§ Sir. C. Napier
said, that having observed it stated that two hon. Gentlemen, holding office under the Government, had abstained from voting on the question of the increased grant to Maynooth, he wished to ask the right hon. Baronet whether they were absent on that occasion by accident or design? And, if they were absent, whether they still remained Members of Her Majesty's Government or not? And if they did so remain, he wished further to ask whether or not the Maynooth Question was an open question in the Cabinet?
§ Sir R. Peel
could not undertake to say whether or no the hon. Members to whom the gallant Gentleman had referred were absent from the division on the grant to Maynooth by accident or design. There had been no changes recently in Her Majesty's Government—no removals from office. But with respect to the increased 390 grant to Maynooth, that was certainly a Government question; he considered it a question of the utmost importance, and would do everything in his power to promote its success.
§ Mr. Hume
said, that he saw on the Order Book a Notice given by the hon. Member for Sheffield of his intention to move to-morrow, on the second reading of the Maynooth College Bill—"That it is the opinion of this House that any provision for the purposes of the Catholic Establishment in Ireland ought to be made out of the funds at present applicable to Ecclesiastical purposes in that country." He begged, therefore, to ask the hon. Member for Sheffield in what way he meant to bring that Motion before the House to-morrow, as it was of the utmost importance that the course to be pursued should be understood.
§ Mr. Ward
said, he was much obliged to his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose, for giving him an opportunity of stating the course he wished to take to-morrow with regard to a Motion which he could not withdraw without making some explanation to the House. When he gave notice of that Motion it was his intention to amend the Bill, and not to throw it out. He had no desire that his Motion should become the rallying point to all parties opposed to the Government measure. He was ashamed to say, after having been so many years a Member of that House, he was scandalously ignorant of the form in which that Motion should be put. He understood now, however—but if he was wrong, the Speaker would put him right,—that the course would be simply this—when he moved his Amendment, the Speaker would put the question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question. Upon that, he understood, that all the hon. Gentleman opposed to the Maynooth grant might vote with him if they pleased, and he believed they would. But he had no wish to give a sort of encouragement to the unhappy feeling prevailing out of doors by even the appearance of a large numerical minority in that House against the proposition of the Government. At the same time, he did not wish to be considered as shrinking from the question. He had, however, made up his mind to abandon the Notice as it stood in his name for to-morrow. But he intended to bring the question on at the very next stage of the Bill at which he could get at a clear and intelligible expression of 391 the sense of the House, and in which he should not find himself in the painful position of obliging many of his friends around him, and among others the Member for Montrose and the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, apparently to vote against a Motion in which they cordially concurred, in order that they might not throw out a Bill of which they approved.
§ Mr. Hindley
observed, that the explanation of the hon. Gentleman was no doubt satisfactory. But he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government if that was not an additional reason for delaying the second reading of the Maynooth Bill? Certainly he and his friends had relied upon a junction of parties in that House for supporting their opposition to the measure. Even the twelve years' experience of the hon. Member for Sheffield in that House had not prevented him from getting into a difficulty, and asking for delay. It was right that delay should be allowed. Would not the right hon. Gentleman delay the second reading of the Bill? He appealed to the Speaker. He wished to ask the Speaker why the Members of that House were required to put their names in the corner of every petition? Were they not by the spirit of that order required to read every petition, in order to know that the prayers of them were respectfully addressed to that House? He had not had time to read every petition intrusted to him. He therefore could not present them. While he would not desire to interfere with the Government or with the business of the House, he asked for time to enable him to discharge his duty conscientiously.
§ Sir R. Peel
I am not quite sure that the hon. Member has asked me any question. I came down to this House under the impression that the hon. Member for Sheffield would make the Motion of which he had given notice. I do not see any reason, in his withdrawal of that Motion, why I should postpone the second reading of the Bill. It is my intention, therefore, to propose that the Bill affecting the Maynooth College shall be read a second time to-morrow. As I have heard representations made from parties calling for a postponement of this Bill, I wish to remind the House that there must be with respect to this Bill an opportunity of taking the sense of the House at another stage entirely involving the principle. Before we can proceed, the House must resolve itself into Committee of the whole House for the 392 purpose of rejecting or sanctioning the proposal I shall make with respect to the grant of Maynooth. I shall think it improbable that that Motion would be made before to-morrow week; consequently there will be an opportunity for those who are opposed to the principle of the Bill again to take the sense of the House, even previous to going into the general Committee on the Bill. Under these circumstances I think it will not be thought unreasonable if I force the second reading to-morrow.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
wished to ask the hon. Member for Sheffield whether, if he purposed moving his Amendment on the Speaker leaving the Chair, he would not be in the same situation that he would be were he to move on the second reading that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question? He would not have advanced a single iota. Therefore the House should clearly understand whether the Motion was to be given up altogether, or postponed to some particular stage of the Bill.
§ Mr. Hume
said, that having had an answer from his hon. Friend already in connexion with that subject, he wished to know from the Chair whether the proper course would not be an amendment on the Bill of the right hon. Baronet when he came to propose from what fund the money for the grant was to be supplied?
§ The Speaker
said, the Committee on the Bill could not entertain the Motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield as an instruction, inasmuch as there would be another instruction to the Committee in pursuance of the Resolution of the Committee of the whole House, assuming that that Committee did agree to apply a portion of the public money out of the Consolidated Fund for the payment of the increased grant to Maynooth. The House could not possibly entertain the two instructions; therefore, it was quite impossible that the hon. Member for Sheffield could propose his Motion on going into Committee.
§ The Speaker
remarked, that it must either be made on the question that the Speaker do leave the Chair upon going into Committee of the whole House, or the hon. Member might wait until the Resolution of that Committee should be reported to the House, and make his Motion as an 393 Amendment upon the second reading of that Resolution.
§ Subject at an end.