left there which was anything like a national institution was the Roman Catholic Church, which remained as a monument to all ages of the wickedness and folly of religious persecution. The right hon. Baronet seemed disposed to take the advice of the late Bishop of Killaloe; and as he found it impossible to turn 7,000,000 of Irish into Protestants, he was determined to do all he could to make them good Catholics. The right hon. Gentleman had given a history of the origin and progress of Maynooth; and, having done so, he was surprised to hear the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford denying that there was any compact as to the College of Maynooth. The hon. Baronet, no doubt, was not aware that when an application was made for the establishment of Maynooth, it was intended that Protestants also should be admitted. The Irish Parliament answered the appeal made to it by allowing the College to be founded; but they prohibited, by Statute, any Protestant from entering the walls of the College. But when the Parliament made that prohibition, there was a lay college attached to the Catholic College. It so continued until 1801, when Mr. Abbott, afterwards Lord Colchester, objected to the lay college, which was subsequently discontinued. It was not, then, the fault of the Roman Catholics that this was made exclusively an ecclesiastical College. There seemed to be very general misapprehension as to the course pursued by the Roman Catholic authorities with regard to the teaching at Maynooth. It was not, perhaps, generally known that every student there was required to have a copy of the Bible; and notwithstanding the scanty funds of the institution, 300 copies had been distributed at a price reduced from two guineas to fourteen shillings. They had also suppressed all notes which could have any reference to the prejudices of their Protestant brethren. A great many remarks had been made about the low standard of education among the priests. He had even heard such remarks made by hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords in such language that he had required to know that they occupied such positions, or he could not have supposed it possible. If the Irish priest was sometimes wrong in his orthography, or committed a lapsus linguæ, he thought that specimens of similar errors might also be found among their accusers. He need only refer the House to one case—that of a noble Marquess, still, as at the time to which he referred, Lord Lieutenant of a county. He alluded to the letter of the Marquess of Westmeath, which had appeared in the papers, and was, no doubt, familiar to hon. Members. The noble Lord had some squabble with a Catholic priest about a right of way to a chapel; and it was thus the noble Lord wrote to the editor of the Dublin Evening Mail—a paper, no doubt, known to the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Gregory) that he saw opposite:— Please to observe how Priest Carey spells—the word 'incroach' is a specimen; and I have just, on closing this, received a letter full of this sort of vituperation from Priest Carey, such as these amphibious creatures mistake for spirit; wherever he having to use the word 'precedent,' spells it 'pressident;' one's not being sufficient, he gives it two, with and. I preserve the originals as a testimony of the state of education that precious seminary at Maynooth gives to the faithful clergy who have now got their unwashed feet upon the necks of this poor misguided and much-to-be-commiserated people. Of course I never should have thought of a correspondence with any of those emaciated vermin unless forced, as I was, to answer the application in the present case. If the noble Lord who remarked upon the priest for being so prodigal of his s s, had only the slight advantages which the State gave to the clergyman, it was probable that the noble Lord's grammar would have been as vicious as his style. He was surprised that the hon. Member for the University of Oxford had not alluded to the low origin of the Roman Catholic priests; for some hon. Gentlemen seemed to think that fashion and gentility were necessary in a parish priest. On the same ground they might have objected to the apostles. Having paid some little attention to the subject, he thought that hon. Gentlemen who made such objections were ignorant of the genius and system of the Roman Catholic religion. It had always been part and parcel of the Roman Catholic policy to raise the great body of the clergy from the working classes; and for this reason—that in the middle ages, and even subsequently, the higher classes monopolized all the places of power and influence; and it was in the Church alone that the democratic energy could find an outlet for its ambition. To this policy they owed some of their most learned scholars, and the Church some of its most pious saints; and he would remind the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, that had it not been for this system, Luther himself would have remained a farmer-peasant. Let them look at the course pursued for the last fifty years. What was the evidence of Dr. Crotty, given before the Commission appointed to inquire into the state of Maynooth in 1826? He said— Roman Catholic bishops are always anxious to procure young men of the most decent families to be members of Maynooth; but it is impossible to find a sufficient number to supply the wants of Roman Catholic ministers. The labours of a Roman Catholic clergyman are far greater than the public are aware of. They are frequently exposed to the most imminent danger of losing their health and lives in visiting, at night, the wretched hovels of the peasantry, where nothing is found but misery and contagious disorder. There are no temporal inducements for the children of the higher classes to become priests! He could himself bear testimony to the exertions and privations of the much belied priests. Now, he had been forcibly struck with an observation of Mr. David Hume bearing upon this subject. In one of his Essays he said, that the provinces of absolute monarchy were always better treated than those of free states; and he instanced Ireland, as affording an illustration of the fact. Now, he would test this statement by the example of a neighbouring nation, the Government of which was an absolute monarchy; at least, the country was not in the enjoyment of the representative system—he referred to Prussia. The hereditary dominions of the Prussian Crown being Protestant, by the Treaty of 1815, the Rhenish States, in which there was a considerable Roman Catholic population, were annexed to the Prussian territory. The first step taken by the late King of Prussia, under these circumstances, was to found a Roman Catholic seminary at the University of Bonn. The next was, to place himself in communication with the Pope. In 1821, though no Concordat was signed, the Pope issued a bull, by which he empowered the Crown to direct the chapters to confer with it in reference to the election of Roman Catholic bishops. Nay, more, all the correspondence between the Pope and the clergy had to pass under the cognizance of the Government. If this arrangement answered in Prussia, why should it not here? It could hardly be supposed, when the Pope was on such a friendly footing with the present Government, that he would have the least objection to correspondence passing through their hands. Now, there were two classes of opponents to this measure. The first class, amongst whom were several friends of his own, consisted of those who were opposed to the grant because they objected to the principle of making a State provision for the members of any Church. The second class was represented by the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, who, thinking that he had got an exclusive monopoly of the truth, objected to what he called the endowment of error. Now, with reference to the first class of opponents, although he differed from them in opinion, he must confess that their arguments were comprehensible; but he would remind them that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were perfectly ready to repudiate any bounty of the State, even for the education of their ecclesiastics. It was difficult, however, to meet the objection of the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, who objected to the endowment of what he called "religious error?" He was here compelled to adopt the language of Mr. Burke, and to ask who was to be the proper judge as to what was religious error. Was that House to go into a Committee for the discovery of religious truth? The Treasury, he imagined, was of no religious persuasion—omnes eodem cogimur. The question was, after all, not whether there should be Roman Catholic priests in Ireland, but whether the priests should be good or bad, literate or illiterate, clergymen or demagogues. Were they prepared to enact the penal laws proscribing the Roman Catholic worship? Was there to be a kind of religious scale in reference to this matter? Every year they had had a sham fight; but if the sum were rather more than doubled, the Protestant religion was supposed to be in especial danger. Why, they had already endowed the Roman Catholic Church by empowering grand juries to vote money to be paid out of the county rates for the erection of Roman Catholic chapels; and those who objected to this measure after that belonged to the class who exhibited tremendous facilities for straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Since the period of the Union the Established Church in Ireland, whose members might be taken at 850,000, had received 5,207,000l.; the Protestant Dissenters had received 1,019,000l.: and the Roman Catholic Church, whose members constituted the bulk of the community, had received only 365,670l. Now, agreeing as he did with the policy of the right hon. Baronet's measure, the question arose in his mind from what fund this grant should be supplied? The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) having alluded to the probability of the Roman Catholic gentry contributing towards the furtherance of the object, he could not but express his own regret that they had not already contributed to a greater extent. It appeared that they subscribed the sum of 10,000l. a-year to the Society at Lyons for the Propagation of the Faith. Might he be permitted to suggest to them that it would be much wiser and more charitable to confine that sum to the education of their own people? But he must now revert to the question, whence were the funds to be derived for the endowment of the College of Maynooth? He could not but foresee that the Resolutions which they were about to pass involved the ultimate endowment of the Roman Catholic Church; and he, for one, was not prepared to take a large sum of money from taxes principally paid by the English people for the endowment of a creed to which they entertained very strong objections. But was there no other source from which the money could be obtained? He put it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—the only Cabinet Minister whom he saw in his place—whether the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, acting under the Temporalities Act, were not at that moment possessed of a great deal of money of which they knew not how to make use? He very much regretted that his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield had not on that occasion thought proper to move his Amendment; because he thought that, by voting this money from the Consolidated Fund, they would, in fact, be propping up the defective system of the Irish Established Church. When he considered the anomaly which that Church presented, the scanty congregations which attended its places of worship, while the despised chapels of the Roman Catholics were thronged, he certainly felt that it was vain to vote money to Maynooth in the manner proposed. Never would the question of the grievances of Ireland be finally settled until they made the Established Church of Ireland commensurate with its population, and not with its territorial wants. He was a sincere member of the Established Church; but he did not think that the starving peasantry of Ireland could look on the clergy of the Irish Established Church, "clothed in purple and fine linen," and "faring sumptuously every day," as the exponents of that religion the lowliness of which the apostles preached. He sympathized most warmly with the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) in the difficult situation in which he was placed; but he must permit him to say that his difficulty was greatly increased by the peculiar reserve which had distinguished his political career in that House. He thought he would find himself in what the people of America vulgarly called "a fix." He recollected that on the right hon. Baronet's inauguration upon the Treasury Bench, when he (Captain B. Osborne) first entered the House, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Kent, with that remarkable solemnity which always marked his addresses in Parliament, and with great force and vigour, invoked a blessing on his head. He knew not whether that right hon. Gentleman was satisfied with the working of his incantation; but this he knew, that a great change had come over the spirit of the right hon. Baronet; so much so, that he thought they would be obliged to call to their aid those Custom-house officers who were able to discriminate between clayed sugars in order to detect any material difference between the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) and the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), who sat on his own side of the House. He (Captain B. Osborne) could respect the honest intolerance and the conscientious bigotry of those who had always sincerely opposed this grant; but it should be some consolation to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government to recollect that the same cry that was now heard was raised when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon was appointed a Member of the Privy Council. What was now said of those noble Lords and right hon. Gentlemen who formerly exhibited to the constituencies wooden bibles and pasteboard crowns he would not pretend to determine. That was a question which he must leave to themselves.

Mr. Gregory

I am far from convinced by any of the arguments that have been employed by the right hon. Baronet this evening of the policy of carrying into law the Bill he has laid before the House. The original grounds, as he has himself stated, for granting a sum of money towards the support of Maynooth College, was to obviate the jacobinical tendency of a foreign education, and to provide instruction at home for the Roman Catholic clergy. In making that endowment, the Government of the day expected to see spring up a clergy not merely well-instructed, but loyal, peaceful, and devoted to the institutions of their country. The fallacy of these expectations we have lived long enough to experience. But, Sir, if in 1795 Mr. Pitt fell into an error, the mistake was most pardonable, and was one the wisest might have been betrayed into. He had had no benefit from experience—from bygone facts he could form no deductions. He and the Government of the day had every reason to expect a happy result from the experiment. Yet what is the state of the case—and what benefits has Ireland derived from the endowment? Mr. Grattan had been cited by the right hon. Baronet as the great advocate of this measure—but I will quote the words of Mr. Grattan in 1808, and ask the House have his expectations been fulfilled? He advocated the increase of the grant in that year, in the hope that by a home education at Maynooth, the Roman Catholic clergy would become a less political clergy, to the great danger of overthrowing the Government. I am unwilling to enter upon this dangerous topic — I am unwilling to rouse the bitterness of religious animosity. It is enough for me to say, that the experience of last year ought to convince any British Government that the endowment of Maynooth has not promoted the tranquillity of Ireland. What course, then, do Her Majesty's Ministers adopt? what remedy do they apply to this acknowledged evil? They propose to increase the grant; they understand how pleasantly the human mind is affected by specious parodoxes. Could we have a prettier paradox than the present Bill? To render evil impotent, we increase its powers; the very strength we grant will be the source of weakness; the stability we confer, bears within itself the elements of caducity; by paying a premium to agitation, agitation will be settled; by increasing the power of the storm, we are to lull the waves into tranquillity. I presume the preamble of this Bill will be worded something to this effect:—"Whereas the grant of money to Maynooth College, instituted from 1795, has not been attended with any beneficial effect to Ireland; and whereas the Roman Catholic priesthood educated at that seminary are most indisposed to British connexion; be it therefore enacted, that the aforesaid grant be increased from 8,000l. per annum to 26,300l., in order that the power of that institution may be augmented, its influence more widely spread by the increase of funds." Why, Sir, this is the argument of the drunkard, after his debauch! He endeavours to cure the effects of his intemperance by having recourse to fresh and more copious draughts. We have heard a great deal this evening about the benefits of that increased grant; but it appears to me that the arguments employed in favour of it, have a remarkably Janus-like appearance—the one face ostentatiously proclaims to the Catholics of Ireland the liberality of this Vote, which exacts no pledge—institutes no inquiry—claims no reciprocity: the other face, however, looking to Protestant Ireland, declares that that Bill will be the most beneficial thing in the world for its interest—that instead of turbulent and political priests, we shall, in no short period of time, be blessed with a Catholic clergy, with more than the religion and zeal of their foreign educated predecessors, and with equal politeness, learning, and refinement. But even more than that is held out, to force the way for its reception, and to soothe the apprehensions of the alarmed. It is to be the grand instrument for the Protestantizing of Ireland. Such are the words ostentatiously committed to print in capital letters by a daily paper, supposed in some degree to reflect the opinions of Her Majesty's Government. The moment I read that paragraph a new light seemed to burst upon me. "Then," said I, "have we, the Protestants of Ireland, for the last four years been disquieting ourselves because the Government will lend no assistance to scriptural education—will not place a penny at the disposal of the Church Education Society, which, for old acquaintance sake, and the apparent sympathy that once existed between the occupiers of the Treasury Bench and the Kildare-place Society, we were credulous enough to imagine they would have done." But if that argument be true, it is quite evident they have acted very wisely, that their denial of funds has arisen purely from excessive zeal for Protestantism, and that both the increase of money to Maynooth, and the denial of money to Kildare-place, originate from the same anxious and affectionate regard for the Established Church. Give a grant to Maynooth, you will Protestantize Ireland; of course the contrary follows. Give a grant to Kildare-place, and you Romanize Ireland. Strange gold this Treasury gold, that is to transmute all it touches into its contrary — Romanism into Protestantism — Protestantism into Romanism. Unfortunately, however, there are two classes of persons in Great Britain who do hold by these opinions—namely, Roman Catholics, and those who are not Roman Catholics. But to confirm their reasoning, these arguers cry out, "Look at the unwillingness of the Catholic clergy to accept this boon—they see the danger of it—their eyes are not closed to their destruction; but their laity compels them to receive it." But will any one conceive the Roman Catholic laity to be so indifferent to the religion they profess, us to compel their clergy to any course likely to affect the stability of their Church? are they less clearsighted than ourselves? have penal laws alienated their affections? It is an absurdity on the face of it. This is a boon to them, a great concession, a concession of principle; an acknowledgment of their Church by the State—a union commenced by the Bequest Act, consummated by the present Bill. Such small acknowledgment as payment to the Roman Catholic chaplains of poor-houses and to gaol chaplains, which the right hon. Baronet alleges, and the like, are but minor inconsistencies. I am much puzzled and perplexed when I think how all this has come about. How can it be so? Have we not the most decided expression of opinion on the part of the Prime Minister, and that not long ago, against this identical union? Did not the right hon. Baronet oppose the Motion of the noble Lord the Member for Lancashire, for paying the Roman Catholic Clergy, expressly on this ground—that the Government would do nothing that looked like uniting the State in any way with Papacy? It seems, however, in 1845, that these scruples have disappeared—the ceremony may be performed — the objections formerly entertained against the character of the betrothed may be got over. True, he has been hitherto somewhat turbulent, somewhat given to agitation, not over respectful to his bride, nor over scrupulous in his remarks upon her character, and that of her relatives. But what matter—we are all liable to error. In married life he will, no doubt, settle down into a decent and reputable quiescence, and, the right hon. Baronet will prove how he has discarded his former suspicions and dislikes, and, overruling the first causes and impediments that interfere in the different readings of the bans, will himself join in indissoluble wedlock those hitherto discordant hands, and lead off in the grand epithalmic chorus which will wind up these proceedings and this debate. And may I, too, be allowed, although an unwilling spectator, to express my fervent hope that in the process of time, when the fruits of this union shall see the light, that the answer to our anxious inquiries may be—that the mother and child are both doing well. This is not a question as to whether the Roman Catholic priesthood should be educated or not. Never, never would I rise in my place an advocate of ignorance, and all its concomitant misfortunes. Let them be educated, and take that position in society and in public estimation which the holiness of their calling, as ministers of religion, undoubtedly proclaims it their right to do. But I do, without entering into particulars, protest against the fruits of Maynooth education: it has existed now for fifty years, and has it added one single constellation to the galaxy of Irish eminence? has it shed one gleam of light upon the dark surface of Irish history? and can it be supposed that among all those that enter into and issue from its walls, there be none upon whom Providence has conferred the divinœ particulum aurœ—the learning and the eloquence, amid all her sorrows and distractions, Ireland's unalienated and unalienable heritage? You provide no adequate remedy by your Bill for the evils we complain of. Things are left precisely as they were; and one of the great faults of this system, Sir, what I condemn, is this, namely, its tendency to launch at once into action, into positions the most responsible for good or evil, young men, utterly unacquainted with the world, who have had no opportunities of forming their opinions, of divesting their minds of prejudice, and error, the sure offspring of seclusion and exclusiveness. Looked upon as a higher being, and invested almost with superstitious reverence by those under his charge, his previous mode of life renders the Catholic clergyman unwilling to enter into society, where he would be but on an equality, but where his presence would dispel many a distrust and misconception. The comparative moderation of the tone and language of the priesthood ministering in large towns—men daily accustomed to mingle in the society of their equals, is corroborative of what I have advanced. I do not see how the increase of this grant will remedy this defect. You may produce a higher standard of scholastic learning, but the tendencies will remain the same. Far better, in my opinion, would it have been that the right hon. Baronet should have adopted his second alternative—should have come down and proposed to do away altogether with the College of Maynooth, applying the funds hitherto voted for that Seminary, and as much more as he deemed amply sufficient for that purpose, for the establishment throughout the land of colleges for every persuasion, where Irishmen would have met Irishmen—where difference of religion would not produce hostility of feeling—whereby those dedicated to the holy calling would not enter upon it without some previous knowledge of mankind—where kindly feelings might be engendered, not unlikely to be extended from the individual to the class. I have looked upon that question almost entirely in a political point of view; I have opposed it mainly on that ground; but there are other higher, graver, and more important reasons which the House must entertain before that Bill passes into law. Into these I do not enter; I shall leave them to hon. Members who, both from their ability and high character, are far better calculated than myself to deliver them with the force and solemnity they deserve. They have been brought forward by the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford with his usual fearlessness and ability. And in conclusion, I trust, that in the remarks I have made, I have not been betrayed into any expression of religious or sectarian violence. It is far from my intention to have done so; I have no wish to give offence to Roman Catholic Gentlemen opposite, for many of whom I have the most sincere regard. Let them, therefore, attribute any unstudied word or unguarded expression, not to malice prepense, but to the great difficulties that a person so little accustomed as myself to obtrude upon the House must ever be subject to. But I have had a duty to perform, not merely to deliver my own sentiments, but that of the great constituency I represent. And I am bound to tell the House that that measure has excited a deep feeling of sorrow and resentment among the Protestants of Ireland. Nevertheless, Sir, I am not of that disposition to wish that my prognostications may turn out correct, if continued evil be the result. Far rather would I see my words gainsayed, my arguments overthrown, if by the result of this measure we shall see in a few years springing up amongst us a Catholic priesthood the advocates of order and tranquillity, not marshallers and leaders of an eager and excited peasantry, but commanding the respect and conciliating the good will of the highest as well as of the lowest, bringing their acquirements and their influence, not to sever, but to rivet the links of friendship and mutual interest, by which nature has intended our country and this to be indissolubly joined.

Lord F. Egerton

said, that after the speech of his right hon. Friend, which had, he thought, entirely exhausted all the topics which could be alleged in behalf of this measure, it was not his intention to enter largely into the subject; but he was anxious not to allow the debate to go to a division without giving some brief expression to his sentiments; because he was cognizant and deeply sensible of the fact, that the vote which he was about to give would be at variance with the opinions entertained by many of those whose countenance and support in that part of the country which he had the honour to represent he had always regarded as the greatest honour, and as the only reward which he could look for in his political career. It was, therefore, with regret that he found himself obliged to encounter any difference of opinion with supporters such as those; but he could only say, that as he came into Parliament perfectly unfettered, in the free and independent expression of his opinions on all occasions, he felt bound on this occasion, as on others, to follow the dictates of his own judgment; and that if the result should be that he must quit his seat, he should be prepared to do that. He was anxious, therefore, not to give a silent vote, or a cold support to his right hon. Friend's proposition. He would not enter on the question whether we were called on to continue the establishment at Maynooth up to its present amount; it was clear that whatever contract there might be to maintain the present establishment, either in consequence of what passed in 1795, or at the time of the Union, or under the Administration of Mr. Percival, there was not a contract to increase the amount voted for it; and it was not on the ground of contract that he placed the question. But as to abolishing the contract altogether, as the hon. Baronet who had first spoken seemed to wish, in that he must say he totally differed from him; because that course seemed to him to be dangerous to the State; because that course would be considered as an insult and an injury to the Irish people; and because that course would prove, he firmly believed, only a peril the more to the Established Church, and not a benefit or a boon to that Church in Ireland. The course, therefore, that in his opinion Parliament had to adopt, was either to maintain the grant at its present amount, or to increase it as Parliament might think fit. Now, the sum at which his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel) had stated the cost per head of education there, was, as far as his short experience at the War Office went, about 3l. less than the cost to the country of each private soldier. He believed 25l. a year was the cost of each private soldier; while at Maynooth the cost of each student was 22l. or 23l. a year. He certainly, therefore, could not be deterred by the magnitude of the proposed grant from voting for the measure of his right hon. Friend. With respect to the speech of the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Gregory) he must say, and he thought the House would concur with him, that no Roman Catholic could have listened to it and taken the slightest offence at anything which fell from the hon. Member, who throughout had used the language of a generous opponent. It was now twenty years ago since he had the honour of inviting the House to assent to a rather larger measure; therefore, with reference to his constituents, he had nothing to reproach himself with on the score of consistency; but when he was told by persons whom he regarded with sincere respect, because he believed they were actuated by nothing but the most conscientious objections to this course, that this grant ought not to be made to a religion in which he and they did not believe, he acknowledged he had no argument to offer; he could only say that his religion did not prevent him from taking that course; and he would add, that he could not think professions of faith and religious dogmas were suited to the atmosphere of the House of Commons. He hoped his religion would not be tried by any other test than his practice; and he could only repeat, in answer to such objectors, that his religion did not prevent him from giving the vote he was about to record; he could only say that if, on coniderations so high and so uncontrollable as these, he were prevented from joining in this Vote, he should deeply regret it; for, if such considerations prevented him from making what on other grounds he considered to be a just and liberal grant—if, he said, believing from what he knew of Ireland, of the state of her wants, and of the state of public feeling on this subject, that it was not only a just and liberal, but a necessary grant, he were prevented by such considerations from participating in the Vote, he thought he should be obliged to go further; he thought he should have to say that he thought this country was incapable of maintaining her Colonial dominions on the principle on which alone it was possible for her to maintain them. In fact, he must go further still, if, with the knowledge he had of Ireland, and with the feelings he was possessed with and the desire for her good which animated him, he were prevented by the considerations he had mentioned from exercising this liberality towards her—he must go further, and must be led to the conclusion that it was impossible for him to say, that which he trusted he should ever say while life remained, that he was an opponent of the miserable proposition of a repeal of the connexion between the two countries. Leave England, he must in that case say, to her Protestant integrity, and do the best way you Irish can, and take your own affairs into your own management. He should have a difficulty in not coming to that conclusion if he were prevented and foreclosed by his religious feelings from coming to this Vote. With regard to the expressions which had fallen from his right hon. Friend on occasion of the measure of 1825, to which the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Gregory) had referred, he had certainly not a distinct recollection of the words which hon. Members had used in that debate; but he did remember that the Government of that day had made a proposition on the subject, and that proposition he had brought forward in the House; and he also well remembered the patience with which he had been heard by the House, and that the proposition had not met with opposition on any firm grounds of opposition to an increase of the grant, and be believed the question was decided by a small majority on that occasion. Now, he had never materially altered his opinions as to the expediency of the measure he then proposed; and if the majority of the people of Ireland were polled, and the majority of those who were acquainted with the true interests of Ireland were polled, he believed that that feeling would be found to be pretty generally shared in.

Mr. Ward

[who had risen with Lord F. Egerton, but given way] was glad that he had not interposed between the House and the admirable speech of the noble Lord. He merely rose to state in the fewest possible words the reasons of the vote which he should give that night; but first, he might be permitted, as a man who had laboured conscientiously and earnestly for ten years in this cause, to express the heartfelt gratification with which he had heard many of the principles laid down by the right hon. Baronet; it might be permitted to a man who had looked for nothing in his political career but the triumph of truth, to express his joy at seeing the principles he had advocated stated so irresistibly as he felt them to have been that night by the right hon. Baronet; for, whatever the hon. Baronet (Sir R. H. Inglis) might say, the fact was, if the hon. Baronet stood a monument of Protestant consistency, he was also a monument of blindness to the interests the hon. Baronet considered as his own; and notwithstanding the forest of petitions of which the hon. Baronet had spoken, he believed that there was no one in this country who, when the speech of the right hon. Baronet came to be calmly reflected on, would find himself able to dissent from the principles there laid down. There was one part of the speech of the noble Lord in which he could not concur. The noble Lord said, that he had no argument to offer to those who pleaded their conscientious scruples against this grant. Now, in his opinion the noble Lord had every argument to offer against them; he had justice, an appeal to reason, our own past errors, and the calamities they had entailed, not on Ireland only, but on the Empire at large. The hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Gregory) had spoken, he thought, especially considering the city with which the hon. Member was connected, with remarkable moderation, good taste, and judgment. But the hon. Member had referred to the measure of 1825, and spoken of the disappointment of the hopes that were entertained when the establishment at Maynooth was founded. But what grounds were there for that? They had professed to institute an establishment to teach the Roman Catholic priests; but they had assigned, many years ago, such salaries to the professors as the hon. Gentleman would not offer to his butler or his cook. How could they expect the students to leave that College with any feeling of respect for the Government? How could they expect those men to be animated by anything but a rankling feeling of hostility through life? He believed that if the House threw themselves on the generous feelings of the Roman Catholics, and if without spoiling the measure (to use the words of the right hon. Baronet) by any stipulations as to the mode of teaching, they agreed to grant it in full; if they dealt with them as men dealing with their fellow-subjects—they would reap their harvest in the cordial feeling they would find subsisting between the two creeds which had been so long unhappily separated—as he should always say—by the measures which had been pursued by the British Parliament. He did not believe that the attempt which had been made that night by the hon. Baronet (Sir R. H. Inglis) to revive feelings of animosity would succeed. He admired the consistency and the courage with which the hon. Baronet clung to what he almost admitted was a losing cause. The hon. Baronet seemed to look back with regret on the days when the flag of his cause waved in triumph—to the days of George III. and Mr. Percival—but still he said, that he had nailed his flag to the mast, and that he should take the sense of the House on the proposition. The hon. Baronet had asked why we should educate the ministers of the Roman Catholic religion rather than any other. He would tell the hon. Baronet why. Because we had confiscated to our own use the whole revenues of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, and one or two per cent. was all we returned them. The hon. Baronet had also asked, if these principles now put forward by the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) were true, how they were not so in 1813? They were true then, and he (Mr. Ward) only regretted the right hon. Baronet had not seen their truth at that time; because he believed that if the right hon. Baronet had seen it then he would have had the moral courage to state his convictions; and he thought it a great misfortune to the country that the right hon. Baronet had not seen those principles in the same light at that time. He must do justice to the moral courage of a person placed in the right hon. Baronet's position; and in the sort of reception his proposition had met with from those behind him, and from the doubtful support of many before him, it was impossible to imagine a nobler confession of error on the part of a public man, or a nobler determination to make amends for that which he had done wrong. No doubt the principles which the right hon. Gentleman had laid down that evening were as true at the time of the Act as they were now; and although Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke, Lord Grenville, and Earl Grey when he was Lord Howick, had all concurred in the absolute necessity of dealing upon a comprehensive and liberal principle with the Roman Catholics, they were overruled by what was now admitted to be the insanity of the King, and the interests of the country were sacrificed to a mere display of party contest in that House. The right hon. Gentleman had entered upon a wise course of liberty, and, he trusted, of peace; and, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, he confessed it was with the utmost reluctance that he felt it would be his duty to interfere at any stage of the progress of the Bill, by stating that it was not out of the general taxation of the country that this provision ought to be made. He gave—he could hardly call it his most cordial support, for he might say his most cordial tribute of admiration to the principles that had emanated from the Government in introducing this measure; but he thought they had mistaken the mode in which those principles ought to be carried out. As laid down by the right hon. Baronet, those principles went further than he was disposed to go now. Before they imposed a tax upon Dissenters, upon Presbyterians, and upon English Churchmen for the support of a creed to which they did not belong, they ought to make sure that there were not other funds at the disposal of the State from which the most secure provision for the Catholics ought to come; and therefore at a later period of the Bill he should think it his duty to bring that subject before the House. However, as to whether this Bill should be introduced that evening or not, he should give to the right hon. Baronet his most cordial and decided support, reserving to himself the right of stating the mode in which he thought the funds ought to be appropriated to the purposes of a measure that would give universal satisfaction to the Catholics of Ireland, and would be, he hoped, the forerunner of a better feeling between the inhabitants of this country and Ireland, and tend to produce conciliation and peace between them.

Mr. Law

had no hesitation in avowing the reluctance with which he felt himself called upon to offer opposition to the measure proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. At the same time, he begged to express his obligations to that right hon. Gentleman for the extreme candour, the full notice, and liberal announcement of his intention, both at the close of the late Session and the commencement of the present. Whatever objection could be raised to the principle of the measure, no one could say that the country or that House had been taken by surprise. Towards the close of the late Session, and at the commencement of the present, a clear indication was afforded of the course on which the Government were entering; and which, though apparently trifling, gave in his judgment the clearest possible demonstration that the Government were prepared to enter upon a course, not only embracing the present measure, but extending to others, of equal, if not greater importance. He alluded to the Commission issued in reference to the Roman Catholic Bequests Bill, in which the names of right rev. Prelates of the Roman Catholic Church were not only associated in juxtaposition with the Primate of Ireland and the Bishops of the United English and Irish Church, but precedence was allotted to those eminent and respectable persons of the Roman Catholic persuasion, which gave them, as it were by anticipation, a position superior in rank and degree to Peers of the Realm. He did not complain of that course; on the contrary, he thought it was an act of candour and frankness in announcing that the present was but the commencement of a course of measures which were hereafter to be pursued in reference to the Roman Catholic establishment, and in derogation of the Established and United Church of England and Ireland. He felt that it was not dealing justly with this important subject, to regard it as determining the principle of education of the Roman Catholic priesthood for the future upon an enlarged basis, and by conferring a great additional fund; but he could not but regard it, whatever might be the immediate intention of the Government, as a precursor either in their hands or of others, of measures that would admit of the endowment of the Roman Catholic Church, and placing it so established in a co-ordinate position for a time with the United Church of England and Ireland. It was because he could discover no safety or resting-place ultimately between the present question and that not remote consequence that he had, after much deliberation and with great anxiety and regret, arrived at the determination that it was his bounden duty as regarded the Established Church, as regarded those whom he had the honour to represent, and the sincerity of his own opinions, to offer to this measure his decided opposition. His judgment was balanced for a very considerable period by the expectation, that inasmuch as the right hon. Baronet had announced at the close of the late Session, and had renewed it at the commencement of the present, that it was his intention not only to propose a liberal grant to the College of Maynooth, but to present to the attention of the House and to the consideration of Parliament some enlarged scheme of academical education that would embrace among the higher classes of society gentlemen of all religious sects and persuasions; and he had hoped, until the right hon. Gentleman had actually made his announcement, that the extension of the grant to the College of Maynooth would have been part and parcel of that general scheme, and would have been calculated to divest it of much of that which he felt objectionable in the proposal of the Government. When he was called upon to express his opinion, he trusted that he should not for a moment be supposed to impute any but the purest motives and intentions to the Government, who had felt it to be their duty, in their construction of the supposed obligation of Parliament, to submit this measure to the House of Commons. If he had arrived at the conclusion to which the Government had come, that that was a contract and obligation of which they could not in honour divest themselves, it ought not to be a question of money; and if the obligation rested on Parliament for the education of the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood, it ought to have a liberal and enlarged interpretation, and funds adequate to the purpose should be conferred upon that establishment to carry out those objects which the Government believed they were bound to maintain. However deeply too the public might be interested in the decision to which they might come upon this matter—however it might involve some of the greatest interests in this country, he did not feel, although he was unhappy enough to differ from the Government upon this, he admitted, momentous question, that he ought on that account to withdraw that general confidence in the Government which he had had the happiness for ten years to repose in those who had now for the benefit of the country the administration of public affairs. He only claimed in return, that if from want of judgment he had formed an erroneous conclusion, the same charity would be extended to him in the construction of the motives upon which he acted, and that if by error in judgment, or from any other cause, he regarded this important question in a diametrically opposite point of view to the Government, his sincerity might not be questioned, or his general disposition to repose confidence in the best Government this country had been enabled to possess since the passing of the Reform Bill, and to which upon most questions he had had the happiness of giving his humble support. He certainly felt a deep regret that the right hon. Gentleman had not divulged to the House the scheme he meditated in regard to academical education. The sting of this measure would have been materially extracted, if instead of the endowment of the College of Maynooth being a substantive and distinct arrangement—if instead of its being based upon an implied contract, and the fulfilment of that obligation — if instead of appropriating it exclusively to the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood, it had formed one of the colleges of an united university, open to all sects and demominations in Ireland—he could not but think that a system of more enlightened and liberal education in the eyes of the world, and the advantages of which would have rubbed off the prejudices that might be acquired in a monastic establishment, would have divested this measure of much of the objections that attached to it. With regard to the state of the question of academical education, they had in Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin, a Protestant endowment and establishment, but to which gentlemen of the Roman Catholic religion were freely admitted, and where they might graduate in arts and compete for all the honours of the University. They had also hitherto at Maynooth a separate and distinct establishment, presenting the greatest anomaly that ever existed in any country—established not at all upon the grounds which were now contended for its continuance, but which was established at the request of two persons of considerable eminence and influence in the Roman Catholic Church, in order that it might be the recipient of the bounty of, and be sustained by, those who were in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. It was perfectly true that the illustrious Minister to whom that request was made, not only granted the boon, but conceded a grant of money, in order, as it were, to found the establishment of Maynooth, and to place it in a position to be a recipient of the bounty and pious destination of property which persons in communion with the Roman Catholic Church might be disposed to give. But he would not fatigue the House in travelling through that chain of argument which his hon. Friend the Member for Oxford had followed in deducing the origin of this establishment, in showing that Parliament was never pledged to a perpetual continuance of that grant, and that the grant was subject to renewal and revision by Parliament, and depended on that condition which he contended was necessarily implied in the establishment of this College—viz., that it should be the means of educating better men, more enlightened Christians, and men more capable of performing the duties of their Church. Those were the grounds upon which the College in its infancy proceeded, and most truly, as the right hon. Gentleman had stated, that after the Act was passed in 1795, a further Act was passed in 1800, preparatory to the Union; and it was also true that, although obscurely, endowments for pious and charitable purposes were stipulated for in the same tone and in the same spirit; yet it was left to a period of twenty years, now long since expired, since which time the alleged contract with Government, or rather the Legislature of 1795, was no doubt amplified by subsequent Statutes. In the result, then, he came to a directly opposite conclusion to the right hon. Baronet, that Parliament was under any obligation to continue this grant, beyond indeed giving notice of its intention to withdraw it, lest persons might be inconvenienced by the abrupt termination of the application of this fund to the College. If he could persuade himself that the reasoning of the right hon. Baronet were sound and unanswerable—if it became a question of an honourable engagement, he would be amongst the last to be guilty of a breach of that engagement, no matter at what cost, even if at the cost of an implied sacrifice of principle. But he did not feel that the Government were driven to the alternative of either entirely ceasing to contribute to the establishment of Maynooth, or to extend the grant to the amount which had been proposed. There was a great difference between an annual grant submitted year after year to the supervision of Parliament, and an enlarged and permanent grant recognised by Act of Parliament. One objection to the latter presented itself in the foremost rank—viz., that they would have parted with all power and control, if they should be disappointed in the expectations they had formed as likely to be the result of their conciliatory spirit. By rendering it permanent by Act of Parliament, they would also have afforded another Parliamentary construction of the original implied engagement; and sooner than disturb that engagement of such imperfect obligation—sooner than perplex the Government, they proposed to give the recipients of their bounty the opportunity of saying "You are now too late to deny the principle involved in it—you have conceded it by successive enactments." He remembered that, on the first day of the present Session, the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Lord Sandon), whose opinion carried great weight in that House, described this grant as an inheritance from the Irish Parliament, and intimated that this concession was proposed on account of the little opposition which had been offered to the annual grant. He (Mr. Law) feared from that declaration, that the Government might anticipate the support of the noble Lord to the proposition now under consideration. He (Mr. Law) could not deny that this proposal had been made by the Government in the most fair and candid spirit. He did not doubt the purity of their intentions; and he thought it extremely natural that, after the annual contests which had taken place on the subject in that House, they should feel some anxiety to adjust and set at rest a question which had been such a prolific source of contention. If the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) could satisfy a majority of the House that they were indeed pledged to the continuance of this grant—if he could convince them that there was an obligation and a contract from which in honour they could not recede, then he (Mr. Law) was ready to admit, if Parliament arrived at such a determination, that it was desirable that the annual discussion of the principle on the proposal of the present grant should be avoided. If Parliament should be satisfied of the expediency and propriety of adopting the right hon. Baronet's proposition, and should pass this measure into a law, he was prepared to bow to their decision, and he would not needlessly revive the discussion of a question which had been adjusted after full and mature deliberation. He feared that he was trespassing upon the time of the House; but he felt it due to the constituency he had the honour of representing, to state his reasons for opposing this measure—and he might be allowed to observe, that he did not often claim the attention of hon. Members. He regretted that the Government had not disclosed the scheme of academical education which he understood it was their intention to propose; because he felt that, without such disclosure, the merits of this particular measure could scarcely be fairly dealt with, either as regarded the Government, or those of their supporters who were willing to believe that the increased grant would have a less mischievous effect than was anticipated in some quarters. He could not but think that the establishment of the College of Maynooth, as part and parcel of the scheme of general academical education in Ireland, would have been a much less objectionable course than that now taken by the Government. It was represented that, by the establishment of Maynooth, they had recognised the principle of providing for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood, at least to the extent of the present annual grant. Assuming for the moment that such was the case, they had also, by a grant of no less than 75,000l. for elementary education, conceded the principle of its being the duty of the State to instruct and educate the humbler, poorer, and middle classes of society, at the public expense, and without regard to differences of religious opinion. In the one case there was what was called an obligation—but in his opinion a very imperfect obligation—to educate the Roman Catholic priesthood; and, on the other hand, they had distinctly recognised the duty of the State to provide elementary education for the middle and poorer classes of society in Ireland. It appeared to him that the education thus afforded to the middle and lower classes in that country should be extended to the higher classes in the form of academical education, which should comprehend all religious denominations, and embrace arts, law, medicine, and divinity. He considered that the only education recognised upon constitutional principles was first — the system of national education in Ireland, excluding the inculcation of the doctrines of any religious body; next, the education of the members of the United Church of England and Ireland in the doctrines of that Establishment; and lastly, the education of persons belonging to other churches or sects in the religious doctrines of their particular churches. All these objects, he conceived, would be attained by a scheme for general academical education. On a former occasion, when this subject was under discussion, the hon. Member for Waterford suggested the institution of a College or University for the exclusive education of Roman Catholics; but in his opinion a general University, affording education to all religious sects, would be far preferable—leaving Trinity College, Dublin, solely upon its Protestant foundation; and if Maynooth was still to be sustained, incorporating it with the establishment for general academical education. It was said that the Legislature of this country had already admitted the principle, that it was their duty to provide for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood; that from that position they could not recede; but that they must advance, and render the establishment for the education of Catholic priests permanent, and endow it with funds commensurate with its objects. If that were admitted, the next and natural question raised would be this—how were the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland to be supported after they had acquired education at the public expense at Maynooth? One of the greatest evils in the original scheme was the fact that at Maynooth they educated men for an unendowed ministry; that they sent them forth in Ireland without any other resources than those they might acquire from their influence over the poorest and least-informed portion of the community. They thus afforded a stimulus—he might almost say a premium — to those men to excite and promote agitation, which might extend their influence over the lower classes of society, and thereby increase their means of support. But it must not be supposed that he advocated the endowment of the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood. No, on the contrary, he called upon the House to halt in the course of concession; for he was convinced that if they rendered the grant to Maynooth permanent — making that institution in some measure a national establishment — they would, before the lapse of many years, be called upon to provide for the support of the clergy educated there; and the next step—in contravention of the Fifth and fundamental Article of the Union — would be a proposal to render the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland an establishment co-ordinate with the Established Church. On these grounds he felt it his duty to oppose a proposal, the tendency of which was to render the Roman Catholic Church a national establishment, and to peril the safety of the United Church of England and Ireland.

Mr. Bellew

said, this was a question in which he felt considerable interest, and he hoped to obtain the indulgence of the House while he addressed to them a few observations on the subject. The increased grant to the College of Maynooth proposed by Her Majesty's Government had been opposed on various and widely different grounds. Some hon. Gentlemen opposed the measure on the grounds of religious and conscientious feeling; others objected to the policy of the grant; some, again, objected to the course of education pursued at Maynooth; and another class contended that any amount of money devoted to the support of that institution should be taken, not from the public funds but from the revenues of the Established Church. The hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Ward) had intimated his intention of submitting to the House a Motion relative to the Established Church in Ireland; and he (Mr. Bellew) was anxious to avoid mixing up the present question with that of the Church Establishment. The hon. Member for Oxford University (Sir R. Inglis) the great Coryphœus of the party opposed to this measure, had to-night repeated those opinions which he and the hon. Member for Kent (Mr. Plumptre) had frequently expressed in that House, although he had heard the hon. Baronet indulge in still stronger on former occasions. That hon. Baronet had at different periods presented petitions to the House praying for the exclusion of Roman Catholics from Parliament; and on those occasions he had accused Members of that Church of idolatry and other crimes. He (Mr. Bellew) saw not long ago, in an Irish paper, a report of a meeting in Ireland, at which it was proposed that the present Ministers should be excluded from office, and that their place should be supplied by the noble Lord the Member for Dorsetshire (Lord Ashley), the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. Inglis), the hon. Member for Kent (Mr. Plumptre), and the late President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Gladstone). Those were the results at which the opponents of the measure arrived—such were the consequences with which they threatened the country, if the principle of Catholic endowment were carried out. That the adversaries of that species of endowment told the world, that it had not been carried out, and that it never should be carried out; that, on the contrary, the principle of exclusion was the only principle worthy of a great country and a wise Administration. Yet, after all, it did not appear to him that this principle of exclusion possessed much vitality or strength. As one of the most convenient proofs within his reach of the violence into which the inherent feebleness of that principle betrayed those who professed it, he should just say that he held in his hand an Irish paper, which asserted that "the policy of Sir R. Peel was against the religion of Jesus Christ." Could there be a more extraordinary mode than that of maintaining the interests of any creed or party? The same journal, in another part of those lucubrations which it contained, asserted that "the devil had entered into the policy of the present Government, and that statement was as true as if the inspired historian had recorded it." After that specimen of the feeling which prevailed in Ireland, he should call their attention to the petition forwarded to that House from Trinity College, Dublin—a learned body, which he thought might easily find better employment than inditing such documents, The petitioners stated that they had heard with deep regret of the intention entertained by Her Majesty's Government, to propose to Parliament to grant a further sum for the endowment of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. The petitioners said that they conceived it to be inconsistent with the duty of a Christian, and, above all, of a Protestant people, to give their consent to a plan for endowing an institution, the object of which was to educate the ministers of a church opposed to the true religion established in Ireland. That was the effect of the petition, which proceeded from Trinity College, Dublin. If the principle asserted by those petitioners were ever acted on, persecution must be the result—toleration must then become quite a matter of degree, for such a principle would let in the Inquisition, and all the tyranny of Philip II., the Dragounades of Louis XIV., and the Statutes of William and Anne. He would ask was the uniformity of religious belief in that House so complete and perfect as that they were entitled to lay down to others the religious principles which ought to govern their creeds? There were in that House Members of the Established Church, and Members whose creeds ranged between Popery and Calvinism, and others who vacillated between Calvinism and Arminianism. There were also Members of the Scottish Church, who differed amongst themselves on almost all points of doctrine and of discipline; and why should there not be all those differences? It was the great boast and pride of the Protestants, that they took the Bible alone for their rule of faith and their code of discipline. But when they made that boast, it was hardly fair of them to insist not only as to the right of private judgment as regarded the interpretation of the Bible, but also to claim for themselves all the advantages derivable from authority in determining what was right and what was wrong. It might fairly enough be said that the time for all this had gone by. More than fifty years had elapsed since the practice of Catholic endowments had commenced. In the year 1774, there were endowments in the Canadas for Catholic purposes; and in every new Colony there were similar endowments, without any objection being urged against them on any ground of their being anti-Protestant. England never refused to receive Colonies because the populalation happened to be Catholic; there were endowments for Catholic purposes, therefore, in the Spanish settlement of Trinidad, and in the Dutch Colony of Demerara—all these acquisitions were welcome to England. From India to Newfoundland, British Colonies possessed Catholic endowments. It might be perfectly true that those endowments were small and inadequate, but the principle was the same; they might be penurious, but that was a matter of degree. The principle of endowment was the same throughout the forty-one British Colonies. In the United Kingdom, the earliest instance of this species of endowment was that of the chaplains of militia regiments. This was followed by the appointment of chaplains to gaols; and that latter class of chaplains were the priests of the parishes in which the gaols were situate, or else persons appointed by those priests. But there was a still stronger case—that of the chaplains of workhouses; and in those cases the Catholic chaplains of this class were not only paid, but they were more largely paid than the Protestant chaplains to workhouses. Yet all these arrangements had been made at a time when bigotry was young and robust. If the priests themselves were paid for teaching the laity, what objection was there to pay professors for teaching the priests? There were as many as thirty or forty depôts of militia regiments, every one of which had a Roman Catholic chaplain. There were 130 poor-houses, each with its chaplain; and these, together with the chaplains of gaols, made a total of not less than between 200 and 300 Roman Catholic chaplaincies in all Ireland. Then, how could it be considered rational or consistent to make so much talk about 30,000l. a year for giving a useful education to the religious instructors of the people of Ireland? At the time of the original endowment of the College of Maynooth, there existed in the breasts of the English Government an intense apprehension of what were called French principles; but they had not the heart to endow Maynooth in such a manner as would bind the people of Ireland to a connexion with this country. Hon. Members might probably not be aware that in other parts of Ireland, and abroad, there were means for carrying on the education of about 200 of the Irish priesthood. This practice, in his opinion, should not be allowed to continue. In a matter of such paramount importance, the State should be everything or nothing. The education of the religious instructors of the people should be made a great national object, or it should not, in any respect, be interfered with. The scheme should be large and extensive, or there should be no scheme whatever. He did not think it necessary then to enter into any theological details, but he might refer hon. Members to the Report made by the Commissioners in the year 1825. It had been, he regretted to observe, the practice to talk rather slightingly of the system of education pursued at the College of Maynooth; but he humbly apprehended that the evidence given before those Commissioners by the professors of moral and dogmatic theology ought to set that question completely at rest. He might add, further, that the Commissioners in their Report stated, that the result of their examinations into the system of education pursued at Maynooth, enabled them to affirm that the tenets impressed on the minds of the Roman Catholic youth trained at that seminary had the strongest tendency to produce a due regard to their civil duties, and a strict observance of the obligations which they owed both to the State and to their fellow-subjects. That was the only point of view in which the Legislature had a right to regard the system pursued at Maynooth. The doctrines taught there were those which the whole Catholic world recognised; they were the doctrines taught at the Sorbonne in Paris, and none of them contained a single principle inimical to the true interests of the British Empire. He should trouble the House with only one or two further observations. It must be well remembered by all who were accustomed to hear the Maynooth system disparaged, that its adversaries were accustomed to dwell with extraordinary complacency and approbation upon the character of those who were called the old priests, he meant the ecclesiastics who were said to have received their education on the Continent. They were described as perfect gentlemen, as scholars, men of refinement and elegance. He would take the liberty of reading two short extracts from one of the most enlightened, philosophical, and eloquent Members which that House had ever possessed; he alluded to the celebrated Edmund Burke. The language which that distinguished man used was as follows:— It has been the custom of poor persons in Ireland to pick up such knowledge of the Latin tongue as, under the general discouragements and, occasional pursuits, and hunting down of the magistracy, they were able to acquire, and, receiving orders at home, were sent abroad to obtain a classical education. By officiating in petty chaplainships and performing, now and then, certain offices of religion for small gratuities, they received the means of maintaining themselves until they were able to complete their education. These persons afterwards, by being sunk in the most abject poverty, despised and ill treated by the higher orders amongst Protestants, and not much better esteemed or treated even by the few persons of fortune of their own persuasion, and contracting the habits and ways of thinking of the poor and uneducated among whom they were obliged to live, in a few years retain little or no traces of the talents and acquirements which distinguished them in the earlier periods of their lives. Such was the description given by Burke of that class of Irish priests which it had been the fashion so much to extol. But he requested the House to hear a little further the opinions of Mr. Burke, which he begged to lay before them in these words:— When we are to provide for the education of any body of men we ought seriously to consider the particular functions they are to perform in life. A Roman Catholic clergyman is the minister of a very ritual religion, and, by his profession, subject to many restraints. His life is a life full of strict observances, and his duties are of a laborious nature towards himself, and of the highest possible trust towards others. The duty of confession alone is enough to set in the strongest light the necessity of his having an appropriated mode of education. The theological opinions and peculiar rites of one religion never can be properly taught in Universities founded for the purposes and on the principles of another which, in many points, are directly opposite. If a Roman Catholic clergyman, intended for celibacy and the function of confession, and strictly bred in a seminary where those things are respected, inculcated and enforced as sacred, and not made the subject of derision and obloquy, he will be ill-fitted for the former, and the latter will be, indeed, in his hands, a terrible instrument. It was impossible for him to conclude the few observations which he had taken the liberty of making without bearing testimony to the manner in which the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government had brought this question forward. Next to the measure itself, the language by which it had been recommended, called for the gratitude of the country. He believed and trusted that in Ireland the proposition would be received in the spirit in which it had been proposed; he rejoiced to say there was nothing to detract from the satisfactory circumstances under which it had been brought forward; and he ventured to persuade himself, that amongst the beneficial results attendant on its enactment would be, that in future the Catholic and Protestant landlords would be found uniting in acts of charity and munificence. The right hon. Baronet had expressed his determination not to spoil or to weaken the effect of the grant to Maynooth by any unfair restrictions. He was glad to hear such language from the right hon. Baronet. He believed it was the province of the present Government, under that right hon. Gentleman's guidance, to bring the people of the two countries into more friendly relations, and to bind them together in one common bond of unity. He thought he could perceive such an intention on the part of the Government. He saw that better feelings were springing up. The measures of last year, which were brought in with reference to Ireland, more particularly that which related to the Board of Education in that country, had plainly evinced a stronger inclination in the right hon. Baronet towards the Irish Roman Catholic clergy than had been manifested by others in his position; and, wishing as he did that the effects of the measures which the Government were disposed to take might produce the full amount of good that was expected from them, he would conclude by expressing what he considered to be the sentiments of the whole Roman Catholic community when he stated, that the right hon. Baronet had his hearty good wishes in the course which he was pursuing.

Viscount Sandon

stated, that on account of the peculiar position in which he stood in relation to the question now under consideration, he hoped he might be excused if he sought an early opportunity for stating the reasons which induced him to give to the proposal of the Government his humble, but earnest, support. He had already stated that, in the first instance, he looked upon the question as one of compact—not, indeed, of narrow, legal, compact, founded upon a definite legal instrument, the fulfilment of which might be enforced in a court of law—but a compact in that large and liberal sense, founded upon the acts of one nation, and the well-founded expectations of another, which, in the intercourse between countries in the relative position of England and Ireland, ought to be held at least equally binding with any such instrument. He would not rest the obligation upon the Act of Union itself; for he did not think that it was directly touched by it, or embraced within the purport of its provisions. He did not believe that the grant to Maynooth was protected by that clause, or embraced within its provisions, by which, for twenty years, the Imperial Parliament came under an obligation to support certain charitable institutions, which had received grants from the Irish Parliament. He looked at the discussions which had arisen in respect of this grant in 1808, soon after the Union passed, and in which parties took part who were thoroughly acquainted with the intentions of that Act—Mr. Percival and others; and in none—although such an allusion would have been most natural and apposite in their arguments—in none did he find either the maintenance of the grant at all, or its limitation to any particular sum, rested upon a reference to that clause in the Act of Union by which, to a certain amount, and for a certain period, the grants to Irish charitable institutions were secured. Nor, indeed, if the language of that Act were examined, could this grant come within its provisions; for the sum therein secured as the mininum, was to be the average of the six years previous to the Act; and the Institution of Maynooth not being six years old at the time of the passing of the Act, could not, therefore, have been included within its shelter. He did not, therefore, place this grant under the protection of any strict legal obligation, limited in amount, and limited in period; he placed it on the broad grounds of the circumstances under which the grant was first made, and under which it had been continued; of the length of time for which it had been continued; and the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, and of England in relation to her. Now, let Gentlemen look only at the lapse of time—at the simple fact, that for fifty years, beginning before the Union with Ireland, this grant had been continued. He should like to ask any man, whether if, for fifty years after the conquest of Canada, without any express treaty stipulation, we had continued any such grant as this to the Roman Catholic clergy of that Colony, we should have thought ourselves at liberty — we should have dared to withdraw it at the present day? And if only one answer could be given to that question, he should like to ask next—were we at liberty to do in respect to Ireland what we could not do with respect to Canada? He verily believed they would not do with respect to the smallest of our Colonies what they had done, and were asked to do, with respect to Ireland. But let them look next to the circumstances under which the grant was originally made—under circumstances of peril and alarm, when it was thought important to knit the hearts of the inhabitants of all parts of the Empire in closer bonds, and to unite them more cordially in the common struggle for existence in which England was then engaged; and having offered the boon under such circumstances, can we feel ourselves now, when that time of peril is over, at liberty to withdraw it? But let them look also to the circumstances under which the grant had been continued for this lapse of time—let them look to the various Administrations—the various shades of opinions which they professed—the strong anti-Catholic feelings under which some of them had been constituted—and then observe, that not one of them had ever proposed to touch this grant—indeed, that for nearly forty years it never had been questioned; and that, when questioned, no Administration or leading statesmen had ever refused their support to it. Did these successive and continuous facts constitute no virtual obligation on our part? Was the House entitled now to withdraw a boon—an act of justice he believed it to be—granted originally under such circumstances, continued under such circumstances, and continued for such a lapse of time? If not a legal engagement, did not these circumstances constitute something more, if we looked to the relations in which England and Ireland stood to each other, and to the principles and feelings which alone could give strength and permanence to their connexion? He had dwelt at some length on this part of the subject; and on this and on other occasions had dwelt on what he considered the virtual compact or engagement which he considered to exist, in the hope that this consideration might weigh with many who, if the question were an entirely new one and disembarrassed of such considerations, would be indisposed to the proposition. But for himself he did not need such inducement. He needed no compact to induce him to do what he looked upon as a simple act of justice. He had on every occasion, from the first moment that he entered that House, supported every proposition for what was called Catholic Emancipation—nay more, he had supported his noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire in his proposition for an endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland; and he should be prepared to repeat that vote on any proper opportunity. He did not feel that any religious principle stood in the way of such a proposition. He respected most truly and most deeply the feelings of those who entertained such views, and who felt that difficulty, and he could fully understand them; but he could not concur in their conclusions. He did not see how it was possible upon their views to conduct the affairs of that vast heterogeneous mass of people who now constitute the British Empire. They were certainly not the views which we practically had attempted to carry out. Let them look to our Colonies. Was no faith supported and endowed by the State there, but that of the predominant majority of England? Were not the endowments in the Colonies that we conquered left in the possession of the several communions in whose hands we found them? and did we not, as in the case of Roman Catholic Canada, still add to them from the Imperial Exchequer? In the Colonies of our own plantation, were not various communions endowed? Nay, in Ireland itself, let them look to the endowment of the Presbyterians by the Regium Donum—let them look to the Roman Catholic chaplains endowed and distributed all over that country, and in our military service—and then say whether we attempted to carry out this principle of exclusive endowment of our own faith in other cases; and if we did not, whether we could feel ourselves entitled or enabled to apply it to this single and sole case, in which the feelings, the interests, and the expectations of between 6,000,000 and 7,000,000 of our fellow-countrymen in Ireland are so deeply engaged. If they did lay down this principle, they must not confine its application. They must be prepared to pull out one after another many a peg which now holds together the widely-extended frame of our mighty Empire. But were there no circumstances which gave Ireland a peculiar right to consideration in this case? When England reformed herself, purified her own faith, and separated from the Church of Rome, she carried with her, as she had a right to do, the endowments of the national religion; for the people—the great majority of the people — stood in these convictions, and the Church property rightfully went along with them. But was that the case with Ireland? Did the people of that country share in the general movement towards a Reformation; and was the Church property transferred by reason of it? Was not the contrary notoriously the case? Was not the Church property of Ireland transferred from Roman Catholic to Protestant hands, merely by the will of England, merely because England, not because Ireland, had become Protestant? Was ever any pains taken subsequently to make Ireland Protestant, to make the Protestant practically the faith of Ireland? Are there not on record expressions and acts which show that concessions even were discouraged, lest the number of victims to English oppression should be diminished? He could not forget those circumstances; the appropriation of all the Church endowments of Ireland, while you left the people still Roman Catholic, and made no provision for the priests to whom you left them; and looking at these things, he could not for his part look at this question as one of simple and common endowment, he could not but look at it in the light of a restitution. Nay more; when we had deprived the Roman Catholics of all the ecclesiastical property which they had enjoyed, we refused them permission, by private charity and munificence, to raise fresh foundations for themselves at home. We drove them for such purposes into foreign countries, away from the protection of English laws; we compelled them to place such property in peril, and when by reason of such peril that property was pillaged and confiscated; and when after the peace of 1815, indemnity for all other British property was extorted, did England extort indemnity for those Roman Catholic endowments? On the contrary, had not England refused to recognise it, as entitled to her protection, and rejected the claim, and had not indemnity been refused? Looking, then, in the first instance to the original endowments, which had been wrested from their communion, or to the endowments of private benevolence, which we had refused to protect, and which had consequently been lost—he still found that England had been the cause of that condition of the Irish Roman Catholic clergy, which compelled them to come to this House, and which in his opinion gave them a peculiar title to consideration. With these views and feelings he, therefore, could not feel those difficulties as to granting an adequate endowment to Maynooth College, which were felt so deeply by many of his Friends. He believed that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had stated the case most fairly. He had told them that the grant might either be abandoned, that it might be continued on its existing footing, or that it might be placed, as he proposed, on a more extended basis; such as by its liberality might make it probably more efficient for the great objects for which it was originally intended. He, for his part, for the reasons which he had already assigned, could not think it possible to abandon it; nor, after the picture which the right hon. Baronet had drawn of the unsatisfactory state of the College, of the restricted education which hurried them, owing to their necessities, before they were half educated, to the control of distant parishes, ere they were well imbued with that general and liberal education which enlarges the character and softens the asperities of religious and national differences; with such a picture, could he think it possible to leave things as they at present stood? and if he did, should he meet the conscientious objections of the country by such a course? Could they be obviated by continuing the vote of 9,000l. and refusing that of 30,000l.? The one was as much an act of free will as the other. You had no specific obligation to that particular sum under which you would shelter yourselves; your consciences must take the same responsibility in either case; if there were sin, and if there were guilt, it could only be obviated by complete abandonment. If it was not to be abandoned, the question really was whether you should leave the College in a state not to be efficient for its purpose, or with a chance of becoming so. For his part, he considered the proposition of the right hon. Baronet liberal; but not too liberal for the great work which it had to do, to furnish at least a large portion of the clergy of between six and seven millions of people, with an enlarged and liberal education. He respected deeply, as he had said before, the feelings of those who took a different view from him upon this question; but he could not see how consistently with such views the affairs of this country could be carried on; he was not prepared, and he had not yet heard that they were, to carry them out to their full extent; and if he were not, he was not prepared to apply them to this case only. We, at least, were not prepared to withdraw in all our Colonies the support granted by the State to other communions than those of the Church of England, or to that of the Church of Rome specifically. If it were morally and religiously wrong, surely no treaty could bind us to it in Canada; surely we were at liberty and rather bound to give up Canada altogether. He reluctantly differed from friends with whom he had agreed for so many years, and with whom on religious questions he so largely agreed; but he could not, for the reasons which he had assigned, refuse his best support to the proposition of the Government.

Mr. Plumptre

said, that the noble Lord who had last addressed the House, had satisfied himself on the ground of a compact that it was his duty to support the present proposition; but he believed the notion of a compact had been recently more deeply searched into, and had been entirely dissipated, and that this notion formed no good ground of objection to the rejection of the present measure. He had ventured to say, when Her Majesty's Government announced their intention on the first day of the Session to increase the Vote to Maynooth, that such announcement would excite no ordinary sensation throughout the country; and the result must have satisfied them that the words he had ventured to utter were founded in truth. What had recently taken place must have convinced every one of the deep feeling of the country on this subject; but he would venture to so further, and would say, that the speech which the right hon. Baronet had made that night in opening this subject, instead of allaying the excitement in the country, would be read with great trepidation. It was very painful to him to oppose Her Majesty's present Government; and he trusted they would give him credit when he said that in the opposition he gave on the present occasion, he was not desirous of showing any general opposition, because he confessed that of the general measures of the Government he readily approved. If, however, they had observed his course since he had been in Parliament, they would know that his opposition to this measure had been uniform and general. It was not to the proposals of the Government that he was opposed, but only to the unhappy measure now brought forward; and the reasons which had always operated with him against the grant to Maynooth, were as strong and powerful now, but not more strong or more powerful than they had ever been. What was the measure which Her Majesty's Government proposed? He confessed that though he had expected a large and liberal measure, it had even exceeded the bounds of his expectation; and although he always listened with pleasure and instruction to the speeches of the right hon. Baronet, and generally thought the reasoning most conclusive and unanswerable, yet he confessed he thought the speech of the right hon. Gentleman on the present occasion to possess anything but those qualities. This was a subject of vital importance; and he asked the House and the Government to consider what was the nature of the opposition that had been made to this measure. He had himself presented very many petitions against it. That day he had presented about sixty, and he had more than that number at home, which he could not present that day, because he had not had time to write his name on them. One of these petitions was signed by the archdeacon and eighty of the clergy of that one archdeaconry, and to every other petition almost there were the names of the clergy and ministers of every denomination; and in all their objections were most strenuously stated against the grant. He now asked the Government whether they were prepared to throw off the respect and confidence of such men as these, because he was very much afraid that by urging this measure the Government would alienate, in a great measure, their respect and affection. Who, generally speaking, were the parties who opposed this measure? They were not men who took up a subject lightly; they were some of the best men the country possessed, who, with their Bibles open before them, and after fervent and unfeigned prayer to God, saw in this measure great evils. They could not suppose that it could be on religious grounds, and they thought it ought not to be on public grounds, that they should be called upon to pay a religion they believed to be wrong. He knew these were the feelings of those who had presented these petitions to the House; and if the House sanctioned a measure of this kind, they might expect the Divine judgment upon them. He asked the Government whether they were ready, on slight grounds, to treat with disrespect the great majority of their Protestant fellow-subjects and the petitioners, who were not inconsiderable in numbers or in interest? And he asked further, for what they were doing this? For what were they treating with disrespect the opinions, the entreaties, the fears, the anxieties, and the claims of the religious portion of the community? Had the Government been pressed to take this step by large bodies of Her Majesty's subjects? So far from that they had not been pressed by any class of the community whatever. He believed that the Roman Catholics themselves, if they spoke openly and honestly their opinions, cared very little for this increased grant; and as for supposing that they prized it as a boon, or that it would prove a measure of conciliation to the Roman Catholic population of Ireland, there never was a greater mistake, if they were to be at all guided in their views of the question by the past history of that country. Then where was all this to stop? If they were to take under their care and entirely support the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth, to increase the number of its students, and to give a liberal support to its President and Professors, would not these concessions prove stepping-stones to something further? Could the Government doubt, if these things were granted without application, without their being urged, that in a short time they would be urged to grant something more? They would be urged perhaps to consent to the payment of the priests. He was sorry to be obliged to oppose the present proposal of Her Majesty's Government; but he did it in no bitter spirit, although most strenuously and most conscientiously. He believed it to be most mischievous; that it would not answer the ends for which it was designed; and that it would lead to still further, louder, and more unreasonable demands. He thought the Government might just as well call upon the House to pay the priests of the majority of the people of India, or to support the Mahomedan religion. He felt it was a matter which went to the hearts of the people, and which was opposed to the honour and the interests of this country.

Lord John Russell

No one, Sir, I am sure, will call in question the perfect sincerity of feeling by which the hon. Member who spoke last is actuated in the opposition he has offered to the proposal of Her Majesty's Government. At the same time I beg leave to represent to him, that although he has opposed the Motion now brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman, as he has opposed the grant to Maynooth in former years, yet much of his opposition to the present proposal can hardly stand upon such grounds as he has put forth. I do not mean to argue, as has been done by other hon. Gentlemen, the question of compact, or whether it would be wise or prudent after fifty years, during which this grant has been made, to stop suddenly, and to declare that you will advance no further sums from the public purse for the purpose of educating the priests of the Roman Catholic religion. But at the same time, I will say, that if you found you were doing that which was mischievous to the community, and that the religious scruples of the community would not allow of the continuance of this grant, or, with reference to civil and political reasons, you found that those you meant to be the teachers of religion, had become the leaders and conductors of rebellion—if, I say, you found for any of these causes that there was ground sufficient to refuse this grant—then I can see no valid reason why any compact should restrain you, or why, upon strong grounds of this kind, the House would not be justified in declaring that it would give no further allowance. But if it be admitted, that you should proceed in the manner in which the majority of this House have hitherto proceeded—that you should grant a certain sum of money amounting to 9,000l. a year, and no more, to the sustentation of the College of Maynooth — I think then that all these reasons to which the hon. Gentleman has appealed, reasons founded upon religious scruples—reasons founded upon the repugnance of the people of this country to support the priests of the Roman Catholic religion, are reasons beside the question upon such an issue. Because you now grant 9,000l. a year, and if it be true, as I think the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government has very clearly proved to-night, that that sum is not sufficient for the adequate maintenance of the College of Maynooth as a college of religious instruction—that the comforts of the students are not sufficiently attended to—that the means of scientific instruction cannot be adequately supplied—that the sums paid to the professors are miserably scanty;—why, upon all these points there can be no question of religions scruples arising against the increase of the grant. I can understand hon. Gentlemen saying, as the hon. Member has said, "I denounce this grant altogether, as I have done from year to year, and I will not partake in the sin and guilt of joining in a vote for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion." But if you are to consent to this grant in any way whatever, then for a man to come forward and say, "I object to chemistry being properly taught; I object to physical astronomy being properly taught; I object to the student now having 22l., receiving 28l., in order that his diet and comforts may be better cared for; I object to the building being kept in proper repair, and I will not have the carpenters and plasterers sent for to remedy its defects"—does not, as I think, constitute a ground of religious scruple upon which to rest his opposition to the increased amount of grant proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. If you say "I insist that there shall be no grant whatsoever of this kind," that is a ground, a consistent ground of opposition which I can understand. But for those who at any time concurred in this grant, and are prepared now to concur in it again if proposed in the usual and ordinary manner, they, as it appears to me, have no ground for resistance upon religious scruples to a grant of 26,000l., if they are prepared to grant 9,000l. upon the same principle. But then I come to that objection, difficult to deal with, almost impossible to discuss in this House—that religious feeling which the hon. Gentleman alluded to, and which he says a great part of the people of this country entertain, that the Roman Catholic religion in a religion connected with idolatry, and that the Protestant people of this country ought not to grant any money for the support of that religion. I feel myself unable to enter into the argument, and speak of the character of the Roman Catholic religion in an assembly of this kind. I can do little more than follow the noble Lord the Member for South Lancashire, and say upon that subject, that I do not think the people of this country have a right to have that respect paid to their feelings which is claimed for them by the hon. Gentleman, so far as that this sum should be refused to the Roman Catholic College, because if we were interfering with the people of this country, with the profession of their religion, or with the maintenance of the Protestant faith in this country, they might then say, "You shall not make a grant of this kind which so interferes with our religion." But we must all know, as has been stated by the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool, that the great majority of the people of Ireland profess the Catholic faith—and belong to that most ancient branch of the Christian Church. And I believe that that people, retaining, as they had an undoubted right to retain, their adherence to that faith, will listen to no spiritual instruction but that which is conveyed to them by priests of their own religion. And I believe that that instruction will tend to make them more religious, more moral, better men, aye, and better Christians than otherwise they would be. If that be the case, then, it is not the question whether I can promote the Catholic or the Protestant religion in Ireland. No increase of grant to the Protestant Establishment would induce the great majority of the people there to listen to the clergy of that communion. I should be more satisfied if I supposed that the people of Ireland would listen to the clergy of the Protestant faith; but that I know is contrary to their persuasions. What follows? I must deal with them as I find them—as Roman Catholics united to this country, and I must pay that respect to their religion to which they are entitled. I think the noble Lord right in saying that the people of England, descended from Catholic ancestors, had liberty to make their religion, as they thought, more pure. But the people of Ireland did not change their faith. They adhered to the religion of their ancestors; and I do think that a grant of this kind may well be termed, as the noble Lord described it, rather of the nature of a restitution than of an original grant in favour of that religion which the hon. Gentleman opposite and the majority of this House do not profess. I think the right hon. Baronet, in his opening speech on this subject, showed very clearly the grounds for this grant; but I must confess when hon. Gentlemen who oppose it urge the argument that, both in the proposal itself of settling the grant by a Bill making it a permanent endowment, and in the reasons the right hon. Gentleman gave, as the organ of the Government for that endowment, there is the indication of further measures than he himself has proposed to-night, or than the measure itself contains, that I am inclined to say I agree with them in that opinion. That is a ground of opposition with them, but a ground of concurrence on my part. The right hon. Gentleman stated very truly, at the end of his speech, that do what you will, the priests so brought up in the Roman Catholic faith are to be the spiritual guides of the great majority of the people of Ireland; and he told you most truly and unanswerably that if that be the case, it is your interest that their education should be as good as may be attainable; that the doctrines taught them should be of a nature to exalt and elevate their minds; and that the whole education should be calculated to improve as far as education can improve, the character of that priesthood. In that argument, I fully and entirely concur; and upon that ground I shall be most willing to give my concurrence by my vote with the Government to-night. But I must also say that it is impossible to hear such arguments without bearing in mind the whole condition of Ireland—the whole condition of Ireland in respect to this country. I am not now going to argue the question whether, with respect to this particular question, the House should or should not adopt the Motion of which the hon. Member for Sheffield has given notice; but this I say, that the arguments which are so sound, and, as I think, so incontrovertible, to induce this House to found an endowment for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood, will prove upon another occasion as sound and as incontrovertible with respect to an endowment for the maintenance of that priesthood. For my own part, preferring most strongly, and more and more by reflection, a religious establishment to that which is called the voluntary principle, I am anxious to see the spiritual and religious instruction of the great majority of the people of Ireland endowed and maintained by a provision furnished by the State. I do not hesitate to give that opinion. I will not give this vote to-night without so saying; but I am committing no person by expressing that opinion. I am speaking individually for myself, but I will not by my vote mislead any one. If a question should be proposed in a manner that could be practically and properly carried into effect for the payment of the Roman Catholic priesthood, I should not think the reasons on which I shall vote to-night less conclusive to induce me to concur with that proposal. The noble Lord the Member for South Lancashire has referred to a Motion he made twenty years ago, involving such a proposition; and I had the honour of voting with him in a majority of this House upon that occasion. I am glad, for my part, that such is not the proposition of the Government now. Others may disagree with me on that point; but having ascertained, as I have no doubt they have, that the heads of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland would be willing to accept a grant of this kind, with no further conditions than those we are already familiar with, I think the Government have done better to make the proposal they have now made, than to bring forward a large and comprehensive scheme for the future payment of the Roman Catholic clergy. But while I say this, I think it is a step—for I concur with the petitioners against the grant in entertaining the opinion that it is a step—towards a further and more comprehensive measure. It may seem ungracious towards the Government, who are proposing a measure in which I entirely concur—and respecting which, indeed, I stated, in the course of my speech of last year, when I brought forward the question as to the state of Ireland, that it was a vote in which I should concur—it may seem ungracious on my part to refer back, but I cannot altogether refrain from referring back to the long opposition that was given in past times to measures intended to promote the rights and condition of the people of Ireland. I deeply regret that there is not even now existing that harmony, that good feeling, that concord between the people of England and the people of Ireland which we all ought to desire. I regret to see vast meetings of the people called in the towns of Ireland for the purpose of proposing a Repeal of the Union—a measure which, in the opinion of the majority of this House, would be followed at no distant period by the separation of the countries. I regret that when the leader of the people, the man who is known to be at the head of this movement, is coming forward with that proposal, he should be attended by thirty or forty thousand persons crowding with approbation at his heels, and applauding both his proposals and the agitation which he is carrying on. I think, not only of late years, but for the last twenty years, that there has been too much of a disposition both to attack the religion which the majority of the people of Ireland profess, and to brand by contumelious names the great multitude of the people of Ireland themselves. I think that if in 1825, when the noble Lord made the Motion to which he has alluded, there had then been a wise and at the same time a kindly spirit among the leading Members of all political parties in the two Houses of Parliament, the present difficulties of Ireland would have been indeed of a far inferior description. The men who then came forward said that they would never agitate Repeal; that they would never seek a separation, if the Parliament would grant Roman Catholic Emancipation, and at the same time make a provision for the Roman Catholic Church. My belief is, that those men would have been steady to those engagements, and that at this period you would no more have been inquiring with respect to agitation in Ireland, than you would have been talking of agitation in Yorkshire or in Middlesex. But much time has been allowed to elapse; political conflicts, to which I will not further allude, have unfortunately taken place; and much exasperation has been the consequence. I shall be happy if Her Majesty's Government at the present time are about to begin a new course. I shall be happy to find that they are about to enter upon a wiser and a more gracious policy; and that, indeed, so far from conciliation having reached its limits, there is now an endeavour to be made to give conciliation a new beginning; and that the Executive Government in Ireland is to look hereafter to the benefit of the people, and not to the advantage of a small, though a powerful, minority in that country. I, Sir, shall be most happy if the Roman Catholics of Ireland, increasing as they are in wealth, eminent as many of them are in talent, belonging as they do to a portion of the Christian Church which has produced men as famous for their piety as they have been excellent for their learning—if, I say, the people of Ireland, belonging to that Church, shall feel united with us—shall feel that we, on our parts, are ready to do them justice; that we are not led by any narrow prejudice, that we are not led—and I trust the hon. Gentleman who spoke last will not think I mean it offensively—but that the people of this country are not led by a spirit of religious bigotry to refuse that which is just to them; and that they may look at this measure, not as a final measure, but as one of a series of measures, by which we may hope to unite the two countries in an enduring bond.

Mr. S. Wortley

said, he was anxious to state the reasons why he wished to support the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel). The question for the determination of the House was, whether they would make up their minds to withdraw the grant to Maynooth altogether, or increase it. He was not prepared to take the former course, and, feeling that it was impolitic to leave the institution in its present state, he saw no alternative but to adopt the course recommended by the head of the Government. The hon. Member for Oxford did not show his usual accuracy when he said the Act did not authorize the institution to do more than receive subscriptions. The Tenth Section of the Irish Act of Parliament gave power to the parties in charge of the institution; but the latter part of the section stated that "any sum not exceeding 8,000l. should be paid by the Commissioners, or any three or four of them, towards establishing," &c. What could these words mean if they did not imply a compact on the part of Parliament to give a certain sum to Maynooth College? That College was first established by the Irish Parliament, and afterwards by the Imperial Parliament, and supported by a series of grants. This proposition had been met by the hon. Member with arguments which it was impossible to reply to, because to a person who felt the necessity of supporting this proposition on those grounds, he would not only say, that whilst he respected such opinions, he could not participate in them. Although he entertained a strong attachment to the Church to which he belonged, he did not consider it inconsistent with that attachment, nor with the duty which he owed to the persuasion that he held, to express his concurrence in the propositions of his right hon. Friend. With respect to the condition of Ireland, they should recollect that a great responsibility rested on them with respect to that country. It was impossible that they could legislate for a portion of the population of that country as if they were outcasts. Now to what did the argument of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford amount? Why to this, that the State should rather see subjects under its care Infidels, Atheists, or any other persuasion than see them Roman Catholics. He did not concur in that view. He thought that it was the duty of the State to recognise the responsibility placed upon them, and feeling his share of that responsibility, he was desirous to support the proposal of his right hon. Friend. At that late hour he would not go further into the discussion. With respect to the amount of the grant, he did not think that his right hon. Friend could have proposed less, and he trusted that it would be found sufficient for the end in view. With these opinions he gave his cordial support to the proposition.

Mr. Cumming Bruce

said, that, concurring as he did with the right hon. Gentleman who had brought forward this proposition, whilst he sat at the other side of the House, and having, since that right hon. Gentleman came into office, given to his measures a candid, steady, and independent support, it was with great regret that he saw him now bring forward a measure which he feared would be looked upon by many, both in and out of the House, as a heavy blow and a great discouragement to the Protestant Church in Ireland. He deeply regretted to be compelled to come to this conclusion, and to be forced to oppose a Government on this occasion with whom he had generally concurred. It appeared to him that the measure now brought forward was not in accordance with those principles which ought to regulate their conduct as Ministers of the Crown. If he looked to this question as one of expediency, he might be disposed to wave his own convictions in favour of the respect which he had for the abilities and integrity of those who brought this measure forward; but he could not regard this measure as being in accordance with those principles which should guide those Ministers in the exercise of their official responsibility. This State was a Protestant State. The Crown of this country was a Protestant Crown; and he held it incompatible with the duty of the Ministers of this country to propose measures for the support of a priesthood who, whatever might be their loyalty to the person of the Sovereign, showed every hostility to the Protestant religion, and who had sought and would seek every opportunity not only to discourage but to supplant that religion. Neither did it appear to him that the present measure was one called for by any particular necessity. However, he believed that the right hon. Baronet had brought forward this measure from the highest and purest motives. He believed, moreover, that the right hon. Baronet had made as a state-man as great sacrifices as any statesman had ever made to that which he believed to be for the interests and happiness of the country. He believed that his motives now were not less pure and laudable; but notwithstanding his conviction of all this, he believed that the present measure was at variance with the principles of the Protestant constitution of this country. He believed that the measure now proposed would be practically more dangerous than if it had been proposed before the passing of Roman Catholic Emancipation. He believed that the right hon. Baronet would fail in his attempt, and would not succeed in the objects which he sought in proposing this measure. The proposed grant of 28,000l. or 30,000l., would not succeed in satisfying the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland. He was persuaded that, on the contrary, it would only whet their appetite to demand more. The noble Lord the Member for London, with the boldness and candour that always distinguished him in that House, had pointed out the consequences of this measure, and had shown that it must lead to the payment of the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland. He thought that there was a course which the Government might have pursued which would have avoided all this evil. He thought that if the Government were determined to introduce a sound, moral, and Christian education into Ireland—not confined to the priesthood, but embracing the entire population, such an object would be deserving of general concurrence; and even if a much larger grant were proposed for such a purpose as that, he would be happy to concur in it. If the Government followed that course, showing their determination to maintain order, and uphold the supremacy of the law, and to punish and put down, as they had recently successfully done, all who attempted to violate it; if the Government pursued a course of this kind, showing themselves at the same time favourably disposed to the people of Ireland, such a course of conduct would command general support; and he believed that, by so doing, they would materially contribute to the preservation of the tranquillity and happiness of Ireland.

Colonel Sibthorp

said, as both the hon. Member who had just sat down, and the hon. Gentleman who preceded him, had referred to the hour as being too late to warrant them in trespassing on the time of the House, he could not, after that declaration had come from men of such great consequence in that House, and of such talents, on that important question assume to himself the vanity of intruding with his opinions for more than a very few moments. He would reserve himself for future stages in the progress of this Bill, when he would, perhaps, be more fortunate in catching the Speaker's eye than he had been on that evening. He was one, who, for the sixteen or seventeen years that he had the honour of a seat in that House, had invariably given the weight of his humble name against the appropriation of any part of the public money to the maintenance of the College of Maynooth. He did so not from any unchristian feeling towards his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, but from a sense of the duty which he thought he owed to that Church of which he should acknowledge he was an unworthy son. [Laughter.] He was not surprised at the merriment which was exhibited on the opposite side of the House. When his hon. Friend the Member for Kent rose in his place, and alluded to the archdeacons and the clergy, his remarks were ridiculed by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Nay, even the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) who might be called the child of the Church, did not think it beneath him to join in the exhibition. That noble Lord expressed his approval of the observations which had fallen from the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool, respecting this measure being one of restitution. But he wished to ask the noble Lord, would he restore to the Roman Catholic Church some of the extensive ecclesiastical property held by his family? Would he endow a new Maynooth at Woburn or at Tavistock? Why did not the noble Lord stand up and say, that he recommended his family to adopt a course of that nature? and when he did so, he would give him credit for his sincerity. He should not, he confessed, be surprised at a proposition like the present being brought forward by the noble Lord; but he was surprised—he would go further, and say he was disgusted—that such a measure should originate with a Protestant Minister of the Crown—one, too, who had been educated at Oxford, and who, he was ashamed to add, had been at one time the Representative of that University in Parliament. It was painful to make these allusions; but he rejoiced to think that that University was now much more efficiently represented by the hon. Baronet near him (Sir R. H. Inglis)—a man far more deserving of such an honour than the right hon. Baronet, who had in his statement on that night shown himself more regardless of, and more indifferent to, the interests of religion, than any individual who had ever held his high office. They had heard a great deal from the right hon. Baronet that night about conciliation, and about the hopes which he entertained of the results of his measure. He had told them that he hoped to conciliate the Roman Catholic clergy; but some indications had proceeded from that side of the House which would show that a very different feeling existed on the point throughout the country. These indications emanated from gentlemen for whom he entertained as much regard as for his right hon. Friend—he begged pardon, he meant to say the right hon. Baronet. [Laughter.] He was not surprised at the laughter which proceeded from hon. Gentlemen opposite, for there was an old saying, "Let those laugh who win." He did not doubt but that hon. Gentlemen opposite dreamed—nay, that they were certain—of being successful in carrying this Motion proposed by the right hon. Baronet; but he, for one, would not be among those who joined in offering this insult to the Sovereign, for he considered it to merit even that character. He thanked the House for having given him an opportunity of expressing his opinion on this Bill, and he should only add, that he should vote against every stage of this detestable and abominable proposition.

Mr. Sheil

said: It were most unjust—it would be to the last degree ungenerous—on the part of any Irish Catholic to withhold a tribute of his unqualified panegyric from the great measure proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, and from the spirit in which it is proposed. He can have no motive but the honourable one of doing service to both countries. He will, I trust, secure the gratitude of the one, and notwithstanding a temporary clamour, his objects will, ere long, be justly estimated by the other. The grant to Maynooth is large and generous. The substitution of a permanent legislative endowment for an annual Parliamentary donation, is attended with two advantages: first, the periodical recurrence of a discussion in which religious antipathies find a vent will be avoided; in the next place, there is a great advantage in giving "fixity of tenure" to a Catholic ecclesiastical establishment. You convert Maynooth into an institution. You are taking a step in a right direction. You are advancing in a career of which you have left the starting-post far behind, and of which the goal, perhaps, is not far distant. You must not take the Catholic clergy into your pay, but you can take the Catholic Church under your care. You can build houses of worship, and grant glebe houses, upon a secure and irrevocable title. The perfect independence of the Catholic clergy is indispensable. A stipend at pleasure, and which the Crown could call back, would be odious. An honourable relation—a relation honourable to both—may be established between the Catholic Church and the State, but you must never think of exacting from that Church an ignominious complaisance. I am well aware that there exists in this country great objections to Maynooth; but those objections are in a great part connected with defects, of which the correction is not difficult; those defects, indeed, arise in a great degree from the niggard spirit in which you have doled out a wretched pittance to Maynooth, utterly incommensurate with its wants. I am not astonished that a Scotch volunteer should entertain an antipathy to Maynooth: but it is matter to me of some surprise that it should be an object of antipathy to an English Conservative in the true sense of a phrase often misapplied. Maynooth was founded in a great measure at the suggestion of the apostle of order, the great Edmund Burke. Let him be assured that he has made great progress in the art of governing Ireland, by whom the works of Edmund Burke are perused with admiration. That sagacious man saw that it was not the interest of Protestant England that the priesthood of Catholic Ireland should be educated in France; he thought that evils could arise from a French and Irish ecclesiastical fraternization; he did not wish that French principles should be imported into every Irish parish; and he denounced the introduction of a Gallo-Hibernian establishment into Ireland. Edmund Burke was of opinion that the Irish Catholic priesthood should be educated by the State for the State. It has been sometimes observed that the Irish priest of the old regime had, by his continental education, acquired a deportment of a superior kind. I believe this notion is, to a great degree, a mistaken one. There were, of course, several ecclesiastics of the old school, of accomplished manners; but Farquhar, an Irish dramatist, who knew his countrymen, represents Father Foigard as a graduate of the University of Louvain. The priests of Maynooth are not the coarse-minded men which they have been represented to be; many of them are superior to the dignitaries of your own Establishment; but we do not want fine gentlemen for the hard services of the Irish Catholic Church. I have heard it observed that the deportment of the Irish Catholic priesthood has occasioned the alienation of the Irish Protestant proprietors. That alienation, however, has its origin in political far more than in social causes. As long as the priest was subservient at the hustings, he was welcome in the drawing-room. The separation of the gentry and the priesthood arises from a succession of political struggles—from the Catholic question, from the tithe question, from the municipal question, from the registration question—a question of which the settlement cannot be final, unless it be just. Give the Catholic priest and the Irish Protestant proprietor a common interest in maintaining the institutions of their country, and their reconciliation will be immediate and complete; indeed the only danger to be apprehended is, that their alliance may become too unqualified and too compact. Sir, I conceive it to be clear that the maintenance of Maynooth is matter of contract—of contract to be explained in the spirit of legislative equity, and not of scholastic disputation. Maynooth is sustained by two Statutes which preceded the Union, ratified by forty-five years of annual grant. If it be matter of contract, the question at once arises whether the sum hitherto voted is adequate to the purposes for which it is designed. That question is to be tried, by considering the extraordinary change which the country has undergone—a change to be always kept in mind by those who consider the principles upon which the Government of Ireland is to be carried on. I do not know of any instance of so great a national metamorphosis. Population is doubled; but the increase of population does not afford a just measure of the astonishing moral and political transition through which the country has passed. When Maynooth was founded, there were not more than two or three Catholic barristers in Ireland. We have seen a Catholic Chief Baron, a Catholic Master of the Rolls, and four Roman Catholics holding the high office of Attorney General in Ireland. When Maynooth was founded, no Roman Catholic was admissible to Parliament. The majority of Irish Members are now returned by Roman Catholic constituencies. When Maynooth was founded, there was not a single Roman Catholic in an Irish corporation. We have now the preponderance in almost every corporation in the country. When Maynooth was founded, the great mass of the people were destitute of the elements of education, and now you can scarce meet a peasant upon a public road who cannot read, and write, and count; and men who read, and write, and count, cannot fail to think. Under these circumstances of marvellous mutation, is the Catholic priest to remain stationary in instruction? and in the great revolution through which the country is revolving, shall not the Catholic Church be carried on with it? If it be clear that the augmented grant to Maynooth is just, it seems to me to be equally clear that it is in the highest degree expedient. It will be essentially beneficial to Ireland, and whatever is beneficial to one country must be serviceable to the other. Great ability will be allured into Maynooth—gold for genius has a magnetic power. The professorships of Maynooth will be filled by men of great talents, and great erudition. The improvement of the Catholic priesthood will be the necessary result. Locate in every parish an educated Catholic priest, whose mind has undergone the process of literary refinement, and you will accomplish much in the work of national amelioration. But the advantages resulting from this measure are so obvious, that it is perhaps better that I should address myself to the objections which are pressed against it. It is said that Catholics and Protestants are to be educated together. With respect to the laity, that observation is, perhaps, a just one; but in every country in Europe, men destined for the Catholic Church are educated in ecclesiastical seminaries, and educated apart. The strictest discipline—habits of subordination almost passive—and a total abstinence from sensual indulgence of every kind, are indispensable amongst those who are educated for the priesthood of the Catholic Church. Four years passed in Trinity College, Dublin, would constitute a bad apprenticeship for the confessional. The Catholic priesthood are now not only pure, but unsuspected; and where interests of such importance are at stake, no empirical experiments should be tried. It has been alleged, that at Maynooth students of very humble parentage are gathered in a mass of unmixed rusticity; and each individual contributes his quota of contamination. It is a great mistake to imagine that the students of Maynooth are men of such low origin; it is to the middle classes that they generally belong; as is stated in the document read to-night by the right hon. Baronet, and which emanated from the Catholic Bishops of Ireland. For my part, I am not anxious to see the younger sons of the Catholic gentry enter in large numbers into the Catholic Church. The duties of a Roman Catholic priest are so severe, that men cradled in luxuries are scarcely fit for their discharge. It ought to be borne in mind, that some of the greatest ornaments of the Catholic Church have always come from what I might call the Apostolic order. The Catholic Church has a sort of ennobling influence; and the consciousness of spiritual authority often imparts dignity to those who are not highly born. How often, in the olden time, did the mitred plebeian stand erect before the Norman Baron, and, in the cause of the serf and of the peasant, with the crosier turn aside the lance. It is the boast of your own Anglo-Catholic Pontificate, that some of the greatest of your divines have risen from the humblest gradations to the highest episcopal dignities. A man as lowly born as Wolsey may, under your reformed system, become the Archbishop of Canterbury, and take precedence of men who to the Conquest of England trace back their descent. The last objection to which I shall advert is the familiar one, that you ought not to become contributory to the propagation of what you take upon yourselves, with some assumption of infallibity, to be the untruth. It should be remembered by those who make this objection, that principle is entirely independent of amount. If to grant 26,000l. is a mortal sin, to grant 9,000l.—even in the opinion of an Oxonian casuist—ought not to be considered as a venial offence. The same observation applies to all the contributions annually made for the maintenance of the Catholic Church in our Colonial dependencies; and to which the First Lord of the Treasury referred with so much distinctness. But, independently of these considerations, is it not most injudicious, and, what is far worse, is it not most anti-Christian, to tell 7,000,000 of your fellow-citizens that their religion is idolatrous, and their creed is but an avenue to perdition? For my part, I hear these unchristian imputations with Christian forbearance; for when I consider the grounds upon which my religion rests—when I see that for so many centuries its apostolical succession has been preserved unbroken—when I see it resuscitated in those countries in which it was supposed to have been deeply interred—when I see it spreading itself to the remotest regions of the earth—undivided, universal, and eternal — it is not with a feeling of resentment, but with one "akin to love," that I listen to the contumelies that are cast upon the Catholic religion. I most certainly will not retaliate; and I will even add, that I see in the English Church many incidents—many noble coincidences—from which my admiration cannot be withheld. But, Sir, it grieves me to see men engaged in an assault upon the character of the Catholic religion; because Christianity itself is wounded through its sides; and those who attack the religion professed by the vast majority of Christians, supply sophistications to those wretched men who seek to propagate infidelity—the enemies of human hope, and the harbingers of despair. But even supposing the Catholic religion to be a tissue of errors, it is clear that you cannot convert us by abusing us. The Catholic Church in Ireland is "an accomplished fact;" you cannot get rid of it; you cannot uproot it; but you may give a useful direction to its branches; and, if I may so say, by training them along the legalized institutions of the country, make it productive of what you yourselves would be disposed to acknowledge to be useful fruit. You must take Ireland as it is; and you must adapt your policy to the condition of the people, and not to your own peculiar religious feelings. A statesman has no right to found his legislation upon his theology; and the policy by which Ireland should be governed, is entirely different from that which the antagonists of Maynooth recommend to the adoption of the First Minister of the Crown. What is the policy worthy of him? In the great position which he occupies an answer to that question is to be found. How great is the height to which the Chief Minister of England is exalted! From that great moral height, nothing little should be discernible. Everything diminutive should vanish. Nothing but the large, the lofty, and the noble, should be seen. When, from that surpassing elevation whence the British Empire, over whose destinies he exercises an influence so signal, is disclosed to him, and in taking that vast survey he turns his eyes to the island which is immediately contiguous to your own, what should he behold? Not, most assuredly, a miserable arena for scholastic controversy—not an appropriate field in which the Protestant and the Catholic and the Calvinist should engage in a theological conflict. Shall I venture to tell you what, he should behold — what Bacon — what Spenser and Bacon beheld more than two centuries before him—what Pitt, what Burke, and Fox beheld in latter times—one of the finest islands in the ocean, peopled by millions of men, bold, and brave, and chivalrous—whose very imperfections are akin to virtue, and who are capable of the noblest amelioration—an island blessed with a fortunate climate, a soil inexhaustibly fertile, a point of contact between the Old World and the New, and opening in its coast harbours that could contain the fleets of both—an island to which Providence has been lavish in its gifts, and from the development of whose incalculable resources an incalculable benefit might be conferred upon the Empire; and by the statesman by whom that great work shall be accomplished an imperishable fame shall be won. And if such be the spectacle which Ireland presents to his contemplation—in the contemplation of such a spectacle what emotions should he experience, what desires should he derive from it, and with what aspirations should his heart be lifted up? Should he think—should he for one moment give himself leave to think—of making such a country subservient to the indulgence of any sectarian prejudice, or of any religious predilection? To assert the purposes of Providence, to carry out the designs of which, wherever we turn our eyes, we behold the magnificent manifestations—to repair the misrule of centuries—to pour balm into a nation's heart—to efface pernicious recollections—to awaken salubrious hopes — to banish a splendid phantom—to substitute a glorious and attainable reality—to induce England to do justice to Ireland, and to make Ireland appreciate the justice of England, and thus to give an everlasting stability to this great and majestic Empire—these are the objects to which a man should direct his whole heart and his entire soul, who feels conscious of the sacred trust reposed in him by his Sovereign, and that God has given him the high capacity to fulfil it; and he should turn with a disdainful smile away from the men who associate their politics with their polemics—who deduce the narrow maxims of their Government from the dogmas of their presumptuous divinity—and whose principles, if carried out to the conclusions to which they irresistibly tend, would lead you back to the restoration of that fatal ascendancy of which we have already had an experience so calamitous—and he should be prepared to fling the seals of office to the winds rather than permit himself to be stopped, or even to be retarded, in the completion of that work, of which the foundation has been laid, of which the structure has been in part erected, with which every consideration that can address itself to his heart and his understanding should induce him to proceed, and of which a perpetual honour will attend the consummation.

Mr. T. Duncombe

could not allow this question to go to a division without stating that it was his intention to vote against the Motion proposed by the right hon. Baronet; first, because of the permanency of the vote; secondly, on account of the source from which the grant was to be derived; and, thirdly, on account of the purposes to which the grant was to be applied. It was all nonsense, after what they had heard that evening, for hon. Gentlemen to deceive themselves by supposing that this vote was intended for any other purpose than to endow another Church. He had opposed the question of church rates whenever there had been a proposition for their abolition. He had supported such a proposition on the same principle that he should now oppose the Motion of the Government. When he looked at the million which had been given to the tithe-owners in Ireland, and when he called to mind the exemption of the Irish from the payment of the Property Tax, he could see no sufficient reason why the people of England should be still further taxed for the benefit of the sister kingdom.

The Earl of Arundel

, as an English Roman Catholic, expressed his hearty thanks to Ministers for this proposition.

Mr. Grogan

objected to the Motion, and declared that he would vote against it.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 216; Noes 114: Majority 102.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Dodd, G.
Acland, T. D. Duncan, Visct.
Adare, Visct. Duncombe, hon. A.
Adderley, C. B. Dundas, Adm.
Ainsworth, P. Eastnor, Visct.
Aldam, W. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Alford, Visct. Emlyn, Visct.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Escott, B.
Esmonde, Sir T.
Baillie, Col. Etwall, R.
Baird, W. Ferguson, Col.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Fitzmaurice, hon. W.
Baring, T. Flower, Sir J.
Baring, rt. hon. W. B. Forster, M.
Barnard, E. G. Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.
Barrington, Visct. French, F.
Bellew, R. M. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Bentinck, Lord G. Gibson, T. M.
Blandford, Marq. of Gordon, hon. Capt.
Boldero, H. G. Gore, M.
Borthwick, P. Gore, hon. R.
Botfield, B. Goulburn, rt. hn. H.
Bowes, J. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bowles, Adm. Granger, T. C.
Bowring, Dr. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Bramston, T. W. Guest, Sir J.
Brotherton, J. Hamilton, W. J.
Browne, hon. W. Hamilton, Lord C.
Brownrigg, J. S. Harcourt, G. G.
Bruce, Lord E. Hatton, Capt. V.
Buller, C. Hawes, B.
Buller, E. Heneage, G. H. W.
Busfeild, W. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Butler, P. S. Hervey, Lord A.
Byng, rt. hn. G. S. Hill, Lord M.
Campbell, Sir H. Hogg, J. W.
Cardwell, E. Hollond, R.
Carew, hn. R. S. Hope, hon. C.
Carew, W. H. P. Hope, G. W.
Carnegie, hon. Capt. Houldsworth, T.
Cavendish, hn. G. C. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Howard, hn. E. G. G.
Chapman, B. Howick, Visct.
Childers, J. W. Hutt, W.
Clay, Sir W. Ingestre, Visct.
Clayton, R. R. James, Sir W. C.
Clerk, rt. hn. Sir G. Jermyn, Earl
Clifton, J. T. Jocelyn, Visct.
Cobden, R. Johnstone, Sir J.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Colborne, hn. W. N. R. Lambton, H.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Lascelles, hn. W. S.
Collett, J. Lemon, Sir C.
Collins, W. Lennox, Lord A.
Coote, Sir C. H. Lincoln, Earl of
Corry, rt. hn. H. Listowel, Earl of
Cowper, hon. W. F. Loch, J.
Craig, W. G. Lowther, Sir J. H.
Cripps, W. Lyall, G.
Dalmeny, Lord Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Damer, hon. Col. Mackinnon, W. A.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Macnamara, Major
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C. McGeachy, F. A.
Dickinson, F. H. McNeill, D.
Divett, E. Mangles, R. D.
Manners, Lord J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
March, Earl of Shelburne, Earl of
Martin, J. Smith, J. A.
Martin, C. W. Smith, rt. hon. T. B. C.
Milnes, R. M. Smythe, hon. G.
Mitcalfe, H. Somerset, Lord G.
Mitchell, T. A. Somerton, Visct.
Morison, Gen. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Murray, A. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Napier, Sir C. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Neville, R. Stewart, J.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Stuart, Lord J.
Norreys, Lord Stuart, W. V.
O'Conor Don Strickland, Sir G.
Ord, W. Strutt, E.
Oswald, A. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Paget, Col. Tancred, H. W.
Pakington, J. S. Tennent, J. E.
Palmerston, Visct. Thornely, T.
Parker, J. Towneley, J.
Patten, J. W. Traill, G.
Pechell, Capt. Trench, Sir F. W.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Peel, J. Tuffnell, H.
Philips, G. R. Tuite, H. M.
Pigot, rt. hon. D. Vane, Lord H.
Plumridge, Capt. Villiers, hon. C.
Praed, W. T. Villiers, Visct.
Pringle, A. Wall, C. B.
Pulsford, R. Warburton, H.
Pusey, P. Ward, H. G.
Rawdon, Col. Wawn, J. T.
Repton, G. W. J. Wellesley, Lord C.
Rice, E. R. Williams, W.
Roebuck, J. A. Wilshere, W.
Round, J. Wood, Col. T.
Rous, hon. Capt. Worsley, Lord
Russell, Lord J. Wortley, hn. J. S.
Russell, Lord E. Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.
Russell, C. Wyse, T.
Russell, J. D. W. Yorke, H. E. T.
Rutherfurd, A. Yorke, H. R.
Sandon, Visct. TELLERS.
Scott, R. Young, J.
Seymour, Sir H. B. Baring, T.
List of the NOES.
Ackers, J. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Acton, Col. Burroughes, H. N.
Allix, J. P. Chetwode, Sir J.
Antrobus, E. Christopher, R. A.
Archdall, Capt. M. Codrington, Sir W.
Ashley, Lord Cole, hon. H. A.
Bagge, W. Colquhoun, J. C.
Bankes, G. Colvile, C. R.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Compton, H. C.
Bateson, T. Copeland, Ald.
Beckett, W. Darby, G.
Beresford, Major Deedes, W.
Blackstone, W. S. Denison, E. B.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Dick, Q.
Bradshaw, J. Disraeli, B.
Brisco, M. Douglas, Sir H.
Broadley, H. Douglas, J. D. S.
Bruce, C. L. C. Duncan, G.
Buck, L. W. Duncombe, T.
Duncombe, hon. O. Maclean, D.
Du Pre, C. G. McTaggart, Sir J.
Eaton, R. J. Mainwaring, T.
Egerton, Sir P. Marton, G.
Ellice, E. Masterman, J.
Entwisle, W. Maunsell, T. P.
Farnham, E. B. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Feilden, W. Morris, D.
Filmer, Sir E. Mundy, E. M.
Ffolliott, J. Neeld, J.
Forman, T. S. Newdegate, C. N.
Fox, S. L. Newry, Visct.
Fuller, A. E. O'Brien, A. S.
Gore, W. O. Packe, C. W.
Gore, W. R. O. Palmer, R.
Goring, C. Palmer, G.
Greenall, P. Pollington, Visct.
Greenaway, C. Rendlesham, Lord
Gregory, W. H. Richards, R.
Grogan, E. Round, C. G.
Hamilton, J. H. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Hamilton, G. A. Sanderson, R.
Hampden, R. Sibthorp, Col.
Hanmer, Sir J. Smith, A.
Harris, hon. Capt. Smyth, Sir H.
Hastie, A. Spooner, R.
Henley, J. W. Stuart, H.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Taylor, E.
Hillsborough, Earl of Tollemache, J.
Hindley, C. Turner, E.
Hodgson, F. Turnor, C.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Jones, Capt. Verner, Col.
Kemble, H. Vyvyan, Sir R. R.
Knight, F. W. Waddington, H. S.
Law, hon. C. E. Wyndham, Col. C.
Lefroy, A.
Lockhart, W. TELLERS.
Long, W. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Mackenzie, T. Plumptre, J. P.

Resolution agreed to.

House resumed. Resolution reported. Bill ordered to be brought in. Bill brought in, and read a first time.

House adjourned at a quarter before two o'clock.